Sunday, June 19, 2022

Senior Football - Connemara Gaels v Donegal

Donegal 1-16 Connemara Gaels 1-9

Paul Mannion is pursued by Mikey Kerr

Donegal made it two wins out of two with a fairly comprehensive win against a Connemara Gaels side that kept going till the end.  At the break the leg work was done by the Donegal man, and even though the Gaels put up a much better showing in the second 30 minutes, turning the tables would be a long shot.  Paul Mannion and Ciaran McFaul in the forward line for Donegal showed their class with some great scores, and the back line kept the door closed and did not allow the Gaels the opportunity to put a string of scores together.

Donegal enjoyed the upper hand for the first half.  With the outlet of Paul Mannion lined out at corner forward, and Ciaran McFaul on the 45, there were plenty of scoring options for the Donegal men.  Three points opened the game for Donegal before the Gaels got on the board with a James Garrity effort.   Donegal answered with another 3 points before the Gaels got their second, with Mannion and McFaul on the mark, and the signs were ominous for the Connemara men.  Sean Lambe attacked with purpose from wing back for Donegal and when needed, the Donegal defence were in front of their men to put a stop to anything remotely promising.  The Gaels did manage to engineer a goal chance, but Hugh Boyle was equal to the task and saved well from Sullivan.

Matt Sullivan watched by Jason Noctor

Donegal struck with a goal before half time.  Another Gaels attack was broken up and Mannion showed great patience to wait for the incoming Shane Carthy who had the simplest of finishes to palm into the open net.  The Gaels had started Matt Sullivan at corner forward, and it was not till the end of the half that the move paid any dividends.  Sullivan struck two points before half time and Ger Davoran another to make it a seven point game at the half, Donegal 1-9 Gaels 0-5.

The second half saw the teams cancel each other out in the opening exchanges.  Garrity and Sullivan pointed for the Gaels and Mannion and Carthy for Donegal.  Another goal chance fell for the Gaels, and again, Boyle was equal to the task with a fine save from Garrity.  The Gaels fared much better in the defensive stakes and forced a number of turnovers, but converting them into scores to make a dent in the Donegal lead was the challenge.  Donegal had done the legwork already.

With less than 10 minutes to go Sean Conneeley saw a second yellow following a tired challenge, and the Gaels were down a man to see out the game.  With 7 points between the teams, and the affair more or less decided, the westerners continued to try and find the openings, while Donegal just needed to see it out.  The Gaels won a penalty after Matt Sullivan was brought down by Boyle as he tried to side step the Donegal keeper with a few minutes to go, but in the process also lost Sullivan to a second yellow as the Kerry man’s retaliation was penalized.  Garrity dispatched the penalty well, however with the 2 man advantage, Donegal made it up three points on the trot to see out the game.  A second win for Donegal and Gaels and McAnespies will battle for second spot in the table next week.

Gaels:  Sean Fox, Aaron Duffy, Jack Coyne, Michael Coyne, Jack Lynch, Callum Holland, Mikey Kerr, Ger Davoran, Colman Mulkerrin, Ryan Caffrey, Sean Conneely, Matt Sullivan, James Garrity.  Donegal:  Hugh Boyle, Jason Noctor, Kieran Tobin, Sean Lambe, Jack O’Brien, Aidan O’Sullivan, Cory Gallagher, Shane Carthy, Sean Winston, Ciaran McFaul, Jack Boyle, Paul Mannion, Ciaran McDevitt.

By Rory O'Donnell

Junior A Football - Aidan McAnespies V Connemara Gaels


For a time it looked like it would be a close run affair between the Macs and Gaels as the teams were tied about 5 minutes into the second half.  McAnespies, however, ran away with it in the last 20 minutes as Paddy O’Neill proved instrumental in the middle of the field, and Jimmy Rigney, who came on as a sub, fired in three goals to put the game beyond the Gaels.

