All Vietnam Schools Cup
VAS Hanoi 3.3 (12pts)
Hanoi Academy 0.1 (1pt)
VAS Hanoi are inaugural Gaelic Football Schools Champions of Vietnam
The inaugural All Vietnam Schools Cup was organised by the Viet Celts Gaelic Football Club and played between two secondary schools, VAS Hanoi and Hanoi Academy at Xuan La Stadium 19 May at 1pm. Due to demands on the stadium, the organizers could only get this time slot which is when the sun is at its highest.
It was the culmination of almost two years work in total by Viet Celts club members working as Gaelic Football coaches in these two schools although VAS Hanoi had the huge advantage of setting up their Gaelic Football program much earlier than Hanoi Academy .
The game was a lot closer than the score line suggests. Hanoi Academy had as much of the ball as their opponents had but the VAS Hanoi defense was impervious on the day and foiled a lot of Hanoi Academy attacks, sometimes efficiently and at other times, desperately.
The midday heat was a major influence on the dynamics of the game and it was a credit to both squads that they did all that was asked of them and more under the blazing sun. Seldom has the sporting phrase ‘a war of attrition’ been more apt for a game of Gaelic Football and while the Gaelic Football on display may not have been as free flowing as in earlier games, there was no quarter asked or given by both sides.
Nguyen Đuc Thang scores a point for VAS Hanoi
Apart from the VAS defense, the big difference between the two sides was the contribution of Nguyen Duc Thang who scored an amazing 3.1 (10 pts). Duong Quang Son Tung and Hoang ‘Baby’ Nam also scored a point each for VAS Hanoi . The Hanoi Academy point was taken by the stylish Hanoi Academy captain, Hong Gia Bao.
The gallant Hanoi Academy team
Hanoi Academy can be proud of their team spirit, tackling and passing and were it not for wayward finishing they might have come closer to upsetting their more experienced opponents. Even though none of their players could match the VAS star man for power and accuracy, the HA supporters did not depart downhearted, the prospect of next year’s rematch already in their minds.
Mary Prendergast and Bob Patterson came out from the Irish Embassy to present medals to both teams. Nguyen Duc Thang was a most deserving winner of the ‘Man of the Match’ award.
Special thanks must go to Barry Watters who refereed a magnificent game and the governing body of Gaelic Football in Asia, the Asian County Board (ACB) who flew Barry in from Hong Kong at great expense. Once again linesman, Ted Walters was faultless in carrying out his duties. Myself and David Cunningham of Hanoi Academy would like to extend our sincere thanks to those parties for their support in putting this together
Jim Kiernan and Dave Cunningham