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    Ritheann ionadaithe Scoil Uí Cheithearnaigh ar an bPáirc le gliondar ta éis séideadh na feadóige. PIc: Seán Ó Mainnín
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    Scoil Uí Cheithearnaigh Abú. An fhoireann ag ceiliúradh agus iad curaithe Peile Connacht Gael Linn. Sa phictiúr ó chlé ar chúl tá Luke Ó Mainnín. Jamie Ó cadhain, Róísín Ní Mheachair, Molly Naessens, Amy Ní Leanáin, Clíodhna Ní Annluain, Reiyana Ní Ruairic, Tomás Ó Maoileáin, Conor Ó Dúda, Seán de Paor, Oisín Ó Kindregan, Cillian Mac Pilib agus Kai Mac Fhiachra. Chun tosaigh ó chlé: Ciara de Paor, Sarah Ní Ruiséil, Aoibheann Ní Chochláin, Jessica Ní Thuile, Conor Ó Grádaigh, Daire Ó Cuinneagáin, Ryan Ó Dúda
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    Coimhlint ghéar idir Molly Naessens, Scoil Cheithearnaigh agus Daria Ní Bhraonáin, Scoil Iognáid. Ar faire tá Ryan Ó Dúda, Scoil Cheithearnaigh
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    An liathróid ag peileadóir Gaelscoil Dara agus peileadóirí Scoil Éinne, An Spidéal á cur faoi bhrú. Pic: Seán Ó Mainnín
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    SEAIMPÍNÍ!: Tá áthas an domhan ar Ciara de Paor agus Jessica Ní Thuile, Scoil Uí Cheithearnaigh, Béal Átha na Sluaighe, Co na Gaillimhe díreach tar éis a mbua in aghaidh Scoil Iognáid sa cluiche craobh ceannais Féile Peile Gael Linn ar Pháirc na bPiarsach, Ros Muc, Co na Gaillimhe ar an gCéadaoin (Bealtaine 15). Pic: Seán Ó Mainnín

Ros Muc hosts Féile na Peile Connacht finals

in GAA

For more than 100 national school pupils up to fifth class, it must have been the first taste of the big time in sport. A beautiful manicured pitch, a crowd, TV cameras and sports photographers, pep talks, Amhrán na bhFiann… The Féile na Peile Gael Linn Connacht finals in Páirc na bPiarsach, Gort Mór, Ros Muc, on May 15 and 16 was a step into their very own, exciting and tense All-Ireland Super 8 championship.

Under a bright sun, a cool breeze and with the Twelve Bens standing like neutral, lofty spectators, not giving anything away on the western goal end, eight schools from Galway and Roscommon which had made it through the pre-qualifiers, took a look at each other. Determination was writ large on young faces, whether soloing up the pitch or delivering uncompromising tackles, the mixed teams of boys and girls giving it mighty. There were goals, saves, bad wides, fouls, high catches and deft skills aplenty – but no cynicism, sweepers or lateral passing.

And joy! When the final whistle blew after a tense, close encounter, there was a pitch invasion as Ballinasloe’s Scoil Uí Cheithearnaigh savoured their first victory ever in the 16 years of the competition. Losing finalists Scoil Iognáid, Galway, will live to play another day. For Scoil Uí Cheithearnaigh youngsters celebrating a first taste of what it’s like to win a tournament, the euphoria could last a lifetime.

Words and photos: Seán Ó Mainnín