Monday, August 31, 2009

Boston Champions 2009

Senior Football: Christopher's
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 0-14 Shannon Blues 0-8

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

Wexford 1-9 Tipperary 0-14

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.

Tipp's Eoin Ryan fights off the challenge of Sean Herlihey.
Tipperary were slightly ahead at the end of the first half thanks to some well taken scores. After Wexford had the better of the early exchanges, Stephen White got started with three points from frees, to one score from James McCarthy for Tipp. Tipp settled into the game and proceeded to pick off the scores. Tipp were in the ascendancy for most of the remainder of the half as Wexford found it hard to release themselves from the shackles of their opposite numbers. Tipp’s back line did a great job marshalling the Wexford threat, and previously unheralded forwards stepped up and produced. Conor Kavanagh sprang to life at wing forward and accounted for two great scores for Tipp. James McCarthy and Paul McGrath also accounted for five points between them. Ger Griffey was solid between the posts for Wexford as he found himself under plenty of pressure balls dropping under the crossbar, and Griffey made some great stops throughout the game to keep his side fromfalling too far out of touch. Stephen White accounted for Wexford’s only point from play in the first half, and Tony Murphy two from frees. Tipp led by two points at the break, eight points to six.

Owen O'Shea and Dominic McGill make sure James McCarthy given no quarter.
Tipp stretched their lead early in the second half with two James McCarthy points and a third from Conor Kavanagh. Wexford saw fit to throw caution to the wind and introduced the injured Ryan O’Dwyer into the fray. O’Dwyer made a difference, even in his less then one hundred percent state of being. O’ Dwyer set up White for Wexford’s first point of the second half, and Sean Herlihey added another, but Tipp quickly canceled out the scores with two points from McCarthy. Wexford’s corner backs’ Owen O’Shea and Kieran O’Rourke did well in helping keep Tipp for netting what would be a decisive goal. With 10 minutes to go Wexford got what they needed from substitute Dylan Kehoe. Tony Murphy found some rare space inside the Tipp 14 yard line, and room to shoot, and James Howard saved well but Kehoe was alert to the rebound and the goal brought Wexford back to within 2 points and plenty of time left. Kehoe followed up with a point and almost leveled the scores but the shot flew sailed just wide.

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

Roscommon 1-3 Tir na nOg 3-16

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

Junior Football Final

Donegal 1-7 McAnespies 2-7

Shane Lynn tries to stop Donegal's Thomas Caldwell.
McAnespies regained the Junior A football championship title in a scrappy affair that could have gone either way. After a tight first half, a goal each from Shane Lynn and Colin Clarke mid-way though the second provided McAnespies with a lead that Donegal could not overturn. Donegal seemed to be playing the slightly better football, but once McAnespies took the lead, the northerners found their groove and made sure there would be no comeback for Donegal.

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.

Kieran Leonard bursts through as Paul Boyce moves to intercept.
The second half started as the first did, the sides traded scores. Paul Boyce made the most of a goalmouth scramble to force the ball over the bar, and Leonard answered for McAnespies with a well worked point from the kickout. Both sides continued to give the ball away and were error prone when in possession. McAnespies hit Donegal with a double blow mid way through the half as the northerners finally found their stride. The first goal came from Shane Lynn. Lynn got on the end of rebound off the post and finished from close range. Eugene McKenna added a point and McAnespies began to look like they had found their groove. The second goal was a well worked score, Peadar Nugent and McKenna found each other and then Nugent passed to the incoming Colin Clarke whose finish was perfectly placed into the bottom right hand corner. McAnespies now led by five points. Donegal hit back shortly afterwards with a fine goal of their own. Paul Boyce finished high to the near corner, and with less then 10 minutes to go it was game on again. Paddy McCusker and Thomas Caldwell traded points and heading into the final sequence McAnespies held a dangerous two point lead. Donegal pressed forward in search of the score that would save the game for them, but McAnespies defenders shut the door. Eugene McKenna, who came back after a broken jaw earlier in the year, put a sideline over the bar for the final score of the game, and McAnespies regain the junior football title.

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).

By Rory O'Donnell

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Boston Finals Schedule and Previews - Changed Due to Weather

Saturday August 29

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

Connemara Gaels 6-6 Kerry 3-6

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

Wolfe Tones 0-11 McAnespies 1-14

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.

