GAA season in review: Thrilling games across the Rebel Óg U14 grades

Young hurlers and footballers served up some great finals
GAA season in review: Thrilling games across the Rebel Óg U14 grades

Sars' Luke Hogan and Josh McMahon battle Cian Walsh, Glen Rovers. Picture: Jim Coughlan.

THE pandemic meant that leagues at Rebel Óg level were cut short and at one point a question mark hung over whether any games would take place at all during 2020.

Even though the first lockdown made it clear that no games could take place Rebel Óg continued to make plans in the background in the hope they might get to play some competitions.

Recently they announced their plans for next year and are planning to start games late March or possibly early April they can't tell any club or player if the games will go ahead at all.

One of the age levels they did manage to run competitions at last year was U14 and, like the minor and U16 ones, there were a number of top-class games.

Bishopstown and Douglas clashed in the Premier 1 U14 decider at Páirc Uí Rinn, win what the latter hoped would be a few good days for the club, with their minors also in a county final the following Wednesday.

Unfortunately, from a Douglas viewpoint, it wasn't to be for their minors as they lost out to worthy winners Glanmire in that final.

In the group stages, Douglas and Bishopstown were in the same group.

Douglas got the better of Ballincollig and Beara in their first two group games, with Bishopstown also beating the same two sides.

They then faced each other in the final group game, which Douglas won, but both headed for the semi-finals as group winners and runners-up.

In the semi-finals the Town faced Glanmire and Douglas took on St Finbarr’s, with both coming through to see them meet again in the final.

A brace of well-taken goals from right half-forward Jamie O’Brien and a clinical display from Sean Coakley, who grabbed 1-4, helped Douglas to claim the silverware by 4-9 to 2-7.

Douglas' James O'Leary blocks a shot from Bishopstown's Sean Needham in the U14 P1FC final at Páirc Uí Rinn. Picture: Gavin Browne
Douglas' James O'Leary blocks a shot from Bishopstown's Sean Needham in the U14 P1FC final at Páirc Uí Rinn. Picture: Gavin Browne

It wasn’t until the 12th minute of this tense final that the first point was registered by Douglas’ corner-forward Ronan Dooley and that was quickly followed by the first goal which came courtesy of his teammate Jamie O’Brien.

By the water break at the midway point of the second half, Douglas were in front as they allowed their opponents score one point, through Gary Holland, up to then in the second half.

And in that time, they scored three more points themselves as well as a goal from substitute Sam O’Leary, who twisted and turned before blasting the ball into the roof of the net. Bishoptown, to their credit, battled until the very end and Cahill would add 1-2 to his and his team’s tally before full time.

The Premier 2 decider saw Killeagh/Ita's up against Crosshaven, with the former showing they are as talented at football as hurling to take the title.

Credit to Crosshaven who moved up the grades and got their reward for doing so by reaching the final and their tally of 5-8 would have won an awful lot of football games.

In the hurling decider, it was the clash of sides that have enjoyed many a battle at underage level in recent years as Glen Rovers took on Sarsfields.

In recent years they have been two of the more prominent sides at all ages of Rebel Óg hurling and have served up some great games and no doubt many of the players seen in that time will go on to grace their senior sides in the years ahead. 4-17 to 5-4

On this occasion, it was Sars who came out on top as a superb display from Barry O’Flynn, who claimed an impressive tally 2-4 of his side’s total, helped inspire Sars to a 10 point victory to ensure the silverware is heading to Glanmire by 4-17 to 5-4.

Sars, and O’Flynn in particular, raced out of the traps and the number 11 scored the game’s opening goal when he took the ball away from the keeper before firing it into the net after just two minutes.

But the Glen never gave up and battled all the way to the end led by the impressive Jake Brosnan and Cian Walsh, but it wasn't to be their day.

In the Premier 2 decider, Youghal took on Aghada, in what was simply a thrilling game. 

Youghal captain Marty Desmond tries to hold back Aghada's Sean O'Callaghan as James Motherway looks on. Picture: John Hennessy
Youghal captain Marty Desmond tries to hold back Aghada's Sean O'Callaghan as James Motherway looks on. Picture: John Hennessy

Right up to the final whistle this game was in the balance before a nerveless free from James Hurley deep into injury time proved to be the difference between the two sides and was enough to see Aghada claim the silverware by 3-8 to 4-4, to round off some superb U14 games this season.

Here's hoping they get the chance to play a few more in 2021.

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