Feile Finals 2012 - Passion And Pride
Last weekend was the long awaited start of the 2012 football finals which were held this year in Laois/Offaly. The team and mentors departed on Friday morning with the good wishes of all of Ballincollig. The St. Broughan's club was the venue for the first games and were also our hosts for the players and what an excellent job they did. Nothing was spared and the team enjoyed their few days and got to meet new friends which hopefully will continue with a visit to Ballincollig later in the year.
The games were 15 minutes a side for the preliminary rounds and our
first game was versus St. Broughan's on Friday afternoon, a game played
in very blustery conditions with a strong wind blowing down the pitch
towards the scoreboard. This game was very exciting and with less than a
minute remaining was level at 1-6 each. St Broughan's scored the
winning point with the last kick of the game to record a 1 point win.
Saturday morning saw the Ballincollig support arriving steadily from 10.15 am onwards and the first game was versus Edenderry with the wind still very strong. Ballincollig raced out of the traps and soon had 3 fast goals scored against the wind. The goals came fast and points were added to come out convincing winners 9-10 to 0-0.
Back on track with a spring in their step they faced Moortown from County Tyrone who had looked very impressive earlier in the day. Ballincollig worked tremendously hard in this game and it was probably their best ever performance this year so far with some great commitment, teamwork, and above all sheer guts and determination. When the game was at boiling point it was Ballincollig who wanted it more and stood up and took it with both hands winning on a score line of 1-6 to 0-4.
The two results secured their place in the semi finals which were played 20km away in Portarlington's club, Gracefield and the green army headed off to continue this incredible journey. Portlaoise were the opponents and the wind was a big factor here also, blowing from end to end. The Ballincollig lads again fought hard against the wind and were 4 points behind at the short whistle. The Portlaoise side were very big, physical and were hard to dispossess and the huge effort of the earlier game slowly wore them down and at the end, lost out on a score line of 0-8 to 0-4.
The team were gutted after the game and our hearts went out to them, these proud young men who nearly a decade earlier started off as small boys with Ballincollig Youth Development. The support from Ballincollig was incredible and this helped the team on their walk to the dressing rooms with their heads held high.
What value this team has given us this year and in previous years. We can look forward to the dark winter evenings with bright memories of the great battles this team had in this competition and let our nails grow a bit again.
On behalf of Ballincollig GAA Juvenile/Youth Development section I would like to sincerely thank all the players who conducted themselves admirably and played each game with great passion. Our club can be proud of each and every one of them. Thanks to all the parents who cheered on the team and were waving their banners and cheering to welcome home the heroes. Thanks to all the supporters who went to the games. The management team of Brendan, Jer, John, David, John, Neill and Ger what a job you all have done with this group, great credit is due to all. Finally thanks to Paddy and Eleanor for your great help.
Liam O'Cathasaigh, Rúnaí