Sarsfields weekly Newsletter

November 8, 2018



The Weekly Online Newsletter of Sarsfields GAA Club


Sarsfields Annual Race Night Friday November 30th.



Leinster Junior Hurling Sarsfields 1-5 Park-Rathinskea 2-12


Favourites Park-Rathinskea’s  qualified for the next round after eventually overcoming the stubborn resistance of Sarsfields in the Special Leinster Junior Hurling Championship held in Sarsfields Park on Sunday.

Park-Rathinskea’s  10 point winning margin certainly didn’t reflect the spirited, determined and skilful performance by Sarsfields in their maiden voyage into Leinster championship Hurling. With 6 minutes of normal time remaining Sarsfields were just 3 points in arrears. However 2 goals from substitute David Kelly late in the second half put Rathinskea firmly in the driving seat and there was no way back for Sarsfields as they looked a tired team in the last few minutes. Not surprising since Sarsfields came into this game having had the disadvantage of having to play in the Kildare Championship the previous day. Overall though Rathinskea were the better team and deserved to progress.

             Sarsfields belied their underdogs status and fears that they would be overwhelmed were quickly dispelled when a well struck shot from corner forward Kevin Healy found the net after 5 minutes. Midway through the half an excellent point from half forward Gary Hogan gave Sarsfields a 1-1 to 2 lead. This was as good as it got for Sarsfields in the first half as thereafter Rathinskea applied the pressure scoring six without reply; 3 apiece from the impressive Corner Forward Brendan Fingelton and Full Forward Dennis Brennan.

With Rathinskea leading 8 to 1-1 at half the signs were ominous for Sarsfields.

            On the resumption however it was Sarsfields who seized the initiative and in a purple 12 minute patch two points from Sarsfields sharpshooter Danny Watson and one from Mick Dunn brought Sarsfields right back into contention with only a single point 1-4 to 0-8 separating the sides. Rathinskea refused to panic and when substitute Colm Brennan lifted the mini siege with a point with 8 minutes of normal time remaining there was a palpable sigh of relief from the visiting Rathinskea supporters. Even when Rathinskea added two further points there was a feeling that they weren’t out of danger yet such was the refusal of Sarsfields to yield. However the introduction of substitute David Kelly with 10 minutes remaining was an inspired move and paid dividends only minutes later when he struck an unbeatable shot to the top of the net. This was the decisive score and turning point of the game and his second goal in injury time was the gloss on fine performance by the Laois champions.

            Despite the 10 point defeat Sarsfields can be proud of their performance even if at times they were somewhat naïve.  The main difference between the teams was the ability of Ratinskea’s forwards to take their scores, particularly corner forward Brendan Fingelton,  full forward Dennis Brennan and Substitute David Kelly. While Rathinskea march on in Leinster, Sarsfields now look forward to the County Final after defeating Celbridge in the semi final on Saturday. The experience of playing in the Leinster Championship should stand to them as they prepare for the County decider.


Park-Rathinskea: Tom Bowe, Paddy Kelly, Pat McEvoy, Andy Morrin, Martin Langton, David Larkin, Seamus Flanagan, Cathal Og Greene, Jor Langton, Mark Carrol, James Cahill(0-1) Sean Tynan,(0-1) Ray white(0-1) Dennis Brennan (0-4) Brendan Fingelton(0-5) David Kelly (2-0) Subs: David Kelly for Dennis Brennan(50 mins) Colm Brennan for James White.(53 mins)

Sarsfields: Dennis Lehart, Niall O’Conner, Senan Glendillon, Keith Walsh, Robert Murphy, Dave Breslin, Conor O’ Dwyer, Declan Flood, Olan O’Mahoney, Michael Dunn,(0-1) Ray Crowe, Gary Hogan(0-1) Danny Watson(0-3) Joe Murray Kevin Healy(1-0) Subs:Conor Walsh for (Gary Hogan (Injured 50mins) Brendan Cawley for Niall O’ Conner (55) 


U21 FC Sarsfields 2-6 St. Coca’s 1-5


After a close and sporting U21 Quarterfinal clash in Sarsfields Park on Saturday, Sarsfields who played with 14 men throughout the second half eventually emerged victorious when an injury time John Geraghty point booked Sarsfields passage to the semi final. Sarsfields started slowly but took the lead, a lead they subsequently never surrendered after 9 minutes when an excellent pass from Eoin O’ Sullivan found Keith Harvey unmarked in front of the St.Coca’s goal and the big half forward duly slotted the ball to the net. Just before half time Sarsfields full forward John Walsh received his marching orders when he was given a second yellow card for a seemingly innocuous challenge.

