Senior Football Championship 2016

Pal Senior Footballers Champions Again.

Palatine 2 -13              Rathvilly 0 -12        Sunday 9th Oct 2016

Wonderful! It's the perfect word to describe the achievement of our Senior footballers in retaining their championship crown against severe pressure from an excellent Rathvilly team. Apologies for this belated contribution due to a family bereavement. However, not being present was helped by a recording of the live KCLR commentary and watching a DVD of the match, plus comments of many people who were so lucky to be there in attendance .
It was great to know the result while watching the first half on DVD, as Pal were making some mistakes and playing second fiddle to Rathvilly but yet managed to be on level terms at half time. Watching it "live" must have put hearts racing a bit more than normal but perhaps the two goals scored in the second half eased the pressure although Rathvilly battled heroically right to the end.
It was a great team performance, right throughout the field, with selfishness a welcome absentee and the blend of young and (not so) old worked perfectly.
The (not so) old members of the team deserve great credit for having the heart to put past disappointments behind them and kept going - a player like Niall (Angie) Reid must have an extra amount of energy stored up as he never stopped running all through the game and his super fielding of one high ball in our own goal line in the first half must have lifted his team mates.
However,  the young players really starred: two Minors, this year's (and last year's!) Minor Captain, Conor O'Doherty and tough as teak, Conor Crowley, gave sterling performances, took some hard hits but bounced on. So did three more of the "almost" Minor group - Shane O'Neill (Man of the Match), Mark Rennick and Jack Brennan - who played with the maturity of 30 year olds. The young subs on the team along with the above players offer a bright future for the Club. 
Great was the rejoicing in the Club on Sunday and Monday nights as such an achievement deserved, but the team now represents the County in the game against the Dublin Champions  so the players will not be forgetting their responsibilities. We wish them the best of luck in this major challenge but there will only be fifteen players against them and our fifteen can be full of confidence when they return to Netwatch Cullen Park on Sunday 13th November.
Go néirí go geal leo.
The Palatine team:
Craig Kearney (in goal), Conor O'Doherty, Conor Lawlor, Mark Rennick, Stephen Reilly, Christopher Crowley, Jack Brennan, Niall Reid, Jason Kane (capt), David Reid, Ciarán Moran, Shane O'Neill, Jamie Kenny, Tomás Kenny, Conor Crowley
Subs. John Reid for J.Kenny; Paul Reid for D.Reid; Brian Kelly for S.O'Neill;
Bryan Farrell for C. Moran; Chris Parle.
Scorers; Shane O'Neill 0-07 (0-06 fs),David Reid 1-01  Ciarán Moran 1-00, Craig Kearney, Stephen Reilly, Tomás Kenny, Conor Crowley, Paul Reid 0-01 each.

Buíochas: Míle buIochas to all the players who trained so diligently and to their trainers, Michael Lillis and Pat Murphy. The training under Brian Kelly earlier in the season was a major help -and was much appreciated. Sincere thanks also to selectors Paul Tracey and John Kelly for devoting so much time and talent over a long season. Physio, Maura Murphy, almost lived in Pal, and looked after the injuries with skill and dedication - and with a smile.

The previous Pal Double
The previous double by Palatine occurred 1919 and 1920 - the early years of the G.A.A.  In the first round, Pal defeated Nurney 1- 03 to 1 - 02 and in the semi final beat Drumphea 2-03 to 0-04. Then the Final arrived against Graiguecullen and after two postponements because of bad weather, battle eventually took place on 21st December 1919.This ended level -neither side scored! The replay took place on 25th January 1920 in Ballon, with Pal victorious on a scoreline of 1-01 to 0-02.
The scores then and now are not similar, but the reporter of the 1919 Final set the tone for the future when he wrote -"The scene of enthusiasm that followed was eloquent testimony of the spectators' appreciation of the Palatine team's play and of the popularity of their victory" Could be describing last Sunday's scene!
The 1920 Final took place on 21st November when Palatine defeated Tinryland in  Graiguecullen, the score 1-01 to 0-00. This meant that Pal won two County Finals in 1920 - 25th January and 21st November. Now that must surely be unique! 
(Full details in the book "Céad bliain ag Fás" - the History of Palatine Club- published for its Centenary 2009). 

