Monday, July 24, 2017

Sun July 23 - Ladies Senior Football: Boston Shamrocks Make it Two in a Row.

Connacht Ladies 0-16 Boston Shamrocks 1-17

Boston Shamrocks retained the Ladies senior football championship following a bruising encounter with Connacht Ladies.  It was end to end championship stuff for the 60 minutes with no quarter given on either side, and at the end of the day a late flurry of points for the Shamrocks put the game beyond doubt.  Connacht battled hard throughout, but the Shamrocks were a step ahead when they needed to be especially with the game on the line down the stretch.  Four points on the trot in the final minutes secured the result, and the Mickey Coyne trophy for 2017.

Boston Shamrocks - Boston Northeast Ladies Senior Football Champions.
From the outset the Connacht Ladies made their intentions clear that they were not about to allow the Shamrocks easy passage to another championship title.  The intensity level was high on both sides from goalkeeper to goalkeeper and there were no easy scores.  It was Sarah Jane McDonald who was the playmaker for the Shamrocks in the forward line.  When the ball found the full forward the danger was on for the Shamrocks.  At the other end, Jane Ward was the main target for Connacht Ladies.  Connacht tried to find the Tyrone native at every chance and did so to great effect on several occasions.

Connacht opened with four points to one for the Shamrocks.  Ward accounted for three, and Maria Kelly the fourth.  The Shamrocks eventually found their feet and answered with five on the trot.  All of the forward line were in on the act with Shannon Mullen, McDonald, Rebecca Mongan and Laura Kiernan hitting the mark.  The Shamrocks looked dangerous when on the run and on a handful of occasions looked to be in for goal, however, one effort came off the post, another was saved by Jackie McDonagh, and the third flashed across the  face of goal.  The teams traded points in the run in to the break with the Shamrocks ahead nine points to eight at half time.

Captains Ciara McCormack and Laura Kiernan.
The second half continued on the same vein as the first.  The ball moved up and down the field with speed and neither side giving an inch.  Shelly Toohig was instrumental in the middle of the field for the Shamrocks, and her run set up McDonald for an early second half goal.   McDonald had a little bit of work to do after receiving the ball, sidestepping the defender before sliding the ball across the line from the edge of the 14. 

Connacht worked hard around the middle of the field, Ailbhe Finnerty, Shauna Garvin, Honor Ennis, and Niamh Sheridan made use of some hard won ball, but found it difficult to break down the Shamrocks back line.  Laura Kiernan who lined out at full forward but played in a more withdrawn role as an extra defender for the Shamrocks and Toohig was omnipresent throughout the field to make some timely interceptions.  The Cork native covered a tremendous amount of ground.  Connacht managed to stay in the game, taking advantage of their chances.  Ward, Ellie Lane, and SIofra Cleary popped over five points between them, while it was McDonald, Mongan, Eadoin Connolly and Ciara McGuigan on the mark for the Shamrocks.

With 10 minutes to go the McDonald goal was all that stood between the teams.  With Connacht Ladies needing the big score, it was the Shamrocks who made the big play and finished strong.  Nicole Byrne latched on the probing ball forward and coming out of defence set up McGuigan for a free that put 4 points between the teams.  Kiernan added another, and McGuigan another free after that.  A Kelly Harris point stretched the gap to seven points and at that point a minor miracle would be required for Connacht, but there were no miracles in sight.  A premature end to the championship after a 3-game sweep perhaps, but it was a great game that proved to be the final one and well worthy of a championship decider it was.

Connacht:  Jackie McDonagh, Hayley Kilgallen, Shauneen McAleer, Catherine Boyle, Honor Ennis, Niamh Sheridan, Maria Kelly, Aisling Egan, Ailbhe Finnerty, Ellie Lane, Shauna Garvin, Aisling Kerr, Kelly Harris, Jane Ward, Siofra Cleary.

Shamrocks:  Sinead Hession, Cathy McEleaney, Ciara McCormack, Louise Kiernan, Kayla Farren, Nicole Byrne, Jade O’Donnell, Shannon Mullen, Shelly Toohig, Ellie Kennedy, Eodain Connolly, Ciara McGuigan, Sarah Jane McDonald, Laura Kiernan, Rebecca Mongan.

