Monday, May 26, 2014

Sunday May 25: Senior Football - Wolfe Tones v Aidan McAnespies

Wolfe Tones 1-17 Aidan McAnespies 3-10

The most exciting game of the day was saved till last when the Tones and McAnespies met in a game that neither side wanted to lose.  There were goals, missed chances, and about as close a finish as you could imagine.  In the end, in spite of throwing away 2 golden opportunities at netting in the second half, Wolfe Tones did just about enough to overcome their arch rivals and claim the two points.

It was all action between Macs and Tones Sunday.
The Tones had a slight edge over their opponents for most of the first half.  Collie Carr and Gary Brilly made an early statement of intent, combining for a point right off the throw in.  Barry McShea, playing in the unfamiliar position of wing forward, added a second.  McAnespies had an ace in the hole however, in the form of corner forward Liam Boland.  Boland netted early in the half after getting around his marker, Kian Cleere.  The Tones shook off the setback well however.  Points came from Brilly, McShea, Carr, and Marty Farrell to restore the lead as the men in blue played the better football and looked a little stronger throughout the field.  McAnespies were not going to lie down to their rivals, and kept the scoreboard ticking over with points from Jonathan McGourty and Boland.  With half time approaching and just a point in it, the Tones goaled through John Ross Bodkin.  The corner forward fooled everyone with a neat left foot finish after being supplied by Darren Maguire.  So, at the break it was a 1-8 to 1-4 Tones lead.

The second half started as the first had ended.  Farrell and Bodkin put 2 quick points over the bar and it started to look as though the McAnespie goose was about to be cooked.  Well, anybody who has been around knows that in a game between these 2 teams, that is an unlikely scenario. Boland popped up again to bang in a second goal following an excellent pass from Niall Gallen, and McAnespies proceeded to turn the deficit into a 2 point lead with points following from Boland, Gareth McAlinden, and Sean O'Kane.  In the meantime, the Tones missed 2 golden chances to possibly put the game away.  Willie Milner and Collie Carr each had the goal yawning in front of them, but snatched at the opportunity, and McAnespie supporters breathed again with each miss.  It was to and fro at this point, Farrell and Bodkin took their points to level affairs with 10 minutes to go.  After Bodkin put the Tones a point to the good, McAnspies struck with a third goal.  This time Boland was the provider for McGourty, and the Leitrim man could not miss.  Carr and Milner leveled the game again with a point each as the anticipation and excitement grew around Canton.  With the game well into injury time it seemed as though each team might escape with a point, but not so as time kept going.  Collie Donnelly put McAnespies ahead in the added minutes, but there was time for the Tones to level through Farrell, and then go ahead with a winning point from none other than Barry McShea.  A thrilling end to a great game, and for now at least, the Tones are the ones with the bragging rights.

Macs:  P. Coakley, B. Smith, M. Bogue, N. Gallen, P. Daly, S. McAleer, C. Donnelly, J. McGourty, G. McAlinden, M. Campion, E. Hamill, L. Boland, S. O'Kane.  Tones:  C. Hynes, G. Scanlon, K. Cleere, D. Maguire, G. Lenihan, M. O'Brien, C. McCarthy, G. Brilly, B. McShea, W. Milner, C. Carr, M. Farrell, JR Bodkin.

By Rory O'Donnell

Sunday May 25: Senior Football - Donegal v Christopher's

Christopher's 3-5 Donegal 1-17

Donegal won their first 2 points of the 2014 season with a comprehensive win over Christopher's.  Powered by midfielders Matt Smyth and Gavin Gallagher, Donegal opened a 6 point lead at the break.  Almost like the Shannon Blues in the previous game, Christopher's struck 3 goals in the second half, but even then, there was too much between the teams for them to turn Donegal.

