The development of hurling in the north Meath area continues and the great work by the North Meath Hurling Club was evident at a hurling and camogie blitz.
The blitz took place at the new St Michael’s GAA club pitch at the Deerpark in Carlanstown.
Apart from the hosts, North Meath, three other local clubs participated in the successful blitz. Gaeil Colmcille, Kilskyre and Moylagh (Loughcrew Gaels) also fielded teams at u-12, u-10 and u-8 grades with 128 players taking part.
Hot refreshments were provided to warm up parents and supporters who enjoyed the sunny, but cold conditions.
The u-12 teams started off proceedings at 11am with North Meath playing against a Gaeil Colmcille/Kilskyre/Moylagh combination in a very entertaining and skilful game which was nip and tuck throughout and just shaded by North Meath.
North Meath u-12s were sporting their new kit kindly sponsored by Brogan’s Centra in Carlanstown.
Then it was the turn of the u-8 players with an excellent exhibition of ground hurling from all clubs. At u-10 level both the Gaeil Colmcille and Kilskyre/Moylagh teams stood out with some excellent scores and skills on display along with a gallant performance by a young North Meath side that was playing its first “picking up” game.
The North Meath Hurling initiative began in September 2017 when contact was made between four neighbouring clubs - St Michael’s, Moynalty, Kilmainhamwood and Nobber.
A meeting was facilitated by the Co Board Games Development team of Peter Durnin and Jamie Queeny with a view to a trial for hurling in the area.
With support from Brogan’s Centra, Carlanstown, a Centra hurling day was held at St Michael’s in September 2017 to launch North Meath Hurling.
Both All-Ireland trophies were on display and ‘give it a go’ sessions were facilitated by Meath Co Board coaches and Wexford dual star Lee Chin.
As a follow on from that initial event schools in the area were visited by Co Board coach Paraic Burke.
Coaching sessions were then kicked-off on Friday evenings in Cormeen Sports Complex that were attended by up to 70 children every Friday night over the winter finishing in late February 2018.
Sixteen volunteer parents were trained as mentors over the same period which including a session provided by the National Hurling Director Martin Fogarty in Cormeen.
North Meath u-8s and u-10s entered teams into the 2018 go-games and the season culminated when St Michael’s GAA club hosted a hurling Cul Camp last August.
A highlight of the year for North Meath u-8s was a day out in Croke Park where they played two games against the Kilkenny club Barrow Rangers.
Friday night training resumed in Cormeen Sports Complex in early January with coaching carried out by in-house North Meath coaches with close to 100 children taking part each week.
Schools in the area were also visited by Chloe Mahon (Meath Coaching and Games) throughout February the National GAA Hurling Director visited Cormeen Sports Complex and carried out a practical coaching session.
North Meath look forward to the U-12 league, u-8 and u-10 go games starting in March and the club will also enter a u-15 team in the Táin Óg Hurling League in April.
St Michael’s will host a Cul Camp this year again.