Scores Galore in Challenge

New York 5-19  Big Apple 2-14

The New York Ladies team is playing in the All-Ireland junior championship this year with a quarterfinal trip set for Ireland in the last days of August. To prepare the side manager Phil Sheridan is pitting them against as many teams as possible in challenge matches.

They had a very interesting challenge versus an invitational side in this contest, a game that was easy in the opening 30 minutes but quite different in the closing half after a shuffle of some players.

The game was meant to include all summer players in opposition, but a number were not released by their clubs which left the challengers a little depleted. Kudos must be given to the players who travelled up from Philadelphia to help out, as well as the New York players.

The New York side was really clicking in the opening 15 minutes as they put 2-7 on the board before their opponents hit the scoreboard. Emma Clarke had three of the first four points, and her play with Molly O’Rourke was causing untold problems for the Big Apple.
Clarke had a goal chance on 10 minutes when O’Rourke set her up but her low shot flew agonizingly wide. They did have their first goal two minutes later when Clarke and Cathriona Brady linked up to set O’Rourke free, and she made no mistake.

They added their second almost immediately when Nora Kilkenny made a brilliant save on O’Rourke but was powerless to do anything when Linda McKeon pulled soccer style on the rebound.

The Big Apple did have their best period between the 15th and 25th minutes, with Caroline Murphy converting three frees and also firing over two points from play. The defense was powerless, however, as New York hit for 2-4 of the final 2-6 to leave the halftime lead at 4-12 to 0-5.

With some positional changes as introductions of subs the second half took on a different shape. New York had three of the first five points, with Michelle McVann getting the best of the bunch as she was introduced off the bench.

Another scoring flurry for the winners of 1-3 extended their advantage, with Linda McKeon converting a penalty after O’Rourke was fouled.

At this point the Big Apple had their best period of the game with a run of 1-4 without reply. Alisha Jordon blasted over a long range point to get them going, while Joanna Levine had a goal when Karen Feeney sent in a long pass to Ciara Moore who then set up Levine with the easy task.

O’Rourke and Kelly Roche restored normality before the Big Apple ran off 1-2 against a point in the closing minutes. The goal this time came from Molly Boyle, and it was a cracker from long range that found its way to the roof of the net.

All in all a decent run out especially in the second half. Mary O’Rourke did nothing wrong in goal for the winners; an option for her as well as the forwards. Tracy Ann McCullough, Cathriona Brady and Jesse Garcia were excellent at the back. Brady is a very good ball carrier out of the back and reads the game very well.

McKeon and Dwyer dominated the middle when together, a bona fide county pairing. Molly O’Rourke and Emma Clarke really gelled up front; they will have little fears in Ireland. Michelle Brennan, Michelle McVann off the bench and Kelly Roche were others to show.
The Big Apple had good performances by Nora Kilkenny, who continues to develop as a keeper, Bronagh Lally, especially second half, Aoife O’Rourke, Ciara Moore and Caroline Murphy.

New York: 1 Mary O’Rourke, 2 Jesse Garcia, 3 Tracy Ann McCullough, 4 Imelda Mullarkey, 5 Louise Lilly, 6 Cathriona Brady, 7 Joanne Monaghan, 8 Linda McKeon (3-3), 9 Aine Dwyer (0-2), 10 Michelle Brennan, 11 Kelly Roche (0-1), 12 Aishlinn Gormley (0-1), 13 Molly O’Rourke (1-5), 14 Emma Clarke (1-5), 15 Rosie O’Reilly Broderick. Subs: Fiona Dwyer (0-1), Karen Henry, Niamh Britton, Clare McElroy, Michelle McVann, Aoife Gibson.

Big Apple: 1 Nora Kilkenny, 2 Bronagh Lally, 3 Ashley Callery, 4 Caroline McBrien, 5 Molly Boyle (1-0), 6 Aoife O’Rourke, 7 Karen Feeney, 8 Mary Maguire, 9 Alisha Jordon (0-3), 10 Emer Talty, 11 Theresa Marron (0-1), 12 Joanna Levine (1-1), 13 Caroline Murphy (0-6), 14 Ciara Moore (0-2), 15 Michaela Newell. Subs: Katie McEvoy.

Referee: Frank Brady.

Close Contest Goes to Wire

Bronx 1-16  Shannon Gaels 2-12

While the senior circuit took the long weekend off, the renaissance that is the junior hurling division continued at the weekend with two cracking games of hurling.
In the closest of the two contests the Bronx, with a little help from the senior division, just managed to scrape the win at the end with a close fought one point advantage after a hugely entertaining hour.

The Bronx got out the gate quickly with two points from Paul O’Connor and Tommy Byrne in the first five minutes before Shannon Gaels had their first score, a Ronan Sheedy long range effort.

Kevin Kennedy had the next point for the winners before Finbarr Flood, playing in the full forward line, had three consecutive scores to knot the contest up after 12 minutes. Flood was winning the early ball and he capitalized repeatedly.

The sides both added two to their totals, with Pa Ryan driving over a brilliant long range free having the best of the four.

It was all Bronx, however, as the half wound down. They added four points to their total and were denied more by the brilliant James McCarthy in the Gaels goal. He pushed one of the shots over the lathe when Byrne was clearly aiming low and also made a point blank stop from Kennedy.

As it was he kept his side within four at 0-10 to 0-6 at the break.

Shannon Gaels dominated the opening period of the second half, with Sean Brennan excellent at the back and Rory McCloskey and Pa Ryan winning the midfield exchanges.

Steve Bruton and Padraig Kyne had points while Ryan also added another free.

