Monday, June 25, 2018

Senior Hurling - Tipperary v Offaly

Tipperary 6- 19 Offaly 0-12

Tipperary were a level or two above Offaly in a game in which the faithful county battled hard, but could not match the power of their opponents.  Joe Coleman and Jerry O’Neill in the Wexford forward line provided a mountain that Offaly could not overcome.

Russell Quirke looks for assistance.
Joe Coleman at center forward was the powerhouse for Tipperary in the first half.  The St. Martin’s man was involved with almost everything happening for Tipperary.  Whether it was the free taking, one early score came from well inside his own half of the field, or from play, the Wexfordman was hard to stop.  John Kindregan also did well at wing back for Tipp, the veteran intervened to put a stop to ball played into to Offaly forward line. Tipp netted three times in the opening half, Jerry O’Neill at corner forward was dangerous and claimed two of the goals, Russell Quirke in the opposite corner the third.  Offaly kept at it however, and converted points from Niall Mannion frees, while Jack Dunphy and Emmet Moran battled hard in the back line.  Tipp were too strong however, and at the half it was Tipp holding the aces at a score of 3-11 to 0-5.

Harry O'Connor on the ball.
Early in the second half the Tipp men bagged another goal, this one from Dylan Hyland who had entered play as a sub.  The teams traded scores, however another goal came for Tipperary as they underlined their superiority.  Each side gave the subs a run early as the outcome was beyond doubt.  Offaly brought some respectability to the scoreboard with some converted frees.  Tipperary looking like a class above in their first 2 outings, but are sure to have a tougher time of it when they meet Galway next week.

Tipp:  Evan Condon, Darragh Fanning, Sean McGarr, Paul Morris, Kieran Bennett, John Kindregan, Simon Kennedy, Cronan Dempsey, Joe O’Connor, Joe Coleman, Harry O’Connor, Jerry O’Neill, Russell Quirke.

Offaly:  Gary Sherlock, Emmet Moran, Jack Dunphy, Jack Murray, Oisin McCormack, Conor Grimes, Donal O’Dwyer, Robert Croft, Brian Ramsey, Cillian Campbell, Chris McMahon, Niall Mannion, Stephen Brown.
By Rory O'Donnell

Senior Football: Connemara Gaels v Wolfe Tones

Connemara Gaels 2-5 Wolfe Tones 0-10

After a sleepy opening half the game woke up with a blast as the Gaels took both points with an injury time goal.  The Tones looked to have the points in the bag against a misfiring Gaels team, but 2 second half goals ended up delivering the goods for the Connemara Men.

Wolfe Tones Dean Curran shoots.
It was a low scoring first half, with the Gaels in particular missing a plethora of chances to score.  With just a solitary point to show for their efforts, the Gaels forward line must have felt sheepish heading in to the break.  The Tones fared a little better, chances were taken by Paddy Keenan, Robbie Cunningham and Dean Curran.  Both back lines were on top, Martin O’Conner did a diligent job at corner back for the Gaels, and in fairness it was the Connemara men who held somewhat of an advantage in terms of possession, but at the half it was a 0-4 to 0-1 Tones lead.

Eyes on the Loose Ball
Things picked up somewhat and it became and exciting affair.  After the teams traded points to get the second half going the Gaels hit with a goal.  Glenn Malone was on the spot to bury the loose ball, and the teams were all even.   The Tones had their chance to score when Deeney was leveled in the penalty area, however Warren Kavanagh tried to place the ball and chipped it over the bar.  The Gaels generated plenty of chances, but on each occasion took the goal option, and Tones keeper, Shane Hayes, was up to every shot.  The teams traded points before the Tones put three unanswered over the bar.  Keenan, Curran and a hard earned effort from Kavanagh had the Tones in a four point lead and the clock ticking into the final 5 minutes.  With the rain starting to fall, the Gaels kept going forward, but kept their patience and points from Colm Mannion and Sean Mulkerrins reduced the gap to 2.  Time almost up and one last chance as the Tones did not capitalize on the possession they had.  Colman Mulkerrin made a run through the middle, and fluffed his shot but Hayes could only parry the effort into the path of Ryan Galvin who made sure with his side footed finish.  It was a steal by the Gaels in the end, but not undeserved on the balance of play.