Donegal worked well together to win both points on Sunday.
Donegal outplayed Christopher's for the first 30 minutes of the game.  Christopher's lost their center forward, Aldo Matassa, to a hand injury after 5 minutes, which dented their prospects for the rest of the game.  The 2009 champions looked like they were lacking in ideas going forward, whereas Donegal got some great movement in the forward line.  Gary Clancy was the man of the moment, tallying 5 of the northerner's nine scores.  Gavin Gallagher and Matt Smyth proved to be a reliable midfield engine, and at center back Mark Canny engineered plenty of turnovers.  Canny was  the start of many moves into Christopher's territory, while Christopher's broke down on the Donegal half back line.  The sides were tied at 3 points each 15 minutes into the game, but Donegal then proceeded to take over and limit Christopher's forays forward.  The final six Donegal scores of the half went unanswered, leaving Christopher's wondering where they would come from for them in the second period.

Christopher's were on the back foot for most of the game.
Christopher's second half efforts were rewarded with 3 goals, one each from Pat Delaney, Ivan Casey, and McAllister as they tried to raise their game.  Darren Doherty had cancelled out the major from Delaney, leaving Christopher's with too much ground to cover before the final whistle.  Earlier in the half the Donegal lead had extended to 8 points thanks to points from Matt Smyth, Doherty, and Kieran McDevitt.  With Smyth in charge in the middle of the field and Clancy having his shooting boots on, Donegal were not to be denied.  The first goal brought Christopher's within 5 points, but Doherty got it right back for Donegal.  With Donegal keeping the points column ticking over, it was two steps forward and one step back with each subsequent Christopher's goal.  Clancy put the final score of the game over the bar to cap a good performance from Donegal in their quest to return to the playoff stages.

Christopher's:  M. Delaney, C. Murphy, M. Hunt, E. O'Neill, E. O'Mahoney, M. McSweeney, D. Kenneally, G. Toner, J. Kenneally, A. Matassa, I. Casey, K. McAllister, P. Manning.  J. Byrne, C. McCarr, D. McBride, P. McNulty, M. Canney, S. Doherty, M. Smyth, G. Gallagher, K. McDevitt, G. Clancy, M. Dunphy, D. Matthews, D. Doherty

By Rory O'Donnell

Sunday May 25: Senior Football Championship - Connemara Gaels v Shannon Blues

Connemara Gaels 0-17 Shannon Blues 3-3

The Gaels managed to hold off the Shannon Blues in an intriguing encounter.  On three separate occasions it appeared as though the Gaels had put enough distance between themselves and their opponents so that they could afford to relax a little, but on each occasion, the Blues hit with goals to pull themselves back into it, and keep the Gaels from getting too comfortable.  In the end, the Gaels did enough to hold the Blues at bay, although there were plenty of nerves on the Gaels sideline with James Feeney playing the part of target man in the box for the last 10 minutes and the Blues searching for a fourth goal.

Brian Joyce and the Gaels kept the Blues at bay.
The Gaels dominated the first half of the game to the point that with 20 minutes gone, the Blues were yet to register a wide, never mind a score.  The Gaels introduced 4 new arrivals to their lineup, while the Blues played with  largely the same 13 from the previous week.  The Blues cause was not helped when Sean Moriarty had to leave the fray after being issued a black card.  By the time the Blues registered their first score the Gaels had 8 points on the board and appeared to be cruising.  Ger Leech at corner forward was doing his thing, as was Noel Graham at center forward.  The first 6 Gaels scores came from the boot of each player.  The Gaels were finding open men and switching the play to make open chances, while the Blues sputtered and turned the ball over several times.  With 5 minutes to go in the half the Blues lifted their efforts and got a lifeline when David Clifford pointed and a Darren Wallace goal cut the Gaels lead in half. At the break it was the Gaels in a 0-8 to 1-1 lead.

