FOR the second year in a row St James came out on top in the Carbery U12 Rebel Óg kicking skills competition.
The talented trio of Aaron White, Conor Dooley and Euan Whelton held their nerves in Skibbereen recently, as 18 local clubs competed in this divisional final with the winner moving forward to the county series. Each club had three players on a team with every player having ten kicks – five off their right foot and five off their left foot – and after an exciting afternoon’s action, St James emerged as Carbery champions with a final score of 22 out of 30.
O’Donovan Rossa and Castlehaven were next (20/30), followed by Ilen Rovers (19/30) and Kilmacabea (18/30).
While the wind was certainly a factor last Saturday there were still some outstanding performances with Ilen Rovers’ Joe Connolly the only player to kick the perfect ten, followed by Castlehaven’s Dan McCarthy who scored nine out of his ten kicks. O’Donovan Rossa’s Odhran Herlihy and St James’ Euan Whelton both kicked eight scores.
‘The real positive is that we had 54 kids taking part,’ explained Carbery GDA James McCarthy who organised the competition along with Carbery GPO Paudie Crowley.
‘We had 18 clubs there so that’s 54 kids who took a combined 540 shots. We’d a 50 per cent success rate on the kicking overall so, and it was windy to be fair, there’s work to be done. It was a busy afternoon but really beneficial to all the players who took part.
‘We had staggered start times with different clubs having different start times, so after they registered I took them for a practice and gave them a few tips. Then they moved on to Paudie who oversaw the test, with five kicks off both left and right feet. Then they came back to me for more feedback.
‘It was all done in a safe environment with social distancing protocols followed, and, like I said, it was great to see so many kids out on a pitch kicking a ball, enjoying themselves and improving their skills.’
As winners, St James will now represent Carbery in the county section of the U12 Rebel Óg kicking skills competition.