With a slim 2-point half time lead 1-2 to 0-3 and reduced to 14 men it looked like Sarsfields would face a tough struggle in the second half. And so it proved in the last 10 minutes of the game.

             However on the resumption, mindful of the fact that they were reduced to 14 men Sarsfields stormed out of the blocks. A John Geraghty free after 1 minute was followed 3 minutes later by a Sean Cambell goal after he got his fist to a Gary White 45. When John Geraghty added another point after 10 minutes to stretch the gap to 7 points, 2-4 to 0-3 it appeared that Sarsfields had the extra man instead of St. Coca’s.

A point from St. Coca’s midfielder Ciaran Fitzpatrick 12 minutes into the second half heralded the beginning of a revival. This was followed up by a Neil Gannon point.  There then followed a period of sustained pressure from St. Coca’s and when midfielder Declan Mcinerney goaled with 5 minutes remaining to leave just 2 points between the sides to 2-4 to 1-5, the pressure was on Sarsfields. From the kickout Midfielder Gary White fielded magnificently and after a solo run his shot was deflected for a 45 which he converted to relieve the pressure on Sarsfields. With time running out St. Coca’s attacked in an effort to get parity but some resolute defending by the Sarsfields defence kept them at bay and a relieving kick from halfback David Duggan found Keith Harvey who passed to John Geraghty who scored to give to give Sarsfields a decisive and unassailable 4 point lead 2-6 to 1-5 deep in injury time.

            As often happens the loss of a player can inspire a team and Sarsfields work rate increased in the second half in an effort to their compensate for the loss of their full forward. St. Coca’s on the other hand didn’t appear to have an extra man until late in the game. However the numerical advantage for St. Coca’s didn’t translate into real advantage where it counts on the scoreboard and Sarsfields on the basis of their second half performance were deserving winners. They will now play the winners of Celbridge and Confey.

St.Coca’s Mark Connolly, Chris Grennan, Paddy Beirne, Johnny Browne, Kevin O’ HaraDarren McGuire, Ciaran Fitxpatrick (0-1) Declan McInerney (1-0) Neil Gannon (0-3) Gavin Walsh (0-1) David Wynne Michael Wynne, Craig Mooney Ronan Devine. Subs: Dara Browne for David Wynne, Johnny White for Craig Mooney, Brian Thornton for Michael Wynne, David Wynne for Kevin O’Hara.

Sarsfields: Steven Jacob, Rickie Deegan, Ciaran Carey, John Kavanagh, Peter Flanagan, Robbie Confrey, David Duggan, Gary White, (0-1) Alan Smith, (0-1) Sean Cambell (1-0) Eoin O’ Sullivan (0-1) Keith Harvey (1-0) Conor Tiernan ,John Walsh, John Geraghty (0-3) Subs: Ray Cahill for Conor Tiernan Steven Lawler for Robbie Confrey, Keith Brown for Alan Smith(Injured)


Sarsfields Junior Hurlers Beat Celbridge In Semi Final.


Congratulations to our junior hurlers on reaching the county final after beating Celbridge on Saturday. Well done to Manager Liam O’ Dwyer and his selectors Barney Breslin, Dinny Callaghan and Pat O’Conner who have done tremendous work this year.

Sarsfields 4-8 Celbridge 2-7


Sarsfields defeated Celbridge by 7 points in the Championship Semi-Final on Saturday after a close contest. There was very little between the teams throughout.

Sarsfields led by 2-3 to 1-3 at half time.

             Two early second half goals from Sarsfields duo Dennis O’ Callaghan and Gary Hogan turned the game dramatically in Sarsfields favour and thereafter Celbridge were always playing catch up. Sarsfields Danny Watson was in fine firm notching a personal tally of 2-3

Sarsfields scorers. Dennis  O’ Callaghan (1-0) Danny Watson (2-3 ) Declan Flood(0-1 Ray Crowe(1-1) Michael Dunne(0-2)Gary Hogan (0-1)


Sarsfields Juveniles


Congratulations also to the Boys  U11’s who won the North Board on Sunday and well done to Manager Padraig Scully and selectors Jerry Maher, Pat Quinn and Declan O’Toole.

