On Sunday last we had a challenge match against Bruree. They won the intermediate championship last year. We decided that we would play 3 thirds rather than two halves. Each third was twenty minutes each. The pitch was in very good condition after all the rain that had falling over the last couple of weeks.
I was a sub for the first twenty minutes, just as the game started the weather changed from the sun we had all day it started to rain. The match was messy enough to begin with as the conditions were hard to play in. After the first third Bruree were leading by 4 points. The second third started nearly straight away, we now had the wind to our backs so we came into the came more. I came on with 10 minutes to go on the second period. We ended up scoring 8 points and kept Bruree scoreless. After the second period we were now winning by four points. In the final third we took off most of our better players. The rain stopped for the last third which made the hurling abit better even though it was still wet and slippy. The game was even and after the final third the game ended in a draw. Blackrock 0-16 Bruree 1-13.
Sunday, the 21st of February, marked my first match out after doing a couple of weeks of fitness training. Going into the match I felt confident from the prior training and effort I put into trainings and my fitness leading up to our first match. We were heading to the west of limerick to take on a team called Kileedy in the first round of under 21s 13 aside championship. Unfortunately the home team came out on top in the end. In the first half we had a strong wind in our favour but unfortunately we didn’t play to our potential, we didn’t use the wind and we didn’t take the chances that were given in the first half. At half time we were in the lead by 5 points with a score line of 1-8 to 0-6. Straight away we conceded 1-3 within the first 10 minutes of the first half. We kept on going. Scoring points and answering all there questions. We had a chat at half time and our manager told us to keep up the work we had done in the first half. But then the turning point of the game came when one of our best players got a straight red card for an off the ball incident. We battled on as much as we could but kileedy used the extra man to their advantage and added an extra goal and couple more points. In the end kileedy ran out as winners with a Scoreline of 1-12 to 3-11. It was a very disappointing match in the end. Going forward however, the match marks a place for us to work from. With the right training and effort from the whole team I believe we are able make a comeback.
This week I had to work hard to build and strengthen my fitness, looking at my results from last week I have a lot to get through to get to where I want to be. I went to the gym three times this week and I worked mostly on my legs. I did some leg curls with weights to build muscle on my quad and to help build my stamina. I also concentrated on using the bikes and elliptical in my gym routine. Both the bikes and the elliptical were really challenging and tiring on my legs which indicates I should be using these equipments more to strengthen my ability. The bike and the elliptical also worked on my cardio which I plan on really narrowing in on as it will quickly strengthen my overall stamina. My routine consisted of 20 minutes on the bike, followed by 20 minutes on the elliptical, and finally using weights for a total of 30 minutes. Next week I am going to mainly focus on my core.
Our club has had a lot of success in recent years for example in 2010 Blackrock won the All Ireland Junior A championship. Unfortunately since we have gone up to intermediate standard hurling we are finding it hard to be more successful and we haven’t won anything in quite some time now. Although the Intermediate are’nt winning as much as we have hoped to our Junior B team has taking control of the south. We have being the best team in south Limerick for the last 4 years winning 4 south medals and coming close to winning county finals but just falling short at the last hurdle. It had being so long since we had won our medals and we had’nt got them yet. The club organized a night out for the Junior B team where we got our medals and we had good banter. They had food for us on the night. Local and Limerick Hurler Richie McCarthy handed out the medals to everyone who was involved and all in all it was a very good night. The night was organized very well as a lot of the locals from the town came up to talk to the players and the managers and everyone bonded together and joined in with singing and have the laugh. Hopefully we can be as successful this year.
This past weekend I took part in Blackrock GAA’s first training session for the 2016 year. This session included multiple drills to refresh fitness and skill after the break. Such drills included, striking the ball, hand passing, turning and sprinting. These drills worked on our ball work and started to challenge our fitness which will need to be built up for the matches. Due to the rain from the previous night before training, the ground was very heavy, cut up, and overall not in the best conditions. Training lasted 1 hour and 15 minutes and there was about 25 people attending. We were all required to run for short periods of time during the training session which included us jogging, sprinting and running backwards.
As it was the first training back for everyone, the overall fitness was very poor. Our managers put an emphasis on working on fitness individually to get to the level we need to be at by the time of the matches. The remainder of my blogs will focus on trying to reach my fitness goal for the hurling season ahead. I plan on doing so by working on fitness within the gym. I will also provide pictures and short videos recording my progression in my next blogs.