Sunday, May 2, 2021

Back in Action in Canton

Referee Barney Curran with Captains,
Robbie Croft (Macs) and Ryan Caffrey (Gaels).
Saturday afternoon blessed the Irish Cultural Centre in Canton Mass with perfect football weather for the start of the 2021 GAA season.  It was the first time in 20 months that games were played at the venue following the Pandemic that completely nixed the 2020 season.  Clubs agreed that for the 2021 season there would not be any sanction players involved, so, unlike previous seasons, team panels were all finalized by April 30.  The season stared Saturday with the Pat O’Brien Cup, and championship action begins the first weekend in June.

There were 4 Pat O’Brien Cup games played, with some good football involved and the day ended with a very entertaining game between McAnespies and the Connemara Gaels.  The competition format consists of 2 groups with the winners of each meeting in the final.  The first encounter saw a Group B contest between Donegal “B” and Galway.  The Donegal team had the measure of their opponents and ran out winners by a score of 3-8 to 1-4.  Next up was another Group B contest between a combined Wolfe Tones/Christopher’s team and Kerry.  The combined side got off well and built up a lead in the first half, but Kerry got their act together for the second and tallied some good scores, but were always chasing a lost cause.  It ended 3-12 to 2-8 for the Tones/Christopher’s.

Group A saw the Donegal “A” team take on the Shannon Blues.  Donegal put in a good team performance in their first outing and coasted to a 2-12 to 1-3 win to get their season off to a start.  They will face sterner tests in the games to follow judging from the bruising, goal laden, encounter between the Gaels and McAnespies.  The Gaels got out of the blocks to a 0-8 to 0-1 lead, but McAnespies hit for a major with less than 10 minutes to half time and the floodgates opened with another 7 scores in the goals column for the 2019 senior finalists.  The final score was 8-4 to 1-11 for McAnespies.  So, Group A has Donegal “A” and McAnespies each with a win, and in Group B it is Donegal “B” and Tones/Christopher’s in pole position.

We look forward to the next weekend’s games.

2:30 Grp B - Kerry v Donegal “B”

3:30 Grp B - Wolfe Tones/Christopher’s v Galway

4:30 Grp A - Shannon Blues v Connemara Gaels

5:30 Grp A – Aidan McAnespies v Donegal “A”

Rory O'Donnell

Tuesday, April 27, 2021

Boston - Moylagh JFK 50 Mile Challenge

Saturday, July 31 2021, will see the Boston-Moylagh 50 Mile Challenge take place on the Massachusetts south shore.  The objective of the challenge is to raise funds for the Irish Cancer Society and associated services.  Cancer is a disease that hits close to home for all of us, you would be hard pressed to find somebody who does not have a love one affected by this disease, it not themselves.

This effort is a continuation of what started as the Moylagh JFK 50 Mile Challenge in 2011 by the Moylagh GAA Club in County Meath.  The “JFK” aspect of the challenge stems from the President John F. Kennedy military challenge of 1963.  In 1963, then President John F. Kennedy challenged his military officers to meet the requirements that Teddy Roosevelt had set for his own military officers at the dawn of the 20th Century. The Roosevelt requirement was for all military officers to be able to cover 50 miles on foot in 20 hours to maintain their commissions. Since then, “JFK Challenge” events have been organized in several different parts of the world for causes ranging from ultra-marathons to charity walks.  

Each GAA Club in Boston entering a team (or more than one team) for the challenge will help drive the effort to put the total raised at or over the 1M Euro goal.  Each participant can walk the 50 miles (if you are up to the challenge) or a team of participants can cover the 50 miles between them.  E.g. A team of 10 walks 5 miles each.  Teams can set their own fundraising goals, and any amount raised is most welcome.  There are also sponsorship opportunities where a $500 donation will get you a Gold sponsorship.  The location for the challenge has yet to be finalized.  It will take place at a south shore venue once permits are approved. 

