The Slaney Sharks recently competed in the fifth and final round of the 2013-'14 round robin gala.
This leg of the competition was hosted by New Ross Swimming Club at Ferrybank Pool, Wexford, and being the final round, it had a different format than earlier rounds.
Instead of the usual events for the individual strokes, all swimmers took part in 100m or 200m individual medleys and, to celebrate the end of the competition, some fun relays. However, the stakes were high as the participating clubs from Enniscorthy, Wexford, New Ross and Courtown had agreed that the overall winning club for the season would be determined by the performances of their swimmers in a 400m medley relay. The atmosphere at Ferrybank was electric with the supporters' cheers for their teams almost lifting the roof off the pool!
Emma M. Murphy won the first event for the Slaney Sharks, the girls aged eight and under 100m individual medley, with a time of 1:55.97. She was joined by Leah Morris who finished second in 2:02.98, Abi M. Cullen who finished fourth with a personal best of 2:04.10, an improvement of 3.90 seconds, and Claire R. Whelan who finished in 2:48.34.
Holly Furlong won the girls aged nine-ten 100m individual medley when she swam in a personal best of 1:44.44, taking 2.95 seconds off. Rioghna Hourihane finished third when she took a very significant 14.42 seconds off her previous time to finish in a personal best of 1:50.55.
The Enniscorthy club was also represented by Neasa Nic Corcráin who swam a time of 2:13.91, Hannah R. McGowan who finished in 2:19.09, Rachel Earle who swam 2.28.95, and Alexi Gillot who swam 2:39.79.
The girls aged eleven and over 100m individual medley brought out the best in the swimmers who took part with many of the Enniscorthy team achieving personal best times. Sophie Gillot finished second with a personal best of 1:41.18, taking 4.40 seconds off. Róisín B. Kennedy finished fourth with a personal best of 1:46.99, an improvement of 5.71 seconds, and Emily M. Redmond finished close behind in 1:48.03.
Abbey Mernagh took a remarkable 33.47 seconds off her time in a personal best of 1:56.23. Eabha Farrell also swam a personal best, taking an impressive 14.77 seconds off to finish in 1:57.25, and Ailbhe Harrington finished in 2:31.45.
Next it was the boys' turn with Marco Byrne-Rodriguez, Páraic Doyle and Harry S. Nolan lining out in the aged nine-ten 100m individual medley. Marco swam a time of 2:00.02, Páraic finished with a personal best of 2:16.12, taking an astounding 44.54 seconds off, and Harry finished in 2:41.37.
Eoin M. O'Leary was the first Enniscorthy swimmer to finish in the boys aged eleven and over 100m individual medley. He missed out on a podium finish by less than one second when he finished fourth with a personal best of 1:43.66, taking 10.51 seconds off.
Conor M. Dempsey took 2.47 seconds off for the same event when he finished with a personal best of 1:52.06. Denis Davidov and Kevin Deering finished with times of 2:01.27 and 2:23.76 respectively.
The Enniscorthy team for the decisive 400m medley relay was made up of Marco Byrne-Rodriguez, Denis Davidov, Conor M. Dempsey, Sophie Gillot, Rioghna Hourihane, Róisín B. Kennedy, Eoin M. O'Leary and Emily M. Redmond. The swimmers did their club proud, finishing in second place behind Wexford who won the overall title of round robin champions 2014.
It was widely agreed by all the clubs who took part that the round robin gala had been a great success and that the swimmers who took part had hugely benefited from the opportunity to compete in such a friendly, encouraging atmosphere.
All swimmers who took part over the five legs received medals and a number who achieved Grade 7 times received certificates to mark their outstanding accomplishment. These certificates were presented by the clubs in separate ceremonies back at their home pools.
In Enniscorthy, the certificates were presented by coach Liam Murphy to: Aine Byrne, Miguel Byrne-Rodriguez, Megan-Kate Doolin, Kate M. Doyle, Eabha Farrell, Holly Furlong, Rioghna Hourihane, Róisín B. Kennedy, Caoimhe Kirwan, Alice Medcalf, Abbey Mernagh, Eoin M. O'Leary and Jessica L. Roche.
