Team Management: Billy Mellon, Penni Heald
Well, what a year 2022 has been for Camogie and Arklow Rocks! Where to begin as there is so much. In 2022 my goal of teams at every level and silverware was completed as our Junior Rockettes had the most amazing season to finish Wicklow Junior Championship winners.
The season started with the league and these amazing ladies were undefeated all the way through the league up until the semi-final against Bray with a huge defeat in Ballinakill.
Not to be put off, training was ramped up for Championship with a feeling in the squad of belief in themselves, their teammates, their management, and their club. They were going to give it everything they had. They won their games against Knockananna, Eire Óg and were awarded a walk over from Bray as they had pulled out of the Junior Championship.
Through to the semi-finals against Ballinacor. Billy’s pre match talk really hit the spot as our Rockettes went onto the pitch fierce and determined and never gave their opponents any let up. They won by 10 points taking them through to the final.
Both the semi-final and final were played in Pearse Park. Our support on both days was tremendous. To see all the green and white from young to mature was a little breath taking for this blow-in if I am honest. Kiltegan were not going to hand anything to us and we had to work for everything on the day. At the final whistle, it was jubilation for the Rocks against a brave Kiltegan side. Great advertisement for Camogie in Wicklow.
Well done to Billy Mellon and Penni Heald on the commitment given to this team and these players. From last year winning only one match to this year bagging a Championship. The turnaround is both deserved and amazing.
Thanks to any coaches who helped during the year. For our Safety and First Aid, Linda O’Donovan. To Jason Redmond for commentating on the final. And to all the Rockettes for committing so much last season and this season and making one of Penni Heald’s, our Camogie Chairperson, dreams come true. All we can say to you all now is, “Rocks for Intermediate!”
The 2022 Wicklow Junior camogie champions, Arklow Rock Parnells.
Arklow Rock Parnells joint captains Aoife O’Brien, Emma Breen and Rose Hudson receive the Wicklow Junior Championship cup from Leinster Camogie Chairperson Linda Kenny.
Team Management: Penni Heald
This was a very young panel this year, of about 14 little Rockettes, because a lot of last year’s under 8s went up to the under 10. The progress that these girls have made is a joy to watch nearly as much as their confidence and the love of the game. We had new players joining through the year.
They played a series of Go Games blitzes around the county and I can confidently say there is a good base laid for next year.
Thank you to Stacey Riley our under 16 Rockettes that helped throughout the year with this group. We will need more of the same next year please as I believe the way to keep this club thriving is to keep recruiting boy and girls at a young age and let them grow up in the club together.
Team Management: Danny Curran, Denise Pierce
The U10 camogie team had another successful year, both being very competitive wherever we played and in terms of improving throughout the year. It was great to see a few new girls joining during the year and catching up quickly. A total of 18 girls played. It is also great to see the friendships that develop among the girls and the fact that the game is more than a game. Sadly, or happily! half the girls will move up to U12 next year so a previous year’s group is reunited and a new u10 team will form. We look forward to seeing all return next year and hopefully more new faces and good games ahead.
Coach: Mary Geraghty, Jason Redmond, Sinead Riley, Daimhnait McDonogh
The U12 girls had an enthusiastic start to the 2022 season with training starting back in Early March. All the cobwebs were well and truly brushed away by the time of the St. Patricks Day parade where the U12’s were out in force with their club. We then got back to work, with training resuming to two days a week from April.
Then the matches started. We started off the season with a friendly against Eire Óg in bitter cold with a dusting of snow on the hills around Arklow. The cold was soon replaced with rosy cheeks as the match got underway. This game was quickly followed by a series of blitzes which got the girls plenty of games and game time!
The league matches followed in June, July and August, where we played Avondale, Eire Óg, Kiltegan, Avondale and Knockananna. The skills improvement was evident as the girls got more games under their belts. The striking was improving greatly and there was improved play off the ball. Some of these were tough games but it was heartening to see them not still smiling and enjoying playing even when the going got tough!
