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Skerries Harps Blues v's Skerries Harps Whites in Croke Park

posted 26 Mar 2013, 02:13 by Skerries Harps   [ updated 26 Mar 2013, 02:27 ]

On Saturday 23rd March 2013 History was again made in Croke Park. Skerries Harps U11 boys hurling team had the fantastic privilege of playing hurling at the half time of the Fingal versus Fermanagh Division 3A hurling match and then witnessing Dublin’s senior football team beat Down in an easy second half on Saturday last.

The excitement was intense and not just among the mentors; Peter, Alex, Alan, Fergus, Aidan and Mickey Joe were so enthused to be part of this wonderful experience.
The team got to experience the dressing rooms, followed by the walkways under the Cusack stand and then onto the wait and anticipation for the half-time whistle to blow. Peter reminisced to all players of his 25 years playing football and never ever getting the opportunity to play here. “Lads cherish these brief moments”, he said through broken tears. On the end of half whistle, the boys walked behind Peter in silent awe and slow military formation on to the Sacred Ground. The players touched the grass and felt even more inspired for greatness. They took their positions for the “Give Respect, Get Respect” Handshake.
Then onto the game and the teams lined out, Blue versus White, 11 on 11 hurling in Croke Park – Wow. The referee, from Trinity Gaels, blew his whistle and threw in the sliotar to the highly competitive mid-field for Blues of Fionn Duncan and Mathew Courell versus Whites Naoise Gilmore and David Graham. The breaking ball was won by David Graham who whipped it into the forward line with Cian Ensor, David Hogan, Sean Geoghean, Greg Caffrey in flying form but it was stern defence by the blues with Daniel Plastikovs, John Fanning, Ben Hurrell, Pierce Woodcock. The game continued in a very competitive way with all players pushing hard to get the first score. Both Goalies Ronan Geoghean and Cian Mullarkey were very busy. This was more than just a training match between a team – this was Croke Park – the Park of Dreams - under the lights.
To add to the spectacle, the Senior Dublin players entered onto the pitch to sense the ground before their official warm up. I have no doubt that some of this U11 team will also take those Dublin positions in the next decade.
The game played on with the first point scored by a beautiful shot from David Graham from the Whites, followed in quick succession by spot on shooting from Naoise Gilmore. The Blues, now with two points down needed their forward’s Dylan Fogarty, Conal Moore, Malachy Woodcock, Dara Mullarkey to step it up but they were very well matched by the White back’s of Ronan Rice, James Casey, Leo Carroll, Killian Renaud.
The Whites looking well in control now with two points up. Bryan Cullen arrived at the side-line to cheer on The Harps. Many battles ensued up and down the pitch. All players were pushing hard for another score. Both sides defenders and attackers working well together as a team. In the dying seconds Fionn Duncan won a great ball put in by Cian Mullarkey and passed on to Fionn by Cian’s brother Dara, Fionn scooped it up and stroked the ball hard into the goal. Whistle blew, game over – Blues won 1-0 to 0-2.
The boys then had many pictures taken with Bryan Cullen who then ran off to warm up properly. Then back to the dressing room and onto the stand to watch the Dubs win. What a day – one that this team will unlikely forget for many years to come.

A huge thank you to all the parents who made the trip. The boys were very well behaved. Also, a huge thank you to Joe Rocks who offered us the privilege. Thank you sincerely. Also thanks to Bryan for taking the time out of his warm-up.

White Team - Ronan Geoghean, Ronan Rice, James Casey, Leo Carroll, Killian Renaud, Naoise Gilmore (0-1), David Graham (0-1), Cian Ensor, David Hogan, Sean Geoghean, Greg Caffrey
Blue Team - Cian Mullarkey, John Fanning, Ben Hurrell, Pierce Woodcock, Daniel Plastikovs, Fionn Duncan (1-0), Matthew Courell, Dylan Fogarty, Conal Moore, Malachy Woodcock, Dara Mullarkey