2013 Overview

Intermediate Campaign
 
2013 was a disappointing year for our intermediate side. After closing 2012 on a high and with a new management structure in place it was hoped that the team had turned a corner and would continue to show the promise they undoubtedly have. The year started with a match against the team that stopped our campaign last year, Tubberclair. Unfortunately the two sides proved to be further apart than in 2012 and we slipped to a 7 point defeat. This was followed by two more defeats to Ballynacargy and then a soul destroying 16 point defeat to St Malachys. In truth whilst the records will show 2 defeats the outcome of both matches could and perhaps should have been a lot different. The Malachys game in particular saw our lads give the eventual intermediate championship winners the shock of their life in the first half and we went in at the break all square. Fitness was our downfall and that proved to be the case all year. Next up was a real relegation battle against Kilbeggan the result of which would decide our fate, not that anyone knew that at the time. This was a tough encounter as you can imagine and we managed our first and only championship win of the season by 4 points. As we went in to the last match against Shandonagh in Kinnegad we knew that nothing other than a win would do and at least we had to better Kilbeggan’s result if we had any chance of staying Intermediate for another season. As we all now know we lost the match with probably our worst performance of the season going down by 9 points. As we walked off the pitch there was a real sense of doom and gloom with everyone resigned to playing junior football in 2014. However the GAA Gods were looking down on us as out of nowhere the ‘head to head’ card was played by the county board and we were safe. This twist is still being debated across the county not because we benefited from it although I am sure Kilbeggan might see that in a different light but because there was so much confusion centred on the decision and no clear indication from the county board prior to those last games going ahead.
We came out on top this time but did we deserve to?
 
Division 3
 
Unlike our championship form our overall performance in the league was better than last year’s as we managed 5 wins, 3 defeats from our 8 matches and finishing 3rd in the table. Predictably we lost to 3 of the strongest sides in the league but pulled off good results against Moate early on and against Tyrellspass who we hadn’t played for a long time at this level.
 
Junior B
 
We were unable to win consecutive Junior B titles this year but still performed well winning 3 out of the 4 games played. Our only defeat came at the hands of Milltownpass.
 
Division 4
 
Having secured promotion to Division 4 the club were hoping to pick up where they left off in 2012. Sure enough our opening game proved to be a good start against a tiger’ish Paul’s team. The wheels came off a bit in our next 2 matches against Castledaly and The Downs before the team got back on track with a narrow win over Tubberclair.
 
Fé 21 Championship
 
This was the second year with Ballymore GAA joining with Milltown GAA to field a team in the 15 a side competition. Once again the competition was run as a straight knockout championship with our first game scheduled to be against Maryland/Tang. Despite both sides agreeing to move this fixture the CCC ruled against us and the match was awarded to our opponents, thus ending our involvement for 2013.
 
Underage
 
As with other years the club had a strong representation at all age levels competing well in all grades and fulfilling all fixtures.
 
The Minors
 
The club struggled to fulfil all fixtures in 2012 however this improved during 2013. We played two league matches and were narrowly beaten by Killucan even though we had a under strength side it was good performance and Killucan actually went on to win the league. We were hit losing players who were sitting their leaving cert just like other clubs and we would  criticize the County board for scheduling games around this period.
 
Under 16’s
 
The team continues to develop but as reported previously they are the one group where we have lacked depth from the Ballymore end. In 2014 we will have a crop of lads stepping up from the under 14 team so all being well we will see continuing improvements. During 2013 we contested 7 division 2 league matches winning 4 and losing 3 finishing 3rd in the league. In the championship we played 3 games winning one and losing 2 and again finished 3rd in our group. Overall a better season than we have seen for a good while.
 
Under 14’s
 
This team continues to step up to the mark and building on the success from previous seasons this year they contested another final, this time against Shandonagh in a thriller in Ballynacargy. A great display saw the lads run out winners thanks to a late goal as the match looked destined for extra time. Congratulations to all the players and mentors on another superb achievement. The medals will be presented in Milltown on Saturday 17th December.
 
