Monday, June 28, 2021

Refreshing to be Back into the Swing of Things in 2021

By Rory O’Donnell

It was a quieter weekend than usual on the field of play and next weekend sees a break in the action for the Independence Day holiday.  Action last weekend saw Fr. Tom Burke’s continue their superiority at Senior Hurling with a comfortable win over Galway.  It was close at the end of the first half with Tom’s holding a 2-9 to 1-9 lead, Liam Moore and Dylan Costello with the goals for Tom’s and John Moylan with Galway’s major.  It was enough to cause a brief period of concern on the Tom’s line, but they stamped their authority on the game throughout the second half.  Earlier in the week Galway had registered a win versus Offaly in a Wednesday night clash.

Sean Og's Ladies in action v Boston Shamrocks
Football saw the Wolfe Tones with a win in their first outing at Junior A football.  Gavin Walsh and Inchy O’Brien putting 1-4 on the scoreboard between them for the Tones.  Friday evening saw Sean Og’s register their first win of the season at Junior B against Donegal.  Eoin Gormley tallied an impressive 3-4 as the Og’s ran out 5-12 to 1-11 winners.  Sunday saw the Connemara Gaels defeat Trinity Milton in a well contested affair, final score 1-15 to 1-9 for the Gaels.  Portland, Maine saw a double victory with the hurling team coming out on top against the Wolves of New Hampshire in Junior C and on the football side of the ledger it was the footballers with a win against Hartford.  The Boston Shamrocks added another win to their record at Ladies football by defeating the new Sean Og’s ladies team made up of Home Grown players who came through the underage ranks

Galway kept it close for 30 minutes on Sunday.

While the schedule is not as choc-a-bloc as in “normal” seasons, there is still quite a robust tableau of games each week, whether they be played at the central location of the Irish Cultural Centre in Canton, Mass. or at any of the other venues around New England.  The decision by the clubs to go all home based this season is proving to be a great way to restart, refresh, and rebuild following more than a year of inactivity on the field due to the Coronavirus.  I’m not sure when the last time a full season was played entirely with home based and home grown players in the region, but it must be 30 or 40 years or more.  It also seems to be having the effect of accelerating the transition at adult level from a base of players made up of immigrants from Ireland to the Home Grown, or American Born, players.  Junior levels of the sports feature a clear majority of players born and bred in the area, while at the higher levels locally developed talent is refreshingly a regular feature. 

This year has also seen new football clubs with Trinity Milton adding an adult team in Junior B football after starting 12 years ago at underage level.  Worcester Fenians also took the leap by starting a Junior C Football team.  Also, after long period with no camogie in the region, a new club has formed with the New England Fenians.  

When games resume after the holiday there will be 6 weeks of regular season and playoff games.  Senior football sees Donegal as clear favourites, with the Connemara Gaels looking like the nearest challenger.  Junior A is yet to play out with Cork or the Wolfe Tones looking like the contenders.  Junior B football is shaping up to be very interesting.  Any 5 of the 6 teams look capable of winning it out, while Junior C football has the Portland Fomorians from Maine on top.

Fr. Tom’s are in pole position at senior hurling, and it looks like the gap might get closer as the Home Grown players with Galway and Offaly gain more experience.  Junior B hurling is looking like Sean Og’s and Worcester will be battling it out for the title, while Providence is looking strong at junior C hurling.   The Boston Shamrocks have full points after 2 games as they look to reclaim the Ladies football championship.

Overall it is refreshing to see clubs making the effort to recruit new players, bring back older players and see familiar faces at the Irish Cultural Center on game days.   The USGAA finals are being hosted by the Boston Northeast GAA at the ICC in August this year, and should cap off a great second half of the season.

Results, tables and schedule of games are at 

Boston Northeast GAA Results

Wed June 23:  Senior Hurling - Galway 2-19 Offaly 2-11

Weekend Results

Senior Hurling – Fr. Tom Burke’s 3-20 Galway 1-14

Ladies Senior Football – Boston Shamrocks 3-12 Sean Og’s 0-8

Junior A Football – Wolfe Tones 2-14 Galway 2-6

Junior B Football – Sean Og’s 5-12 Donegal 1-11; Connemara Gaels 1-15 Trinity Milton 1-9

Junior C Hurling – Portland 2-20 NH Wolves 0-9

Junior C Football – Hartford 2-6 Portland 1-13

Monday, June 21, 2021

Weekend Round Up

There was a plethora of football and hurling action around the region this weekend.  Games Friday, Saturday and Sunday at the ICC in Canton, Mass. as we as Hartford Ct., Portland Me., and Merrimack, Nh. 

