Pitted against Naomh Eamonn, Clough Ballacolla of Laois and Freshford in their group the boys powered their way through the first part of the morning. All teams were competitive and skillful but our boys seemed to muster up that extra gear each time to come out on top in all their games topping their group to set up a final encounter with group 2 winners Galmoy. A full panel effort meant it possible for all players to have ample rest time aswell as game time ensuring that they could enjoy their day while been competitive.
After a light lunch and refreshment the boys and their large support headed to pitch 1 for the days final match. This was a cracking game that both teams were up for and the deadlock wasn't broken until Stephen Butler hit the net late in the first half. Eoghan O'Brien soon settled the O'Loughlins nerves with a fine point from play. Scores were swapped by both side before the half time whistle. O'Loughlins had the slight advantage with it all still to do in the second half. A few changes in personnel to make sure all get game time and our boys took the remainder of the game by the scruff of the neck. They hit the ground running with a couple scores from Darragh Powell followed by the sweetest of ground strokes from the brilliant Luke Hanrahan. Daniel McCormack tapped over two beautiful points from midfield before Eoghan O'Brien hit the net for a second time after great work from Luke Quigley, Cormac Wall and Sean Falsey. Sean's cousin Michael Lambert held the defence together from centre back and looks to follow and maybe step into the boots of our own great Brian Hogan. Greg Kelly was superb in goal and even managed to score a goal with a mighty clearance the length of the pitch. Zach Evans, JJ Mooney and David Balfour all had fine individual performances with the latter bagging two fine goals in the group stage. When the final whistle sounded the players immediately recognised the efforts of their opponents and offered respectful handshakes all round. Well done boys.
This was a super day for this group and their winners medals were well deserved for all the effort they have been putting in. It was a day also where these lads have become a team showing great on field support for each other and plenty of banter amongst the group throughout the day. A massive thanks to Abbeyleix St Lazarians GAA for a superb day. It ran as timetabled and without a hitch making for a thoroughly enjoyable day.
The u8s take a short break while O'Loughlins Summer Camp takes place. Next training will be Sunday August the 17th at 10.30am. More games and tournaments are scheduled.