BY JOHN NEWMAN
ILEN Rovers’ U14 A and minor county teams were crowned the January winners of the Rebel Óg monthly awards on Monday.
This Rath/Aughadown club, founded in 1973, continues to build for the future, following a wonderful 2014 that saw them add the county U14 A title to the two county U14 B titles of 2012 and 2013, plus a minor A county championship and league titles while their U15s also contested a county final.
All of this hard work and success was recognised on Monday when Ilen Rovers were announced as the January winners of the Rebel Óg monthly awards for 2015 – sponsored by Cummins Sports, Red FM and the Irish Examiner – at Rochestown Park Hotel.
The U14’s campaign began with a 2-6 to 2-3 win over Ahán Gaels and then in the western final they ousted Castlehaven 7-6 to 4-12. They then had an easy victory over Aghabullogue in the county semi-final before claiming the county with a 4-4 to 3-3 win over Blarney.
The minor’s path to the finals included a 1-18 to 0-8 against Ahán Gaels, followed by a 4-19 to 1-9 win versus Newcestown in the final. In the county they accounted for Glenville before defeating Cill na Martra, 2-13 to 1-9. In the county league they also ousted the latter before they then beat Kilshannig 1-11 to 1-9 in the final.
Speaking at the function, Mick Evan, chairman of the adjudicating committee, expressed his concern for Gaelic football, with a huge loss of the skills learned at underage being replaced with the big emphasis on strength and conditioning at adult level. He pointed out that Kerry’s Colm Cooper, while not a big man, possessed all the skills of the complete footballer. In the end ‘skills win out,’ he said.
Kieran Coughlan, who spoke on behalf of Ilen, stressed that ‘our massive work at underage was now paying off and we continue to work on our skills and we are now seen as an up-and-coming club’.