Firstly, I hope everyone had a very enjoyable, safe and peaceful Christmas. Blink and its over before you know it!. May I take this opportunity, to wish all our members, supporters, sponsors and the Aghada community a Happy New Year. Hopefully, it will be an enjoyable and prosperous year ahead for everyone. Thankfully in 2022, we had the return to some sense of normality on the playing pitch after the Covid 19 pandemic. We had a very busy year in Aghada with numerous activities happening both on and off the pitch.
On The Pitch:
We had a hectic year on the playing fields this year and it was great to see all of our players enjoying our national games after a terribly disrupted few years due to the pandemic. We began the year with a junior football challenge game vs Dungourney on the 13th of February in Rostellan. This was the start of a host of games to come. Our intermediate hurlers played 6 round robin league games winning 3, drawing 2 and losing 1. This meant we qualified for the league quarter final vs Aghabullogue but unfortunately we did not come out on the right side of the result here. In championship, we unfortunately failed to get out of our group but the highlight of the hurling year was certainly the victory over near neighbours Midleton in Castlemartyr. Ronan Murphy was the star of the show here, striking 6 points from play on his adult hurling debut! Our junior hurlers played 11 competitive games this year with 4 of these coming in championship. The lads reached the quarter final of the championship but unfortunately lost by two points to a very impressive Castlelyons team in Dungourney. Our first ever U19 hurling team played Watergrasshill in their opening championship game in mid-July. Unfortunately, on the day we struggled to field a team with our 15th player being parachuted in at last minute. However, our young players provided everyone in attendance on the night with great joy and pride as they fought for every single ball on the pitch until the final whistle sounded. Hopefully, in the years ahead, we will see plenty more of these lads on the playing fields because the way they fought for the jersey and their team mates was great to see and is exactly what we need.
On the football front, our premier intermediate footballers played 9 round robin league games, winning 6, drawing 1 one losing 2. This meant that we qualified for the league semi-final vs Rockchapel. This game was a super advertisement for football and thankfully we came out on the right side of the result after an EIGHT goal thriller. Believe it or not, the final still has not been played and is down for decision in early 2023 vs Kanturk. In championship our lads lost out to Bantry in their opening game but showed great character to recover and qualify for the knockout stages with back to back victories over Na Piarsaigh and Castletownbere. We then faced Cill Na Martra in the quarter final but unfortunately our opponents were much better on the day and we fell to a heavy defeat in Ballincollig. Our second football team again competed at Junior A level this year and acquitted themselves very well. This team played 8 league games, winning 6 and losing 2. The team was very unfortunate to lose out on a league final appearance due to an extremely late walkover being granted to another team in the division. On the bright side, our lads still secured promotion to division 1 of the East Cork League with their third place finish. In championship, we played three championship games in a very narrow window and won a very competitive game against Glenbower Rovers in Copper Alley. Unfortunately we fell to 2 narrow defeats in our remaining two group games which meant we exited the championship at the group stage for the second year in a row. Our third football team again competed at Junior C level this year. The team played 7 league games and won 6 which meant they topped their league. In late October, this team faced Midleton in the league final under the lights in Rostellan. In a game that swung both ways, our lads who were made up of both young and old stars came out on top in a whopper of a game that took nearly ninety minutes to find a winner. On the night, Eoin Motherway was the clear star, scoring some fabulous points. On the championship front, our C Footballers again qualified for the final after impressive victories over Carraig Na bhFear, St Catherines and Lisgoold. Unfortunately, the final didn’t go our way a few weeks ago in a low scoring game in Rostellan vs Glanmire. However, this team will be delighted with their year with the league title secured. Our U19 Footballers had a fantastic season this year. These lads qualified for the County Football Final after tremendous victories over both Carbery Rangers and Éire Óg. The highlight of these victories had to be the way our lads ground out the win against Carbery Rangers in Rostellan. Down to 14 men for the final ten minutes, every single one of our young men dug in to ensure we came away with a well-deserved three point win. The semi-final win over Éire Óg meant we met St Michaels in the County Final. This was a fantastic game of football that either team could have won but unfortunately it was the city side that came out on top. Well done to all the lads involved in this team. A fantastic achievement to reach the final and some of this teams performances were probably the clubs highlight of the year as a whole.
Our juvenile teams had another highly successful year on the playing fields. Hundreds of children took to Páirc Liam Uí Riain all year and it really is a credit to all involved in the running of our juvenile section that every child is looked after with such care and professionalism. Well done to our U16 hurlers who reached the Premier 1 County Final in late November. Unfortunately, the result didn’t go our way but there’s no doubt these players will be back stronger than ever next year. A special shout out here also to all the organisers who ran a hugely successful Cúl Camp yet again this year with great fun had by all.
