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Syrian refugee makes scoring debut for Michael Davitts GAA club in under-10s hurling match

 

By Declan Bogue

The team mentor of Michael Davitts club has hailed the inclusive powers of the GAA, after a young Syrian refugee made a scoring debut for their under-10s in a match against St Gall’s on Saturday.

Micheal O’Brien has expressed his joy at watching Muhammad Al Haj Kadour — who arrived with a recent wave of refugees from war-torn Aleppo into the Lower Falls area — starring in their weekend match.

He attends the St Clare’s school, which is part of the schools outreach programme of the club headed up by club coach Mickey Hughes.

O’Brien explained: “Muhammad obviously said to Mickey that he wanted to play hurling for our club.

“We would train weekly on a Tuesday night on the park in the Lower Falls on the 3G. He started coming along and was very, very keen.

“Some of his family do not speak English but they have embraced it and he had been along to a few training sessions. He came along to the match and he actually scored two goals yesterday.

“But the smile on this child’s face, and the background from where he was is a pleasure to me.’”

O’Brien posted an image of the Syrian on the Davitts Twitter feed that has been gaining traction, and he believes it is the start of a special relationship for the club.

“He is really, really keen, really fit, fast and he loves the game. Even when he goes to block a ball he has the stick right up.

“Seeing the picture of him in the ‘ready’ position, I didn’t think I would have got the response on Twitter that I did. It’s gone viral!”

Meanwhile, there were mixed fortunes for the ladies of Derry and Fermanagh when they competed in the semi-finals of two different codes yesterday.

Derry reached the Littlewoods Ireland National Camogie League Division Two final by beating Kildare by 1-11 to 0-11  with Mary Hegarty’s 39th minute goal crucial to the outcome, but Fermanagh surrendered to Wicklow by 0-12 to 2-3 in their Lidl National Football League Division Four last four meeting.

Early goals from Joanne Doonan and Sharon Murphy looked to have put the Erne outfit on the path to victory but Wicklow’s second half resilience proved too much for them.

In the Allianz Hurling League semi-finals Galway, inspired by Joe Canning and goalscorer Conor Cooney, had a comfortable 1-21 to 1-11 win over Limerick.

Tipperary, meanwhile, produced a goal-blitz in seeing off Wexford in the other ‘semi’ by 5-18 to 1-19. John McGrath (3), Brendan McGrath and Noel McGrath found the net for the winners while Liam Ryan struck the losers’ only goal.

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