Sunday the 9th October 2022 will be etched in the memories of the Clarinbridge U12's for a number of reasons - apart from the fact that the weather was poor, it was the resumption of our annual Stephen Coen/Mike Dillon Memorial Blitz which had a COVID hiatus in the previous two years. Furthermore, this year more than every other year all the children really mattered (more later).
Clarinbridge hosted 8 clubs and 16 teams for the day. During the build up all eyes were on the weather and although it held off in part, it did not hold off fully. To quote one child from Clarinbridge - "Even with the rain … it was still one of my best days yet !"
Thank you to Ballyboden St. Enda's (Dublin), Ballyea (Co. Clare), Cashel King Cormacs (Co. Tipperary), Doora Barefield (Co. Clare), Kilmacud Crokes (Dublin), Newport (Co. Tipperary) and Na Piarsaigh (Limerick) for making the journey and playing in the blitz. Over the day, there were 36 games of hurling played in 5 hours with 270 people catered for by a wonderful group of Moms.
The referees were a testament to the club in that some of our current younger Senior panel members gave of their time willingly. In fact, the Senior Management in general embraced the spirit by holding off on their training till 4pm (thank you). It was unfortunate that the Blitz clashed with the County Minor Semi Final but it was great that these young men won their match so the U12's will get to see them perform in a County Final soon.
The support from within the club was superb and deserves special mention to those who willingly gave of their time. Some of the referees played in this blitz on its inauguration back in 2016.
As the blitz was run on an aggregate score basis across two teams, it led to some very tight and tense affairs. In the end as another child said "every hook, block and tackle counted as a good score" and Clarinbridge qualified for the Stephen Coen Cup Final vs Kilmacud Crokes having overcome some really great clubs along the way. In the Mike Dillon Cup, Newport played Na Piarsaigh. Ultimately, Kilmacud and Newport would win out but " hurling with your friends on a day when all worked so hard together" is a child memory that resonates for me. Each of the 26 -30 children (across all the clubs) knew they had a part to play and they did that. This blitz will bring them all on and enforces again that the sum of parts is better than the individual. Well done to all and we look forward to next year already. Cumman Iománaíochta Droichead an Chláirín Abú.