An All-Ireland win just one of the highlights from 2021
Shillelagh Pony Club had plenty of reasons to celebrate at their end of season gathering of pony games teams, parents and trainers last Friday night. The night was marked by a presentation to long standing team trainers, husband and wife duo John and Mary Walsh, for their outstanding commitment and dedication to Shillelagh PC games.
John trained the Juniors (under-13s) who won two major titles this year. An All-Ireland win at the Irish Pony Club festival in Barnadown in July and also a win at the two-day festival of games in Millstreet in September.
The winning Junior team were Robyn Gahan Darcy, Isabel Byrne, Thomas Sharry, Daniel Collins and Sophie Cosgrave. This team was very competitive and recorded several wins on their way to the major titles above. They were certainly seen as the ones to watch, and they did not disappoint securing victory at both major competitions, keeping cool under immense pressure while demonstrating all their skills and talents.
The Shillelagh Pony Club’s Junior team of Rhianna Mulhall, Lily Kate Buttle, Johnnie Shepperd and Tristan Furlong also featured throughout the season with strong performances consistently bringing home the ribbons. Two of these players and their ponies are new to games this season and they improved with each performance contributing to a strong team for the future.
The Senior team (under-16s) also recorded a win in Millstreet and brought home “best turned out” from the All-Ireland in Barnadown. Senior trainers were Bob Kinsella and Patricia Doyle. The winning team were Cormac Byrne, Joy Furlong, Aine Sharry, Ava Cosgrave and Tara Cosgrave.
The club’s under-10s this year struggled to find a full team of five within the club, our players Mark Byrne, Joel Keane and Lauren Byrne joined with two members from other clubs to compete. They put in some strong performances with their additional teammates. Two of these under-10 players and their ponies were also new to games and worked hard at training to improve their skill and accuracy under the watchful eye of the ever patient Mary Walsh.
The players went from strength to strength over the season and we hope to encourage new members to join them to ensure the future and continuing success of games in Shillelagh Pony Club.
Friday night was enjoyed by all with bowling followed by a meal and presentations in The Coach House. John and Mary, Bob and Patricia all received tokens of appreciation from their respective teams in recognition and thanks for their hard work and dedication throughout the season without which our games teams would not enjoy the frequent successes they have over the past long number of years.