Southern Gaels Club Notes

September 16, 2019

U8 Darren O’Donnell Tournament 

 Southern Gaels hosted our annual U8 Darren O’Donnell Tournament on Tuesday Sept 10th in Páirc Chiaráin. Castletown Geoghegan, Roscommon Gaels and St.Domnics were our visitors on this occasion. Across all of the matches the level of hurling was at an exceptionally high standard. The large crowd in attendance were entertained for the evening. 

In our U8 section, the teams each played 3 short group matches and then the top 2 played in the Shield final and 3rd and 4th place played in the Plate final. 

 Roscommon Gaels qualified for the Shield final undefeated along with Southern Gaels who defeated Castletown and St.Domnics. The Shield final was played at a frenetic pace with the hosts taking an early lead through an Aodhán Fallon goal. Roscommon equalised at the very end and both teams shared the Shield which was a fitting conclusion to two very equal matches between the teams. Every Southern Gaels player from Thomas Walsh in goals, Fearghal Kelly, Conor Matthews and Thomas Kinneavy in defence, Shane Cahill, James Cahill and Aodhán Fallon in midfield through to Evan Martin, Michael Cunningham and Senan Kelly in the forwards gave everything for their team over the 4 matches. Shane Cahill was presented with the Shield by club secretary Frank Lee to loud cheers from his teammates. St.Domnics defeated Castletown Geoghegan in the Plate final overturning the earlier defeat inflicted on them in the round robin.   

In the younger section Southern Gaels played a blitz against Roscommon Gaels and Castletown Geoghegan with the hosts having a great victory against local rivals Castletown Geoghegan. 

Many thanks to the O’Donnell family for their continuing support for this Tournament. Many thanks to all who helped out on the night, to the parents for supporting the players and to the teams for travelling to Páirc Chiaráin. 

 Darren O’Donnell Team: Shane Cahill, Aodhán Fallon, Fearghal Kelly, Evan Martin, Conor Martin, James Cahill, Thomas Walsh, Michael Cunningham, Senan Kelly, Thomas Kinneavy 

 Blitz Team: LJ Kelly, Jamie Costello, Michael Keenan, Rory O’Connor, Ronan Bourke, Kyle Madden, Casper Joyce, Senan McLoughlin, Lorcan McMonagle, Cillian Coughlan 

Academy Exhibition Game 

Tuesday, 10th September was a big night for our Academy players as they took part in an exhibition game for their biggest supporters and parents on the main pitch in Páirc Chiaráin. Twenty-nine children took part enthusiastically in a fine evenings hurling. Afterwards each child received their participation medal as just recognition of their contribution to the growth of Southern Gaels underage. A big thank you to the boys, girls (biggest number ever - if she can't see it, she can't be it, 20x20) and parents who sacrifice their time and make these events possible. Keep up the great work! 

Artie Pyke U12s Tournament 

The annual Artie Pyke Tournament for U12s took place last Thursday night when Fr. Daltons, Belmont and Oran joined the home team in an enthusiastically contested event in Páirc Chiaráin. The home side won their opening match against Oran setting them up for a cup clash against Daltons who beat Belmont. In the shield Belmont defeated Oran, while Daltons scouped the honours against Gaels in a spirited contested that saw excellent skills on display. Thanks to all players, parents and supporters who made it such a great night. Particular thanks go to Artie’s family who attended to award the trophy named in his honour. He would have been so proud of the progress in the club’s development. 

U16 Southern Gaels 2-14 v 2-10 St. Vincent’s 

On Monday night, the gaels travelled to Ringtown, leaving at 4.55 for a 6.30 throw in, to ensure it was played in natural daylight. After the long journey the lads went 2 points up, but with some home town battling and a slowness to get into the game, the gaels conceded 3 points to be losing by 1 midway through the first half. However, the superior passing game of these young lads kicked in and they converted 6 excellently unanswered points to lead by 5 at half time, which just seemed to come too soon as the gaels were well on top. On resumption, a dropped short shot, seemed to turn the game against us, and the home team, worked the ball well up the field to the back of the net. This spurred St. Vincent’s on and they got the better of the game ball to be leading by 2 points going down the home stretch and looked in control. However a few positional switches seemed to change the momentum and some well worked team play, lead to two converted goals late on, which killed off the home team and left the gaels on the road back with a well-earned four point victory. If they can keep the momentum, they will surely qualify for a semi-final position, which would be a fantastic achievement and real progress for this age group and the club, to be doing so well at all grades. Gaels Abú. 

U14 Southern Gaels 2-8 v Na Piarsaigh 3-13 

Southern Gaels bowed out of the Division 1 Championship with their heads held high after putting in a great hours hurling, but lost out to a better team on the Night. Na Piarsaigh from Turin and Lough Lene Gaels, were collected from Mullingar schools by bus, taken for a pre-match meal and were in Páirc Chiarain warming up an hour before the game. They meant business, but it was our team who started the strongest. It was the first time in a very long time, that an U14 team from Southern Gaels had made Westmeath’s top division semifinal and by the standard of hurling they were playing in the opening 15 minutes, it was obvious they had adjusted to the step up in standard from the Division 2 league victory. The pacey running possession game from SG, kept the ball away from Na Piarsaigh and they looked like they owned it, such was their dominance. However, we were not able to take any of the goal chances created and it was that, which was the downfall of the team; Too many scoring chances were missed. NP on the other hand, were extremely efficient when their chances fell and they practically converted them all in the first half, especially with a fortuitous goal which went in against the run of play. However, SG recovered and regained the lead, but unfortunately then let Na Piarsaigh in again with too many fouls and Na Piarsaigh converted the resulting frees. SG trailed by 2 points at Half time. In the second half, SG could not reach the same pacey possession game and NP gained allot more possession taking 2 more goal chances. This left a mountain for SG to climb and needed goals, however, goal after goal chance either skimmed the post or was cleared by some frantic defending from NP. We did get 2 late goals but the hard fight from Na Piarsaigh earlier, truly earned them the chance to progress to the Premier final versus Castletown Geoghegan who beat Fr. Daltons on the other side of the draw. The team were well disappointed, as it closed the door on such a fantastic chance, so have to be content with the Division 2 League title and Féile Runners Up medals. However, if this same group can be all hurling together in 2 years' time, they will surely be taking greater U16 honours. Keep ‘em Hurling, Keep supporting. 

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