Our ladies football club was run brilliantly again this year. Well done to the Junior ladies team who won the Junior 2 County Championship in the Summer. As well as this, the senior ladies football team had a fantastic season, reaching the county semi-final where they faced the famed Mourneabbey in Rostelllan. This was a historic occasion in Rostellan and only for a poor start, our girls could very well have caused one of the biggest shocks in Cork Lades Football history.
Moving on from the ladies Football, our Camogie club had an absolutely tremendous year winning the Junior B Camogie County title. This was a great achievement for all involved and it is brilliant that these girls will be playing Junior A Camogie in 2023. Well done girls and drive it on even more next year!
At the County Convention at the start of the month, the draws were completed for the Premier Intermediate Football Championship and Intermediate A hurling Championship 2023. In football we will face Cill Na Martra, Na Piarsaigh and Kilshannig. In hurling we will face Youghal, Lisgoold and Aghabullogue. Great games to look forward to.
A massive thanks to all the players and mentors involved in these teams during 2022 and we look forward to welcoming ye all back in 2023. Finally, well done to all our players who represented Cork, Imokilly, and their school/college teams during the year.
Off The Pitch:
There was a lot happened off the pitch in Aghada GAA club in 2022. Firstly, Eoin O’Neill was ratified as Imokilly Senior Football Manger for the year. A great honour for both Eoin and his club to be intrusted with getting the divisions football fortunes back on track. Brian Walsh was involved in Keith Ricken’s Cork Senior Football backroom team. Along with this Fergal Condon was ratified as Cork U20 Hurling Selector yet again. David Wallace also had the honour of referring the primary games between Kerry and Cork at half time of the Munster Senior Football Semi-final in Páirc Uí Rinn.
One of the highlights of the year for Aghada GAA was the introduction of GAA For All in our club. This was a fantastic initiative set up by Joel Pett which provided children of all ages with additional needs an opportunity to play some fun GAA games every Saturday morning in Rostallan. Linking in with this, well done to Elaine Counihan who organised for our Ukrainian visitors who are now living in the parish to be included in many of our juvenile training sessions.
We also set up a new café in our GAA grounds in 2022. After a social media poll, the café was named The Sideline Café. This has been a great asset to the club from a social point of view with parents and supporters able to get a cup of tea, coffee or soft drink and have a chat with friends while our matches and trainings take place. Well done to Helen Walsh here who got the Café up and running.
Another brilliant initiative that was set up this year was the establishment of our healthy club. This initiative only got up and running half way through the year but already we have seen huge progress as our grounds in Rostellan are now smoke free. We have also had a very informative talk from Timmy Long from the Two Norrie’s on the addiction issues facing many of our young members these days. The Healthy club committee have a lot of plans in the pipeline for 2023 so be sure to keep an eye on social media for more exciting news. Well done and thanks to Gillian Berry who has drove this new project. Well done to Vera Terry who organised Aghada GAA clubs involvement in the Relay For Life in Midleton CBS during the year. A fantastic cause and it was great to have our club involved in the event. Linking in with the healthy club, over the last 7 weeks, local teachers in our community have provided free grinds to any member of our club who are sitting their leaving certificate in June 2023. A big thanks to all the teachers involved here.
During the summer there was also enormous voluntary work carried out by our members and supporters. In fact on one fine Summers day, over 220 tonne of stone was laid and 700 metres of our brand new walkway was completed. This walkway is absolutely stunning and if you haven’t had the pleasure of using it yet, I’d recommend you take a stroll down to Rostellan over the Christmas holidays and take in the beautiful scenery while burning off that Christmas dinner! We also held a very successful club clean-up day in late August. It was heartening to see so many volunteers both young and old come out to give our grounds a facelift. The result was amazing with every single wall in the vicinity of Páirc Liam Uí Riain getting a fresh coat of green and white paint. Of course there was much more added to our facilities during the year including a new PA system, a new defibrillator, new flag poles, an upgrade to the portacabin and much more. It should be noted that none of these facility upgrades would be possible if it wasn’t for peoples support to our two main fundraisers. These being our club lotto and Rebels Bounty. Our club lotto takes place every Thursday evening at 9:30pm live on our club Facebook page. Tune in to see Club President John Motherway sing a song and play a tune before the draw takes place. It would be great if our supporters could continue to support our club lotto in 2023. Rebels Bounty was also a fantastic success in 2022 for Aghada GAA. Keep an eye on social media over the next few weeks as we will be having our Aghada GAA Rebels Bounty members draw for 2022. Maybe you will be a lucky winner! Ticket sales for Rebels Bounty 2023 are also around the comer so keep an eye out for that too.