Donegal looked good on Sunday.
On Sunday the men’s and Ladies senior footballers battled it out at HQ.  Donegal added another win to their championship campaign.  The Shannon Blues held it close in the first half, with just one score between the teams.  Donegal 0-6 and the Blues 0-3 at the break.  In the second half, however, Donegal ran rampant and banged in two early goals from star players, Shane Carthy and Corey Gallagher.  The point also flowed with regularity.  Carthy, Lee Carr, and Gallagher adding to the tally.  The Blues pulled a couple of late scores back from Mike Moylan and Dylan Walsh, but it ended up an impressive 2-17 to 0-5 win for the notherners.

The Gaels' Colman Mulkerrin 

Aidan McAnespies and the Gaels were the second senior football match on the docket for the day and served up a competitive and close run affair.  It was a cagey opening with never more than 2 points between the teams.  Peter O’Connell was the main marksman for the Macs, and scores for the Gaels came from Jack Bambrick, Patrick Cunningham, and Colman Mulkerrin.  The Gaels went in 2 points to the good at the half with Paddy McGee and Ryan Caffrey pointing late.  The second half saw the Macs pull ahead, Robbie Croft found his range and Philly McCusker proved a handful at corner forward.  The difference maker, however, was a goal from Matty Duane for the Gaels mid-way through the half. The Gaels stretched the lead to 5 before a late penalty saw Croft pull it back to two with the spot kick.  The Gaels held on for the win, 1-11 to 1-9. 

Also on Sunday, The Ladies senior footballers played out a close game with the Boston Shamrocks coming out on top by a score of 2-12 to 2-9.  Friday night saw Christopher’s gather second win in the Junior B Football championship with a 4-8 to 1-6 win over newcomers, Trinity Milton.  Saturday saw more junior B action, Donegal came out winners over Kerry by a score of 2-11 to 0-13, while the Connemara Gaels defeated Sean Og’s 4-9 to 1-7. Donegal and Christopher’s on top of the junior B table there in the early going. 

Hartford squeaked by Worcester in the
Junior C Football Championship.

Three other states in the region saw GAA action at the weekend.  In Connecticut it was the Hartford junior C footballers with a victory by the narrowest of margins over new team, Worcester, 2-11 to 2-10.  Further north in Merrimack NH the Worcester junior C hurlers had a 4-19 to 2-18 win over hosts, the Wolves of New Hampshire.  In Portland Maine Providence junior C hurlers continued their winning ways with a win against Portland Hurling Club, 7-17 to 3-3.      

Next Wednesday, June 23, at 6:00, Offaly and Galway meet in the senior hurling championship.

By Rory O'Donnell

Hartford v Worcester Photo by Hartford GAA

Tuesday, June 15, 2021

Senior Football - Aidan McAnespies v Shannon Blues

Aidan McAnespies 2-13 Shannon Blues 1-9

In what was the conclusion of the first day of the restarted Senior Football Championship, Aidan McAnespies faced off against the Shannon Blues.  In this season of all home based players from top to bottom, each team also featured several home grown players which is certainly an encouraging sign for the sport taking root in the area. 

Aidan McAnespies with a win in their first outing.

The game started off evenly enough, with each team scoring one after the other in what was an attacking and heated start, with a few high temper moments. But it was the duo of Robbie Croft, who was the free taker on the day, and Peter O’Connell, to lead the way for McAnespies to grow the lead. 

In a very heated battle which had moments of high tempers, the Blues tried to fight back and a valiant save from keeper Conor Mullen kept them in it until a great 1-2 play between Aidan O’Malley and Peter O’Connell lead to the Macs scoring their first goal (By A.O’Malley) before the break. 

