Sunday, May 15, 2022

Macs, Gaels into Pat O'Brien Cup Final; Worcester win Junior B Hurling Opener

The 2022 Pat O’Brien Cup final will be contested between the Connemara Gaels and Aidan McAnespies next Saturday, May 21.  There will be a new name of the cup as last season’s post-COVID revival saw two Donegal teams play the final, but this year the holders fell at the semi-final to the Macs.  The Connemara Gaels left it a bit later to see off the Wolfe Tones/Christopher’s challenge but pulled away with a convincing win in the end.

Tiernan Saul - Aidan McAnespies

McAnespies held an eight-point lead by the break of the second semi-final.  With a healthy looking 1-7 to 0-2 lead at the break for McAnespies it was going to take a big turnaround from Donegal to turn the tide.  The Donegal men were without the engine of Shane Carthy on the field however, and it looked like it was going to be a tall order to get back into it.  After some nicely clipped Robbie Croft points a Tiernan Saul goal put McAnespies into the driver’s seat.  Chances were not as plentiful for Donegal, and a point each from Darren Grant and Kieran McDevitt had the northerners on the board.   The second half continued along a similar vein with Rory Brolly coming to the fore in the forward line, and scoring a great individual point.  Cory Gallagher converted a penalty for Donegal, but a Brolly goal canceled it out soon afterwards (no blown kisses for the crowd from Rory) and McAnespies will look to add to the Enda Hammill Cup that they won a few weeks ago, with the final score 2-13 to 1-4.

In the other semi-final the Connemara Gaels dispatched a combined Wolfe Tones/Christopher’s side on a final score of 4-10 to 1-7.  It was not until the second half that the Gaels pulled away to make it safe.  It should be a good final next weekend to decide the 2022 winners.

Captains Travis Crocker and Tom Lind with Terry Doran

The Junior B Hurling championship also got off the ground with the opening game between Providence and Worcester.  Worcester earned the 2 points with some solid performances from Sean O’Shaughnessy, Tom Lind, Conor Greene, and a few clips of magic from the hurl of Jerry O’Connor.  Some nicely taken scores from Austen Clark frees and a couple from play filled the Providence column, but the Worcester sharpshooters were too much for the men from down I-95.  A second half goal from Clark would not be enough to eat into the Worcester lead as Andrew Engel and PJ Heffernan also netted for Worcester.  Final score, Worcester 2-24 Providence 1-8.

By Rory O'Donnell

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