A mighty day for Eoin Lawlor
St Patrick’s NS student enjoys playing at headquarters
ON Sunday, August 18 I got to play at half-time in the All-Ireland minor hurling final. You may be wondering how I was lucky enough to be able to participate in this game and I will explain that now.
I play hurling for my school St Patricks NS Wicklow. In school I am coached by Peadar de Hora and Billy Cuddihy, sixth class teacher and hurler with Éire Óg Greystones and Wicklow. One day we were told we were going to have a skills competition to see who would represent our school in the North East Wicklow skills contest.
In the competition we had three skills to do. We had to do the ground strike, soloing and shooting. We were given a certain number of points based on how well we performed in each drill. I managed to win the competition by a point. Therefore, I got to go to Bray Emmets pitch with a boy named John who came second place for the next stage of the contest.
When the day arrived, I was a bit nervous going up to Bray, but I was fine once I arrived. You had to perform the same skills as we had done in school at the competition. First and second place got to compete in the All Wicklow skills competition. On the day I managed to come first place. I was very excited I couldn’t believe I was going to compete in the All Wicklow skills competition. The winner of that got to play at half time in the All Ireland semi-final.
On the day of the All Wicklow skills competition, we had to do the same skills again. I was extremely nervous, but I managed to stay cool.
I couldn’t believe it when at the end they called out my name and said I had won. It was amazing to think that I would be playing at half-time in the All Ireland semi-final.
I was told that they would send me a letter in a few weeks. When the note arrived, I was awfully surprised to find that it said All Ireland final and not semi.
Finally, it was August 18, All-Ireland final day. We met at Clonliffe Community Centre at 11am. I was told I would be corner-forward for Tipperary.
I was very pleased when they told me this because I had wanted to play for them. At noon we left for Croke Park, we went into the dressing room and put on our gear.
Twenty minutes into the minor game we waited to go out onto the pitch. It was a brilliant experience to play at Croke Park and I really enjoyed it.
It was big surprise that we were getting to be flag bearers for when the president went to greet the players because we had not been told anything about until that day.
I was wearing a Silvermines (Jason Forde’s club) jersey as I waved my flag with pride.
Next, we returned to our seats to watch the match.
I was delighted that Tipperary won the game. We then returned home after one of the best days of my life.
Eoin Lawlor in Croke Park.