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Westmeath Topic - 12 April 2018

58 SPORT TOPIC •

58 SPORT TOPIC • 12 April, 2018 Shane Hopkins on his way to winning the Under 12 All- Ireland Pool title. The Westmeath Ladies Pool team that competed in the All-Ireland Championships in Killarney. From left to right: Sarah Moran, Lynda Curley, Pamela Browne, Eileen Spillane, Oonagh Jordan, Laura Carr, Dee McVeigh and Hazel Hynds. Shane Hopkins from Mullingar, winner of the Irish Under 12 Pool Championship. Success for Westmeath at All-Ireland Inter County Pool Championships Shane Hopkins wins All-Ireland title, as Westmeath teams impress The All Ireland Inter County Pool Championships were held in the Gleneagle Hotel, Killarney, at the end of March, and with a huge contingent of 44 players, Westmeath, were confident of performing well and bringing more silverware home to the Lake County, but with over 700 players participating across the different categories, it certainly wasn’t going to be easy. Westmeath had three men’s teams playing in three different divisions, two ladies teams, an Over- 50s team, an Under-18 team and an Under-15 team, but the star of the weekend was young Shane Hopkins from Mullingar who clinched the All-Ireland under 12 title. The midlanders were hopeful of our Men’s A and B teams doing well, as the general consensus was that the Westmeath ‘A’ team, The Westmeath Men’s A Pool team that competed in the All-Ireland Championships in Killarney. Back row from left to right: Rob Malynn, Damien McCallan, Jamie O’Connor, David Burns, Terence Bracken and Sean O’Connor. Front row from left to right: Pat Farrelly, Terry Parker, Gary Walsh and Alan Claffey. was the strongest the county had in a number of years, while the Westmeath ‘B’ team was full of experience, with many having played on the county’s A team in previous years. The Westmeath ‘C’ team, on the other hand, had some very inexperienced players but had plenty of quality nonetheless. MENS TEAMS Unfortunately, neither the ‘A’ or ‘B’ team could get out of first gear, losing all group games, followed by losses in the Shield tournament, apart from the ‘A’ team who, for the second year running, made it to the Shield final, just losing out to the team they beat in last year’s final, Cork. The ‘B’ and ‘C’ teams went in front in some of their matches but were unable to push on to claim victory. There was even a final frame decider for the B team against our neighbours Offaly. Maybe there are lessons to be learned in terms of preparation from this year’s poor showing or maybe it was just one of those tournaments where nothing went right for us. LADIES The two Westmeath ladies teams, while very new and very inexperienced, performed well, pushing all opposing teams to the last couple of frames in each match and the B team even managed to get a draw against the much-fancied Tyrone team. So, both teams fell into the Shield tournament where they were drawn against each other in the semi final. Each frame was contested well but it was the ladies ‘A’ team that made it to the final, where they became undone by a strong Meath team. This was not a bad performance from a new group of players who are all eager to come back a lot stronger for next year’s campaign. In the Singles events, Oonagh Jordan performed best, winning two matches before eventually losing out to this year’s Irish Number 1 in the quarter finals. OVER-50’S The Westmeath seniors’ team, who reached the final last year, only managed to reach the quarter-finals this time around. The team was unchanged from last year in terms of personnel, and performed well in the group, despite losing the first match. Unlike the men’s teams, the seniors got out of first gear and won the two remaining matches to qualify for the last 8 of the competition but were undone by a Meath team on a final frame decider. JUNIOR We had much the same teams for both the Under-15 and Under-18 divisions, with the exception of one player who was over-age for the U15s, while the others were aged between 9 and 13. Unfortunately, we didn’t have our multiple county tournament winner and Irish Open champion Ciaran Egerton with us for this championship, but the team was still in good shape, with the U12 and U15 County champion Shane Hopkins in our midst. With our team being very young, the Under-15 division was our main goal, as the Under-18 division is very strong amongst the other counties. The young lads had a tough start against the favourites, and unfortunately came out on the losing side, but the performance was good. This gave