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Under 14


2018
Mentors: Martin Geary (0872253350)
Dermot Whelan, Danny McMonagle

Outdoor Training from March 27: 
Tuesdays 6.30-7.30, Páirc Chiaráin, Top Pitch.
Fridays 6.30-7.30, Páirc Chiaráin, Top Pitch

Southern Gaels 4-8 v Delvin 3-7, April 9.

It’s the Love of the Game that hopefully keeps all kids hurling, and this was the perfect match-maker to setup a romance for life. Passion, Intensity, Devotion, Excitement & Energy were the sentiments to the fore from the small panel of 16 players that were available for the trek to this North Westmeath encounter on Delvin’s home turf. The pitch was perfect with a strong breeze and sunshine the only conditions to contend with but they were in our favour for the first half and we took full advantage with Johnny taking the opening  score from the throw in followed by a free from Cian. Then Conn held one of their puckouts & brilliantly bounced passed a ball to Cian in support who struck lovely to give us a 3 point lead. In the backline Zach was bravely winning more than he should and as always, cleared them well, while Josh was similarly battling up front and taking on their big man. Delvin replied with a free before Johnny won another tussle and pointed followed by a long ball into the box for Paul to pounce on, take on his man and aggressively by pass him to strike the ball low to the corner to put us firmly ahead. Then came their purple patch as they rallied against our dominance and struck back with a few points followed by 2 late goals in the first half for them to draw level with us a Half Time. We knew we should of been ahead, but such is the composure of this group, they discussed the mistakes of the first half and knew they’d right them in the second half. Truly they did that by everyone putting their bodies on the line. Calum was everywhere and delivered some great puckouts. Conn had his best game in a Gaels Jersey by aggressively attacking the ball as never before. Oisín was in combat mode and fulfilled his duties diligently to give us a platform to perform and allow Johnny take off so majestically and run riot with some wonderful scores. Diarmaid was unreal solid with his best moment protecting a ball, getting over it to secure possession tempting the opposition to foul him and that they did. Another of the hardest working backs was Luke, who’s tight marking ability is exemplary and it took him to track one of their best forwards to keep him scoreless when he looked so menacing, that was a game changer when it was most needed as Delvin upped the intensity and took a 3 point lead with 10 minutes to go. But the Great Gaels had other ideas and composure. Cian was inspired now for victory and struck a close in free to put us two behind. Then Cian magnificently goaled a 25 yard blaster of a free to put us one ahead. We never looked back as everyone knew what had to be done to see out the triumph. Michael was immense and so brave at centre back especially as he took a tough off the ball blow to win us a vital free. That long range free saw some tough battling by Dano to send the ball to the back post where a hungry energetic Cormac was waiting to catch a beauty and strike firmly to skim the post on the nearside of the keeper to put us 4 ahead, while at the other end our Keep Cillian was on top form especially from high dropping balls only conceding raspers. Alex also came on as a sub and was bravely straight into the action. Delvin were not to lie down and aggressively attacked us, but Cian vitally dispossessed a shot from the square before they had one last chance but Ryan stood tallest and bravest. Ryan got in so close to stop them by putting his body in on a shot to take a tough strike to the shoulder to see out the win as the ref blew the final whistle to great scenes of jubilation to win suck a tight encounter and fall further in love with the Game of the Gods……..
Heros on the Night: 
Cillian Geary, Diarmaid Murtagh, Calum Devaney, Ryan Fallon, Luke O’Connell, Michael Dolan, Zach Meegan, Cian Geary (1-3), Johnny Martin (1-5), Oisín Flynn, Dano McMonagle, Conn O’Hara, Cormac Bradley (1-0), Josh Keane, Paul Hogan (1-0), Alex Devaney

FÉILE 2018 with Michael Dwyers, Wicklow

What would we do without Féile? It is an unequalled unique sporting experience that looks to be unparalleled in any other sporting code. Last Friday it began with games at 64 venues with 4 teams either hurling or camogie in action. On Saturday morning it was many more encounters at 128 venues to conclude the league stages before moving onto quarter final level in cup and shield in 16 divisions (9 hurling and 7 camogie) on Saturday afternoon. Close on 6000 hurlers and camogie players played in the 2018 John West Féile na nGael hurling and camogie competitions, aided by over 1000 mentors and thousands of home and visiting supporters. On Sunday morning its semi-final stage followed by the Finals in the afternoon with over 10,000 spectators. So where were Southern Gaels in all of this? In the thick of it they were. It started with photos in Páirc Chiaráin on the Friday at 2.45 and then travelling to Castlepollard to play Michael Davitts from Derry and Clan na Gael from Westmeath. It’s fantastic to get to play such varied opposition. Unfortunately, the Gaels lost those games but gained valuable experiences playing at this standard and high level of competition in Féile Division 5. You don’t get to this division easily and it was the Gaels good work last year to finish in a championship final that saw them compete at this level. So where do all these travelling players stay? They are hosted by the players parents, who are all Garda Vetted. The Gaels got to host a fabulous club called Michael Dwyer’s Juvenile GAA Club, a small rural club, based in West County Wicklow with players from Kiltegan, Stratford Grangecon, Baltinglass, Dunlavin, Donard, Hollywood and Blessington. They travelled to Athlone and the Gaels showcased why they’re such a great club with a super club spirit. After a night in a Gaels player’s house they arrived to do battle against each other in Páirc Chiaráin. This was a very close encounter and the standard of hurling was fabulous with the Wicklow men edging it by just 2 scores. What happened next was very unique with Michael Dwyer’s giving a Guard of Honour to our players as they entered the tunnel, and the Gaels reciprocating before a memento presentation to all the visitors, with the parents and supporters cheering on from above the tunnel. A memorable moment forever. They all had some splendid refreshments by the hard-working Gaels parents who supplied and poured all morning long - they’re brilliant. There’s no resting in Féile, as the Gaels were off to play Galway’s Portumna in the Shield Quarter Final. Stiff opposition at any time, but with 3 Cannings on the team sheet, it was never going to be easy. However, the Gaels were coming good at the right time and started this match in a rage and took the lead within a minute and were never to go behind. They followed it soon after with a goal and held a 4-point lead at Half time. Their Team spirit really shone through and it was certainly their finest performance this year at this All-Ireland Qualifier stage to see out the victory, winning 1-6 to 0-2. Féile Friendships & Socials then kick in. Michael Dwyer’s go back to the Gaels hosts to be fed and watered, before the social began. This year was a fabulous joint Disco with Drumraney Camogie Club who brought their visitors from Nurney, Kildare to match up with the Gaels and their visitors. It was a hot and steamy affair, but that was only the air in the room as nearly 100 Under 14’s mixed to the frantic DJ tunes being pounded out. Michael Dwyer’s then made a presentation to Southern Gaels to mark the fabulous occasion to a packed crowd in the bar – it was breathing room only such was the crowd there, all in support of the small ball. Sunday Hurling was up next with the Gaels travelling to Oliver Plunketts to take on Lixnaw in the Shield Semi Final. The game was postponed by nearly an hour waiting for the ref, but nothing could have prepared us for the length of the keeper’s puck outs by 3-in-a-row Kerry Long Puck winner landing the balls to such an athletic full forward who was able to rifle a few sliotars to the net despite some fabulous saves. However, our players stood tall and battled back brilliantly with a stand out wonder goal of Johnny Martin winning a puckout, weaving and soloing half the length of the pitch and striking a wonder blow from his weaker left to beat the keeper. We put the pressure on but could not come back from the oppositions thundering goal strikes. We lost 4-8 to 3-4. That ended our hurling involvement in the shield, but congratulations to Westmeath’s Clann Na Gael who beat Lixnaw in the final to be crowned Division 5 Shield Champions. It was off to Supermacs then to recount the wonderous weekend of hurling with lifelong memories made and fabulous friendships forged forever. With 14 of the panel underage again next year, the future looks bright and I know these kids will be chomping at the bit to qualify next year and recreate a fabulous Féile – where would we be without the Feile dream? Thanks so much to all parents - host parents must get extra applause - and to all those who travelled and helped and encouraged the Gaels Machine as it went into overdrive to excel, especially in the hospitality stakes, to make hurling the real winner over the weekend. 

