Naomh Mearnog V Raheny (Group 2)
Report By: Niall Watters
Mentors: Niall Watters, Tony Lawless & Joanne Kerrisk
Squad: Adam Roberts, Sam Mitchell, Colin McAweeney, Conor Watters, Matt Lawless, Ciaran Kerrisk and Jamie Ward.
Another Saturday morning, another windy day, another match for the Under 8's Orange Team. Our opposition this week was Naomh Mearnog, the location was the very impressive Pairc Mearnog. This week was hurling and the boys were looking to put into practice what they had learned in mid week training. We played two matches against the Kilkennyesque kitted out Mearnog.
The first match was a pulsating affair with the game ending in a 3v3 draw. Raheny's goals were scored by Jamie Ward (1) and Ciaran Kerrisk (2). Young Kerrisk stroked both goals home from midway up the top half of the pitch, well done Ciaran. In this match, Sam Mitchell was a terrier in midfield, tackling, striking and shouldering. Finally for match 1, it should be noted that Naomh Mearnog scored their equalising goal when one of our backs was unfortunately off the field of play responding to a call of nature.
The second match was a more one sided affair. It ended in a one nil win for Raheny Orange, but our goal keeper did not get to touch the ball for much of the match. There was great attack play from Colin McAweeney, who was ably assisted by Conor Watters and Adam Robert, both whom swithched effortlessly between attack and midfield. The goal itself came from a 65 (20 in our games), it was expertly cut by Matt Lawless and flew in over the heads of defenders and goalkeeper alike. Overall, great play lads, lets keep working on raising our hurls high for big strikes of the sliotar. Pairc Mearnog again next week for a 3 club football blitz.
Report By: Padraig Kent
Mentors: Padraig Kent, Tony O'Grady & Conor Pitts.
Squad: Dan O'Grady, James Pitts, Ryan Kent, Bryan Murray, Jack Codd, Johnny Baldwin and Cormac Baldwin.
Raheny Blue were guests of Naomh Mearnóg today for hurling. Conditions were dry but a cold wind blew that would cut through the thermals of the most seasoned player. The Blue crew welcomed Brian Murray and Jack Codd to their ranks from the Orange team as a number of our own boys were called away. Game 1 was certainly a game of 2 halves with Raheny taking a 2 goal lead by half time. However Mearnóg came to life in the second period and incessant pressure on our goal finally paid off with a scrambled winner in the closing seconds of the final period. The Blues were not deterred going into game two and came out resounding winners with 4 goals to 1.
Overall today’s display once again underpinned the Character, Courage and Commitment of this unit. There were examples galore but Cormac Baldwin took a crack to his upper arm that would stop most men. Instead however Cormac redoubled his efforts, focusing on getting close and bringing his shoulder into the game plus grabbing a goal in the process. James Pitts may not be the biggest in today's squad but he more than made up for this in heart, tackling for all he was worth, giving no quarter in defence and chasing every opportunity up front. Brian Murray did an excellent job in goal and up front. Ryan Kent and Jack Codd were an ideal pairing in defence in the first game showing a real physical presence in tackling and great strikes to clear their line. Later in the games both these young men moved up the field and demonstrated real talent in front of goal and in midfield. Both have a bright future but must learn to believe themselves in the talent they so readily demonstrate. Johnny Baldwin did a fine job in every position he played. In goal he was superb but up front he demonstrated the ability to force opportunities and take them with 3 fine goals to his tally. Dan O’Grady once again was a hero in our defence and a nightmare to the opposition. Taking two great goals in the first game, he showed a real predators instinct. Throughout he demonstrated text book tackling and intelligent passing to his team mates. Today was an excellent day’s work for the Blue Crew. Well done boys!
Raheny V Castleknock (Group 1)
Report By: Kieran Doherty
Mentors: Kieran Doherty, Paul Nolan and John Strain
Squad: Luke Morgan, Mathew Dowdall, Joseph Doherty, John Broderick, Jamie Nolan, Max Osborne, Dylan Strain, Joe Bonnar and Tiernan O’Brien.
On a bright, fresh morning the Raheny Green team continued their fine season with impressive performances against Castleknock.
The Raheny boys got off to a great start in the first game with a sharp finish by Dylan Strain. The close range goal gave great encouragement to the Raheny boys who spent most of the first period in the opposition's half. The Raheny dominance produced two further goals, from John Broderick with a fine long range shot, and Jamie Nolan who pounced on a mistake by the Castleknock goalkeeper. Such was the Raheny dominance that goalkeeper Joseph Doherty didn't see the sliotar for the entire first half and the defence of Luke Morgan and Tiernan O'Brien were equally untroubled. The second half was an even affair with Castleknock putting on more pressure and Raheny happy to sit on their comfortable lead. Good defending by Matthew Dowdall and Joe Bonner and an excellent save from Max Osborne ensured that the match finished with a 3-0 victory for the Green team.
The second match was a tough, hard fought battle. Castleknock took the lead but were pegged back when, after a period of dominance, Raheny were awarded a penalty which was fired into the corner of the net by John Broderick. The Raheny boys were now sniffing another victory and pushed forward, putting the Castleknock goal under severe pressure, but unfortunately a long strike from the Castleknock defence resulted in a breakaway goal. However, the Raheny boys were not going to give up and, as the weather conditions deteriorated, Max Osborne played his way through three challenges to score a well deserved equaliser and register a final score of 2-2.
Report by: Kevin Fitzpatrick
Mentors: Kevin Fitzpatrick and Donni Rossi
Squad: Martin Bishop, Sean Quinn, Adam Robinson, Ordhran Carmody, Ultan Fitzpatrick, Cathal Shovlin and Finn Brassil.
The Raheny Red team were up against a very strong and well drilled Castleknock hurling team. Our hurlers took the match to the opposition from the throw-in, moving the ball fast up the field and showing great teamwork. The boys went 2 goals ahead by half time and added another 2 in the second half to go 4 up. Castleknock finished strong but the Raheny boys held them off to win by 1 goal. Ultan and Adam were dominant in the midfield, feeding ball to the forwards where Finn and Ordhran were both on target.
The second match was a much tougher game against a very strong team. The Raheny boys kept up the pace and pressure with lots of big strikes on the run causing the opposition trouble. Despite superb defending by Sean and Martin, the boys were beaten by a couple of goals. The boys continued to battle to the end with the tackles by Cathal and Cian continually breaking up the Castleknock play. A great all round performance by the Raheny Red hurlers.
Learning point of the Week: Hurley Length
Firstly, a quote from the famous Paudie Butler, former national hurling co-ordinator, and visitor to Raheny GAA on numerous occasions for mentor coaching sessions:
“The biggest enemy of the child is the heavy hurley. Give a kid a hurley and he should be fascinated. But often he is frustrated. Hurling is a wristy game; the child should be able to move it freely with one hand, through the wrist. If his hurley is in any way heavy or long, he is deprived of the game’s basic enjoyment before he’s even started.”
Remember boys and parents, to gauge the correct Hurley length: Stand upright, close your eyes, put your shoulders square, hands by your side and grip the hurley. The top of hurl should be at the wrist bone. Any timber above this point is useless to the hurler and will result often in players striking the ground or moving their body awkwardly to make contact with the sliotar.