U-21 A HURLING CHAMPIONSHIP: Kildimo/Pallaskenry 3-23 Newcastlewest 1-12. Our Seven Sisters-sponsored U-21 hurlers opened their Championship campaign with a superb victory over Newcastlewest on a balmy November afternoon in Pallaskenry. The pitch in Pallas was in superb condition for the first week in November, and credit must go to everyone involved in maintaining the surface as it leant itself to some fantastic hurling. It really was a lovely day for hurling: sunny, yet not too warm, a slight breeze and, happily, the result went our way.
We are blessed to have such large numbers at this age group this year and had 24 players togged out today. Nine of today’s starting team played senior Championship hurling this year, while another 11 of the panel having trained with our seniors all year and played junior Championship with the remainder being made up of players from our U-19 and U-17 sides who made county finals and semi-finals respectively. So the pedigree is there for this group of players, and we attacked the game right from the off.
Paudi Hartigan tormented his marker all day long and with the very first ball that went in, he got the ball in his hand, slipped away from his clutches and popped the ball over the bar. In that first half, we were able to press right up on the Newcastlewest puckout with Shaun Barry in particular winning a huge amount of ball, and it was Shaun who linked up well with his teammates before steadying himself to fire over a lovely point from the left wing. Newcastlewest hit back with a pointed free, but we soon opened up a little bit of a gap after we hit our first goal. Paudi Hartigan was again integral to the move, winning the ball inside and he then got his head up to pick out Aaron O’Donovan who had made a clever, ghosting run in behind the defence. Aaron headed straight for goal and disguised his shot by using the covering defender, leaving the keeper motionless as the ball hit the back of the net. We extended our lead further when Shaun Barry again won the ball, and laid it off to Garry Sheehan bursting through the middle with Garry producing a superb strike to split the uprights.
We had been totally dominant up until this point, the pressing of the Newcastlewest puckout was leading to a lot of rewards but our opponents did have a real threat in their own forward line when they were able to break past our press and our defenders had to be vigilant. James Pomeroy and Luke O’Keeffe had to combine to make a great covering block after it looked like Newcastlewest were heading in on goal before James Mason then had to produce a fantastic save to prevent a goal. But Newcastlewest were not to be denied and shortly after hit a goal to cut the gap to just two. But we responded really well to that goal and re-asserted our control over the game. Team captain Cathal Downes was imperious at centre-back, while Marc O’Shea and Ciarán Barry were also bursting forward time after time down the left wing. Shaun Barry was able to link in with them to fire over his second point of the game, very similar to the first before a raiding run from Cathal Downes drew a free. Liam Griffin struck the free from midfield over the bar before Aaron O’Donovan delightfully cut a sideline over the bar to give us a five-point lead.
Newcastlewest hit back with another free before Davy Fitzgerald got in on the scoring act. He had had a relatively quiet opening ten minutes but from thereon, took the game by the scruff of the neck. He took on his marker and popped the ball over the bar for his first score before Aaron O’Donovan added a point from play to his tally. When Marc O’Shea broke the tackle on the left touchline, he was fouled and although referee, Jonathan Hayes, initially played the
advantage, none accrued and Liam Griffin slotted the free over the bar from out on the wing. Another Newcastlewest score before the water break, their first from play, meant that we held a six-point lead at the water break.
We had been dominant and we kicked on to give us an almost-unassailable half-time lead, as we blitzed Newcastlewest immediately after the water break. We showed our ability to score from pretty much anywhere when Ciarán Downes was fouled deep in his own half, and Aaron O’Donovan landed the free straight over the bar. We continued to maintain our dominance on the Newcastlewest puckouts, with Shaun Barry, Liam Griffin and Cathal Downes among those attacking every single ball and when a ball was delivered from a puckout win right into the corner, Davy Fitzgerald never gave up even though it looked as though it might go out of play. He picked the ball right in the corner, looked like he was tied up by the corner flag, but burst past the tackler and carried the ball in along the endline. He was hit very hard as he evaded yet another defender, before burying the ball past the keeper as he stepped inside. It was an absolutely phenomenal goal from the man who is still U-17 and it opened our lead out to ten points.
