Slaney Sharks: Eighteen Slaney Shark swimmers recently took part in two Leinster Galas in the National Aquatic Centre.
Eight swimmers represented their club in the Leinster Graded Gala and ten swimmers featured in the Leinster Distance Gala the following week.
Neasa Nic Corcráin (12) participated in four swims in the Leinster Graded Gala and took home a silver medal when she achieved a second place finish in the girls' 100m butterfly in 1:55.85.
Neasa also swam the 100m freestyle in a personal best of 1:30.66 (-0.91), the 50m backstroke in 50.82, and the 100M I.M. in 1:52.56.
Cliona Byrne (10) achieved a silver medal in the girls' 100M I.M. when she swam it in 1:50.35. Cliona also swam the 100m freestyle in 1:37.73 and the 50m breaststroke in 58.56.
Hannah Fitzpatrick (11) participated in four swims and achieved four personal best times. Hannah swam the girls' 100m freestyle in 1:25.14 (-9.94, Grade 5), the 50m backstroke in 48.64 (-1.39, Grade 6), the 50m butterfly in 53.89 (-0.84), and the 50m freestyle in 38.33 (-6.10, Grade 5).
Ava M. Cahill (9) swam in five events and achieved three personal best times. Ava swam the girls' 100m freestyle in 1:39.01 (-5.89, Grade 7), the 50m backstroke in 57.27, the 50m breaststroke in 1:07.28, the 100m I.M. in 2:07.00 (-7.01), and the 50m freestyle in 42.78 (-2.28).
Rachael Murphy (10) participated in four swims and achieved two personal best times. Rachel swam the girls' 100m freestyle in 1:34.94 (-7.00), the 100m I.M. in 1:55.99 (-2.63), the 50m butterfly in 1:03.11, and the 100m backstroke in 1:50.95 (Grade 7).
Seán Power (13) swam in three events and achieved two personal best times. Seán swam the boys' 50m freestyle in 40.17 (-0.43, Grade 7), the 50m backstroke in 48.54 (-2.21), and the 50m breaststroke in 56.91.
Harry Nolan (11) participated in five swims and achieved two personal best times. Harry swam the boys' 50m freestyle in 46.47 (-1.68), the 100m backstroke in 2:04.47, the 100m I.M. in 2:00.49 (-4.13), the 100m freestyle in 1:47.31, and the 50m breaststroke in 1:03.48.
Jenna Kirwan (9) swam in four events and achieved two personal best times. Jenna swam the girls' 50m backstroke in 56.62 (-1.30), the 50m breaststroke in 1:08.18 (-1.92), the 50m butterfly in 1:06.48, and the 50m freestyle in 53.41.
Eimear Doyle (13) represented her club in four swims in the Leinster Distance Gala and achieved four personal best times. Eimear swam the girls' 200m freestyle in 2:42.13 (-5.33), the 200m backstroke in 3:20.05 (-6.65), the 400m freestyle in 5:39.50 (-34.28), and the 200m breaststroke in 3:29.42 (-10.64).
Abi M. Cullen (10) swam the girls' 400m freestyle in 5:56.09, taking an astonishing 29.36 seconds from her previous time and giving her a new personal best. Abi also swam the 200m breaststroke and received an amazing personal best time of 4:02.58 (-23.40).
Jack Nolan-Whitney (14) swam the boys' 200m freestyle in 2:15.99 (-0.07. Jack also swam the 1,500m freestyle in a fantastic new personal best time of 19:27.63 (-48.37).
Jack Roban (17) swam in four events and received a personal best time in the boys' 400m freestyle in 5:25.10 (-25.58), and a personal best in the 200m I.M. in 2:57.09 (-10.51). Jack also swam the 200m breaststroke for the first time in 3:17.35, and the 200m freestyle for the first time in 2:32.34.
Matilda Dunne-Cronin (16) participated in three swims and swam the girls' 400m freestyle in a personal best of 5:23.19 (-2.77). Matilda also received a personal best in the 200m breaststroke in 3:15.37 (-16.74), and then swam the 200m I.M. in 2:54.11.
Cian Clarke (15) swam the boys' 200m I.M. in a fantastic time of 3:07.49 (-18.22). Cian also swam the 200m backstroke in 2:55.60 and went on to swim the 200m freestyle for the first time in a brilliant 2:37.98.
Holly Furlong (11) took part in four events and swam the girls' 200m freestyle in a personal best of 2:48.94 (-9.30). Holly also swam the 200m I.M. in a personal best of 3:09.51 (-2.37), the 400m freestyle in 5:59.70, and the 400m I.M. for the first time in 6:58.51.