We had a beautiful day for our Sheehan Brothers Memorial Blitz on the 13th of August. ARP hosted a fantastic day of camogie with Aughrim, Eire Óg and Avondale participating. Aughrim came away worthy winners on the day.
August was seen out with a hard-fought game against Avondale but September started off with fun at the fair which included a match at the Aughrim field day. We then had a U12 finals day in Ballinakill. In October the County Camán festival was held in Pearse Park where ARP had two teams lining out. Both teams played three matches and then were presented with medals for the day.
Training officially finished up in early November, and soon after, the season of camogie, friendships and fun was celebrated with the juvenile presentation night in the Woodenbridge hotel. The girls and coaches got a chance to wear their lovely new gear sponsored by Scratnagh Developments Ltd.
All in all, this group of 28 girls played 17 games over the season. These girls showed some real grit and determination throughout the year as they had some very tough matches this year but they played their hearts out until the final whistle regardless of how the match was going. They are a fantastic group of girls with super manners and are a credit to their families.
A big thank you to all the girls’ parents/families who travelled to all the games and supported the teams throughout the year. Also, a big thank you to the other ARP coaches who stepped in anytime they were needed. Thanks also, to Penni Heald for all her support throughout the year.
Team Management: Vinnie Byrne, Orla Mellon
This year we started our campaign on the 25th of April away to Annacurra with a Panel of 20 girls. And progressed all the way through the year to a shield final with a Panel of 25 girls that night. We played 18 matches over the year and never had less than 20 at a game.
It was a big step up for much of the panel coming up from U12 to full pitch 15 aside games but they acquitted themselves brilliantly and represented the club with pride and distinction with up to 12 of the panel representing Wicklow County camogie over the summer and some of them winning blitzes with the County. These girls really have put in a serious effort this year and will be a force to be reckoned with going forward. The majority of the 25 panel remain at u14 next year with serious numbers coming up in age also. The future is bright for this group.
Thanks to Orla Mellon for the administration with this team and keeping everything in the background up to date and the necessary support and information, including selection advice, on the side-lines on match days.
Coach: Vinnie Byrne, Michael Priest, Richella Woods
This group have been together for the guts of eight years. We have had some additions to the group as we have grown, but the core group have soldered together for quite some time.
The season started on the 5th of April in the league away to Carnew, with 16 players, what an opener to the year. It was a tough day but from that day to this they just got better and better and more determined to succeed and they pushed each other to the end. Again, we played 18 games at this age grade this year. We were beaten in a league semi-final; this decided our standing to the championship. We had a panel of 24 girls who worked tremendously hard all year and grew their fitness and skill so much so that we went 9 games unbeaten in the championship and were crowned champions with an unbelievable display of hurling on the 26th of October against Donard the Glen. The girls like fine wine kept the best until last. As I said some of them have been in and around this group from u8’s and have finally got the rewards their efforts deserved, thanks must go to the coaches who have worked with them over those years without whom it wouldn’t be possible. As a group their application cannot be faulted and this was proven as the went on a fantastic run in the championship. Some move up to the adult grade now and I hope they drive that on to and add success on to success as they join an already winning group. To those staying behind we go again and build on the success of this year. There’s more there for them if they want it.
Finally, a big thank you to Richella for all the admin work in the background and the guidance. To Linda for her commitment to both teams regarding the girl’s health safety and wellbeing.
This would not be possible if Michael Priest had not stepped in with me on the coaching side. Michael coached both u14 and u16 and Féile teams with me this year and I can’t thank him enough for his help support and guidance. He was the cool head on the side-line. The calming influence.
Management Team: Vinnie Byrne, Michael Priest, Richella Woods, Penni Heald
This very nearly did not happen for this group. A change of date by the county board made it possible for us to put a team together and compete in the county competition. In which we had a group of Girls that had never really played together but they just gelled and took off. We won and we were going to Féile what an experience that was. The build-up the excitement and the journey to Féile shield final winners. The build-up cannot be overstated with some serious work put in by people in the background. A huge thank you the whole of Arklow, community and businesses. Your amazing generosity made it possible for our Feile boys and girls to have a day that none of them will ever forget and we cannot thank you all enough.
