Training takes place on Tuesday and Thursday mornings at 8.10am sharp with students fresh showered and alert for the beginning of the school day at 9am. This is a series of four races taking place on Saturday mornings throughout October, November and December. It acts as ideal preparation for the athletics team to complete well in the Kerry colleges cross country championships in early January. Moreover students get to complete with athletes of all ages typically ranging from ages of 12- 70 years of ages with up to 300 runners competing. In addition to gaining valuable racing experience, the series also provides our athletes with a junior and under 19 categories which allows athletes complete against fellow students from within Kerry, Cork and Limerick. St Brendan’s athletes have been exceptionally successful is this series with David Kenny winning the junior section in 2011, 2012. In addition Risteard Clifford was second overall in this year’s series with fastest time of 16.29 for 5k. St Brendan’s colleges cross country team won the best overall school at the Kerry colleges cross country championships in 2013 for the first time since in over 20 years.
Moreover during the current year the senior boys cross country team of Risteard Clifford, Conor Kissane, Paudi Clifford and Matthew Rennie winning the Kerry, South Munster, and Munster senior boys team title. This was the first time in recent years that a senior boys’ team from St Brendan’s won the muster colleges cross country team title. In the aftermath of the cross country championships the athletics team target their preparation towards being in prime shape for the muster colleges indoor championships in Nenagh during early march. In recent years the team have won numerous medals in this event with the highlights being outstanding performances by Billy Courtney in shot Putt and Dylan Sullivan in high jump. The Final component of the schools athletics calendar is the track filed championships which begins at the end of April with the Kerry College championships in Riocht athletics track Castleisland. The team then complete in the South Munster championships in C.I.T. track. Those who are successful qualify for the muster schools athletics championships and finally the all-Ireland schools championships. In the 2013 All Ireland Colleges Track and Field championships David Kenny and Dylan o Sullivan won individual medals.
The Sem ran out comfortable winners against a jet lagged St Eunans. We marched on to the quarter finals, where St Brendan’s haven’t been for many years. It was a tough draw against the second year all Ireland champion, St Josephs known as the Bish which took place in the kingfisher arena in Galway. The Bish with two Irish internationals got out of the blocks early and got a lead which they held throughout the game . The Sem got it back to 6 near the dying minutes but the Irish internationals proved too hard to contain, and the Bish ran out 10 point winners.
U19 All in all this year the U19 school basketball team didn’t do too well. But the highlight of this basketball season in the school had to be on the 17th of May 2013. On this day we played the SEM team from 25 years ago who won the all-Ireland. To mark their 25th anniversary the U19 team played them in a challenge game down in the school gym. It was an incredibly exciting game of basketball. The 1988 team showed that they still had game and they stuck with us right to the very end. In the end the younger and better team won by a narrow margin of 2 points. Once again it was a very fun and enjoyable basketball season in St. Brendan’s college.
Our trainers this year would be Harry O’Neill, Arthur Fitzgerald and Mike Leahy. At the meeting the management team outlined what they wanted to do with the panel this year and what they expected from us as a group. We also discussed the training schedule and what training it will consist of. Everyone was very excited for the coming year and we all couldn’t wait to get going. Our first game was against Kenmare in the O’Sullivan Cup group stages. We had done plenty of work in training before this game and we were expected to win easily, however it was a matter of getting the team to gel together and work as a unit. We won unconvincingly on a score line of 4-12 to 2-11 but there were plenty of positives to take from our first game playing together as a team.
Our second game was in the O’Sullivan Cup again and this time we faced Intermediate School Killorglin. Again we prepared well for this game we ran out easy winners on a score line of 4-26 to 4-6, but we had plenty to improve on and work on at training. We then played Coláiste na Sceilge in our final group game. This was a very important game as it would confirm who would get top spot in the group. In very poor conditions we won the game 3-9 to 12 points. In all honesty it was a poor game that did not live up to expectations, but the main thing was we were in the semi-final and that’s all that mattered. At this stage we were training very hard as the Corn Uí Mhuirí was fast approaching and we had Skibbereen in our first group game. We were highly tipped to win the game easily and I think we got a bit complacent and Skibbereen caught us out and beat us on a score line of 2-14 to 1-13. This was a very poor result and put us under fierce pressure to win our next group game especially when the other team in our group, Rochestown beat Skibbereen in the other group game.
However, we had to forget the Corn Uí Mhuirí for the time being as we had an O’Sullivan Cup semi-final to play. We were playing CBS Tralee in this game and we were expected to win, which we did on a score line of 1-15 to 2-8. It was a very good win for us and a place in the final against a highly tipped Dingle side awaited us. We were all delighted to be in the final and now we wanted to go out and prove a point and win the final. However, in the days leading up to the game people weren’t afraid to voice their opinion and say that the Sem had no chance of beating a so called Dingle team full of superstars and there was no point even playing the game.
People in our school even wrote us off before the game, but this gave us extra motivation to go out and prove a point and show we were not just going to let Dingle walk all over us. It was a very wet day in Austin Stack Park, Tralee where the final was to be staged. All Dingle had to do was show up but we had different ideas. We went out in the first ten minutes of the game and dominated but did not take our chances and Dingle went in leading 1-7 to 1-2 at half time. It didn’t look good for us but we came out in the second half fighting. We completely dominated the second half and won the game on a score line of 2-8 of 1-9. It was a massive victory for us especially when we were written off before a ball was even kicked. Our attention was now turned to the final game of the Corn Uí Mhuirí group stages. It was a must win game for us or we were out, simple as that.
The game came on the back of our surprise win against Dingle and we were all buzzing for the game. We had four weeks to prepare for the game against Rochestown and we trained very hard. Although we had won the O’Sullivan Cup a few weeks prior, Rochestown were still tipped to beat us. Again we were dubbed as underdogs but that suited us. The game was played in Cloughduv in Cork and the conditions were very good. We didn’t start the game very well. After ten minutes we were trailing 1-2 to no score and had missed a penalty. However, as the game wore on we got more into the game and we led at half time 1-8 to 2-3. We came out in the second half and we blitzed them. We dominated it every part of the pitch and Rochestown did not score in the second half. It was a great win for us and this insured we would still be playing after Christmas in the quarter final of the Corn Uí Mhuirí which was the main objective. Unfortunelty the Corn Uí Mhuirí was shortlived when we were defeated by Dingle in Fitzgearld Stadium 22nd February.
Grappling systems are designed to use angles, leverage and proper technique rather than pure strength to takedown, throw, control, pin and submit an opponent. It is a system designed for a small weaker person to combat a larger, stronger assailant or opponent. At our training facility classes take place at lunch times under the watchful eye of Mr PJ Lucey, European Champion. There is a great atmosphere when we train.