Seán Bookey (16) received two personal best times when he swam the boys' 400m freestyle in 5:17.16 (-2.36), and the 200m freestyle in 2:22.43 (-1.50).
Claire Whelan (9) participated in the girls' 400m freestyle and took an astonishing 1:00.19 seconds from her previous time in a personal best of 7:24.66.
Sophie Gillot (13) swam the girls' 200m freestyle for the first time in 2:50.84. Sophie also swam the 200m backstroke for the first time in 3:13.07.
All swimmers would like to thank their coach, Liam Murphy, for all his work in preparation for both events.
The Gorey J2s were at home to Clondalkin on Saturday and edged a very entertaining game. This was a remarkable game as, with ten minutes to go, Gorey looked dead and buried but an incredible fightback saw the home recover from 27-17 down to overtake Clon 29-27.
The game started well for the visitors as they moved the ball with purpose and at pace and were duly rewarded with an early penalty. Shortly after that further pressure saw them cross for a try.
Gorey finally came alive and a number of good phases saw Niall Cousins go over for a try. Gorey were now growing in confidence and straight from the re-start a determined run by Killian Breen through the Clon defence saw Alan Masterson finish off in the corner.
Clon responded with a penalty. Gorey were again back on the attack and good forward pressure saw Colin French go over for try number three. Another Clon penalty saw Gorey just ahead (17-15) at the end of the first-half.
The second-half saw Clon take an early lead with a well-worked try. Gorey seemed shell-shocked as Clon controlled the next 20 minutes to race into a 27-17 lead, but the last five minutes saw Gorey play some of their best rugby of the season as they ran the ball at every opportunity.
Quick thinking by Aidan O'Brien saw him urge his forwards on. A tremendous try by James Mulligan under the posts saw Gorey back to 27-24.
Straight from the kick-off and with minutes left on the clock, Gorey threw the kitchen sink at Clon, and when Seán Carty went over in the corner, a full season of frustration finally lifted off the Gorey J2s. The final score was 29-27.
Gorey had some good performances in the backs with Killian Breen, Conor Hatton and Shane Rafferty the pick. James Mulligan, Niall Cousins and man of the match Eddie Horan were excellent in the forwards.
Coaches Lloyd Furlong and Phil Swaine were delighted with the result and know that there is a lot more in this team.
Team: T. Tomkins, Z. Sinnott, J. Mulligan, J. Fanning, C. Kinsella, N. Cousins, E. Horan, C. French, C. Furney, A. O'Brien, S. Rafferty, K. Breen, S. Carty, B. Brooks, C. Hatton, W. O Morchoe, A. Masterson, S. Hayden, B. Horan, N. Rothwell.
Gorey played Portlaoise in near-perfect conditions in Kilkenny on Saturday in the Leinster Under-17 league semi-final.
We have all heard the cliché 'it was a game to two halves', and this game certainly was. Portlaoise had a more powerful pack and they certainly made the most of it, running in a try in the opening five minutes.
Portlaoise continued to dominated the first-half with Gorey playing on the back foot. Gorey dug in deep and never gave up, with strong play from Eoin Buckley, Shane Stokes and James Lawlor, and they were rewarded with a try from winger, Joe Naughton, leaving a half-time score of 21-5 for Portlaoise.
Portlaoise started the second-half with the same gusto as the first and scored a very soft try from the kick-off, leaving Gorey trailing 26-5. With a never-say-die attitude and with pure teamwork, Gorey continued to play attacking rugby and started to get more ball out to the back line with great plays from Henry Kennedy and Seán Wafer.
In a Roy of the Rovers style there was a sudden turnaround in the game, with tries from Gorey's hooker Liam Molloy, winger Connor O'Toole, flanker Ryan Gibney and out-half Henry Kennedy, with Killian Pierce getting an all-important conversion to leave Gorey winning by two points (31-29).
Gorey will now play Dundalk in the final in Donnybrook on April 2.
Team: Liam Molloy, Flynn Donnelly, Cameron Reynolds, Seán Wafer, Dylan Sawyer, Frank Kavanagh, James Lawlor, Henry Kennedy, Tadgh O'Neill, Jack Ryan, Seán Newens, Dylan Slater, P.J. Barnes, Andy Kinsella, Cian Sullivan, Connor O'Toole, Ryan Gibney, Cillian Tomkins, Carl Clark, Joe Naughton, Killian Pierce, Eoin Buckley, Shane Stokes, Donough McGivern.
