Regional Games glory for Gaels

It was Regional Games glory for the Gaels of Geelong and Gold Coast, while three clubs made their competition debuts at a sun-soaked Harold Hurst Reserve in Geelong on Saturday 11 November.

The fifth edition of the competition, it was the biggest yet with 14 women’s and men’s teams across seven clubs lining out. It was also a competition of firsts, featuring several first-time players, clubs and winners.

Women’s football

In the women’s competition, five teams competed in the group stage: Ballarat Clovers, Geelong Gaels Blue, Geelong Gaels Red, Gold Coast Gaels, and Young Melbourne. After a competitive group stage and semi-finals, it was the two Geelong sides who met in the final. In this local derby, the more experienced Blue side – who boasted 2023 Australasia World Games reps such as Tahlia Tatlock, Tess DeGrandi and Tamara Knox – claimed a solid win over a gallant, youthful Red side, who have several young players who will no doubt make their mark for Geelong, and indeed Victoria, in future competitions.

Watch the women’s final – YouTube

Amy Froud (left) of Geelong Gaels Red against Gold Coast Gaels in the women’s football competition.

Congratulations to Ballarat Clovers and Young Melbourne – Victoria’s two newest clubs – on making their Regional Games debut. It was Young Melbourne’s first time fielding a women’s team since their foundation in 2016, and to make the semi-final was an impressive feat.

Men’s football

The men’s football featured nine teams across two groups, and it was the Gaels of Geelong and Gaels of the Gold Coast who progressed through the group stage and semi-finals to set up a mouth-watering final. With both clubs celebrating their 10-year anniversaries in 2023, it was fitting that they would play the decider. While Geelong were hoping to top off their anniversary year with a repeat of the 2018 women’s and men’s double, Gold Coast were looking to mark theirs with a maiden trophy for the club.

Michael Morgan (left) of Tasmania tackling Colin McEniry of Gold Coast Gaels in the men’s football competition.

The final was a thrilling contest between two evenly matched teams. However, the Gaels from Queensland, who were potent in front of goal all day, built up an early lead and managed to keep an organised and hard-working Geelong Maroon side at bay until the final whistle. Jubilant scenes followed amongst the Gold Coast players, management and supporters. Following on from their memorable win in the Queensland championship earlier this year, this victory will leave the club with plenty to celebrate at their anniversary celebrations at the end of the month.

Watch the men’s final – YouTube

A special mention to the newly formed Cairns Chieftains who played at their first Regional Games, and recorded two draws before succumbing to their fellow Queenslanders in the semi-final. Also, Victorian clubs Ballarat Clovers and Young Melbourne, who fielded two teams of primarily Australian-born players, featured at their first Regional Games.

Fantastic day of Gaelic football

“It was a fantastic day of Gaelic football in Geelong”, said Geelong Gaels President and player, John Reaney. “Congratulations to the Gold Coast Gaels on winning their first men’s trophy, and also to our very own women’s team who went back to back.”

“We’d like thank Manifold Heights Cricket Club for their support in hosting the games. Also, thanks Cr Trent Sullivan, Mayor of Greater Geelong for presenting the women’s trophy, and Ambassador of Ireland to Australia, H.E. Tim Mawe for travelling from Canberra to be in attendance for the day’s events and presenting the men’s winning trophy”, said John.

L-R: GFHA Australasia Secretary, Teresa Daly; Geelong Gaels President and player, John Reaney; Mayor of Greater Geelong, Cr Trent Sullivan; Ambassador of Ireland to Australia, H.E. Tim Mawe; GFHA Australasia President, Ned Sheehy.

John continued, “we appreciate all our volunteers who put in a mountain of work on the day and over the past few months, including the Gaelic Football & Hurling Association of Australasia for their huge effort and support in providing a fantastic set of games.”

“Finally, to all the clubs who travelled to make these the best games to date, thank you so much and we hope you enjoyed the weekend.”

No doubt we’re already looking forward to Tasmania in 2024.

View tournament Results

All Stars and players of the tournament

Congratulations to the tournament All-Stars for their fine performances on the day, and a special bualadh bos to the players of the tournament: Tahlia Tatlock of Geelong Gaels women’s team, and Patrick Meehan of Gold Coast Gaels men’s team.

All-Star and player of the tournament Tahlia Tatlock of Geelong Gaels Blue women’s football team.

Women’s All-Stars
  • Sarah Wray McCann, Young Melbourne
  • Tess DeGrandi, Geelong Gaels Blue
  • Isabella Cheel, Geelong Gaels Red
  • Aoife Nic a Baird, Young Melbourne
  • Dayna Archer, Ballarat Clovers
  • Rhona Markham, Gold Coast Gaels
  • Tahlia Tatlock, Geelong Gaels Blue
  • Kaylene Shilliday, Gold Coast Gaels
  • Megan Canaway, Geelong Gaels Blue
  • Bec Higgins, Geelong Gaels Red

All-Star and player of the tournament Patrick Meehan (right) of Gold Coast Gaels men’s football team.

Men’s All-Stars
  • Darragh Kelly, Gold Coast Gaels
  • Justin White, Geelong Gaels Maroon
  • Naomhán Ó Riordáin, Cairns Chieftains
  • Dara Blake, Young Melbourne Development
  • Tomas Drennan, Geelong Gaels Blue
  • Nigel Smith, Cairns Chieftains
  • Eoin Hanrahan, Young Melbourne Green
  • Patrick Meehan, Gold Coast Gaels
  • Ger Quirke, Geelong Gaels Maroon
  • Gold Coast Gaels, James Looney
By Australasia PRO Tue 14th Nov