Category Archives: Gaa

KILCOCK SEAL LEINSTER FINAL SPOT WITH TREMENDOUS SECOND-HALF DISPLAY

October 26th 2019

Kilcock 3-11 Grattans (Longford) 2-11

Report by Mark Durkan and Robert Cox

A tremendous second-half performance sealed Kilcock’s place in the Leinster Junior Final next week as the eventual winners came from five points down, twice, to seal a win in Kilcock Gaa last Saturday, October 26th.

Full forward Grace White put in a spectacular performance scoring 2-06, but it was Kilcock’s sheer determination and spirit to keep fighting that was most impressive in this excellent win.

A couple of the girls had to rearrange their holidays last minute to play the game and even this level of commitment alone showed that there is something special about this Kilcock team.

Grattans started the strongest of the two sides and were unlucky not to have had a goal inside the opening five minutes, with Kilcock goalie Eimear Kelly pulling off two top class saves.

The Longford Intermediate Champions did manage to get the first score of the game when their midfielder Caoimhe Lohan kicked a point. The continued to show some great movement in the first half and this was evident by their wing-back Sophie Hogan who burst up the pitch for a goal.

Midfielder and Grattans free-taker Úna Clarke put five points between the sides with only 10 mins gone before Grace White got Kilcock’s first score after 14 minutes from a free.

Grattans went straight up the pitch and chipped in with their third point of the game. Kilcock captain Caoimhe Fagan showed some of her leadership qualities when she kicked a point from thirty meters and Grace White added a second free to bring a goal between the teams.

Grattans added a further two points with frees from Úna Clarke before a super Caoimhe Fagan point had the sides going in at the break on a scoreline of Grattans 1-5 Kilcock 0-4.

Grattans were the deserved leaders at half-time and Kilcock were not performing up to their usual standards. It was going to have to take a massive performance in the second half against the breeze to overcome the Longford side.

It was Kilcock’s full-forward Grace White who got Kilcock’s first score of the second half when she pointed from play and soon after birthday girl Sarah Lavin gave herself the perfect birthday present when she goaled for Kilcock and the sides were level once more.

The goal gave great hope to the Kilcock supporters but this was short-lived when Grattans replied with a goal of their own right away. An Úna Clarke free and Laura Valentine point put five between the sides once again.

Kilcock were not going to give up however and they kept battling and were rewarded when midfielder Megan O’Connor made a great run up the pitch and passed the ball to Grace White who rifled the ball into the top corner of the net. White added another free immediately after to leave a point between the sides.

Grattans put the foot on the pedal once more and added three points without reply and it looked like Kilcock’s excellent year was coming to an end. Two Úna Clarke frees and a Clodagh Lohan point put four points between the sides.

It was hard to see Kilcock coming back from this deficit, but you can never say never with this Kilcock team as they have shown us on many occasions throughout the year.

The game was swinging into the final quarter when corner-forward Emma Robinson kicked her first score of the day with a well taken point, before Grace White added two frees to bring a point between the sides once again.

Kilcock took the lead for the first time in the game just inside the last 10 minutes, when, a great solo effort from Grace White meant that she found space for herself and her shot bounced across the goal-line, bringing the large home support into raptures.

Úna Clarke kicked over another free for Grattans to bring it back to the minimum once more and though the visitors had a couple of scoring chances towards the end, they were unable to take them.

It was Megan O’Connor and Emma Robinson who finished off the scoring for Kilcock, with both of them kicking over points just before the ref blew his fill time whistle.

It was an unbelievable win for this Kilcock side who showed tremendous fighting spirit and a never say die attitude. They have now sealed their place in Sunday’s Leinster Junior Championship Final where they will play Navan O’Mahony’s of Meath.

Kilcock Scorers: Grace White 2-06 (5f), Sarah Lavin 1-0, Caoimhe Fagan 0-02, Aisling O’Connor 0-02, Megan O’Connor 0-01

Grattans Scorers:

Kilcock Team: Eimear Kelly, Mary Tighe, Andrea McGrath, Therese Macken, Paige Byrne, Emma Maguire, Laura Gibbons, Megan O’Connor, Caoimhe Fagan, Sarah Lavin, Ashling O’Connor, Sheena Byrne, Emma Robinson, Grace White, Lorna Murray.

Subs: Sadbh Mullarkey for Paige Byrne, Sarah Gill for Sheena Byrne, Caytie McLysaght for Sarah Lavin & Bernie Durkan for Therese Macken.