Westmeath Division 2 Féile U14 Final, Southern Gaels 2-3 v Delvin 4-4, May 20

Finals are Fantastic if you win them but a Flop if you lose them and a real failure if you fail to play to your full potential. That’s what it boiled down to for Southern Gaels in the Feile Final, as they never got out of the starting blocks. Delvin won the first ball which was fed into our backline and we failed to deal with it after a few chances and they took full advantage to finish by running the ball along the end line and finishing to the nett. The early goal seemed to keep us from getting into a rhythm but a point from Johnny settled us a bit. They responded with a point, but we missed a free. Then we won a close in free, which Cian stepped up to rattle the Nett and we went level. We battled bravely all round and had a free to go ahead but it reached the nett however it was disallowed due a square ball. They responded with  a similar goal, bringing the ball along the end line, blowing our keeper Cillian out of the way and taking the goal. A point was added by them to leave the score 2-3 to 1-1 at half time. Our lads needed to battle harder and they that after the turn and Cian pointed a free and followed up with one from play. However, goals decide games and a fortuitous Free mishit was blocked by Cillian but it bounced over the line for another goal. We rallied well and Luke Whelan took his goal well at the other end. However another strike from Delvin was deflected to our nett and there was no coming back from that. It’s great experience reaching a final but we must learn from it and build for the future finals that lie ahead for these lads, of which there’ll be many we’re sure. Full panel turnout for the Final: Cillian Geary, Diarmaid Murtagh, Calum Devaney, Luke O'Connell, Luke Whelan (1-0), Cian Geary(1-2), Conn O'Hara , Michael Dolan (Captain), Oisín O’ Flaherty, Johnny Martin(0-1), Ryan Fallon, Oisín Flynn, Paul Hogan, Paidí O Leochain, Danó McMonagle, Zach Meegan, Cormac Bradley, Luke Farrell, Ruairí Ó Duibhir, Thomas Collins, Alex O Donohoe. Well done lads, we are very proud of you all despite leaving it behind you today! This is a great team with a great future ahead and what doesn't kill us makes us stronger - upwards and onwards! Gaels Abú! 

U14 Southern Gaels lose to Raharney

On Tuesday May 15, Raharney bused into town for a tough encounter. They travelled in numbers and were quickest off the mark to get a few early goals which could not be clawed back. After the initial goals, the Gaels got to grips with their running game and the remainder of the game ran out winners for Raharney on a score line of 1-8 to 1-6, but with the early goal cushion they were handsome winners with another few goals to spare. Luke Whelan, Thomas Collins, Calum Devaney, Zach Meegan, Diarmaid Murtagh, Cian Geary(0-4), Luke O'Connell, Michael Dolan (1-0), Oisín Ó Flaithearta, Johnny Martin(0-1), Ryan Fallon, Oisín Flynn(0-1), Paul Hogan, Paidí O Leochain, Danó McMonagle, Conn O'Hara, Cormac Bradley, Ruairí Ó Duibhir.

Southern Gaels v Athleague & St. Vincents

Two matches for this group of Busy hurlers in the last week. On Tuesday night, May 1st, they played a Challenge v Athleague in horrendous conditions. It was lashing rain with a cold breeze sweeping the field. However, our lads supported each other tremendously well, coped better with the conditions and consequently took the result. Special Thanks to Luke Whelan, Thomas Collins, Oisín Flynn and Cian Geary who all played a half with the opposition. Luke excelled in the transfer and played out of his skin for Athleague, certainly being their best player in the first half. Other special mention must go to Cormac Bradley for trialling the keepers spot for the second half, leaving Ciller take on an attacking role and score his first point of the season for the 14s. It was a useful workout for the panel.

On Friday, May 4th they took the long road to Ringtown to play St. Vincent’s; Westmeath latest combination team of Crookedwood and Ringtown Hurling clubs. Maybe it was the tiredness in the legs, or the miles on the roads for these busy sportsmen, but they didn’t reach their usual intensity in the tackles or passing ability and lost the match. It’s a learning journey they’re all on but got a great lesson on support play and spatial awareness on how to use the ball on a big pitch. We went 2-2 down to no score and they did exceptionally well to claw that back to take the lead. However, they could not sustain the effort required to keep the fresh running opposition at bay and lost the match. Special mention to our latest keepers of the 2018 season: Ryan Fallon and Conn O’Hara, who did extremely well in goals. Sincere thanks to all Parents and supporters who made the long journey.

U14 Féile Semi Final: Southern Gaels 2-5 v Fr. Daltons 3-1, April 27 Ballymore

It’s Féile season for Hurling and football and you have to adapt your game plan for this format. They’re short 15 minute halves which means you have to take your chances and not give away any, so the tighter team generally reigns. For us it was a winner takes all encounter with Fr. Daltons so meant there were a few nerves. We started the better getting more of the ball, but couldn’t capitalise on the chances earned. The full backline of Diarmaid, Calum and Luke O’Connell looked solid especially in the early exchanges. The half backs of Conn, Cian and Luke Whelan pushed up well and nearly played midfield positions, which at time left them exposed at the back. In Midfield Oisín O Flaherty and Michael were the battling powers and Michael led as Captain for the night chasing everything with one notable track back one third of the pitch to hook a player. Outstanding work. There wasn’t much to separate their efforts in the first half as Fr. Daltons took 2 great chances for goal, well finished passed the agile keeper Cillian. Cian kept us in the game with a fortuitous goal from a free, but nothing lucky about a point clenched from a puck out and shouldered the opposition to the ground to rifle the shot between the upright, a cracking score, with Johnny and Paidí adding a point each to leave the teams level at half time. Ryan, Johnny and Oisín Flynn upped the tempo for the second half with Dano, Paidí and Paull always dangerous in the full forward line. Our pressure on their backline gave us another lucky goal, but then Paidí followed that up with 2 superb points while being closely marshalled on the 20 metre line. In truth, these late points were the winning of the game and hats off to Paidí to deliver them when needed most as he could of easily buckled under the severe opposition pressure. Cormac, Luke Farrell and Zach stepped it up when we needed it most and each won valuable possession to keep us in the game. Thomas and Ruairí also took to the field to shore up the defence and stood tall for their young years when the game was in the melting pot. We ran out narrow winners by the tightest of margins to win by 1 point. This sets us up for a Westmeath Feile Division 2 final v Delvin to be played in Cusack Park very soon. Well done lads. Féile Final Qualifiers are: Cillian Geary , Thomas Collins, Calum Devaney, Luke Whelan , Conn O'Hara , Cian Geary(1-1), Luke O'Connell, Michael Dolan, Oisín Ó Flaithearta, Johnny Martin(0-1), Ryan Fallon, Oisín Flynn, Zach Meegan, Paul Hogan, Danó McMonagle, Diarmaid Murtagh, Cormac Bradley, Luke Farrell, Ruairí Ó Duibhir, Paidí O Leochain(0-3)

Southern Gaels 7-9 v Na Piarsaigh 6-7, April 19, Páirc Chiaráin

Sport and Hurling can suck you in when you least expect it. This match was one such an occasion. Southern Gaels could not have got off to a worse start. Probably 7 balls went into our backs and unbelievably they all led to scores, so we were probably 4-3 down to no score! Time to pack the bags and go home for any normal supporter!! Could you have expected a win? More chance of winning the lotto!! However, our young 14s are made of sterner stuff and this Team stood up to the challenge of trying to chip away at that lead. There was no magic to this comeback, but hard grit, work and determination were to the fore from all players. Make no mistake about it - This was an exceptional team performance to comeback from that deficit and that they did. As a spectator, you sensed the Gaels were getting back into the game, score by score but such was the pedigree of the opposition, they made the Gaels fight tooth and nail for every ball, so this was no collapse by the opposition, but a bit by bit comeback of a sizeable magnitude, score by score, ball by ball, battle by battle and this game sucked you in. It was the Gaels Team that excelled for each other, put their tackles in for each other and grinded this out for each other. The Team and panel were the real heroes. They dug so deep and pulled themselves up from the canvas after such tough blows, to blow the scoreboard wide open and eventually take the lead. After they took the lead, they were not to be undone. Na Piarsaigh were also magnificent and clawed it back to a draw late on, but that drove the Gaels Team on more and they pulled away with some exceptional team scores at the end to lead by 5 at the final whistle. Teams win matches. Teams win games and these Southern Gaels, showed what a great team they are becoming. Gaels Team Abú. Super Team Heroes of the Night: Cillian Geary, Thomas Collins, Calum Devaney, Luke Whelan, Conn O'Hara, Cian Geary (1-2), Luke O'Connell, Michael Dolan, Oisín Ó Flaithearta, Johnny Martin (1-4), Ryan Fallon, Oisín Flynn (3-1), Zach Meegan, Paul Hogan, Danó McMonagle (2-2), Diarmaid Murtagh, Cormac Bradley, Luke Farrell, Ruairí Ó Duibhir.