Brendan Murray tangles with Colin Clarke as Alo McGeough looks on.
Peadar Nugent added two points to the lead within the same minute, and less than 5 minutes into the second half the Tones found themselves 5 points in arrears. Marty McGeough and Mick Sammon each pointed from frees for the Wolfe Tones, but these were quickly erased by scores from Stephen McGettigan and Nugent. With 10 minutes remaining the Tones needed a goal, but Niall Duffy saved well and some valiant defending from Daithi O’Mahoney kept the Tones from coming back. Nigel Regan pointed twice and Leonard once as the Tones crept farther forward and left gaps at the back. Mick Sammon and McGeough picked off a point each from frees with 5minutes remaining, but with five points between the teams a goal was required. Allen made sure that even that would not be enough with two well taken points in the last minute as the Wolfe Tones find themselves playing second fiddle to their local rivals once again.

Mike O'Brien can only look on as Mike Allen fires over a point for McAnespies.
Tones: W. O’Dowd, B. Fagan, A. Skeehan, M. O’Brien, K. Gorham, J. Foley, B. Murray, A. McGeough, M. McGeough, M. Sammon, D. Munnelly, S. O’Brien, S. Kelly. Macs: N. Duffy, D. O’Mahoney, N. Clancy, P. McCusker, C. Dempsey, D. Young, S. Lynn, C. Clarke, M. Allen, S. McGettigan, P. Nugent, K. Leonard, N. Regan.
By Rory O'Donnell

Ladies Senior Football Semi Final: Shamrocks v Roscommon

Boston Shamrocks 0-4 Roscommon 2-8

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.

Roscommon's Aoife Waters and Ciara Murphy contest posession.

Playing at center forward, Fiona Rochford proved to be invaluable for Roscommon, netting two goals in the first half. The first came in the opening sequence of play, Rochford beat the keeper from close range as Roscommon opened up the Shamrocks defence. The Shamrocks answered with three points as they settled into the game. Shauna O’Connor put the opening point over the bar, and Emma Harris pointed twice from frees. Roscommon dominated the latter stages of the half and outscored their opponents by a goal and two points. Rochford again was the key to Roscommon’s success. After Maeve Toner put Roscommon a point to the good, Rochford goaled a second time. Emma Harris pulled a point back for the Shamrocks, but two points from Rochford before half time put Roscommon into a 2-3 to 0-4 lead. Rochford could have had a hat trick as on two occasions she came close to netting a third. Nicole Hayward tipped one shot onto the crossbar and the second whistled past the outside of the post.

Maeve Toner tries to put a stop to Ann Marie McDonnell.
In the opening stages of the second half each side vied for the advantage. The backs were in the ascendancy as the ball traveled up and down the field, but did not make it between the posts at either end for 21 minutes. Fifteen year old Aisling Kerr and Aoife Waters did well in the Roscommon half back line while Cara McCollough held the line well for the Shamrocks. It was Roscommon who got it together for the final 10 minutes. Maeve Toner pointed in the 21st minute for Roscommon, and the score of the game came 4 minutes later. Aoife McLoughlin won the ball in the corner back position for Roscommon and after seven or eight handpasses, corner forward, Aisling Regan, fired the ball over the bar. Roscommon now led by seven points. Barbara Hannon, Regan and Toner each pointed before all was said and done. Nicole Hayward saved a penalty in the dying minutes, but by that stage the result was not in doubt. Roscommon, whose participation at the beginning of the year was in doubt, now find themselves in another final, and a formidable foe awaits in Tir na nOg.

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).

By Rory O'Donnell

Senior Hurling Semi-Final: Galway v Wexford

Wexford 2-19 Galway 2-7

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.

