Date Published: 18-Sep-2009
HAVING successfully defended the Under 20 title the previous week, Maree basketballers headed to Cork again on Saturday, this time to defend the under 18 title, the Michael Heffernan Memorial Cup. They did themselves proud, getting to the final, where they had to give way to a very good Éanna side from Dublin.
The Michael Heffernan comprised 12 teams, divided into four pools of three, and Maree were in the toughest, alongside Neptune of Cork and Tramore of Waterford. They had earlier just scraped by Tramore, with three points to spare. Maree led 11-10 after the first quarter, with big Ken Hansberry good for 10 of them.
By the half however, Neptune had stormed back to take a 24-18 lead, despite two from Colm O’Hagan and three from Enda Walsh. In the third, Maree retook the lead to go into the final period 34-32 ahead as Neptune struggled inside with the height of Walsh and Hansberry.
They hung on to win 41-38, and the Tramore game was going to determine who went home, and who went through; a Maree loss by four points or more would end their title defence.
Tramore took the first quarter 10-9, and by the half, were 23-15 up and looking good. Maree dug deep, and defensive intensity stepped up. Ciaran Harte, Éanna Malone, O’Hagan, Pádraig Burke and Walsh chipped in with scores, and Hansberry hit two big threes, to cut the deficit to 27-28 going into the fourth quarter.
Maree then overtook Tramore and pulled away for a 42-37 win and a place in the quarter-finals. Their opponents in the first round of the knockout phase were Glanmire, and Maree dominated from the tip-off, building a healthy 16-7 first quarter lead.
Some of the younger players, including 13-year old Dominic Czabo, had opportunities to show what they could do, and Czabo, Ronan O’Donnell, Alan Dempsey and John Evans all impressed. The final score was an impressive 54-19 Maree win.
At this stage, Moycullen, Clare Crusaders, Neptune A and B, Tramore, Limerick Lakers and Fr Mathews had all been eliminated. The semi-finals match-ups were Ballincollig versus Éanna and Blue Demons versus Maree. The Demons game was Maree’s best performance of the day.
Right from the start, they Cork team was behind, and Maree never took their foot off the gas, leading 21-8 at the half and going on to a comfortable 56-40 win, with all players performing well. Meanwhile, Éanna had edged Ballincollig 44-37, and so Maree took to the floor to defend their title against the Dubliners.
Éanna started stronger and built up a ten point lead that Maree simply could not reduce, despite a never-say-die approach to the final buzzer, with O’Hagan prominent. The cup headed Liffeyside, on a 47-32 final score.
Maree now move on to the defence of the Under 18 National Cup they won in both 2008 and 2009. They can take heart from the Michael Heffernan Memorial, given the ’flu had deprived them of three players before they headed for Cork, and hit two of them while there.
Nonetheless, Éanna showed themselves to be serious contenders. One of the four National Cup preliminary tournaments is scheduled for Oranmore, on the last weekend in September, and will feature Maree, Ballina, Limerick Lakers, Tolka Rovers and Éanna, with the top two to progress to the knock-out phase.
Colm O’Hagan, Ken Hansberry and Ciarán Harte all featured on the Maree U20 team that won in Cork the previous weekend and showed the same good form. All in all, a great start to the season.
The way we were – Protecting archives of our past
People’s living conditions less than 100 years ago were frightening. We have come a long way. We talk about water charges today, but back then the local District Councils were erecting pumps for local communities and the lovely town of Mountbellew, according to Council minutes, had open sewers,” says Galway County Council archivist Patria McWalter.
Patria believes we “need to take pride in our history, and we should take the same pride in our historical records as we do in our built heritage”. When you see the wealth of material in her care, this belief makes sense.
She is in charge of caring for the rich collection of administrative records owned by Galway County Council and says “these records are as much part of our history as the Rock of Cashel is. They document our lives and our ancestors’ lives. And nobody can plan for the future unless you learn from the past, what worked and what didn’t”.
Archivists and librarians are often unfairly regarded as being dry, academic types, but that’s certainly not true of Patria. Her enthusiasm is infectious as she turns the pages of several minute books from Galway’s Rural District Councils, all of them at least 100 years old.
Part of her role involved cataloguing all the records of the Councils – Ballinasloe, Clifden, Galway, Gort, Loughrea, Mountbellew, Portumna and Tuam. These records mostly consisted of minutes of various meetings.
When she was cataloguing them she realised their worth to local historians and researchers, so she decided to compile a guide to their content. The result is For the Record: The Archives of Galway’s Rural District Councils, which will be a valuable asset to anybody with an interest in history.
Many representatives on these Councils were local personalities and several were arrested during the political upheaval of the era, she explains.
And, ushering in a new era in history, women were allowed to sit on these Rural District Councils – at the time they were not allowed to sit on County Councils.
All of this information is included in Patria’s introductory essay to the attractively produced A4 size guide, which gives a glimpse into how these Rural Councils operated and the way political thinking changed in Ireland during a short 26-year period. In the early 1900s, these Councils supported Home Rule, but by 1920, they were calling for full independence and refusing to recognise the British administration.
“I love the tone,” says Patria of the minutes from meetings. “The language was very emotive.”
That was certainly true of the Gort Rural District Council. At a meeting in 1907, following riots in Dublin at the premiere of JM Synge’s play, The Playboy of the Western World the councillors’ response was vehement. They recorded their decision to “protest most emphatically against the libellous comedy, The Playboy of the Western World, that was belched forth during the past week in the Abbey Theatre, Dublin, under the fostering care of Lady Gregory and Mr Yeats. We congratulate the good people of Dublin in howling down the gross buffoonery and immoral suggestions that are scattered throughout this scandalous performance.
For more from the archives see this week’s Tribunes here
Real Galway flavour to intermediate club hurling battle in Birr
Date Published: 23-Jan-2013
Athenry fail to take chances as they bow out of Junior Cup
Date Published: 29-Jan-2013
Athenry FC 1
Kilbarrack United 2
(After extra time)
For the second year in succession Athenry were done in extra time in the FAI Junior Cup as last season’s beaten finalist’s came from behind to snatch an excellent game in Moanbawn on Sunday afternoon.
On a heavy pitch that was only playable following extensive groundwork by club officials all morning, the home side were by far the better side in the opening half, but failed to take advantage of a number of opportunities that came their way.
An Alan O’Donovan penalty gave them a merited advantage just after the restart, but thereafter were on the back foot as Kilbarrack took over, but for all their pressing, the home rearguard were dealing comfortably with their forays.
However they were struck a body blow just six minutes from time, as big striker Keith Kirwan was left all alone at the far post to head the equaliser and from that point on the Dubliners were the better side.
They started off the extra time in the ascendancy and enjoying all the momentum before striking for a good winning goal on 104 minutes. A strong bench allowed them to make some necessary changes and it was not a facility that was available to Athenry manager Gabriel Glavin.
With Gary Forde and Gary Delaney out through suspension following their sending off against OLBC in the previous round, and Seamie Crowe injured, it left their bench rather threadbare with just a number of young squad players available.
Playing with the aid of the slight incline and any wind advantage going, the home side had a Connor Cannon effort on target in the opening minute, while John Meleady was just over with a flick at the other end.
Meleady then tested Andrew Walsh who saved comfortably, before the goalkeeper pulled off a brilliant double save on 14 minutes.
Firstly he went full length to push away a Meleady shot and was then back on his feet to parry David Jackson’s close-range rebound.
For more, read this week’s Connacht Sentinel.