Clann Na Gael 5-8 v Southern Gaels 3-2, Friday April 13

Our Under 14s made the long trek to Brownstown to take on the Clann combination team of Castlepollard and Brownstown. After the 1 hour journey our lads rose to the challenge and tackled ferociously all over the pitch. The home team were shocked and were wilting under the pressure. They then converted 2 points before we replied with 1-1, the point being the score of the game; recycled twice superbly in the corner between Zach and Cormac and then back to Cian, who was going to strike on his right, but would have been blocked, so flicked the ball to his left and drilled it between the posts to give us a 2 point lead which we maintained to the dying minutes of the first half. Unfortunately, in 3 minutes we leaked 3 goals, which was the only difference between the teams in the end. It was probably down to this being the first Westmeath League game of the season and a lack of composure after a goal conceded. In the second half the home team started the stronger, but the Gaels finished the stronger and it was nearly honours even on the scoring front, with Oisin Flynn breaking forward well to convert two great individual goals and Paidí striking over a late point. In the backline, the best tackling came from Luke O’Connell who really would not give the opposition an inch and earned some great frees. Michael and Calum commanded their positions and Conn grew into his role. Luke Whelan cleared a nice few, with Oisín O Flaherty giving his all at mid-field and being a tower of strength along with Johnny Martin who was everywhere. In the forward Line, Paul and Ryan really got stuck in taking a few blows with Dano and Luke Farrell ably in support, threatening a score or two. We were also solid between the posts, and though a few got past, Cillian was brave taking a few sliotars to the body but stood off much much bigger opponents. It was the first game for most and the Managers trialled a few positional switches; that combined with continuous rolling subs, took allot of learnings from the game. Players on the Night: Cormac Bradley, Luke Farrell, Johnny Martin, Dano McMonagle, Zach Meegan, Luke O'Connell, Luke Whelan, Michael Dolan, Ryan Fallon, Cian Geary (1, 1), Paul Hogan, Paidí O'Leochain (0-1), Cillian Geary, Oisin O’Flaherty, Oisín Flynn (2-0), Calum Devaney & Conn O’Hara.

Athleague 1-4  v 1-8 Southern Gaels, Sunday March 25

Clocks Changed, Easter Holidays upon us & Sunshine on your back – Hurling Season has to be started….. and we kicked it off with a trip to Athleague, who were magnificent hosts. It’s Crossover season where all the sports seem to collide, so it’s difficult to get a full complement of players, but we had a mighty crew willing to travel – Thanks, Thanks & Special Thanks especially to all those who played different sports and games during the day and still turned out to put their full heart into the game. Special mention to Dano McMonagle who travelled and tried to play, but was too sick to start, however he shouted us all on from the line – Get well soon.  We started great  with Luke Whelan breaking forward and striking a beauty over the bar. Ryan Fallon tormented their backline and fielded a few fabulous catches to distribute well.  Ruairí O Duibhir battled brilliantly in the full forward line with Luke Farrell working his socks off up and down the wings. Johnny Martin starred at midfield and got on a mountain of ball, picking off a lovely long range point in the first half. Unfortunately we were two down at half time after having much of the possession, with Cillian Geary pulling off a wonder save from close in, to keep us in the game. The second half was a totally different affair. Michael Dolan was magnificent driving out from the back, with Thomas Collins superb in growing into the role to stop all threats on goals. Luke O’Connell was marvellous in minding his man and breaking out. Paidí O Leochain grew into the game and threw over a glorious point, with Cormac Bradley splendid on tackling, harassing and linking up the backs to the forwards. The game could still go either way until Paul Hogan used his strength to hold off two and rifle the ball to the roof of the nett. Zach Meegan’s resilience was impressive and made a few frees which ultimately were the difference to this game. Cian Geary stood tall over all frees and struck 4 over at crucial times, to cap a splendid performance where he covered the fours corners of the pitch. We’re off the mark, cobwebs wiped and Hurling Season has certainly started with a fabulous battling team performance. Team spirit was great and it’s a super sign for our Féile year. Players: Cormac Bradley, Thomas Collins, Luke Farrell, Johnny Martin (0-1), Dano McMonagle, Zach Meegan, Luke O'Connell, Luke Whelan (0-1), Michael Dolan, Ryan Fallon, Cian Geary (0-5, 4f), Paul Hogan, Paidí O'Leochain (0-1), Cillian Geary, Ruairí Ó Duibhir.


U14s win “CLG Iarmhí Indoor Hurling Competition Shield 2018”

All Hurling is good hurling, especially when you’re underage. When an option of Volley Hurling is thrown out, one wonders is it worth nearly an hour’s drive each way for some indoor hurling when we normally don’t do any indoor hurling for this age group. But when you take the bull by the horns and engage in the game, you can either love it or hate it. However, it was the Love of the Game that shone through for all our maturing hurlers. It can be a big turning point for any hurler as they reach the large expanse of full field hurling at U14, but definitely these novel games makes that step so much easier with allot of craic on the way. Our lads were slow to start this volley process but definitely matured into it and learned how to read a game and see what tactics needed to be applied and then tried to implement them.There were 3 Volley Hurling days, with 6 games over the first 2 days followed by a much longer last day match up. So, it’s with pride that all our hurlers can look back at this tournament and be very very happy on how they engaged in the process and led on to learn allot on what it takes to architect the perfect volley hurling goal, of which there were many. We had 11 hurlers who got the privilege of Hurling for Volley Goals up against Delvin, Clonkill & Castletown Geoghegan, in Clonkill’s indoor hurling hall. The Hurlers who earned the Westmeath Shield Volley Hurling Trophy are Páidí Ó Leochain, Michael Dolan, Paul Hogan, Ryan Fallon, Calum Devaney, Luke O'Connell, Cian Geary, Cillian Geary, Cormac Bradley, Thomas Collins & Dano McMonagle. You did Southern Gaels proud, and set us off to a great start with a trophy in the bag before the end of February. What a start to SG18, blazing a trail for the rest of the teams. Gaels Abú.

2017
Míle Buíochas to our Féile Sponsors:
ZAC
Post Insurance
LM Risk & Adjusting Services Ltd
Bioclin
David O'Connell & Co
Intermediate Hurlers
Regional Sports Centre
Rise Up & Hurl : Dads & Lads
Gina & Declan O'Flaherty / Tormeys
Midland Technical Tooling
Athlone Equestrian
Diarmuid O'Leochain
Thomas Flynn & Sons Fuel, Mullingar
Ferrbridge Hire, Wexford
Padraig & Helena Claffey, Mount Temple Dairy Farm
Jimmys Superstore
Councillor Tom Farrell

John Martin Tournament, Oct. 6

The Under 14 John Martin Tournament was held on Friday October 6th in Pairc Chiarain. We had visiting clubs from Offaly, Mayo and Roscommon, so there was a real intercounty feel to the competition and the standard of play lived up to the hype. It was an open draw of 2 semi finals with the winners to contest one final, and the Runners up in the other. Tooreen from Mayo played Roscommon Gaels on the main pitch while Southern Gaels matched up against Ferbane of Offaly on the Davey Allen Memorial pitch. Tooreen were the dominant team in their battle and got the goals which saw them take the victory over the Roscommon outfit. In the Southern Gales v Ferbane contest, it was a much closer affair. Johnny Martin opened the scoring with a cracking solo run goal. Then Ferbane responded with a few points in a row followed by a fabulous catch & strike to the nett from the full forward to put them ahead. Then Chulainn Dowd pointed a few well-earned frees to put the Gaels back ahead. The teams interchanged points, leaving the Gaels ahead by 1 at half time. In the second half, Chulainn extended Gaels lead, before a fantastic individual goal from Ferbane’s half forward to put them ahead by a few. Gaels had to dig deep and responded well all over the pitch with a long range free from Dowd finding the nett. Gaels then held on for a 4 point victory. All teams needed a break before the next game, which saw Gaels pitted against Tooreen on the main pitch and Ross Gaels v Ferbane on the other. Roscommon Gaels found their rhythm and battled best to overcome Ferbane. For Southern Gaels, things started nearly to plan with a Dowd point, but they then missed some great goal chances to some superb goal keeping. Cian Geary pointed along with Rory Kilgarriff to which Tooreen took two of their own to leave the scores separated by the narrowest of margins at half time with the Gaels in the lead. The second half saw chance after chance for Gaels to get goals, but the Tooreen goalie was magnificent between the posts and didn’t let anything pass. At the other end Gaels held Tooreen out for a few before Tooreen grabbed a goal and then surprisingly followed it up with another goal in quick succession. Gaels then went in further pursuit of goals but the Tooreen keeper was in too good form to let anything pass him. He was certainly Tooreen’s Man of the Match and they ran out victorious by 4 points. Kevin Jordan gave a memorable speech about John Martin’s Hurling history, thanked all parents and participants and presented the Cup with medals to the large panel of 21 hurlers who travelled from Mayo – they only had one U12 player on the panel. There was Supermacs for all players and it was a great club night. Southern Gaels Players on the night: Cillian Geary, Aaron Lynch, Cian O’Suilleabháin (Joint Capt.), Evan Farrell, Michael Dolan, Cian McCarthy, Calum Devaney, Seán Murphy (Joint Capt.),  Cian Geary, Chulainn Dowd, Rory Kilgarriff, Johnny Martin, Bobby Nugent, Páidí O’Leochain, Dano McMonagle, Oisín O’Flaherty, Paul Hogan, Conn O'Hara, Luke O'Connell.

