DOON GAA CLUB 2015 ROUND-UP
East Senior Championship:
Our Senior team had a bye straight into the East Semi-Final this year where Murroe/Boher were the opposition in June. An 8 point victory for Doon on the day winning 2.20 to 0.18. South Liberties await in the final for this competition which unfortunately has yet to be completed.
The Senior League this year consisted of 8 teams in the group. On April 4th we kicked off the campaign with a victory over Ahane (4.17 to 2.20). This was backed up with further victories against Adare, Murroe/Boher and a walkover from Ballybrown. Defeats to Kilmallock, Na Piarsaigh & Patrickswell left us with a mid-table finish for the competition.
County Senior Championship:
With back-to-back Semi-Final appearances for this team, the team were hoping to push on for the coming year and climb the next step of the ladder. Doon were drawn in Group 2 of the competition alongside Na Piarsaigh, Adare, Ballybrown, Bruff & Croom. The first round took place on the May Bank Holiday where Na Piarsaigh were the opposition in Kilmallock. With plenty of possession on the day we failed to take full advantage and came up 2 points short on the night (Na Piarsaigh 3.13, Doon 2.14) with Mike Fitzgerald & Darragh O’Donovan raising the green flags. A win in the next round would be important for the team if they were to push on for the year. 4 weeks on from the Na Piarsaigh match Bruff were the opposition in Caherconlish. Mike Fitzgerald and Dean Coleman hit the back of the net to leave us with a comprehensive win, Doon 2.18 Bruff 0.09. There was a long wait until our 3rd Round fixture. We faced Adare on August 2nd in the Gaelic Grounds. Once again Mike Fitzgerald hit the back of the net before half time to leave us 4 ahead and in a good position to push on. Adare came out strong in the second half and closed out the game with a 3 point victory, Doon 1.15 Adare 2.15. With two defeats in the group, victory in our last two remaining fixtures was key to qualify from the group. 5 goals were hit against Croom, Doon 5.17 Croom 1.07 which left the remaining fixture against Ballybrown as a winner takes all to qualify for a County ¼ Final. We started strong against Ballybrown and never looked like losing the match. A 1.22 to 2.09 victory insured our qualification from the Group in third spot. Kilmallock were to be the opposition on September 20th. Once again we had a strong start to the match and were 3 up by half-time. Kilmallock hit us for a goal from the throw-in of the second half. It was to be our first time in this year’s Championship that we would not score a goal and unfortunately Kilmallock held on for a two point victory with points in the closing minutes, Doon 0.15 Kilmallock 1.14. This was to end our season with disappointment, exiting the Championship at the ¼ final stage.
Junior A League:
This year the East Junior A League was amalgamated with the South Division. Staker Wallace, Kilmallock, Bruff, Ahane & Pallasgreen were in our group. With four wins for the team and a draw against Kilmallock, we finished top of the group with Ballybricken/Bohermore the opposition for us in the East Final. On June 6th in Cappamore we were victorious in the Final on a scoreline of Doon 3.12 Ballybricken/Bohermore 2.09. This led us onto a County Semi-Final. Na Piarsaigh were the opponents and beat us on a scoreline of Doon 0.07 Na Piarsaigh 1.14.
Junior A Championship:
In the East section of this competition we finished with 2 wins over Fedamore & Ahane along with a walkover from Kilteely/Dromkeen & a loss to Ballybricken/Bohermore. We still qualified for an east Semi-Final spot against Kilteely/Dromkeen with us finishing with a victory, 3.11 to 0.08. This qualified us for the East Final where we were hoping to gain revenge for our group stage loss to Ballybricken/Bohermore. Played on September 13th in Caherconlish we were sluggish to start but dominated the second half to leave us 5.13 to 2.13 winners and east Champions. St. Patricks were up next in a County ¼ Final again in Caherconlish 2 weeks later. A 1.15 to 0.13 win insured a Semi-Final spot against Na Piarsaigh. Played under lights in the Gaelic Grounds we started strong with points and a goal from Brian McPartland. Na Piarsaigh came into the game and held on for a 3 point victory, Doon 1.07 Na Piarsaigh 0.13.
Junior B League:
Our Junior B team continued their winning ways in this competition. In the Group stages they finished top of the group with a maximum of 10 points. Victories were had over Cappamore, Murroe/Boher & Ballybricken/Bohermore plus two walkovers from Caherline & South Liberties. Murroe/Boher were the opposition in the East Final where we held out for a 1 point victory, Doon 2.12 Murroe/Boher 2.11. Na Piarsaigh were the next hurdle in the County Semi-Final where we always looked in control of winning, Doon 2.11 Na Piarsaigh 0.07. On June 25th Granagh/Ballingarry were standing in the way of us winning the County Final. All square at half-time this match was always going to be close but two goals helped us over the line to win on a scoreline of Doon 2.12 Granagh/Ballingarry 0.13.
