THE Watty Graham Camogie Club, Glen, Maghera, hosted the inaugural Karen Coyles Memorial Tournament as a competition for U-14 camogie players in memory of the late Karen Coyles.
Karen passed away in September 2011 having captained the winning Ballycastle Senior team to All Ireland glory in the Kilmacud Crokes competition in Dublin on the weekend before her untimely death.
Although Karen was from the Ballycastle club she had strong connections with many clubs and to the Watty Graham club in particular through her sister Deirdre and her nieces who are playing members of the club - Carleen (who captained the Glen team during the tournament) and Ciara Convery. In a fitting tribute the Maghera Club played host to this special tournament for the first year and the invitational competition consisted of the following four teams from counties Antrim and Derry - Watty Grahams, Glen; Ballycastle Camogie Club; Erin’s Own, Lavey; Geraldine’s, Portglenone.
The format of the competition was that each team played each other with the top two teams going through to the final. In perfect conditions the matches were played in the best spirit of the game with each team on the day giving their all in an excellent display of Camogie skills.
Results: Lavey 0:0 - Ballycastle 2:2; Ballycastle 8:3 - Portglenone 0:0; Lavey 5:1 - Portglenone 1:1; Glen 9:2 - Portglenone 0:0 Glen 2:6 - Lavey 3:1.
Fittingly the top two that emerged were Ballycastle and Glen who played off in a great final game, which, following a hard fought display was won by Ballycastle.
The North Antrim girls defeated Glen Maghera on a score line of 4 goals and 3 points to Glen’s 3 points, pronouncing the Antrim girls, of Karen’s beloved club, the first winners of the competition.
Congratulations to the winning squad and management team, and to all the teams who took part in what was a very well organised event, all thanks to the Glen club.
2013 will see Ballycastle host the tournament in what is hoped will become a prestigious annual day of Camogie celebration in memory of someone who gave so much to the great sport and was a true ambassador of the game.