Shannon Blues could not put any sustained
pressure on the Gaels.
Within 3 minutes of the restart the Gaels had erased the Blues 4 points from the end of the first.  Leech was the man with the golden boot again, finishing 4 times on the trot as the Gaels blasted out of the gate in the early going.  Once again, as the game looked like it was getting out of reach, the Blues pulled themselves back into it with a penalty.  Clifford, who tried to drive his side forward, was pulled down in the box and Trevor Wallace put the ball into the net with a well taken spot kick.  James Feeney followed with a point and it was game was back on.  The Gaels looked like they had pulled away once more, Brian Joyce, Graham, Leech, and Ciaran Killeen each pointing, but once again, the Blues pulled themselves back into the game by way of the goal, this one coming from James Feeney who had moved to the edge of the box.  The gap was cut back to 4 points again.  It was not to be for the Blues however,  John Egan registered the final score of the game for the Gaels as the westerners held off the Blues, and registered the all important first two points of the season.

Gaels:  E. Connolly, S. Conneeley, J. Donoghue, C. Killeen, M. Shanahan, J. Egan, B. Joyce, J. Barrett, C. Mulkerrins, N. Graham, T. McDonagh, G. Leech, K. Owens.  Blues:  C. Wallace, T. Wallace, S. Kelly, D. Clifford, C. Moriarty, C. Mullen, P. Murray, S. Moriarty, C. Fields, J. Feeney, C. Fitzgerald, S. Kavanagh, D. Wallace.

By Rory O'Donnell

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Saturday May 24: Senior Football Championship - Galway v Kerry

Kerry 1-13 Galway 0-12

Galway and Kerry opened the 2014 football championship on a bright and breezy Saturday afternoon.  It was an exciting affair, with Galway nursing a 2 point lead late into the game only for Kerry to finish strong and pull out a 4 point victory.  Kerry looked unsure of themselves for most of the first 50 minutes, with Graham Glenn and Robbie Croft keeping their ship afloat for much of the game.  Danny Reddin, who was very involved for Galway, had the leave the fray with 8 minutes to go, which did not help the Brighton club's cause, and at the same time Kerry's other players lifted their game to deliver the points.

Eoghan Kavanagh and Galway had it going early against Kerry.
Galway had the upper hand in the first half, and Kerry were forced to make some adjustments earlier than probably anticipated.  Andy Glennon started at corner forward for Galway and the big Ballinlough man had the Kerry rearguard at sixes and sevens in the early going.  After Kerry took a 2 points to one lead, Galway popped over 4 points in a row.  JJ Doyle, Kevin Cummins, Doyle again, and Glennon had the final touches.  With Galway cleaning up the breaks in midfield and winning possession in the half back line, Kerry saw the need to make some changes.  Center back Aaron Fitzgerald was moved to corner back to take care of the Glennon half way through the first period.  In addition, at the other end of the field, Lee Steacy came on to try and help generate something at the scoring end for Kerry.  Croft accounted for two points towards the end of the half, but  Galway continued to enjoy most of the possession.  On a couple of occasions had the goal in their sights, but could not get a shot off.   There were also a handful of missed chances for points and Galway would have been justified to be a little disappointed to hold just a two point lead at the break.

Kerry left it late to pull out the win.
Following the restart, Galway continued to play the better football.  Danny Reddin at center forward saw a lot of possession, and the midfield of Eoghan Kavanagh and JJ Doyle continued to keep the ball moving in Galway's favour.  Kerry, for their part, relied on Glenn to get things going, and Croft at corner forward for the scoring outlet.  Anything good that happened for the Kingdom involved either, or both, of these men.  The 2 point gap in Galway's favour held late into the game.  Cummins (2) and Glennon put a handful of magnificent scores over the bar, while Kerry kept touch through Steacy and Croft (2).  Things changed in the final 10 minutes.  Danny Reddin withdrew from play due to back problems, which coincided with things changing dramatically in favour of Kerry.  The Kingdom started to get more players involved.  Joe Fitzpatrick, who had largely been anonymous for the first 50 minutes, put 3 points on the trot over the bar, and Derrick Nolan became more instrumental in the game.  With Kerry now finishing strong, and now holding a 2 point lead, a goal came that sealed the win.  Nolan finished a sweeping move to net from the edge of the small square.  There were some scuffles towards the end, Joe O'Shea and JJ Doyle were issued red cards as a result.  At that stage the game was beyond the reach of Galway, while Kerry are still unbeaten in 2014.    

