St. Kieran's GAA
County U21 'B' Football Championship Final:
St. Kieran's 3.12 Ballylanders 1.9
Mick Neville Park, Rathkeale was the venue on Friday night last for the meeting between West and South champions. Given the inclement weather conditions during the week, the game was played on the 3G pitch as a result and this resulted in an extremely fast flowing game. We got off to the worst possible start inside the opening two minutes when Ballylanders found the back of the net following a blistering start that left us shell-shocked. Given the good underfoot conditions on the astroturf the game was played at a frantic pace throughout and in truth this suited our youthful side against a much physically stronger Ballylanders side. We were soon on the scoreboard when Noel Callanan pierced through the Ballylanders defence, with the goal at his mercy and only the oncoming goalkeeper to beat he was taken out leaving the referee with no option but to award a penalty which was coolly converted by Darragh O' Connor to tie up the game. We began to settle into the game slowly, Ballylanders were physically the stronger side and this showed early on as they won many of the physical exchanges. Ballylanders deployed a sweeper at the back to sniff out as many of our attacks as possible but to the lad's credit they adapted well to this and tried to keep the ball in hand and take him out of the equation when possible. The positioning of the sweeper at the back by Ballylanders also provided us with a free man at the back and from here we were able to go short from our kick outs and work the ball forward. We got on the scoreboard with further points from Stephen Lyons and Ray Noonan before Noel Callanan found the back of the net midway through the half to give us a four-point lead. In truth Ballylanders could well have been up at half time were it not for a combination of wayward shooting on their part and hard working in defence from our six backs who applied huge pressure on the pacey Ballylanders attack containing several players who played senior football championship earlier this year. We had a four point lead going in at the interval having played well in parts but a massive second half effort was needed if we were to prevail. To the lad's credit they upped the ante in the second half, in particular in midfield with Darragh O' Connor and Liam Kennedy in particular putting in massive performances. Stephen Lyons score inside the opening five minutes of the half was undoubtedly the score of the game. Winning the ball on his own forty-five-yard line and taking his man on up a long the side line before firing over was a moment that most definitely turned the game in our favour and you could see that it not only knocked the wind out of his man but also the Ballylanders side who now began to find it extremely difficult to fashion scorable opportunities. That too is in no small part due to the work ethic of all fifteen players on players on the field not just the six backs. Throughout the year the team has defended in numbers and put opposing teams under fierce pressure when in possession of the ball and this was evident once again on Friday night in the second half. With a five-point lead now and space starting to appear up front we took control of the game in midfield and our forwards grew in confidence. We may well have had more goals in the second half were it not for several excellent saves from the south Limerick champions custodian. Ballylanders to their credit showed a great fighting spirit throughout the second half and kept going forward looking for the important scores to get themselves back into the game but the Kieran's defence stood firm in the face of adversity. Second half scores came from Patrick Liston, Killian Enright and Ray Noonan to give us a nine-point lead when the referee called a halt to proceedings. The west and county u21 championship double was a wonderful way to finish off the competitive season for the club and great credit must go to the players and management for their hard work and commitment to the cause at this late stage of the year. The players have worked extremely hard since September in particular the older players who hadn't played much football since our senior and junior sides were knocked out of the championship. For the minor players the win is extra-special as they added a second county championship to the Minor 'A' championship they won earlier this year. With only two players overage next year and with some excellent players waiting in the wings and hopefully coming up from the u16 ranks there is no reason why this group of players cannot be equally successful in 2018. We have a wealth of excellent footballers coming through the ranks at the moment that are showing a great willingness to work and train hard for the good of St. Kieran's and hopefully these players can make the next step into adult football in the years to come. Well done to the players and management on their victory, this was a great way to finish the year. Onwards and upwards for 2018.
Robert Bradley, Anthony Mullins, John Byrnes, Michael Murphy, Eoin Burke, Diarmuid Mulcahy, John Buckley, Liam Kennedy, Darragh O' Connor, Liam Upton, Noel Callanan, Patrick Liston, Killian Enright, Ray Noonan (Captain), Stephen Lyons, Daniel Barrett, Darragh Breen, Evan Donovan, Stephen Hennessy, Eamon Ambrose, Tomas Mullins, Cillian Ambrose, Brian McCarthy
Management: Paudie McCarthy, Owen Hayes, John O' Connor
National Club Draw:
St. Kieran's GAA club are currently selling tickets as part of the GAA's national club draw. As part of this initiative GAA clubs retain all money's generated from the draw. The draw will take place on Thursday March 8 and with a number of excellent prizes on offer we would encourage you all to please support this fundraising programme. Tickets can be purchased from all St. Kieran's officers and senior players. There are a wide variety of excellent prizes on offer including a 2018 Renault Dynamique, a travel voucher worth €2000, All Ireland senior football / hurling ticket / hospitality packages, shopping vouchers to the value of €1000 to the retailer of your choice and €500 Supervalue / Centra shopping vouchers.
Club membership 2018.
Adult - €30
Non-Playing member €20
It is vital that all our playing members pay their membership fees, any player that does not pay his fees will not be covered should he receive an injury. All players will be required to pay their fees prior to the first competitive game of 2018 and can do so by paying any member of their respective management teams or Ian Mackessy and Owen Hayes.
Limerick GAA Development Draw:
We would ask all members who have yet to pay their membership to please do so in the coming weeks. The Development draw is a vital source of revenue for the club with the club gaining 60% of all revenue generated. With over 200 members we have one of the largest affiliations in the county which is a source of great pride to the club. So far in 2017 we have had an extremely successful campaign in the draw with winners in all bar two of the draw with Sean O' Sullivan Ardagh the most recent recipient of €500 in the last draw.