So, the challenge is set!  Any and all support is greatly appreciated.  Contact information below for organizers.  Teams can register on the idonate page and donors can also make donations to participants through the page. 

John Farrell – 617 699 4936,

Pat Nee – 617 901 6760,

Mary McKenna – 617 869 0522,

Eilis Nee – 617 590 5486,

Mickey Feeney – 857 234 0632,

Dan O’Connor – 617 877 0324, 

More information:

Sunday, March 7, 2021

Northeast AGM 2021 - A Return to Action

 2021 Northeast AGM

The election of officers was probably the quickest in living memory at the Boston Northeast GAA AGM that was held at the Irish Cultural Center in Canton, Mass. on Saturday afternoon.

All of the 2020 officers accepted their nominations unopposed in a quick fire election presided over by USGAA Chairman, Bernie Connaughton.  Longtime servant of the GAA at local and national level, John McDevitt was also in attendance and was elected the Honorary President for 2021.   

Following an unprecedented year in which the pandemic and the restrictions imposed as a result meant a lost year of games at adult level in the region, there was an eagerness in the room and amongst the remote attendees to get teams back on to the fields and playing  games this year.   There was representation from all of the clubs, with 44 in attendance whether in person or remotely, representing 22 clubs, with an additional football club, and a new camogie club in the works.  The bulk of the discussion centered on how the 2021 season would look. 

Almost all of the clubs indicated a desire to use the season to refocus on home based players, recruitment of Home Grown players, and to structure championship levels and formats according to the circumstances.  Clubs and the board will be having meetings in the coming weeks to focus on each championship and a format agreeable to clubs involved, with a goal for games to start in late May/early June.   This will, of course, depend on local regulations which present a moving target and take certainty out of the planning process.   For now, we will assume the best and plan for a return to action in 2021.  Best of luck to the board and to the clubs for the coming season!      

2021 Northeast Board  

Honorary President:  John McDevitt

Chairperson:  Peter Murray

Vice Chair:  Greg Lundy

Secretary:  David Joyce

Asst Secretary:  Evan McDonagh

Treasurer:  Olivia Rabbitte

Asst Treasurer:  Mark McKee

Registrar:  Shane McKenna

PRO:  Rory O’Donnell

Youth Officer:  Martin Kerr

Trustees:  Eileen Kerin, Paul Martin McDaid, Dave Fly Power

By Rory O'Donnell PRO

Sunday, August 18, 2019

Sun Aug 18 - Junior A Football Final: Aidan McAnespies v Donegal

Donegal 2-15 Aidan McAnespies 3-9

Donegal just about sneaked over the line in a tremendously exciting junior A football final to open proceedings on Sunday.  McAnespies pushed their opponents all the way and coming into the final minutes of the game the scores were even.  Donegal had the subs to win it as three points to came from players who were brought off the line as the time ticked away.

Vice Consul, Shane McCaffrey, presents Gavin Reilly
with the Pat Callaghan Cup.
It was a fierce first half, with McAnespies going on a 7 points to none scoring streak before Donegal came back.  Some great work in the McAnespies back line kept the dangermen  in the Donegal forward line quiet.  Michael Lynch had goaled to open McAnespies account after Kane Barrett had pointed for Donegal.  Points from Barrett and Darren Grant presaged the Macs scoring spree.Points from Lynch and Eoin Delmer were followed by a goal from Steve Ward who fisted in on the second attempt.  A Cian Sharkey runn resulted in a fabulous score by Lynch, and Eoin Delmer added another.  Macs in the driver’s seat.

Donegal were far from out of it and went on a run themselves.  Corey Gallagher pointed and after a Barrett free was pointed, the corner forward returned a kickout and put the ball right back into the net.  Donegal were now back in it and it was McAnespies who looked out of ideas.  Sean Winton and Barrett pointed before the break to make it a one point half time difference, McAnespies 2-5 to 1-7 for Donegal.

