Shannon Blues captured their second senior football championship in three years in a nail biting encounter with first time finalists, Wolfe Tones. A large crowd enjoyed a superb final that could have gone either way until the final few minutes. It was all square with ten minutes left, and Blues finished with four points on the trot to end up on the winning side.
It was an up and down battle in the first half with each side making forays into opposition territory with each kickout. Marty Farrell and Sean O’Connor traded three points each to get things going, O’Connor’s left boot was working well as was Farrell’s accuracy from the frees. The Tones then went on a run of four unanswered points. Darragh McVeety put two tremendous efforts over the bar, and Michael Argue another. In the meantime Charles McCarthy had to make way due to an injured leg, and on came Dan McCabe.
The Blues started to threaten and worked an opening for Darragh Treacy who put the shot from the edge of the penalty area wide of the far post. Sean Moriarty was then in for another goal chance but his shot was a little high and went over for a point. Farrell put another great score over for the Tones, before O’Connor answered in kind with a fine point, this time off the right boot. Darragh Walsh added another fine score for the Blues. It was helter skelter up and down the field at this point and Cathal Hynes pulled off a fine save to deny the Blues a goal. At the break it was an eight points to six Tones lead.
Before the second half was three minutes old the Blues had turned the deficit into a three point lead. Two quick points from Treacy and Moriarty had the teams all square before Treacy finished a strong run with an uncompromising shot that billowed the net. The Tones running game paid dividends as they ran at the Blues defence. Frees were conceded and Farrell took advantage on two occasions, Killian Clarke pointed a 45, along woth a McCabe point had the Tones level, a Sean O’Connor point came in between for the Blues.
Hynes pulled off two fantastic saves to keep the Tones in it. The first came off James Walsh, and the second from Darren Wallace. O’Connor had put the Blues ahead with another fine point, and the ensuing 45 was put over the bar by Niall Murphy. With two points in it and the game still in the balance Michael Brosnan put a goal between the teams, and the result was finalized with an O’Connor point to put two scores in it with time expired. A great win for the Blues who will be looking to bring a North American Final to Boston next weekend.
Blues: Conor Wallace, Trevor Wallace, Gareth Ryan, David Clifford, James Walsh, Denis McElligott, Ambrose O’Donovan. Kieran Byrnes, Sean Moriarty, Sean O’Connor, Darragh Treacy, Paul O’Connor, Niall Murphy. Subs: Darren Wallace, Shane Kavanagh. Tones: Cathal Hynes, Killian Clarke, Luke Flynn, Kevin Gorham, Kian Cleere, Mike O’Brien, Gary Brilly, Michael Argue, Darragh McVeety, Glenn O’Connell, Lee Carr, Marty Farrell, Charles McCarthy. Subs: Sean McGuire, Dan McCabe, Cormac Joyce-Power, Darren McGuire
Fr. Tom Burke’s bridged a 10 year gap and captured the senior hurling championship for the first time since 2004. A brilliant second half performance from substitute John Mulhall turned the tables in favour of Tom’s, and two goals by Ian McDonnell earned Tom’s a well deserved victory over arch rivals Galway.
The first half was marked by several wides early on from Tom’s and later in the half from Galway. In the meantime Galway tallied six points, Rory Hickey, John Moylan, and Paul Holden contributed to the tally. A Galway penalty resulted in a point after Alan Keating deflected James Skehill’s shot over the bar. Tom’s found the going tough around the half forward line. Galway’s first line of defence was solid and much of the ball dropping in that area was returned from whence it came. A goal kept Tom’s in the game. Joe Fitzpatrick crossed the ball to Ian McDonnell who batted home from the far post for Tom’s first score of the game. Fran Keenan pointed once from a free and once from a sideline cut. At the break Galway led by a score of 0-7 to 1-5.
Tom’s stormed out of the gates following the restart and the fortunes of the forward line greatly improved. John Mulhall had been introduced just before half time and with the Kilkenny man’s presence, Tom’s game had some added bite to it. After a three points to two start to the second half, Ian McDonnell’s persistence resulted in a goal. The chance came from a Shane Howley hook further out the field and the ball ended in McDonnell’s hand and the big man’s strength made the opening for the shot. Galway’s John Moylan got it back however. A clean grab from a puckout and Moylan was off to the races and finished well into the corner of the net.
The goal reduced Tom’s lead to two points as Keenan had hit three frees. Tom’s further extended their lead with points from Keenan, McDonnell, and Mulhall and the belief grew among the Tom’s supporters in the crowd that the day could be theirs. On the field Tom’s dug deep and every ball was tightly contested. Galway needed a goal as time was running out, but it was McDonnell who netted for Tom’s with 2 minutes to go, the goal another where strength and persistence paid off to put the ball over the line. There was too much for Galway to do at that stage and Tom’s celebrated a well earned victory.
