The 5th year of the U11 Darragh Frain Memorial tournament was held last weekend in Galway headquarters, Pearse Stadium. This was the 5th year of the tournament  and it was possibly one of the best tournaments to date.
What made the weekend was the joy on everyone’s face as we remembered a great friend, Darragh Frain. Frainer would have been very proud to see so many of his friends in the one place at the one time. Friends from his GMIT days, Galway GAA, Roscommon GAA and club altogether to mark the occasion.The juvenile games started at 10am and none other than club referees Frank Kinneen, Ger Cahill, Ronan McNulty, Dáire Crowe and Colin Canny (Creggs) marshalled lár na páirce. The club had four teams and were called Naomh Séamus, St. James’, The Jimmies and The Frain Train. Elphin/Ballinameen represented the Rossies and had two teams competing on the day.  There was excellent games on display from all sides and all games were very competitive. The finals were contested by each team. In the cup final Naomh Séamus defeated The Frain Train. The Shield final saw St. James’ overcome the Jimmies and the Plate final was shared between Roscommon club Elphin Ballinameen.
None of this would have been possible if it were not for some key people  including David Henry, Tom Frain and Mike Murphy from the club. In addition, the main sponsor of the competition Aidan Brady (CEO Roscommon GAA Club Rossie). Dennis Carr, (Galway GAA GDA), Pat Kearney (Chairman Galway GAA), Seamus O’Grady ( Galway GAA Football Secretary), Toby Connors and Sean O’Toole of Galway GAA. The Galway GAA  committee had the stadium looking in top shape for the day.
On the day, there was a commemorative jersey given to each player to wear and keep which was designed by David Henry and Trevor Watson from O’Neills. Adults wore a unique polo top which symbolised the coming together of Galway and Roscommon. All players that competed on the day received a distinctive medal to mark the occasion. Many thanks Ryan Guilfoyle and RML media for covering the event and one can view this footage online on any of our social media platforms. A special thank you to everyone who sponsored ads for the DF Memorial program. The kids tournament certainly was a joy to watch and we are really looking forward to the juvenile tournament in 2022.
Furthermore, one of the main talking points that night among fellow coaches in Crowe’s Bar was the “Battle for Connacht” between Galway and Roscommon. Over 50 coaches and friends of Darragh’s lined out after the juvenile games had ended. It was a  controversial end to game to say the least and there was lots of debate over how much time was left after David Henry scored the equalising point in stoppage time. Keith Murphy sealed the win for the Rossies as Dáire Crowe let one more play happen shortly after the Galway had leveled the game. The match itself was a high scoring affair and some great football was played by both sides. The best goal over the 60 minutes came from Bryan Lynch from 40 yards out. He caught the Galway goalkeeper napping and punished the tribesmen with a wonder goal. Roscommon manager Aaron Connolly can be very happy with his teams performance and he had a great captain in Ronan McNulty. It’s back to drawing board for the tribesmen and their captain Johnny Regan noted after the game that they need to regroup and will be back with a bang next year.
We look to forward to the next annual outing in memory of Darragh which is organised by Colin Canny and GMIT. Details of this match will be posted in the coming week and the club will keep you updated. Until then, we would like to say thank you to everyone who attended the Darragh Frain Memorial on August 7th in Pearse Stadium. The atmosphere, feel good factor and community spirit was fantastic to say the least. Finally a big thank you to the Frain and Corcoran family for their continued support to making this day happen every year.
Well done everyone!