Doon GAA 2013 Round-Up
Our minor team were the huge success story of the year for our club, as they retained their crown as Premier County champions in October 2013. While winning the county final in 2012 was a wonderful achievement, it was extra special to be champions two years in a row. Though we knew this team had potential in abundance, it was never assumed that attaining back-to-back titles would be easy and it wasn’t an easy road. The defence of our 2012 crown started at our home ground on April 12th last against a team who turned out to be our eventual county final opponents Na Piarsaigh. Having never lost the lead in the first 50 minutes of the game, Doon faced a tough final ten minutes where some vital frees were scored and an eventual one point victory told the tale of a tough game. Final score Doon 1-13 Na Piarsaigh 0-15. Two weeks later we were pitted against Ahane and even though the game was close throughout, Ahane made full use of their home advantage to hold on despite us doing everything to get a goal towards the finish. A 2 point defeat on the night Ahane 0-15 Doon 0-13. The usual 2 month exam break followed so it was 8 more weeks - end of June - before we were out again. Ballybrown were our opponents on our own turf. A double-scores victory 2-14 to 1-7 went to Doon at the end of this eventful game which saw 3 red cards in the 60 minutes. Four weeks on again, we played Adare (on 26th July) and recorded and emphatic victory 3-20 to 0-7. Our fifth and sixth games were played within a few days of each other – against Mungret on 23rd August and against Balbec Gaels on 27th August. The game against Mungret was a serious test and with just minutes to go we conceded a goal to allow them the victory. We didn’t let this loss hold us back and we came out fighting in against Balbec Gaels just four days later. A hat-trick of goals from Dean Coleman and a great confidence amongst the whole team resulted in a huge 3-17 to 1-9 victory. Our last group game was against 2012’s county final opponents Patrickswell and it was an absolute must-win in order for us to make it to the semi-finals. Early in the game we conceded two goals and had a man dismissed but we were kept in the game through the accuracy of Dean Coleman’s free-taking. We were much improved in the second half and some subs made a great impact. At the final whistle the victory was ours – 2-16 to 3-7.
Having seen Na Piarsaigh beat Balbec Gaels to reach the final in the first of a semi-final double header, we were fired up to meet Mungret when our turn came to play. Mungret had beaten us in the earlier group stages, but this was a much different game, somewhat of a showpiece from this Doon team. We were 2-9 to 0-7 ahead at half-time but the next 30 minutes saw us pull further and further ahead. An eventual scoreline of 4-22 to 0-10 is to be applauded. It was almost four weeks before our final was played and in a hugely competitive game, we saw off the challenge of Na Piarsaigh 2-17 to 1-18. To the entire panel who have trained since last Winter, we say a huge congratulations – Eoghan McNamara, Thomas Hayes, Stephan Ryan, Jamie Heuston, Jack Cummins, Richie English, Patrick Cummins, Shane O Connell, Darragh O Donovan, Dean Coleman, Pat Ryan, Barry Murphy, Brian McPartland, Jack Hayes (C), Tadgh Whelan, Brian Barron, Fiachra O Grady, David Landers, Cian McNamara, Dylan O Dwyer, Mark Coleman, Josh Ryan, Mikey O Dwyer, Chris Slattery, Liam Cummins, Conor Lucey, Eoin Ryan. It was a proud day for our Club and the parishes of both Doon & Oola, and especially for Captain Jack Hayes who was delighted to accept the cup on behalf of his team. Serious credit goes to managers Denis Barry & Brian Treacy who were at the helm again this year, their team of selectors Don Anderson, James McPartland and Adrian O’Donovan, and first aid Jack O’Connell.
Three in a row perhaps lads?!
Early in 2013 Doon were drawn in Group 2 of the County Senior Hurling Championship alongside Na Piarsaigh, Patrickswell and Granagh Ballingarry. To say the least this was a daunting perspective, and particularly with the new format of the 2014 championship looming and a risk of relegation for all clubs who didn’t perform well in group games. Rising to this challenge, our senior team soared from the outset and took their great winning streak all the way to the county semi-final in September, narrowly losing out in that game to Adare. Our first group game saw us face Patrickswell in Bruff on a Sunday evening in early May. A fantastic one point win was exactly the start we needed in the campaign. Two substitutes were our goal heroes of the game – Pat Ryan and Dean Coleman. While Patrickswell scored a massive 11 points in the second half, they could have had many more as they saw a number of frees go outside the posts. We scored only a handful of times in that half, but our victory was sealed with that great first half performance. We had the strength to hold out as they crept up on us in the final minutes and were lucky to see the whistle go when it did and as we were a point to the good – final score Doon 3-10 Patrickswell 0-18.
