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Castlewellan GAC Notes
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Castlewellan GAC Weekly Notes

Last weekend’s calendar was pretty full with our club teams playing from Loughgiel in the North right down to Dublin and what a busy weekend it was with a fixed bag of fortune. Pride and place goes to the Castlewellan Seconds, Premiere Reserve Champions of Down.

The presentation of the Ladies new Shirts (would like to have this one in) left to right Jim Burns (manager), Niall McArdle (assistant manager), Lisa Morgan, Martin O’Higgins From The Fresh Food Centre, Cillian Keaveney and Geraldine McKibbe

The presentation of the Castlewellan Ladies new Shirts:  Jim Burns (manager), Niall McArdle (assistant manager), Lisa Morgan, Martin O’Higgins From The Fresh Food Centre, Cillian Keaveney and Geraldine McKibben.

It has always been said in this column that each championship final must be savoured. Championship finals are few and far between so you must give it your all, empty the tank and then make sure it is emptied. Rudyard Kipling’s two imposters “Victory & Defeat” were very much to the fore but which was going where?

This scribe had the privilege of being along with the Castlewellan Seconds Team as they beat Burren in a tight Premier Reserve Championship Final encounter in Pairc Esler last Friday Night.

Indeed the limbs were sore and voice boxes hoarse such was the intensity and commitment from players, managers and supporters from both sides plus hangers-on like myself! In tight games all teams have their dominant purple patches. In each patch you have to take your chances.

The purplest patch for us was between the 6th and 12th minute of the game which saw the lads take their chances. In that period we scored 2-02 with the goals coming from Cahal Keown and Jason Croskery. Then Burren came roaring back between 12th and 20th minute which saw them hit 1-03 to level the game. The Town went in two points up at half time bagging 2 scores in the 26 and 30th minute from Conal Crilly and Mickey Gilmore. After half time it was Burren’s turn to dominate. Three points in succession left them one up. Then it was “Chilly Time”! Four hard earned frees were converted by Chilly Crilly with unerring accuracy.

 Presentation of the Senior League Trophy to Karen McMullan by County Secretary Aine McClean and Ladies Board Official Frank McMullan.

Presentation of the Senior League Trophy to Karen McMullan by County Secretary Aine McClean and Ladies Board Official Frank McMullan.

Burren came back once again clipping over two fine points with 8 minutes left. It was then a great long range effort from Chilly that rallied the troops once again. Burren tagged on yet another score. Then it was end to end stuff with great block and tackles from both sides. Then an ‘empty tank’ went on a solo run. There had to be purchase on the end of it. Jason Croskery fired over a fantastic 25 yard effort two minutes into injury time.

With nerves frayed and trailing by two points Burren launched one last assault on the Town defences. In the fourth and final minute of injury time Burren clipped over the last point of the game. Danny Cassidy strolled out and sent the final kick out up towards the highest flood light and then the long whistle! There were great scenes at the end with all the players and their families celebrating together.

It is epitomised in one photograph which shows brothers Sean and Brian McVeigh with their little brother Conor and the cup. He can be certain and proud of the two role models he had alongside him. Both played and ran their hearts out. Who will ever forget Danny Cassidy’s victorious man hug with Shorty. Enough said!

I could go on and mention every player and what they did. They all had a point to prove and that they did right through from one to nineteen on the night. Those also who couldn’t play and those who were championship tied during the campaign. They all played their part. It is easy to say it was a great game when you win. It was full of errors, thrills, spills and great skill. Burren played their sporting part though we know that in defeat it is of no consolation to them to recognise this.

Under-8 and Under-10 Hurlers at the Warrenpoint Blitz on Saturday past.

Under-8 and Under-10 Hurlers at the Warrenpoint Blitz on Saturday past.

Well done to all the Seconds Lads! A nice touch during the night’s celebrations when the lads contacted Michael Sweeney who is in America by use of social media and he was able for a short while to witness and join in on the night’s fun. Its’ good to include those not on these shores. Up The Town Mick!

Congratulations to The Senior Ladies who won the Senior League last week without kicking a ball! This did not take away from the achievement as in fairness they dominated the league all year with some fantastic displays. They were presented last Tuesday Night with new jerseys sponsored by The Fresh Food Centre. Now all remains is an Ulster Club campaign when they will face St Pauls the Antrim champions.

The Camogs travelled to Loughgiel last Saturday to take on the hosts in the Ulster Junior Championship. It was to be a fruitless journey with the hosts running out victors by six points. It was a disappointing result as the Camogs will know that they were capable of much better. They lead at half time though they were assisted with a strong breeze. The hosts found their feet better in the second half with a couple of goals that killed us off. That said it was their first championship winning season and indeed the first foray into the Ulster arena. Loughgiel Seniors went out of the championship early this year so this will have assisted their junior side. Still the Club is proud of our girls and their achievement this season. We know they are disappointed at falling at the first hurdle but now they have tasted success they can look forward to making head way next season.

Commiserations to our Under-16 ladies who lost out in the Under 16 County Championship Final on Sunday when they were defeated by Carryduff in Bright. They gave it their best shot but were beaten by the stronger team in the end. Well done to the girls who put in a great effort but it just wasn’t to be.

The victorious Under 16 boys who qualified for the Under 16B County Final last Saturday.

The victorious Under-16 boys who qualified for the Under 16B County Final last Saturday.

