The Boston Northeast Board had 7 teams representing the
division at the NACB finals in the Cleveland
suburb of North Ohlmstead. The layout and organization was a credit to
clubs who did a great job hosting the event.
It was something new for much of the attendees, telling by the fold out
chairs on the sidelines and chatting to some of the punters, it was a new thing
for them to see live games of gaelic football and hurling. Of the Boston
teams, the Wolfe Tones pulled off a win at junior A football, while the
Connemara Gaels went down in a gallant display against Ulster from San Francisco, While Tipperary and Connacht
Ladies lost out in their respective finals.
Junior A Football
Wolfe Tones 2-11 Patriots Chicago 1-8
|NACB Junior A Football Champions - Wolfe Tones|
Having got a bye straight into the final, Wolfe Tones
captured the men's junior A football trophy with a great display against the
Patriots from Chicago. Leading by a goal at half time, the Tones
made sure with a second goal in the second half and brought the NACB junior A
football championship trophy back to Boston for
the first time since Aidan McAnespies in 2009 when the finals were last held in Canton*.
With the game close in the first half, Lee Carr fired the
ball home to provide the lead to the Tones.
With Ger Molloy his usual industrious self at center forward, and Carr
motoring in the corner the scores came from Carr, Gary Leonard and Collie Carr
stepped up from center back to float one over the bar. Aodhan McEnerney, still on a high following Dublin's win over Kerry
earlier in the day put in a lot of work in the middle of the field, as did
Kilcock man Gavin Walsh. The Philly
side, made up of a lot of American Born players, though proved to be a tough
nut to crack and hung on, matching the Tones for points.
The Tones stepped it up in the second half to drive on to
the finish. Sean Kelly on the wing
created havoc for the Philly back line, and though he did not make the score
sheet the wee man from County
Down earned his
keep. Collie Carr's second goal came
with about 15 minutes left and having seen the Philly side chip a point or two
off the Tones lead it was a breath of fresh air. Further points from Carr (Collie), Carr
(Lee), and Leonard gave the Tones a nice cushion coming into the last 5
minutes. Try as they might to break the
Tones defence for a much needed goal, the Philly side could not and there will
be an extra passenger on the bus on the 14 hour journey back to Boston!
Tones: C. Hynes, K.
Gill, P. Collins, M. Farrell, C. Carr, C. Malone, G. Walsh, A. McEnerney, S.
Kelly, G. Molloy, D. Egan, G. Leonard, L. Carr.
Ladies Senior Football
Connacht Ladies 1-9 Fog City
Harps (SF) 4-15
|Connacht Ladies get ready for the big game.|
Connacht Ladies came through their first test with flying
colours. The Boston
girls were pitted against Notre Dames from Philadelphia, and after conceding an early
first half goal settled down and went on to win the game with plenty to
spare. Arlene Fox got the scoring off
and was followed by Amy ring, then came a goal and a point for the Philly
girls. Connacht Ladies then got their
act together and goals from Grainne Field, Ciara Donnelly, and Jane Ward before
half time, along with some well taken points had the Boston side in a 19 point half time
lead. The Philly side made a better fist
of things in the second half, but there was too much catching up to do. Final score was 4-17 to 3-9 and the Connacht
Ladies have a final to look forward to.
|Captain Joanne O'Connell in action in the semi-final.|
The final was a different story as there was some
controversy regarding the numbers of players.
Connacht had come prepared to play
13-a-side and played the semi-final with 13, with one player togged out on the
line. The powers that be decided that
the game should be 15-a side and the services of Ciara Burns had to be called
upon to make the 15th player. San Francisco were unwilling
to compromise and insisted on the 15 a side game. Connacht were up against it from the
beginning against a physically strong San
team managed a goal from Ciara Donnelly, and Amy Ring put several frees over
the bar, but by the time the break came the gap was 8 points. San
Francisco piled it on the second half and rattled the
net 3 more times. It was a tough end to
the season for the Connacht girls, and maybe a
lesson learned that the playing rules need clarification before teams make the
journey to the finals.
Connacht Ladies: C.
Heraty, L. Burns, S. McAleer, G. Fields, M.
Breen, J. O'Connell, A. Kerr, S. Brady, E. Byrne, A. McCloskey, A. Ring, F.
Fallon, J. Ward, C. Donnelly, C. Burns, S. Mulkerin.
Men's Senior Football
Connemara Gaels 2-9 Ulster San Fran 1-14
|Connemara Gaels Senior Footballers|
The Connemara Gaels had plenty to do to dispose of a scrappy
Young Irelands from Philadelphia
in the semi-final. At the break Philly
were ahead by 5 points after a goal from a penalty. The Gaels tried to contain the lively Philly
forwards but the outlets that were available in the Boston final were not longer there. Noel Graham accounted for the goal, which was
the first score for the Gaels. Both
points also came from the boot of the Offaly man as the Gaels struggled. The Boston
side came good in the second half however.