The McAnespies started the 2nd half just how they ended it with another goal, this time by Steven Ward, who made a great run off a breaking ball from Midfield.  A goal from the Shannon Blues soon after gave a glimmer of hope for a comeback, but on this day, the McAnespies were a little too good and ran out the victors winning with the scoreline 2-13 to 1-9. 

Macs:  J. Lake, E. Delmer, G. Dillon, S. McGarr, E. Gormley, N. Murphy, S. Ward, E. Ward, P. O’Connell, D. Murphy, R. Croft, P. McCusker, A. O’Malley.

Blues:  C. Mullen, L. Bradley, E. Shay, B. Fannan, S. Kelly, D. O’Brien, M. young, P. Murray, M. Moylan, D. Wallace, J. young, E. Brennan, J. Feeney.

By Evan McDonagh

Photo by Rachel O'Driscoll (

Monday, June 14, 2021

Senior Hurling - Fr. Tom Burke's v Offaly

Fr. Tom Burke’s 3-22 Offaly 1-11

Offaly and Tom’s met in the second senior hurling match of the season, and Tom’s eased to a convincing win.  In this all home-based season Offaly called upon the services of a handful of Home Grown players from Junior B side, Worcester, who acquitted themselves well.  Although the outcome was pretty much clear after the first 10-15 minutes with Tom’s never in any trouble, to their credit Offaly kept their side of the scoreboard ticking over.

Jason Costello was the man on the sport for
many of Tom's scores.

Within the first 15 minutes Jason Costello had bagged a hat trick as Tom’s were well in control of affairs.  Liam Moore, Fergus Byrne and Fran Keenan also had found the mark before Offaly tallied a score.  The Faithful men stuck to their task however, and started to get things moving on the scoreboard.  Jimmy Rigney banged a few points over the bar and was the main outlet for Offaly’s scores, with Tom Lind also adding to the Offaly tally.  With Tom’s firing the points over almost at will, a goal came late in the half from Andrew Engel to lift Offaly spirits.  At the break it was a 3-14 to 1-8 Tom’s lead.

The second half continued much in the same vein as the first, with Liam Moore and Jason Costello combining nicely for scores on the couple of occasions.  Jack Martyn has developed into a very capable hurler and made a good contribution to the Tom’s efforts.  The scores kept coming for Tom’s as they added a second win for 2 out of 2 in this year’s senior hurling championship.

Tom’s:  K. Flynn, O. McCormack, A Coleman, B. Flynn, D. Higgins, G. Dillon, N. Murphy, J. Martyn, F. Byrne, F. Keenan, L. Moore, C. O’Donoghue, J. Costello.  Subs:  J. Mellick, S. Higgins, J. O’Doherty,

Offaly:  D. Smith, D. Nyland, S. Sinnott, J. Green, S. O’Shaughnessy, D. Williams, T. Lind, J, Rigney, M. Moriarty, J. Murray, A. Engel, C. Lynch, S. Whitty. D. Theriault.

By Rory O'Donnell

Sunday, June 13, 2021

Senior Football - Connemara Gaels v Donegal

Donegal 0-12 Connemara Gaels 0-7

First points of the new senior football championship went to Donegal following a very entertaining game against the Connemara Gaels.  Donegal were by far the more clinical of the teams and converted their chances, while the Gaels wastefulness will be something they will look at correcting before the next outing.  Donegal took an early lead and held on to it, but may have considered themselves to be fortunate to be ahead at the break.  In the second half as legs tired it was Donegal who took their scores when it counted and ended up 5 point winners.

Kieran McDevitt is Watched my Michael Coyne.

Donegal had the better of the early exchanges and went into a 3 points to one lead.  After Patrick Cunningham opened the scoring for the Gaels, Donegal fired off points from Shane Carthy, and 2 from Corey Gallagher with his nice easy style.  The Gaels were on the defensive as Donegal had most of the possession and worked the ball through the lines well.  The Gaels got a foothold in the game and had the lion’s share of the possession for the second quarter of the game, but could not find the range to convert chances into scores.  As the misses piled up for the Gaels so did the frustration, and Donegal’s lead remained intact.

