CONSIDERING the fact that the minor hurling championships were delayed due to the achievement of the county minor team, it was no small feat that competitions were completed.
That’s according to Bord na nÓg’s hurling secretary, Rosaleen Monahan in her report to the board’s annual convention, which will take place on Thursday evening at the Auburn Lodge Hotel.
“The promotion of underage hurling in the county is the primary aim of this board and this year, once again, we witnessed very competitive and entertaining games throughout the various competitions,” the Tubber club woman says in her report.
“Following the structures meeting in mid-February, the competitive season of 2010 commenced with the first round of the U-14B championship on March 28 and culminated on November 7 with the U-15A final replay and the minor A and minor B finals,” the secretary reports.
She goes on, “As we do every year, we met with Bord na nÓg Peil following the structures meeting and compiled a joint timetable for the minor hurling and football championships to help alleviate the pressure placed on players in dual clubs by the staggering of fixtures”. She paid tribute to Anne Hayes and Billy Archbold of Bord na nÓg Peil for their help and co-operation.
“Following a motion at last year’s annual convention, the U-12 competition saw a new format for 2010. It was decided that a series of round robin games would take place in May and June, with a straight knock-out championship taking place in July. While many clubs were sceptical about the idea of only having a knock-out competition, ironically there will be no U-12 championship in any county in 2011 as a motion was passed at National Congress to abolish this competition,” she says.
She continues, “2010 was a special year for underage hurling as the county hosted the national Féile competition. This was a wonderful opportunity for the clubs in the county to compete against the top teams in other counties and it was a marvellous achievement for four of our clubs to participate in the national finals, which were held in Cusack Park.”
“Once again, this year the U-15 championship was played on a straight knock-out basis, which commenced in September. Many questions have been raised as to the relevance of this competition as it is difficult to find an ideal time of the year to run this championship. For the past three years, the competition has commenced in September, allowing for the U-16 championships to be near conclusion and prior to this, it had commenced in April/May. However, when one looks at the already full calendar of fixtures, one has to question whether or not we are overloading our players with too many games. Ironically, Clare is the only county in Munster who run a competition at this age grade,” the secretary states.
Referring to development squads, the secretary said, “This year saw the development squads take on a new dimension. A timetable was compiled with dates and venues for every squad for the complete year, which was co-ordinated by Seanie McMahon, Brian Quinn, Jamsie O’Connor and Jim McInerney and it proved very successful in its first year.”
According to the secretary, the Go Games blitzes have gone from strength to strength over the past few years. “The whole concept of taking the competitive element away and rewarding skills has been one of the mains reasons for this,” she said.
She lamented the fact that there was a lack of referees available throughout the year and in particular once the Féile finals were over. “There are still a number of clubs in the county who do not have a referee,” she noted.
She congratulated the county minor team, who were crowned Munster champions and who “did the county proud in the All-Ireland final in Croke Park in September. Most of those young players came through our development squad system, which is reflective of the success of the squads. With the success of the victorious U-21 team of 2009, coupled with this year’s minor team’s achievement, one would be optimistic for success at senior level in the not too distant future.”
In her report, the secretary also presents a summary of each competition run by the board in 2010. Having served seven years in the position, Rosaleen will not be seeking re-election.
AS announced last week, outgoing officers, Sean O’Halloran (chairman), Rosaleen Monahan (secretary) and Gerry Lynch (treasurer) have all completed their five-year terms and cannot seek re-election.
As was the case with the Bord na nÓg football convention last week, the election of officers will not take place until county convention deals with a motion calling for the amalgamation of both underage boards.
Clarecastle’s Martin Reynolds has been nominated for the post of chairman, while outgoing assistant secretary, John O’Looney from Newmarket and Feakle’s Mike Daly have been nominated for the position of secretary. Neil O’Brien from O’Callaghan’s Mills has been nominated for the position of treasurer.