them confidence going into the remaining group matches which they won, qualifying them for the semi-finals, where they became undone by the eventual champions Tyrone. In the Under-15 singles, Shane Hopkins and Calum Burns played well in the early rounds and were eventually drawn against each other in the Last 16 round, where Calum came out on top, and despite a valiant effort in the quarter final, was knocked out on a final frame decider. IRISH UNDER-12 POOL CHAMPION However the highlight of the weekend was Shane Hopkins of Mullingar being crowned the Under-12 Irish Pool Champion. This is the only division without a team event but also the only division where Westmeath now have a champion. This competition was played on the final day of the festival of pool (as it is commonly known). Shane performed brilliantly in this category throughout the day, and barely faltered as he got through the rounds and eventually won the final on a 4-1 scoreline. What made it even more special for Shane, is that his whole family and the Westmeath contingent who remained, were there to cheer him on. The young players in the Westmeath Pool underage ranks are going to raise the bar even more in the coming years, as judging by the talent on view, there are definitely more Irish Championship medals coming to the Lake County. Well done and congratulations Shane. Contact us! No matter what age you are, if you want to join the association for next season’s campaign, contact us on facebook or Call/Text Rob on 0863769452. The Westmeath Men’s C Pool team that competed in the All-Ireland Championships in Killarney. Back row from left to right: Paddy Rabbitte, Jamie Guinan, Darren Morris, Corey Halford and Richie Toal. Front row from left to right: William Geoghegan, Philip Hopkins, Shane Hopkins, Graham Newman and Paddy Geoghegan. The Westmeath Men’s B Pool team that competed in the All-Ireland Championships in Killarney. Back row from left to right: Daniel Jordan, Mark Scally, Alan Muldarry, Thomas Flanagan, Kyle McCallan and Graham Temple. Front row from left to right: Mark Lynch, Dwayne Egerton, Keith Mulligan and JJ McVeigh. The Westmeath Under 18 Pool team that competed in the All-Ireland Championships in Killarney. Back row from left to right: Kian Hopkins, Louise Hopkins and Calum Burns, and in front Tadgh Burns, Mickie McKnight and Shane Hopkins.

TOPIC • 12 April, 2018 GAA Notes - Nótaí CLG SPORT 59 MULLINGAR SHAMROCKS SEAMROIG AN MHUILEANN CEARR WONDERFUL OCCA- SION: CROKE PARK DEBUT FOR MULLINGAR SHAMROCKS UNDER-8S It was an early start on Wednesday morning for our Under-8 footballers as they assembled in Springfield for the 08.15am departure for their debut in Croke Park. The occasion was the Leinster Under-8 Croke Park Activity Day in association with Littlewoods Ireland. The bus arrived in the Cathedral of Gaelic Games in good time and after a picnic in the arctic conditions of the Cusack stand, the players changed into their playing gear in the frosty open-air for their big moment (a reminder, perhaps, of what it was like in the old days and a measure of progress in the past few decades!). But first there was a visit to the one of the dressing rooms at the base of the Cusack Stand where some of our players made themselves totally at home as can be seen from the attached photos. It was then to the warmup area attached to the dressing rooms to prepare for the big match before moving into the tunnels and out to the pitch to the roar of the crowd where Mullingar Shamrocks had three 9-a-side teams playing against Rehan (Kildare) and St Patrick’s (Louth) using the Go-Games Concept. It was just wonderful to see the young players have their day out and get 40 minutes of football on the pitch. When the final whistle was blown all players travelled to the Hogan stand presentation area and had the opportunity of lifting a trophy where so many captains over the years have lifted the Sam Maguire and Liam MacCarthy cups. It was then back to the Cusack stand (some took timeout for a Sunday Game style interview behind the Cusack stand goal!), for more food before heading back to Mullingar with a stop at Apple 2017 Westmeath Open Snooker Championship final TERRY PARKER BEAT RICHIE TOAL 5-4 Green on the way where some healthy food was consumed. Mullingar Shamrocks were represented by Zach Gilbride, Lewis Farrelly, M. J. Burke, Killian Hand, Jamie Timoney, Jonah Hassett, Conor Matthews, Fionn Ledwith, Lily Walsh, Kacey Cleary, Sam Sheerin, Darragh McCabe, Sam Phillips, Oliver Keane, Ryan Keaveney, Colm Clinton, Carl Keane, Jamie Murtagh, Cian Treanor, Lily