Monday, June 30, 2014

Sunday June 29 - Senior Football: Christopher's v Shannon Blues

Christopher's 0-10 Shannon Blues 1-9

Christopher's went into their fourth game of the season needed to win to maintain a realistic hope of a playoff spot, but came out wondering what went wrong.  Things seemed to go more or less to plan in the first half, but fell apart in the second.  Mark Delaney's sending off with 15 minutes to go and two points in the game did not help matters, but Christopher's lacked the spark throughout the game to pull off their first win of the season.  The Blues James Walsh in the middle of the field put in a masterful performance of consistent work and intelligent use of the ball to steer his side to the win.

Shannon Blues edged Christopher's in an exciting game.
At the end of the first period Christopher's held a two point lead.  Lining out at corner forward, new signing Luke Connolly accounted for the first three Christopher's points;  two frees and one from play.  Christopher's played with confidence and moved the ball well down the field, though at times overplayed the ball when in the final third of field. 

The Blues pointed through Sean Moriarty, Denis McElligott, Stephen Coogan, and James Walsh.  Although the Blues intensity did not match that of last week's win over Wolfe Tones, they kept in the game.  Playing in midfield, Walsh looked strong and was key to much of the good things happening for the Blues.  As the teams took the field for the second half it was all to play for.

The game changed in the second half.  Shortly after the Blues put a goal away to take the lead mid way through, Delaney was shown the red card.  For the goal Paudie Kenneally made a brilliant initial save from Shane Kavanagh's shot, but Denis McElligott was there to put the rebound away.  Judging from the groans from the Christopher's faithful, it seemed as if they were preparing themselves for another disappointing outing.  The goal put the Blues into a two point lead. 

Paddy Dalton and Christopher's did well over the first 30 minutes,
but could not see out the game.
With the man advantage the Blues controlled the game and kept possession well, not taking unnecessary chances.  Christopher's introduced the subs in a final roll of the dice.  Pat Delaney, Aldo Mattasse, Dan Kenneally, and Ivan Casey were brought into the fray to try and generate a lift for the final 10 minutes.  It almost happened for Christopher's in injury time as after gatherine a breaking ball in the penalty area, Delaney almost netted, but his shot rolled wide of the post in the final minute.  With three games left Christopher's need all six points to have any outside hope of earning a playoff spot while the Blues are well on track.

Christopher's:  P. Kenneally, E. O'Mahoney, J. McGuire, E. Kiely, C. Murphy, P. Dalton, B. Shanahan, M. Delaney, B. Coughlan, D. Culhane, S. Leahy, K. McAllister, L. Connelly.  Blues:  C. Wallace, S. Kelly, C. Long, T. Wallace, D. McElligott, C. Mullen, C. Byrne, J. Walsh, D. Clifford, S. Kavanagh, S. Moriarty, D. Wallace, S. Coogan.

By Rory O'Donnell

Sunday June 29 - Senior Hurling: Fr. Tom Burke's v Tipperary

Tipperary 0-11 Fr. Tom Burke's 5-14

Fr. Tom Burke's came away from their encounter with Tipperary with two points and more than a few cuts and bruises.  Following a first 30 minutes where all the separated the sides was a goal, there were unsavoury scenes of fisticuffs which resulted in 4 players, 2 from each team, sent off.  Tom's had just netted their second goal of the game when the nasty scenes started, and referee John Moylan had no choice but to issue cards to deal with the situation.  After things returned to civility Tom's pulled away to end the game comfortable winners.

Tom's were too much for Tipp to deal with on Sunday.
At the end of the first 30 minutes Tom's held a one goal lead by virtue of a penalty that was put away by Zane Keenan at the end of the half.  Tom's midfield of Laois duo Keenan and Cahir Healy were on top for most of the game.  The sides matched each other for points in the opening half.  Sean Moriarty, Paul Buggy, and Paul Glennon hitting the mark for Tipp.  Tom's pointed through David O'Mahoney, Ian McDonnell, and Keenan.  The penalty came at the end of the half after McDonnell was fouled in the penalty area, and Keenan drilled it home - setting up way outside the 21 to ensure compliance with the new ruling that the ball cannot be struck inside the 21 yard line.  At the half it was a 1-7 to 0-6 Tom's lead.

Tom's forward line tallied five goals in a big win.
The second half saw things heat up dramatically.  There were several episodes of fighting that marred the game and the scenes carried on intermittently for the first 15 minutes of the half.  By the time things had returned to focusing on playing the actual game, four players, two from each side, were sent off in three separate incidents.  After Allan Burke had netted following a lapse in concentration on the part of Michael McGrath, the first episode broke out.  Tom's began to pull away as the points column ticked over with scores from Howley, O'Mahoney, and Allan burke.  Further goals from McDonnell and Burke sealed the fate of Tipperary with 10 minutes to play.  McDonnell rounded off a fine performance with a late goal, and  Fr. Tom's on top of the table with two wins from two.

Tom's:  A. Keating, G. Joyce, P. Heneghan, D. Costello, C. Joyce-Power, S. Higgins, Z. Keenan, C. Healy, O. Burke, I. McDonnell, S. Howley, A. Burke, D. O'Mahoney.  Tipp:  M. McGrath, C. Gillis, S. McKillop, P. Moriarty, P. Flaherty, S. McGarr, C. Dempsey, A. McRedmond, S. Spillane, P. Glennon, M. Kavanagh, R. Sludds, P. Buggy.

By Rory O'Donnell

Saturday June 29 - Senior Football: Kerry v Aidan McAnespies

Aidan McAnespies 5-12 Kerry 2-15

Five goals saw McAnespies past a battling Kerry side that could not contain the talented McAnespies forward line.  Kerry posted a respectable score, one that would win many games, but with Caolan McGuirk at center back feeding a forward line containing Liam Boland, Mattie Campion, and Coalan O'Boyle, McAnespies always looked dangerous going forward.  Kerry briefly took the lead in the second half as the game became interesting, but McAnespies quickly regained the initiative to push home for the win.

Aidan McAnespies Collie Donnelly has a shot.
Before the game was 5 minutes old McAnespies had billowed the net twice.  First it was Daniel McKinless with a low shot to the far corner, and then it was a well fielded ball by Liam Boland as the Kerry backs dithered, and the Tipperary man finished from 14 yards.  Following the set back Kerry started to get into the game.  Ian Whelan won some clean ball in the middle of the field, while Robbie Croft got the Kingdom off the mark with a free.  Another from play and a Joe Fitzpatrick point and Kerry were back in the game.