Tom’s: Alan Keating, Gordon Joyce, Cahir Healy, Dylan Costello, Cormac Joyce-Power, Niall O’Brien, Seamus Higgins, David O’Mahoney, Ian McDonnell, Zane Keenan, Shane Howley, Joe Fitzpatrick, Oisin Burke. Galway: James Skehill, Paddy Dowling, Chris Murphy, Sean Phelan, Greg Lally, JJ Doyle, Odhran Floyd, James Regan, Paul Holden, Rory Hickey, John Moylan, Thomas O’Hanrahan, Richie Cummins.
Boston Shamrocks captured the ladies junior trophy in a tightly contested final against holders, Tir na nOg. At the break it was a one point lead for the Brighton ladies. Caroline Nee at center forward was dangerous when in possession and by the break had netted three times for her side. Nicole Maloney at corner forward caused trouble for the Shamrocks defence and tallied some well taken points.
The Shamrocks matched their opponents in the goal column. Shannon Mullen, Sarah Devlin and Rebecca Kelly found the back of the net in the opening period. Sharon McGovern chipped in with points from frees and play to add to her side’s tally. In the second Cathy McEleaney moved from to a more central position in midfield and put in a player of the game performance. Mullen netted a key goal just when it was needed, and McEleaney a second late in the game. The Shamrocks fought off Tir na nOgs efforts at a late comeback and held on the win.
Best wishes to Caroline Hanley who played her last game for Tir na nOg and is returning to Ireland with husband, Peter Nolan next week. Also, congratulations to the Shamrocks Sharon McGovern on her engagement this weekend!
Tir na nOg and Connacht Ladies played a tremendous senior final. Unbeaten this year, Tir na nOg were pushed all the way by the defending champions, who looked out of contention a few short weeks ago. Each side dug deep when the chips were down in the second half, and it was late second half goal by Roisin Leonard that proved to be the difference between the teams in the end.
Two Shauna Jackson goals in the opening period had Tir na nOg ahead of Connacht Ladies. Playing at corner forward Jackson stole behind the defence on two occasions to finish well. The first came mid way through the half, and the second just after back to back points for the reigning champions drew them within two points. Jenny Byrne punished fouls by the Connacht back line with five points from frees.
Connacht were a match for their unbeaten opponents. Catriona Smith at wing forward was especially effective, and Jane Ward showed some of the form of the past two years to keep their side in the game. Catriona Foley at full forward showed well for the ball and when in possession looked dangerous. Foley answered Jackson’s second goal with a well taken effort right from the kickout and at the break it was a two point lead for the challengers.
The second half saw each side digging deep. With fifteen minutes to go it was all square. A Byrne free had put three points between the teams, but Connacht answered with three in a row. The leveling score came from Joanne Conroy who was also found to be helping her defence soon afterwards. Each set of defenders made enormous efforts to deny the opposing forward lines room to move the ball, full back Ellen Healy came out with the ball on a number of occasions for the Brighton side, and Connacht Ladies Siobhan Polly denied Tir na nOg scoring chances on a number of occasions. Niamh Hynes made two brilliant saves to prevent the defending champions from netting what would be a go ahead goal.
A breakthrough came for Tir na nOg when substitute Roisin Leonard came up with a goal. Leonard looked dangerous at times, and a high ball found her behind the defenders and the corner forward finished well. Byrne followed with a pointed free and there was five points between the teams with five minutes to go. Connacht attacked in force as the clock ticked towards the final whistle. Aisling Kerr had a half chance that she got under and put over the bar. Tir na nOg held on to win their since 2011.
Tir na nOg: Niamh Hynes, Niamh O’Neill, Ellen Healy, Amy Potts, Niamh Daly, Alison Taylor, Louise Bergin, Jane Moore, Ciara O’Connor, Lisa Leonard, Tessa Mullen, Sinead Bannon, Lisa Brick, Jenny Byrne, Shauna Byrne. Connacht Ladies: Caroline Heraty, Kelly Cunningham, Aisling Egan, Hazel Poff, Sinead Greene, Siobhan Polly, Emma Mulgrew, Claire McDonald, Joanne Conroy, Catriona Smith, Caoimhe Moran, Aisling Kerr, Jane Ward, Catriona Foley, Nora Morgan.
Donegal captured the Pat Callaghan Cup for the second time in three years with a comprehensive victory over a battling Cork side. After a tight first half Donegal took control in the second and gradually opened up some distance between the teams. A tight performance from the half back line and a fine performance from Luke Peden after entering the game gave Donegal the platform for the win.
