Report for weekend of 25/26 November 2006

New Hurling Arena - First sod turned by hurling stars

061125_arena1.jpgAt 2.15pm, in a classic display of cross county co-operation by All-Ireland hurlers, the sod was turned by Donal Og Cusack from Cork and Kilkenny’s James McGarry and Martin Comerford.

Cusack said “having been asked to advise on the design it’s a great thrill to see such an innovative and progressive hurling project get under way.  I know all the good work being done by Kilmacud Crokes Hurling and I’m sure this will be a huge boost to them.”

Thanking Donal Og for his comments Kilmacud Crokes Hurling Chairman Tom Barry replied

“As evidenced by our national Féile na nGael win in 2005 we want to be up there with the best.  Part of this is the provision of top class facilities to develop our players.  After three years hard work preparing, it’s great to see the Kilmacud Crokes Hurling Arena get underway.   This is a pioneering undertaking for us and we look forward to reaping the benefits in the years ahead.”

Extensive research and visits to similar facilities around the country was conducted before the design was finalised.  Among those most closely consulted were Cork legend John Fenton, one of the greatest hurling artists of all time.

The project will cost €500,000 and Kilmacud Crokes Hurling has been fundraising for the past three years mainly through the annual Kilmacud Crokes Hurling Corporate Race day during the Punchestown National Hunt Festival.  Just over 10% of the cost will come from the National Lottery.

When complete, the dedicated facility will house an indoor hurling alley and an external hurling wall.  Hurling alleys and walls are indispensable tools for the comprehensive coaching and development of players and are to be found in most leading hurling clubs throughout Ireland.  Especially suited to perfecting striking, balance and anticipation, they allow players and coaches to work at a pace far faster than achievable on the training field.  The Arena will particularly help younger players and can also be used for indoor nursery hurling and fun games.

The successful tenders are Kildownet Utilities Ltd and the project will be managed by Nicholas O’Dwyer Ltd, the leading consulting engineers.  The building is expected to be ready for use in March 2007.

To keep an eye on how builidng progresses, click HERE

Juvenile Presentations

Urlingford057.jpg Following the sod turning the All-Ireland medallists officiated at a Presentation Day for the under 9, 10’s, 11’s and 12’s where the trophies won by them at tournaments around the country were on display.  Master of ceremonies, John Mitchell, noted the huge progress made at juvenile hurling over the past three years and took particular delight at the universal hand raising when the young audience was asked how many of them had beaten Kilkenny, Cork or Wexford teams. 

This was an excellent afternoon with a rolling display of images from the boys’ games and trips during the year providing a very appropriate backdrop.  Mentors, Tony Fleming, Steven Dagg, Jim Kane and Ronan Conway, on behalf of the different teams recounted the year’s high points to a very large and appreciative gathering of parents.  Each of the over 120 boys in attendance was presented with a specially designed Kilmacud Crokes Hurling – Game of Legends tee-shirt and goody bag.  Our thanks to John Mitchell, Denis Gorey, Liam Coughlan and the many others involved in organising such a fantastic event.

Match Action!

Earlier on Saturday the under 15A’s were very impressive when accounting, 8-9 to 4-4 in Silverpark, for their county championship final victims Naomh Fionbarra.  At a minimum this guarantees the under 15’s a league playoff place or, subject to other results, the title outright.

On Sunday the under 12’s took the long trip to Carrigeen, in south Kilkenny where after a superb display they went down 5-7 to 4-6 to Waterford under 12 county champions, Ballygunner in a pulsating semi-final.  As always the post match hospitality was far beyond what was needed and yet again the warmth of the welcome knew no bounds.  Our thanks to Rex Quinn, Hilary Delahunty and all at Carrigeen for making our trips so memorable.

At the same time the under 10’s travelled to play Faughs in a challenge and emerged with a very creditable draw.  Shane Veale, Michael Crowley, Tom Duke, Daniel Coakley, Sean Crowe, Stan O’Neill, Cian Wade, Ruairi Geraghty Ronan Kennedy, Steven Barr and Eamonn Allen were among those to star for Crokes.

Sunday also saw the continuation of indoor nursery at Oatlands College.  From now to March this continues as follows

9 am                 Born 2001 or later

10 am               Born 2000

11 am               Born 1999

Contact Liam Coughlan 086-6063232 and lccoughlan@eircom.net.  Active parental input is essential for the success of the nursery.  No hurling experience necessary!

Roll on the Hurling Section AGM on Monday 27th November at 8pm in Glenalbyn.