Kerry:  B. Monagle, M. Godley, J. O'Shea, P. Devane, A. Fitzgerald, M. Moriarty, I. Whelan, D. Nolan, N. Sheehy, G. Glenn, J. Fitzpatrick, R. Croft, K. McCorty.  Galway:  D. Bindon, P. Cummins, D. Redmond, G. Lundy, M. Ryan, S. O'Donnell, E. Kavanagh, JJ Doyle, J. Kehoe, D. Reddin, T. Gallagher, A. Glennon, K. Cummins.
By Rory O'Donnell

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Senior Football Championships Open This Weekend

By Rory O'Donnell

The 2014 Boston Championships begin this coming weekend.  All 8 senior football clubs will be in action, with the first game on Saturday afternoon, followed by 3 games on Sunday.  In addition, there will be a recognition ceremony for the Barley House Wolves hurling club for their contribution to the spread of hurling beyond the Greater Boston area, and the service of club members to the country.  With the main field in pristine condition, and clubs chomping at the bit for early (and very valuable) championship points, the stage is set for a weekend to look forward to.

Christopher's Paudie Kenneally will be one of many
graduates of the undertage programs in action
this coming weekend.
Of course, these clubs have already seen plenty of action in the Pat O'Brien Cup.  The finalists were decided last weekend and it is fair to say that the two strongest sides at this point in the season will be the ones contesting the trophy.  A resurgent Kerry, who are already the talk of the town, will be playing Galway in the opening game in Saturday afternoon.  Galway will be up against it as Kerry look like they have covered all positions with strong players covering the field.  The Kingdom also have the advantage of having played a game on the new sod of the main field, Galway will be experiencing that for the first time on Saturday.  There were no playoffs for the club last year, although there was no game where the side was not in with a chance to win.  Flying the lone Brighton flag in senior football, Galway might be a few players short of turning Kerry on Saturday. 

First up on Sunday are the 2013 Champion Connemara Gaels and Shannon Blues.  Both teams were beaten semi-finalists last Sunday, and each side has a good representation of American born players.  There will be plenty of banter in the Murray household leading up to this one as brothers, Pat, (Blues) and Stephen, (Gaels) will be looking to establish bragging rights, until the playoff stages at least.  The Gaels also team also featured Brian Joyce and AJ Maguire, and the Blues Conor Fitzgerald, makes for a healthy representation of graduates from the underage program.  Each side will see this as a great opportunity for 2 points.  Although the game will be played at a morning hour, expect this to be a keenly contested encounter that will waken the senses.

Also in action are Donegal and Christopher's.  Like Kerry, Donegal have the bases covered in all areas of the field, and like their opponents, feature some locally grown talent in Mark Dunphy and Kieran McDevitt.  Christopher's Kenneally trio of Dan, Jerry, and Paudie, have anchored the team for many years now.  Also coming into the team will be Mark and Pat Delaney, pending the status of injuries.  Although they did not progress in the Cup, Christopher's are likely to give Donegal a contest.  For their part, Donegal are battle hardened after their extra time encounter with the Gaels last week, and that should stand to them.  I'd expect Donegal to squeak it.

The final game of the day matches the old rivals, Wolfe Tones and Aidan McAnespies.  Wolfe Tones will be looking to hold the South Boston/North Dorchester bragging rights after this game.  While McAnespies did not have all the cards in the deck for the cup, it is hard to see them matching the Tones in depth.  The Tones might argue that depth is not a word to be used at this early stage in the season, however, even though not all players may be available Sunday, the Tones should have an edge.  Although McAnespies will not go down without a fight, it would take a massive effort to claim the 2 points.

