Erin’s Own and St Nick’s in Sevens heaven after Rebel double in Dubai

CORK clubs completed a double in the Dubai Gaelic Sevens at the weekend, when Erin’s Own won the hurling and St Nicholas emerged victorious in the football decider.

Ironically, the same two sides contested the thrilling football decider after Erin’s Own had caused a major shock by eliminating the pre-tournament favourites and 2007 Kilmacud Crokes All-Ireland sevens champions, Longstone of Down in the semi-final.

They and St Nicks (winners over host club Dubai Celts in their semi-final) were level at the end of normal time (two periods of 10 minutes).

Initially it was decided to share the trophy, but subsequently it was decided to play extra time.

That lasted five minutes and at the end, neither side had managed a score. Accordingly, referee John Sexton (flown out by the organisers for the two days of games), allowed play to continue until the first team scored and he promptly blew the whistle after Cork hurling panellist Graham Callinan scored (after he had kicked the equalising point in the draw).

It saw St Nicholas winners by 0-9 to 1-5 and Diarmuid Óg O’Donovan claimed the man-of-the-match award.

Afterwards it was pointed out that the clubs had also played a drawn game when they met in the 2003 county Under-21 final.

And, a number of the players involved in that game (decided in St Nicks’ favour in a replay) were in action on Saturday.

Erin’s Own, who were not permitted by the organisers to include their county players in their hurling squad, defeated Sean Treacys from London comfortably (5-8 to 0-4).

Interestingly, in the semi-final they defeated St Nicholas, who were asked by the host club if they could put a team together — and duly did so (under their name and not that of sister club Glen Rovers!).

PANELS: ERIN’S OWN (H) – M. Murphy, R. O’Carroll, G. Twomey, I. Quinlan, A. Bowen, S. Kelly, M. Buckley, S. Cronin, M. O’Connor, K. (‘Post’) Murphy, C. Coakley, D. O’Flynn. Added to the football squad were: P. Kelly, S. Murphy, C. O’Connor, K. Murphy.

Management – D. McNamara, B. O’Neill, P.J. Murphy, C. O’Leary.

ST. NICHOLAS: P. Cuthbert, D. Byrne, G. Callinan, N. Byrne, S. Kennefick, P. O’Brien, N. Horgan, K. O’Herlihy, K. Spain, D. Óg O’Donovan, S. O’Donoghue. Management – N. Byrne, D. Cunningham, D. O’Donovan, F. Howe, C. Spain, S. O’Brien.

* Castleblaney Faughs, with former Tipp star John Leahy guesting, won the Plate hurling title, while the host club Dubai Celts had some consolation when their ladies football team defeated Kilmacud Crokes in the final.

A total of 40 teams, representing 26 clubs in Gaelic football, hurling, camogie and ladies football, competed in the two-day event, played at the Dubai Pony Club. They travelled from Ireland, England, Germany, Bahrain, Oman, Qatar and Saudi Arabia.

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