McAnespies continued to be dangerous going forward, and at times the Kerry back line were at sixes and sevens.  Center back Caolan McGuirk was central to many of McAnespies forays forward as the Lavey man mopped up a lot of ball.  Mattie Campion added a brace, and a third goal from Jonathan McGourty appeared to have undone all of Kerry's good work.  Graham Glenn popped up with a goal just before half time to keep Kerry in the hunt.  At the break it was 3-6 to 1-9 in favour of McAnespies.

It was touch and go throughout the second half.  After Kerry closed the gap to two points, the Kingdom took a one point lead after Glenn netted following a Joey Fitzpatrick pass.  McAnespies quickly turned things back in their favour.  O'Boyle leveled matters, and Boland restored the lead.  With everything still very much to play for, McAnespies  netted a fourth goal.  This time it was Boland who finished from a Steven McAleer pass. 

Kerry answered with three points to bring to back to a single point in the difference.  Once again, when the goal was needed McAnespies made it happen.  A breakaway was finished by O'Boyle and with only a minute or two left and 5 points in it, Kerry's hopes
were shot down.  McAnespies in the hunt with the leading pack, and Kerry slipping following a good start to the championship.

Macs:  P. Coakley, M. Bogue, C. McPartland, N. Gallen, C. McGuirk, P. Meade, C. Donnelly, J. McGourty, S. McAleer, M. Campion, D. McKinless, L. Boland, C. O'Boyle.  Kerry:  L. Steacy, M. Godley, A. Whealan, P. Devane, A. Fitzgerald, M. Condron, I. Whelan, D. Foley, R. Croft, G. Glenn, J. Fitzpatrick, N. Sheehy, E. McGreevy.

By Rory O'Donnell

Sunday June 29 - Senior Football: Donegal v Connemara Gaels

Connemara Gaels 2-14 Donegal 0-22

Donegal put an end to the Connemara Gaels unbeaten streak with a well earned 2 point victory.  The northerners played as if they were more interested in winning the game.  There was more urgency and focus on the part of Donegal, and their forward line made much better use of the ball.  The Gaels lifted their efforts in the second half, but just as a major comeback looked a possibility, John Egan was shown the line for a second bookable offence.  In spite of conceding a late penalty, Donegal had enough in the bank to keep ahead until the final whistle.

Donegal Senior Footballers made it a double following on the junior teams victory earlier in the day.
Donegal started strong, while the Gaels floundered, particularly inside the 21 yard line.  The extra pass hurt the Gaels on several occasions with the ball ending up missing it's intended target and in the hands of a Donegal defender.  Combined with a half dozen attempts going wide of the posts the Gaels found themselves slipping further and further behind as the game wore on.  

By contrast Donegal were on the mark and far more efficient when in possession.  The northerners forward line capitalized on their chances and between them Stephen Griffin, Daniel McLaughlin, and Sean Boyle accounted for eight points.  Eoin Connolly prevented a Donegal goal with a superb save from Christy Bell to keep the game from degenerating into a complete rout.  At the break Donegal were in a deserved eleven points to four lead.

Connemara Gaels GFC with members of Club Dornalaíochta Chonamara (Connemara Boxing Club) who were in action later in the day at Boston City Hall Plaza.
The Gaels made some changes in the second half to try and spark some life into their efforts.  Ian Burke and Dave McCormack traded places, and Coleman Mulkerrin was introduced to the fray.  Donegal continued to be the more alert and focused side.  With the Donegal lead at eight points, the Gaels started to come into the game.  Mulkerrin seemed to provide the spark.  The Cashel man pointed and followed with a goal after Sean Conneely provided the pass. 

Ger Leech and Noel Graham provided 3 more points before the Egan sending off.  At that stage there was 4 points between the teams.  Donegal now looked like scoring with each attack, Matt Smyth, Griffin, and McLaughlin added the Donegal lead as the space opened up in front of them.  A late penalty after Ger Leech was fouled was converted by Conneely, but Donegal had points in the bank to absorb the goal - too little too late as far as the Gaels were concerned.  A great win for Donegal to hand the Gaels their first loss of the year.

Gaels:  E. Connolly, J. Donoghue, M. Shanahan, S. Conneely, B. McGann, K. Killeen, S. O'Connor, J. Barrett, J. Egan, N. Graham, D. McCormack, G. Leech, I. Burke.  Donegal:  C. McLaughlin, M. Canney, C. McCarron, S. Doherty, G. Gallagher, C. Healy, M. Smyth, C. Thompson, D. Matthews, C. Bell, D. McLaughlin, S. Griffin, S. Boyle.

By Rory O'Donnell

Sunday June 29 - Junior A Football: Donegal v Armagh-Notre Dame

Donegal 2-21 Armagh-Notre Dame 2-11

Donegal eased their way through most of this Junior A encounter with Armagh-Notre Dame to open a hot Sunday at the Irish Cultural Center.  Donegal found plenty of shooting room and made good use of it.  A converted penalty late in the first half seemed to have put the game beyond the reach of their opponents.  The northerners were forced to reconsider after their opponents started the second half brightly and threatened to rein in the deficit to a more manageable level, but a goal from Christopher Rush and some excellently taken Christy McLaughlin points restored the considerable advantage coming into the final 10 minutes.

Matthew Cutliffe on his way to earning a penalty.
Almost all of the Donegal forwards got on the scoresheet over the first 30 minutes as the scores seemed to come easy.  Pauric McLaughlin got the ball rolling, while Eoin Grant, Christy McLaughlin, and Matthew Cutliffe followed.  Mark Dunphy and Kieran McDevitt combined well on several occasions as Donegal looked unstoppable. 

Armagh-Notre Dame had Robert Quigley isolated on the full forward line and after a couple of fluffed chances, Quigley popped over a handful of points before the break.  Frank Meehan was played through on one occasion and blasted the ball off the crossbar as the Brighton based side began to find their feet.  Donegal hit with a goal from the penalty spot just before half time.  Matthew Cutliffe was fouled in the box and expertly converted the kick himself.  At the break it looked as though, with a 12 point lead, the game was in the bag for Donegal.

