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Hurling

Cuchulainn, Jack Lynch, Bertie Ahern and even Noel McGinn have played it, yes hurling. Hurling is one of the oldest of Irish sports dating back to pre-Christian times and one of the fastest field games in the world and we in Cappagh have a bit of a long history of the game. Our first recorded senior title was back in 1906, so over a hundred years of ash being clashed in our wee parish.

We are in one of the privileged positions that we have hurling in the area and one of the few if not only real dual clubs in the county. This ‘doubling up’ in games does bring about clashes in fixtures but also benefits to the people playing by  giving people the chance to be introduced to the game and more of a rounded approach to what the GAA is promoting. Having hurling, football and handball just leaves the club short of camogie in providing all the Gaelic Games for one single club, maybe that’s for the future.  We have managed to produce duel players to a high level with both Vinney Owens and Terence McCann playing County hurling and football in the not to recent past. Vinny also went on to be the only Tyrone player to play in the Railway Cup final, so the games can live together.

Since Mick Cunningham, of the same family as our Corporate Partners, Strathroy Dairy, drove on a hurling revival in both the club and the county  hurling has given us titles in the 40s, 50s, 70s and most recently glory years in the 90s when three senior and one league title was secured. Our last major title won was an Under 21 championship in 1996 so what are we doing about improving things? Well, like all elements in the club, more personnel are needed and we seem to be getting off the ground again. Concentrating at under 10 and under 12 we have already competed in two indoor blitzs with two teams in each competition with teams from all over the west of Ulster.  Barry McCaul, Brian McGurk, Pauric Quinn and others are chipping away at the coaching with promises of some of the players of the 90s hoping to give a helping hand so hopefully we are walking again and with more assistance we might break into a jog.

The senior team under the Cappagh Gaels banner are playing in the Ulster and Tyrone Leagues and have acquitted themselves well over the past year. Like most teams they are being run by a small and loyal band of supporters and have suffered by the lack of underage development over the years. The seniors compete, contend and most importantly enjoy the game.

The way forward now is to try and build on what has been restarted, get our coaching methods up to date, get more people involved, get the children out and keep the game alive in this parish as the history is there.

Keep on hurling!

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