St Mary’s GAA Club Athenry Report July 1996

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Senior Hurling Team:

The senior team started their training campaign early in the year and were in good shape when the championship began. The first game against Portumna was a difficult encounter but Athenry with superior skill and stickwork overcame the stiff Portumna challenge to win their first game.

In the second game of the championship Athenry got off to a flying start with goals from Eugene Cloonan and Cathal Moran against Loughrea in Tuam. However, Athenry struggled for long periods in the game and did not produce a polished performance. It took two second half-frees from Brendan Keogh and two from play for Joe Rabbitte to see off the challenge of Loughrea.

For the third game of the championship versus Gort, Athenry made some position changes as they were not happy with the performance against Loughrea. Gerry Keane moved to full back releasing Brian Feeney to centre back. Pat Higgins moved to centre forward with his brother Brian moving from centre field to right halfback. The positional changes worked well and Athenry gave their best performance so far in the championship scoring 1-22 to 1-12. There were excellent performances on the day by Brian Higgins, Brendan Keogh, John Hardiman, Donal Moran, Brian Feeney and Gerry Keane.

Athenry are now in the quarter final of the championship. Well done to manager P.J. Molloy, selectors Pat Nally, Martin T. Kelly, Paddy Conway, Tom Howley and Jackie Shea. l firmly be ieve the club championship should not cease totally during the summer months while the county team are involved in the championship.

Intermediate Hurling Team:

The intermediate team have the same management as the senior squad which in effect means the two groups train and prepare together. The intermediate team had good wins over Killimor 1st game, Leitrim / Kilnadeema 2nd game, lost to Ballinasloe in their third game and won their next game against Tommy Larkins giving a great team performance scoring 1-19 to 10 points. There is a nice blend of youth and experience in this team who have now reached the quarter final of the intermediate championship. Athenry’s best performers are Gerry Dempsey, Billy Caulfield, Dermot Monaghan, Paddy Kelly, Declan Higgins and Ronan Kilcommins with a lot of experience while on the youthful side Cathal Daly, David Howley, Aidin Cahill, Dara Burke, Liam Hoyne and Diarmuid Burns are playing very well.

Junior B Hurling Team:

The Junior B hurling team have only one game played so far beating Tommy Larkins. Best performers in this game were Michael Cahill, Brendan Burke, Sean Keane, Mattie Gannon, Pat Hoyne, Peter Kelly, Liam O’Brien, Michael Waldron, Liam Connell, and second half substitute David Donohue.

Minor Hurling Team: Athenry got off to a good start with wins over Clarinbridge. Athenry had an easy victory over a disappointing Loughrea team in the next game and got a walkover from Portumna in the third game of the championship. Well done to manager and trainer Paddy Kelly and selectors Tom Cloonan and Dermot Monaghan.

U-14 Juvenile Team:

The Athenry under l4 juvenile team won the first championship of the year for the club when they defeated Craughwell in an exciting final in Loughrea. This team showed great character and fighting spirit as they were heavily defeated in a group game by Portumna earlier on. In the final a wonderful goal by Joseph Kelly, excellent free taking by Cormac Cloonan and great goalkeeping by Gearoid Harty saw off the challenge of Craughwell. Other great performers were John Brady, David Carroll, John Madden, Senan Coffey, Padraic Quirke, Joseph O’Brien, Liam Howley and Oliver Freaney who helped to capture the Joe Sammon Cup. Athenry went on to represent Galway at the under 14 Féile in Waterford. Even though they failed to qualify for the knockout stages of the Féile competition they gave a wonderful account of themselves especially in their group match against Glen Rovers from Cork. Athenry led by a point at half time playing against a very good Cork side. They only succumbed to the pressure near the end of the game when Liam Howley had to go off injured. The Athenry lads can be proud of the courage and the skill they displayed in Waterford and did themselves and everybody associated with the club proud. For all of us who travelled it was a wonderful weekend and a most enjoyable experience. Once again many thanks to the long serving stalwarts of under age hurling in Athenry, Tom Cloonan and Tom McGovern, selectors Paddy Kelly and Vincent Madden. We hope the Under 14 Cup will be the first of many for Athenry in 1996.

The U-16 hurling competition is about to commence shortly. Also, the U-16 footballers won their first game of the championship beating Dunmore.

Well done to Martin T. Kelly and all his Lotto Committee for their hard work and dedication in helping raise funds to finance our successful club.

Finally a sincere thanks to Bobby Gardiner, Mike Quinn, Leo Coffey, Kerrill Hanlon, Peadar Monaghan, J.J. Kelly, Dermot McNamara, Ned Waldron and all who worked on the F.Á.S. scheme to improve and develop our playing pitch at Raheen.

Mixie Donohue, Club P.R.O.

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See also “Féile na nGael 1996” by Cormac Cloonan

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About this record

Written by Mixie Donohue

Published here 04 Jan 2023 and originally published August 1996

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