By Mary Kyne
“Jump for Joy” a Great Success
In March the boys and girls of first and second year at St Paul’s with the help of some tired third years, played basketball continuously from 11a.m. to 3.40p.m and in the process raised £1,028 for the Children’s Hospital, Crumlin. The event was part of the Nationwide “Jump for Joy” event. The late Mr Kelly and his wife Jamie Ann organised and refereed the games. St. Paul’s received a set of singlets from the National organisers of the event.
Mr Danny Kelly was involved with basketball teams in St. Paul’s.
The first years competed in the Connemara Schools’ competition against Spiddal, Inverin, Carna, Carraroe and Clifden. They reached the final and were narrowly defeated by Carraroe.
Mini Basketball Local School League
The final of the girl’s local league took place in the Community Centre on Monday 10th April. The following schools took part – Moycullen, Killannin, Bushy Park, Derryglen and Carraroe. It was Derryglen’s first time to participate in a school’s competition and the parents and their teacher Mary Kyne were commended for giving the children this opportunity.
The league ran from November to April on a home and away basis. The emphasis in the league was on participation and all the children got to play in every game.
The motto of mini-sport is: Participation is more important than winning at all costs” Moycullen and Bushy Park reached the final and Moycullen proved the stronger team on the day. All the children who participated in the competition received a certificate a medal and light refreshments.
Western Regional Semi-final
First year St. Paul’s girls reached the Western Region semi-final.
Team: Sheila Walsh, Sarah O Toole, Valerie Mannion, Aileen O Toole, Naimh Walsh, Olivia Higgins, Damelza Gibbons, Genevieve Moore, Loretta Lydon, Serena Guihen, Deirdre O Connor, Regina Fahy, Gráinne Reidy, Helen Joyce, Ailbhe Boyce, Kate Wickenden, Antoinette Canavan, Eithen Deacy, Máire Mc Donagh, Goda Faherty, Veronica Gorham, Eimear O Halloran and Linda Walsh.
Note: I have no information on the results of the matches but perhaps someone with the information could add it as a ‘comment’ .
Gold Medals for Under 13 Girls.
Under 13 girls won gold medals at the Galway Community Games Finals. They beat Kilconly 35-17. They were beaten at the Connacht semi-finals.
Team: Sinéad Mc Dermott, Kathleen Duggan, Laura Gibbons, Caroline Clancy, Gillian Kenny, Caoimhe Clancy, Maresa O Toole, Sinéad Darcy, Leesa Conneely, Mary Byrnes.
Coach: Kevin Blehein and Emma Blehein.
Club Membership 1996
Club membership in 1996 was 109 players. Up to 40 members took part in the summer Basketball Camp. The success of the camp was due to the generosity of the host families Irene and John Byrne, Kevin and Helen O Connor who provided accommodation for the American coaches. The local restaurants, hotels and pubs provided meals.
10th Anniversary of Community Games Victories 1986-1996.
To celebrate this occasion a social was held in the Golf Club to toast the success of the team winning gold medals in 1986 at the all Ireland Community Games held in Mosney. Congratulations was also extended to the U 13 Girls’team who won the County Community Games Gold Medals 1996.
Veteran’s of the 60’s attended – John Kevin Walsh, Matt O Sullivan, Henry Mc Hugo, Kevin Blehein, Paddy Walsh, Andrew D’arcy, Gerry D’Arcy, Mary Kinneavy, Mary O Halloran, Mary Coyne and from a later era Gerry Conneely, Stephen Mc Donald along with the present day U 13 and U16 Boy sand Girls teams.
Guest Speaker on the Night was Matt O Sullivan who emphasised the importance of parents’ support and encouragement in their children’s sporting endeavours. He made presentations to 1986 team members and Mary Kyne made presentations to the U 13 County Champions. A four course dinner cost 10euro and a junior menu was 4 euro!! (How prices have changed!) Over 140 attended the function.
1997 Triumph for Oughterard Girls
Ann Marie Kyne and Ursula were members of ‘Naomh Mhuire Openet’ team who won the Sprite Cup. Ann Marie, co-captained the team with Siobhán Kelly, who was a regular visitor to Oughterard. Ursula was presented with a Waterford crystal vase –an award for the most valuable player. The team won another major championship when they won the coveted trophy for the “Top Fours” in Belfast at the end of the season. Ursula was top scorer in this competition.
