Rebel Og Sports Awards Banquet takes place
- Feb 02,2017
On Saturday night last, the 2016 Rebel Og Awards Banquet took place in Clayton Hotel Sliversprings under the watchful eye of Joe Kennedy General Manager and Seamus Healy Conference Manager.
The evening was hosted by Lisa Lawlor and Colm O'Connor who acted as MC's for the night. With guest of honour Rob Hefferan
Joe Kennedy opened the evening and welcomed all the clubs to the hotel. He thanked Rebel Og for their support during the year and is looking forward to working with the board for many years to come.
Chairman of Rebel Og, John Purcell thanked all the clubs for their support and hard work during 2016. He wished all those present an enjoyable night. John also thanked our sponsors Clayton Hotel Sliversprings for their wondering sponsorship and Cummins Sports for their sponsorship of the awards along with Red fm and Irish Examiner for their support as media sponsors.
The 12 monthly award winners were then invited to the stage. More on the 12 monthly award winners is listed below.
The hall of fame award was then presented by Kevin Cummins to Jim Harrington who is been honoured for his hard work to Bord na nOg for over the 30 years.
Rob and Marian Heffernan were then interviewed on stage on their sporting careers from Colm O'Connor.
On Saturday night next all roads will lead to Clayton Hotel Sliversprings when the Rebel Og Awards Banquet for 2016 will take place.
The Rebel Óg monthly award winners are honoured for their achievements last year and no doubt many will be looking to build on that for the year ahead.
JANUARY: The first winners were Kilmurry, who had an outstanding season in 2015. The football club’s underage section won seven different trophies across U15, U16, and minor levels.
Two of the U15s, James Mullane and Tomás Collins, featured at their own age and the two higher levels, so they were present for every success — the U15BFC, U16AFC and county and East leagues, East minor championship and league and county minor league titles.
The chairman of the underage section, Denis ‘DD’ O’Mahony, said: “There is a lot of talent there and they have been close in other years, things just came right this year. They had very few injuries and everything clicked.
“There’s a small bit of luck too, but they had great trainers. There were two involved in all three teams and one with two teams, so they had a rhythm and they knew each other well.
“The coaches knew who they were dealing with. There were a lot of U16s on the minor team and then a lot of U15s on the U16 team. Being a football-only club helped focus minds too, with only a few of the players involved also lining out in hurling for Cloughduv. It made things easier from an organisational point of view, almost everyone was focused exclusively on football.
“Twelve of the team were 17-year-olds so they’re minor again in the coming year, going into Premier 2 and hopefully we can build on that success.”
FEBRUARY: Taking the accolade in February was Buttevant GAA Club underage section. In the five age-grades from U13 to minor, a total of only 58 players featured, but club PRO Derry O’Gorman believes that helped them to an historic year, where a total of nine trophies were won.
“We had a promising U14 team,” he said, “and earlier in the year they qualified for the Féile quarter-final, St Finbarr’s beat them, which was quite an achievement for an A team to be taking on a Premier 1 team. That started the momentum, they won the A county final in July and then there was a new competition, the county U15 hurling and football. There were a lot of the U14s playing. They brought the momentum with them and won that.
“A lot of those players would have played with the U16s and they won the North regional football. Our minor team did very well too – they had been an average U14 team but, though a lot of good work and coaching, they won the county title. That team had three players who played with the Cork minor footballers too.
“To round it off, we had the U13 hurlers, who won their regional final too, and the U14 footballers won their league. One guy in particular, 13-year-old Michael O’Neill, won seven of those nine trophies, playing in all the teams.”
MARCH: Not easy to follow that, but Scoil Mhuire Gan Smál did so, winning the March award as they overcame Roscommon CBS, by 0-17 to 2-9, to claim the Michael Cusack Cup, the senior C All-Ireland hurling championship for post-primary schools.
Selector and teacher, John Cremen, cites the team’s persistence as being key in finally breaking down the door.
“We got to a Munster final last year,” he said. “We were well beaten on the day, but I think the team learned a lot from that. They won an U16B Cork Colleges final too, and the fact that they have reached the latter stages of Munster championships in recent years has really stood to them. The hunger was there.”
APRIL: Mitchelstown CBS claimed the Eamonn O’Sullivan Cup (All-Ireland Colleges SCFC) title, beating St Mark’s of Warrenpoint in the final, earning them the Rebel Óg monthly award for April. While the student population isn’t huge, players from three counties featured and teacher, Willie Duggan, feels that the side can stand alongside any other.
“We had five players involved in the Munster minor football championship, two with Tipperary, two with Cork and one with Limerick. I think that’s the sign of a good team, I knew that at the beginning of the year,” he said.
“I said it to the captain, Colin English, that, with that panel of players we had, we’d go places — because of their talent and their attitude. Their enthusiasm was infectious and it rubbed off on me. At times, it can be hard enough to motivate yourself in September and get back training a team, but seeing the enthusiasm of these boys made my job easier and it took us all the way to All-Ireland glory.”
MAY: The May winners were awarded for their work off the pitch, as much as they do on it, as Mizen Rovers GAA Club picked up the award.
Club member, Connie O’Driscoll, says: “In 2010, we felt change was needed. We saw the kids from March to August, during which we were asking them for their blood, sweat, and tears. After that, though, we basically said good luck to them until the following year. We felt we needed to have more of an input into their lives and so we looked at what was relevant.”
A ‘care for our players’ programme was established in the club, with a three-pronged approach: road safety, health and wellbeing, and jobs and enterprise. On the road-safety front, club members aged between 14 and 18 were brought to a driving centre in Bantry. The programme developed slowly and, in 2014, it was decided to include farm safety.
