ALL-IRELAND FINAL - We send best wishes to our clubmen, Kilkenny team manager, Brian Cody and players, Eoin Larkin, Jackie Tyrrell and Matt Ruth as they train and prepare for the “big game” against their Leinster final conquerers, Galway on Sunday next. The expectation is that this will be an almighty battle with “The Cats” led by team leader and captain, Eoin Larkin determined to reverse the unexpected mauling inflicted by the Galwegians in the Leinster final and the westerners, no doubt, equally determined to reinforce their superiority. However, at the end of the seventy plus minutes, Village people will be hoping that Brian Cody’s superb side will reward him with a ninth title in his fourteen year reign as Kilkenny’s master tactician, capped off with club favourite, Eoin Larkin lifting the Liam McCartthy on the Hogan Stand for the return journey to The Marble City for a record, 35th time in all.
STARLETS PLAY IN THEATRE OF DREAMS - On Monday of last week, some thirty U-8’s from the club got an early flavour of what it is like to line-out on the hallowed ground of Croke Park, even before their heroes, Kilkenny captain, Eoin Larkin, Jackie Tyrrell and Matt Ruth take to the same field on Sunday in the All-Ireland final against Galway. The young Village stars played two games against, Co.Carlow opposition, St. Mullins and Mount Leinster Rangers after which they were brought to the presentation area on the Hogan Stand to “accept” a replica of the McCarthy Cup. They were then treated to a tour of the dressing room complex before boarding the bus for the return trip home,but, not before a much appreciated visit to Mc Donald’s restaurant to quench their growing appetites. All in all a very successful day trip, which the young stars will recall with fond memories for a long time to come -- at least, until some of them actually taste the “real thing” sometime in the future. Congratulations to the team mentors and parents who travelled in numbers to supervise and enjoy the day’s events.
MICHAEL “MUGGERS” LARKIN RIP - On Friday, word rapidly spread around the parish that one of it’s true sons, Michael “ Muggers” Larkin had passed away suddenly. Michael had bravely battled illness for a number of years. One of three sons born to the late Paddy and Nancy Larkin from the Kells Road, Michael was very proud of his roots and grew up with a great love of hurling. Hurling was “in the blood” as they say, as his late father was one of Kilkenny’s great heroes of the 1930s, winnng four senior All-Irelands. Paddy also captained James Stephens to two Kilkenny senior championships in 1935 and ‘37. Michael attended St. Patrick’s De La Salle Boys school and quickly made the school’s hurling team with whom he won school’s competitions. He went on to donne the “Red & Green” of “The Village” and played U-16 before lining out to with the club’s minor team to contest the 1965 minor championship final against Ballyhale Shamrocks. Having captained the club’s Junior team, Michael won promotion to the club’s senior side and was a member of the 1969 senior championship winning team that included his two brothers, the late Paddy and Phil “Fan”Larkin. Michael was proud of his brother Phil’s achievements on the hurling field, the holder of five All-Ireland medals, All-Star awards and numerous other honours. Earlier in his youth Michael was a prominent member of the St.Patrick’s Boys Boxing club. He also mixed both sporting careers with his membership of St. Patrick’s Brass and Reed band. Michael was often heard “to boast” that he,not only, “played” in Croke Park but in Landsdown Road, Nowlan Park,The Gaelic Ground in Limerick, and many other noteworthy sporting venues. “Muggers” as he was popularly known was never short of a few words and his quick wit and good humour made him a very popular figure with his legion of friends. He was a loving father and grandfather and will be missed by all. The sympathies of the club were extended to his devoted wife, May,( they celebrated their 40th anniversary in 2011) daughters, Michelle, Claire, Ann Marie and son, Shane, their extended families and his brother, Phil. On Sunday evening, in a tribute to his long service, his loyal colleagues in St.Patrick’s Brass & Reed Band led the funeral march through the parish, with the hearse flanked by a large guard of honour from the membership of the James Stephens club as his remains were brought to St.Patrick’s church. Michael was laid to rest in Foulkstown cemetary on Monday. Air dheis Dei go raibh a anam dilis.
