Parish Leagues 2022
Sunday October 2nd saw the culmination of the Hurling Parish Leagues in Blarney. 170 boys from U7 to U12 competed across 3 competitions. The emphasis is on inclusion and fun, and these were the main winners across two weekends of action.
Similar to the football, there was 6 different teams playing in the U7/8 group, 8 teams across the u9/10 and 4 teams competing in the u11/12 ages..
The u7/8 group stage games where all very close, with a lot of draws and only a score separating most teams. At this age we play ground hurling only. Steve Forrest and his TurfTech team ensured the grass was well cut, so the sliotar was flying around on a perfect surface. Its always a big step up for the younger players, the U7s in this group, to play with the U8s, but they all acquitted themselves brilliantly, and there is some great talent in the 2015 born group. For the final, it was Sean Rowleys team up against Ramsey O’Riordans team, in a repeat of the football final earlier in the year. Only one goal separated the sides at the finish, in what was a fantastic game with end to end action, with Ramsey, Ciaran Jennings, Leo Kelly and all their teammates victorious at the finish. A special mention must be made of Sean Rowley who picked up a nasty hand injury in the final. It didn’t stop Sean from continuing, which is a testament to his drive and determination, and there is no doubt going to be great days for this fine player ahead. It was great to see all the U7 & U8 players cheering on their friends, and in the end all were happy to receive their medals and goodie bags! It was fantastic to have the O’ Donoghue family on hand to present the Brendan O ‘Donoghue trophy to Ramsey and his teammates.
With big numbers across our U9 & U10 age groups, we split these groups across 8 teams, the objective to ensure all kids have as much involvement and touches in the games. Each team competed in the Munster or Leinster championships, having 3 games in each to see who tops the groups. Out of the Munster championship, it came down to the final game in the group in a game which ebbed and flowed between Kilkenny & Wexford, before Senan Rings Kilkenny eventually prevailed. Similarly in the Munster championship, the final game in the group was to determine who progressed, and the Clare team led by Patrick Sheehan came out on top.
The final was another classic. It looked by half time that Clare had the edge with the likes of Patrick Sheehan, Graham Forrest, Ekain Linehan and Sean Og O’Sullivan, as well as some superb displays from the U9 players really impressing. But the Kilkenny Cats have many lives, and they were not done! Driven on by the very impressive Senan Ring, ably backed by Fionn McMahon, Dara Fitzgerald, Charlie Beer and again the very impressive U9 players, they fought tooth and nail for every ball, until at the very end, Senan hit the net to draw the game level. As the ball was pucked out, the hooter sounded, and like the football Parish Leagues again earlier in the season, the final finished a draw, and the teams shared the lifting of the cup. Michael Downey was on hand to present the Donal Downey Cup to the winning captains, which like the football was a very satisfying result all round.
Onto the U11 & U12 competition, this is the second year we have played up to this age in the Parish Leagues, with four very balanced teams vying for the Joe Bradley Cup. These two groups of players combined very well throughout the year with the successful under 12 hurling teams, so there was high expectation of quality hurling games, and the boys didn’t disappoint. After very tight round robin games, the final was the meeting of Leinster, led by Sam Hassett, Eoghan O’Keeffe, Oran Kelly, Jake O’Gorman, Sean Lynch, Mikey Cairns and the U11 players, against Munster who were led by Bobby Fitzgerald, Lochlann O ‘Donoghue, Conor O’Sullivan, Fionnan O’Sullivan, Ben O’Reilly, Daniel Ring and again the very impressive U11 players. Up to half time there was very little to separate the teams, but in the second half Munster found the posts more often, and pulled away towards the end to record an impressive win. Joe Bradleys grandsons Joe and Shane Jordan were on hand to present the cup in honour of his name, and there is no doubt Joe Brad would be very proud to see the quality of hurlers in the Blarney underage at present.
At the end of the Parish Leagues, hurling was the true winner, and the kids all thoroughly enjoyed participating. A massive thank you to all the referees, Tim Duggan in the BFS, Norman our piper, John Kelly for the fantastic photos, to the families presenting the cups, the parents for getting the kids to the matches, and the coaches for the setup and time they give throughout the year. An Bhlarna Abu