We would have preferred to have been looking forward to a senior championship semi final next week. That was not to be. So an annual pilgrimage to the Kilmacud All Ireland Sevens would have to do. Placed in a tough group along with hosts Kilcmacud Crokes, Tuam Stars and Castleblaney Faughs, the assignment was going to be tough with only group winners going forward to the knock out stages.

The lads won the group winning all their games and went into the quarter finals to face Leixlip from Kildare. We won this game by six points and so faced the favourites Corofin from Galway in the semi final. This was just a step too far. The slick Galway outfit controlled the game and won by eight points in the end.

The lads can take consolation in the fact that Corofin went on to win the tournament. Manager Brian Dougherty had watched Corofin from early on and marked them out as hot favourites, a tag they justified. Well done to our senior lads who gave it their all.

Castlewellan progressed to the U-16 B Championship final with an outstanding victory over Kilclief at Leitrim on Saturday afternoon. Ryan Lundy set the tone catching the throw up and driving forward and sticking it over the bar for the opening score of the game. The town lads settled quickly and started to dominate the game playing some great football and taking some great scores. At half time the town led 1-8 to 0-2, with points coming from Gareth McKibben, Joe Cunningham, Ryan Lundy, Sean O’Boyle and Conor Magorrian with  Magorrian also getting the goal.

The town picked up where they left off in the second half and put the game to bed early on with further goals from Magorrian, McKibben(2) and Ciaran Hawkins. With O’Boyle, McKibben, Hawkins and Adam Garland adding further points, The Town eventually winning 5-15 to 1-4. This was an exceptional team performance and it was the manner of the result and the quality of the football which was most pleasing.

The full back line with the superb Ronan Barr, Keelan Burns and James McAleenan gave the Kilclief forwards very little while the midfield area was dominated by Sean O’Boyle, Ryan Lundy and the outstanding Lee Ward. In the forward line Conor Magorrian, Joe Cunningham and Gareth McKibben where involved in everything the town created. We have no doubt that there will be a full attendance at the final in the next couple of weeks as these lads have been quietly working away in the background improving as they go along. Great stuff lads!

* Members & friends of Castlewellan GAC will perform Mrs Brown’s Boys this weekend with a local twist. It is a play written by local playwright Ciaran Milligan and starring well known members of the local community. It will be performed in the club this Friday 27 September and Saturday 28 September.  The show starts at 9pm on both nights. Please note that Saturday Night performance is sold out and admission is by ticket only.

There are some tickets available for Friday Night. Tickets are priced at £10 and are available from the clubrooms on Thursday night from 8.30pm to 10pm and Friday night from 8.30pm to 9.30pm.  They are also available in Walkers Newsagents.   Also please note that seats are on a first come first served basis. You are guaranteed a laugh a minute! As stated earlier the play is written by Ciaran Milligan, an award winning actor. He is the founding member of the Milligan School of Performing Arts.  Ciaran holds a BA Honours Degree in Theatre Studies and also trained in Theatre Performance.

From a young age he has acted in theatres throughout the UK and Ireland; the National Theatre, London, the Lyric, Belfast and the Edinburgh Festival to name but a few.  He has also acted in TV commercials from a young age, written and directed many theatre performances and has toured with professional theatre companies.

Ciaran has taught drama and performing arts extensively throughout the UK, in schools and community venues.  He was also lucky enough to travel to Romania to work with young children developing performance skills. He is a father of two children and is fully committed to developing young people’s confidence and skills through performance.

Castlewellan’s youngest hurling teams finished the season with a very impressive showing at the Warrenpoint Blitz. The Under-8 team had seven matches losing only once and competed strongly in all games. The Under-10 team hurled brilliantly from start to finish winning all six games of their games against top Down and Armagh opposition. There were great goals, points, blocks and hooks. Today was the last blitz at this age for Matthew, Joe, Morgan, and Míceál óg, Jack, Paraic, CJ and Lorcan. Well done to all. Last training is Wednesday at 6.15pm.

 We will be entering a team to take part in the J.G. Donnan 7-A-Side Social Football Tournament in An Riocht this Saturday 28th September from 2pm to 5pm. The event is aimed at promoting social Gaelic Football and is open to club members whom don’t feature for club senior or reserve teams. Anyone interested in taking part please contact either Shay Flanagan (07989964555) or Terry Connolly (07720711388).

Well done to Sean Hardy and Shane Smyth who have both been selected to play on this year’s An Dún squad which will compete in the Ulster Colleges Senior A Mageean Cup hurling competition. Good luck lads.

There will be bingo in the Club again this Sunday 29 September at 3.00pm.

Orders for club gear from O’Neill’s can now be taken.  Please complete the flyer of which copies are available in the Club. You will need to provide full payment with cheques made out to Castlewellan GAC and leave with Brian O’Neill or John O’Neill in the Club on the following days and times: Thursday 26 September 2013 8.30pm – 9.30pm, Friday 27 September 2013 8.30pm – 9.30pm, Saturday 28 September 2013 10.00am – 11.00am. The gear will be available for collection in mid to late November. The next order for club gear will be in the Spring of 2014.

The Attack Fitness Circuits will not take place this week due to the unavailability of Club facilities. We will let you know when the classes resume again

The weekly Castlewellan AC weekly runs continue every Tuesday and Thursday leaving the Club at 7.00pm.

The numbers in this week’s lotto were 19, 23, 25 & 27. There were no jackpot and two £20 winners this week; Aine Connolly and D. Roberts. Next week’s Jackpot is £4750.