Finally, with the board honoring the Barley House Wolves, and the Irish Consul General,  Breandán O'Caollaí, Town of Canton Police Chief, Kenneth Berkowitz, and Fire Chief, Charles Doody,  a great weekend lies in store for the Boston Northeast GAA.

Schedule of Games
Saturday May 24
2:00 Kerry v Galway
Sunday May 25
10:30 Connemara Gaels v Shannon Blues
11:45 Donegal v Christopher's
1:30 Honoring the Barley House Wolves
2:00 Wolfe Tones v Aidan McAnespies
Field C

12:00 Orla Benson Cup:  Connacht Ladies v Tír na nÓg

Monday, May 19, 2014

Pat O'Brien Cup Semi-Final: Connemara Gaels v Donegal

By Rory O'Donnell

Connemara Gaels 1-11 Donegal 1-13 (After Extra Time)

It was a tale of 2 halves between Donegal and Connemara Gaels in this compelling semi-final of the Pat O'Brien Cup.  Donegal looked full value for their 6 point lead at the break.  The Gaels stormed back into it in the second half, recording the first 5 points of the period and Donegal were reeling.  With the game winding down, and the Gael's holding a one point lead, Mark McNulty leveled matters and the game went into extra time.  Donegal had the extra bit in the tank for the 10 additional minutes and pulled out the win thanks to 2 late points, the insurance score coming from the boot of Gavin Clancy.

Donegal saw off the Gaels in Extra Time of a Thrilling Game.
Donegal held the upper hand for most of the first half.  The northerners established an early lead with points from McNulty at center forward, and Gary Clancy on the wing.  The Gaels looked to Ger Leech for their scoring outlet.  Leech tallied the first 3 of the Gaels scores.  As the half wore on, Donegal looked like they were gathering momentum.  Pauric McLaughlin was full of running in the forward line, while Dean Matthews looked like scoring when in possession.  Gavin Gallagher and Matthew Smith had the upper hand in the middle of the field, and though the Gaels hit several wides, the westerners were not really in the game.  Donegal struck a potentially fatal blow on the stroke of half time with a well worked goal right after Leech had just tallied the Gaels fourth point of the game.  At the half it was 1-7 to 0-4 in Donegal's favour.

Connemara Gaels put up a gallant display.
The Gaels stormed out of the gates after the restart and scored with the first 4 possessions.  Kevin Owens, Noel Graham, Tom McDonagh, and Coleman Conroy tallied scores to close the gap on Donegal.  The Gaels looked unstoppable in this early going.  Mossie Shanahan at corner back did tremendous work to assist his colleagues in the advanced positions.  Steven Murray finished a move in which Shanahan was the link man all the way down the field.  At this point Brian Joyce was coming into his own at center back, winning plenty of the loose ball and distributing it well.  Donegal got relief from the pressure with a Dean Matthews point.  With the Gaels still rampant, a penalty came after Kieran Cox was bundled over the box.  Sean Conneeley stepped up and made sure to propel the Gaels into a one point lead heading into the final 10 minutes.  However, it was backs to the wall for the Gaels for the final 10 minutes as the tank looked to be on dead empty, and Donegal started to shift up a gear down the stretch.  Points were traded by Matthews and Murray, Graham and McNulty, until McNulty took advantage of one of the games last chances and leveled.  Donegal had a "last kick of the game" chance to win, but Gary Clancy's free left a bit to spare and on we went to extra time. 

The game remained all square for most of extra time, the sides traded points and it was still anybody's until with 2 minutes to go.  Donegal tallied 2 points with Gavin Clancy putting the extra score between the teams to pull it out of the bag and the Tír Chonaill men advance to meet Kerry in the final.

