Parnells Blue (U10) team played four games at the All Britain Tournament (ABC) at a breezy and balmy Greenford on Friday (Tim Slattery)
The team was one of four under 10 teams, entered by the club which reflects how popular Gaelic games are with our children.
All our teams looked resplendent in their new togs and socks. The Blue team puffed out their chests and did not look out of place in the under 12’s jerseys which they had borrowed for the day.
The team comprised of the following players :-
Thomas O’Brien, Michael O’Brien, Tiernan Hession, Kian Wood, Matthew Cox, Riain McDonnell, Sean Buckley, Ryan Moran and Tadhg O’Slatara.
First game was a close affair against Birmingham’s Sean McDermotts. The Birmingham team was full of running and endeavour right from the beginning and took a couple of well deserved early scores. It was a ding dong battle for most of the game with not an inch given by either side. However once we scored it seemed to settle us and we want on to add a few more scores to just nudge ahead of our gallant opponents by the end of the game.
Next up was a more familiar foe in the shape of our neighbours Tír Chonaill Gaels. Whatever slumber was in our bones was truly shaken off for this encounter. Some good approach play led to a number of scores and this allied to stern defending meant that we had out-scored our opponents by the final whistle.
Our third game was against John Mitchell’s another Birmingham side who had some fine players. The start of the game was quite close and the Mitchell’s took an early lead. However we managed an equaliser and from them on grew in confidence, scoring some excellent points in a purple patch that saw us comfortably cross the finish line first.
We now had a well deserved break for a late lunch before our final game against St. Joseph’s from Waltham Cross. By this stage confidence levels were high and we played some excellent football against our bigger opponents. It was great to end the day on a high with a fine team performance and smiles all round.
Well done to Tiernan whose best position might well be in defence as he tracked back very well particularly in our last game.
Thomas was fantastic in all games showing great positional sense and scoring a peach of a point , one of the highlights of the day. Sean was indefatigable throughout, tenacious in defence, brilliant under the high ball and he took some great scores also.
Kian playing in his first Gaelic Blitz showed his footballing ability laying off the ball well and using his strength to keep possession when under pressure.
Riain played very strongly in all games and his defending and midfield play kept us in a few games. However he saved his best for last, rattling off some superb points in our final game.
Tadhg was another who played very strongly, winning a number of turnovers, catching some great ball and completing some super accurate passes. He also managed to take a few scores.
Matthew was enjoying himself too and his enthusiasm seemed to rub off on those around him. He demonstrated a full array of skills. He was strong in defence, made some excellent catches and kicked the ball very well. He also chipped in with a score or two.
Ryan who was always dangerous when in possession was lively in midfield but it was upfront that he showed his undoubted attacking abilities. He created good space and used that skilful left foot of his to split the posts on more than one occasion.
Last but not least Michael won a feast of ball and defended and attacked extremely well. He combined superbly with his teammates and took some great scores. The poacher then turned gamekeeper when he went in goals for the final two games after taking a knock to his ankle. He was kept busy by the Mitchell’s and made some crucial interventions to steady the ship when we entered stormy waters.
The lads improved with each game and by the end of the day had bonded really well. As usual they behaved very well and were a pleasure to manage.
A final word of thanks to Paul O’Brien who helped out Tim on the day.