By Rory O'Donnell

Sun July 23 - Men's Senior Football: Aidan McAnespies v Wolfe Tones

Aidan McAnespies 4-15 Wolfe Tones 2-13

Aidan McAnespies finally made it over the hurdle to make sure of a playoff spot with the type of finish to a game that we have not seen from them thus far this season.  The game was tight most of the way, with hardly anything between the teams until a finish with a flourish from McAnespies.  Two goals in the final quarter delivered the spoils, and ensures that McAnespies season continues without the prospect of a playoff with Christopher’s.

There was no letting the foot off the gas by McAnespies Sunday.
It was a blistering first half, with three goals and some expertly taken points.  McAnespies got off the great start with an early goal from Brian Breslin, which followed a good run by Danny McBride who supplied the Lifford native for the goal.  The Tones got the big score back within 5 minutes however with a strike from Paraic Fogerty.  McAnespies continued to play well from the back, starting deep in their own half and carrying the ball forward from the half back line and midfield.  Robbie Croft, more accustomed to playing in a more forward role, was to be found assisting the defence and playing the ball from deep inside his own half.  Breslin struck the crossbar following a 40 yard run, and the ball rebounded over the bar, Niall Rooney and Ferghal McGeough also put some well taken points over, as did Che O’Donnell and Michael Walsh as McAnespies charged forward again and again. 

With the McAnespies lead standing at 4 points the Tones hit with a second goal that could have knocked the wind out of the northerners sails.  This time it was Shane McGuinness with a rifle of a shot into the far corner from outside the 21.  McAnespies stuck with the plan however, and restored the lead to three.  The Tones ended the first half with three points on the trot from Fogerty, Shane O’Rourke, and an opportunist score from center back Steven Guing to level it up at the break, 1-9 to 2-6.

Wolfe Tones Daniel Grimes solos out of defence.
McAnespies got an early goal in the all-important 10 minutes after the restart.  A well worked move found Marty Mongan on the edge of the small square and the big Lifford man made no mistake from close range.  The Tones responded with three unanswered points as each time it looked like the Macs had created a platform for victory, the Tones nullified it.  In the meantime Paul Clifford was black carded, a loss for McAnespies as the Kildare man was playing well in the back line.  The sides were level heading into the final 15 minutes and the game was up for grabs.

It was McAnespies who grabbed it with both hands.  The back line stepped up and shut out the Tones forwards with a McAnespies defender first to almost every ball in the critical run in.  The running from Breslin and McBride set up the scores that put the game away.  After Che O’Donnell pointed Mongan netted a second time following a trademark Breslin run.  Points followed from McBride and Breslin before Michael Walsh netted a fourth goal that had the McAnespies crowd cheering in the stands.  McAnespies with their best performance this season so far, and it came at the right time.  The result leaves Christopher’s out of any chance of a playoff spot.   

Tones: Darren McDonnell, Daniel Grimes, James Reilly, Ferghal O’Brien, Steven Guing, Darren Maguire, Sean Hurley, Garvan Jones, Mike O’Brien, Shane McGuinness, Gerry Troy, Paraic Fogarty, Shane O’Rourke.  Subs:  Cormac Joyce-Power, Cormac McWalters

Macs:  Paddy Coakley, Eoin Delmer, Paul Clifford, Fergal McGeough, Rhys Quinn, Seamus Breslin, Dan McBride, Brian Breslin, Michael Walsh, Martin Mongan, Niall Rooney, Robbie Croft, Che O’Donnell.  Subs:  Tommy Brereton.
By Rory O'Donnell

Sun July 23 - Men's Senior Football: Galway v Connemara Gaels

Connemara Gaels 1-10 Galway 2-15

Galway burnished their championship credentials with an impressive win over the Connemara Gaels in the battle of the west.  It was neck and neck until the final quarter when Galway pulled away with some well taken scores and a Brian Reape goal that put the matter to bed.  Galway moved the ball well when they needed to – a hallmark of their game, while the Gaels were frustrated by their inability to do the same when in possession.