The Under 12’s, 10’s and Under 8’s
 
As in previous years these remain strong sectors for the club with all age group competing in several tournaments around the county at Cusack Park. Disappointingly the under 10, found it hard to get matches and had to enter the Castledaly tournament in order to get any football, this will need addressing in 2014. The under 12 team acquitted themselves very well in a tough league and finished the year on a high winning the Garycastle Shield. On November the 2nd the club ran a Halloween camp for all children under 13. This was a huge success with 80 children attending the camp several of who would not have played previously for the club. Thank you to all who helped to organise and the run the event on the day. Special thanks to both senior clubs for underwriting the part cost of goodie bags which were appreciated by all. Long may the interest and success of the underage teams continue.
 
Thank you to all Mentors and all at the Milltown for their help and support throughout the year with all teams and all levels.
 
Hosts
 
Ballymore’s good reputation as a neutral venue continued in 2013 as we hosted several matches and won praise from all clubs who visited the grounds. We have also more recently hosted the Westmeath women’s under 16 development squad training. Thank you to all the club members who made themselves available to run the gate, park cars and help with the “huge” crowds. Whilst the revenue may not be great and in no way reflects the effort put in by the club for these events the PR does nobody any harm. To this end the club submitted a motion to be included at county congress looking for a larger cut of the gate receipts for those clubs who host matches. This was raised at Convention and sent to the Finance committee so we will make representations on another day.
 
Off the field
 
Membership
 
Our current membership stands at a 52 senior and 44 underage as always we face a real battle to retain numbers at all levels. We believe that all members of the senior club needs to make a concerted effort to look at this is during the year ahead. All clubs, be they GAA or others, face the same battle and we feel it is important that we try to attract social members as a way of attracting non GAA people. We have great facilities and with a bit of open minded thinking we can add to these numbers and in turn attract new blood to the club.
 
Scór
 
No success this year and numbers are now becoming a real problem particularly at underage level. With so many activities and sports tempting children these days it is one of the clubs real challenges to keep a team together who will compete in these traditional disciplines. With an active youth club in the village perhaps there is something that can be done there to help numbers on both sides. This was the first year that a quiz was included as part of Scór and Ballymore entered a good team who came 4th out of 12 teams. Well done to Dan Jordon, Sean McCabe, Ciaran Lynam and Jack Kearney. We hosted the Scór na nÓg first round, semi-final and then the final which took place last Sunday as well as the Leinster final last March and they all drew a huge crowd as always. The club would like to thank Rose Longworth and also all those members who helped with car parking etc at the events.
 
Commemorative dinner dance
 
2013 started well with a dinner dance held in the Bloomfield House Hotel last February to commemorate the 1972 intermediate championship winning football team and from our sister club the 1987 junior championship winning hurling team. As well as those two teams it gave us the opportunity of presenting our current panel with their Junior B winning medals from 2012. The event was a huge success and gave lads who hadn’t seen each other for years the chance to get together recall matches and poor refereeing decisions, nothing changes. Whilst the event was obviously arranged for the teams it also gave our partners the chance to have a night out and to see exactly what the GAA can do. 
 
Music Festival
 
After 26 years the Ballymore music festival rose from the ashes last August bank holiday Monday. As you can imagine there were more than a few concerns raised primarily centred around finance and the weather. The easy option would have been to do nothing and just talk about in the pubs during the year but to the clubs credit they voted in favour of the event and it was a huge success. The crowd was estimated and anywhere between 2,500 and 3,500 and both the football and hurling clubs got behind the organising and made for an extremely well organised, well run and profitable event. Without a doubt there are lessons to be learnt and with the 2014 festival getting the green light already these lessons will not be ignored. It was a tremendous effort put in by all associated with the event from the committee to lads who turned up on the day and gave their services willingly. Ballymore should be rightly proud of themselves for staging the festival, which is still being talked about across the county and beyond, and we hope that you will all get behind the festival again next year.
 
 
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