U10s Win Ballinasloe Blitz

There was great excitement not just for the kids but the adults as well this morning in the Ballinasloe U10 and U9 blitz. The morning saw our youngsters play their first official games of the hurling calendar at these age groups. Our U10’s emerged victorious topping their group with the top 2 teams playing in the final. We were pitted against Portumna, Killimor and Ballinasloe in the group games. 
In the first game we played a strong Portumna side who fielded with many household names: Kellys, Hayes andamp;amp; Cannings to the fore. Although losing 1-3 to 0-0 at half time, we turned it around with a strong breeze in the 2nd half to win 3-3 to 1-3 with Jonah Donnellan 2-2 and David Walsh 1-1 with the crucial scores. 
In the 2nd game against Killimor, David Walsh gave an exhibition scoring 2-2 and a Jonah Donnellan free made it 2-3 to 0-0 at half time. Jonah added another point from play in the 2nd half and Brían Thompson’s ground pull found the net as Pearses finishing emphatic winners 3-4 to 1-2. 
With very little recovery time between games, next up were Ballinasloe who had also won their 2 games the winners of this game would top the group. David Walsh again made a name for himself scoring 1-3 in the 1st half to Ballinasloe’s 1-1; Ballinasloe’s point coming from a goal bound free which was tipped over the crossbar by Cathal Hynes. Pearses rallied in the 2nd half and a ’65 from Jonah Donnellan and another point from play by David Walsh helped extend the lead. Then a great ground stroke from young Darren Moran saw him find the net for Pearses to emerge victorious and top the group on a scoreline of Pearses 2-5; Ballinasloe 1-4 
A little recovery time and some sustenance offered by Ballinasloe GAA club helped our lads to be ready, willing and able to take on 2nd placed Ballinasloe again, this time in the final. It was a close contest from the outset as both teams hit the side net in the early exchanges.  Jonah Donnellan opened the scoring with a great point from play after winning a Ballinasloe puck out. Donnellan then added a 65 to put us 2 points up. Just before the break, Ballinasloe pointed from play as the ball swooshed over the crossbar when a goal looked ominous with just Cathal Hynes to beat. Half time: Pearses 0-2; Ballinasloe 0-1.
2mins into the 2nd half a long range free from Jonah Donnellan in the full back line found the net to nudge Pearses further in front. Jonah Donnellan converted a 65 to widen the gap as Pearses were building up a bit of momentum but Ballinasloe hit straight back with 2 pointed frees. David Walsh pointed a free after Ross Lally was fouled to top off his scoring for the day at 4-8. Final score: Pearses 1-4; Ballinasloe 0-3. It was a great feeling for these lads with their first taste of success as the effort and commitment shown by players and mentors was both commendable and rewarding.
Our U9’s played Ahascragh-Fohenagh and Ballinasloe in their group games in what were two extremely competitive games as they battled hard, fighting until the end and never letting the jersey down. Pearses put some flowing moves together as the future looks very bright indeed. There will surely be great days ahead for these U9’s and U10’s – enjoy the journey!
Huge thanks to the mentors of both teams: Sean O’Neill, Sean Moran, Adrian Queeney, Larry Hillary, Paul Hogan and Birthday Boy Michéal Kelly. Panel: Cathal Hynes, James Queeney, Ciaran Hogan, Jamie Nutley, Tommy Nutley, Conor Hillary, Padraig Kelly, Patrick O’Neill, Josh Buckley, Eoghan Ryan, Diarmuid Ryan, Sean Kelly, Tadhg Harte, Daniel Keating, David Walsh, Ross Lally, Brían Thompson, Darren Moran, Jonah Donnellan, Dylan King, Fionn Donohue, Daniel Lydon, Joe Carroll, Keith Kitt, Niall Grady.
Report by Martina Donnellan