Junior B Championship:
Since our last GAA report from last year our Junior B team had won the County Final. This meant that they were to compete in the Munster Junior B Championship in Kileedy. Our first opposition in this was against Ballyclough of Cork. We were expecting a tough game but we had 3 first half goals that set the foundation for a great win, 3.13 to 1.14. This led us into a Munster Final against Killenaule (Tipperary) on February 15th. In a very closely contested affair Killenaule struck for 2 goals to give them a one point victory, Doon 1.13 Killenaule 2.11. This did not mean the end for this team and qualified for an All-Ireland Semi-Final. O’Loughlin Gaels (Kilkenny) won the Leinster Final and were seen as favourites for the game. Doon did not read this script and had some great individual displays throughout the field and even though they conceded a goal, it was not to deny them a great victory, Doon 0.11 O’Loughlin Gaels 1.05. Doon 0.11 Killenaule 0.09. On March 15th we once again faced Killenaule in the Final hoping to gain revenge after the Munster Final. Playing against a stiff breeze in the first half Seamie Ryan got us off to an ideal start with a point inside the opening few minutes. Killenaule replied with 3 points in a row and looked to be getting on top mainly through frees from their goalkeeper. A Ger Beary free and a point from play from Shane McKenna had us back level but this was to be our last score of the half. It could have been more only for Ger Bearys shot to hit the post and wide. Killenaule finished the half strong with a further 3 points to leave the halftime score at Killenaule 0.06 Doon 0.03. Killenaule started with a point early in second half. Ger Beary added 4 further frees in the second half and heading into the final 10 minutes we were still two points down. We showed fierce determination in those final 10 minutes and sheer effort and work rate kept the Killenaule defence under pressure and we were rewarded with points from Cathal Maher and Bernard Crowe to leave it a draw going into the closing stages. In injury time where the referee played 6 minutes added time, Bernard Crowe and Tomás McLoughlin added the points for us to claim victory. Captain Eddie Ryan delightfully collected the cup on behalf of the team. Diarmaid Cummins claimed Man of the Match for a great performance from wing back. On May 3rd we held a celebratory Dinner Dance in Ballykisteen Hotel in what was a very enjoyable night. In the 2015 East Championship, Doon had big wins over Ballybricken/Bohermore (4.12 to 0.03) and Cappamore (2.11 to 0.14) to set up a date with Murroe/Boher in the Semi-Final. In ideal conditions in Cappamore Doon had some great performances and beat Murroe/Boher comprehensively 2.25 to 2.08. Pallasgreen were next up in the East Final played on September 27th. In what proved to be a close encounter throughout Pallasgreen struck the all important goal to win by two points, Doon 0.14 Pallasgreen 1.13. This was not to end our season and we continued to the County stage of the competition. We beat Mungret in the ¼ final, a game which took extra time to separate us, Doon 2.15 Mungret 2.14. Granagh/Ballingarry were the opposition in the County Semi-Final and were hoping to gain revenge on us after our County League win over them. We started brightly in the match and were scoring freely. Granagh/Ballingarry however never gave up the fight and when they hit the net with 10 minutes to play if was score for score until the end. For the second game in a row extra time was going to be required to find a winner. Unfortunately Granagh/Ballingarry were to come out on top by a single score, Doon 0.20 Granagh/Ballingarry 1.18.
Having won the minor championship 3 years ago, ambitions were high for this age group for another County title. Drawn in Group 2 alongside Na Piarsaigh, Monaleen & Ahane, qualification was well within our range with 3 teams to qualify. February 17th saw our first competitive match against Ahane in the Gaelic Grounds. A 4.22 to 2.11 win for us was a great start to the campaign. Na Piarsaigh followed 5 days later in what was a close contest. Hitting the net in the opening 10 minutes was the ideal start but Na Piarsaigh struck for a goal of their own on the stroke of half time. Na Piarsaigh had the better of the exchanges in the second half and held on for a two point victory, Doon 1.09 Na Piarsaigh 1.11. A comprehensive win over Monaleen (2.17 to 0.07) in the final round guaranteed us second in the group with a ¼ meeting with Kilmallock. With a good team performance we scored points freely with 20 points on the scoreboard after 60 minutes, Doon 0.20 Kilmallock 2.09. This set up a repeat of the County Minor Final three years ago with Patrickswell. In very breezy conditions we were well in control of the match by half-time with a splendid team display. This continued into the second half and we won on a scoreline Doon 2.14 Patrickswell 1.08. Na Piarsaigh awaited us in the final and things didn’t go right for us on the day. On a disappointing day for us Na Piarsaigh ran out winners, Doon 2.07 Na Piarsaigh 0.22.
