Throughout the year, the North Antrim School of Excellence squads trained regularly once a month and competing in various matches which began back in November running through to the North Antrim Festival of Hurling. The aim as before to promote Hurling and further develop our young players within North Antrim from U10 to U13 level. Credit for the preparation of these squads must go to the team mentors / coaches, also their parents and the players themselves, well done everyone!
This is now the 3rd year of the North Antrim Festival of Hurling and its proving ever more popular with teams from around Ireland requesting entry into the 2-day competition. With the large number of teams in attendance the event was spread across Armoy, Ballycastle, Dunloy and Loughgiel with each venue hosting an age group as before.
This year we held the finals in Glen Rovers Armoy who ran the entire day like clockwork. North Antrim thanks them for the huge effort they put in preparing their grounds for the finals, along with the various helpers they had on hand throughout the entire day.
The proceedings of the day commenced with Ruairi McCormick from Loughgiel Shamrocks leading all the participating teams around Armoy pitch where the eagerly awaiting proud parents, friends and spectators cheered the young talented players, followed by Orlagh McIntyre singing Amhrán na bhFiann to start of the matches today.
The talent and determination the young lads showed over the weekend provided a very entertaining weekend of Hurling across all venues and it’s a credit to themselves plus their coaches. The same standard followed through the semi-finals / finals as the matches today where of very high standard with the standout match of the day being the semi-final between North Antrim U10 and Naas U10. The young players battled it out for 30 minutes concluding level score at fulltime. The match proceeded into overtime which also ended with both teams on level scores. Both teams played for about another 15 minutes before a winner to progress into the finals was determined by a final point. Its matches like these that reminds you that Hurling was the real winner at the tournament today.
North Antrim thanks our match referees on semi-final / finals day. Namely; Timothy Burns, Malachy Leech and Liam McBride.
Teams who took part in the weekend where; Derry, Kilcormac, Kilmacud Crokes, Monaleen, Na Fainna, Naas, North Antrim, North Antrim Glens. North Antrim thanks you all very much for coming and here’s hoping we will see you all again in the very near future.
The winners from each section where as follows:
Under 10: North Antrim
Under 11: Kilmacud Crokes
Under 12: North Antrim Glens
Under 13: Naas
A special mention to the host clubs – their hospitality over the whole weekend was superb with visiting clubs all commenting as such. North Antrim would also like to thank all the clubs taking part, mentors, parents, players, photographers, tea ladies, referees and anyone else we have missed thank you all very much.
1 – U10 Final = North Antrim Youth Development Officer Paddy Gray presenting joint North Antrim Captains Oran McCambridge and Conor Donnelly with the U10 Final Festival of Hurling Trophy. Final score was North Antrim (1-05) v North Antrim Glens (0-01)
2 – U11 Final = North Antrim Youth Development Officer Paddy Gray presenting Kilmacud Crokes Captain Darragh O’Dwyer with the U11 Final Festival of Hurling Trophy. Final score was Kilmacud Crokes (6-11) v North Antrim Glens (3-03)
3 – U12 Final = North Antrim Youth Development Officer Paddy Gray presenting North Antrim Glens Captain Darragh Patterson with the U12 Final Festival of Hurling Trophy. Final score was North Antrim Glens (4-08) v Kilmacud Crokes (4-06)
4 – U13 Final = Mary Forsythe presenting joint Naas Captains Conor Doyle and Ben Loughlin with the Arthur Forsythe Memorial Cup. Final score was Naas (4-07) v South Antrim (5-02)