On 7 December, the Hanoi Youth Gaelic Cup 2013 took place at the Thang Long (Ascending Dragon) sports ground in My Dinh, Hanoi. The tournament was organised by the Viet Celts Gaelic Football Club. There were three finals up for decision with Vietnam Australia School (VAS Hanoi) and Hanoi International School (HIS) meeting in all three; girls, junior boys and senior boys. VAS Hanoi is an all Vietnamese school and HIS is a school for international students. The games were 15 minutes a half and 7-a-side.
VAS Girls 5.12 (27pts)
HIS Girls 1.1 (4pts)
This emphatic victory for VAS was fashioned in the furnace of an aerial powerhouse display by Vi Ha My and Truong Thi Ngoc Anh. Amy Fergusson, an exchange student from Sydney, deservedly won VAS Girls Player of the Tournament with an incredible tally of 4.2 and has really taken to Gaelic Football in her time in Hanoi. Le Nguyen Hong Nhung was, as always, tenacious in defence. Nguyen Nga produced moments of great skill to put many fine scores on the board and set up teammates.
Best for HIS were Karen Takahashi who won the HIS Girls Player of the Tournament and Monika Tranova who was unwilling to give in, even until the very end.
VAS Girls: Le Nguyen Hong Nhung, Vi Ha My, Truong Thi Ngoc Anh , Pham Hong Ngoc, Amy Fergusson, Ho Ha My, Nguyen Nga (Capt), Pham Luu Vi, Bui Ngoc Anh
HIS Girls: Monika Tranova, Karen Takahashi, Aisyah Yaqazah Mislam, Alifah Yaqazah Mislam, Catherina Corkery, Thu Lam, Almad Zaki, Nur Diyanah
VAS Juniors 7.09 (30pts)
HIS Juniors 6.06 (24pts)
HIS Juniors had the better of the opening exchanges but both teams soon settled into a rhythm of score taking and robust defending. The irrepressible, Daniel Papendieck, from Germany, once again put in a towering display for HIS and is making a fine name for himself on the Gaelic Football fields of Vietnam. Just when it looked like HIS were building up a head of steam, VAS captain, Nguyen Thanh Dat rallied his troops and they came storming back. Nguyen Trong Tan was heroic in defence, playing on through injury and this sacrifice inspired VAS to a 6-point victory against their eternal rivals.
VAS Juniors: Hoang Truong Duy , Nguyen Trong Tan, Nguyen Quang Anh, Nguyen The Duong, Nguyen Thanh Dat (Capt) , Le Phuong Nam, Pham Duy Hung, Vu Cong Tuyen Thang
HIS Juniors: Jin Seok Kim, Jae Ho Cha, Daniel Papendieck , Hai Ha Dinh , Farish Sulaiman, Sungwook Baek, Zac Kim (Yong Hyun), Seong Ick Jee
VAS Seniors 6.08 (26pts)
HIS Seniors 4.07 (19pts)
VAS Seniors had a nightmare start with a goalkeeping error leading to a goal and a missed penalty down the other end. HIS Seniors were superb, with a lot of long range, accurate point-taking and the great Ansh Kapoor, amongst others, in flying form. At one stage in the first half, VAS were eleven points behind. However, they showed a lot of character to get themselves back into the game, ably led by their captain, Pham Viet Gia Khoa and Tran Trung Hieu. The VAS goalkeeper, Bach Xuan Bao Nhan, made up for his earlier mistake with a fine display between the sticks and VAS Seniors only found themselves two points behind at the end of the first half.
The drama of the first half continued into the second and no quarter was asked or given by either team. The noise on the sideline rose gradually in a crescendo as the half wore on and both teams traded scores with VAS ‘terrible twins’ Do Le Anh Quoc and Nguyen Van Manh to the fore. It was only in the last few minutes that VAS pulled away. The 7-point victory for VAS was not a fair reflection on what had been a fabulous game of peaks and troughs.
Pham Viet Gia Khoa deservedly won the Jack Kiernan Award for overall Player of the Tournament.
VAS Seniors: Nguyen Viet Linh, Pham Bao Ha, Luu Hai Phong, Pham Viet Gia Khoa (Capt), Nguyen Duc Manh, Hoang Bang Viet, Do Le Anh Quoc, Bach Xuan Bao Nhan, Bui Hoang Sam, Nguyen Van Manh , Tran Trung Hieu
HIS Seniors: Ansh Kapoor, Yong Eui Shin, Alex Nguyễn , Hoang Trần, Ji Huyk Woo, Patrick Lê, Muhammad Firdaus Shafiai.
Thanks to everyone at VAS Hanoi, HIS and the Viet Celts who helped out with logistics. Special thanks to Education in Ireland, Movenpick Hotel, the Asian Gulf Board, the Leinster Council, Dublin GAA and the GAA/DFA Open Call for their continued support of the Viet Celts Schools Gaelic Football program. Well done to the coaches, Mike Clifford and Leo Dyar of HIS and Jim Kiernan and Noel Swan of VAS.
Special mention to Lana Le who organised the medals, the Irish Ambassador, Damien Cole who presented them along with ex British Boxing champion, Jamie McGough and VTV who came out to film the event. The referee, Shane Moran of Tuam put in a fine stint on the field with a very practical and temperate use of the whistle.
Finally, Joe Maleady of St Lomans GAA club with the help of the Westmeath County Board was able to send over some O’Neills for our Schools program. This was greatly appreciated by everyone involved with Gaelic Football in Hanoi.
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