Greg Lyons is pursued by Stephen White as he bears down on goal.
Imor Creaven opened Galway’s account with a goal in the third minute. White and John Moylan traded points, and Wexford put two points together from Sean Herlihey and White. John Byrne netted a second goal for Galway with Moylan the provider. With the Galway midfielders, Sean Kelly and Greg Lyons, doing well, the tribesmen stretched the lead to six points. Richie O’Connell got on the scoresheet, and Creaven and Moylan added a point each. Wexford, however, showed that were just getting warmed up having had a long layoff since their previous game. Sean Herlihey made a run from wing forward and fired the ball into the back of the net to cut Galway’s lead in half. Brian Dalton and White then each pointed to reduce the Galway lead to a point heading into the second half.
John Byrne moves in to challenge Brian Dalton.
Wexford opened the second half with six points to none for Galway. White accounted for 5 of them, making Galway pay for indiscretions no matter how far away from goal. Tony Murphy accounted for the sixth. Galway’s first scoring chance came in the 10th minute in the form of a 21 yard free that Moylan chose to hit low for goal, and the shot was saved. John Byrne pointed in the 11th minute, a badly needed score for Galway, and Moylan brought Galway within four points soon afterwards. With Galway struggling to get themselves back into contention Wexford eased away, scoring a goal and six points in the final 15 minutes, to a single point for Galway. The Wexford defence held dangerman Moylan, while White motored in the middle of the field and Tony Murphy caused havoc when the ball came within his reach. Murphy accounted for the goal, selling a lovely dummy to shoot into the empty net. Wexford and Tipperary again in next week’s final, and with the sides taking one game each during the season it is all to play for.

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).

By Rory O'Donnell

Senior Football Semi-Final: Shannon Blues v Donegal

Donegal 0-12 Shannon Blues 0-14

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.

Christy Bell searches for a colleague to play the ball in to.
The Blues got off to a lightening start. David O’Callaghan was making the most of the extra space afforded to corner forwards on the big field with the Blues targeting his corner with early balls. O’Callaghan put two points over the bar, and drew the foul for a third. Donegal saw fit to switch Cahir Healy to quieten the Tralee marksman. O’Callaghan was a little quieter, but still managed another point before half time, and his fourth in the second half – two points is not a bad return from probably the best corner back in Boston this year. Stephen Gilmartin put two frees over the bar and the Blues led by four points before Donegal got off the ground. Once Paddy Kelly opened the northerners account in the ninth minute, Donegal began to click and enjoy a spell on top. Kelly worked hard in the corner and was the prime target up front for Donegal, winning a lot of possession. Fellow Kerry native, Eddie Mangan, playing at wing forward converted twice, one free,to bring Donegal within two points. O’Callaghan and Philip Lydon pointed for the Blues and Christy Bell and Paul Roper for Donegal as there was nothing between the teams on the balance of play at this point. With the first half winding down and the Blues leading by two, Mangan pointed from a free and then from play to make it 0-7 to 0-7 at the break.

Kevin Curran gets to this break between Donal McNulty and Philip Lydon.
Donegal came out fired up in the second half. From the throw in center back Shay Hannon caught the Blues rearguard off balance and came unopposed down the middle to fire Donegal into the lead. Christy Bell added a point, and substitute Cormac Mullins found himself through on two occasions and blazed wide. Donegal appeared to have the edge in terms of possession. The Blues mustered a point from Alan O’Donoghue, but Kelly restored the 2 point advantage for Donegal with seven minutes of the second half played. Gilmartin put a free over the bar, and Kevin Curran again kept Donegal two ahead with a nice curling effort. After O’Callaghan matched Curran’s score for style with 15 minutes to go the Blues began to push a little harder and win more of the midfield breaks. Lee McQuade did not make the scoresheet but proved to be an important cog in the forward line, while Gilmartin and Lydon began to get the advantage over their opposite numbers in the middle of the park. Ken Kileen was introduced to bring some experience onto the field down the stretch. After the Blues kicked two bad wides Kileen drew the sides level with 10 minutes left. After another bad Blues wide, Gilmartin put the Blues ahead with 8 minutes to go, but Mullins brought the sides level again. With time running out Donegal made a final push and generated some chances that sailed wide – extra time looked a clear possibility. However, Gilmartin found himself with room 30 yards out, took a look and his shot went high and true and the Blues led by a point. On the 30th minute Gilmartin found himself in a similar position and scored an almost identical point to the celebrations of a long hungry Shannon Blues team and their supporters. With Christopher’s in the final a new name will be one the cup next Sunday. Will it be the Blues bridging a 10 year gap or Christopher’s winning their first senior football championship? We’ll find out in a weeks time.

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)
By Rory O'Donnell

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Senior Football Semi Final: Aiden McAnespies v Christopher's

Aiden McAnespies 1-10 Christopher’s 3-10

Aiden McAnespies reign at the top of Boston and North American football was brought to an end at the hands of Christopher’s. Christopher’s, a side with three American born players in the starting lineup, found themselves in the unfamiliar position of the senior football semi-final and put on a blistering display of early passing and shooting in the first half. Two crucial goals in the second half from substitute Mark O’Sullivan secured the win as McAnespies were making a brave push to come back from behind down a man.

