The Larry Walsh Football Tournament.

Monday, July 5, 2010

On the day when Croke Park hosted the Christy Ring, Nicky Rackard & Lorry Meagher Cups, Old Conna held the inaugural Larry Walsh Cup as part of the club's 125 celebrations. Larry, as big a name and character in Emmets as any of the afore mentioned national heroes, was remembered through an internal club tournament which involved players from all our adult and minor teams representing their local district in the town.  

Much of the pre tournament speculation and banter revolved around Charnwood - 'The Home of football' - and whether they could live up to the self proclaimed title. All the games were to be played on the club's new all weather facility. They faced the Herbert Road district team powered by the O hAnnaidh family and featuring several senior panellists as well as some of the older, more mature faces from the past. Any advantage the Vevay (Charnwood) team held was neutralised by the introduction of the 3:1 score for any girl who scored. The rule 'amendment' made life a little more difficult for referee Vincent Duffy, but he coped admirably with the complication. Aisling O hAnnaidh was unstoppable in the second half and led her team to victory with a sparkling display. 

The second game saw a Seafront (B4) face a Little Bray team. Again it was the team adjusting to the Ladies score rule that took the honours. B4 were in trouble for most of the first half, but just before half time Lisa Brady ignited the team by starting and finishing a fantastic move which changed the momentum of the game. Despite Tom Kearney's best efforts, Lisa and Eileen Henley led the B4s into the final, leaving Little Bray to face the might of the Vevay in the playoff. 

The playoff was lit up by two scores, both involving Paul O Keeffe. The first was a goal scored by Danny Alves Eglington, where he chipped Keego from 30 yards for a glorious goal, and the second saw Keego solo from his own goal line, give a couple of 1 - 2s and score a point from practically the same spot Danny scored the goal from. Amazingly, Little Bray won the play off leaving The Vevay with out a win on the day. 

The Final between B4 and the Herbert District was a shootout between Aisling O hAnnaidh and Lisa Brady. Aisling had the stronger support, and Luke Benson worked hard to successfully cut off any supply to Lisa or Eileen. Despite the best efforts of minors Mikey Lee and Nicholas Sweeney Herbert ran our comfortable winners to end a memorable start to an annual day. Appropriately John Walsh, Larry's goalkeeping footballer son, was on the winning Herbert team. Mark also represented the family on the B4 team, but had to leave the field injured only to be replaced by the evergreen Pat Lee who showed his prowess with the  big ball. 

The Walsh family presented the Club with a magnificent trophy - The Larry Walsh Cup, which Mrs Ronnie Walsh, presented to the winning captain, Tony Denver. A successful club day was completed with light refreshments and a BBQ in the club house.  

The club wishes to thank the Walsh family, Ronnie, Brian, Mark and John for their generosity in presenting the Cup to the club. We would also like to thank all those who contributed to the day, particularly Vincent Duffy for refereeing all the games so independently, and to the Thompson family and Harry for all their work in the club house afterwards. 

Saturday July 3rd was the inaugural Larry Walsh Cup, and we look forward to many more in the clubs 150th celebration reports! 

See photos of the tournament here