Athgarvan U10’s Match report


Away game against Ballymore-Eustace, Tuesday 8th June 2010


It is often said that you see the real character of a team when they are staring defeat straight in the face. Although Athgarvan were well beaten in this match, they showed huge courage late in the second half to recover a great deal of pride from a game that had well and truly gotten away from them. The final score in the match was Athgarvan 01-03 to Ballymore’s 03-06.

As the great Elvis sang on many occasions….” A little less conversation , and a little more action please”,  ….Athgarvan must have listened to the advice in the dressing room this time round and started the match really well. Although they had the benefit of a nice wind in the first half, they completely dominated Ballymore in every position.  The Achilles heel (ask your Mam + Dad what that one is Lads – You get English lessons as well as Lessons in Life with these reports) however was that they were not able to translate this dominance into scores on the boards. Despite having 15 minutes  of good shooting practice before the match, Athgarvan could not turn their possession into scores. At half time Athgarvan lead only by 01-02 to 00-02.

A coach will try any trick to stop the Lads “yapping” !!,  and the mandarin oranges came out at half time. The Lads then had to concentrate on peeling the oranges and then listen to Mick and Tom. The oranges may have backfired however, as Ballymore started very strongly in the second half. They had the benefit of the wind and their gander was definitely up. They hit a purple patch and the scores flowed. They were very strong at midfield and they dominated most of the second half. They raced into a commanding lead with some fine scores.

This Athgarvan team has buckets of courage however and they rallied gallantly towards the end of the second half. Athgarvan held Ballymore scoreless for the last 5 minutes and even scored themselves to restore some pride in the jersey. Ballymore were well worth their win and we wish them well for their remaining matches.

They also say that you can probably learn more about a team in defeat rather than in victory. Mick and Tom are proud of the team’s gallant display towards the end of the match and also the manner in which Athgarvan took their defeat on the chin and congratulated their opponents after the match. It is important that a team tastes defeat on occasion so that it will drive team members to try harder the next day.

In a match where scores were hard to come by, the score of the match was Fionn’s point in the first half. With a battling display throughout the match, Cormac was considered by Team Management to be the Most Improved Player on the night. For a brave display of fighting spirit on a difficult night, JJ was considered by Team Management to be Man of the Match. James McNamara is also to be congratulated on his fine goal and Jordan for his points.

Onwards and Upwards !!! Valuable Lesson learned.

Thanking everyone once again for their support and encouragement.

Mick + Tom


Athgarvan U10’s Home Win  v.  Grange , Tuesday 1st June 2010


Jeez Louise, do these U10’s like cliff hangars or what? Whether they like messing with Mick + Toms heads or whether they are giving great value to the paying supporters (?), this U10 team is showing dogged determination in grinding out a result in the face of a huge challenge. Finding themselves down 1-3 to no score close to the end of the first half, the team showed once again remarkable courage to come back and gain a much deserved victory over a gallant Grange team. The final score in the match was Athgarvan 05-01 to Grange 02-04.

Athgarvan must not like playing football early on in each game because as per the last match, the team were once again slow out of the starting blocks. Grange dominated the match early on and showed a great passing game that had Athgarvan completely on the back foot. Grange raced quickly into a commanding lead at it was a late goal in the first half which narrowed the gap and ended with Grange up 1-03 to 1-00. Mick and Tom would like to think that it was the tremendous half time talk that inspired the lads to a remarkable display in the second half, but, it was either the team spirit of Dan Donnelly blowing down the pitch towards the club end, or most likely it was probably the drop of water on a very warm evening that got the lads going again. Shortly after the start of the second half Athgarvan got their act together and started playing more like a team. The scores started to flow and every player on the pitch was on top of his game at this time.  Once again, this win was richly deserved from the huge effort by every player in the second half.

Mick and Tom would once again 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 combined Athgarvan/Killcullen (or Kilgarvan as the team has christened itself) U14 girls team suffered the heartbreak of a one point extra time loss to Rathcoffey in a pulsating semi final encounter on 31st May.

The Kilgarvan girls got off to the best possible start with a point and two very early goals from Kayleigh Humphries and Daire Smyth. An evenly matched game then went scoreless for a long period beofre Rathcoffey suddenly hit a purple patch scoring 3-2 in the last ten minutes to give them a four point half time lead. Rathcoffey continued their domination in the second half and only the heroic efforts of Lisa Hogan in goal kept the scoreline down.

