There wasn’t much sport to report on this weekend given the blanket ban on games called off by the Galway FA this time due to Storm Brian. However, two of our local National Schools took part in the group games of the Mini Sevens Finals on Friday last in The Galway Centre of Excellence, Claregalway. This is an elite competition, in fact the one to win at NS level but was a big step for both Ballymacward & Gurteen N.S. It must be said though it was a bit of a David vs Goliath kinda contest given the size of the opposition schools relative to ours.
St. Kerrills N.S., Gurteen faced a more superior Craughwell side Killeenen N.S. in their first group game; although it took Killeenen until the 2nd half to really pull away. It was 0-4 to Killeenen before Gurteen got on a scoreboard, a free from Jonah Donnellan after the aforementioned himself was fouled. This was the half time score after 10mins of play. Killeenen tacked on another point from play early in the 2nd half before Jonah Donnellan converted a long range free after Ronan Hynes was fouled. Killeenen tacked on another 2-1, the killer blows coming 6 & 7 mins respectively into the 2nd half leaving the Gurteen boys with no way back. Killeenen scored another goal and tacked on a point which was whipped on the ground for a smashing point while Jonah Donnellan finished Gurteen’s account with a point from play but in the end it was a step too far for the Gurteen boys.
In their 2nd game, Gurteen took on neighbours Newcastle while many of these boys knew each other well having played as comrades on the U12 soccer team. This game was also a bridge too far as Newcastle advanced on a wet and extremely cold day with Jason Rabbitte, Orin Burke, Aodain Hickey & Ruairi Keogh to the fore. Newcastle sprang into an early lead 0-4 to 0-0 midway through the first half and tacked on another 1-2 by half time to leave Newcastle in a superior position. 1-6 to 0-0 at half time. In the 2nd half Newcastle piled on the misery scoring 2 more goals – two coming late on just to underline their total dominance while Gurteen’s response was 2 points; a long range free from defence and a point from play from Jonah Donnellan. Newcastle won all the breaks and went on to win the semi-final. The final was abandoned after that due to the extremely wet and cold weather.
Gurteen Panel: Harry Mitchell, Conor Kelly. Ross Lally, Jonah Donnellan, Ronan Hynes, David Walsh, Diarmuid Ryan, Cathal Hynes, Keith Kitt, Ciaran Hogan.
Ballymacward N.S. took on a physically stronger Ardrahan, Oranmore and Cappataggle N.S. in their side of the group. Having lost Padraig Kelly on the morning due to illness, Ballymacward put in a tough performance against Ardrahan who were the superior team on the day. Oranmore, who were a much bigger N.S. than Ballymacward won a lot of the breaks in the 2nd game putting the Ballymac lads on the back foot. In their 3rd game, they acquitted themselves very well losing by 3 points to Cappataggle N.S.
Panel: Fionn Donoghue, Daniel Lydon, Dylan Roche, Anthony Feeney, Dara Scarry, Jack Reilly, Daragh Roche, James Queeney & Jamie Nutley.