St John’s Parish: Official opening of new pitches.

OFFICIAL OPENING - Saturday the 11th of August, 2012 will see a momentous day for all members of O’Loughlin Gaels GAA Club when the official opening of its new pitch facilities will take place at St. John’s Park. This development delivers state of the art playing surface facilities which will see the club now have two modern Croke Park size pitches, one Juvenile pitch and designated physical fitness training area. These playing surfaces along with a number of additional ball stops have been completed at a cost of €230,000, financed through the hard work of Club fundraisers and Department of Sport, Sports Capital Grants.

OFFICIAL OPENING - Saturday the 11th of August, 2012 will see a momentous day for all members of O’Loughlin Gaels GAA Club when the official opening of its new pitch facilities will take place at St. John’s Park. This development delivers state of the art playing surface facilities which will see the club now have two modern Croke Park size pitches, one Juvenile pitch and designated physical fitness training area. These playing surfaces along with a number of additional ball stops have been completed at a cost of €230,000, financed through the hard work of Club fundraisers and Department of Sport, Sports Capital Grants.

The day’s activities start at 2pm with matches involving O’Loughlin Gaels players at Under 12, 14, 16 and minor in both Hurling and Camogie. Between 4pm and 5.15pm the O’Loughlin Gaels Junior Hurling and Under 21 Hurling teams will play against each other alongside the Under 21 and Junior Camogie teams. At half time during the camogie match the Under 6 Camogie players will get their chance to showcase their newly learned skills on the new sod.

At 5.15pm, the highlight of the day for many, will be the finals of The St. John’s Hurling Street League For All . Players from Under 11 down to under 7 will compete in three matches for the title of Street League Champions 2012. Camogie matches involving girls of a similar age will take place simultaneously.

Following the presentation of medals to the Street League winners, the pitches will be officially opened by Martin Skelly, Chairman of Leinster GAA and Mick Nolan, Chairman of O’Loughlin Gaels as well as Eamon Doyle, President of O’Loughlin Gaels.St. Patrick’s Brass Band will entertain the crowd with a selection of their repetoir between 6.00 and 7.30.

After the pitch has been opened a Senior Hurling Challenge match between Kilkenny’s oldest GAA club Tullaroan and one of it’s youngest O’Loughlin Gaels will take place at 7.30. The match will be refereed by Eamon Mansfield and beautiful prizes have been especially commisioned for the event which hopefully will lead to a competitive fixture. During half time the brilliant O’Loughlin Gaels Under 6s will take pride of place under the guidance of their brilliant manager Hugh Mahon.

The steering committee of Donal Higgins,Benny Cleere, Paul Cleere and John Collins will make sure this day runs like clockwork and have to be congratulated on their magnificent effort.Their emphasis has been on the social aspect of the day and that all children taking part in the day have lot’s of fun. Between 2 and 6 pm in the Sports Hall there will be tea and coffee available to parents. The club asks every parent to bring buns, cakes, tarts, pies,crumbles, muffins etc. by way of a contribution to the day. These can be dropped into the Sports Hall from 2 pm. O’Loughlin Gaels will provide minerals and crisps for the children. In addition between 3 and 7 pm the club will have for sale Hot Dogs and minerals and a shop downstairs as well as full bar facilities upstairs.

These magnificent playing surfaces sit neatly on the twelve acres owned by the Club and adjacent to the existing Club House, gym hall, dressing rooms, bar and function rooms. The development of the pitches sprung from a Strategic Plan formulated by a club sub-committee in 2008. Following a successful application for Sports Capital Grants, fund raising and the appointment of Penturf Ltd as the contractor, work commenced in November, 2010 and was completed in the summer of 2011. During the period of construction all Club members co-operated with Sean Tyrrell and his Field Committee to ensure that ongoing Club fixtures could be accommodated. The Club received superb support from Paul Kinsella and Ned Quinn of the Kilkenny County Board in accessing overflow playing facilities during the construction period.

The Pitch Development working group consisted of Eddie Buckley, Sean Tyrrell, Coleman Loughnane, John Holohan and Michael Nolan. Regular meetings and reviews of progress were held to ensure the facilities were finished to a high standard and also importantly completed on budget. John Skehan was hugely helpful in co-coordinating the new ball stops and this assistance proved invaluable.

The official opening day celebrations will give all club players young and old, an opportunity to take part in a “La na Club” type celebration. Commencing at 2 pm, all players boy and girls from Under 6 upwards will play in scheduled tournament matches through out the day. The culmination of the days activities will be the official opening at 7 30 pm.

O’Loughlin Gaels GAA Club look forward to welcoming their very many guests to share their special event. Also Club members look forward to welcoming all visiting GAA Clubs in the future, to play on and enjoy these facilities. For the members of O’Loughlin’s it will be an opportunity to build on triumphs of the past and nurture the talents of future Club and County legends. The Club would like to thank all Club members for working to make their dreams come through and look forward to Club members contribution in the coming phases of the Club’s development.

LISDOWNEY 7s PIPPED AT THE POST - The O’ Loughlin Gaels u-13 team were narrowly defeated by Ballyhale Shamrocks in the final of the prestigious Lisdowney 7’s tournament on Saturday. The boys had qualified for the final’s weekend following comprehensive victories over The Harps (Laois) and also Moycarkey Borris (Tipperary). In the quarter final they played Clarecastle (Managed by former Clare Stalwart Ger “Sparrow” O’ Loughlin), and had lead comfortably up until the last five minutes, when a late rally by the Clare team brought the game into extra time. A fine goal by team captain Ronan Buckley in extra time proved vital and the O’Loughlin’s boys ran out winners by 5 points.