With seven minutes remaining, Kilgarvan looked out of it trailing by 11 points on a score of 5-3 to 2-1, having not managed to raise a flag for thirty-five minutes. Some substitutions (with Katie Farrell having a big impact in firming up the back line), a few tactical changes and throwing caution to the wind saw an amazing comeback from the Kilgarvan girls, who displayed an incredible never say die attitude. Winning every ball, Kilgarvan scored three quick goals through Nikki Dowling and Kayleigh Humphries and then added two excellent longe range points, the last an inspired effort from Samantha Cullen.

So it was on to extra time and Kilgarvan continued to dominate a shell-shocked Rathcoffey side. Two ‘goals’ from Sarah Doherty and Samantha Cullen were disallowed (correctly), but still Kilgarvan pressed on and thier efforts were eventually rewarded with another fine point from Samantha Cullen. The second half of extra time was to prove ten minutes too long, however, as Rathcoffey dominated possession and Kilgarvan showeed great bravery and determinatio to block away attempt after attempt. Unfortunately, the pressure eventually told and two points in the last three minutes saw Kilgarvan defeated on a score of 5-5 to 5-4.

Whist it was a sad ending to a season which saw the girls win six of their seven league matches, and only go down by a point in both their defeats, the coaches (Aisling Lambe, Brian Willlis and Jason Morris) were incredibly proud of the heart showed by the girls on the night and indeed throughout the season. To lose a semi final after extra time two years in a row is a bitter blow, and enough tears were shed to flood the Liffey, but this team will be back to fight another day and gain the county title they so richly deserve for their efforts and commitment.

The full panel was – Katie Berney (brilliant midfield performance in the semi final), Aoife Buckey (tireless runner with a sweet left foot), Roisin Byrne (committed back who sadly missed the semi through sickness), Sarah Doherty (lightning fast half/corner forward and great finisher), Nikki Dowling (county player with the biggest kick in the business!), Elaine Dunne (skillful corner forward capable of some great scores), Kelly Gaynor (very athletic and much improved in her first full season), Rachel Keane (brilliant full back with courage and skill), Daire Smyth (county player and unstoppable when in full flow), Kathryn Snell (developed great as an impenetrable corner back), Katie Willis (another big improver, equally at home as half back/forward),  Aoife Sully (newcomer who forced her way into the team at corner back), Niamh Sully (gets better with each training session and will continue to improve), Leah Cullen (determined full forward with a strong, accurate kick), Georgia Hobbs (outstanding at centre back, with pace and strength), Lisa Hogan (versatile and did well as forward, back and latterly in goal), Tilly Morris (coming back from a nasty knee injury and still as reliable as ever), Leah Mullally (strong and fast to the ball with a huge if unpredictable kick!), Alice Murphy (good accurate kick and will be a regular in the U13 team), Niamh O’Donnell (strong and determined at half/corner back), Katie Treacy (some fine performances in goals and a great outfield option as well), Aiveen van der Hoven (great marker and can run all day, sadly injured for the semi final), Samantha Cullen (county U12 panel who stars in every team she plays in, some vital scores) Kayleigh Humphries (scored a goal in every match – exceptional for an U11 playing at U14 level), Katie Farrell (late addition to the panel as an U11 who quickly shone and has a huge future).

To all the girls – well done on a great season which we hope you all enjoyed – apart from the ending!

Friday  May 28th: Athgarvan/ Kilcullen   or now known as Cuchulann Gaels had a tough match against a determined Kilcullen side at Kildangan last Friday.

Kilcullen started off in determined fashion and went into an early lead but a goal from Stephen Creaton and Caomhin Doolan reduced the deficit. After a tough first half the Gaels were behind by 2-2 to 4 points.

Some switces and changes made at half time made for a more determined effort in the second half and some early points got us back into the game.

A terrific taken goal by Mikey Ryan near the end got our noses in front but Kilcullen stormed back with a goal of their own to lead by one. A terrific point from Conor Hyland levelled the scores to leave for a exciting last 2/3 minutes.

Kilcullen had a scoring opportunity from a free which  they missed and Cuchulainn Gaels missed a last minute chance also, to leave a draw a fair result. 

Having beaten Ellistown by a single point after a great second half comeback 2 days earlier, the team showed great heart again.

Next match up is away to Ballykelly with our final game V Two Mile House.

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.

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”

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.