Fontenoy Files

Fontenoy U12 girls

Success Comes Aplenty to Clanna Gael Fontenoy

Recent weeks have brought plenty of excitement for the Clanna Gael Fontenoy Club, both on and off the playing field, bringing to an end another successful year. But it’s probably the achievements of many of our male and female teams, young and not so young, many of our individual players, as well as our local schools that really stand out. And to top it all, by the time this goes to print we’ll know if the Club’s senior hurlers have been crowned Leinster Champions!

But whatever the outcome of that Leinster final against Knockbridge from Louth on November 25th, the Club has had the well-earned honour of representing Dublin in the Leinster Championship for the first time in its history of football and hurling after qualifying through the Dublin Junior Championship. In the first round against Killavilla from Offaly, a point from Niall O’Regan with the last puck of the game forced extra time. In that extra time period Clanns drove on and won the game by three points. In that game Oran Burke, Anto Quinlan and Ronnie Colman were outstanding.

And so it was that we ended up in O’Toole Park for the semi-final against Sallins from Kildare. Having started badly in our previous three games, and despite winning all three, the team were seriously intent on getting off to a good start. This intent was evident from the very first minute when we goaled superbly from Gary O’Connor and three added points from Cormac Connolly left us 1-3 to 0-1 after 10 minutes. O’Connor goaled again and further points from Collie Reynolds, Anto Quinlan, Niall O’Regan, and Connolly left us comfortably in front at half time by 2-9 to 0-1. In the second half there was no let up and the guys finished up where they left off. Further goals from Martin Neville and Ciaran Murphy put paid to any chance of a Sallins recovery. In the last 15 minutes a mountain of points from Collie Reynolds and additional scores from Murphy, Conor Thorpe and Barry McElligott left the final score Clanna Gael Fontenoy 4-18, Sallins 0-6.

From Jonney Sadlier in goal, Declan Campbell, Mark Campbell, Jason Redmond and Jordan Barnes in the back line, the Clanns closed up shop at the back and never allowed Sallins a scent of their goal. Niall O’Regan was superb in midfield and all the forwards, substitutes played their part in an emphatic victory. The biggest cheer of the day was when veteran, Ciaran Murphy, made way for a colleague with 10 minutes to go having bagged 1-1 in that second half.

The full team is: Jonney Sadlier, Oran Burke, Jordan Barnes, Declan Campbell, Ronnie Coleman, Marc Campbell, Jason Redmond, Niall O’Regan, Anto Quinlan, Cormac Connolly, Martin Neville, Collie Reynolds, Brian Bannon, Gary O’Connor, Ciaran Murphy, Barry McElligott, Conor Thorpe, Ger Brannock, Dermot Nicholson, Bernard Groves, Simon Dolphin, Tom Russell.

But success on the playing field has by no means been restricted to the senior hurlers. There are plenty of other examples and here are just a few to mention.

Our Senior Camogie team had a marvelous league final win over St Peregrines, despite being behind for much of the game, their never say die attitude and some superb performances throughout the field saw them win out in the end.

U12 Camogie team where not to be outshone by their adult colleagues and they too won there league in fine style.

The U-16 ladies football team won their Championship in style, getting the better of Naomh Barrog in the final with a winning score of 2-9 to 3-1.

The U-12 girls matched that achievement by winning their Championship Final against O’Tooles with a comfortable margin of 1-7 to 0-3.

Not to be outdone, the under-age boys’ teams also recorded some success with the U-12 hurlers in particular winning their league and in the process losing just one of all the games they played.

At the same time, the Intermediate Footballers retained their league status after a long, hard-fought campaign which culminated in victory against St. Margarets in a nail-biting final fixture.

But the season will also be remembered for the teams which lost narrowly and in style: such as the
the U-16 footballers who played some tremendous football throughout their campaign losing out narrowly to Thomas Ashe in the Shield Final; or the U-11 footballers who played Ballyboden St Endas in a cracker of a league final, the quality of which will stay in the memory for some time.
Another reflection of the growing strength of the club was the fact that 4 of our adult teams also reached county semi -finals only to lose narrowly on each occasion, “the rising tide is definitely beginning to lift all the boats”.

Recognition of the club and its achievements has also been clearly reflected in the increased number of our under-age and adult players, male and female, who have been selected as members of Dublin football and hurling squads as well as County Development Squads; not to mention the appointment of club mentor Declan Darcy as selector for the Dublin senior football team.

Last, but by no means least, our local schools from which the club draws extensively have recorded tremendous success on the playing field. At the time of going to press, both Star of the Sea and Haddington Road boys’ schools are gearing up to play in the finals of their respective competitions, while Lakelands are preparing to contest a semi-final replay in their competition. Ringsend Boys and Girls schools both competed admirably this year too and whatever the final outcome, there’s no doubt but that all the school teams have done themselves, their teachers and their parents proud.

So as club members, friends and guests partake in our Christmas Dinner and Party on the 8th December in the Gibson Hotel, it won’t just be the festive season that will be cause for celebration but the considerable success that various teams, players and schools have brought to the club in recent times.

By Pat Kane