JUNIOR CHAMPIONSHIP - The Village junior squad and management team travelled to Bennettsbridge last Sunday in hope and determination to kick off their knock out championship campaign with a hopeful first round opening victory. The Village went head to head with near neighbours, Dicksboro and in this encounter is was Dicksboro who dominated this fixture for large periods as the Boro men ran out easy winners. The Village conceded four goals throughout which killed off the Larchfield challenge, the ability of the Dicksboro forwards to raise the green flag on four occasions all proved decisive throughout. Try as they might the Village just couldn’t find the all important goals they needed to mount a credible challenge. Disappointingly, this defeat marks the end of James Stephens involvement in the Junior grade for the 2012 season. Team: 1.Fran Cantwell, 2.Luke Hickey, 3.Darren Leahy, 4.Paddy Noonan, 5.Bill Keogh, 6.Shane Campion, 7.David Hennessy, 8.Conor McQuillan, 9.Mark Hoban, 10.Jack Cotter, 11.Anthony Lawlor, 12.Harry Wallace, 13.Ben Lahart, 14.Paddy Butler, 15.Conor O’Grady. Subs Used: Niall Mullins, James Tyrrell, Ricci Drennan.
JUVENILE - Well done to the Village U-10 squad and mentors who scored a great win over Dicksboro in the Dicksboro U-10 annual hurling blitz last week-end. The Village boys showed some great skill and commitment throughout the hurling blitz and ended the day with a great win in the final. The highly prestigious Andy Egan U-12 memorial hurling tournament is staged and set to go ahead in Village headquarters this Saturday. A host of teams will travel from near and far to Larchfield to battle for the honour of the Andy Egan trophy. Best wishes to the Village players and mentors.
U-16 CHAMPIONSHIP - Best wishes to the Village U-16 panels as they will take to the hurling field to contest Roinn A and C championship semi-finals this week-end. The Village B squad will square up to Dicksboro in the semi-final on Saturday while the Roinn A squad will go head to head with Thomastown in search of a final place. Please check Kilkenny People sports fixtures for details on both games.
KK DEVELOPMENT SQUADS - Well done to all Village under-age starlets who participated with the highly success Kilkenny Development squads bandwagon last week-end. Kilkenny teams at U-14, U-15, U-16 and U-17 took part in Inter-County tournaments last week-end. The Village were very well represented at every grade which is great to see. At U-14, Patrick Kennedy was part of the Tony Forristal panel while Shane Donohoe and Andrew Parsons represented the club on the Sonny Walsh squad which went ahead in Waterford. At U-15, Noel Whelan, Noah Canty, Tadhg O’Dwyer, Jake Scanlon, Thomas Murphy and Brian Crowdle hurled in the Michael Foley tournament which was played in Wexford. The highly prestigious U-16 Tipperary Supporters Club tournament and U-16 B tournament went ahead in Tipperary and we had a strong representation on both U-16 Kilkenny panels with Matthew McWey, Luke Scanlon, Ben Hickey, David Jordan, Conor Browne, Dylan O’Shea, Jamie Byrne and Dylan Drennan all featuring in the Kilkenny colours. Finally, the Kilkenny U-17’s travelled to Cork to play in the Eugene Carey memorial tournament with Niall Mullins, James Tyrrell and Ricci Drennan flying the Village flag with this squad. Well done to all Village players who proudly turned out in the Kilkenny jersey over the week-end.
E-NEWSLETTER - Each month, out productive and informative e-newsletter production wires its way into e-mail inboxes of club members, supporters and former players from as near as Larchfield to Australia and beyond. To subscribe to the monthly newsletter just send your e-mail address to email@example.com
SOCIAL MEDIA - The Village has fully joined and embraced the world of social media and communications. Check out the Village website (www.james-stephens.com), Facebook page (http://www.facebook.com/villagegaa), Twitter page (https://twitter.com/VillageGAA) and YouTube page (http://www.youtube.com/JSGAA).
KELLS ROAD DRAW - The August draw took place on Wednesday night in the clubrooms. The winner of the Eu 1,000, first prize was Pat Gannon, Ballyraggett ( David Tyrrell). The second prize of Eu 200.00 went to James Whelan (Kay Whelan). Eu 100.00 each was won by James Bateman(Kevin Hennessy), Phyllis Lawlor(Catherine Kinsella), and Margaret Gertburg(Ml.McLoughlin). Eu 50.00 each went to Pat Heffernan(Seamus McGuire), Theresa Brennan (Catherine Kinsella),Andy McEneaney (Catherine Kinsella), Jody O’Dwyer(Joe O’Dwyer), Theresa Denieffe(Catherine Kinsella),Catherine Millea(Catherine Kinsella),Vincent Kenrick(Catherine Phelan) and Ml. Leahy(Jnr) (Seamus McGuire). The winners of the promoter’s draw were Tom Keane and Ml. Moore. Once again, the club’s management is very much appreciative of the continuing support for the draw which will eventually result in the opening of the new playing field complex on the Kells Road early in the new year. The next draw will take place on Wednesday, 26th September
SPORTING LEGENDS DEGREE - In a Gesture to mark U.C.C.’s centenary of sport and the purchase of their Mardyke sports ground in 1911, the college authorities have moved to recognise the contributions of sport to society and the broader community outside of academia, and politics, with the announcement, last week, to confer an honorary doctorate degree on a select number of Ireland’s sporting legends for their achievements on the field of play over the years and decades. Due to receive honourary doctorates from the U.C.C. president, Mr.Michael Murphy on conferring day, Friday, 7th September, will be the Kilkenny supremo, Brian Cody along with Cork natives, Ronan O’Gara (Rugby), Denis Irwin (soccer), Mary O’Connor (Camogie & Ladies football), as well as county Wexford native and Coolmore resident, Aidan O’Brien for his international horse racing achievements. Congratulations once again, to Dr.Brian Cody on an honour richly deserved for a record breaking sporting career in the world of Gaelic games,and, in particular, our unique national treasure, the game of hurling..
