IT'S TIME TO COVER THE PARISH IN WHITE AND GREEN
O’Loughlin Gaels Seniors and Minor Teams will compete in this year’s respective hurling County Finals after two powerful performances in their semi-finals at the weekend generating an air of excitement amongst the St. Johns faithful. Over the next two weeks the build-up will gather momentum. There will be friendly banter with our opponents – the minors await the outcome of the other semi-final between Dicksboro and James Stephens to be played this weekend – the seniors know its Clara. Neighbours all and the banter will be good. Club rivalries will be rife…neighbours will display opposing club colours in locations designed to annoy neighbours…households will be split! Yes households will be split..who’d be Mrs Hogan as her two sons will square up to each other on County Final Day! It has all the makings of a great great day and no matter what the outcome all those rivalries, splits and annoyances will be put to one side again once the dust settles and brought out again the following season. It’s a spirit that’s unique to our games and what makes them so special. But bragging rights are bragging rights and each club will want to have them so it’s all hands on deck to show our support for our teams. Display your colours..offer your words of encouragement and if called upon to help in any way answer that call. It’s an opportunity to get together and support your club. Preparations will continue over the next 2 weeks so get involved if you can.
SENIORS TOPPLE CHAMPIONS
A huge team performance has seen O’Loughlin Gaels Seniors dethrone Ballyhale Shamrocks in a tense semi-final in Nowlan Park. Everyone was writing off the St. Johns side as is understandable considering the quantity of household names the opposition boasts. But the ‘Gaels were not for showing too much respect last Sunday and rightly treated every player with equal measure. The young guns on the team of Paddy Deegan and Huw Lawlor cared less that Henry Shefflin, TJ Reid or Michael Fennelly were in their company. Paddy stepped up to the plate particularly in the second half and cleared ball after ball to set up numerous attacks on the Ballyhale posts. There were heros all over the pitch. Martin Comerford reeled back the years and was into everything throughout the first half that saw him break ball and set up scoring opportunities at will. His energy and passion inspiring the players around him. Mark Bergin was one of those players who benefitted from Gorta’s play scoring a total of 1-9 including a fantastic goal in the first half that saw him thread the ball past the Ballyhale keeper. It was just rewards for the workrate he applied to his game. If you’re looking for work rate you can’t look much further than the full back line Anthony Forristal, Andy Kearns and Eddie Kearns. A couple of early scares in the game were quickly thwarted by a solid line throughout. Mark Bergin’s goal was the difference between the sides at Half time and the large Nowlan Park crowd wondered if it was enough considering the firepower that was available to the champions. And sure enough Ballyhale did hit a purple patch and not only clawed back the lead put went ahead by a single point with 20minutes remaining after a Henry Shefflin free was converted. Mark Kelly immediately hit back with a pointed free of his own and added three more along with a Martin Comerford point to Ballyhale’s single point before Mark Kelly found the net on 26mins. The Gaels now had formed a healthy looking lead and Mark Kelly was finding his groove thanks to excellent play by Jack Nolan and Danny Loughnane. Conor Bergin was introduced and added to further pressure on the Ballyhale defence. The last 10 mins were nail biting if you were from St. Johns Parish. The legs were tiring and Ballyhale were panicking throwing everything at the O’Loughlin Gaels goal. Stephen Murphy made two top class reflex saves during the game but a high ball and low sun combined helped Ballyhale managed to find the net to put the defibrillators on standby as the game came to its climax. Staunch defending by O’Loughlin Gaels defender Eddie Kearns as one TJ Reid launched a final attack ensured that O’Loughlin Gaels head to this year’s County Final in two weeks time. It was a great win and one that was richly deserved. The best team won on the day and now the preparations are underway for a shot at a county title. One that hasn’t been achieved since 2010. Clara stand in the way and will be favourites to regain the title they won in 2013. Our lads will have their work cut out but as we’ve just discovered they like to work. Well done to all and Up the ‘Loughs.
