Sunday, September 6, 2009
NACB Senior Football Final: Christopher's v Parnells (Chi)
Christopher’s followed their first Boston Senior Championship last week with a North American title. It was a significant moment, Christopher’s fielded a team with 5 American Born starters and ended the game with 7. In fairness the manner in which the home team ran away with the game allowed for giving everybody a run. Right from the get go it was clear that Christopher’s were the superior side by a long shot. After the first 30 minutes Christopher’s led by 9 points and it just became more one-sided in the second half.
North American Senior Football Championship winners: Dan Cabral, Dan Kenneally, Ryan Graber, Brendan Kelly, Paudie Kenneally, Jerry Kenneally, and Paul Bannon (All American Born) - along with Donie Kenneally.
Christopher’s had to literally change their shirts inside out since there was a clash of colours and the home team are the ones to oblige. Having turned their shirts inside out, Christopher’s proceeded to turn Parnell’s inside out with some dominant performances in all over the field. Dan Kenneally impressed in midfield and Parnells had no answer for the eldest of the three Kenneally brothers on the field. Sean Kelly was on form at center forward and in the corner Finbarr (Barry) O’Driscoll put in an effortless performance. Christopher’s had seven points on the board before Parnells opened their account with a point from center forward Martin Rafter. Parnells forays into opposition territory were few and far between. Martin Hogan, Brian Lonergan, and Brendan Kelly proved a tough barrier to get around for the visitors. With Christopher’s ahead by a score of nine points to two, Barry O’Driscoll netted a fine goal. Sean Kelly worked hard to win the ball back and found O’Driscoll who planted his low shot into the bottom corner. As half time approached there was a scare as Lonegan and Dan Kenneally had to leave the field for treatment due to a clash of heads.
Christopher's celebrate their first North American Senior Football Championship.
The injured players reentered the fray to begin the second half. Parnells accounted for the first point after the restart through Brendan Doherty and for the first 15 minutes matched Christopher’s. Doherty and Rafter put a couple of points together, but this may have something to do with Dan Kenneally having to receive some additional treatment to his head injury. Scuffles began to break out and after swift warnings from the referee matters settled down again. The game was over for sure 18 minutes into the second half. Jerry Kenneally goaled from close range in the 17th minute, and O’Driscoll followed with another one minute later. Paudie Kenneally found the net with Christopher’s fourth goal two minutes later, and with the final scores of the game, Rowland and Paul Bannon put the finishing touches on an amazing season for Christopher’s.
Christopher’s: R. Graber, E. Cotter, N. Ryan, B. Lonergan, R. Hogan, B. Kelly, M. O’Meara, D. Kenneally, I. Rowland, S. Kelly, J. Kenneally, F. O’Driscoll, P. Kenneally. Parnells: J. Hanratty, P. MacFionnachada, S. Boyle, J. Rafter, B. Lynch, C. Munn, D. O’Dowd, W. Sherlock, B. Doherty, M. Rafter, C. Griffin, J. Cunningham, P. Clark.
By Rory O'Donnell
NACB Senior Hurling Final: Wexford v Tipperary
It was Wexford versus Tipp Mark II for the North American Senior Hurling Final, albeit with a slightly different complexion as some of Tipp’s key players had returned to Ireland during the week. Wexford gained a measure of revenge for last weeks defeat with a handsome win. The Game was neck and neck until mid-way through the second half when Wexford raised the intensity a notch or two and pulled away with some fine scores.
The sides traded points to get things underway, and with the sides tied at three points a piece Ryan O’Dwyer goaled from close range. O’Dwyer looked more comfortable on his injured knee than a week ago, and was back to his up tempo running style. After Stephen White put Wexford four points to the good with a point Tipp came back at their opponents. Daithi O’Mahoney put two frees over the bar and then Tipp won a penalty. Pat Howard made no mistake with the shot. Paul McGrath pointed before half time to put Tipp one to the good at the break, 1-6 to 1-5.
The first fifteen minutes of the half saw the sides unable to separate from each other. Mike Heffernan and McGrath points were matched by Paddy Breen and Tony Murphy for Wexford. Wexford then raised the tempo a little and the challenges began to adopt a little bit a heavier air about them. Wexford started to work the ball well into the forward line, and captain Dominic Magill started to get control of the half back line. Jim Howard was called on to make a great save in the Tipp goal, but Wexford started to pick off several unanswered points. Jamie Kehoe and John Walsh put three over the bar between them before O’Dwyer goaled for the second time. With Tipp looking like they were fading the outcome began to appear inevitable. Murphy, O’Dwyer, and Walsh pointed to put Wexford eight points ahead and White then delivered the coup de gras with a superbly taken goal. White went on a solo run and cleverly tipped the ball over the defender before whipping home a shot that Howard had no chance of stopping.
With the clock ticking down, Paul McGrath’s frustration got the better of him as he saw red for an incident while play was stopped, and a consolation goal came from Daithi O’Mahoney. A reversal in outcomes from last week, but a split of the trophies seemed an appropriate end to the year since there was very little between the sides all season.
Wexford Captain Dominic Magill accepts the North American Trophy from former GAA President, Joe McDonagh, a great advocate for the GAA abroad. The first few lines of Dominic's speech is included.
Wexford: G. Griffey, P. Nolan, E. O’Shea, B. Dalton, D. Magill, J. Walsh, S. White, D. Redmond, P. Breen, K. O’Rourke, R. O’Dwyer, P. Ryan, T. Murphy. Tipp: J. Howard, M. Heffernan, J. McGrath, N. O’Grady, D. O’Mahoney, C. Power, C. Dempsey, B. Howley, P. Howard, C. Kavanagh, D. Kealey, P. McGrath.
