Super season ends
Community Games at Abbotstown
The 2017 season of Community Games activities came to an end with the national finals held at the Sports Campus Centre in Abbotstown over the weekend of August 19 and 20.
2017 marks the 50th anniversary of the founding of the great organisation which took place in Walkinstown, Co. Dublin, in 1967, courtesy of the late Joe Connolly. The organisation became a large part of the lives of hundreds of thousands of children across the country and also of their families and indeed volunteers too.
The main objective is to provide young people with the means and the opportunity to utilise their leisure time in a healthy and productive way. That was evident at Abbotstown where the children were competing in such a large range of activities, outdoor and indoor, including athletics, soccer, skittles, camogie and hurling as well as the cultural activities such as comedy sketch drama, recitation, music, singing and dancing as well as art and handwriting competitions.
For the Wexford competitors who progressed from county (individual) and team (Leinster) this was a dream for all of them. Getting the opportunity to represent your Area and county is indeed an honour and this year's group of competitors did not fail in any sector.
From the start of day one on Saturday, results were coming in thick and fast with news that the Under-13 girls' rounders team had come through their semi-final. As well as that, the boys and girls competing on the athletic track were progressing nicely through their heats and on into the semi-finals.
Others were competing in field events, as well as drama comedy sketch, music events and handwriting. Sunday was also a very busy day with the semi-finals and finals of most of the athletic events as well as art competitions.
At the end of the two days, the county had fared very well, taking the gold medals in the girls' rounders competition, as well as gold (individual and team) on the track as well as silver, bronze and medallions in track and field events.
The county did not feature in the art and handwriting competitions but well done to all who competed with pride. In the stage events, the fourth place medallions were won by the group drama/sketch group.
Well done each and everyone. It was a pleasure and privilege to be part of the great county team over the weekend.
When the Under-13 Piercestown/Murrintown girls' team had a win at the Leinster finals and qualified for the national finals, it was all focus and determination at training to prepare for their big day, which took place in Abbotstown on August 19.
Their first match was against the Connacht winners, Easkey, Co. Sligo. This was a great match for both teams, but the girls from Wexford managed to stay ahead on runs to win the game comfortably on a 49-15 scoreline. Easkey had already defeated Ballybrown/Clarina, Co. Limerick, in round one.
Wexford then took on the Munster champions from Ballybrown/Clarina. The girls started off with a strong lead against Limerick and after three innings they were ahead 21-12.
Nerves started to creep in, but they held their focus on the game. Their training and determination drove them forward to win the game 34-23 with one batting left.
This win guaranteed them the gold medals and the national title. This was a great achievement by the team and well done to them, their trainers and mentors alike.
Members of the victorious Wexford team were Róisín Alouf, Ellen Coleman, Niamh Dempsey, Rachel Dempsey, Róisín Dempsey, Orla Griffin, Saoirse Kearney, Caitlyn Kehoe, Caitlin Murray, Ellie O'Mahony, Fiona O'Mahony and Melissa Quirke.
As we expected, competition on the track is always of the highest standard and this year was no different. Anyone who gets through from the heats to the semi-finals, and for many the finals, this is quite an achievement.
The purple and gold singlets were very much to the fore throughout the preliminary rounds on Saturday and right into the Sunday programme. A number of medals were won with a big percentage also making it to the finals.
Kevin O'Mahony from Piercestown-Murrintown qualified in first place in both his heat and semi-final and rounded off a great weekend by taking the gold medal in the final. He showed his class right from the start and left all behind him to clinch the title.
Silver medals were won by Fay McDonnell from Kilanerin in the 60m Under-8 final and by Harry Devereux from Bree/Davidstown in the 100m Under-10 final.
Bronze medals were won by Aisling Kelly from Taghmon in the 200m Under-16, Corrine Kenny from Gorey Town in the 1,500m Under-16, and Ciara Laffan from Glynn-Barntown in the Under-10 hurdles.
My favourites for the weekend, they are always so exciting to watch, great entertainment and fiercely competitive. Wexford had nine teams in action from Bree/Davidstown, Enniscorthy and Rathangan.
The Under-16 boys' team from Bree/Davidstown had a nail-biting final race. The Clare boys got off to a cracking start and had a commanding lead going towards the third changeover, but the Wexford team members were having none of it and were rapidly clawing back the distance.
At the last changeover, the two teams were neck and neck and the last competitor for both counties traded step for step down the final stretch, with Wexford taking the gold medals on the line. Whew, what a race.
Well done to the team of Daire Rochford, Shane Kehoe, Leon Sinnott, Eamonn Doyle, Liam Doyle and Jim Doyle.
Bree/Davidstown were also on the rostrum when their Under-15 mixed team of Seán Fitzpatrick, Darragh Kehoe, Sophie Codd, Katie Whelan, Cillian Doyle and Aoibheann Crean claimed the silver medals, narrowly missing out on gold to a team from Tipperary.
The Enniscorthy (4 x 200m) mixed team of Blannaid Fogarty, Raphael Abidoye, Ciara O'Connor and Precious Obasahan gave a gutsy performance in the final to clinch the bronze medals behind Clare and the winners from Limerick.
The girls' Under-12 team from the Bree/Davidstown Area took the fourth-placed medallions and their panel consisted of Abbie Doyle, Amelia Furlong, Gracie Kehoe, Aleisha Furlong, Sadbh Crean and Ella Doyle.
The Under-14 team from Rathangan also had a good run, coming through the heats and semi-final to place fifth in the final. Well done one and all.
Children were competing in ball throw, javelin, discus, long jump, high jump, long puck and shot putt.
Ciara Butler from Glynn-Barntown finished in the silver medal position in the Under-14 long puck final. A bronze medal was won by Elaine Oladirron from Enniscorthy in the Under-14 shot putt final.
A medallion for fourth place went to Jack Forde from the Castlebridge/Crossabeg Area in the Under-16 high jump, and there was a medallion also for Saidhbhe Byrne from Kilanerin in the Under-14 javelin final. Well done one and all.
Others who competed well were Jane Duggan, Cian Carthy, Mailyn Cueto, Rachel Gregg, Dearbhla O'Hanlon and Muireann Hore.
ART AND HANDWRITNG
Sophie Redmond, Eabha Bowe, Caitlin Murphy, Fiona O'Mahony, Kate Byrne, Sam Devereux, Kaleb Blake, Rory Roche and Denis McCarthy were the county`s representatives in the art competitions. It was a really tough competition and alas no medals were won this year.
In the handwriting competitions, again it was a case of stiff competition and very high standards where Aoife Kehoe, Katie Kehoe, Owen Tomkins and James Prendergast were representing the county. Again no medals were won but all performed very well.
The county competed in solo music, recitation, drama sketch, modern dance and group music.
Congratulations to the group drama sketch team of Casey Cullen, Tadhg Doyle, Garry Laffan, Hazel Murphy and Seán Vaughan who took home the fourth-placed medallions.
Children from Bree/Davidstown, Castlebridge/Crossabeg, BBBCR and Clongeen were competing. Well done everyone.
The children returning home should feel very proud of themselves, as they amassed quite a number of medals in track and field athletics, rounders and drama sketch.
Thanks to all the parents who gave their support to their children and to the county by their attendance at the finals. There is now time to relax for a couple of months before we get back in action again for the coming season.