A Year of Real Progress - I am delighted to report that after a year of consolidation in 2011 that 2012 proved to be a year of real progress for Dicksboro GAA club both on and off the field in a very busy year. Undoubtedly the appearance and hearty performance of the Senior team in the County Final v. Ballyhale Shamrocks was the sporting highlight of the year along with club member Cillian Buckley winning an All Ireland medal with Kilkenny. The winning of the U14A treble in Hurling league, Championship and Football competitions, the 16’s capturing the ‘A’ league, with the Minors contesting the ‘A’ County Final. Off the field there were many noteworthy events and activities from the holding of the Club’s first ever Children’s Summer Camp, three successful fundraising events during the year to the holding of our annual Lá na gClub family fun day. The challenge remains for 2013 to further build on the progress of 2012 in a steadfast and careful manner.
Adult games- Despite an indifferent Senior league the players and management team really thrilled and greatly entertained all in the championship on a roller coaster ride from victory over Dunnamaggan in the championship first round relegation semi-final, the quarter final defeat to battlers St. Martin’s, the never forgotten closing minute semi-final victory over great rivals James Stephens, followed by a display of determination and no mean hurling ability against hot favourites Ballyhale Shamrocks by 0-16 to 0-12 in the blue riband showcase of Kilkenny hurling. Dicksboro GAA club was the name on all sporting gaels tongues throughout the county and beyond. Huge credit to Ger Henderson and his selectorial team of EJ Ryan, Liam Maher, Mick O’Flynn and John O’Gorman for the manner in which the Senior panel was managed in a prolonged hurling year leading to such an exciting climax on the 10th November. Thanks to all other members of the background team for their good work in 2012 and good luck to all concerned in 2013! Congratulations to Cillian Buckley on winning his first All Ireland medal with Kilkenny and we look forward to the Liam McCarthy visiting Palmerstown in the near future. The Junior team managed by Collins Connolly along with Dan O’Neill, Jimmy McGarry and Dermot Buggy played five league games enjoying victory over Dunnamaggan and Erin’s Own, while in the Championship enjoyed good first round win over James Stephens by 4-13 to 0-15 before succumbing to a strong second half display in the second round to Clara by 2-21 to 2-14 on Sunday 23rd September. The junior grade remains very important to the club as a blooding ground for senior players and to provide satisfactory game time for all our adult players. The contribution of junior players to club training and fulfilment of club fixtures throughout the year should be greatly acknowledged. The Junior ‘B’ panel managed by Sam Morrissey, Noel Tyrell and Declan Gough had a busy year with league wins over Black & Whites and Clara. In the new league Championship they drew with St. Lachtains, beat Danesfort, Cloneen and James Stephens before being edged out by Galmoy in the quarter final on a 6-10 to 2-13 scoreline on the 7th August. Again the contribution of this panel to club training and the management of players to ensure all playing adults receive satisfactory playing time remains a challenge.
Football- Similar to the Kilkenny county football year, Dicksboro’s participation in senior football was disappointing with the side suffering three defeats and conceding two walkovers in the League. In the Championship, Dicksboro were gallantly defeated by Kilmoganny on a 4-12 to 3.05 scoreline with the club to participate in the Intermediate grade in 2013. Despite the commendable efforts of David Carroll, Noel Tyrell and Liam Scott support for Gaelic football needs serious consideration going forward and should, in my estimation, be accommodated in the early training schedule by all mentor teams concerned. Continuing to pay €1,000 towards the GAA player injury scheme needs to be justified. On a note of information – from the 1st January 2013 all players from juvenile to minor grated inclusive must compulsorily wear protective mouth wear and all players to senior grade from 1st January 2014.
Juvenile Games- What a year! Huge thanks to all mentors (50+) concerned in a terrific year with the Under 14’s capturing the League and Championship double and also representing Kilkenny in the National Football Feile bowing out undefeated, the U 16’s battling back to win the Roinn A League title with a great win over James Stephens, while our Minors succumbing to the same opposition in dismal weather conditions in the County Final. Commiserations to both Under 21 panels on narrow defeats – maybe a reminder that there is a narrow margin in sport between victory and defeat. Congratulation to Evan Carroll, Edward Moylan, Chris Kavanagh , Cian Butler and selector Simon Walton on winning the prestigious Tony Forristal U 14 tournament and to all who represented Dicksboro on development and county squads – testament of the huge work been put in yearly by the juvenile section. Huge thanks must go to Grainne & John Timmons for co-ordinating the 1st ever children’s’ Summer Camp in Palmerstown attended by over 160 juvenile boys and girls – a great development while also providing great experience to juvenile coaches – here’s to 2013!
Development Works-Further pitch improvements/drainage/sanding works/improved lighting of car park area, etc., continued throughout the year with a well attended cub information night held in late April re: proposed club house refurbishment and the production of a club 5 year GAA development plan (to be finalised in early 2013). Thanks to Simon Walton and others involved in submitting an application for the Sports Capital Programme – though unsuccessful it created the platform for real discussion and planning for the very near future. Best wishes to Joe Phelan, stepping down from the executive after five years as Grounds Chairman for the excellent manner in which the grounds were kept and admired by many. Thanks to the works team for their ongoing voluntary work in Palmerstown and James’ Park. I look forward to the completion of the planned refurbishment works in the clubhouse in 2013, for the use and benefit of our members and the wider parish community.
Fundraising- As you will see from the Treasurer’s report huge effort has been put in this year by Seamus Rochford and the finance committee in organising three successful ventures with the delayed Golf Classic in August, a terrific Greyhound Benefit Night fundraiser in October followed by a Cookery Demonstration by Anne Neary & Edward Hayden in the Newpark Hotel in November. I personally want to thank all involved throughout the year, particularly the small group of door-to-door foot soldiers who sold greyhound benefit tickets in the dark nights of Sept/Oct – a huge financial and social success on the night with the full spectrum of club members and players supporting this event targeted at the clubhouse refurbishment. Without our Lotto sellers and committee the club would not survive from day to day – a huge thank you! Avenues to increase sales throughout the club will be pursued in earnest in 2013. Thanks to all club sponsors of all our events and in the run up to the County Final with particular thanks to Grassland and Aut Even Hospital. As fundraising is so difficult in these economic times, I urge all members to make judicious decisions in curtailing club expenditure where possible!
Communication- Communication continues to improve in the club with 692 members in receipt of club texts and 560 in receipt of club e-mails/newsletters. Thanks to club PRO Edmund Nolan and Tom Beirne for the excellent maintenance of the club website as moves are afoot to boost Dicksboro Twitter and Facebook users.