Tuesday 18 June 2019

Sporting honours for Good Counsel students

The 1st year hurling and football squad
The 1st year hurling and football squad
Jack Ryan of The Rower receiving the outstanding sporting achievement award for showjumping from principal Mark O’Brien and vice principal Aidan O’Brien
Luke Byrne Doyle from Mullinavat receiving his outstanding sporting achievement award for boxing from principal Mark O’Brien and vice principal Aidan O’Brien.

David Looby

Good Counsel College hosted an awards night to honour and acknowledge students who had achieved outstanding sports success in the past year.

Central to the evening was the presentation of medals to the highly talented group of 1st and 2nd years who starred on the Leinster 'A' double winning sides in both U14 and 1st year 'A' hurling and football and who also lifted the provincial Futsal title. The Junior rugby team were also honoured for their heroics in landing the Leinster shield title.

Principal Mark O'Brien welcomed everyone and introduced guests of honour, Martin Storey, captain of the '96 McCarthy cup champions, and Michael Furlong, past pupil and current Wexford Senior football captain, who presented the hurling and football medals respectively.

The merit of the boys' achievements in winning the titles was evidenced by the fact that they overcame the strongholds of St Kieran's College and St Pat's, Navan in the U14 finals, defeating the great Kilkenny rivals again in the 1st year hurling final and Naas CBS in the football equivalent.

Coaches Kevin Kehoe, Tony French, Mick Purcell, Darren Kenneally and Aoife O'Connor recalled some of the highlights from the campaigns while thanking the boys' parents and clubs for the enormous contribution made to the young players' development.

Teacher and coach of the Junior rugby champions Catherine Doyle spoke of their exploits and the challenges they faced in landing the Leinster shield. Again the dedication of the boys in staying on after school to train in all weathers was mentioned, while New Ross rugby club were thanked for their ongoing support. In winning the Leinster Futsal championship and going on to reach the All Ireland final, the 1st Year team were bringing the first such title to New Ross.

Team manager John Fanning spoke about each individual, outlining their particular talents. 'It will be no surprise if we hear a lot more about some of these young men's sporting exploits in the future,' he said.

In addition to the achievements of the school teams, a number of individual students were recognised for outstanding achievement in a range of sporting areas.

Deputy Principal Aidan O'Brien explained that while the school could claim little credit for these students' successes, it nonetheless takes great pride in them.

Luke Sutton, a senior national silver medallist, has represented Ireland in lightweight rowing in home internationals, Jack Ryan competed on the Irish showjumping team internationally in addition to being recently voted young Irish rider of the year for the 3rd Year in succession, Ruairi Aylward has also represented Ireland in showjumping while Mikey Sheehy followed in his brother Danny's footsteps in landing the Irish pony racing jockey's title.

In other disciplines Luke Byrne Doyle has represented Ireland in boxing in several events while Dominic Bodo recently brought home two silver medals from the world kickboxing championships held in Italy a country where young John Browne, 1st Year, also represented his country in fishing.

Absent on the evening as he was competing in the national short course championships in Lisburn was Evan Bailey - an outstanding young swimmer who has a number of national titles to his name and who has competed in international events for Ireland.

Food and refreshments were served as those present recalled some of the memorable moments from a wonderful year of sporting endeavour.

Aidan O'Brien said: 'On what was a heart-warming evening it was inspiring to witness so much talent matched with an equal measure of modesty among this group of young people. No doubt there will be much more success to come for them.'

New Ross Standard