1 July 2015
U-14 SHIELD VICTORIES: The U-14 squad enjoyed a highly successful weekend, last week, winning two shield titles in a matter of 48 hours. On Saturday week a combined "A" and "B" team squad competed in the National Feile tournament finals in Waterford, winning their Shield section after earlier victories over Roanmore (Waterford) and Carrick Swans (Tipp), before slipping up to Kinvara (Galway) in the prelimenary rounds. However, the earlier victories qualified them for the shield final where they overcame the determined efforts of a fine Ballincollig (Cork) outfit. they thoroughly enjoyed the day in Carriganore and were much taken with the exceptional quality of the WIT venue.
Then on Monday evening in John's Park they lined out against St.Lactain's in the county shield final. The teams traded scores for much of the first half which ended 1-8 to 1-4 in favour of James Stephens. In the first minutes of the second period, the Freshford lads applied huge pressure on the Village defence, forcing goalkeeper, Jamie Reid to make a series of spectacular saves, all of which ended in failure, after which the fight seemed to fade in the St.Lactain's team, allowing the city boys to go on a goal fest. In an overall outstanding team performance their were some exceptional individual displays, notably by captain, Jason Butler, centre-back Jamie Ryan, centre forward, Cian Kenny, full forward, Aod O'Connor and wingers, Eoin Guilfoyle and Sean Ruth. These achievements reflect great credit on the management team of Joe Murray, Gary Whelan, Liam Trant, Philip Larkin and Ollie Grace who put so much time and effort into the coaching of this group of promising players. Well done to all.
JOE DELANEY MEMORIAL TOURNAMENT: Last Saturday week, the U-11's enjoyed a great weekend in Cork, while winning the Joe Delaney U-11 tournament, hosted by the Ballincollig G.A.A.club. The tournament was in memory of the late Joe Delaney who was a member of Delaney clan of the renowned Patrick Street, G.A.A. pubic house before he "emigrated" to the southern capital many years ago. Joe was a valued and much respected member of the Ballincollig club, for whom he devoted much time coaching and developing hurling within the club's underage structures over the years. En route to the final of the 11-a-side tournament the young James Stephens players did themselves and the red and green jersey of the Village proud putting in polished performances over a nine game round robin series, beating teams from Na Piarsigh (Limerick),and Valley Rovers (Cork) before going on to claim the winner's trophy with a powerful display against the host club, Ballincollig. On their return to the Marble City, the trophy was put on display in Delaney's bar for a few days before being transfered to the trophy cabinet in the club's Larchfield headquaters. Thanks to the Ballincollig club who catered for their guests to the highest standards and to the travelling mentors, Dan Cody, Joe Hennessy, Joe O'Shea, Damian Casey, Michael Power and Brian Keyes who had responsibility for the large party of players throughout a long day.
MULLEN TOURNAMENT: The 25th running of the annual minor tournament in memory of the late Paddy Mullen took place in near perfect weather conditions on Saturday. Throughout the day, the eight team event produced a number of high quality contests. Notably, the Kildare U-17 development squad proved to be the revelation of the tournament, going down by just 2 points to the home side in the first round, before beating John Lockes 0-13 to 1-7 and giving a good account of themselves in the shield final when beaten by a strong Thurles Sarsfields side, 3-12 to 1-10. Having overcome the Kildare squad in the first round, James Stephens went on to contest the semi-final against St.Martin's (Wexford). This was a close encounter throughout and at the end of normal time the sides could not be seperated finishing level at 2-5 to 1-8. James Stephens played with the considerable help of a strong breeze in the first period of extra time and only added a point to their total, leaving the advantage to the Wexford lads. However, a sturdy defence held strong and the home side edged home on a 2-8 to 1-9 scoreline.Going into the final the odds seemed to favour Blackrock (Cork) -- going for a hat trick of tournament victories-- after James Stephens tiring semi-final battle. However, finding renewed energy the Village lads traded point for point throughout the first half and crutially broke the deadlock with a Robert Butler goal nearing the end of the half. In the second half, Blackrock tried their hearts out to claw back the 1-3 to 0-3 half time defecit, in a bid to retain the title, but could not break through for the vital scores against a resiliant James Stephens side, who held out for a deserved 1-8 to 1-5 victory.
At the presentation chairman, Tommy Lanigan thanked the Mullen family for their continuing commitment to the tournament in memory of the late, Paddy Mullen. A sincere thanks was also expressed to the referees who officiated and to the tournament director, Val Malone and his team, who do so much hidden preparatory work leading up to the day, itself. Responding, Teresa Mullen congratulated the winners and thanked the competing clubs for their support over the years, making the tournament such a popular, pre-championship competition to be part of, for clubs with county title ambitions. On the social side, the tournament has become an annual "reunion" for a pre-tournament "breakfast" meeting of former catering members, including Joan Cody, Kathleen Millea, Maura Morgan, Mary White, and Gretta Kelly. With a home victory to savour, it was a very satisfactory conclusion to yet another successful day's hurling.
LEINSTER FINAL: Sunday sees Brian Cody's, Kilkenny stars travel to Croke Park to defend their Leinster crown. We wish Brian and club favourites, Jackie Tyrrell, Eoin Larkin and Matt Ruth success in their bid to retain the Bob O'Keeffe Cup against a "fired up", Galway side, judging by their performances against Dublin and Laois.
KILKENNY MINORS: Congratulations to county minor, Tadhg O'Dwyer who gave a very confident display on the Kilkenny minor team in their Leinster semi-final defeat of Laois on Sunday week. Selected on the half forward line Tadhg tormented the Laois defence, winning frees and creating opportunities for his fellow attackers. We wish him further success in Sunday's Leinster final against The Dubs. .
BRITISH FOOTBALL CHAMPS: Congratulations to Tomas Keogh, the only Village man on the selection, who played a leading role in Kilkenny's British Junior football final, 2-7 to 0-8 win over Scotland in London, on Saturday. Tomas lined out at full back throughout the championship campaign.
GOLFERS: Golfers should note that the annual club classic is just a week away. The popular day;s golf takes place over 2 days, Thursday evening, 2nd July and all day, Friday 3rd July in Kilkenny Golf Club. To book your team x 4 on the time sheet for an entry fee of €200.00 contact, Dan Cody at 086 8559469. The entry fee included, a goodie bag, a "half-time" breakfast break at the 10th tee, and on completion of the 18 holes a 4 course meal in the clubhouse.
PARTY CENTRAL: Last Saturday night saw the club rocking with a huge crowd who arrived to celebrate the 50th birthdays of twins Richie and Denis Guilfoyle, staunch Village men. Needless to say a great night was had by all. Remember the club is available for use by members and friends and can be booked for functions, meetings etc. Contact bar manager, Willie O'Shea or any of the staff.
LOTTO: Check elsewhere on this page for this week's Lotto numbers.