Castlelyons GAA Notes WE 1.3.21. 2021-03-03 19:05:00

Our man Noel McAuliffe enjoying life in Melbourne with Garryowen GAA Club. 

Melbourne is some spot down in South Eastern Australia.  It is the capital city of the state of Victoria with a population of five million people and a beautiful city on the coast with a fabulous climate. There is over 10,000 Irish born there who work hard and enjoy the GAA out there too. One of our own star players man Noel McAuliffe took some time out and hit on for that side of the world over twelve months ago.  He was farming up in Queensland for a while and then came down the coast to his brother Tom in Melbourne with three other friends from Fermoy, Jeffrey Daly, Eoin Cody and Padraig Clancy. All great players they joined up with the Garryowen club and recently played in the Padraig Pearse’s Big Sevens.  This is a big seven a side competition of hurling, football, camogie, ladies’ football as there were fifty-four games played over seven competitions. Garryowen won the senior and intermediate football sevens and were backboned by not alone by Noel McAuliffe but by Fermoy lads Jeffrey Daly, Eoin Cody and Padraig Clancy as well. Congrats and well-done Noel and the lads.

Looking at the number of Clubs and talking with Noel they had strong Irish names like Padraig Pearse, Dan Breen’s, Melbourne Shamrocks, Wolfe Tones, St Kevin’s, Geelong Gaels and Sinn Fein. The Garryowen are sponsored by BrightSide Consultants whose founder and MD is Gearóid a former Cratloe and Clare hurler and doing well in Australia too.  The pop-up tents with food and refreshments in 20 degrees of heat led to a hectic festival style atmosphere and as Noel said we could learn to have some fun with this type of festival day at home too.  Noel is keeping up his levels of fitness and working hard while taking time out down under and we can be assured that when he returns, he will be ready to take up the Castlelyons cause again.

Incidentally, it is said that the human mind has an inherent unfulfilled need for information and interaction.  This writer remembers hitting for county Leitrim in 1979 leaving a young family and going on a waiting list for a house phone for over six months. So, what a change as we now carry the phone in our pocket.  Talking on video smart phone with Noelie in Melbourne was great. He was on a lunch break as we spoke, and Melbourne seemed as near as Fermoy for a few minutes if not better when he said they were not troubled too much by the pandemic although they recently had a five-day lockdown. They could move around freely again, play games and socialise so it is easy to understand why so many take some time out in Australia. Enjoy your time Noel from all in Castlelyons.

Castlelyons hoping to buck the trend by continuing with the game of Squash.

The squash came as we know it in from the UK and other countries in the early ‘70’s.  The game really became fashionable and squash courts were built by the GAA, Rugby, Golf, Tennis and Cricket Clubs. Castlelyons were one of the first rural communities to introduce the game in Cork by building two Courts.  It really took on as some great male and female teams represented our club on the circuit. Players from various sports including some famous GAA players played the game up to a high level. Castlelyons had Matt Hegarty, Donal McCarthy and Ned Fitzgerald among many others setting the trend.  This writer had a great interest in the game and enjoyed playing it competitively for some time.  The opening of two Courts in Kildorrery many years ago was a massive evening for Squash.  Two real masters of the game the bould Christy Ring played another Cork legend, Eamon Young in an Exhibition game while the great Raymond Ennis of Fermoy took part as well. The place was packed and the atmosphere electric.

Alas the Kildorrery Courts are closed with some time as are the two Courts in Fermoy GAA. The two Courts in Midleton GAA and a single Court in Tallow are closed with some years too.  Incidentally, all have been refurbished as fitness centres. Kilworth have one Court still on the go and there is a Court in Glenville.  Since the early nineties, the glory days of Squash have faded, and it has slipped as a sport nationally and internationally but some Courts in cities and bigger towns have lasted to date.

Of course, there are various reasons advanced for the decline of Squash.  It is possibly the toughest sport on the body. To play at a high level one must maintain an insanely high fitness level.  One must be healthy and have good mobility. It is not suitable for the older person. As they say, “you must get fit to play squash rather than play it to get fit”. This factor may have contributed to its downfall for the common man and woman as just playing the game casual without competition causes drift and fading away from the game.

Then when reasonable numbers played squash at times it never got much publicity.   It was always considered a minor sport in the eyes of the media. This lack of media attention was a major factor in the decline of the sport.  Some of the greats say that for a sport to be successful it must be televised.  This never really happened because it is not a spectator sport and you could not charge people to come and watch. Viewing the game is not very entertaining and best enjoyed by two players ponging the ball about.  Even the introduction of glass back walls and later side glassed walls failed to add any popularity for viewers and even confused the neutral at times. 

Castlelyons had two Squash Courts but due to lack of numbers one of the Courts was converted into dressing rooms some years ago. The remaining Court was later unused for some time, but an enthusiastic committee took interest. They revived the game and had 60 club members in 2019 yielding 335 hours of the game which represents about three months of the high season.  The present Squash Committee have now put forward a strong case for the retention of this Court and that with a reviewed financial model it is hoped to make a major contribution to the refurbishing, upkeep the place and coffers of the governing body.  So, with that strong culture of Squash in Castlelyons dating back to the early 1970’s and they may well stay the course.

Big Cheltenham interest for Castlelyons Club.  

We could not hold our annual Cheltenham Night this year due to the pandemic.  However, two of our lads are whetting the appetite for the great racing festival as Michael Spillane Jnr and Liam Moroney are arranging a Cheltenham Buster all or Club members, players, and friends. This will be used as a fundraiser for the purchase of the gym development and gear.  Well done to the organisers as this will provide a needed bit of fun and entertainment for a few days. 