And the Donegal corner forward puts it away despite a good effort from Ollie Murphy.
Things got brighter for the Armagh-Notre Dame lads in the second half.  Quigley put two well taken points over the bar before finding the room to fire in a goal.  Conor Kieran fetched well in the middle of the field and found Quigley with the incisive pass.  Andrew Sharkey pointed to bring the Orchard men within seven points, but Donegal managed to get themselves back on top of affairs. 

Christopher Rush, who came on at corner forward netted, and wing back Darren Doherty pointed twice to re-open the large gap.  Armagh continued to work hard and a goal from Frank Meehan late in the game provided some consolation, while Donegal continue unbeaten in the junior A championship.

Donegal:  E. McCarney, F. Donnelly, D. McBride, D. Doherty, D. Green, H. Devine, Peter McLaughlin, M. Dunphy, C. McDevitt, E. Grant, Pauric McLaughlin, M. Cutliffe, C. McLaughlin.  Armagh-ND:  O. Murphy, S. McKenna, D. Morrow, M. Murphy, J. Taggert, C. Horan, C. Kiernan, A. Sharkey, P. Quigg, F. Meehan, B. McGrath, M. Tiffney, R. Quigley.

By Rory O'Donnell

Saturday June 28 - Ladies Senior Football: Boston Shamrocks v Connacht Ladies

Boston Shamrocks 4-8 Connacht Ladies 2-11

Boston Shamrocks overcame the disappointment of their opening game defeat with an impressive win over Connacht Ladies in their second championship game.  After a great start for the reigning champion Connacht Ladies, the Shamrocks settled down and held their opponents scoreless for the last 20 minutes of the half, and weathered a late comeback to hold on and win their first 2 points of the championship.

Boston Shamrocks and Connacht Ladies battled it out Saturday afternoon.
The first 10 minutes was all Connacht Ladies.  Points from Jane Ward and Catriona Smith were followed by two expertly taken goals from Sinead Greene.  Connacht Ladies seemed to dominate to the extent that the Shamrocks struggled to get the ball out of their own half.  Last year Connacht Ladies strolled through the Boston championship, and it seemed for a while as though that dominance was set to continue into 2014.  Eventually the Shamrocks settled and began to play some good football.  Britney Maguire at wing back set the tone by winning some tough ball, and her teammates eventually responded.  It took 16 minutes to register a score for the Shamrocks, but once Marika Cotterell's shot went over the bar the scores began to flow.  Leanne McCrystal at full forward came into her own, registering a goal, followed by a point.  After Caroline Heraty saved well, McCrystal put a second goal in to level the scores.  The Shamrocks continued to press home the advantage with points from Carol Ann Byrne, Clodagh mcGovern, and another from Byrne. 

Early on it looked as though Jane Ward and Co. would have their way
 with the Shamrocks,but it did not turn out that way in the end.
It was a three point lead that greeted the Shamrocks to the field for the second half.  The ladies in green and gold put away two more goals early in the half.  McCrystal finished her hat trick and the relentless Marika Cotterell also tallied a major.  Connacht Ladies awoke, but had an 8 point mountain to climb.  With the Shamrocks backs holding firm their opponents found it hard to make a breakthrough.  However, Sinead Greene and 2 points from Catriona Foley helped to build some momentum.  The final 15 minutes saw the Shamrocks see their lead shrink, but with time on their side, it remained intact by the final whistle.  An encouraging win for the Shamrocks to get them off the mark in the senior championship.

Shamrocks:  N. Donovan, B. Mcguire, D. Kearney, L. Larkin, B. Devlin, C. McEleaney, E. King, S. McLaughlin, N. Fennell, K. Scanlon, L. Cronin, D. Hallahan, M. Cotterell, L. McCrystal, C. McGovern.  Connacht ladies:  C. Heraty, A. Kerr, K. Cunningham, Siobhan, R. Choal, H. Poff, M. Mullen, C. Moran, C. McDonnell, N. Morgan, C. Foley, S. Greene, C. Smith, J. Ward, K. Lynch.

By Rory O'Donnell 

Saturday June 28 - Junior C Hurling: Worcester v Portland

Portland 3-2 Worcester 4-14

The Worcester Hurlers made a significant statement Saturday afternoon.
Worcester and Portland each made the journey to the Irish Cultural Center in Canton Mass. for their junior C clash on the main field.  Defending champions Worcester came away with a convincing win, and in doing so sent a clear signal about their intent to reclaim the Northeast championship.  The men from down the Mass. Pike proved to be too strong for their opponents and were on top from start to finish.  Corner forward, Liam Kelly, completed a hat trick early in the second half, and Worcester's half back line was on top of everything that came their way.

Worcester built up a formidable lead over the course of the first 30 minutes.  Kelly looked dangerous with the ball in his hand, and at the tail end of the half accounted for 2 well taken goals.  Seamus Shaughnessy in the middle of the field saw plenty of the ball, while the half back line of Timmy Jackson, Dan Swetland, and Tom Lind did tremendous work to keep most of the play headed in the direction of the Portland goal.  Points were converted by Shaughnessy, Kelly, and Cian Clifford for Worcester as they built a 10 point lead.  Portland battled to try and make something happen, and forced Worcester goalkeeper, Aidan O'Shea, to earn his corn on a few occasions.  Aidan O'Brien accounted for Portland's only score of the half with a booming 65.  Chances fell to Joel Wezowicz and Matt Anderson to net for Portland.  O'Shea was up to the task for Wezowicz's shot and Anderson just missed the far post late in the half.

Portland Hurling Club made the trip to Canton, but faced a formidable foe in Worcester.
The second half began as the first ended, with 2 Worcester goals.  The first came from a Mike Dufalt tip off a Seamus Shaughnessy shot, and the second from Kelly to complete his hat trick.  Portland continued to fight on and their efforts were eventually rewarded with a penalty that was expertly converted by Aidan O'Brien.  Wezowicz and Alan McGrath each scored late consolation goals for Portland as the game wound down, though at that stage the game was beyond the Mainers.  So, a successful outing to the ICC for Worcester as they stay on track to claim a final berth come late August.

Worcester:  A. O'Shea, L. Lagorce, M. Dufrane, T. Jackson, S. Swetland, T. Lind, C. Clifford, Sean Shaughnessy, M. O'Connor, Seamus Shaughnessy, K. O'Connor, M. Default, L. Kelly.  Portland:  JJ Twohig, J. Gormley, A. McGrath, M. Gormley, A. O'Brien, D. Adams, L. Maher, J. Clifford, B. WIlliams, T. Schneider, J. Wezowicz, M. Anderson, E. Burns.

