YORK Gaelic football forward Vinny Hanley believes his side are looking at a landmark year in the wake of their maiden victory over Newcastle.

The team is thought to be York's first Gaelic football side for half a century, and they got their 2018 pre-season off to a good start with a 2-14 (20) to 1-6 (9) challenge match victory at Cú Chuláinns Newcastle.

Having played and lost a few 15-a-side games last year, their first full competitive season in the Pennine League starts in a month's time.

Goals from Hanley and Connor King in a blistering opening 20 minutes blew Newcastle away as York, under new coach Steve McGerr, got their first-ever win since the creation of the team. The Tynesiders came into the match in the latter stages, but York were able to see it out with points from Darren Burke, Stephen Atha, Andy Pearce and Jacob Murphy.

Hanley has praised the team's recruitment as they were able to field a full-strength squad, rather than the bare 15 players they had last year.

He said: “We have a much more competitive team this year due to the uptake in numbers and overall quality of players.

“We’ve been able to develop a style of play now due to the manager's influence and we felt sharper than the Newcastle side in the last 20 minutes as we had a couple of training sessions in our legs.

“A big positive was how we had intensity in the tackle which was something we lacked last year, meaning we could turn the ball over especially in the first half."