Galway pulled away from the Gaels in the final 15 minutes.
There was nothing between the teams after the first 30 minutes.  Galway’s Cian McMonagle tallied a goal and four of the Tribesmen’s goal and six points.  The goal got Galway off the mark after the Gaels had opened the game with 3 unanswered points.  It was tit for tat the rest of the half.  After Galway had established a one point lead it was the Gaels turn to net. 

Sean Conneely, who lined out at corner forward, was on the end of a great move that involved four players.  Tiernan Cox opened the Gaels lead to a goal as they looked to be establishing a footbhold, and then Galway went on a scoring flurry.  McMonagle was the main man at corner forward with three points as Galway ended the half well.  Things got a little testy coming into the break and Galway eing back Kieran Molloy was shown a black card.  At the break it was 1-6 each.

Shortly after the restart the sides traded three points each.  McMonagle and Cummins for Galway and O’Driscoll and Cox for the Gaels.  As Galway then pulled away the Gaels frustrations grew with every turnover.  It was a contrast in fortunes as Galway motored well at times and were on top in the possession department, while the Gaels struggled to get any kind of traction.  Whether it was winning kickouts, or trying to move the ball forward, the Connemara men’s efforts were a lesson in futility.

Galway opened up a 4 point lead with the game entering the final stretch as the Tribesmen put some slick moves together.  McMonagle put back to back efforts over the bar, and a chance that fell to Kevin Cummins went over, rather than under, the bar.  With the game slipping away from the Gaels, Galway jumped on the chance and pressed home their advantage.  Two more points from McMonagle and Brian Reape were followed by a goal, Reape the scorer.  With an eight point gap and only a handful of minutes left the game was all but over.   Galway now sitting in second place and still on track for the semis while for the Gaels it is back to the drawing board to figure out the best way to piece the puzzle together. 

Gaels:  Eoin Connolly, David Black, Dan Donoghue, Niall McGinn, Sean Kelly, Killian Fahy, Matt Sullivan, Dan O’Driscoll, Fergal Meenagh, Ryan Caffrey, Joe O’Shea, Tiernan Cox, Sean Conneely.  Subs:  Tony Brosnan, Kevin McGrath.

Galway:  James Kelly, David Kenny, Ruairi Greene, Kieran Molloy, Dylan Murtagh, Stuart Cullen, Cian Darcy, Alan Egan, Sam Lenihan, Eoghan Kavanagh, Ryan Forde, Kevin Cummins, Cian McMonagle.  Subs:  Brian Reape, Craig Kennedy, David Murphy.
By Rory O'Donnell

Sun July 23 - Senior Hurling: Galway v Fr. Tom Burke's

Galway 2-14 Fr. Tom Burke’s 2-16

Two injury time points in the third game of the senior hurling championship series put Fr. Tom’s on the brink of capturing this year’s championship.  Once again it was a game that ebbed and flowed and could have gone to either side right into the final minutes, and on this occasion it was Tom’s by a nose.  Brian Ramsey put the winning point over the bar in injury time, with the insurance coming from Cormac Joyce-Power.

Galway senior hurlers are in a must win two weeks from now.
Tom’s looked the sharper of the teams for most of the opening 30 minutes.  MJ Sutton was in control at center back while the Tom’s defence looked alert and quick to anything played in to by Galway.  Tom’s got contributions on the scoreboard from several participants, Jack Goulding Aaron Moore, Robert Byrne, Ronan Teehan and Stiofan McMahon all contributed.  Tom’s had opened a 6 points to 3 lead and looked to be well in control with about 10 minutes left in the half.

Galway were sputtering, a handful of shots fluffed, but Chris Egan threatened on a couple of occasions.  On one occasion Jamie Barron found the speedy corner forward with a diagonal ball into his corner and finish into the back of the net was unequivocal from Egan.  Galway back in it and the complexion of the game changed immediately.  A second goal soon followed, this one from substitute David Condron.  Now it was the Galway defenders who were first to everything.  Jack Goulding at corner forward for Tom’s was held well under wraps and a scoring outlet for Tom’s was cut off.  The teams traded points before the break and it was Galway 2-4 to 0-7 for Tom’s.

