John Maher Cup
Southern Gaels Legends 4-12 Southern Gaels Intermediates 3-8
As they say 'form is temporary but class is permanent' and so it was as the Legends team beat the current Southern Gaels team in the annual end of year match. With a blend of some fine individual performances and a great defensive display in the closing ten minutes the Legends triumphed to end the Intermediates dream of three in a row. Under 16 mentor Tommy Murphy started the sliothar rolling with a point within a minute. Acadamy manager Tony O'Keeffe added a brace of points before Ciaran Mac Eochaidh netted for the Intermediates and the game was on in earnest. Half time saw the scores level but it took a Chulainn Dowd goal to keep his side in the hunt as the Legends added a few more points and a Paul O'Brien goal.
The second half began with an excellent point for the current side from Seamus Hoctor but the Legends took over for the next ten minutes and scored 2-5 without reply. Goals from Academy mentor Michael O'Connell and P.R.O. Gearóid Ó Dubhair set the tone and points followed from Dermot Carey, O'Keeffe and Fallon. As the game reached a conclusion Chulainn Dowd netted a second for the Intermediates but O'Keeffe replied with a penalty for the 'old staggers'. Austin Murphy and Dermot Treacy added points for the Intermediates but it was too too late.
Martin Geary anchored the Legends at centerhalf back and Dermot Whelan played the proverbial blinder in goals. Kieran Mc Carthy was solid at full back and put one on his son Cian who played with the intermediates.
Legends: Dermot Whelan, William Quigley, Kieran Mc Carthy, Pat O'Neill, Paul O'Brien (1-0), Martin Geary, Declan Lambe, Dermot Carey (0-3), Kevin Keenan, Declan Finn, Tony O'Keeffe (1-3), Joe Fallon (0-3), Tommy Murphy (0-2), Gearóid Ó Dubhair (1-1), Michael O'Connell (1-0), Jason Bradley, Darren Mc Gee and James Farrell.
Intermediates: Fergus Grononendyk, Jonathan Keogh, Killian Coyle, Seamus Hoctor (0-2), Shane Galvin, Ronan Farrell, Cian Mc Carthy, Kieran Duncan, Trevor Farrell, Fionn Dowd, Austin Murphy (0-1), Dermot Treacy (0-3), Ciaran Mac Eochaidh (2-0), Chulainn Dowd (1-1) and Paul O Donohue (0-1).
Club Presentation Night
The annual Club Presentation Night was held last Saturday in the Athlone GAA club where a large and excited crowd assembled for our annual awards. The Legends team who halted the Intermediate side's drive for three in a row took pride of place as they were presented with the John Maher Cup amid scenes of euphoria. Captain Tommy Murphy, manager of the Under 16 team led his charges to a notable victory and scored two points in the process. But how many of these stalwarts will be able to claim a place on the club team next February is a major talking point.
Another legend Eamonn Farrell was presented with the Bill Stacey Hall of Fame Award for his years of commitment and dedication to the club over many years. His many roles as a player, mentor, committee member and Scór participant were justly recognised by all. Thank you to the Stacy family for their continued sponsorship of this award and Teresa Stacy Hogan and PJ Stacey were on hand to present Eamonn with his award.
Long time club member Tony O'Keeffe was awarded the Club Person of the Year for his unstinting work for the club over many years. Having retired from the playing fields where he also starred for Westmeath winning a Christy Ring medal in 2005 he gave more time to coaching. He is currently mentoring the Academy players at Under 6 level and also helps with the Under 16 team. In addition Tony was a mentor with the Westmeath minor team this year. He is living proof that there is no such thing as retirement from the game.
The award for the Player of the Year went to Sean Dowd of the Intermediate team for his invaluable contribution to the side throughout the year. The teams most influential player regularly scored in excess of ten points per game and was deadly accurate from play and from frees.
Congratulations to John Benton former Southern Gaels stalwart and mentor on managing Caulry to the Westmeath Intermediate football title.
Condolences to the Martin family Athlone and Banagher and the Dolan family Ard na Grath on their recent bereavements.