By Rory O'Donnell
NACB Ladies Senior Football Final: Tir na nOg v Fog City Harps (SF)
The Fog City Harps turned it on in the second half to claim the ladies senior North American Football championship. There was a point between the sides at the end of the first half, but a goal from the throw-in at the restart followed by a flurry of points put the west coast ladies in control, with the local side playing catch-up for most of the second half.
Fog City: C. Fay, J. Lynch, C. Prendergast, K. Janiak, E. Griffen, T. Lynch, R. Fox, K. Gordon, C. Burke, G. O’Sullivan, S. Edgecomb, E. Cornelan, S. Dolan, S. Bunyan, U. Creegan. Tir na nOg: F. Gohery, A. Snee, M. Moloney, C. Kelly, N. O’Neill, N. Daly, L. Brick, E. Conlon, S. Moran, L. Breathnach, C. Hehir, M. Keane, C. Treanor, S. Bannon, A. Maguire.
NACB Junior Hurling Final: Fr. Tom Burke's v Naomh Padraig (SF)
Fr. Tom’s juniors faced a tough Naomh Padraig from San Francisco in Sunday’s final. The game was always on the line as apart from the first 10 minutes, there was never much more than a score between the teams. Na Fianna trailed by four points at the break, but made a comeback in the second half and came within a point. Tom’s survived a few scares late in the game and had David Hession to thank for some solid goalkeeping in a tremendously exciting finish.
Aidan Staunton was awarded the MVP for the game, and throughout the season Mike Moore, Larry Giunan and Sean O’Brien made significant contributions.
Toms: D. Hession, M. Moore, L. Guinan, A. Staunton, S. O’Brien, J. Brett, J. Moore, S. Scullane, C. Cullinane, N. Lawrence, R. Croft, K. Mooney, D. Fox. Naomh Padraig: L. Headd, C. Collins, P. Hogan, F. Burke, S. Corban, D. Long, P. Mahon, E. O’Brien, S. Noonan, V. Flaherty, T. Buckley, B. O’Brien, D. Walsh.
NACB Junior Football Final: Aiden McAnespies v Wolfe Tones (Chi)
The junior A football championship came to Boston for the first time in eight years, Cork were the last Boston junior team to bring the trophy to Beantown in 2001. The game was close for the first 20 minutes, and once Rory Maguire goaled late in the first half, McAnespies began to pull away. McAnespies ran out easy winners as the second half was not much of a contest.
Stephen McGettigan and Jamie Kelly put McAnespies into a two point lead, which the Tones soon cancelled out as the Chicago side kept pace in the early going. Rory Mone and Anthony Corcoran pointed for the Tones. Jamie Kelly and Mone then exchanged scores, and it was tit for tat. Things got a little testy early on with a few off the ball episodes, and the referee felt the need to issue warnings to players on each side. After Peadar Nugent put a lovely point over the bar, McAnespies began to pull away. McGettigan and Kelly pointed, and Maguire netted to put the home team in command. Colm Donnelly pointed before the half time whistle to put McAnespies ahead by 1-7 to 0-4 at the break.
Macs: N. Duffy, N. Clancy, S. Magill, G. Hennessey, K. Hudson, P. McCusker, C. Donnelly, S. Lynn, M. Allen, R. Maguire, S. McGettigan, J. Kelly, P. Nugent. Tones: M. Campbell, M. Gallagher, D. Mone, C. Delargy, S. Folan, L. Elliott, M. O’Brien, J. Kerley, R. Mone, S. Meehan, S. Keenan, A. Corcoran, P. O’Brien.
NACB Senior Camogie Final: Eire Og v Shamrocks
Eire Og regained their place as kingpins of North American Camogie with a well deserved victory over Shamrocks of San Francisco in the Final. The early morning conditions were blustery and not the most ideal, but both teams coped well with the conditions. The game was keenly contested, and after a close first half, Eire Og displayed some fine shooting and pulled away in the final 15 minutes.
Eire Og: S. O’Brien, A. Snee, N. O’Neill, C. Hanniffey, E. Dolan, M. Keane, N. Daly, M. McElroy, C. Hanley, F. Gohery, R. Daly, A. Greally, M. Meehan. Shamrocks: G. O’Sullivan, S. Bradley, D. Ryan, S. Kelly, K. Burke, C. Moran, S. Boyle, M. Keogh, R. Biernat, D. Cunningham, S. Lynch, A. Bryant, A. Morrissey.
Saturday, September 5, 2009
NACB Finals - Saturday
Both Wexford and Tipp made it to Sunday's senior hurling final. Wexford had a rather easier time of it against Harry Boland's from Chicago, while Tipp edged out San Francisco's Na Fianna with a pointed free,which proved to be the last puck of the game (see report).
Aiden McAnespies juniors made it to the final, beating Charlotte James Connolly's in the semi-final. After a close first half, the local side pulled away in the second. McAnespies will have to beat a very strong looking Chicago Wolfe Tones to capture the junior football championship.
There would be no local participation in the Intermediate Football Final as the Connemara Gaels went down to a heavy defeat at the hands of Young Ireland's from Philadelphia. The Gaels fielded a severely depleted side that featured a half dozen juniors, and ended up on the wrong end of a 2-12 to 1-6 scoreline.
Armagh-Notre Dame were pipped by a very good Sons of Boru team from San Francisco by a score of 3-7 to 3-8. The San Francisco side looked like they were cruising, with less than 10 minutes to go led by eight points. Darren Gilsenan and Domininc Magill pointed for the local side, while Darren Maguire popped up to score a goal. There was now three points in it and the Brighton lads were pushing hard for the equlaizing score. The westerners then scored what proved to be the winning point as Armagh-Notre Dame netted on the final whistle.
