DOON GAA CLUB 2018 ROUND-UP
2018 was a very memorable year for everyone associated with Doon GAA. There were many highlights both on and off the field. Great days and memories for a lifetime were had by young and old alike.
The highlight of the year was undoubtedly Limerick bridging a 45 year gap to bring back the McCarthy cup. From a local point of view, this was extra special with our club being strongly represented by Richie English , Darragh O Donavan, Pat Ryan and Barry Murphy. Played under a new format in Munster, supporters travelled to follow the team to the Gaelic Grounds, twice, against Tipperary and Waterford, to Pairc Ui Chaoimh against Cork and to Ennis to see the team play Clare. After a tough Munster campaign it was on to Dr Cullen Park to see the team play Carlow, then to Thurles where we beat Kilkenny. This set Limerick up for a return to Croke Park for a semi final against Cork on July 29th. In front of a huge crowd Limerick found themselves 6 points down with a few minutes remaining but a strong finish took the game to extra time. Limerick powered on in extra time to win, amid wild scenes of excitement. This was to be start of a mad 3 weeks, with every man, woman and child in the parish scrambling for that precious All Ireland ticket.
August 19th in Croke Park was to be an unforgettable day with Limerick claiming the McCarthy cup after such a long wait. The scenes at the end of the match, indeed for the next few weeks had to be seen to be believed.
Eight days later on the 27th August the club got to honour our 4 local heroes, along with their team mates, when we got to host a Homecoming for the team in our own GAA grounds. On a beautiful summers evening, a huge crowd turned up to welcome home the victorious boys. Entertainment beforehand was provided by Jimmy Buckley and his band. Trevor Anderson, acting as MC, introduced the players to the crowd. The club were very honoured to have our 3 All Ireland medal winners from 1973 (Jim Allis, Willie Moore and Jim O Donnell) present with us on the night also.
Back on the club scene, the senior championship started with 2 games at the end of April, beating Patrickswell and losing to Na Piarsaigh. Following this there was a long break to our next game on September 1st when we drew with Adare, followed up by a win over Ballybrown the following week. Our final group game was against Kilmallock where a great win ensured our passage directly to the semi final. Patrickswell awaited in the semi final and there were great scenes at the final whistle when we had booked our place in the county Senior Hurling final after a wait of 18 years. Over the next 2 weeks the team prepared well to meet Na Piarsaigh .The final was played under lights on Saturday 27 October before a big crowd and a television audience. After a good team performance we came up short in the end to a better Na Piarsaigh side.
The senior team won the county senior hurling league this year, beating Na Piarsaigh in the final. They also competed in the Kilmacud Crokes All Ireland sevens, losing out at the semi final stages in extra time.
Our Junior A team had a good year also winning the East League and Championship, as well as the Brian Butler cup . In the Junior A League we progressed to the co semi final where we were beaten by eventual winners Patrickswell. In the championship, after winning our division, we beat Staker Wallace in the co quarter final before bowing out in the semi final to the eventual championship winners, Tournafulla.
The Junior B team (our third adult team) reached the county final where they were very unlucky to lose out to Cappamore’s second adult team by a single score.
The u21 championship started on 30 th January .in the group stages we had 4 wins over Murroe Boher, Ahane, Garryspillane and Monaleen. In the semi final we drew with Na Piarsaigh, but a very good performance in the replay saw us win comfortably. The final took place in the Gaelic Grounds on 9th May when a disappointing performance saw us lose out to Kilmallock.
In the Premier Minor Hurling championship we beat Ahane, Bruff and Balbec Gaels and lost to Mungret in the group stages. Finishing second in the group we met Na Piarsaigh in the co quarter final , losing out by 4 points
Off the field of play our Annual New Year’s Day walk and run took place. On 15th February, to follow our public talk from Oisin McConville in 2017, we had the pleasure of the company of Paralympic athlete Peter Ryan, who gave us a detailed account of his life story, from Tipperary hurler, to becoming visibly impaired, to come out fighting again as a Paralympic athlete. Peter had a sad but wonderful story to tell and he had a big crowd on the edge of their seats for the night.
The club’s fundraising committee had a very busy year, with our new match grade floodlighting system being turned on for the first time at the end of July, and again being used on the night of the All Ireland homecoming. A very successful Lip Sync fundraiser was attended and enjoyed by around 800 people in Ballykisteen hotel on Sunday 28th October. This was a wonderful night for the whole community.