Gaels:  E. Connolly, M. Shanahan, S. Conneeley, AJ Maguire, B. Joyce, K. Killeen, T. McDonagh, N. Graham, C. Conroy, C. Mulkerrins, S. Murray, K. Owens, G. Leech.  Donegal:  J. Byrne, C. McCarron, D. McBride, M. Dunphy, M. Canny, S. Doherty, G. Gallagher, M. Smyth, C. Bell, M. McNulty, G. Clancy, D. Matthews, P. McLaughlin.

Pat O'Brien Cup Semi-Final: Kerry v Shannon Blues

By Rory O'Donnell

Kerry 2-11 Shannon Blues 0-6

Kerry made a clear statement with a convincing win over the Blues on Sunday afternoon.  With the field looking in pristine condition, it was the Green and Gold that adorned it with a fine performance and a double digit win.  A goal from Graham Glenn in each half put the issue beyond doubt, the second coming with 10 minutes still remaining.

Kerry looked impressive in Sunday's Cup Semi-Final.
Kerry used the early ball into Robbie Croft to great effect.  The Dubliner made good use of the ball when in possession, holding up the play and waiting for the right pass.  Joey Fitzpatrick was another shining light in Kerry's forward line.  The man from St. Finbar's in Cork played with gusto, and accounted for three of Kerry's scores.  Kerry's defence also did well to snuff out most of the Blues forays forward, Paul Devane marshaled the line well and Aaron Fitzgerald was a tower of strength for the Kerrymen.  Glenn netted towards the end of the first half.  The score put some distance between the teams as up to that point there was a 2 point difference in Kerry's favour.  For the Blues it was Shane Kavanagh on the mark, along with David Clifford and Derek O'Brien.

Heading into the second half 5 points in arrears, the Blues further lost ground with a Croft free going between the posts.  Soon afterwards Croft held the ball up well and lobbed a high pass into Glenn, who made a clean catch and buried the ball from the edge of the square.  The Blues rallied and came close to netting a goal, but two great chances were stopped on the line by a swarming Kerry defence.  Kerry continued to maintain the upper hand and saw the game out with a fine win to send them into the final.  Kerry are looking strong in the early season with some impressive additions to the home based panel and the southerners will face Donegal in the final. 

Kerry:  B. Monagle, J. O'Shea, M. Godley, M. Moriarty, A. Fitzgerald, P. Devane, I. Whelan, D. Nolan, N. Sheehy, G. Glenn, J. Fitzpatrick, R. Croft, K. Mooney.  Blues:  C. Wallace, T. Wallace, S. Kelly, D. O'Brien, C. Moriarty, K. Byrne, S. Moriarty, P. Murray, D. Cliffird, J. Feeney, J. Craig, S. Kavanagh, C. Fields.

Monday, May 12, 2014

Orla Benson Cup First Round

By Rory O'Donnell

Tír na nÓg 2-10 Boston Shamrocks 2-4

Tir na nOg overcame the Shamrocks with
a second half turnaround.
It was a game of two halves for the first round of the Orla Benson Cup between defending champions, Boston Shamrocks, and Tír na nÓg.  The Shamrocks came to grips with the game first.  Bríd Devlin, Sheila McLaughlin, and Katie Scanlon each got on the scoreboard.  Scanlon netted as the Shamrocks kept up the pressure, and a second goal came from the boot of Devlin as she lobbed in a high taking a sideline kick that the Tír na nÓg defecne failed to deal with.  Lisa Brick kept the flag flying for the Brighton side with two points, and another two from Maggie Sayers kept them in touch at the break.

The second half was a mirror image of the first with Tír na nÓg closing the gap, and then putting the Shamrocks in the rearview mirror.  Tír na nÓg forced an early save, making their intentions clear early.  Points then started to flow from Niamh Daly, Niamh O'Neill, and Sayers.  With the gap almost closed, Sayers netted, followed with a point and then blasted home a penalty to draw first blood in 2014.

