IOMÃINT Pearses Park Arklow was the venue for the Junior B Hurling Championship Final between Kiltegan and Ãire Ãg Greystones. The setting for the game was ideal. A bright and breezeless evening and a firm verdant sod invited the best from the players. In the event they responded and we were treated to a contest which sparkled in its hurling (considering the game’s status) and excited in its closeness for all but the last 10 minutes.
While in the end Ãire Ãg were well beaten, the disparity between the final scores did scant justice to the brave unrelenting effort of our lads. However there was plenty of evidence from early on that the westerners had the better all round team. Indeed the skill level and combination play displayed by some of the opposition would not have been out of place at a higher level. Nevertheless through the dint of hard work Greystones were able to counter this superiority and scores were even, 1-12 each, entering the final quarter. At that point an ÃÃre Ãg player earned himself a red card for a glaring infraction. Apres ca, le deluge! A seasoned camÃ¡n man remarked that he had never seen a hurling game in which the loss of a player had such an immediately devastating effect.
In hindsight it is easy to explain our collapse. As mentioned, Kiltegan were the stronger team and it called for a titanic energy-sapping effort on the part of the Greystones players to contain them. As a result Ãire Ãg were not able to muster the vitality required to cope with the extra man. What made the situation worse was that this extra-man, the vastly experienced Christy O’Toole, was in the mould of Stonewall Jackson and who was thus afforded the luxury of being a âmonarch of all he surveyedâ at centre-back.
The teams were level at the break, thanks to a spectacular goal from an overhead strike and a last minute point by Martin Joyce.
CAILÃNÃ U-14 Last Saturday was another huge day for the cailÃnÃ in Ballinakill â who says the GAA is a bunch of chauvinists?! On this occasion it was the u-14 girl footballers who took centre-stage with 7 finals being run off. Ãire Ãg’s opponents in their divisional final were neophytes Rathnew. The day was favoured with glorious sunshine but a strong breeze blew. The game began disastrously for Ãire Ãg with 2 goals being conceded within 4 minutes. However the team kept its collective head, dug deep and playing with great pace and admirable skill fought back to being 1 point ahead, 4-5 to 3-7, at the break.
With the advantage of the wind Ãire Ãg dominated play in the 2nd half but a feisty Rathnew prevented their building an unassailable lead. The last 10 minutes were particularly exciting as Rathnew upped their game and began to edge closer to Ãire Ãg on the scoreboard. Final score was 6-14 to 4-9 in Greystones’ favour. Thus ends the u-14 season. Training continues at 6.30pm on Thursday evenings.
Team: Ciara McDonnell, Alice O’Neill, Claudia Randles, Andrea Hanlon, Aisling Duggan, Aoife Roche, Ciara Finn, Sophie Fitzgerald, Eva Megannety, Katie Lawless, Sarah Lucey, Hannah Molloy, Niamh Hanrahan, Ellie O’Neill, Aisling Lawrence, Eimear Fawcett, Ella Horgan and Megan Maguire.