Castlewellan GAC Weekly Notes

November 8, 2018

* Well what a sporting weekend that was. Our screens were filled with Gaelic Football, Rugby from New Zealand, Soccer’s Euro 2012, Formula 1 and Tennis from the French Open at Roland Garrois. Like all other Senior Clubs in Down our main interest and that was the opening round of the Morgan Milk Down Senior Football Championship where the Town overcame Loughinisland winning comfortably on the scoreboard by 10 points. However the scoreboard does not reflect that this was a robust, hard and at times a bruising encounter. This was a particularly good day for our defenders where we managed to hold the Loughinisland forward scoreless from play. That will not always happen. With Loughinisland only playing two forwards up front it was always going to be the case of working our way through a crowded defence to land scores. While the Town dominated possession we were not converting it into scores. We did have the ball in the back of the net in the first half but it was correctly ruled out for over carrying. Injuries to Finty McGreevy and Liam Mckibben and Cahal Crilly took a little shine off  the result. We wish them a speedy recovery. Good performances from Luke Toner who had the score of the game in the 53rd minute which also proved to be the last one, Finty McGreevy, Liam Lennon and the young Damien McGrady! The lads know that there was no crockery broken on Saturday, there will be a tougher round two game ahead. They also know that they will need to up their performance also. A good win nonetheless. A big thank you to all who worked in the kitchen preparing food for the players and management returning from the Senior game

* The All-Ireland Club Champions Loughgiel visited Castlewellan last Saturday to give a coaching session and to attend a hurling blitz in St Malachys Park. It was 29 long years since the Tommy Moore Cup last visited Ulster prior to this year courtesy of the legendary Loughgiel Shamrocks team of 1983 and indeed 2012.  So Saturday was an historic day for Castlewellan when not only did the club host the all-county Under 10 hurling blitz but 50 young stars of the future were treated to a coaching session taken by players from this year’s Loughgiel All-Ireland winning team. On St Patrick’s Day they were stars in Croke Park, on Saturday they were volunteering to coach young hurlers in another club. This is what the GAA is all about! A big thank you to Bernard Owens who organised the visit through Shamrocks stalwart Paul Gillan. The three cups won by the north Antrim men last season were all on display namely the Antrim, Ulster and All-Ireland championships. It was brilliant to see star players such as Liam Watson go out of their way to pose for pictures with all the young ones and passing on their love and enthusiasm for hurling to the next generation. After the coaching came the blitz with over 200 young hurlers from all over Down including a coach load all the way from Loughgiel. The Under 10s played their hearts out and took some lovely scores against tough opposition losing narrowly to Bredagh and Loughgiel but coming out on top against Portaferry. Both Under 8 teams finished the day unbeaten taking some great scores against Down and Antrim opposition. All in all this was a special day that was made possible by a number of volunteers who worked hard to ensure that things ran smoothly. Once again a big thank you to all our parents who turned out in big numbers to cheer on the young town hurlers. Well done to all our young hurlers.

* Well all the training and practice came handy for those who prepared for our Annual Golf Classic. As you all know the weather was inclement to say the least. 20 teams each comprising of four brave souls tackled the demanding 18 holes and the weather at Downpatrick Golf Club last Friday. Some teams excelled, some faded namely those which included our vice chairman and secretary. It’s a long time since those two guys did some serious training. The enthusiastic golfers there certainly did not let a wee drop of rain get in their way. When all was completed the winners were as follows; The winning four ball team was Peter Keown, Aidan Burns, Peter McKibben and last but by no means least Danny Cassidy. Every team has a midnight cowboy and ‘The Cass’ was this teams. When he runs he’s like Usain Bolt! Nearest the Pin; Stevie Burns – well done Stevie, I thought you only got out to get a bucket of coal these days – never mind a round of golf. The Longest Drive; Gareth Keown. Beat the Pro; Brian Dougherty. How the Doc managed to win this is a mystery to us all. A big thank you to Paul McArdle who worked tirelessly to stage the event on what was a bad day weather wise, to Mickey Keown and all those who in the kitchen to feed everyone on their return. To all our sponsors of the event and to all the golfers who made the day and night a success.