The Sarsfields U13 Girls Football team played the semi final of division 4 Autumn league against Suncroft in Sarsfields on Sunday. Though they lost to a sporting Suncroft side, the sash girls should be very proud of their performance. Every one of the squad showed skill, guts, determination and team work. Training for the team continues every Monday at 6.30pm. New players are always welcome.


Sarsfields Annual Race Night


Sarsfields annual dog night will be held on Friday 30th November. Tickets are now available priced at €10 or €25 for a family ticket. If anyone knows a company/business that might be interested in sponsoring a race, (€500), or a half page ad in the race card (€250), please forward the contact details to organising committee members, Marie Clancy (087-1323764) or Brian Dempsey (087-2848396). would all managers please ensure they have tickets for distribution Anyone interested, in doing some bar work in the club – MUST be 18 years or over – is asked to contact Marie Clancy (087-1323764) or Monica Scanlon (087-7934780). The rates for functions are €10 per hour. Previous experience is not necessary, as training will be provided.


                         Kildare NFL Fixtures For 2008


Kildare face a tough away assignment against Tyrone in the opening round of the National Football on Saturday February 2, 2008 under lights in Healy Park, Omagh. In all Kildare will play 3 of their 4 away games under lights.


Division 1

Round 1: Sat Feb 2 (7.0) Tyrone v Kildare. Round 2: Sunday Feb 17 (2.30)Kildare v Galway. Round 3: Sunday March 2 (2.30) Kildare v Donegal. Round 4: Saturday, March 15 Derry v Kildare (7.0) Round 5: Sun, March 30 Kildare v Mayo (2.30) Round 6: Saturday April 5th Kerry v Kildare (7.0) Round 7: Sunday April 13 Laois v Kildare (2.30)


Leinster Club Championships Fixtures


Nov 11: Quarter-finals: Moorefield v Dromard (Longford); Eire Og v Tyrrellspass (Westmeath); Baltinglass/Rathnew/St.Vincent’s  v Navan O’Mahony’s or Seneschalstown (Meath); St.Patrick’s (Louth) v Portlaoise (Laois).

Nov 25: Semi-finals: Moorefield/Dromard v Eire Og/Tyrrellpass.

Baltinglass/Rathnew/St.Vincent’s/ Seneschalstown/Navan O’Mahony’s v St.Patrick’s or Portlaoise.

Dec 9: Final: St. Conleth’s Park Newbridge. Live on TG4 AIB Leinster Club Football Championship Final   Throw-in: 2:00pm. Coverage 1.45


Coaching Course


SAQ Ireland coaching course will be taking place in the club on the this coming Friday, the 9th of November. Anybody interested in doing the course contact Tony Mc Connell 0863867966 or



Sporting Sarsfields


The following is an extract from Leixlip Gaa Club Yearbook in 1990 praising Sarsfields for sporting behaviour on and off the pitch.

            “Too often, particularly at underage matches, one hears unsporting cat calls from the sideline at the opposing team coupled with criticism of the referee. Never with Sarsfields, however whether playing at home, away or at a neutral venue. Their teams are trained and coached to perform at the highest level and this they do. Consequently they don’t expect to be beaten at underage level and they rarely are.

            However, irrespective of the result or the contributions of hard luck, or the quality of the refereeing, they never complain or criticise but accept the outcome in a sporting manner. This is not just a characteristic of a few people conscious of their image. It is a characteristic, which is now deeply ingrained in the club and is evident in the players on the field, the ordinary supporters, the team mentors and the Club officials. It is also very evident in a unique way in Kildare. When some other Club supporters or officials take duties such as umpire or linesmen there seems to be an unwritten rule that where doubt exists the decision goes to your own team. Sarsfields ignore this rule and exercise the duty concerned with scrupulous impartiality.

            In addition to their sporting disposition, they are a model of punctuality, organisation and good appearance. Players are always in the proper Club strip. Perhaps the local influence of the army encourages discipline, sportsmanship and tidiness but, whatever the explanation, Sarsfields set a headline for others at underage and the objective must be for everyone else to raise their standards rather expect Sarsfields to compromise theirs”

            Praise indeed. The question is do we still set those high standards today? Everyone in Sarsfields but especially those directly involved with underage teams should ensure that we do.

