- Thursday June 22nd, 2023 @ 15:05
Hano Cup 2023
The Hano Cup five-a-side charity tournament returned to Richmond Park last Saturday for the first time since 2019.
14 teams competed for the coveted Niall Hannigan Perpetual Trophy, with the defending champions, The Parish, the hotly-fancied Invincibles, and a staff team with Pat's legend Ian Bermingham and former Irish senior international Keith Treacy in their ranks, amongst the favourites to lift the Hano Cup.
We'll begin with Group A, where all the pre-tournament focus was on the meeting of the SEI and The Grattan. The mind games heightened on social media on Friday evening, with a friendly wager placed in the form of a 200 euro charity donation for the losing team. It would be the SEI lads leaving Richmond with lighter pockets, with The Grattan putting five past the opposition keeper, much to the delight of their charismatic manager Mossy Maguire. However, it was Cans & Kebabs who let their football do the talking most, topping the group with nine points, three of which came in a tight win over Silver Granite Saints. It's a case of 'What if…?" for the Granite boys, who exited the group on goal difference despite three impressive performances. The SEI had to make do with the wooden spoon in Group A.
Group B saw defending champions The Parish get off to an impressive start, coming out on the right end of a five-goal thriller against Heavey's Heroes. A 5-0 victory for the Heroes over Guinny Floyd Hasselbainks (what a name!) sealed their place in the knockout stages alongside The Parish, who also won convincingly against GFH. With the addition of a couple of new signings, we'll expect a better showing from Guinny Floyd Hasselbainks in 2024.
Group C saw The Invincibles live up to their name, sweeping aside The Com, The Saint and Con Ushers to top the group on nine points, in turn sending out a strong message of intent to everyone inside Richmond Park. Experience wasn't enough for the lads from The Saint, who despite impressing against Con Ushers, didn't have enough in their collective tank to overcome The Com, who progressed to the quarter final with two victories under their belt. Since Saturday we've received some anonymous requests for an over 35s tournament next year; no guessing where those requests came from in Group C.
With Ian Bermingham and Keith Treacy gracing the Inchicore turf again with St Staff Athletic, all eyes were on Group D. The Athletic's clash with Average Joes saw "VAR" being used for the first time at Richmond Park, with an Ian Bermingham strike judged not to have crossed the line by the officials, despite protests from the former Saints captain and his teammates. Thankfully it didn't affect the result, as Bermo's men ran out 5-1 winners in the end. Joining them in the last eight was Quiet Saints who made plenty of noise on the pitch, dispatching The Borough and Average Joes, who both went off to do some soul searching ahead of a return next year.
The quarter-finals saw The Parish, St Staff Athletic and The Invincibles all progress with 4-0 wins over Quiet Saints, The Com and The Grattan, respectively. The Grattan wasted no time with the mutual departure of gaffer Mossy Maguire not long after the final whistle. Maguire took to social media stating "It is with a heavy heart I retire from management in football. I hope that I can next throw my hand at the playing side of the game and display a masterclass on the pitch as well." Did Mossy go, or was he pushed, lads?
The fourth semi-final spot was secured by Heavey's Heroes who overcame Cans and Kebabs in the tie of the round. It was a good showing from Cans and Kebabs who can consider themselves unlucky not to have made the last four - a few less cans and kebabs and 2024 could be their year.
The semi-final draw pitted The Parish against St Staff Athletic, and Heavey's Heroes against The Invincibles in two mouth-watering ties.
There's no substitute for experience, and having previously won the tournament on three occasions, The Parish advanced to the final with an eye-catching 5-1 demolition of the Athletic. Bermo was disappointed with the result but had this to say after the tournament.
"A brilliant day was put on by the Patron Saints in memory of Hano. Hano was a great supporter of the club, and was a huge help to me when I first joined St Pat's. I'm delighted he witnessed some really successful times at the club and I'm sure he was looking down, proud as punch, at the event put on last Saturday. Roll on next year!”
The Parish would be joined in the final by The Invincibles, who kept up their 100% record with a tight 2-0 win over Heavey's Heroes, who put on an excellent showing throughout.
And so the two best teams in the tournament took to the pitch at 4.30pm, with the 2023 Hano Cup on the line. There was some fine football on display from both sides, and the game was played in a great competitive spirit. But it was The Invincibles who came out on top, with a 3-1 victory to deny The Parish lads a famous four-in-a-row.
St Patrick's Athletic Community Officer, Niall Cully, who took part on the day had this to say.
"It was great to see Richmond Park host the Hano Cup for the first time in a few years. Teams young and old getting to play on the pitch was really special and seeing friends and family come down to watch (and jeer) was brilliant. The day represented Niall Hannigan exactly as he was: fun, light hearted and with an immense pride for St Patrick's Athletic. Congratulations to the Patron Saints for their organisation on what was a great day in Richmond."
Shortly after presenting the trophy to winning captain Craig Walsh, the Patron Saints Chairperson Liam Temple was full of praise for all involved.
"We'd like to say a big thank you to all who volunteered here today and were involved in organising the 2023 Hano Cup. This event needs to happen as a memorial to a true Saint, Niall "Hano" Hannigan. Without volunteers to run these events, they wouldn't happen. So again, a big thank you from all at the Patron Saints to all the volunteers, players and everyone who donated. Over 2000 euro was raised for the DSPCA
If you would like to join the Patron Saints or want some more information, please click HERE.