Tones:  Shane Hayes, Kevin Maguire, James Healy, Connloadh Deeney, Eoin Buggie, James Dolan, Ronan Jones, Aaron Elliott, Mike O’Brien, Paddy Keenan, Jack Lynch, Dean Curran, Robbie Cunningham.

Gaels:  Eoin Connolly, David Black, Martin O’Connor, Joe O’Shea, David Lynch, Patrick O’Donnell, Matthew O’Sullivan, Colm Brennan, Coleman Mulkerrin, Kenny Gavigan, Glenn Malone, Ryan Galvin, Rory O’Connor.
By Rory O'Donnell

Senior Football - Shannon Blues v Galway

Shannon Blues 4-19 Galway 1-20

Shannon Blues recorded a second win following a tough encounter with Galway.  The teams were neck and neck for most of the game, but in the final quarter the Blues pulled away as Galway tired.  A late Paul O’Donoghue penalty saw the St. Mary’s man net a hat trick, as goals were the downfall of Galway for a second week in a row.

Daragh Roche has the goal in mind. 
It was a rip roaring opening half, three goals and a plethora of points were fairly evenly divided and saw he teams take the break with a point between them, in favor of the Blues.  The Blues got off the mark with three points on the trot, another game where Galway gave themselves some catching up to do right off the mark.  Once they got going, the Tribesman started to flow.  With Declan Walsh in the half back line, and Eoin Gallagher motoring up front Galway were back in it.  Points from Gallagher, Cian McMonagle, and Gallagher again saw Galway into a two point lead.  But back came the Blues with a goal from a fantastic solo effort by Paul O’Donoghue.  The Kerryman blasted the ball into the far corner.  Daragh Roche got motoring then, the Blues found the Glenflesk man at every opportunity and he converted.  Three Roche points in a row saw the Blues ahead by 4.  Galway kept it reined in, Adam Gallagher netted following a tricky ball floated across the square, but the Blues soon cancelled it out with another Donoghue goal.  Galway finished the half strong with four on the trot, Adam Gallagher, Walsh, and McMonagle converted to make it a 1-11 to 2-9 half time score.

Brian Fanning keeping a tight rein on 
Cian McMonagle.
After Galway leveled affairs the Blues hit with a third goal.  This time O’Donoghue was the provider and Roche the finisher by palming the ball into the net.  Galway were still very much in the game and pulled back two points through Gallagher and Alan Egan.  The teams traded points before the Blues started to slowly add to their lead.  Galway started to slow down as the running earlier in the game began to take its toll, while the Blues introduced fresh legs from the line to keep the tempo up.  Roche and O’Donoghue restored the 3 point gap, after that Galway could not reduce the deficit any longer.  The Blues pulled away, putting seven over the bar to Galway’s four points in the final 15 minutes.  Galway still in search of a first win, while the Blues in good position after 3 games.

Blues:  Mike Moriarty, Brian Fanning, PJ Hand, Dennis McEligott, Michael Cottrell, Patrick Crowley, Maurice Young, Jerry Troy, Conor Fitzgerald, Brian Egan, Paul O’Donoghue, David Mannix, Daragh Roche.

Galway:  Jamie Kelly, Daire Quinn, Paddy Naughton, Tom Davey, Declan Walsh, Sean Moriarty, Alan Egan, Ray Connelly, Stewey Cullen, Eoin Gallagher, Adam Gallagher, Jaime Keigh, Cian McMonagle.
By Rory O'Donnell

Ladies Senior Football: Boston Shamrocks v Connacht Ladies

Boston Shamrocks 2-8 Connacht Ladies 1-9

The opening game of the Ladies senior football championship was a hard fought, closely contested affair.  The Shamrocks pulled out the win in the final 10 minutes of a game that was neck and neck all the way through.  If this is a harbinger of things to come it should be a keenly contested title this season.

Katie Black on the move for the Shamrocks.
There was a point between the teams at the end of a hard fought first half.  A Nicola Judge goal following a great downfield run from Kelly Jordan put the Shamrocks into an early lead.  The Shamrocks were full of running, with players from the half back line leading the charge.  Laura Kieran was first to everything in her area of the field, and Katie Black in the middle of the field won plenty of possession for the Shamrocks cause.  Connacht Ladies had Jane Ward at center forward on hand for the first 2 points as play followed up and down the field.  Ward swung over two points in her with characteristic style.   The Shamrocks held on to their edge for most of the half, but were guilty of dropping several shots into the hands of Connacht keeper, Rachel O’Driscoll and hit the post on 2 occasions.  A late goal from Ward put the westerners into a one point lead just before the break.  It was a well worked move with Jackie McDonagh providing the assist.  Connacht Ladies a point to the good, 1-4 to 1-3 at the end of a great half of football.