The second half saw each side net, and both came from short kickouts gone wrong.  Lynch netted for McAnespies after Jimmy Rigney picked up the stray kickout, while Christy McLaughlin did likewise at the other end for Donegal after the short ended up in the wrong hands.  The pace of the game slowed as the humid conditions sapped strength for already tired legs.  Donegal appeared to gain the upper hand in the middle of the field with Darren Grant and Cory Gallagher on top, and started to pull away with scored from Grant and two from Barrett.

Donegal celebrate the Pat Callaghan Cup.
McAnespies were not about to leave it at that however.  The underdogs pushed hard at the Donegal defence with Jimmy Rigney pushing every sinew in his body to turn the tide.  Michael Lynch was the finisher but not without a massive effort from the others on the team to get the ball into the corner forwards hands, or to set up the free kick.  Tied with hardly any time on the clock and it was up for grabs.  Donegal had the legs to bring on and push it home.  The winning points came from Charlie Doherty, Aaron Murphy and Darren Doherty who each entered play in the second half.  And the Pat Callaghan Cup is back with Donegal after 2 years with Cork.

Donegal:  Padraig McLaughlin, Paul McNulty, Mary Canney, Gavin Reilly, Declan McBride, Liam Sage, Cory Gallagher, Darren Grant, Colum Hayden, Ashley Carr, Sean Winston, Kane Barrett, Christy McLaughlin.

Macs:  Paddy Coakley, Mickey Boyle, Sean Clifford, Eoin Delmer, Cian Sharkey, Colm O’Malley, Steve Ward, Cronan Dempsey, Conor Bogue, Eoin Gormley, Jimmy Rigney, Mick Lynch, Paul Morris.
By Rory O'Donnell

Sat Aug 17 - Junior A Hurling Final: Offaly v Fr. Tom Burke's

Offaly 1-19 Fr. Tom Burkes 2-13

It was a to and fro junior A hurling final with each side going on scoring spurts.  At the end of it all it was Offaly with the three point advantage.  The difference in the end was a second half goal from Victor Costello.  Offaly weathered a late Tom’s storm to hold on and capture their second championship in 3 years.

Oisin McCormack accepts the trophy
from Peter Murray.
Offaly got off the better start with 6 unanswered points.  Brian Murray was on song with the frees, while Jimmy Rigney and Stephen Brown also contributed to the tally.  Tom’s weren’t long about getting on even terms.  Two Conor O’Kane points were followed by a Jack Martyn goal.  The home grown player found himself through on goal and tipped the ball past Offaly goalkeeper, Gary Sherlock and into the net.  Tom’s now had the momentum and added three further points from O’Kane, one from a penalty.

Niall Gleeson was bearing down on the Offaly goal and was taken out of his stride with an illegal challenge.  O’Kane took the penalty and his shot one hopped before Sherlock deflected the ball over the crossbar.   Now it was Tom’s up by two points.  The game swung back in favour of the faithful county as the Offaly men wrested back the initiative.  Seven points on the trot restored the initiative.  Rigney, Ronan Coffey, Paul Clifford, Noel Graham and Murray all scored as it was one way traffic in the run up to the break.  Offaly held a 0-13 to 1-6 lead at the break.

Offaly struck with a goal of their own about 5 minutes into the second half.  Ronan Coffey finished expertly into the far corner with just the keeper to beat, and Tom’s had it all to do.  With Tom’s trying to hit Cormac Joyce-Power on the edge of the square, Tom’s dropped Jimmy Rigney back and the Kinnity man swept up the searching balls well.  Offaly built on the lead with scores from Rigney, Murray, and a wonderful point from the wing by Sallins, Co. Kildare native, Paul Clifford.