Some Coincidence The Secretary of the Club for those great years was Tom Hickson. His grandson, PJ Hickson is now secretary for these great years! In a further coincidence, Seán Hickson, son of Tom and father of P.J., was Club secretary (and player)  in 1952 when Pal won the Senior Championship. Pal, quite clearly, needs the Hicksons!
                                                                                            Report by John Browne

Minors Footballers Surrender Title.  by John Browne
Palatine         1-11                 Éire Óg          1-16

Our Minor Footballers made a gallant attempt at winning the double double in Netwatch Cullen Park last Saturday (5/10/16) but it wasn't enough when the Éire Óg team battled on to victory by a margin of 5 points.
From reports of all who saw the game, there seems to be consensus that the referee deprived two top class teams from serving up a game worthy of the Minor Final with too many stoppages in play. A comment in the report in the Nationalist seems to back up this contention "Despite the ball being in play for only short intervals in the second period, there was a meagre two minutes of extra time" -  'nuff said!
Pal led by 1-06 to 0-08 at half time, having missed two good chances for goals just before the half time whistle and even stretched the lead to four points early in the second half.But Éire Óg rallied and ran out winners by five points.

Palatine: Colm Heneghan, Odhlan Duff,James \Kehoe, Paul Harland, Andrew Beavins, Conor O'Doherty, Bobby Crowley, Adam Duggan, Darragh Fitzpatrick, Niall Cawley, John Byrne, Cathal O'Neill, Conor Crowley, Andrew Kehoe, Gavin Healy.  Subs: Dillon Cotter for Harland, Thomas Sheehan for O'Neill, Cian Fitzpatrick for Healy  

Our very popular and efficient Physiotherapist, Maura Murphy, finished her article on the Minor final with this very nice tribute to our Minor players. "Ever since my first year working in Palatine I’ve had a soft spot for this particular group of players. They work so hard for what they want and are very dedicated to training and playing. They are a talented bunch but work hard to make sure that talent is being used to the best of its ability and are helped by a great management team. They always make me laugh when I’m working with them, sometimes in exasperation more so than at their jokes.  I’m so disappointed for them that they didn’t finish the year on a high but three county finals in three years, and a win last year is an amazing achievement.

Thinking back over the year with this group I remember the very first league game of the year on a brilliantly sunny day in Ballon, against, I think, Burrin Rangers. I had been working in Dublin at a basketball match and got very delayed on my journey down and I was STARVING!!! A quick SOS to the team and they brought me loads of snacks that got me through the game. That sums up what this team is about, always there for each other and willing to help. I’m going to miss them a lot and I really hope that every one of them continues to play and moves forward in their footballing career, as finishing minor can be a difficult stage when many good players are lost."  Well said!

Pal Minors win League Final  by John Browne
Palatine 3-12         Éire Óg 1-16  
A brilliant game, that went to extra time, reversed the result of the Minor Championship Final of last September, with Palatine getting through on this occasion. 
Both teams deserve the highest praise for their performances as does the referee, David Hickey, who allowed both teams to play the flowing football of which they are capable. It was a most enjoyable game for all who were lucky enough to see it. 
Pal started the game without our star Senior forward, Conor Crowley, who was struck down with "flu" but his absence inspired his colleagues "to do this for Conor." This they did in spades and a fit-again Gavin Healy took on the mantle as of last year, when giving an outstanding display as corner forward, having played the Championship Final while still recovering from a broken ankle.
Both teams were level at half time and while Pal lead at one stage in the second half by 7 points, Éire Óg, in typical fashion, came fighting back and went into a one point lead but Cian Fitzpatrick calmly levelled the game with a pointed free.
His half twin Darragh gave a superb display at mid-field and crashed in a smashing goal to lift Pal. while Paul Harland and Cathal O'Neill added one each. James Kehoe and Conor O'Doherty in the backs lifted their games to higher levels, as did Dillon Cotter,  while substitute, Alan Daly's, second-half appearance made it clear that his football ability cannot be overlooked after giving a top-class performance.
Pal played a determined brand of football, as did Éire Óg, which suggests the future looks bright for the county with this group of players. Well done to all - and a speedy recovery to Conor! 

