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Thursday, 16th August 18
Wednesday, 15th August 18
U16 boys win another county title
Blackhall Gaels 3-10 Gaeil Colmcille 3-9
The dressing room before a final is a great place to see how people cope with pressure. The pressure was all on the coaches in this dressing room with players coming from Spain, being clamped and coming from hospital. However, the players all seemed to be taking it in their stride. They've been here before and it told, the mood seemed to be almost casual.
This changed as soon as the ball was thrown up. Casual is not a word you could use for the Blackhall Gaels lads on the pitch. They started in 5th gear and Kells looked shocked when Zander Hayden took a point after 30 seconds. Our backs where out of the blocks quickly too with Alan O'Toole making two immediate clearances giving us another opportunity, unfortunately put wide. By the time 3 minutes had struck BHG had another score with a great team score that involved eight players. Alan O'Toole attacked a long ball and immediately stroked it out to Peter Coakley, a hand pass back to Conor Daly who then left Luke Jennings in space to receive it with men coming at him. Barry O'Toole took advantage of the space made and Luke found him through the midfield. Barry to Conor Duffy was the simple, and best, pass. Conor Daly had run on and Duffy found him and then progressed for the return via Charlie Mulligan. A sweet Duffy left foot strike got a deserved applause. 2 points up already. Gaeil Colmcille took an equally well struck score to get one back.
A frantic few minutes ensued with BHG hitting the crossbar, scoring from a free and Colin Byrne braving through to push a goal opportunity wide. The Kells team had now moved through the gears and had the game even 0-4 0-4. As soon as they did though the BHG lads showed they could go direct too. Colin Byrne found Barry from the kick out, Kealan picked it up in mid field and immediately dropped it into Conor Duffy in the half forwards. Conor pulled a few players towards him and cleverly dinked it over them into an on rushing Zander who had no hesitation about hitting the back of the net. A goal up. This was followed up with a free from Conor Duffy.
Kells reacted well in their play and started to dominate for the next few minutes. However, they were not taking their points mostly because of pressure from players like James Ruddy and Paul Codd. They had 3 wides before they scored again. Despite this pressure, the BHG lads finished of the half stronger with points from Zander and James Kelly. Both were as a result of lads mopping up messy ball in midfield and anticipating forward moves. Harry McCahy has to be given much of credit for this. He was marking the Kells "big man" and while the Kells player had more stature, Harry had more heart and never allowed him get clean ball.
Half Time - Blackhall Gaels 1-8 Gaeil Colmcille 0-5
Gaeil Colmcille were due a purple patch and this happened at the beginning of the second half. They opened with 3 points and had their deficit down to 3. Their tails were up only for them to be dropped with a goal from Kealan Forde who judged a sweet pass from Conor Duffy better than his defender. Space, opportunity, no hesitation, no doubt, no chance for the keeper. Back to 6 up. Points were swapped then with Charlie Mulligan scoring possibly the point of the match by selling his marker a dummy and slotting over with his 'other' foot.
The game wasn't up yet though and the Kells lads hadn't dominated the league by rolling over. They stepped it up and started to get their mojo. Colin was now put under pressure, he saved one out of three attacks on his net and had to watch two points go over his head. We enjoyed Alan O'Toole taking his point from deep during this period but the north Meath men had more to come. A 50-50 ball between Colin and one of the Kells lads resulted in a penalty which they took advantage of. Kells up by two and added another to seemingly twist the knife in the wound. A disastrous period for the yellow and blue. What now?
The next play in some ways summarised a lot of the match. Their big midfielder received the ball and tried to push it forwards. Hussle from Harry didn't let him get a clean pass which put the advantage into James Ruddy's hands. Kells fouled. James reacted quickly and drove it up to Conor Duffy. Conor tapped a sweet pass over the defence for Zander to drive on to. Back of the net. All square. Kells then fouled and we took advantage of one of their fouls to put over the winning score.
Full Time Blackhall Gaels 3-10 Gaeil Colmcille 3-9
The reason I say our last goal was almost a summary of the match is because a midfielder hussled, a defender did his job and the forwards had the touches and the drive to finish. This is a recipe for winning that this team has found over the years. Well done lads.
A few of the lads haven't see much lime light in this report but they deserve some. Davy Sheeran's worked the wing contributing in all the roles mentioned above, a good all round performance. Podge Clarke in some ways showed most commitment to the team by rushing from hospital to be there.
This team was mostly made up of players who have at least another year at U16, 5 of them played U14 final the night before. Colin Byrne was his usual immense self in goal, Paul Codd had a quiet game, or rather his man did, a true sign of a class defender. James Ruddy dominated his man and indeed the whole defensive zone. Alan O'Toole was always first to the ball and drove forward to contribute to the score sheet. Luke Jennings was out of position, had to mark a 'bigger' man but kept him at bay and distributed ball well. Barry O'Toole turned defence into attack over and over again, usual service. Davy Sheeran contributed to the backs and forwards and got more ball than he was entitled to because of his guile and skill. Peter Coakley mopped up ball and showed delicate passing skills. Kealan showed strength above his age and dominated his man on the ball. Charlie showed that his touches can skin players and scored from such skill.
It has to be said that the older lads are the heart of the team though. They led. Harry was immense in midfield with probably 'the toughest challenge'. James Kelly and Conor Daly worked the whole park tirelessly. Conor Duffy dictated much of the play by bringing attention to himself with deft touches and strong fielding. Kells had to go to him.
The man of the match performance has to go to Zander Hayden though. Not because of the commitment he showed by flying home from Spain for the game but because of the drive he showed and the way he dominated the forward area. Even double marking him didn't work. He was a constant threat and came up with vital scores on numerous occasions. BHG would not have the silverware without him. Well done Zander.
Well done to the management team for bringing the lads on. Tony, Martin and PJ deserve much credit. A big shout has to go out to Brian Duffy. His commitment knows no bounds and this was reflected on the pitch. Well done Brian.
The club, the players and coaches would like to thank and acknowledge the contribution of Nissan Clonee to the post match meal. Fair play.
Team :- Colin Byrne, Paul Codd, James Ruddy, Alan O'Toole(0-1), Barry O'Toole, Harry McCahy, Luke Jennings, James Kelly(0-1), Conor Daly, Peter Coakley, Conor Duffy(0-6), David Sheeran, Kealan Forde(1-0), Alexander Hayden(2-2), Charlie Mulligan (0-1) .Sub Podge Clarke
Wednesday, 15th August 18
Well done to the Minor Footballers of Jenkinstown Gaels this evening. They got the better of Longwood/Clonard 4-10 to 3-11 in Moynalvey
Ladies and Girls Camogie
Adult and Boys football and Hurling
Ladies and Girls Football
Our Ladies football section has a team for all ages from as soon as the girls start school up to adult level.
Boys can join the academy as soon as they start primary school and can play football and hurling up to adult level.
Our ladies play Camogie up to the highest level and our underage structure is there to deliver players for the next generation.