Over Labor Day weekend, the North American Finals for Gaelic Football were held in Philadelphia. Teams from all over North America, including Canada, worked to win the coveted national title and cup. McAuley’s own, senior Mary O’Boyle and junior Michaela Rutledge, were part of the finals. They play for ERIN’s Rovers, which is part of the Ladies Gaelic Football Association. After many tough games and defeating a rival team in the finals, ERIN’s Rovers took home the National Title. The team was overwhelmed with pride when they saw their team captain holding the cup in the air. They had accomplished a goal that had been years in the making. Rutledge said, “I couldn’t have asked for a better group of girls to play with. Tears actually started to roll down my face as a realized we actually did it.” The team practices twice a week and several of the girls have been playing for many years.
The goals for Gaelic Football are similar to soccer and football. There is a goal post at the top and a net at the bottom. Goals are three points and field goals are one point. After three steps one can bounce the ball once and after another three steps you have to drop the ball and kick it. There is a move called a solo in which the ball is kicked to oneself. This can be done as many times as needed. In the United States, the game is played with thirteen players, including a goalie, while in Ireland it is played with fifteen players. The football is round with a leather surface and weighs between 450-480 grams.
Many of the girls on the team have been playing since they were young. They win as a team and lose as a time. The girls, already looking ahead to next year, hope to win the National Title once more.
This story was written by McAuley junior and InScape staff report, Maggie Clifford.