Westmeath County U14 A Championship Final, Oct. 1:
Southern Gaels 2-5 v Clann Na Gael (Castlepollard & Brownstown) 3-8

A loss is a loss, but for some the loss runs deeper. Some train harder for the cause with more dedication and sacrifices than others and it’s their loss that cuts the deepest. It’s in all walks of life, that you only get out of something what you put in to it, but if you feel more can dedicate to it, then the collective can be much, much greater and these games could be won. That’s how it is with Southern Gaels and though we tried so so hard, we didn’t have the collective panel hours put in, to get the breaks on this county final day. There were some magnificent performances, of which Chulainn Dowd has to get special mention as the hours hurling he put in was far, far above the average. To lose by 2 scores is so so close, especially against a combination team. County Finalists on the Day: Cillian Geary, Oisín Flynn, Cian O’Suilleabháin, Evan Farrell (Capt), Michael Dolan, Cian McCarthy, Calum Devaney, Seán Murphy (0-1), Cian Geary (0-1), Chulainn Dowd (1-3), Bobby Nugent, Johnny Martin (1-0), Aaron Lynch, Rory Kilgarriff, Páidí O’Leochain, Luke Whelan, Ryan Fallon, Oisín O’Flaherty, Paul Hogan, Dano McMonagle, Conn O'Hara, Luke O'Connell. When you lose in a final, Hold your head up high, and don't be afraid of the loss. It’s not the end of your career, but the bitter sweet experience gained. Hurl on through the pain, hurl on with the memories, Though your dreams be tossed and blown. Hurl on, Hurl on with hope in your heart and with your team, you’ll never hurl alone. Hurl Onwards & Upwards.

Southern Gaels lose to Four Roads, Sept 10
On a miserable stormy evening, Roscommon’s Four Roads travelled into town to take us on in our back yard. The Roscommoners were really up for the game and were well able to hurl. They capitalised on a few of our early mistakes, took the lead and kicked on for the rest of the game with greater precision passing and scoring.  Unfortunately Southern Gaels were never to gain the lead and Four Roads left with the victory. There were some entertaining passages of play which brightened up the parents evening on the line, but too many missing older players is letting the side down. There’s only 2 weeks left to the A Championship final and there will have to be a real improvement in attendance and performance to lift the cup there. The U14s team for the night was: Cillian Geary, Aaron Lynch, Cian O’Suilleabháin, Evan Farrell, Calum Devaney, Cian McCarthy, Michael Dolan, Cian Geary, Seán Murphy (0-1), Bobby Nugent, Chulainn Dowd (1-0), Dano McMonagle, Ryan Fallon, Oisín Flynn, Paul Hogan, Conn O’Hara (0-1).

U15s Southern Gaels v Castletown Geoghegan, Spet. 5 
Unfortunately due to no lack of effort, this was our first U15 match of the year, and it proved a great game, especially for the four 15s involved. Eamon Martin got on a world of ball at midfield and with his strength was able to fire over 3 wonderful points, he was top class. In Defence, such was his enthusiasm, Tomak Idowski was tackling as if his life was depending on it and put his body into tackles where others wouldn’t even put a hurl – he was deadly. Niall Scully showed his class with some wonderful catches on the wing and was always available for the puck outs, he was dynamic. In the full forward line Eoin McCarthy was always dangerous and made the most of any ball he got his hands on, walking away with 1-1 on the night, he was magnificent. These lads were backed up by the dependable U14s and although they hadn’t played together much, they had some good passages of play with some great interplay leading to some great scores. We need all these lads competing together and there should be much more games next year. The U15s team for the night was: Cillian Geary, Calum Devaney, Cian O’Suilleabháin, Evan Farrell, Cian Geary, Cian McCarthy , Seán Murphy, Tomak Idowski ,Eamon Martin (0-3), Niall Scully, Chulainn Dowd (1-0), Rory Kilgarriff (0-1), Ryan Fallon, Eoin McCarthy (1-1), Paidí O’Leochain, Paul Hogan, Eoin Hardiman, Ben Claffey, Johnny Martin.

Southern Gaels away to Cullion, August 27
These players were mad for a game and thanks a million to Cullion for hosting this challenge match on Sunday evening. Still with numerous lads on holidays, we could only travel with 13 and special thanks to  Ruairí for answering the late call up to play very well against lads 3 years his elder. In goals, Killer was quick to react to any danger and kept a clean sheet. The full backs of Cian O’S and Evan showcased how well they are working together in cutting out all goal threats. The half backs of Michael, Cian Mc and Calum drove forward very well, ensured we were never on the backfoot and setup the forwards with some excellent passing. At midfield, Seán and Cian G dictated the tempo and fluency of passing. They battled hard and sprayed some lovely passes at all angles. The half forwards of Ruairí, Chulainn and Eoin were eager to show and win directed ball, but fought hardest for any loose ones. The full forwards of Ryan and Bobby marvelled in the space and had some great interplay setting up manys a score.  Well done to all players on the night: Cillian Geary, Cian 
O’Suilleabháin, Evan Farrell, Michael Dolan, Cian McCarthy (0-1), Calum Devaney, Cian Geary(0-1), Seán Murphy (0-1), Ruairí Ó Duibhir, Chulainn Dowd (2-6), Eoin Hardiman(0-2), Ryan Fallon, Bobby Nugent(1-5).

Southern Gaels v Roscommon Gaels, July 28

Summer holidays are truly in full swing and we had 15 players who couldn’t play due to many reasons, so it was with great thanks to Zach Meegan and Ruairí Ó Duibhir who stood up to play their first ever U14 match, aged just 10 & 11 respectively, which allowed the game to proceed. Both lads played extremely well and were on the ball loads and what impressed most was their good distribution of the ball, which is key on such a large pitch. They have a bright future ahead. It was also a great night for Rory Kilgarriff who bagged an impressive 3-5 to ensure we won the tie. His skill & size is truly menacing and the scores are coming aplenty now. In the last line of defence Cillian in goals was like a cat pouncing on any loose balls and leaping to some great saves. Calum commanded the full back line reading the game extremely well, with some magnificent catches and clearances. Aaron was immense in his use of the ball. Anytime he got it, he found a comrade in space with some superb crucial touches to set them up on their way. Michael worked his socks off and was our tightest marker on the night, giving his man only breathing space. Cian Mc is growing ever so well into an outstanding Centre Back as he commanded anything that came near him. At midfield, Chulainn’s intensity on the ball was inspiring and others fed off him well as his appreciation of spatial passing is getting so much better. Johnny’s runs from defence turning them into attack stirred on all our players and it’s hard to believe he’s only 12 as he excelled at midfield. In the half forward line, Paul got a world of ball that he shouldn’t have through sheer determination. He broke out impressively and setup his team mates unselfishly. Ben was always threatening in the full forward line and his determination ensured he bagged a few goals. In the corner Ryan worked very hard and used every ball well, being unfortunate not to score. All in all a great performance and many thanks to Roscommon Gaels travelling to play us, with the same numbers. Team on the night: Cillian Geary, Calum Devaney, Aaron Lynch, Michael Dolan, Cian McCarthy (1-0), Zach Meegan, Johnny Martin (1-2), Chulainn Dowd (2-3), Paul Hogan, Rory Kilgarriff (3-5), Ruairí O Duibhir, Ryan Fallon, Ben Claffey (2-0).

Castletown Geoghegan v Southern Gaels, July 13
Southern Gaels lost heavily to a physically bigger Castletown Geoghegan team in the Under 14 Division 1 League. It’s holiday time and we had a fixture that had to be fulfilled but we had 10 players unavailable due to Holidays & illness etc. We have a tidy enough panel, but to be missing ten players is just very unlucky. However it was a great learning experience as out of the 16 players we did have, 6 of them were Under 12, so they will have gotten a great taste of the skills required to play on the full size U14 pitch. We started very well, with some great points and tackling, but then a few mistakes in open play led to some well taken goals by the opposition. CTG have some great players who ran at us and caused trouble with some super support play, that we could not match, as their physical strength allowed them to open up our defence. However, our team battled on very bravely to the final whistle. Sometimes in losing you learn your greatest strengths and we have some great comradery amongst this team. Well done Lads. Brave soldiers on the night were: Cillian Geary, Charlie Kennedy, Evan Farrell, Calum Devaney, Michael Dolan, Cian McCarthy, Oisín O’Flaherty, Cian Geary (0-1), Seán Murphy (Capt.) (0-1), Johnny Martin (0-1), Chulainn Dowd (1-3), Conn O’Hara, Paul Hogan, Ben Claffey, Darragh Elliott, Dano McMonagle 

