Feile na nGael Roinn 4 - May 24th 2009
Clontarf U14’s won their division in Feile nGael Hurling Festival this weekend. It was an intensive weekend of games for the combined U14 and U13 players. The 22 player squad started early Saturday morning on the immaculate new Pitches 34/35 in St Anne’s Park with the first of their 5 matches over the weekend against Naomh Barrog on full size adult pitches.
This was a vital match to win to avoid Ballyboden as next match. The match lead swapped back and forth, with 3 mins to go Cluain Tarbh were 2 points down, then a goal from Oisin Mulligan. Cluain Tarrbh won 3-3 to N.Barrog 3-2.
Game 2 presented Naomh Mearnog as the opposition. The entire Cluain Tarbh squad played their part with 4-11 to 2-1 win. This guaranteed progression to semi-final.
Game 3 was the decider for Saturday morning, win and you get to stay in Clontarf; lose and you travel to Ballyfermot – a must win match. Ballyboden came out and were 1-2 up to no score within 4 minutes. Quick changes and the game was stabilized. The team was down by 2 points at half time. A man of the match performance by Seán McGovern at half back saw Cluain Tarbh win out 1-6 to 1-4.
Game 4 was semi-final with Cluain Tarbh retaining home advantage. Skerries Harps were the opposition. Again a very tight match. Again Cluain Tarbh found themselves behind at half time. Skerries No.8 and No.9 were providing lots of ball into their forwards. Enter Steve (Rusty) Russell and Joshua Reynolds. Rusty neutralizing No.8 and Joshua adding the extra pace to silence No.9. Oisin Mulligan again found the goal. Cluain Tarbh winning the 2nd half convincingly and the game 2-6 to 0-6. Saturday’s work – job done and I suspect deep sleep for all.
The final on Sunday was played in glorious sunshine, again on Pitch 35 against Balinteer St.John’s in front of hundreds of mainly Clontarf supporters and members of the Dublin senior hurling squad who had been training on pitch 34 alongside. Cluain Tarbh came out from the start with their best game thanks to speciality warm up session with Frankie Byrne. Although having much of the possession the team found themselves in a very tight match and down again by a point, having conceded a goal. Cian O’Flaherty came on as the impact sub after halftime. Cian helped create the extra space and scoring opportunities. Stephen Smyth maximized the opportunity scoring Cluain Tarbh’s only goal of the game. Conor Mullins played out his captain’s role with a man of the match performance. With 3 minutes to go Cluain Tarbh were ahead but under pressure from several attacks from St. John’s all of which were seen off by Seán Brodie in full back. Cluain Tarbh’s final counter put the game beyond a single score. Cluain Tarbh winners 1-5 to 1-1. Well done to all 22 boys for their commitment and discipline. They are fine bunch and a credit to their families and the club.
Many thanks to Maura Devine for all the organization and presenting the trophy, all the Clontarf people who provided massive support on the day. Special thanks to Specialist Coaching: Frankie Byrne and Paul Casey, Umpires: John Troy, Joe Holden, Frank O’Dwyer, Shay McCaffery