By Rory O'Donnell

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Sunday June 22 - Senior Football: Shannon Blues v Wolfe Tones

Wolfe Tones 0-13 Shannon Blues 0-14

There was no shortage of drama when the Tones and Blues clashed in the final game of the day.  The Tones got out of the gates strong to begin the game, and again to begin the second half, but the Blues worked extremely hard to close down the spaces and deny the Tones room to work the ball.  Steven Coogan's free taking kept the eventual winners in it over the first 30 minutes, and there were late game heroics as Darren Wallace pointed twice in the final minutes for the Blues to record a big win.

It was a tough battle between the Blues and Tones.
Wolfe Tones opened up an early 4 point lead.  Lee Carr accounted for one score from a free and a second from play.  Marty Farrell and John Ross Bodkin added 2 more as the Tones overran the Blues defences in the early going.  It would not last however.  James Walsh opened the Blues account with a point and through determined defensive work, the Blues got themselves back into the game. 

The Tones found it hard to move the ball out of their own half as the Blues hassled and harried, forcing the Tones to cough up possession.  Steven Coogan's steady free taking accounted for 3 points as the Tones were forced to foul when the Blues broke.  With 3 more from play, the Blues found themselves in a 2 point half time lead.

The second half was as tightly contested as the first.  Once again the Tones got off to a flying start.  Four points on the trot had the Tones in a 2 point lead, and once again, the Blues dug in and got back into it.  Things became scrappy as Jason Long had to issue a number of yellow cards.  One score had an air of controversy.  Shane Kavanagh's looping shot was initially called wide, but after reconsideration was judged a score - which leveled the game at 9 points each. 

Denis McElligott gets a shot off for the Blues.
Marty Farrell's free with 4 minutes left had the Tones ahead, but points from David Clifford and two from Darren Wallace put the Blues two to the good.  Clifford capitalized on a slack free kick out of the Tones defence, while Wallace pointed following a run from Ciaran Byrnes.  Wallace pointed again to make it a two point lead in injury time.  The Tones had a chance to steal the win, but Michael O'Brien fired over the bar from a tight angle.  A huge win for the Blues, while the Tones will be back at the drawing board to try and figure out the formula for success.

Blues: C. Wallace, S. Kelly, C. Long, T. Wallace, D. McElligott, C. Moriarty, C. Byrnes, J. Walsh, D. Clifford, S. Kavanagh, S. Moriarty, S. Coogan, D. Wallace.  Tones:  C. Hynes, G. Scanlon, S. O'Hagan, S. Higgins, K. Clarke, M. O'Brien, G. Brilly, C. Talty, D. McVeety, M. Farrell, C. Carr, J. R. Bodkin, L. Carr.

By Rory O'Donnell

Sunday June 22 - Senior Hurling: Wexford v Galway

Galway 2-7 Wexford 2-17

Wexford earned a comfortable win over Galway on Sunday afternoon.  With the addition off Kilkenny U-21 goalkeeper, Aaron Duggan, and smattering of players from that bastion of hurling in Ireland, Wexford displayed some smart hurling and pinpoint accuracy from distance to get themselves off the mark in the points column of the championship table.  The crowd was treated to a superb display of goalkeeping as there were some amazing saves at either end throughout the game.

Galway could not rein in a Wexford team that
was on the mark all afternoon.
The first 20 minutes saw Wexford open a 9 point lead.  The Slaneysiders could not miss, while in marked contrast, Galway could not score.  After midfielder Mark Mansfield and Jamie Kehoe each pointed from distance, Padraig O'Farrell got into open space and netted.  With Galway on the back foot Wexford made hay.  Tom Moloney, then brother Michael, along with Craig Burke had Wexford sailing at 1-6 before Ger Malone opened Galway's account. 

Galway continued to miss chances as Wexford added to their lead though Mansfield and Moloney.  There was a fine save at each end.  Aaron Duggan was first to dive to his left and keep out a ball that was batted down towards the bottom corner.  Shortly afterwards Skehill made a tremendous save to put the ball out for a 65.  Galway began to work their way back into the game, and points from Thomas O'Hanrahan, John Moylan and McNamara drew them closer, before Ger Malone netted following a quick free to cut the Wexford lead to 6.  Paul Holden was on the mark just before the break to make it a 1-10 to 1-5 Wexford lead.

Wexford were on top in all areas of the field.
Wexford continued to hold the edge, and the benefit of 3 more fine saves from Duggan.  Harry Wallace put in a fine performance at corner back, while O'Farrell netted a second time.  Mansfield and Eoghan Kavanagh pointed, while Skehill had to make a brilliant save to keep Galway from slipping further behind.  Each keeper got on the scoreboard.  Skehill with a booming free from inside his own 65 and Duggan with a penalty that he skied over the bar.  Wexford clipped away with the points to establish an unassailable lead.  Galway got a consolation goal with less than 5 minutes left from Ger Malone, but with the gap at 8 points Wexford saw out the game with little additional fuss.

Galway: J. Skehill, P. Dowling, M. Lennon, JJ Doyle, S. Phelan, B. McNamara, L. Henerson, J. Moylan, P. Holden, G. Malone, F. Flattery, T. O'Hanrahan, D. Wallace. Wexford:  A. Duggan, H. Wallace, M. Ryan, T. Moloney, D. Magill, J. Keohane, J. Kehoe, M. Mansfield, P. Ryan, E. Kavanagh, C. Burke, M. Moloney, P. O'Farrell.

By Rory O'Donnell

Sunday June 22 - Senior Football: Connemara Gaels v Galway

Connemara Gaels 2-15 Galway 2-13

Galway and the Connemara Gaels were involved in a very entertaining 60 minutes of football.  There were brilliant scores, 4 goals, and plenty of incidents to chew on, including 2 sendings off.  Galway always had a chance to come out on top, but it was the Gaels who had that little bit of extra fitness and guile to end up winners.

