Opening Weekend of U12 Boys Football League.
While the excitement of the hurling Féile was going on elsewhere, another very significant GAA milestone was taking place last weekend: this time for our U12 Boys footballers, as they lined out for their first league games proper after 5 weeks of grading.
The grading games had been taking place since the end of January, and the coaches’ aim was for our 4 teams to be placed in leagues where they would find the games competitive, and where the lads could challenge for places and move both ways between teams, remain competitive and not find too great a gulf in standards. So it proved to be, as we were awarded places in Divisions 1, 3, 8 and 10 for our 4 teams.
The honour of our opening fixture went to our Div. 3 team, who made the short journey across to Ballinteer Community School last Wednesday evening to take on Ballinteer St John A’s, in a Division where all but one other club are ‘A’ streamed. Unsurprisingly then, this was a tough and very hotly fought derby encounter, and despite some very good performances across the field, our lads eventually lost out to a good, strong Ballinteer A outfit.
Saturday saw our Div. 1 team open their account with a good win over a strong Castleknock challenge at Cherryfield. This was a tough encounter against good, physically strong opposition, but our lads really dug in and stuck to their task, eventually winning out 4:02 to 1:04.
At the same time over at Ballycullen, our Div. 8 lads came up against similarly strong opposition in Clanna Gael, though this time there was nothing between the teams in the end as they played out a 1:09 to 3:03 draw, again against well-matched opposition.
Our final game saw our Div. 10 lads travel across to Erin Go Brágh just inside the Dublin-Meath border at Clonee on Sunday morning, to facilitate our opposition hosting Féile on Saturday. A good crowd turned up to watch an entertaining encounter played out by 2 very game groups of boys who played some great football, but with a strong third quarter performance eventually tipping the result in favour of Erin Go Brágh, despite a strong comeback from our lads.
So, some lessons learned in our opening week of league football – notably how well matched all the teams in the divisions are, and how strong we can expect the opposition to be from now on. No easy games! And very well done to all the lads – every one of them are working hard and playing for one another.
Well done lads! Many thanks to Dave Rusk for the photos from the Erin Go Brágh game. For more photos, see here