MINOR SEMI FINAL
O’Loughlin Gaels minors learned a few valuable lessons on Saturday evening in a breezy Ballyhale to overcome Mooncoin in the first of this year’s County Semi-Finals. Mooncoin put on a fine first half performance with their mid-field duo taking advantage of the strong breeze and some wayward marksmanship by the O’Loughlins attack. The men from the south headed into the second half with a six point advantage. The second half proved different story however with the O’Loughlin’s forwards finding their radar. In truth the delivery to the forwards was much improved from the first half probably due to the strong breeze. Pat Byrne was introduced into the action at half time and quickly made an impact with a fine goal six mins into the half. Cian Loy soon found his scoring prowess and pointed his second of three points two minutes later. Sean Bolger was flying thoughout the game and pointed for the second time next. The game was definitely turning in the St. Johns side favour now and some fine performances were popping up around the field. Conor Heary and Robbie Buckley were dominating their areas and providing intelligent ball to a now confident attack. Shane Maher pointed three of his frees and Cian Loy found the net thirteen minutes into the second half that eased the sizeable St. Johns support. It was a professional ending to the half from then on and the lads eased to a county Final date in two weeks time. Well done to all involved and good luck.
JUNIORS BOW OUT
The Juniors were shown the road in this year’s championship with a defeat to neighbours Dickboro in Ballyragget on Saturday evening. It has been a good year for the juniors who've worked hard and got some good results during the year to reach the Section B final. Well done to all the players and the management team.
There was no winner of last weeks Lotto. The numbers drawn were 6,10, 19 ,25 and the bonus number was:17. Tickets can be bought from the usual selling agents or by asking at the clubhouse bar. Remember – if you’re not in; you can’t win the jackpot prize of €20,000.
JUVENILEs ENJOYED A GREAT YEAR
On Sunday the O’Loughlin Gaels Juvenile teams completed their season with a grand finale of games in front of packed St. Johns Park. Parents of all age groups from u6 to u12 gathered on the club steps to witness their young Gaels perform at an exceptionally high level. Each age group organised end of year leagues and the games culminated with a series of finals played out on Sunday morning. The parents thoroughly enjoyed the exhibition put on and it was certainly a good appetiser for what was to come in ‘the Park’ later in the afternoon. After the high octane matches the players were each awarded their Certificates of excellence presented by their respective coaches. A huge thanks must go to the dozens of volunteers who mentor and coach all our young players so that they can become the best that they can. The St. Johns Parents too all play their part towards the development of these aspiring young hurlers. The parents very much enjoy their Sunday morning and Thursday evening gatherings which is helped along by this year’s innovation by the Camogie Club to provide a Café. Standing on the sidelines is much more sociable with a nice hot cup of coffee in hand so well done to them for that. The Camogie Club would like to offer their thanks to all those who supported the shop throughout the summer. Well done to all involved and the we are already looking to towards the Spring when the 2016 season throws in again. Well done all.
CAMOGIE AWARDS NIGHT – SATURDAY OCT 17TH 6.30pm
After what has been a great year for O’Loughlin Gaels Camogie Club next Saturday the club hosts an Awards Evening for the season just ended. It has been one of the most successful years for the Camogie club with membership the highest ever. The switch to Saturday mornings for Juvenile training has played a huge part in that success and in the development of the social side of being involved in a sports club. More volunteers and more equipment means that O’Loughlin Gaels camogie is going to grow and grow and is heading to be one of the most prominent camogie clubs in the county. Most of the juvenile and senior teams competed at the latter end of their respective championships which is a credit to the standard of coaching provided. This year too saw the Club host their own underage Tournament- the Rena Sheridan Cup - which brought many visiting clubs to St. Johns Park. The u12s won the County Championship and Minor and junior players, Laura Murphy, Laura Greene, Rebecca Cleere and Aisling Butler all represented the club on County Teams and contributed to them winning national honours. The awards night takes place in the club on Saturday evening at. 6.30pm
re to edit.