With less than 15 minutes to go it was all tied up.  After the teams went point for point Tom’s introduced Cormac Joyce-Power.  The Limerickman had an immediate impact as a high ball into the square was caught cleanly and the big man was pulled down.  Ronan Teehan dispatched the penalty with aplomb and there was just a point in it.  With Shane Ryan coming into the game more in the middle of the field, Tom’s enjoyed a period in the ascendancy.  A second goal put Tom’s into the lead, this one from Brian Ramsey.  A long, high ball over the top of the Galway defence eluded the full forward and full back, and like a light, Ramsey was on to it behind the defence and buried the shot.

With Tom’s now up by two points it was all to play for in the final 15 minutes.  The scores came in spurts for each side Galway were level through John Moylan and Condron, and a Tom’s flurry brought them into a three point lead.  Galway brought themselves level with John Moylan finding his feet late in the game and firing over three points, before Aaron Moore put Tom’s up by one as things went back and forth.  With the 30 minutes played the teams were level, however in injury time it was Ramsey and Joyce-Power put impressive back to back strikes over the bar to win it for Tom’s.   So it stands at 2 games to one for Tom’s with Galway in a must win next time out in two weeks time.

Tom’s:  Liam Doyle, Brian Flynn, Donie Coughlan, Shane Taylor, MJ Sutton, Enda Heffernan, Shane Ryan, Aaron Moore, Brian Ramsey, Robert Byrne, Ronan Teehan, Stiofan McMahon, Jack Goulding.  Subs:  Paul Maher,  Cormac Joyce-Power

Galway:  Gavin Power, William Hessey, Colm Daly, Mark Doyle, Conor O’Neill, Rob Flynn, Conor Murphy, Jamie Barron, Paudie Flynn, John Moylan, Cathal Bolger, Chris Egan, John Coleman.  Subs:  David Condron, Sean Lordan, Conor Rockett, Kieran Morrissey.
By Rory O'Donnell

Friday, July 21, 2017

Much at Stake Sunday in Ladies Senior Football and Senior Hurling

Boston Shamrocks could wrap up the Ladies Championship on Sunday.
This coming Sunday the Ladies Senior Footballers will be contesting a potential championship game.  With the Shamrocks and Connacht Ladies playing their third game of the best of five, the Shamrocks hold a two games to none lead.  A win on Sunday would see the Shamrocks retain the senior football championship title, while the Connacht Ladies will be hoping to bring the competition to a fourth game. Last time around, although they fell short, the Connacht Ladies were able to lift their game and give the Shamrocks something to think about.  With players of the caliber of stalwart Jane Ward and Simonstown native, Kelly Harris, in the forward line, Connacht have the potential to trouble the Shamrocks.  The Shamrocks, however, can play with speed and skill, and a slick forward line can carve open the tightest defence.  The jewel in the crown is Sarah Jane McDonald.  The Letterkenny IT product is the cog that the rest of the forward line revolves around, and along with players of the caliber of Ciara McGuigan and Rebecca Mongan in the full forward line the Shamrocks will be hard to hold on Sunday.

Galway and Tom's do battle again on Sunday.
Senior Hurling sees the third game of the series between Fr. Tom’s and Galway.  The teams are tied at a game each, and winner on Sunday gets two more chances to win the title, while the loser will be on their final lifeline.  The games have been close and well contested so far, so there is no reason not to expect the same on Sunday.  Galway have Waterford man, Jamie Barron from An Rinn powering their midfield, while up front it is Corkman John Coleman and Wexford man, Paudie Flynn who will be the players to watch out for.  Tom’s stole the first game with a last minute goal, and in the second saw a second half Galway performace undo their efforts.  Brian Flynn and MJ Sutton form part of a solid back line, while the scores come mainly from Clare native, Stiofan McMahon,  and Kerryman Jack Goulding.  With a lot at stake, it promises to be an entertaining clash of the ash on Sunday.

