Sligo GAA

Sligo GAA

infobox GAA county
county gaa = Sligo GAA
crest =
irish = Sligeach
province = Connacht
nickname = The Yeats County
county colours = Black and White
grounds = Markievicz Park, Sligo
dominant sport = Gaelic football
nfl div = Division 3
nhl div = Division 3
football champ = Sam Maguire Cup
hurling champ = Nicky Rackard Cup
ladies football = Brendan Martin Cup
camogie = O'Duffy Cup
pattern_la= |pattern_b=_thinwhitesides|pattern_ra=
leftarm=000000 |body=000000 |rightarm=000000 |shorts=000000 |socks=000000
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The Sligo County Board of the Gaelic Athletic Association (GAA) (Irish: "Cumann Luthchleas Gael Coiste Contae Sligeach") or Sligo GAA is one of the 32 county boards of the GAA in Ireland, and is responsible for Gaelic games in County Sligo. The county board is also responsible for the Sligo inter-county teams

History

With a much smaller population than either County Galway or County Mayo, the two dominant forces in the province, together with competing interests of soccer in the county's capital town, Sligo has never been able to break free of the shackles inherent in the provincial championship format and has a paltry three Connacht championships to its name (1928, 1975 and 2007). In 1922 Sligo defeated Galway in the Connacht Final (played in 1923) and subsequently defeated Tipperary to qualify for the All-Ireland Final. However a Galway objection forced the Connacht decider to be replayed, which Sligo lost. The same fate occurred in the inaugural National Football League campaign of 1926, Sligo beat Laois to reach the final, but Laois objected and won the replay, making Sligo unique in having qualified for All-Ireland and National League finals, but never having contested either. Since the introduction of the "back-door" system in the All Ireland championship in 2001, Sligo football has enjoyed noteworthy if modest success. The new format together with a prolonged period of competing in Division 1 of the national league saw an upward turn in the county's fortunes. In 2002, having narrowly lost the Connacht final to then All-Ireland Champions Galway, Sligo went on to defeat Tyrone in Croke Park turning over a seven point deficit in one of the matches of the decade. A similar comeback against eventual All-Ireland champions Armagh two weeks later set the county and the championship alive and after Sligo had legitimate claims for a penalty in injury time of the replay turned down, Armagh went on to win the 2002 championship. Despite its poor historical record, the new championship format has seen Sligo achieve the status of respectability on the national stage in the past decade with improvement noticeable across all grades in the county. On 8th July 2007, Sligo won the Connacht Senior Football Championship following a one point victory over Galway. This was their first time to win the Championship since 1975.

The county Vocational Schools team have made it to two All Irelands finals in 1962 and 1963 but lost both to Dublin City

Three sligo players have won All-Stars - Mickey Kearins (1971 - St. Pats), Barnes Murphy (1974 - Castleconnor) and Eamon O Hara (2002 - Tourlestrane) while arguably their most revered forwards of the last half century due to his natural talent and scoring ability, Paul Taylor (Eastern Harps) was nominated once in the late 1990s.

Sligo club football is not dominated by any single team with no back to back winners since St. Patrick's achieved that feat in 1988-1989.

Gaelic football

Club football

Tubbercurry are the most successful team in the history of the Club Championships in Sligo, with nineteen Senior titles to their name. They also lead the roll of honour for the Minor and Under-21 Championships. The last of these was won in 1991, and the South Sligo town has enjoyed little success since.

St. Marys are Sligo's most successful club team in the Provincial and All-Ireland club series with 3 Connacht titles to their name (1977, 1980 and 1983). They also won the All-Ireland sevens title in 1980. They, along with Tubbercurry, dominated the club scene in Sligo over a fifteen-year period (1976-1991), with St. Mary's claiming eight Championships, to Tubber's three. The pairing contested the final on eight occasions, including five in succession (1983-1987), and these finals were tense and heated encounters. Despite being the most celebrated club in the county St. Mary's remain one of the worst supported sides due to the dominance of soccer in Sligo town and because of their reputation for 'importing' players from other clubs and countiesFact|date=February 2007.

In recent years St. Mary's has lost their strangehold on the county championship with Eastern Harps, Curry, Bunninadden, Coolera/Strandhill and Tourlestrane all claiming the Owen B. Hunt Cup over the past decade. Other notable Senior teams in the next tier include Easkey, Castleconnor and Shamrock Gaels.

In 2005, Coolera/Strandhill won its first Senior title in 98 years, having narrowly lost the 2000 final to Bunninadden who at that time had not won a title in 109 years.

Inter County Football

In July 2007 Sligo won their 3rd ever Connacht Championship beating Galway by a single point. Previous to this they had beaten Roscommon and New York.

Hurling

Sligo have not been considered a traditionally strong team in senior hurling, with the county's most notable achievements being an appearance in the All-Ireland Junior final in 1968, and the National League Division 3 title in 2005, however they have produced the occasional Railway Cup player in the past, and have also produced top quality players like Paul Seevers.

In 2008, Sligo finally tasted All-Ireland success, albeit at the Third Tier level, when they claimed the Nicky Rackard Cup, the All-Ireland Senior Hurling Championship for Tier Three (developing) hurling counties. The victory, in addition to providing Sligo with rare silverware, promoted Sligo to the Second Tier Christy Ring Cup competition for 2009.

Honours

*
**2008

See also

*Sligo Senior Club Football Championship
*Sligo Senior Club Hurling Championship

External links

* [http://www.hoganstand.com/Sligo/ Sligo on Hoganstand.com]
* [http://www.hoganstand.com/Sligo/Profile.aspx National and provincial titles won by Sligo teams]
* [http://www.sligogaa.ie/ Sligo GAA site]


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