Michael Devanney contests a high ball for the Gaels.
Brian Boylan and Armagh-Notre Dame just missed on a place in the Intermediate football final by the narrowest of margins.
Senior Hurling Semi-Final: Tipperary (Boston) v Na Fianna (San Fran)
Tipperary and Na Fianna played a tremendously exciting semi-final, and Tipp gained revenge for last year when they fell at the semi-final stage to the San Franciscoans. The last puck of the game from corner back, Daithi O’Mahoney decided it. Tipp won a free on their own 65 and the Islegate clubman put it over to put Tipp into an all Boston final against Wexford.
Tipp: J. Howard, M. Heffernan, D. O’Mahoney, C. Power, N. O’Grady, B. Howley, C. Dempsey, B. Lonergan, P. Howard, D. Kealy, C. Kavanagh, J. McGrath, P. McGrath. Na Fianna: M. Bargary, B. O’Hehir, M. Sheedy, G. Wheelock, J. Fox, T. Carroll, Wallace, D. Young, A. O’Sullivan, S. Byrne, M. Lawlor, B. Walsh, E. Brennan.
Friday, September 4, 2009
Blues Junior B's out, Eire Og Advance to Camogie final
The Eire Og Camogie players got a well earned win over St. Mary's Chicago. The win puts Eire Og into the final, while St. Mary's have to play San Francisco on Saturday to see who will meet the local side for the championship on Sunday. St. Mary's were leading at half time by a score of 1-6 to 2-1, and were looking good heading into the break, but Eire Og battled hard in the second half to go ahead through a Maureen Meehan goal followed by a Caroline Hanley point. Riona Daly scored a second goal, and Eire Og added another point. From Sharon O'Brien in goal, who made several invaluable saves, through Fiona Gohery, to Meehan at full forward, the entire Eire Og team put in a great effort to hold St. Mary's scoreless in the second half and go on to win. The final score was 4-3 to 1-6.
I also managed to catch a glimpse of a Junior C hurling game on the main field between Michael Cusacks from Chicago and a team from San Francisco. I was a little surprised to be informed that all of the players were American. The standard was better than one would have expected at Junior C level, regardless of where the players were from and the game was keenly contested. Late in the game the referee even had to deal with a bit of a free for all, not to be condoned, but perhaps an indication that the Americans are not taking up the game for some kind of cultural experience, they want to actually beat each other. A look at the schedule for that competition is revealing in itself, teams are coming from outside the traditional Irish strongholds. Portland Maine, Akron Ohio, Allentown Pennsylvania, Concord New Hampshire, Milwaukee Wisconson, and Denver Colorado to mention some. It seems that contrary to popular opinion, it is hurling that grabs the attention with the Americans, not the football.
Now, some may feel that in order to hone your skills at the highest possible level, you have to be admitted to some kind of hurling version of Hogwarts that, it is said, is located in the bowls of Kilkenny Castle and only accessible though a secret passage revealed to a select few of the best young Kilkenny hurlers. Also, that in there, Brian Cody plays the role of head sorceror and teaches these young apprentices how to put as fine a point on their hurling skills that the Muggles who live outside Kilkenny can never aquire. From what I saw Friday evening, the skills can be learned by anybody - granted they need to start at a young enough age - but the coaching in hurling is going on with youngsters from North East to South West. Maybe Kilkenny would be a bit much to take on at this point, but who knows, in a few years...
Monday, August 31, 2009
Boston Champions 2009
Intermediate Football: Armagh-Notre Dame
Junior A Football: Aiden McAnespies
Junior B Football: Shannon Blues
Senior Hurling: Tipperary
Junior Hurling: Fr. Tom Burke's
Ladies Senior Football: Tir na nOg
Ladies Junior Football: Tir na nOg
Sunday, August 30, 2009
Senior Football Final
Christopher’s claimed their first senior football championship on Sunday. The game was no classic, but having started off on shaky ground, Christopher’s put in a powerful second half performance, in particular, Will Kennedy in the middle of the field, who proved to be the driving force behind Christopher’s victory.
Will Kennedy outjumps Stephen Gilmartin and Philip Lydon.
The Blues had the better of things in the first half. Christopher’s seemed to be second to every 50/50 ball, and when in possession made some poor decisions or simply poor passes. The Blues on the other hand had their game plan working well. O’Callaghan was given the early ball, and though the Kerryman did not score himself, the space was opened for Alan O’Donoghue and Colm McGee. O’Donoghue got the scoring off to a start and Ian Rowland answered for Christopher’s. The Blues then shot into a five points to one lead. Stephen Gilmartin pointed twice from frees and McGee twice from play. With 5 minutes remaining in the half Christopher’s finally found their feet and after kicking two wides tallied three badly needed points before half time. Eric Hegarty pointed twice and Rowland put a free over the bar. Gilmartin put a free over for the Blues and it was a two point game at the break.
Once the second half began Christopher’s launched themselves at the Blues. Kennedy dominated in midfield and in addition to being a physical force, displayed some fine shooting skills. Rowland got Christopher’s within a point with a free, and Barry O’Driscoll leveled the scores four minutes into the new half. Kennedy launched a curler that tailed between the posts at the last minute to put Christopher’s into the lead for the first time, a lead they would hold on to. Rowland made it two points in Christopher’s favour, and the Blues seemed to be still in half time break mode. Lee McQuade got the Shannonsiders off the ground, but Christopher’s maintained their onslaught. Rowland and Kennedy put back to back scores together to put Christopher’s a goal ahead.
