Ad­ven­ture that will help bond newly formed team

Bray People - - SPORT -

IT was back in April we learned we qual­i­fied for the hurl­ing Feile by win­ning our group by ad­vanc­ing past Bray Em­met’s in the fi­nal.

Our new amal­ga­mated club North Wick­low Gaels (Kil­coole and Grey­stones), spent the next few months fundrais­ing and train­ing for the Féile na nGael, where all the par­ents put in a huge ef­fort to raise money for the event.

Fi­nally, on Fri­day, June 8, we lined up to get the bus to Oran in Roscommon, although the jour­ney was un­event­ful any ten­sion was al­le­vi­ated by the craic on the bus.

On ar­rival in Oran our first match was against Clare­mor­ris from Co Mayo, at 5pm. While the first half was tight with a close score at half time but a first win of 1-6 to 1-3 set­tled the team.

The sec­ond match of the day was against South Kerry which was a highly tense game as re­ported by the spec­ta­tors as we were los­ing at half-time, we man­aged to turn it around and win against a very strong side as we would dis­cover later.

The fi­nal score of 0-8 to 1-2 was fan­tas­tic given we were trail­ing at half-time.

Af­ter the game the club hosted us for a great meal in the Oran club­house where we had the chance meet our host fam­i­lies for the week­end, which we did on the pitch af­ter the food.

We were all ex­cited on the way down to see what our host fam­i­lies were like and we were re­lieved as all the host fam­i­lies were very wel­com­ing and kind to us, they all had hurlers our own age and we quickly be­came friends even thought we had to play the Oran team in the morn­ing.

Satur­day at 10.45am we were play­ing Oran in their home grounds but we were happy that many of our par­ents had come down for the game to sup­port us.

It was once again a very close game up un­til half-time but we pulled away in the sec­ond half to win 4-06 to 1-04 which put us into the quar­ter-fi­nals of the cup and our host club into the quar­ter fi­nals of the shield.

The sec­ond match that day was at 3.30 in Gaels com­mu­nity pitch, the first of our many ground changes. The game be­fore us fea­tured a vic­tory for Wolf Tone which we prob­a­bly should have paid more at­ten­tion to had we re­alised. The score at half-time was 3-02 1-04 to North­ern Gaels which re­flected a tight game.

In the sec­ond half one of our for­wards, Wil­lie Cash, was downed by a dan­ger­ous chal­lenge by one of the Dun­boyne play­ers which re­sulted in a red card and his send­ing off.

Wil­lie played on in the sec­ond half but un­for­tu­nately later that night he had to re­tire from the com­pe­ti­tion due to his in­jury and he was missed the next day. The fi­nal score was 4-06 to 1-06 for North­ern Gaels and we se­cured our place in the semi-fi­nals.

That night we cel­e­brated at the bar­beque and disco hosted in Oran hall for play­ers, coaches and fam­i­lies of hurlers and camo­gie play­ers, we re­ceived a nice presentation clock from our hosts in Oran. The food was great, we made lots of new friends from the other clubs.

Un­for­tu­nately, our hosts Oran lost to St Vin­cent’s the next day in the Shield semi-fi­nal in Bal­li­namore be­fore our semi-fi­nal game against Wolf Tone, the score at half-time was 1-01 to 0-02 to North­ern Gaels. It was even for most of the sec­ond half, how­ever Sean Byrne knocked over the win­ning point for North­ern Gaels to give us place in the fi­nal with a one-point mar­gin. Fi­nal score: 1-02 to 0-04 to North­ern Gaels.

We had to race over to Páirc Seán Mac Diar­mada, Car­rick-on-Shan­non, from Bal­li­namore for a 2.30pm throw-in against the Long­ford Slash­ers fresh from their vic­tory over South Kerry.

It was a very tough match with Long­ford ahead at half-time by one point, which un­for­tu­nately ended in de­feat 0-7 to 0-3 to the Long­ford Slash­ers. It was a crush­ing de­feat to take, but the team are de­ter­mined to learn from it and move for­ward.

In gen­eral, it was a close tour­na­ment full of hard fought games with all teams putting ev­ery­thing in to win, we showed we have the skill and commitment that is not matched by many.

The week­end helped to ce­ment the newly formed team and we are looking for­ward to a great sum­mer sea­son with a stronger and more co­he­sive unit. None of this would have been pos­si­ble with­out the commitment and ded­i­ca­tion of our coaches Karl Cooke, Pa­trick (Pappy) Fraw­ley, Diar­muid Potts and helper Owen O’Mahony.

The North­ern Gaels team and men­tors.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Ireland

© PressReader. All rights reserved.