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Club Review 2017

Club Review 2017
After a barren year in 2016, Fr. Caseys more than made up for it in 2017, capturing a plethora of silverware at both adult and underage level. It was a remarkable year for our Junior A Footballers who captured 4 of the 5 cups on offer to them while our U16, U15 and U14 Boys and U16 and U14 Girls all won County Titles.

Our Senior Footballers gave a good account of themselves in the county championship and were unfortunately narrowly pipped for a quarter final spot by just one point. Having drawn with county champions Adare in their opening game they went on to win two and lose two of their remaining championship games. The most notable victory was an 8 point hammering of Drom/Broadford in August when the team played with a real swagger and highlighted that this bunch of lads are more than capable of challenging for top honours in the county if the hard work continues to be done. Managed by Gerard O’Connor with James Collins and Maurice Sheehan as selectors this team seemed to grow in confidence as the season progressed and had they overcame Na Piarsaigh in their final group game who knows what they could have achieved. There is no doubt they enjoyed their football this season and with a relatively young team the future looks bright for our seniors.

At Minor level, our Footballers began their campaign with a very impressive 5 point victory over county finalists Monaleen but unfortunately as in 2016 the summer break for exams hampered their form. With 3 wins from 7 games they narrowly missed out on a semi-final position. Along the way they gave us great entertainment with many more promising talents unearthed. The club would like to sincerely thank JD Foley, Maurice Flynn, Gerard Moloney and Liam McNally for all their hard work throughout the year.

The big success story this summer was our Junior A Footballers. For many years we knew of the talent they possessed but too often lack of commitment and failure to deliver on the big day let them down. This year under the guidance of Seamus McNamara with Gerard O’Connor and James Collins working tirelessly in the background, lady luck smiled on our Juniors and they brought home a remarkable tally of 4 cups. On the June bank holiday weekend they started their collection by defeating Cappagh with 14 points to spare in the West League Final. Within two weeks they were back for more silverware, defeating a hotly fancied Monaleen side by another 14 point margin in the County League Final. In July our Juniors finished top of the Division 4 County League, gaining promotion for next season ahead of strong Gerald Griffins, Ballylanders and Newcastle West sides. Then on September 10th came their moment of glory when they captured the West Junior A Championship after a 55 year wait. Going into the game as underdogs against a very strong Newcastle West team, our Juniors left everything on the pitch in Feenagh to overcome their neighbours by 3 points in a titanic battle. Sadly their bid to complete the grand slam of Junior titles was ended at the county semi-final stage, losing by a single point after a replay to eventual winners Galtee Gaels. I have little doubt this team will be back in 2018 to give the county championship another rattle. It was a fantastic year with some great celebrations along the way. This team did the town of Abbeyfeale proud and our supporters who cheered them all the way also have to be commended.

At U21 level we suffered narrow defeats in the opening two rounds to Rathkeale and Oola but gave a very promising displaying in round 3 to defeat Mungret and claim a quarter final spot. Unfortunately our U21s would progress no further, losing to Adare by 4 points in the quarters after battling gamely throughout. In contrast to the Junior campaign, this team were too often on the wrong side of narrow defeats. This is a very talented team and I have little doubt they will taste success again soon. Many thanks to the management team of Tom Cahill, Seamus Lenihan, Timmy Gleeson and Keith Harnett for all their hard work

At underage level, Fr. Caseys excelled once more with our U16 and U15 Boys winning their respective County Championships. Our 14 Boys also captured the County Shield. Our U16 Ladies captured the County Championship and our U14 Ladies won the County Feile and Championship double as well as reaching the final of the All Ireland Feile. The second half display by our U16 Boys in their county final triumph over St. Kierans was one of the finest team displays witnessed all season and it epitomised the great work being done by our Bord na Nog within the club.

At county level, Fr. Caseys were honoured to be represented by both David Ward and Daniel Daly at Senior level and Rory O’Brien at Minor level. Club chairman Gerard O’Connor was also involved with the U21 team as a selector. Wearing the green jersey is always a remarkable achievement and we are extremely thankful for the great commitment these players make.

For the day to day running of our club we rely heavily on our weekly spin and win draw, monthly Club Limerick Draw and the annual National Club Draw. Without this income we would not be able to field our teams and maintain our club facilities. We are blessed in our club to have a dedicated band of people who work tirelessly on these fundraisers and we are equally thankfully to our supporters who continuously support these draws.

Fr. Caseys GAA Club is definitely moving in the right direction. Our club facilities improve year by year and we are delighted with the outcome and feedback from our new training pitch. On the field we have some fantastic underage teams on the horizon and our adult teams played with great passion throughout the year. This passion was duly noted by our supporters who travelled the length and breadth of the county to cheer on the various teams. It’s cool to be a GAA player in the town of Abbeyfeale once more and if we can continue to improve at the same high velocity in 2018 then bigger honours are just around the corner.