Ninth Annual MBNA Kick Fada

Monday, September 15, 2008

Sizzling Saturday weather in Old Conna was matched only by a spectacular kick of 70 metres by Armagh goalkeeper Paul Hearty. With this he earned the MBNA Kick Fada title for 2008 in a nailbiting contest. A large contingent was attracted to the Old Conna venue by the promise of county stars vying for the prestigious prize. RTÉ's Mícheal O Muircheartaigh, who oversaw the day, was awarded with honorary membership of Bray Emmets GAA club in a presentation after the MBNA Kick Fada had finished.

Paul Hearty's effort was just two metres short of the record set by four-time winner Mark Herbert of Kildare in the 2001 competition.

The ninth staging of the event saw the Crossmaglen native Hearty beat off stiff opposition which included 2007 winner John Brennan of Carlow, Fermanagh All-Star Marty McGrath, Dublin star Mark Vaughan and Offaly goalkeeper Padraig Kelly, who took the title in 2004 and 2005.

With a top-class field, Hearty was pushed all the way in search of the crown. Kelly finished in second spot, while 2006 winner Fintan Ruddy of Mayo claimed third.

Also amongst the competitors were Monaghan team-mates Dick Clerkin and JP Mone, Kildare goalkeeper Enda Murphy and his Westmeath counterpart Gary Connaughton. Bray representative Paul O Keeffe kept the local flags flying as he narrowly missed out on the medals.

The Ladies Kick Fada event was won by Meath forward Mary Sheridan. A sister of Meath senior footballer Joe Sheridan, she registered a winning kick of 43 metres.

The Seneschalstown native was just ahead of Naomh Mearnog duo Cliodhna O'Connor and Emma Dunne, who secured second and third spot respectively.

Bray Emmets wish to thank all the hardworking club members who put their shoulders to the wheel in preparation for the 9th MBNA Kick Fada on Saturday last. It was a huge success. An enormous amount of work went into having the grounds and pitches looking so well, organising the event on the day and in particular Anne Longemore and her team who fed the masses right throughout the day.

MBNA Kick Fada Hurling Skills Competition:
One of the attractions at the Kick Fada was the Hurling Skills Competition.  This event was designed by Kilkenny legend John Henderson.  It pitted the hurlers head to head on the skill board and then free taking.  How ironic that it came down a Kilkenny Waterford final as Michael Donnelly from Thomastown in Kilkenny took on Mark Flannagan from Mount Sion in Waterford.  History repeated itself as Kilkenny won through, with an impressive Michael Donnelly pointing all ten frees in the final.  Michael received his medal from RTE Legend Mícheál Ó Muircheartaigh.

Academy MBNA Kick Fada
This event was a very exciting one for the children.  The Under 7's coming down to a three way kick off.  Well done to the finalists Rory Lambe, David Maloney and Gavin O'Shea.  There will be a lot of practicing for next year.  In the Under 8's we had a clear winner with Darragh Rochford retaining his title from last year.