Shauneen McAleer looks for options. 
The second half saw the Shamrocks regain the lead.  After Ward pointed for Connacht, a goal sandwiched by 2 points put the Shamrocks 3 to the good.  It was a well worked score with Jordan applying the finishing touch from close range.  The Connacht Ladies fought back with Catherine Boyle at center back and Triona Kelly at wing back providing the platform for several attacks.  Ward pointed expertly three times on the trot to level the scores.  Any hint of room and the ball is over the bar.  With 15 minutes to go it was anybody’s game.  Niamh Harney and Chloe Baker were busy in the Shamrocks forward line.  Baker took a lovely point and was followed by a wonderful Kelly Jordan effort.  The Shamrocks proceeded to push home their advantage as others stepped up when tired legs claimed a number of their teammates.  Judge made it a three point edge with the clock ticking away.  A goal was needed for the Connacht Ladies to salvage a point, but with Cathy McEleaney fighting a hard rearguard battle, the Shamrocks kept the door closed.   First blood to the Shamrocks.

Shamrocks:  Barbara Kelly, Allie D’Amico, Cathy McEleaney, Roisin Hession, Kelly Boyce Jordan, Laura Kiernan, Katie McGovern, Katie Black, Niamh McLaughlin, Oonagh Sheilds, Nicola Judge, Niamh Harney, Chloe Baker, Louise Desmond, Ciara Murphy.

Connacht:  Rachel O’Driscoll, Siobhan O’Sullivan, Shauneen McAleer, Stephanie Finn, Triona Kelly, Catherine Boyle, Kim Cobbe, Aoife Heffernan, Aisling Kerr, Jackie McDonagh, Jane ward, Colette Folan, Joanne Conroy, Emer McHugh, Rachel Tubirdy.
By Rory O'Donnell

Junior A Football - Donegal v Shannon Blues

Donegal 3-14 Shannon Blues 0-6

Donegal and the Blues opened proceedings at the Irish Cultural Center on Sunday with Donegal coming out with a convincing win.  The northerners never looked in any danger, but for their part the Blues fought hard throughout what was a losing battle. 

Christy McLaughlin smoothly curls it over.
Donegal rattled the net 3 times inside the first 30 minutes with goals from Christy McLaughlin (2) and Aidan McLaughlin.  But for the post there would have been one or two more as on a couple of occasions a goal seemed on the cards only for the post to deny the would-be scorer.  Donegal looked dangerous going forward.  With Ciaran McDevitt, Darren Grant, and Aidan McLaughlin bursting through on several occasions, the Blues defence were up against it.  The Blues experienced a good spell in the middle of the period.  Mike Ralston at corner forward popped over a couple of well-earned frees, while Pat Murray and Michael Moylan carried the ball forward well.  Richard Howley also pointed, but for the most part it was Donegal on top and with a 3-7 to 0-4 half time lead.

Donegal continued to hold the upper hand for the second half.  Tired legs took their toll and for the Blues led to tired passes.  More Donegal scores came from McDevitt, Ronan Diver, Christy McLaughlin and Rocky Ivers as the Tir Chonaill men stretched their lead.  The Blues kept at it and were rewarded with scores from Ralston and James Feeney.  Donegal added more to their tally through Grant and McLaughlin, and in the end came out easy winners.

James Feeney has a go for the Blues.
Blues:  Conor Fitzgerald, Shane Kelly, Liam Bradley, Brian Fannon, John Craig, Pat Moriarty, Pat Murray, James Feeney, Brian Kennedy, Michael Moylan, Brian Griffin, Richard Howley, Mike Ralston.

Donegal:  Lee McCarron, Declan McBride, Paul McNulty, Darren Doherty, Neil McEneaney, Sean Winston, Darren Grant, Mark Dunphy, Ciaran McDevitt, Rocky Ivers, Aidan McLaughlin, Christy McLaughlin, Conor Brennan.
By Rory O'Donnell

Monday, June 18, 2018

Senior Football: Galway v Wolfe Tones

Wolfe Tones 4-15 Galway 1-19

Wolfe Tones added a win to their victory from their first season outing.  Three goals, two right at the start of the game and the third early in the second half, proved to be the platform for victory.  Galway made up most of the difference and stayed with their opponents in the first half, but after conceding the third goal ran out of steam somewhat. 

