The weather gods shone on our U10 hurlers yesterday as they hosted their annual Barry Quinn Memorial Tournament in a sunny O'Garney Park. The place was a hive of activity from late Friday evening to early Saturday morning with extra sets of goals being brought down from Cappa Lodge, pitches laid out, the hall setup and the all important kettle put on.
Our visting clubs - O'Callaghans Mills, Na Piarsaigh, St Marys Clonmel and Ballina - began to arrive at 9:30 and the first games started soon after 10am. With 4 pitches on the go it was non-stop action for the next few hours.
The Sixmilebridge Blue (Group 1) and Yellow (Group 2) teams got their Group stage games off to a rocky start with both tasting defeat to the Clonmel teams - the Yellow team being particularly unlucky in a very close game. The next round saw things pick up with the Yellow team accounting for O'Callaghans Mills and the Blue team earned a draw with Na Piarsaigh in a game they really should have won.
Going into the last round of group games both teams still had a chance to top their groups (and qualify for the final), but they were living on a prayer as they also needed other results to go their way. SMB Blue beat Ballina Blue in their final game while the SMB Yellow team were defeated by Ballina White. The end of the group games saw Na Piarsaigh emerging as winners of Group 1 and Clonmel White topping Group 2 to form the final pairing.
The teams, mentors and supporters then repaired to the hall where they refueled over a fine banquet of soup, sandwiches, fruit, tea and coffee provided by the U10 parents.
At 12:30 the Final between Clonmel White and Na Piarsaigh commenced with the other 6 teams also playing games to ensure all players received as much game-time as possible on the day. Clonmel eventually won out and, after a few words by Minor Club Chairman Mike O'Halloran, the Barry Quinn Memorial Cup was presented to Clonmel captain Dylan Condon by Barrys brother Eoin. All players on the day were also presented with a 'wall ball' as a memento of their day playing in the tournament.
While the U10s were disappointed not to retain the cup, the tournament was a big success and was a great opportunity to showcase our club to the next generation of hurlers around the country.
Special thanks to all the following who helped make the day such a success:
- Our refs and umpires: Cian Gleeson, Luke O'Halloran, Colm Flynn, Jimmy Corbett, Kevin Phelan and Stiofan Fitzpatrick
- Mike O'Halloran, Edel Rafferty and all in the Minor club for the support, registering the tournament, providing Wall Balls to the participants etc
- Grace Fawl and Frances Downes for assisting in pitch and hall bookings.
- Our caterers on the day - Donna Keogh, Claire Moloney, Laura McInerney and Helen Brew
- The U10 parents for providing a great spread of healthy food to keep our young athletes fueled up throughout the day.
- The U10 coaches for organizing the tournament and getting the boys ready for the day.
- All the players and especially SMB Blue and Yellow teams for their great performances.
Apologies to anyone left off the above list!
Finally, 2020 U10 Coach Martin Conlon has requested a full report on the tournament as he plots to bring the cup back to Sixmilebridge next year!