The Galway Masters 2019 ladies competition was a poignant event. For the first year, the Women’s 40’s group title was named in memory of Joanna Lamb, a brave young 18-year-old who lost her battle with bone cancer in January of this year.
Edinburgh native, Joanna, addressed the Galway Masters in 2018 to courageously talk about her battle with cancer and her positivity left not a dry eye in the house. Her father Alan has played in the Galway Masters since its inception in 2011.
There were 12 women’s teams competing for the Joanna trophy and defending champions from Castlebar Mustangs had their eye on the coveted prize. In their group, Mustangs had Nunthorpe ladies from the UK and Midlands ladies from Ireland. Stalwart Mustangs, Siobhan Kilkenny, Sinead Hughes and Karen Mulherin, were joined by familiar guests, Catriona White, Eileen Bradley and Marla Candon as well as Mustangs’ league newbies, Louise Harte and Dearbhaile Ward.
Mustangs played Nunthorpe ladies first on the Saturday morning. This ended up a very one-sided game with Mustangs winning out 54-12 points and all the Mustangs getting points on the scoresheet. Then in the second game, Mustangs encountered Midlands ladies and while this was a little bit more of a challenge, Mustangs won out on a scoreline of 47-20 points with another superb team performance. With that result, Mustangs topped their group undefeated and went through to the cup semi final to meet Pick ‘n’ Mix from the UK.
On Sunday morning, Mustangs kitted out to play Pick ‘n’ Mix in expectant battle. This was a tough game and after some close moments, Mustangs pulled away under the guidance of player coach, Siobhan Kilkenny. The final score read 41-27 to Mustangs.
Meanwhile, in the other semi final, Galway ladies had beaten Team Joanna from Edinburgh and this set up a final meeting between Mustangs and Galway.
The final was a little messy but an absolute cracker for the spectators. Each quarter ended in the closest of margins (Q1 8-7, Q2 8-7, Q3 5-4 ) and though Mustangs never trailed in the game, there were quite a few tied moments. With only eight players on each team, there were many tired bodies on the Sunday evening. Mustangs fought tooth and nail to win this game and finished up with a final score of 32-22 in favour of the Mustangs side, who tallied 11 points to Galway’s 4 in the final quarter. Mustangs are delighted to have claimed the first Joanna Lamb trophy title and there was an emotional presentation of the trophy by Joanna’s father, Alan, when the game was over.