Our minors started off the campaign hoping to go one further than 2 years ago in the U16 County Final. In a group with Na Piarsaigh, Adare, Mungret & Pallasgreen qualification was again well within our grasp with 3 teams to qualify. Na Piarsaigh got the better of us in Round 1 but with a very good team performance in this match confidence was high that we could push on and get the results required to obtain qualification. Wins over Adare (2.21 to 1.09), Mungret (2.17 to 0.12) and Pallasgreen (5.25 to 0.11) we finished second in the group and were to meet Patrickswell in the ¼ final. Held on September 5th we looked in control of this match from the off. By half-time we had a 2.12 to 0.04 lead built-up. This dominance continued in the second half and finished with a convincing win, Doon 3.19 Patrickswell 0.11. In a repeat of the u16 County Semi-Final 2 years ago Murroe/Boher were again our opponents in the County Semi-Final. We got off to the ideal start with 2 goals early on in the game. Murroe/Boher kept ticking over with points and hit the net before the break to cut our lead back to five, 2.09 to 1.07. The second half was extremely even throughout and nothing was to separate the two sides after 60 minutes (2.16 each). Extra time was required for a place in the County Final. Murroe/Boher hit the first score of the half but we then hit 3 points without reply to lead by two at the halfway point of extra time. It was a lead we would not relinquish in the second period to leave us with a well deserved win, Doon 2.23 Murroe/Boher 2.19. Na Piarsaigh were once awaiting for us the County Final. Going into this game we were underdogs but quietly confident that this team could gain victory over Na Piarsaigh for the first time. Played in ideal conditions in Bruff, Na Piarsaigh were quick off the mark with 2 points inside the opening minute. A Mark Coleman point settled the team before a Barry Murphy free and Coleman again from play had the sides level with 10 minutes gone. Another Barry Murphy free, Jack Ryan and Josh Ryan both from play saw us take control of the game. Eoghan McNamara was to then land his first of 5 frees of the day along with a point from play from Barry to give us a lead of 3 points with 3 minutes to play. Na Piarsaigh finished the half with 2 points to leave the minimum between the sides at half time, Doon 0.08 Na Piarsaigh 0.07. A strong start to the second half would be key to success with Eoghan McNamara again on target from long range along with a fantastic sideline from Josh Ryan left us 3 up with 10 minutes gone. Our backs were performing very strong denying Na Piarsaigh any score in this opening 10 minute period. Further frees from McNamara & Murphy would maintain our lead and when Josh Ryan put us 4 points clear for the first time in the game with 10 minutes to play, the crowd were beginning to think it was going to be our day. Jack Ryan was again on target from play but Na Piarsaigh were pressing hard for scores and with only 3 points up we were always wary of a goal threat. Eoghan McNamara scored his last free of the evening in injury time however to leave us 4 clear and champions for the third time in 4 years. Captain Barry Murphy gladly accepted the cup that his uncle accepted 4 years ago, off County Board Vice-Chairman Liam O'Sullivan. We had some fantastic performances throughout the field and all players are a credit to their club & families.
Our u16s were competing in Division 1 on the competition for the first time for this group of lads. Work started early in the year in the ball alley and it was evident to see that this group were keen to make an impression in the top Division. Drawn in a group along with Na Piarsaigh, Ahane, Claughaun/Old Christians & Monaleen, the top 2 were to qualify for County Semi-Finals. Na Piarsaigh were first up in the group and had a narrow 2 point victory over us (2.07 to 0.11). Even with a loss there was plenty to take from this game that we could compete with the best in the County. We bounced back in great style with victories over Claughaun/Old Christians (1.10 to 0.07), Ahane (3.11 to 2.13) and Monaleen (4.16 to 1.06). These 3 victories guaranteed us second spot and a County Semi-Final spot against Mungret who were seen as many as favourites for the County. Played under lights in the Gaelic Grounds, Mungret looked dangerous from the off but we never gave up and had some great displays throughout the field. We were well back in the game by half time and only a point behind. We continued in the second half with similar great displays. However it was not meant to be and Mungret held their lead for the 30 minutes, Doon 1.09 Mungret 2.11. This was a great team display and have made great strides during the year coming from competing in Division 2 to competing with the best in the County.
