Gurteen NS Double

St. Kerrill’s NS Gurteen 4-8; St. Joseph’s NS Woodford 0-3: Completing a marvellous school year of sport, St. Kerrill’s N.S. Gurteen today claimed the 9-a-side schools hurling title to add to the football they won 12 days ago. In doing so, both their teacher Mr. Walsh and the panel of players committed huge time, effort and dedication in their pursuit of the double. And these lads certainly represented their school with honour today.
Excitement built up in advance following the football success over Aughrim so much so that Fr. Raymond Sweeney accommodated the rescheduling of the annual 12 noon St. Kerrills Day Mass to 8pm instead. A large crowd made their way to The Centre of Excellence in Claregalway in anticipation of another great game and they weren’t disappointed.
Gurteen outshone the opposition, Woodford N.S., in every position. They started in the style of champions with a brace of early scores, a point from David Walsh within a minute and a goal from Conor Moran which evaded the goalie. Woodford then tapped over a free and a point from play and it looked like Woodford may be getting to grips with Gurteen but Stephen Grady put an end to that when he whipped on a ball batted out by the Woodford goalie for a smashing goal.
Ronan Hynes with a point from play, a 65’ tapped over by Conor Moran and David Walsh who lobbed the keeper for another tonic goal helped Gurteen to an interval lead of 3-03 to 0-2. Harry Mitchell made a splendid double save just before half time to avert the ball from danger. The 2nd half restarted in the same vein for the Gurteen boys as they tacked on another 1-5 on the scoreboard to Woodford’s solitary point from a free.
David Walsh scored a beauty when he caught a cross field pass from Conor Moran in his paw and straight over the black spot. Conor Moran added another from play from almost the side line. Jonah Donnellan was next to register a long range beauty from play after a great catch from Paddy Kenny in defence. The next point saw a great flowing move; originated at the back from Harry Mitchell, involving Jonah Donnellan, Stephen Grady and finished by Conor Moran.
David Walsh scored another point on the run to bring his personal tally for the day to 1-03. There was still a late surge in the Gurteen boys as Conor Moran rattled the net when he capitalised on a poor Woodford clearance.
Panel: Harry Mitchell, Conor Kelly, Paddy Kenny, Eanna Cunniffe, Ronan Hynes, Jonah Donnellan, Stephen Grady, Conor Moran, David Walsh, Conor Walsh, Ross Lally, Diarmuid Ryan, Cathal Hynes, Ciarán Hogan, Keith Kitt.
Ultimately a happy bunch of absolute ‘pure’ sports fanatics made their way to the winners ‘podium’ and captain Paddy Kenny proudly accepted the cup on behalf of his colleagues. It felt like these lads should be paraded through the village by pipers to an open air reception, such was the magic of their double success. Winning county titles at any level, in any age group, is always an achievement to be celebrated. But of course we must pay homage to one man, Mr. Walsh and to borrow a line from ex county board chairman Noel Treacy ‘he has transformed the success of this team’ while Mr. Treacy also paid tribute to Mrs Ann Ward, Principal who was present to observe this success before her upcoming retirement.
Report: Martina Donnellan