The New York ladies are getting set for a voyage across the pond to Ireland where they will take part in the All-Ireland junior championship in the coming week. They are scheduled to play on August 27 and are flying out on the 24th.
They have come up with a novel send-off and fundraiser for the traveling party with a night of “dancing with the stars” set for the Polish Center in Yonkers this Saturday, August 20.
A fantastic card is set, with seven couples participating for the right to be crowned champions. The night will also continue with a disco.
The seven couples that will be taking part have been prominent within the GAA and New York circles for quite a while. They range from New York county football stars, both men and women, county champions from both codes as well as mentors from the New York clubs and Eugene Kyne, New York GAA reporter for the Irish Voice.
While practice has been intense in the last weeks, some notable favorites are already standing out.
Kelly Donohue, who just recently was part of the Cavan Ladies championship team, dances alongside Tyrone native Stevie McMullan as one of the favorites. They will be vying with two more Tyrone natives in Ronan McGinley, who was involved with New York against Roscommon in the Connaught Championship, and Caroline Murphy, who has been the top scorer for Fermanagh Ladies over the last few years.
Former New York star Gary Dowd and Aileen Cunningham will also be challenging for the top honors. Dowd was involved in a number of Connaught Championship games while also winning county medals with St. Raymond’s and Donegal. Cunningham is an experienced dancer which leaves this couple fancying their chances.
The challenge from the north of the city comes from Rockland. Frank Rowley and Ann-Marie McElhatton have proven in Rockland to be real contenders, with Rowley of course well known as coach with a number of sides from Pearl River.
Monica Slevin is paired with Eugene Kyne, also an Astoria Gael veteran who had the Midas touch as part of Dessie Reilly’s back room staff this year with Cavan. They will hope to make it two titles from two on the stage at the Polish Center.
New York referee Brian Quinn and Shannon Gael Catherine Motherway team up to try and take the title in the dancing field. Motherway’s Shannon Gaels are coming off a very successful CYC tournament where they were involved in a number of finals. She will want to continue the sequence with another challenge for success.
The last couple has a huge amount of success in New York. Tommy Quaid has been part of winning Offaly and Kerry sides in his career and has also played for New York, while Marie Cassels is a New York native and a long time member of Kerry/Donegal and of course Rangers. They may pose the biggest challenge to all the others.
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