Senior: Division 5 hosted Division 3 as Churchill entertained Ballydonoghue in the opening round of the Junior Premier Championship on Monday afternoon.
The visitors were first to settle and raced into a 5 point lead with scores from Jack Foley (2), Dara Sheehy (2) and Brian Mason. It was the 19th minute before Churchill got off the mark, Ivan Parker firing a penalty over the bar having been fouled himself in the area.
From the goal kick Jason Foley burst up the field for Ballydonoghue and fed Brian Cremin who fired to the net to put Bally ahead 1-05 to 0-01. Things were looking ominous for Churchill, before Killian Fitzgerald scored a point and then JJ Prior was fouled after bursting into the box for a second penalty.
Killian Fitzgerald took over kicking duties and fired to the net to keep the hosts in touch. Ballydonoghue bounced right back and scored the next two points through Cremin and Sheehy, but Churchill scored the last point of the half through a Michael O’Brien free after the immense Killian Fitzgerald had been fouled to trail by 4 points, 1-03 to 1-07.
Churchill burst out of the blocks on the resumption and scored 6 points on the trot, the picks being two Ivan Parker points from distance. In between, the Churchill keeper, Eoghan O’Brien, saved a penalty from Dara Sheehy, touching his shot onto the post.
Ballydonoghue rallied and equalized through a Sheehy free and an outstanding score from Jim Cremin before the defining score of the game. Ivan Parker won a high ball in mid field and fed the marauding JJ Prior, who showed great pace to break through on goal and fired to the back of the net to put the hosts three ahead.
Fitzgerald and Sheehy traded points to leave a goal between the teams heading into the final moments. Ballydonoghue had a 14m free at the death, but with 15 players on the line they were unable to get the goal that they needed.
In the end Churchill ran out deserving winners by 2-10 to 1-10. Jason Foley and Jack Foley were best for the visitors, while Ivan Parker and JJ Prior played well for Churchill, but it was Churchill’s Killian Fitzgerald who really stood out and gets my nod for man of the match.
Churchill’s reward for this victory is a trip to Na Gaeil in the quarter final. That game takes place on Saturday 29th April with a 6:30 throw-in in Kileen.
Strictly Come Dancing: With less than two weeks to our Churchill GAA Strictly Come Dancing Fundraiser (April 30) preparations are at an advanced stage and the dancers are being put through their paces by our choreographer Jackie. Tickets have long sold out for this event and those lucky enough to have tickets are in for a great nights entertainment. Follow us on Facebook for more updates as we approach the big night. This is an over 18’s event.
U16: Our U16 team hosted Na Gael in the new pitch, Churchill, Monday night, 16th April. This was our second in the Central League. In a very close and exciting first half, Churchill were leading at half time by two points. Leaving the score Churchill 2-4 Na Gaeil 1-5.
This trend continued into the second half, with very little separating the teams at any stage. In an exciting finish to the game Na Gaeil came out on top, to win the game by two points. The final score Na Gaeil 1-13, Churchill 3-5. Great credit must go to both sides who played some excellent football in a very sporting game. This young Churchill team played with great spirit and determination.
Our U16 put in a brave display away to top of the table Laune Rangers on Easter Monday evening. Due to holidays and injuries we arrived with a smaller squad than usual with only 17 available. Despite this the team played admirable and skillfully and went in a t the break very much in the game only 3pts behind.
In the end the game was decided by goal chances. Churchill missed 4 goal opportunities including a penalty whereas Laune Ranges converted all of theirs. This afforded them to run out convincing winners although the scoreline of 6-18 to 2-10 was probably a bit flattering considering how much Churchill were in the game.
The team plan a break and will resume training next week with details communicated through the mentors.
U14: We travelled to Castleisland to play the Desmonds last Wednesday evening. They got off to a great start to record 3 points before a Tommy Burns goal levelled the match and scores from Darragh O’Sullivan and Conor Brick (2) gave us a lead that Desmonds pulled back with 4 in a row to lead 0-7 to 1-3 at half time.
Several outstanding saves again this week from captain Paddy O’Sullivan kept Desmonds at bay and strong performances from Niall Cassidy and Eoghan Walsh in defence. In an end to end battle in the second half, Cian Kearney and Darragh O Sullivan popped over 2 nice points each alongside score from Conor Brick (2-1) and Tommy Burns (1-1).
Desmonds replied with a series of goals from their centre forward but Churchill finished strongly with a well taken Ruairi Burns goal to see out the win on a scoreline of 5-10 to 4-8. Paddy Walsh and Cian Kearney worked tirelessly in midfield, Eddie McCarthy put in a trojan effort at centre-back while under the weather and James Kelly made several late interventions to stop Desmonds attacks.
Our play and teamwork is sharpening up and we look forward to the rest of the league. Next up for Churchill after our Easter Break is training this Friday and next monday to prepare for our trip to Gneeviguila on Wednesday Evening.
U12: A team. Churchill 4-10 Moyvane 5-16. Our under 12 team came up short on round 2 of the county league on Monday night. Short a few regulars, we played with 3 under 11’s, Hugh, Billy and Josh who more than led by example.
Another man of the match performance by David Chute in goal kept us in the game throughout. Down a point at half time, 2-05 to 2-06, we were slow out of the blocks for the second half but recovered well.
However, we left ourselves with too much to do in the closing quarter and ultimately came up short. No doubt we will be back to winning ways with the positive finish to both halves which we must build on. Best on the night were David Chute, Hugh Lenihan, Daragh Gurney, John Joe Hanafin, and Billy Doyle.
U12B: On a beautiful sunny evening in Moyvane our B team was far too strong for Moyvane. Ronan Kelly scored at will in the first 15 minutes and helped create a commanding lead. Daithi’s kick outs were spot on and with Gearoid, Art & Ryan keeping the Moyvane forwards in check we had a sizeable lead at halftime.
Maurice and Mark dominated midfield and with Ronan,Dara and Josh keeping the scoreboard tipping over we finished up comfortable winners 5-17 to 1-4. Training continues on Tuesdays in the Spa pitch at 7.15.
U12 Ladies: Churchill Ladies U12’s took on Ballymac last Friday evening in the North Kerry League in what proved to be a very entertaining game. Churchill dominated the first half but missed a number of scorable chances.
Ballymac scored a goal against the run of play to leave the sides level at half time. In the second half Churchill scored some excellent points from play only to see their efforts cancelled out with another Ballymac goal.
Both sides at this stage were scoring points in response to each other & it was only when Ballymac scored a goal from a 45 that this separated the sides at the end. Final score: Ballymac 3-09, Chruchill 2-10.
There was no academy training this Easter Sunday but training will resume as normal next Sunday at 11PM in the old field in the Spa. On Wednesday, 19th April our U8 will take part in an Easter Go-Game Blitz in John Mitchell’s. Players are asked to be present at 2:45.
On Thursday our U10 will also take part in an Easter Go-Game Blitz in John Mitchell’s and are asked to be present from 2:30.