Over 100 Teams Participated at 2007 Youth Championships
By EAMONN KELLY (Chicago)with contributions from
JOHN O'FLYNN (Vancouver)
The 2007 O'Neill's Continental Youth Championships (CYC), staged at Chicago's Gaelic Park July 26-29 was a tremendous success. Reflecting the continuous growth and popularity of the championship, this year's event was the biggest in its four year history with the most participation of youth from Canada.
Canadian County Board Secretary John O'Flynn, GAA President Nickey Brennan and Canadian County Board Chairman Brian Farmer.
A total of 205 games were played during the three-day tournament with over 100 participating teams representing 12 cities from the United States and Canada as well as a minor football team from London, England.
The following cities were represented at the tournament: Boston, Chicago, Detroit, Indianapolis, Milwaukee, New Haven, New York, Ottawa, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, San Francisco and Toronto.
For the second consecutive year hurling joined boys and girls Gaelic football at the CYC with games being played at U8, 10, 12, 14 and 18 age levels. Games in the same age groups, plus U16, were played in girls football.
There were 12 competitions in boys football with games being played in A & B divisions in U8, 10, 12, 14, 16 and 18.
As Canadian County Board secretary, John O'Flynn served as an allocator of referees along with North American County Board Youth Officer Michael O'Connor. Special thanks to the Canadian County Board's Vice-President Jarlath Connaughton from Ottawa who has served on the CYC Steering Committee from its beginning and continues to provide invaluable service.
As for results on the field, New York teams took 10 of the 23 championships that were played with 10 other titles being split equally between Chicago and San Francisco. One championship went to Boston while a combined Detroit/Pittsburgh team took a title.
The highlight of this year's tournament was the inaugural inter-county minor (under 18) football championship between London, New York and the North American Board. It was the first time that a county team represented the NACB in a minor inter-county football championship.
London won the title with victories over New York and North America. Their game with the NACB was a thrilling encounter with very little between the teams. London led by a point at the interval and extended their lead to three points going into the final quarter.
The home side dominated proceedings in the final 10 minutes of the game but failed to score as several shot from play and frees went wide of the post, leaving the final score 1-9 to 1-6 in London's favour.
The 2007 CYC came to a fitting conclusion with the presentation of trophies and medals to the winning teams by the president of the GAA, Nickey Brennan. The president spoke at length of his delight in being present to witness the fruits of the tremendous work being done by the various youth boards in Canada and the USA.
Other GAA dignitaries from Ireland at the CYC were Sheamus Howlin, International Committee Chairman; Aine Gibney, International Committee Secretary; Christy Cooney, Games Development Committee Chairman; Gene Duffy, Finance Committee Chairman. Also in attendance as guest of the NACB was former GAA President, Sean Kelly.