Rose Rock, Macy Gilligan,, Kajetan Semperski, Anna Orenczuk, Emily Maguire, Adam Clinton, Alfie Rock, Shane Boner, Liam Forde, Josh Burke, Theo Kelly, Darragh Daly, Manus Kelly, Moya Kilmartin, Conan Kelly, Emily Forde. The behaviour and good humour of these players in unpleasant conditions was a credit to their families and from a club perspective it was great to see so many parents and indeed grandparents make the journey to Croke Park. Well done to our coaches and mentors for their dedication and goodwill in volunteering their time so willingly. Finally, the Leinster Council should be acknowledged for this wonderful initiative in allowing the young players to experience the Croke Park sensation. The logistics involved worked with military precision in what was a very busy day for the officials. The only negative was outside everyone’s control … the weather could hardly have been worse: bitterly cold and heavy rain but this did not spoil what was a wonderful occasion for all those involved. STRICTLY SHAMROCKS LAUNCHED Our Strictly Shamrocks was launched in spectacular fashion in The Fence on Saturday night. It was wonderful to see the support from Shamrocks people for the dancers. (see details and photos on page 49 of this issue). MERCHANDISE DAY Mullingar Shamrocks Merchandise Day has been confirmed for Saturday, 14 April from 10am to 1pm in The Clubhouse in conjunction with KC Sports. Representatives of KC Sports team will attend on the day to assist with sizing and to process orders. A full range of sizing samples will be available on the day. Full payment in CASH must be made on the day to KC Sports who will deliver your completed order in 3-4 weeks at an agreed date. Approximate Prices (Child- Adult): Shorts and Socks: €20- €25; Club Jersey: €25-€35; Skinny Pants: €25-€30; Gear Bag: €20; Adidas Tracksuit Top: €35-€45; Jacket (Adult only): €75; Beanie Cap: €15. MULLINGAR SHAM- ROCKS NEW WEBSITE TAKES FLIGHT Our previous website had some trouble in flying through cyberspace in certain conditions, so we have chosen a new flight path in conjunction with our friends who brought us the ClubifyApp. This website was sent into orbit at the weekend and will always be up to date as material posted on the ClubifyApp will automatically be directed to the website. The new model also has fixtures, results and a great photograph section. Scroll down under the ‘More’ section and you will find lots of material on Mullingar Shamrocks. The new address is www.mullingarshamrocksgaa.co m .Take a few minutes to have a look. Tickets for Strictly Shamrocks may be purchased from the website if you wish. ACL DIV. 4: Athlone 0-13 Mullingar Shamrocks 0-11 Results wise not the best of weekends for Mullingar Shamrocks in the ACL with three defeats recorded. This ACL Div. 4 match in Athlone was certainly one that got away as an estimated 2-9 in scores were missed from open play and frees and this might have been a conservative calculation. This fault that can be easily eradicated when training resumes on playable pitches and players become familiar with the ball. Both Athlone and Mullingar Shamrocks included of players who will feature in the senior championship when it begins in four months’ time. This weekend provided the first steps on this journey and lads got plenty of football (a few hardy boys saw action in all three games) and after all this is the object of the exercise. Mullingar Shamrocks: Robbie Boyle; Eamonn Breslin, David Coyne, Keith Moore; Alan Cashman, Ross Corroon, Paddy Joyce; Dillon Matthews and Nathan Smith (Matthew Maslin); Pearse Corroon (Marc Eivers), Dean Moore, Kenneth O’Reilly (Conor Twomey); Jordan Warde, Tye Adamson, Darren Keena. LADIES GAELIC FOOT- BALL UNDER-12 LEAGUE Clan na Gael 1-3 Mullingar Shamrocks 3-6 Our Under-12 girls started their 2018 league campaign with great away win against Clann na Gael in a cold blustery Bunbrosna yesterday evening. Seventeen players, in all made their way down the N4 and every single one played their part in the game which was played at a great pace from beginning to end. Shamrocks started well, aided by the strong breeze and opened the scoring with a goal from captain Sophie Russell in the first few minutes of the game. The girls extended their lead with more well taken scores and had established a healthy lead by halftime. In the second half, tables were turned, with Shamrocks facing the stiff breeze and a determined Clann na Gaels team. However, in a wonderful team effort, the girls put in a great defensive display and held Clann to a goal and two points in the second