Newcastlewest hit back with a point of their own but we would rack up a couple more scores before half-time. The work rate of Ciarán Galvin was one of the features of the first half, he always seemed to be there to hassle and harry Newcastlewest backs and he added a couple of scores to a sparkling performance before the end of the half. His pace and directness made him a nightmare to mark, and when he broke free, he was able to pop the ball over the bar. And when he hassled the puckout himself, he was fouled, allowing Liam to fire yet another free between the uprights. Newcastlewest hit one more point before the half-time break, but we were not yet done. When Liam Griffin intercepted a Newcastlewest puckout, he was able to send it right back over the bar and it was Ciarán Galvin who finished off our scoring for the half with another fine point from play after beating his defender. This left the half-time score: Kildimo/Pallaskenry 2-14 Newcastlewest 1-5.
2-14 was fantastic scoring for any half of hurling, and with seven different scorers all having scored from play, it was very encouraging ahead of the second half. And we started the second half like a train. Things opened up for Aaron O’Donovan, and he headed right through the middle before burying the ball past the goalkeeper for his second goal of the afternoon. The directness of our forwards was a joy to behold and it was leading to plenty of opportunities being created. However, it is hard to maintain that level of intensity for an entire sixty minutes and our standards definitely did drop after that goal. It did not help when Newcastlewest were reduced to 14 men after Ciarán Downes was subject to a heavy blow, and the game entered a bit of a lull period in the aftermath of the red card. Liam Griffin popped the resulting free over the bar to open up a 3-15 to 1-5 lead at that stage, but it was actually Newcastlewest who responded better to the red card and they would get the next two scores and would put a bit of pressure on our puckout, as we had done to them in the first half. But before the second half water break, we would create another goal chance, Davy Fitzgerald did superbly to win the ball from the puckout, breaking it down to himself and he headed straight for goal before releasing the ball at the perfect time to Liam O’Sullivan. Liam had come in off the bench and with his first opportunity, flashed his shot just over the crossbar. However, this gave us a bit of momentum as we headed into the water break fifteen points ahead.
By the water break, we had introduced all five of the subs that we are allowed to make and they would all make an impact. Eddie McLoughlin, in particular, seemed to be hitting
everything that moved when he came on and got on a load of ball in our defence, starting a number of attacks. Another sub, Jai Chaudri, was instrumental in creating our next score as he attacked the ball from the next puckout, allowing Davy Fitzgerald get on the break, weave away from the defender before popping the ball over the bar in style. He was hugely prominent in driving us forward in the final fifteen minutes and, after Newcastlewest had got another point, they were forced to haul Davy down as he headed for goal with Liam Griffin again deadly accurate with the placed ball. Two more subs, Adam Butler and Matthew Lucey, were also very lively and the two of them combined to set up Shaun Barry who was able to strike over his third point. We had re-found our groove and were now creating chances in abundance again, and were unlucky not to hit a fourth goal when Paudi Hartigan raced past a couple of defenders before playing the ball across the square to Adam Butler, whose flicked shot was very well-saved by the goalkeeper.
Cathal Downes was then able to set up Aaron O’Donovan to fire over yet another point from play, bringing his personal tally for the day to 2-4. Newcastlewest did hit a couple of points in a row as they tried to rally the troops but we got three points in a row to round out our scoring for the day. Davy Fitzgerald showed his hurling intelligence as he was able to get the ball away to Liam Griffin, who brought his tally from play to 0-4 with a wonderful score from the touchline. Davy himself would bring his tally to 1-3, as he showed fantastic skill to flick the ball past the defender and fire over the bar from out the field. And those two would link again when Davy was fouled yet again, with Liam bringing his overall tally to 0-8 with his fourth free of the day. Newcastlewest launched a few assaults on our goal in the closing stages but James Mason was more than capable of standing up to the task, making a couple of smart saves and organising our defence so although they scored a couple of points, we did not concede another goal.
Overall, it was an excellent victory and although this was our first game, we have already booked our place in the county quarter-final as it is a three-team group. Our next group fixture is on Wednesday night against Blackrock, with the game due to take place under lights in Knocklong at 8pm. An awkward one to get to go but if any of our supporters are around, we would appreciate the support. Well done to all involved on a fine performance; this was a Newcastlewest side with plenty of players who have featured for Limerick at U-20 and minor level, in both codes, and hitting 3-23 against them is no mean feat. But there will be plenty of other tests ahead, so best of luck for the rest of the season!
