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Kuwait Harps players pose for a group photo
Kuwait Harps dominate at the Middle East League Al Doub, Moore Mansur, O’Mara shine

KUWAIT CITY Feb 4: Last weekend Gaelic Football teams from across the GCC flocked to Abu Dhabi to compete in Round 3 of Middle East GAA League. Teams from Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Sharjah, Oman, Qatar, Riyadh, Bahrain, Al Ain and Kuwait all participated in the single day tournament held at the Zayed Sports City. The Kuwait Harps were proudly represented by 46 players making up two male teams and two female teams - with all competing in the Junior Cup division of the competition. The men kicked off their group matches with a Kuwait v Kuwait encounter, which set the standard for the games that followed. The Kuwait Harps B team was made up of a number of new players to the sport - players who made their debuts in Abu Dhabi. In the front line the Harps were proud to have Abdullah Al Abdali flying the flag for Kuwait alongside Brian O’Keefe (Ireland), Alan Ansermoz (England) and team captain Ronan Gormley (N.Ireland).

The midfield hosted another local player Talal Al Doub - who recently appeared on KTV3 promoting the club’s success within the Middle East and Asia. Talal secured three goals for the side with support from Ben Seevers (USA) and Kyle Balensiefer (USA) who also added points to the Kuwait score card. Making up the back line were returning players Adam Van Casteren (England) and Johnny B Soloman (USA) joined by new comers Hamilton Cassiano Dias (USA) and Joe Rodden (USA). In goals was Irish man Patrick O’ Keefe.


The Kuwait A team were very successful in their group matches securing wins in all matches, including the Abu Dhabi Legends team and Dubai. Strong performances from forwards Michael Moore (Ireland), Luke Ansermoz (England) and Ciaran Bradley (N. Ireland) saw the Kuwait side dominate each opposition. Newcomers to the sport Cody Comerford (USA) and Jordan Thomas (Canada) made up a solid midfield with support from experienced players Warren Franklin (Canada) and Oliver Gardner (England). The decision for Chris Waldron (England) to switch to keeper gave additional strength to the backline made up of Juan Morales (Spain), Padraig Keane (Ireland) and Neil Bergin (Ireland). Defender DaveMurtagh (Ireland) was awarded ‘Most Valuable Player’ of the tournament for his performance in Kuwait’s backline.


The Kuwait ladies’ teams dominated their pool rounds with both teams coming out undefeated to meet in the finals. The Kuwait A team powered through their matches with fantastic scores coming from Kylie Mansur (Canada), Harmony Ritchie (USA), Derbhile Canty (Ireland), LariBelaire(Canada), Shaunna Nelson (Canada) and Kathleen Longeran (Ireland). The loss of team captain Marie Brady (Ireland) due to a head injury obtained during a round match did not deter the Kuwait sides’ quest for success. Their solid back line made up of Chelsea Ellis (USA), Maia Skolko (Canada), Vera Lam (Australia) and Shauna O’Connor(Ireland) ensured the side remained victorious.


Similar success was shared by the Kuwait Ladies’ B team with fantastic scores coming from forwards Heidi O’ Mara, (Canada) and Claire Sinnott (Ireland) and midfielders Chantel Marson (Canada) and Stacey Murakami (USA). Oppositions saw defenders Joanne Maxwell (Ireland) and Emily Lanteigne (USA) stormed up the field to secure additional scores for the Harps. A solid performance from Roisin Reville (Ireland), Lydia Truelove (Canada), StephaineChrisholm(Canada) and Aoife Meany (Ireland) ensured the team a place in the finals where new keeper Eve Bellanca (England) was put to the test. Newcomer Heidi O’ Mara was awarded ‘Most Valuable Player’ of the tournament for her fantastic performance for the Kuwait side.


Last weekend’s success in Abu Dhabi is yet another addition to the Kuwait Harps trophy cabinet. The newly re-formed club saw great success in Kuala Lumpur last October, returning home as champions in both the mens’ and ladies’ competition at the Fexco Asian Games. The club also secured several titles at various Middle Eastern games held in 2013. The Harps will proudly represent Kuwait once again at the Dubai Duty Free Gaelic Games held in March and the Bahrain Irish Festival scheduled for April.

 

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