The 33rd annual Denis O’Connor/Lee Strand U13 Invitational Football Tournament came a successful conclusion at Connolly Park on Sunday 9th September. This tournament has grown to an entry of 16 teams since Austin Stacks won the inaugural event in 1986. The Billy Breen Shield and Abie Allen Plate competitions were added in 2008.
The Abie Allen Plate was contested this year by Ennistymon (Clare) and Nemo Rangers (Cork) with Nemo winning by the minimum on Saturday evening: 3-3 to 2-5. Paddy Allen of Na Piarsaigh (brother of the late Abie Allen) presented Tim O’Brien, captain with the Abie Allen Plate, and Man of the Match Award to Luke Dunford of Nemo Rangers.
Two finals were contested on Sunday morning. In the Nuns Field, the Billy Breen Shield Final was a closely contested affair between Austin Stacks and Na Piarsaigh, with the Cork side winning 3-8 to 2-9. Eamonn Scanlan of Austin Stacks presented Man of the Match Award to Sean Paul Cooke of Na Piarsaigh, and Captain Dylan Philpott with the Shield.
The Lee Strand Cup was played on the main pitch between Mungret St. Pauls from Limerick and Ballyboden/St. Endas of Dublin. Result was: Mungret 0-4 Ballyboden/St.Endas 3-7. Back in 2008 Mungret were first winners of the Billy Breen Shield, their trainer David Foley (originally from Tralee) presented the team with runners-up medals. Man of the Match Award was presented by Tournament co-ordinator, Michael Lynch, to Mungret St. Pauls captain, Tom Lloyd. Player of the Tournament was Mark McGlynn of Ballyboden/St. Endas and he was presented with the James Hobbert Award. The winners were presented with their medals by Ballyboden/St. Endas manager, Dave Rusk. Nora O’Connor (wife of the late Denis) presented the Lee Strand Cup to captain of Ballyboden, Daniel McCarthy.
This annual event is much anticipated annually by all participants, and it’s success would not be possible without the visiting teams; sponsors; the Ladies Committee; Referees and huge team of Grounds workers, too many to mention individually. Sincere thanks and well done to all involved, we hope you all have happy memories of this year’s tournament.