Thursday, August 17, 2023

Ladies Junior A Football Final- Shamrock Ladies and St. Brendan's

St. Brendan’s ladies' team took home the cup, to celebrate their first year playing at an adult level. They defeated the Boston Shamrocks in a hard-fought battle that resulted in a deserving win for the Brendan’s girls.  

They wasted no time in the opening minutes, bagging a goal kicked by number 6, Ava O'Donnell. The Shamrocks, determined not to be left behind, made several attempts, all of which were wide, or saved by Brendan’s fantastic goalie, Clodagh Horan. Possession was one-sided for most of the first half, and the Shamrocks struggled to hold onto the ball. Thankfully for them, the scoring was low on Brendan’s side too. Shamrocks’ number 20, kicked a point that put their name on the scoreboard, however, Brendan’s were still in the lead by three points.  

St. Brendan’s defenders were focused- they knew their job would be difficult from the beginning, and they let very little through. Brendan’s number 12, Ciara Delaney, secured another point and she followed up shortly after with her second goal of the game. Shamrocks now knew their work in the second half would be difficult.  

Brendan’s won the throw-in and secured the first point of the second half, courtesy of number 7 Fiona Tuohy. The pressure weighed on the Shamrocks’ defenders. With a point from number 12, Delaney, Brendan’s pulled further ahead, but refused to get comfortable with their lead. This was certainly the right decision, as moments later Shamrocks’ number 10, Catriona Lynch, buried a goal in the net.  

Despite hard work until the very last minute, the Shamrock Ladies could not catch their competitors. St. Brendan's took the victory and secured their spot in the USGAA finals next weekend.

Men’s Intermediate Football Final 2023- Shannon Blues v Donegal


After coming head-to-head in the Junior B Final the day before, the Shannon Blues and Donegal Intermediate teams faced off once again, this time, Shannon Blues taking the win. From the first whistle, it was clear that both teams were bringing their A-Game. They had the same number of wins and losses this season, so it was difficult to predict the outcome.  

Donegal started off strong with three points. Not to be left behind, the Blues fought back with a goal and a point. Their number 12, Darren Wallace, bagged two more points, followed by one from number 9. Donegal’s scoring remained low, but a point just before half-time from number 13, Matthew McLaughlin, kept them in the race. It was a five-point game at halftime.  

Returning to the field, Donegal knew they had hard work ahead of them. The second half got underway with scores from Blues number 8, Lee Deignan, and Donegal’s 15, Darren Grath, and 17. The lead increased and decreased as the minutes ticked away. As the Blues scored two more points, Donegal began to slack in the scoring department. A goal from Blues 13, Gearoid Hassett, was fast and unexpected. Two more points from 10, Niall Feeney, and 14, solidified the message they were trying to send: that even though they were in the lead, they were not letting up on the accelerator anytime soon.  

Donegal fought back hard with a surprise goal of their own, courtesy of number 15, Grath. At this point, they were 8 points behind, and a miracle would be needed to see them win. Two more points from 17 and 5, Jack Mc Sharry, narrowed the gap once more, but points were no use at this stage. They searched for a goal opportunity but could not find it in time.  

The Blues, knowing they had won the game, did not relent until they heard that final whistle. They demonstrated some of the best football they had played all season and their win was well deserved. The match finished with a final score of 2-16 to the Shannon Blues and 1-11 to Donegal.

Tuesday, August 15, 2023

Men’s Junior A Hurling Final- Galway v Fr. Toms

highly anticipated final between the Galway and Fr. Tom Burke’s hurling teams drew a crowd on Sunday. The teams showed up knowing that it was not going to be an easy match. The unforgiving heat and humidity did not help the case, particularly when they played 20 minutes of extra time.  

Galway set the tone with a goal, early on in the first half. Tom’s, determined not to be shown up, bagged a goal of their own and then another seconds later, from number 13, Glen Murphy. Galway worked hard to catch up. It was 3 points from play that put them back on par with their green and black competitors. By the halftime whistle, there was a level score.  

Fr. Tom’s wasted no time landing another goal just minutes into the second half, which gave them back their three-point lead. As predicted, Galway focused on points, and before long the score was even again. A penalty for Tom’s did not go their way but resulted in a point instead. With about 10 minutes to go, Tom’s held a one-point lead that they were struggling to hang on to. John Moylan, Galway’s number 10, emerged with a massive surge of energy, scoring four remarkable points in the space of 2 minutes.  

Galway now took the lead, for the first time in the second half, leaving Tom’s looking startled. Points bounced back and forth between the sides. With seconds to go, Fr. Tom’s pucked a shot over the bar levelling the score and indicating that there would be extra time. 

10 minutes a side of extra time was played, with Galway taking the lead in the first half. They found themselves with a three-point lead, thanks to the hard work of 6 David O’Shea, 9, Kyle Ward, and 10, John Moylan.  

Powered solely by their hunger for victory, the teams returned to the field to finish the second half of extra time. With Galway up by three, Tom’s knew they would need a goal to finish on top. Their big chance came in the shape of a free, which would have levelled the score had it been a goal. Number 10, Dylan O’Neill popped it over the bar instead. All hope was lost for Fr. Tom’s when Galway shot the sliotar into the back of the net, sealing their fate. The winning goal was from JJ Doyle who came on as a substitute. Galway enjoyed the last few moments of the game knowing the victory was theirs. The final whistle blew and crowned them the 2023 Junior A hurling champions.  