Rory Maguire shoots, and Ryan Graber made the save.
Christopher’s were sitting pretty at the end of the first half thanks to some well taken scores by the forwards, and a back line that covered well for each other. Sean Kelly curled a lovely point over the bar in the first minute, a sign of things to come from Christopher’s. McAnespies settled into the game and Colm McCrory finished a well worked move to point, and Colm Donnelly did likewise soon afterwards. In the early going McAnespies were one step ahead. Once Christopher’s got into the swing of things the forwards put some nice moves together and took some lovely points. Ian Rowland leveled things with a pointed free after Barry O’Driscoll was fouled, and O’Driscoll himself followed with a fine score. Christopher’s threatened the McAnespies goal on a couple of occasions, Sean Kelly’s shot was well saved by David Wright, and shortly afterwards it was Kelly again who was blocked by the diving Fergal McPhillips as he shot low from close range. Kelly was a powerful force and McAnespies had little answer for the strident running of the Crossmolina man. Rowland put two more frees over the bar as Christopher’s enjoyed the advantage in the balance of play. McCrory and Donnelly answered for McAnespies with a point each, but the Tyrone side lost Neil Donaghy to a red card for striking his marker as the kickout was being taken. A goal came from Barry O’Driscoll as he finished off a good move low into the far corner as Christopher’s motored. Hegarty and Rowland put two fantastic points over from play, and Collie Moore and Donnelly pulled a couple of points back for McAnespies. Donnelly and Sean Kelly traded points to leave Christopher’s five points to the good at half time.

Neil McAdam and Will Kennedy contest a kickout.
McAnespies came out strong in the second half, clearly with the attitude that it was all or nothing. The northerners tallied the first four points. Neil McAdam put two dead balls over the bar and was followed by a Collie Moore point. Moore stole forward from his corner back berth where he was putting in a Trojan effort in trying to keep Barry O’Driscoll shackled. Colm McCrory put a fourth unanswered point over the bar to bring McAnespies within a point with 17 minutes of the half expired. Christopher’s looked like they had lost their way, and that the introduction of Mark O’Sullivan at corner forward at the break had disrupted the forward line. O’Sullivan however proved invaluable when he finally got involved in the play. McAnespies failed to properly clear a ball as tired legs eventually took their toll, and O’Driscoll found an unmarked O’Sullivan standing on the edge of the square. O’ Sullivan coolly worked the space open and side footed the ball home. Ian Rowland followed with a point from a 45, but McAnespies still had life. Colm Donnelly netted to keep hope alive for the South Boston lads but O’Driscoll and O’Sullivan combined again to score a second goal – O’Sullivan again unmarked in front of goal as the spaces opened up in the McAnespies back line. O’Driscoll pointed to cap a fine overall display from Christopher’s.

Macs: D. Wright, C. Moore (0-2), K. Hudson, A. Nestor, M. McGovern, F. McPhillips, N. Donaghy, N. McAdam (0-2), C. Donnelly (1-3), R. Maguire, J. Kelly, C. McCrory (0-3), D. McCrudden. Christopher’s: R. Graber, N. Ryan, E. Cotter, B. Lonergan, P. Hogan, S. McNally, D. Kenneally, W. Kennedy, I. Rowland (0-5), S. Kelly (0-2), G. Kenneally, B. O’Driscoll (1-2), E. Hegarty (0-1). Sub: M. O’Sullivan (2-0)

By Rory O'Donnell

Sunday Semi-Finals

Junior A Football: McAnespies 1-14 Wolfe Tones 0-11 (Final is McAnespies v Donegal)
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

Saturday Semi-FInals

Junior Hurling: Wexford 3-7 Fr Tom's 3-13.
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

Playoff update

Connemara Gaels 5-9 Galway 3-14

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.

Donegal did not have much to do to win their final game of the regular season as Cork fielded a token side to fulfill the fixture. With McAnespies winning over Kerry, Donegal and Christopher's finished on 14 points and McAnespies and Shannon Blues finished with 12 points each. The pairings for the senior semi-finals are Christopher's and McAnespies at 2:30 and Donegal v Shannon Blues at 5:00 - both next Sunday.

