Friday, June 23, 2017

Weekend Previews

There are 3 senior football matches on Sunday, each with its own tale to tell.  At 1:15 Galway will try to make it a second win of the season when they meet Christopher’s.  Christopher’s are trying to tally their first win of the season in their third outing and have yet to put together a full 60 minutes of coherent football.  With players of the caliber of St. Finbars man, Sam Ryan, at corner back, Dan Grehan in midfield, and Eddie Goggin up front the potential is certainly there for them.  Galway looked very good last week in their outing against Aidan McAnespies and what must have been encouraging for them was coming through a close game against a previously unbeaten side.  There are match winners in Kildare man, Cian McMonagle, Monivea's Craig Kennedy, and Alex Kenny up front, while the back line is solid and will not give much away.  Going to be an interesting one indeed.

Next up are the Gaels and McAnespies.  Another intriguing contest with each team coming off a loss in their last outing.  The Gaels were well beaten by Donegal, while the Macs came up ever so slightly short versus Galway.  The Gaels have plenty to pick from, and perhaps that is part of their Achilles heel in trying to decide on the starting 13.  McAnespies on the other hand have had a well settled team since May, introducing newly registered players without upsetting the whole apple cart.  Key for the Gaels will be the 2 Dans from opposite ends of the country.  Dan O’Driscoll from Cork will be important in the middle of the field and Dan Lowe from Stewartstown County Tyrone up front will be looking to create the openings.  The home based veterans, David Black, Coleman Mulkerrins, and Ryan Caffrey will be looked to set the example and dig in when the going gets tough.  McAnespies have a strong, solid side with Sallins men Paul Clifford and Eoin Delmer at the back, while Che O’Donnell up front can break a tackle or two when in possession.  Robbie Crofts guile will be important up front; the Naomh Barrog man did not have a great outing last week and will be looking to correct that.  Expect a close one, and perhaps a firework or two as each side will be eager to set things straight again on Sunday.

The final game of the Sunday at 3:45 features high flying Donegal and last years champions, Wolfe Tones.  Donegal came away with a one goal win last week in somewhat of a grudge match against the Blues.  The northerners needed substitute Lee Carr to come up with a couple of scores at the end to rest easy against the 12 man Blues, and might still be looking for better from one or two of the starting 13.  Stephen McBrearty is the key man and steady influence for Donegal in the middle of the field.  The Kilcar native never loses the head and uses the ball well, seldom wasting possession.  Up front it is Adan Neilly who is the dangerman at corner forward, and the Tones will do well to minimize his impact on the game.  The Tones are doing well so far.  At center forward Shane McGuinness has been a revelation, while Jarlath Boyce the main influence in the middle of the field.  The Tones will do well to keep themselves in this game as Donegal are one of the fancied teams this year, however a lot of resilience has served them well so far and may continue to do so on Sunday.

Junior A hurling sees Offaly and Tom’s on their first outings of the year on Saturday afternoon.  Offaly captured the Eddie Treacy Cup last season in convincing style and will be looking to get their defence off to a winning start.  Sunday Galway and Tipperary meet.  Tipp have looked impressive this year in their 2 outings, winning the Kieran Sheehan Cup and then last week a one sided win over Wexford earned their first 2 points.  For Galway is a first outing and Tipp will prove a tough test for the westerners.  The junior C hurling championship also continues in Concord, NH and Portland ME at the weekend.  Barley House Wolves are looking to make it 3 for 3 at home to Hartford, and Portland will be looking for their first win of the season at home to Worcester.

Plenty of junior football action in store as well.  Cork looking for a second junior A win, while Hartford travel to play the rebel’s junior B’s in Canton.  Canton will also see the first outing for the Kerry club as the Kingdom started their revival with a win in Hartford two weeks ago.  The Shamrocks and Connacht ladies also meet in a ladies junior encounter on Sunday to start Field B proceedings.

