The 4th annual hurling festival kicked off on Good Friday morning at 10 am. The morning session was accompanied by a downpour of rain never witnessed at the festival before. However, all shoulders were put to the wheel and the show went on ... Competitions at new age groups were organised this year and the first one - the Harry O'Kelly (u/11) cup - was won by the home side. The Con Daly (u/16) cup served up a top class final between Kevin's and St Judes that went to extra time. A last minute 21 year free decided the game and the home side took another title. Kevin's made it a three in a row in the Tim O'Sullivan Cup (u/9) cup but didn't reach the final in the Corn Lughaidh Mac Mathúna (u/13). Lucan Sarsfield's took the honours beating Kilmacud Crokes in the final which was fitting seeing as Lughaidh's grandsons were involved with the Sars. The sun came out for the camogie exhibition between the home side and Clan na Gael. George O'Connor from the successful Wexford '96 team was on hand to provide mentors and players with some entertaining, but sound coaching advice. The Dermot Byrne Cup was the finale and Kevin's looked on course win four titles going into the final unbeaten. However, St Jude's also had designs on the cup and won the second and last battle.
Ballyboden SE (Dublin) and Good Counsel (Dublin) opened the Brian Scott cup with a close encounter with the Templeogue side coming out on top by one goal. This group proved to be very close right up until the final game which was eventually decided on goal difference. The last game of the group was played between Ballyboden SE and Glenealy (Wicklow) with the Dubs edging ahead. This placed Ballyboden SE as winners and St Rynagh’s (Offaly) as group runners up. Meelick Eyrecourt (Galway) stormed ahead in the second group winning all games and hammering the home side in the opening round. Last winner’s Lucan Sarsfield’s (Dublin) struggled throughout which left Clonakenny (Tipperary) and Kevin’s (Dublin) in a repeat of last years paly off. This year the Dubs came out on top reaching their first semi final since the inception of the tournament. Among the Festival guests were County Board Chairman (Gerry Harrington) and Vice Chairman (Andy Kettle) who rolled up their sleeves and showed their umpiring skills. There was also a Friends of Dublin Hurling presence as Michael O'Grady was in attendance.
As the senior hurlers hammered it out in the group stages the ABC Nursery exhibition got under way under the guidance of Roasrii Kelly. Some notable stars of the future were in action and were in no way encouraged by the goodies supplied on the day. This was followed the Family Fun Day organised by Anne Comerford. A number of underage running races were held and security was on hand in the form of Spiderman, Superman and The Hulk to guard the prizes on offer. Face painting and other entertainment was also offered to those who wanted a break from the hurling.
The 2nd annual Camogie challenge cup got under way at 4.20 pm between Kevin’s and Round Towers of Clondalkin (Dublin). As the ball was thrown in the rain came down and at half time the visitors lead by 1-0 to 0-1. Both sides found their groove in the second half, but the hoops took the cup out of Dolphin Park for the first year.
The semi final pairings guaranteed that a Dublin club would make the final for a second year. Ballyboden SE played Kevin’s and Meelick Eyrecourt (Galway) were pitched against their neighbours - St Rynagh’s (Offaly) - from the eastern side of the Shannon. Senior side Ballyboden and Meelick were favourites to make the last game, but the home side were spurned on by the fact that they had never made it this far in the competition before. A tight first half was followed by a burst from Kevin’s in the second half to make their first ever final. Meelick came through in the first of the semi finals and having beaten Kevin’s well in the first round were hot favourites to go all the way. After a pitch inspection the final was moved to the bottom pitch. A draw at half time gave the home side hope, but Meelick pounced late in the second half with a goal which was followed by a few more scores. Meelick EyreCourt of Galway returned in 2010 as runners up and left as champions.
Thanks to Vincent Hoban for capturing the occasion on camera. To view the many photos log onto his flickr account.
A big thank you goes out to the catering team and sponsors who made sure all mentors, players and supporters were provided with a well deserved cup of hot tae, coffee and soup. Well done to all the teams who braved the adverse weather conditions and congratulations again the Meelick Eyrecourt.
Easter Saturday is on April 23rd next year and no team has won the Brian Scott Cup two years in a row …
2010 Easter Festival in the News
Clink on the link for a report on the 2010 Brian Scott Cup.