Celebrations all round

Stag weekend no barrier as Raheens 'Power' to European Cup final win

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Stag weekend no barrier as Raheens 'Power' to European Cup final win

Shane Power, celebrates on the double

Raeens GAA made club history on Sunday when they claimed their first European silverware at The Hague Gaelic Football Invitational, all during a stag weekend of celebrations.

It was the eleventh staging of this annual eleven-a-side tournament which took place in The Hague and the fourth time for Raheens to participate. 

The Kildare club competed alongside teams from Belgium, The Netherlands and other Irish sides who travelling for the event. 

Raheens started the group stages with a draw against past winners, Belgium. 

As the jet lag subsided the lilywhites found their mojo. A screamer of a goal from Brian O'Donnell set the tone for further decisive victories over Kilmacud Crokes and the European All Star team to send them into a semi final against Wicklow side Donard The Glen. 

That contest proved to be a tough affair with the two teams holding nothing back. Ultimately the speed and youth of the Raheens side triumphed over the experience and strength of the Wicklow men and sent them into a Final with local hosts Den Haag. 

The final match up was to prove a tough contest for both sides. Den Haag had clearly been working toward a home ground victory all year but Raheens had made the journey and showed steely resolve in their mission to claim the title. 

The lead passed between both teams in the first half but remained with Raheens for the second. Strong performances were seen in Colm Power who subsequently won Player of the Tournament and Eoin O'Donnell who took a leaf from his elder brother and dealt decisively with a penalty opportunity in the closing stages.

 And  just to show how dedicated these Raheens players were, the trip doubled up as a Stag Weekend for Shane Power, but true to the cause 'stag celebrations' did not get in the way of brining home the club's European silverware.