Congratulations were well deserved with all the swimmers having trained hard over the last few months to achieve their impressive success.
Enniscorthy's unbeaten run in the league came to a shuddering halt at Park Avenue with a 1-0 defeat at the hands of Railway Union V.
The difficulties of having a small pool of talent from which to choose from were exposed as the league leaders were missing six players for this top of the table clash. As a result, it was an unfamiliar starting eleven for the Slaneysiders.
Having won the toss, Enniscorthy elected to tip-off, but the hosts swiftly took control. Two short corners in a row after just two minutes were a harbinger of what was to come, and Enniscorthy struggled to establish a foothold.
Two more short corners came at the eight-minute mark and nerves were becoming frayed in the visiting camp. Four minutes later the inevitable happened, with Railway breaching the Enniscorthy defence and Graham Hill's goal to make it 1-0.
Enniscorthy looked rattled. Further pressure was brought to bear but the visiting defenders were quickly improving and Enniscorthy began to force their way into the game following a torrid opening 20 minutes. As a result, play shifted in favour of the visitors but Enniscorthy were unable to put the hosts' defence under serious pressure.
At half- time Enniscorthy were able to look to the next half with optimism as Clive Rothwell, Jason Rothwell and Roy Chapman were beginning to get on top of their opponents at midfield and John Casey and P.J. Pierce were settling well at the back.
A confident re-start by the Wexford men resulted in a short corner created by Rory Maguire after 39 minutes. The push-out from Jonathon Rothwell reached Chapman, whose shot made it into the net but no goal was allowed as his strike had not hit the backboard.
Still, Enniscorthy felt a point at least was in the offing, but they had to be careful as Railway could be dangerous on the break. With ten minutes remaining, the hosts gained a short corner but with a similar result to Enniscorthy's sole short corner of the match: Hill was beaten, but the shot had not hit the backboard, and so the scoreline remained 1-0.
A new sense of urgency came over the visiting team, and the home defenders were put under sustained pressure. Ó Súilleabháin had a gilt-edged chance to equalise with two minutes remaining when he was on the receiving end of a cross from the right, but was unable to convert. Railway, though, held out and condemned the league leaders to their first defeat.
Squad: Graham Hill, Rory Maguire, Niall Maguire, Andrew Rothwell, Roy Chapman, Jason Rothwell, Jonathon Rothwell, Robbie Walshe, Clive Rothwell, Cathal Ó Súilleabháin, Seamus McAllister, John Casey, P.J. Pierce.
Enniscorthy made a welcome return to winning ways with a 2-1 win over Navan II at East Glendalough School in Wicklow Town on Saturday last. This was listed as a home fixture for the Slaneysiders and one in which victory was required to keep their title aspirations on track.
Despite the 1-0 defeat against Railway Union, the 4-4-2 formation adapted by manager Fraser Rothwell had worked well, and this time Enniscorthy lined up from the start with four at the back and in midfield. A strong central partnership of Jonathon Rothwell, Clive Rothwell, Roy Chapman and Jason Rothwell provided an excellent attacking platform for the home side, and Enniscorthy had Navan on the back foot from early on.
While the Slaneysiders were dominating posession, they were unable to break down the Badgers' defence. As the Enniscorthy effort slackened, the Meath men grew in confidence and were becoming increasingly threatening in their forays into their opponents' semi-circle.
Excellent defensive displays though from John Casey and Keith Ogilvie kept Navan at bay, though Hill was called upon on occasion to make some vital saves. Seamus McAllister and Robbie Walshe were becoming increasingly influentual up front as the half progressed.
Midfielder Jason Rothwell made it 1-0 to bring his personal tally for the season to seven, and Enniscorthy supporters would have expected their side to press on. Instead, the league leaders relaxed, and Navan were able to exploit confusion in the Enniscorthy defence to move the ball into the goalmouth along the endline; an easy tap-in for Sravan Hunmula levelled the game.
Fraser Rothwell kept faith with 4-4-2 after the break, but his charges recognised that their opponents were being allowed too much time on the ball, and as a result were letting Navan take control of the game. Fortunately, a renewed concentration on their passing game turned the tables on the visitors in the second-half.
