Vancouver Harps: NA Intermediate Football Champions
THE VANCOUVER HARPS were crowned the 2011 NACB Intermediate Football Champions in San Francisco over the Labour Day weekend.
WINNING Vancouver Harps captain Freddy Gannon hails from Galway.
By JOHN O'FLYNN
Rúnaí – Canadian County Board
SAN FRANCISCO – After valiant attempts at the North American County Board Championships in 1984 and 1985, third time lucky was proven once again with the Vancouver ISSC Harps being crowned the 2011 NACB Intermediate Football Champions.
They prevailed over San Francisco's Young Irelanders in two sessions of extra-time in a ding-dong of a battle that captivated hundreds of spectators.
Winning captain Freddy Gannon was presented the trophy from Croke Park's Vice President Sean Walsh and Harps Manager Richie Jones was tossed in the air numerous times by jubilant players and supporters.
The Junior footballers came back from six points down to beat Boston WolfeTones with a late goal in their quarter-final match. Vancouver was then narrowly defeated in the semi-final by San Diego's Setanta.
This was also the first time since inception of the NACB in 1959 that two Canadian ladies football teams were participating at the Championships.
Vancouver Harps and Toronto's St. Mikes participated at the intermediate grade and met each other in the Shield Final after suffering defeats to American clubs.
It was the first time that these two Canadian teams met in competition with Vancouver prevailing over St. Mikes for the NACB Intermediate Shield 6-12 to 1-1.
The two JP Ryans hurling teams were defeated in their respective semi-finals with the Seniors providing a most spirited display and never for a moment looking out of place in a four point loss to Boston Galway.
The Junior JP Ryans met San Francisco's Na Fianna who were running on all cylinders firing and were eliminated in the competition by the Baysiders.
Well done to long-time ISSC members John Coughlan, Marty McCann, Paul Stack and Jimmy Speiran who travelled down to take in the games along with the 90 in attendance from Vancouver.
It was wonderful for the players to meet two original 1974 ISSC founding members, Pat McHugh and John Smith, taking in the celebrations as long time residents of California.