2-Day Coaching Conference in Croke Park

Over 800 delegates and thirty speakers to attend GAA’s Games Development Conference

One of Ireland’s leading Sport Science experts, Professor Niall Moyna joined Mayo Player, Conor Mortimer and GAA President, Nickey Brennan at Croke Park last Thursday for the launch of the 2007 Kellogg’s GAA Games Development Conference.  The conference, which takes place on Friday November 23rd and Saturday 24th, aims to address issues that are of most concern and interest to members of the GAA community. This will include player burnout, sudden cardiac death and innovative coach education technology.

            The two-day coaching conference, supported by Kellogg’s, will bring together leading experts from the worlds of GAA, Science and Education in Croke Park. The conference will offer 800 delegates from nine countries the opportunity to hear talks relating to some of the most challenging aspects attached to the development of Gaelic Games. Among the top speakers will be Kilkenny’s All Ireland winning manager Brian Cody, Louth football manager Eamonn McEneaney, Kerry physical trainer John Sugure and GAA Player Welfare Officer Paraic Duffy.

             Professor Niall Moyna (DCU), Neil Wood (English Rugby League) and renowned medical physician Dr. Philip Carolan will be among over thirty experts to address the Conference on issues such as training practices, match analysis, injuries, refereeing and a host of other topics relevant to Gaelic Games.

Stressing the importance of the initiative, Professor Niall Moyna warned: “We have seen a tremendous change in Irish society over the past decade or so. Increasing levels of obesity and its associated cost to the Irish economy provide an appropriate background to this year’s conference. I am delighted to see that the conference has a special emphasis of promoting lifelong participation in physical activity”.

            Nickey Brennan, President of the GAA, thanked all those who had given their support for the conference saying; “The central theme of this year’s Conference will emphasise the importance of creating a platform for people to “Play and Stay with the GAA”.  There has already been huge interest throughout the country in the event. To coincide with the recent launch of the GAA Fun Do initiative, we will be providing each delegate with a complimentary copy of the GAA Fun Do Learning Resource Pack”.

             Supporting the Conference for the third year, Kellogg’s Sales Director, Jim McNeill said: “We are delighted to be involved in this important event once again.  As with all such Kellogg’s partnerships, the initiative underlines our commitment to the promotion of healthy, balanced lifestyles throughout Ireland and it celebrates our passion for Gaelic sport.  The GAA has brought together an impressive line up of experts for this Conference and I am confident that together, we can make a real difference.”

            In addition to a comprehensive conference speaker programme, delegates will also be given the opportunity to view some the key products and services within the GAA marketplace. This will form part of an extensive purpose built exhibition showcase involving 20 companies which is designed to meet the needs of GAA conference delegates. Services and products include coaching equipment supplies, synthetic pitches, GAA analysis products, floodlighting systems, injury management advice, hospitality services, sport nutrition advice and cardiac defibrillator systems.




The cost of attending the GAA Games Development Conference 2007 is €100. 

This price includes:

GAA Conference Bag and Folder

Personalized Conference Delegate Badge

GAA Conference Speaker CD (Issued after the conference)

All new Fun Do Learning Resource Pack. Delegates will receive one pack per chosen GAA sport (Gaelic Football or Hurling) as per selection on the conference delegate application form

Paying by cheque:
To book a place on the GAA National Coaching & Medical Conference, please contact us to get a conference booking form, you will need to fill this out and attach payment by cheque and post it to the following address:
GAA Games Development Conference 2007,
Invent Building,
Dublin 9

Places can also be booked by logging on to:

Upon receipt of an application, a letter of receipt plus a conference delegate badge will be issued to you by the GAA Conference event team. Details of the conference programme will be available next week.

Coaches Corner


A senior football club manager asks a very topical question in light of the All-Ireland final between Kerry and Cork: “What are the options open to a manager when his midfield is being badly beaten?”





Salvaging something from midfield troubles


These are the responses of some prominent coaches:


  1. The solution most often adopted by managers is to change one or both midfielders. This should not be done too quickly, however, as it gives out a negative message to your team, “we’re in trouble here, lads”, and will invigorate the opposition. If you take a player from another position, e.g. centre forward, it can have a knock-on detrimental effect, too.
  2. Get your midfielders to get on the ball via secondary possession. If midfielders are not winning primary possession there is often a tendency for them to drift out of the game altogether. As they are normally key players, this is very damaging psychologically to the team overall. What they must do to show that they still remain mentally strong, and capable of having an influence on the game, is to get on the ball via secondary possession i.e. take ball off defenders, take frees around the middle of the field, take sidelines, move forward to take return passes from forwards.
  3. Adopt a damage-limitation strategy on kick-out possession. Go short to defenders. Get your midfielders to concentrate fully on breaking the ball – punching it forward forcefully on the opposition’s kickout and flicking on your own kickouts.
  4. Instruct your midfielders to do a man-marking job on their opposite number. Concentrate totally on keeping him out of the game. Follow him everywhere, make sure he doesn’t get on the ball – flick it away, hustle him when going for possession etc. You will find that by doing this, your men will regain their focus and will begin getting on the ball more themselves, solely by virtue of being in its vicinity.