Under 13 girls win County Championship 1997
They won the County Championship at Maree/ Oranmore. The county competition was organised as a result of a one-day friendly match between Oughterard and Moycullen in 1995 and then as a result of this Kevin Blehein, Oughterard and Gerry Nihill, Moycullen, planned a programme for matches at a county level for both under 10 boys and girls and under 13 boys and girls.
The last six teams played for a place in the final. Oughterad U 13 girls played magnificently. They won their three matches under the superb leadership of team captain Caoimhe Clancy.
The Oughterard Boys U13 were less fortunate than the girls. They were a young team who gave of their best. They lost to Kinvara and Moycullen.
Team: Barry O Donnell, Andrew Byrne, Caoimhin Blehein, Patrick Burke, Eanna Darcy, Gerry Clancy, Ronan O Halloran, Jason Coyne, Thomas Caldwell, Pierce Clancy, Chris O Connor.
A Road to Glory – St Paul’s Shine by Sinéad Mc Dermott
On the 14th April St. Paul’s First year Basketball Team put up a tremendous fight to win the Connacht Regional Finals against St. Joseph’s Glenamaddy. The atmosphere was electric as crowds came to the Claddagh Hall to cheer their school team on. After a slow start St. Paul’s were 4 points down by half time and the crowd wondered was the Connacht Final slipping out of their grasp.
Following a stern talk with Mr Kelly the game was turned around completely by a team effort. By the end of the third quarter the scores stood at 27-23 to Glenamaddy, but the best was to come. After four minutes of the last quarter the crowd were on the edge of their seats as St. Paul’s took a 2 point lead. In the next three minutes 6 points were scored for St. Paul’s and 2 for Glenamaddy. When the final whistle blew crowds rushed on to the court to congratulate the team. The captain, Caoimhe Clancy, received the trophy on behalf of the team.
On their road to victory St Paul’s overcame St. Enda’s, Salerno and Headford by astonishing score lines. In St. Paul’s first encounter with Glenamaddy they were beaten by 2 points. Their only opposition was Tuam who won after a stunning 3rd and 4th quarter performance.
Team: Caoimhe Clancy, Eimear Butler, Laura Molloy, Caroline Clancy, Mary Byrne, Gillian Kenny, Avicen Fahy, Roísín O Reilly, Lorraine O Halloran, Lisa Conneely, Shannon Tierney and Sinéad Darcy.
Coach: Mr. P.Kelly with three Transition students.
All Ireland Place for Oughterard Girls 1997
In May St Paul’s Girl’s Basketball Team put up a tremendous fight to achieve a brilliant 3rd place in the All Ireland.
The first game was against Falcarragh, Donegal. Unfortunately, they were beaten by 40 points to 31 points but they played an absolute brilliant 4th quarter making up about 8 points. Their second match was a very exciting match against Loreto, Swords. They played fantastic in the 3rd and 4th quarter and made a tremendous comeback of 10 points and won the match by 27-29. They had a long day and the following day was just as long but they had the strength to go out Sunday morning and play brilliantly against Loreto, Navan and beat them by just one point. The final score was 30-29.
At this stage they were in the semi-finals and they had enough strength to try and overcome Mallow. St Paul’s didn’t give up without a fight but their strength was not enough to overcome Mallow who were worthy winners – 40-30.
Oughterard received Bronze medals for their effort.
The team appreciated the effort made by their teacher’s who travelled to the games – Mr Joyce, Mr. Molloy, Mrs Nihill, Mrs. O Grady, Mr. Clancy and Mrs. De Faoite and Mrs O Grady who stayed with the team in Dublin
Team: Caoimhe Clancy (Captain), Gillian Kenny, Mary Byrne, Emer Butler, Shannon Tierney, Laura Molloy, Leesa Conneely, Lorraine O Halloran, Róísín O Reilly, Avicen Fahy, Caroline Clancy, Sinéad Darcy, Kathleen Duggan and Carol Gibbons.