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Hurling Bits: November 2021:
King Henry moves to Galway.
Henry Shefflin moves west! His appointment was a surprise to all here in Kilkenny and the rest of the hurling fraternity, after reports indicating the job was going to Davy Fitzgerald. Inter-county management will be fascinating once 2022 gets underway, especially when Galway meet Kilkenny in the Leinster championship at least once, probably twice and they could also play them again in an All-Ireland. It’s going to be really interesting to see Shefflin come up against Cody and watch how he sets up his team to try and beat Kilkenny!
We congratulate Henry on his appointment.
Hurling Bits: November 2021:
The Shamrocks Juggernaut continues to roll on from the south of the County. They were crowned Kilkenny senior hurling champions for the nineteenth time after defeating O’Loughlin Gaels in the County Final in Nowlan Park 7th November. The Tom Walsh Cup went back to Ballyhale after the club achieved their fourth in a row, they are probably the best hurling club team in the Country right now. The spectators were back in abundance for this classic encounter with O’Loughlin Gaels who were firing on all cylinders and threw everything but the kitchen sink at Shamrocks. They dominated the first half and led by three points at half time. TJ Reid was kept quiet by Huw Lawlor, but when he started to roam in the second half gaining more possession, he set up two of Shamrocks goals for James Cuddihy and Adrian Mullen.
O’Loughlin Gaels may have thought they had weathered the storm at the three-quarter mark, but another Ballyhale blizzard awaited them as they dominated the last fifteen minutes. Leading by five points at one stage, O’Loughlins battled back from three points down early in the second half, to again lead by one after Paddy Deegan’s goal was followed up by a fine Owen Wall point heading to the second water break. Goals came from Adrian Mullen and Joe Cuddihy and Brian Butler’s solo run through the middle of the pitch scoring a magnificent goal will be one to remember. O’Loughlin Gaels Paddy Deegan, normally a defender, was excellent. He scored two goals and three points and tormented the Ballyhale defence, a consistent thorn in the full forward line. Mark Bergin kept the scoreboard moving from frees and open play.
Ballyhale Shamrock’s now march on to another Leinster Championship campaign.
Final score Shamrocks 3-19. O’Loughlin’s Gaels 3-15. Following the win, Shamrock’s captain Colin Fennelly confirmed he has retired from inter-county hurling.
TJ Reid Shamrock's
Paddy Deegan O'Loughlin Gaels
Bits n’ Pieces: October 2021:
Chairman Alan Cooper along with Secretary Michael Grogan called our first meeting of the year which was held in J Burkes Bar on 22nd October at 8.30pm. Eighteen classmates turned up and as we had not seen our friends for over a year, everyone was in high spirits. Alan opened the meeting and gave some kind and lovely words of welcome to all of us. Michael also welcomed everyone and with pen in hand was ready to document our comments and ideas etc. JB supplied the sandwiches and we thank him for his generous hospitality.
A trip to Dublin was discussed and all agreed with the date set for 27th October. “Hooray” shouted Richie Hogan, “we’re back!” Michael agreed to contact everyone by phone. Joe Hogan in the UK was delighted and agreed to make the trip over.
Sadly, we were unable to travel due to Covid and Alan also let us know that some members were unable to travel due to illness. Alan contacted Joe in the UK with our apologies, but as we are in strange times, nothing could be done. No doubt we will organise another outing soon.
Bits n’ Pieces Sept/Oct 2021:
At the end of September, I once again travelled to Spain for a golfing holiday. Our annual trip was postponed last year due to Covid, but as restrictions were lifted and all were vaccinated, our classmate Eamonn Holohan and the golfing committee decided to travel. Almost all of us agreed and we set off on Sunday 26th September with masks, sanitiser and a little apprehension as to keeping ourselves safe. La Zenia was our destination and this is located on the Costa Blanca just south of the town of Torrevieja. Our hotel had strict rules in place and we all felt safe and in good hands as we enjoyed the local hospitality. This event was once again excellently organised and we thoroughly enjoyed our week, playing on top quality championship courses.
Unfortunately, Eamonn was unable to travel with us this time, but we thank him for his input in ensuring that we all once again enjoyed this holiday. He is already looking forward, as we all are, to next year’s trip.
Our classmates Eamonn Morrissey and Richie Hogan travelled with the James Stephens village golf society and their destination was Benalmadena in southern Spain. Twenty-eight golfers travelled and they also played some of the finest courses in the Costa Del Sol.
John Menton Lo Romero Golf Club
Kilkenny's senior hurling campaign has come to an end for this year; however, we've had some superb and skillful hurling matches over the last few months. Continue reading for game-by-game analysis and results. Next year it will start all over again with counties looking to achieve glory and raise the Liam McCarthy cup and I have no doubt Kilkenny will be one of the leading contenders. Who knows, it may be Kilkenny’s turn to claim glory once again.
