Anyone who happened to come to Connolly Park on Sunday last for the third running of the John Lynch Memorial U10 Tournament saw everything that is best in GAA juvenile football
. 250 boys from Dublin ( Kilmacud Crokes), Cork ( St Finbarr’s and Glanmire), Clare ( Doora Barefield) and Kerry (Austin Stacks, Milltown , Churchill and Ardfert) gave tremendous displays across all 8 pitches with excellent support from mentors and parents from all corners of the land.
The intermittently drizzly conditions didn’t detract from the occasion in the slightest and the sight and sounds of all boys and supporters heartily singing Amhran na bhFiann before the finals will live long in the memory – it was their Croke Park !!. The format of each club providing two teams , with accumulated scores from both matches counting in each fixture , resulted in some very close ties indeed right throughout the day.
The Cup final saw the Rockies guided by Ger Power, Morgan O’Connell, Dex Carmody , Mike Casey, Brian Shanahan and Ronan Kavanagh deprive the three in a row seeking raiders from Kilmacud in two titanic matches.
The Shield final saw Doora Barefield pip Churchill in the battle of the two second placed group teams. The plate final saw local rivals “The Barrs ” and Glanmire produce a riveting battle with the latter just pipping their county men to the title. The Trophy decider saw Milltown Castlemaine victorious over a talented Ardfert outfit.
For the third year in a row the tournament started exactly on time and finished 10 mins ahead of schedule- thanks to all our Senior inter Club Referees ( ably assisted by Colm Mangan) and our battalion of club volunteers who “team minded”, kept a top class scoring reporting system ( Anne Heaslip the coordinating Maestro), coordinated parking and organised photographs. Each and every child (and many parents !) were fed and watered with Annette and her brilliant team playing a staring role. The Hynes partnership also did super work – from food purchase right to goalpost transporting (Thanks to John Mitchels for their assistance) as did Adrienne and her invaluable chronicling photo’s.
To see all players playing simultaneously right throughout the day on our 8 pitches was a sight to behold and a credit to Noel, Kevin, Grant and John.
As Ben Murphy and Cormac Bastible raised the John Lynch Memorial Cup , attention turns to 2018 , which will find it very difficult to surpass this years event.
(report by Liam Lynch, Austin Stacks Club Chairman).