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 Burke’s 2-13 Galway 1-10

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

McAnespies 4-9 Kerry 1-8

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.

Brian Kelly saved a Colm McCrory penalty late in the first half.
Kerry led by two points at the end of the first period thanks to a good display of football. The sides traded wides to open the game, and McAnespies almost had the ball in the net but Jamie Kelly, who only had the keeper to beat, snatched at his shot and the ball trundled wide. McAnespies enjoyed most of the possession and Kerry did not mount anything resembling an attack for the first 10 minutes of the game. It was Kerry though, who opened a two point lead with their first two attacks. Robbie Croft pointed a free and Conor O’Sullivan stole forward from wing back to score a well earned point. Kerry maintained the distance for the remainder of the half as they raised the tempo. Frankie Sullivan worked hard in the half back line, while Thomas Dennehy and Phillip Corrigan were on top in the midfield battle. Mike Godly, Croft, and Dennehy pointed for the green and gold. McAnespies pointed through Jamie Kelly, Colm Donnelly, and Dermot McCrudden. McAnespies had a chance towards the end of the half to move into the lead. Colm McCrory was fouled in the penalty area, however, Brian Kelly dived to his left and put the ball around the post for a ’45. Dermot McCrudden mopped up to point just before the half time whistle to make it 0-6 to 0-4 in Kerry’s favour at the break.

Frankie Sullivan battled hard for Kerry in the first half.
The second half was not so close. McAnespies made their intentions clear with an early goal to take the lead. After Colm McCrory reduced the deficit to a point, Neil McAdam broke forward from midfield, and after a give and go with McCrudden, tipped the return pass over the advancing keeper’s head and into the net Kerry replied with a point from a Robbie Croft free, but that was it from the Kingdom from a scoring perspective until the almost the end of the game. McAnespies were now winning the kickouts, and the back line stepped up to force Kerry into coughing up the ball on several occasions.
Neil McAdam led the charge for McAnespies in the second half.
Alan Nestor was introduced to the fray, and McAnespies lifted their game. McAdam added another point, and McAnespies second goal followed. This time Kelly made no mistake as his low, hard shot ended up in the back of the net. Colm Donnelly and McAdam extended the lead to seven points with a couple of well taken scores. Hopes of a Kerry comeback were put to rest after McCrory stole behind his marker and side stepped the keeper to fire home McAnespies’ third goal. Kelly made it four with 10 minutes to go. After Donaghy pointed substitute Donal Bowe scored a consolation goal for Kerry.

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).
By Rory O'Donnell

Junior A Football: Cork v Donegal - Aug 16

Cork 1-3 Donegal 3-11

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

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Tables Aug 9

Christopher's beat the Wolfe Tones last Saturday, and came from behind to do it. Now the Tones must sit a wait to see what happens Sunday as the outcome of the Kerry v McAnespies game will determine their fate. The Tones will be hoping that Kerry can overturn McAnespies, which would mean a playoff between the teams for the fourth and final Playoff spot. Kerry really have nothing to play for as they are locked in to the intermediate semi-finals, but the prospect of beating the Boston and North American champions could be enough for them to raise their game heading into the playoffs. Either way, a toss of a coin will have to determine who plays who in the senior semis as it is likely that Donegal and Christopher's will be joint top with 14 points. Donegal just need to beat Cork who are out of it altogether. Most likely McAnespies will join the Shannon Blues to share third and fourth.

On the intermediate front we will probably have the Wolfe Tones, Kerry, the Gaels and Armagh-Notre Dame. Armagh-ND need to beat Mayo to ensure their place in the intermediate playoffs. Galway will be hoping for Mayo to make a face saving effort and then beat the Gaels themselves.
I'd be betting on a Wolfe Tones v Armagh-ND and Gaels v Kerry semi-finals pairing.
Sunday next features Galway and Tom's. A Galway win puts them into a playoff spot. Tom's need to win to force a playoff game with Galway for a semi-final place. Both teams have blown hot and cold, but if Tom's can find the resolve that they showed last Sunday Galway will be in for a difficult hour. Tom's have already beaten Galway, and Galway will need to tighten up their game in all areas in order for them to continue in the championship. Could be a good one next Sunday!
The Roscommon ladies pulled off a win last weekend and will again play the Shamrocks to see who advances to the ladies final where Tir na nOg await the winners.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Senior Hurling: Fr. Tom Burke's v Tipperary - Aug 9

Fr. Tom Burke’s 3-11 Tipperary 2-13

Tom’s had to win this game to keep their interest in the senior hurling championship, and win it they did with a fine performance full of heart and determination. In spite of having plenty of opportunities late in the game to decide that they had given it their best and it was not to be, Tom’s refused to die. Having led early, Tom’s led the lead slip and late in the second half looked dead and buried after Conor Kavanagh put the Tipp into a one goal lead with minutes left. Tom’s wanted the win badly and the bloodied Fran Keenan and substitute Ger Henley combined with a goal and a point respectively to win the game and keep Tom’s in the championship.

