An absolutely momentous occasion at Ballyboden St. Endas last Thursday evening. The SA Gaels had spent the past four days competing in the Renault GAA World Games in Waterford where the men’s reached the 1/4 final of the Shield whilst the ladies made it all the way to the final but lost out by the finest of margins to France. Straight off the pitch, and into the bus, the SA Gaels set off for Ballyboden St. Endas for a night that will love long in the memory for both clubs.

Greeted by a guard of honour from young players, the scene was set for an electric atmosphere as the SA Gaels disembarked in song, greeted and welcomed by a jubilant crowd. 

Our men’s and ladies had the honour of playing on Pairc Ui Murchu in challenge matches against a selection of Boden men’s and ladies. Both matches were refereed by Fearghal Brennan who did a fantastic job. 

As the final whistles blew, the culmination of a huge amount of work and commitment by a large team of people came to fruition. Inside the clubhouse, the SA Gaels were overwhelmed by the incredible generosity of Ballyboden St Endas, it’s members and the surrounding community. Thank you to all involved for the phenomenal football boot donation drive. Your support and generosity will facilitate the further development of Gaelic games in South Africa! We look forward to hosting a Gaelic football blitz in the near future where we will donate all of the previously loved football boots, jerseys, socks, jerseys and footballs to local primary and secondary schools. 

Ballyboden St Endas is a large club in a big city, with a “massive torrent of history”.  The sense of togetherness, community, and inclusivity is inspiring and we have learned so much from Ballyboden St Endas that will help us instill a similar ethos and spirit in our club in Johannesburg. An evening such as this truly demonstrates that Ballyboden St Endas is “the focal point in a very big village”, as articulated by the late Gerry Hogan a few years ago.

Special thanks to a large team of people from Ballyboden who really pulled out all the stops to make last night a success and a great memory for all

Liam Deane, Jack Nolan, Tony Duffy, Soupy Campbell, Ciaran Maguire , Cliona Mellet, Sinead Ryan, Kevin O’Reilly, Conor Deane, Donal Griffin, John Madden, Cathal O’Regan, Ferghal Brennan

All the bar staff

The huge turnout of spectators

And all the young girls and boys who gave us a beautiful guard of honour

And of course to each and every one who donated football boots, jerseys, and footballs. 

Thanks a lot,

Greg Heraty

SA Gaels

Photos by John Kirwan

Posted by BodenGAA on Thursday, August 1, 2019