Aidan McAnespies Junior A Team

McAnespies dominated the opening quarter with some good link up play from the back line all the way to Paraic Dillon at corner forward.  Dillon threatened when in possession and within 5 minutes had a goal for himself with a smashing finish from 14 yards.  It was mostly one way traffic.  The Gaels looked sluggish and in possession were short on ideas going forward.  McAnespies on the other had always had an option and well worked moves were finished by Fergus Byrne and Ciaran Wallace. 

The Gaels eventually found some traction and came firing back before half time.  With McAnespies holding a 1-4 to 0-1 lead, Bradley Fox started the revival with a point from distance, followed by Padraic McDonagh immediately afterwards.  An opportunist goal from Stephen Murray, who made his way upfield from corner back, pulled the Gaels within two points and it was game on again.  The teams traded scores before the break and it was McAnespies carrying a 2 point lead into the second half.

Jack Mahon tries to find an opening.

The Gaels looked like their late first half revival was carrying into the second half as the opening exchanges were in their favor.  Fox and Jack Mahon were winning their battles around the middle of the field.  After Wayne Flaherty pulled the Gaels to within a point Mahon hit with a goal and the Gaels led by two.  For the Gaels, however, that was the high water mark.   

McAnespies started to dominate possession once again and the middle of the field proved to be a fertile feeding ground.  Paddy O’Neill was involved in many of the good things happening for McAnespies, and the introduction of Jimmy Rigney proved to be a game changer.  Dillon pointed, and was followed by a score from Ciaran Wallace that leveled it.  McAnespies then opened a 6 point lead before the Gaels could respond.  After O’Neill put his side one to the good, Rigney showed great anticipation to get his hand in front for the following kick out, and carried the ball to the 21 before finishing with a great shot that hit the back of the net.  Daithi Higgins and Conan McCusker followed with points.  With 15 minutes left the Gaels had a mountain to climb, and it only became steeper.  Rigney added two more goals to his tally, while in response the Gaels could only muster points from Mahon and Tadgh O’Siochran.  A good win for McAnespies, while the Gaels are looking at still finding their first win in the competition.  Final score, McAnespies 5-12 Connemara Gaels 2-9.

Connemara Gaels:  James O’Donnell, Tom Conroy, Steve Murray, Colman Conroy, Ciaran Killeen, Tadgh O’Siochran, Bradley Fox, Ben Conway, Nessan O’Donnell, Jack Mahon, Donal Reany, Wayne Flaherty, Paraic McDonagh.  McAnespies:  Paddy Coakley, Ger Dillon, Darren Maher, Conan McCusker, Adam Doyle, Sean Clifford, Paddy O’Neill, Mark Coughlan,  Aidan O’Malley, Feargus Byrne, Colm O’Malley, Padraic Dillon, Ciaran Wallace.

By Rory O'Donnell

Intermediate Football - Christopher's v Wolfe Tones


Christopher’s and the Wolfe Tones met on a cooler than usual mid-June afternoon with each team looking for their first points of the Intermediate Championship.  It was Christopher’s who played the more efficient, flowing football throughout while the Tones showed spurts of what they could do.  The forward line axis of Westport men, Alan Kelly and Killian Kilkelly, were instrumental in the Christopher’s success with some smart interplay and efficient scoring.  The Tones had a couple of first half goal chances that might have lifted their efforts but by the time the second half was not long started, the points were more or less in the bag for Christopher’s.

Killian Kilkelly nets from the Spot

Christopher’s quickly went into a 3 point lead with 2 points from Kennedy at corner forward and one from Kilkelly at centre forward.  Wolfe Tones answered with a Gavin Walsh point, however, struggled to get any traction going forward.  Kilkelly and Kennedy were key to Christopher’s forward line and their understanding produced a number of good moves.  One resulted in a penalty.   Luke Tunney made a run from the half back line, Kilkelly was involved and Kennedy eventually was fouled from behind in the box, and Kilkelly’s spot kick was well taken to put Christopher’s 1-4 to 0-1 ahead.