So, lots to look forward to and if last week is anything to go by, there is the potential for a couple of crackers.
By Rory O'Donnell

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Saturday June 16 - Ladies Senior Football: Boston Shamrocks v Connacht Ladies

The Ladies senior football championship got off to a start Saturday afternoon with a one sided win for the Boston Shamrocks.  A score of 8-9 to a goal and four points puts the Shamrocks one game to the good in the best of 5 series.  With such a one sided affair, it seems that it will take moving a mountain for the Connacht Ladies to lift themselves back into the series.  A couple of injuries early into the game hurt the efforts of the challengers to the Ladies senior title, and they never really got out of the starting blocks. 

Sarah Jane McDonald heading for goal.
(Photo: Carolyn Wengler)
At the break the Shamrocks lead was 3-4 to a goal and a point for the Connacht Ladies.  Sarah Jane McDonald netted twice for the Shamrocks as the forward line ran rampant, while the third was put away by Ciara McGuigan. Connacht Ladies had a ray of hope after Shauna Garvin netted, but the second half proved to be too much of a mountain to climb.

McDonald completed her hat trick early into the second half as the scores just piled up for the Shamrocks.  Further scores from Shelly Twohig, Becky Mongan, Eaodain Connolly and Tessa Crowley piled the misery on.  The westerners pointed through veteran Jane Ward and Maria Kelly.  The Connacht ladies will be hoping for a better showing in the next meeting of the teams in 3 weeks time.

Connacht Ladies:  Jackie McDonagh, Niamh Hynes, Shauneen McAleer, Hayley Kilgallon, Siofra Cleary, Niamh Sheridan, Catherine Boyle, Aisling Kerr, Roisin Boyce, Ellie Lane, Jane Ward, Kelly Harris, Ainbhe Finnerty, Shauna Garvin, Maria Kelly.

Shamrocks:  Sinead Hession, Cathy McEleaney, Nicole Byrne, Louise Kiernan, Kayla Farren, Shelly Twohig, Niamh Fitzpatrick, Laura Kiernan, Eaodain Connolly, Sarah Jane McDonald, Shannon Mullen, Aisling Grimes, Ciara McGuigan, Tessa Crowley, Rebecca Mongan.

Monday, June 19, 2017

Saturday June 18 - Senior Hurling: Fr. Tom's v Galway

Galway 0-16 Fr. Tom Burke’s 1-14

If the opening game of the senior hurling championship is anything to go by, it is going to be a tight contest between the two teams for the Boston senior title.  There was never more than a point between the teams until injury time when Galway went up by 2, only for Brian Ramsey to net on the stroke of full time and hand Tom’s the win in the first game of the series.

Seven of the first 8 scores of the game came by way of the free.  It was John Coleman for Galway and Stiofan McMahon for Tom’s.  Each player was equally on the mark, with Coleman hitting 3 and McMahon 4 in the opening exchanges.

It was neck and neck all the way between
Tom's and Galway.
The game started to open up and the tempo increased as time wore on.  Tom’s got some great work out of their corner backs, Brian Flynn and Donal Coughlan, and added to their tally with some impressive scores from open play.  McMahon struck one from a tight angle, while MJ Sutton returned a puckout to send it back over the bar. 

Galway’s Jamie Barron was influential in the middle of the field along with James Tyrrell, while Coleman and Sean Lordan pointed from open play for the Tribesmen.  At the break Tom’s held the advantage, 8 points to 6.

With 15 minutes to go the teams were tied.  Galway got some good play from their half back line.  Rob Flynn, Conor O’Neill, and Martin Doyle did well, as did Willie Hahessy at corner back.  Flynn put a lovely score over the bar, while it was the dead ball striking of Coleman that continued to keep the scoreboard ticking over for Galway. 

Shane Ryan tried to keep things going in the right direction for Tom’s, himself taking a nice score.  Each side made changes to try and tip the scales in their favor.  There were chances on either side, with Tom’s frequently working the ball to Cormac Joyce-Power around the 21 yard line, but nothing seeming to materialize. 

