Great Day at Hurling Festival

Our U12 hurlers were one of twelve underage teams in action at the International Hurling Festival over the weekend, in the Prairie in Salthill (just behind Pearse Stadium). There were four host teams (Ballinasloe, Loughrea, Salthill-Knocknacarra and Gort), four visiting teams (Crusheen, Cuala, Ballycastle McQuillans and St Colmans of Cork) and four qualifying teams (Pearses, Athenry, Castlegar and Oranmore-Maree). Our lads did well in Ballinasloe two weeks ago to qualify for this tournament and it was an honour to be part of the great occasion. The Liam McCarthy Cup was also on display at the Prairie and the team and management availed of the opportunity to have their photo taken with the game’s top trophy.
As reward for qualifying, all teams had been supplied new kits by Aer Lingus, carrying the airlines crest on the front and on the sleeves. Pandamp;aacute;draic Hynes of Bobby Hynes andamp;amp; Sons Agri Contractors also generously sponsored track-tops for our U12s for the big day, as he had done for the U13s last week. The club are very grateful for his support.
To the U12 action and Pearses were out first against a strong Salthill-Knocknacarra team at 11am. Trailing at half-time by 0-3 to 0-1 the lads produced a much improved second half and the game finished level, 0-3 each.andamp;nbsp;There was a break until 1pm before Pearses took on one of the visiting teams, Ballycastle McQuillans (Antrim). In the misty, slippy conditions, a physically bigger Ballycastle side lead from the start, but Pearses were by no means outclassed and never allowed the northerners get too far ahead. Final score 0-6 to 0-3.
There was a short break for the lads before they took to the field at 1.30pm against Oranmore-Maree. Similar to Ballycastle, Oranmore-Maree were a big physical side. They built up an early lead and looked like they might win easily, but Pearses fought back well and an Oisin Flannery goal in the second half narrowed the gap to two points, before Oranmore-Maree responded with two points to run out winners, 1-5 to 1-1.
That was the end of the scheduled games for Pearses, but management agreed with Castlegar mentors, who were also finished their schedule, to play a challenge game on one of the spare pitches. This was by far Pearses best performance of the day and they ran out winners on a scoreline of 2-7 to 1-4.
The final part of the schedule for the U12s was the Parade into Pearse Stadium, along with all other juvenile teams. It was a great day out for all involved and thanks to the players and their mentors for representing the Club so well.
International Hurling Festival, Pearses U12 Panel: Luke Mitchell, Eoghan McCabe, Shane Hynes, Jack Barrett, Niall Moran, Dean Reilly, Geordan Kenny, Oisin Flannery, Marc Hennelly, Cian Murphy, Cathal Kitt, Darragh McCabe, Robert Hynes, Ethan Lally, Eoin Lally, Jack Bellew.