Sunday, May 2, 2021

Back in Action in Canton

Referee Barney Curran with Captains,
Robbie Croft (Macs) and Ryan Caffrey (Gaels).
Saturday afternoon blessed the Irish Cultural Centre in Canton Mass with perfect football weather for the start of the 2021 GAA season.  It was the first time in 20 months that games were played at the venue following the Pandemic that completely nixed the 2020 season.  Clubs agreed that for the 2021 season there would not be any sanction players involved, so, unlike previous seasons, team panels were all finalized by April 30.  The season stared Saturday with the Pat O’Brien Cup, and championship action begins the first weekend in June.

There were 4 Pat O’Brien Cup games played, with some good football involved and the day ended with a very entertaining game between McAnespies and the Connemara Gaels.  The competition format consists of 2 groups with the winners of each meeting in the final.  The first encounter saw a Group B contest between Donegal “B” and Galway.  The Donegal team had the measure of their opponents and ran out winners by a score of 3-8 to 1-4.  Next up was another Group B contest between a combined Wolfe Tones/Christopher’s team and Kerry.  The combined side got off well and built up a lead in the first half, but Kerry got their act together for the second and tallied some good scores, but were always chasing a lost cause.  It ended 3-12 to 2-8 for the Tones/Christopher’s.

Group A saw the Donegal “A” team take on the Shannon Blues.  Donegal put in a good team performance in their first outing and coasted to a 2-12 to 1-3 win to get their season off to a start.  They will face sterner tests in the games to follow judging from the bruising, goal laden, encounter between the Gaels and McAnespies.  The Gaels got out of the blocks to a 0-8 to 0-1 lead, but McAnespies hit for a major with less than 10 minutes to half time and the floodgates opened with another 7 scores in the goals column for the 2019 senior finalists.  The final score was 8-4 to 1-11 for McAnespies.  So, Group A has Donegal “A” and McAnespies each with a win, and in Group B it is Donegal “B” and Tones/Christopher’s in pole position.

We look forward to the next weekend’s games.

2:30 Grp B - Kerry v Donegal “B”

3:30 Grp B - Wolfe Tones/Christopher’s v Galway

4:30 Grp A - Shannon Blues v Connemara Gaels

5:30 Grp A – Aidan McAnespies v Donegal “A”

Rory O'Donnell