Sunday, April 22, 2012

Pat O'Brien Cup - First Round Completed

The first round of the Pat O’Brien Cup was completed at the Irish Cultural Center with two games played in cold, wet conditions. Aidan McAnespies and Galway got the wins over the Shannon Blues and Kerry, and advance to Round 2.

Galway 2-6 Kerry 0-4

Galway had control over this one from the start. With 15 minutes gone the westerners held a 1-4 to 0-2 lead thanks to a productive effort at corner forward from Jamie Kehoe. The dual player notched a goal and two points. Eoghan Kavanagh was motoring in the middle of the field, and Peter Nolan his usual industrious self at half forward. Nolan and Walsh accounted for the balance of the Galway tally, while Kerry’s scores came from corner forwards Donnacha Fenton and Tadhg O’Ciaomhan.

John Joe O'Neill and Padraig Doyle contest possession.
It would require a major turnaround from Kerry if the Kingdom were to turn the tables in the second half. However, it did not materialize as Galway continued to apply the pressure and make a better first of the conditions. Leon Kelly added to the Galway tally, while a second goal from Kehoe put the matter to rest. A nice passing move involving Danny Reddin and Tom Walsh ended with Kehoe flicking the ball past the outcoming keeper and into the net. Nolan added a sixth point for Galway as the tribesmen advance to Round 2.

Kerry: T. Fitzgerald, K. O’Connor, G. O’Ciaomhan, R.Coyne, M. Godley, J. Dooley, P. Tanny, H. Cummings, C. McGillicuddy, J. Whelan, P. Doyle, D. Fenton, T. O’Ciaomhan. Galway: P. McCourt, G. Bannon, P. McEvoy, JJ O’Neill, JJ Doyle, S. Gallagher, E. Kavanagh, L. Kelly, D. Reddin, P. Nolan, T. Walsh, J. Kehoe, S. Bannon.

Aidan McAnespies 0-6 Shannon Blues 0-2

There was some needle in the second match of the day that boiled over just before half time with the result of both number 7s receiving their marching orders. Some niggle between the Blues James Feeney and McAnespies Gary Feeley finally came to blows as the first half was about the conclude and each player was sent to the line by referee TimmyO’Neill. The game itself was quite an entertaining affair despite the miserable conditions. Both teams played some good passing football, but McAnespies had that little extra to see them through.

Blues stalwart, Brendan Driscoll clears the ball.
The first half opened with Colm McCrory putting two over the bar as the current holders moved the ball well. The Blues responded through a Kieran Sullivan point. Macs had Niall Gallen, O’Neill, and McCrory running well, while for the Blues it was Shane Kelly, Conor Mullen, and Sean Moriarty leading the charge. Stephen Magill expertly slotted a free over just before the half and Macs led by 2 at the break. With each side reduced by a man to start the second half, McAnespies extended their lead. Neil Donaghy found room on the edge of the small square and could have gone for goal, but took the sure option. Shane Lynn, who was introduced at the break added another, and Macs kept inching ahead. The Blues almost pulled even with Sean Moriarty bearing down on goal, but Ryan McCrystal pulled off a great save to keep his sides lead intact. McCrory added a sixth point for McAnespies, and Mullen one for the Blues, but such was the tight nature of the game that four points provided McAnespies with a comfortable lead to end the game.

Blues: D. Hawes, M. Green, S. Kelly, C. Mullen, B. Driscoll, M. Keegan, P. Murray, S. Moriarty, C. Fitzgerald, J. Feeney, K. Sullivan, N. Murray, D. Kenny. Macs: R. McCrystal, M. Bogue, N. Gallen, A. McAlinden, C. Dempsey, G. Treanor, G. Feeley, G. O’Neill, C. McCrory, N. Donaghy, S. Gallen, S. Magill, E. Hamill.

By Rory O'Donnell

Pat O'Brien Cup Schedule - April 29

1:00 Armagh-Notre Dame v Christopher’s

2:00 Mayo v Cork

3:00 Kerry v Shannon Blues

The 3 winners of these games will go into the quarter finals with the 5 Round 1 winners, Donegal, Wolfe Tones, Connemara Gaels, Galway, and Aidan McAnespies.

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