St. Colmcilles GAA Club, Pairc Ui Rís, Piltown, Bettystown, Co Meath 0877441731

Despite fighting for every ball and covering every blade of grass, our Under 12 boys just couldn’t get past the formidable hurdle of Seneschalstown yesterday in the Summer League Final.

When this team finally wins a cup we will all see the photos of happy kids celebrating accompanied by words of joy and congratulations. What you won’t have seen prior to that is the hard route these boys will have taken to get there. Nothing comes easy to this group of players, a group as talented as any other in the club. They have to fight for everything, every point and every game. There are all sorts of players attached to this squad, fast, fit, hungry, skilful and driven but they have had a hard route in football to date. It would be easy to let heads drop in situations like this but that’s not likely to happen with the coaches they have.

This particular group of players seem to be continuously up against it. They have been involved in more hard fought games than most at this age group but they keep coming back, improving, training and wanting to win. Nothing will ever be handed to them easily, a lesson they are learning quickly. What is hard for them to see is how the tough times will stand to them in the future, it’s difficult for a child to understand that. And that’s where the coaches come in. There are a number of coaches attached to this team, namely Ray Finlay, Kieran Nash, Declan Connell, Anthony Lannon, Michael Pettibone, Alan Kelly and Johnny O’Rourke. They all bring something different to the group and are moulding a team of boys who know hard work and practice is the answer to their conundrum. The parents know the coaches in this group and know what they are capable of and while the boys will get over the loss yesterday its ultimately the coaches that will feel it a little longer. One such coach distracted the boys from loss yesterday by bringing them to one of Meath’s best restaurants (Inside Out, Slane) for post match food and drinks. Yes they were hungry but this was more important than grub. Within a few minutes after arriving, the chins started to lift and talk of the game became more positive. To Alan Kelly, thank you!

To each of the coaches involved in this group, past and present, we appreciate the hard work and effort put in to lead these boys on the right path. Things are about to change for them, they will eventually be streamed, they’ll go to secondary school and other factors will come into play. Rest assured though that you have given them solid foundations to build on which will stand to them positively in the future.

To quote Ray Finlay yesterday “They will have their day in the sun, they are a pleasure to coach and are a credit to their parents. Keep at it lads!”

A few words on yesterday; Seneschalstown won fair and square. Fair play to them and thank you for hosting our boys. You have some fine players on that team that will play at the highest level in the future. To hear an 11 year old speak after winning a trophy and immediately mention the opposition spoke volumes about him and his club! While it’s easy to knock referees it’s more important to compliment them when they do a good job. Stephen and Martin Dawson were excellent yesterday making good decisions, fairly throughout the games. Credit where it’s due to both ref’s, you called it right and were the referees the boys deserved. It should be mentioned that the photo at the top of the page was after they had refereed a hard fought game prior to ours, they weren’t dossing!!

Training on Thursday lads, onward and upward!