Ashbourne Weekend Fixtures announced

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The Ashbourne weekend fixtures have been announced with the Purcell Cup awaiting the result of QUB and UUJ which is being payed tonight. See fixtures below. The National Sports Campus at Abbotstown in Dublin will host the 102nd Ashbourne Cup weekend on the 11th and 12th of February. Twenty teams from across the country will head for the capital to battle it out for the Ashbourne, Purcell and Fr.Meaghair Cups along with the Ashbourne shield which returns to the competition.

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Purcell Cup Round One: DIT open Purcell campaign with win over MU

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Purcell Cup Round One: DIT 3-11 MU 2-11

12716119_10153591025966492_7256260986225473930_oThese two have produced some fantastic games over the last few years and last night was to prove no different. This was a hugely physical encounter with score taking of the highest order.  DIT were quickly out of the blocks and had two fantastic points on the board. Maynooth slowly got into the game with Melissa Lyons directing operations from centre forward. DIT captain Aoife Minogue pounced for two green flags with some excellent team play from Ellen McGovern & Sarah Nagle, both also tagging on fine points.

In between this Lyons again was punishing any indiscretions from the home team and they were also rewarded for their pressure when they scrambled the ball over the line. Kate Nolan was asserting in midfield and In the dying minutes of the half a long ball in ended up in the DIT net. HT and Maynooth led 2-8 2-6. Such was the intensity and physicality of the game three players were substituted in the first half.

Maynooth started the second half in a whirlwind and had two points on the board to increase their lead to 4. Fia O Brien and Dervla Byrne  were starting to really break open the DIT defence.  That proved to be Maynooth last point from play and the home team started to slowly turn the screw, mounting attack after attack, Orla Beagan and Nagle again added points but they had to work hard for every opportunity due to the tenacious tackling and work of the opposition defence. The game changing moment happened with 8 minutes to play, some excellent passing ended up with DIT midfielder and player of the match Ellen McGovern at an acute angle but buried the ball to net.

Orla Beagan tagged on another after great play from Megan Thynne. Lyons responded with a free for Maynooth but the home defence held firm for the last few minutes to thwart any attacks. If this is the bench mark of Purcell Cup we are sure to have some more fantastic games in this competition.

NUI Maynoooth victorious in Marino camogie blitz.

general-view-of-a-camogie-sliotar-2-390x285by Stephen Walsh Marino

On November 16 last in St. Vincent’s GAA club, four colleges competed for the inaugural Marino Institute of Education camogie blitz competition with NUI Maynooth narrowly beating Marino in the penultimate game of the blitz to win the silverware.

Huge credit needs to go to Denis Forde Games Promotions Officer in Marino for his work in organising this camogie blitz. At the early stages there was as many as 14 teams going to take part in the blitz ranging from all corners of the country but through the jigs and the reels the final number was down to four with two colleges having pulled out in the 24 ours preceding the blitz.

Patrick Lennon PME1 ably assisted Denis in the preparation of the event, with the two men out in the hours before the throw in setting up the ground, putting out goals, flags and even a gazebo so that the teams could have their tea and biscuits in between games in shelter, something that is a rarity when it comes to Marino in competitive GAA games.

Marino fielded 13 players for the matches which were 10 a side with teams making their own tactical decisions as to how best to use the 10 players around the field. IT Tallaght knew in advance of the competition that they would only have five players but that didn’t stop them turning up and playing a part and they were first out against the hosts. The girls in maroon lent the South Dublin College a few players but even with the additional players they were no match for the home side. Tara-Conncannon-Gibney (BA4) and Máire Keogh (PME2) excelled during the game.

On the other pitch Blanchardstown IT and eventual winners NUI Maynooth played out a very entertaining game with the game finishing honours even at 4-14 to 6-8. A late pointed free from Blanchardstown was enough to break the NUI Maynooth players hearts but they rallied well from not achieving victory here to emerge as victors in the tournament.

The next game saw Marino despatch of Blanchardstown in a tough physical encounter as Marino managed by Patrick Lennon and Alan O’Kelly (PME2) made use of the extra bodies. This squad rotation allowed Marino to beat a tired Blanchardstown after their previous fixture. While on the other pitch IT Tallaght were no match for NUI Maynooth.

This all brought things down to the final match with NUI Maynooth playing Marino in winner take all fixture refereed by Stephen Walsh (PME1) . The Kildare College got the better start going 2-0 to 0-1 up after the first five minutes but credit to Marino they stuck in there with Rachel Browne (PME2) clearing a mountain of ball at the back while Denise Kelly attacked constantly firing over a point to bring things back to 2-4 to 0-3 at the interval.

Marino Team at the Div 3 Blitz Nov 2016

Marino Team at the Div 3 Blitz Nov 2016

Yet Lennon and O’Kelly rallied their charges well and they scored a goal through Máire Keogh but came short on a number of occasions due to some brilliant goalkeeping from the Maynooth ‘keeper. With minutes to go Maynooth scored a goal and a point against the run of play to move 3-4 to 1-4 ahead. Try as Marino could to narrow the deficit, all they could manage was a late consolation goal to finish the game 3-4 to 2-4.

After the game there was a medal presentation in the St. Vincent’s Clubhouse with the caterers on hand dishing out chicken curry and lasagne to the hungry teams while Aodán McSuibhne and Denis Forde gave the speeches and presentations.

Overall it was another successful day for Marino GAA hosting the blitz and it is a good starting point for next year to allow for bigger and better blitzes to come owing to the Trojan work by Denis Forde in the GAA department.