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KL Challenge - Feb 2009

Orang Éire hosted the KL Challenge for the 2nd time on the 21st February 2009 which again turned out to be a huge success. Teams from Singapore & Vietnam with a couple of players traveling from Bangkok arrived on the Friday night & Saturday morning to contest for the KL Challenge Cup. Singapore came in strength fielding 4 teams consisting of 2 mixed men's team, a ladies team and a kids team. Orang Éire matched this and also fielded 4 teams with a similar setup to Singapore; 2 mixed men's, a ladies and a kids team. Our Aussie friends from the local AFL team, the Malaysian Warriors came along to join in with both Orang Éire and the Viet Celts who were short a couple of players. In the scorching heat the games kicked off at 2 pm with the first of 3 ladies match. Orang Éire ladies put up a brave fight but were defeated by the more experienced lionesses. The next two games continued with both the Orang Éire men's teams taking part, OE Yellow took on Singapore Red and OE Blue took on Viet Celts.

Up next was the kids team, this was a remarkable game as Orang Éire kids showed their newly acquired skills from all the hard training sessions that were put in to narrowly defeat Singapore. The cup & medals were presented to both teams by the Irish Ambassador to Malaysia; Mr. Eugene Hutchinson, the delight in the kids teams eyes receiving the medals showed a token of the enjoyment they get from Gaelic Football.

The games continued with both the Singapore lions & lionesses making their mark on the tournament. OE Ladies had two more games with the lionesses ,making each game harder for the lionesses to win . OE ladies did very well only losing the last game by the narrowest of margins. OE Blues then played the Singapore Reds in what turned out to be the final of the men's cup, where both teams needed a win to claim the cup, unfortunately for OE it was Singapore that came out on top with a 3 point victory which handed them the trophy.

After the games everyone gathered in the car park for a beer and a quiet reflection on the days events before hopping on the bus and heading back to the hotel for a shower. Finnegan's on Sultan Ismail was the venue for the most important part of the day , where prizes were given out and old friends were reunited . The Ambassador presented the men's & ladies cups and Singapore brought the KL Challenge men's & ladies Cup to the border where they apparently crossed on an open top bus to huge crowds of supporters.

Orang Éire would like to thank everyone from players to supporters for turning up on the day and making this tournament a great success. Many thanks to both the Ambassador and his wife for his time and continuous support , and finally to Finnegan's and their staff for the wonderful food , drinks and service.

Well done to the Orang Éire kids on their win of the first ever KL Kids Challenge.

Singapore may cancel the open top bus for next year; we intend to have all 3 cups sitting side by side in our display cabinet at Finnegan's.

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