“Obviously, we are a rural club and a lot of our players come from an agricultural and farming background. We thought we should be doing something about this. We have such low numbers that one player getting injured in a farm or road accident, not to mind disappearing for good, would cause us serious problems. What we are trying to do is make people aware and instil a bit of responsibility amongst our younger players.”
JUNE: Just like their senior side, the U14 Glen Rovers players showed the future is bright at the club, with success in the Feile and U14 championship, seeing them pick up the June award.
Liam Martin, a selector with the side said: “They got together when they were eight. So a lot of work has been put in and, on that, I should really pay compliment to the manager Daithí Long, who has been there since the start, they’re like his babies at this stage!
“What you had was a bunch that was interested and talented, but all the talent in the world is no good without work rate and they were willing to work at the game.
“It’s not about winning at all costs at that age — winning certainly boosts the confidence of the players, there’s no doubt about that – but building for the future is what we’re about.”
JULY: It was a long and arduous road to success for the Sarsfields U14 camogie side, monthly winners for July, following their national Féile na nGael title win.
Having come through the Cork campaign they headed or the finals in Tipperary on Friday, June 17, with logistics playing a bigger part in the weekend than was expected.
A win over local side Knockavilla Donaskeigh Kickhams was followed by a draw with Kilkenny’s Thomastown, meaning that a win was required on the Saturday morning against hosts Éire Óg Annacarty Donohill. That was achieved, which resulted in Sars having to make the two-hour trip to Gaultier in Waterford for a knockout clash with Feakle/Killanena of Clare. Arriving with only minutes to spare, the travel wasn’t much of a hindrance to Sars, who won by 2-8 to 0-5. So, it was back to Clonmel for the semi-final against Bunclody (Wexford), scheduled for 6.30pm.
Again, though, it didn’t knock a spot off Sars, who eased to a 4-2 to 0-0 win, pulling away in the second half.
Once more, Waterford beckoned for the final on Sunday morning, with Dungarvan the latest destination, though the opponents were familiar: Thomastown, meaning another close game was expected. The final score was 1-3 to 0-3 to Sars, with a heroes’ reception awaiting them back in Riverstown.
AUGUST: In modern-day ladies’ football, the retention of All-Ireland titles by Cork is nothing new, with the senior side leading by example.
But the success of the minors is also worth noting, a 2-19 to 4-9 triumph against Dublin on the bank holiday weekend made it two-in-a-row, with the side honoured as the August winners.
One of the Cork starlets was captain Laura Cleary of Éire Óg, one of the survivors from last year’s victory.
“I think there was maybe five of us from the starting team and a few more then were subs,” she said.
“The experience of girls being there last year really stood to us, as we would have been used to it. We didn’t have the same nerves that others might have had and that was a help. Most of us would have started when we were 13 or 14 and have been there the whole way through We’re all such good friends at this stage and we know exactly how we play, I think we’re all extremely comfortable playing together.”
SEPTEMBER: While Na Piarsaigh haven’t been as successful as they would have liked in recent years at senior level, the club continues to thrive at underage level. Despite all this underage success, it was 20 long years since they were crowned Minor County Premier 1 hurling champions.
That changed last September as the cup made its way to the northside, seeing them win the September award.
The last team that won included Seán Óg Ó hAilpín, who contributed to this success in his role as U16 coach. The long wait is also a reward for the hard, thankless work put in by numerous people through the years.
Great credit is due to the very large panel of players who also reached the semi-final of the football championship for their efforts and also to the selectors, Neil O’Connor, Gearoid Daly, William Daly, Brian Buckley and Colin O’Reilly for their coaching and diligent preparation of the team.
OCTOBER: There were joint award winners this month, with the Mitchelstown/Ballygiblin Juvenile GAA Club honoured for winning county minor hurling (A) and football (Premier 2) titles.
Chairman of the club, Dave Harte, said: “This is the most successful minor team in the history of the club and we are certainly grateful to everyone who played a role in their success, which gives the footballers of Mitchelstown and the hurlers of Ballygiblin great confidence for the future. In particular I would like to pay tribute to the management and coaches who worked tirelessly to improve this group of players and pushed them to achieve their potential in both codes.”
NOVEMBER: The second last award of the year went to Thomas Russells/Kilshannig for winning the County A MFC; U16 Premier 2 County FC and U16 A County Hurling League.
In the northern A minor final, they faced Fermoy in Mallow. Having drawn twice in previous meetings, a close game was always expected. On the night, victory went to Fermoy on a scoreline of 2-8 to 1-9. By virtue of the championship set up, Kilshannig now faced St Vincent's in the county quarter final whom they defeated, to set up a semi-final re-match with Fermoy. Once again, a tight game ensued with Kilshannig winning by a point.
In the final they faced O'Donovan Rossa, and after a tight first half, went on to win by 0-17 to 0-13, the first ever Minor A football championship in the club’s history.
At U16 A level, Kilshannig had a superb year, winning both league and championship in Rebel Óg North. They defeated Cloughduv in the county semi-final and subsequently played Sam Maguires in the county final. This game ended all square and in the replay, Sam Maguires were worthy winners. However, as Rebel Óg North league winners, Kilshannig qualified for the county league final and again faced Sam Maguires. On this occasion, the Kilshannig team upped their performance to emerge winners on the score line 1-8 to 1-6.
DECEMBER: Rounding off the year were Mallow Juvenile Club, winners of the U16 Premier 2 hurling championship and also league title. In the championship final they defeated Ballincollig by 0-14 to 1-6, to round off a great year for the club.
On winning the titles and the award, U16 captain Ronan Sheehan said: "I would like to thank Rebel Óg for honouring the Mallow Club for the December Award, it is a great honour to be Captain for the year. We have a great team and dedicated selectors and coaches. What we have learned from U7 level up to today has stood to us well and hopefully we will carry it on into the future.”