On the day when Mallow ended the longest A run in schools volleyball finals (Drumshanbo 21 years 1991-2011 ), Vocational Drumshanbo Junior B boys ensured that the school reached a final for the 22nd year and become the 1st Drumshanbo team to reach the Junior B final since 1995, writes Stephen Meehan.
Junior A semi-final: Davis College Mallow (Cork) bt Drumshanbo 25-14 25-17
This match was not as one-sided as the score suggests. In each set, there were times when Drumshanbo regularly caught their opponents flat footed but, unfortunately, Mallow were much the more consistent side. They also had the best hitter.
In the first set, after a bad start, trailing 2-6, the Leitrim school came alive. It was Joseph Baxter, up out of his sick bed, that started it. A clever dump behind the Mallow block was followed by the best Drumshanbo service run of the day.
Then Kevin Moran got inspired. After saving certain Cork winners, he was inspired at the net and blocked to win three consecutive points. Jordan Earley & Wayne Reynolds combined well as Drumshanbo took the lead at 7-6 and 10-8. Sadly this was followed by a load of errors and Mallow drifted ahead.
Drumshanbo again fell behind in the second set. This time it was Conor Prior, with a replica dump and a run of serves that got them to 6. Earley starred in service in the middle of the set when Ashley Keaveney proved a valuable substitute. Indeed his perfect block won Drumshanbo a fourth point in a row caused a Mallow time-out.
But Mallow proved the steadier and deservedly got to their first ever final. This meant, for the first time since 1989/90, Drumshanbo teams were completely absent from A finals. All good things must pass.
National Junior training takes place in Mallow. Good for Mallow but a long way from Leitrim!
Junior B semi-final:Drumshanbo bt Presentation Patrician Fethard 21-25 25-21 25-22
Two well matched teams fought all the way to the end with neither side ever giving up in this Junior B volleyball semi-final. The first set was one of joy and despair for both teams.
First it was Drumshanbo who edged ahead but were brought back level six times. All was even up to 13-13. The solid Tipperary team then began an onslaught of devastating attacks despite some brave defending by Caleb Duffy. A comeback was almost on the cards when the very agile Callum O’Hagan Moore served Drumsahbo from 17 -23 to 21-23 but Fethard held out.
It was back to business for Fethard in set two racing ahead 5-0. Drumshanbo stuck with them however thanks to great serving from Yi Jun Feng and as the mid-point approached they began to settle into the game more with Kevin Moran making his presence known. This new found belief was comfortably reflected on the score board with Drumshanbo racing ahead 19-11. Fethard always looked like coming back but the Drumshanbo defence held strong with Jacek Ozdobinkski adding attacking flair.
In the third set, both teams gave as good as they got. The introduction of Shane McGrenaghan proved a wise decision from student coach Brian Moran as he made a huge defensive impact on the game. One of the most admirable traits was Drumshanbo calmness when hit by severe rotation point penalties. Leading 10-7, the score was changed to 8-8, Leading 20-16 the score was changed to 19-18. The Fethard coach said afterwards that you would have to admire their battling skills. In that department Duffy and O’Hagan excelled and kept their heads when it was level at 20-20.
Junior B final; St.Brigids Loughrea beat Drumshanbo 25-18 25-19
For the final, Drumshanbo introduced Brian Keaveney and he made an immediate impact in Drumshanbo’s first comeback to level 6-6. The opening set was a mixed bag for the hungry squad. They stuck with Brigid’s but, as the set wore on, the sheer power of the Galway team proved the difference between the squads. Moran started well and they came level again at 10-10. Ozdobinkski came on, and things looked a little better but the early lead proved just too big.
The second set show a slightly more comfortable Drumshabo team retake their positions. They led 3-0, 7-4, 13-11 helped by Duffy serves and Ozdobinkski aces. Fergal Guihen came on again and maintained his 100% record. But then unwelcome errors crept into the game and all was lost.
Although Brigids won in straight sets, the Drumshanbo squad was made up entirely of first years, Brigids were all 2nd years.This shows how bright the future is for Drumshanbo volleyball. There is no doubt in this reporters mind that we will see this team achieve great things in the coming years.
None of the achievements of either team would have been possible without Ms Coyne’s perennial involvement with the Juniors. But this year, 4th years Brendan McCormack and Diarmuid McKiarnan coached the 2nd years and Mr. O’Mahoney (ex St. Brigids!) managed the 1st years with Brian Moran as coach so she had great help.
Serves: Drumshanbo B: Moran 17, Sunbeam 17, Liam Rowan, Duffy 14, Ozdobinkski 15, Adam McCarthy, Moore 19, Guihen 5, Keaveney 5, McGrenaghan 10, Damien Duignan, Gavin Keane
Drumshanbo A; Moran 2, Baxter 6, Keaveney 1, Meehan 2. Diarmuid Beirne , Shane Clarke , Reynolds 4, J. Earley 4, Prior 9, Carty, Liam Brady, McWeeney Darren Earley 3, Declan Kelly
Leitrim Darts news
Round 5 of the (Swan Bar Sponsored) eight night tourament was held in the Venue Bar Carrick last Sunday with a magnificent tournout of 22 players playing on three boards. There was some very good darts thrown over the course of the night with the cream coming to top with semi final pairings of Andy Neenan v Colm Mulvey and Ray Mulvey v Kevin Mc Tiernan. After two excellent semis, it was an all Mulvey final (no relations) with Leitrim’s current No 1 Colm coming through on this occasion.
Thanks to Seamus & staff for his sponsorship on the night & refreshments provided. The pick, a double fundraiser, was won by birthday boy Eugene McDermott junior. This was the Venue bars first time to host a Leitrim ranking event and we continue this trend next Sunday as we visit Carty’s Lock 17 in Leitrim Village for the first time. There will be three boards in action, draw at 8.30 please make an effort to be on time. While we are very pleased with our tournouts, we would like to see more partisapition from the areas like Manorhamilton & Carrigallen and all areas in between. Come & join the growing Leitrim dart family & enjoy a game among friends!
No Leitrim winner in the Blue Devon last week, this Friday night is the last chance to qualify for the final of this prestigious Tourament, Leitrim ranking points apply. Four boards in action.
Connacht Rugby Car Raffle
Connacht Rugby have teamed up with title sponsors Mazda to launch an exclusive draw will see one lucky winner drive away in a brand new Mazda 2, while the runner up prizes include Aer Lingus flights, International match tickets, signed Heineken Cup jerseys and a Connacht Rugby Family Season Ticket. Tickets cost just €20 and the draw is being held at the Connacht Branch AGM on Monday, May 28, at 7:30pm. For further terms and conditions please visit www.connachtrugby.ie, drop into the Connacht Rugby Office on College. Rd. Galway or contact your local rugby club.
Arsenal Workshop for Manor
The FAI, with Leitrim County Council, will be holding a Small-sided Games Workshop and a Arsenal FC Coaches Clinic on Sunday, May 27, in Bee Park, Manorhamilton. The workshops, which is €25 per workshop, runs from 3pm to 6pm and 6.30pm to 7.30pm and are designed to give coaches working with young players (aged between 7 and 9 years of age) the knowledge and confidence to incorporate meaningful small-sided games into their training sessions.
To book your place please contact Damon Kearney at 087-7728174 or email email@example.com. All coaches must prebook and forward course fee before closing date. All bookings must be made before Wednesday, May 23. Visit LeitrimSoccer.ie on Facebook for more information on any upcoming courses.