Galway's Conor O'Neill and Tom's Stiofan McMahon.
Galway continued to punish Tom’s with Coleman’s free taking and with 5 minutes to go a 65 yarder was sent over by the corner forward to give Galway the lead.  The score was answered by Sutton with a long ranger and the sides were level again.  Galway opened up a two point lead with Coleman frees, and the win looked to be in the bag for the tribe.  Tom’s were not done however, and with the last attack Ryan was found rushing in from the wing and the St. Finbars man buried it to the cheers of the Tom’s crowd.  Tom’s one win in the bag in this best of 5 games.

Tom’s: Liam Doyle, Brian Flynn, Donal Coughlin, Shane Taylor, MJ Sutton, Shane Dooey, Robbie Carew, Shane Ryan, Brian Ramsey, Dylan Costello, Stiofan McMahon, Aaron Moore, Shane Howley.

Galway: Gavin Power, Willie Hahessy, Colm Daly, Martin Doyle, Conor O’Neill, Rob Flynn, Jamie Barron, James Tyrell, Sean Lordan, Padraic O’Leary, Cathal Bolger, John Coleman, Conor Murphy.
By Rory O'Donnell

Sunday June 18 - Senior Football: Shannon Blues v Donegal

Shannon Blues 0-11 Donegal 1-11

The Blues and Donegal served up a tough encounter that went down to the wire.  While struggling to get into the game, the Blues lost Barry Hartnett late in the first half to a second yellow card, and were up against it from then on.  Despite a valiant effort at turning the game around, it was Donegal who came up big when the game was on the line to secure the victory.

Sean Donnelly shoots for goal in the first half. 
Donegal took the half time break with a one goal advantage.  Adam Neilly was the provider and Sean Donnelly the finisher as the corner forwards combined well to put Donegal into a four point lead.  The Blues never really got into any kind of flow, while Donegal’s forwards played some good football at times.  Neilly and Donnelly worked together to manufacture another point, while Stephen McBrearty, who was Donegal’s man of the match with his consistent, measured display, tallied a handful of points.

The Blues lost Greg Horan early on to a black card, and with the half almost up Barry Hartnett received a second yellow card, and the Blues would have to try and recover in the second half with a man down.  Kieran Hurley had tallied 3 of the Blues first half scores, while Steven Conroy and Denis McElligott made up the difference.

The second half saw the Blues try to dig their way back into the game and pulled within a point as the game entered the final 10 minutes.  Kieran Hurley pointed 3 frees on the trot, punishing indiscipline in the Donegal back line as the Blues worked to try to turn the game around in the humid conditions.  Neilly and Sean Donnelly had put a handful of early scores over for the northerners, however, the Blues dug deep and made some tactical substitutions to try to get the most out of the panel.

Greg Horan on the ball for the Blues.
With the extra man it was Donegal that finished the stronger of the teams.  After Daragh O’Shea saved well from McBrearty, Donegal were able to step it up a gear for the final 10 minutes, and press home the win.  A well timed Brian Donnelly interception with the Blues on the attack saw Donegal rally upfield and restore the lead to two points.  After the Blues had reduced the gap to a point once more, a well worked move saw substitute Lee Carr point, and then added a second insurance point with the clock in injury time.  It will have been a satisfying win for Donegal with the Blues left frustrated and looking forward to putting things right in their next outing against the Gaels in 2 week time.

Blues:  Daragh O’Shea, Trevor Wallace, Fionn O’Herlihey, Denis McElligott, Brian O’Seanahcain, Cormac Coffey, Barry Hartnett, Wayne Guthrie, Greg Horan, Kieran Hurley, Lee O’Donoghue. Darren Wallace, Steven Conroy.

Donegal:  Hugh Boyle, Kevin Toner, Conor Burke, Sean Doherty, Jack O’Brien, Derek Maguire, Stephen McBrearty, Brian Donnelly, Aaron Kelly, Eoghan Lafferty, Mike Finnegan, Adam Nelly, Sean Donnelly.
By Rory O'Donnell

Sunday June 18 - Senior Football: Galway v Aidan McAnespies

Aidan McAnespies 0-17 Galway 2-15

The senior football championship is well and truly underway.  Galway tallied their first 2 points of the season, while it was the first loss of the 2017 for McAnespies.  The game was tight all the way through, with no more than 2 points between the teams.  It was not until Kevin Cummins netted in injury time for Galway that there was any semblance of distance between the sides, and the tribesmen could enjoy what was a hard fought win. 

