U12 Footballers win

November 7, 2018

PEIL U-12 A victory over Baltinglass, a name renowned in the annals of Wicklow football, is to be savoured at any time but when it carries with it the reward of a county championship it has a particular relish. It is hardly surprising then that there was huge rejoicing in the Éire Óg camp when our u-12 footballers snatched the County Championship trophy in a truly dramatic fashion in Ballinakill on a recent Saturday from the grasp of this vaunted opposition and holders of the prize.

There was further satisfaction in this win as it revenged last year's defeat at the hands of Baltinglass in the final.

Division 1 is a two team competition where we play two 11 aside matches, side by side on a modified (smaller) pitch, with the cumulative score of both matches deciding the overall winner. Possession is limited to 2 plays of the ball (i.e. one hop, one solo) which makes for a free flowing and fast game.

Game 1 afforded sporting entertainment of the highest order: the excitement of a closely and fairly fought contest from throw-in to final whistle, excellent football and uninhibited commitment. Ben Hogan and Colin O'Shea excelled in defence and the exemplary workrate of Oisín Shanahan and Joseph Prendergast had them dominating proceedings around the centre. Forwards Conor O'Donovan, Shay O'Keeffe and Max O'Connor combined well to produce some fine scores. One could say without prejudice that Greystones had the upper hand in general play for most of the game but wayward shooting prevented their reflecting this on the scoreboard. This left them in a vulnerable position towards the end of the game and, indeed, they were caught by an equalising fortuitous Baltinglass goal close to the final whistle.

Team 1. Charlie Leahy, Eoin Brown, Patrick O'Connell, Gordon Bailey, Shay O' Keeffe, Joseph Prendergast, Conor O' Donovan, Colin O' Shea, Ben Hogan, Jacob Browner, Oisín Shanahan, Matt Rice, Sean Mc Greanor, Fionn Melia, Max O' Connor, Calum O' Connor, Cian O' Longaigh, Kevin Booth.

Game 2 was a totally different affair. Na Clocha Liatha were 1-08 to 0-1 down after 10 minutes and seemed to be on their way to a drubbing. Fortunately the lads were, at this stage, awakened to the seriousness of their situation and, led by the centre-field pair of Neil Burke and Colm Shortt, the team fought back and , bit by bit, ate into the Baltinglass lead. By the break the latter's 10 point advantage had been reduced to a far less discouraging 4 points.

The 2nd half was played in a welter of end-to-end excitement with Éire Óg inching ever closer and closer to equality. However they were still 1 point in arrears entering the last minute and their cause seemed to have been lost. But then fortune shone on our lads. A goal-bound shot from Frankie Byrne was deflected out for a '45' (30m in u-12). Darragh Rush stepped up with the clear instruction of “stick it over the bar” Fortunately for us he was an inch short and the ball hit the cross bar but before it reached the ground it was lashed to the net by the vigilant Sean McCormack.

Final whistle and cue wild celebrations.

Team 2. Emmet Gulliver, Frank Byrne, Patrick Byrne, Fintan Potts, Calum Brady, Kieran Ovenden, Paul Delahunty, Tom O' Malley, Rory Barry, Tadgh Carson, Neil Burke, Sean Mc Cormack, Sean O' Neill, Jack Dye, Kevin Kelly, Darragh Rush, Colm Shortt,

The cup was presented to joint captains Colm Shortt and Joseph Prendergast by Hugh Kenny, Games Manager, Wicklow GAA.

IOMÁINT Hurling is set to get some very prominent and positive exposure on Uncle Sam T.V. informs us that the iconic U.S. TV show 'Showtimes:60 minutes sport' (a spin off of the renowned current affairs programme '60 minutes' is to air a segment on hurling in the near future under the title “The most exciting game you never heard of”.