Under 12 Trip to Meath and Cavan

posted 24 Jun 2014, 00:51 by Skerries Harps

If the weather forecast was anything to go by we were in for a fantastic two days with the under 12s.

The 30 players and 13 travelling parents arrived at the Mill car park at 10.45 to the surprise of player named Skerries Harps tops for all players. We then piled into cars and hit the road in “Need for Speed” style with Mickey-Joe leading the charge, with 8 cars in tow, to get to Killmessan Hurling Club for our first match of the weekend at 12.30. We arrived safely in Co Meath to be warmly met by the Kilmessan Hurling Club mentors and ladies. Tea, coffee, cakes and biscuits were all laid on before and after the match.

It was a full 15 v 15 with Skerries having 21 Hurlers available for selection. The referee took immediate control of the match and maintained his control to the benefit of players, mentors and spectators. The match was tough, fair and, overall, was an excellent sporting spectacle. The match finished with Skerries winning by 1 point.

After the continued warm hospitality and a few words of thanks from both sides we headed off to the Cavan team training camp at Killinkere. At the camp were two full size senior pitches, a stand, a clubhouse and an old rectory converted to a modern 9 bedroom (some ensuite) hostel. Killinkere GFC uses the hostel as an innovative source of income. It was staffed by club volunteers that served us lunch and breakfast and also ensured that there was enough food in the house to feed a small army. The hostel was clean and very well served with toilets and showers.

After a frantic run for rooms by players, mentors and parents, we all settled in and were served a wholesome chicken curry and chips. We then started into an evening of Zorb Football together with team-based activity games including spinning hill relays, cross the river, handcuff escape and the 11 nail balancing mind benders. These activities finished with Apache Pizza, as we overlooked the senior pitch on a beautiful warm June night. The parents and mentors moved to the bar to relax and the players busied themselves in the vicinity of the clubhouse.  All players hit the bed before midnight with chatting and laughing going on well into the early hours.

It was a slow start on Sunday with breakfast for 9, which included plenty of cereal, toast and a fry up of eggs, rashers, sausages and beans. We packed up and made our way slowly to the pitch for two parallel mixed level games against two local clubs, Ramor and Cu Chulainn.  Skerries and Ramor was a good game with Skerries in control for much of it and eventually finished a draw. Cu Chulainn were a strong team and with the lack of sleep and heat taking its toll on the Harps ran out winners on the day.

After a few words of thanks to both teams, parents and mentors and a few pictures, we headed to our cars and made our way home, arriving weary but happy in Skerries at 2.30 on Sunday afternoon.

It was a wonderful trip that dipped in and out many important aspects of teamwork; leadership, friendship, support, loyalty, shared goals, appropriate behavior and of course, fun. This was a weekend that will remain special for mentors, parents and players for years to come.  A mention also for ‘Break for Ball’, the GAA Training Weekend organisers who organised the entire weekend for us.

Thanks to the parents that travelled and helped with the players and a special thanks to the players who behaved impeccably and did their parents, club, town and county proud. Well done U12s.