The O’Loughlin Gaels Under 14 team completed the Kilkenny treble last weekend when adding the Championship title to the League and Paddy Grace titles already won earlier in the season.
This team has grown both in size and and skill level since starting out in February and in no small way great credit should go to coaches Mick Nolan,Bryan Skehan,Seamie Cummins,Stephen Murphy and especially manager Maurice Nolan.
The Championship decider was a repeat of the League Final. James Stephens provided the opposition and started the scoring off with a pointed free from Ryan Scanlon. O’Loughlins meant business and ,instantaneously, their forwards were camped on the Village goal mouth for what seemed like an age but raised no flag. They were to outscore the Village 9 points to 3 in the opening half with five different boys scoring. Free taker Ben Maher converted the first chance he got, while stylish forward Eoin Wall put over two beauties in the first half. Outstanding centre back and O’Loughlin Gaels captain,Jordan Molloy, was rewarded for his efforts with a fine individual point half way through the first half. The star man in the middle of the field was Ronan Buckley who was to finish with a personal tally of 5 points from play 4 of which he scored in the first half. He was simply brilliant. Full forward Adam Flynn was also on the score sheet in act one with a point . He too was unstoppable when in possession near the goal and had a very good game adding another fine score in the second half. The Village could only manage two more frees from Ryan Scanlon leaving the half time score O’Loughlin Gaels 0.9 James Stephens 0.3.
The second act began where the first ended and the ref hadn’t the whistle blown to restart when Ben Maher blocked down Sean Manogue in the Village goal and the ball was in the back of the James Stephens goal. The classy Eoin Wall added another minor to further increase the gap to ten points with 25 minutes to play. Fair play to the Village lads they began to rally and got on top mid way through the second half with good scores coming through Adam Morrissey,Sam Hickey and Niall Brassill. But the superior O’Loughlin Gaels forwards were scoring at ease. Ben Maher(2),Eoin Wall and Adam Flynn scored the next four points to leave eleven between the teams with ten minutes remaining. Sam Hickey pointed with eight minutes to go but the Gaels were not going to be caught with Ben Maher,Ronan Buckley and Eoin Wall finishing out the scoring for a continentals tally of 1.17. Big Robert Butler got on the end of ball at the death for a tap in consolation goal for the Villagers. Final score O’Loughlin Gaels 1.17 James Stephens 1.07
This was another brilliant display by this squad of players from O’Loughlin Gaels. As well as those mentioned the outstanding full back line of Shane Reilly,John Delaney and Mickey Butler should have no end of praise heaped on them . They were impenetrable. Delaney the big man to stop all incoming attacks with his two delightfully skillful flankers sweeping the area of any loose ball.Thanks to them goal keeper Jamie Malone’s county final was all rather quiet. Ian Clifford and Luke Hogan were brilliant on the half back line alongside the superb Jordan Molloy. At midfield Eoin O Shea and Ronan Buckley were always on top. Against James Stephens’ strongest line Eoin Neary,sub Sean Kenny,Ryan Poyntz and the exciting Dacel Fwamba worked their hardest to the very end. In the full forward line Ben Maher Adam Flynn and Eoin Wall scored a grand total of 1.11 between them. They do exactly what they are supposed to do ! This team also played without one of their stand out men Conor Heary. Conor was exceptional at Feile na nGael but got injured in a freak accident afterwards. He is well on the road to recovery but time ran out for him to fight for a starting place in the final. There will be plenty more days for him and indeed all the boys on the under 14 panels in O’Loughlin Gaels.
O’LOUGHLIN GAELS; Jamie Malone,Shane O Reilly,John Delaney,Mickey Butler,Ian Clifford,Jordan Molloy(0.1),Luke Hogan,Ronan Buckley(0.5),Eoin O Shea,Eoin Neary,Ryan Poyntz,Dacel Fwamba,Ben Maher(1.4),Adam Flynn(0.2), Eoin Wall(0.5). Subs David McCormack,Padraig Nolan,Barry Lawlor,Joe Murphy,Jack Kearns,Oisin Murphy,Jamie Ryan,Robert Boyd,Sean Kenny,John Collins,Mathew Russell,Odhran Lawlor,Conor Heary (inj).
O’LOUGHLIN GAELS MINOR TEAM BOOK A SEMI FINAL SPOT
Congratulations also goes to the O’Loughlin Geals minor set up who qualified for the minor county semi final by beating Glenmore 2.10 to 1.08 last Saturday in Ballyhale. Shane Maher proved himself a deady freetaker at Under 16 level this year already and continued his good form into this minor championship game. The first two scores came from him through placed balls following good attacking work from the O’loughlins forwards.Glenmore replied with two more frees over the next five minutes and the small attendance had to wait for Daniel O Connor to get the first score from play. This ,would you believe, was a twenty yard kick of the sliothar over the bar from a very acute angle.O’Loughlins were rewarded for their dominance of the game over this period when Sane Maher pointed from play and Cian Loy scored a great goal.