Darryl Dooley tries to win the ball for Tom's as things turning Tipp's way.

Tom’s came out of the blocks strong to keep their chances alive. Eanna Murphy latched on to a long clearance out of defence and in firing the ball past Jim Howard, kept his goal a game streak going. Shane Menton opened Tipp’s account with a pointed free, and the sides matched each other for scores over the following 10 minutes. Fran Keenan’s two points for Tom’s were answered with one a piece from Menton and James McCarthy. Tom’s were fired up and gave no quarter in their own territory. Donal Moore rediscovered some of his old form in the half back line, and Shane Staunton at corner back also stood out for Tom’s. With Tom’s on top, Trevor Kelly, Donal Moore, and Shane Howley each pointed and Tom’s led by five points mid way through the half. Tipp, however, began to get their act together. David Young and Eoin Ryan cut out a lot of ball played into the Tom’s forwards, and four points on the trot reduced the Tom’s lead to a point. Two came from placed balls taken by David Young, Menton and Conor Kavanagh accounted for the others. Tom’s needed a score to stem the Tipp flow, and it came from a Fran Keenan free. McCarthy answered for Tipp, but Keenan ensured that the half ended on a positive note for Tom’s with a massive free from his own 45. At the half it was Tom’s by two points, 1-7 to 0-8.

James McCarthy rises highest to win this puckout.

Tom’s opened the second half in the same manner as the first, hitting Tipp with a goal from the get go. This time it was wing forward Shane Howley who rattled the Tipp net, Howley took a well waited pass from Trevor Kelly and fired home. Fran Keenan followed with a free to put Tom’s two goals clear. Tipp are no pushovers however and the lead fizzled quickly. Tipp tallied a goal and three points in the space of ten minutes, with no answer from Tom’s. Tipp sent practically every puckout back with interest. Shane Menton pointed and Paul McGrath netted a 21 yard free. James McCarthy put two frees over, and with the sides now level all that Tom’s had worked hard for had disappeared. Fran Keenan put Tom’s back in front only to be cancelled out by a Pat Howard point. Aaron Bendon made a great stop to deny Tipp a goal and the game hung in the balance, but Tipp looked the likely winners. After McCarthy and Donal Moore traded scores, a goal came for Tipp. A dropping ball on the edge of the small square was sent into the net by Conor Kavanagh who chose to use the hurley while Paul Callinan was looking to catch – hurley beats hand every time. With a few minutes on the clock Tom’s still had a chance to come back, and they took it. Fran Keenan, who had left the field for treatment to a head injury earlier in the second half, ran 15 yards before burying the ball and the sides were level again. A draw would not do for Tom’s though. The chance to win the game opened up for substitute Ger Henley, and Henley took the point without hesitation. Tom’s ahead by a point now. Tipp still could have equalized, but some do or die defending saw Tom’s holdout until the final whistle.

Tom’s and Galway play next week, and Tom’s have to win to force a playoff, effectively a quarter final, against who else, but old rivals Galway. Hurling fans, hold on to your seats.
Tom’s: A. Bendon, S. Staunton, P. Callinan, J. Dowling, D. Dooley, D. Moore (0-2), F. Keenan (1-6), C. Healy, S. Howley (1-1), T. Kelly (0-1), M. Callnan, J. Cuddy, E. Murphy (1-0). Sub: G. Henley (0-1). Tipp: J. Howard, M. Heffernan, N. Ryan, E. Ryan, D. Young (0-2), B. Howley, M. Jordan, C. Dempsey, C. Kavanagh (1-1), P. Howard (0-1), J. McCarthy (0-5), S. Menton (0-4), P. McGrath (1-0).

