Our Bridge Bucks academy catering for U6 and U8 hurlers welcomed Newtownshandrum (Cork) and Michael Cusacks (Kilbeacanty/Beagh, Galway) to the Bridge on Saturday last for a morning of Hurling, skill, fun and new friendships. The Bridge bucks were buzzing all week in anticipation of their first games against Cork & Galway as they said themselves.
We had close on 60 players making up 6 teams with 3 teams each from our visiting clubs. Martin and his team of coaches ran the blitz with military precision with ensuring ever team got 3 full games of hurling. It was a big test and educating experience for our boys to experience the different styles of play from different counties and I am sure this will stand to them as the work on developing their own game. Michael Cusacks are a newly formed amalgamation covering the Kilbeacanty/Beagh area and have a bright future going by the skill levels of the players as well as the coaching input from the famed Gantley clan. Newtown are regular visitors to the Bridge and we will definetly cross paths again soon and contiinue to measure our progress against the high standards in all these clubs. This weekend we are off to Killaloe for our last Clare blitz but we will have a few more dates in our diary before we finish up in October. Roll on the indoor arena when we can hurl all year round :-)
A big thks to all the referees from the various minor club teams that helped us out including official Ref Mikey Corbett who won the best dressed ref on the day. Thanks to all the parents that provided food as well as those who helped giving out teas/coffees on the day. Also to the travelling teams from Cork/Galway who made it a very special occasion for our Bucks and for their kind words after the blitz re how it was ran. No forgetting our own coachrs and players who togged out on the day.
The U6 Blitz Coaches Whatsapp group was on fire the night before as the Sixmilebridge coaches were struggling to come up with tactics to counter the Newtown short passing game. Rumours had circulated Newtown would completely mess with everyone’s head by going to full hand passing! Cusack’s were rumoured to be contemplating playing a double sweeper system. The ‘Bridge in the end decided to keep faith in what the players have learned in training and just go out and hurl!
In all there were over 80 boys taking part in the U6 blitz, with over 30 from Sixmilebridge which meant 4 Sixmilebridge teams participating. Each of the boys participated in 3 matches each and the effort meter certainly went into overdrive on the day. There were some fantastic displays and whilst the games were very even it was great to see such fantastic effort put in by all of the boys.
A big thank you to the U6 catering/admin group of Sarah Chaplin, Sandra Benoit, Michelle Moran, Thelma Chaplin, Denise Feehan, Linda O’ Sullivan and other parents who helped with the teas/coffees and handing out of the healthy ‘goody’ bags consisting of fruit and water and also to our local O'Flynns Centra.
Thanks also to our referees who came from the U16 panel, they were Cian Fawl, Luke Keogh, Evan Murphy, Conor Murphy and Darragh Toomey. It was great to see these lads helping out with their younger co-players on the day.
Our team coaches worked hard all day, organising positions, switching goalies, giving encouragement and keeping the boys going so thanks to them aswell. Coaches on the day were Peter Kearney, Ludo Benoit, Mike Slattery, Trevor Maxwell, Declan Murphy, Paul Fitzpatrick, Gerry O’ Halloran, Johnny O’ Sullivan. Mike & Trevor were claiming the coaches of the tournament title with 3 victories but it was clarified afterwards by the referees that all games ended in draws, so they accepted that they were happy with the effort of their team being at the higher end!
One interesting visitor was Adrian Tuohy, 2017 All Ireland winner had a son on the Cusacks team.
Finally well done to all the U6 boys who are continuing to develop at a fantastic rate and will get more match experience in a couple of weeks with a visit to Kilmaley and Kilmaley will return 2 weeks after on Friday evening October 5th for the U6 Finale night.
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