Schools action all ready to roll

The Allianz primary schools hurling season gets underway next week when the Educational Supplies Roinn A league first round games will be played.

The Allianz primary schools hurling season gets underway next week when the Educational Supplies Roinn A league first round games will be played.

Defending champions St Patrick’s De La Salle take on Clara in a most interesting clash. The principals of the two schools are Kilkenny senior manager, Brian Cody (St Patrick’s) and under-21 manager, Richie Mulrooney (Clara).

Galescoil Osrai take on St Canice’s in a city derby. Newly promoted Kilmanagh make a welcome return to the top flight and they travel to play St John’s, while Scoil Phadraig Ballyhale and Scoil McCauley Rice complete the line up for this first round of games.

The Roinn B and C teams must wait until Wednesday, March 21 for their leagues to begin, while the teams in the newly formed Roinn D 11-a-side league won’t see action until after Easter. This 11-a-side league has been reformed as some of the smaller parishes were finding it increasingly difficult to field 15-a-side teams due to low numbers of boys in their schools.

Successful year

At the recent annual meeting of Cumann na mBunscoil Cill Chainnigh a very successful year was reviewed by secretary Jim Fennelly and out-going chairperson Nioclás Ó Cearbhaill.

The season 2011 was an outstanding year for schools games, with some amazing matches played, none more so than the finals in hurling and football. The hurling finals saw St Patrick’s De La Salle winning back-to-back Roinn A titles in one of the games of the year against St Canice’s Co-Ed.

The Roinn A final was a credit to both schools and can take its place as one of the best matches, in any grade, played in Nowlan Park in 2011.

The Roinn B final took a second day out to separate the two schools with Kilmanagh coming out as eventual winners over an excellent Thomastown side. Roinn C looked for a while as if it too would need a replay to decide the winners, but in the end Conahy had enough to see off the challenge of Lisdowney.

The latter, however, got their taste of success with an excellent win over plucky St Fiacre’s in the Tommy O’Brien Cup final. Ballyhale emerged triumphant over Kilmanagh, who were no doubt tired after their epic performance in the Roinn B final and replay.

Changing of guard

The football finals were just as entertaining. There was a changing of the guard in Roinn A. St Canice’s Co-Ed, for so long the bench-mark, met a determined Thomastown side who were not going to let the chance of a Roinn A title slip and who were definitely not going to lose two finals in 2011!

Thomastown put the first new name on the cup in nearly 10 years with a score of 7-14 to 6-4. Danesfort scored an excellent win over gutsy Piltown in the Roinn B decider.

The Corn-na-Tuaithe Country Cup final saw Thomastown cap an unforgettable year by completing the football double, beating a skilful Tullogher/Rosbercon in the decider.

Cumann-na-mBunscoil officers 2012 - chairperson, Robert Byrne (Kilmanagh); vice-chairperson, Niall Bergin (Kilkenny CBS); secretary, Jim Fennelly (Danesfort); treasurer, Dick O’Neill (Gowran); PRO, Tom Duggan (Carrickshock).

Wednesday, March 7

Educational Supplies Schools HL Roinn A - St John’s senior v Kilmanagh; Scoil Phadraig, Ballyhale v Scoil McCauley Rice, Callan; Gaelscoil Osrai v St Canice’s; St Patrick’s DLS v Clara.