Scorers; Gavin Healy 0 05 (3fs), Cathal O'Neill 1 01, Cian Fitzpatrick 0 04 (fs), Paul Harland, Darragh Fitzpatrick 1 00 each, Andrew Kehoe, Thomas Sheehan 0 01 each.

Leinster Club C'ship game a disappointment

Facebook report on game. I was away away from the scene of action. J.B 

A disappointing end to an excellent year for our wonderful seniors yesterday, losing out 0 16 to 0 08 to a serious St Vincents outfit. A poor start didn't help as we were 4 points down very early in play. Our boys battled back into the game and only trailed by 2 at the break (0 05 to 0 03). It was still all to play for with 15 minutes remaining but a lethal scoring burst from the Dublin side all but put paid to our challenge.
There is certainly no shame in this defeat and our players gave everything they had for the cause. Errors are heavily punished at this level and the team will learn a lot from this experience.
We are so proud of this group. They have given us so much to cheer for all year, securing 2 championships in a row in emphatic fashion, our first 2 in a row in almost a century. The Conlon cup is in our clubhouse for another year, what more could we ask for !
No doubt these lads will be back stronger than ever next year, and who knows, we may get another crack at St Vincents in the future 👊
Thanks so much to each and every player and our management team for a very special year ❤️🏆🏆💚
Scorers; Shane O'Neill 0 03 (1f), Jamie Kenny, Jason Kane, Stephen Reilly, Chris Crowley, Brian Kelly (f), 0 01 each.

Welcome Young Visitors to Pal   by John Browne

We have been waiting eagerly the arrival of St Vincent's senior champions but we are delighted to learn that their Under 8s and Under 10s will arrive on Sunday morning at Pal HQ to take on our lads in those age brackets. Afterwards, they will travel  to see their senior heroes in Netwatch Cullen Park as each team tries to advance to the next round. 
This is a great idea and these young visitors will get a real Céad Míle Fáilte from our Club Officials and supporters who, I hope, will turn out in large numbers to give a real Pal welcome to the future stars of each Club.
These kinds of friendly games help to build a sense of comradeship and friendship and show a different side to the necessary seriousness that takes place in later years. Who knows, but these lads may meet again in Croke Park in a few years' time in the Leinster Championship.
A special word of thanks to the volunteers who give freely of their time to give opportunities to each of the players to enjoy themselves playing Gaelic Football.
Their contribution is immense.
Deireann an sean-fhocal "Mol an Óige 's tiocfaidh sí." Bí cinnte de go mbeidh sár- pheileadóirí ins na todhchaí má leanann siad ar aghaidh ag cleactadh ar pháirceanna imeartha na tíre. Rath Dé ar na hógánaigh go léir a bheidh ag imirt an Domhnach seo chugainn.

Directions To Pal GAA Pitch; 
From Dublin on the N9 
Leave Exit 4 for Carlow North, continue to roundabout; turn  left;  drive on to T junction; turn left; next junction (past petrol station) turn right; Pitch 100m past the church. Ignore Road Sign for Palatine on way.
 Palatine village is about 5 Kms from Pitch - Sat Nav might bring you there but you'll not play ball there!              