David O'Callaghan tries to escape the attention of Eoin Cotter and Brian Lonergan.
Christopher’s looked a little in trouble as within two minutes two of the half back line had to leave the field with injuries. Colm McGee stemmed the tide, but the Blues had no answer as Christopher’s were flying – the lengthy stoppages did not affect their concentration and focus. O’Driscoll, Kennedy, and Sean Kelly pointed three times in a row. The Blues tried to rally and generated several chances to rein in Christopher’s, but each effort went badly wide. Ian Rowland put the last score of the day over the bar for Christopher’s, and with minutes left it was get numbers behind the ball to prevent a goal. The Blues nearly netted, but Mark O’Sullivan blocked the shot. Joy for Christopher’s at the final whistle after a thoroughly deserved win.
Christopher’s: P. Kenneally, N. Ryan, E. Cotter, B. Lonergan, R. Hogan, S. McNally, D. Kenneally, W. Kennedy (0-3), I. Rowland (0-6), S. Kelly (0-1), J. Kenneally, B. O’Driscoll (0-2), E. Hegarty (0-2). Blues: D. Hawes, S. Kelly, T. Wallace, S. Sinnott, P. O’Brien, B. Maloney, P. Lydon, S. Gilmartin (0-3), L. McQuade (0-1), S. O’Mahoney, C. McGee (0-3), A. O’Donoghue (0-1), D. O’Callaghan.
By Rory O'Donnell
Senior Hurling Final
Tipperary finally overturned Wexford’s dominance of the Boston hurling scene over the last three years with a fine overall display of hurling in a game that held a controversial ending. With Tipperary ahead by two points and no time left on the clock, Wexford dropped a 65 into the square and in the schmozzle that ensued, it seemed at first as if Wexford had scored the winning goal. After consulting with the umpires, the referee restarted play with a throw-in on the 21 yard line and seconds later blew the final whistle to the delight of the Tipperary players and supporters.
James McCarthy gave Tipp a cushion with a point in the 28th minute, but Wexford pressed for the winning goal as time was almost up. Jim Howard again saved well from White, and Wexford won a 65. Another 65 followed as Howard made a second good save but Tipp could not clear the ball decisively. The third 65 dropped into a crowd of players and Wexford began to celebrate a goal. After consultation with the umpires, the referee restarted play on the 21 and within seconds sounded the final whistle. A curious end to the game, but few will argue that over the 60 minutes Tipp were deserving winners.
Wexford: G. Griffey, O. O’Shea, K. Rourke, B. Dalton, J. Walsh, D. McGill, S. White (0-5), D. Redmond, P. Breen, S. Rackard, S. Herlihey (0-1), J. Kehoe, T. Murphy (0-2). Sub: D. Kehoe (1-1). Tipp: J. Howard, M. Heffernan, D. O’Mahoney, E. Ryan, D. Young, B. Howley, C. Dempsey, C. McGrath, B. Lonergan, P. Howard (0-1), C. Kavanagh (0-3), J. McCarthy (0-8), P. McGrath (0-2).
By Rory O'Donnell
Artane Band in Canton
Sorry there is no sound, I used my digital camera and did not realize that the sound was switched off. Maybe next week I'll try and get a clip again at the North American Finals with sound switched on. You can use your imagination, I think they were playing the Bold Fenian Men.
I threw in a few photos below. The band were great, they came out a played between all four games on the main field, and at half time of each game.
Ladies Senior Football Final
Tir na nOg retained the Ladies Senior Football title with little difficulty as they overpowered a Roscommon side that battled hard but were not a match for their opponents. Tir na nOg faced little opposition all year, and as overwhelming favourites delivered the goods in emphatic fashion. In fairness to Roscommon, there was doubt as to whether the club would field a team at the start of the year, so it was a victory of sorts to be there for the final game of the season.
Roscommon parade behind the Artane Band before the game.
Roscommon opened the scoring with a Fiona Rochford free, but Tir na nOg responded with a goal and promptly went into overdrive. The Brighton side’s interpassing and running off the ball was impressive. Midfielder Claire O’Loughlin proved to be a valuable link to the forward line. The full forward line had all scored in the first 15minutes, and with Roscommon struggling to move the ball into opposition territory the writing was on the wall early on. Arlene Maguire goaled after 6 minutes, and Amanda Brosnan added a point after a lovely move. After Emma Conlon pointed from midfield, goal number two came from Calire Hehir after a breakaway move. The scores continued to flow and on the stroke of half time the third major was put away by Maguire. Niamh Daly,Aisling O’Gorman, and Niamh O’Neill played well on the half back line for the Brighton ladies. At the half the Tir na nOg lead was inassailable.
Aisling O'Gorman comes out of defence with the ball for Tir na nOg.
With Roscommon trailing heavily at the break the second half was a formality of playing out the time. A consolation goal from Rochford came in the second half, and Aoife Waters, Liz McVeigh and Nicola Sweeney battled to the end for Roscommon, while Tir na nOg advance to the North American Finals in search of their first County Championship.
Roscommon: B. Kelly, A. McLoughlin, J. O’Connell, D. Murphy, A. Kerr, A. Waters, L. McVeigh, B. Hannon, E. McGirr, D. Fitzsimons, F. Rochford, N. Sweeney, R. Finnegan, M. Toner, L. Ott. Tir na nOg: F. Gohery, L. Gilmore, M. Moloney, A. Kelly, N. O’Neill, A. O’Gorman, N. Daly, E. Conlon, C. O;Loughlin, E. Conlon, C. O’Loughlin, L. Breathnach, C. Hehir, M. Keane, C. Treanor, A. Brosnan, A. McGuire.
