Prague Hibernians

Gaelic Football Club. Est. 2009

Location: Warsaw, Poland

Date: April 14th 2012

Competition: Regional Tournament

Participating teams:

- Cumann Warszawa (Men and Ladies)

- Prague Hibernians (Men and Ladies)

- Vienna Gaels (Men and Ladies)

- Slovak Shamrocks (Men Only)

- Munich Colmcilles (Ladies only)

The first round of the Central European Regional Gaelic Football Championships is in Warsaw in April, 2012. This is the first regional tournament that Cumann Warszawa has hosted since their formation. We are all looking forward to a good weekend which will surely be full of intense competition during the day, followed by joyful banter in the evening. For further details on the competition email us at, check back in the near future, or contact the Cumann Warszawa club secretary on


Courtesty of Maurice Sheehan


    On Saturday last the Prague Hibernians took part in the first regional tournament of 2012 and I think it is fair to say that both the men and women’s teams acquitted themselves very well overall and I have to say I enjoyed the weekend immensely as I’m sure everyone else did.

    We played our opening game against the Vienna Gaels and started the game in great fashion by flying out of the blocks and Bryan kicked the opening three points of the game and things were looking very promising indeed. But after the opening period Vienna got back into the game and for some reason we started to lose our concentration and became quite sloppy and gave away the ball too easily and slowly but surely Vienna worked their way back into the game and we lost the initiative. We started giving the ball away too easily and it was all square within minutes, we went in at half time having dominated the opening exchanges but we didn’t capitalise on all of our opportunities.  After the restart Vienna scored a very soft goal and we seemed to be quite deflated after that and for me that was the most significant score in the game and it meant that Vienna were now in the driving seat given that they had fought back so well, for us the goal was a killer blow and completely handed them the initiative. We fought hard in the closing five minutes but Vienna scored another goal and that was the final nail in our coffin, we started the game very well but Vienna seized the initiative and finished the game very strongly and we lost our opening game which was really disappointing.

    Overall, I think we performed quite well against Vienna but we missed a huge amount of scoring opportunities and gave away possession much too easily which we need to look at. This was our first game of the year and it was clear to see that we are quite rusty so we need to work on our support play but I’m sure Bryan and the lads will address this in the coming weeks.

    Our performance against Warsaw in the second game was really very poor and we were completely overrun by superior opposition and therefore we cannot be too hard on ourselves. Warsaw are an extremely formidable team who have a very good level of fitness and physical strength in their tackling which I think we don’t have at this point but is again something we need to work on. Having said that, I think we may have dropped the heads a little bit, myself included because I was absolutely knackered and perhaps that was a little disappointing. We need to stand up to Warsaw in the future and even though they are a very good team with a full deck of Irish players who are very well driven and prepared we need to stand up much more against them at home next month and hit them harder. We cannot and must not accept our fate before the final whistle and we must give it everything until the final whistle. I know that our next performance against Warsaw will be much better because last year they only defeated us by a point at home so we cannot give them too much respect but give it absolutely everything we have against them in Prague.

    We finished the day with a real test of character against Bratislava who had also lost their previous two games so this was a game that both teams really wanted to win so to take something from the day. For me personally, this was a great performance by the Hibs because we really gave it everything we had against the odds and when the final whistle blew there was a huge sense of relief felt by all because we knew that we had got through a real battle and come out on top. So why was this win against Bratislava so important? This victory was

important because we won the game without our best player Bryan Flanagan who was out through injury and having trailed in the second half there were quite a few verbal’s going around from the opposition and they were confident that they had us, but we were not finished and had the final say. Mike showed tremendous perseverance in the corner and managed to score a great goal which gave us huge momentum going into the final stages and it seemed to knock the stuffing out of Bratislava. Cheyane kicked an absolutely brilliant point on the run in the final stages which was not only the insurance point for us but was the score of the tournament in my opinion, when Cheyane got the ball in his hands on the halfway line he had only one thing on his mind and he drove forward and kicked a really inspirational score. For me it was a brilliant score because Cheyane grabbed the game by the scuff of the neck and took a great score which was the icing on the cake for us. We deservedly won the game given that we showed tremendous character in the second half when the gun was really put to our heads.

    I don’t like mentioning individuals because Gaelic Football is a team sport with every single player on the panel giving it everything but I’d like to give special mention to the non-Irish lads playing on the day who I felt made a huge contribution and never ever gave up which was great to see. The likes of Mike, Pablo, and Paul were outstanding in my opinion given the length of time these lads have been playing football, or should I say the lack of time all three have been playing football compared to the Warsaw lads who have been playing all their lives. These boys really gave it everything and I felt they showed great determination even when we were losing against Warsaw and really fought for every ball which is very inspiring. Of course, I have to mention one other non-Irish guy and of course that is marathon man Joe who had the job of marking Shane in the last game and Joe really got stuck into Shane in the closing exchanges because we could all sense that Shane was sniffing around the goal and was doing everything in his power in the final minutes to score a goal but Joe and the defence in particular stuck to their task. Therefore, missing Bryan in that final game and having conceded that goal in the second half I felt we showed tremendous character to fight back and win the game and for an old geezer like myself who has played football for a long time it gave me a great deal of satisfaction! We showed great character in the second half and I think we could see on all of our faces at the final whistle how relieved we were to have won the game and to have salvaged something really meaningful from the day. More importantly, it was a great confidence builder going into the home tournament and it also shows that having conceded a goal in the second half and staring defeat in the face and missing our best player we showed true grit to fight back and win the day.

    It must also be added that the girls had a great tournament too might I add and I think we all had a great weekend overall.  Good times!


Maurice Sheehan

Warsaw Regional Tournament 2012

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