All week Cuala folk have been wondering “Why didn’t we do this before ? “
It’s been a big week in Dalkey, the big show came to town, the disruption to traffic , people putting up bunting, straining to take photos and desperately trying to get a better vantage point, yes it can only mean one thing, The Mini All Irelands (MAI) are on. There are few better sights in the Village either, the pitch packed with Kids treating the matches like the last minute of a All-Ireland final replay ( that’s level ) , and every family member on the sideline encouraging them on. This year there has been an addition, Gaelic4Dads, and what an addition !!
Gaelic4Dads has only been in existence since March but is already the talk of the club, all week Cuala folk have been wondering “Why didn’t we do this before ? “. The initial spark came from Academy parent Paul Groarke, who insists that he has a core group of other Dads around him doing trojan work, G4D is a group of parents who train every Friday at 7pm in Thomastown. The standard is very mixed and that’s how they like it, it doesn’t matter if you never played or were an Allstar once, you are welcome. Throw in that the lads are also improving fitness ( the benefits for Men’s health are a no brainer ) you can now understand why G4D has exploded. So much so that this week, after the MAI’s the G4D’s held a mini blitz, 4 teams who will play 3 matches on Monday, Thursday and the final set of matches are set for Saturday at 1pm in Dalkey. And what craic it’s been, with kids & Wives lining the pitches screaming encouragement ( and sometimes instructions ) to their Dads, the G4D’s have been battling it out all week. We have seen some great scores, and some great misses, I personally saw a father this week “clear his lines” whilst disciplining his 2 sons on the sideline, who said men can’t multitask. Matches reports from Monday’s battles are below.
The Adult football section are reaping the benefits as well, last week the club fielded 4 teams in adult championship for the first time, and G4D’s Gary Widger and Stephen Clancy played a crucial role in the D championship win over St Maurs. So what’s next ? Training will continue in Thomastown at 7pm on Friday’s and there are friendly’s against Round Towers and Kilmacud arranged. Anyone with any interest stroll down to Thomastown on a Friday or contact CualaGaelic4Dads@gmail.com.
You don’t stop playing when you get old – You get old when you stop playing.
Under Dogs vs Laochra Gaels: Monday 17th June 8pm
The Laochra Gaels togged out in pristine Cuala strip, while the Under Dogs (true to their name) wore jerseys from an era when construction companies could afford to sponsor teams.
The Gaels opened the scoring with a well worked point after only 15 seconds of play. Unfortunately (for them), that was to be the only time they led until late in the 2nd half.
Half-time saw a serious huddle for the Gaels while the Dogs stretched out on the turf. However, the hair-dryer treatment from SeanO had the desired affect with the Gaels coming out with fire in their bellies and knocking in 2 points in quick succession.
Some good passages of play for the Gaels weren’t always rewarded with scores at the other end (their key striker – Mick Murray, inexplicably left in goal) but like a bad smell they kept coming back at us and eventually with 5 minutes to go went in front with a nice point from Gordon.
That was the moment when (Cuala legend) Derek Dunne stepped up.
Taking the ball in mid-field he set off at a gallop (with a bevvy of females on the side-line cheering him on). A couple of Gaels bounced off Derek only managing to slow his pace slightly. As he bore down on goal the remaining Gael backs threw themselves in front in a last ditch effort to stop the pile-driver shot which ended up in the back of the net (if we had a net) and won the game for the Dogs.
Final score: Laochra Gaels: 2-10, Under Dogs 2-12
All Stars vs Hill-16: Monday 17th June 8pm
The game started brightly for the Stars with FergalO & co causing mayhem up front. Gary Widger (fresh from club action againts Maurs) managed to save the ’16 blushes with some great keeping.
The Hill troops were rallied by their captain at half-time and the bollocking (along with some help from the ref) meant the Hill were soon back on terms. With Roy in nets (if we had nets) at the back, Gary Widger was unleashed up front for the Hill.
Some dubious tackles of a rugby nature by the Hill-16 captain also went unnoticed by the ref. This, and a last minute All Stars disallowed goal led to the accusations of an unsavoury nature.
A win for the Hill with only 2 points in it testament to the skill levels on both teams (and the fine selection skills of the organisers).
Final score: All Stars: 6-10, Hill-16 6-12