Unbeaten U11s to Play Final in County Grounds on Sat 19th June

The U11 Athgarvan team have enjoyed an amazing run of success and can now look forward to a County Final to be played in the County Grounds (St Conleths Park) in Newbridge on Saturday 19th June against the winners of the Ballymore vs Castledermot semi final.

After a slow start in 2009, this team won its last five matches that year, securing promotion from Div 4 to Div 3 in the process. And, despite facing tougher opposition, they have now completed an 11 match unbeaten streak in competitive competion with six wins out of six in Div 3 this year.

After receiving a forfeit from Ballyteague, the U11′s opening match saw a very hard fought victory over Castledermot in which Jordan Nolan scored both goals in a 2-2 to 1-3 victory. The best players on the night were full back Matthew Barker, who made two vital goal saving blocks and had the bruises to show for it, corner back Oliver Clinton who hoovered up loose ball, centre back Eimhin Conroy who drove the team forward from the middle of the park and Harry Arkwright who worked tirelessly at half forward. 

Next up was Allenwood and this was another tight encounter ending up with a 4-3 to 4-2 win in a match in which both James (Galvin and Manning) excelled in their respective positions of half forward and corner back.

Ballymore away started brightly with three quick goals from Kayleigh Humphries, Ferghal O’Mahoney and Jenny Kelly, but Athgarvan were under the cosh for the remainder of the half and trailed 2-7 to 3-0 after five minutes of the second half. Some tactical changes saw the new attacking half back line of Cian Butler, Ross Fallon and JJ Acton dominating possession, with the result that Athgarvan were on top for the remainder of the half scoring 4-3 to no reply, with an excellent finish from Brogan Lyons for one of the goals. The final score was an 11 point win by 7-3 to 2-7, with nine different scorers for Athgarvan.

Milltown away was next up and are always tough, but with Cian Gobbitt and JB Murphy as usual winning everything in midfield and Calum Sourke and Conor Maguire performing well in the back line in front of the excellent keeper Ryan Leahy, Athgravan ran out comfortable winners 3-5 to 0-3.

Athgarvan saved their best performance til last with a convincing 5-7 to 1-0 victory over Monasterevin.  Fionn Moran, Jack Ryan and Rob Croft all came on and did great work as forwards, while Katie Farrell starred as a half back in another excellent all round team performance.

Whatever happens in the County Final, everyone on the panel should be very proud of their achievements, and they deserve to enjoy the experience of playing in the County Grounds. Collectively and individually there has been tremendous improvement in the skill levels this season, and the team has grown in confidence and ability from game by game. They have worked hard in training and just occasionally listened!! Most importantly, they are a great bunch of kids who enjoy the sport and play the game in the right spirit. They have been a pleasure to coach, and the three mentors – Dave Clinton, Tom Moran and Jason Morris – are very grateful to all the parents for the great support that the team has received – we hope that it has been fun for everyone involved.

Summary of Playing Rule Changes 2010

The GAA Congress 2010 passed a number of playing rule changes relevant to football and hurling which will come into effect in all games played on or after May 15th 2010. In total there are six changes specific to football only and three specific to hurling, while a further six changes affect both codes, A summary of the changes is as follows:

Football Only:

  1. Handpass – If a player handpasses the ball using the open hand, there must be a definite underhand striking action.
  2. Penalty Kicks – All penalty kicks will now be taken from 11 metres out
  3. Kick Outs – All kick outs will now be from the 13 metre line
  4. Sideline kicks – Line balls must be kicked from outside the boundary line
  5. Illegal Charge – It is illegal for a charge to be made on a player kicking the ball.
  6. Definition of bounce – The redefinition of the bounce has the effect that the “Basketball Type”, bounce, per se, is not a foul.

Hurling only:

  1. Puck Outs – The penalty for taking a puck-out from outside the small rectangle is changed from the award of a 65m free to the opposition to a throw in the ball on the defenders’ 20m line.
  2. Handpass – The ball must be released and struck with a definite striking action of the hand
  3. Penalties – Both attackers and defenders must remain outside the 20m line and the arc until the ball is struck from a penalty and the three defenders on the line must not move off the line until the ball is struck.

Both Hurling and Football:

  1. Restarting Play – If play is stopped by the referee to enable a seriously injured player to be treated, play will now resume with a free to the team that had possession. However it will not be permitted to score from such a free (if neither team is “in possession”, play shall re-start with a throw in)
  2. Throw ins – when the play is being restarted by a throw-in, this must take place a minimum of 13 metres from the sideline
  3. Advantage – A referee will now signal that advantage is being played by raising his arm
  4. Extra Time – Extra time consists of 10 minutes per half only. The provision for two additional periods of 5 minutes per half has been removed
  5. Boundary Lines – The penalty for a player deliberately going outside the boundary lines of the pitch to gain an advantage has changed from a caution to a free.
  6. Charge – A charge is now defined as “shoulder to shoulder” rather than “side to side”

U12 Girls Reach County Semi Final with Hard Fought win over Geraldines

The Athgravan U12 girls booked their place in a Div 4 County Semi Final with a hard fought win over Geraldines on Friday 28th May. With 23 Athgarvan girls in attendance and just the bare minimum allowed of 11 from Geraldines, the Athgarvan coaches struggled to make sure that all the girls would get some playing time, but that wasn’t their only headache on the night as they were faced with a very determined Geraldines team featuring an excellent county player in midfield and several other very talented girls.

