St Colum’s win county titles in both football and camogie
VICTORY in adult county leagues in camogie and ladies’ football have provided ringing endorsements for the decision of St Colum’s to amalgamate in those codes, and, to quote an old telephone ad – the future’s bright, the future’s orange.
A win against St Peter’s earned them the Division 6 football league title and then a week later they overcame Grenagh in the final of the junior C 13-a-side camogie league.
Now, they are aiming for championship success, with a camogie semi-final against Rockban on Friday and a clash against Castlehaven to contend for a place in the county JDFC football last four.
With approximately 90 percent crossover across both panels, it is a considerable achievement for the Kealkill club, who came under the one umbrella at the start of 2017, with this year representing the first time they had entered an adult camogie team.
Chairperson Eilís Nyhan is full of praise for how the teams have performed.
‘It’s a great achievement, considering how young most of the players are,’ she says.
‘We have a lot of players still minor and U16 and a few just out of minor. On the camogie team, Libby and Maggie Coppinger and a player who moved from Laois, Jacqui Moore, are the only real adults, though there are a few girls in their 20s on the football team who don’t play camogie.
‘We weren’t sure if we’d have the numbers for an adult team in camogie but they did brilliantly, it was the first county title for the club in camogie at any level.’
Having both codes under the one umbrella has proven to be an inspired decision.
‘Last year, things were going in the right direction,’ Eilís says, ‘and that led to this great run.
‘The two management teams are very co-operative, they’re always supportive of each other and they always have the good of the club at the forefront of their minds.
‘The communication between the two sides is excellent and that’s important because, as a club, we have to deal with two different county boards. It’s a bit trickier than it is for the men from that point of view.’
The on-field success at adult level has led to a trickle-down effect at the younger grades, and Eilís expects that in turn to further benefit the club in the coming years.
‘The coaches are sure to mind the girls and that’s so important because they’re the heartbeat of the club,’ she says.
‘They’re a great bunch of players and, to be honest, I don’t think we realise how much they do for the club, it’s unreal.
‘We had the Cúl Camp recently at the club and the majority of the assistant coaches were the girls from the club, they’re great to do whatever is asked of them.
‘As a club we’re getting stronger, the younger girls are feeding off the success of the older teams. Sometimes, we’ll mix the girls and have non-contact sessions, that allows them to get to know each other too.
‘We’re a small club in one sense but, in another way, we’re a very big club, we have more than 200 members now.’