Championship by Eoin Hardiman and Sean Connaughton
From the outset the main aim of this team was to go one step further from last years narrow defeat against St Raphaels in the Connaught final. With some very talented hurlers coming up from the Junior team we were confident of a good showing against any team in the championship.
The league began early in the school year with a home match against St Raphaels in Duggan Park. It was our first match and despite missing a few of our older players we put in a good performance losing 1-18 to 1-10. Our main scorers on the day were Paul Claffey with 5 points and Eoin Hardiman with a goal. There was also strong performances from Sean Claffey, David Shaugnessy and Shane Naughton.
Next in line was an away game against Woodford, Declan Dillion and Michael Whyte had huge games for Garbally and we came out on top 3-11 to 2-10. Both Alan Loughnane and Gavin Downey proved too strong at mid field for the Woodford team.
In our final match of the league we meet a very strong St. Cuans team and were defeated by 5 points. This meant our league run was over but with the championship around the corner our focused turned to this.
After the Christmas break we went straight into training, numbers were up and there was real competition for places. We knew we had St. Cuans in the first round and a win would put us straight through to the semi finals.
On the day our full back line was superb, Shane Naughton at centre back was impassable and Paul Claffey worked tirelessly and seemed to be involved in every Garbally score. A late Cormac Dervin goal put us 2 points up going into injury time and we held out for the victory.
Expecting the easier draw from the opposite group in the championship we were very surprised learn we were to play Cuans once again in the Semi final. We trained even harder to reach our goal and meet St Raphaels in a Connaught Final but it was not to be. With Sean Connaughton and Shane Naughton carrying injuries we knew we would be under pressure. Playing against a strong wind in the first half Paul Claffey’s free taking kept us within 5 points at half time. A well worked Paul Claffey goal had the deficit cut to two point’s minutes into the 2nd half but we failed to take advantage of the breeze behind us. The Cuans defence held strong and although hitting the crossbar and post we could not cut the deficit. Cuans went on to play St Raphaels in the Connaught Final and lost by 2 points. We plan to build on the experience gained this year and with 12 starting players from this year’s team we hope we can bring some more silverware to Garbally.
We would like to thank Mr. Greene and Kevin Gavin for their dedication to training all year, we would also like to wish Mr. Waters a speedy recovery and hope he is back on the sideline next year.
Back row: M. Whyte, K. Feehily, C. Moloney, S. Claffey (Captain), A. Loughnane,
D. Dillon, E. Hardiman, C. Freyne, K. Curley, D. Stronge, S. Naughton
Front row: M. Maguire, G. Downey, P. Connolly, C. Glynn, J. Mannion,
S. Connaughton, P. Claffey, M. Cormican, D. Flynn, C. Dervan
Missing: P. Carrig