LADIES GAA | Fitting end as Stabannon Ladies win this year’s Nicola Barry Memorial Tournament

The Stabannon Ladies team that played in last Saturday’s Nicola Barry Memorial Tournament

The sun came out and the rain thankfully stayed away on Saturday as Stabannon Ladies played host to the second annual Nicola Barry Memorial Tournament.

The tournament, organised by a committee within the club, was set up in memory of Nicola who joined the club in 2006 and was instrumental in leading Stabannon to their first senior title three years later. Nicola sadly lost her battle with a brain tumour on August 1st, 2014 at the age of just 26.

The host club was joined by 10 other teams at the event: St Killian’s, Cavan; Naul, Dublin; Donaghmoyne, Monaghan; St Brides, Louth; Dee Rangers, Meath; St Kevins, Louth; St Fechin’s, Louth; Naomh Fionnbarra, Louth; Magheracloone, Monaghan and Newtown Blues, Louth.

The group games got underway at 11 am with two groups of six and five teams respectively competing for places in the semi-finals and, ultimately, the final. Each team played five games in their group and it wasn’t until round three that the likely winners started to emerge.

Group One

In the five-team Group One, St Fechin’s and Newtown Blues got the tournament underway with the Fechin’s emerging as clear winners to lay down a marker for the remainder of their group games.

Clann Mhuire got the better of last year’s champions, Donaghmoyne, in the second game, winning by seven points.

As the group progressed, St Fechin’s went on to beat Donaghmoyne but were then beaten by St Brides and Clann Mhuire. Clann Mhuire won three of their games and were only beaten once, by St Brides, in the group.

The 2016 champions, Donaghmoyne, had a very young team competing this year and failed to win any of their group games while St Brides proved to be very strong, winning all four of their games to emerge as clear winners in the group with Clann Mhuire coming a close second. Both teams progressed to the semi-finals.

Group Two

In Group Two, Naomh Fionnbarra and Stabannon got the group games under way with Stabannon emerging as clear winners from the first game. Dee Rangers got the better of Magheracloone while St Killian’s beat St Kevin’s.

There was little between some of the teams in Group Two and Stabannon, Magheracloone and Dee Rangers emerged as contenders to progress at an early stage.

A combined St Kevin’s team failed to win any of their games while St Killian’s won two of their games and Naomh Fionnbarra won one.

It was all to play for between Stabannon, Dee Rangers and Magheracloone as round four got underway but Stabannon emerged as winners against Magheracloone to book a place in the last four as group runners-up.


The semi-finals got underway with Stabannon and the Brides meeting in an all-Louth affair and Dee Rangers and Clann Mhuire meeting in the other fixture.

Dee Rangers beat Clann Mhuire by two points in a close encounter while there was also very little between the teams on the other pitch with Stabannon running out winners — also by two points.

The winning Stabannon Ladies team pictured with the organising committee of the Nicola Barry Memorial Tournament


A large crowd was in attendance for the 4 pm final between Stabannon and Dee Rangers with Stabannon club man, Aidan Shevlin, taking charge of the match.

It was the hosts who seemed to find their stride easier with Rachel McNally and Grace Rogers helping their team to a 2–1 to 0–1 lead at half time.

Dee Rangers, however, came out strong in the second half and scored a goal and a point before Stabannon managed to register a score.

The mid-Louth side found an extra gear towards the end of the match, though, and played with real determination and a will to win.

As a result, they scored an extra goal and a point to leave the final score 3–3 to 1–2, securing a seven-point victory to claim the trophy.

Fitting end

It was a fitting end to a fantastic day as the home team were presented with the Nicola Barry Memorial Tournament trophy.

Things were made just that little bit more special by the fact that Lisa Barry, Nicola’s sister, captained the Stabannon team on the day.

John Barry, Nicola’s dad, presented the cup to Lisa amidst wide applause from the crowd and the team were presented with specially commissioned t-shirts for the tournament.

The Player of the Tournament was picked by referees during the course of the games and was selected based on the number of nominations a player received.

Bronagh McArdle receives Player of the Tournament Award from Laura Barry. PICTURES: KATHY BARRY

As the event concluded, the Player of the Tournament was confirmed as Bronagh McArdle from St Brides who was presented with her award by Laura Barry.

Thank You!

The organising committee would like to thank all the teams who took part in the tournament, those who helped to get the pitch ready, those who helped on the day and all who gave sponsorship towards the event.

The biggest thank you of all goes to the Barry family for allowing the committee to run the tournament in memory of Nicola.

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