Aidan McAnespies can secure a playoff place Sunday.
Aidan McAnespies have another chance to wrap up a playoff place on Sunday as they take on rivals, Wolfe Tones.  A win or a tie will see the Macs to a quarter final place, a loss would leave them waiting to see how Christopher’s fare in their final game next week.  It will not be easy, nothing is in this year’s championship.  The Tones have had some time to refresh themselves, and in their last couple of outings have looked very good.  With Johnstownbridge player, Sean Hurley a big presence in the middle of the field for the Tones, along with a forward line that is more than capable of racking up the scores, the Macs will have their hands full.  The Tones are already in at least a quarter final though, so with more to play for the Macs will have the incentive to lift their game.  Management have tried different permutations to get the most out of the squad, however have not hit on the ideal mix.  The defence has played well at times and for periods made things difficult for opposing forwards, it will require a full hour to turn the Tones – and probably a goal or two.    

Tiernan Cox brings speed to the Gaels forward line.
The last game of the day presents an intriguing contest between western rivals, Connemara Gaels and Galway.  Galway have been a story again this year.  With a young team of up and coming stars, Galway have shown remarkable character and discipline find a bye into the semi-finals in their control.  The team will well balanced throughout the field, however, the scoring threats of Alex Kenny and Cian McMonagle are the sting in the tail.  There are also players who can come off the line to push the game home in the final 15 minutes for the Tribesmen.  In many ways the Gaels are still not settled on the best 13.  With a strong emphasis on the home base however, the Gaels are not short on commitment.  Speed is the hallmark of the forward line.  Tyrone men, Tiernan Cox and Dan Lowe, can turn on the afterburners when in possession while a strong pair from the other end of the country in the middle of the field in Corkman Dan O’Driscoll and Kerry’s Matt Sullivan ensure that the Gaels will not be short on possession.  This one might come down to the team that makes the right moves down the stretch.

Boston GAA Schedule

Irish Cultural Center, Canton Ma.

Sat July 22

4:15 Junior A Football:  Connemara Gaels v Shannon Blues

5:30 Junior A Hurling:  Galway v Wexford

Sunday July 23

Field A

11:30 Junior A Football:  Wolfe Tones v Donegal

12:45 Ladies Senior Football:  Boston Shamrocks v Connacht Ladies

2:00 Youth Games

2:30 Men’s Senior Football:  Wolfe Tones v Aidan McAnespies

3:45 Senior Hurling:  Galway V Fr. Tom Burke’s

5:00 Men’s Senior Football:  Connemara Gaels v Galway

Field B

3:00 Junior B Football:  Connemara Gaels V Hartford

Hartford CT

3:00 Junior C Hurling:  Hartford v Worcester

Concord, NH

3:00 Junior C Hurling:  Barley House Wolves v Providence

Monday, July 17, 2017

Sat July 15 - Junior A Football: Cork v Donegal

Cork 3-10 Donegal 2-10 

It was an epic meeting of north and south when Cork and Donegal met on Saturday evening at the ICC.   Each side wanted this badly and it was a tight battle with some uncompromising physical exchanges.   With the game looking like it was headed to the Donegal men, a late flurry of scores delivered the points to the Corkmen and a place in the semi-finals.

Conor Brosnan tries to turn Seamus Loftus.
Cork started brighter but and enjoyed the lion’s share of possession, but failed to take advantage of their chances, shooting a number of wides.  With the teams level on a point a piece, Billy Crowley dispossessed Donegal goalkeeper Pauric Miskell to put Cork a goal up.  With the outlook looking bright for the southerners, Sean Hume netted for Donegal with a finish into the bottom corner later on, and Donegal scored a second goal before half time to lead 2-3 to 1-3 at the break.

With the first half goals giving momentum, Donegal dominated the first ten minutes of second half and with the clock winding down, the Tir Chonaill side led by 4 points.  It looked as if the points were headed north.  With 10 minutes left, Cork stalwart, Mike Moynihan, finished left footed with the ball coming off both posts before crossing the goal line.  The score brought Cork within a point.

