Congratulations to the Fionn Mac Cumhaill’s men’s team, NACB Junior C National Champions! The long, tough road culminated in a fantastic win over Tyrone Philadelphia in Boston on Sunday, August 31st 2014. Final score 2-15 to 1-04.
This triumph marks the first national solo title win for Fionn Mac Cumhaills, and makes the club the first Gaelic football team from Texas to win a national championship.
A huge thank you to the dedicated team that marched to victory over the weekend.
Back Row (L to R): Eddie Geraghty, Ciarán Doogan, Adam Jochelson, Niall Bishop, Anthony McGee, John Gardiner, Greg Devlin, Jason Skinner, Joe Capasso, Benjamin Lemoine, Bill Turley
Middle Row (L to R): Matthew Norman, John Wycherley (Captain), Colin Murphy, Paul Donnelly, Darren Heffernan (Manager), Micheál Cahill (Coach), Daryl Mcghiey, Martin Morgan, Brian Geraghty, Daniel Smith, Jose Cabrera
Front Row (L to R): Kevin McCann (Chariman)
The ladies team that represented Fionn at nationals in Boston:
Back Row (L to R): Emmett Long (Manager), Leah Murphy, Kandace Walter, Diana Strycker, Allie D’Amico, Elaine O’Connor, Caitlin Zematis, Bess Baskin, Maddie Morris
Front Row (L to R): Laura Domyancic, Dee Grant, Maria Riordan, Yoshiko Tamura, Erica Gross, Noreen Cabrera
The Road to Victory
This Junior C Championship success would not have been possible without the hard work and dedication of the people that laid the foundation for bringing home a national title only 4 short years after the club was founded
- May 2010 The very beginning – Triggered by Kevin McCann, 7 hardy souls met at Lake Highlands Park for the first time and had a kick around. Within weeks there was enough for a full team and we arranged our first game
- May 29th 2010 Our first match! Paddy Walsh whipped the group into a team and we traveled to Austin, TX for our first ever game against Austin and Toronto. That first team to represent Fionn Mac Cumhaills Dallas GAA were: Derek Abell, Paddy Walsh, Mark Kelly, “Aussie” James, Davey Devlin, Colin Xuereb, Peter Holland, Michael Carey, Emmett Long, Nicky Hurst, Kevin McCann, Sean Ward, Ciarán Doogan, Graeme Thompson, Brian Geraghty and Pascal Duffy.
- September 2011 Nationals in San Francisco – a blooding and a hurling cup. We went to our first nationals in San Francisco but unfortunately suffered a 2 point loss to Mason Dixon in the first round. However we joined with Austin and brought home our first national title in Junior B hurling. The 7 Fionn members on the winning hurling side that day were Eddie Geraghty, Brian Geraghty, Barry Brennan, Emmett Long, Kevin McCann, Stephen McDonnell and Niall Quinlan
- September 2012 Nationals in Philadelphia – a men’s final and a ladies Shield trophy. After forming earlier in the year, due to the trojan efforts of Dee Grant and Maria Riordan, the first ever Texas ladies football team took the field in the Junior B division at nationals showing great courage to bring home Fionn’s first full club award by winning the Ladies Junior B Shield Final. The men made up for the previous year’s disappointment, progressing through 3 rounds to make the final but agonizingly losing by one point to Phoenix, a team who had been trying for nearly 10 years to win the title
- September 2013 Nationals in Cleveland – some disappointment but valued experience. The men met our old foe, Mason Dixon, and once again lost narrowly in the first round, but picked up their heads and progressed to the Shield final losing narrowly to our even older foes, Austin. The ladies put up a strong fight in the first round but lost out to San Diego. They then showed a coming of age in the Shield final against a Chicago Junior A team, losing narrowly but giving a performance to be proud of
- June 2014 Titanic Texas Championship – The men’s upward curve continued, losing out to Austin in extra time of the Texas Championship by a single point in what was later dubbed as the best game of Gaelic football Texas, or even the Southwest, has ever seen. The ladies won out in another fantastic match, claiming Fionn’s first Texas Championship over Austin. The club was coming of age!
- September 2014 North American Champions!! The ladies had their first ever first round win with a hugely impressive performance against Seattle, winning 1-17 to 0-5, setting up a semi final against the old enemy, Austin. Unfortunately things didn’t click on the day and the ladies lost to Austin (who lost in the final to San Diego) but the experience just made them hungrier for Chicago 2015! The men approached their task in military fashion with ruthless efficiency, disposing of Pittsburg 4-17 to 0-6, giving Mason Dixon the defeat they had coming at 2-14 to 3-6 plus annihilating Los Angeles 6-13 to 2-5 (after they had beaten San Antonio and Austin), thus qualifying Fionn for our second national final in 3 years, ironically facing a team from the city where we narrowly lost our first final. This time there would be no mistake. Driven on by their manager, Darren Heffernan, and coach, Micheál Cahill, and putting on a performance that was worthy of the Junior B final which was played before us, we beat Tyrone Philadelphia 2-15 to 1-4. This is a truly remarkable achievement for a club only 4 years in existence. A journey that started in Lake Highlands on a May evening in 2010 and one that has been supported by our entire club community ever since. It is a win for the entire club and for all who support us, most notably:
- Paul Devine – who has rallied more people to the club than most
- Paddy Walsh – who imparted training and enthusiasm in the early years
- Lenny Smith and the Meridian Room – for sponsoring our first kit when we were starting out
- Marius Donnelly and the Trinity Hall – for tireless support, advice and sponsorship
- Peter Kenny and the Dubliner – for constant support of our events and pub leagues
- Feargal McKinney and the Idle Rich – our current main sponsor, for generous sponsorship and Texas Championship event support