At the second time of trying, the Under-13s from Gorey and Wexford got to play their second round cup tie in Clonattin on Saturday.
Gorey got stuck in to the visitors right from the off and never gave them any chance to settle. The second-half went the same way and the lads emerged as very convincing winners. The win sees them go through to take on Naas in a few weeks' time.
Team: J. Curley, D. Fitzpatrick, E. Byrne, E. McCrea, A. Cleary, G. Hadden, K. Byrne, E. Stephens, J. Higgins, J. Milne, R. Cleary, L. Cushe, M. Kruczek. B. Cushe, S. O'Hagan, A. McNeill, R. Tubritt, S. Sawyer, P. Kinsella, O. McDwyer, T. Baxter, C. Byrne, S. Murphy, D. Wadding.
For the second week in succession, Enniscorthy's first-choice eleven scored four goals - and secured all three points - following a 4-1 win over St. James' Gate on Saturday.
Donal Doyle's side entered the contest mindful of the previous league meeting between the sides, when the Dubliners emerged with a 1-0 win when the Wexford men arguably deserved victory.
The opening five minutes of Saturday's contest showed that the outcome this time would be decidedly different.
Forward Edmundas Liuikimas was making life difficult for the 'Gate defence from the off, forcing two penalty corners before linking up with Liam Jowett, who fired the home side ahead inside ten minutes.
Despite this bright start, and being well ahead in the possession stakes, Enniscorthy were unable to take further advantage in the first-half. There were some encouraging signs, however, as Andrew Rothwell made a series of sweeping moves from deep in the heart of the defence, linking up well with Clive Rothwell, while David Simmons in midfield was a constant threat to the visitors, pressing forward at every opportunity.
The second-half saw the Cathedral town side exert ever-increasing pressure on the visiting side, and this time they got their just reward. Daithí Medcalf doubled the lead with an impressive strike after acting as first receiver from a penalty corner, while the points were secured a few minutes later when Maguire and Costello picked the pockets of a 'Gate defender, and Costello then surged into the semi-circle to fire over the advancing 'keeper.
The Dublin side then went through a purple patch of their own, securing a flurry of penalty corners, through which 'Gate pegged a goal back, but just over ten minutes later Maguire restored Enniscorthy's three-goal cushion when he scored after finding himself in a one-on-one with the 'Gate goalkeeper.
Enniscorthy's win secures their status in Division 5 for next season with three matches to go.
They do not intend on sitting on these particular laurels though, with captain Graham Hill demanding of his players that they treat each one like a cup final.
Next up for Enniscorthy is a trip to Rathgar on Saturday in what promises to be another intriguing encounter.
Enniscorthy: Graham Hill, Andrew Rothwell, Clive Rothwell, Keith Ogilvie, Martyn Veitch, Glenn Chapman, David Simmonds, Daithí Medcalf, Liam Jowett, Edmundas Liuikimas, Roy Chapman, Niall Maguire, Kieran Costello.
Having not had a game for almost three weeks, the Enniscorthy men's seconds were chomping at the bit to get going in their encounter with Y.M.C.A. last Saturday, and they did not disappoint.
However, the Slaneysiders left it to the death to score the winning and only goal of the game in the Astro Active Centre, Bellefield.
Revved up and ready to go, the Enniscorthy side started the stronger with early attacks down both wings from William Durnan and Ciarán O'Leary, but the experienced defence of Y.M.C.A. dealt with the pressure.
Although it wasn't all Enniscorthy's in the early stages as the young attack of the visitors was causing some issues, but, similar to Y.M.C.A., the home side defenders David Mulligan, Mick Jordan, P.J. Pierce and Ivan Rothwell were capable of dealing with them.
Attacks for the Wexford men started right from defence with clearances being well-worked up the right-hand side of the pitch through right-back Mulligan who was able to find his right midfield team-mate, Jonathon Rothwell.
Jonathon along with centre midfielder Alan Smith caused the visitors some headaches as they combined extremely well together and forced Y.M.C.A. to defend deep but still to no avail. Enniscorthy gained a number of short corners in the first-half but no matter what they tried the home side couldn't sneak the ball into the back of the net.
Half-time came and coaches Fraser Rothwell and Donal Doyle knew that the game was there for the taking and brought on fresh legs in Andrew Rothwell and Niall Maguire.
Once Andrew came on the home side's defensive line included three Rothwells, brothers Jonathon and Ivan and cousin Andrew, while a further connection was 'keeper Luke Doyle as he is a cousin of the Rothwell brothers.
