Sunday, May 3, 2015

Losers Turn Winners as Blues and Christopher’s Advance

The losers from last week’s first round games, Shannon Blues and Christopher’s, were the winners on Saturday afternoon as the first knockout games of the Pat O’Brien Cup were played. 

With the weather considerably warmer and spring taking hold, the action began early with Aidan McAnespies taking on Donegal in the final first round game at 2:00.  Donegal prevailed.  Having held an 8 points to one half time lead, the men from the North West held off a second half rally to end up winners by 0-11 to 1-4.

A scheduling snafu, which demonstrates the power of social media, saw Kerry and the Shannon Blues turn up earlier than the officially appointed time, and went ahead with the  game.  The Blues ran out winners by a score of 2-14 to 3-4 and advance to the semi-finals.  Kerry led by 2 points at the break, but the Blues rallied impressively to turn the deficit into a 7 point victory.  Kerry had the misfortune of losing key home-based player, Ian Whelan to an ankle injury in the second half. 

The final game of the day saw Galway and Christopher’s fight it out.  Christopher’s looked like the stronger side with a solid midfield and forward line and were never behind at any stage in the game.  There were some well worked scores.  Christopher’s looked sharp with a first half goal from Dara Bree and another in the second from Aherlow man, Tom Fahy, each involving quick, incisive passing and running.  Christopher’s will meet the Blues in the semi-final two weeks from now.
Next week sees the other 2 quarter finals between Wolfe Tones and Aidan McAnespies at 4:30, followed by Donegal and Connemara Gaels, to see who will advance to the first semi-final.  

Christopher’s 3-10 Galway 2-6
Tom Fahy on the attack for Christopher's.
A strong performance from Christopher’s saw them past Galway and into the semi-finals.  Having led by double scores at the break, 2-6 to 1-3, Christopher’s pressed home their advantage in the second half to run out 10 point winners.

The early going was tit for tat.  Galway answered points from Dan Kenneally and Dara Bree with a Danny Reddin strike, and a Paddy Manning goal was returned in kind by JJ Doyle.  Doyle and Christopher’s keeper, Murt Hunt, required time to recover as they clashed while challenging for a ball on the edge of the small square, it was Doyle’s fist that made the critical connection with the ball to direct it into the net.
With half time approaching the teams were level.  Doing some tidy work at corner forward, Manning had extended Christopher’s lead to two, while a Doyle free and a Jamie Kehoe point tied it up.  Christopher’s, however, struck with a late flurry of scores.  A well worked goal saw Dara Bree finish expertly into the bottom corner, and points from the Aherlow man, Fahy, had Christopher’s sitting pretty to start the second period.

Thomas Gallagher.
Christopher’s fired some early wides, which proved to serve as warning shots for things to come.  David Cash and Doyle traded points before Fahy fired home a third goal for Christopher’s which involved another great move that started in the  Christopher’s half back line and opened up Galway’s rearguard.  Galway began to look increasing frustrated with the turn of fortunes, and some stray passes added to that.  The sides finished up exchanging points to wind things up.  Christopher’s into the semi-finals while Galway will look toward the first round of the championship on May 31.

Christopher’s:  M. Hunt, K. Fuligniati, M. McSweeney, P. Kenneally, E. O’Neil, J. Horgan, P. Delaney, C. Murphy, D. Cash, D. Bree, T. Fahy, P. Manning, D. Kenneally.  Galway:  D. Bindon, G. Lundy, P. Cummins, J. Doyle, S. Marshall, A. Murphy, J. Kehoe, J. Campion, T. Gallagher, D. Reddin, K. Gallagher, JJ Doyle, K. Cummins.
By Rory O’Donnell

Orla Benson Cup
The Orla Benson Cup will start on May 31 with a round robin blitz between the 3 ladies clubs which will decide the finalists.  The final will be played the following weekend.

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