What a week-end that was! Yes Rosarii Kelly returned from Australia to help in the Donore Credit Union ABC Nursery, but it didn’t stop there…. Kevin’s were playing in the first All-Ireland final on the field of play. Yes it was played on a hurling pitch and yes there were hurleys involved, but that’s where the hurling connection stopped. The hurleys were only used were in the warm ups, because it was the 2022 GAA Rounders All-Ireland Finals out in the GAA National Games Development Centre in Abbottstown. Coincidently Rosarii Kelly was one of the founding players of the Social Rounders group back in 2019. By founding member we mean she turned up on the first day and encouraged us from the comfort of her sofa thereafter. On a more serious note, if it wasn’t for the people who turned up on day 1, The All-Ireland would never have happened. some of the originals were still playing and were taking part in the finals. Serena and Adrian Scott, Fergal Kelly and Dáithí Ó hAoláin were all there on day 1, trying to figure out the rules.
The Mixed Intermediate team opened proceedings with an 11am first pitch against favorites St Clare’s of Cavan. Kevin’s had been written off before the semi-final stages. A poll had been taken on Instagram which indicated that 44% of the respondents said Erne Eagles would take the title, 27% voted for St Clare’s with Kevin’s trailing in third place at 17%. Cork had beaten Kevin’s in the group stages, but were trailing in 4th place on 11%. We don’t have a dressing room door, but it’s 2022, so the poll was pinned to top of our WhatsApp group chat. We had beaten favorites Erne Eagles in an exciting semi-final, but also lost to Cork, who St Clare’s had beaten well. The last time we bet the out and out championship favorites in a semi-final of a championship was in 1926 and the opposition was the star studded Army Metro side. Unfortunately we were whipped in the final by the famed 5 in a row An Garda side. Luckily the Rounders squad have little or no interest in the historical ramblings of their bainisteoir. But which Kevin’s was going to turn up? The good news was that thanks to Priscilla Potel the game was going to be live streamed on Facebook.
Kevin’s got off to a flying start leading after the first innings. The St Clare’s pitching had collapsed and they seemed in total disarray changing bowlers on two occasions. Kevin’s put 17 runs on the board and held St Clare’s to 5. But then controversy struck as the distance of the mats between the bowler and the batter was queried. While it had been the same for both sides, the GAA Rounders CCC decided to restart the game at 0-0. This was a massive psychological blow to Kevin’s, as their 12 run lead was wiped out. After a prolonged discussion with officials and players, the team decided to take to the field again. A deep breath was needed in order to gather ourselves.
While St Clare’s bowling improved, Kevin’s managed to put 10 runs on the board and were now leading 10–4 after the first innings. After the first false start Katie Glynn will go down in the record books as the first Kevin’s player to score in an All-Ireland final and then by the first to score in a restarted All-Ireland final. The Kevin’s bowler Wayne Cullen was on form throughout and Kevin’s fielded well. Some fine fielding from the Kevin’s centre outfield player Jack Shallow earned him man of the match and Kevin’s ran out winners 48–15, as St Clare’s conceded in the 7th and final innings. Scores by innings 10-4, 8-4, 6-3, 4-0, 12-1, 8-3, X-X. Mayo man Aidan Lynskey was sent up to take the cup and may be the first Mayo Man lift an All-Ireland on the third weekend in September since 1951. Of course Aido’s (he is called “Aido” now becasue he lives in Dublin) take is different. He claims he was sent to Dublin to help us win our first club all-Ireland since we were established in 1902.