There was little quarter given as Ruairi Greene
is tight on Che O'Donnell.

Two points stood between the teams at the end of a lively first 30 minutes.  MacAnespies worked hard on both sides of the ball in the early going, and were rewarded with a 4 points to two lead.  Croft with 2 points, and the other coming from Brian Breslin and corner forward, Dean Flood.  With Galway trying to get into the game, a goal came from the tribesmen from the foot of Alex Kenny.   Kenny’s angled shot found the far corner of the net and put Galway into a 1-2 to 0-4 lead and it came slightly against the run of play.

The goal buoyed Galway’s confidence and the Brighton based side played some nice football for the remainder of the half.  Jamie Kelly’s kickouts found their men as it was a possession strategy.  Kieran Molloy did well at wing back and covered a lot of ground, as did corner back Ruairi Greene.  Galway tallied a further 6 points from Kenny, Cian McMonagle, Cian Darcy, and Jamie Keogh. 

McAnespies played the ball well out of defence and attacked in spurts, and will have rued a handful of missed opportunities.  Michael Walsh at wing forward was full of running, while Seamie Breslin in the middle of the field was involved in most things happening for McAnespies.  Points from Adam McKenna, Seamie Breslin, Che O’Donnell, and Croft kept McAnespies in touch, while a Walsh shot at the end of the half that came off the foot of the post would have put McAnespies into a one point lead at the break.  As it was it Galway went in 2 to the good at the half.

Seamie Bresling shoots with Cian Molloy in attendance.
The second half continued with each side vying for the edge.  With the corner forwards on both sides struggling to get involved, the corner backs had the edge for both sides.  Croft, Flood and O’Donnell brought McAnespies closer with a point each as points from Forde and McMonagle held Galway’s slender one point lead intact.  After Darcy had pointed for Galway, Brian Breslin was issued a black card and with a premier home based defender off the field the challenge for McAnespies would be all the greater. 

The teams traded scores, with McAnespies drawing level on two occasions coming into the final few minutes, but could not find that go ahead score.  Galway introduced Craig Kennedy to the fray after Ruairi Greene was given a black card, and the Kildare man pointed twice shortly after entering play.  Points from Croft and Walsh drew McAnespies level with full time upon us.  It was a smashing McMonagle point that proved to be the winning score.  The Kildare man from Clogherinkoe pointed from a tight angle to restore Galway’s lead with the game on the line.  The score was followed by a Cummins goal in injury time that captured the points for Galway and allowed the tribemen to celebrate their first win on the season.

Macs:  Thomas Brerton, Eoin Delmer, Brian Breslin, Paul Clifford, Niall Rooney, Adam McKenna, Martin Mongan, Seamus Breslin, James Rigney, Che O’Donnell, Michael Walsh, Robbie Croft, Dean Flood. 

Galway:  Jamie Kelly, Ruairi Greene, David Murphy, Kieran Molloy, Dylan McHugh, Stuart Cullen, Cian Darcy, Jamie Keogh, Sam Lenihan, Alex Kenny, Ryan Forde, Cian McMonagle, Kevin Cummins. 
By Rory O'Donnell

Sunday June 18 - Junior A Hurling: Wexford v Tipperary

Wexford 0-6 Tipperary 4-18

The opening junior A hurling match was a fairly one sided affair as Tipperary got their campaign off to a flying start.  By the time half time came around the Premier County side held a double digit lead and a man advantage one the field.  Wexford struggled to keep it close, however, had they taken their scores earlier in the first half it could have been a different game.