By Rory O'Donell
Junior A Football Final
Donegal held a slight advantage at the end of a scrappy first half. The previous day’s rain had made the surface a little greasy, but the field looked in good condition considering. The sides traded scores to open the half, and the game began to take shape. Defences were on top as efforts from both sides at creating something fell short, and when shooting opportunities presented themselves, the shot was usually wayward. Jonathan Byrne and David Bell each pointed well to put Donegal two points to the good. McAnespies got back into the game and added to their tally through Kieran Leonard. David Bell canceled out the score , and each player did likewise before the end of the half. Donegal led by two points, 0-5 to 0-3 at the half.
Donegal: C. Murphy, P. McNulty, R. Porter, F. Grenaghan, E. Doonan, C. McGee, J. Byrne (0-1), T. Caldwell (0-1), J. Deery, E. McCarney, P. Boyce (1-1), D. Bell (0-4), C. Rush. Macs: N. Duffy, N. Clancy, C. Traynor, G. Hennessey, P. McCusker (0-1), C. O’Hanlon, S. Lynn (1-0), C. Clarke (1-0), P. Nugent, M. Allen, S. McGettigan, K. Leonard (0-4), E. McCusker. E. McKenna (0-2).
Tuesday, August 25, 2009
Boston Finals Schedule and Previews - Changed Due to Weather
2:30 Junior Hurling: Fr. Tom Burke's v Tipperary
4:00 Junior B Football: Galway v Shannon Blues
5:30 Intermediate Football: Connemara Gaels v Armagh-Notre Dame
Field B - 2:30 Ladies Junior Football: Tir na nOg v Boston Shamrocks
The Saturday finals were rescheduled due to Hurricane Danny and a day of heavy rain forecast. With 4 finals on Sunday, and the North Americans due the following weekend, the Junior Hurling and Junior B football games were played Friday night, August 28. The Ladies junior Final will be played at 11:30 Sunday and the Intermediate Football at 1:00 on Field B.
Fr. Tom's are Junior Hurling champions and Shannon Blues are Junior B Football champions for 2009.
Sunday August 30
12:00 Junior A Football: Aiden McAnespies v Donegal
1:30 Ladies Senior Football: Roscommon v Tir na nOg
3:00 Senior Hurling: Tipperary v Wexford
4:30 Senior Football: Christopher's v Shannon Blues
Entertainment between all the games will be provided by the Artane Band who are touring from Ireland. This should be a treat. Anybody who has attended a big game at Croke Park will attest that the band are an integral part of the unique atmosphere.
Senior Football: Christopher's v Shannon Blues
An exciting game is in store as two teams who put it all on the line meet in the senior football final. Christopher's, a club formed in 1988 in memory of Kildare native, Christopher Sweeney, who died in a car accident in West Roxbury, are in their first ever senior football final. Shannon Blues last made the final the year that Canton opened for business, 1999, and represented Boston in the North American Finals that year.
Defence - Even. Each side has a solid back line, though the Blues have been risking it a little by playing the injured Declan Hawes in goal. It has not hurt them so far, but lacking an agile goalkeeper is putting a lot of faith in the men playing in front of him. Each team plays it tight at the back, and in both semi-finals room was at a premium for their opponents as the backs defended in numbers.
Midfield - Edge Blues. Stephen Gilmartin gives the Blues and edge in the middle of the field. Gilmartin can score, as he showed in the semi-final, and covers plenty of ground in support of the forwards and back line. Christopher's have two good fielders in Dan Kenneally and Will Kennedy, but in the overall ebb and flow of the game I think that Gilmartin and Philip Lydon have a slight advantage.
Forwards - Edge Christopher's: Christopher's Sean Kelly is the key to the forward line, and he is not short on colleagues who can put the ball over the bar. Barry O'Driscoll, Eric Hegarty, and Ian Rowland can each score from any angle and have to be marked tight opening the space for Kelly, while Gerry Kenneally proves to be a valuable link to the back line. The Blues forward line contains dangermen David O'Callaghan and Colm McGee, while Stephen O'Mahoney and Alan O'Donoghue have shown flashes of what they can do, they will need to bring their A game Sunday if the Blues front men are to match their counterparts.
Bench - Even: Each side has experienced players to bring in. The Blues can call on the wily Ken Kileen to settle matters down around the middle of the field, while Christopher's have Mark O'Sullivan to put on the edge of the square. O' Sullivan is brought in to score goals, and the former Cork county player has done just that when introduced.
My Prediction: Christopher's to edge it.
Senior Hurling: Tipperary v Wexford
Wexford are going for four in a row of senior hurling championships while Tipp are trying to bridge that gap, their last senior honours being the 2005 North American Championship. The teams took a game off each other this year and Wexford do not hold the aura of invincibility of previous teams.
Defence - Edge Tipp: The Tipp back line is anchored by center back David Young. The Toomevara clubman is a towering presence and can dominate that area of the field. Flanked by Eoin Ryan and Brian Howley, the performance Tipp half back line could prove critical in the final outcome. Lavey native and longtime Wexford clubman, Dominic McGill, has been a major contributor to the cause of the Brighton club since it's formation. McGill is a key player on the 40 for Wexford, and along with John Walsh and Brian Dalton will have their work cut out on Sunday.
Midfield - Edge Wexford: Corkman Stephen White gives the edge to Wexford in the midfield battle. A prolific scorer, White can score from the dead ball or play, and has the ability to carry the ball and open up the opposing defence. Tipp will need to figure out a way to nullify the influence of White.
