We already were very impressed with Ms. Speller and Ms. Leary’s hockey programme as the girls were turning out in numbers and training and playing with great camaraderie and enthusiasm, but to be honest, we thought that for some time the results would reflect the fact that hockey is just in its infancy at St. Conleth’s and progress would be incremental. Well, yes, it took time (just a few weeks!) and, yes, progress has been incremental… but as in increments of leaps and bounds! Both the Junior and First Year teams are burning up the astro and rippling the nets regularly as they are winning matches way ahead of schedule. The Juniors won last week in a scintillating performance, 3 – 0 over St. Raphael’s, with three different forwards scoring (Mei, Eliza and Vanshika) and Caoimhe, only a First Year, ‘playing up’ and earning the ‘Queen of the Team’ laurel. Ms. Speller was a bit hoarse from haranguing the kids in History class so, thankfully, Mr. Gahan was there to amplify her in-match instructions!
And the First Year team keeps rolling along, and rolling over opponents of considerable hockey pedigree, adding a 5-1 victory to their already impressive record. Sasha and Sydney were joint ‘Ladies of the Match’ and their was an inspiring performance by rookie goalie Siobhan. Determination and skill were on display by Katya, Jennifer, Maria, Lucia and Augustina, all up front and scoring goals and there was fantastic midfield play and defending by Caoimhe, Charlotte and Alanna.
With the girls laying claim to much of the school’s recent sporting glory, and this being close to Mr. Kelleher’s year anniversary, we wonder what the great man himself would have made of such a change for St. Conleth’s. Past Pupil Mary Martin (and mother of Junior team star Elizabeth) observed as such back in October when the girls made their league debut:
I was delighted to be the at the St Conleth’s hockey league debut, both as a proud parent and particularly as a past pupil! I felt quite emotional, it was awesome. Mr. Kelleher would have been so proud of all his girl pupils. In St. Conleth’s colours, they tore up and down the pitch fearlessly, and frustrated all St Andrews’ attempts at scoring. They were great. We’ve come a long way from when we handful of girls were indulged by him with a free day off school for Ladies’ Day at the Spring Show! Today’s match was a fitting tribute to The Boss, in this his first anniversary month.
Beir bua cailini
Many thanks to all the organisers and coaches,
With such parental support, inspirational coaching and the spirit and skill of the girls themselves, it is clear that hockey has truly arrived at St. Conleth’s, and is here to stay!