On 21 May 2011, students from Hanoi Academy and VAS Hanoi gathered at the Thang Long Astroturf pitch in My Dinh, Hanoi for the All Vietnam Schools Cup 2011. Weather conditions were initially hot and humid but some cloud cover rolled in soon after the start which helped to ensure a faster tempo and a good brand of Gaelic Football in both games.
This year featured both a junior and a senior competition. The Vietnamese National Anthem was played before the start of both games.
All Vietnam Schools Senior Cup
VAS Hanoi 6.8 (26pts)
Hanoi Academy 1.5 (8pts)
This was the second edition of the All Vietnam Schools Senior Cup. This game was 7-a-side played over 4 quarters of 7 minutes.
Both teams started with a demonic pace considering the heat and moved the ball well with a lot of good quality high fielding in evidence. A converted penalty towards the end of the first quarter for Hanoi Academy kept both sides within touching distance of each other.
The second quarter was again fairly even in play with VAS Hanoi a little more clinical in front of goal and they went in at the end of the second leading 3.4(13pts) to 1.2 (5pts).
Hanoi Academy Seniors score a point
A blistering third quarter from VAS where they scored 2.1 (7pts) left them in a very good position at the end of the third quarter leading, 5.5 (20pts) to 1.3 (6pts).
HA pulled out all the stops to get back into the game in the last quarter but VAS were strong defensively and were consistent score takers at the other end to finish the game winning 6.8 (26pts) to 1.5 (8pts).
Hanoi Academy and VAS Seniors tussle for the ball in the air
Best for VAS Hanoi were Ho Duy Minh in defense and Hoang ‘Baby’ Nam in attack. Best for Hanoi Academy were Vu Do Thanh Long and Korean sensation Kim Kee You.
All Vietnam Schools Junior Cup
VAS Hanoi 7.6 (27pts)
Hanoi Academy 1.1 (4pts)
The inaugural All Vietnam Schools Junior Cup was played immediately after the Senior game. This game was 7 a-side with 3 periods of 5 minutes. It turned out to be a fast and furious high scoring game with the standard of Gaelic Football on a par and occasionally better than the Senior game.
Nguyen Thanh Dat of VAS Juniors clears the ball
VAS were 3.6 (15) to 0.1 up after a scintillating first period. Hanoi Academy came back strongly in the second period and matched VAS for scoring. The second period finished 4.6 (18pts) to 1.1(4pts). VAS however had that cushion of 14pts going into the last period and the fact that they were not chasing the game, allowed them to steady the ship and pull away to win 7.6 (27pts) to 1.1 (4pts)
Best for VAS Hanoi were Nguyen Thanh Dat in defense and Do Le Anh Quoc in attack. Best for Hanoi Academy were Hoang Khanh Nam and Vo Hoang Linh. Special mention must go to Thanh Nam for Hanoi Academy, by far the youngest player on the pitch but first to every ball as if the very hounds of hell themselves were upon his heels.
The organizers of this sporting event, Seamus Doran, Jon Holden and Jim Kiernan would like to thank Hanoi Academy, VAS Hanoi, the Viet Celts and the Asian County Board for their support. In particular we would like to thank Lana Le for organising the kit, trophies and medals.
Thanks to Bob Patterson and Claire Coughlan who came out from the Irish Embassy and delivered a most graceful presentation of medals. A good representation of Viet Celts and Duracelts turned up to watch the games as well as a number of proud parents who were delighted to see their boys playing Gaelic Football and receiving medals.
We would also like to acknowledge the very special contribution of ACB Youth Development Officer, Owen Timon, seconded to the Asian County Board from Dublin City University who refereed both games. He also helped out both schools by organising training sessions during the week in the build up to Saturday and these sessions went down very well with the young Vietnamese Gaelic Footballers.
All photos courtesy of Bob Patterson