U10 OCTOBER FEST HOSTS THE 4 PROVINCES!
Read Diarmuid Coogans's account of this years U10 Hurling October Blitz - a traidition in existence since 2004.
On Sunday 8th October, Kilmacud Crokes u10 Hurlers hosted teams from all 4 provinces of Ireland in what was a great festival of Hurling in which 240 players from the various clubs took part and twice as many parents & family members were catered for by the U10 volunteer cadré, who were brilliantly organised by Karen Beggins and ably assisted by Louise Linehan.
At the medals presentation, Festival “Cooordinator” Diarmuid Coogan thanked all the visiting clubs who had hosted Crokes U10’s during the year and paid particular tribute to Ros Criostoir and Conor McGorrian who’ve spear headed the 2007 group since Nov 2015 following Chris Kitteringhams great work from 2012-2015.
Diarmuid also thanked Karen and Louise for all the work on the catering and Karen for procuring a very generous supply of fresh fruit from “ROBBIE’s FRUIT & VEG Shop” on Lr.Kilmacud Road and also for the “LEISUREPLEX VOUCHERS”!
The format of the tournament was 4 groups of 4 teams and then each team playing another team of similar placing in a “Finale” match.
The outstanding team of the day were James Stephens No.1 team who swept all before them in their group before beating Naas in a closely fought final. Naas had upset the odds to pip Kilmacud Crokes “Emmets” in their group and demonstrated why they’re the best opposition that Crokes get in the Dublin “Go Games” even though they’re from Kildare!!
James Stephens 2nd team were also very strong in their group but were beaten by Offalys Kilcormac Killoughey in a thrilling final – the Kilcormac boys showing the spirit that has made such a small parish a hurling force at senior level.
Given that Crokes fielded 4 teams generally against the “A” team of the visiting club, this was very challenging opposition for the Crokes lads and here’s a brief account of how each team acquitted itself:
KILMACUD CROKES “na PIARSAIGHt” SNAPSHOT(By Ros Criostoir):
After a heavy defeat to the mighty James Stephens in the opening fixture, KC Na Piarsaigh were under pressure to perform in their remaining two group games against Craughwell and Liam Mellows. This they managed with two very hard working displays. They were level at half time, in a very tight game against Craughwell before opening up in the second half, outscoring the Galway boys by 5 points to one. Liam Mellows were vanquished 2-2 V 0-2 in a game that could have gone either way.
Na Piarsaigh managed to tighten up in defence after the first match with Eoghan O’Donovan superb at centre back well supported by Thomas Ambrose, Jonathan Axelsson and Conor Kennedy. Behind them Conor Coogan was very assured in goal. Ronan McNamara was the utility man, playing well in both defence and attack when required. In midfield Rian Robertson covered every blade of grass while Conall Criostoir’s point taking kept the scoreboard ticking. Up front, Daithi Linehan and Rory Flannery worked hard and managed to strike a lot of ball. Ross Gargan scored a vital goal against Liam Mellows while Ben Franklin and Mark O’Leary contributed well.
Eoghan O’Donovan claimed the player of the squad award.
In the finale, a tired KC Na Piarsaigh eeked out a 0-3 each draw with Cork Sars. It was a very enjoyable day of high class hurling all round.
(Mentors: Conal Criostoir, Paddy Linehan, Rory Flannery.)
KILMACUD CROKES “EMMETS” SNAPSHOT(By Jim Ryan)
KC Emmet's had a tough opening encounter against Athenry and had to dig very deep to win a match that could have gone either way, final score was 1-3 to 5 points.
Having got the rub of the green in the first match we lost out by a point against a big strong Naas team in a ding dong battle in our second match. The Naas lads and mentors were on a high after their win having lost out to the Crokes U-10's on a few occasions in recent times. Next up was Sarsfields from Cork and again it was a cracking match, we were down and in trouble at half time but an outstanding display in the second half saw us prevail by two points. We played our most free flowing hurling against Craughwell in our final match where we put up a big score against an opposition who were probably a bit tired by that stage of the day.
Martin, Niall and myself all agreed that our boys played exceptionally well all the way through the tournament against very strong and skilful opposition. All three teams in the group were physically strong and had plenty of hurling in them but everyone of our lads
stood up to the challenge and blocked, hooked and shouldered as if their lives depended on it!
Luca Rohan was outstanding in goal, Lochlainn Kennedy was rock solid at full back and was ably supported by Conor Mullin and Hugh Brosnan whose day was unfortunately cut short by injury. James Ryan and Matthew O Rafferty hurled well in the half back line as did Finnan Donohoe when he moved back to help out with defensive duties. Tom Curtain and Connie O Sullivan won all their midfield battles and tore Craughwell apart in the finale. Eamonn Kenny scored a selection of goals and points which included a penalty and several pointed frees. Hugh Leahy poached three goals out of thin air and David Byrne saw and won plenty of ball and threatened the opposition goal a number of times throughout the day. Sean Hanley showed a great attitude and competed for every ball that went into the forward line.
All in all a great days hurling, my outstanding recollection will be how physically intense each of our matches turned out to be and how well our lads stood up to it, looking forward to rolling on to U-11's!
(Mentors: Jim Ryan, Niall Donohoe,Martin Byrne.)
KC KICKHAMS SNAPSHOT(By Conor McGorrian):
Kc Kickhams started brightly against a well-organised Burren Rangers side. There was little to separate the teams in the early exchanges with Aidan Boniel, Eoin Lynch and Harry Lynch heavily involved in the middle of the field. The second half saw Rangers move ahead and they held on to win the match despite some tireless work by Colum Buckley.
Next up was a very strong Kilcormac side who managed to get on the score board early and never surrendered their lead. Sean O'Maonaigh and Andrew McGorrian stood out as the Kickhams dug deep to stay in the game but unfortunately Kilcormac's early scores were enough to get them over the line.
The Kickhams final group game was against an Athenry side who we had visited only a few weeks before. It was another thrilling match with Odhran Thompson, Jack Drumm and Peter Lynch giving their all for the cause. Despite the best efforts of John O'Connell and Lorcan Golden, the Kickhams went down to another narrow defeat.
The finale saw the Kickhams take on the mighty Loughgiel. The Kickhams fought doggedly throughout with David O'Connell and Darragh Eyre setting a fine example to their team mates. Loughgiel proved too strong in the end, but the Kickhams can take pride in their consistently positive attitude and refusal to give up.
Overall it was a challenging days hurling for the Kilmacud “Kickhams” but they gave it their all and did their club proud.
(Mentors: Conor McGorrian, Liam Thompson.)
KILMACUD CROKES “WOLFE TONES” SNAPSHOT(By Pat Phelan):
Wolfe Tones struggled in the earlier rounds with some excellent individual displays not enough to counteract the quality of the teams which they came up against.
All changed for the final game, where the collective team effort improved immensely and the commitment and physicality from all players went up a notch. A great result achieved with some remarkable scores from Adam Creagh and excellent defending from Robert Higgins and Senan Walshat the back, ably supported by Sean Donnellan in midfield.
Everyone played their part, with PJ's puck-outs and Liam Healys “barging” runs proving very effective. Young Ryan Crowley from the U9’s put in a “stormer” and was the recipient of the Player of the Team award.
(Mentors: Pat Phelan, Brendan Walsh.)
See compliation of the days events below courtesy of Peter Axelsson.