The above should be fully discussed as options prior to a game so that they can be instigated quickly at a given signal.

It is vitally important that players in a position so crucial to your game plan as midfield should know that there is something positive that can be done in the most extreme of situations.



Goalkeepers face dilemmas regularly – to stay on the line or go to the ball, to kick long or short, etc. Here goalkeeping coach, Paul O’Dowd, ( gives some advice on two of the most common choices a keeper has to make:


Goalkeeping Dilemmas


(1) To dive or not to dive?

“Remember that you should always stay on your feet whenever possible. If fast footwork will bring you to the ball without diving then this is preferable.

A dive is usually required for a low shot. For higher shots try to hold your feet for longer.

Learn to dive so that you land on your side. Avoid landing on your stomach or back. This way your knees or elbows will not make contact with the ground and injury can be avoided.

Padded elbows on a jersey and padded sides on shorts help to cushion the impact on landing.


(2) Parry or catch?

When diving to make a save you must choose whether you are going to parry the ball away or catch it.

Unless you are absolutely sure that you can catch a shot then you should choose to parry it. If a shot is travelling at great speed it is generally best to parry.

If a shot is travelling high and fast towards the net, and you try to catch it and do not succeed you will have taken the sting out of the ball and it could fall softly into the goal.

The same can happen with a hard low shot. If you try to catch and do not succeed it could slip your grasp and slowly roll over the goal line.

Rebounds from a failed catch generally travel a short distance and can easily be pounced upon and finished to the net, as the keeper will be on the ground.

Remember – if you are in any doubt whatsoever as to which is the best to do in a particular situation, always parry.

Practice your catching during training when you have nothing to lose. This way you will increase confidence and proficiency for when you do decide to catch during a match.”






A senior club manager asks, “what are the benefits of massage?”


The benefits of sport massage


Declan Kearney BSc. practices both Physical Therapy and Massage with Bodytime ( This is his answer:

“Massage, applied skillfully, is a most effective therapy for releasing muscle tension, aiding recovery and restoring balance to the musculo-skeletal system.

Received regularly this may help athletes prevent injuries that might otherwise be caused by overuse. A constant build-up of tension in the muscles from regular activity may lead to stresses on joints, ligaments, tendons, as well as the muscles themselves.

Small muscle imbalances may develop and often go undiagnosed until they grow and become serious enough to cause the athlete discomfort or impede performance. The skilled massage therapist will be able to detect variations in the soft tissues and, by using the correct techniques, help the sports person rebalance the body and maintain a much healthier physical state.

It may therefore be reasonably claimed that one of the greatest benefits of sports massage is in helping prevent injury.


Athletes who look to improve performance and increase their competitive edge do so by adopting a training schedule to enhance their skill, strength, stamina, suppleness and speed. Irrespective of the sport one is involved in, the aim is nearly always to systematically increase the level of training and thereby subject the body to gradual increases in physical stresses.

It is this overuse, which can often create problems and imbalances in the soft tissues. If these are ignored and allowed to become chronic, they will not only hinder the athlete’s rate of improvement, but also in many cases their performance may well suffer, and, ultimately, the athlete may be susceptible to developing more serious conditions as a result of the body’s attempt to compensate for these imbalances.

Certainly if an athlete’s physical performance is below its best, they may be more at risk from other more traumatic forms of injury. For example, a player  ‘carrying’ an injury may not have his usual level of agility or strength. He might suffer an extrinsic injury because of not being fully prepared for the contact suffered from an unexpected tackle.”




The Sarsfields Lotto is held every Monday night in the Clubhouse. As well as buying tickets from members you can play via direct debit (forms available from the clubhouse or from your usual seller) or play online on the Sarsfields Website no matter where you or Google Sarsfields GAA or Sarsfields GAA Newbridge


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