It was a big day on Saturday for our u13s all of which were giving their first opportunity to play championship hurling for O’Loughlin Gaels. All of them got their chance and all of them took it with both hands firmly gripped on the hurley.
Roinn A Championshp
O’Loughlin Gaels 2-7 to 1-12 James Stephens
The first game saw the A’s do battle with city rivals James Stephens at Palmerstown. It was a super game of hurling with both teams going at it hammer and tongs throughout. The opposition got off to a great start after been awarded 3 frees early in the game which were duly converted to settle their nerves. Freetaker Luke Hanrahan returned 2 more as the village defence struggled to cope with the power of wing forward Greg Kelly. ..He soon would register the first point from play (the first of his 3 from play) but not before James Stephens converted 2 more points. Kelly was causing all kinds of hardship and had a goal cancelled and called back for a free after winning a ball on the right wing and making a beeline for goal, using his strength to shift three tackles and rifling to the back of the net. He was fouled on route however and the free was converted by Luke Hanrahan. James Stephens pointed one more free just before the break and the game was set up for a thrilling 2nd half on a scoreline of O’Loughlin Gaels 0-4 to 0-6 James Stephens.
Within 5 mins of the restart James Stephens had registered 1-1. Greg Kelly hit 2 points back from play before the James Stephens free count rose 3 more leaving the Gaels with a tough challenge now as they score stood 0-6 to 1-10. The Gaels as to be expected dug in. Kelly was dragged down just outside the square and Ruaidhri Galwey stitched the resulting free to the roof of the net. The game was back on. O’Loughlin Gaels were in the ascendancy and Luke Hanrahan added another pointed free to put 3 points between the sides. 3 mins from time and Luke Hanrahan dropped one short in search of a goal. ..he found it as the dipping ball fooled the goalie and the sides were level. Then the game changer..O’Loughlin were fired up and had the opposition on the racks.. every player on the pitch were fighting for their club honour now in a frenetic 2 mins of hurling. Wing forward Fionn Lawlor was back helping at corner back, hooking and blocking he won a ball in the corner, changed direction and cleared it down the line…. Full forward kevin Waldron was back also to move it on and Ruaidhri Galwey gathered the pass and attempted to bring it forward but went to ground with three village lads around him. The decision went against the Gaels however and the subsequent passage of play yielded another point for the Village. Time was up now and one more chance possibly afforded but the winners won the puck out and earned a 65 after a fine save from goal keeper Michael Bourke Lambert which they duly converted. The Final whistle sounded at the end of a pulsating game and the players although devastated congratulated their opposite numbers. Two very good teams did hurling a great service last Saturday morning and each young lad that took to the field should be applauded. There’s plenty to look forward to with this group..very proud Gaels. Lovely Hurling.
Team: M Bourke Lambert, E Burke, B Wall, J Johnson, T Crowley, R Galwey (Capt) (1-0f), L Quigley, A Maher, L Hanrahan (1-4f), F Lawlor, E Bennett, G Kelly (0-3), E O’Brien, K Waldron, J Hynes.
Roinn C Championhsip
O’Loughlin Gaels 1-3 to 3-6 James Stephens
The second game took place later in the evening against the same opposition. A little deflated after the earlier loss our boys needed to focus early. The game stared well with both teams shown that this was going to be every bit as competitive as the first match. The opposition hit 1-1 before wing forward Orestas Balsys hit the first of his scores of the day, a 3 pointer to bring matters back to a single score. The village followed soon after with another goal however and before the half was out would have hit 3-2 to O’Loughlins 1-1 (both scores coming from Orestas Balsys).
Darragh Powell at centre forward was causing concern for the village and their efforts to tighten up on him in the second half was testimony to his threat. He won a free soon after the restart which Balsys converted. The game moved into a dog fight with every ball hotly contested. Scoring opportunities became harder to come by but the village managed to maintain their advantage right through to the final whistle and earn a well deserved win. Again no one can be faulted for effort from the club’s point of view and it can only be a good thing that all 34 u13 players available played championship hurling for their club this weekend. It will stand to them for the coming years and hurt of championship defeat will drive them to reverse fortunes in the coming years.
Well done all involved.
Team: Z Evans, O McKenna, J Bolger (Capt), C Murphy, CJ McChamcheu, K Delaney, JJ Mooney, R Sweeney, H Roberts, D Byrne, D Powell, O Balsys (1-3), E Maher, C Daly, B Little. E O’Callaghan, C Wall, D Butler, P Phelan, D McCormack, J Tyrell, S Morrissey, J Holohan. Cian Nolan, A Banks, K O’Connor, S Butler.
Manager J. Daly. Selectors: B Fox, E Lawlor, D Kelly, A Byrne, A O’Brien