half. Four girls spent time on goalkeeping duties Zara, Seoidin, Megan and Eirin. A special mention to a number of girls who made their debut for Mullingar Shamrocks, Abigail, Jagoda, Roisin, and Rosie. On their opening showing we hope they will be lining out for Shamrocks for years to come! The team played very well considering the girls have had very limited training due to all the weather issues, Confirmation and holidays. An excellent performance to begin the year and we hope to build on this as the season progresses. Mullingar Shamrocks: Jagoda Bartosowiecz, Zara Corroon, Aine Creagh, Grace Daly, Sarah Ford, Alessia Hassett, Mollie Maguire, Rosie Moffatt, Abigail Molloy, Eirin Murray, Roisin Nohilly, Emily Pearce, Linda Raeside, Shauna Russell, Sophie Russell, Megan Scally, Seoidin Thornton. LADIES GAELIC FOOT- BALL LEAGUE, DIV. 1 Mullingar Shamrocks 7-10 St. Loman’s 0-6 No doubt about it this was the performance of the week (or maybe of the year so far) by a Mullingar Shamrocks team. The players have been working hard on their fitness levels since early January and this was very evident from the tackling and support play on offer on Sunday evening in Lakepoint Park. Shamrocks were the dominant team in the first-half but failed to transfer this to the scoreboard as a series of wides and missed chances ruined some superb approach play. The Shamrocks full-forward line of Carole Finch, Clara Thornton and Casey McDermott in particular impressed and were clearly on top of their game. Understrength St. Loman’s too missed some good chances and Lucy McCartan on a few occasions raced through the Shamrocks defence without converting the opportunities. St. Loman’s established an early two-point lead courtesy of two pointed frees from Bridget Heslin before Mullingar Shamrocks goaled when Áine Melody lobbed the St. Loman’s goalkeeper. Vicky Carr and Lucy McCartan (2) added points, Emma Morris, in her comeback game, responded with 0-2 to leave the half-time score reading 0-6 to 1-2 in favour of St. Loman’s. Anna Jones (0-2), Niamh Kennedy, Clara Thornton and Emma Morris added points on the resumption before Anna Jones scored the crucial second goal for Shamrocks. It began when Sophie Hegarty chased down a lost cause to regain possession, Carol Finch moved the ball forward to Emma Morris who in turn found Anna Jones who crashed the ball past the St. Loman’s goalkeeper (2-7 to 0-6). Shamrocks non-stop attacking play now began to reap dividends, Clara Thornton added a goal, substitute Shona McNicholas smashed a goal with her first touch and Anna Jones now playing up-front added two more goals before referee Jim Rock blew the final whistle with Mullingar Shamrocks leading by 7-10 to 0-6. This was a superb team victory characterised by superb tackling, a ferocious work rate and excellent support play. Two players deserve special mention. Anna Jones excelled in midfield with her fielding, work-rate and distribution and later in attack and the experience Anna has gained from her involvement with the Westmeath senior team is clear. However, the star of the night was Clara Thornton who rounded off her twenty-first birthday celebrations with a brilliant performance at full-forward and was simply unstoppable on the night. Mullingar Shamrocks: Loren McCormack; Lorna Morris (Michelle Morris, 0-1), Chloe Flood, Melek Fagan; Cliodhna Spellman, Níamh Spellman, Áine Melody [1-0] (Faye Walsh, 0-1); Michelle Buckley and Anna Jones (3-2); Tara Fagan, Emma Morris (0-3), Niamh Kennedy [0-1] (Shona McNicholas, 1-0); Carole Finch (Liveta Lazauskaite), Clara Thornton [2-2], Casey McDermott (Sophie Hegarty). MINOR LEAGUE FOOTBALL Parker returns from World Pool Championships to capture Westmeath Snooker title Terry Parker returned from action in the World Pool Championship to capture the Westmeath Snooker Championship for 2017 by beating Richie Toal 5-4 in a tense final played in St Mary’s Snooker Club, Bishopsgate Street, Mullingar. The tournament saw 32 players enter but in the end it came down to the final four to battle it out in the semi-finals. Reeling in the years was Ger O’Connor who took on Richie Toal, a semi which Toal won in a one sided affair by 5 frames to 2. In the other semi-final, it was Terry Parker taking on Mick Kane. This match was more of a battle and lasted over three hours, with grinding match-play by both players. With the match tied at 3-3, Mick then took a slight advantage but Terry made a great clearance on the colours from yellow to black to pinch the frame by a point. Parker then prevailed in the next frame to emerge