Kilmeena GAA Rounders - Homecoming by Julie Moore
The bonfires were burning and the flags were out again in Kilmeena on Saturday evening to celebrate the homecoming of our Rounders team after they won the Junior Mixed All Ireland at the GAA Centre of Excellence in Abbotstown. In only our 2nd year of competition, our team overcame the Galway City Rapparees to win on a score line of 10-9 in what was described by GAA Rounders as an ‘Epic Encounter’
Our journey to the final saw us suffer a home defeat to the Rapparees. This was our only loss during the group stages which meant we finished second in the group setting up a Quarter Final against Dunderry of Meath and a subsequent Semi Final against Inniskeen of Monaghan.
With convincing wins in both games, another opportunity to take on the Rapparees awaited us in the final.
Having got to the Semi Final stage last year in only our first year of competition we were delighted and proud to go one step further in 2023. However, the hunger and drive to go on and take the title this year was real. The commitment from our team was fantastic as we trained 3 times a week, rain, hail or shine and often only stopping when it got too dark! The hard work paid off and as we headed to Dublin at the weekend we knew we had a game plan and only one thing on our mind!!
A Rounders game is played over 5 ‘innings’ within which each team will both field and bat. A score is achieved each time a batter makes it around the bases and back to home base. Kilmeena won the toss and opted to field first. Limiting our opponents to only 1 home in the first innings was a great start. Over the 5 innings, the scoreline was 2-1, 6-1, 7-4, 7-6, 10-9.
The game was very tense from the outset but we stuck to the game plan and after a dramatic finish the All Ireland title was in the bag and was heading West to Kilmeena.
Our team on the day included; Tommy Hoban, Irene Walsh, Noleen Coughlan, Iain McLoughlin, Catriona Olsen, Irene Kaye, Aidan Connaughton, Pat Coughlan, Martin Hoban, Will Fahy, Michael Sheridan, Frank McNicholas, Catherina Cox, Stephen Cox, Edel Ryder and Julie Moore. Team members that couldn’t be there were Andrew Olsen, Claude Radelet and Adeline McManaman
As a team we have been so lucky to have the support of Kilmeena GAA who have facilitated our setup and development over the last 2 years. Special mention must go to Noreen Johnson who has been instrumental in securing grant funding which has enabled the purchase of equipment and gear.
The next step for Kilmeena Rounders is a progression to Intermediate level next year and the continued growth of our club. If anyone is interested in joining us just contact a member of the team.
Click on below link for more images and video footage from the homecoming https://photos.app.goo.gl/u6xBA3Ti2q5ss7Az9