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24 May 2022

Inaugural Noel Russell Memorial Cup hurling match is played in south Tipperary

Edmund Rice School victory means the cup stays in Carrick-on-Suir

Inaugural Noel Russell Memorial Cup hurling match is played in south Tipperary

Above: Rita Russell, wife of the late Noel Russell, prepares to present the cup to Ger Hahessy, captain of the Edmund Rice Secondary School team, Carrick-on-Suir that beat Clonmel High School in the memorial hurling match at Páirc na nEalaí in Carrick. On the right are Noel and Rita’s daughters Lisa and Fiona, and in the background their sons Michael and Martin

Edmund Rice Secondary School Carrick-on-Suir 1-19 Clonmel High School 1-17

The superbly maintained Páirc na nEalaí in Carrick-on-Suir hosted the inaugural Noel Russell Memorial Cup hurling match between the Edmund Rice Secondary School (ERSS), Carrick-on-Suir and Clonmel High School.
The match was organised to remember the late Noel Russell, from Carrick-on-Suir, who inspired many young hurlers in both Clonmel and Carrick, and indeed throughout south Tipperary, with his work as a Gaelic Games Development Officer.
The teams were aware of his major influence on the two schools and the game was a tight contest throughout, with great intensity brought by both sides.
ERSS started brightly, taking the lead with two points before Emmet Butler got the High School off the mark.
The teams then traded scores up to the first water break, which saw the score at 0-5 each.
The High School upped the tempo after the water break and with great points from Chris Ryan and Anthony Keeley, led by 10 points to 8 at half-time.
However the Carrick-on-Suir school never let their workrate and effort drop, and were rewarded with a number of great scores that saw the teams level again shortly after half-time.
The teams continued to trade scores in what was a tense contest.
The effort of the players on both sides was wonderful to see, no more so than when Clonmel High School’s Ruairí Leahy ran through the ERSS defence to provide a wonderful assist for a Dean English goal.
This put the High School four points up coming down the home stretch.
However the Carrick-on-Suir school fought back from this point onwards, scoring a hard- earned goal to lead by three points as the full-time whistle approached.
Both teams battled on but the ERSS players drove home to win by two points.
Great credit is due to all players involved, who produced a great game of hurling that Noel Russell would have been proud of.
The captain of the Edmund Rice Secondary School team, Ger Hahessy, was delighted to accept the cup from Noel’s wife Rita.
Everyone is already looking forward to next year’s rematch in ensuring that the memory and legacy that Noel left in both school communities will live on forever.
Noel died in May 2018. His name was synonymous with the Carrick Swan club.
He was an outstanding club man who gave so much. At the time of his passing he was the club’s County Board representative but he was much more than just that, as he filled many different positions for club and county down many years.

As a hurler Noel won numerous medals with Carrick Swan as a very skilful corner forward, including U21 south titles in 1971, 1972 and 1973. He scored a vital goal in the county final win of 1972. He also won senior south medals in 1974 and 1978.
Noel was perhaps better known as a coach or mentor.
He was a selector with the Tipperary minor hurlers when they won the Munster championship in 1999 and in 2006 when they won the All- Ireland final under manager Liam Sheedy.
He also served as a county minor selector in 1998, 2000 and 2005.
He was also a county U21 hurling selector in 2008 when Tipperary won the Munster championship, and he retired as an inter-county selector after the 2009 championship.

Noel loved hurling and was responsible for introducing many children to the sport in the different parishes in his capacity as a schools coach.
He often helped out other clubs too when they required assistance.
In 2014 he deservedly received a special merit award for his contribution to Bord na nÓg.

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