In one of the most exciting games of the year, our second round opponents were Na Piarsaigh. This was yet another skin-of-our-teeth one point victory. Played in mid-June in Kilmallock this battle had it all...the determination, passion and of course skill and ability to take on and beat a mighty team. While down to 14 men with 25 minutes still remaining, securing a victory was a struggle but we did it on a scoreline of 1-17 to 3-10. In the last five minutes of the game we saw serious pride in our Doon jersey with a rally of short concise passes leading to two vital points thanks to Micheal Ryan and sub Dean Coleman. With the sides level and the final minutes ticking down, it was all on Cathal McNamara’s shoulders when he was handed the task of a long range free and he happily obliged with a point. That was the last score of the game, and it belonged to Doon and the victory was ours!
So with two victories from two, we next faced Granagh Ballingarry on the August Bank Holiday weekend. Our most convincing victory so far, there were 7 points between us at the final whistle 1-20 to 1-13.
We were pitted against our close rivals and near neighbours South Liberties in the county quarter final. While Liberties depended mostly on free taker Mark Keane for their points, we had scores aplenty from all over our forward line, and including our midfield pairing of Niall Maher & Darragh O'Donovan. We had a 6 point lead at half-time and capitalized on that with a goal half way through the second half, resulting in a 1-18 to 0-9 win.
What turned out to be the last game of our campaign was the county semi-final where we met Adare, but our exit was a particularly heartbreaking one. It was a thrilling game from the off with some heart-stopping moments particularly in last 2 minutes of the game when at the 59th minute Adare went ahead for the very first time. We were aided in the first half by a very strong breeze and got off to a great start having a lead of 7 points at one stage. In the early part of the second half, we let our lead slip significantly and 17 minutes into this half the sides were level at 2-13 a-piece. With just 2 minutes remaining in the game captain Michael Fitzgerald got a point to put us one ahead, but in the next 3 tense minutes Adare pointed 3 times seeing them take the victory on a final score of 2-17 to 2-15. There is no doubt we had been the better team on the day but unfortunately couldn’t hold our lead. This loss was a tough one for the players and backroom team who had dedicated a great year to the game, but they deserve serious congratulations on what had been a most successful campaign championship up to that point.
In other senior hurling happenings, Doon took third place in the group 2 table of the county senior hurling league with wins over Ahane and South Liberties, draws with Patrickswell and Garryspillane and a defeat to Na Piarsaigh with a walkover from Hospital Herbertstown. This wasn’t enough to get us through to the final stages of the competition.
The final of the East Senior Hurling Championship is yet to be played as we go to print. Doon will play Ahane in the final. South Liberties offered walkovers to the other three competitors in the group – Doon, Ahane and Murroe Boher. We beat Ahane in the first round back in February, the second round was that South Liberties walkover and in the third round in March we lost out by a point to Murroe Boher.
Senior team Manager – Gerdie McGrath. Captain – Michael Fitzgerald. Selectors – Geddy Thompson, Derek Ryan……………….First Aid - …….
Considering it was the first game of the season for both teams when Doon and Cappamore played in the first round, it was a great, competitive battle. Thanks to plenty of good team work and long range frees, we defeated our neighbours, albeit narrowly 1-10 to 2-6. A decidedly more convincing victory was to come next for us against Murroe Boher, with no less than 18 points to spare. With a hat-trick of goals from Paddy Coleman the final score was 6-16 to 3-7. In the third round we got a bye and then faced South Liberties in round four on 14th May. Playing in our home ground that evening we continued our goal scoring form and Denis Barry was dependable as always with the free-taking. 3-14 to 0-13 was the final score on the night. We carried on our undefeated run when we faced Caherline next 4-15 to 0-5. A close contest marked our fifth league outing, but we still pulled away as winners over Pallasgreen. There were plenty of wides for both sides and it could have gone either way but a single point victory went our way 1-9 to 1-8. Having received a walkover from Ballybricken in what was to be the last round, we were undefeated in the entire campaign. Top of the table, we played Cappamore who in second place were three points behind us. This league final was a thriller, played in Murroe on 17th June. It took a full game and extra time to separate the sides with Doon running out eventual winners by a four-point margin 4-13 to 1-18. Trailing by 7 points, with just a few minutes to play including some injury time, Doon dug deep and produced the goods with a superb 2-2 making the sides level as we entered the last seconds. The final whistle went at Doon 3-7 Cappamore 1-13. So we went to extra time and changes in personnel for Doon with fresh legs helped no end in igniting the spark we needed to win the game. We added 1-6 in that extra time with Cappamore scoring 0-5. Final score Doon 4-13 Cappamore 1-18. Captain John Murphy proudly accepted the East League Cup on behalf of the team and management who then faced a county semi-final just 72 hours later. We had not yet experienced a single defeat in this campaign but that was to come to an end in our semi-final meeting with Blackrock. On Thursday 20th June, we played that game in Claughaun and even though the East final and extra time had taken its toll just a few days earlier, our opponents seemed the superior side. They had a great first half lead of 3-4 to 0-7 and held us to just two points in the second half. Final score Blackrock 4-5 Doon 0-9.
