GAA Report 2011
The last twelve months have once again been action packed for Doon GAA club. December 2010 saw the completion of the hurling wall and ball alley as well as the staging of a very successful Race Night fundraiser in aid of the new development. Thank you to everyone that contributed or raised money for this important event for the club. The AGM was held early in the New Year with an election of a number of new officers and the creation of a new hurling subcommittee to manage hurling affairs in the club.
Early in the new year the club had two events to be very proud of. In January we welcomed the Árd Stiúrthoir Padraic Duffy to the club for an Ag Eisteacht session where the club members got the opportunity to air our views on how the organization is being managed and Croke Park's palns for the future. This was a great opportunity for the club and due to the great attendance on the night was deemed a massive success by Padraic and his team who came to Doon.
In March, Doon GAA Club was very proud to hear the news that our Life President Johnny Butler was awarded a GAA Presidents award for life long service to the GAA. Johnny was presented with this most deserved award at a special function in Croke Park which was televised live on TG4. It goes without saying that the success of the club down through the years espeacially at underage level would not have occurred with the countless hours devoted by Johnny to coaching and administration in the club.
On the hurling front the senior team began training early in the new year under the new management of Niall Maher, Ollie Walsh, Anthony O’Neill (Coach) and Jerry O’Donoghue (Trainer). Jerry O’Donoghue began an intensive training regime in early February that led the team into their opening fixtures of the East Championship and All County League. In the East championship the first game of the year was a loss to Murroe-Boher in the East championship however there after the results picked up for the team. A competitive draw with Ahane and wins over Pallasgreen, Ballybricken meant that we lost out narrowly on an East final place by goal difference to Murroe Boher.
In the all-county league wins over South Liberties, Hospital-Herbertstown, Murroe-Boher, Garryspillane, a walkover from Patrickswell and a draw with Ahane meant that a final match with Na Pairsaigh would decide if we advanced to the league final. This proved to be a very competitive game played in a sunny June evening in Doon with some excellent hurling from both sides. Doon led at many stages in the game however the teams couldn’t be divided and the game ended in a draw 2-14 apiece. At the end of a very good league campaign we lost out on a place in the league final by one point to Na Pairsaigh. An unfortunate trend for what was to follow in the county championship.
The first round of the championship was played on the 14th of May in Caherconlish against our great rivals of recent years, Ahane. This proved to be a tense low scoring game with lots of strong defending and hard hits going in from both sides. However, a man of the match performance from David Stapleton coupled with an excellent goal from Michael Ryan saw Doon run out 1-09 to 0-10 winners. The second round was a major game for Doon. A win over Murroe-Boher would guarantee a place in the quarter finals however we had not beaten Murroe in four of our last meetings. Luckily in what turned out to be one of the best performances by a Doon senior team in many years we managed to run out comprehensive winners 3-15 to 1-12. Notable performances on the night were Michael Ryan, Morgan Crowe, Michael Barry and Niall Maher who scored two cracking goals before half time. The final game in the group was played out between Doon and Knockainey in Claughaun. It’s fair to say Doon were not firing on all cylinders against the all blacks but great workmanlike performances from Michael Ryan and Roger Maher say Doon edge the men from the south by 0-16 to 1-11. Doon had qualified for a quarter final place against Na Pairsaigh. The quarter final in Kilmallock started very well with Doon going up by three points with excellent scores from Niall Maher and David Stapleton. The first half was going well for Doon however frees were keeping Na Pairsaigh in the game and when David Breen struck for a goal just before half time there was only one point between the teams. This goal appeared to take the wind out of Doons’ sails and they started the second half badly. Two quick goals in succession from Shane Dowling and Shane O’Neill essentially made the task impossible for Doon. Doon fought hard to make inroads into the lead Na Pairsaigh gained and even a welcome return to senior championship action for Mike Fitzgerald after lengthy injury layoffs couldn’t catch the men from Caherdavin. Doon can gain solace from the fact that Na Pairsaigh went onto comprehensively win the county championship with wins over Patrickswell and Ahane by similar winning margins. While not gaining any silverware this year it must be noted that the senior team made great improvements in 2011 and hopefully this can be carried forward to 2012.