The semi final saw the boys pitted against James Stephens and it was in this game that they really showed all of their hurling abilities. Playing against the breeze in the first half , O’ Loughlins lead by 6 points at half time. The team work and level of skill displayed by the St.John’s Parish boys was a joy to watch. The disciplined display by the backs and midfielders provided the platform for our forwards to close out the game in a comfortable fashion. Final score was 4-8 to 2-4 in favour of the boys wearing the White and Green.

The final performance saw our boys retire at the half time 8 points in arrears, having played against a stiff breeze in the first half. Displaying true O’ Loughlins spirit, the arrears were reduced to just 2 points with four minutes remaining. It was at this stage that Ballyhale scored the decisive goal and ran out winners by 5 points.

While the boys were deeply disappointed to lose out in the final, they will look back on this tournament with great pride. While the honour’s avoided them this weekend, they represented their families and club with great distinction and we can look forward to seeing their talents for many years to come in the White and Green. Each and every member of O’ Loughlin Gaels club is proud of this magnificent bunch of boys.

Panel: Eoin O’Shea, John Delaney, Joe Murphy, Ryan Poyntz, Padraig Nolan, Jordan Molloy, Ronan Buckley,Michael Butler, Owen Wall and Ben Maher.

Owen Wall was awarded the player of the tournament ,following hugely impressive displays in all five matches. Time and again, he showed a deadly eye for goal and took fantastic scores when his team needed them most.

STREET LEAGUE HAS BEEN A MASSIVE SUCCESS - The St. John’s Parish Hurling Street Leagues For All will draw to a close this weekend at the opening of the new pitches at St. John’s Park. The League has been an unprecedented success and lots of people have to be thanked for making the games run so smoothly. Temporary pitches have been set up at Glenbawn/Glendine Heights on the Castlecomer Road, at Altamount and Shandon Park on the Dublin Road, The Orchard Bar Field and in the field beside Lidl on the Johnswell Road. Nicky Murphy and his son Brian from Johnswell have been a stalwarts in this regard as has Johnny Holohan from Dunmore. The 85 children that have played each evening in the Street League can thank these two men for collecting the four sets of goals in O’Loughlins, dropping them off and help erect them at the temporary sites. Ben Fogarty, Brendan O Leary, Pat O Grady, John Lawlor, PJ Hickey, Noel Kenny, Ed Gormely, Gerry Buckley,Sean MacNamara,Bryan Skehan, Kieran Maher, Ronan Kelleher, Alan Arnopp, Michael Kinchella, John Sheridan ,Shane Maher and Eoin Lawlor have all put their shoulders to the wheel in a massive effort to make this initiative such an overwhelming success. The players and their parents no doubt thank them all most sincerely.

Competition in every game in the street league is intense and the semi finals will be held on Wednesday night (tonight) in the field beside LIDL on the Johnswell Road at 7.30 .After these games everyone will know the pairings for the St. John’s Parish Hurling Street League For All Finals which take place on Saturday at 5.15pm on the new pitch in St. John’s Park.

CAMOGIE NEWS - The U-18 Camogie team beat Mooncoin last Saturday in St John’s Park, 2-6 to 0-4. Mooncoin started the scoring off with a point from play in the 8th minute and Amy Bryan balanced the scoreline in the 14th minute with a minor from a free. A shot for a point from Laura Greene, in the 15th minute, dropped short and ended up in the Mooncoin net. The same girl followed up with a point in the 17th minute before Amy Bryan added a free. Mooncoin added two points in the 20th and 22nd minute to leave the continentals ahead 1-3 to 0-3 at halftime. Bronagh Cleere got the girls off to a flying start with a goal in the 35th minute. Amy Bryan added points in the 7th, 13th and 18thminutes. Mooncoin added a free in the 30th minute to leave the score 2-6 to 0-4. Katlyn Leahy was excellent at full back, Laura Greene was in super form at midfield and Amy Bryan was top scorer. Team Sinead Ryan, Chloe Tyrell, Karlyn Leahy Eimear Daly, Kate Walsh, Grainne Walsh, Laura Greene(1-1), Laura Murphy, Saorise Claffey, Amy Bryan(0-5,3f), Megan O’Keeffe, Caomihe Treacy, Bronagh Cleere(1-0), Danielle Randle, Subs Aoife Whelan, Niamh Phelan, Kelly Dowd and Aoife McKiernan.The U-12 Camogie team defeated Naomh Brid last Monday 4-2 to 4-1, they have now qualified for the County Semi-Final. Well doneto the girls and management (Noel Richardson, Eamon Lawless and Tadgh Crowley). The U-16 Camogie team will play the County Semi-Final V St Brigids on Wednesday 8th in Tom Ryall Park at 7pm. The Junior Camogie team will play Glenmore in the League Semi-Final on Friday 10th venue to be announced.All in the Parish wish the best of luck to the girls and management in all three County Semi Finals semi finals.

‘LOUGHLINS LOTTO STILL €20,000 - The O’Loughlin Gaels GAA Club LOTTO prizepool is still a staggering €20,000. Although Mary Cody was lucky enough to claim €16,000 only last month a reserve prizepool had built up and had reached the maximum allowed of €20,000. Numbers drawn on July 31st were 7,8,11,14 and bonus number 17. Ten consolation prizes of €40 were won by Joan Leahy c/o Delaney’s Bar Patrick Street, Chris Parsons c/o Michael Doran, Patty Power c/o Noel Tyrrell. Julie Coyne c/o Sheamie Cummins, Teresa Pearse c/o Mick Nolan, Paddy McDonnell c/o Peter Dowling, Coleman Loughnane, Mary Byrne c/o Leydon’s Bar John Street, Chris Goulding c/o Andy O Driscoll, Christy Delaney c/o Andy O Driscoll.