Forwards - Edge Tipp: Ryan O'Dwyer was absent from the Wexford lineup in the semi-final due to injury, and if unfit to play in the final will be a big loss to Wexford. Tipp will still have to contain with Tony Murphy and Sean Herlihy, amongst others, who will need to step up. James McCarthy is a huge asset in Tipp's forward line, and along with Shane Menton and Pat Howard can clock up the scores very quickly.
Bench - Edge Tipp: Tipp seem to have a little more depth on the line if the game needs the introduction of fresh legs or experience.
My Prediction: Tipp by no more than a score.
Intermediate Football Semi-final: Connemara Gaels v Kerry
The Connemara Gaels extended their season with an emphatic win over Kerry in the intermediate semi-final. The Gaels were helped by the sending off of Phillip Corrigan mid way through the second half. At that stage the westerners led by two goals, and in the latter stages of the game netted a glut of goals to ensure a place in the intermediate final, when they will face a resurgent Armagh-Notre Dame.
Colin Harkin looks like he got the better of Phillip Corrigan....
The Gaels got off to a flying start with two goals in the space of a minute. Mark Dougan was fouled in the box and converted the penalty himself. Dougan scored the second as the kickout was sent straight back in, and Gaels found themselves in an early six point lead. Kerry settled down and made inroads as the half wore on. Kerry notched up a goal and five points without reply from the Gaels until late in the half. Robbie Croft and Rory O’Neill were the marksmen for Kerry. After Croft converted three points and O’Neill one to bring Kerry within two, O’Neill made a mazy run through the defence and planted the ball into the roof of the net. O’Neill followed with a point and Kerry led by two. Not that Kerry dominated the play by any means, the Gaels were through on goal three times and each time came away scoreless, kicking two wides and a save from Brian Kelly kept the Connemara men at bay. Taking the points would have been the better option in hindsight. Michael Magill and Dougan each pointed before the half time whistle to level matters.
...while Thomas Dennehy looks like he did against Aiden Flanagan.
The second half remained tight for the first 10 minutes, however, Kerry played the latter part of the half with a man down. Phillip Corrigan was shown a red card for striking off the ball. The Gaels isloated Dougan on the 14 and the ball played in paid dividends as Kerry were forced to try and hold the Antrim man, but with wide open space around him Dougan made the most of his opportunities. It was Kerry who had the early advantage, a John Cuddy goal put the kingdom two points to the good, but 12 minutes in Dougan got the Gaels back into the lead. The corner forward stole behind his marker and blasted home. Dougan followed the goal with a fine point 2 minutes later, and from the kickout Michael Magill put away the Gaels fourth goal to put the Gaels six points ahead. A penalty converted by Robbie Croft gave Kerry brief hope, but Magill and Dougan made sure of the result with a goal each in the final 5 minutes. An intriguing final awaits next Saturday.
Gaels: P. O’Malley, K. Owens, C. Flanagan, C. Arkinson, P. McNicholas, C. Harkin, A. Flanagan, T. McDonagh, J. Moore, J. O’Brien (0-1), M. Magill (2-1), M. Dougan (4-4). Kerry: B. Kelly, C. Moore, A. Fenton, M. Godley, F. O’Sullivan, D. Bowe, T. Dennehy, P. Corrigan, R. Croft (1-3), J. Molloy, S. Kiley (0-1), R. O’Neill (1-2), J. Cuddy (1-0).
By Rory O'Donnell
The Connemara Gaels would like to extend their condolences to Kieran Cox, and his family, who lost his sister Cathy in a car accident recently.
Monday, August 24, 2009
Junior Football Semi-Final: Aiden McAnespies v Wolfe Tones
Aiden McAnespies pulled away from the Wolfe Tones in the second half to secure a berth against rivals Donegal in the junior football final next week. The sides were all square at half time, but an early second half goal put McAnespies into the drivers seat, and a good all around display saw off their fellow South Bostonians.
The teams went in at the break all square at four points each. Nigel Regan, Kieran Leonard and Mike Allen pointed for McAnespies, while the Tones matched their opponents for the first 30 minutes. Mike Allen netted an early goal and also knocked the Tones out of their stride. Allen slotted home from close range with a well taken finish.
Ladies Senior Football Semi Final: Shamrocks v Roscommon
Roscommon put together a fine display of football in the second half to knock the Shamrocks out of the Ladies senior football championship. Roscommon have earned the reward of facing a Tir na nOg team that have looked strong all summer, but will go into the game not having played in several weeks. The Shamrocks were unable to get motoring in the forward line, while Roscommon had Fiona Rochford to thank for putting them in the drivers seat in the first half, and in the second the rest of the forwards stepped up to make a contribution.
Shamrocks: N. Hayward, B. Richards, S. Fuller, M. Morris, C. McEleaney, C. McCollough, L. Corrigan, M. Allen, A. McDonnell, S. O’Connor (0-1), C. Murphy, T. Doherty, E. Harris (0-3), R. Lowrey, B. Costello. Roscommon: B. Kelly, A. McLoughlin, J. O’Connell, D. Murphy, A. Kerr, A. Waters, L. McVeigh, B. Hannon (0-1), E. McGirr, R. Finnegan, F. Rochford (2-2), N. Sweeney, L. Ott, M. Toner (0-3), A. Regan (0-2).
Senior Hurling Semi-Final: Galway v Wexford
Wexford earned the chance to defend the Boston championship that they hold with a blistering display of scoring in the second half. Stephen White helped himself to a tally of eight points in the second period, both from frees and play. Coming off Tuesday night’s last minute playoff win over Fr. Tom’s, Galway had gotten off to a great start and at one stage led by six points. Wexford drew their opponents to within one point by half time, and took off in the second half as the defence shut down Galway’s forward line, and White and Tony Murphy leading the way on the scoresheet.