Blackrock went on to the county final, only to be beaten there by Templeglantine.
Our first round game of the East Championship was set for 20th July, when we played South Liberties in Caherconlish. It was a close affair as is always the case with these opponents and we were unfortunately narrowly defeated 1-13 to 0-14. Our second game was against Knockane. It was a landslide victory in the end for Doon, by 12 points - final score Doon 6-12 Knockane 4-6. In the third and final of our round games, we faced Caherline and took the victory – a victory which saw us safely through to the East final with two wins out of a possible three. Goals from Kevin Lenihan and Paddy Coleman gave us a comfortable cushion of 2-9 to 0-8. Cappamore came through from the other group and we played them in the semi-final on 1st September. The game was immense and yet again, same as in the league, it took extra time to decide a winner. It was 3-9 each at full time, and in the extra minutes there were just 3 points scored – 1 for Cappamore and 2 for Doon sending us through to the East Final to face Pallasgreen. Twice we played each other to find an East Champion. The first time of asking Doon couldn’t manage to pull away even though we were playing against 13 men for a lot of the game. It was a 2-4 to 0-10 scoreline. On the second outing goals most definitely clinched the win for Doon with a final score of 4-14 to 0-19. We didn’t let our lead slip at any stage in the game and the victory is a testament to some great team work between the backs and forwards throughout the game. Another cup for Captain John Murphy to add to his collection!
The draw was made for the county stage of the competition and it was Dromin Athlacca who came out opposite us. It wasn’t until the last 10 minutes of the game that the winner was decided as it had been very close up to that. A five point victory of 1-13 to 1-8 brought us one step closer and into a county semi-final against Feohanagh Castlemahon. At time of going to print, Doon and Feohanagh Castlemahon have played each other in the county semi-final on 26th October and the game resulted in a draw at full time and was still a draw after extra time (Doon 1-10 Feohanagh Castlemahon 0-13). We are awaiting details of a replay and the winner will play Templeglantine in the county final.
Junior B team Manager – Mike Ryan. Captain – John Murphy. Selectors – Jason Ryan, Pat Crowe, Adrian O’Donovan. First Aid – Con Barry.
The U21 championship saw our adult club’s first competitive games of the year in February, March and April last. Our group comprised of 5 teams - Doon, Patrickswell, Kilmallock, Ahane and Mungret, while group 2 was Na Piarsaigh, Ballybrown, Deel Rangers, Singland Gaels, Adare and St Kevins. We had a bye in the first round, so our first game was against Patrickswell on 5th March in the Gaelic Grounds. The game resulted in a 0-20 to 1-05 defeat for us. A week later, we were back to the Gaelic Grounds again to face Ahane. In a competitive game, we escaped with a one point victory 2-14 to 1-16. Kilmallock were our next opponents in Knocklong on 19th March but they proved too strong for our young side and beat us 3-9 to 0-7. An emphatic victory over Mungret in our final group game (4-12 to 0-8) wasn’t enough to see us through. Patrickswell and Ahane made it out of our group and in the county final on 28th April, Na Piarsaigh saw off the challenge of Patrickswell to take the County honours.
