Blue Beat: Sliotar bouncing higher on Raheny’s village green

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On the village streets of Raheny, progress is what stirs the tea. Seeing the small ball bounce higher and higher along the pavement. Rising as tall as the church spire.

We have been working hard to push hurling on,” explains Niall McGuirk. “This season, we had our adults and minors in finals. And that’s what we want to be doing.

“In the last few years at minor level, we have been up there among the top sides in the county. So we want to keep that going. With the eventual aim of bringing the young players through and trying to make the break at senior level.

“Bringing lads up the ranks. Helping them to learn the craft. To grow in confidence. Keeping them playing hurling. That’s the important thing in our view.”

There have been little, cheerful  milestones along the road. Like last month’s victory in the Go-Ahead Dublin AHL Division 6 final.

“That was another nice step. We have a solid squad of players. Good lads. They put in the work. They deserved it. We are delighted for them.

“That AHL squad is another avenue for us to bring young players through. To give them the experience of playing at adult level. And to take it from there.”

John Ryan was the captain of that Raheny side. An accomplished goalkeeper. Who can see the big picture.

He praised the work of the AHL 6 management team. But also  all their efforts with so many Raheny  teams over the years.

Ballinteer Bolt David Gillick has wise advice 

Up around Marlay, they call him the Ballinteer Bolt. David Gillick. King of the Track. At home in the spikes. Or the boots.

He’s an Ambassador for the European Week of Sport. He’s in good company with boxer Kenneth Egan and rower Eimear Lambe.

They are helping to promote the week-long celebration of sport which takes place between the 23rd and 30th of September. It’s all about

getting people involved in physical activity – all ages and fitness levels.

Westmeath’s Willie  is a true gent of the city

Willie Murtagh was delighted to see his native Westmeath win the All-Ireland Ladies’ Football Intermediate Championship at Croke Park. Willie knows the place well.

He saw his first All-Ireland final there in 1945. And he began stewarding at the ground in 1960. He refereed in Dublin for 60 years.

Willie had such a genial, easy way with players. And people. He’d talk to princes and paupers. And nobody would know the difference.

He is always such interesting company because he is interested in the welfare of others. He knows everybody. And everybody knows Willie. A couple of years ago there was a brilliant shot of him sharing the banter with Jonny Cooper at the Cumann na mBunscol finals in Croke Park.

And it was on those, long days that he’d slip up beside the reporters and produce a Snickers from his pocket. “Now, have that with your cup of tea.”

Willie’s gentle, good humour has blessed all who have been fortunate to meet him.

Rounders is game for all

“We’d love more and more people to get involved in Rounders. It’s a great game. And we’d be thrilled to welcome Dublin GAA clubs,” states Aine Reville.

Aine reports that the All-Ireland Junior Féile was held in Tymon Park. 21 clubs took part. In Mens, Ladies and Mixed Tournaments. Five Dublin clubs were among them – St Maur’s, Kevins, Scoil Uí Chonaill, St Finian’s (S) and Dublin Metropolitans.

St Finian’s Ladies took gold. “There were some great games. Everybody enjoyed it,” adds Aine.

Check out GAA Rounders on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram. secretary.rounders@gaa.ie.