London hurling team Fr. Murphy's get helping hand to compete in All-Ireland Sevens
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London hurling team Fr. Murphy's get helping hand to compete in All-Ireland Sevens

THE spirit of the GAA was truly alive at the weekend, as Fr. Murphy's got a helping hand from hosts Kilmacud Crokes to take part in the Beacon Hospital All-Ireland Senior Hurling Sevens in Stillorgan.

Due to a variety of reasons, only four Fr. Murphy's players (Leslie Coughlan, Padraig Keenan, Darren Howlin and Michael McNulty) were able to travel over; but the hosts ensured it was a worthwhile journey, and they got three full games.

With a slightly unorthodox squad, they found it tough, with losses to eventual finalists Setanta (Donegal); and Castleblayney but they finished strongly to take a 5-7 to 1-4 win over Omagh St. Enda's in their last group game.

Fr. Murphy's were one of just two overseas clubs in the competition, with Perth Shamrocks creating history as the first team from Australia to take part in the prestigious All-Ireland Senior Hurling Sevens.

Offaly connection

Shamrocks backboned by Offaly natives gave a credible performance in the Shield competition, winning two of their three games.

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Portroe were crowned overall Cup winners, after the Tipperary side delivered their first success in the competition in 20 years, with a 4-13 to 0-10 win over Mullagh of Galway in the decider.

Portroe led throughout this contest, with goals key on the way to a 15-point victory, with All-Star keeper, 38-year old Darren Gleeson registering three second half points, and picking up Player of the Tournament.

It was a day to savour for Munster, with Crotta O'Neill's becoming the first Kerry club to claim a Senior Hurling Sevens title, following their 6-6 to 2-4 win over last years champions Setanta in the Shield decider.