The Sports Page of last weeks Bray People was unfortunately mislaid and one foolishly assumed that the relevant fixture information in the previous edition applied.So one headed for the Eire Og grounds in the anticipation of seeing our hurlers take on Liam Mellowes of Wexford in a Leinster League match at 2p.m.However, on arrival one learned that at the request of the visitors the time had been changed to 11a.m. and that the result had not gone Eire Ogs way.
Ach is olc an gaoth nach sEideann maitheas Eigin (its an ill-wind).Thankfully serendipity had taken a hand and the journey had proven not to be in vain.The lacuna had been filled by an u-13 Leinster League football match between the Eire Og and Naomh Pdraig of Meath.The watching of this game proved a very pleasant experience which more than offset the disappointment of missing the hurling game.
The standard of football between these 2 well-coached teams was precociously high and with the lead fluctuating continuously the excitement had the nerves on edge throughout .At the final whistle our lads were on the right side of the scoreboard.
As one watched the range of skills on display viz. long accurate kick-passing, hand passing, soloing at speed and shimmying past opponents, excellent point scoring, blocking and the strikes at goal, one mused that in very few sports, if any, are players called upon to master such a range of skills both of hand and foot.It is not surprising then that good Gaelic football players transfer readily between different big-ball sports.
Gaelic suffers promotionally from not being an international sport and therefore is left behind in the hype stakes so its only chance of survival is convincing parents of its safety as a sport, its value in developing physical adroitness, athleticism and a healthy sporting ethos.Which brings one to the point that juvenile registrations are in progress and training is about to commence.The academy starts on Sat. March 2nd.
The Leinster League is a pre-season competition which allows our u-13s to assess their standing in a wider context than that of the county.As a result of this win, 5-8 to 2-11, (26 scores) the team has reached the penultimate stage of the competition and awaits news of who their opponents will be in the semi-final.
Participation in the league presents the management with logistical headaches.The games are played on Saturdays and for many of the players this clashes with their soccer matches so there is a degree of uncertainty about the panel which will be available on any given Saturday.The management is grateful to the lads soccer managers who have been very helpful and understanding in this matter.
U-10 and u-12 Peil:Up to this year football league games have been played at u-11 and u-13.Eire Og has been entering a number of teams at these levels.One of the teams in each category has comprised primarily players of the designated age while the other squads are, for the most part, made up of players of the age below and have not been, for the most part, very competitive. This has rankled with the u-13 manager Kevin Healy and thanks to his advocacy u-12 and u-10 leagues have been included in the 2019 juvenile schedule.
PEILSINSEARAn Eire Og team, shorn because of county commitments of a raft of its more experienced players, was at home to Kilmac on Sunday.In the event this did not prove to be as disastrous as feared since the team which took to the field proved equal to the task and came away with a victory.It was a hard won win and at many times during the match a successful outcome looked, to say the least, a bit dodgy.The game was played in a dense fog and what was happening at a distance was not, at times, at all distinguishable and sideline scorekeepers were anything but reliable so contradictory messages e.g. were a point in front was answered with no, were 2 behind were to be heard.This uncertainty added to the excitement. With a few minutes to go there was one especially notable incident which provoked a sinking feeling among the Eire Og supporters.At this point the sideline pundits had the locals a point behind (mistakenly as it later proved).Eire Og was in possession but was engaged in a retreating passing movement. The last man in the movement (he shall remain nameless but is noted for the power of his vocal chords) in a moment of folly attempted a back-pass to the goalie. Intercepted and sent to back of net!Despair, 4 points behind.Thankfully the accountants had the score wrong and it turned that we were still a few points in front.