Long Island Gaels laid down a marker for this year’s Senior Hurling Championship with an impressive victory over Galway last Sunday.
In what’s only their first year competing in the Senior Championship, Long Island have now won two out of two from their games so far, following their defeat of Offally a week earlier.
Both teams flew into proceedings in a sweltering Gaelic Park, with two early points from Long Island’s Galway native Danny Breen, and a Robert Mitchel score nestled between them for Galway.
An excellent Enda O’Connor goal after five minutes signalled the Long Islander’s intent, and was followed by a score for score period for much of the first quarter.
A goal for Glaway’s midfielder Martin Dolphin after a fine solo run, evened the match up at 1-6 to 1-6. A pair of frees from both team’s centre half forwards; Tadgh Slevin of Long Island and Conor Murphy left it at 1-8 a-piece at half time.
The second half began much like the first, with the teams going point for point before Galway were awarded a penalty after great work by Shane Sheehan at the edge of the square. Conor Murphy stepped up but could only manage a point with an over hit effort. The galway centre forward was awarded three penalties throughout the game and only mustered two points in a game where goals were the difference.
Galway’s early physical advantage began to diminish as a fitter Long Island side thrived on the conditions and continually grew into the game. The introduction of Wexford dual star Aidan Cash, and the positional switch of diminutive midfielder Tadgh Callaghan to the full back line paid dividends and Long Island began to take over.
From the second penalty miss the game became the Tadgh Slevin show as he slotted points from frees and play in his ease, assisted by huge scores by Conor Glynn, Ray McGloughlin ,and John McMahon with the score of the game from 75 yards.
A goal from centre half back Paul Gordon, deployed in the forwards for the second half, and late points by Conor Murphy and Shane Sheehan kept Galway competitive right up to the final whistle. Galway will now look to get back on track next weekend after their promising first round performance a week earlier, while a fitter and hungrier Long Island side with great strength in depth are starting to get people talking. It may be early days in the Hurling championship but the new kids on the block are looking very promising.
Long Island: 1 Ray Murray 2 Conor Glynn (0-2) 3 Dean Bruen 5 Mike Elwood 6 Eddie Kendrick 7 John McMahon (0-1) 8 Tadgh Callaghan 9 Ray McGloughlin (0-3 1f) 10 Bernard Daly (1-1) 11 Tadgh Slevin (2-8 1-3f) 12 Danny Breen (0-2) 13 Shane Minton (0-1) 14 Richie O’Connor 17 Enda O’Connor (1-0) 18 Luke Kiely 20 Ronan Morrisey 21 Aidan Cash 24 Danny Masterson
Galway: 1Gavin Lally 2 Michael Cunningham 3 Liam Butler 5 Richie Gall 6 Paul Gordon (1-0) 7 Robbie Jackson 8 Martin Dolphin (1-1) 9 Chris Tealghue 10 Robert Mitchel (0-2) 11 Conor Murphy (0-11 6f 2p) 12 Paddy Dolphin 13 Shane Sheehan (0-2) 14 Ger Kelly (0-1) 16 Aidan Belfin 17 Shane Fagan 18 Cormac Condon
Man of the Match: Tadgh Slevin: Accuracy from placed balls was crucial, while he added a number of vital scores from play. Tadgh’s experience and awareness was the catalyst for a young and dangerous Long Island forward line.
Nasty affair ends tied
Kerry 0-12 Donegal 1-09
In a bad tempered affair, at least in the second half, the sides ended all tied up after Kerry had built up an early five point lead but were pulled back by a determined Donegal side. Kerry were in a slim two points to one lead after ten minutes but then added seven of the next ten points as they moved the ball efficiently and quickly with Gary Driscoll and Robbie Moran in dominant form in the front line. Moran had five points from a variety of angles and methods including a fisted effort when on the run, with two coming from frees. Before the break however Donegal had a point from CJ Molloy which would prove pivotal as the game progressed. Kerry added to their advantage to open the second half but then Donegal started their comeback. A point from Enda Gaffney was followed by a goal from the rebound of a penalty when Conor Lynam took both. Three further points had them on level terms with time ticking down. The tackles now were coming in fast and furious and while Paddy Kelly did receive a red card for his part in one Donnybrook, a further three could have joined him with both teams guilty. With five minutes left on the clock, Dermie Foley took a Mike Fitzgerald pass and planted the ball between the posts for the equalizer. The game was not over however as the final whistle sounded as both sides and sideline mentors were involved in some shenanigans that will probable make for interesting reading in the Bronx this Thursday.
Donegal 1 Brian Cuilinan 2 Steven Lynch 3 Shane Boyle 4 Donnacha O’Dwyer 5 Steven Duffy 6 Johnny Maloney 7 PJ Flanagan 8 Brian Connor 9 Sean Kinahane 10 Keith Scally 11 Sean Manley 12 Mickey Annett 13Conor Lynam 14 CJ Molloy 15 Enda Gaffney Subs Paraic McDaid