It was an evenly contested opening period. Cork got off to a three point start, the first from Mick Lyons followed by two from Mike Moynihan. Donegal opened their account nine minutes in with a Christy McLaughlin point. Pauric McLaughlin and Dean Kelly points brought Donegal level. There were great saves at either end as Mike Moynihan came close for Cork only to be stopped by Jonathan Byrne, and Christy McLaughlin had a close range shot well saved by Kieran Reid. The teams traded points for the remainder of the half, Darren Green stole forward from center back to put one over the bar for Donegal. Christy McLaughlin put the odd one over the bar to provide Donegal with a slight edge going into the break.
Donegal asserted themselves on the game in the second period and limited Cork to a solitary point. With Cork having a difficult time moving the ball into scoring positions, or winning breaking ball around the middle of the field, Donegal opened up a five point lead. Peden had entered the game at wing forward for Donegal and made an immediate impact. Peden’s speed when in possession was a tremendous asset. Reid was required to make another save from McLaughlin to deny Donegal a goal, but the points could not be stopped. Grant, Kelly, and McLaughlin put five over the bar between them before John Crowley got Cork back on track with a point fifteen minutes into the half.
With ten minutes to go Donegal held a solid looking six point lead. Dean Kelly had moved to the middle of the field and took over marking duties of Niall O’Connor who had looked as though he might be starting to bring Cork back into the game. Cork’s chances faded after Thomas Caldwell put seven between the teams before Owen Grant was pulled down in the box and Donegal won a penalty. McLaughlin took it well and hit the bottom right corner. Donegal looking impressive entering the North American Finals next weekend.
Cork: Kieran Reid, Eoin Barry, Mike Carolan, Colm Caffrey, Dan O’Regan, Darren O’Donovan, Niall O’Connor, Mick Lyons, Shea Leonard, Mike Moynihan, John Crowley, Lar Barden, Cian Clifford. Subs: Mike Maye, Downey Brogan. Donegal: Jonathan Byrne, Sean Doherty, Declan McBride, Darren Doherty, Darren Green, Hugh Devine, Thomas Caldwell, Mark Dunphy, Ciaran McDevitt, Owen Grant, Pauric McLaughlin, Dean Kelly, Christopher McLaughlin. Subs: Brian Kelly, Luke Peden, Paddy Wanish.
The Worcester and Barley House Wolves teams and supporters traveled from central Massachusetts and Concord NH respectively to contest the junior C hurling final at the Irish Cultural Center. It was an intensely contested, hard hitting affair with Worcester coming out on top. Three first half goals and some great defensive work carried the day for the Worcester men to win back to back championships.
Playing with the benefit of a fairly stiff breeze, Worcester went in at the break five points to the good on the back of three goals. Two came from the dangerous Liam Kelly at corner forward, the third from Kyle Connor just after the New Hampshire men had tied the game. Dan Swetland’s free taking was assured for Worcester, the center back tallied three points from the dead ball. Sean Naughton was also on the mark for the New Hampshire men with points from play and frees. After Jay Abramowicz had netted for the Granite State side with a goal, Will Mullen tallied a fantastic point to level matters. Connor’s goal came minutes afterwards, a sequence that left two Worcester men prone and needing treatment following the intensity of the challenges leading to the score.
Worcester kept up the intensity level in the second half, blocking at every opportunity and allowing little room to their opponents. There were no easy opportunities for the Wolves. The scores did not come so easy at the other end either. Swetland and Kelly each tallied points and Worcester tallied a decent number of wides. The Barley House Wolves worked hard to try and put a dent in the two goal difference and had a number of chances that went awry. Two Sean Naughton frees were the fruits of their second half labors. The Concord men went after a momentum changing goal with decent time still left to play, but it was not to be as Worcester establish themselves as the divisional champions for the second time running. Now it is on to the finals and on home turf where Worcester be hoping to improve on last year’s outing in Cleveland.
Towards the end of the game there was a lengthy delay after, Dan Hanna, of the Barley House Wolves suffered a serious neck injury. Wishing Dan a full and speedy recovery.
Worcester: Aidan O’Shea, Luke Lagorsse, Matt Dufresna, John Donoghue, Dan Swetland, Ian Geraghty, Sean Shaughnessy, Cian Clifford, Timmy Jackson, Tom Lind, Kyle Connor, Liam Kelly, Mike O’Connor. BHW: Denis Trainor, Alec Foley, Michael Gregoire, Matt Palomeno, Dan Pawloski, Dan Hanna, Sean Naughton, Ryan Nickerson, Dean Williams, Will Mullen, Jay Abramowicz, Ruairi O’Mahoney, Darragh Madden.
It was excitement all the way in the junior A hurling final with Tom’s twice coming from behind to level the scores. Tom’s forced extra time after Chris O’Donoghue netted in the final minute of normal time for Tom’s to tie the game. Wexford came through the extra period after Tom’s had fallen behind and leveled the scores a second time with a Fran Keenan goal. Wexford’s Colm Kerins netted from close range with minutes left to finally finish Tom’s off, Wexford win three in a row.