Pat O'Brien Cup Quarter Finals

By Rory O'Donnell

Donegal 1-13 Christopher's 1-3

Paudie Kenneally and Christopher's found Donegal
too much to handle.
Donegal proved too strong for Christopher's in the opening game of the day.  The northerners had all the bases covered around the field, and by the break were 8 points to the good thanks to a Pauric McLaughlin goal and points from Kieran McDevitt, Dean Matthews, and superb back to back efforts from Gavin Clancy at wing forward.  Christopher's tallied a couple of well taken points from Kevin McAllister early in the game, however, as time wore on Donegal took over and put a safe distance between themselves and their opponents. 

Donegal added to their tally shortly after the restart, though the Christopher's challenge was stiffer in nature.  After a couple of chances drifted wide, Eoin O'Mahoney found the mark.  Jonathan Byrne was called upon to make a couple of fine saves and help his side maintain their considerable advantage, though McAllister broke through for a goal late in the game.  Kieran McDevitt then forced Jerry Kenneally into a fine save, both players born on native American soil.  All in all a good outing for Donegal, though Christopher's are hoping to have a couple of key players back in action come championship time.

Aidan McAnespies 1-5 Connemara Gaels 0-11

A well contested game between the Gaels and Macs...
It was a close one in the end with only the width of a crossbar between the Macs and the Gaels.  After the Gaels opened up a 5 point half time lead, McAnespies closed the gap late in the second half.  A Collie Donnelly shot rattled the crossbar late in the game, and much to the Gaels supporters relief, the westerners hung on to advance to the semi-final next week.

The Gaels held the upper hand for most of the first half.  There was some great link play from the back line to the scorers up front, and the quick tempo had McAnespies on the back foot.  Noel Graham, Coleman Mulkerrins, Tom McDonagh, and Stephen Murray each pointed.  There was a scare in the Gaels defence as Sean O'Kane hit the post after picking up the ball following a mix up in the Gaels defence, and keeper Eoin Connolly did enough to clean up the pieces.  Collie Donnelly accounted for McAnespies only point of the half.

...and the Gaels just about came through.
The northerners stormed back in the second half.  O'Kane hit the back of the net and the Gaels lead narrowed to four points after Graham and Mossie Shanahan had pointed.  It was tit for tat with Kevin Owens on the mark for the Gaels and Stephen McAleer, Donnelly and O'Kane efforts going between the posts for McAnespies.  Donnelly's effort could have stolen a draw and forced extra time, but it was not to be for McAnespies and the Gaels are the side moving on to face Donegal in the semi-final next week.

Wolfe Tones 0-8 Kerry 3-9

Two sendings off were the talking point of the quarter final clash between Kerry and Wolfe Tones.  Ger Lenihan and Willie Milner were each given their marching orders for striking incidents early in the second half.  Kerry held a four point lead at the break, and with the 2 man advantage, the Kingdom sailed through to the next round.

Kerry came though against the Tones....
Kerry got off to the best possible start with a goal from Niall Sheehy, and the score was followed by 2 Robbie Croft points, and Aaron Glenn pointed another.  The Tones got on the board early through Ger Lenihan and JR Bodkin.  At the break it was Kerry by 1-5 to 0-4.  The game was effectively over as a contest shortly after the restart with the back to back sendings off resulting in the Tones playing down two players.  Points for Kerry came from Glenn, Joey Fitzpatrick, Croft and Sheehy.  The Tones battled to make the most of it, and almost netted on a couple of occasions towards the end of the game.  Kerry looking good early in the season, and will face a tough test in next weeks semi final when they meet old rivals, Shannon Blues.

Shannon Blues 2-15 Armagh-Notre Dame 0-4

...and the Blues did likewise against Armagh-Notre Dame.
Armagh-Notre Dame met a strong Shannon Blues in the last quarter final of the day, and while winning the game may not have been a realistic objective, the northerners gave a good account of themselves in their last game before the junior championship begins.  The Blues, as expected, advanced with relative ease to the semis.  Dominic Magill showed flashes of old with a couple of well taken scores for the Brighton based side.  For the Blues, Shane Kavanagh was to the fore early and pointed the first 4 of the Blues scores, while Cathal Fields also chipped in with a score.

