Aodh Ruadh host successful Alan Ryan - Seamus Grimes tournament
Under 16 Hurling
On Monday Aodh Ruadh hosted the annual Alan Ryan / Seamus Grimes under 16 tournament. This tournament has been in existence since 1998 and it is fair to say that this year's tournament attracted the best collection of teams yet. The following teams took part McQuillan's Ballycastle of Antrim, Kevin Lynch's Dungiven from Derry, Eire Óg Carrickmore of Tyrone, Coolera/Strandhill from Sligo, Moytura of Mayo, Tuam from Galway and host club Aodh Ruadh. Conditions were difficult with heavy rain throughout the day, the draw threw up two groups. One based in Father Tierney park and the other in Páirc Aoidh Ruaidh.
In the opening games of the day Ballycastle played Tuam in the Park and Aodh Ruadh played Coolera/Strandhill in Páirc Aoidh Ruaidh. The famed Antrim team ran out convincing winners and the host club easily defeated Coolera / Strandhill, but were not very impressive in doing so.
The next set of games had two of Ulster's top under 16 teams, Kevin Lynch's and Ballycastle, in opposition in the Park, while across the road Moytura from south Mayo faced the famed Carrickmore. The Mayo men ran out easy winners while Kevin Lynch's came out on top against Ballycastle in a tempestuous affair. The next set of games were very important for the final group placings, in Páirc Aoidh Ruaidh Aodh Ruadh faced Carrickmore while in the Park Tuam played Kevin Lynch's. After a poor first half Aodh Ruadh upped their performance in the second and ran out convincing winners against the Tyrone men. Meanwhile in Father Tierney Park Tuam and Kevin Lynch's put on a great show and the Derry men won after a very close game and as a result topped group one.
The scene was now set for the final round of games. In group two with Aodh Ruadh facing Moytura and Coolera / Strandhill facing Carrickmore in Páirc Aoidh Ruaidh. Aodh Ruadh missed a number of chances to put away the Mayo men, and due to poor finishing and a spirited Mayo team Aodh Ruadh found them themselves two points down with seconds remaining on the clock they played the ball up the field and with only a goal on their mind they got it with the last puc of the game to beat the Mayo men by a point. It was tough on the Mayo men who fought so well to put themselves in a winning position, but for the first time that day the Aodh Ruadh men showed their renowned never say die attitude to get the goal at the end, and by doing so top group two.
Meanwhile over in Páirc Aoidh Ruaidh the Tyrone men ran out easy winners against the Yeats men.
The stage was now set for the Alan Ryan semi-finals. First up were Kevin Lynch's against Moytura, this is a very talented Mayo team with a great attitude to the game of hurling. They contested every ball with the Derry men and there was only two points in it at the end. Over in Páirc Aoidh Ruaidh the Seamus Grimes final was played between Tuam and Carrickmore, and the men from the West saved their best performance till last and much to the joy of their large travelling support they ran out easy winners to add another new name to the list of winners of the Seamus Grimes memorial trophy.
Over in Father Tierney Park Aodh Ruadh were facing Ballycastle, both teams were evenly matched in the first half, but in the second half the local lads began to pick off long range points and they ran out winners by six points. The stage was now set for the Alan Ryan final between Kevin Lynch's and an Aodh Ruadh team going for two-in-a-row in this tournament. It was clear from the early stages that Aodh Ruadh were up for the battle against a team who hammered them by over 40 points less than a month ago, the young Aodh Ruadh team fielding seven under 14s found themselves two points down at half time. For the second half Aodh Ruadh threw everything at the Derry men and after a fierce battle got themselves back level in a low scoring game and with less than a minute to go they scored the winning point to record an historic victory for the home team on a 0-7 to 1-3 score line.
From the field it was up to Aras Aoidh Ruaidh for the presentation and a feast of food prepared by the Ryan and Grimes families and the mothers of the Aodh Ruadh under 16s. Martin 'Kerry' Ryan opened proceedings by welcoming all to this year's tournament and thanked all the teams who had come he then called on John Rooney to say a few words. John spoke of the important role both the Alan Ryan and Seamus Grimes played in keeping hurling alive in Ballyshannon, they were both great club men who unfortunately left this world too early. He spoke of the great player Alan was and that he was part of a youth policy which Seamus Grimes among others had pioneered in the 80s in Ballyshannon. He thanked the families for their support and thanked all clubs who travelled and thanked all the managers who brought the lads to Ballyshannon. Eddie Grimes spoke on behalf of the Grimes family and thanked the local juvenile hurling committee for organising this tournament, he spoke of the high standard of hurling that had been played and he called on the Tuam captain Jonathon Ward to come forward to accept the Seamus Grimes trophy. The winning captain thanked the Aodh Ruadh club for inviting them and thanked all involved in running the event. Martin spoke of how proud he was that Aodh Ruadh had retained the title, thanked the local club and all the sponsors who had supported this event, thanked all the ladies who had catered for all and called forward his daughter Caroline to present the Alan Ryan trophy to winning captain Colm Kelly.
Colm thanked all the clubs who had travelled he thanked John Rooney and Peter Horan who have managed this team since they were under 10. John Rooney finished proceedings by thanking all the juvenile committee who had helped on the day and especially thanked referees Eddie Lynch and Peter Horan who did a great job in very difficult conditions, he hoped to see all back in 2013.
Last modified: Tuesday, 8 May 2012 at 12:24am