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Easkey take Alan Ryan Cup as Aodh Ruadh claim the Seamus Grimes trophy

Under 16 hurling
1 October 2017

The lads were back in action on Sunday as we hosted the annual Alan Ryan / Seamus Grimes Tournament. This tournament is in existence since 1998 to honour these two former Aodh Ruadh hurlers and recognise the contribution they and their families have made to Aodh Ruadh. Five teams took part in this year's event namely Loch Mór Dál gCais of Antrim, Sligo side Easkey, Omagh Saint Enda's from Tyrone and Donegal's Buncrana and ourselves.

The tournament was played on a round robin basis and in round one Aodh Ruadh had a great battle with Loch Mór before losing narrowly 1-6 to 1-4. Easkey had a convincing win over Omagh. Round two saw Easkey beat Buncrana while Loch Mór got their second win of the day over Omagh. Round 3 saw Aodh Ruadh up against the strong Easkey team. The lads did well, but the concession of a few soft goals proved costly as we lost 5-3 to 2-3. Buncrana had their first win of the day over Omagh. Round four saw Aodh Ruadh recording a convincing win over Omagh while Loch Mór proved too strong for Buncrana.

At this stage the pairings for the finals were decided, Easkey and Loch Mór Dál gCais were to meet in the Alan Ryan Final, while the two Donegal teams were to meet in the Seamus Grimes Final. Both finals were close affairs. In the Alan Ryan decider Easkey and Loch Mór battled for every ball as if their lives depended on it and at the final whistle it was the west Sligo men who came out on top 2-5 to 1-5 to reclaim the title they last won in 2015.

The Seamus Grimes final was an even tighter battle between the two Donegal rivals. Aodh Ruadh have had a tough season due to small numbers, but they were determined to end the season with some silverware. They gave it their all to claim the victory and their hard work paid off at the final whistle as they won by the minimum 2-8 to 2-7.

After a great day of hurling we adjourned to the Rock Hall for refreshments and the presentations. John Rooney Chairman Aodh Ruadh Juvenile Hurling Committee thanked all the teams who had taken part in the tournament. He spoke of the late Alan Ryan and Seamus Grimes and the contribution they and their families had made to hurling in Aodh Ruadh. He also remembered the late Billy Finn who was one of the main instigators of this tournament. Eddie Grimes spoke on behalf of the Grimes family, he thanked all involved in organising the tournament. He spoke of how proud his family were of this tournament. He presented the runner up medals to the gallant Buncrana squad, before presenting the Seamus Grimes Trophy to a delighted Aodh Ruadh captain Aaron Duffy who certainly led by example all year.

Martin Kerry Ryan was the next speaker. He also thanked everyone involved in making the day such a success. He echoed the previous speaker's sentiments in relation to the late Billy Finn. Martin recalled playing in goals for Aodh Ruadh once and his four sons playing outfield in the same game. He called on his daughter Caroline to present the runner up medals to a skilful Loch Mór team before she presented the Alan Ryan Cup to Easkey's captain Niall Kilcullen who proved equally at home with the microphone as the hurl as he made a good speech thanking all involved in organising the tournament before calling his successful team forward to collect their medals.

Before closing proceedings John Rooney thanked the refs Pat Maguire and Chris Kelly who did a great job throughout the day. He also thanked all involved in the catering, Aodh Ruadh Park Committee for the facilities, John Keon for use of the Rock Hall and Mickey McMahon of Realt na Mara Bundoran for making their pitch available before wishing everyone a safe trip home.

Last modified: Monday, 1 June 2020 at 8:02pm