Summer comes early to Clanna Gael

By Felix O’Regan

U12 girls blitz opposition

There was no shortage of class on display in the U12 girls’ blitz hosted by the club. Visiting teams from Cuala and St Judes certainly added to that class and colour. But it was the manner in which Clanns won all six of their matches that really stood out on the day.  

Our two U12 girls’ teams finished their pre-summer season in style by hosting Naomh Mearnóg from Portnarnock.  Both teams played very well.  And while one lost narrowly the other won comfortably.  

Mini All-Irelands 

Over 300 boys and girls, aged 7 to 13, participated in this year’s ‘Mini All-Ireland’ football competition at the club.  Each team was assigned a county, assigned to a group and kitted out with t-shirts in that county’s colours – kindly sponsored by Dublin City Council, Bennetts Auctioneers and FT Consulting.

Clanna Gaels girls basking in the sunshine at the clubhouse

The teams were mixed as between boys and girls at the older age levels. The winning team in each age group was ultimately decided by a ‘Mini All Ireland Final’ between the top two teams in that group.  

Apart from the exciting action on the pitch, there was a carnival atmosphere off it, with food and refreshments aplenty. “The quality of the skills on display was a fantastic reflection on the practice put in by our young players and the support and input of their coaches”, stated Eoghan Heneghan who, along with Christina Deevy, headed up the club’s organising group.  

Traditionally a football-only event, this year saw the introduction of a hurling/camogie competition and this attracted an additional 160 young participants.  The quality of play was a real standout and augurs well for the future of hurling in Dublin.  

Adult footballers performing well 

Our Intermediate footballers have certainly helped their promotion prospects by achieving good results in their most recent games played during July: a comprehensive victory over Na Fianna played in an unseasonally-wet Sean Moore Park; preceded by a draw away to Cuala in Shanganagh Park.  

The latter game was on balance the more significant result, as gaining a point away from home can prove really valuable, particularly when it’s a key fixture between the second and third-placed teams in the league.

On a sunny evening with little breeze, Clanns fought for every ball and never let up to the final whistle.  The first half started well for them with some fine points, including a long-range effort from Ross Wherity.

A well-worked goal followed some typically strong running by Dave Meenan to give them further impetus. Still, there was nothing between the sides at half-time.  

The second half also started well for Clanns, with a goal direct from a free giving them the edge. David Lyons and Austin Dodd worked tirelessly in midfield to stem a comeback; but in fairness to Cuala they kept up the pressure and, with the game heading for injury time, they had taken a one-point lead.

When the going gets tough, the tough get going and Ed O’Sullivan stood up to score the point of the game with a terrific long-range shot to bring the teams level. Cuala had a long-range free at the death which, if converted, would have given them both points; but the ball veered to the right and was gathered by and played out of danger by relieved Clanns defenders. The final score of 0-14 to 2-8 represented a well-earned draw for a good Clanns performance.   

U-13 hurlers top their league

What a great finish to the pre-summer part of the season for our U13 hurlers. They remain unbeaten to date and, as a result, sit atop of the Division 4 league table. This follows their most recent victory, where they got the better of St Kevins by two points with a score line of 2-13 to 4-5.

Both teams played fabulous hurling in a sunny Dolphin Park, but Clanns had the advantage come the final whistle.  Great credit is due to the players themselves and to their coaches, Oran Burke and Eamon Horan.