Sunday, March 25, 2007

ST STEPHEN’S DAY SOCCER NETS €1,800 for charity
Fair play to the lads from Kingstown soccer club, Naas and Ballymore ‘Celtic’ who turned out for a soccer challenge on Stephen’s Day. Not the easiest day to play sport, what with the overeating and drinking the day before but turn out they did and raised €1800 towards Our Lady’s Children’s Hospital, Crumlin. Neil Morrissey of Briencan trained Kingstown for 12 years during which time the team were league winners and finalists in the Lumdsden Cup. Five years ago, he introduced the charity challenge and to date they have raised €18,000 overall.

Ballymore was captained by Stephen Dwyer, the youngest and possibly the best player on the pitch whilst Rory O Connor led the Naas side. Notable performances were displayed by John Doyle and Hugh Keogh representing the BME side whilst captain Rory and Alan Marshall (actually from Ballymore!) played best for Naas. Gary Bolger, Gerry Fennall, Paul Browne, Darren ‘Digsy’ Gorman and John O’Neill ‘failed the fitness test’ according to Neil……mmh, enough said! (I don’t believe Gary is finally succumbing to age so what else could it have been?).

I did have a match report written by Dara, a friend of William’s from college but seeing as he only knew about seven players on the field, the entire match report referred only to “Woddy”, “Doyler”, Daragh, Timmy, “Mooner”, Stephen and Eamonn, we will have to run without it. Dara, I hope you are studying well in your chosen course in Waterford I.T. ‘cos you definitely don’t have a future as a sports journalist…..

Rather than fill sponsorship cards, this year, the lads had raffle tickets to sell; Neil wishes to acknowledge all who supported the event, particularly those who sponsored the prizes. Many thanks to Kevin Cumiskey of LIFE Health & Fitness Gym at the Osprey who sponsored first prize was won by Margaret Doyle, Dunlavin.

2nd Prize Cathal Ryan, Naas; 3rd Prize Pat Curley, Ballymore; 4th Prize Father Tim, Blessington; 5th Prize Niamh O Rourke, Ballymore; 6th Prize Alan Fitzgerald, Naas; 7th Prize Mark Curtis; 8th Prize Tommy Evans, Ballymore.

Judging by how badly the BME lads played on the day, Neil reckons he is definitely taking the right course at NTC in Dublin – currently studying Muscular Therapy which focuses on Sports Massage and Sports Injuries, Neil might be in demand as much before a match as after it with this lot!

Again, Neil wishes to thank all the lads who played on the day, all who supported the raffle and to Naas Manager Thomas Deane and Trainer, Alan Marshall.
€18,000 for a St Stephens Day event in five years ain’t bad going.

-Rose B O Donoghue

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