The goal celebrations were short lived,however, as a minute later Glenmore were awarded a thirty yard free which they duly buried. They added a point before half time to leave O’Loughlins leading 1.4 to 1.3 at the break.
The City side had played against the breeze in the first half and one felt they might push on but it was Glenmore who attacked first and took the lead with two frees inside two minutes. A while past for O’Loughlins to get into their rhythm and when they did Ross Butler and Shane Maher threw over good scores to edge the continentals ahead once again.
Glenmore went ahead again courtesy of a converted 65 and a good point from play before the excellent Daniel O Connor scored a great point to level it again. The Glen went ahead again and then the match winning goal . Up front the very skilfull Daniel O Connor gathered the ball on the 50th minute and went straight for goal . At one stage it seemed the whole Glenmore defensive unit was tackling him but he somehow ,using his powerful strength, got his shot in and buried ,what surely was an outstanding goal.
O’loughlins had a man sent off earlier in the second half and seemed to work even harder over the last few minutes. The pressurised the Glenmore defence into conceding three more frees which Shane Maher duly converted. Final score O’Loughlin Gaels 2.10 Glenmore 1.8
O’loughlins had fine performers in Paddy Deegan,Brian Buckley,Gary Bryan Huw Lawlor,Robbie Buckley,Ross Butler,Daniel O Connor,Cian Loy and Shane Maher. Next up is a semi final match against championship favourites James Stephens. The O’Loughlins boys are great to have got this far so well done boys!
O’Loughlin Gaels; Sean Bolger,Daniel O Driscoll,Paddy Deegan,Brian Buckley,Gary Bryan,Huw Lawlor,Thomas Gleeson,Luke Rafter,James Lenehan,Ross Butler,Ben Leydon,Daniel O Connor,Shane Maher,Cian Loy,Robbie Buckley.
O’LOUGHLIN GAELS SENIORS LOSE OUT ON SEMI FINAL SPOT
The bookies had O’Loughlins as 3/1 outsiders in this championship quarter final tie against star studded Ballyhale Shamrocks, but the City boys had other plans and the bookies had plenty of nervous twitches during this hour long enthrawling encounter.
O’Loughlins were sharp out of the blocks and brilliant Paddy Butler had registered the game’s first score inside 60 seconds. The versatile Alan Geoghegan added another two minutes later. Ballyhale might have been shell-shocked but within 8 minutes were in the lead 1.3 to 0.2, with the goal coming from Colin Fennelly and points from Ronan Corcoran,David Hoyne and Cha Fitzpatrick. Mark Bergin converted a free on thirteen minutes but Ballyhale were scoring more fluently and Eoin Reid got a good point from midfield shortly after.
O’Loughlins were working hard and their forwards were causing all types of problems for the Ballyhale backs. Indeed on more than one occasion they can feel that frees could have been awarded for consistent fouling on attackers. Hardworking Jack Nolan got a good point on 16 minutes as O’Loughlins pressed and pressed. A 21 yard free was awarded which might have been a penalty,but it didn’t matter as Mark Bergin took all his frustration out on the ball and nearly burst the net with the force of the shot. Bergin, who was outstanding again for O’Loughlins, added another point from a free a minute later to put the City team ahead 1.5 to 1.4 after 22 minutes.
Richie Reid pointed for Shamrocks soon after only to be equalised by O’Loughlin’s most dangerous forward Conor Bergin on 25 minutes. His cousin Mark Bergin converted another free after David Hoyne had scored for Ballyhale and with 33 minutes showing on the Nowlan Park clock Henry Shefflin got a free and converted to leave the sides at half time O’Loughlin Gaels 1.8 Ballyhale Shamrocks 1.7.
Henry Shefflin imposed himself on the game on the restart. He shot four points, two from play, but this was Henry being Henry, dragging his team back into the game because O’Loughlins were completely dominant during this period. Mark Bergin, two points ,one from play and one from a free on the sideline under the new stand, Martin Comerford and Jack Nolan, after great work by Martin Comerford ,had all pointed and put O’Loughlins into a ,well deserved, four point lead. Henry scored three in a row, two frees and a tap over. He kept his team in the game.
