County Skills Challenge Finals 2016
Louth Coaching and Games hosted their Skills Challenge finals for hurling and football in Louth GAA Centre of Excellence on May 7th and 28th respectively. Clubs forwarded representatives at U10, U12 & U14 in both codes.
On a wet miserable morning in Darver, credit must be given to the participants who represented their clubs and showcased a high level of skill in testing conditions. The winner of the U10 category was Robert Matthews of the St Kevin’s club in Philipstown. Robert showed great technical ability and composure on a day when many established players would find it difficult to execute the simple tasks to come away with the winner’s trophy. Next up for the U12 category we had Aaron McGuiness of the Naomh Moninne club who scooped first prize, his pace and close control of the hurl and sliotar ensured he was coming away victorious. Lastly was the U14 Féile Skills category where the winner would go on to represent Louth in this year’s National Féile Skills Competition in the new National Training Centre in Abbotstown. The U14 contest was a much closer affair than the two previous categories as there was a lot more at stake for these young men. The Overall winner was Tom Mathews from St Kevin’s, a brother of our U10 winner Robert. Tom’s athleticism and accurate striking got him over the line in this close encounter with second place Connor Murphy of Naomh Moninne. Third place went to Jake McNamara of Knockbridge Hurling Club.
With 25 clubs represented, the conditions were more than ideal for the same three categories as the Sun drenched main pitch in Darver host the stars of tomorrow. First up we had the U10’s, a very close and competitive field with a good calibre of skill at such a young age. The winner of the U10 section was Cathal Corcoran of the Roche Emmett’s club who excelled in his division showing real determination and accuracy off both feet. Next up was the U12 category, were only time difference separated the top participants. This really was a close call but the winner in the end was Colm Smith of the Naomh Fionnbarra club. The Final category was a tense affair and similar to the U14 Hurling the U14 Football Féile skills test of 8 stations, incorporated every skill used in the game. It showed on a few players that they were nervous and tense, however one man took his chance and came away victorious, Jack Taaffe of the St Oliver Plunketts club in Drogheda. He performed each section with tremendous speed and agility to take the county Féile title. In second place was Tom Matthews of St Kevin’s and Third Place went to Sean Connolly of Na Piarsaigh.
Congratulations to all that participated and to those that won their respective categories. We would like to wish both Tom Mathews (Féile Hurling) and Jack Taaffe (Féile Football) all the best at the National Feile Skills Test Competition on Saturday 11th June in the new National Training Centre, Abbotstown.