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Celbridge GAA All-Ireland Under-10 Football Festival 2016

posted 22 Aug 2016, 04:12 by Matthew Ryan

The Garrycastle Under-10 squad travelled to Celbridge on Saturday to take part in the Celbridge GAA All-Ireland Under-10 Football Festival. This festival involved 32 teams representing 24 clubs in 14 counties right across the country. This was our first time attending this tournament, so there was great excitement as the players boarded the bus in Garrycastle for the trip to Celbridge. Garrycastle were drawn initially in a group containing Fingallians from Dublin, St. Judes, also from Dublin, and St. Marys Leixlip from Kildare. Our first match was against the Fingallians team. Buoyed on by a strong start, Garrycastle led from start to finish to take a deserved win. This was a great team display, with excellent play all across the field. 


Our second match followed immediately afterwards against St. Judes. As the game started, the wind picked up and driving rain made conditions difficult. Playing into the wind and rain, the Garrycastle team found it hard to make headway, but conceded just a single score to trail by that score at the break. Garrycastle piled on the pressure in the second half, and quickly drew level. But just as it looked like the game was headed for a draw, St. Judes scored right at the end to win by a single score. Out third group game was against the St. Mary's team from Leixlip. Another strong start by Garrycastle saw them get a number of early scores on the board to lead comfortably by halftime, having not conceded a single score. An expected St. Mary's fightback was well handled by our defence and midfield, and some further scores saw Garrycastle comfortably in front as the game ended.


So, after the group games, Garrycastle finished second in the group, and qualified for the Shield quarter finals. The quarter final saw us drawn against old rivals Mullingar Shamrocks. This was a humdinger of a game, as the rain and wind returned with a vengeance, and the Mullingar side made the better early adjustment to the conditions to take an early lead. Garrycastle fought back to take the lead briefly, but struggled with the conditions in the first half, and the Mullingar side added a few more scores before the break. The Garrycastle squad emerged for the second half a much more determined team, and pushed hard straight from the restart. Som excellent play from midfield and forwards unfortunately did not get the rewards deserved, and the Mullingar side won out to progress to the semi-finals. 


Overall, this was an excellent outing for this young team. Only half of the travelling squad were full under-10 this year, and the fact that so many of the younger under-9 players stepped up and played so well was really heartening. All of the players present can justifiably take great pride in their performance. Many thanks as always to our great travelling support - it makes for a great atmosphere to have such great support on the sidelines. Special thanks are due to the Celbridge GAA club for an absolutely fabulously run tournament, and for their fantastic hospitality on the day. Everything ran like clockwork, due to the obvious huge amount of effort put into running the tournament.


Many thanks also to Karl Henson for sponsoring the food for the ravenous horde on their way home!


Squad: Anthony Mannion, Brandon Devaney, David Carter, Dean Greham, Kacey Mulvihill, Nathan McKeon, Sean O'Donoghue,  Andrew Henson, Cian Norris, Dylan Frawley, James McHugh, Kealan McNamara, Niadh Shine.