Juvenile Report 2011

posted 19 Dec 2011, 12:56 by Robert O'Connell

2011 was a year of mixed fortunes for the juvenile club. Having secured county titles at U12(2007) and U14(2009), the current U16 squad were expected to continue the sequence and win the U16 title this year. However, this was not to be, and were beaten in the  final by Na Piarsaigh. Our U14s reached this years feile final, but lost narrowly, also to Na Piarsaigh.

            With wins against Ahane, Na Piarsaigh, Mungret, Monaleen and a draw with Kilmallock,the U16’s reached the quarter final of the county championchip relatively unscathed. We were drawn to play Deel Rangers in Doon, and as this was straight knockout, Doon really showed the class they undoubtadly possess and ran out very comfortable winners on a scoreline of 7-26 to 3-8.

            This set up a very tricky semi final with Monaleen, who earlier in the championship ran Doon very close but for a couple of late goals which saw us narrowly over the line. The game was played in Hospital, who had their pitch in excellent condition, in front of a large crowd. Here Doon hit the ground running and built up an early lead they were never going to surrender.  The final scoreline being 4-16 to 1-7.

            Having ammassed huge scores in the quarter and semi finals, Doon were overwhelming favourites going into the final with Na Piarsaigh. As a lot of favourites have found out this year, it does not guarantee success and so it proved for Doon. Na Piarsaigh stuck to their game plan of crowding out the Doon attack, to which we had no answer, and saw us restricted to mainly half chances and this was a contributing factor to the 17 wides that we had. Na Piarsaigh were more economical with limited possesion and won by 10 points to 8 points.

            While heartbreaking on the day, Doon can look back and realise what a great achievement it was to reach the final and on another day the result might have been different.

            To the players who are moving on from  juvenile and into the senior ranks, I wish to thank them for their enormous contribution to Doons success at underage over the last number of years. You have represented the club with honour and pride, whether it be in county finals, feile or playing for Limerick, and have become the role models that all those players at nursery and above are aspiring to be, and there is no doubt you will continue to act accordingly.

            I would also like to thank Pat Whelan for his very generous contribution towards the purchase of gear for the county final.

            Finally, I wish to thank the management team of Jim Mc Grath, James O’Donovan, Rodgie Maher, Fr Tony Ryan, Dinny Moloney and George Allis, plus Jack O’Connell who did first aid, for their time and commitment throughout the year.

            The U14s began the year with the first round of feile at home to Monaleen. Doon won this game 2-11 to 1-0.  We were drawn to play South Liberties a week later in the quarter final and it turned out to be a tame affair with Doon winning comfortably by 1-12 to 0-0. This set up a semi final date with Kilmallock, which was played in Hospital. There was an added incentive to winning this game as the two finalists went on to represent Limerick in the national feile which was to be held in Galway. Doon got off to a great start with a few early goals and established a lead they would never relinquish.  The final scorline being Doon 5-6 to Kilmallock 1-3.  We had now reached the feile final for the second time in two years against the same opposition, Na Piarsaigh. The game was played in Kilmallock and from early on Doon struggled to come to terms with Na Piarsaigh, who were dominating in most positions, and by half time had built up a substantial lead. As the second half progressed, we began to eat into that lead and with only a couple of minutes left, had reduced the deficit to two points. However, this was as close as we got and Na Piarsaigh held on to win 0-11 to 1-6.

            While it was disappointing to lose the feile final, we still had the national finals to look forward to, which were to take place in Galway from the 24th to the 26th of June. The draw pitted us against Oranmore-Maree who were to be our host club, along with Clarinbridge, the Galway champions and Ballygunner the Waterford champions.

            We played Oranmore-Maree on a wet and miserable afternoon in what turned out to be a fantastic game despite the poor conditions. Doon, who had heroes all over the field on the day, won the match 1-3 to 1-4. Afterwards, players, mentors and parents were all treated to fantastic fare in the clubhouse.