Wexford: P. Breen, O. O’Shea, K. O’Rourke, D. McGill, J. Walsh, B. Dalton (0-1), S. White (0-12), D. Redmond, T. Bonner, J. Kehoe (0-1), S. Herlihey (1-2), T. Murphy (1-1), T. Maloney. Sub: P. Ryan (0-1) Galway: P. O’Connell, A. Hogan, J. Kinsella, E. Daniels, T. Linnane, P. Buckredge, S. Kelly, G. Lyons, D. O’Dwyer, I. Creaven (1-1), J. Byrne (1-1), R. O’Connell (0-1), J. Moylan (0-4).
Senior Football Semi-Final: Shannon Blues v Donegal
The second senior football semi-final produced a game that could not have been tighter, and could have gone to either team in fairness. The game ebbed and flowed, and was level at half time. Heading into the final minutes the sides were still tied and Donegal kicked three scoreable wides, when Shannon Blues midfielder, Stephen Gilmartin, sent two shots sailing over the bar in the last two minutes of play to send the Blues into their first senior final in 10 years.
Donegal: F. Murphy, C. Healy, S. Lee, M. McGovern, S. Hannon (0-1), R. McLaughlin, D. McNulty, M. McGinty, C. Bell (0-2), K. Curran (0-1), E. Mangan (0-4), P. Roper (0-1), P. Kelly (0-2). Sub: C. Mullins (0-1). Blues: D. Hawes, S. Kelly, T. Wallace, B. Maloney, P. O’Brien, S. Sinnott, S. Gilmartin (0-6), P. Lydon (0-1), L. McQuade, S. Moloney, C. McGee, A. O’Donoghue (0-1), D. O’Callaghan (0-5). Sub: K. Kileen (0-1)
Sunday, August 23, 2009
Senior Football Semi Final: Aiden McAnespies v Christopher's
Ladies Senior Football: Roscommon 2-8 Boston Shamrocks 0-4 (Final is Roscommon v Tir na nOg)
Junior B Football: Galway 0-5 Mayo 0-4 (Final is Shannon Blues v Galway)
Men's Senior Football: Christopher's 3-10 Aiden McAnespies 1-10
Senior Hurling: Wexford 2-19 Galway 2-7 (Final is Wexford v Tipperary)
Senior Football: Shannon Blues 0-14 Donegal 0-12 (Final is Christopher's v Shannon Blues)
Reports to follow....
Saturday, August 22, 2009
Intermediate Football: Connemara Gaels 6-6 Kerry 3-6. Armagh-Notre Dame defeated Wolfe Tones.
Junior B Football: Shannon Blues defeated Aiden McAnespies.
Junior A Football: Donegal defeated Cork.
Sunday, August 16, 2009
With Galway out of it either way, since Armagh-Notre Dame defeated Mayo the night before, the outcome of this game would just determine the semi-final matches for the intermediate playoffs. Galway had nothing to play for, but put on a commendable display even though the tempo of the game was not exactly of the high octane type. After 30 minutes of play the teams were level at 2-7 each. Mark Dougan and Michael Magill netted for the Gaels, while Donal Redmond and Peter Nolan accounted for Galway’s goals.
Mark Dougan hit home with a second half penalty.
The Gaels opened up a 7 point lead in the opening stages of the second half. John O’Brien and Dougan each pointed. Dougan then won a penalty which he slotted home himself, and Colin Harkin then added a fourth goal for the Gaels, finishing a move that began with a save from Pat O’Malley. Galway fought their way back however. The tribesmen lifted their game in all areas of the field. An easy win for the Gaels would not be allowed. Kieran Lillis goaled and a minute later was through the middle of the Gaels defence again,only to be denied by a great Pat O’Malley save. O’Malley tipped the ball over for a point. Greg Rogan made it a two point game with a well taken free. Mark Dougan established some room again for the Gaels after palming home a ball played across the face of goal. Galway still kept coming at the Gaels. Three points on the trot from Pauric Howard, Nolan, and Rogan pulled Galway to within 2 points again, with 5 minutes to go. Rogan pointed again with time running out, and Galway had one last chance to equalize that sailed wide of the post.
Gaels: P. O’Malley C. Conroy, C. Flanagan, C. Arkinson, A. Flanagan, K. Owens, C. Harkin, M. Magill, S. Murray, M. Dougan, T. McDonagh, J. O’Brien, B. Joyce. Galway: B. Calvey, A. Glynn, S. Melia, J. Kehoe, R. O’Dwyer, JJ O’Neill, T. Walsh, K. Lillis, P. Cummins, P. Nolan, G. Rogan, D. Redmond, S. Gallagher.
Intermediate football semi finals are Kerry v Connemara Gaels and Wolfe Tones v Armagh-Notre Dame.
Tuesday night the Galway hurlers and Fr. Tom's meet again, with the winners to face Wexford in Sunday's semi-final.
By Rory O'Donnell
Senior Hurling: Galway v Fr. Tom Burke's - Aug 16
Fr. Tom’s forced a playoff against the same opposition next Tuesday night by beating Galway. After a first half where the sides largely matched each other on the balance of play, Tom’s powered into a 10 point lead with 15 minutes to go. Galway had no answer as John Moylan and Declan O’Dwyer were well shackled by the Tom's back line, and the game finished with Tom’s deserving winners.
Ger Henley battles for posession for Tom's.