By Rory O'Donnell

Senior Football: Shannon Blues v Connemara Gaels - Aug 9

Shannon Blues 1-17 Connemara Gaels 2-5

The Blues made sure that there would be no comeback for the Connemara Gaels this week with a convincing win. The Blues secured a senior championship playoff place and there is no reason to believe that they cannot go on to even better things this year given their recent performances. The Gaels fell behind early, and unlike a week ago, were unable to launch a miracle comeback as the Blues kept a tight grip on the game and did not let up until the last five or ten minutes when the game was safe and several veterans were then introduced to the fray.

The Blues set the tone early. Stephen Gilmartin was in fine form in midfield and the early traffic was all in one direction. The Blues clocked up six points in the first ten minutes, the Gaels opened their account after 12 had passed. The Blues forwards caused numerous problems for the Gaels. Lee McQuade and Colm McGee on the wings, and corner forwards David O’Callaghan and Alan O’Donoghue worked hard. All four of the aforementioned front men pointed, while Simon Sinnott sallied from the half back line to add the sixth. Colin Harkin and Aiden Flanagan put back to back scores together for the Gaels, but the westerners could not get settle into any kind of sustained form. The Blues had a virtual monopoly on possession and quickly took a hold of affiars again. O’Callaghan, McGee,and Brian Maloney put four over between them, and Cormac Arkinson came from corner back to point the third for the Gaels. At the break the Blues led by seven points.

Cormac Arkinson shoots for the Gaels.

The Gaels efforts at replicating last weeks comeback were hampered on two fronts. Some poor shooting resulted in several wasted chances. Also, the sending off of Kevin Owens for an off the ball incident did not help the Gaels cause. Ten minutes into the second period, after the Blues had added two more points, the Gaels won a penalty when Mark Dougan was pulled down in the box. Dougan’s initial shot was saved, but Colin Harkin was first to the rebound to make it a six-point game. The Gaels hopes of pulling off another comeback were quickly extinguished as within five minutes the goal was erased courtesy of three points, two from Gilmartin and one from McQuade. Michael Magill interrupted the Blues onslaught with a point, but once David O’Callaghan netted for the Blues with less than 10 minutes left that was it. John O’Brien scored a consolation goal, and the Gaels are now looking at the intermediate playoffs, while the Blues are looking to knock McAnespies off their perch.

Blues: D. Hawes, S. Kelly, T. Wallace, B. Maloney (0-1), P. O’Brien, S. Sinnott (0-1), S. Gilmartin (0-3), P. Lydon, L. McQuade (0-2), S. O’Mahoney, C. McGee (0-3), A. O’Donoghue (0-1), D. O’Callaghan (1-6). Gaels: P. O’Malley, C. Arkinson (0-2), C. Conroy, C. Flanagan, A. Flanagan (0-1), K. Owens, C. Harkin (1-1), J. Flaherty, T. McDonagh, M. Magill (0-1), J. Moore, M. Dougan, J. O’Brien (1-0).

By Rory O'Donnell

Senior Football: Galway v Armagh-Notre Dame - Aug 9

Armagh-Notre Dame 1-8 Galway 1-7

Brighton rival clubs, Armagh-Notre Dame and Galway met in a game with intermediate playoff implications and there was but a hair between the sides as the game could have gone to either side. In spite of playing second fiddle on the balance of play for the first half, the northerners went in at the break with a one point lead and went on to win the game in spite of being a man down for most of the second half and having to defend against a Galway team that threw everything at them in the final ten minutes.

Alan Glynn breaks out of defence.
The first 10 minutes were evenly contested, each side converted twice. Galway suffered a blow, however, as Brian Hanlon’s participation was cut short due to an injury, and the westerners surely missed his scoring prowess in the latter stages of the game as they launched several attacks that fell short at the final hurdle. Neil Jordan opened the scoring for the northerners with free. Hanlon brought the sides level before having to depart the fray. After Greg Rogan and Jordan traded points to make it two each, Ryan O’Dwyer scored a cheeky goal. Running through and with the keeper advancing to meet him, O’Dwyer chipped the ball over the keeper and Galway led by a goal. Rogan made it a four-point Galway lead and the tribe were humming along, while their opponents stuttered. The men in orange picked things up a tad and were soon back on level terms. Darren Gilsenan got fouled running through and Jordan popped the 14 yard free over. Then largely against the run of play the scores were leveled thanks to a Brian Boylan goal. Boylan finished a sweeping move, the best of the game to that point from the northern side, and blasted the ball into the back of the net. Boylan then put a long range free over the bar to put Armagh-Notre Dame a point ahead at the half. Galway must have regretted several missed chances as they outplayed their opponents for most of the half, and led their guard down in the few minutes before the break.