Tipp's Simon Kennedy with the eyes on the ball.
Three Tipperary goals and a host of Wexford misses conspired to have the Premier men sitting on a healthy half time lead.   Tipp had tallied 2-2 before Tom Moloney got Wexford off the mark with a point.   Russell Quirke and Sean Stafford hit the majors for Tipp.  Greg Burke pointed another for Wexford and with the chance to get into the game the Slaneysiders proceeded to hit several chances wide of the posts.  Tipp maintained their lead thanks to the free taking of Sean Stafford, while Eoghan Kavanagh took over the free taking duties for Wexford.

As the half time break approached, Wexford missed another chance, this time a goal opportunity, and Tipperary netted a third time.  It was Quirke who found the net for a second time to put the game well and truly beyond Wexford.  Following the goal a few punches were thrown resulting in a red card for Wexford goalkeeper, Jamie Keogh.  At the break it was a 12 point advantage for Tipperary.

Tom Moloney in possession with Mark Jordan
ready to pounce.
The second half saw Tipp extend their lead and with the extra man there was little hope for a Wexford comeback.  Strikes from Pat Moriarty, Jimmy Maher, and 4 Stafford frees (the St. Martin’s man hardly missed) had the matter pretty much put to bed early in the second half.  Dinny Cross and Maher capped off the scoring in a dominant performance.

Wexford: Jamie Keogh, Eddie Murphy, Tom Davey, Jason Foley, Denis Brennan, John Taggert, Greg Lundy, Tom Moloney, Sam Lenihan, Jamie Rath, Greg Burke, Eoghan Kavanagh, Kevin Joyce.

Tipp:  Sean Delaney, Cathal Madden, Sean McGarr, Mark Jordan, Cronan Dempsey, Paul Morris, Pat Moriarty, Simon Kennedy, Dinny Cross, Jimmy Maher, Kieran Lowrey, Russell Quirke, Sean Stafford.
By Rory O'Donnell

Friday, June 16, 2017

U14 Team on the Way to Ireland for the Feile Peil na nOg

The time is almost upon us for the U14 feile team to travel to Ireland for the second year running, and represent the division at the annual John West Féile Peile na nÓg tournament.  The team contains a mix of players who have the experience of last year’s tournament under their belts and kids who are going for the first time.  The chance to represent Boston and play in Ireland is a key part of the youth development efforts.

Back Row L-R:  Pat O'Malley, Martin Kerr, Dylan Murtagh, Liam Davoran, Conan McCusker, Colm Faherty, Eoin Morissey, James Newell, Liam McGowan, Davey Murtagh, Thomas Murray, Eoin Faherty, Aidan Flanagan, Brendan Smith, Mick Sammon.  Front Row L-R:  Kian Hanbury, Aidan O'Malley, Ciaran McGurran, Declan Walsh, Daragh Jordan, Griffin Harvey, Aidan Skillin, Luke Sammon.  (Not in Pic Cathal Carney, James O'Neill).
The preparation required to ready the team, fundraise, find sponsors, and organize the trip is not to be underestimated.  Practice and preparations began last fall, with a committee forming and practices for the players.  An eager group took the reins and with help from some who had been through the experience last year, the endeavor is about to come to fruition.  The team will acclimatize with a challenge game against Cavan club, Shercock, on the Wednesday before the first tournament game.  Corduff, which is located a little to the north of Carrickmacross, is hosting the Boston boys and Friday June 23 the team opens the tournament with games against Aughnamullen and San Francisco.  A huge part of the experience includes players staying with their host families, and Friday the kids will meet their hosts and spend 2 nights with them.  Saturday June 24 is the date for the matchup with the host club, and depending how the games go it could be off to Lisnaskea, Co. Fermanagh for the quarter final. 