It was fantastic to host the Cork Senior Hurling Team for a training session in early December. The team and management were incredibly generous with their time and signed numerous autographs for our young boys and girls. The boys and girls were in awe of one man… guess who… Patrick Horgan! Thanks to the team and management for visiting Aghada and best wishes for the year ahead, especially to our own Fergal Condon who is selector with the team. We also hosted the Cork Minor hurlers early in the year when they played Dublin in a challenge game. Another great day in Rostellan.
In late November, our AGM took place. It was our first in person AGM since the pandemic started and it was a very historic one. On the night we voted to endorse the One Club model and join with Aghada Camogie Club and Aghada Ladies Football Club. There was great emotion on the night when it was decided to amalgamate with the ladies clubs. This proposal has since gone before the Ladies Football AGM and Camogie EGM and passed unanimously. So Aghada GAA, Aghada Camogie and Aghada Ladies Football are now ONE CLUB. A historic time in the history of Aghada GAA Club and hopefully we will write some more special memories into the history books as One Club in the years ahead.
Three new Vice Presidents were confirmed for our club at the AGM. Pat O’Connell, Gerry Crowley and Tommy Foley being the three men bestowed with this special honour. They join Anthony Cashman as our Club Vice Presidents. On the night, our Club President John Motherway congratulated the three men on their new appointment.
We also endorsed a new club motto at our AGM: Ár nDícheall Go Deo (Our Best Always). This motto is inspired by our past members who have given selfless service to our great club and we’ve no doubt this motto will be seen and used for many years to come both on and off the field in Aghada GAA Club.
The club would like to thank our main sponsors Irving Oil, and all our sponsors who have helped us out during the year. We would also like to thank all the outlets that sell our lotto tickets every week and we would encourage all our members and supporters to support these outlets throughout 2023.
The week before Christmas can be a very busy week in the lives of many but fair play to some of our club members who gave up their time to spread some festive cheer by organising for Santa to visit Trabolgan Holiday Village. Over the last year, over 600 Ukrainians have moved into our parish and it was great to be able to bring some light to these families lives by brining Santa to visit. Of course, none of this would have been possible if it wasn’t for the help and support of local businesses, individuals and especially Irving Oil. Thanks to the financial support provided, every child in Trabolgan received a very nice gift bag. It was brilliant to see the kids’ faces light up on the day when they saw Santy arrive on the fire engine behind a very special escort from the Gardaí and the Coast Guard. Well doen to all involved here.
On St. Stephen’s Day, the club hosted the annual Tony Ahern Poc Fada. The weather gods were kind to us on the day and the craic was mighty to match it. Well done to the big crowd who took part on the day and to all the organisers. Thanks to The Schooner Bar who sponsored the trophies and hosted the award ceremony.
Before the year concludes, the club would like to take this opportunity to remember all those members who we have lost over the last year and during the Covid 19 pandemic.
Looking ahead to 2023:
There’s lots to look forward to in 2023. It will be our first year where the GAA club, Camogie club and Ladies Football club will operate together as One Club. Hopefully, this will go well and will be the start of a fantastic relationship going forward. Keep an eye on social media for upcoming fixtures that will come thick and fast in the next few weeks. Rumours are the players across the club are back in training already in anticipation for the year ahead.
Major congratulations are in order for two of our members. Firstly, well done to Sarah Leahy who has been appointed as Vice-Captain of the Cork Senior Ladies Football team. A great honour for Sarah and hopefully the team will have a long and successful year. Secondly, huge congrats to Amy O’Connor who has been appointed as Captain of the Cork Senior Camogie team. Hopefully we will see Amy climbing the steps of the Hogan next Summer!
Now, over the last few days, undoubtedly you have been enjoying the Christmas festivities and all the treats that go with it. Maybe you feel like you’ve put on a few pounds or feel like you’ve gotten very little exercise lately. Well fear not as our Healthy Club Committee have organised for the clubs participation in the Ireland lights up campaign. Starting on Wednesday the 11th of January, the club will host a walk for all members of our community on our new walking track between 7-8pm. This walk will take place every Wednesday for 7 weeks on the new walkway between 7-8pm. This will be an event where you can get out and exercise in the fresh air with members of the community. All are welcome.
Happy New Year to all our members and supporters. We hope to see everyone back fit and healthy in early 2023. A reminder the annual Long Kick takes place on New Year’s day (tomorrow) at 11am in Whitegate. It would be great to see a big crowd at this fun family event.
Uinsionn Ó Ruacháin
Oifigeach Caidreamh Poiblí
Vince Rohan - PRO
Aghada GAA, Camogie & Ladies Football Club
Ár nDícheall Go Deo