Rebel Rising: Cork hands first on this ball.
Donegal did not let the score rattle them and two points had them in a 3 point lead as the game entered in the final stages.  A Billy Crowley point brought Cork within 2 points, and in injury time Cork pushed for a winning goal.  With Donegal having numbers back to nurse their 2 point lead, a Colm Daly blast into the top corner to put Cork up by a point.  With Donegal shocked Cathail Arnold added a point and Billy Crowley another up by three in an amazing turnaround.  Cork are into the playoffs, however, another meeting of these teams when the stakes are higher is a definite possibility.

Cork:  Ollie Murphy; Mike Carolan, Darren O'Donovan; Sean Flynn, Martin Doyle, Seamus Loftus; Jack Lynch, Colm Daly; Adam Price, Cathail Arnold, Leigh Cunningham; Mark Dalton, Billy Crowley.
Subs: Mike Moynihan, Adam Kenny, Simon Kennedy, Ian Crowley.

Donegal:  Pauric Miskell, KJ McGowan, Declan McBride, Mark Canney, Ronan McMenamin, Darren Doherty, Neil McEneaney, Joe Hanna, Conor Brosnan, Ronan Diver, Ciaran McDevitt, Gavin Riley, Sean Hume. Subs: Nicky Kelly, Mark Dorian, Sean Winston, Billy Gallagher, Conor McCormack.
Photos: Brian Rooney.

Sun July 16 - Senior Football: Aidan McAnespies v Shannon Blues

Shannon Blues 3-18 Aidan McAnespies 0-12

Shannon Blues scored an emphatic win over Aidan McAnespies Sunday afternoon and one that will alleviate any worries following last week’s stunning Galway comeback.  The Blues got on top early and did not let up for the remainder of the game.  A step ahead of their opponents, and enjoying a wealth of possession, the Blues forwards feasted on the supply.  The game was still an open affair for the first 40 minutes, but the Blues opened up an unassailable lead making the last 15 minutes a formality.

The Blues left McAnespies looking for another result for a playoff spot.
Just like the week before, the Blues came out of the gates strong.   Kieran Hurley was on song at corner forward, and with the Blues winning most of the midfield possession, there was plenty of supply for Hurley and his cohorts in the Blues forward line.  Lee O’Donoghue was also involved up front for the Blues, and a score in which Brian O’Seanachain made a bursting run from the middle of the field to point underlined the Blues advantage.

McAnespies made the changes early, and at least for a time it did not seem to make much difference.  The points still flowed over the bar for the Blues as they relentlessly attacked the McAnespies goal.  Seven unanswered points went over the bar before Bryan Magee interrupted the flow with McAnespies second point.  A burst of scores just before the break reduced the gap between the teams as Michael Walsh and Danny MacBride saw more of the ball.  Two points from McBride an another from Adam  Trainor brought the Blues back into view. At the half it was a four point Blues advantage, 0-10 to 0-6.

The second half saw the Blues extend their lead and kill off the game in the 15 minutes after the restart.  A flurry of 1-5 to a point for McAnespies set the Blues up for the victory.  Wayne Guthrie in the middle of the field was under everything, and O’Seanachain proved to be an effective partner.  McAnespies worked hard to get something going in the right direction, but the Blues defenders were on top of every threat.  Hurley, Denis McElligott and Trevor Wallace pointed and the goal that effectively killed off the game came from Hurley who netted on the second attempt following a good save by Paddy Coakley from the initial shot.

The Blues tagged another 2 goals in the run in to the final whistle as the final 15 minutes was a formality.  Darren Wallace and subsititute Maurice Young each netted.  McAnespies were playing to restore a bit of pride at that stage, and despite their best efforts for a major to put a gloss on things, could not breach the Blues goal.  So, it goes to the final round of games to decide who will be the last team into the semi-finals. A result against the Wolfe Tones in their final game will see McAnespies though to a quarter final.    

