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  • Southside

Shankill ladies throw in for their first game

Sunday, 15th April, 2018 4:00pm
Shankill ladies throw in for their first game

The newly-formed Shankill ladies’ GAA football team who played their first league match recently.

Shankill ladies throw in for their first game

The newly-formed Shankill ladies’ GAA football team who played their first league match recently.

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Rachel Farrell

A HUGE crowd turned out to cheer on the newly-formed Shankill ladies’ GAA football team when they played their first league match recently.

Founded in October 2017, the women had been training for months for their first game against St Finian’s of Newcastle.

They finished on 4-13 against St Finian’s winning 8-9, but team manager Steve Davis said the result was a great one for their first match.

“It was still a very promising result for the team, as a lot of the members hadn’t even played before,” Mr Davis explained.

“There’s a mix of player levels on the team,” he explained.

“We have 29 women and out of those there’s about nine or 10 that would have played GAA before.

“There are some girls who would’ve played soccer before but not GAA. 

“Then there are 10 or 12 others who have never played any sport before but have picked up GAA.

“We’ve coached them and taught them the best practices for it.”

Led by captain Grace O’Neill, the majority of the team are Shankill based, with some from the surrounding areas of Killiney and Glenegeary.

Their first match took place in their new ground at Stonebridge Road.

The first local team was formed back in 1911, when the club was known as the Shankill Shilmaliers.

The Shilmalier name is said to come from Co Wexford, a place associated with the 1798 rebellion.

Since reforming in 2013, the club hosts a variety of male and female teams of various ages.

They are sponsored by local businesses, such as O’Donnells pharmacy, John Brady group, Shankill financial services and Core Credit Union. 

One of the reasons the club decided to set up a ladies’ team is to ensure their younger members have somewhere to progress to, according to Mr Davis.

“The main reason we set up a ladies’ team is because we have a lot of girls’ teams coming through,” he said.

“We want them to see that there’s a place for them to come to when they’ve come through juveniles.”

The team are currently in the Dublin league in Division 8, with plans to keep on playing as much as they can this year.

In preparation for their first league game, they were training up to three times a week.

“We’ve a league cup and a championship coming up so we’ll be busy every week with a game on a Wednesday evening, either in Stonebridge Road or somewhere else in Dublin,” Mr Davis said.

However, he stressed that the club isn’t just for experienced GAA players, but also for people who are willing to give it a try as beginners too.

“We’re always looking for players to join up,” he added.

“I’d advise anyone to come down and give it a go.

“If it’s not for you after a week or two then there’s no problem at all. 

“We have a good team, with a good team environment and atmosphere,” he added.

“It’s not all about the football, we have some social nights out too and that’s what it’s all about.”

Emma McMahon, Deirdre Spillane, Grace O’Neill (team captain) and Alex Molloy of the Shankill ladies’ GAA football team.

Read the digital editions of the Dublin People Northside East, Northside West & Southside here