Ennis Macra na Feirme were crowned Macra na Feirme All-Ireland Indoor Soccer Champions 2017/18 in Gormanston, Co Meath.
Twenty teams comprising over one hundred players from across the country fought it out for the coveted title. Games were six minutes a half. Ennis Macra, representing Clare were drawn in Group B of the competition. They faced off against Bogside Macra from Westmeath beating them 1-0 with the goal coming from Kieran Harvey. They next came up against Longwood Macra from Meath beating them 2-0, one from a penalty from Kieran and the second from Sean O’Connor.
Ennis Macra’s last match in the group stages was the toughest and was against Camross Macra from Laois. 0-0 was the final score here with sustained pressure coming on the Ennis defence in the last few minutes but they held firm.
Camross and Ennis finished the group on six points each with Ennis going through to the Semi Finals on goal difference. A much fancied Awbeg Macra team from Cork was the opposition in the Semi Final. The teams could not be separated in normal time so after the 0-0 result, the game went to penalties.
Kieran Harvey and Killian McNamara converted their penalties while Cillian Griffey kept his clean sheet in goal, stopping both of Awbeg’s penalties. An All-Ireland Final awaited against Aghinagh Macra from Cork. For the final, it was ten minutes a half, Ennis went up from the penalty spot, converted by Kieran Harvey and Kieran got a crucial second goal. Aghinagh pulled one back to end Griffey’s clean sheet for the tournament, however it wasn’t enough for the Cork side and Ennis emerged Champions. The team was Dermot Hegarty, Cillian Griffey, Sean O’Connor, Killian McNamara and Kieran Harvey.
The National Final of the Macra na Feirme Public Speaking competition took place last Saturday night at the Virginia Show centre, Cavan. Ennis Macra faced off against Hill 16 Macra in Dublin, Bree Macra in Wexford and Waterford City Macra. Ennis Macra’s topic was ‘Hosting international sporting tournaments is not worthwhile’. Representing the Ennis team were Cillian Griffey, Emma Galvin and Kieran Harvey.
During her speech, Emma Galvin stated: “Sport is an integral part of what it is to be human, we live in a world driven by fanatic enthusiasm for it, so whether you are for or against it, spectate or participate in it, the passion and enthusiasm for sporting activities are universal throughout the world. But this is an ideal world where everything comes together and it is all well and good if a country has the ability to reap the rewards but this is not often the case.”
Kieran Harvey stated that “The hosting of international sporting events has increasingly been motivated not by financial enrichment, but rather globalisation and PR management. For example, Russia, China and Qatar have all been looking to project a more favourable, modern image of itself by investing obscene amounts of money in major sporting tournaments”
Cillian Griffey concluded the presentation with his five minute speech stating; “Looking at the Olympic Games, a study conducted by the University of Oxford found that in real terms the average cost overrun for all Olympic Games is 156%. That shouldn’t be a huge surprise. Not many major projects have an absolute, unchangeable deadline for completion. That can ramp up costs as the opening ceremony approaches and money gets thrown at any remaining problems.”
A questioner was present in the audience and the final part of the presentation involved fielding questions on their speeches for eight minutes. The judges then deliberated and Ennis Macra were announced as Runners up in the competition. Hill 16 from Dublin came out on top with their speeches being on ‘Social Media in Ireland today’. There was another award for ‘Best Speaker’ and this was awarded to Ennis’s own Kieran Harvey.
Last weekend will go down in the history of the club as this is considered a huge achievement. Anyone aged 17-35 is welcome to join Ennis Macra. Google or Facebook search ‘Ennis Macra na Feirme’ and message the page.