The exciting full forwards Martin Comerford and Conor Bergin (who was having only his first start of the season after a long injury) continued to pile on the pressure on the Ballyhale backs and produced two great points to shoot the Gaels back into a two point lead. Ballyhale brought on Aidan Cummins at centre back and this freed up TJ Reid who at once made an impact when given a free role. He scored an amazing point, gathering a puckout at the dugout and pointing from 90 yards.Patrick Reid followed up with another and Henry converted a free to draw level on 48 minutes. Mark Bergin pointed a free which was cancelled by a point straight away by Mark Alyward. The never say die attitude of Niall McEvoy was rewarded with a brilliant point on 50 minutes but the ‘Loughs would fail to score again from play. McEvoy’s point had levelled proceedings but the knots were being unloosened by T.J. and now Colin Fennelly, who opened up far out the field . His dashing runs from midfield were too much for an overworked defence . He scored two good points and made others for Henry and Mark Alyward. Final score O’Loughlin Gaels 1.17 Ballyhale Shamrocks 1.21.
O’Loughlins’ management of Aidan Fogarty,Dinny Tyrrell,Barry Power and Colin Furlong can be proud of their efforts this season. Some of the best displays in the championship matches came from newly blooded players. Anthony Forristal,Jason Quan and Eoghan Grant are now the backbone of a new O’Loughlin Gaels Senior team most definitely on an upward curve.
O’Loughlin Gaels; Stephen Murphy,Eoghan Grant,Anthony Forristal,Eddie Kearns,Jason Quan,Brian Hogan,Niall Bergin,Mark Bergin,Paddy Butler,Mark Kelly,Niall McEvoy,Alan Geoghegan,Conor Bergin,Jack Nolan,Martin Comerford.Sub Danny Loughnane.
O’LOUGHLIN GAELS UNDER 8s NEWS
The O’Loughlin Gaels u8s hurling team was invited out to Bennettsbridge for that club’s end of season fun day on Saturday last along with the u6s and u10s. A big thanks must be conveyed to Ger Kelly and his team at Bennettsbridge GAA for making it such a great day. The boys were well up for it from the start as 15 Gaels fielded against 15 eager young lads from Bennettsbridge. Two halves of twenty minutes were played on a very hot autumn morning and both teams didn’t do anything by halves. It was hell for leather from the start with the sliothar moving from one end of the pitch to the other at a ferocious pace throughout the game. Jamie Kenny (4 goals), Ollie Duncan (1 goal) and Cian Nolan (1 goal) got on the score sheet but the story of the day was surely O’Loughlins mammoth defence with Micheal Lambert and Kevin Waldron dictating the play from the back. Kieran Delaney and Tadhg Crowley shared goal duty and pulled off some massive saves coupled with pressure relieving puckouts. Bennettsbridge too had some very strong players and although the goals were the difference in the end the scoreline of 6-0 to 1-3 indicates the quality of play that was on show to the large crowd who expressed their appreciation after the game with a rapturous round of applause.. Well done to both teams.
O,Loughlins Panel: Kieran Delaney, Tadgh Crowley, Zach Lawlor, Michael Lambert, Kevin Waldron, Fionn Lawlor, Brandon Wall, Osin Farrell, Ollie Duncan, Jamie Kenny, Cian Nolan, Luke Hanrahan, Cormac Wall, Stephen Butler, Ruaidhri Galway, Eoghan O’Brien, Patryk Iwasuik.
O’LOUGHLIN GAELS UNDER 12s WIN WEXFORD BLITZ
The O’Loughlin Gaels under 12 team travelled to Wexford last Sunday to play in a blitz hosted by the St Martins club. They beat the hosts in the first match and had just a single goal to spare at the end of a tough match against Ballygunner, Waterford. After a short break O’Loughlin Gaels faced Ballyboden St Endas in the final match and, despite definite signs of fatigue, emerged victorious on a score line of 2:05 to 2:00. Team: Vincent O’Grady, Ciarán Murphy, Jamie Young (capt.), Niall Flanagan, Peter McNamara, Ethan Kerwick, Niall Higgins, Conor Kelly, Success Edogun, Declan Coffey, Dónal O Leary, Jack Sheridan, Andrew Arnopp, David Fogarty, William Slattery, Mark Gormley, Ian O’Keeffe.
CAMOGIE TEAM REACH COUNTY SEMI FINAL
The Junior Camogie team had a great win over Young Ireland in the 1/4 final beating them 2-9 to 1-8. Well done girls.
LOTTO STILL €20,000
The O’Loughlin Gaels LOTTO jackpot is still a massive €20,000. Ten consolation prizes of €40 each were won by Mags O Connor c/o Kevin Cleere, Thomas Tallis c/o Mick Delaney,Dolores Walsh c/o Joan Kerwick,Kathleen Daly Thomastown, Michael Dinan c/o Tom Gregg,Ann Keenan c/o Gerry Buckley,Bobby Gibbs c/o Nore Bar,Alice Mulhearn c/o Gerry Buckley,The Higgins Family c/o Hugh Mahon,Mary Dooley c/o Mick Nolan. Tickets cost only €2 and are available from agents all over the City.