San Francisco Tournament Report

After valiant attempts at past North American County Board
Championships in 1984 and 1985, third time lucky was proved once again
with the Vancouver Irish Sporting and Social Club’s Harps being
crowned the 2011 NACB Intermediate Football Champions as 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

Winning captain Freddy Gannon (Galway) was presented the trophy from
Croke Park’s Vice President Sean Walsh and NACB Chairman Joe Lydon
while Harps Manager Richie Jones was tossed in the air numerous times
by jubilant players and supporters.

2011 was also the first time since the inception of the NACB in 1959
that two Canadian ladies football teams were participating at the
Championships. Vancouver’s Lady Harps and Toronto’s St. Mikes
participated at the intermediate grade and met each other in the
Shield Final after suffering defeats to San Francisco’s Saoirse and
Chicago’s Aisling Gaels. It was the first time that these two Canadian
teams were meeting in a competition with Vancouver prevailing well
over St. Mikes for the NACB Intermediate Shield.

Vancouver’s Junior footballers came back from 6 points down to beat
Boston WolfeTones with a late goal at the whistle in their
quarter-final match. Vancouver was then narrowly defeated in a
semi-final match by San Diego’s Setanta who were equally matched with
fine fitness on both teams.

The two Vancouver 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 4 point loss
to Boston Galway. The Junior Vancouver JP Ryans hurling team 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 or so in attendance from Vancouver. It was wonderful for
the players to meet two original 1974 Vancouver GAA founding members,
Pat McHugh and John Smith, taking in the Vancouver celebrations as
long time residents of California.

Toronto’s Hurling club fielded a Senior and Junior team as first time
entries for the NACB Championships. It has been nearly 30 years since
Toronto last participated with the small ball game. The Seniors were
beat by San Francisco’s Naomh Padraic and the Juniors by Boston
Wexford in their semi-finals. Evident effort and determination by the
men of Toronto was noted by all.

Finally, St. Mikes GFC mens team played Senior football up against one
of the best in the country, Chicago Parnells. Though they were well
beat it was clear that the men of St. Mikes would not walk away
without some fire in their play. Special thanks to St. Mike’s alumnus
Bill Flanagan who liased with all of the Canadian teams and was fully
involved in the running of a successful tournament in his beloved San
Francisco’s Treasure Island.

John O’Flynn
Rúnaí – Canadian County Board