All Ireland Hurling Final August 22nd 2021, Croke Park
Without going into too much detail, Cork who were victorious in the semi-final against Kilkenny, came up against a formidable Limerick juggernaut that were unstoppable. Despite their best efforts, you could say it was all over after Limerick scored their third goal. Commiserations to Cork and congratulations to Limerick.
Final score: Limerick 3-32 Cork 1-22.
Kilkenny v Cork All Ireland Semi-Final Saturday August 7th
For the third year in a row the Leinster champions Kilkenny fail to make the All-Ireland final. In a match that saw the sides level on 14 occasions, Cork emerged victorious in extra-time to reach the All-Ireland final. The Rebels will take on defending champions Limerick at Croke Park on August 22nd with the chance to win and lift the Liam McCarthy Cup for the first time since 2005.
It was a keenly contested and tight semi-final, with the sides very evenly matched. Half time score Kilkenny 0-15 to Cork 0-14. From memory, Kilkenny went three points up in the second half with scores from both sides, but Cork slowly edged ahead as there was no stopping substitute Shane Kingston after his introduction. (Later named man of the match).
But Kilkenny don’t do panic and a couple of TJ Reid placed balls got them up and running again to set up a grandstand finish. Kilkenny’s Captain Adrian Mullen found the back of the net with a well-timed pass from Padraig Walsh to send the teams into extra time, to the dismay of the Cork hurlers and their supporters.
At the start of extra time Billy Ryan takes a shot on goal but it is deflected over for a point. Another two points from Cork puts them ahead when TJ Reade converts a sixty-five to level it again. The nail in Kilkenny’s coffin was Jack O’Connor’s goal. Despite Kilkenny’s gallant efforts they were unable to overcome their opponents.
Final score: Cork 1-37 Kilkenny 1-32
Note: Kilkenny won eleven consecutive semi-final ties under Brian Cody who we applaud. That is some record, he must surely be the greatest hurling manager of all time.
Captain Declan Hannon
TJ. Reid in action.
Kilkenny have secured their 73rd Leinster title and Cody’s twentieth title in charge, following their win over Dublin at Croke Park on the 17th of July 2021. Kilkenny led from the start but were pushed all the way by a determined Dublin side who were weakened by the loss of several players due to a COVID-19 and the loss of their full back just two minutes into the game. Kilkenny now await Cork in the All-Ireland semi-final after beating Dublin who along with Cork, came through the qualifier route.
Kilkenny had a good start to this contest by scoring four points as Dublin struggled to gain any momentum, however they did manage some excellent scores by Danny Sutcliffe and Chris Crummy and clawed their way back into the game before levelling at 9 points each. But the cats rallied and were 3 points up at the break. Our lads kept working and continued to score important points. Kilkenny found it difficult at times, but their workmanlike efforts paid off at close of play.
Dublin’s challenge wilted towards the second water-break and they trailed by seven points. TJ Reid scored a penalty goal following a Jake Malone sin binning offence in the 61st minute, which sent the Bob O’Keeffe Cup heading Nore-side for the 73rd time.
Hugh Lawlor gave a sterling defence in Kilkenny’s back line and deserved his man of the match award. Paddy Deegan and James Maher also put in a first-rate display after a difficult first half against Danny Sutcliff.
Once again Cody’s management skills were superb in utilising his subs to great effect, with the introduction of Michael Carey, Alan Murphy, Cillian Buckley and James Bergin, all raising the flag. The All-Ireland semi-final is scheduled for August 7th.
Final score: Kilkenny 1-25 Dublin 0-19
Captain Adrian Mullen
There is nothing like championship hurling and Kilkenny had a tense and tough encounter with a determined Wexford team on 3rd July 2021 in Croke Park. This was one of the best Leinster semi-finals of recent years, a breath-taking contest and titanic battle from start to finish, where spectators watched the cats book their place in the provincial decider against Dublin.
Wexford led by a point at the break after a nail biting back-and-forth first half.
Kilkenny started the second half by scoring some excellent points, but Wexford continued to apply the pressure with scores of their own. David Dunne struck goal with just eight minutes of normal time remaining, followed by Lee Chin adding a point. Wexford went three ahead.
The Cats rallied and rattled off scores to level the match, before a goal from Eoin Cody put them back in control. Wexford weren’t finished and Hawk-eye had to be called in to rule on a point from Liam Ryan that sent the game to extra time. There was more drama at the start of extra-time when Eoin Murphy was sin binned for dragging down Conall Flood as he had a clear goal scoring chance. His opposite number Mark Fanning converted the penalty. Brian Cody's charges battled well when down to 14 men and found themselves just a point behind at half-time of extra-time.
Substitute Walter Walsh then got a crucial goal and Kilkenny continued scoring points from play, that put some breathing space between the teams and there was no way back for Wexford.