Grattans Team: Clare McCarrick, Emma McCord, Claire Shaw, Katie Devlin, Sophie Hogan, Róisín Leen, Rebecca O’Kane, Caoimhe Lohan, Una Clarke, Melissa O’Kane, Eve Nerney, Molly Mulvihill, Petrina Carrigy, Laura Valentine, Clodagh Lohan

Kilcock bid for Leinster glory

Story by Robert Cox

Friday 1st of November

Kilcock will bid for Leinster Ladies JFC honours on Sunday when they take on Meath champions Navan O’Mahonys in the Provincial final at 2pm in Kinnegad.

Having knocked on the door of the Kildare JFC for the last few years, Kilcock finally made the breakthrough this year when they overcame Rathangan to take the county title.

That set up the North Kildare side with a tilt at the Leinster title and though they have showed flashes of brilliance at times, they have also struggled to get going at times, particularly early on in games. In the main though they have impressed in the campaign so far.

A three point win over Moate of Westmeath in the Quarter-Final was followed up with another three point win in the semi final at home to a very impressive Grattans side from Longford. Second half goals from Grace White and Sarah Lavin eventually put paid to Grattans’ challenge.

The ladies in green and gold will be under no illusion of the task that faces them when they take to the field against Navan O’Mahonys and while the talk of the town is that they are in bonus territory, the determination and will to win instilled into this team by their management team will have them wanting nothing else other than a win come Sunday evening.

Kilcock, along with Moate and Grattans, were given a second chance when all three were reinstated to the Leinster Championship following the dismissal of last year’s champions Old Leighlin from Carlow.

The Kildare side had originally played and lost agonisingly by a point after extra time to Old Leighlin, only for the 2018 winners to be later removed from the competition. When the Carlow team won the JFC last year they should have been moved up to Intermediate, an oversight spotted by Grattans after their original semi final loss at the hands of Old Leighlin.

Kilcock will know that all of that is history now and having been given a second chance they will be keen to grab it with both hands as they did in the previous two rounds.

All support will be greatly appreciated from the ladies on Sunday.

Summerhill & Moynalvey pair among player of the year nominees

Sophia Payne from Summerhill and Aideen Smith from Moynalvey have both been nominated for Meath LGFA player of the year in their respective championship.

Payne, who Summerhill Ladies described on their Facebook page as a hardworking, determined and fast paced individual, with a high level of skill to booth, has been nominated for player of the year in the Intermediate championship. She is joined by Aoibhean Cleary of champions Donaghmore-Ashbourne and Meadhbh Byrne of beaten finalists Royal Gaels.

Moynalvey dual star Smith has been nominated for her exploits in this years Junior A Championship, where she drove on her side with some fine performances throughout the campaign. She is joined by Ailbhe Leahy from eventual winners Navan O’Mahonys and by Amy O’Dowd from Skryne.

The Meath LGFA presentation night takes place this coming Saturday, November 2nd in the Newgrange Hotel Navan.

Player Profie: Tom Parsons

Club/County: Charlestown/Mayo.

Current position: Midfield X 💯

Any superstitions before a game?
Stretch my toes.

What is your greatest sports achievement? 2019 and returning to play for club & county.

Favourite Position (on the pitch)?Midfield

Favourite player/s growing up:
The legend McD and Liam McHale.

What or who made you want to play football: My Dad

Other sports you play or would love to play: Basketball & Handball

Best piece of advice received: Keep it simple.

Best peice of advice for up coming player: Surround yourself with good people, and use set-backs as a springboard.

What was the best sporting event you ever witnessed? Man United European Cup champs 1999, 2 late goals in stoppage time to end 31 year wait. Bring back the United of old

Where would you love to go on holiday?
Maldives when I win the lotto

Favourite month of the year and why?
December and the lead up to xmas

**** Teammates ****

Funniest teammate:
Rob Hennelly

Most skillful teammate:
Cillian O Connor

Fittest teammate:
Paddy Durcan

Player who spends most time in front of mirror: Evan Regan

Best Dresser: Tom Parsons

Worst Dresser: Donal Vaughan

Kilcock Ladies grab their second chance with both hands to qualify for Leinster Semi Final

Kilcock 1-06 Moate 0-06

By Robert Cox
They say you should never look a gift horse in the mouth and Kilcock Ladies were in no mood to that when they took on Westmeath Junior Champions Moate in the Leinster JFC Quarter Final in Kilcock Gaa on Saturday, October 19th.