Tones had a couple of goal chances for themselves.  Rian Moylan did well to turn his man on the win and found a wide open path to goal only to put the shot the far side of the post.  Moylan was involved in the second opportunity for the Tones as he fed Oran McCarney whose shot was well saved by Bill Crookston in goal for Christopher’s.  Chances were few and far between for the Tones, however, while Christopher’s ability to find the space and hit the man resulted in 6 additional points before the break.  The Tones efforts were rewarded with points from Gavin Walsh, Cormac Joyce-Power, and Dylan Coyne, but the Christopher’s finishing was efficient and accurate whose lead continued to open wider as time wore on.  At the break it was a 1-11 to 0-5 Christopher’s advantage.

The Tones stepped up their efforts following the restart with much more purpose going forward, and were rewarded with an early goal from Moylan.  Christopher’s, however, started to get other players in on the act with Diarmuid Baker pointing following a run from centre back, Sean Igoe getting his name on the scoresheet, and Pat Delaney netting four goals from his corner forward berth.  The Tones kept plugging away, Moylan netted a second goal and Cian McGovern a point, but the play seemed to flow easier in favor of Christopher’s.   Christopher’s with a 5-22 to 2-10 win and the Blues and Kerry will need to pay attention.

Tones:  Ben Savage, Caolan Slevin, Dylan Hand, Mike Kerr, Oran McCarney, Pa Collins, Cathal Walsh, Dylan Coyne, Cian McGovern, Cormac Joyce-Power, Joey Doyle, Gavin Walsh, Rian Moylan.  Christopher’s:  Bill Crookston, Martin Coppinger, Mark McSweeney, Andrew Inman, Diarmaid Baker, Luke Tunney, Paudie Kenneally, Dylan Furling, Jerry Kenneally, Killian Kilkelly, Sean Igoe, Alan Kennedy, Pat Delaney.

By Rory O'Donnell

Senior Football - Galway v Aidan McAnespies

Galway 1-9 Aidan McAnespies 3-18

John Dunne in Possession for Galway

Aidan McAnespies will have been fairly pleased with their day’s work with a convincing victory over Galway.  For the westerners it will be a case of out of the frying pan and into the fire as next up is favourites for the championship, Donegal next Saturday.  Two goals, one after the throw-in and another following the restart had Galway on the back foot from the get go, and the McAnespies attacking half back line kept the pressure on all game as they swarmed the Galway defence.

McAnespies got off to the perfect start with a Peter O’Connell point quickly followed by a Cian Sharkey goal, all within a minute of the throw-in.  The one-two punch was answered with 2 points from Galway corner forward John Dunne from placed balls.  McAnespies had the better of things from the get-go however.  Galway found themselves under pressure frequently as McAnespies were on top of the kick outs, and attacked in numbers to keep their opponents on the back foot. 

The points came from different quarters for McAnespies.  Colm Lennon, Cian Sharkey, Peter O’Connell with a great score, and Sharkey again kept the scoreboard moving for McAnespies while for Galway it was Dunne’s free kicks that kept it from getting out of hand.  Another goal with about 10 minutes to the break put McAnespies well and truly in the driver’s seat.  It was a move that characterized how McAnespies were playing with numbers overwhelming the Galway rearguard.   Daragh Lyne running from midfield found Rory Brolly who fired the ball into the far corner.  Galway answered with 2 points on the trot from Dunne and one Paddy Mullins, but McAnespies answered in kind with a score each from Robert Croft and Steven Ward.  At the half it was a commanding 2-9 to 0-7 McAnespies lead.

Darragh Lyne on the Attack for Macs

McAnespies extended their lead following the restart.  Ronan Buckley added third goal for McAnespies, while Ruairi Scott and Croft added points.  Galway opened their second half account with a Dunne free about 10 minutes into the half.  Ruairi Scott responded for McAnespies before Danny Burke finally rattled the McAnespies net following an assist from Dunne.  The goal was a consolation for Galway as the game had got away from them by that stage.  For McAnespies it was time to give the line a run to play out the remaining time.  A good outing for the Macs and Galway still searching for the first win of the season.

