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Juvenile Football

In the first Parish Summer Project in 1977, Ernest Kenny provided Gaelic football activities at the request of Fr Greene. It was decided to organise two competitions at Under 10 and Under 14 using the four areas of the parish as the basis for organising the teams. So the first Gaelic teams in St Judes parish were Templeogue Wood, Glendown, Orwell Park and Willington. The community spirit in ST Judes parish came to the fore with Seamus O'Connor providing soccer goal posts on the Green for the competitions. The Under 10 competition was won by the Orwell team led by Kieran O'Reilly who beat Orwell in the final. After this project people were sought who would be interested in Gaelic games with a view to starting a club in the parish. Ernest Kenny and others set about talking to and encouraging people into attending a meeting to discuss the possibilities. With the enthusiasm show in the 1978 Parish Summer Project it was right that we should form our own GAA club.

In the pre-Tymon Park days, league games were played in Bushy Park, Watergate and later in Bancroft, while the juvenile footballers represented their new club with pride. What with the enthusiasm peculiar to juveniles and the courage and determination of the mentors, St Judes were level on points with Ballyboden and required a win to reach a final spot with St Annes. So on a cold may in Bancroft, the stars of St Judes played a strong Ballyboden team. It was point for point in a very exciting hard fought match and with five minutes to go Ballyboden were leading by a point. In the last few minutes a great move linking Hogan, Lehane and Whelan made the opening for Brannigan to crash home the winning goal.

After beating Ballyboden we were now set for the final pairing of St Judes and St Annes. St Judes won their first honours by defeating St Annes in an exciting game, even the gallant St Annes could not hold out against the rampaging forwards of St Judes who ran out winners by 4-5 to 0-5.

This season saw Jimmy O'Dwyer, Carl Page and Finbarr Murphy lead the Under 10s and from reports to the executive by Jimmy, they did very well in their League and held their own. The Under 14 mentors were reduced in their ranks to Ernest Kenny and Charles Moran.

It was in the 1983/84 season that the club increased its mentors and teams with the addition of Gus Barry, Paddy Russell, Bob Carty and the first manager Marie Bell. "Mol an óige agus tiocfaidh sí", was certainly the watch word and this was reflected in the 1984/85 season when St Judes fielded no fewer than ten teams from Under 10 to Under 15. With three teams at Under 10, the A Team being in Division 2 and two teams at Under 11 all holding their own in their respective leagues.

There were two teams at Under 12, the A team being "Durkan's Army" now taken care of by Seamus Durkan and Michael O'Boyle. This team continued its successful march through the league by winning Division 1.

The 1985/86 season continued with the Saturday morning nursery on the Green run by Jimmy O'Dwyer, Jim Coghlan, Gerry Wright and Finbarr Murphy. The club fielded six teams from Under 10 to Under 12, all of whom did well in their respective League. Juvenile football was beginning to make inroads into competitions in the 1986/87 season and with the nursery continued with such great success under Jimmy O'Dwyer with Garrett Edge and Joe McDonnell joining those already working hard on the Green. At Under 10 the A team were runners up in the Corrigan Cup and the Bs won Division 4 of the South East League comfortably.

The 1988/89 season got off to a great start with the thoughts of last year's success in its League and memories of our first championship final still in mind. With this to spur them on our teams did not shirk their duty. The Green being the starter pack was busier than ever with players as young as five years of age being coached, a daunting task to say the least. The Under 15s under Maire McSherry, Pat Brien and Bobby Carty finished third in the League and were beaten in the quarter final of the championship.


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