St. Patrick's Under 12 hurling team travelled to croke park for all-Ireland semi-final

November 7, 2018

The St.Patrick’s Under 12 hurling team which played Na fianna of Dublin on sunday last.
Back :  Eoghan Fitzgerald, Robert Moffit, Dara Hall, Eoin Ryan, Sean Ryan, Jack Meagher, Conor Duggan, Frank Meagher,Caoimhe Ryan.
Front:  Quinn Moran, Patrick Griffin, Mickie O’Brien, Pauric O’Brien, Adam Cuddihy (capt), Dale Murphy, Niamh Keane and James Fitzgerald.

On Sunday last our under 12 hurling team travelled by bus to Dublin for the all Ireland hurling semi finals in croke park. Arriving in Dublin early Sunday morning our under 12 team first travelled to Molbi road for a game of their own to play against the u-12 hurling team of the Na Fianna club in Dublin. A very enjoyable game was had against the local team with St.Patrick’s winning the game by narrowest of margins on a scoreline of St.Patrick’s 2-5 to Na fianna 2-4.

Refreshments were very kindly provided by the Na Fianna club so all stomachs were filled before we made the short journey down the road to Croke Park. Arriving in our seats in the Davin stand our day seemed to be on a roll as the minors were well on their way to beating Galway to qualify for the all-Ireland minor final. As we looked forward to the senior game the spirits were high with the general topic of discussion being how much Tipp would win by. The atmosphere was electric as Tipp and Kilkenny took to the field for the big game with the Tipperary supporters appearing to be in louder voice certainly helped on in no small way by the St. Patrick’s contingent in the Davin stand. The first half started at an electric pace with little between the sides. A Kilkenny goal put them in the driving seat as they took a five point lead but a Pa Bourke goal brought Tipp back into the game and as half time approached Tipp appeared to be coming good and led by a point at halftime. Hopes were high at halftime as the common opinion was that Tipp were still ahead even though they were playing second fiddle to Kilkenny.

The second half would surely see the Tipp forwards open up and Tipp would surely last the pace better than Kilkenny. What was to happen in the next half hour certainly was on no ones radar. A brace of goals from Kilkenny finished the game as a contest and with 15 minutes still to play, most Tipp supporters just wanted to crawl under their seats. We watched in disbelief as Tipp forwards seemed to be playing follow the leader with Tommy Walsh around the corner flag as balls landed in the square and not a Tipp forward in sight. Whether it was pre -arranged tactics or mind games it certainly didn’t work for Tipp and has left most match analysts baffled. As the final whistle blew much of the crowd were already streaming down Jones road. Our under 12s didn’t linger too long on the result and were soon in good spirits again as they found the Gaa souvenir shop. A short walk up to Mountjoy square we were re- united with our bus and headed for home. Stomachs were replenished with sandwiches which the ladies of the Na Fianna Club had packed for us earlier in the day in case we got hungry later on and believe me they were well appreciated by young and old. A stop near portlaoise broke the journey home and a chance for more refreshments. Arriving back in Drangan at around 10.30 pm everyone was glad to be home after a most enjoyable day. For many of the children and indeed some of the parents it was their first time in Croke park and irrespective of the match result it was a wonderful experience and enjoyed by all.

We sincerely thank the Na Fianna club for providing us with a game and also for their hospitality.  I would also like to thank all the parents who travelled, our bus driver Michael Cuddihy and most of all our under 12 team who were so well behaved all day and did us proud in their game against Na Fianna.