victor 5-3 and advance to the final. Mullingar Open Snooker Championship finalists 2017, on left Richie Toal, runner-up, and on right, Terry Parker, winner. So in the final it was Richie Toal against Terry Parker. Flying start Parker got of to a flying start going 3-1 in front, but then an poor miss by Parker allowed Toal back in to make a 30 break to clear and close the deficit to 3-2. After a good safety battle in the next, Richie clinched the next frame to level it up at 3-3. Richie was building in confidence and won the next frame to move in front for the first time in the match by 4 frames to 3. Toal could almost see the winning line but he let Parker back in to level at 4-4. So now it was down to the final, tense, deciding frame. Parker went ahead early on with 22 point advantage, but Toal got back in on a break of 17 only to have the misfortune to pot the black and screw the cue ball across to the opposite corner pocket giving away a foul and putting Parker back in play. Crucially Parker potted the last red to go 37 in front, with only 27 remaining. Parker then potted to the green with Toal conceding the frame and the match, leaving Parker the winner by just 5-4. After this very sporting match the ‘Shane O’Connor Memorial trophy was presented to the proud winner Terry Parker by Club Treasurer Pat Donohoe. Tubberclare 2-14 Mullingar Shamrocks 3-10 A slightly understrength Mullingar Shamrocks lost to Tubberclare by the minimum margin on Wednesday evening: we were missing four of our regulars who started our last league game through sickness and holidays. It is also worth noting that two minors Dillon Matthews and Marc Eivers were playing their fourth competitive game for Shamrocks in five days. Twenty one players travelled to Tubberclare, including four under-16s who started the match and four more who were introduced in the course of the game. All performed very well. It was great to welcome back the CBS players with their freshly minted All-Ireland medals with Trevor Keena excelling at midfield, turning in a real box to box performance and Mark Flynn who is eligible for the under-16 grade looked well capable of playing fullback at the minor level. It was a real good game of football. We started very well but Tubberclare finished the first half strongly and had drawn level at half time. We fell 6 points behind mid-way through the second half but it was great to see how well our lads finished. They never gave up and battled back to within a single point of Tubberclare but unfortunately, we ran out of time. Mullingar Shamrocks: Sean Óg Hynes; Matthew Siode, Mark Flynn (Daniel Chukwuemekg), Josh Haugh; Cian Fox, Mark Eivers, Emmett Walsh; Dillon Matthews, Trevor Keena; John O'Reilly, Cormac Hynes, Zach Aherne (Rory O'Sullivan Sexton), Peter Hynes (William Adzangoa), Adam McCormack (Barry Nwokeiwu), Matthew Maslin. UNDER-16 LEAGUE FOOTBALL Killucan 2-10 Mullingar Shamrocks 1-11 The Mullingar Shamrocks Under-16 team produced their best performance of the season in what was a fine game of football played in Springfield on Friday night with both teams concentrating on football and a fine game was the result. Midway through the second half Mullingar Shamrocks had fallen 0-6 behind but recovered well and some fine points by Zach Aherne and Brian Farrell reduced the deficit to the minimum. Killucan responded and extended their lead but a great goal by William Adzangoa re-ignited Shamrocks hopes but unfortunately Shame Maher’s final whistle halted the comeback. FÉILE NA GAEL There was no joy for Mullingar Shamrocks Under-14 footballers in the Féile na Gael competition as we were eliminated after losing our second match against Lilliput Gaels. We began with a 3-8 to 0-0 victory against Inny Shamrocks who were also beaten by Lilliput Gaels. A quarter-final place was at stake in our second match but two early strikes by the classy Shane Corcoran put the St Malachy’s-Ballinagore combination into a lead they were never to relinquish. A fine goal by Ben Meredith revived Shamrocks hopes but the home team could only manage 0-3 from frees by Conor Fagan for the remainder and Lilliput Gaels survived and were deserving winners 2-2 to 1-3 winners. FIXTURES Under-16 Football League: Mullingar Shamrocks v The Downs, Monday, 09 April, Springfield at 6.30pm. Under-14 Ladies Gaelic Football League: Mullingar Shamrocks v St Loman’s, Tuesday, 10 April, Lakepoint Park at 6.30pm. Under-14 Football League: Mullingar Shamrocks v Moate All-Whites, Thursday, 12 April, Springfield at 6.30pm.

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