Next up were the Ladies at 3.30 pm. Kevin’s were up against St Clare’s again in their second game which was the Ladies Junior final. A nice crowd had travelled for the Ladies game, which was a relief as word had filtered back to the Barn about the confusion that had ensued. It was lovely to see so many faces from the Club Executive and a number of the original parents and players who kick started the social project back in April 2019. We knew that this was going to be a tougher game. St Clare’s were crowned senior champions 10 years previously, but disbanded for a number of years and had been assigned to the Junior championship on their first year back. Their dominance in the Junior competition was plain to see as they hammered their opposition in the group stages, playing with only seven players at one stage. However, Kevin’s had also performed well in the group stages. The Instagram semi-final poll had St Clare’s at 42%, Emo at 25% and Kevin’s at 22%. Carrickmacross Emmet’s who Kevin’s beat in the semi-finals were at 11%. Kevin’s had beaten Emo in the group stages so what the poll was really telling us was that people need to get off Instagram and visit Dublin a bit more often. The Cavan ladies were fired up and entered the field in a very determined state. Serena Scott had the honour of leading out as first batter. However, St Clare’s excellent pitching and catching managed to get Kevin’s out for a duck. They took the lead 5 – 0 in the first innings and while the Kevin’s girls fielded very well, their batters were under pressure throughout. Katie Glynn stepped up 1st to bat in the 2nd innings, but was beaten to 1st base by some excellent throwing. With the bases loaded for a 2nd time, St Clare’s managed to get the 3rd out before we got anyone home. Jenny Kearns caught her 1st batter out, which was followed by a quick out from Katie Glynn and another out followed after St Clares got 2 runs home. Erica Meslin led out to bat in the 3rd innings and got on base. This was followed by a walk on for Merilin Neiland and Nerida Domenech hit a nice ball to load the bases yet again. Katie Glynn stepped up again but was caught out, but then history was made! Ines Arsic stepped up to bat and got our first girls home in an All-Ireland final. Erica Meslin has the honour of stepping over home base 1st who was followed by Merilin Neiland who ran like the clappers to make it home safe and put 2 scores on the board. Erica Meslin then got a double out, by catching a ball infield and quickly throwing to Emma Young getting the runner out as well. A third out quickly followed when Jenny Kearns and Merilin Neiland teamed up to end St Clare’s 3rd innings with a duck. It was Game On! Emma Young started on bat in the 4th innings, but her big hit was caught in the outfield. Serena Scott followed and suffered the same fate. Jenny Kearns got on base and Erica Meslin nudged her onto 3rd base. Kirstin Gareau also had a big hit caught out, but she managed to get the Kevin’s legend home! A little known fact is that Jenny’s dad and club secretary was one of the key instigators for setting up Rounders in the club! In the bottom of the 4th Jenny Kearns once again showed off her catching skills catching another fly ball. Kevins held St Clare’s to 4 runs, but the Cavan girls were edging ahead as we entered the top of the 5th innings. Merilin Neiland led out on bat and hit an excellent shot to left outfield, but the St Clare’s girls caught her out. Then Nereida Domenech was beaten to 1st base. Katie Glynn made it to 1st base, but was beaten to 2nd and Kevins were out for a duck again. Meadhbh Hicks was introduced in the bottom of the 5th and made an immediate impact catching a batter out in left outfield. Emma Young led out to bat in the top of the 6th and smashed a ball down the left line to get herself on 1st base. Serena Scott followed her onto 1st and in the confusion Emma made it 3rd, before Jenny Kearns got her home. Erica Meslin stepped up next and smashed a nice ball outfield to get Serena Scott home running from 2nd. Merilin Neiland pushed Erica Meslin onto 3rd and with 2 outs (Jenny Kearns and Meadhbh Hicks), Nereida Domenech stepped up in her new Kevins blue socks. Nereida was caught out, but managed to get Erica home for Kevin’s 3rd run. The Kevin’s girls fielded well in the bottom of the 6th and were unlucky not to get 2 girls out. It was the top of the 7th and Kevin’s needed 9 runs to stay in the game and 10 to nudge ahead. With Katie Glynn and Ines Arsic out it wasn’t looking good, but then 2 good hits from Emma Young and Serena Scott gave us some hope. Emma Young got home from the bat of Jenny Kearns and Erica Meslin loaded the bases. Meadhbh Hicks was up next and got Serena Scott home, but unfortunately it wasn’t enough as Jenny Kearns was caught on 3rd base. It was game over and while the Kevin’s girls put up a mighty fight it wasn’t to be on the day. Unlike the previous game this one was played at record pace ending within 60 minutes, as a result of some outstanding fielding on both sides. Unfortunately for Kevin’s the game ended 15 – 8 in favour of St Clare’s who were deserving winners. Scores by innings were 0-5, 0-2, 2-0, 1-4, 0-1, 3-3, 2-X.