A second Junior A Championship for Offaly hurlers.
The Offaly lead held at 9 points as the clock ran down and the cup looked destined to be headed for the Offaly men.  The game was set for an exciting finish however.  Tom’s made a final push to try and turn the tables.  5 scores, one a goal, brought them within a goals of their opponents.  A goal from O’Kane came amid a flurry of 4 unanswered points and a game that looked completely lost was back in reach, still with a few minutes left.  Tom’s tried everything to pull back the goal and square up the scored, but Offaly managed to keep the threat at bay until the final whistle.

Offaly:  Gary Sherlock, Andy McRedmond, Seamus Loftus,  Emmet Moran, Jack Lynch, Jimmy Rigney, Oisin McCormack (C), Killian Campbell, Paul Clifford, Stephen Brown, Noel Graham, Brian Murray, Ronan Coffey.

Tom’s: Fran Keenan, Peter Boylan, Sean O’Brien, Paddy Crichley, Jack Hannon, Seamus Higgins, Conor Eddery, Ciaran Mulhall, Jack Martyn, Cormac Joyce-Power, Conor O’Kane, Niall Gleeson, Dylan Costello.
By Rory O'Donnell

Sat Aug 17 - Junior B Hurling FInal: Worcester v NH Wolves

New Hampshire Wolves 2-8 Worcester 3-10

Worcester Fenians captured the first Junior B Hurling championship in the Northeast division after a hard hitting, exciting game against old rivals, the New Hampshire Wolves.  Worcester got some great performances from several of their number, none more so than center forward, Conor Greene.  Greene accounted for all 3 goals and a number of well taken points to steer his side to the win.

Captains Seamus O'Shaughnessy and Dave Crowley accept
the Cup from Peter Murray.
Worcester got off to a great start with a goal from center forward Conor Greene.  Greene’s shot on the turn looped over Wolves keeper, Steve Desjarlais, and into the corner of the net.  Worcester followed with a point to hold a 4 point lead early on.  It was Sean Naughton who got the New Hampshire side off the mark with two points, one from a free and it was uncompromising stuff as each side threw themselves into the fray with total commitment.  The challenges were heavy with few 50/50 balls easily won.

The Wolves were in the lead after Will Mullen netted.  The corner forward’s initial shot hit the post but the rebound was put away to the cheers of the numerous supporters who traveled from Concord, NH.  Liam Kelly restored parity with a well taken point and the writing was on the wall for a close game.  In the run up to half time the Wolves established a two point cushion, outscoring their opponents 4 points to two with some well taken scores from each side.

The second half saw the boys from Massachusetts drop two goals into the net, both from Conor Greene long range frees that dropped just below the crossbar and the ball found its way through the forest of sticks and into the net. The two goals were the difference between the teams as Worcester had pointed 3 times on one for New Hampshire.  

Worcester win the first Junior B Cup in the Northeast Division.
With the game going back and forth the Wolves needed a goal to get back into it, and at one stage a Sam Durfee shot hit the crossbar.  Worcester defended well with the Wolves pushing, Timmy Jackson cleared well on a couple of occasions and Dave Crowley in the middle of the field kept the ball moving.  The Wolves had their chances, but with Sean O’Shaughnessy standing tall in defence the Wolves were going to have a tall order to breach the ramparts.  Worcester held firm and kept the door closed for the remainder of the game to end up 5 point winners and will represent the division in Leesburg, Virginia next weekend at the USGAA Finals.

Wolves:  Steve Desjarlais, Alec Foley, Dan Hanna, Torrie Lemmon, Ryan Nickerson, Justin Stasz, Sam Durfee, Jay Abramowicz, Tanner Starmer, Sean Naughton, Mark Misiarski, Jason Burpee, Chris Rougeaut.

Worcester:  Dan Smith, Luke Lagorce, Timmy Jackson, Dan Williams, Sean O’Shaughnessy, Seamus O’Shaughnessy, Dave Crowley, Nate Crowley, Tom Lind, Conor Greene, Zack Jacobs, Liam Kelly, PJ Heffernan.
By Rory O'Donnell

Sat Aug 17 - Intermediate Football Final: Cork v Shannon Blues

Shannon Blues 1-15 Cork 2-17

It took extra time to separate the Blues and Cork in what was the first Intermediate Final played in Boston in 13 seasons.  The Blues had a 2 point lead late in the game and Cork leveled with 2 late frees to force the extra period.  Cork outscored the Blues, 7 points to 5, in the extra 20 minutes to claim their third trophy in as many years having won the junior A championship the last two years. 

