Ladies Senior Football
Connacht Ladies 7-16 Tir na nOg 2-8
The Ladies senior football championship got underway with a bang as current champions, Tir na nOg, faced the newcomers, Connacht Ladies. There was clearly a lot of work put into the Connacht effort in the off-season. The Connacht ladies looked fit and too powerful for the Brighton based team, and ran out winners by a considerable margin. Corner forward Sinead Ryan and center forward Louise Brett looked particularly impressive for the winners.
The Connacht Ladies held a sizeable advantage by the time the first 30 minutes were played, and sent a message about their intentions for the coming season. The full forward line was a particular area of strength for the westerners, Waterford county player, Sinead Ryan, proved to be a force at corner forward that Tir na nOg found hard to deal with. In addition, Louise Brett at center forward was full of running while the midfielders, Karen O’Dea and Imelda McNally were a formidable force. Connacht Ladies played a nice brand of passing football and opened up the spaces in the Tir na nOg back line. Ryan and Brett capitalized and notched up the scores, with a goal coming for each player late in the half. Tir na nOg enjoyed some spells of possession themselves and managed a couple of goals, one of which Noelle Healy poached late in the half.
The second half began with a run from center back Eileen McElroy deep into Tir na nOg territory. The final shot was wide, but it was clear what the intention was. Tir na nOg had to satisfy themselves by feeding off Caroline Nee free kicks, which were far too rare from the point of view of the Brighton side. The westerners swept down the field almost at will, and with each attack looked like it a score was likely. Brett and Ryan added another two goals each in the second period as well as a raft of points. The best score of the day for Tir na nOg came from the boot of Noelle Healy who finished off a fine move for a goal, but it was more a case of playing for respectability by that stage for Tir na nOg.
Connacht: C. Heraty, A. Kerr, J. O’Connell, L. Burns, M. Tianer, E. McElroy, L. Ryan, K. O’Dea, I. McNally, A. McDaid, L. Brett, K. Kenneally, J. McDonagh, C. Newton, S. Ryan. Tir na nOg: E. Kelly, A. O’Neill, L. Brick, J. Davoren, N. O’Neill, P. Greene, K. Combes, C. Keoghegan, N. Daly, L. Kehoe, C. Nee, S. Bannon, M. Walshe, N. Healy, C. Hanley.
Men’s Senior Football
Galway 0-16 Armagh-Notre Dame 2-4
The Brighton clubs crossed swords Sunday afternoon with each side looking for their first win of the season. It was a game that would have Galway as favourites by a significant margin. Galway ended up coming away with the win, but the outcome was in serious doubt until the last 10 minutes of the game. Armagh-Notre Dame held a one-point lead with 15 minutes to go, but the northern effort lost steam and scoring options were at a premium in the latter stages. Galway finished comfortably in the end, but not without being put to the test.
Armagh-Notre Dame held their own in the first half but one had the feeling that the chances of an upset were slim. Galway missed a plethora of scoring chances that would have seen their half-time lead be far more than the single point that it was. A sending off early in the game also gave the feeling that it would probably hurt the Orange half of Brighton more than it would Galway. Corner back, Shane Murney, and Galway’s Keith O’Hara were shown the line for their part in an off the ball wrestling match eight minutes into the game. Armagh-ND kept in it for most of the half thanks for a goal from Conor McGoran who fisted a bouncing ball into the net from the edge of the small square. Galway had put three points over the bar, one each from Mark Kenny, Eoghan Whelan, and Ollie Doherty. Jamie Keogh leveled the scores and Galway then opened up a lead. Leon Kelly and two Doherty frees looked like they would put Galway three to the good at the break, but a late flurry from the northerners reduced the deficit to the one point. Conor McGoran and Shane Marrow each pointed before the break. There could also have been a goal, but Pronsias McComiskey got down well to save from McGoran.
Armagh-Notre Dame threw the cat among the pigeons with a second half goal that put them into an unlikely one point lead. Galway had missed some easy chances to start the second period, and an upset looked possible. The game slipped away from Armagh-Notre Dame from that point on however. Galway stepped up their level of intensity and the orchard county side began to tire. After Doherty leveled the scores, Kenny and Graham Cullen went to work and combined well to put four points over the bar and put some distance between the teams. The frustration grew for the northerners as Galway played the ball around with relative ease in the final quarter. Doherty added two free kicks to round out the scoring. Armagh-Notre Dame yet to record their first win, and Galway