Monday, May 12, 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.  

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