Cian McMonagle on a Galway attack.
The Tones got off the dream start, with not just one, but two early goals.  The first came from corner forward, Robbie Cunningham, who picked his spot well amid a forest of Galway defenders.  Almost immediately a second came from James Dolan after Galway turned the ball over in their own back line.  The groans in the crowd from the expectant Galway supporters were audible.  It did not take the westerners long to get themselves back into the game.  With Cian McMonagle at corner forward and picking up from where he left off last year, Galway had a valuable scoring outlet.  Adam Gallagher and Owen Gallagher in the half forward line proved a handful for the Tones defence.  Galway eventually pulled the goal back after a great move left Jamie Kehoe to deliver the finishing touch.  Kehoe was in a second time, but on this occasion thumped the ball off the crossbar.  McMonagle had his shooting boots on and several lovely points were put over by the Kildare native.  The Tones had plenty to offer themselves.  Ronan Jones was involved in almost everything, and Dean Curran up front opened the space when in possession.  Curran finished a number of moves with points.  It was a 2-9 to 1-9 in favor of the Tones at the break.

Ronan Jones
The second half saw the Tones net a third goal as the Galway defence was opened up again.  Robbie Cunningham fed the incoming Dolan, who netted expertly.  Galway kept trying to plug away at the gap, but the Tones proved just a bit too strong as the Galway effort ran out of steam.  Dolan, Jack Lynch, and Curran pointed.   Galway were unable to follow a score with a second as the Tones answered each one to maintain their advantage. A late Curran goal killed off any Galway hopes, however, with this performance Galway look like they will be in every game, as long as they don’t give themselves so much to do early in the game.

Tones:  Shane Tones, Kevin Maguire, Keith Gill, Connlaodh Deeney, Eoin Buggy, Warren Kavanagh, Ian Whelan, Ronan Jones, Mike O’Brien, Jack Lynch, James Dolan, Dean Curran, Robbie Cunningham.

Galway:  Jamie Kelly, Daire Quinn, Ray Ryan, Tom Davey, Declan Walsh, Sean Moriarty, Paddy Naughton, Ray Connelly, Stewey Cullen, Eoin Gallagher, Adam Gallagher, Jamie Keogh, Cian McMonagle.
By Rory O'Donnell

Senior Hurling: Fr. Tom Burke's v Galway

Galway 4-17 Fr. Tom Burke’s 3-18

In their first outing of the season Galway’s powerful looking forward line delivered the goods against Fr. Tom’s in an open, free flowing game of hurling Sunday afternoon.  Conditions were perfect for hurling, dry and fast with a slight breeze.  Aidan Helebert at center forward was essential for the tribesmen, and 2 second half goals from Waterford man, Jack Lyons ended up delivering the goods.

Enda Feeney in possession for Galway.
At the break Galway led by the slenderest of margins.  It was free flowing, open hurling with some well taken scores.  Aidan Heleburt at center forward tallied 5 of Galway’s total.  The man from Gort played a major role in the Galway effort.  There was plenty of support from other quarters.  Oisin Donnellan at wing forward contributed with a fine point from play, while Adam Kenny and Enda Feeney assisted a great goal that was doubled on by Jack Lyons to cancel out a Stiofan McMahon goal for Tom’s.  In the early going it was Ali Dooey who caught the eye for Tom’s.  Looking dangerous at corner forward, the Dunloy, Co. Antrim man flashed 3 points over the bar inside the opening 10 minutes.  Lyons netted for Galway in the early going, and the teams batted back and forth, with neither side managing to get an advantage.  Shane Howley was involved at wing forward for Tom’s and contributed to a number of scores, taking 2 for himself.  With Galway having opened a 4 point gap coming up to half time, Dooey buried a fantastic goal to bring Tom’s back into it.  Galway’s Helebert pointed twice from frees and Dean Flood once for Tom’s to make it a 2-10 to 2-11 Galway advantage at the break.

