LJMU Gaelic football team claim title glory

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Captain Phelim Lennon (right) celebrates  victory in Dublin. Pic © Phelim Lennon

A famous win was chalked up by Liverpool John Moores University’s Gaelic football team as they secured the all-Ireland division three title.

The hard-fought victory in Dublin against American team, New York Collegiate, marked the end to a long absence from the competition.

The team had failed to qualify for the past four years, after continuously missing out on the British championship.

However, a resurgence this year has seen the team go straight to the top in the university-level competition.

Winning 3-4 to 0-8 and lifting the Corn na Mac Leinn Cup, Captain Phelim Lennon was ecstatic to claim the long-awaited success.

He told JMU Journalism: “It was all building up to this year. We hadn’t won a British championship in about four years. There’s boys on the team who have been playing for five years without winning very much.

“We knew from the start of the year we had a real chance of winning. It was hard work throughout the year, with many close games. Getting over the line was a relief. We knew we could do it and it was just a matter of going out and doing it.

“It was a phenomenal feeling to do it for the past players and managers. Everyone was wishing us good luck. We did it for them.”

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The journey to the title was a tough one, with Lennon and his team overcoming fierce rivals and title-holders, Liverpool Hope University, in a gruelling extra-time win in the British championship finals.

They put an end to Hope University’s record-breaking run which had seen them win the previous two all-Ireland and British championships.

LJMU have now won the trophy a record-breaking nine times.

After stopping Hope University from winning a third successive title by a score of 2-8 to 0-10, LJMU went straight into the semi-finals of the all-Ireland championship, beating Newry’s Southern Regional College 0-13 to 0-10.

Stopping their local rivals on the road to victory made the championship win that much sweeter, Lennon believes.

He said: “It’s absolutely magical. Over the past couple of years we had setbacks – we didn’t have the rub of the green – but beating Hope in the finals was so satisfying. It was indescribable.”

About Daniel Williams, JMU Journalism