Skerries III claimed the Leinster women’s division 12 title last week to add another chapter in one of the most remarkable stories in the province as a team with over 50 children between them made it a third successive league win.
The group initially came together as a fourth team three years ago when a group of mothers, all of whom were involved with the colts on Sunday mornings, decided that they would like to have a run around themselves.
They started playing on Wednesday nights just to keep fit and have a bit of craic. It got them out of the house and allowed them some “me” time. Some had played hockey years ago in school, a few had continued on playing until their kids came along and some had never played before but wanted to give it a go as they had played other sports in their youth.
And there was scarcely been a backward step since. They entered the Leinster league division 14 and after an initial 7-0 hammering by Monkstown, the results began to flow, completing the rest of the campaign with an unblemished record to go on and win the league.
The following year, they joined the Skerries ladies third team in division 13 and once again had an excellent season, winning the league and narrowly defeating a strong Dalkey side in the cup final for the double.
Having leap-frogged their third team in the league register, for the 2011/12 campaign, they swapped places with the fourths becoming the thirds and vice versa for the division 12 campaign.
After a great first half of the season when they won all their matches, mostly away from home, as the season progressed, they did find it hard to manage family life and playing hockey.
With many of the mums involved with their children’ s activities, the team struggled to keep the same players each week. The younger fourth team helped out when numbers were low and they managed to lose just two matches during this time and were successful in gaining promotion again and topping the league – if only just.
The ladies ages range from 38 to 54 with the average being nearer the 44 mark. Between them, they have 51 children ranging in age from two to 27 years old. Some even play with their daughters when they are asked to sub up a team or their daughters sub up to the third team.
It shows the measure of hockey as a family game but the club’s Louise Montgomery explains the make-up of the team could be due to change in the coming years
“While the mums would like to stay together again next season, they understand the need to bring younger players along and so teams may be joined up next year. The ladies are delighted with what they have achieved so far and thank their manager for all her organising over the past three years.”
** The team would like to wish Brenda Rogan a speedy recovery from her recent unexpected illness and hope to have her back on board next year. Brenda, we surely missed you as you see from our two recent defeats.