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Huw Lalor, Ginny Wallace and Shane Parsons in action for O'Loughlin Gaels
At a blustery Freshford O’Loughlin Gaels and Bennettsbridge squared up to each other for this u21 Roinn A Northern Hurling semi-Final. Both teams contributed to a fine game of hurling battling it out to the very end. Free taking was always going to be a big factor in this game with all first six scores coming from placed balls. Willie Murphy opened the scoring for Bennettsbridge from the placed ball but this was negated soon after by a fine point from a free by O’Loughlins goal keeper Billy Leydon after 5 minutes. O’Loughlins took hold of the game for a period with Danny Lenihan and Davey Burke dominating on the half forward line and O’Loughlins put up two good points from frees again by the excellent Shane Maher. O’Loughlins were doing all the hurling at this stage and needed to get their scores up to impose their wind advantage. However it was Bennettsbridge who took hold of midfield and good work by Michael Shiel on the wing resulted in the first of a brace of frees slotted over by Willie Murphy. Two more points from O’Loughlins, D. Bolger and a Shane Maher free settled the St. Johns side and they dominate the last ten minutes of the half. From a Huw Lawlor clearance, who was solid in full-back, Ross Butler, Vinny Wallace and Gary Bryan combined to set up Shane Maher for a well taken goal to put a little distance between the sides. It looked like Bennettsbridge might rue their misses as free taker Willie Murphy hit three wides from placed balls before slotting over his final score of the half from the placed ball. Paddy Deegan of O’Loughlins quickly followed up with a fine point from play. On the puck out Bennettsbridge launched a rare attack on the O’Loughlins rearguard with good work from Hugh O’Neill down the line allowing Willie Murphy to skin the O’Loughlins defence but his shot at goal fell foul of the goalmouth conditions and hit the post. The half would finish with a further Bennettsbridge wide and O’Loughlins full forward Danny Bolger ending the scoring with a fine point.
Half time O’Loughlin Gaels 1.7 – 0.4 Bennettsbridge
The second half started well for Bennettsbridge. Within 12 minutes of the restart they would rack of 1-4 without reply. Good play by Bennettsbridge resulted in Jason Cleere getting himself a fine individual point. Almost immediately and Bennettsbridge were on the attack again, this time it was Dylan Walsh finished to the net after good work by Cormac Wafer and Hugh O’Neill. Davey Burke of O’Loughlins did try to stem the tide but his blast towards goal after some good individual work was deflected by Bennettsbridge goalkeeper, Shane Nolan, for a 65 that was not converted. Bennettsbridge pushed on now and Willie Murphy converted two more frees as O’Loughlins struggled to compete with Bennettsbridge dominance at mid-field. The ‘Bridge were beginning to play with confidence again now and good work from half back Aiden Cleere set up Willie Murphy to put them 1 point clear on the 45th minute. O’Loughlins’ Jack Lawlor and James Lenihan came from the bench to steady the ship somewhat resulting in the next two scores coming from St. Johns men, Paddy Deegan and Shane Maher (f). From here the game ebbed and flowed and the crowd gathered were treated to a tense final 15minutes. Confusion from a side line gave Bennettsbridge the resulting side line cut that broke to the very alert Dylan Walsh who swiped a ground strike to the O’Loughlins net. Bennettsbridge dominance in mid-field told again when Cormac Wafer won a clean ball delivered to Sean Morrissey who duly pointed leaving Bennettsbridge three points clear with 10minutes remaining. The Gaels found another gear however and caused some discomfort in the Bennettsbridge half back line and three consecutive frees were converted by the ever accurate Shane Maher. Liam Blanchfield who up to now had been subdued by O’Loughlins full back Huw Lawlor got clear to climb for a sublime catch and turn to put his team back in front by the narrowest of margins in the final minute of normal time. From the puck out O’Loughlins Danny Lenihan caught and broke clear but was fouled and Shane Maher stepped up to equalise. One final score in injury time allowed Bennettsbridge to seal the deal from a placed ball.