Final score: Kilkenny 2-37 Wexford 2-29
Our Chairman Alan Cooper met up with CBS Principal Niall Bergin to discuss the annual awards and to donate the certificates, medals, CBS Class of 59 Trophy and €50 voucher. The CBS Attendance Awards were once again delayed for a second year due to Covid-19 restrictions, but I have now been informed that the deserving students have since received their awards and we congratulate them for their achievements.
CBS Attendance Award Medals
Treasurer Richie Hogan posted a thank you on WhatsApp to all who had called in to him with their membership fees for 2020/2021 and to those who had paid their fees via online banking. Richie also expressed a wish that all members will be able to meet up in the next few months.
Hi classmates, most of our age group will have been notified by their local Doctor or medical centre regarding a vaccine in the coming weeks and this will lead to more freedom to plan events in the future and allow for all of us and our families to get back to normality. However as I write, some sporting activities are about to get under way from the 26th April including Golf and Tennis.
The Kilkenny hurling leauge fixtures have just been announced and are listed as follows.
Dublin v Kilkenny in Parnell Park on Saturday the 8th May.
Kilkenny v Antrim in Nowlan Park on Sunday16th May.
Kilkenny v Wexford in Nowlan Park Sunday 23rd May.
Kilkenny v Laois in Nowlan Park Saturday 5th June.
Clare v Kilkenny on Saturday 12th June in Cusack Park Clare.
Leinster SHC draw has been made and the fixtures are.
Quarter Finals: Dublin v Antrim and Wexford v Laois.
Semi-finals: Kilkenny v Wexford or Laois. Galway v Dublin or Antrim.
Eoin Larkin has joined Eamonn Scallan's backroom team in the Wicklow senior hurling set-up in a coaching and advisory capacity. The eight-time All-Ireland winner and two-time All-Star brings a wealth of experience to the role. The Garden County will compete in Division 2A of the National Hurling League and the Christy Ring Cup in 2021.
Rachael Blackmore had ridden Festival winners before but from the moment she steered Honeysuckle home in the Champion Hurdle on Tuesday 16th March 2021, this Festival took on a whole new dimension for the Irish jockey. The outstanding mare Honeysuckle stamped her class on the two-mile Championship event and Blackmore did likewise across four days at Cheltenham.
Blackmore rode six winners – joining Ruby Walsh as the only rider in history to achieve such a haul in one sitting – and her skills were evidenced throughout. On April 10th she rewrote the history books yet again to become the first female jockey to win the Grand National. Her tactical awareness and superb horsemanship continued to win the greatest race in the world, becoming the first women in history to take the title on Manilla Times, since it was run in 1839. Rachael from Killenaule in County Tipperary and Minella Times now joins many others in racing and sporting folklore, with three-time winner Red Rum, as famous as any sportsman or woman on the planet. Henry de Bromhead from Waterford trained the top two finishers in the race, and he continued his success, training this year's winner of the Cheltenham Gold Cup (Manilla Indo), ridden by Jockey Jack Kennedy.
In full flight over Beechers Brook.
National Hurling League and Championship.
Inter-county action will begin on the 8th and 9th of May, giving counties a three-week lead-in and a guarantee of five games. There is no league final scheduled for this year. Instead, the GAA have announced there will either be joint winners of the hurling league for 2021 or if the winning sides from Division 1A and 1B meet in the championship, that fixture will double as a league final.
The 2021 Championships will get underway in June, with the All-Ireland hurling and football finals on August 22nd and 29th respectively. For hurling, it is a provincial knock-out championship with a back-door qualifier system, now with added relegation to the McDonagh Cup.Eleven teams will contest the Liam McCarthy Cup with Kilkenny, Galway, Wexford, Dublin and Laois, Antrim making up Leinster, while Limerick, Waterford, Tipperary, Clare and Cork will make up Munster.
Leinster champions Kilkenny will take on the winners of Wexford and Laois in the Leinster senior hurling semi-final. Wexford will play Laois in the quarterfinals with the winner advancing to a semi-final clash against reigning champions Kilkenny.
On the other side of the draw, Dublin takes on Joe McDonagh Cup champions, Antrim, with the winner of that game then playing Galway in the semi-finals. The quarterfinals and semi-finals will all be played at neutral venues.
Some notable Sporting events for the rest of this year.
17th April – 3rd May: Snooker – World Championship at the Crucible Theatre.
26th June – 18th July: Cycling – Tour de France.
28th June – 11th July: Tennis – Wimbledon.
15th – 18th July Golf – The Open at Royal St George's.
18th July - Football All Ireland Final.
23rd July – 8th Aug: Olympic Games in Tokyo.
24th, 31st July & 7th Aug: Rugby Union – South Africa v British and Irish Lions Test series.
22nd Aug All Ireland Senior Hurling Final.
24th Aug – 5th Sept: Paralympic Games in Tokyo.