Southern Gaels 1-14 v 5-3 Raharney, June 27 

Often you may have heard it said “Hurling is not for the faint hearted”. You would presume that’s for the players, but on occasion it can also be for the spectators. It was certainly the case  for any spectators that witness this thrilling encounter over 60 minutes when these 2 teams threw everything at each other and a fabulous game of hurling resulted. If you had a faint heart supporting either team, you would have needed a defibrillator. Everything was perfect for the game, weather, pitch and enthusiasm galore. The game started at a frantic pace and Southern Gaels opened the scoring with 3 points before Raharney got any return for their efforts, but it was worthwhile as they drew level by snatching a fortuitous goal. That didn’t stop the gaels as they took the lead again, battling hard everywhere and taking some great points. However Raharney were not to be outdone and goaled again to draw level to the Gaels 6 scores. Gaels were building up some steam now and their accuracy told again with a few more unbelievable points before half time. However it was Raharney’s sharper close in shooting that yielded them higher rewards and finished with 3-2 at the break, to the Gaels 9 points – thus, only 2 points in the difference. Whatever happened at half time, the Gaels upped their intensity to levels never witnessed before and they battled as if their lives depended on it. They battled and made space to throw over another few points, but unfortunately conceded another 2 goals. Then came the gaels resurgence. They took a goal chance of their own and pointed again and again to leave only the narrowest of margins between the team. The Gaels dug deep for the last few minutes and although they had allot of possession and a load of chances, they could not draw level before the final whistle was blown to a scene of carnage on the pitch. Numerous players from both teams dropped to the ground after they expended every ounce of energy contained within their bodies and Valiant hearts – not a faint heart between them. A truly magnificent performance by both teams to which all mentors, parents players and supporters should be so proud of. A high standard has been set now, that must be maintained. Well done to all players on the night:  Charlie Kennedy (Capt), Oisín Flynn, Cian O’Suilleabháin, Evan Farrell, Michael Dolan, Cian McCarthy (0-1), Aaron Lynch, Cian Geary, Johnny Martin (0-2), Bobby Nugent, Rory Kilgarriff (0-4), Chulainn Dowd (1-7), Paul Hogan, Paidí O Leochain, Darragh Elliott, Luke O'Connell, Conn O'Hara, Dano McMonagle, Luke Whelan, Cillian Geary.

 FÉILE NA nGAEL 2017: 
The Southern Gaels Under 14 Feile side departed Pairc Chiaráin on Friday morning June 16 at 11.00 on what was a huge adventure for the players and mentors. The cavalcade drove to Borris Carlow where they played two matches that afternoon. A large number of parents and supporters accompanied the team on what was a wonderful weekend of sunshine and hurling.

Southern Gaels  5-10  Mount Leinster Rangers (Carlow) 0-1
The opening game of Feile 2017 was in Borris against their second team and Gaels proved way too strong for them. Early points from Rory Kilgarriff, Johnny Martin and Sean Murphy had Gaels in the driving seat before first half goals from Bobby Nugent (two) and Johnny Martin ended the game as a contest. Gaels made a number of changes with the whole squad playing this opening game but still ran out comfortable winners. Evan Farrell, Cian Mc Carthy and Oisin Flynn played well in defense. James Coleman, Jack Griffith and Michael Joyce were best for MLR. Scorers Bobby Nugent (2-0), Paidi O Leocháin (1-3), Johnny Martin (1-1), Eoin Hardiman (1-0),  Chulainn Dowd (0-2), Dano Mc Monagle, Conn O'Hara, Rory Kilgarriff and Sean Murphy (0-1) each.

Southern Gaels  2-3  Tooreen (Mayo) 1-4
A second game on Friday evening saw Gaels pitted against Tooreen of Mayo. This was a must win game and their battling spirit saw them through. The defense was immense with Cian O Suilleabháin, Luke O'Connell and Charlie Kennedy to the fore. Having conceded four early points they settled into the game and Ryan Fallon goaled with Chulainn Dowd adding a pointed free to level proceedings at half time. Within a minute of the restart they conceded a goal to Tooreen through Cathal Greally but that was Tooreen's last score. Aaron Lynch, Ryan Fallon and Michael Dolan stood tall in limiting Tooreen's attack and Luke Whelan was outstanding in goals. Bobby Nugent then hit a goal to level proceedings midway through the half. When it was needed most, substitute Dano Mc Monagle stepped up to save the day with a pointed free and a delightful insurance score, pointing from way out on the sideline following a great pass from Cillian Geary. Scorers: Ryan Fallon (1-0)  Bobby Nugent (1-0), Dano Mc Monagle (0-2) and Chulainn Dowd (0-1).

Clara (Kilkenny)  2-4  Southern Gaels 0-6
Saturday morning saw the third game, against the club's hosts Clara, just outside Kilkenny city. The home side got a dream start with a goal and a point but three points without reply had Gaels back in the match as half time approached. Cian Geary, Johnny Martin, Paidí O Leocháin were to the fore. Unfortunately, they conceded a late pointed free to be down by two points at the break. The second half had excellent hurling from both sides with Conor Hoyne, Cian Kelly and James Kenny working hard for the home side. Two early points stretched their lead but Chulainn Dowd replied with three points to leave Gaels just a point adrift. Oisín O'Flaherty and Ben Claffey tried hard to narrow the gap but a fortuitous goal in the last few minutes saw the Kilkenny side through as group winners. Scorers Chulainn Dowd (0-4) , Cian Mc Carthy and Paidí O Leocháin  (0-1) each.
 
Davidstown Courtnacuddy (Wexford)   4-6  Southern Gaels 1-2
The bandwagon moved on to New Ross for the afternoon where Gaels were pitted against Group 'B' winners Davidstown from Wexford. A strong wind aided the opposition in the opening half and they made good use of it.  Sean Fitzpatrick and James Doyle goaled and they added two points. However, Gaels responded well with Evan Farrell and Oisin O'Flaherty working hard. Cillian Geary and Paul Hogan created chances up front and Johnny Martin netted midway through the half. However, Barry Hassey added two points for the Wexford side to see them 2-4 to 1-0 ahead at half time. Chulainn pointed twice for Gaels in the second half with Sean Murphy and Rory Kilgarriff working hard but they couldn't match the intensity of Davidstown who ran out deserving winners. Scorers: Johnny Murphy (1-0) and Chulainn Dowd (0-2)

And so ended the great adventure on what was a hugely enjoyable weekend. Thanks to mentors Martin Geary, Tommy Murphy and Cormac O'Suilleabháin for their organisation dedication and preparation of the team. Also to all the parents and supporters who traveled down in such numbers making it a memorable weekend. The lads had a fantastic weekend with their host families in Clara and many thanks to the Clara and Borris (Mount Leinster Rangers) clubs for their wonderful hospitality. Davidstown went on to contest the Division final losing to Galmoy/Windgap (Kilkenny) by two points showing how close Gaels were to glory. Tooreen went on to win the Division Shield competition. Having got a taste of the Feile na nGael atmosphere there is no doubt that the majority of this side, many who are just twelve will be back again over the next two years. Thanks also to all our wonderful sponsors and Zenith  Adhesive Components for our new set of jerseys. Finally to Tommy Murphy for the souvenir programme he produced for the occasion.

Southern Gaels 3-6 v 3-9 Éire Óg, June 6

A very young team travelled to Mullingar to take on the combination Team of Eire Óg from Crookedwood, Oliver Plunketts and St. Brigid’s of Rochfordbridge. We had seven Under 12 players on a panel of 17 for the night. So fair play to all the 12’s to keep the U14 team in operation and to prevent them from conceding a league game. Allot of the 14s were on Holidays or had Football commitments. Eire Og had some big 14 year olds and ran at us. Our defence held strong and cleared the ball well. However against the hill it came back at us time and time again, but we only conceded a few points. One of the Eire Óg lads had a rush of blood to the head and fouled badly to merit a Red Card, so they were reduced to 14 men. Our young players battled brilliantly against a physically bigger team and we got our rewards especially when a loose ball broke to Ryan Fallon and he dispatched a beauty to beat the keeper an rattle the nett. With so much youth on our panel we were able to experiment with positions for Féile and trial lads in unfamiliar territory which was very useful. We were coming strong in the end and got 2 late goals from Cian McCarthy Frees combined a few missed chances scraping the post wide, However we ran out of time to snatch a draw and lost by 1 goal. It was a great encounter for such a young side that will stand to them when push comes to shove in Feile next weekend.

Panel on the Night:  Luke Whelan, Oisín Flynn, Cian O’Suilleabhain, Evan Farrell (Capt), Michael Dolan, Cian McCarthy (2-1), Charlie Kennedy, Seán Murphy, Cian Geary (0-2f), Bobby Nugent (0-1), Johnny Martin (0-2), Conn O'Hara, Ryan Fallon (1-0), Paul Hogan, Dano McMonagle, Luke O'Connell, Cillian Geary.