The Junior A team proved to be the big success story of 2011 for Doon GAA club. A loss to Cappamore in the Brian Butler cup started off the year badly however wins over Kilteely/Dromkeen and Ahane in the East league set us up for a showdown with Cappamore in the final. A cracking game in Kilteely saw the teams locked after full time. Extra time saw Cappamore pull away from us to win the league crown however this was not to be the end of the rivalry in 2011. A slow starting championship campaign saw a loss to Cappamore and a narrow victory over Fedamore put us into a semi final against Kilteely Dromkeen. It took two games to separate the teams but Doon managed to secure a place in the in the final against our nearest of rivals once again. The East final proved to be the highlight of the year for the club. A large attendance packed into the stand in Doon say a titanic game where hard work and commitment from young and old on the Doon team saw us lift the Lynch cup for the first time since 1996.
Unfortunately the Juniors lost out after a replay to Dromcollogher-Broadford in the county quarter final with both games being played in the Gaelic Grounds in difficult conditions.
The Junior Bs had another busy year. The league campaign saw us qualify for the east final with wins over Pallasgreen, South Liberties, Caherline and Ballybricken. The final against Cappamore proved to be a very close gamer. Doon led with five minutes to go, however a late surge by Cappamore saw them pip us at the post for the cup. In the championship a draw with Ballybricken and a win over Caherline saw us qualify for a semi final with once again Cappamore, an eighth time we would meet Cappamore between Junior A and B this year. A hard fought game in Murroe saw Cappamore build up a good lead in the first half. In the second half the lads did everything but close the gap with many wides registered, however Cappamore won by two points.
The U21s this year were drawn in a very competitive premier group with Na Pairsaigh, Ballybrown, Ahane and Bruff. A win over Bruff and spirited displays against Na Pairsaigh and Ahane will hopefully stand to this young panel as they contest the championship again next year.
Doon Minor team this year had one of the longest running Championship campaigns. The pre-exams games saw Doon gain big wins over the Pallagreen/Cappamore combo Mulcair Rovers and a strong Mungret team. Battling losses to St. Patricks and Na Pairsigh saw Doon requiring a win over Ahane to qualify for the knock out stages. A massive win for Doon in Newgarden over our eastern rivals saw us march into a quarter final match with Ballybrown. This proved to be a tough game with Doon having to come from behind to win by five points primarily through an exceptional 2-08 score line from Pat Ryan (S). The county minor semi final saw Doon take on the western combo Deal Rangers in Bruff. A stirring second half comeback saw Doon snatch a deserved draw and take the tie to a reply under lights in the Gaelic Grounds. On the night an excellent second half performance form the Deal Ranger full forward put paid to the boys county titles hope.
Doon GAA Club Juvenile Report.
2011 was a very busy year for our juvenile hurlers from U16’s right down to U6’s.Having secured county titles at U12 (2007) and U14(2009), the current U16 squad were expected to continue the sequence and win the U16 title this year. However, this was not to be, and were beaten in the final by Na Pairsaigh. Our U14s reached this year’s Feile final, but lost narrowly, also to Na Piarsaigh.
With wins against Ahane, Na Piarsaigh, Mungret, Monaleen and a draw with Kilmallock, the U16’s reached the quarter final of the county championship against Deal Rangers, winning by 7-26 to 2-8. This set up a semi final date with Monaleen. The game was played in Hospital in front of a large crowd. Here Doon hit the ground running and built up an early lead they were never going to surrender. The final score line being 4-16 to 1-7.
The final, against Na Piarsaigh, was played in Cappamore. Na Piarsaigh stuck to their game plan of crowding out the Doon attack to which we had no answer and saw us restricted to mainly half chances and this was a contributing factor to the 17 wides that we had. Na Piarsaigh were more economical with limited possession and won by 10 points to 8 points.