All's  alive on Pal's Eastern front.
It may have been quiet while Pal waited for the result of the Dublin Final but, now that Vincent's have come alive to win the Dublin Final, the build-up is starting for the clash next Sunday in Network Cullen Park. It will not be easy to take on this team who are favourites to win the All Ireland club title but, with a lot of surprise results this year, could it happen that Pal will join the list of surprises!
Support is vital as Vincent's supporters will travel in numbers, so we hope that the Pal players will hear lots of supporters cheering them on as as they battle it out on the field of play.
Go néirí leo! Táimid dóchasach go nimreoidh siad sár-chluiche i gcoinne na bpeileadóirí ó Bhlá Cliaith. Tá siad óg agus bríomhar agus cé nach dtagann ciall roimh aois, tá taithí maith acu ó bheith chun tosaigh sa Chontae seo dhá bhliain as a chéile. Pal abú!  

All's quiet on the Western Front!
The excitement of the Carlow Championship Final has died down and there is a calm descending on the players as they prepare for their meeting against the Dublin Championship winners. Their final takes place on Saturday 5th November (St Vincent's  v. Castleknock) and a trip to Netwatch Cullen Park awaits the winners.
Pal could have got an easier draw as Dublin Club teams have a greater collection of inter-county players but this fact will not put off the Pal lads from doing their best to bring glory to the county. Go néirí go geal leo.

Pal Minor footballers qualify  for the County Final    
                                                                                        Fri 30th Sept  by   John Browne

Palatine    3 -12               Rathvilly        1-07

                                 The scoreline might suggest an easy victory for Pal but it was a hard fought win with Rathvilly playing excellent football.  It took a goal from Johnny Byrne to settle the Pal team who were under pressure from the start. Rathvilly were frst to score and kept the lead until the goal.  4 points from Conor Crowley and one from Cathal O'Neill left the half time score 1-05 to 0-3 in favour of Pal.
                                 From the throw in, Rathvilly immediately cut through the Pal defence to score a great goal and now the tension was mounting. Conor C. added a point and hit a super goal to steady the nerves. A good move in the Pal forward line ended with Andrew Kehoe adding another goal, followed by a point from Cathal O'Neill,  one from Gavin Healy and 2 points from Conor C (1f). The lead was10 points at this stage
                                 Cian Fitzpatrick came on as a sub and added a point from a really acute angle and one umpire had to be overruled, after signalling it wide. A player from Rathvilly had been red carded midway through the second half and this was a major blow to his teamates who battled to the end, despite the gap in the scoring. Conor C. added his final point from a free.
                                  Pal now meet Éire Óg in the final but because four of the Minor team are on the Senior panel, (three have actually played), the game cannot take place until a later Sunday.

Palatine qualify for County Final     Sat. 24/09/16         John Browne
Palatine    2-10                                     Mount Leinster Rangers  1 - 11
The lights went out before the game in Netwatch Cullen Park this evening and the game that was due to start at 7-30 p.m. began at 8-25. When the lights were restored we had some fireworks that lasted for the whole game.The tension was mighty but Pal supporters - and the players - could have done without it.
It was a tough game but our players deserve full marks for standing up to some very severe pressure and, in a nail-biting finish, survived by 2 points. Against a blanket MLR defence in the first half, Pal led by 1-07 to 0-03 at half time but MLR came out with all guns blazing right from the start of the second half with a point in the first minute.
They added 1-08 in this half and kept knocking off the Pal lead. When they seemed to be about to take over, a move upfield resulted in a penalty for Pal and Tomás Kenny slotted the ball to the net. When scores were  2-07 to 1-10, another raid by Pal saw John Reid score a great point for the lead. MLR added a point to level the score again but the introduction of Conor Crowley with about five minutes left was astute as he slotted over a point from a free and then scored from play. That was the end of a game that will be long remembered by all who saw it.
After a rest over the week-end, the players can let aching limbs recover to face the final in a different kind of game.
The scoring:
MLR opened the scoring with a point after 4 minutes but then Pal hit back with a goal scored by corner back Conor O'Doherty on the 5 minute mark.  A Shane O'Neill point from a free and a point from play by John Reid left the scores at 1-02 to 0-02 after 15 mins. Points followed for Pal from Shane O'Neill (f), Tomás Kenny, Captain Jason Kane, Shane O'Neill from play and at the end of the half, Jason added his second point. MLR got their third point on 29 mins, leaving the half time score 1-07 to 0-03 for Pal in the lead.
The second half was the opposite to the first from a scoring point of view. Pal had 8 scores in the first half and 4 in the second. MLR had 3 in the fiirst half and 9 in the second. Tomás Kenny's goal from a penalty was the saviour in stopping the MLR onslaught with Paul Reid's point getting back a one point lead which was nullified by a final MLR point. Substitute Conor Crowley continued with his top-class skills during his 5 minute appearance on the field by scoring a point from a free and a point from play. Over and out!
All the Pal players played like their lives - not to mention their crown - depended on it but Conor Lawlor's surging drives through the field, showing his strength and speed, deserve special mention. So, too, does Shane O'Neill deserve credit for his free-taking and surviving a lot of tackles that showed how he has matured. Jack Brennan played an amount of football.  Jason Kane led by example as captain and took on the blanket defence to score valuable points and as already mentioned, Conor Crowley at the death, showed maturity beyond his Minor status. But they were all heroes, and stood up to a test that proved they are made of stern stuff.

