Sunday, April 19, 2009

Ballymore Ladies GFC

Awards night
The Ladies GAA held their annual awards night in the Thatch on March 7th. The Ladies had a lot to celebrate at this year’s awards night, the team having won the Junior D Championship last year and each individual was presented with their medal.

A number of individuals in the club also helped put Ballymore Ladies on the map this year. Congratulations to Cleo Hubbard and Theresa Gorman who won a number of titles in 2008 including U16 Division 2 and the Minor B championship with Eadestown. Sheena Hubbard lined out for Kildare minors and Lesley Tutty is currently on the county panel.

Club Person of the Year: Caroline Swords
Player of the Year: Fran Burke
Junior Player of the Year: Cleo Hubbard
Most Improved Player: Marilena Norton

Thanks to the fundraising committee and The Thatch for organising a great night. Many thanks also to Hazelwood Architecture (Seamus & Caroline Tutty) who sponsored the helium balloons for the awards. There was a large turn out and the style on the night was up to its usual high standards and the cancellation of the following morning’s match contributed to a livelier than anticipated night!

Division 4 League Fixtures
Rheban were the winners of this league last year and have moved up to Division 4 with Round Towers coming down from Division 3.
Three new teams have entered the Kildare Senior Leagues – Athy and Kill who have had strong juvenile set-ups for a number of years and Maynooth now fielding a second team.

And of course there are the old rivalries, with Ballymore travelling to Balyna’s home ground once again. We’ll be hoping to reproduce the Championship final performance on that occasion!

The first round was due to start on Sunday 8th March but was postponed. Lesley is on county duty on the 15th and Ballymore have a bye on the 22nd March.
Ballymore Ladies will have their first taste of league action for 2009 at home against Kill on Sunday 29th March at 11 o’clock. Please come and support the girls!

2009 League Fixtures (first named team at home)
Sunday 29th March Ballymore vs Kill
Sunday 5th April Ballymore vs Moorefield
Tuesday 7th April Milltown vs Ballymore
Sunday 12th April Ballymore vs Nurney\Kildangan
Sunday 19th April Round Towers vs Ballymore
Saturday 25th April Ballymore vs Athy
Tuesday 28th April Maynooth II vs Ballymore
TBC Balyna II vs Ballymore

Training is in full swing every Monday and Wednesday at 7.30. Welcome back to all players (new and old – and I mean ‘old’ as in experienced!)
Anyone interested in joining the team should call up to any of the training sessions.
Thanks to the Band Hall for allowing us to use their facilities for circuit training.

Challenge Match
Ballymore played Castlemitchell in their first challenge match of the season on a cold February evening. Ballymore did well against strong opposition but Castlemitchell were the better team on the night.
Aisling Hubbard, Dawn Murray, Louise Burke and Sheena Hubbard all contributed to the score. We wish a speedy recovery to Tracey Clohessy who fractured her hand during the match.

Happy Birthday
Happy Birthday to manager Simon Murphy who’s 50 and off to Paris
The Ladies would also like to wish Joe Piggott a very Happy Birthday

Ballymore Ladies “Last Man Standing” Premiership Competition
207 started and now there’s just 50 left competing for the €500 prize money!
Some competition trivia -Ladies goalkeeper Aoife O Toole was the first victim in week one of the competition to lose everyone on her sheet.
Simon Murphy is still out in front with 15 survivors heading for week 3.
Vice Captain Fran is just hanging in there with 1 left.
Aisling Rigney was the big casualty of week 2 with her sheet being wiped out too.
We lost two of the younger contestants in week two with Oonagh and Aaron Deegan being knocked out, but in fairness they lasted longer than Steve and Janet!

Lesley Tutty’s Progress with the Kildare Panel
The Kildare panel played St Pats College in Johnstownbridge on January 21st in very wet conditions. The game took the usual form of 4x20mins segments, with Lesley playing 30 minutes. Players were expected to train while they were off the pitch in order to keep warm in the teeming rain. (Kildare won)
The Panel was split in 2 for the games on Jan 24th. Due to recent weather conditions and many pitches being unplayable, these games were played on the astro turf pitch in Thomas Davis GAA club Tallaght. The first game was against her ‘native’ Wicklow at 5pm, where Kildare ran out the winners (8-5 to 2-12). Lesley played 70 out of the 80 mins in this game. The 2nd game saw Kildare take on Armagh at 6.30pm with Armagh getting the better of Kildare.
Sunday Jan 31st saw one team take on all Ireland champions Cork in the national league while the other team played Carlow in Tinryland. Cork beat Kildare well in the end. Lesley played against Carlow and they won 2-12 to 3 points.