            The following day, our two remaing matches were to be played in Clarinbridge, the first of which was against the home team. As Galway champions we knew it was going to be a difficult task to beat them. However Doon played some great hurling but it was never going to be enough and Clarinbridge were worthy winners 0-11 to 0-4. Our next game was against Ballygunner and after the earlier defeat Doon spirits should have been very low. This wasn’t to be the case though, as everyone performed magnificently and we went on to win 0-5 to 0-3.

            Later that evening in Oranmore we were treated to an evening of great entertainment  where players and families could relax and reflect on what was a brilliant weekend.  The players and mentors deserve great credit for the way they represented the club and county throughout the whole weekend and for that, on behalf of the club, I wish to thank them.

            I would also like to thank the people of Oranmore-Maree and in particular Des Hannify for being fantastic hosts. All of the players had nothing but praise for their host families and enjoyed every minute of their stay.

            Finally, I would like to thank everyone who helped fundraise, and contribute so generously, for bag-packing, best wishes cards and the cash for clobber.

In the meantime, the U14 championship had started, and after games against Murroe Boher, Ballybrown, Kilmallock, Monaleen and Mungret, we were drawn to play Deel Rangers in a match that would decide who would meet Na Piarsaigh in the county quarter final. Doon, who had to travel to Coolyroe, had a magnificent game where the result was always in the balance emerged victorious by a scorline of 3-6 to 0-12. The quarter final against Na Piarsaigh turned out to be a very one sided affair and we were well beaten by 2-15 to 1-7.

Thanks to the management team of James O’Donovan,Ger McNamara and Aiden Fitzgerald, plus Jack O’Connell for first aid, for all they have done throughout the year.

Our U12 team were once again under the “Lifting the Treaty” structure for 2011.This is a program conceived and delivered by Limerick county board, launched in 2009, placing emphasis on full participation of all players on a non competitive basis. It replaced the traditional U12 county championship. Doon competed against very strong opposition including Monaleen, Mungret, Na Piarsaigh, Kileedy, Bruff, Ahane and Adare  from April through to September where the finals took place in the gaelic grounds in Limerick.

Thanks to Mark Doyle, Paul Purcell, Mike Ryan, Edward Kiely and Cathal McNamara for all their time they have given to this panel this year.

The  U10’s under the guidance of Declan Ryan participated in many blitzs throughout the year which were held at various locations around the county. These took place on a Saturday morning where Doon would play against 3 other teams. As a result of regular and structured training, these boys showed great levels of skill and commitment in every game they competed in and are showing great potential for the future. Thanks also to Micheal Ryan for his help in coaching the U10’s.

Our U8 and U6 teams trained every Saturday morning with John Stokes and Richard Bowles as part of our very successful nursery programme with help also from parents who seem to be getting as much enjoyment from it as the players. These teams also competed in many blitzs and challenge games and like the U10s have plenty of talent that will ensure Doon are going to continue to go from strength to strength.

As we now have a good number of past and present senior players involved in management and coaching for which we are extremely grateful, it is hoped that this continues into the future and that anyone else who would like to get involved would be more than welcome.

Congratulations to everyone who represented the club at county level this year. They are as follows:

U14: Eoghan McNamara, Jamie Heuston, Brian McPartland, Tadgh Whelan, Barry Murphy, Thomas Hayes.

U15: Shane O’Connell.

U16: Richie English, Stephen Ryan, Darragh O’Donovan, Pat Ryan, Patrick Cummins, Dean Coleman.

Primary Game: Cathy Maher.

INTO Mini Sevens: Cormac Doyle and Mark Coleman.

Congratulations also to Patrick Quinlan and Cormac Doyle who were part of the east Limerick team that won the Mackey cup earlier this year.

Finally, on behalf of the juvenile club, I would like to wish everyone a happy Christmas and a peaceful 2012.

                                                                        Robert O’Connell.