Thursday, May 28, 2015

Senior Football Championship Opens Sunday!

Sunday next sees all 8 of Boston’s senior football teams in action to open the 2015 championship.  With 4 games on the schedule there is plenty of action to look forward to.  An early win or two can make all the difference when the middle of August rolls around and playoff spots are on the line.  Clubs have been busy bolstering their home based panels and and getting into shape for the season.  Some clubs have already landed top tier names, and with the coming weeks seeing the addition of away players, the season promises to hold plenty of twists and turns as well as the best live gaelic football and hurling action in North America.

Shannon Blues started 2015 the way they ended 2014 - with a piece of silverware to celebrate.
First up are Aidan McAnespies and Kerry at 1:15 next Sunday.  Things have not gone well in the early season for Kerry.  Some key home based players have been lost to injuries in the cup and challenge matches.  An ankle injury means Ian Whelan’s participation is in doubt, while Mike Godley is likely out for the remainder of the season at least.  Kerry will still look to Robbie Croft and Ronan O’Driscoll to keep the ship pointed in the right direction.  McAnespies have brought in Offaly man Johnny Brickland in the middle of the field, as well as marksman Sean McConville, to bolster the home based panel and will fancy their chances in this game.  

Christopher's Tom Fahy in action.
Christopher’s and Galway meet in the second game.  Both teams missed out on the playoffs last season and will be eager to take this chance at a couple of points to get off the mark.  Christopher’s were disappointed with last year’s showing and will be hoping to get this year off to a winning start.  With Tipperary man, Tom Fahy, leading the way in the forward line they might just do that.  Galway have struggled the last couple of years having made the semis in 2012 where the tribesmen fell to Donegal.  Galway are now the lone club flying the football flag in Brighton and although the last two years have been barren, the team has always proved to be a tough nut to crack.  Eoghan Kavanagh’s injury will keep him out for the season, a huge loss for the Brighton men.  However, with Danny Reddin, Kevin Cummins, and Jamie Kehoe on the field Galway have a solid home base to build upon.  An early win will be important for them on Sunday.   

Connemara Gaels have it all to do to overturn a hot Shannon Blues team.  The reigning champions look well positioned to defend their title having captured the Pat O’Brien Cup in impressive fashion last Saturday.  The Blues have managed to acquire the services of Austin Stacks midfielders Wayne Guthrie and Greg Horan to anchor the side for the season, while the rest of the squad looks well focused on retaining the championship if last Saturday’s performance is anything to go by.  The Gaels have made some nice additions to the team in David Black, Jack Purcell, and Tommy Higgins however it will take a massive performance to come out with the win on Sunday.

Cormac Joyce-Power and Wolfe Tones will be looking for a good start Sunday.
Donegal and Wolfe Tones will provide the grand finale to Sunday’s action.  Donegal are looking to make 2015 a season to remember having taken a little bit of a back seat last year.  Already Leitrim’s Emlyn Mulligan is in the fold, while Gavin “fireman” Gallagher and Killybegs man, Matt Smyth, are back for another crack at a Boston senior championship.  Wolfe Tones have always been a leader in the early season and once again look to be serious about capturing that elusive first Boston senior football championship.  The home based stalwarts Gary Brilly, Cormac Joyce-Power, Mike O’Brien and Marty Farrell will need some help to carry the team over the finish line in first place this year.  Maybe 2015 will be Blue and Navy – the story starts Sunday!

In addition, Friday night sees Tom’s and Wexford meet in the first Sheehan Cup semi-final, while at noon on Sunday, a hotly fancied Tipperary team, featuring Clare prodigy Colm Galvin meet Galway in the second semi-final.  Tipp recently traveled to New York and captured the 7-a-side trophy and will be looking to take a step towards a second piece of silverware this year.  

The Ladies footballers got creative and will be playing a blitz on Sunday to determine which two teams will make the Orla Benson Cup final for the following week.

So, things really starting in earnest for the Boston GAA.  If past seasons are anything to go by there will be plenty of twists and turns, controversy and conversation pieces, and of course, top class GAA action over the next 3 months.

By Rory O’Donnell

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