With both sides getting a second bite of the cherry in the Leinster Championship, having been reinstated due to Old Leighlin of Carlow being ineligible for the competition, this was always going to be a cagey tie, with neither wanting to experience the heartache of exiting the competition for a second time. And it was Kilcock who finally came through a tough game to win out by three points in the end.

Kilcock went ahead inside the first thirty seconds when centre forward Aisling O’Connor took control of the ball before cutting through the Moate defence and slotting the ball over the bar. If the hosts thought O’Connor’s score was going to set the tone and Moate were simply going to roll over, then they had to quickly think again as the Westmeath side gained control of the game to hit three points in a row through Chloe Moran and Casey Rotroe from play and Brenda O’Brien from a free to lead three points to one after eighteen minutes as the rain began to fall.

At this juncture the game began to open up, which seemed to suit Kilcock and when they pushed up on a defensive Moate side, they suddenly began to bear fruit.

The eventual winning of the game came between the 20th and 25th minute for Kilcock with their sharp-shooting full-forward Grace White pointing from a placed ball, having been clearly singled out for special attention from the Moate defence. From the resulting kick out O’Connor got her second point of the day before the games only goal from veteran Sheena Byrne changed the entire landscape of the tie.

Byrne got on the ball about just inside the penalty area and despite the best efforts of the Moate defence and goalkeeper to save the shot, the ball rolled into the net and Kilcock were a goal ahead. To the large home support in attendance, Byrne’s effort seemed to take an age to reach the goal, trickling along the muddy surface, with gasps aplenty as it looked likely at one point that the ball would in fact stop short of the line. One supporter likened it to a scene from the over 75s Football match on Father Ted, when the ball took an age to reach the goal, with the keeper struggling to get back, having gone the wrong way!!

Regardless of how the ball ended up in the net mattered little for Kilcock as they took a lead that they would never relenquish. Moate responded with a point almost immediately through the impressive Anna Sheerin. Kilcock still had time for another goal chance, which were a rare commodity on the day, but Grace White’s shot from twenty five yards hit the crossbar. In hindsight White will know she could have taken the ball on, with no one in a white Jersey between her and the goalie at the time.

Following that the teams went in at the break with Kilcock in the lead by two points on a scoreline of Kilcock 1-3 Moate 0-4.

Then came an almighty downpour. Just as the Laois referee was due to throw the ball in for the second half the heavens opened. Sensibly the players were ordered back into the dressing rooms to take cover. The supporters weren’t so lucky!!

When the rain abated and the rainbow appeared, the game resumed. And in a carbon copy of the first half, Kilcock won the throw in and went straight down the field to register the first score, except this time it was the hard working wing forward Sarah Lavin who raised the white flag.

It took Moate ten minutes to register their first score of the half and it came by way of a free from Anna Sheerin.

The next twenty minutes turned into a war of attrition, with only three more points registered. And even though the sun made an appearance, it couldn’t brighten up what was overall a dull game that lacked quality for long periods.

In saying that, it never lacked for excitement in terms of how close the score remained and when Grace White added another free to put three points between the sides once more, it looked like Kilcock might finally pull away.

Moate though were not about to go away and when Sheerin converted a free down the other end the margin was once again down to two with ten minutes remaining.

A two point lead can be very dangerous, especially in a tight game but the Kilcock defence, who were immense and in a very miserly mood throughout, stood firm and were in no mood to give up a goal chance that Moate so badly craved.

In fact it was Kilcock who would fashion another goal chance deep into injury time but forward Emma Robinson shot was excellently saved by the Moate goalkeeper Christine Warburton. Unfortunately for the latter she touched the ball on the ground outside the square and Kilcock were awarded a free. White made no mistake in converting her third free of the day, just before the referee blew his his whistle for full-time.

It was an excellent win for Kilcock (1-06 to 0-06) who fought hard in tough conditions, against a ressiliant Moate side. Though both team and management will know a big improvement in their overall performance will be needed if they are progress any further in the competition. They also know they have been given a second chance in been reinstated at Old Leighlin’ expense and will look to grab it with both hands.

Best for the winners were in main numbered from 1-7, especially Emma Maguire, Andrea McGrath and player of the game Laura Gibbons, who worked tirelessly to keep Moate at bay.

Kilcock now advance to the Leinster Semi-Final, where they will take on Longford Intermediate Football Champions Grattans in Kilcock on Saturday at 2pm.