Blues:  Dara O’Shea, Fionn Herlihey, Trevor Wallace, Denis McElligott, Barry Hartnett, Brian Fanning, Wayne Guthrie, Brian O’Seanachain, Greg Horan, Darren Wallace, Lee O’Donoghue, Kieran Hurley, Josh Ryan.  Subs:  Maurice Young, Steven Conroy

Macs:  Paddy Coakley, Eoin Delmer, Niall Rooney, Brian Breslin, Paul Clifford, Fergal McGeough, Martin Mongan, Bryan Magee, Michael Walsh, Dan McBride, Tommy Brereton, Robbie Croft, Adam Trainor.  Subs:  Seamus Breslin, Jimmy Rigney, Rhys Quinn, Dean Flood.
By Rory O'Donnell

Sun July 16 - Senior Football: Donegal v Christopher's

Christopher’s 3-10 Donegal 3-19

Donegal added another scalp to their growing collection with a victory over Christopher’s.  After a first half in which Christopher’s looked like they may cause an upset, Donegal got a grip of the game and ran out 9 point winners.  Donegal started without the usual midfield pairing of Brian Donnelly and Stephen McBrearty, yet still scored an impressive victory.  

Ger McSorley and Ryan Kennedy connect.
Christopher’s probably put in their best half of football this season so far.  The forward line combined as never before, with Conor Horgan showing well at corner forward and some incisive passing from the half backs and midfielders.  Donegal got off to the better start, with four points in a row from Ted Furman, 3 from frees and one from play.  After Christopher’s got themselves off the mark with a Horgan point, Donegal netted.  The goal came from a penalty after Mark Delaney was penalized for charging with the ball in his own penalty area.  Furman put the ball low and to the left, and Donegal were in a 6 point lead.

Christopher’s came back and a much needed goal got them on their way.  Some good work on the endline by Sean O’Leary resulted in a pass to Horgan in front of goal and the Nemo Rangers man netted.  Christopher’s established a foothold and the back line closed their men down well as the southerners showed how well they can play.  Eddie Goggin pointed from a free and then from play, O’Leary added another and it was all square.  After Donegal restored their lead with points from Furman and Ger McSorley, Christopher’s netted a second time.  Greg Henry was on to a loose ball in the box, and slid home from the edge of the small square.  The teams traded points to bring it to half time with Christopher’s in a one point lead.

Conor Horgan and Christopher's still have a chance at a playoff spot.
The second half had plenty of incident and saw Donegal put the game beyond their opponents.  The Christopher’s of the first 30 minutes disappeared, perhaps fatigue set in or the chance of a big upset got to them.  Mark Delaney was shown a black card after he came off his line to challenge Furman and pulled the corner forward down.  The penalty was put away by the Ballymun man, his second goal of the day.  Late in the half a bout of fisticuffs involving Furman and Mark Killeen saw both men sent to the line.  At the time Donegal were 5 points ahead having outscored Christopher’s by a goal and six points to three points in the 15 minutes following the restart, with Furman accounting for 4. 

The last 15 minutes saw the game slip away from Christopher’s as Donegal turned the screw.  Enda Varley and Kieran McDevitt entered the fray for Donegal, and Christopher’s brought Dan Kenneally on.  Kenneally caused problems in the Donegal back line as the high balls were sent in, but Christopher’s could not send in enough to make a difference.  Donegal continued to pile up the points, McDevitt accounting for a couple of well taken scores, and a third goal for Donegal from Varley ended Christopher’s hopes.  Donegal into the semis, while Christopher’s have a chance left should they defeat the Gaels in their final game, and hope that Wolfe Tones beat Aidan McAnespies.

Christopher’s:  Mark Delaney, Martin Coppinger, Mark Killeen, Paudie Kenneally, Sam Ryan, Jack Lynch, Dan Grehan, Sean O’Leary, Greg Henry, Coleman Kennedy, Ryan Kennedy, Conor Horgan, Eddie Goggin.  Subs:  Jerry Kenneally, Dan Kenneally.

Donegal:  Hugh Boyle, Kevin Toner, Jason Noctor, Sean Doherty, Jack O’Brien, Derek Maguire, Aaron Kelly, Eoghan Lafferty, Lee Carr, Ger McSorley, Mike Finnegan, Ted Furman, Sean Donnelly.  Subs:  Kieran McDevitt, Enda Varley.
By Rory O'Donnell