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Gerald Kean v Marty Whelan in epic showdown
Last night's Celebrity Bainisteoir final saw Marty Whelan's Maryland from Westmeath emerge victorious over Gerald Kean's Mayfield from Cork.
The hugely popular RTÉ Television tournament culminated in a thrilling encounter played in Parnell Park on Friday 16th May in front of a crowd of more than 4000 spectators.
The much-anticipated meeting marked the conclusion of a tournament that captured the public imagination by combining the raw passion of the GAA grassroots with the glamorous world of celebrity.
The match and all the behind-the-scenes action were broadcast in the final programme of the hit series on Sunday 18th May on RTÉ One at 6.30pm.
Eight non-sporting celebrities started the tournament and took on the challenge of managing an intermediate club football team from their home county in the official GAA competition.
For each Bainisteoir and their team, months of training in hail, rain, sleet and snow would all come down to one crunch match with everything on line in this knockout tournament.
The first quarter final, between solicitor Gerald Kean's Mayfield and model Glenda Gilson's Crumlin, saw Kean emerge victorious. The second quarter-final in Limerick pitted comedian Jon Kenny's Galtee Gaels against journalist Nell McCafferty's Faughanvale, with McCafferty going through to the semi-finals.
The third quarter final between bookmaker Ivan Yates' Taghmon-Camross and former Rose of Tralee Aoibhinn Ní Shúilleabháin's Kiltimagh saw the Mayo men snatch victory in the dying seconds of the match.
The fourth quarter-final brought added drama when Fianna Fáil TD for Longford-Westmeath Mary O'Rourke T.D. pulled out of the competition unexpectedly, leaving her team Maryland without a manager. Broadcaster Marty Whelan ably stepped into the breach and brought his team to meet How Low Can You Go TV presenter Baz Ashmawy's Ballymanus, with Whelan winning that encounter to book a semi-final place.
The semi-final between Nell McCafferty's Faughanvale and Marty Whelan's Maryland saw the Westmeath men through to the final. And the semi-final meeting between Gerald Kean's Mayfield and Aoibhinn Ni Shuilleabhain's Kiltimagh saw the 'solicitor to the stars' defeat the Mayo beauty.
The final match saw the Westmeath men take an early lead in the first half but Mayfield battled back to even the scores about twenty minutes in and at half time Maryland were just two points ahead. The second half saw both teams digging deep but Maryland dominated and won the match and the title with a 2-09 to 1-04 victory.