Galway: Blaine Sheridan, Eoin Dunne, Stuart Cullen, Aidan Flanagan, Ciaran Potter, Paddy Mullins, Danny Burke, Michael Kinsella, Barry McDonagh, Michael Moylan, Pat Moylan, John Moylan, John Dunne. Macs:  Rory McElroy, Rob Pigott, Gavin Nangle, Owen Ward, Colm Lennon, Cian Sharkey, Daragh Lyne, Steven Ward, Ronan Buckley, Ruairi Scott, Peter O’Connell, Robbie Croft, Rory Brolly.

By Rory O'Donnell

Wednesday, June 15, 2022

Junior A Football - Cork v Connemara Gaels

Cork Boston GFC and Connemara Gaels had a very entertaining game in Canton in both teams first outing in the Junior A Championship. The game ebbed and flowed throughout with both teams having dominance in different sectors. Overall Cork Boston just shaded it and were a little more accurate up front but, there was nothing between the teams.


The Victorious Cork Team

At half time Cork Boston led by 9 points to 5. While Connemara Gaels had the better of midfield in the 1st half, Cork Boston’s defense was on top and pressurized the Connemara Gaels forwards in to shooting from distance.  
Tom Keane was responsible for most of the Cork scores while Kieran McEnery whipped over a great point off his left.

The second half saw the momentum swing wildly several times. Connemara Gaels dominated the 1st fifteen minutes and clawed their way back to level the game at 12 points apiece, with Mayo's Jack Mahon leading the scoring charge.  Ryan Caffrey was dominating the midfield exchanges and it looked like Gaels were going to make a winning push.

However the Rebels shot back and had 3 quick points in succession to lead by 3 again with the crucial score coming from 18-year-old American born John O’ Riordon, kicking from 40 yards on the right-hand side. In the final stages the Cork rearguard held firm while the Gaels prioritized goals over points and eventually reduced the deficit to 1 when a last-minute goal attempt went over the bar.

Report Courtesy of Sean Kelly

Monday, June 13, 2022

Intermediate Football: Christopher's v Kerry

Kerry 2-19 Christopher’s 2-16

Noel Kennedy lines up his goal shot

Kerry added another win to their tally in the Intermediate football championship with a 5 point win over Christopher’s.  For Christopher’s it was a much improved performance from last week’s outing, however, the game slowly slipped away from them as the Kerry forwards picked off the points in the second half.  Christopher’s did make Kerry sweat a little with a late goal that reduced the gap to a score and a chance that rattled the crossbar, but the Kingdom held on for the last couple of minutes to take both points.

The teams were back and forth for the opening quarter with each side taking some nice points.  For Christopher’s it was corner forward Alan. Kennedy who showed well for the ball, and also showed that he could make the space for himself to finish picking off several points in the early going.  Kerry had contributions from several quarters, Jack Farrell at corner forward showed well and Ryan O’ Súilleabháin at wing forward also was also lively for the Kingdom. 

Kerry gained an upper hand with two back to back goals after 20 minutes.  Noel Kennedy stole forward from the back line to finish the first, and the second came from Gearoid Dillane, and Christopher’s were hit with a one-two punch.   Christopher’s got some neat play from Killian Kilkelly, and struck back with a much needed goal before the break to keep themselves in the game.  At the break it was a 2-10 to 1-8 Kerry advantage.

The second half saw Kerry stretch their lead.  Dillane pointed, and then Ryan O’ Súilleabháin put a lovely score over the bar following a dummy solo and finish to match.   Jack Farrell added two more and there was a lot of work for Christopher’s to do to lift the siege.  Alan Kennedy and Kilkelly linked well for Christopher’s at times, but the Kerry defence was hard to penetrate.  Eventually Kennedy pointed, and that score was followed by two wonderful strikes from Jeremiah Kenneally who powered though the Kerry rearguard to bring his side back into the game.

