An entertaining evening of sport was had by all who turned up in Simonstown GAA grounds, after racing in Navan, to see a panel of top National Hunt Jockeys take on a Trainers team who were out to regain their title for last year. Now in it’s third year, and with the Charity Game finishing in favour of the trainers in 2010 and on an even pegging in 2009, there was a lot of pressure on the Jockeys to obtain the title for 2011.
The jockeys were managed by Ken Whelan, while Castletowns Noel Meade took charge of the trainers. Paul Nolan was selector for the Trainers team.
As the halftime whistle was blown, the Jockeys had a lead of 5 points over the trainers with the score standing at 1-7 to 1-2.
Each team fielded two female players and were allowed to start two county players. Katie Walsh and Kate Harrington lined out for the Jockeys while Martina Doran and Emma Connolly represented the Trainers.
While the jockeys may have been calling for a steward’s inquiry into the referees credentials, with two controversial penalties being awarded within the last 5 minutes of play, the trainers failed to take advantage of the favourable decisions that went their way, Martina Doran kicked her penalty into the hands of the jockeys goalie, Robert “Puppy” Power.
Barry Cash, Jockeys Captain received the highly coveted Gain Feeds sponsored Cup from Paddy Woods.
Eddie O’Connell, who was playing in the half forward line for the jockeys, received the player of the game trophy, who just pipped mid-fielder Paul Benson at the post for the title.
O’Connell together with Amatuer Jockey Kevin Power and local lad Roger Loughran scored a goal a piece for the Jockeys team. Having let these three goals past him, the trainer’s goalkeeper Gordon Elliott was the recipient of the Player In Need Of Most Improvement Award.
Last years Man of the Match, Willie McCreery put up a brave fight for the trainers side. Despite scoring two goals, it wasn’t enough to hold of the Jockeys who ran out the eventual winners on a score line of 3-12 to 3-3.
The match was followed by food, music, raffle and auction in the clubhouse.
John ‘Shark’ Hanlon was the highest bidder in the auction and is now the lucky owner of a Hurley signed by the last 5 All Ireland winning Kilkenny hurling captains.
The night was a great success raising over €3,500 so far for the Injured Jockeys Fund. A cheque presentation will be made at Navan Racecourse on 13th November.
Jockeys team: Robert “Puppy” Power, David Russell, Barry Cash, Barry Geraghty, Tom Reilly, Tom Walsh, Jamie Codd, Owen Naughton, Paul Benson, Eddie O’Connell, Roger Loughran, , Niall “Slippers” Madden, Alan Cawley, Kevin Power, Katie Walsh. Subs: Katie Harrington, Andrew Lynch, David Condon, Brian Cooper, Keith Donoghue, Gary Cribben.
Trainers team: Gordon Elliott, Robbie McNally, Tom Howley, Paul Gilligan, Pat Healy, Sos Doyle, Richard Pugh, Willie Codd, Murt Donnelly, Eamonn O’Shea, Brian O’Conner, Tom Dreaper, Barry Callaghan, Willie McCreary, Martina Doran. Subs: Gavin Cromwell, Emma Connolly.