Southern Gaels Play Great Challenge match v Roscommon Gaels, June 3

On Saturday morning last our Féile hopefuls travelled to Roscommon for their last challenge match to hone their skills before Féile. Playing with a good breeze in the first half, we had some great battling all over the pitch which led to large amounts of possession that was converted into some decent scores. There was some excellent passing and support play by the panel on the day. At half time some opposition players had to leave so Oisín O’Flaherty & Cian Geary bravely donned the Ross jerseys to play a half to test our own players. They both excelled for the Ross team testing them to the limit while Cian also scored 2-2 against his own team. That second half was a true challenge to the Gaels character and they were under pressure for most of it. It was a very young gaels team in that second half against a great running Ross team that had now found their running and support game who passed well to test our players. It was a great game and just what the squad needed. Players on the night: Luke Whelan,  Luke O'Connell, Cian O’Suilleabhain, Evan Farrell, Oisín O Flaherty, Cian McCarthy(Capt) (1-3), Aaron Lynch, Seán Murphy (0-1), Cian Geary (2-3), Eoin Hardiman, Rory Kilgarriff (0-3), Ben Claffey (1-0), Conn O'Hara, Ryan Fallon (0-1), Paul Hogan (1-0), Cillian Geary, Dano McMonagle. 

Southern Gaels Win over Longford Development Squad, May 30

The great numbers still continue and the competition for places is encouraging with some great team play coming to the fore. Players on the night: Luke Whelan, Calum Devaney, Oisín Flynn, Cian O’Suilleabhain, Evan Farrell, Cian McCarthy, Michael Dolan, Chulainn Dowd (0-1), Seán Murphy (Capt) (1-1), Cian Geary (0-1), Rory Kilgarriff (0-1), Ben Claffey (1-0), Conn O'Hara, Paidí O Leochain (0-1), Ryan Fallon, Paul Hogan, Cillian Geary, Evan Farrell, Johnny Martin (2-2), Luke O'Connell, Bobby Nugent (0-1), Aaron Lynch, Eoin Hardiman, Dano McMonagle.

Southern Gaels 5-7 v 2-5 Wolfe Tones, May 26


When we get a panel of 24 players together for a match, with 2 further apologies then something is going right. So we had 26 players accounted for, which is a rare event. But Féile participation is rare and competition for places is building. No one’s position is safe. Therefore with less than 3 weeks to Féile throw in, it’s time for players to get serious and put in a huge effort when they get their chance on the pitch. Any lad that scores 2-5 is coming into form and is looking to peak at the right time. Paidí O’Leochain bagged a great 7 scores and always looked threatening when he got on the ball. Another great score on the night was by Darragh Elliott. He’s been threatening in the forward line in recent games and got his due reward with a super goal – the first of many to come I’m sure.  It was not fun and games for all as Chulainn Dowd was the only one who didn’t get a run due to injury and frustratingly had to sit out the game, but we need him to make a speedy recovery. We were also able to get Charlie Kennedy off the bench and into action for his first time this season due to school commitments. Opportunities are falling into place and it’s up to all players to grab them with both hands as the countdown to the Féile games is now well and truly on. Panel on the night were: Cillian Geary, Calum Devaney, Aaron Lynch, Cian O’Suilleabhain, Darragh Elliott (1-0), Cian McCarthy (0-1F), Michael Dolan, Chulainn Dowd, Cian Geary, Rory Kilgarriff (Capt), Ben Claffey, Conn O'Hara, Seán Murphy, Paidí O Leochain (2-5), Eoin Hardiman (1-0), Ryan Fallon, Paul Hogan, Evan Farrell, Johnny Martin (1-0), Luke O'Connell, Bobby Nugent (0-1), Oisín O'Flaherty, Dano McMonagle, Charlie Kennedy.

Southern Gaels lose to Clann na Gael, May 23

We came up against a team in full flight ready for their Féile with some great hurlers. We were weakened after a busy few days of school games and injuries but could not match the oppositions energy, intensity and slick passing. We have to work better as a team to reach our potential. Players on the night: Luke Whelan, Calum Devaney, Oisín Flynn, Cian O’Suilleabhain (Capt), Darragh Elliott, Cian McCarthy, Michael Dolan, Chulainn Dowd, Cian Geary, Rory Kilgarriff, Ben Claffey, Conn O'Hara, Paidí O Leochain, Ryan Fallon, Paul Hogan,  Cillian Geary, Evan Farrell, Johnny Martin, Luke O'Connell, Bobby Nugent, Oisín O'Flaherty.

Southern Gaels 3-9 v 1-4 Ferbane/Belmont, May 8

Our U14’s played out a very entertaining hurling contest on the immaculate main Pairc Chiarain pitch. It was perfect for hurling and our boys played well all over the pitch. They are really gelling well as a team now with only a few weeks countdown to Féile. With large numbers we were able to trial and test lads in different positions and ensure everyone got sufficient match practice against a good Ferbane/Belmont team, which just didn’t get enough space from our defenders to score enough, but gave our lads a very good challenge match. Féile preparations are continuing well and lads playing hard to get a position in Féile were: Luke Whelan, Oisín Flynn, Cian O’Suilleabhain, Evan Farrell (Captain), Johnny Martin (1-1), Cian McCarthy (0-2), Michael Dolan, Seán Murphy, Cian Geary, Bobby Nugent (0-1), Rory Kilgarriff (0-3), Eoin Hardiman, Oisín O’Flaherty, Paidí O Leochain (1-1), Chulainn Dowd (1-1), Conn O Hara, Darragh Elliott, Ryan Fallon, Aaron Lynch, Cillian Geary.

Southern Gaels 4-6 v 2-5 Delvin, May 1

May bank holiday Monday saw our 14’s take on Delvin at home. A few of our multi talented players were involved in matches in Athlone Town Stadium before the game but it didn’t deter them from getting to these important games. Two league points were at stake as the visitors travelled in numbers. From the throw in we started well and Paidi found the nett early on with some great individual skill. In the backline, Cian O’Suilleabhain did some measured tackling to ensure he never conceded a free. In goals Luke looked comfortable in dealing with any shots. At corner back Evan performed exceptionally, reading the game, catching some super balls and clearing well to the wings. Our half forwards of Johnny, won a fortune of ball and goaled to put the icing on a great performance. Oisín O’Flaherty fielded some great balls and delivered them well into the forward line. Chulainn was his usual accurate self, putting over numerous frees as his endless practice is paying off. Michael tackled well in the half backline and prevented Delvin from getting any momentum. Aaron was also on form on the opposite half back wing bursting out authoritively. Oisin Flynn play very solid  and impressed most under high dangerous dropping balls, bursting and clearing superbly to the wings. We dominated well at midfield and spread the ball wide when we could. The point of the game came from a quick pickup and offload by Cian Geary to the on bursting Cian McCarthy who struck from far out to split the posts. There was no looking back then for gaels and we pushed on. Chulainn got injured and Seán took over at midfield and powered on well. Darragh did brilliantly  in the forwards and he tormented any potential clearance and notably won a few very valuable frees as did Eoin along with showcasing a few silky touches. Conn is also progressing well around these players and is a player for which great things will come in the future. Ryan was extremely unlucky not to score. He latched onto a low ball and took it to hand superbly, drove forward but was denied by a super save. All in all, the team gelled well and are progressing well to play as a team. Players on the night: Luke Whelan, Oisín Flynn, Cian O’Suilleabhain, Evan Farrell, Aaron Lynch (Captain), Cian McCarthy (0-1), Michael Dolan, Chulainn Dowd (0-5), Cian Geary, Oisín O’Flaherty, Sean Murphy, Johnny Martin (1-0), Conn O Hara, Darragh Elliott, Paidí O Leochain (2-0), Ryan Fallon, Eoin Hardiman.

Southern Gaels lose to Na Piarsaigh, April 18

We came up against some of the best U14 players in the county and they were on form for this game. They are an amalgamation team of Lough Lene Gaels and Turin and are in the Westmeath Féile Final. Thus they have been preparing well with everyone trying to impress to gain their position for the final, to our detriment. They came out of the blocks with all guns blazing and our lads were a bit stunned at their pace, intensity and aggression on the ball. However we settled into the task, reshaped our team and battled hard for the first half. We were well down at half time, but regrouped and took them on. There were massive positives in the second half. In the previous 2 games, we failed to score from play. However, we scored 1-3 in this half, along with forcing the opposition to make at least 5 goal line saves. It was much more promising once we went out and attacked the ball, but our first touch and high catching has got to improve to make the step up and maintain a good standard in this Division 1 group. It’s great experience especially with 4 U12’s in the squad for the night. Players on the night: Calum Devaney, Oisín Flynn, Cian O’Suilleabhain, Darragh Elliott, Aaron Lynch, Cian McCarthy (0-1), , Michael Dolan, Chulainn Dowd, Cian Geary, Sean Murphy (Captain), Rory Kilgarriff (0-1), Ben Claffey, Conn O Hara, Paidí O Leochain (1-0), Ryan Fallon, Eoin Hardiman (0-1), Paul Hogan,  Cillian Geary. 