Cunningham eventually converted for the Gaels, and the score was answered by Carthy for Donegal, who made more of their opportunities.  Paddy McGee and Cunningham pointed to draw the scores level, before Lee Carr curled one over to make it a 0-5 to 0-4 Donegal lead at the break.

Ryan Caffrey Burst Forward for the Gaels.

Early in the second half it looked like Donegal suffered a blow as Corey Gallagher pulled up with what looked like a serious leg injury and had to leave the fray.  Donegal lifted their game thereafter with Shane Carthy pointing three times to extend the northerners lead.  The Gaels started to look tired and when in possession supporting options were few for the man with the ball.  An AJ Maguire point gave the Gaels a lift, and after Carthy restored the lead it could have been a goal for the Gaels as Colman Mulkerrins burst through and chipped just over the bar from an angle. 

A one score game heading into the final quarter.  The sides exchanged points, a lovely Darren Green score for Donegal was answered by a Paddy McGee point that sneaked over the bar.  Lazarus rose from the dead and Corey Gallagher sensationally re-entered play.  Gallagher was involved in a sweeping move that led to the insurance point for Donegal.  Colman Mulkerrins had a goal chance blocked, and with the following move, Donegal swept downfield with Gallagher finding Carthy to pop the ball over.  Carthy added a final point to put a cap on Donegal’s win.  The Gaels will look back and rue the missed scoring chances, and for Donegal, well, another win in the bag for the northerners.

Donegal:  H. Boyle, M. Canny, A. O’Sullivan, J. Newall, J. O’Brien, S. Doherty, S. Carthy, C. Gallagher, G. Reilly, N. Egan, L. Carr, D. Green, C. McDevitt.  Subs:  Diarmuid Moyne, Liam McCrea.

Gaels:  E. Connolly, M. Coyne, C. Kileen, P. McGee, T. Duignan, J. Flaherty, R. Caffrey, J. Bambrick, S. Murray, S. Conneeley, AJ McGuire, P. Cunningham, C. Mulkerrins.

By Rory O'Donnell

Junior A Football - Cork v Galway

Cork 0-12 Galway 0-2

Cork took the first points of the junior A championship Sunday afternoon with a convincing win against a Galway side that generated plenty of chances, but could not convert.  Cork built a 7 point lead in the first 15 minutes and Galway, in spite of their best efforts at both ends of the field, could not eat into it.

Cork had the better of Galway for much of game.

Galway got off to the brighter start right after the throw-in with back to back points from Shane Lohan and Kevin Cummins, Cummins with a lovely strike from a 45.  However, once Cork got a taste of the scoreboard the rebels took over the rest of the half, and game for that matter.  Mark Dalton points and the scores then flowed from Colm Caffrey, Mike Moynihan, and another from Dalton.  Cork worked the ball well from the backs and found the openings up front to take their points.  At the water break it was in a well-deserved six point lead, 0-8 to 0-2. 

Cork almost killed the game off with a goal shortly after play resumed, however the score was disallowed due to a square ball.  Galway started to make a better fist of it after the let off, and nearly had a goal for themselves.  JJ Doyle burst through the Cork rearguard but his shot was well saved by Lar Barden.  Galway enjoyed much more possession as the back line worked hard to turn over Cork attacks, but could not convert into scores.  It was an evenly played second quarter, and Cork added one to their lead from Dalton before the half time break.

With the Cork holding a 7-point lead, Galway changed things up a bit to try and generate some more scoring chances in the second half.  John Moylan moved into the full forward line and Kevin Cummins into the middle of the field.  The Westerners continued to fight hard in the backs and did have some chances to eat into the deficit that drifted the wrong sides of the posts while Cork capitalized on their opportunities.  Injuries to John Moylan and Sean Melville also hampered Galway’s efforts. 

Cork also had a bench of 7-8 players, something that must have seemed like a luxury to Galway.  Cian Clifford pointed twice shortly after entering play, and Dalton put another over the bar as Cork stretched out the lead.   Cork brought on the bench in the final quarter, and saw the game out.  The rebels will be happy with their outing, while Galway will be looking after a couple of injuries and hoping for better things in their next match.