The U14s began the year with the first round of Feile at home to Monaleen. Doon won this game 2-11 to 1-0. We were drawn to play South liberties a week later in the quarter final and it turned out to be a tame affair with Doon winning comfortably by 1-12 to 0-0. This set up a semi final date with Kilmallock, which was played in Hospital. There was an added incentive to winning this game as the two finalists went on to represent Limerick in the national Feile which was to be held in Galway. Doon got off to a great start with a few early goals and established a lead they would never relinquish. The final score line being Doon 5-6 to Kilmallock 1-3. We had now reached the Feile final for the second time in two years against the same opposition, Na Piarsaigh. The game was played in Kilmallock and from early on Doon struggled to come to terms with Na Piarsaigh, who were dominating in most positions, and by half time had built up a substantial lead. As the second half progressed, we began to eat into the lead and with only a couple of minutes left had reduced the deficit to two points. However, this was as close as we got and Na Piarsaigh held on to win 0-11 to 1-6.
After games against Murroe Boher, Ballybrown, Kilmallock, Monaleen and Mungret, we were drawn to play Deal Rangers in a match that would decide who would meet Na Piarsaigh in the county quarter final. Doon, who had to travel to Coolyroe and after a magnificent game where the result was always in the balance emerged victorious by a score line of 3-6 to 0-12. The quarter final against Na Piarsaigh turned out to be a very one sided affair and we were well beaten by 2-15 to 1-7.
Our U12 team was once again under the “Lifting the Treaty” structure for 2011.This is a program conceived and delivered by Limerick county board, launched in 2009, placing emphasis on full participation of all players on a non-competitive basis. It replaced the traditional U12 county championship. Doon competed against very strong opposition including Monaleen, Mungret, Na Piarsaigh, Kileedy, Bruff, Ahane and Adare from April through to September where the finals took place in the Gaeilc Grounds in Limerick.
The U10’s under the guidance of Declan Ryan participated in many blitzes throughout the year which were held at various locations around the county. These took place on a Saturday morning where Doon would play against 3 other teams. As a result of regular and structured training, these boys showed great levels of skill and commitment in every game they competed in and are showing great potential for the future.
Our U8 and U6 teams trained every Saturday morning with John Stokes and Richard Bowles as part of our very successful nursery programme with help also from parents who seem to be getting as much enjoyment from it as the players. These teams also competed in many blitzes and challenge games and like the U10s have plenty of talent that will ensure Doon are going to continue to go from strength to strength.
Doon GAA had to say goodbye to some truly great members and Gaels in 2011. It was with great sadness last December that we had to say goodbye to Sean (Bob) Richardson. Growing up in Doon GAA we were all made aware of the exploits of Sean during the glory days of Limerick hurling when Sean was mixing it with the best in the game including the Mackey’s and at county level. Sean was a special character and Gael and will be missed by everyone in the club greatly.
It was also with great sadness in June of this year that we had to say good bye to John Joe Fahey. John Joe was truly a great Doon GAA man. John Joe occupied all officer posts in the club as well as being a manager and selector of many teams in the club. Without John Joe the wonderful developments and dressing rooms in our new home in Toher Road may not have been possible. Doon GAA club and the community will miss him greatly.
The club extends our deepest sympathies to the families of all the members of the club who have lost loved ones over the past twelve months.
The club would like to congratulate all our Limerick County panelists this year. We have had massive representation this year and it is a testament to all the coaches and parents in Doon that our players are representing the club at this level.
Senior - Niall Maher
Intermediate - Denis Moloney, Niall Maher, Cathal McNamara
U21 - Cathal McNamara
Minor - Liam Ryan and Darragh Stapleton
U17 - Darragh Stapleton
U16 - Stephen Ryan, Richard English, Pat Ryan, Patrick Cummins, Darragh O’Donovan & Dean Coleman
U15 - Shane O’Connell
U14 - Eoghan McNamara, Jamie Heuston, Thomas Hayes, Tadgh Whelan, Brian McPartland & Barry Murphy.