Frank McCormack with a hold of John Buckley's shirt.
The second half saw Galway edge into a lead, and Tom’s spent the 30 minutes trying to eat into it.  After Flood and Stiofan McMahon had put Tom’s into a one point lead, three on the trot from Galway pulled back the initiative.  Lyons, Kenny and Helebert each pointed and Galway would never trail in the game again.  The pace slowed a little from the first half, and defences tightened up a little – scores were less free flowing as in the preceding period.  The sides were level again mid-way through the half and we were into the final quarter where it was anybody’s game.  With 10 minutes to go Galway netted through Jack Lyons, and shortly after another goal came from the same corner as the Ballyduff man took advantage of the space.  The lights dimmed for Tom’s as the Galway lead grew as time was ticking away.  A Howley goal came too late for Tom’s as it was the final puck of the game.  A win for Galway to get off the mark.   

Galway:  John Coleman, Trevor Lee, John Moylan, James Kinsella, Shane O’Gorman, Brendan Furling, Ryan Garry, Frank McCormack, Adam Kenny, Aidan Heleburt, Oisin Donnellan, Enda Feeney, Jack Lyons.

Tom’s:  Kevin Flynn, Danny Burke, Dwane Palmer, Craig Taylor, Vincent Doyle, Dylan Costello, Aaron Moore, Seamus Higgins, Shane Howley, Dean Flood, John Buckley, Stiofan McMahon, Ali Dooey.
By Rory O'Donnell

Senior Football: Aidan McAnespies v Donegal

Aidan McAnespies 2-10 Donegal 1-16

A good crowd was at the Irish Cultural Center in Canton to witness Donegal and McAnespies play a blistering game of championship football, one in which Donegal came through in the crucial last 10 minutes.  The sides were all square coming into the final stretch, and two great scores gave Donegal an edge that they carried to the final whistle.  Oisin O’Neill was key in the Donegal forward line, not only for his accuracy from frees but availability and support play when Donegal were on the attack.  McAnespies had several chances to get something out of the game in the final minutes, but could not capitalize.  Donegal very much back in the senior championship picture.

Jake Foster setting up a McAnespies attack.
The first half was played at a blistering pace with Donegal enjoying the balance of play.  McAnespies created plenty of chances with their running from the back, and with the forwards all keyed in, openings were plentiful.  The finished article was not always the desired outcome, however there were some lovely finishes from Jake Foster, Che O’Donnell, and Nathan O’Brien.  A goal came from Phil McCusker after Eamon Fyfe made the assist.  Donegal had plenty of answers themselves.  The Donegal defence turned over plenty of ball, and Oisin O’Neill at corner forward was on song.  The South Armagh native popped 3 over the bar, and about mid-way through the half rattled the net with a great solo effort.  McAnespies answered right away with a Fyfe goal to restore their one point lead as the game flowed in both directions.  Donegal kept clipping the points over, Michael Carroll, O’Neill and Ciaran McFaul all hit the target, while Anto Kidney put two long range efforts over from dead balls to make it all square at the half, 1-9 for Donegal to 2-6 for McAnespies.

Robbie Croft and Sean Donnelly tangle.
It was nip and tuck throughout the second half.  Donegal inched into the lead with Conor Small, Sean Donnelly, and O’Neill points.  The northerners looked fluid going forward and the McAnespies back line had to work hard to keep the threat at bay.  With the game entering the final 10 McAnespies had leveled the scores.  Fyfe pointed, and was followed by Declan Hughes as the hard work was rewarded.  A lovely left footed effort from the Ballymena man made it all square and now every ball was of utmost importance.  Donegal put back to back points two over the bar, a great Ciaran McFaul effort from distance followed by a well taken O’Neill free.  With the clock running down McAnespies had 4 chances at points, but each time the ball drifted wide of the mark.  O’Neill made it a three point gap with virtually the final kick of the game, and it is a much needed win for Donegal to settle the boat heading into the teeth of what looks like will be an exciting championship.

Macs:  Declan Kidney, Caolan Harvey, Eoin Delmer, Lorcan Mallon, Robert Pigott, Jake Foster, Albert Martin, Declan Hughes, Robert Croft, Che O’Donnell, Nathan O’Brien, Eamon Fyfe, Philip McCusker.

Donegal:  Hugh Boyle, Neil McEnaeney, Niall Keenan, Sean Doherty, Dylan Wall, Liam Silke, Michael Carroll, Brian Donnelly, Eoin McHugh, Ciaran McFaul, Sean Donnelly, Lee Carr, Oisin O’Neill.
By Rory O'Donnell