Cork:  L. Barden, M. Carolan, C. Moynihan, N. O’Doherty, K. McInerney, A. Cadogan, J. Long, D. O’Regan, J. Gaffney, M. Moynihan, A. Proce, M. Dalton, C. Caffrey.  Subs:  C. Clifford, R. Hayman, J. O’Riordan, F. Murray, P. Smith, P. McCafferty, S. Kelly.

Galway:  G. Lundy, A. Flanagan, P. Delaney, N. Walsh, P. Cummins, D. McKeigue, J. Moylan, S. Melville, D. Burke, K. Cummins, C. Kelly, S. Lohan, JJ Doyle.

By Rory O'Donnell

Tuesday, June 8, 2021

Opening Championship Weekend

The weekend opened with a maiden voyage for Trinity Milton who fielded a team in the junior B football championship after starting the club 12 years ago with a small group of 6 and 7 year-olds.  The youngsters faced an experienced Kerry team that taught them a lesson or two and ran out 3-17 to 0-4 winners.  Lessons learned for the young Americans, whereas Kerry have been knocking on the door of the junior B championship title.  Over the last few years the Kingdom has built a solid base to launch a challenge.  For Trinity it was a big night with a large support, and getting a team on the field was a victory for the club in itself.  It was the first championship game played on the main field, which was in immaculate condition, since August 2019. Full match report is available on the Kerry Boston Website (

Boston Shamrocks won the Orla Benson Cup on
Sunday v a combined Connacht Ladies/Sean Og's
Saturday saw Canton stuck in dead 90 degree heat and there were 4 games on.  Two hurling matches were played on the main field.  The first saw another team of Home Grown players, Sean Og’s, take on the Worcester Fenians.  The Fenians held the lead for most of the game with old hands Liam Kelly, Tom Lind and Conor Greene keeping them just about in the lead.  Sean Og’s struck late, however, and a couple of excellent points from Aidan O’Malley were followed with a goal at the final whistle by Mike Moylan that propelled Sean Og’s to a 2-13 to 1-13 win.

Junior C Hurling action followed with Portland traveling from Maine and Hartford from Connecticut to meet in a game that Portland always looked like the side that would claim the spoils.  A couple of first half goals put Portland in the driver’s seat to lead by 2-8 to 0-6 at the break. Hartford managed to put some respectability on the scoreboard with some late scores, final score 4-14 to 2-9 for the boys from Maine.

Football action on the back field saw the Sean Og’s footballers in another close game with a solid looking Christopher’s team.  With the game in the balance throughout it was Christopher’s who edged it by a score of 3-8 to 3-7.  Junior C football saw Worcester field for the first time in the big ball game against the Portland Fomorian footballers.  It was another victory for the Mainers as they defeated the newcomers by a score of 3-7 to 2-4.     


We then had the start of the Senior Championship, where we saw 2019 Senior Champions Donegal take on Galway. In what started out as an evenly balanced match, with Galway being unlucky with a number of wides, while Donegal chipped away at the score. 2 great saves from the Galway shot stopper further aided their survival ambitions, however, as the match went on, Donegal’s Shane Carthy and Cory Gallagher slotted away a number of goals and points to run away with the match. Galway managed to score a few consolation points but conceded the match 4-20 to 0-05. 

In the next match of the Senior Football Championship, we saw Shannon Blues face Cork, in what was a repeat of the 2019 Intermediate final. Both teams started strong, scoring a point each from play, however, as the match went on, the Shannon Blues kept racking up the scores, eventually winning 5-18 to 0-05.

ext to come was the start of the Senior Hurling Championship, with once again, the finalists from 2019 facing each other, as Fr Toms faced Galway. The game started off even, with both teams starting strong and going point for point, with John Moylan doing the weight of the scoring for Galway, and Jason Costello doing likewise for the Toms. The deadlock was eventually broken by Chris O’Donoghue who scored the first goal of the game. As the game went on, it got very heated, and tempers started to flare as a skirmish ensued which saw Danny Burke for Galway and Jack Martin for Toms get their marching orders. With a game full of action the start of the 2nd half saw Galway save a penalty, and a highly attacking game as each team added to their tallies in a closely contested battle, in which the Toms prevailed with a 3-18 to 2-17 victory.

By Evan McDonagh and Rory O’Donnell

Photos by Rachel O'Driscoll