Aodh Ruadh host very successful U12 Aodh O Dalaigh Tournament

Aodh Ruadh Hurling committee hosted the Annual Aodh O Dalaigh under 12 Hurling Tournament in ideal conditions in Father Tierney Park on Sunday last. Eight teams took part in this tournament namely:- Four Masters, Saint Eunan's, Coolera/Strandhill of Sligo, Knocks of Fermanagh, Lisbellaw A and B of Fermanagh and Aodh Ruadh A and B.

In all, over 100 young hurlers took part in this event. Play began at 11am and after an early shower of rain, it cleared to become a beautiful day. In all, 12 very competitive games took place with Knocks winning the Primary League and host club Aodh Ruadh, winning the tournament and claiming the Aodh O Dalaigh Sheild.

Aodh Ruadh beat Coolera/Strandhill and Four Masters in the group games building up a mouth watering final with Fermanagh County Champions - Lisbellaw. The final group game was a very close affair between Four Masters and Coolera/ Strandhill with the Donegal Town boys coming out on top.

In the Primary League Group Knocks qualified to play Saint Eunans, each of whom had wins over Aodh Ruadh and Lisbellaw B Teams. The scene was now set for the two finals. In the Primary League final Knocks overcame a very stiff challenge from Saint Eunan's and won easily in the end. Finally, we reached the highlight of the day the Aodh O Dalaigh between Lisbellaw and Aodh Ruadh. These teams had played a number of very competitive challenge games throughout the summer. The first half was a very close affair with lots of skill and passion being shown by both teams resulting in the half time score being level at Lisbellaw 2-1, Aodh Ruadh 1-4. The large crowd at the final were treated to a magnificent second half by the home team where their hunger, skill and fitness came to the fore running out easy winners in a great all round team performance - Aodh Ruadh 7-7 to Lisbellaw 3-2.

There were jubilant scenes at the final whistle for this young team who put in a tremendous effort all year. The players and management immediately dedicated this victory to Billy Finn who was sadly missed on the day due to illness.

After the excitement on the playing fields the large crowd adjourned to Arás Aodh Ruadh for the presentation and refreshments. A crowd of over 200 were catered for by the mothers of the Aodh Ruadh players. Organiser, John Rooney, began proceedings by thanking all the visiting clubs for coming to the tournament, he thanked all the mentors of each club and pointed out the importance of the mentors and the efforts they make for all the young players. He spoke of two great hurling men Liam Emmery of Letterkenny Gaels and Aodh Ruadh's Mr Hurling, Billy Finn, who were absent due to illness and sent the best wishes of everybody to them. He went on then to thank the Aodh Ruadh players' mothers without whom he assured everyone there would be no underage hurling in Ballyshannon. He thanked them for having the boys up every Sunday for training and for all their help with catering all year for various club blitzes. He also urged all the young players never to forget the efforts made by their mothers in having their gear ready for them all year.

He thanked all the referees on the day and spoke of the need to respect referees and thanked all the players for their good behaviour all day. The referees were David Downey, Kevin Loughlin, Kevin McDermott, Anthony Ryan and Des Cosgrove. He also thanked umpires Michael Ayres, Thomas Anderson and Conor McNeely and everyone who helped in any way.

John called on Breege Daly representing the Daly family to present the days awards, in introducing her, he spoke of the great contribution made to Donegal GAA by her late father Hugh Daly in whose honour the tournament is held, and the continuing contribution being made to the GAA and hurling in particular by her brother Tom, Ulster Council President who was unavoidably absent.

Breege began by thanking the organisers of the tournament; she especially thanked Billy Finn, Peter Horan and John Rooney for all their efforts in keeping hurling alive with the young hurlers in the club. She also sent her best wishes to Billy Finn. She then said the parents of the young Aodh Ruadh Hurlers had a presentation to make to Billy, Peter and John and called on Mary Anderson to make this presentation. Mary thanked the three lads for all they did for the young hurlers throughout the year.

Breege then presented the Primary Shield to the Knocks manager and medals to each member of the team. She then presented runners up medals to the Lisbellaw captain Eoghan Duffy and all his squad.

Before the presentation of the Aodh O Dalaigh Shield to the victorious Aodh Ruadh team John Rooney praised the effort of this team and especially thanked Peter Horan the manager for all his work with the team, Peter never once missed a training session all year and was, he said, an inspiration to them. He also thanked Billy Finn, Eddie Lynch and Chris Kelly for their help. To loud cheers Breege Daly presented the trophy to captain Eugene Drummond, Peter Horan presented a medal to each of his victorious squad of 25 players.

There were thanks also to the sponsors Paul Gillespie at C&C, Gerry Lally at BWG Foods and Maurice McLaughlin at the Max Bar.

John Rooney wound up proceedings by thanking Aodh Ruadh Park Committee for use of the grounds, Sylvester Maguire and Aodh Ruadh Senior Football team for playing their game on the Saturday night, Pat Melaniff for all his help, Breege and the Daly family and everyone else who helped in any way. He wished everyone a safe trip home and looked forward to seeing everyone in 2009!

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Aodh Ruadh under 10s took part in an Ulster Council blitz in Strabane on 13th September with manager John Rooney and selectors Billy Finn and Peter Horan.

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Midfield action from Aodh Ruadh v Saint Eunan's under 10s.

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Action from the under 8s gamee against Letterkenny Gaels.

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Aodh Ruadh under 8s on the attack v Letterkenny Gaels in Letterkenny on 19th September.

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Aodh Ruadh under 8 hurlers who beat Letterkenny Gaels on 19th September with manager John Rooney.

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View from Aras Aoidh Ruaidh of the action at the Aodh O Dalaigh Tournament.

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Aodh Ruadh B team who took part in the Aodh O Dalaigh Tournament with manager John Rooney and Breege Daly.

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The Lisbellaw team beaten in the final of the Aodh O Dalaigh with manager Dermot Cleary.

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Action for the Aodh Ruadh v Lisbellaw Aodh O Dalaigh final.

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The victorious Aodh Ruadh team leaving the pitch.

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Winners of the Aodh O Dalaigh shield, Aodh Ruadh, with manager Peter Horan and selector John Rooney.

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John Rooney, organiser, and Peter Horan, under 12 manager address the crowd.

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Section of the crowd in Aras Aoidh Ruaidh at the Aodh O Dalaigh tournament.

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Breege Daly addressing the gathering.

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Breege Daly presents runner up medals to Eoghan Duffy, the Lisbellaw captain.

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Breege Daly presenting the Aodh O Dalaigh Shield to Eugene Drummond, the Aodh Ruadh captain with team manager, Peter Horan.

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Mary Anderson making a presentation to Peter Horan and John Rooney on behalf of parents.

Report Filed: 30 September 2008