Second half secures Na Fianna win
Na Fianna 4-17 Kerry/Donegal 2-07
While the teams went into the break with a goal between them, it was a second half surge that secured the win for Na Fianna in this Ladies GAA contest on Sunday at Gaelic Park.
They outscored their rivals 3-10 to 1-3 in that time, with a two goal outburst from stars Fiona McHale and Molly O’Rourke critical. Kerry/Donegal used a strong closing period of the first half to pull within three, but they had little in way of answers when Na Fianna finally got their impressive team moving.
The first half had a series of scoring waves to its story line. K/D had two points from the impressive Sarah Grealis to open the game, but seven of the next eight scores to catapult into the lead. It included a goal from Jeannine Rynne after 12 minutes when Mary O’Rourke was involved in the buildup.
Molly O’Rourke (two), McHale (two) and Mary O’Rourke had points in the mix, and by the 21st minute Na Fianna had a 1-6 to 0-3 lead.
K/D responded by closing out the first half with a scoring flurry. Clare Hannon snatched a goal while Catherina Brady fired over a point to cancel out a McHale effort to leave just three between the sides as the half arrived.
Na Fianna added to their lead with scores from substitute Joanne McKenna to open the second half before another Molly O’Rourke point. K/D responded with three of the next four points, with Clare Hannon, Catriona Brady and Jennifer Moran all scoring, but they had a glorious goal chance that went a begging with 12 minutes gone.
Denise Dunnion was released on goal by Brady, but her low shot screamed a yard wide of the left post. It was a let off that Na Fianna would punish them for.
Kelly McCormack had a point from play before McHale and Molly O’Rourke put back to back goals together to push the lead out even further, 3-11 to 1-7.
Hannon did grab K/D’s second goal with 10 minutes left, but it proved to be their final score as Na Fianna added a further 1-5 to their tally with captain Aine Dwyer getting goal number four.
Jesse Garcia was very impressive at the back for the winners, with Katrina Lynch and newcomer Noelle Tierney also prominent. The O’Dwyers dominated the middle of the park. Fiona McHale moved to the middle for the second half and had a very impressive hour in her first game of the year.
Katrina Sullivan, despite not scoring, did a lot of quality running up and down the wing, with Molly O’Rourke having an excellent outing. Joanne McKenna and Kelly McCormack had important contributions off the bench.
For Kerry/Donegal, Benny Touhy had a good outing and could not be faulted for the goals. Louise Lilly battled throughout the hour and did well when moved to Molly O’Rourke late on in the game. Catherina Brady, Anita McKenna, Sarah Grealis -- who was excellent and started the game on fire -- Clare Hannon and Ali Kelly also had some very good moments.
Na Fianna: 1 Alison Leydon, 2 Jesse Garcia, 3 Katrina Lynch, 4 Ashley Brophy, 5 Stephanie Tierney, 6 Noelle Tierney (0-1), 7 Imelda Mullarkey, 8 Aine O’Dwyer (1-1), 9 Fiona Dwyer, 10 Brianna Tierney, 11 Fiona McHale (1-5), 12 Katrina Sullivan, 13 Jeanne Rynne (1-0), 14 Molly O’Rourke (1-5), 15 Mary O’Rourke (0-2). Subs: Aisling Toolin, Shannon Spillane, Joanne McKenna (0-1), Kelly McCormack (0-1).
Kerry/Donegal: 1 Benny Touhy, 2 Niamh Britton, 3 Una Burke, 4 Kathleen Hickey, 5 Siobhan Neville, 6 Louise Lilly, 7 Jennifer Moran (0-1), 8 Michelle McVann, 9 Catherina Brady (0-2), 10 Sarah Grealis (0-2), 11 Ali Kelly, 12 Kelly Roche, 13 Denise Dunnion (0-1), 14 Anita McKenna, 15 Clare Hannon (2-1). Subs: Thea Clarke, Marie Cassells.
Player of the game: Fiona McKenna (Na Fianna).
Storm stalls hurling
The senior hurling outing had a very eventful 15 minutes before it became a victim of the storm that raged through the Bronx on Sunday.
The sides swapped four points to open the outing before an Aiden Roche score from the right side gave Galway a slim lead. That was cancelled out when a long ball to the Galway 21 from Aaron Griffon was picked up by Dermot Lyng and dispatched to the net.
Dave Ellis had his third point of the early going with a free, but that was cancelled out by an excellent tally by Darren Reilly to give Offaly a 1-3 to 0-4 lead.
Then the rain came. The canopy over the burger stand was deposited on the elevated subway as the wind was driving while the rain pelted down. The game was stopped.
The Bronx certainly took the brunt of the storm that passed through the area, and it was decided that the game would be called off in the interest of safety. It is now scheduled for Wednesday night, with both sides able to retain their weekend players for the rematch. The lineouts from Sunday were as follows:
Galway: 1 Alan Whelan, 2 Liam Butler, 4 Matt Silke, 5 Donal Keane, 6 Michael Sexton, 7 Tadgh O’Callaghan, 8 Kieran Geary, 9 Aiden Moylan, 10 Glen Galvin, 11 Dave Ellis, 12 Tom Fitzgerald, 13 Kevin Keehan, 15 Aiden Roche.