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Féile na nGael

posted 26 Jun 2011, 04:35 by Rod Gorman   [ updated 26 Jun 2011, 05:42 by Tommy Larkins ]
The weekend of the 24th and 25th June saw Féile na nGael come to Woodford. Tommy Larkins played in division 2, group E and hosted St. Mary's of Leixlip - the Kildare champions. Also in group E were Tynagh/Abbey/Duniry and Antrim champions- McQuillans Ballycastle. Round 1- Tommy Larkins v Leixlip, was played on Friday at 3pm in a rain soaked Woodford, but despite the wintry conditions, a huge crowd turned up to cheer on the lads. Leixlip got the perfect start with a flicked goal early and an excellent exhibition of free taking in tough conditions, allowed them to extend their lead. Larkins got back in the game with a well taken goal by Eanna Murphy and further points from the full forward, both from placed balls and from play left Larkns two up at the break. There was nothing in this game right through the second half and with time running out the sides were level on 1:05 a piece. However, a surging run out of the Leixlip defence resulted in a good delivery towards the Larkins goal and a nicely finished ground stroke was enough to give the Kildare team the victory. Heartbreak for the Larkins lads but they had little time to dwell on it as they prepared for the parade in Loughrea. Here Larkins would have succes however as they were awarded best dressed host team!

Round 2 - Tommy Larkins v Ballycastle,  was played on Saturday morning, with a slight improvement in the weather conditions. Larkins struggled to deal with the physically imposing Antrim side early on and conceded easy scores. Gradually however they got to grips with them and kept in touch with pointed frees from Murphy. A first half goal by the lively Martin Ryan brought Tommies right back into the game and gave them a lift approaching half time. The second half proved tough going for the slight Larkins side and the Antrim champions pulled further in front. Larkins were awarded a penalty late on when Ryan was dragged down after a penetrating run through the heart of the Ballycastle defence. The penalty was missed however, and with it went Larkins hopes of a come back. The defensive display by Larkins in this game was commendable. The full back line of Ciaran Kelly, Ryan Daniels, Jack Sheil and Diarmuid Kelly were imperious and Dylan Loughrey in goal proved very solid. The Larkins half backs - Eoghan Nevin, John Larkin and Conor Fahy were outstanding in all the games and especially against Ballycastle.

Round 3 - Tommy Larkins v Tynagh/Abbey/Duniry, was played immediately after round 2 and Larkins had little time to rest. This game however would turn out to be Larkins best performance and a very impressive display of score taking. Martin Ryan tormented the TAD defence from the start and linked up well with Eanna and Ronan Murphy, the home side would  go on to raise 4 green flags in the first half. Noel Minogue, Martin Ryan and Eanna Murphy all on the score sheet for Larkins. The second half was a much tighter affair, and with Tynagh moving the influential Joseph McLoughlin to midfield, came back into the game with goals from play and placed balls. Larkins however, would continue their impressive forward display and notch up 3 more goals of their own. Ronan Tuohy, Mark Hooban and Tomás Gardiner were a hard working half forward line and Gavin Dervan looked dangerous in the inside forward line. Patrick Glynn started in goal for this game and his long puck outs were a factor in this victory. Brendan Regan was brought on for the injured Conor Fahy and worked tirelessly. Playing two games in a row started to take its toll on the Larkins players as the game progressed, and the introduction of Daniel Gardiner and Ruairi Keane in the corners, brought renewed energy to the game. Shane Connaire came on at corner back and, as he did against Carnmore in the championship, gave a very impressive performance. Shane Donoghue's pace worried the Tynagh backs late in the game as they began to tire and in the end Larkins recorded a good win. This was a nice reward for the hard work they have put in all year and rounded off the weekend nicely.