It was all square at the break. Tom’s got off to the faster start with Fran Keenan hitting the mark from distance on four occasions. Colm Kerins accounted for the lone Wexford score over the first quarter of the game. With James McDonnell in the middle of the field and Seanie O’Brien at center back playing well, things were going Tom’s way. Ciaran Moore almost netted mid way through the half, but the ball skidded wide of the far post. Wexford, however, came to terms with the game and towards the end of the half tied things up. Dave Power contributed 2 frees and Colm Kerins a fine score from a tight angle to make it five each when the half time whistle sounded.
The second half was as tight as the first. Each side made some changes to try and gain an edge. John Cuddy came in for Tom’s, while Wexford introduced Tommy Walsh to great effect. After matching each other for three points a piece, Tom’s netted. Chris O’Donoghue found Ciaran Moore who sidestepped the keeper and finished into the empty net. Keenan followed up with a free and Tom’s led by four. Wexford answered with six in a row to take a three point lead with ten minutes left. Walsh, who was very effective, and Paddy Breen each pointed, as did John Joe O’Neill, Kerins and three from Power. With three pointes between the sides, Tom’s forced extra time with a fantastic goal from O’Donoghue. Keenan blocked a clearance to win the ball and his cross found the wing forward who fired home from the corner of the penalty box. Wexford had one chance to win it with a Power free from outside the 45, but the ball drifted wide and extra time was required.
Wexford established a three point lead in the first period of extra time. Two well taken Tommy Walsh points and one from Colm Kerins had the Slaneysiders a goal to the good heading into the second ten minute period. After Walsh had put Wexford four to the good, Keenan leveled the scores with a goal and a pointed free to bring Tom’s back on level terms with four minutes left. Wexford pulled it out in the final minutes with a Breen point followed by a Kerins goal. A Greg Lundy clearance was picked up by the corner forward who fired home from close range. Three in a row for Wexford who will be looking to add a second NACB title to the list of honors next weekend.
On a final note, best wishes to Peter Nolan and Caroline Hanley on their return to Ireland after many years of service to the GAA in Boston.
Tom’s: Dermot Fox, Larry Guinan, Terry Doran, Chris Horan, Seanie O’Brien, Liam Keane, Barry Smith, James McDonnell, Gary Kelly, Eanna Burke, Chris O’Donoghue, Fran Keenan, Ciaran Moore. Wexford: Martin O’Connor, Peter Nolan, Denis Brennan, JJ O’Neill, Dominic Magill, Brian Dalton, Greg Lundy, Patrick Breen, iall Moloney, Gary McGovern, Gearoid O’Connor, Colm Kerins, David Power.
A young Shannon Blues team captured the junior B championship in convincing style on Saturday evening. Donegal battled to stay in the game, but a last minute goal came a little too late to provide any realistic hope of pulling off a comeback. The Blues proved to be that bit fitter and stronger and remain unbeaten at this level for the season. .
A highly competitive first half saw the Blues take the break four points to the good. Steady free taking from James Young and a Conor Fitzgerald goal half way through the period had the Blues on top. Donegal tallied a fine goal from Chris Rush after some great work by Jason McDaid and Matt Cutliffe, but the Blues had that little bit more going forward and finished the half with points from Tommy Hernon Young. At the break it was a 1-7 to 1-3 Blues lead.
The Blues extended the lead to seven points following the restart. Donegal endeavored to eat into the deficit, but attacks from the northerners frequently met their end within 30 yards of goal. Barney Friel entered the fray and brought some tenacity to Donegal’s efforts, but even when a shot got off the ball ended wide of the mark.
The Blues always looked dangerous when on the attack, Cian Moriarty pointed late in the game. The Blues sat on the lead as the light began to fade, and Donegal searched for a way a route to goal through the defence, but met with dead ends until Chris Rush forced a shot over the line from close range. Unfortunately for Donegal time was up seconds later and the Blues deservedly earned the title and a crack at the North American next weekend.
Blues: Gary Henry, Mike Moriarty, Mike Keegan, Pat Moriarty, Simon Sinnott, Damien Sweeney, Maurice Young, Pat Murray, Cian Moriarty, Brendan Driscoll, Conor Fitzgerald, James Feeney, Tommy Hernon. Donegal: Chris McLaughlin, Phil McCaffrey, Michael McBride, John Deery, Hugh Devine, Luke Reden, Mark Dunphy, Ciaran McDevitt, Jason McDaid, John Duggan, Ronan Shovlin, Matthew Cutliffe, Chris Rush.
Next weekend the North American Finals will be hosted by the Boston Northeast Board at the Irish Cultural Center. 120 teams from across the United States and Canada will be traveling to contest games over the Labor Day weekend, beginning Friday August 29, with the final games held on Sunday August 31. For a schedule of games and information check www.bostongaa.com.