At the end of the year some of our players were also recipients of East GAA player of the year awards. Bernard Crowe won the Intermediate Hurler of the Year and Authur Crowe was awarded Junior Hurler of the Year. Darragh Stapleton was also a recipient of the Minor A Footballer of the year award. Congratulations to the guys on their awards.
From a fundraising perspective the club would like to thank everyone who organised and contributed so generously during our fundraising events this year. The people of the community and surrounding areas have been extremely generous to Doon GAA and we are extremely thankful. It is becoming more and more costly to run a hurling club with all the various costs in the modern age. Every penny raised is put to extremely good use whether it be completing the hurling alley complex or funding equipment and transportation costs for all our underage teams. Our main fundraisers this year were the Race Night last December, the Feile na Gael trip bag packing and cash for clobber, the Cake sale organized by Mary O’Brien and the Silver Circle Draws at the end of the year.
2012 is going to be a busy year both on and off the field. While 2011 may not have produced as much silverware as we would have liked there was a marked improvement across the board from all the teams representing the club and this is a massive positive heading into 2012. Off the field the club will be busy dealing with the impact of the proposed new developments taking place in relation to the new school on Toher Road.
Last but not least the club would like to extend a massive thank you to all those who have given their time and commitment to the club throughout the past year whether it be managing teams or driving our young stars to matches and training. We wish everyone a safe and happy Christmas and prosperous 2012.
Seán R. Breathnach
Cathaoirleach Dún Bleisce C.L.G
Roibeard Ó Conaill
Rúnaí Dún Bleisce C.L.G. Bórd na nÓg
Doon Junior A East Champions 2011 –
Back Row: Fintan Kennedy, James O’Brien, James McPartland, Brian Treacy, Conor White, Brian Sheehy, Tommy Murphy, Ian Burke, John R. Walsh, Colm Ó Cuimmin, Paddy Coleman, John Hayes, Jack O’Connell, Seffi O’Donnell, Damien Kiely, Trevor Duggan, Tony Joe Berkery, Luke Treacy, Derek Ryan, Liam Kennedy.
Front Row: Aurthur Crowe, Diarmuid Cummins, Paidhric Ryan, Liam Ryan, Thomas McLoughlin, Shane McKenna, Don Anderson, Denis Barry, Bernard Crowe, Eddie Stokes, John Stokes, Shane Whelan, Dan Riall, Martin Hayes, George Allis.
A Feile weekend to remember.
While it was disappointing to lose the county feile final, we still had the national finals to look forward to, which were to take place in Galway from the 24th to the 26th of June. The draw pitted us against Oranmore-Maree who were to be our host club, along with Clarinbridge, the Galway champions and Ballygunner the Waterford champions.
We played Oranmore-Maree on a wet and miserable afternoon in what turned out to be a fantastic game despite the poor conditions. Doon, who had heroes all over the field on the day, won the match 1-4 to 1-3. Afterwards, players, mentors and parents were all treated to fantastic fare in the clubhouse.
The following day, our two remaing matches were to be played in Clarinbridge, the first of which was against the home team. As Galway champions we knew it was going to be a difficult task to beat them. However Doon played some great hurling but it was never going to be enough and Clarinbridge were worthy winners 0-11 to 0-4. Our next game was against Ballygunner and after the earlier defeat Doon spirits should have been very low. This wasn’t to be the case though, as everyone performed magnificently and we went on to win 0-5 to 0-3.
Later that evening in Oranmore we were treated to an evening of great entertainment where players and families could relax and reflect on what was a brilliant weekend. The players and mentors deserve great credit for the way they represented the club and county throughout the whole weekend and for that, on behalf of the club, I wish to thank them.
I would also like to thank the people of Oranmore-Maree and in particular Des Hannify for being fantastic hosts. All of the players had nothing but praise for their host families and enjoyed every minute of their stay.