Turloughmore are All Ireland Feile Champions
It was a weekend to cherish and remember as Turloughmore hurlers did themselves, their parish and county proud as the captured the Premier Division 1 title in the 2018 Feile na nGael finals which were hosted by Connacht Council in Galway and Bekan.
The Christy Ring Trophy has only come to Galway three times with Loughrea in 1993 (they beat Turloughmore in the Final) and Turloughmore in 2010 being the only previous winners. Thus Turloughmore made it 2 titles in 8 years on Sunday and in doing so have defeated the champions of Dublin, Limerick, Wexford, Kilkenny and Tipperary as well as neighbours Castlegar on route to victory over a demanding weekend.
Bonfires blazed as the bus carrying the victorious team made their way back from the Connacht Centre of Excellence in Bekan where the final took place as they were provided with a Garda escort to Turloughmore Social Centre. Hundreds of people gathered to welcome home the All Ireland champions where Tom Shiel, Chairman of Turloughmore Hurling club, paid tribute to this wonderful side.
Collette Walsh, Chairperson of Turloughmore Bord Na nOg, paid tribute and thanked all who had lent such a wonderful support to the team and the club in making this weekend so special, with particular praise for secretary Susan Tarpey. Turloughmore pulled out all the stops in making sure that the Feile weekend organisation was top notch. To this end, club members, sponsors and supporters all came on board to make sure that all involved would remember Turloughmore and Feile Na nGael 2018, from the clean-ups off the pitch to the excellence of the hurling on it. Turloughmore hosted Monaleen from Limerick and friendships were forged among the young hurlers.
Declan Kearney manager of the Turloughmore Feile champions paid tribute to the parents, management teams and in particular to the players who gave such a tremendous effort over the past few months. Declan paid special thanks to the management and backroom team of Peter Nolan, Eamon O’ Loingsigh, Brian Holland, Gerry Kearney, John Duggan, Padraig Fitzmaurice, Justin Coen, Seamus McWalter and Dr Brendan Day. Turloughmore GAA club would like to sincerely thank Declan and his management team for their tremendous work with this panel.
Turloughmore’s road to glory in the 2018 Feile Na nGael finals started on Friday evening when they defeated Dublin champions Lucan Sarsfields on a score line of Turloughmore 3-10 Lucan Sarsfields 2-7 after conceding 1-2 in the early minutes, before they had a score on the board. They then defeated Castlegar by 1-10 to 0-7 and on Saturday morning recorded victory in the final group game against their hosting club team Limerick champions Monaleen on a final score line of Turloughmore 0-6 Monaleen 0-3. Turloughmore then advanced into the All Ireland Quarter final and a meeting with Wexford champions St Mogues and Turloughmore emerged victorious on a score line of Turloughmore 1-5 St Mogues, Wexford 1-2.
Having qualified for the semi final on Sunday morning in Bekan Turloughmore were pitted against defending champions Dicksboro of Kilkenny. Turloughmore led by a point at the break and reached the All Ireland decider by defeating the Kilkenny side on a score line of Turloughmore 1-9 to 1-7.
Durlas Og of Tipperary were the opponents for the final and it proved to be a difficult and heart stopping game for the huge Turloughmore following. Turloughmore led by 0-4 to 0-2 at the break and although Durlas Og fought back in the second half, the Galway champions did very well to emerge victorious on a final score line of Turloughmore 0-8 Durlas Og 0-6 and to capture the All Ireland Feile na nGael title for 2018 and bring the Christy Ring Trophy back to the parish of Turloughmore.
Highlights of the weekend are many. The tension and drama of the games with Dicksboro and Durlas Og were unbelievable. Turloughmore ironically found themselves down by 1-3 to 0-1 early on in both the opening round against Lucan Sarsfields and against Dicksboro in the semi final, but as throughout the year, the side displayed tremendous character and resilience to work their way back into the respective games. The defence was superb with only four goals conceded in six games and only two conceded in the five games after the opening round. The catching of the ball in the air over the weekend was very impressive as was the excellent teamwork and use of the ball.
The ability of the forward unit to create and take scores proved crucial but overall this was a wonderful panel effort, where so many players played a huge role. Finally, the Turloughmore support for the panel, especially in Bekan on Sunday, was another feature of a weekend that will live long in the memory.
The Turloughmore panel that captured the All Ireland Feile na nGael title: Ciaran Wilde, Colin Fitzmaurice, Darragh Walsh, Cian Hanley, Eanna Monaghan, Cillian Whelan, Evan Gill, Ryan Kearney, Eamon McGrath, Jack Lonergan, Matthew Tarpey, Cillian Trayers, Eanna O Loingsigh, Eoghan Conneely, Owen Kearney, Tom Nolan, Sean Duggan, Gearoid Fahy, Conor Mullins, Cian O’Callaghan, Ronan Flaherty, Rory Casserly, Owen Morgan, Oisin Fahy, Tom McNicholas, Evan Forde, Shane Commins, Jamie Burke, Marc Cummins.