U14 Southern Gaels lose to Clonkill, April 6
After a great Féile run, Southern Gaels were paired against a Strong Clonkill side who bused down in strong numbers. However, we were missing allot of our players due to illness and various commitments, which meant we were lucky to field 15 players at all and had to include a 10 year old. We were Captained by Darragh Elliott for our first League match of the year in this Division One competition. Unfortunately, we started poorly and Clonkill capitalised on it. We had a few early chances, but once we didn’t take them, Clonkill grew in confidence and ran at us with many supporting players, who they could pick out and consequently easily pick off scores. With so many Clonkill support runners, we lost our shape and allowed them boss us around in our own half. Half time couldn’t have come any sooner for the home side. From the dugout, the players were very self critical in their own analysis of the first half. They knew they had let their Féile standards drop and were keen to make amends in the second half as they encouraged each other to give everything for the second period True to their word, the Gaels threw everything at Clonkill and matched their aggression even though they were physically smaller. This young bunch of players limited Clonkill to just one point in the second half, while we battled every ball and managed to pick off 2 points of our own in the thirty minutes of second half play. With so few scores, both teams did balance each other out but that wasn’t without huge effort, notably shown by Evan Farrell in the full backline, having the game of his life throwing himself into every tackle and battling to the bitter end. Southern Gaels shipped allot of scores in the first half, such that they could never win the match, but the second half performance was worthy enough to win most matches, and they did manage to remarkably win the second half. Allot of experience was gained by the players in this game which will serve them well throughout the Division 1 league. Players on the night were: Luke Wehlan, Evan Farrell, Cian O’Suilleabhain, Darragh Elliott (Captain), Aaron Lynch, Cian McCarthy, Oisín Flynn, Michael Dolan, Chulainn Dowd, Paidí O Leochain, Cian Geary, Eoin Hardiman, Conn O Hara, Ryan Fallon, Cillian Geary. 

Féile Semi Final, Southern Gaels 0-5 v 1-5 Clann na Gael, April 2.

This game was the first loss for this U14 team from 4 Hurling matches in 8 days – with kids playing numerous other games/training over the same period. They’re hardy sports lads and truly did themselves, their families and the club very proud in this Féile semi-final. We were always up against the odds of an amalgamation team of CastlePollard and Brownstown, two big clubs in their own right, but we went down fighting. We opened the first half strongly with some great high tempo tackling and jostling which won us some great frees. We were ahead at half time, 3 points to 2, but knew we would rue not taking more scores from our dominance in the first period of the game. One goal certainly went a begging when a great cross field ball fell into the path of an on running gael, but it unfortunately was not to be converted. The second half was fast and furious with a great backdrop of a cheering crowd. It invigorated the players, but some went over the top and unfortunately we conceded some easy frees, which resulted in one of the softest goals dipping in at the back post from a placed ball on the wing. It was a killer blow and we were always playing catch up to try to come back from that turning point which put us behind for the first time in the match. We battled back and won some great possession in the opposition half, having them scramble a great shot off the line and just about keep out the rebounder. We converted more frees before they broke and took a rare score from open play. We changed keeper and moved all centre players up a line in the hope to take all, but unfortunately the balls won, could not be spread wide enough to break their solid defence and we ran out of time to lose by the one goal leaked. Semi-Finalist Players: Calum Devaney, Oisín Flynn, Cian O'Suilleabháin, Evan Farrell, Johnny Martin, Cian McCarthy, Michael Dolan, Cian Geary, Chulainn Dowd (0-5F), Eoin Hardiman, Seán Murphy, Bobby Nugent, Oisín O Flaherty, Rory Kilgarriff, Paidí O'Leochain, Darragh Elliott, Aaron Lynch, Ryan Fallon, Conn O'Hara, Cillian Geary. Thanks so much to all the supporters who came out in such large numbers, colours and spirited voice – it was a great club night and a real spark of hope for the future of this club and buy in from parents, families and fellow club supporters. Míle Buíochas. Rise Up & Hurl.

Féile Quarter Final, Southern Gaels 1-1 v 0-2 Éire Óg, March 31.

What a team! What a performance! What a club! In the most miserable of conditions Southern Gaels U14s were able to grind out a win against Eire Óg, an amalgamation of three clubs - Crookedwood, St. Bridgids and Oliver Plunketts! The rain over the previous days and the downpours before and during the game, make the pitch a bit of a mud bath. However it did not deter the players. From the throw in Chulainn battled as his life depended on it. He was everywhere during the game and worked his hardest ever. The first ball hit the full back line and Oisín Flynn was out like lightening to clear the ball 60 yards setting the tone for the last line of defence. They were impenetrable. Cian O’Suilleabhain played magnificent sweeping up balls while Evan matched him the corner and between them, they were the best line of the night, conceding no scores from that line during the Night. In the half back line, Johnny cleared ball after ball until there was nothing in the tank. Captain Cian McCarthy stood tall and commanded that centre back position, ably supported by Michael who grew taller into the game and also gave it everything. In midfield Cian Geary got stuck into every pickup scramble and came away with more than his fair share. The contests all over the pitch were so tight, the teams went in Nil all at half time. A feat rarely witnessed in such good hurling. The second half picked up the pace and our Half forwards came more into the game. However Eire Óg converted a free and we needed to respond. Seán got onto allot of ball and spread the it well to his supporting wingers of Bibby and Eoin who ducked and weaved, but could not break the opposition. It took a great burst through the middle from Rory to carve them open and send a super ball into Oisin O Flaherty on the box. He leaped and caught a beauty, but such was the pressure tackling he could not convert the strike but followed up with a beauty low strike to beat defender and keeper and get the ball over the line. Goals win games, but there was allot to play out. Eire Óg responded with a great score from play. This was tight and we needed everyone to perform. Paidi battled bravely and was unlucky with a few shots. Aaron and Conn came in to rescue the last few minutes, before Chulainn latched onto a loose ball and finished a relieving point. This was to be the difference. Last minute of the game and Eire Óg midfielder broke all the way through, before being brought down outside the box. He had a free and his strike was to be the last puck of the game. If he goaled game over and victory won However, Gaels bravely blocked the shot and the scene of lads sprinting out in the muck and rain celebrating will live long in Gaels memories. Their first U14 win in over 2 years was such a gutsy one, I’m sure they have turned a corner in mature play. Players on the day were: Calum Devaney, Oisín Flynn, Cian O'Suilleabháin, Evan Farrell, Johnny Martin, Cian McCarthy, Michael Dolan, Cian Geary, Chulainn Dowd (0-1), Eoin Hardiman, Seán Murphy, Bobby Nugent, Oisín O Flaherty, Rory Kilgarriff, Paidí O'Leochain, Darragh Elliott, Aaron Lynch, Ryan Fallon, Conn O'Hara, Ben Claffey.

Southern Gaels 2-10 v 4-4 Athleague, March 28.
Féile Focus: 17 eager lads made the trip to Tremane to take on Athleague to try to nail down a position on the first Southern Gaels Féile team in a few years. The rain had cleared and the pitch was in good condition. The first half proved unlucky for the gaels as we only converted 1 point from play and 1 free. The second half was a totally different affair. This team came of age and battled for each other, supported each other and consequently found the scores while conceding very few. It was a transformation and everything seemed to click. We scaled back the deficit and levelled with only a few minutes to go. We were in the ascendency but lacked the final bit of composure to convert the last few chances we had. It ended in a worthwhile draw with allot of satisfied players coming off the pitch. Players on the day were: Calum Devaney, Oisín Flynn, Cian O'Suilleabháin, Evan Farrell, Johnny Martin, Cian Geary(0-1), Michael Dolan, Chulainn Dowd (1-1F), Cian McCarthy (0-1), Paidí O'Leochain (0-3), Seán Murphy (1-1), Bobby Nugent, Ryan Fallon, Rory Kilgarriff (0-3), Conn O'Hara, Dano McMonagle.

Southern Gaels 6-6 v 6-6 Ferbane/Belmont, March 26.

