Glenstal GAA – First Years

Glenstal’s second GAA season got underway on Thursday, December 10th when the first years travelled to the Limerick Institute of Technology to take on Ard Scoil Rís C in the school’s hurling competition. It looked like the match that would never be after four reschedulings and two postponements but at 12:30, the ball was thrown in and the battle commenced.

It was a closely fought encounter and Ard Scoil Rís opened the scoring with a point from play. First half goal keeper, Angus MacDonald, fired long puck outs in an attempt to stimulate the Glenstal attack but not many chances fell the way of Glenstal forwards in the early parts of the half. Robert McNamara, Robert Burke and Patrick Johnson (captain) were all busy repelling the Ard Scoil Rís attacks with fine displays of tackling, blocking and hooking. They were ably assisted by their teammates until a long, high ball by Ard Scoil Rís appeared to bypass the Glenstal defence leaving the Ard Scoil attacker one-on-one with Angus MacDonald and the forward made no mistake in dispatching the sliotar to the net. It looked ominous from a Glenstal point of view as despite playing relatively well, they had failed to threaten the Ard Scoil defence. It got worse before it got better as a high ball found it’s way to the Glenstal net to put Ard Scoil Rís seven points up.

That it was until a strong work ethic and a dogged determination from many of the players earned a free about forty metres from the Ard Scoil Rís goal. Vice-captain, Charlie McCartan, launched the sliotar into box where Seamus Kerrisk whipped and sent the ball past the Ard Scoil Rís netminder. It was the lift Glenstal needed and deserved after some great industry out the field. Ard Scoil Rís completed the half’s scoring when they pointed, leaving the half time score at 2-02 (8 points) to 1-00 (3 points). Some switches at half time saw potential history being written as Chance McKeever may be the first man from to Kentucky to wield the hurley. In a similar manner, Ben Gambs represented the Belgian community in fine fashion.

Ard Scoil started brighter with an early goal but Glenstal were growing into the game with a slight hill in their favour. Patrick Johnson landed a super score from the right hand side of the goal, striking well under pressure to raise a white flag. The Ard Scoil Rís goal was under siege as the sliotar ricocheted around the box until the referee awarded a 21 yard free to Glenstal. The angle didn’t make going for goal easy and so Patrick Johnson blasted the sliotar over the bar. Ard Scoil Rís were able to respond with a free of their own before the score of the match was converted by Angus MacDonald. Hard graft by Robert McNamara saw him emerge with the sliotar in his grasp and facing three defenders, he palmed the ball to Angus who struck the ball beautifully between the uprights from all of thirty-five metres to leave six points between the teams. Ard Scoil Rís slotted another free before the referee blew the full time whistle leaving the score at; Ard Scoil Rís 3-04 (13 points) Glenstal 1-03 (6 points). It was a very commendable effort by our boys as the game was fairly evenly balanced throughout. Ard Scoil scored on seven occasions compared to Glenstal’s four.

A surprisingly dry afternoon got even brighter when Limerick GAA Development Officer, Eoin Ryan, presented Glenstal with two dozen new sliotars to boost the training efforts here. Eoin is working on providing us with some other supports and we are very grateful to Limerick GAA for supporting and promoting the games as much as they do here in Glenstal.

Panel; Robert Burke, Nicholas Cunningham-Ash, Ben Gambs, Patrick Johnson, Josh Kennedy, Seamus Kerrisk, Ivor Larkin, Hugh Lawler, Angus MacDonald, Josh Matthews, Ben McCartan, Charlie McCartan, Chance McKeever, Robert McNamara, Bryan Murphy, Jack Neilan, Iarlaith Reilly, Tom Rooney, Ben Shippam, John Walsh.