ONE of the great Irish novels was first printed in 1879 and this was “Knocknagow” by Charles Kickham.
One of the main features in this book was the hammer throwing contest between the local Captain and Matt the Thrasher.
To win this contest Matt got his inspiration from looking at his native place and quoted those immortal words “For the honour and Glory of the little Village”.
In the Badminton context, these famous words could also be attributed to the members of the Moyvane Badminton Club after their amazing, unbelievable achievement of being named the all Ireland Badminton Club of the year for 2016 on Saturday night last, and no doubt, on their arrival home on Sunday evening from the Hilton Airport Hotel in Dublin, those words of Matt the Thrasher sunk deep into the hearts and souls of every Moyvane player and mentor as they drove into their native village.
When one considers there are 400 clubs affiliated to Badminton Ireland, and for a small rural club like Moyvane with a population of under one thousand people to achieve such an accolade is like a fairytale, but fairytales do come true.
There was a huge turnout in Dublin on Saturday last for the Badminton Ireland Awards night and the event was compered by Mr. Con Murphy of R.T.E. In his address Mr. Murphy remarked that the only thing he knew about Moyvane was that the former Irish Soccer manager, Mr. Eoin Hand had settled down there.
The other 2 clubs in contention for the award were Oranmore of Galway and the Fair Play Club of Dublin and the many Moyvane members present went ecstatic when their club was announced as the overall winner with the trophy being presented by Badminton Ireland President Mrs. Betty Thompson of Cork.
The beginnings of Moyvane Badminton is indeed a humble story. It started with the juveniles in the old Marian Hall under the tutelage of people like Madge Groarke and William Flaherty.
Due to the low ceiling in this hall it was not deemed suitable for adult play. The new Community Centre opened in 1984 and people such as Anna Marie Corridan and Pat Flaherty decided to try and commence badminton but there was no money available.
The first sponsorship they got was from local publican Eileen Mulvihill at Brosnan’s Bar who purchased their first net for them .Indeed , many meetings were held in Brosnan’s later on and Eileen always provided tea and sandwiches for them at no cost.
On the October Monday Bank Holiday the same year after purchasing a few tins of paint the centre was lined out for Badminton after Anna Marie, who became the first club secretary, and Pat first visited the Listowel Hall to get the proper court measurements.
Fund raising was arranged at Christmas and a second net was purchased.
Such was the modest beginnings of the current Moyvane Badminton Club.
No doubt but rural areas like Moyvane can bond that bit more than the urban areas when they wish to realise a dream and over the years since, Moyvane have been blessed with many willing workers like their current officers such as Michael Corridan, Chairman; Eileen Roche, secretary and Carmel Hudson, Treasurer, but one of the real secrets of the Moyvane success story is the willingness and dedication of their players.
Since they captured their first league title at division 5 in 1993 the Moyvane club have come a long way but one wonders did they ever envisage in their wildest dreams that on a Saturday night in Dublin in the year of 2016 that they would be crowned the All Ireland Club of the Year. Dreams, like fairytales, do come true.
Munster Juvenile C/ships
The Munster close under 11/15 Badminton championships took place at the U.L., arena, Limerick on Saturday last but there was no outright joy for the Kerry competitors.
Moyvane’s Christopher O’Donoghue did very well to battle his way to both the boys doubles and the mixed doubles finals.
In the boys doubles final Christopher teamed up with John O’Sullivan of Cork but they went down in two sets to a Cork pairing by 15-7; 17-11.
In the mixed decider Christopher was partnered with Lucy Fox of Waterford. They captured the first set by 15-12 and went so near in set number two before going down by the narrowest of margins 14-15 and lost the third set by 15-11.
The New Year;
Kerry Badminton will commence in 2017 with the ladies and mens league finals in the Presentation Gym, Tralee on Wed. January 11th to commence at 8 pm.
The following day, January 12th ill be a busy day in the Killarney Sports Centre where the Kerry Schools finals will be played off.
That weekend will see the the annual Listowel tournaments take place with the division 1& 2 competitions plus the Masters,over 45, on the Saturday and on Sunday it will be the turn of Kerry divisions 3,4 and 5.
Entry forms have been sent out to all club secretaries.
To all players and mentors in Kerry Badminton, have a Happy Christmas and an enjoyable New Year; and your resolution for 2017; do check your fixture lists and play as much Badminton as possible