The girls kept their side of the bargain performing amazingly on the day, coming up short in one game, this paved the way for a shield final and the mood in the camp in the build-up just lead you to believe they would not be beaten and so it proved. They were excellent in the final first ball to last and got the rewards for their hard work. The celebrations were amazing and memories were made for a lifetime.
To coaches Danny Curran, Jason Redmond, Mary Geraghty, Sinead Riley, Vinnie Byrne, Michael Priest and Billy Mellon. Our administrators Richella Woods who is also Camogie Secretary, Orla Mellon and Daimhnait McDonogh. Our Childrens Safety Officer Linda O’Donovan. My go-to mammies who run shops, help me with camp and anything else I ask them to Kim O’Leary, Denise Pierce, Sally Ann Massey and Jennifer Walsh who is also our Treasurer. To all the parents who get our players to matches and training all year round.
I am sure that those who created the foundation for Camogie at the Rocks when it was formed in 2010 would be proud of where it is today. I am grateful always to be in the role of Camogie Chairperson but my cup runs over this year.
Who knows what 2023 has in store but it has the makings of another amazing year for all our teams at Arklow Rocks.
Coach: Philip Byrne
What a year for our under seven hurlers. The enthusiasm and enjoyment shared with this bunch of young hurlers was a joy to behold. The year started with a trip to Carnew for the first Go Games of the year and I would like to thank all the parents who travelled and supported the teams throughout the year. All year you could see the improvement in skill in the team and the future is bright for the club if these boys continue to progress with their hurling. I want to thank all the support we received whether it was on the road or at home in Parnell Park.
Coach: Ciaran Mellon, Paul Guilfoyle Supervisor: Kim O’Leary
The Rocks U9 boys have had a superb season. Attendance at training was admirable. Week in week out these boys turned up with great commitment and a fantastic attitude towards their training. This young group of Rocks hurlers listened intently to instruction, took on board advice and developed their skills. The fruits of their efforts were clear for all to see as they demonstrated their skills on the pitches across the county. As the season progressed our numbers increased and we were delighted to be in a position to field two teams at the blitzes. The future of the Rocks is bright with this young team of determined, skilful hurling stars.
The U10 boys competed in the U10 Player Pathway league. This league consisted of 7 teams from across the county. The boys put in superb performances in all matches and as a result they finished on top on the league after having an unbeaten campaign. Their team spirit was admirable, every boy encouraging and supporting each other both on and off the pitch. A talented young team who produced some very stylish hurling. They are already looking forward to next season.
Coach: Philip Byrne
What a year for our U11 Team. They had only one loss all year to Carnew in Carnew and this was by the narrowest of margins. From the start of the year, early March, there was always a good turnout for training. By the end of the season, you could see the results from all the hours the lads had put in with a huge improvement in first touch and skill level. The fixtures came thick and fast for this group and they always rose to occasion putting in some fine performances whether it was at home in Parnell Park or away. They topped the group with only one loss and faced their strongest opponents, Carnew, in the final on the 24th of September in Ballinakill Centre of Excellence.
This match was the culmination of all the evenings in the field training and at home pucking a ball around. The hours and hours of practice with hurl and sliothar finally paid off with one of the best games of hurling played all year in this competition. Carnew were on fire and had some great young hurlers playing to win on the day but unfortunately for them it was to be the Rocks day. From goalkeeper to substitutes everyone put in a huge effort and roared on by a huge support the Rocks were victorious. The cup was presented by Wicklow Hurling Officer Owen Doyle to joint captains for the day Senan Byrne and Sean Kavanagh.