The second-half continued similar to the first with both sides getting their chances but strong defence and some quality saves from the Y.M.C.A. goalkeeper and from Luke Doyle in the Enniscorthy goal keep things even.
For Enniscorthy, Eamon Sweeney, Jacob English and Niall Maguire had some great goalscoring attempts saved by the young shot-stopper from Dublin.
The south-east men spread the ball well around the pitch throughout, with Jack Redmond and William Durnan linking well on the left side and helping Enniscorthy to earn a number of short corners in the second-half, which were beginning to look like they were going to be the basis of what would separate the teams.
Enniscorthy gained a short corner and on the first attempt didn't score but instead gained another.
What made this more interesting was the fact that at this time the clock had gone red and the umpire had blown his final whistle, which meant that this short corner was going to be the final play of the game.
With this, the full Enniscorthy squad came up for the corner. Jonathon injected the ball into the Y.M.C.A. circle to Mick.
The Y.M.C.A. defence was out quick to put pressure on but he passed the ball to Andrew who took the shot, which was met by Ciarán O'Leary who perfectly deflected the ball past the Y.M.C.A. goalkeeper and into the back of the net.
This goal from Ciarán meant the game finished 1-0 to the Wexford men to the delight of the home supporters and of course the players.
With spirits high in the Enniscorthy squad, they will be looking forward to their next game against Pembroke Wanders this coming Saturday.
Enniscorthy: Luke Doyle, Ivan Rothwell, P.J. Pierce, Mick Jordan, David Mulligan, Jonathon Rothwell, Alan Smith, Jack Redmond, Eamon Sweeney, William Durnan, Ciarán O'Leary, Jacob English, David Medcalf, Andrew Rothwell, Daithí Medcalf, Niall Maguire. Coach: Fraser Rothwell.
Enniscorthy's Under-14s secured the club's first-ever boys' title with a resounding 7-0 victory over Newbridge at the Astro Active Centre on Sunday.
Kai Gahan's side went into their final match of the Leinster 'B' division unbeaten, knowing a win or a draw would suffice to secure league victory. Her charges took control of the contest early on, with Charlie Dunne opening the scoring with a reverse stick shot after just three minutes after good work by Pearse Rogan and Ronan O'Leary.
Five minutes later the lead was doubled as Rogan and O'Leary combined to make the scoreline 2-0 in favour of the home side, and despite dominating possession the Enniscorthy men were unable to extend their lead before the interval.
The second-half was one-way traffic as the hosts upped the pressure on the Newbridge goal. Seb Rynhart made it 3-0 after intercepting a wayward pass out of defence before netting following a one-on-one with the Newbridge goalkeeper.
He grabbed his second on 35 minutes when Dunne brought the ball into the semi-circle, passing dangerously close to the goal, and Rynhart made the most of the opportunity.
Dunne produced a near carbon-copy of his first goal on 37 minutes to put four goals between the sides, and Rogan bagged his second three minutes later from a penalty corner.
Rynhart claimed the short corner after deflecting the ball off a Newbridge foot; Rogan received the push-back and hammered the ball into the backboard.
The seventh arrived via a piece of magic from Gavin Cousins. Rogan in possession passed the ball to the edge of the semi-circle, where it was received by Cousins; his single touch nudged the ball over two Newbridge sticks into the path of Rynhart, who shot into the bottom right.
While the goalscorers could justifiably claim the limelight, Sunday's success was based on a strong performance throughout the squad. Goalkeeper and captain Glenn Rothwell was left with little to do as his defenders - Andrew Stewart, Jack Doran, Harry Somers, Ronan O'Leary, Samuel Veitch and Rynhart - worked tirelessly to keep Newbridge at bay.
In midfield the aggression of Gavin Cousins was instrumental in unsettling the visitors, who also had to contend with the skill of Rogan and the industry of Alex Symes and John Sutton.
Up front Evan Jacob worked tirelessly all afternoon, seeking out his team-mates with a flurry of crosses from the right, and Leo Durnan and Conor O'Brien battled hard to prevent Newbridge clearing their lines.
After their fine league win, cup action beckons for Enniscorthy, who host Dublin giants Monkstown (competing in the upper reaches of the Leinster 'A' division) on March 20 in what promises to be a challenging encounter.
Enniscorthy: G. Rothwell, S. Rynhart, A. Stewart, J. Doran, H. Somers, R. O'Leary, G. Cousins, S. Veitch, J. Sutton, E. Jacob, C. Dunne, C. O'Brien, L. Durnan, A. Symes, P. Rogan.