Tom’s led by three points at the end of the first period. Galway will rue three great goal chances that fell to John Moylan. Moylan fired the first across the face of goal and wide as he was clean through after 10 minutes, and soon after drilled a penalty that he won himself a foot or two over the crossbar. Later in the half Aaron Bendon pulled off a fine save to deny Moylan for a third time, and Galway had to settle for a ’65, which ended up wide. Tom’s had the edge on their opponents otherwise. Maurice Callinan (2) and John Cuddy put Tom’s into a three point lead before Galway scored their opener. After 11 minutes Declan O’Dwyer got the tribesmen off the mark with a point from play. Tom’s were on top in the back line, as Galway’s scoring options appeared to be more limited. The sides swapped points for the rest of the half. John Byrne and Sean Kelly found the mark for Galway, while for Tom’s Trevor Kelly, Fran Keenan, and Cahir Healy pointed. At the half it was 0-5 t0 0-8 in Tom’s favour.
Greg Daniels tries to pull Galway back into the game.
Tom’s pulled away mid-way through the second half. Galway had got within 2 points, Jomar Creavin and Moylan (2) pointed three times between them, and Shane Howley and Callinan pointed for Tom’s. A close finish looked on the cards with 15 minutes left, but looks can be deceiving. Within a minute of each other Trevor Kelly and Howley had the ball in the net for Tom’s. Kelly won the ball on the 21 and turned his man to hit a one-hopper past the keeper. Less then a minute later Howley was first to a rebound off the crossbar from an Eanna Murphy shot. Cahir Healy and substitute Ger Henley each pointed to propel Tom’s into a 10 point lead. Tom’s continued to largely control proceedings Galway got the points back through Peter Buckredge and Tadhg Linnane, and a consolation goal from Moylan came at the death, but did not have the firepower to overturn the Tom’s lead. A playoff looms next Tuesday night, and on the basis of previous meetings between these teams one would have to favour Tom’s to be the ones togged out next Sunday.
Tom’s: A. Bendon, P. Callinan, S. Staunton, J. Dowling, D. Dooley, D. Moore, F. Keenan (0-1), C. Healy (0-2), M. Callinan (0-3), T. Kelly (1-3), S. Howley (1-1), J. Cuddy (0-2), E. Murphy. Sub: G. Henley (0-1). Galway: N. Roberts, A. Hogan, T. Linnane (0-1), J. Kinsella, P. Buckredge (0-1), G. Lyons, E. Daniels, S. Kelly (0-1), P. O’Connell, J. Creavin (0-1), D. O’Dwyer (0-1), J. Moylan (1-4), J. Byrne (0-1).
By Rory O'Donnell
Senior Football: Kerry v McAnespies - Aug 16
A second half bombardment from the South Boston side ensured that McAnespies avoid a playoff and make it into the senior championship playoffs next weekend. Kerry had their opponents on the ropes by the time the first half had ended. Trailing by two points and with Kerry looking like they were well able for the challenge, McAnespies looked like they were in trouble. The northerners came roaring back in the second half, and four goals put the Kerry challenge to rest.
Macs: D. Wright, S. Magill, C. Moore, M. McGovern, K. Hudson, F. McPhillips, N. Donaghy, N. McAdam (1-2), C. Donnelly (0-2), C. McCrory (1-1), G. Clark, D. McCrudden (0-2), J. Kelly (2-1). Kerry: B. Kelly,R. Dwyer, A. Fenton, M. Godley (0-1), F. O’Sullivan, C. O’Sullivan (0-1), T. Dennehy (0-1), P. Corrigan G. O’Keefe, S. Kiley, R. Croft (0-3), R. O’Neill, G. Molloy. Sub: D. Bowe (0-1).
Junior A Football: Cork v Donegal - Aug 16
Cork and Donegal are both playoff bound in the Junior A championship, but on the basis of this display Donegal look far the more likely contenders for the title. Donegal outplayed Cork for most of the game. Once David Bell netted in the first quarter the outcome of the game looked inevitable as Cork struggled to string together more than two or three passes. Eddie O’Driscoll did well in the forward line for Cork, but the back line struggled to weather almost constant pressure from Donegal.
Jonathan Byrne and Mike Moynihan challenge for the ball.
The sides matched each other in the points column in the early going, but after 15 minutes Donegal’s superiority in possession was translated to the scoreboard. David Bell netted and established some daylight between the teams. Donegal continued to enjoy the lions share of possession, however, did not make it count on the scoreboard. Had Donegal’s shooting been more accurate, there would have been far more between the teams. Cork did themselves no favours and were far too careless when coming out of defence and lost possession frequently as a result. John Deery and Bell added points before half time to make it a 1-5 to 0-2 Donegal lead at the break.
David Sheehan shoots as Cork try to make their way back into the game.
Donegal made sure of the victory before the second half was 15 minutes old. Bell and Eddie O’Driscoll traded points before the Buncrana man netted his second goal, and Deery put a second away to put Donegal in a commanding 14 point lead. Eddie O’Driscoll pulled back a consolation goal for Cork with 10 minutes to go, but the rebels never looked like having a chance of getting anything out of the game. Donegal brought on several subs for the last few minutes and Brian Boyce capped of a good overall Donegal display with the last point of the game.
Cork: J. O’Toole, J. Regan, J. Whyte, J. Crowley, J. Corry, M. McCarthy, J. Curtin, J. Gaffney, D. Sheehan, M. Moynihan, M. Cahilane, B. O’Loughlin, E. O’Driscoll. Donegal: C. Murphy, S. Doherty, P. McNulty, P. O’Connor, E. Doonan, K. McGee, J. Burns, T. Caldwell, F. Grenaghan, E. McCarney, J. Deery, D. Bell, C. Rush.
By Rory O'Donnell