Cork Captain, Adam Kenny accepts the Donie Kenneally Cup 
from Kathleen Kenneally.
It was neck and neck between the teams for most of the first half.  After the sides traded points to get things going, the Blues went on a four points to no score flurry.  Playing some lovely passing football the Blues looked like they might start to pull away.  The period was almost capped with what would have been a brilliant goal, however, Ger Comer’s shot went just the far side of the posts.

Cork were back in it after a well taken goal from Nick O’Mullane.  The Cork corner forward gathered the ball expertly and finished with a left footed shot that took the keeper off guard.  O’Mullane followed with a stylish point and just like that the teams were all square.  The Blues’ Paddy O’Connor pointed and was followed by Conor Mullen as the passing and movement found the routes through the Cork rearguard.  O’Mullane pointed to make it a 1-4 to 0-8 half time score in favour of the Blues.

Cork soon had regained the lead, a goal right off the throw in had the rebels ahead.  It was a classic move with the ball into O’Mullane quickly dished to the inrushing Tiernan Rushe who finished well.  The Blues answered with a Ger Comer point, however Cork went on a three point tear, 2 of the points very well taken efforts from Jack Lacey and Jack Barrett.  Barrett was all over the place in the Cork forward line making the play, and when the man from Leixlip had the ball in his hand things happened for Cork.  Captain, Adam Kenny calling the shots at center back and snuffed out a number of forays forward from the Blues..

The Blues had a good spell, one in which they might have regretted a couple of missed chances.  Kieran McEnry made a couple of fine saves, first from Conor Mullen and second from Paddy O’Connor.  The Blues also missed a couple of chances of points as the ball drifted wide from scoring positions until Darren Wallace pointed.  The missed opportunities proved to be warning signs for Cork.

Dancin' in the Dark:  Cork won it in extra time on Saturday evening as the light faded.
A goal did come eventually from O’Connor who went low and into the corner from the 14 yard line and the Blues led by one with 8 minutes left.  Maurice Young followed with a point and the Blues were in the driver’s seat with the finish line in view.  The teams traded points before Cork came back and won two 14 yard frees that were converted by O’Mullane to put the game into extra time.

Cork pushed it home in the added 20 minutes.  With the rebels turning the Blues and keeping their opponents hemmed inside their own half for long stretches, points went over from O’Mullane, A Barrett free, Jack Lacey and another free from O’Mullane.  The Blues managed two points in the first 10 minutes, but were held scoreless in the final 10 minutes as players had to either hobble off the field, or get on field treatment as muscles cramped up. Barret, Frank Dillon and Darragh Murphy capped off the win as the darkness fell and the mosquitos came out.  It was a great win for Cork and a great advertisement for Intermediate football in its first year back to Boston.
Blues:  Mike Moriarty, Eamonn Kilgallon, Derek O’Brien, Darren O’Donovan, Tom Hannon, Conor Mullen, Pat Murray, Maurice Young, Joe McHugh, Paddy O’Connor, Conor Fitzgerald, Darren Wallace, Ger Comer.