Impressive inter-play between Chapman, Jason Rothwell and Clive Rothwell was increasing the danger for the Boynesiders, but the cutting edge was lacking up front; Rory Maguire and brother Niall both with chances to score.
With ten minutes remaining Niall Maguire atoned for his earlier misses to restore Enniscorthy's lead, much to the relief of the home support. As the clock ticked down to the final minute, Navan were awarded a short corner and moved their entire team up to the edge of the Enniscorthy semi-circle in search of an equaliser. After an unsuccessful first attempt, the push out was received by Shane Dooley who was unable to steady himself and Enniscorthy held on to claim all three points.
After a week in which their closest neighbours, Wicklow, claimed the men's Division 7 and women's Division 13 titles, the league leaders look increasingly likely to claim silverware of their own.
Squad: Graham Hill, Rory Mgguire, Niall Maguire, Robbie Walshe, Chris St. Clair-Johnson, Seamus McAllister, Jason Rothwell, Roy Chapman, Jonathon Rothwell, Andrew Rothwell, Kieran Costello, John Casey, Clive Rothwell, Keith Ogilvie.
Congratulations to Enniscorthy Hockey Club who won best sporting group at the St. Patrick's Day parade. With 110 hockey players in their purple colours, plus five goalies resplendent in full-body armour, it was one of the highlights of the parade.
The County Wexford Intermediate road race championships took place in Coolgreany on Sunday last and were excellently hosted by Croghan A.C. Many thanks to them for the excellent stewarding and the plentiful supply of post-race refreshments for the hungry runners and club supporters.
S.B.R. had a great afternoon, with six ladies from the club competing in the four km. Intermediate race. Great going girls and the contest will have provided plenty of championship race experience.
The eight km. men's race was next up and it was totally dominated by S.B.R., with three of the club's athletes filling the gold, silver and bronze medals. Paul Lynch repeated his tactics from the previous week's Wexford Novice by sprinting away from the field from the start and never seeing another rival en route to a great win.
Ger Doyle hasn't been seen in competitive action for many months but he stripped very fit here and ran strongly for second place, with Joe Lillis running another good race to claim bronze. Not surprisingly S.B.R. won the team competition, as the fourth scorer, Jim O'Malley, placed seventh.
With strong runs by David Leonard (eighth), Bernard Fortune (ninth), John Murphy (eleventh) and Stephen Tyrrell (16th), the club also won the silver medal in the team competition. Well done to all runners.
S.B.R. are organising a table quiz this coming Thursday (March 27) at 8.30 p.m. in The Courtyard, Ferns. Teams of four are €40 and a fun night is assured, with a wide range of questions at the ready.
The ninth leg of the S.B.R. winter league will take place before the table quiz, with the ladies'/Junior race getting under way at 7.15 p.m. and the men's race starting immediately afterwards. More information can be found on http:www.sbrclub.com.
Last week's eighth leg of the winter league saw some great results, with the ladies and Juniors competing over a mile and the men racing over two miles. In the Junior event there was an excellent finish with Josh Hogan just shading the verdict from James Boland, both finishing on 5.38.
The ladies' race was won by Danielle Hennessy in 6.23, with Louise Kehoe getting the better of a sprint finish with Cathy Maher for second. Myles Gibbons made every single yard of the running to win the men's race by ten seconds from Paul Lynch in 10.28.
There are two more legs left in the league, with prizegiving and refreshments taking place after the final race next week.
SLANEY OLYMPIC A.C.
Well done to Marie Chapman and Mick Morrisey who represented Slaney Olympic in the East Coast marathon in Killeigh, Co. Offaly. Mick ran it in 3.27 and Marie in 3.54.
The county Intermediate road race was held in Coolgreany on Sunday last hosted by Croghan A.C. Once again there was a great representation from our club. Catherine Walsh won individual bronze and led the Slaney ladies' team to victory and the gold team medal, with Martina O'Sullivan sixth and Siobhán O'Shea eighth.
The men's team won the bronze medal with John Foley, Bobby Redmond, John Roban and Jessie O'Connor.
New members are always welcome to join our club, and please feel free to contact any club member for further information