Kevin Cummins was a threat for Galway at corner forward.
It was an absorbing first 30 minutes of football.  There was some great running from both teams, sharp football, and fine scores.  Galway got off the mark first with a Gary Patterson goal following a trademark run from the wing back.  The Gaels came right back with an answer, Ger Leech created the opening for Ian Burke to palm in at the far post.  A couple of fantastic Andy Glennon points highlighted the half.  Galway's full forward line of Glennon and Kevin Cummins were always a threat, and Galway got the ball in to them early. 

The Gaels by contrast played a running style and worked some openings for Tom Sally  McDonagh, Leech, and John Egan.  A Gaels goal with about 20 minutes gone opened up a lead.  Egan found Noel Graham to tap in at the far post.  Galway answered with 3 points on the trot from Glennon (2) and Gary Kelly, and capped the run of scores with a goal.  This time it was Danny Reddin with the run, Glennon hit the crossbar and Reddin was there for the rebound.  Galway ahead by 2 points.  A Kieran Killeen point put the smallest of margins in it at the break, with Galway ahead by 2-7 to 2-6.  The latter stages of the half were marked by some pushing and shoving episodes as temperatures started to get heated.

It was a keenly contested affair between
the Gaels and Galway.
The second half was as close as the first.  Having opened the half with 5 points, to one for Galway, it looked as though the Gaels had managed to get control of affairs.  Mossy Shanhan at corner back got on top of his man as the Gaels back line came to grips with the dual threat.  One score came from a ball Shanahan won just outside his own 21, and the move was finished by Leech for a point. 

Gaels corner forward Ian Burke was given his marching orders with a second yellow card and Galway took advantage with 2 points, one each from Eoghan Cummins and Gary Kelly to take a one point lead.  Kevin Cummins suffered a rush of blood to the head having been awarded a free just outside the box and was given a red card for appearing to head butt Shanahan after the whistle blew.  With the teams even in personnel once more, the Gaels pushed on for the win.  Three points on the trot from Dave McCormack, Graham, and substitute, Sean Treacy put the Gaels into a two point lead.  As Galway searched for a decisive goal the Gaels defended in numbers and held on to make it 3 for 3 in the championship.

Gaels:  E. Connolly, M. Shanahan, J. Donoghue, S. Conneeley, S. O' Connor, K. Killeen, D. McCormack, J. Barrett, J. Egan, N. Graham, T. McDonagh, I. Burke, G. Leech.  Galway:  M. O'Connor, D. Redmond, J. Gallagher, G. Patterson, M. Ryan, E. Murray, E. Kavanagh, E. Cummins, J. Kehoe, G. Kelly, D. Reddin, A. Glennon, K. Cummins.

By Rory O'Donnell

Sunday June 22 - Junior A Football: Wolfe Tones v Kerry

Kerry 0-8 Wolfe Tones 4-12

Wolfe Tones proved to be far too strong for a Kerry junior side that fielded with no subs to spare.  In spite of worthy endeavor for the Kingdom, it was a losing battle almost from the start.  The Tones banged in 4 goals in the opening period and had little to worry about for the remainder of the game.

In spite of a lot of hard work, Kerry were overmatched
by Wolfe Tones.
Kerry were up against it from the throw in.  The Tones first attack ended with the ball fizzing wide, but the second a minute later ended with the ball nestling in the back f the net.  Shane Delaney finished a quick passing move that had the Kerry defenders chasing shadows.  A Lee Clarke point followed, and then another goal from Cormac Joyce-Power at corner forward had Kerry in damage control mode.  Kerry suffered a blow as James Dooley had to leave the field with a shoulder injury, leaving Kerry with 12 men.  Joyce-Power proved to be a handful for the Kerry defenders.  The Limerick man netted twice more before the break. 

Along with Clarke and Shane Delaney in the half forward line, the Tones looked dangerous on each attack.  Kerry managed 2 points at either end of the half.  Brian O'Driscoll at center forward being the scorer.  The Kingdom managed to threaten the posts on several occasions, and forced a save from Pauric Miskell on the stroke of half time.  However, the finishing touch was just not there.  At the break it was a formidable 3-4 to 0-1 Tones lead.

The second half continued as the first ended.  Joyce-Power, Sean Kelly, Andy Rooney, and Jonathan Carroll found the spot between the posts.  Kerry continued to work hard and were rewarded with scores from Ryan Evans and O'Driscoll.  Kerry had a chance at a goal after Danny O'Sullivan was held in the box, but Miskell was alert to the shot and parried it for a 45.  The Tones continued to pop over the points to see out the game and take their first 2 points of the season.

Kerry:  D. O'Connor, P. Murphy, M. Moriarty, M. Godley, R. Foley, J. Dooley, R. Evans, F. O'Sullivan, M. Moriarty Snr., B. O'Driscoll, D. O'Sullivan, K. McCarthy, B. Monagle.  Tones:  P. Miskell, D. McCarron, M. McNamara, K. Gill, D. McGuire, P. Flynn, J. Carroll, P. Collins, E. Carr, L. Clarke, S. Delaney, C. Joyce-Power, S. Kelly.

By Rory O'Donnell

Monday, June 16, 2014

Sunday June 15 - Pat O'Brien Cup Final: Donegal v Kerry

Donegal 2-15 Kerry 2-10

There were championship points at stake as well as the Pat O'Brien Cup in the final game of the day.  Thanks to nine Eoin Bradley points, and a goal each from Daniel McLoughlin and Stephen Griffin, Donegal overcame a gallant second half Kerry comeback to kill both birds with the one stone.

Pat O'Brien Cup Champions - Donegal
Donegal had strengthened the side with the addition of Bradley at corner forward, and the return of Cahir Healy to defence brought back memories of Donegal's last championship victory in 2010; Healy played corner back on the side.  Donegal dominated from the get go.  Stephen Griffin accounted for three first quarter points, Bradley three, and Daniel McLoughlin one as the northerners made it look easy. 

Kerry's body language seemed to convey that defeat had been conceded.  The first Kerry score came in the form of a goal after Croft found Graham Glenn with a brilliant pass.  There were 27 minutes gone in the half by that stage.  Bradley answered with a point for Donegal, but points from Glenn and Croft before the break did much to lift Kerry spirits.  A seven point deficit had been reduced to 3.

It was all square with 20 minutes to go.  The teams matched each other for points, and a scrambled goal that was finished by Niall Sheehy meant that all was level.  Kerry's approach was now filled with renewed vigor.  A converted Croft 45 put Kerry into a brief lead, only for two Bradley scores to turn the tables entering the last quarter.