While the adults were off playing Rounders, there was plenty of other activities and games going on. Unfortunately our under 13 hurlers were beaten. The Under 12 camogie squad started a little later on in the schedule than originally planned. This Go Game at Dolphin Park was a second-round fixture for the U12 Girls. We had not played Thomas David before and were not sure what to expect. Unfortunately for them they only had 12 players available to them on the day and we had a panel of 18. We controlled the game well scoring points and goals when we got the opportunity. We moved some of our stronger players to some less influential positions to encourage our other girls to step up to the challenge and it worked and all in all was a good work out for the girls all of whom got a little more than 30 to 35 mins each playing time. This group of players are really developing well and their commitment in training is really showing in the results they are achieving on the field. We have added some new players to the panel, and they did very well in yesterday’s game. Final Score CBC 5-4 to Thomas Davis 1-0.
As the All-Ireland champions recovered from their post-match celebrations on Sunday, the hurlers and camogs were busy in Dolphin’s Barn. The Under 17 and 19 hurlers suffered defeats. The Under 19s lost to Clan na Gael in a repeat of last years minor championship final. The Under 17s conceded 3 early goals in their game against Naomh Barrog which put them on the back foot throughout the game. Kevin’s made a good attempt of a comeback in the second half by outscoring the opposition and there was some excellent defensive displays from Martin Siegal and Karl Grogan. Adam Jordan and Mark Doyle excelled in attack throughout the game.
The Intermediate camogie squad had a good win over Ballinteer St Johns. This was a nice response for Jenny Kearns, Emma Young and Meadhbh Hicks who played in the Ladies Rounders final the day before. The Under 9 Camogie Ninjas were also taking on St Vincents and Commercials and provided another dominant performance in Loreto College.
The Under 13 camogie squad played their second game in the Championship Round Robin Stage and we were at home to Raheny in Dolphin Park. It was a nice sunny afternoon and the game started at 3PM. We opted to play against a strong breeze and from the start we could tell that Raheny meant business and they tackled very hard and to good effect gaining possession in tight skirmishes. They seemed to have a game plan to leave space in front of their full forward who was adept at roaming outward and gaining possession and was strong when breaking the tackle. None the less as the first half unfolded we began to take some control and were ahead at the break. We continued to get good scores in the second half both from play and there were some exception frees scored to keep the score board ticking over. Our defence tackled and cleared the danger zones well throughout, and midfield and forwards pushed on to gain great scores to give us a good victory heading to the last Round Robin game in 2 weeks’ time. Final Score CBC 8-10 to Raheny 3-8.
The Kevin’s under 15 hurlers received a walkover from Naomh Barrog while the Under 15 camogs kept there championship hopes alive with an impressive away win to Naomh Peregrines. On the main pitch in warm September sunshine a tenacious Kevin’s team delivered a performance that had been coming all year. Peregrines came out very strongly from throw in putting our defence under severe pressure for the first 15 minutes. We held them out and struck 2 goals as we fought our way into the game. At half time we were well worth our one point lead. Peregrines came out all guns blazing at the start of the second half and scored a few points to get themselves in front. We kept our heads and dug deep. 3 goals from our full forward line in few minutes was no more than we deserved. Peregrines came again and scored a their second goal. But we scored the next point from a free to make sure peregrines got no momentum. Lucy Doyle added another point at the end and it finished 5-5 to 2-7. Impressive performances all over the pitch. Special mention to Grace Hassan Maguire who scored a hat trick of goals.
The camogie week had actually started early with a short trip to our neighbours in Faughs to play some fun and enjoyable games of camogie. Thanks to Faughs for accommodating us on what turned out to be a lovely evening. Big thank you to our newest camogie mentor, Phyllis who organised and coached the blitz brilliantly and without whom there would have been no games to play. Our Go Games fixture on Saturday against Commercials was very enjoyable and a great end to a busy week of Camogie for the girls, with 40 girls playing u1 blitzes in Dolphin Park. We’ve had quite a number of new players join our team recently who all played well on Saturday. This is great progress for our team and our club.
It wasn’t just sport that Kevin’s members were engaged in. It was also World Gynecologic Oncology Day and the club supported an initiative to raise awareness of the 5 gynae cancers, their symptoms and risk factors. In particular uterine or womb cancer is associated with obesity so we are encouraging women to be a healthier weight and be physically active. To raise awareness our members took a dip in the sea and posted on social media. For more information click on this link.
If you have a match report, or Kevin’s related story you can email firstname.lastname@example.org! Next week’s lotto jackpot will be €3,200! You can play online up to 7pm next Monday using the secure Clubforce link by clicking here. All funds raised go towards the running of our many club teams and activities.