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Monday October 2nd 2023
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Teesside impress as Div 3 champs

Report by Ronan McCarthy

The BU Division 3 Championships in Birmingham this weekend highlighted the strength of Gaelic Games at British Universities and on the international scene.
Starting Saturday, the ‘Championships saw 16 teams from across the UK and one from France, in the form of Rennes University, gather to do battle for this year’s Division 3 crown.
Regardless of the cold weather the weekend’s action was very competitive but played in a sporting manner and with good spirits all around for the post tournament festivities at O’Neills on Broad Street on Saturday evening.

The Group stages produced early favorites in Teesside, Edge Hill, Sunderland and Lincoln as each made it through their rounds unbeaten. The battle for second place turned out to be more interesting as there was very little between the sides.
A special mention must go out to the Rennes team as they recorded their first ever win on British soil at the expense of Aston. We are hoping some of these teams will lock horns again in a few months when the French are hosting a tournament in April.
After a long day on Saturday, the winners of each group needed to battle for a further 20 minutes to claim a place in Sunday’s final in Pairc Na hEireann.The first semi-final between Sunderland and Lincoln was a lot closer than the final scoreline suggests – Sunderland 2-3 Lincoln 1-0, however, in the second semi, Teesside continued with the magnificent form they had been showing all day by beating Edge Hill 3-7 to 0-0.

On Sunday morning the sun was shining over a picturesque Pairc Na hEireann as we got ready for the battle of the north east sides, Teesside and Sunderland, and, refereed by Mourne man, Frank McDonald from County Down.
The first 10 minutes of the final suggested we were in for a tasty encounter, but nearing the break, Teesside stepped up a gear to go in at half time, 3-4 to 1-0 ahead.
As the second half started, Sunderland pushed hard to get the first score but it wasn’t to be, as Teesside’s desire to go one step further than last year, shone through with Sunderland finding it hard to get out of their own half.
Although Sunderland never gave up, Teesside had a spring in their step, and went on to claim the ‘Championship with a comfortable victory, [30] 7-9 to [4] 1-1.
The British Universities GAA would like to thank all the teams for taking part and Paddy Hoey and Frank McDonald for refereeing.