Six points in it coming into the final 15 minutes and a goal was imperative for Christopher’s, but with much searching for the gaps in Kerry’s rearguard, there was none to be found.  The two goal deficit remained as Kerry continued to pick off the points and Christopher’s could only respond in kind.  Eventually a goal did come for Christopher’s, but with little time remaining.  It was Kenneally made another thundering run to latch on to a pass from brother, Danny who had taken a spot on the edge of the square, and Jeremiah billowed the back of the net with the shot.  Tensions rose in the final few minutes, and Kerry hearts were in mouths as a final Christopher’s chance to steal something from the game rattled the crossbar.  Kerry did just about enough to take both points, and it will be Christopher’s and Tones next as each tries to take their first points of the season next Sunday.   

Shannon Blues defeated the Wolfe Tones in the final game of the day with a  4-17 to 3-6 final score, and will renew and old rivalry with Kerry a week from Saturday to establish who will be top dog for the championship.

Kerry:  Kevin Flynn, Noel Kennedy, John Doherty, Conor Stack, Shane O’Connor, Sean O’Cathasaigh, James Farrell, Declan O’Sullivan, Gearoid Dillane, Sean Ó Buadhacháin, Padraig Doyle, Jack Farrell, Ryan Ó Súilleabháin,.  Christopher’s:  W. Crookston, J. Kelley, M. McSweeney, A. Inman, P. Kenneally, L. Tunney, J. Horgan, J. Kenneally, S. Igoe, K. Kilkelly, D. Furlong, G. Barr, A. Kennedy.

Senior Hurling: Galway v Fr. Tom Burke's

Galway 6-20 Fr. Tom’s 2-16

Daniel Loftus keeps Donal Mannion reined in.

Galway had a turnaround of fortunes on the hurling field on Sunday with many players involved on both the football and the hurling clubs.  With a team containing some top tier hurling talent, Galway turned it up in the second half and ran out heavy winners as the forward line were not to be stopped.

Tom’s got off to the better start and went into an early 1-4 to 0-2 lead.  Joe Fogerty who lined out at wing forward was on the mark from the placed ball, and a goal was fired in by Donal Mannion.  Galway soon got a hold of the game and once the full forward duo of Billy Power and Michael Kiely got going, they proved to be an almost unstoppable force.  After Fogerty made it a 6 point Tom’s lead, a flurry of Galway scores turned the game on its head.  Aidan Nolan pointed from play to reduce the gap to 5 and  Galway netted right from the Tom’s puckout.  The ball was sent back in to Kiely who got a hold of it fired the ball into the far corner.  Danny Burke put the next puckout over the bar, and after a slight reprieve for Tom’s with another Fogerty free, it was Kiely again who ran through the Tom’s rearguard for another goal to put Galway into a one point lead.   

Fogerty’s frees were keeping Tom’s in the game, and with the sides swapping points, Tom’s regained the lead with a Fogerty point from play.  The tempo was high and the scores were flying over the bar as each side vied for control.    As half time approached Galway netted a third goal, and it was a peach as the two Waterford men combined beautifully.  It was Power who scored it but the assist from Kiely was a skill that can’t be taught as he let the ball into the box drop off his stick with perfect weight, into the path of the barreling Power, who buried it.  The half ended with a flurry of Kiely points from the dead balls, and Galway had a 3-10 to 1-10 lead at the break.

The second half was dominated by Galway as Tom’s found it hard to come to grips with the Galway’s power house forward line.  Three points added to the gap after the restart, and then two goals, the first from Power who built up a head of steam before firing home, and the second from Aidan Nolan assisted by Power, put all hopes of a Tom’s comeback to rest.  Galway were motoring now, and 5 points without reply underlined their dominance as Tom’s found it hard to gain possession around the middle of the field and launch a meaningful attack. 