The first round of the Aisling McGing cup (County championship for Lesley) starts on Sunday 15th March in Galway. Ballymore Ladies would like to wish Lesley and the Lilywhites the best of luck.

Kildare Ladies County Draw
County Delegate Jackie Smith is selling tickets on behalf of the County Board. Thanks to everyone who has already bought a ticket.
The tickets are €10 each – this entitles you to a ‘Kildare Ladies 2009 member’ sticker and entry into a draw for €700. The draw is due to take place at the county board meeting on the 26th March.
Please contact any of the Ladies team if you are interested in purchasing a ticket.

Thank You
Thanks to EBS Citywest for refilling the medical bag for 2009 and thanks to Brendan Coady (Kilkenny) for the donation of new water bottles. All support is greatly appreciated. Dublin Zoo would like to thank Ballymore Ladies Secretary Caroline for clogging their answering machine!
And thanks to Lesley Tutty for providing us with so much info over the last few months.

Deirdre & Sharon
Ballymore Ladies GFC PROs
Ballymore Eustace Proud Handball Record – Part 10

Tony Daly shared Paddy Winder's junior hard doubles success in 1959 and two of his unsuccessful senior hard doubles finals. Tony had two good hands and was very nimble on his feet. All in all, he was a very stylish player with great determination. Tony's career was also cut short when he immigrated.

The Deegans of Chapel Street - Mick, Ned, Harry and the late John all started handball with the sponge ball and were expert in its usage. In the fifties, the sponge ball was the alternative to the hardball in Ballymore Eustace and was widely used. In time, Ned and John turned to the official softball and were quite successful both winning many County titles with Ned being our top softballer for a period. Ned's most significant achievement was in the Gael-Linn Cup when he became the first Ballymore Eustace player to reach the last eight of that popular competition in which the best players in the country took part. Ned and John also helped out with the Club's administration.

Jim Clarke, like Myles Lawlor and Jack Byrne, was a member of Ballymore Eustace's successful 1953 senior Gaelic football team and it is his proud boast that he won a handball medal in a school's competition. Over the years, Jim has been a strong supporter of both football and handball and played on the Kildare team which won the 1956 Leinster football title. From the fifties onwards Jim was the handball delegate on the GAA County Board and could be relied on to put handball's case to that Board at every possible opportunity. He was also known to plug the handball cause in his role as Kildare delegate to the Leinster GAA Council.

Whenever Ballymore Eustace men reached an All-Ireland handball final, if at all possible, Jim would be in attendance. Jim's involvement in handball increased when he became a member of the Development Committee and was one of its top fund-raisers. He has served for a couple of years as Chairman of the County Handball Committee. There is no doubt but that Jim's enthusiasm and total commitment to any project he takes on board serves as an inspiration to his fellow committee members. Jim's contribution to the handball cause was officially recognised on November 25, 1988 when he received the 1988 Kildare Handball All-Star Award.

John Browne who won a minor hard doubles medal in 1961 added a junior hard­ doubles medal in 1969. All the matches involved in these successes were nail-biting affairs with dramatic turnabouts in the course of two of them. Like good wine, John appears to have improved with age as he won no less than four All-Ireland singles titles in the years 1990, 1991 and 1992. John brought his total of All-Ireland medals to seven when he and Eamonn Deegan won the 40 by 20 Emerald Masters Doubles in 2000. It is John's proud boast that he has won All-Ireland singles medals in all three forms of handball.

Senior All-Ireland honours in hard doubles eluded John in 1985 when he partnered Tom O'Rourke against Tom and John Quish (who won the World doubles title the previous year) in a thrilling final where all four players gave of their best but unfortunately our men were just narrowly beaten. When I spoke to Tom O'Rourke he praised John Browne's performance on that occasion and having been in attendance, I can vouch for the performances of both our players. In fact that was one of the best games of doubles hardball I ever witnessed.

Like many of our handballers, John was an all round sportsman who was particularly interested in football and athletics. John was a great supporter of all the clubs with which he was associated. He was the organiser-in­-chief of the successful pub tournament which was at the height of its fame in the seventies. Others who played a key role in that promotion were Eddie Gordon and Liam Burke while my father was the official marker for the games. This competition brought the spectators back to the alley in numbers that reminded you of the old days.

John's father, the late Jim, was I understand a useful handballer in his younger days. John
(Junior) and his brother, Christy, are both good football players and above average handball players as well. In Centenary year, Christy was the youngest player in Kildare to receive a Centenary medal in handball.

© Matt Purcell (March, 2009).

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