GAA

Gaelic Football In The Connacht Airdome Looked Pretty Mental

Gaelic Football In The Connacht Airdome Looked Pretty Mental

GAA history was made tonight not far from Knock, at the Connacht Airdome.

As a January storm pelted down, Leitrim and Sligo kicked off their respective FBD League campaigns under the comforting cover of an inflatable roof.

This was the first time in GAA history a senior intercounty match has taken place indoors.

Given Ireland's complicated relationship with weather, this is an idea that's time has long come. 300 spectators took their seats in what is believed to be the largest airdome of this kind on earth to watch events unfold.

About €3 million was spent designing the state-of-the-art Connacht airdome facility, with a pitch provided by firm SIS Pitches. While it looked fairly surreal in photos and videos - like gaelic football on the moon - the match itself was freeflowing and featured 40 scores.   The match finished with a wonderful January scoreline of 1-21 to 1-17 to Sligo. Niall Murphy of Sligo lead the scoring by bagging an impressive 1-10.

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The fun in the FBD League continues this week. Sligo will play Roscommon in the FBD League semifinal on Saturday evening while Galway and Mayo will play the other semifinal Friday night.

Here are some brilliant Sportsfile photographs from inside the Connacht airdome tonight.

3 January 2022; A general view before the Connacht FBD League Preliminary Round match between Leitrim and Sligo at the NUI Galway Connacht GAA Air Dome in Bekan, Mayo. Photo by Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile
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3 January 2022; The Leitrim team before the Connacht FBD League Preliminary Round match between Leitrim and Sligo at the NUI Galway Connacht GAA Air Dome in Bekan, Mayo. Photo by Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile

3 January 2022; David Quinn, left, and Sligo goalkeeper Eamonn Kilgallon wait in a pressurised room, to access their dressing room, during the Connacht FBD League Preliminary Round match between Leitrim and Sligo at the NUI Galway Connacht GAA Air Dome in Bekan, Mayo. Photo by Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile

3 January 2022; Cillian McGloin of Leitrim kicks a point during the Connacht FBD League Preliminary Round match between Leitrim and Sligo at the NUI Galway Connacht GAA Air Dome in Bekan, Mayo. Photo by Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile
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3 January 2022; Riordan O'Rourke of Leitrim and Karl McKenna of Sligo during the Connacht FBD League Preliminary Round match between Leitrim and Sligo at the NUI Galway Connacht GAA Air Dome in Bekan, Mayo. Photo by Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile

3 January 2022; A general view of action during the Connacht FBD League Preliminary Round match between Leitrim and Sligo at the NUI Galway Connacht GAA Air Dome in Bekan, Mayo. Photo by Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile

3 January 2022; Leitrim manager Andy Moran before the Connacht FBD League Preliminary Round match between Leitrim and Sligo at the NUI Galway Connacht GAA Air Dome in Bekan, Mayo. Photo by Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile
Donny Mahoney
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Donny Mahoney is Chief Sportswriter and one of the founders of Balls.ie

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