On Sunday 3rd February, there was great excitement and “non-stop action” in Beaufort when over ninety schoolchildren from 3rd & 4th Class in Loreto Primary School came to play in the second “‘Hockey For All’ blitz’s this season.
As all the teams arrived (each team with a entourage of between 3-4 Managers no less!!) it was clear that all teams were extremely well prepared, totally focused on the job in hand and that the both the players and their managers all meant business. All the young players were very excited – so too it must be said were their very very enthusiastic parents. Indeed special praise must be given to all the parents and grandparents who attended and who cheered on the players all afternoon.
3rd Class Blitz – In the 3rd Class Blitz, despite their relatively young age, some super hockey was played in the Round Robin matches. It was fabulous to watch players Sarah Cooney,Eleanor Leen, Yvonne Gargan (White Team) Ailbhe MacAree, Ellen Kane, Ella Reid (Pink Team) demonstrated their super skills. After all the Round Robin matches were finished, it was the Black Team (Captained by Rachel Dempsey) and the Purple Team (Captained by Emma Kelly) that made it to the Final.
In the final, there was very little between these two super teams. Both teams gave their all. Defensively Alannagh Grady and Clodagh Delaney (Purple Team ) were very brave and cleared their lines time after time. The Black Team eventually won 2-1 after great attacking skills were demonstrated by Marina Fitzsimmons and Ana Kennedy. Alaxandra Boylan played superbly all day and she caught the eye of Ali Meeke (Loreto latest Senior Hockey International Player ) who awarded her the “3rd Class Player of the Tournament” trophy.
4th Class Blitz – In the 4th Class Blitz the standard of hockey on display was wonderful. The level of commitment was again 100% with all teams showing great attacking skills and resolute defending!! Despite some very committed and full on tackling, we are delighted to report the injury count was surprising low with only one Band-Aid required all afternoon!! Players like Aoife Mellett, Abbey Guinane (Blue Team) Niamh Morgan, Clodagh Evans (Green Team) displayed a superb range of hockey skills all afternoon. In the end after all the Round Robin matches were finished it was the Yellow Team (Captained by Aoifa Aherne) and the Red Team (Captained by Ciara Barry) that made it into the Final.
Again this Final proved to be a very close match. Katie Quinlivan and Emma Whelan (Red Team) showed great defensive bravery and skills throughout.. The Yellow Team had a few scary defensive moments themselves but were saved by superb defensive work by Sally Dalton and Lana Hayes. Eventually with only a few minutes to spare the Yellow team scored the winning goal. Emma Crowley on the winning Yellow team had further joy when she was awarded the ’4th Class Player of the Tournament’ trophy by Ali Meeke.
These “Hockey for All Blitz’s” are clearly proving to be very popular, but they do not happen without a number of great people behind the scenes
To all Loreto Hockey Club Volunteers – thanks a mil to…, Dioreann Church, Nikki Keegan, Claire Lavelle, Alo Smith, Paula Cunniff, Emer O’Halloran, Eimear Grealy, and Chloe Dumont – thanks for all the umpiring/ photo’s /first aid /PA etc. Also special thanks to Ali Meeke for spending so much time with the children, cheering them all on and signing countless authgraphs. – Thanks Ali have no doubt you acquired quite a few new Ireland fans.
To all in Loreto Primary School – thanks a mil to…
The 24 parents who volunteered to come on board as Team Managers. Sincere thanks for all your enthusiasm, your energy and your total commitment and fun to your teams. – You were super, thanks again. Also many thanks to all the parents who ran the Kitchen and served endless cups of tea/coffee throughout the day – well done everybody, job well done. .
A massive “thank you” is also due to Sr. Maria (Principal) and Anne Bradish (Secretary) of Loreto Primary School for all the great admin work they do prior to each “Hockey for All Blitz”. Maria and Anne put in a lot of admin work done in advance of each Blitz, e.g. organising parent’s consent, sorting Managers, producing lists of players /Managers and colour-coding teams. Credit must be given to Maria herself, as it was she who was the brains behind the initial idea of getting these “Hockey for All Blitz’s” up and running last year.
The final “Hockey for All” Blitz for children from 1st & 2nd class in Loreto Primary School will take place on Sunday 24th February and again Bronnie is looking for a Volunteer from each team to help out.