FERBANE/Belmont Minor Club’s hugely successful 2010 campaign was celebrated in fine style on Friday night last when the club held it’s annual awards night, followed by a disco for all the underage members of the club.
For many years now Ferbane/Belmont minor club has been backboned by a wonderful team of mentors and volunteers and success was always likely to result when a talented group of young athletes came along. The community all across the parish has been blessed with some fantastic young footballers and hurlers in the last few years and that combination of talent and hard work brought about a rich harvest in 2010 when there was success at nearly every age group.
The boys Under 12 footballers secured their county title last September when they edged out Clara in a thrilling finale, and later that day the Under 16 footballers of the club beat Tullamore to win the first Under 16 A title for the parish in two decades. The Under 14 footballers held up their side of the bargain as well, winning out Offaly Féile and representing the county with great pride in Féile Peil na nÓg in Derry where they won two games and only narrowly lost out to St John’s of Belfast. However the Under 14s weren’t finished at that and they went on to add the county championship to their list of achievements, fighting off a late comeback from Shamrocks to win out in O’Connor Park.
Not to be outdone, there was also success for Ferbane/Belmont underage girls, as the under 12 team also secured the County A Championship, beating Tullamore in the final. Lorraine Keena, All Ireland medallist with Offaly camogie, was a guest of honour at the function and she made a presentation to the victorious under 12 girls, as well as the club’s representatives on the county under 14 panel.
Offaly star forward Niall McNamee was the other guest of honour and he presented the medals to the successful boys teams, and he was joined by Kevin Murphy, Vice-Chairman of Offaly Coiste na nÓg. Mr Murphy was in attendance to make a presentation to Conor Lowry and Aaron McDonagh both of whom represented the club on the county minor panel last year and played in Croke Park against Longford in the Leinster Final
The continued success of Ferbane/Belmont minor club is a great source of pride and joy to everyone in the area and a debt of thanks is owed to everyone, young and old, who brought so much success back to the club last year.
The occasion on Friday merely highlighted that these young people are a great asset to our community, with huge futures ahead of them, in sport and beyond.
Only time will tell if 2011 will see as much silverware being won, but the great attitude and enthusiasm of this large group that was just as evident on Friday as it always has been can only be a good omen.