Cardiff regain the title of Gloucestershire County Champions in 2012

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Updated: January 30, 2014
Cardiff regain the title of Gloucestershire County Champions in 2012

The Saw Doctors famously sang a song that goes ‘to win just once ..that would be enough .. that is our desire ..to win just once that would be enough’.

That may be a popular song in Longford and maybe even in Mayo but thankfully at St. Colmcilles Cardiff we prefer to sing songs like ‘We are the Champions’ and ‘Simply the Best’

While 2012 might be remembered as the Year of the Cancellation, with teams cancelling championship and league games left right and centre. On Sunday 16th September, St. Colmcilles made their first cancellation of the year, the St. Nicks Championship celebration party.

As the Gloucester Senior Final of 2012 began St. Nicks had the better of the early exchanges. The Bristol team settled quicker and found their range with a few handy scores to settle the nerves. From the side manager Des Gilleran made a few tactical changes and before long Colmcilles began to register their first scores thanks to sharp shooters Martin Flood and Shane Hyland. Alan Rowley caused havoc on the wing and Dan Mc Cool began to get into his stride.

As the first half rumbled on the game fell into a routine. Tackle hard, take a big hit, get up, tackle harder and give an even bigger hit. St. Nicks might have been winning on the score board but slowly Cardiff began to assert their dominance. Beginning in midfield with Dave Quinn and Rae Mc Loughlin. The midfield duo began to win more procession and as the clocked ticked towards half time Cardiff began to see more of the ball. St. Nicks made a big tactical error in leaving Colmcille captain Mark O’ Neill almost as a free man, the Armagh man took up the sweeper role and tied up all in front of him.

Half time. One point up and still only in 3rd gear.

Would the disappointment of previous years return to haunt the Cardiff team? Or would all the fitness work done by Eoin Butler pay off. Time would tell.

St. Nicks began the half with a few promising looking attacks but they failed to trouble the scoreboard. Then Red Murphy began to purr and chalked up a couple of points and a superb goal. That goal was the one the bust the dam. The shackles were off.

St. Nicks tried to respond but the Colmcille back line swallowed up ball after ball. Where did the St. Nicks forwards go? Roache landed in Doylers pocket. Brannigan the shut down corner built a wall round his man and Butler was simply sharper, quicker and more determined than his man.

Before long Safe Hands Farrelly was a mere spectator as St. Nicks could only raise the white flag twice in the second half.

Full Forward Paul Kennedy acted like a quarter back and distributed ball after ball as Colmcilles attacked in waves. Even young Dolan, popped up from half back to grab two points, while Ollie Harney continued to move the ball superbly from defence into attack.

In the end Colmcilles romped to comfortable victory and secured their first championship win in three years with a score of 2-12 to 5 points.

The victory really was a squad effort and recognition must be given to the lads unlucky enough not to make the starting 15. This year Colmcilles has benefitted from an influx of new players who have impacted on the team like a dose of EPO.

As a result lads who have worked hard and made the sacrifices all year are not getting the deserved game time. We are lucky that we have 20 maybe 22 players who would walk onto any team in this County. The jersey Tug Of War in 2013 is going to make very interesting watching.

Our management team led by Des Gilleran (manager); Mark O’ Neill (Captain) and Eoin Butler (trainer) deserve special credit. Training has been as great, as physical and most importantly as enjoyable as it has ever been. Fitness work combined with good drills produced fine flowing football played with the hunger and intensity needed to win the championship. The contribution of Declan Mc Sorley also needs to be acknowledged, his advice, experience and tactical genius is always welcomed and appreciated.

Thanks also to our sponsors. Conor and Ceire Mc Closkey provide unbelievable support and generosity alongside unforgettable bouts of social shenanigans – thank you.

Shane O Gorman from O’ Neills, thanks very much for all the hospitality, we’ll never go hungry as long as you are about.

Finally, a huge debt of thanks to the men who started it all; our Committee members, Mick Power, Eddie Tracey, Tommy Flattery, John Quigley and Johnny Power.

Starting XVI : Aidan Farrelly, Micheal Brannigan, Martin Doyle, Eoin Butler, Oliver Harney, Mark O’Neill (Capt), Marty Dolan, David Quinn, Rea McLoughlin, Alan Rowley, Alan Murphy, Daniel McCool, Martin Flood, Paul Kennedy, Shane Hyland.

Subs; Sean Roddy for Rowley, Mark Deverall for Hyland, Ed Sullivan for Butler, Dave Griffin for Flood.

Unsed Subs; Fergus O’Neill Thomas Murtagh, Des Gilleran, Shane Galvin, Niall Daly & Mattie Brady.

Date Added: 7th April 2013

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