There will be good prizes and a daily prize for the top scorer each day.  The Buster will be done on a point scoring basis as you pick a horse for each race each day and there are 10 for first, five for second. 3 for third and 1

for forth with the winner of the Buster being the person with the most accumulated points after the four days racing.  There will be prizes for each day also.  The entry fee of €20 must be paid in before Saturday 13th March.

No doubt we will hear more next week.

Castlelyons GAA Weekly Lotto – Jackpot now €10,400. 

This draw was held Monday 1.3.21 and the numbers drawn were 7, 10, 20 and 31. There was no winner, and the Jackpot is now €10,400. The Lucky Dip winners were as follows: - Joanne Lee, Michael Barrett, Steve Motherway, Sheila Cotter, Ronan Bransfield, P & J Collins, Martina Minahane, and Joe Roche.  The next draw is Monday 8.3.21. Thanks so much for your support and please advise your friends that they can play our Lotto, ONLINE or purchase tickets from the usual outlets.

Rebels’ Bounty Draw Tickets are great value and still available from the Committee.

A sincere thanks to all our members and supporters who joined the Rebels' Bounty and made it a success to date.  A special thanks to Mick Spillane our treasurer and John Barrett co-ordinator for all their work with the Draw to date. There are just over three weeks left and we will have three cracking draws for January, February and March together on Thursday 25th March. The deadline for joining the Draw by direct debit is Thursday 11th March and the deadline for joining manually is Friday 19th March. We are still selling tickets and we would really appreciate your support. 

This is a top-class draw with excellent prizes and the tickets are great value at €100 while you will be assisting our Club. There are 30 cash prizes each month with the first prize €20,000. On two of the months the first prize is €25,000 and the December prize is €100,000. As all are funded by Cork GAA and there no risk to our Club.  We have some repairs to carry out to the pitch for the coming season, it costs money to run the Club annually and we are embarking on a development programme. So, folks the tickets are mighty value and if you have not joined to date go have a go your not too late yet.

The Rugby style Sin Bin has made its way into the GAA.

The recent GAA Congress was historical in so far as it virtual and more so that there was a motion passed to introduce the rugby style sin bin in the game.  This means that if the defending team commit a prescribed cynical foul inside their 20-metre line or the semi-circle that prevents a goalscoring opportunity it will result in a penalty puck/kick and the offending player being sent to the sin bin for 10 minutes.

So now we will have some pressure on referees. Take the game of tennis with no physical contact at all and think of great players like John McEnroe roaring over decisions. Now here we are with the poor GAA referee and a modern dirty ball style battle taking pace near the side-line under the Hogan Stand.  There is a player breaking from the physicality but falls.  Is it a slip, trip, foul or is the player just bate out another big decision for the referee?  Imagine Pat Spillane or Eddie Brennan after watching the replay a dozen times in the Sunday game and suffering from the exuberance of verbosity.  This could make for some crack so let us wait.

Premier senior teams limited to sixteen in championship hurling and football.

This was another motion passed at Congress and it comes in for the 2023 campaign to give counties time to adapt. If applied as stated, that just 16 'teams' are permitted in the Premier Senior grade.  Cork county chairman Marc Sheehan spoke and received assurances from the GAA director of club, player and games administration, Fergal McGill, that colleges and divisional teams can still be facilitated. In fairness to our Runaí Kevin O Donovan and the Board they have been making tremendous strides in reforming the championships already and should this have been an ordinary year there were more plans afoot. So, the continuity of the colleges and divisional sides in the championships looks assured.

Maor Foirne disbanded.

Well, maor foirne is finally fettered as the recent disbanded his role.  Heretofore, some maor foirne were running all over the place, some nearly fitter than the players as they ran in and out of the pitch and honouring regulations in the breach rather than the observance.  The new rule introduced at Congress means that pitch incursions by anyone other than a medic, who must be summoned by the referee, will result in a yellow card, with a second infraction resulting in a red card.

In relation to the concussion substitute rule, it will run now in the same way as the blood substitute while attempting to distract someone as they are taking a puck-out or kick-out by waving a hurley or arm is a foul. This is common sense rule and should benefit the game.

How about motivation for our young people before the real stuff begins? 

Spring is in the air and there is a stretch in the evenings with some pleasant weather.  All going well we could be training in pods for April and maybe games in May. There is a lot of positivity about after a tough winter with the numbers of people vaccinated rising all the time while the numbers of those effected by the pandemic is reducing. The aim is to get back out on the pitches for the long evenings. Team sports really bring young people along and some are struggling to find motivation to train on their own. This is hugely important for health and well being and the last few months have been tough on all. 

Fair play to a lot of our senior players who invested their time online last year in passing on skills to younger colleagues in 2020.  The numbers of laptops, iPad and technical know-how of our youth has really grown during lockdown and maybe we could tap into this for the next month and provide some training initiatives for our young members both boys and girls. This would provide motivation and sharpen their skills to get back on track again before the real stuff begins and hopefully sooner rather than later.

Castlelyons GAA Monthly Meeting.

Please note that our Monthly Meeting will be held virtually on Teams on Saturday 6th March at 7pm and the link will be sent out to members.

Congratulations to Eoin and Lisa Murphy.

 Hearty congratulations, happy days with no sleepless nights to former player and Buachalls star Eoin Murphy and his wife Lisa on the birth their new baby from all in Castlelyons GAA.

Votes of Sympathy.

Castlelyons GAA wish to extend sincere sympathy to the Coughlan family and relations on the death of Mrs Sheila Coughlan, Castlelyons. Ar dheis Dé go raibh sí.

Club Main Sponsor: ZEUS Packaging Group

Notes by Kieran McGann PRO Castlelyons GAA.

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