With 10 minutes to go the sides were on level terms. Graham, Coleman Mulkerrin, Pat McNicholas,
Kevin McGrath all got on the scoreboard.
Lee Cullen moved to the middle of the field and the Gaels fortunes
improved there. A Sean Conneeley goal
capped off a fine comeback, and the Gaels find themselves in tomorrow's final
facing a fancied Ulster side
from San Francisco. Final score, Gaels 2-14 Philly 1-12.
The final was a heartbreaker for the Gaels, though it has to
go down as one of the most exciting NACB football finals in the last few years. The Connemara
men, who fielded 9 home based players for the game, ended up on the wrong side of a two point game, though they gave it their
all. Players were moved around the field
to get the get the maximum out of the team at different stages of the
game. The Gaels ran their legs off and
almost pulled it off, but it was not to be for the Boston side in the end. Having trailed at half time by 5 points the
Gaels clawed their way back into the game and in the final minutes needed a
goal to win it, but their exhausted legs could not breach the Ulster
rearguard one more time.
The first half started with the Gaels netting early after
Robbie Kiely made a tremendus run down the middle of the field and buried the
ball. Ulster had notched a point from
star midfielder Caolan Daly. Daly proved
to be the main man for Ulster
in the middle of the field. The Tyrone
man would remind you of Dublin's
Michael Darragh McCauley the way he fielded and ran with the ball. Ulster pulled away late in the
half. With the Gaels in a 1-3 to 0-4
lead, points coming from Noel Graham, Coleman Mulkerrin, and Graham again, Ulster scored
the last 6 points on the trot. Center
forward James Austin was involved in many of the Ulster moves and they moved the
ball well. The Gaels had it all to do in
the last 30 minutes.
tallied the first score after the restart, but the Gaels lifted themselves to
the full extent of their abilities.
Tommy Sally pointed, as did Damien Doolan but then that man Daly netted
for Ulster. The score put Ulster up by 7 points. The Gaels got it back within 3 minutes, a
great move involving Kevin McGrath, Tom Sally, and a finish from Graham. Ulster's
lead was back to 3 points, and Austin added another
got a penalty with less than 10 minutes to go.
Eoghan Connolly pulled off a fantastic save to keep his side in the game
and the momentum swung to the Gaels.
Three points on the trot from McGrath (2) and Doolan reined Ulster in to a single point, but after the San Francisco side
extended their lead to 2 with minutes left the Gaels needed a goal. The tired Gaels managed to get into the
danger zone a couple of times but did not find the opening for a shot. Ulster were jubilant at the final
whistle, the Gaels totally gutted.
Gaels: E. Connolly,
L. Cullen, C. Cullen, P. McNicholas, R. Kiely, D. Doolan, R. Hyde, T. McDonagh,
S. Conneely, N. Graham, K. Owens, C. Mulkerrin, K. McGrath. Subs used:
Na Fianna (San Fran) 0-25 Tipperary 1-9
|Action from the Senior Hurling Final|
Tipperary arrived in Cleveland with a bye into the final, and without many of
their players from the Boston
final, and also without their jerseys. Tipp
had to borrow the Wexford club's jerseys for the game. As it turned out the Boston champions fell to Na Fianna by 13
points, though it must be said that Tipp hurled well at times, even though they
were 2 men down for most of the second half, and a man down for most of the
Sean Moriarty netted early in the game, but soon after wards
was shown a red card. Still 50 minutes
of the game to go. Na Fianna got some
great scores from free taker Sean Dowds, as well as Noel Kirby at center
forward. The San Francisco lead was gradually built up but
Tipp hung in there with additional points from Kevin Kelly, James Pender, and
Neil Foyle. At the break it was 1-6 to
0-13 in favour of the western club. Not
a huge lead to overturn, but with a man down the job would all the harder.
The second half saw the second sending off, this time Pat
Moriarty. Now with 2 men down it would
be nearly impossible for Tipp to pull off the win. San
Francisco kept the scoreboard ticking over, mainly
from Kirby and Dowds. Tipp did the best
they could with the 11 men and at times had the San Fran back line under
pressure. Scores came from O'Donnell who
had moved further forward, Pender and Foyle.
Into the fray came Danny Egan, Cliff Malone and Kevin Hartnett and at
that stage the result was in little doubt.
Na Fianna have won 3 in a row now, having beaten Galway,
Wexford, and now Tipp in the last 3 NACB finals.
Tipp: J. Logue, D. Buckley, R. O'Donnell, S. McGarr, A.
McRedmond, P. Moriarty, C. Dempsey, M. Jordan, K. Kelly, J. Pender, M.
Moriarty, S. Moriarty, N. Foyle.
By Rory O'Donnell
*Corrected from previous report.