Cork:  Kieran McEnry, Mike Carolan, Frank Dillon, Jack Lacey, Adam Kenny, Emmet Smith, Jack Lynch, Mark Dalton, Jack Barret, Darragh Murphy, Tiernan Rushe, Conor Greene, Nick O’Mullane.
By Rory O'Donnell

Sun Aug 18 - Senior Hurling Final: Galway v Fr. Tom Burke's

Fr. Tom Burke’s 2-18 Galway 0-21

Fr. Tom’s left it late to capture the senior hurling trophy, and that after seeing 3 star players return to Ireland before the final.  Galway looked to be very much the side in control of affairs for most of the game, and while not scoring at will, were able to maintain more or less a 4 point advantage until late in the game.  John Moylan was on form for the westerners, and while taking the frees was also responsible for some great scores, and with Lorcan McLaughlin playing well at center forward Galway seemed destined to take the cup.  Tom’s stuck with it, however, and introduced Cormac Joyce-Power in the second half and the Limerick man set up what was the winning goal for Ali Dooey and Tom’s late in the game. 

Tom's Captain, John Buckley, accepts the Eddie Flaherty Cup
from Nora Flaherty.
It was an evenly contested opening 30 minutes with Galway holding a slight advantage on the scoreboard at the break.  There was little given and each side worked hard for their scores.  Galway had John Moylan on the frees and the Beagh man was on the mark.  Galway were sharp in the back line, Tom Davey was doing a diligent job at corner back and made some good clearances.  Ronan Burke and Lorcan McLaughlin were also on the mark for Galway who looked very much in control.

Tom’s got some fine scores from Aaron Moore and John Buckely early on, but were guilty of misfiring with some good chances missed.  Ali Dooey hit some frees over late in the second half as Tom’s capitalized on some indiscipline in the Galway defence.  At the break it was a 0-8 to 0-6 in favour of Galway.

Galway continued to hold the edge in the second half.  Ronan Burke at wing back was under everything and McLaughlin at center forward tallied a couple of beautiful points.  The lead opened to five as Corcoran Bergin, Moylan and Andrew Casey each found the mark.  Tom’s worked themselves back into it with Dooey proving to be the main outlet for the long ball into the forwards, and Cormac Joyce-Power who played on the edge of the square a target man, though the Galway defence largely had him bottled up.  Dooey pointed 3 and Matt Kenny, who made run from wing back one, to pull Tom’s within 2.

Fr. Tom's waiting to receive their 2019 winners medals.
Entering the final quarter it was Galway who started to pull away again as the game ebbed and flowed.  McLaughlin pointed off a Darragh Lawler sideline and Moylan hit 3 frees to a single score form Darragh McGrath the lone Tom’s score.  Tom’s got the break they needed when Peter Boylan who had entered as a sub got on to a loose ball and his shot took a deflection and wrong footed Galway keeper John Coleman. Galway, however, continued to chip away with the points.  Moyland answered with a fantastic effort over from distance, and Danny Burke another to put Galway four to the good once more.  But that was not all she wrote.

As Tom’s persisted with their attacking plan, Dooey pointed to put a goal in it with 4 minutes left to play.  Joyce-Power put one over from a tough angle on the wing, and another Dooey point had Tom’s just the one behind.  The goal came after Joyce-Power trekked out to the corner to pick up a ball played low in that direction and played a perfect pass to Dooey who got ahead of his man and was running through on goal.  The Dunloy man fetched perfectly and blasted home to send Tom’s supporters, who had watched their team play from behind most of the game, into raptures with time almost up.  Joyce-Power added a point and now it had to be a goal for Galway.  Tom’s packed the defence and did everything they could to prevent a Galway goal that would have tied the game.  Tom’s held on to win their first senior hurling championship since winning two years ago in a best of seven series against Galway.

Galway:  John Coleman, Mark Bermingham, Tom Davey, Corcoran Bergin, Brian Kennedy, Ronan Burke, Danny Burke, Darragh Lawler, Andrew Casey, Lorcan McLaughlin, Niall Walsh, John Moylan, Adam Kenny.

Tom’s:  Kevin Flynn, Ian O’Shea, Damien O’Loughlin, Matt Kenny, Eamon Egan, Brian Flynn, Aaron Moore, Rory Purcell, John Buckley, Darragh McGrath, Sean Downey, Vincent Doyle, Ali Dooey.
By Rory O'Donnell