THE Declan Crowley Memorial U10 tournament organised by Ballinhassig, now in its 20th year, honours the memory of one the club’s camogie club mentors who passed away at a young age.
It is the highlight of the year for U10 players and the clubs lucky enough to be invited to attend look forward to it each year.
Thus it has gone from strength to strength.
The event usually signals the return to school and the last Saturday in August is always the traditional date for the tournament and last Saturday was the day.
It’s amazing how the years have flown by, many of the current Cork senior and Intermediate players would have participated in the Ballinhassig tournament and clubs always look forward to a great day hosted by the club.
It was a delight to see so many former Ballinhassig club players, former mentors and parents of players past and present rallying around and lending a hand and there was as always a great sense of fun and enjoyment as club mentors from all clubs meet and mingled for the annual event.
The competition is nine a-side with panels of 15 players and there is no restriction on substitutions with games played for ten minutes a-side with a five-minute interval.
The Ballinhassig club emphasising to all mentors and parents attending that the Camogie Association’s policy on learning and fun through the playing of Go-Games with the day a celebration and remembrance those who gave so much to Camogie in their club.
The Declan Crowley Memorial Cup is the big prize for the winners but the competition has grown to such an extent that there are now three sections to it, and three finals as the clubs also play for the Joan Lucy Shield and the Tony Jeffers Shield.
Participating teams were the host club Ballinhassig, Valley Rovers, Courcey Rovers, Tracton, Éire Óg, St Finbarr’s, Ballincollig, Glen Rovers, Sliabh Rua, Barryroe, Ballygarvan and Bandon.
From 9.30am teams assembled and games got underway at 10.30am sharp and with three pitches in operation games ran consecutively and despite the scorching heat, the twelve teams battled it out for honours and there was fierce determination as the youngsters give it their all to reach the various semi-finals.
After a hectic morning of matches by 2pm the scene was set for the semi-finals and in the Declan Crowley Cup, it was Ballinhassig versus Valley Rovers and Tracton versus Ballincollig.
The Joan Lucy Shield saw Éire Óg meeting St Finbarr’s and Ballygarvan playing Bandon. In the Tony Jeffers Plate, it was Courcey Rovers against Barryroe and Glen Rovers meeting Sliabh Rua.
The excitement was fierce as the sides battled it out and when the full-time whistles went it was down to the last six teams.
In the Declan Crowley Cup, it was Ballincollig who took on Valley Rovers in the final.
The Joan Lucey Shield final was between St Finbarr’s and Ballygarvan and the Tony Jeffers Shield final had Glen Rovers taking on Barryroe.
With three pitches in operation all finals threw in at the same time and the cheering could be heard loud and clear as the young players battle for every single ball.
In the Declan Crowley Cup Ballincollig overcame Valley Rovers, St Finbarr’s were victorious over Ballygarvan and Glen Rovers overcame Barryroe.
Billy Jordan of BJ Automations, who is a long-time sponsor and former mentor with the club made the presentations to the winning captains and players from the teams.
Billy spoke about the tournament and how special a day it has become and more importantly the friends that have been made down through the years and to huge cheering from all participants the curtain came down on another successful day in Ballinhassig.
Well done to all.