Saturday 22nd of November and Geraldines’ Under 7s had their 4th and final set of matches of 2014.
This time Clanna Gael of Ringsend was the host and it must be said that its pitches were in excellent condition despite the heavy rains of the previous 10 days (causing the cancellation of the Kilmacud Crokes-organised tournament the previous week). Indeed, the good pitches allowed us play hurling matches, which normally don’t get a look in at this time of year.
Our three teams performed magnificently against excellent opposition. Former Dub footballer Declan Darcy and his coaching entourage have their Gaels troops well marshaled.
Team 1 comprised of Patrick and Keelin O’Farrell, James Donohoe, Luka Kelly, Luke Hempenstall, Aodhan Kennedy and Eoin Gibbons. They began with a football match and, truth be told, were up against it as a Clanna Gael team put together some fine play and scores. That could have some teams down – but not this one. By match two, again football, Gers had developed some lovely interplay – in particular some beautiful passes between Luka Kelly and Eoin Gibbons, quickly working the ball from defence to attack and causing Clanna Gael some anxious moments. As usual, the performances of Patrick and Keelin were commendable as they worked tirelessly around the middle and found each other with telepathic passes (they are twins after all!). James and Aodhan were rock solid in defence and made some really important interceptions and clearances, while the marauding Luke Hempenstall again showed his importance to the team. The match was an entertaining draw (genuinely!) and either side could have snatched the win. On to the hurling game and it was very pleasing to see how the group has come on. Geraldine’s were camped in the opposition half and racked up a number of good scores. Team 1, take a bow!
On to Team 2, the lineup was: Christian Kenny, Conor Foley, Finn Bicknell, Kevin Kavanagh, Mark Fitzgerald, Patrick Burke, Shane Coyne and Mark Gil. They played two games, one each in hurling and football, with excellent performances in both codes.
Starting with the hurling, the game was played very much in the Clanna Gael goalmouth for the first half. There was plenty of goalmouth action and scores for Geraldine’s came from Christian Kenny, Patrick Burke & Kevin Kavanagh.
All the skills were on show, with strong ball hitting, good passing and clashing. Excellent performances in midfield from Shane Coyne, Mark Fitzgerald and Mark Gil kept possession and the ball in the other team’s half. While Clanna Gael got close a couple of time in the second half strong goalkeeping from Conor Foley and Finn Bicknell kept the opposition from scoring.
With their tails in the air, Team 2 then proceeded onto their football with confidence. It was a close game in the early stages, with scores difficult to come by. Geraldine’s were physically stronger in the challenge and there were plenty of ball winners across the team. The ball winning was key to some excellent passing phases with Mark Gil, Shane Coyne and Mark Fitzgerald to the fore. Among the scorers were goals by Mark Gil and Shane Coyne and some a couple of really top drawer points by Patrick Burke.
Clanna Gael had some very good players and came into the game more in the second half but the strong midfield and defence of Patrick Burke, Kevin Kavanagh and Finn Bicknell meant the Geraldine’s goal was rarely under threat and Conor Foley made sure that any shots on target were dealt with.
Team 3 was made up of Adam Lyons, Eoin Daly, James Kearns, Johnny Donohue and Maurice Ter-Horst and David Healy (am I missing anyone??).
The group did an excellent job defending and scoring points in both their hurling and Gaelic matches. Eoin, Maurice, James, David, Adam and Johnny worked well together, holding Clanna Gael back and attacking well.