Donal Mannion at corner forward eventually found some running space and finished a great solo effort into the net for Tom’s, who continued to battle to the end.  Galway finished with aplomb, however, after Power found Nolan with a lovely ball and it was goal number 6 for the Tribesmen.  Tom’s will be wondering how to turn the tables for the second game in the best of 5 between the teams.  There is time to try and close the gap with the next game in this best of 5 taking place 2 weeks from now on June 26.  But, based on this form, Galway must be hot favourites to retain the senior hurling championship.

Galway:  John Coleman, Tom Murray, Killian O’Dwyer, Pat Moylan, Daniel Loftus, Gavin Fives, Evan Hunt, Danny Burke, Mike Moylan, Aidan Nolan, Barry McDonagh, Billy Power, Michael Kiely.  Tom’s:  Kevin Flynn, Cian Wadding, Padraic O’Neill, Carthach Daly, Conor Murphy, Brian Connolly, Niall Murphy, Matty Duane, Joe Fogerty, Martin O’Connell, Liam Moore, Cathal Hardiman, Donal Mannion.

Senior Football - Connemara Gaels v Galway

 Connemara Gaels 3-7 Galway 1-5

Matt Sullivan Shoots
After last week’s championship opener between 2 teams with northern connections, it was the turn of the westerners to take the field Saturday evening.  Although Galway were never far behind, it was a game where the Gaels always seemed to have the edge and in the end three late goals put the result beyond doubt.

The first half was a quiet enough affair.  Seanie Conneeley and James Garrity posted 3 points between them for the Gaels before Galway got off the mark through a John Duane point.  It was not exactly a display of marksmanship from either team in the early going as several chances fell the wrong side of the posts, and the Gaels will have had the most of those.  With Matt Sullivan and Ger Davoran in the middle of the field the Gaels held the advantage in size and in possession, but converting it from the field to the scoreboard was a struggle.

James Garrity at corner forward proved to be a spark in the game.  The Trillick native’s quickness was an issue for the Galway back line and he added another point to the Gael’s tally before the break.  John Moylan put Galway’s second over before the break and it was a 0-4 to 0-2 Gaels advantage after 30 minutes.

Ciaran Potter on the ball for Galway

Galway opened the second half the brighter of the teams and moved the ball well into dangerous areas, at times forcing the Gaels defenders into fouls.  This time it was Galway who failed to make the most of their chances, and add to their 2 point tally.  In the meantime, the Gaels started to find a groove going forward.  Garrity finished a good move for a point and shortly afterwards Michael Kerr and Garrity were involved in the best score of the day and the Gaels found the gaps in the Galway defence.

Garrity added another from a free before Aidan Nolan responded for Galway with their first score of the second half.   The score, however, was a precursor to a flurry of goals from the Gaels to finish the game as the football began to flow more freely from the Connemara side.  Callum Holland fired the ball into the net following a good move, again Garrity was involved.  Paraic Pee Wee McDonagh added another with 5 minutes to go, and before the full time whistle sounded, McDonagh added a third, rubbing a bit of salt into Galway’s wounds.  Galway found some consolation with a late Tim Prenter goal, and it finished an 8 point Gaels win.  The Gaels are sure to face a tougher test next Sunday when it is Paul Mannion and Donegal that they face in the last game of the day.  Galway also have a week to get back to the drawing board to see how they can conjure up a result against Aidan McAnespies.   

Galway:  Blaine Sheridan, Eoin Dunne, Stuart Cullen, Liam Boyle, Ciaran Potter, Pat Moylan, Danny Burke, John Duane, John Moylan, Michael Kinsella, Paddy Mullins, Mike Moylan, Greg Lundy.  Gaels:  Sean Fox, Jack Coyne, Aaron Duffy, Callum Holland, Jack Lynch, Michael Coyne, Matt Sullivan, Ger Davoran, Seanie Conneeley, Colman Mulkerrin, Mikey Kerr, AJ McGuire, James Garrity.