Piltown: ‘Never say die’ attitude pays off

UNDER 21s do the business - Piltown Under-21 Camogie team took on the Rower Inistioge, the recent Leinster Intermediate champions, in the Roinn B County Final on Saturday in Ballyhale. Seven of that Leinster winning team started for the Rower.

UNDER 21s do the business - Piltown Under-21 Camogie team took on the Rower Inistioge, the recent Leinster Intermediate champions, in the Roinn B County Final on Saturday in Ballyhale. Seven of that Leinster winning team started for the Rower.

The Piltown starting team featured only three girls who were not on the minor championship winning team and a fourth on the bench. Only team Captain, Karen Duggan is up to the age. Yet, this is a story that is lucky to be recorded here as this writer has run out of original superlatives to describe the success Piltown Camogie teams in 2012. A year which has seen five county finals contested. Let’s start with the game. Two minutes in and the Rower corner forward Elaine Fleming puts over a point. The superb Kelly Hamilton points a free in the ninth minute. Piltown get their first score, a Debbie Phelan free in the 12th minute. Sharpshooter Phelan scores a second free in the 16th minute. In between she had also hit the post with a free. This led to a period when the Rower cranked up the pressure several notches. The Piltown defence was under severe pressure, but they were immense, putting bodies on the line for the pride of the Piltown jersey. Unfortunately, the pressure finally told in the 19th minute. . A melee on the 20 metre line saw the ball break to Tara Kennedy who neatly finished to the net. It was quickly followed by a Kelly Hamilton free in the 21st minute. A minute later Lorraine Long got free on the right hand side and her long range strike was added to by Niamh Dermody’s slenderest touch and it ended up in the net for Piltown’s first score from play. A point in it. The battle of two wonderful free takers continued as Phelan and Hamilton swapped points to leave the Rower ahead by 1-4 to 1-3 at half time. The freetakers again swapped points in the first two minutes of the second half. When Debbie Phelan scored a ’45 in the fifth minute, it was obvious this was a different Piltown in the second half. This was the Piltown Camogie team that never knows when to give up. It was epitomised by Captain Karen Duggan. Like an angry bear woken early from hibernation, she was suddenly driving things forward, creating opportunities and leading from the front. The industrious Christine Lyng was now conceding ground and ball to Karen. Her leadership and determination was contagious as the younger girls for whom she has been a brilliant role model fought for every ball in every sector of the field. Unfortunately, the scores just would not come as the stylish Tara Kennedy again put the Rower ahead with a point. Phelan put another free over in the 21st minute as Piltown introduced Aisling McGowan. Being a sub on a Piltown Camogie team is a massive responsibility because when you are asked, you are expected to deliver and there was no doubt that McGowan hit the ground running causing all sorts of problems. Unfortunately, again Hamilton scored a free to restore the Rower’s lead as Piltown introduced Nicole Culleton who joined Duggan, Hilary Power and Laura Norris as the only players that were not minors on the field. Alice Talbot was moved to centre forward to try to curtail the brilliant Hamilton. With three minutes remaining Talbot brought the game to the Rower as she charged through only to be fouled about 40 metres out. The Piltown fans were sure this was yet another equalising free for Debbie Phelan and extra time would be on its way. This time they were wrong. The ball came back off the crossbar. Several Piltown forwards charged in on the rebound. It was super sub Nicole Culleton who pushed the ball over the line to give Piltown the lead for the first time with two and half minutes remaining. The Piltown fans were ecstatic and the team was lifted. Piltown had dominated the second half everywhere except until that moment, the scoreboard. For the final moments, Piltown continued their territorial advantage as they claimed their first ever under-21 county title by 2-6 to 1-7. It had been a great final played by two magnificent teams and here’s hoping the Rower will bounce back and claim the All-Ireland Intermediate title in the New Year. New County board chairman, Michael Wall presented Captain Karen Duggan, with the cup in his first ever duty in the role. Karen has been a superstar in other sports, best in the country even, but it was clear this meant so much to her. Possibly more than anything achieved before. It was also very clear the influence she has had on her team mates as they wanted to win this so much for her too in her last year as an underage player. Later, the squad, mentors, administrators, parents and supporters adjourned to Anthony’s Inn for the medal presentation and the start of a long night of celebrations. Great credit goes to the management team who were “under pressure” as they were the only Piltown Camogie mentors not to have won a county title this year. However, when you have men like Jim Malone involved, chairman of the club and long time Camogie trainer with years of success behind him, there is never any real pressure. Then you have the great analytical brain of Tony Foley who only speaks when there’s something to be said. These two men have given massive service to Camogie. Two years ago, the adult set-up added trainer Eamonn Kenny to the mix and he has gelled it all together as the three musketeers deserve their kudos. Five county finals in 2012, victories in Under-14 Féile, Under-16 Roinn A, Minor Roinn B and now Under-21 Roinn B is probably the greatest sporting success by any Piltown club in a single year. None of it would have happened without inspirational administrators, good juvenile structures with dedicated coaches, sound disciplinary procedures, supportive parents and an overall spirit that is nigh on impossible to break. Well done to all involved. Team: Siobhan Dermody, Hilary Power, Jennifer Norris, Ellen Commins, Debbie Phelan (0-6, 5 frees, 1 ‘45), Karen Duggan (Capt), Leanne Dunne, Mairead Power, Alice Talbot, Lorraine Long, Laura Norris, Sinead McCarthy, Soracha Phelan, Edel Long, Niamh Dermody (1-0) Subs: Aisling McGowan, Nicole Culleton (1-0), Katelynn Phelan, Chloe Blackmore. The AGM of Piltown Camogie Club takes place in the GAA Complex on next week, the date and time to be confirmed. Stay tuned to www.piltown.kilkenny.gaa.ie for details.