Our u14s were competing in Division 1 for the year. One group of 9 teams required 8 group games to see who the top 4 teams would be to qualify for the County Semi-Finals. We started off the campaign with a victory over Crecora (3.13 to 1.10). We were to finish the group stages with 5 wins and 3 defeats. 2 points were picked up against Patrickswell, Na Piarsaigh, Adare & Murroe/Boher while our defeats came against Mungret, Ballybrown & Ahane. It was enough for third spot in the group and like our u16s Mungret were awaiting for us in the County Semi-Final. Saturday September 26th was the day when the knockout stage kicked in. After suffering a heavy defeat in the group stages against Mungret, we were hoping for an exceptional team performance and that it was we got. From the off we got stuck into Mungret and were level at half time. Confidence was now growing and a win was well within our grasp. Adam English got an all important goal for us and a massive shock was on the cards. Mungret held their composure however and held on for a one point victory, Doon 1.08 Mungret 0.12.
Once again this year we entered an u13 in the top Division. We were drawn into a group with Na Piarsaigh, Mungret, Ahane & Murroe/Boher. With some fine displays throughout the games we finished with 2 wins (Na Piarsaigh & Ahane) and 2 losses (Mungret & Murroe/Boher). This was not enough to gain qualification with the top team to qualify for the Final.
Our u12s had a very good year in this year’s fixtures. Our u11s also competed in the u12 Leagues which proved great experience for them in what is to come for them in the future. These well run Leagues all came to a Finals evening in UL which the players all enjoyed immensely. They also competed in several challenge games and tournaments throughout the year with great days out at the Darren Hickey Memorial tournament in which was well ran by the Rathdowney/Errill club in Laois. We also had great individual displays at our own club tournaments, with the PJ Richardson tournament and Jack McDonnell Memorial tournament to name a few.
Our u10s, u8s and u6s are continuing to make great strides week in week out under the guidance of several parents and coaches. It is great to see so many people and parents involved with the nursery and hopefully this will continue for many years to come.
Our Cúl Camp again this year was a great success with over 100 children attending. Under the guidance of great coaches, many of which were our own clubmen the children enjoyed their week greatly and were well impressed by the level of coaching. It was also great to see both boys and girls representing the club for the INTO/GAA Give Respect Get Respect in Munster and All-Ireland series.
2015 also proved to be a great year for Doon with great representation on our County Teams. It is great to see so many players involved with the County setup: The following players represented Limerick in 2015.
Intermediate: Denis Moloney, Mike Fitzgerald, Cathal McNamara, Richie English, Darragh O’Donovan
U21: Richie English, Darragh O’Donovan, Pat Ryan (S), Eoghan McNamara, Dean Coleman
Minor: Eoghan McNamara, Barry Murphy, Tommy Hayes, Brian McPartland.
U16: Padraic Ryan
U15: Jack Ryan & Chris Berkery
U14: Cormac Ryan & Bobby Purcell
Limerick u21 All-Ireland Champions:
In what was a good club year for 2015 we must also mention the great victory that 5 of our clubmen were apart of when Limerick became All-Ireland u21 Champions. Richie English, Darragh O’Donovan, Pat Ryan, Eoghan McNamara & Dean Coleman made a fantastic contribution to the Limerick team and it was great to see them have fantastic victories over Tipperary & Clare in the Munster stage of the competition. They continued these great performances in the All-Ireland series beating Galway in the Semi-Final to set up an All-Ireland Final meeting with Wexford. In front of a great crowd in Thurles Limerick started the game in with serious aggression to which Wexford had no answer to winning on a final scoreline of Limerick 0.26 Wexford 1.07. It was no surprise when the Bord Gáis Team of the Year was named that Doon were to have 3 players make this team, Richie English, Darragh O’Donovan & Pat Ryan (S). This was a fantastic achievement for this group of players and the night was topped when Richie English was named U21 Player of the Year for 2015.
In conclusion, 2015 was a very significant year for Doon GAA with an 5 u21 All-Ireland medals in the club, our Minors claiming the County title and our All-Ireland winning Junior B team just to name a few. There has been significant progress made in our teams and hoping that this progression will continue to develop and produce more silverware. We would like to thank all team managers and selectors who have taken charge of teams this year. Also to our first aiders and physios who have helped with several teams this year. Finally to anyone who has volunteered for the club, sold or bought lotto tickets during the year we are very grateful to you for your generosity and support.
Wishing you all a Happy Christmas and a prosperous New Year for 2016
Yours in Sport
Doon GAA PRO