Our U16s began the year with a great win over Monaleen away from home. In the group stage, victories followed over Kilpeacon, Bruff, Patrickswell and Adare. We lost the games against Ballybrown and Soutside Gaels but drew a highly entertaining encounter with Mungret. This qualified Doon for the county semi final. Mungret was the opposition again and Doon came out the wrong side of a scoreline of Mungret St Pauls 2-15 to Doon’s 3-9. Mungret went on to win the county final.
In Feile na nGael, Doon had good wins over Ballybrown and Mungret St Pauls to qualify for the Feile County Final. On the day Monaleen were too strong for us. In the U14 county championship, Doon finished top of the group having had victories over Ballybrown, Monaleen, Na Piarsaigh, Mungret and Newcastle West. Newcastle West were our opponents in the County Semi Final which was played in the Gaelic Grounds and Doon came out on top. The U14 County Final was played in Cappamore against Na Piarsaigh on the 29th September. Na Piarsaigh came out on top by a goal on a scoreline of 1-12 to 2-6.
Our U13 team had a win against Ballybrown and a draw against Mungret. They had one defeat against Monaleen. With only one team qualifying from the group, this was not enough to progress to the final.
Our numbers in the age group U11 to U12 are very strong which meant that we put out 3 teams. These 3 teams played on Thursday evenings throughout the summer in the county league and were very competitive. It is a big achievement for our club to be able to give matches to this age group on a consistent basis. This year our U12’s again competed in the Darren Hickey Memorial tournament ran by the Rathdowney/Errill club in Laois. Due to our large playing numbers we entered 2 teams and both teams managed to win through to the final. This was a cracker of a final between the 2 teams which know each other so well. It is testament to the talent of our players that we have so many playing at a high level.
Our u10s, u8s and u6s are continuing to make great strides week in week out under the guidance of parents and coaches. It is great to see so many volonteers 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 110 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.
The now Annual Jack McDonnell Tournament was held on the 11th of August this year. A fantastic day for young and old and a fitting tribute for Jack.
On the 11th of November we held a very enjoyable blitz of games between our own club members from ages 12 to 15. This was held as a memorial to PJ Richardson, a proud Doon and Limerick man who would have loved to see Limerick’s victory this year.
Congratulations to the many Doon players who represented Limerick with distinction in 2018. We had a very high level of representation across all grades
Who will ever forget Barry’s batted goal to beat Tipperary in the Gaelic Grounds, or Pat’s wonder goal against Cork in the All Ireland semi final to seal Limerick’s place in the All Ireland final. Or the constant top class performances of Darragh and Richie during the whole championship year . The performances of you four guys have given your club unprecedented exposure in 2018.
U21 – Barry Murphy, Brian McPartland and Mikey O Brien
U17- Bob Purcell and Cormac Ryan
U16 – Chris Thomas, Cian O Donavan Daire Ryan and Eddie Stokes
U15 -Adam English, Jack O Dwyer and Nicky Roche
U14 –Aidan Purcell, Kevin Maher and Tomas Lynch
To all of the above, and especially to Richie English, Doon’s first All Star , we extend our congratulations on your wonderful achievements , from all at Doon GAA Club.
Deaglain O Riain
Runai CLG Dun Bleisce
Doon Camogie Club
The club has reached its 6th year and marked same with fantastic wins for our junior B’s and U16. The U12’s and 14’s had good year playing many competitive league and blitz matches throughout the year. Minors reached the county premier semi finals so a fantastic year all round.
The U16’s enjoyed a progressive year reaching the league semi final early in the year and later in the season they reached The A Shield final in the championship which they won quite convincingly over Mungret. Our first year at junior B level was also very successful , firstly winning Junior B league early in the year and finishing off the season with a convincing win over Knockaderry in Patrickswell on 16th September.
We would like to thank all those who supported us during the year especially all our coaches who gave up their time to make our club what it is today. To Doon Senior Club for their continued support.
Rodger Ryan’s Visit
Roger Ryan visited his native Doon in May 2018. It was one of his many visits since he emigrated to the US in the early fifties. Roger was born on October 5th 1930. He was Secretary of Doon GAA club in 1950. He had two professions in his lifetime, a harness-maker in Ireland and an engineer in the US. When he went to the states he did two degree courses and a Masters in engineering, which led to a very successful career which included working on the United States Space programme. Rodger visited Doon GAA grounds and clubrooms with his son Patrick and two grandsons. The club presented him with a Doon jersey manufactured by O’Neill’s Dublin, our club history written by Tom O’Brien, a sliotar made by Berkery Leather Products and a hurley made by Niall Maher.