|Report for Galway GAA Annual 2009|
|2009 saw Cappataggle Hurling Club play in Croke Park and compete at Senior Level for the first time in 47 years.
The year commenced with the eagerly awaited All Ireland semi final. A titanic game ensued against Leinster Champions Kilmessan. This was always going to be a difficult fixture with the Meath side’s confidence sky high after an impressive win over the Kilkenny champions. And indeed it was, level on full time it took a well taken goal from David Byrnes to sneak a two point win for the men from East Galway.
This paved the way for the Cappy faithful to grace the hollowed turf of Croke Park on February 15th 2009. However, a tragic week preceded the big day with the passing of four people closely associated to the team, Tony Broderick, Jed Mannion, Mary Dolan, Bridie Colleran. Tony Broderick, father of team captain Michael, was a leading light in the club. A man who’s contribution to the development of the whole parish can never be forgotten. Tony passed away 5 days before his son Michael led the team out onto Croke Park. A day he no doubt looked down on beaming with pride. Jed Mannion a young father was also an integral member of our community. His four sons such a major part of the club’s underage structure. Sadly that week we also saw the passing of Mary Dolan, grandmother of team members Alan and Padraic, and also Bridie Colleran, aunt of Martin Broderick.
Few will forget the poignant scene of the squad and management standing for a minutes silence in front of the big screen highlighting the names of those lost in that one week.
On the day itself the team faced a formidable Blarney outfit who, as Cork and Munster champions, proved too strong for a brave Cappy side. The club will be forever thankful to all those loyal supporters who travelled in such large numbers to Croke Park, particularly those who journeyed from as far a field as the US and England, also to the large support received from the surrounding clubs and the county as a whole.
The club has expanded and progressed in many ways in the past 12 months both on and off the field of play. The community is currently developing extensive modern facilities in the heart of the parish. This consists of a new full size hurling pitch, running track, sports complex incorporating dressing rooms, meeting rooms, equipment room, flood lighting and a hand ball alley. The most recently completed phase being a 42m x 80m all weather astro turf pitch and hurling wall. The addition of these facilities to the community provides additional area and time for the development of hurling and camogie. The tangible benefits are already evident in the skill levels and progression of our younger players.
The success of this envious facility is evident in its use by many county and club teams.
The underage structure in the club continues to flourish with countless club patrons working tirelessly for the clubs future development. This was evident in the club participating in the A division this year, only to be denied by eventual championship and Feile winners Leitrim Kilnadeema. Our U16 team reached the semi final stage only losing by the slenderest of margins. Our minor team were victorious in the local Eamon Og Lally tournament hosted by the Kiltormer club.
Unfortunately the senior experience has not proved as successful as hoped for the men in red and black. Whilst losing by the slenderest of margins in our senior debut this trend was to continue. The prolonged 2008 season and mounting injury list proved too much of a hurdle and sadly we face into the new season back in the Intermediate ranks. This hard road of learning will no doubt help this squad of players and the experience of playing at this top level can only be beneficial. Coupled with the blend of talent coming through the underage structure within the club the future is bright. This should whet their appetite to replicate the achievements of the 2008 season.
Our woes on the pitch were put into perspective by the untimely passing of Sarah Malone and Michael Skehill in the same week. Michael’s wife Patricia is club treasurer and Michael’s son James is the team goalie, both central members of our club. Sarah Malone was an intricate part of the club and took particular joy from the success of 2008. Sarah, whose brother Emmet is corner forward on the team, acted as club photographer. With hundreds of photos Sarah captured the joy and elation of the unique odyssey that Cappy GAA Club lived through last year and it is testimony of her creativity and professionalism
Having enjoyed our season in the upper echelons of Galway hurling we hope to use the experience gained coupled with our flourishing underage development to bring us back there again.