Athgarvan started the brighter with goals from Samantha Cullen and Kayleigh Humphries, and with captain Aisling Mullally leading by example, Alix Barry-Cullen was unlucky not to add a third when she hit the bar. However, Geraldines fought back bravely and at half time the score was 2-2 to 1-3 in Athgarvan’s favour.

The second half saw some resolute defending from the Athgarvan back line with Katie Farrell and Laura Farrell showing their strength and determination, and Ali Cassidy did great once introduced as a  sub. But it was Alexandra Leahy, with a great block on the line and some magnificent catches, and keeper Nikka Carey (with one brilliant save in particular) who justifiably shared the player of the match spoils. With the likes of Sarah Behan, Caelinn van der Hoven, Aveen Treacy and Alanah Burke all working hard around the middle of the pitch, Athgarvan got on top in the final ten minutes and pulled away with goals from Samantha Cullen and Jenny Kelly, plus an excellent point from Emma Browne.

Great credit also to all the Athgravan subs who came on, worked hard and all contributed to the victory on the night – Izzy O’Toole, Eve Ennis, Aoife Murphy, Charlotte Dore and Aoife Byrne. Like many of the panel they are U11 girls who will all be commanding a starting place our U11 team in the autumn.

With comfortable wins already recorded over Ballymore (5-9 to 0-1) and Moorefield (4-11 to 2-5) and just a solitary defeat to a strong Two Mile House team (2-2 to 4-7), Athgarvan are guaranteed to finish either second or third and a tough semi final awaits them.

Proposed U14/15 Trip to France

The Athgarvan team from Feile 2009 and players of that age group 13,14 and 15 have been invited to Rennes France for a European GAA tournament featuring teams from Ireland, France, Guernsey, Belgium and Germany on September 25th 2010.

Interest has been good so far and it is hoped to commit to the trip by the weekend of 29th May.

It is proposed to fly to Nantes on Sept 24th at 6.15 am and return on Sunday 26th at 10.30 a.m.

The team will be hosted by French families in the nearby town of Vannes and make the trip to Rennes by bus on Saturday 25th.

Following the sucess of the Feile in 2009 and the good relations between the Athgarvan families who hosted our guests so well, it is a trip that is something to look forward to.

Under 10 League win v Monasterevin


Athgarvan U10’s Match report

Home game against Monasterevin, Tuesday 25th May 2010



With a remarkable turnaround in the second half, Athgarvan U10 team showed tremendous fighting spirit to beat Monasterevin in an extremely close encounter. Trailing 2-03 to no score 5 minutes into the second half, the Athgarvan team fought back  with great team spirit bravely from the brink of defeat to win the match 4-01 to 2-03.

This was the first league match of the year for the team and it showed as they were slow out of the starting blocks. Monasterevin played some excellent football and dominated the first half, at the end of which they lead  2-02 to no score. Monasterevin started the second half strongly and scored the first point. After a number of positional switches, Athgarvan found some momentum and the scores started to flow. At this stage every player was giving 100% commitment to the team which resulted in scores from nearly every attack. The win was richly deserved from the huge effort by every player in the second half.

Mick and Tom would like to thank all the parents for their excellent support and to every squad member for the magnificent team performance that resulted in the victory. The second half performance will hopefully be repeated going forward for the rest of the season.

Key learning points from this match include:

~        To play as a TEAM not as individuals

~       To respect your opponents, the referee and other team members

~         Never ever stop giving a 100% effort for the full match

After each match, Mick and Tom will try and give support and encouragement to each player on the squad through the” Match Report “ . As the weeks progress, hopefully so will the skill levels. Every squad member will get playing time at all matches and it is our wish that we try and teach the players the basics of playing football as well as keeping it fun and enjoyable.

Both Mick and Tom encourage both parents and players to offer suggestions at any stage as to how we all can improve as a Team. Thanking everyone for their support and encouragement.

Mick + Tom

U12 win Div 5 all county blitz

The Athgarvan U12 team had to overcome the challenge of their 2009 county final winners, Ellistown, to win the Sean Barber U12 blitz on Saturday May 22nd.  Ellistown were the host club in a competition that included Allenwood and Robertsown also.   The team perfomed very strongly in a very tight final that saw only 3 scores in short 10 minutes a side games.

Having beaten Ellistown in the opening game with a last minute goal from Mikey Ryan Athgarvan did not expect to meet the same team in the final game of the day.  Play was tight and competitive with no ball going uncontested.  Athgarvan took the lead through David Craddock, who shortly after added a second in the first half.  Ellistown responded with a well worked point.  Half-time (0-1 to 0-2).  The defense worked tirelessly through the day with Paul Murphy pulling off some fine saves and delivering good ball to his back.  Samantha Cullen and Josh Clinton dominated the central back postions with Calum Sourke, Fearghal O’Mahoney and Orin Stanley working to keep Ellistown under pressure.  Cormac O’Mahoney dominated the air in central midfield giving the Ellistown players a torrid time while Enda McSweeney hoovering up as he competed around the breakdown.  Evan Halford secured goals and point throughout the day distributing some fine balls into the full forward line.  Matthew Nugent and Killian Browne supported the attack always making the Ellistown defenders work hard to make clearances.  Kayleigh Humphries and Mikey Ryan were expert finishers throughout the day and each was unlucky not to score during the final.  Neither team managed a second half score and when Ellistown broke through for 1 0n 1 on the goal it was Fearghal O’Mahoney who intercepted to clear the danger.  While either team could have won this game Athgarvan did not deserve to lose in a tournament which they were the better team throughout the day.  Well done to all involved and the first silverware of the season goes to the U12 team.  Photos to follow.