By Padraig Rooney — 22nd November 2015
2015 has been a remarkable year for the Under 15 Boys culminating in a League and Championship double.
The lads started training in mid January and commenced the season with a comfortable win against St. Finians of Swords 5-10 to 2-8, but were brought back down to earth with a bang following a heavy home defeat to St. Pats of Donabate 3-15 to 0-3, but that match was a turning point for the season and huge effort and intensity were to become the norm for training from that point on.
As the year wore on confidence in the team increased and with Templeogue setting the pace in Division 4 the league game between St. Margarets and Templeogue on the 8th March was to prove pivitol in how the season would pan out. This match was an outstanding game of football and the result was in question right till the final whistle, as it turned out the match ended in a very fair draw. The lads drew huge confidence from this game and that spurred them on and as a result the team went through the rest of the campaign unbeaten and secured the league title on the 16th of August with a match to spare.
Attention quickly shifted to the Championship and following a favourable home draw and not so favourable 1st round draw against Thomas Davis training intensified and by the time match day came around there was a quiet confidence within the dressing room, the lads very comfortably dispatched Thomas Davis 5-8 to 1-5.
The quarter final was a different affair against Nh. Olaf and the team looked down and out with only 10 minutes to go and 7 points down but the never say die attitude of these lads drove them on and they eventually completed a stunning comeback winning by a point 3-16 to 5-9.
The semi final against Clontarf was an equally tense affair, however the lads never lost the lead during the course of this match and won out in a very competitive game 0-12 to 1-6 to set up a final date with Erins Isle.
The final against Erins Isle was an extraordinary game, the team started of well with 2 quick points but within 15 minutes found themselves down 1-6 to 0-2 points as Isles grabbed a hold of the game and dominated midfield. There was no panic within the Margarets camp and gradually the lead was eaten into and by the time half time arrived there were only 2 points in the game to Isles.
The 2nd half was end to end stuff and you couldn't write the final script for this game. The lads managed to put themselves in a winning position before conceding a last minute penalty which was comfortably dispatched, but instead of the heads dropping at a point down and the clock against us they attacked deep into injury time and won a free from 20 metres which was dispatched to the roof of the net to put us 2 up. The following goal kick was intercepted and with another point landed shortly after the final whistle blew to the delight of the huge travelling support and a second title had been secured.
The never say die attitude of these lads and the determination to continue to the last whistle so many times this year has earned them this double success - we look forward with huge optimism next year.
By Damien Clarke — 8th November 2015
Our minor team put in a fantastic display to capture the league title in Lusk on a dreadful day for football with heavy rain and blustery winds. It was a fitting end for this team as it was their last game together in underage football and their hard work and dedication over the years was finally rewarded.
It has been a hard journey for this group as numbers have always been tight from the very start. There were only 5 boys in the original grasshopper section with Damien Clarke and 4 of these lads started the final, Daragh Clarke, James Hempenstall, Conor Howard and Liam O’Donoghue. The other was Luke Harford.
As time passed a few more joined the group - Ciaran Duffy, Shane Tynan, Darren Keogh and Dean Fox, with Damien Duffy coming in as a mentor. The lads started playing U9s a year out of their age with the older team and did so for 2 years until they started in a 1 team group at U10 go games 9 a-side league, but some continued to play with older team also. Some younger lads started the following year to increase the numbers again - Jack Stynes, Carl Duffy, Brian and John Mullally, Jack Walsh and Derek Barry.
As some lads came and went, it was difficult to maintain the team but to their credit, the core group stuck at it. Conor Hickey joined the lads then and were very unlucky not to secure a Feile victory losing out in 2 finals in a row.
The following year saw Danny Cray joining with James Treacy coming soon after, but the numbers were unsustainable so it was decided we would amalgamate at u15 and u16 level with Garristown and this has been the case since, culminating with the league win this year.
Gary Smith has rejoined also this year. Getting back to the game, the lads were on top throughout the game. Dean Fox converted an early penalty after Shane Tynan was fouled. Massive credit must go to Shane, as he played through the pain barrier, having been in hospital the previous day.
Thomas Ashe were 2 points up at the break and pulled further ahead in the second half with points from Darren Keogh, Conor Hickey and a wonderful individual goal from Darren Keogh. The team missed some opportunities to kill the game off that their dominance deserved and while the game looked over, with 4 points between the teams, Lusk got a fortuitous long range goal and then tagged on a couple of points to go 1 up.
Darren then equalised from a free to bring the game into extra time. With the team’s superior skill, fitness levels and strength of character a 3 point lead was held at half time in extra time with scores from Jimmy Hempenstall and Ciaran Duffy. James Treacy added the insurance point in the 2nd period to secure a famous victory.
Special mention must go to Man of the Match, Jack Stynes who put in an incredible display before becoming ill after the game. He was thankfully ok a day later. Great displays all around, especially Darren Keogh, Conor Hickey, Danny Cray, Liam O’Donoghue, Shane Tynan, Conor Howard and Daragh Clarke.
With 18/19 lads now coming through from this age group in the next 2 years to adult football, hopefully these lads can push the current adult teams on to success in the near future.
By Patricia Nolan — 15th August 2015
St. Margaret’s GAA Club held their inaugural Recycling Day on Saturday 15th August, the club grounds were transformed into a one-stop recycling facility for householders to dispose of their waste.
Trevor & Tanya Ratcliffe are pictured presenting cheque for €5,000 to club committee members Sandra Duffy and Paddy Finnigan. The funds raised directly from the Recycling Day will go towards the refurbishment of showers and toilet facilities at the Club.
St. Margaret's GAA Club Chairman, Michael Kennedy, said: "the Committee at St. Margaret's would like to thank the Ratcliffe Group for their expertise in planning and managing all elements of the Recycling Day; and we would also extend our thanks to the local communities and householders for supporting our recycling day".