Late Flash: Rathvilly have qualified this evening  (Sun 25 Sept) for County Final v. Pal on Sunday 9th September.

Palatine qualify for Semi-final of Championship     11/09/'16

Palatine        2 -13                              Mount Leinster Rangers           2-08

It will not be remembered as a classic - but Pal got the win needed to take them into the Semi Final of the Championship when the absence of four top team members - Conor Lawlor, John Reid, Paul Reid and Ciarán Moran - could have caused problems. The players brought on to fill the vacancies played well as individuals which means the subs are close to first team status.
It wasn't a classic, with too much passing going sideways and backwards but conditions were not good with a strong breeze affecting the flight of the ball. In the semi, conditions will be better and with a full team we can hope to have a better standard of play.
Pal had a lightning start with a point from Captain Jason Kane from the throw-in. Points followed from Conor Crowley and Shane O'Neill (f) with an excellent finish to a great move when Jamie Kenny smashed the ball to the back of the net. Shane added apoint from a free leaving the score 1- 04 to 0-03 after 15 minutes.
Two points from Lee Gordon and one from David Reid finished the scoring leaving the half time score 1- 07 to 0-06 in favour of Pal
Jamie Kenny added a point at the start of the second half and Lee Gordon added two more Another great passing movement gave Shane the opening to finish to the net and wing back, Mark Rennick added a point. Corner back Conor O'Doherty finished the scoring with two points. Too much passing meant that scoring opportunities were wasted in this half while MLR scored only two points until the last few minutes when they scored two goals but there was a reserve on hand so Pal survived by five points!

Pal victory in Local Derby                  Sunday 21/08/16 

Palatine         3-10                        Tinryland                   0-10

This encounter was expected to live up to the standard of previous clashes but it is fair to say that this was not the case. Pal started off with three super points from Shane O'Neill in the first seven minutes followed by a goal from John Reid following superb play by centre back Chris Crowley.
Two points followed from Ciarán Moran  and Niall Reid before the Kenny blitz - a super goal from Jamie who soloed from the corner before blasting into the net and not happy with this goal, he was upended in the square some minutes later and was awarded a penalty. The other Kenny - Tomás - made no mistake with his shot and goal number three was on the scoreboard for Pal. Tomás added a point to bring the Pal half-time score to 3-06.
Tinryland, on the other hand, managed four points in this half and shot some very bad wides, which is not up to the standard of former Tinryland teams. The second half was dull enough with Pal adding four points and Tinryland six - three of which were got in the closing minutes. 
Ciarán Moran, 2015 County Footballer Award Winner, went off injured midway through the first half which was a big loss to Pal and a sending off of a Pal player after forty minutes put extra pressure on the fourteen players left but Tinryland failed to cash in on Pal's difficulties.
Scorers for Pal: 1-0 each for John Reid, Jamie Kenny and Tomás Kenny; 0-04 Shane O'Neill; 0-02 team Captain Jason Kane ; 0-01 each Niall Reid, Ciarán Moran, Tomás Kenny and Craig Kearney (the latter kicked a magnificent 45). 