Dominic Magill is closely guarded by Shane Melia.
The second half was keenly contested as Armagh-Notre Dame sensed that the day could be theirs. Both corner backs did well and many’s a Galway attack faltered at the last line of defence. Niall Lennon and Damien Burke also led the charge out of defence on several occasions as if to send a message to their cohorts to keep up the pressure. Dominic McGill extended Armagh’s lead to two points with the opening point of the second half, and Greg Rogan answered in kind for Galway. Neil Jordan restored the lead to two, and the northern side lost Fergal McClelland, who had been introduced as a substitute, to a sending off for an off the ball incident. Leading by two points and a man down, the northerners had it all to do with 20 long minutes remaining to play.

Galway surged forward in search of a decisive goal, and Padraig Howard almost got it, but his shot from an acute angle hit the outside of the post. Jordan then extended the lead to three points with a 21-yard free, and Howard pulled it back to two with a point for Galway. Then Donal Redmond almost put Galway into the lead, but his chip towards the far corner came back off the inside of the post, much to the relief of the orange jerseys and their supporters. Exciting stuff, but that was not all. Adrian Kelly got Galway to within a point, and Darren Gilsenan restored it to two with a fine score. Kieran Lillis came through the middle to bring it back to a single point as Galway came forward in numbers with time running out. Galway had a chance to level matters with almost the final kick of the game, but Greg Rogan’s long range free drifted to the left and wide. Great celebrations for Armagh-Notre Dame as a season that seemed destined for the dumpster is now salvageable. A win against Mayo next week means an intermediate playoff spot.

Armagh-ND: C. Molloy, D. Burke, N. Lennon, F. Meehan, M. Graham, G. Gilsenan, D. Gilsenan (0-2), B. Boylan (1-1), A. Blake, S. McCorry, M. Tiffany, N. Jordan (0-4), D. Magill (0-1). Galway: B. Calvey, A. Glynn, S. Melia, JJ O’Neill, K. Lillis (0-1), R. O’Dwyer (1-0), G. Rogan (0-2), S. Gallagher, P. Howard (0-1), A. Kelly (0-1), P. Nolan, D. Redmond, B. Hanlon (0-1). Sub: J. Keogh.

By Rory O'Donnell

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Boston GAA update

Sunday August 9.

Shannon Blues book semi final spot with a 1-17 to 2-5 win over the Connemara Gaels. Christopher's beat Wolfe Tones by a score of 1-8 to 0-9 Saturday, and the Tones have to now wait and see if Kerry can beat McAnespies to force a playoff against their Southie nemisis for a senior semi-final place.

Armagh-Notre Dame beat Galway 1-8 to 1-7 in somewhat of a surprise, and look like making the intermediate playoffs. Fr. Tom's pulled off the surprise result of the weekend with a one point win over Tipperary to keep their interest alive in senior Hurling.

Also, Roscommon pulled off a win over the Shamrocks in the Ladies Senior Championship - a playoff between the two awaits to see who will meet Tir na nOg in the final at the end of this month.

Match Reports to follow....

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Tables August 2

Kerry 0-13 Galway 0-13

There was some controversy at the end of the Kerry v Galway game as Kerry had nudged themselves into a 0-13 to 0-12 lead late in the game. With Galway leading by two points, Robbie Croft put three frees from off the ground over the bar. Trailing by a point, Galway were attacking with the last possession of the game and the referee awarded a free in for what seemed to be a fair shoulder by a Kerry defender, and Greg Rogan chipped the ball over for the leveling score with the final kick of the game.

Needless to say, that ended Kerry's outside shot at a playoff since the Kingdom can only finish with 9 points and a minimun of 10 is needed to have any chance. In fact, there could be playoffs with 4 teams on 12 points if the Blues, McAnespies, and Wolfe Tones all win their final games. Donegal are the only side that would avoid a playoff for sure if they beat Cork in their final game.

In senior hurling it looks like Tipp and Wexford are the most likely finalists, but Galway and Tom's could produce a surprise. Cork are out of it with their loss to Galway.