CAMOGIE - Good news continues to stream from the camogie club, following the Junior team’s great, 4-15 to 3-5 win over Glenmore in the Junior league final last weekend. The Village girls laid the foundations for the victory with a whirlwind start which saw them record 1-3 on the score board before Glenmore registered their first score of the evening. The southern girls did settle down after their slow start, and put considerable pressure on the Village girls, who, nonetheless finished the half with a 1-9 to 1-4 lead. From the start of the second period, the Glenmore girls continued their efforts, with huge determination to pull back the city girls lead and got to within two points by the end of the third quarter. However, The Village girls, showing true grit, “dug their heels in” and put in a tremendous last fifteen minutes to run out convincing winners on a
4-15 to 3-5 scoreline. Along with the panel themselves, credit must be given to the management team of Conor and Niall McQuillan, Shane Campion, Kieran Brennan and John Comerford for instilling a huge sense of belief and determination in this young side. Those who lined out were; Nicole Lawlor, Cliona Fennelly, Sharon Rafter, Emily Ryan, Samantha Kearney, Christine Campion, Emily Ann Gilligan, Niamh Butler (captain), Laura Brennan, Vivienne Holmes,Aoife Neary,aoife Gorey, Caroline Walton, Laura Hanlon, Orla McCormack. and subs Orla Neary, Aoife Butler, Ciara Dwyer, Sarah Morris, Denise Murphy, Chloe Power, Grainne Donnellan, Chloe Hughes Vicky Cahill. Well done to all and their reward for this display is a place in the junior championship semi-final. Meanwhile the U-16 team are scheduled to play the combined St. Lachtain/Conahy selection in the county final on Saturday next, 8th September. In wishing them success we would also ask for support for the team in what is bound to be a severe test.
“DRIVE FOR LIAM” QUIZ - Well done to the organising committee of Liam Tyrrell, Val Malone, Aodan O’Ruairc, Jim O’Brien, Tom Keane and chairman Tom Lanigan, the drivers behind the hugely successful “Drive for Liam” quiz night in the clubrooms on Thursday of last week. The committee’s efforts were well rewarded with 26 teams -- the largest in the county -- turning up to test their general knowledge in a county wide quiz contest, broadcast live on KCLR.. To add to the success of a most enjoyable evening’s entertainment the winning team of Gerry O’Reilly, Tom O’Shea, Mark Dowling and Ger O’Reilly with an incredible score of 39 points (one short of the maximum) “lined out” for the club. The same team came third in last year’s quiz. Their reward for such excellence is 8 All-Ireland tickets plus post match tickets for the banquet and an overnight stay in the City West Hotel.
CONFERRING - On the subject of degrees, congratulations to club senior stars, David Walton and Niall McQuillan who swopped their hurling strip for caps and gowns for the conferring of degrees at Limerick University on Thursday last. David received his degree in sports management while Niall was conferred with a degree in bio-engineering. Well done, lads.
DOUBLE CELEBRATIONS- The families of social club members, Seamus Welsh, Cedarwood Ave,. and his brother-in-law, Simon Owens held a double celebration in the clubrooms, last weekend to mark their individual significant birthdays --- no numbers mentioned --.In any event a great night, of music and craic, was enjoyed by the large gathering of family members and friends, which no doubt, the “boys” will recall with fond memories for a long time to come..
LOTTO - Tuesday night’s draw produced the following numbers: 3 : 25 : 32. There was no winning ticket. Next week’s jackpot increases to Eu 1,200.
MUSIC - On stage for the pre-All-Ireland weekend’s musical entertainment is Paul Nugent.