Team: James Mason; James Pomeroy, Luke O’Keeffe, Marc O’Shea; Ciarán Downes, Cathal Downes, Ciarán Barry; Garry Sheehan (0-1), Luke Guinane; Liam Griffin (0-8, 0-4 frees), Aaron O’Donovan (2-4, 0-1 sideline, 0-1 free), Shaun Barry (0-3); Davy Fitzgerald (1-3), Paudi Hartigan (0-1), Ciarán Galvin (0-2)
Subs: Eddie McLoughlin for Marc O’Shea; Matthew Lucey for Luke Guinane; Jai Chaudri for Ciarán Downes; Liam O’Sullivan (0-1) for Ciarán Galvin; Adam Butler for Garry Sheehan
Panel: Eoin Sexton, Mícheál Cuddihy, Sean Staff, Oran Kelly
U-19 B HURLING CHAMPIONSHIP FINAL: Our U-19 hurling county final against St. Kieran’s is now fixed for Sunday, September 21 in the Bog Garden, Rathkeale at 2pm.
MUNSTER INTERMEDIATE FOOTBALL CHAMPIONSHIP: After the weekend, we now know our opponents in the Munster Football Championship as Corofin were victorious in the Clare county final, defeating Kildysart on a 2-12 to 2-10. It was a dramatic finish, as Corofin struck two goals on the stroke of 60 minutes to clinch a remarkable comeback. We are fixed to play them on the weekend of 4/5 December, away at a Clare venue. As a club, we are greatly looking forward to yet another Munster adventure!
HALLOWEEN MONSTER RAFFLE: The results of our Halloween Monster Raffle can be found on our social media pages, our club members have been in touch with the winners this week. Many thanks to all who supported the raffle, and to all our prize sponsors, it is very much appreciated!
KILDIMO/PALLASKENRY GAA & CAMOGIE FRIDAY NIGHT ACADEMY: We are delighted see the return of our Friday Night Lights academy programme in Kilcornan Hall & Astro last Friday, with huge numbers in attendance once again! The academy programme covers skill development, fun games, fundamental movement and more and is suitable for children from U-7 all the way up to U-17, with different time slots for the various ages and is set to continue until Friday, December 17!
CLUB DEVELOPMENT GROUNDWORKS LAUNCHED: We were delighted to have three-time All-Ireland winner, Kyle Hayes, at the launching of the groundworks of our club development plan. Our ambitious plans include a 27m ball wall, a 27×25 enclosed all-weather training area, secure perimeter fencing as well as floodlighting for all year round use. This will be a huge asset for the club, will allow us to secure a training base for the winter months while allowing our players of all ages to hone their skills.
While stage one of these works has begun, we still need further assistance from the community in order to bring all these plans to conclusion. We are asking our friends, members, parishioners and supporters to assist with this project so that we can create future All-Ireland winners in the club! Contact any committee member to pledge your support!
CLUB LIMERICK DRAW: A good weekend for Tom O’Connell, team sponsor of our intermediate footballers who also celebrated his birthday and was a winner in the Club Limerick draw for October! This is a great way to support both your club and county, so please join the Club Limerick draw for 2021! You can win up to €10,000 monthly with 30 cash prizes and an exclusive star prize given out each month! Join the Club Limerick draw by visiting “supporting the future success of our clubs & county teams”.
PITCH SIGNAGE: If you or business is interested in supporting your local GAA club, give us a message on social media for details of pitch signage options in both Kildimo and Pallaskenry GAA grounds.
CLUB LOTTO: The winning numbers in this week’s lotto draw were 1, 3, 23, 26. There was no winner of the overall draw. The jackpot rises to €12,200 for next week’s draw.
Our lotto has moved online and can be played at with options to play weekly, monthly or as often as you like! Six-month and annual lotto subscriptions are also now available. With ongoing restrictions our club lotto is the most vital fundraising and income source for the club, even more so now when all other
fundraising activities remain suspended and not possible to run. We are continuing to reach out to members, supporters, friends of our club to please consider joining and playing the lotto online in order to support the ongoing costs of running our club. The best way to support the club right now is through the lotto!
Tickets are also available in Mace Kildimo, Gala Pallaskenry, the Seven Sisters, the Beer Garden, De Bucket, the Corner House and Clancy’s Bar and from our weekly lotto sellers. Please continue to support your local club!
TWITTER: The club also have a new twitter account which can be found by searching Kildimo/Pallaskenry GAA or by the twitter handle @kildimopallas. Give the club a follow to keep up to date with all the latest club news.