Tosach Maith ......  with victory over O'Hanrahan's 

             Palatine     5-13            O'Hanrahan's    3 -11                By John  Browne

Phew! This was some match with a a thrilling finish  - from the Pal supporters point of view! O'Hanrahan's, as expected, were more than comfortable in the first half  when they led by 2 points - 2-06 to 2-04 - and got a tonic start to the second half with a goal  and a lead of 5 points. 
But five points in succession brought Pal into contention and scores were level on occasions until Pal hit a purple patch with a goal, followed by 3 points plus 2 goals plus 1 point to give a dramatic ending and victory by 8 points. It was not a true reflection of the performance of the O'Hanrahan's team who had played excellent football all through but the display by the Pal forwards near the end would win against any team.
The first half opened with a great goal in the first minute by Ciarán Moran but before the supporters got to enjoy the score, O'Hanrahan's rattled the Pal net. Conor Crowley added a goal  after excellent work by Jack Brennan. Shane O'Neill added a point from a free, followed by John Reid for a point and by wing back Stephen Reilly. Shane added the final score for Pal's first half total - a point from a free.
The second half started with an early goal for O'Hanrahan's and it looked as if they were on their way to victory. But points from Stephen Reilly, Shane O'Neill, Conor Crowley, David Reid and John Reid steadied the ship and Ciarán Moran's second goal set the pulses racing. Further points from Shane (free), captain Jason Kane and David Reid helped get the spirits up so that Ciaran Moran's third goal, followed by another goal from centre back Chris Crowley opened the way to victory. Jamie Kenny had the honour of getting the last point for Pal.
This was a hard-earned victory for Pal against a team that will make life very difficult for their remaining opponents. An 8 point winning margin does not tell the real story of a game that had a happy ending for Pal but not before they had faced a determined, fit team that threw down the gauntlet to them.
Pal can learn from this game before facing neighbours Tinryland in three weeks time but they can take great comfort from some excellent displays from the younger brigade -  Minor footballer Conor Crowley who gave his marker a real roasting throughout the entire game and his display of intelligent, skilful football was a joy to watch; likewise last year's Minor Captain, Conor O'Doherty, who was drafted in to fill the corner back position and a vastly improved, determined performance from Jack Brennan. All the "older than minor" team members deserve praise but  special mention must be made of Ciarán Moran for his hat- trick of goals.
Best wishes to Chris Parle, who had to retire injured, after a heroic defence of his lines that might be conceded by lesser determined players.

Senior Football Championship 2016

The League is important but it is really only a preparation for the real thing - the Championship.Next Sunday evening, 31/07/16 will see the opening games for four of  the Senior Clubs and Palatine's interest will be centred on beating O'Hanrahan's. 
They met in the first round of the League and a much fitter "Blues" team claimed victory then.  Training has brought on both teams since then, so it will be a question of who benefitted most from all the training. Pal will be without Aidan Murphy, Angie Reid (injured) and Mark Rennick from last year's Championship side but it is hoped that the younger players will step up to the plate and fill the vacancies.
 The game is timed for 7-30pm and will be preceded by the Tinryland/Mount Leinster Rangers clash at 6 p.m.

Under 21 Football Defeat              5/08/16

The local derby turned out to be a runaway victory for Tinryland who outplayed our team in decisive fashion. Their speed and accuracy, from play and frees, meant a half-time score of 1-11 to 0-03 in their favour and while Pal improved somewhat in the second half, it was not a winnable situation.

No bright spot?  Yes indeed - and it's always a help to see hope for the future. All of last night's Pal players will be eligible for next year's championship and much better, seven of them will be eligible in three years' time. Definite hope so the 2016 experience must be seen in that light as the young shoulders of seven of last night's team will have older - and wiser - heads by 1919!

Club Lotto