On a rainy night in the ballast pit in Skerries, the 26/6/14 will be etched forever in the hearts & minds of all those associated with the u13 hurlers.
Having won the Division 1 Camaint Shield in 2013, followed up by 5th place in the u12 div1 league, they remained in division 1 at u13 for 2014. The Dublin Hurling strongholds of Kilmacud Crokes, Ballyboden St Endas, Lucan Sarsfields, Na Fianna, St Vincents, Faughs & Castleknock would be their opposition for the year.
7 games played, 7 games lost, up to the 26/6/14. 2 games lost albeit by 1 score. Very tough, when the football equivalent, of which the majority play for as dual players, are table toppers in Div1 football.
The management and players had targeted this game, as they knew the corresponding fixture on the first day of the season, which was lost by just 1 point in the closing minute of that game, was a game we probably should have won.
7pm was the meeting time for a 7.30 throw in, and all 18 arrived promptly at 7pm. Pre match drills completed, captain Paul Wilde won the toss and played against the wind. Wise choice it transpired to be.
What was noticeable, even on a rainy night, was the huge home support that thronged the upper tier and sidelines of the ballast pit stadium.
The sliotar was thrown in at 7.30, and the Supervalue Skerries team were straight out of the blocks with the first score, a well worked point converted by Adam Fearon.
Faughs came back immediately with 1-1, and the Skerries boys had to raise their game. It started with bullet like puck outs by newly converted goalkeeper, Eoghan Mcdonald, to our midfield duo of Paul Wilde & Matthew Dooley. We finally got just reward for the endless direct running of our half forward line of David Boyd, Adam Fearon & Jabob Grimes. A free by Jacob, who had been fouled, flew straight into the net. This was followed by 2 further points from Adam Fearon, and our goalpoacher supreme Robert Delaney who ended up with a total tally of 3-2, and who was the thorn in the Faughs full back line. He was ably assisted by Robert Kenny & Jack Drumm, who kept the Faughs full back line preoccupied, to provide Robert Delaney with the space to be so productive. Jack finished off his performance with a superb point in the second half.
The 1st half ended with the Harps up by only 5 points, eventhough it appeared they were maximising position of the sliothar.
Water intake at the break and the boys sensed that this was going to be a different result than their hurling experiences to date in 2014.
3 changes at half time to shake things up, Naoise Gilmore, Sean Maguire & Brian Brennan all on for the 2nd half.
As anticipated, Faughs who had already won 2 games, started the better in the 2nd half and scored a fortuitous goal from a sideline cut. With the constant pressure being applied by Faughs, our full back line of Alan Joyce, Matthew Kelly & Darragh Archbold repelled them repeatedly, showing bravery and tenaciousness in abundance. However, it was probably our half back line of Adam el Shamy, Finn Chatten & Cian Mullarkey that equals any half backline in the county, assisted by Matthew Dooley as a 4th half back, that was the launch pad for the many attacks driven by captain Paul Wilde that ensured the Harps boys finished the game off. This was epitomised by the silky skills by Sean Maguire, who teased the Faughs corner back and ended with a sublime 1-1.
What was so pleasing, is the undeniable fact that we are building a panel for the future, when the likes of Brian Brennan could step up from the B team and show a comfortable display in a div1 league game.
Alan Howley, O'Dwyers referee, blew the final whistle to the sound of cacophonous shouts & applause, and relieve from the mentors, from all that were in attendance on this great night for Hurling in the club. Final score was Skerries Harps 6-10, Faughs 3-6.
Great night, but only half way through the year. Football match next week, and then we take part in the PJ Troy tournament in Whitehall on Saturday 5th July, before a well earned summer break for parents & boys.
Well done Lads.