Posted May 21, 2015
It wasn’t quite a case of YMCA at the weekend, but the u10 and u12 camogie girls had a day to remember when they visited James Stephens of Kilkenny (known far and wide as “The Village”).
We boarded the coach at the crack of dawn in the club on Sunday morning, and headed south to the home of hurling. The excitement on the bus trip was incredible. We reached James Stephen’s bang on time, and were greeted by the one and only Philly Larkin. Like all true champs, he wears his medals like a real gentleman. Our u10s and u12s kitted out and warmed up in the Village’s brand new dressing rooms. The u12s were first out of the dressing rooms (there was a back door lads, the tradition of bursting out the front door might have added a bit of atmosphere, but the direct route out the back to the pitches did for the rest of us!). We hit the pitches for 11.30 throw-ins.
Our u10 girls fielded three teams. Our u12s had an all in 15 a side match on the adjoining pitch.
The u12s stretched in to an early lead. James Stephens were hurling with poise and top of the range skill. Glad to say our girls matched them sliothar for sliothar. Level at half time, the second half continued along the same lines.
Meanwhile the u10s packed out the two adjoining pitches. Oh boy, were those new pitches a pleasure to play on. Perfectly manicured swards, and perfect weather. Perfect picking, perfect pulling, and our u10 warriors soared in to early leads in their respective matches. Our girls played two matches each, and finished with a 13 a side ding dong battle.
Meanwhile the u12s ran in all the panel, and came out even in a titanic contest. All 24 u12 girls ran themselves in to the ground and loved every minute! The Village people were hugely impressed!
While our u12s piled in to their energy drinks (well there was sugar needed for the rest of the day!), our u10s finished out their final game in style. Pure class, as always. Philly Larkin had lovely words to say to the girls at the finish. See our pic with Philly above! Inspiring words, and we all went away with the uplifting feeling that we’ll be camogie for life! And remember, Philly says: the hurl and tennis ball in the back garden. And “two hands on the hurl, girls!”.
Our u12s stuck with the itinerary, and boarded the bus. Our u10s didn’t seem to want to leave. No wonder, as they had a surprise visitor to their dressing room! The one and only Jackie Tyrell sat in with the girls (see the picture above) and our youngest visitors regaled Jackie with stories of what it is to be a Mearnógie!
Back on the bus, we all headed off to Castlecomer Activity Park. Pedal boats, canoes, climbing walls and the dreaded (for some of the adults!) Leap of Faith. Hours of soakings and heights! And what fun!
Wet to the bone from our boating, we had a quick visit to the tuck shop, before heading buswards to our last stop in Carlow for well earned grub. Downing the jelly and ice cream in record time, we jumped back on the bus, and sang and laughed and sang again (and some slept), and arrived back in the club bang on time!
A day we will never forget! Thank you girls! You did Naomh Mearnóg proud!