Clanna Gael Fontenoy Battling successfully off and on the field

A piper leads out the Clanns and Fingallians hurling teams ahead of their Féile match

Felix O’Regan

The Covid-19 pandemic has presented the club with real challenges, as it has for sports clubs and communities throughout the country. These challenges have been faced head on and public health guidance has been followed in the procedures put in place around the club. Thankfully, this to date has allowed some if not all activities to continue in a safe manner in accordance with the guidelines provided. The stop-start nature of normal activities has not been easy – it’s been a battle of sorts. But the sheer joy with which the reopening after the national lockdown in the earlier part of the year was greeted was very evident throughout the club.All teams seized with gusto the opportunity to get back training and were delighted at the prospect of playing matches again. So much so that our U13 boys’ and girls’ football teams took to playing each other in a friendly challenge!

Féile fun and success

Many Gaelic footballers and hurlers will tell you that, no matter what success they might enjoy while playing even in their adult life, it’s hard to better the feeling of winning the Féile – the once-in-a-lifetime competition that takes place annually for the U14 age group. While this year’s com-petition has yet to be completed because of the pandemic, both our hurlers and footballers have been winning their matches and are looking forward to playing their remaining fixtures. To date, our U14 hurlers have recorded very good wins away to Parnells and at home in Sean Moore Park against Fingallians. In true Féile fashion, the scene for this second match was well set by a pre-match parade of both teams led out by a piper.

The match itself certainly didn’t disappoint. Fingallians brought great skill and ability, but Clanns countered this admirably with some great stick work of their own, especially in terms of hooking and blocking. This was complemented by a dogged defence when it was required and some great scoring up the other end of the pitch, which resulted in a solid winning score of 2-10. The management team of Oran Burke, Ea-mon Horan, Colm Reynolds and Adrian Sherry can be well satisfied with these results. After receiving a bye in their first match, our U14 footballers played a testing encounter against Lucan Sarsfields and came out winners on a score line of 2-16 to 3-7. They got off to flying start with the wind in their backs and were leading at half-time by 11 points. But Lucan rallied strongly in the third quarter and managed to reduce the lead to three points. After some tactical changes and an incredible defensive performance, Clanns steadied the ship and saw out a hard- fought match to win by six points.

Championship run for U15s

Not to be outdone, our U15 footballers generated plenty of excitement in their most recent championship fixture with Parnells. This was a game that had plenty of scoring and had both sets of supporters on tenterhooks right to the final whistle. Every one of the Clanns players had to dig deep and fight to the end to eventually gain a one-point victory on a score line of 7-10 to 6-12. They showed immense commitment and pride, coming back as they did from being 11 points down at one stage. The win earned them a well-de-served quarter final place in the championship.Battling successfully off and on the field

Adult footballers making their mark

Our Junior footballers have finished off a good season by reaching the All-County Championship semi-final only to lose by just two points to a good Clann Mhuire side which was fancied from the outset to do well in the competition.

They played a good first half and took a deserved four-point lead into the half-time break. This was whittled down during the second half and they found them-selves just one point behind with only minutes left. In a last ditch attempt to get the equaliser, the defence was left light and this al-lowed their opponents to tag on an insurance point just before the final whistle blew – leaving Clanns most unfortunate to lose after such a great team performance.Still and all, this team has had two really good seasons since its foundation in 2019; promotion last year and a championship semi-final this year. The continued strengthening of the squad augurs well for next season. The management team of Michael Costello, Simon Beirne, Roger McGrath and Colm Delahunty can be rightly pleased with the progress made to date.

Meanwhile, our Intermediate footballers continue their campaign in the Cup and await their next fixture against Scoil Uí Cho-naill – pandemic permitting. Under the successful management of Mick Fitzgerald and his team, this follows a previously good run in the championship, which saw them record impressive wins over Craobh Chiarain, O’Tooles and St Brendans before losing out to St Pats of Palmerstown.