Kilcock:
Eimear Kelly, Mary Tighe, Andrea McGrath, Therese Macken, Paige Byrne, Emma Maguire, Laura Gibbons, Megan O’Connor, Caoimhe Fagan, Sarah Lavin (0-1), Ashling O’Connor (0-2), Sheena Byrne (1-0), Emma Robinson, Grace White (0-3f), Lorna Murray.
Subs used: Bernie Durkan for Therese Macken

Local Sports heroes officially open Scoil Chóca Naofa playing field and running track

Scoil Chóca Naofa Kilcock officially opened their new playing field and running track at an event hosted by the school on Thursday morning, October 24th.

Local Athletics legend Bobby King and current top class runner Paul Robinson were both on duty to cut the ribbon, with Robinson aslo joined by Kildare Ladies Captain Grace Clifford in giving a talk on sport to the kids, parents, teachers and fellow dignitaries in attendance.

School principal Mrs Daly addressed the large crowd in the school’s sports hall, introducing the teachers and parents who worked so hard over the past few years to fundraise to ensure the school could reach its goal of putting in a playing field with goals and a catching net at either end, as well as a running track around the perimeter of the field.

One way in which the parents association fundraised was by holding the very successful ‘Colour Run’ in 2017, 2018 and again this year in 2019.

The very progressive school are not hanging around in putting their new facilities to good use, with the students today completing a marathon that they have been chipping away at since they returned to school in September, running the final mile alongside King and Robinson, as the crowd made their way outside to cheer them home.

The kids started running three times a week, before upping it to four and then five times a week, before completing their final mile today. Mrs Daly commended the students for their hard work and endeavour and couldn’t stress enough how important exercise is in their daily routine. She went on to say that the teachers had noticed how alert the students were when they would come back in from their run to continue with the remainder of their lessons for the day.

It was clear to see how much energy and excitement these new facilities along with the exercise and fresh air had brought to this very productive school.

Mrs Daly singled out certain people, thanking them for their hard work, including Ms Diggin for helping the kids complete the marathon. Val Herbert was also thanked for her part in training the kids in Gaa and caretaker and clearly the very popular caretaker Tommy Simms for his hard work in looking after the new surface and the school in general. Members parents association both past and present including Sarah Acton Keene were also thanked for their hard work in making everything possible.

This is a school that seems to be only going one way and that is forward. Congratulations to all. Here’s to the next marathon.

Whitty and Regan among six Meath players nominated for the Champions 15 team

Shane Whitty (far left) with his Blackhall Gaels team mates Hugh Smith and Stephen Morris.

Blackhall Gaels’ Shane Whitty and Kiltale forward Jack Regan have both been nominated along with four of their Meath Gaa team mates for the Champions 15 team 2019.

A collective of players from the Christy Ring, Nicky Rackard and Lory Meagher Cups will make up the All Star team.

The pair are joined by fellow their fellow County men Sean Geraghty (Captain), Shane Brennan, Damien Healy and Keith Keoghan, as the Christy Ring Cup winners head the list of nominees.

This is the first year that a selection of 45 players has been chosen from the Ring, Rackard and Meagher competitions with the new selection process introducing player and coach feedback.

Those selected were finalised by an independent selection committee of journalists and referees with all players competing in the Joe McDonagh Cup excluded as they were considered for the PwC Liam McCarthy Cup All-Stars.

The Champion 15 selection will be awarded as part of the PwC All-Stars event in Dublin’s Convention Centre on Friday November 1 with 20 counties featured across the extensive list of 45.

Christy Ring, Nicky Rackard and Lory Meagher Champion 15 Nominees:

Simon Doherty, Dean Gaffney, Caolan Rice (all Armagh), Diarmaid Carney (Cavan), Brian Óg McGilligan, Sé McGuigan (both Derry), Danny Cullen (Donegal), Stephen Keith, Dáithi Sands, Eoghan Sands, Caolan Taggart (all Down), John Duffy (Fermanagh), James Burke, Jack Sheridan (both Kildare), Darren Crowley, Ronan Crowley, Greg Jacob (all Lancashire), James Glancy, Declan Molloy, Enda Moreton, Liam Moreton, Gavin O’Hagan (all Leitrim), Shane Lawless (London), David Buckley (Longford), D Geoghegan (Louth), Shane Boland (Mayo), Shane Brennan, Sean Geraghty, Damien Healy, Keith Keoghan, Jack Regan, Shane Whitty (all Meath), Fergal Rafter (Monaghan), Cathal Dolan, Pádraig Kelly (both Roscommon), Gerard O’Kelly-Lynch, Keith Raymond, Joe Starr, James Weir (all Sligo), Damian Casey, Tiernan Morgan (both Tyrone), Willie Allen, John Collins (both Warwickshire), John Henderson, Stephen Kelly (Wicklow)