Féile Focus: On a lovely sunny evening in Ferbane, Gaels played out a good training match in preparation for their upcoming Féile. We had 4 brave souls in Conn, Oisín Flynn, Darragh and Ryan who played a half each for Gaels and Ferbane/Belmont (F/B) as the home team were short in numbers. Gaels played into a strong breeze in the first half and started well with some good passing which yielded an early goal from a super Chulainn pass into Rory who finished well. However when F/B settled into the game, they dominated the wings and set-up a few great points and goals of their own. At half time, they led 5-4 to 2-1. In the second half Southern Gaels used the wind advantage well. They had some great passing and support moves to pick off their own scores, but unfortunately had too many wides on the day. It was certainly to be Rory’s Day though, as once he collected any ball, he drove forward and picked off a very impressive tally of 5-2, all from play. In the end it finished 6-6 apiece with both teams missing chances which could have seen them take the victory. It was a great chance to see players try to settle into positions and try to ensure a starting position for the upcoming Féile. Westmeath County board are making the Féile Draw on Tuesday night and Gaels should be in action on Saturday April 1. We have another trial game v Athleague away on Tuesday, which should see us as ready as we can be for Féile. Players on the day were : Calum Devaney, Cian O'Suilleabháin, Darragh Elliott, Oisín Flynn, Seán Murphy, Cian Geary, Chulainn Dowd (0-4), Cian McCarthy, Oisín O'Flaherty, Rory Kilgarriff (5-2), Paidí O'Leochain (1-0), Johnny Martin, Conn O'Hara, Ryan Fallon, Bobby Nugent, Cillian Geary.

Southern Gaels v Athleague, Roscommon, March 17.

Féile Focus: St. Patricks Day saw the Under 14’s spring into 2017 game action on a damp day for Hurling. The weather didn’t deter their spirits as they all set about expressing their hurling on the full pitch size, the first time for many on this scale. It’s a large pitch and made all the larger by the stiff cross wind. We started good and battled hard. We leaked a goal but responded with two well-earned and executed frees by Chulainn. We continued with some great open play and took the lead midway through with an excellent run down the wing from Seán Murphy finishing well. It was to be short-lived as we conceded a penalty which was well finished. In the second half, there were allot of changes trialling positions and tactics. It was rewarded with goals from a super strike from Paidí and some great lead up play to set-up Seán one on one with the keeper and he duly  found the nett. We also took another 2 converted frees from Chulainn. However Athleague’s greater team play and better execution of  chances saw them run out victorious. All over the field there were good performances especially from the twelves and our 2 new clubmen Ben and Paul, along with Calum doing extremely well in goals. It bore all the hall marks of a first match of a team out of practice and not used to each others play, but was extremely useful in prepping this team for games to come. Much thanks to Referee Dermot Whelan and Opposition Athleague, who gave our team a motivational speech after on how each player must have a hurl in the hand much more often to improve. Players on the day were : Cian O'Suilleabháin, Calum Devaney, Evan Farrell, Darragh Elliott, Seán Murphy (2-0), Aaron Lynch, Cian Geary, Michael Dolan, Oisin Flynn, Paul Hogan, Ben, Chulainn Dowd (0-4f), Oisin O'Flaherty, Rory Kilgarriff, Paidi O'Leochain (1-0), Eoin Hardiman, Johnny Martin, Conn O'Hara, Ryan Fallon, Luke Farrell.

2016

April 14: Southern Gaels 2.3 Longford Slashers 4.6

Our Under 14 team played their first game of the year on Thursday evening in Pairc Chiaran but came out on the wrong side of a 4.6 to 2.3 scoreline. However the Gaels showed great spirit and as the game progressed they became the dominant team. It took a whole for them to find their feet and despite starting with only 14 players, the Gaels stuck manfully to their task and improved. They were behind 2.6 to no score at half time but in the second half, aided with the breeze, they really lifted it. Only 4 of the 15 players that played are overage next year which bodes well for the future. The team and scorers were: Michael Dolan, Aaron Lynch, Ben Keegan, Darragh Elliot, Evan Farrell, Chulainn Dowd (0.1), Sean Murphy, Tomaz Idzikowski, Cian McCarthy (0.1), Eoin Hardiman, Peter Mulvhill, Niall Scully (1.0), Eoin McCarthy (1.0) , Rory Kilgarriff (0.1), Dano McMonagle.

2015

John Martin Cup Tournament: U13 November 7

This Cup was played at Under 13 grade in Pairc Chiarain with Southern Gaels hosting Brownstown and Brosna Gaels. Southern Gaels battled well against Brownstown, but unfortunately the opposition took their score better than the hosts and took the spoils. Southern Gaels had more luck against Brosna Gaels and won that match, while Brownstown also got the better of Brosna Gaels to win the Tournament. All kids were fed after the games. Then while presenting the cup, Chairman Kevin Jordan gave a great trip down memory lane on the history of John Martin, Captain of the Athlone Team to win the Westmeath Senior Hurling Championship. Congratulations to all participants and thanks to all for making the trip. Southern Gaels Panel for the day: Eamon Martin, Johnny Martin, Michael Dolan, Seán Murphy, Callum Mc Knight, Eoin McCarthy,  Cian McCarthy, Cian Geary, Peter Mulvihill, Ryan Fallon, Evan Farrell, Darragh Elliott,  Rory Kilgarriff, Aaron Lynch, Seán Fox, Chulainn Dowd, Tomascz Idzikowski, Paidí O Leochain, Ben Keegan.

Under 13's: October 25, 2015: Brosna Gaels 4-6 v Southern Gaels 7-4:

It was Southern Gaels first time in the cross border Westmeath/Offaly under 13 Hurling competition. First opponents were Brosna Gaels to be played in Ballycumber’s GAA pitch. Weather conditions were near perfect, especially for a Bank Holiday Saturday afternoon in October. We had a good panel of 17, which was especially great for the long weekend that was in it. Most of the players had an activity earlier that morning, be it soccer, rugby, swimming etc. and the game had to be played on the full sized pitch at 25 mins a half. Michael Dolan started in goal and was solid before getting stuck into the action outfield at half time when Seán Murphy took a well-earned break from covering and hurling some great stuff around the half backline. Cian O Suilleabhain had a super game reading the incoming balls well, pouncing and clearing most of them. Evan Farrell and Darragh Elliott were the corner stones at corner back and defended extremely well. Aaron Lynch had his most physical game ever and truly showed what he’s made of, shouldering and jab lifting into space. Chulainn Dowd was immense at centre back blocking, tackling and clearing well to the wings, along with taking a few accurate frees. Paidí O’Leochain did a brilliant job at mid-field setting up many’s a pass along with Cian McCarthy who later moved to full forward to bag a brace of goals. Peter Mulvihill unfortunately strained his hamstring and had to come off. Bobby Nugent did brilliantly on the wing gathering and setting up while also scoring 1-1 in the process. Cian Geary was also play maker at centre forward ably supported by Niall Scully who worked his socks off up and down the wing while also taking a goal chance. Eoin Hardiman and Eoin McCarthy were the main goal scorers taking 3 between them. Ryan Fallon was showing great passion and energy out in front of the opponents and setting up the forward line while getting well stuck in. Callum McKnight was a tough player letting no Brosna Gael out easy, dispossessing and setting up attacks. All in all, this was a great challenging game, hurling on a large pitch with a good result. This was followed by an array of sandwiches, sweets, cakes and drinks for all, by the fantastic hosts of Brosna Gaels in the club house. Scorers: C. McCarthy 2-1, E. McCarthy 2-0, B. Nugent 1-1, N. Scully 1-0, E. Hardiman 1-0, C. Dowd 0-2(f).

 

June 13, 2015: Eire Óg 3-9 v Southern Gaels 5-3: 

12 Brave and youthful Hurlers from the Gaels traveled to Crookedwood on Saturday in the warm sunshine. From the Off they battled bravely and showed no fear of this physically bigger side. We conceded a few early points before Rory Kilgarriff followed in on a mistake from the keeper to raise the green flag. Cian O Suilleabhain at the other end was reading the game well with Ben Keegan and himself defending marvelously. Brian Dolan took control of midfield and made many surging runs, finishing one glorious opportunity to the back of the nett. Chulainn Dowd led from Centre back and moved the ball well, also taking on free taking to finish one fine effort over the bar in the first half. Cian McCarthy was also threatening up front and took a fine point off his left, to leave us one point behind at half time. Enda Dowd gave the wise words at half time and inspired Eamon Martin to get on any loose ball and pass well, in particular a few to Michael Dolan who kept the ball moving and set up Rory to get in for another goal. Eoin McCarthy was leading the full forward line and set up another for Rory to finish over the line. In Defense Charlie Kennedy was tenaciously tackling the big and small lads with great return to clear the lines. Gaels took the lead with a Cian Geary point, set up by a great pass into space, for Geary to run onto and tap it over. At the other end Sean Fox, kept the lead alive with some superb brave saves. The opposition piled on the pressure, with Brian Dolan responding again with another drive forward to strike another past the keeper. Gaels scored a fabulous 5-3, and the opposition got in for a late goal to draw level with 3-9. It was a great open game of hurling and the future looks good for these hurlers.


Highlights 2013:
Mentor: Patrick Flynn
INDOOR Training from October 22:
 Wednesdays 6-7 Marist College Hall

Summer 2013: Training Tuesdays & Fridays 6.45-8.00

 2012: Training Tuesdays @ 19.00 & Fridays @ 18.00.
Team coach Tony O'Keeffe on 0872249712
This page can also be accessed by the link: www.tinyurl.com/sg-under14
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