Written by Robyn Deegan & Aoife Kelly
This week on the 16th of February 2017 two Claddagh teams went to the Knocknacarra Community Centre to represent our school in an inter-schools’ U12 mixed Olympic handball tournament. We were giddy and excited as the selected teams travelled from the school in John Cotters’ bus.
Our two teams were called Claddagh Orange Team and Claddagh Green Team. Each team was made up of three girls and three boys but our squads were much bigger with many players from 5th and 6th classes. Matches only lasted 6 minutes with no half-time breaks, so a fast start was very important in all games. The groups contained some tough opposition with Cregmore NS, Garden Field NS, Knocknacarra NS and the Attymon School who had a long journey to travel to the venue.
Our Orange Team were up first and drew three matches straight. The Green Team had better luck and won all their matches except for the last one against Garden Field. In fact Garden Field were the strongest team in the whole tournament. Only one team from each group advanced to the play off. We were nervous but channelled this energy into concentrating at all times on the handball court as Mr. Geraghty had told us.
Our last game against Knocknacarra was the decider for the Green Team. It was very exciting. The score at full-time was two all. Extra time would now decide our team’s fate. That was equally nail biting! It was all square after extra-time and the golden goal rule would go against us as Knocknacarra got off to a quick start and scored straight away. We were gutted and very disappointed. To have come so far but yet to leave empty handed.
When we came off the pitch we found out that we had qualified for the shield. When we heard this we were all so happy with that outcome. We will have another day out!Even though it was a loss for the Claddagh, it was still a great day and we are planning to train really hard and improve on our performance for the shield tournament.