It was a small group of four teams that made up the East Junior A League which started back on 2nd May last. Under the leadership of Andy Mackey, with one win, one loss and one walkover, we made it to the East final with not much sweat broken. In our first game against Ahane we were defeated 3-17 to 1-9. We beat Kilteely Dromkeen 2-16 to 2-7 and then Fedamore gave us a walkover. Ahane topped the group with 6 points and they were our East Final opponents. This East final was played in Boher and the victory ensured the first silverware of the season for our adult club. We secured 1-4 in the first 7 minutes of the game before our opponents had registered any score on the board and our confidence only grew as we added another 2 goals and 3 points before halftime. At the break, we led 3-7 to 0-4 and defended well in the second half while scoring just 3 points in that 30 minutes. Ahane doubled their score by putting another 4 points over. Our forwards all put in good performances; in particular the full-forward line who secured most of our scores. Final score Doon 3-10 to Ahane's 0-8. Doon then had just 2 evenings rest before they lined out against Staker Wallace in the county semi-final in Caherconlish. A low-scoring first half saw us lead 5 points to 3, but the second half came alive with plenty of scores, missed chances, some scuffles and a few yellow cards handed down! Unfortunately, we lost the county final to Ballybrown by 5 points. We were in and out of contention throughout the game but Ballybrown were the stronger of the sides. Final score in the game was Ballybrown 1-11 Doon 1-6.
The same four East teams competed in the Junior A Championship in July. By double scores, Kilteely Dromkeen beat us in our first game 0-14 to 0-7 and we had another loss to Ahane in our second game 2-15 to 0-14. We were victorious over Fedamore in the third round 0-13 to 2-4. After these round games, the same four teams played off two semi-final games where Kilteely Dromkeen beat Fedamore and we beat Ahane 1-12 to 2-8. In the East final Kilteely Dromkeen won by 3 points and we then we headed to a county quarter final against Castletown Ballyagran. Unfortunately we were no match for this strong side on the day and the windy conditions hampered scoring chances leaving us at a the losing end of 2-17 to 2-6. Castletown Ballyagran themselves went on to lose the county semi final to Feenagh Kilmeedy.
In 2013’s Brian Butler Cup played in July, Doon were victorious over Murroe Boher in the semi-final 4-25 to 0-6, but lost out to Ahane in the final (2-15 to 0-14)
In a fantastic achievement for our club and particularly for the players involved, we were delighted to have six representatives on the Limerick Minor Hurling team in 2013 - Captain Richie English, Vice Captain Darragh O’Donovan, Dean Coleman, Pat Ryan, Eoghan McNamara and Stephen Ryan. Richie was the proud captain who held aloft the Munster trophy in Thurles after beating Waterford in a thrilling Munster Final (replay) back in July. This win resulted in a fantastic night of celebrations in our local parish. The minor team were to be defeated by Galway in the All Ireland semi-final in August.
Additionally, a note of congratulations to Cathal McNamara who captained Limerick’s intermediate team in the Munster Hurling Championship on 9th June in the Gaelic Grounds – a 5 point defeat to Tipperary on the day unfortunately ended their campaign. Darragh Stapleton and Micheal Ryan were also part of the panel.
125 Year Celebrations
2013 marked Doon GAA Club’s 125th year in existence. Under the leadership of Donal Anderson, a significant number of events were organised throughout the year to celebrate our history.
On New Year’s Day Fr Tony Ryan, Bernard Crowe, Johnny Butler and Con McGrath all unveiled our new 125 year flag at the GAA field and after that a 5 mile Walk & Run around the local townslands was very well subscribed and over €750 raised through registration was donated to Peita House.
We were delighted to host a Limerick Senior Hurling Challenge in April as our home county prepared for the 2013 championship. Their challengers were Wexford whose supporters travelled in great numbers to see the game. In the end, the victory was Limerick’s on a scoreline of 1-23 to 2-14.
An open-air Mass was held in the club grounds on Friday 3rd May to commemorate our 125 years and to remember all those deceased members who played their part in club affairs in those years. The Mass was celebrated by our Parish Priest Fr Tony Ryan, and afterwards a Famine memorial was unveiled in the grounds and an ash tree was planted by our club Presidents Br James Dormer, Con McGrath and Johnny Butler.
The Limerick GAA Development draw took place in Moore's Bar Doon on Friday 10th May. Unfortunately, even though it was on our doorstep it didn’t mean we had a local winner, but a great night was had by the big crowd who attended.
Each of our adult teams hosted tournaments with local clubs throughout the summer.
Our 125 Dinner Dance took place at Ballykisteen Hotel & Golf resort on 23rd November. A great crowd enjoyed a great night of craic and entertainment. Special presentations were made on the night to all county championship winning captains in our history and also to all Doon players who have won All-Ireland medals with Limerick.
We hope our 126 year is every bit as successful and action-packed as out 125 year was!
PRO, Doon GAA Club