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Cobh Juvenile GAA



cgaaWell done to the U-11 Hurlers who were crowned Champions of the invitational Farranree Credit Union sponsored hurling tournament held @ Na Piarsaigh on Saturday last. Following in the footsteps of their predecessors who reached last year’s final but were narrowly beaten by Na Piarsaigh (Limerick), this panel of players made up their minds early on that they were returning home this year with the winner’s trophy. With a busy itinerary of games for the day, they set about their goal and despite a slow start, eventually got going to secure a 4-3 to 0-3 victory over Eire Og in round one.
Finding their feet with the 15 a-side format (a change from the small sided Go Games) and the windy conditions making every match a game of two halves, they lined out to meet the host team Na Piarsaigh (Cork) in round two. As expected, this proved to be a more physically challenging encounter but the lads gave as good as they got and progressed to the next round on a scoreline of 4-1 to 1-2.

Kilshannig were our next opponents and with some of our strongest players rested, we began this encounter with the knowledge that with 6 points on the board already we were qualified for the final. This proved to be our downfall in a first half where, having won the toss and even electing to play against the wind, we managed to put only a single point on the board against weaker opposition. Following a couple of key substitutions and a re-focusing chat at half time, the team went back onto the field and began playing the hurling they knew they were capable of, turning the game completely on it’s head to finish with 6-2 against Kilshannig’s 0-0.

With our place in the final now confirmed following three victories and maximum points (the only team to do so on the day) and a meeting with Eire Og again who managed to overcome Na Piarsaigh by a single point, we took a well deserved break for lunch. With an hour and a half to spare before throw-in, the panel ate a nicely prepared hot meal of rice, chicken curry & chips (courtesy of our hosts Na Piarsaigh) and then passed some time relaxing & chatting in the dressingroom.

Following an inspiring pre-match chat in the dressingroom and a good 15 minutes of warm-up on the pitch, the team stamped their authority on the game right from the first whistle and didn’t ta keep their foot off the gas until the final whistle was blown. Eire Og were very much up for the game second time round with the memory of the morning’s loss to us still fresh in their minds. With the wind at their backs they put great pressure on us but our lads stood strong and fought tooth & nail for every ball, deservedly going to the half time break with a 1-3 to 0-0 lead.

When we thought they might struggle to improve further on their energy sapping first half performance, the lads certainly saved the best until last as every one of them gave of his all when called  upon to do so in the final 20 minutes of the match. Now with the wind behind them and knowing they had the beating of this Eire Og side, the lads raised the bar again and drove on with great skill & tenacity, hunting down and possessing the sliothar like it was their own and dominating their opposition all over the field in the process.

Knotching up a further 6-1 on the board and playing out on an impressive scoreline of 7-4 to 0-1, the best team on the day by a mile were crowned tournament champions.

To the delight of the proud team mentors, parents & families, medals were presented by Na Piarsaigh & Cork senior hurler John Gardiner to each of the players and the trophy was accepted by our joint captains Tom Hurley & Eoghan Kidney.

Our thanks & compliments to Na Piarsaigh for involving us in this well organised hurling event and our appreciation to the following band of supporting parents & families who spent the long day encouraging the players & mentors.

We look forward to receiving next year’s invitation and the opportunity to defend our title.

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