O’Connor and Byrne had points for the Bronx, but they were cancelled out by a Ryan free and a Flood score when he turned his man on the right wing and fired laser like over the lathe to leave just one between the sides with 15 minutes on the clock, 0-12 to 0-11.
The Bronx made one last surge for victory when they had four successive points, two O’Connor frees, a Matt Schumacher score and a Byrne special. It looked as if the contest was over, but again Shannon Gaels attacked.

A long ball out of the back from Brennan bounced around the full forward line. Finbarr Flood had a chance before Steve Bruton got the last touch to send it to the back of the net.
The resurgence was short lived however as the Bronx moved the ball almost immediately down the field where Mark Kennedy fired it to the net to again put four between the sides with three minutes left on the clock.

Shannon Gaels attacked relentlessly in the closing moments, however, and they were rewarded somewhat in the dying moments when Ryan drove a 21 yard free to the net to leave the minimum between the sides as the final whistle sounded.

The Bronx did have a number of wides and were denied by the brilliant McCarthy on at least four occasions during the contest. Dermot Kenny, Willie Kelleher, Pa O’Connor and Tommy Byrne were all prominent.  Their American born players, Eddie Hogan and Matt Schumacher, also did well over the hour.

James McCarthy was outstanding for Shannon Gaels. Sean Brennan, Collie Fearan, Pa Ryan, Steve Bruton and Finbarr Flood also did a lot of good work. The Gaels also had two Americans on the field in the Kyne brothers, Eoghan and Padraig, who both contributed.
There was a minute of silence during this game in the memory of Jimmy Chambers. A great character and a staple at Gaelic Park for four decades or more, he always had a good word for all, and his stories of West Clare brought you back to his home parish.

Our sincere condolences go to his family at this time. Dheis de ar a anam.

Shannon Gaels: 1 James McCarthy, 2 Sean Moore, 4 Gary Gilsenan, 5 Sean Brennan, 6 Collie Fearan, 7 Caoimhin O’Callaghan, 8 Pa Ryan (1-3), 9 Rory McCloskey, 10 Steve Bruton (1-1), 11 Ronan Sheedy (0-2), 12 Padraig Callaghan, 13 Graham McGuire, 15 Finbarr Flood (0-5). Subs: Padraig Kyne (0-1), Eoghan Kyne, David Giles, John Hally, Emmitt Smith.

Bronx: 1 Eddie Hogan, 2 Kieran Fox, 4 Eoin McGarry, 5 Eamonn Gunne, 6 Dermot Kenny, 7 Matt Schumacher (0-1), 8 Willie Kelleher, 9 Jason Daly, 10 Mark Kennedy, 11 Gary Donoghue (0-1), 12 Pa Connor (0-7), 13 Kevin Kennedy (0-1), 15 Tommy Byrne (0-6). Sub: Darren Doherty.

Man of the match: James McCarthy (Shannon Gaels).
Referee: Robbie Jackson.

Hoboken to the Fore

Hoboken 3-15  Rockland 0-8

The second of the junior hurling contests did not finish as close in the end. That was in large part due to the brilliant performance of Fintan Meehan, who contributed 3-8 over the hour and was brilliant throughout.

He was ably supported however by brilliant displays by his defense which only gave up two points in the final 30 minutes and a forward line where all five starters got on the score sheet.

Rockland opened the scoring and in fact had the first two points, with Robbie Jackson firing over frees from long range. Hoboken came storming back with the next 2-6.
The first goal followed a Pat Egan point and came from Fintan Meehan when he turned the left corner, soloed in on goal and shot to the net. Michael Harty and Caleb O’Hara (two) added to the lead before Meehan again rattled the net.

Rockland did have four of the last five points of the half, but they were having hard work creating chances with Cathal Flynn, Conor Costigan and Kieran Doherty all excelling at the back for the winners.

Jackson had two from frees while Jackson and Brendan Blackwell also shot over from play. It left Hoboken holding a 2-07 to 0-6 advantage at the short whistle.

The second half was completely dominated by Hoboken. They withstood a close call at a goal by Rockland and two points from Kevin McKay (a 70) and Jackson from play to run off the final 1-8 of the game.

Meehan completed his hat-trick while also adding six points from frees and play. David Costigan and Dan

Gunner had the other scores as the side swept to victory.

Rockland did keep battling but they were unable to put any further dent on the scoreboard. The early ball into Meehan was working a treat for the winners and the brilliant forward line was able to score at will.

For Hoboken, Colm Reilly was very confident in goal. The back line where Costigan, Gunner, Flynn and Doherty were outstanding, particularly in the second half, completely shut down their opponents in the second half. Up front David Costigan, Caleb O’Hara and Fintan Meehan were all outstanding.

Rockland fought the good fight, with Graham Jackson very impressive. John Power, Kevin McKay, Dean Murphy, who is a very good hurler, Robbie Jackson and Brendan Blackwell also were prominent.

The amount of American-born players in this contest was at least 15 between the two sides. That’s fantastic to see and gives the division a real future alongside the home-based Irish-born. 

Rockland: 1 Graham Jackson, 2 John Power, 4 Niall Marshall, 5 Dean Murphy, 6 Kevin McKay (0-1), 7 Brendan Flynn, 8 John White, 9 Robbie Jackson (0-6), 10 Brendan Blackwell (0-1), 11 Jimmy Flynn, 12 Stephen Moroney, 13 Brendan Staunton, 15 John Gerron.

Hoboken: 1 Colm Reilly, 2 Cathal Flynn, 4 Dan Guiner (0-1), 5 Conor Costigan, 6 Kieran Doherty, 7 David Cosgrove, 8 Darren Coffey, 9 Simon Birkenson, 10 David Costigan (0-3), 11 Pat Egan (0-1), 12 Michael Harty (0-1), 13 Fintan Meehan (2-8), 15 Caleb O’Hara (0-2).

Man of the match: Fintan Meehan (Hoboken).
Referee: Eugene Kyne.