A big thank you to all who helped with the organization, and the team sponsors - New England Building Supply for the training kit, Lucy’s Restaurant for the track suits, and the Glynn Hospitality Group for the jerseys, and Keash excavation for the gear bags.  Also, special thank you to treasurer, Kelly McCarthy, and to Margaret Riordan who put in countless hours co-ordinating affairs with the folks in Ireland in the early morning hours.  The players who will be traveling are:  Cathal Carney (Wolfe Tones, Springfield), Aidan Skillin (Trinity, Milton), Aidan Flanagan (ISYL, Watertown), Colm Faherty (Trinity, Milton), Luke Sammon (Trinity, Milton), Conan McCusker (ISYL, Dorchester), Kian Hanbury (St. Brendan’s, Dorchester), Dylan Murtagh (ISYL, Dorchester), Eoin Morissey (ISYL, Watertown), James Newell (ISYL, Weymouth), Liam Davoran (ISYL, Milton), Thomas Murray (Trinity, Milton), Declan Walsh (Trinity, Milton), Aidan O’Malley (ISYL, West Roxbury), James O’Neill (St. Brendan’s, Milton), Darragh Jordan (Trinity, Milton), Eoin Faherty (Trinity, Milton), Griffin Harvey (ISYL, Stoughton), Brendan Smith (ISYL, Quincy), Liam McGowan (St. Brendan’s, Weymouth), Ciaran McGurran (St. Brendan’s, Weymouth), David Murtagh (Trinity, Milton).  Coaches:  Martin Kerr, Mick Sammon, Pat O’Malley.
By Rory O'Donnell

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Senior, Junior Hurling Sunday

The senior hurlers of Fr. Tom Burke’s and Galway meet in the first of their senior hurling championship games on Sunday at the ICC.  With a long history of rivalry, each of these Western rivals will be eager to get off to a good start and chalk up an early win.  Tom’s came out on top when the sides met in the Sheehan Cup a few weeks ago, however, with the addition of several summer sanctions for each side it is going to be anybody’s game. 

Tipp will be looking to add a championship win to the Sheehan Cup on Sunday.
The junior A hurling championship also commences when Wexford and Tipp meet to open the day.  Tipperary looked impressive winning the Sheehan Cup and most of these players will be fielding on Sunday.  For Wexford it is going to be their first outing of the season, so a slow start would not be surprising.   Both of these teams will contain numerous home based players, so expect a game with a bit on an edge to it.

The Boston Shamrocks and Connacht Ladies meet again Saturday.
The Ladies senior footballers commence their championship Saturday afternoon.  The champions, Boston Shamrocks, got off to a winning start by capturing the Orla Benson Cup earlier this season.  Connacht Ladies will have looked back at many missed chances in that game and with sharper shooting from the Westerners, this game could be close. 

Two senior football games are sure to serve up a treat on Sunday.  First is Aidan McAnespies who are looking to add another win to their unbeaten season.  They will face a determined Galway team who will be looking to fine tune their efforts following a mixed performance against Wolfe Tones.  Galway at times looked unstoppable, and at others, could not get moving.  McAnespies have a strong looking side and with a mix of speed and muscle can dial up either side of their game if need be.

Wayne Guthrie and the Blues will face Donegal Sunday.

Shannon Blues and Donegal each notched up a win last week.  Both teams looked impressive.  The midfield battle will be one to watch.  In Brian Donnelly for Donegal and Wayne Guthrie for the Blues there are 2 top class players going head to head.  The Blues might have an advantage in that the players are well familiar with each other, while Donegal still look like they are getting to know each other on the field.  This game will be one to look forward to Sunday at 4:30.
By Rory O'Donnell


Saturday June 17

Irish Cultural Center, Canton

Field A

4:15 Junior A Football:  Donegal v Shannon Blues

5:30 Ladies Senior Football: Boston Shamrocks v Connacht Ladies

Field B

5:15 Junior B Football:  Cork v Connemara Gaels

Sunday June 18

12:00 Junior A Hurling:  Wexford v Tipperary

1:15 Youth Games

2:00 Senior Football: Galway v Aidan McAnespies

3:15 Senior Football:  Donegal v Shannon Blues

4:30 Senior Hurling:  Galway v Fr. Tom Burke’s

Field B

12:30 Junior B Football:  Galway v Donegal


5:00 Junior C Hurling Hartford v Providence