Kerry were now winning the midfield battles, a fine Niall Sheehy score put them into a one point lead.  But that man Bradley was involved in Donegal's go ahead goal.  A searching ball found the Derryman who put the ball across to McLaughlin, who finished easily into the net.  Shortly afterwards Griffin sealed the deal with a second Donegal goal and less than 5 minutes left.  Kerry kept plugging away, but there was too little time to pull off a second comeback.  Donegal win the silverware, and their first points of the season. 

Donegal:  S. Houghton, M. Canney, C. McCarron, S. Doherty, C. Healy, M. Dunphy, M. Smyth, G. Gallagher, C. Bell, G. Clancy, D. McLoughlin, E. Bradley, S. Griffin.  Kerry:  L. Steacy, M. Godley, A. Fitzgerald, P. Devane, D. Foley, J. O'Shea, I. Whelan, D. Nolan, N. Sheehy, G. Glynn, J. Fitzpatrick, R. Croft, D. O'Mahoney.

Rory O'Donnell

Sunday June 15 - Senior Football: Christopher's v Aidan McAnespies

Aidan McAnespies 2-8 Christopher's 0-13

There was drama and controversy aplenty as Aidan McAnespies condemned Christopher's to their second successive championship defeat, and in doing so took their first 2 points of the championship.  Christopher's lost the services of key players, Eoin O'Mahoney and Mark Delaney in the first half.  The former to a red card and the latter to a black.  In spite of the loss in personnel, Christopher's held a 2 point lead into injury time only to let slip their hopes of a heroic win after conceding a last minute penalty that was converted by Caolan O'Boyle.

Christopher's looked like they had done enough,
only to see it slip away in injury time.
In spite of Eoin O'Mahoney being given his marching orders within the first 10 minutes of the start following an off the ball incident, it was McAnespies who had to call on the services of Paddy Coakley to pull off two great saves, one from a David Culhane shot and a second from Kevin McAllister. 

Christopher's looked like the team with the extra man, often attacking with an overlap.  Culhane, Eamon Kiely, and McAllister each slotted over for Christopher's, while in the McAnespies column it was scores from Liam Boland, Jonathan McGourty and Mattie Campion.  Delaney was shown the black just before the break, by which time Christopher's held an unlikely 0-6 to 0-4 lead.

Christopher's continued in the second where they left off the first, with Culhane producing a great display.  Two Shanahan frees and a McAllister point added to the difference between the teams as McAnespies play remained somewhat disjointed. 

The goal that McAnespies needed came mid way into the second half.  Corner forward Liam Boland was the man to find the net after pointing.  The goal leveled the scores, and surely McAnespies would drive on to win the game.  Christopher's, however, held the slightest lead following 3 points between Culhane and Shanahan, with Sean O'Kane and Boland on the mark for the Macs.  The controversial ending came after a penalty was awarded in injury time for a foul on Boland who was pulled down in the box.  Caolan O'Boyle took it with authority and with the ball billowing the net the points went to McAnespies.  Relief for McAnespies and disbelief for Christopher's with the final twist. 

Macs:  P. Coakley, C. McPartland, M. Bogue, N. Gallen, P. Meade, P. Daly, C. Donnelly, C. McGuirk, S. O'Kane, M. Campion, J. McGourty, L. Boland, C. O'Boyle.  Christopher's:  P. Kenneally, E. O'Mahoney, J. McGuire, P. Dalton, C. Murphy, E. Kiely, M. Delaney,  B. Shanahan, S. Leahy, D. Culhane, J. Spillane, K. McAllister, I. Casey.

By Rory O'Donnell

Sunday June 15 - Senior Hurling: Galway v Tipperary

Tipperary 2-15 Galway 3-12

Galway salvaged a draw with a dogged second half comeback having fallen behind in the crucial first 10 minutes of the second half.  Goalkeeper James Skehill was very much involved as his penalty, and involvement in a somewhat controversial ending, contributed to 2 goals for the tribesmen.

Galway battled back to earn a draw at the death.
There was nothing between the teams after the first 30 minutes of play.  Plenty of stoppages due to injury prevented either side from getting into any sort of rhythm as the half moved along choppily.  Shortly after Mattie Brooks and John Moylan combined to net for Galway, Paul Buggy nonchalantly stroked the ball into the far corner at the other end. 

So it continued throughout the first half with the sides trading scores.  Galway spread the scores across the front 7, while for Tipp it was Buggy and Rory Sludds finding the posts.  A goal and seven a piece at the break.

Tipp got the second half off with a goal and five points.  Buggy finished the goal in style after Sean Moriarty found his teammate alone at the far post.  Coming on the heels of 5 points, to a solitary point for Galway, Tipp were in position to put the game away.  Galway stayed in the hunt however.

An infraction in the penalty area led to James Skehill making the trek from his goalmouth to bury the shot into the roof of the Tipp net.  There followed two points of individual brilliance from Paul Holden, and shortly afterwards, John Moylan, to pull Galway within a goal.  With the clock against them Galway threw the kitchen sink at it as Skehill advanced to within 35 yards to receive a short free and attempt a shot.  It was partially blocked by Sean Moriarty and left Skehill holding his shoulder in pain.  The ball was eventually put into the net by Paul Holden to salvage a draw for Galway.  To add some controversy to an already dramatic finish, Moriarty was shown a red card as his attempt to block was adjudged to be dangerous. 

Tipp:  S. Delaney, C. Gillis, S. McKillop, P. Moriarty, P. Flaherty, S. McGarr, T. McLiam, C. Dempsey, R. Sludds, P. Glennon, M. Kavanagh, S. Moriarty, P. Buggy.  Galway:  J. Skehill, P. Dowling, M. Lennon, S. Phelan, C. Murphy, JJ Doyle, B. McNamara, L. Henerson, P. Holden, D. Wallace, F. Flattery, J. Moylan, M. Brooks.

By Rory O'Donnell

Sunday June 15 - Senior Hurling: Wexford v Fr. Tom Burke's

Fr. Tom Burke's 2-15 Wexford 1-11

In a rematch of last week's Sheehan Cup final, Tom's and Wexford opened the senior hurling championship in near perfect conditions.  Tom's turned the tables on last week's result, running out fairly comfortable winners.   Newcomers, Zane Keenan in midfield and Ian McDonnell at center forward proved key to Tom's win.

