Féile Na nGael - U14Bs Shine in the Sunny South East
Read Gerry Nangle's report on the U14Bs triumph in the Regional Feile Na nGael in Wexford
21 June 2014 - Under 14 B Hurlers in Regional Féile Na nGael in Wexford
The Under 14 B hurlers travelled to Pairc Charman in Wexford Town for the Provincial Féile na nGael 2014 where three games were scheduled.
First up was a tough and determined Na Fianna of Offaly. Early pressure from the Offaly boys was more than matched by the Crokes defence with Tom Fagan giving an exhibition of full back play fielding high balls and driving the ball long up the pitch. He was ably assisted by Sean Slevin and Paddy McDonnell in the corners. There were tough exchanges around the middle of the field with the referee having to keep a close eye on proceedings as both teams fought for the upper hand. After a low scoring half Crokes went into the break one point to the good courtesy of an excellent Cian Jones point and a Liam Reddy goal. The second half saw more tough hurling. Aaron O’Toole notched a goal to keep Crokes 2-1 to 1-2 ahead as the clock ticked down. A penalty awarded to Na Fianna with a minute to go spelled trouble for Crokes. However, a well struck low shot struck Kevin Nangle on the leg, the ball was cleared and the final whistle blew to record a tight, but well deserved, victory. The tension spilled over into a shemozzle between both teams but order was quickly restored amidst handshakes all round. Defence was key in the match with Max Murphy, Dermot Jordan, Dave Galvin, Liam Redmond and Sean Slevin all putting in stout performances. Diarmuid Tucker, as ever, was excellent in goal with his sure touch and well struck puckouts to the fore.
Next up was a match against action shot versus Ballynastragh Gaels of Gorey. Playing into a strengthening breeze in the first half and against lively opposition Crokes struggled to stay in touch. However a goal from Sean Farren and strong performances from Niall McDonald, Jonathan Quinlan and Éanna Daly helped keep the deficit to one point at half time. With the aid of the breeze Crokes asserted themselves in the second half and amongst those finding their range for excellent points were Tiernan O’Connell, Kevin Nangle, Padraig Linehan, Brendan Horgan and Henry O’Donnell. The Wexford boys never gave up the fight and Crokes had to stay focussed and determined to the end to record a fine 3-8 to 2-5 victory.
With two wins behind them confidence was high going into the final game against St Mary’s of Leixlip. Crokes were able to play with abandon and scored some excellent long range points as well as producing some lovely passages of interplay. Sean Gray scored an excellent point. Crokes were able to experiment a little. Tom Fagan drew loud cheers from the sideline as he scored a goal from his new posting at full forward. Late in the game, with Brendan Horgan now between the sticks, Diarmuid Tucker enjoyed his new found freedom as a roving forward. At the final whistle Crokes were victorious over a gallant St Mary's team.
The day was extremely enjoyable for all the boys and provided them with an excellent day’s hurling. They acquitted themselves admirably recording three victories. Management and encouragement was ably provided by Shane Canny, Rory Murphy and Paddy Linehan. A special word of thanks to the U13 boys who played on the day – Padraig Linehan, Brendan Horgan, Aaron O’Toole and Henry O’Donnell.