“This is some set up!” was typical of the comments heard from Corofin (Clare) and Sarsfields (Galway) supporters arriving at a resplendent looking St John’s Park last Saturday morning for the u11 and u12 end of season tournaments. The under 12 tournament comprised Erin’s Own (Castlecomer), St Lachtain’s (Freshford), Thomastown and home club O’Loughlin Gaels. There was very little between the four sides in the 3-match round robin, played before the teams broke for a beautiful lunch provided by the Catering Committee. The tournament final between O’Loughlin Gaels and Erin’s Own followed and this was a tense, hard-fought, skillful affair with each sliotar contested tooth and nail in the afternoon sunshine. The home side was stoutly protecting the most dangerous lead in hurling for 3 or 4 minutes, during which the O’Loughlin Gaels defence repelled at least 3 ‘Comer attempts to score the winning goal, when at last O’Loughlin’s full forward David Fogarty broke free from the close attentions of big full back Dan Coogan and rifled the sliotar low to the Erin’s Own net. Referee Jamie Malone sounded the long whistle 30 seconds later, triggering great celebration by the St John’s Parish boys. There were a number of very fine individual performances from both sides, both in the final and in the earlier games, and by the young hurlers of St Lachtain’s and Thomastown also. For O’Loughlin Gaels, the most consistent and effective hurler throughout the day was Johnswell’s Conor Kelly and he was certainly the home club’s player of the tournament. From then on it became a real Sheridan family affair as under 12 mentor John Sheridan presented The Johnny Sheridan Memorial Cup to his son Jack, captain of O’Loughlin Gaels and grandson of the late Johnny Sheridan, former Juvenile Chairman of O’Loughlin Gaels. Team: Ian O’Keeffe, Peter McNamara, Jamie Young, Niall Flanagan, Ciarán Murphy, Ethan Kerwick, Niall Higgins, Conor Kelly, Dónal O’Leary, Declan Coffey, Success Edogun, Jack Sheridan (Capt.), Andrew Arnopp, David Fogarty, William Slattery, Joey Byrne, Mark Gormley, Pádraig Hally, Patrick Folan.Well done and a big thank you also to the team mentors Brendan O Leary, Ben Fogarty and John Sheridan.
The Leydon Cup was also run off concurrently with the Johnny Sheridan in St. John’s Park on Saturday last. Sarsfields of Galway, Corofin of Clare, Mount Leinster Rangers of Carlow and O’Loughlin Gaels played a Round Robin tournament to see who would win the Leydon Cup for 2013. After the first three rounds Corofin of Clare topped the group on full points with Sarsfields joining them in the final. O’Loughlins played Mount Leinster Rangers in the second final. Sarsfields and Corofin played a cracker and it ended all square 1.4 a piece. Five minutes a side of extra time were played and Sarsfields were to finish the stronger scoring four points to nil and take home the Leydon Cup to Galway for the first time. O’Loughlin Gaels played very well in the other final overcoming a stiff challenge from Mount Leinster Rangers to finish their year off on a winning note.
O’Loughlin Gaels ; Cillian Larkin,Jack Murphy, Harry Bland,Sean Lawlor,Joseph Leydon,Ronan Lavelle,Chase Leeffarr,John MacNamara,Vincent O Grady,Mikey Wallace, Jake Hickey, Aidan Kenny,Damien Dowling, Jack Murphy,Sam O Connell,James Phelan,Declan Murphy.Injured Mathew Hogan and Daniel Walsh. Team mentors deserve a big thank you also for giving the children a wonderful season of hurling including trips to Galway,Clare,Waterford, Kildare and Belfast. The mentors include Pat O Grady, PJ Hickey, Noel Kenny, Sean MacNamara. Kevin Leeffarr helps out as the medical man.
A very big note of gratitude goes to the Parents who helped out with catering. Caroline Hickey, Linda Phelan, Liz Fogarty, Nicola Murphy, Phylis Coffey, Regina Murphy and Mairead Byrne, Carmelita Murphy and Trish Gormely.
Thanks also to Club Chairman Eddie Buckley who made the presentations on the day and also to Donal Higgins whose work and planning in organising juvenile tournaments in O’Loughlin Gaels over the past few years has been nothing less than remarkable. His attention to detail, health and safety checks and all round top class event management has to be seen to be believed. From experience I can tell you that visiting Clubs are in awe of both the fantastic facilities we have in O’Loughlin Gaels (the playing surfaces in St. John’s Park are a credit to the brilliant work being done by Sean Tyrrell and his committee), but also the organisational skills portrayed by the likes of Donal Higgins and Eddie Buckley and also the drive of people such as Juvenile Club Chairman Bryan Skehan. It is no accident that O’Loughlin Gaels GAA Club continues to go from strength to strength.
The very best of luck to the O’Loughlin Gaels minor team who play James Stephens in the County Semi Final this Saturday in Thomastown at 2pm. The O’Loughlins boys beat Glenmore in the last round but James Stephens will be a much harder task. Indeed the Village would be favourites for the championship whereas O’Loughlins would be regarded as the rank outsiders of the four remaining teams as they had a very poor league run.James Stephens beat O’Loughlins by ten points in the league.
It is hoped a big O’Loughlins support will get behind the continentals who have being training hard for this championship under manager Michael Holohan,Andy Comerford and Jimmy Comerford.
Hard luck to the Junior Camogie team who lost the County Semi Final to Danesfort by two points on a scoreline of 2-8 to 1-9 last Saturday in Kilmanagh. Danesfort were seven points ahead at halftime. The O’Loughlin’s girls put in a massive second half performance and got the Danesfort lead down to a single point with five minutes remaining but just couldn’t get a equaliser. The girls showed a never say die attitude and battled till the end. A big thank you to the management and girls for all their hard work over the year. Team Lizzie Kavanagh, Laura Butler, Stephanie Buckley, Kate Nolan, Rebecca Cleere, Shauna Brennan, Grainne Walsh, Sam Mguni, Laura Greene, Sarah Buckley(1-4), Aisling Butler(0-2), Laura Murphy(0-3), Karen Galvin, Amy Bryan, Karen Cleere, Subs Ena Kearns and Sarah Burke.
Catriona Condon & Nicole McKenna are running The Dublin City Marathon on the 28th of October in aid GROW Mental Health Movement &Irish Wheelchair Assoc. Both girls are organising a Table Quiz in The Glendine Inn, Castlecomer Rd on Friday the 11th of October at 8pm. There will be loads of prizes, spots & food on the night. Good craic & fun guaranteed ! So put on your thinking hats and come along with the brains for a fun filled night with Eamonn Corcoran as your jovial quizmaster.