Carna-Caiseal are county champions at last

In October 2005 Carna-Caiseal were relegated to intermediate football, a short week after losing the county senior final to Salthill. It has taken the club seven long years, but eventually after Trojan efforts, they finally received their reward last Sunday when they defeated Athenry in the intermediate county final at Pearse Stadium by 2-13 to 0-7 to regain their senior status.

Team manager Seán Ó Cualáin was “absolutely delighted” with the team's performance and victory.

"We were beaten by St James after three games in 2010 in the semi-final. Then last year Oughterard beat us after a replay in the semi-final again, so we are thrilled to have finally got over the winning line.

"We started training 39 weeks ago and the lads have made huge sacrifices to get the club back to senior. We had the rub of the green this year and it makes all the difference. We got on a bit of a roll and, once any team gets some momentum behind them, they are hard stopped. We are really delighted to be back senior."

Running a GAA club that is located deep in the heart of Connemara is not easy at the best of times, but with employment hard to find and the recession hitting hard, it is even more difficult.

Five of Carna-Caiseal's intermediate panel from last year have emigrated this season and their places have been filled by players from the now defunct junior team.

Ó Cualáin, who has been team manager for the past three years, says: "Last Sunday was about the very survival of the club. If we had lost last weekend, I don't know if we would have been able to field next year."

Instead of that doomsday scenario, the club, captained this year by last Sunday's man of the match Seosamh Seoighe, is looking forward to representing Galway in a Connacht club semi-final against the Mayo champions on Sunday week.

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