Tom's had the better of Wexford this week.
A David O'Mahoney goal just before half time provided Tom's with the cushion going into the second half.  Tom's had opened a lead in the first period thanks to some well taken scores from Ian McDonnell at center forward, David Ryan, and Zane Keenan.  Wexford were guilty of some missed opportunities, however, free taker Tommy Ryan, Eoghan Kavanagh, and Peter Ryan were on the mark to keep Wexford in touch.  Tom's themselves wasted some opportunities with the ball into the forward line lacking direction at times.  Already sitting on a 5 point lead, O'Mahoney's goal made it 1-9 to 0-5 at the break.

Wexford improved on their first half performance, though they relied heavily on Ryan for the scoring outlet.  The Slaneysiders matched their opponents for scores in the second period, and netted through Padraig O'Farrell.  Remarkably, Shane Howley had to wait until mid way through the second half for his first point of the day, and it must have whetted the appetite as the Ardrahan man netted shortly afterwards.  With Wexford unable to eat into the lead, Tom's saw out the game to get off to a winning start for the 2014 championship.

Tom's:  A. Keating, G. Joyce, P. Heneghan, D. Costello, C. Joyce-Power, J. Dooley, O. Burke, Z. Keenan, D. Ryan, I. McDonnell, S. Howley, D. O'Mahoney, A. Burke.  Wexford:  T. Moloney, M. Ryan, B. Doyle, C. Burke, D. McGill, D. Brennan, J. Kehoe, E. Kavanagh, M. Moloney, P. Ryan, P. O'Farrell, T. Ryan, M. Walsh. 

By Rory O'Donnell 

Sunday June 15 - Ladies Senior Football: Boston Shamrocks v Tir na nOg

Boston Shamrocks 4-11 Tír na nÓg 6-18

The opening game of the Ladies senior football championship was a keenly contested affair that remained close until there was less than 5 minutes to go.  Two late goals sealed it as Tír na nÓg's superior fitness saw them through in the end. 

Caroline Nee Shoots for Tir na nOg
A very entertaining first half saw the Brighton ladies net three times, the first goal coming right after the throw in from full forward Jennifer Kelly.  Kelly proved a major threat for the first 20 minutes, accounting for another 3 points.  Tír na nÓg always looked dangerous in possession, and built up an early lead.  Further scores came from Caroline Nee, Maggie Sayers, and Tessa Mullins. 

With Tír na nÓg overrunning their defences, some committed tackling in their own half back line pulled the Shamrocks back into the game.  Trailing by 9 points mid-way through the half, a goal from center forward Linda Cronin signaled a comeback.  Another goal and four points, to one point from their opponents, brought the Shamrocks level by the time the half time whistle sounded.  There were a couple of let offs for the Shamrocks as first Kelly, and then Sayers fizzed shots just wide, a harbinger of things to come later in the game.  At the break it was 3-7 to 2-10, and the game was finely set up for the second half.

Sharon McGovern looks for help.
The sides traded goals to get the second period going.  First it was Kelly for Tír na nÓg, and Danielle Hallahan responded in kind for the Shamrocks.Each side buckled down, with the Shamrocks full back line doing well to absorb a lot of pressure.  Eventually the pressure told as the Brighton side banged in 2 goals in quick succession.  Kelly and Ciara O'Connor netted and the four point difference grew to 10 points as the game entered the final stretch.  The Shamrocks battled to the end, but at the end of the day it was a well earned win for the Brighton side.

Before the game there was a minutes silence in memory of Sharon McDonnell, sister of Ann Marie McDonnell, who sadly passed away recently in Ireland.   

Shamrocks:  N. Donovan, L. Larkin, D. Kearney, B. McGuire, N. Fennell, B. Devlin, S. McGovern, S. McGaugh, M. Cotterell, D. Hallahan, L. Cronin, K. Scanlon, C. McGovern, L. McCrystal, C. Byrne.  Tír na nÓg:  N. Hynes, E. Healy, L. Brick, A. Potts, N. O'Neill, A. Taylor, N. Daly, D. Sullivan, J. Moore, T. Mullins, C. Nee, L. Bergin, M. Sayers, J. Kelly, C. O'Connor.

By Rory O'Donnell

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Sunday June 8 Results

Thanks to Seamus Leonard for covering last weekend's games while I was away on a much needed break.

There were 2 finals contested, with the Boston Shamrocks winning the Orla Benson Cup by a score of 1-9 to 0-6 versus Tir na nOg.  This is the second in a row for the Shamrocks following from last years win over Connacht Ladies.

Wexford also brought a cup back to Brighton with an eight point victory over Fr. Tom Burke's in the Sheehan Cup final.  Wexford 1-18 Fr. Tom's 0-13.

In senior football it was the Connemara Gaels with an impressive 3-11 to 0-8 win over Wolfe Tones; the Gaels already looking like they will mount a strong defence of last year's title.  Shannon Blues claimed their first points of the championship with a 2-12 to 1-4 win over Galway.

Junior football championship action saw Aidan McAnespies defeat the defending champion Wolfe Tones with a 4-17 to 1-13 win, while Donegal easily defeated Connemara Gaels with a convincing 5-17 to 2-9 win.

Back at it this weekend!  

Monday, June 2, 2014

June 1: Senior Football - Donegal v Aidan McAnespies

Aidan McAnespies 1-19 Donegal 0-13

Following last week's close run defeat to Wolfe Tones, Aidan McAnespies won their first 2 points of the championship with relative ease against a Donegal team that lacked a bit of bite.  McAnespies pulled away as the game wore on and in the second half the sending off of Matt Smyth put a hole in the Donegal hull, and the northerners boat struggled to stay seaworthy.   McAnespies cruised for the final 20 minutes with their lead in little danger of being overcome, and claimed their first points of 2014.

Donegal rallied a little at the end of the first half, but
it was curtains in the second.
At the break it was McAnespies in a six point lead thanks in large part to a Mattie Campion goal.  With Dean Matthews out to injury, Donegal seemed to be lacking in options up front.  Gary Clancy who lined out at center forward dropped deeper as the half wore on and his effectiveness was limited.  McAnespies on the other hand had the services of Liam Boland to keep their front line of attack running, as well as goalscorer Mattie Campion.  The sides traded points to in the early going, and with the score a 2 a piece, McAnespies proceeded to put their stamp on the game.  A lead opened up with points from Boland, Campion and  Sean O'Kane.  After the goal Donegal enjoyed some success with scores converted by Matt Smyth and Ciaran McDevitt, but it was McAnespies in command at the break by a score of 1-9 to 0-6.

