Our Under 14 hurlers made their maiden voyage in the Feile na nGael competition on Sunday morning when they travelled to Athlacca to take on Dromin Athlacca Banogue in Rd 1.
Under the stewardship of Feile na Gael winner Paul Beary who no doubt was reminding his troops of their duties on the day.
The early exchanges were nip and tuck with the teams trading scores.Josh Sheehan showing his excellent striking kills knocking over a couple of beauties in that half along with his brother Ben in goals whose puckouts were excellent.
It was over mid way through the first half before we finally had a little breathing space .
Two quickfire goals from Adam Jordan and Vince Harrington had us in a commanding position at the break on a 2-5 to 0-3 scoreline.
The second half followed a similiar trend with very little between the teams and again our lads fought hard and bravely.
A good opening day contest with tougher games ahead for the lads who all aquitted themselves well.
Final Score Na Piarsaigh 2-8 Dromin Athlacca Banogue 0-5
Team: Ben Sheehan, Matthew McGann, Rory Hehir, Sam Jordan, Cormac Benson, Jim Beary, Killian McNamara, Wayne Kearns, Gerard O Tiarnaigh, James Naughton, Vince Harrington, James Finn, Adam Jordan, Josh Sheehan, Andrew Stack. Subs: John O Tiarnaigh, James Linnane, Conor Hourigan, Jack Wall/
We now set up a semi final in 2 weeks time v Monaleen.
What an incredible journey this Senior hurling team have brought us on and Saturday was definately no different.
We travelled on mass to Parnell Park on Saturday with 5 buses departing Pairc Ui Dromguil along with a host of people travelling by car and a few by rail.
The bookies making us the warmest of favourites to see off the Derry and Ulster champions Slaughniel.
We arrived at our hosts destination St Vincents GAA Club, home of founding Chairman Noel Dromgoole where refreshments were a plenty.
As the crowd made its way across to Parnell Park there was an air of expectancy and one which maybe creeped into the camp as the first half progressed.
We also had the lack of game time for some of those returning from injury and ace forward Shane Dowling having to settle for a start on the bench having missed action since the County Final.
We began tentatively and it was evident that Slaughniel were not just here to make up the numbers.
Hard hits were the order of the day with no quarter given.
Ronan Lynch was on song from placed balls and he kept the scoreboard ticking along nicely.
Mid way through the half and Slaughniel hit the front when they converted a penalty following a rash Mike Casey challenge.
A quick response was needed and Conor Boylan duly obliged when he rounded his man to crash the ball to the net.Game on.
A second Slaughniel goal soon followed and now alarm bells began to ring.Once again Ronan Lynch kept us in touch and we trailed at the break by a goal 2-6 to 1-6 when quite frankly it could have been a whole lot worse.
The hum of conversation was to be heard around the ground as the Ulster champions looked the stronger team showing all the desire.
Management showed reaction to the poor first half by springing Shane Dowling from the bench and his first start since Octobers County Final.
Ronan Lynch continued where he left off closing the gap to a solitary point before the first of many talking points and a straight red card to Conor Boylan following a direct altercation with his opposite number.
Undeterred by this Peter Casey fired over the levelling point 2-6 to 1-9.
However disaster struck again and a second red card this time to Thomas Grimes for an off the ball incident.
Backs against the wall and down to 13 men we continued to do all the hurling.
A long direct puck out from Podge Kennedy was plucked from the Marino sky by Shane Dowling who sent Kevin Downes though on goal with a sublime pass as Kevin rattled the net to stretch our lead to 5 points 2-11 to 2-6.
The team were now showing true form and displayed all the top qualities which made them Munster and All Ireland Champions.
Slaughniel finally got on the board with a point but what happened next was pure class.
A long raking delivery from Alan Dempsey was kept in play by Kevin Downes but as the Slaughniel keeper attempted to launch another attack Shane Dowling blocked him and then lifted the ball over the defender before volleying to the net. Utter brilliance from Shane.
A third Slaughniel goal was registered near the finish but it was Ronan Lynch who had ther final few points to seal a memorable victory against all the odds.
Best performers if to name a few were Mike Casey and Niall Buckley who led the line particularily in the second half along with Shane Dowling and man of the match Ronan Lynch
Final score Na Piarsaigh 3-15 Slaughniel 3-8
Team: Podge Kennedy, Jerome Boylan, Mike Casey, Niall Buckley, Alan Dempsey, Cathall King (capt), Tommy Grimes, Ronan Lynch(0-14, 11f), Will O Donoghue, Adrian Breen, David Breen, David Dempsey, Conor Boylan(1-0), Kevin Downes(1-0), Peter Casey(0-1)., Subs: Shane Dowling(1-0), Kevin Ryan, Gordon Brown, Kieran Kennedy.
A huge thank you to the supporters on the day who were magnificent.
We look forward to seeing you all on St Patricks Day.
A huge Happy birthday wish to former Chairman Con Horan who celebrated his 80th year yesterday.
Many more Con!!!
Congratulations to Emma and Paul McNamara on the birth of their first child.
A healthy baby boy named Séadna.
Very best wishes for a future filled with love, happiness, and laughter with your new baby
Wishing all our players, supporters, sponsors,families and friends both home and abroad the very best wishes for the new year ahead.