Leading by six points at the break, the Blues added to their advantage with some well worked scores and determined effort.  James Feeney entered the fray and tallied a couple, Sean Moriarty finished a well earned point, and then the goals came to well and truly finish off the game.  Cathal Moriarty and Kavanagh netted the majors, while Conor Mullen and Feeney put the finishing touches on the win.  

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Pat O'Brien Cup Second Round, Junior C Hurling

Pat O'Brien Cup
Cork 0-6 Donegal 1-11
Donegal's Mark Canney on a foray forward.
Cork and Donegal played the only Cup game on the schedule for Sunday, with Donegal emerging comfortable winners following a closely contested first half.  Donegal fielded a team with strength down the middle.  Matt Smyth was a formidable force in the half back line, and up front Dean Matthews and Gavin Gallagher were involved in many of Donegal's scoring forays.  At the break the northerners held a 5 point lead, and had Matthews to thank for a well taken goal.  Points came from the boot of Pauric McLaughlin, Gallagher and Matthews.  Cork put some well worked scores together.  Mike Moynihan a free, followed by another from play.  Mike Maye chipped in with a score from wing forward.

Donegal's Paul McNulty and Cork's Declan Harrington.
The second half saw Donegal take advantage of the stiff breeze that was now in their favour.  After Maye reduced the gap to 4 points, Donegal proceeded to outscore their opponents six points to one.  McLaughlin tallied two more, Declan Doherty another, Killybegs man, Smyth also got on the scoreboard, and with Mark Canny strong as ever in the back line, Donegal were comfortably into the quarter finals next Sunday where the Tír Chonaill men will face Christopher's.

Christopher's 2-7 Galway 1-8

There was not much between Galway and Christopher's in Friday evening's encounter at the Irish Cultural Center.  In fact, the sides were all square coming into the final minutes of the game.  Christopher's went into the break with a 2 point advantage, 1-3 to 0-5.  The Hyde Park men extended their lead after the break with a second goal, but Galway battled back.  Corner forward, Kevin Cummins chipped the keeper to score a spectacular goal that would grace any field in La Liga to bring his side within 2, but after Galway drew level Christopher's pulled away in the final minutes to see themselves through to the next round of the competition.

Junior C Hurling Championship

Barley House Wolves 6-9 Hartford 0-2

The Wolves Clear their lines.
The recently formed Hartford hurling team faced the iron of the junior C competition when they faced the Barley House Wolves at the Irish Cultural Center on Sunday afternoon.  Based in Concord, NH, the Wolves were formed 8 years ago by veteran troops of the New Hampshire National Guard following a one year tour in the middle east.  In fact, the Wolves showed up with 40 players ready to tog out; Hartford faced a formidable foe. 

Mick Lawrence in action.
At the break the Wolves were ahead 2-5 to a point for Hartford.  Ruairi O'Mahoney and Sean Naughton tallied many of the scores for the New Hampshire side, and while Hartford battled hard the Wolves were not to be stopped. Lore Forde held the goal line well, and Mattie Polomino added a goal.  With Mike Culligan, Cormac Macklin, and Will O'Hara battling away in their lines, Hartford generated some chances but the seasoned opposition proved too tough to break through.  A good opening win for the Concord men who made a strong statement of intent to reclaim the junior C title on Sunday, and Hartford hoping for better things as the season progresses.


Sunday May 11

Pat O'Brien Cup

12:00:  Donegal v Christopher's

1:00:  Connemara Gaels v Aidan McAnespies

2:00:  Kerry v Wolfe Tones

3:00 Shannon Blues v Armagh-Notre Dame

4:00 Orla Benson Cup:  Tír na nÓg v Boston Shamrocks