Donegal hopes hit rocks as Matt Smyth was shown a second yellow card and consequently, the line.  With the extra man McAnespies could afford to let up a little.  The scores continued to flow with Gareth McAlinden chipping in with a well taken point.  Donegal were at this stage fighting for a bit of pride, and kept thins decent on the scoreboard as points came from Pauric McLaughlin and Clancy.  Traffic was mostly one way however, the ease of McAnespies win underlined by a score where the ball effortlessly made its way the length of the field to be finished by Campion.  And so it continued until the final whistle.  Donegal will be heading back to the drawing board, while McAnespies might have the answers to a few of the questions for this season.

Macs:  P. Coakley, N. Gallen, M. Bogue, S. McAleer, P. Daly, P. Meade, C. Donnelly, J. McGourty, G. McAlinden, M. Campion, E. Hamill, L. Boland, S. O'Kane.  Donegal:  S. Houten, C. McCarron, D. Green, S. Doherty, M. Canny, P. McNulty, M. Smyth, G. Gallagher, C. McDevitt, G. Clancy, M. Dunphy, C. Bell, D. Doherty.

By Rory O'Donnell

June 1: Senior Football - Kerry v Christopher's

Kerry 4-8 Christopher's 4-5

It was an eight goal thriller between Kerry and Christopher's at the Irish Cultural Center on Sunday afternoon.  Although unsettled after conceding 3 goals early in the first half, Kerry pulled through the encounter to emerge 3 point winners.  Niall Sheehy was on the spot with the scores early in the second half as Kerry took the lead, and Kerry hearts missed a beat or two late in the game as Christopher's came within a hair of leveling the scores.

In spite of conceding 4 goals, Kerry came out on top.
Christopher's got off to a three goal start and rattled Kerry nerves early on.  Graham Glenn had put Kerry into a 1-1 to no score lead, but back came Christopher's as they ran at the Kerry defence.  Shane Leahy netted first, and was followed by a fine Kevin McAllister effort.  Dan Kenneally found the incoming  Leahy, who fed McAllister.  Kerry's early woes continued as after he brought down McAllister, Kerry keeper Brendan Monagle was shown a black card.  McAllister hit the kick and found the back of the net.  Christopher's ahead by a score of 3-0 to 1-1.  A little bit of impatience set in the Kerry play, as the ball was overplayed or passes went amiss.  After the teams traded points Kerry pulled a goal back through Derrick Nolan.  At the break Christopher's led by 3-3 to 2-3.

The second half saw Kerry make their comeback.  Niall Sheehy was the man of the moment with three points and a bizarre goal.  A high ball into the edge of the small square looked like it had enough length to sneak wide of the post, but Sheehy managed to get a fist to it and direct the ball into the open net.  Kerry were now 2 points to the good.  Christopher's made efforts to come back into the game, however, there were a few chances that went amiss.  Paudie Kenneally's pointed free was the sum of their rewards.  With the game still very much up for grabs, Kerry's fourth goal of the game came from the boot of Joey Fitzpatrick.  A skyward effort dropped short and ended up dropping just under the bar, Fitzpatrick followed with a point and the Kerrymen were now six points to the good.  Christopher's got a glimmer of hope after Mark Delaney fired home a cracker of a goal with his left foot to put one score in the game.  Christopher's nearly did pull off a draw when Kevin McAllister's shot from a tight angle rebounded off a Kerry defender but somehow stayed out as Mike Godley and Lee Steacy managed to prevent the goal.  Kerry hung on for the final few minutes and survived a tough test of character to remain on full points for the championship so far.

Kerry:  B. Monagle, M. Godley, A. Fitzgerald, M. Moriarty, P. Devane, S. Dunne, I. Whelan, D. Nolan, N. Sheehy, G. Glenn, J. Fitzpatrick, R. Croft, L. Steacy.  Christopher's:  J. Toner, E. O'Mahoney, M. McSweeney, P. Dalton, C. Murphy, E. O'Neill, D. Kenneally, M. Delaney, P. Kenneally, S. Leahy, P. Mannion, I Casey, K. McAllister.

By Rory O'Donnell 

June 1: Sheehan Cup - Fr. Tom Burke's v Tipperary

Tipperary 1-7 Fr. Tom Burke's 4-15

Fr. Tom Burke's advanced meet Wexford in the Sheehan Cup semi-final with an impressive victory over Tipperary.  One goal in the first half, followed by three in the second underlined a win in which Tom's looked a level ahead of their opponents.

Tom's proved a bit too strong for Tipp on Sunday.
Tom's took the half time break with a handsome 10 point lead.  A David Ryan goal following some excellent work by Alan Burke on the wing propelled Tom's into an eight point lead.  With a forward line that was capable of finishing from multiple angles, Tipp struggled to hold their opposite numbers in check.  Points came from the sticks of Shane Howley, David O'Mahoney, Oisin Burke, and Seamus Higgins.  Rory Shields saved Tipperary from going in having conceded 2 goals after a fine double save off O'Mahoney and then Ryan.  Cronan Dempsey accounted for Tipperary's scores and at the break it was a 1-10 to 0-2 lead for Tom's.

Tipperary noticeably lifted their effort in the second half, but the Tom's domination could not be overcome.  After Tom's rattled off points from Alan Burke, Simon Dunne, and O'Mahoney, Oisin Burke buried a second goal for Tom's.  Tipp managed to finish the game strong, a goal from Mark Kavanagh and a slew of late points saved some pride.  Tom's banged in a couple of goals before the final whistle and advance to meet Wexford in the final.

Tipp:  R. Shields, C. Gillis, P. Moriarty, S. McKillop, A. McRedmond, S. McGarr, C. Dempsey, K. O'Callaghan, M. Moriarty, D. Cooney, S. Moriarty, B. Regan, M. Kavanagh.  Toms:  S. O'Brien, J. Costello, G. Joyce, D. Costello, C. Joyce-Power, J. Dooley, S. Howley, S. Dunne, O. Burke, S. Higgins, D. Ryan, D. O'Mahoney, A. Burke.

By Rory O'Donnell