This was a very entertaining game with the blustery conditions forcing teams to play defensively while playing into the wind. Well done to both teams for putting in a massive effort and contributed to fine game of hurling. Well done to all the O’Loughlins lads and their mentors for all their efforts this year. It’s a difficult time of year to prepare but we know 100% effort was made by all. Well Done
Final Score O’Loughlin Gaels 1-13 to 2-11 Bennettbridge
Bennettsbridge; Shane Nolan, Paul O’Neill, Robert Lennon, Shane Byrne, Jason Cleere (0.1), Enda Morrisey, Aiden Cleere ,Cormac Wafer, Kevin Blanchfield, Sean Morrissey (0.1), Hugh O’Neill, Michael Sheil, Dylan Walsh (2.0) Liam Blanchfield, (0.1) Willie Murphy (0 .7, 1f), Sub: No. 19 for Willie Murphy (0.1,f)
O’Loughlin Gaels; Billy Leydon (0.1), Danny O’Driscoll, Huw Lalor, Shane Parsons, Fearghal Brennan, Robbie Buckley, Vinny Wallace, Paddy Deegan (0.2), Ross Butler, Danny Lenihan, Gary Bryan, Davey Burke, Daniel O’Conner, Danny Bolger (0.2) Shane Maher (1.8)
O’Loughlin Gaels GAA AGM
A large crowd gathered at O’Loughlin Gaels GAA on Wednesday December the 10th last for the clubs AGM. Chairman Eddie Buckley addressed the members congratulating all on contributing to a very successful year for the club. Each member of the executive presented their annual reports and were subsequently ratified. Bryan Skehan and Noel Kenny stepped down from their posts as Assistant Secretary and PRO respectfully. Their commitment to their work during the year was acknowledged by the chair. Eoin Lawlor was elected to take over the PRO duties. The chair thanked everybody and wished all its members a very happy Christmas on behalf of the club. This was a phenomenal year for the club with the membership continuing to increase, a clean sweep of championship juvenile teams from u14, u16 right through to Minor, Junior B Championship, Senior League winners and the u21s still in the hunt at the time of going to press. It was noted that these successes are the result of continued development of coaching techniques and an all-inclusive approach when dealing with the clubs young players. This ethos breaths the success the club has enjoyed and is a contributing factor to the consistent rise in membership. O’Loughlin Gaels GAA wish all its members a very Happy Christmas.
There was no jackpot winner of this week’s club lotto. The numbers drawn were 4, 19, 23, 27 and the bonus number was: 5. Tickets can be bought from the usual selling agents or by asking at the clubhouse bar. Remember – if you’re not in; you can’t win the jackpot prize of €20,000. Best of luck!
O’Loughlin Gaels Camogie club had its annual bag pack in Eurospar, Newpark last weekend. The club wishes to convey its gratitude to Eurospar, all the volunteers who gave up their time and to all who supported this fundraiser. O’Loughlin Gaels Camogie club would like to wish all its members a very Happy Christmas.
Kilkenny Suicide Awareness Gathering:
Kilkenny Suicide Awareness Gathering event will take place at St. Johns Church on January the 2nd at 7.30pm. This will be a very informative evening with guest speakers, including former Armagh footballer Osin McConville, sharing their experiences. All are welcome.
Christmas Schedule of Mass Times for St John’s Parish
Christmas Eve - No Morning Masses
Wednesday 24th 6.30 p.m. – St John’s (Family Mass)
9.00 p.m. – St John’
7.00 p.m. Dunmore
8.30 p.m. Johnswell
Christmas Day - 8.00 a.m. St John’s
Thursday 25th 10.30 a.m. St John’s
12.00 noon St John’s
10.00 a.m. Johnswell
11.00 a.m. Dunmore
Friday 26th& Saturday 27th 10.30 a.m. Mass