The final score was Galway 2-18 to Fr. Tom Burke’s 3-12.  

Men’s Senior Football Final 2023- Connemara Gaels v Donegal

In the final showdown and the most exciting game of the season, Donegal took home the Championship title. The Connemara Gaels fought to the very finish, but it was the boys in green and gold that came out on top. Droves of supporters showed up for both teams, lining the pitch on every side.  

It was almost impossible to predict a winner at the beginning of the game. The Gaels had been undefeated this season, winning five of their six matches and drawing one- their first meeting with Donegal. With no previous winner to base it off, the game could have been anyone’s and the final few minutes of the match proved that.  

The first score of the game was from a free taken by number 9, James Darcy. Two wides for Donegal felt like a bad start, but Gaels number 12, Daniel Kerrs shot also hit the post. Eight minutes in there was just one point on the scoreboard for the Gaels and none for Donegal. A point from free for Dan Lynam was followed shortly after by a point fisted over the bar by Donegal’s number 15 Jason McGee, the first score for Donegal. This initiated the scoring for both teams. Points from Gaels’ 11, Dan Lynam, and 12, Daniel Kerr, were matched by some from Mc Gee (15) and Shane Carthy (11). Suddenly, the score was level, which would become a common occurrence in this match. The Gaels’ goalie made an incredible save, deterring a goal attempt by Donegal’s full forward line. However, a point put them in the lead for the first time in the match. A low ball into Gaels’ Simon Garrity (13) had supporters on their feet expecting a goal, but he kicked it directly at the goalie who saved it with ease. Desperate to finish the first half in the lead, the Gaels used precision to work the ball up the field and to number 11 Lynam who kicked it over the bar, giving them their advantage back.  

At halftime, the score was Connemara Gaels 0-7 to Donegal 0-6. The low level of scoring was a credit to the dedication of both teams defenders. Everyone knew that no matter what the outcome was, it would be a tight game.  

The first nail-biting moment of the second half came almost immediately, with a low ball in by Mc Gee (15) and an incredible save from James Keoghan. A point made them level again. Two Gaels points from 10 Emmett McMahon and 13 Garrity followed. After a hiatus from scoring, McGee reappeared with a point. Two beautiful points from Gaels’ 22 and 9, James Darcy put them in the lead. The flip-flopping between being level and being one point ahead persisted and made both teams frustrated. With approximately 12 minutes to go, Gaels managed to hold onto a two-point lead. Even after a point from Donegal’s David Garland (12), Gaels McMahon dodged several defenders and popped the ball over the bar to maintain their two-point lead.  

It was the joint work of Donegal’s 22 and 23 that put them back on par. With not much time left, there had to be a winner. The teams rallied to try anything they could to get that final score that would seal the deal. It was number Darcy (9) that answered their call, with an all-powerful goal that shot into the back of the net with force. The Gaels’ supporters went wild.  

Games turn on chances missed or taken, and in the next play, Donegal’s number 15 McGee saw his chance and took it. A goal from him sent the crowds into hysterics. His score put them just one point behind the team that seemed fast-tracked to success. With less than a minute left, a Donegal point leveled the score once more, with a point that gave them a lifeline. The final 30 seconds seemed to last a lifetime until Gaels’ Garrity (13) sent a ball wide and the crowds knew an even score at full-time was going to be the outcome.  

Injury time was all that remained, and the players fed off the crowds who were on their feet. Two consecutive and rapid points from Donegal’s number 2, Jason Noctor and Cian O’Grady gave them a 2-point lead. It all came to a head when a free was awarded in front of the goal for Gaels’ 18. Needing a goal worse than ever, the Gaels played it safe with a point. With just one point between them, and just seconds on the clock, the play was feisty. Two black cards were dished out in the final minute. Unfortunately for the Connemara Gaels, there just wasn’t enough time to secure one more score.  

As the final whistle blew, the Gaels’ heads dropped in defeat. After an incredible season, they had lost out on their chance at the title. There was no denying that whatever team ended up winning was deserving. Donegal fought back time and time again throughout the match and their perseverance paid off.  

The final score in this championship final was Donegal 1-18 to Connemara Gaels 1-17.  

The Donegal lads will now head to Denver Colorado, where they will compete in the USGAA finals.  


1. Hugh Boyle
2. Jason Noctor
3. Sean Maloney
4. Cory Gallagher
5. Conor O'Donnell
6. Sean Winston
7. Thomas Galligan
15. Jason McGee
9. Ciaran McDevitt
10. Shane O'Donnell
11. Shane Carthy
12. David Garland
13. Dara Roche

Connemara Gaels:

1. James Keoghan

2. Ronan Lanigan

3. Eoghan Murray

4. Colman Mulkerins

5. Jack Lynch

6. Mikey Kerr

7. Paul Kearney

8. Nathan Donnelly

9. James Darcy

10. Emmett McMahon

11. Daniel Lynam

12. Daniel Kerr

13. Simon Garrity