NOWLAN PARK BECKONS - The local national school combination of Owning and Templeorum head to Nowlan Park on Wednesday (21st November) for the Roinn B Primary Schools Girls Gaelic Football County Final. Their opponents are Kilmanagh NS. Throw in is a 1:30pm but keep an eye on the Piltown GAA Website www.piltown.kilkenny.gaa.ie Squad: Patsy Kenny, Jenny O’Dea, Laura Falconer, Máire Beth Kirby, Sophie Holden, Laura Power, Olivia Ronan, Sarah Jayne Brophy, Melissa Byrne, Marlise Flynn, Aíne Doyle, Chloe Walsh, Ciara Dunne, Brianna Doody, Molly O’Dwyer, Niamh Whelan

LOCAL DIRECTORY - Now that Piltown Community Enterprise have launched their “Start Your Own Business” competition and await entries their focus has now moved to forming a local directory of all the services and businesses in the Piltown area. The online version of the directory is already up and running at www.piltowndirectory.ie and a printed version will be supplied free to every home in the area in December/January. If you have a business in the area, or you are from Piltown and work in a business elsewhere you are welcome to join the Piltown Business Network for the reasonable sum of €50. Membership includes entry to the directory and inclusion in business workshops, the first of which will take place on Thursday6th December with a talk on how Budget 2012 will affect your business. You can join directly through the directory website if you have a Paypal account or call 051-643152 (Extension 248).

BUSINESS PLANNING WORKSHOP - Piltown Community Enterprise is running a Business Planning Workshop. The purpose of this workshop is to introduce participants to business planning in general and how to prepare that dreaded Business Plan document which is required by financial institutions and state agencies. A Business Plan is a statement of a set of business goals and targets, the reasons these goals are believed attainable, and the plan for reaching those goals. It may also contain background information about the owners/directors and the business itself. It is an excellent tool to focus the mind on the business and assists in the clarification of areas to be identified to move forward and information to be sourced. This workshop is being organised in conjunction with Kilkenny County Enterprise Board (KCEB) and South East Business Innovation Centre (SEBIC). The date is Wednesday 28th November at 7.30pm at Piltown Community Centre. All are welcome. Booking is essential as places are limited. Contact: 051-643152 or 087-2191808 (Gerri) or email piltown@eircom.net.

CHURCH OF IRELAND BAZAAR - The Church of Ireland Parishes of Fiddown Union will be holding a Christmas bazaar in the ParishHall, Piltown (opposite Anthony’s car park) on Saturday 24th November from 10am to 12.30pm. Cakes, books, plants and bric-a-brac stalls along with a raffle for a home made Christmas cake will be on offer. Entry is free

SERVICE OF LIGHT - The annual Service Of Light will take place in Piltown on Friday (23rd November) at 7:30pm.

SAVE THE SOUTH EAST - The recent rumours of Waterford Regional Hospital being downgraded has sent shock waves throughout the locality and not least in the Piltown area. The huge turnout at the recent march in Waterford attended by many from the locality highlighted the growing anger in the South East. The hospital threat may just be the final straw. The South East has been over looked on the jobs front by the IDA for many years. People are tired of waking up to job announcements in Dublin Cork and Galway, not that it is begrudged, but more that that this area in constantly ignored. Statistics do not lie and the IDA supported jobs for the South East recently announced make frightening reading. A university for the South East has been completely overlooked. Waterford Airport looks to be in serious trouble, with Aer Arann suspending services. Despite the completion of the M9, the road situation is an insult as the other main national route through the region is notable for the poor design of the Piltown/Fiddown Bypass on the N24. Ignored by the NRA for many years now and the local authorities the road continues to be a source of traffic accidents while the RSA spend money on campaigns to remember people who died in the past when money might be better spent on saving lives in the future by fixing the design issues on the N24. Note, it is now one decade and counting since lighting was promised for the junctions by the local authority and those who were elected councillors at the time. Then there is the lack of next generation broadband, essential for the entrepreneurs of the locality who thankfully have a voluntary organisation such as Piltown Community Enterprise to give them a chance. This column like the others is the region strives to promote and protect their community. This column makes no apologies for encouraging the people of Piltown, South Kilkenny and the South East to start making more noises in whatever legal means possible to highlight how the area has been ignored in relation to health, education, jobs and infrastructure. This is not a time for the politicians and bureaucrats to hide as the taper has been lit.