Coach: Philip Byrne
A tough year for this group of hurlers. Most of this team were still eligible to play u11 hurling this year and the step up in age level showed when we lined out against the top teams in Wicklow. The one thing that these bunch of players did not lack in was effort and determination and they never gave up all year. When Eire Og Greystones, who were at the same level as us, pulled out their team after the league part of the season it left the Rocks as the whipping boys of the A Group. That did not deter the Rocks and the fought and challenged every team that they lined out against. But alas it was not to be our year at this age.
A huge thank you to all the lads that took to the field and represented the club, we are all extremely proud of ye. A big thank you to our New Jersey sponsor ‘First Choice Pharmacy’ and Sarah Duffy as the lads
Coach: Jason Redmond, Liam Murphy, Sean Pierce, Bill Connors
What a year this has been! As a team we started training hard in the bleak winter months!! We went from muck and slop to indoor halls no matter what we had the full team training and training hard. It is no surprise or accident that this group blended and achieved so much this year.
We started out the league and got a number of wins under our belt, going through our league group unbeaten. We progressed to the final where we played Carnew. Trailing at half time by a point, we upped our game second half and drove over the line and were convincing winners to take home the cup.
We took part in the Féile competition in Ballinakill. A quick-fire competition of shortened length games with the emphasis on participation. We started off against Luke O’Tooles, a tough game with both teams battling so hard and could not be separated. We then went on to have wins against bray, St Pats and Carnew! We were pitted against western geals. We saved the best until last and ran out convincing winners,
ARP Wicklow Feile champions 2022.
We went on to represent Wicklow in the Feile in county Meath. The experience although we did not win was amazing. The fundraising, the matching gear, the buzz around it cannot ever be replaced.
Lastly the championship was played in league format providing ten games in league stage! We got stronger as a team and we are building as a unit. We went through the league stage unbeaten and topped the group. We beat Carnew in the semi-final and were pitted against Bray Emmets in the county final. Thankfully, the county board acknowledged how good these players are and provided us with the stage we deserved, the county pitch in Aughrim.
It was a massive occasion, as always, our faithful contingent arrived in their hundreds. The game itself was a tough and skilful display of hurling from both sides. With 8 minutes to go it looked like Bray were on the way to a great win, 5pts up and going well. Everyone outside the camp thought we were beaten, not our day. BUT these boys have massive self-belief and a never give up attitude instilled in them. True to their word they scored 2.1 in the dying minutes to claim the u15A championship. An amazing day that will live on in the memories for ever.
The was a year of triumph for these young men. A year filled with memories, happiness and success.
A special thanks to the amazing team at Inver Bathrooms who back this team year in year out through their generous sponsorship. We are never left wanting, thank you.
One further thanks you the community and business community of Arklow. Your generosity made 50+ kids extremely happy as they headed off to Feile not wanting for nothing.
So, here is to next year when we move on to the minor grade, Carrig Parnell Abú!
At adult level we had a mixed year with our Intermediate team falling short again this year. We have a talented young team with huge potential but we cannot seem to kick on and come together. During the season, a dispute arose between the players and the team management. Unfortunately, this resulted in Mick Byrne and his team stepping away from the team more than halfway through the season. This also resulted in Mick Byrne stepping down as Chairman of the club.
Our Junior team reached a Junior C final this year but ,on the day, lost by the narrowest of margins to a spirited Knockanna team. We would like to thank all those involved. Hopefully, with a bit of effort and training our Junior team will progress next year.
SUMMER CAMP 2022
The three-day camp was held from 9 – 11 August and was a huge success for all 120 attendees. A fabulous job was done by all the coaches, helpers and our Child Safety Officer making these camps a week of fun and games for all, with a great atmosphere.
On top of the hurling/camogie skills and games being practiced there was slushies, an outdoor disco, races and our girls v boys obstacle courses and our annual water fight was back.
A big thank you to Wicklow County Fire Service for their informative visit and training.
I just want to take this opportunity to thank a few people. To Tom Byrne and Jack O’Reilly for their time and work maintaining the grounds and the outdoor area. The grounds are always in top condition and the pitch is a joy to play on. A task not getting easier with the growing numbers.