Sat May 30
Down 2-14 vs Donegal 3-8
Donegal vs Down
Donegal won the throw and earned a free almost immediately, but was unable to capitalize on it. It wasn’t until a Shaun Munnely score minutes later that the scoreboard would become active.
The match seemed to turn in Donegal’s favor as they drew level and took the lead with a pair of points from John McNicholas and Bobby McDonald, McNicholas coming from a 50. At the other end, Down’s attack fell apart, with the ball falling into Donegal’s hands, only to have Pakie Downey win it back on the edge of the box and smoothly place it in the net thrusting Down back into the lead.
Donegal answered with an attempt on goal by C.J. Molloy but it was blocked back to Gary Dowd who put it over for a point. Down continued with their pressure, with Paul Higgins making an impressive run on goal, only to have his shot blocked in a mess of defenders, the bouncing ball rolled between Donegal Keeper Eunon Doherty’s legs, where Paul Higgins was able to finish his run with a simple finish for a goal.
Quickly responding, a smart pass to the center of the pitch allowed Conor Broslan to bury it in the net for Donegal. Robbie Moran would score a pair of points before Donegal scored again, this time a penalty after C.J. Molloy was brought down off the ball by Mark Connolly allowing John McNicholas to convert for a goal. Pakie Downey would add to his tally with a point from his fist as the half came to a close 2-4 to 2-3 in favor of Down.
The second half proved a score-fest, with points coming within the first few minutes and continuing without much respite. James Huvane would tack on the first for Donegal after pulling up from the defense to show support for C.J. Molloy who was bogged down along the wing. Naill McMahon would continue the comeback with a score of his own, pushing Donegal into the lead once again.
The pressure would continue, when C.J. Malloy set up Kevin Purce on goal where he finished comfortably. Pakie Downey and John McNicholas would trade a pair of points, leaving Donegal seemingly in control. For the last fifteen minutes however the game was firmly Down’s. Pakie Downey and Robbie Moran each scored a point, setting the scene for Down. Mark Connolly proved important as he set up Shaun Munnelly for a point and then took a free from the wing with his left foot, scoring for himself giving Down two more points.
Robbie Moran would manage a pair from free’s before Donegal were again able to score, again courtesy of McNicholas from a free. Three more points for down would send them ahead farther coming from Gary Cornyn and two from, Barry Arnett. A last ditch effort by Donegal almost undid Down, with a strong effort offered by Connor Broslan only to have Robbie Moran make a save in the goal leaving the final at 2-14 to 3-8 for Down.
Donegal 1Eunan Doherty 2Tony McMahon 4Aidan Downey 5Naill McMahon(0-1) 6Tom Hardwick 7James Huvane(0-1) 8Gary Dowd(0-1) 9Brian O’Connor 10Justin Freil 11C.J. Malloy 12Bobby McDonald(0-1) 13Conor Brosnan(1-0) 15John McNicholas(1-4) Subs Kevin Purce(1-0)
Down 1Mark Kelly 2Dermot Hayes 4Gary Cornyn(0-1) 5Sean Kelly 6Ciaran Rice(0-1) 7Mark Dobbins 8Paul Higgins(1-0) 9Shaun Munnelly(0-2) 10Liam Farrell 11Robbie Moran(0-5) 12Brian Annett 13Packie Downey(1-3) 15Barry Annett(0-2)
Leitrim 2-10 Cork 1-11
The match started well in Leitrim's favor, with the first 4 points all coming the same direction. Kenny O’Connor got it started with a simple point, before Dan Doona scored two points of his own, showing off his ability to fake well with two moves to set himself into space.
Mark Smith showed his talent adding another before a long link involving three players set up Kenny O’Connor in front of the net with space to put it away, to put Leitrim ahead farther. Adrian O’Connor was able to put in a point before Cork was finally able to retaliate.
While making a run along the wing, Francie Cleary was met with a hard challenge by Kenny O’Connor, yielding a yellow card and a small tussle before play continued, resulting in a score for Francie Cleary.
Adrian O’Connor scored another point, and when Cork took a quick kick they managed to work the ball to the small box, when as the ball was bouncing around on goal, Derek Courtney hassled enough to get a foot to it, toeing it inside the post for a goal. Cork began to take control, racking up missed chances, but making chances nonetheless, when Colm Daly and Dan Doona traded another set and Donie Brodrick scored another ending the half 1-7 to 1-3 in favor of Leitrim.
The seconds half started where the first left off, with cork scoring a pair of points in quick succession thanks to David Crimmins and Alan Raftery, Raftery’s coming off a long run by Lonan McGuire. Donegal where not content with letting Down run off with it, and responded when Dan Doona lofted a ball to Eagle in the corner who drove on goal and blasted a shot past Evan Byrne.
Down kept their attempts alive however, taking opportunities at liberty, with Connor Hunter and Donie Brodrick setting up J.P. Boyle before Pat Mahoney scored again. J.P. Boyle would continue to add to the scoreboard with 3 successive frees, the last coming when a scuffle arose in the corner and both Adrian O’Connor and Kenny O’Connor were penalized, Adrian earning a straight red and Kenny being shown a second yellow.
The sides now uneven, with Cork the man advantage, all seemed well, especially when Boyle converted another free kick. It was not meant to be however, with Dan Doona scoring a point and Dolan Hartnett having a pair in the last five minutes to leave the match 2-10 to 1-11 for Leitrim.
Leitrim 1Pat Ryan 2Alan Foley 4Lonan McGuire 5Neill McGuire 6Dermot Keane 7John Goldrick 8Adrian O’Connor(1-2) 9Pat Madden 10Mark Smith(0-1) 11Kenny O’Connor(1-1) 12John O’Neill 13Dolan Hartnett(0-2) 15Dan Doona(0-4) Subs Danny O’Sullivan Mike Creegan Tony Cullen
Cork 1Evan Byrne 2Paddy Harrington 4Dennis McCarthy 5Jack Hoare 6Alan Raftery(0-1) 7Liam Hanley 8Pat Mahoney(0-1) 9Sean Lordon 10Derek Courtney(1-0) 11Colin Daly(0-1) 12Francie Cleary(0-1) 13J.P. Boyle(0-5) 15Nicky Dineen Subs Shea Furlong Donie Brodrick(0-1) Gary Donaghue David Crimmins(0-1) Stephen O’Shea Steve Gomez Conor Hunter
Sligo 0-13 Four Provinces 1-8
With some difficulty, both Sligo and Four Provinces supplied teams in what would prove to be an entertaining and close game. Niall Moran would open the scoring for Sligo with a well taken shot before Mick Higgins would respond in kind, leveling the sides.
The next five minutes proved all Sligo, maintaining control and scoring two points Conor Brady and Kevin Caffrey. Each time the game seemed to get out of reach Four Provinces was able to reply, the next two scores coming from Mick Higgins, one with each foot, as he asserted his dominance in the half forward line.
The scores seemed to come in pairs, the next set for Sligo when Naill Moran added to his personal record and Colm Byrne decided to join the festivities. Not to be outdone however, Paul McBrearty and Mick Higgins added another set for Four Provinces to close out the half all even with 6 points a piece.
The Second half began again with a pair, this time Naill Moran providing both for Sligo. Paul McBrearty added on for Four Provinces, but the pattern would soon break when Naill Moran scored a long point. It wasn’t until the 17th minute that another score would pass the uprights, this by Paul Kelly for Sligo.
Four Provinces attacks proved fruitless until Mick Higgins scored a point 20 minutes in in what would be one of their final scores of the game. Sligo however were not done. Paul McBrearty and Paul Doyle each felt compelled to score, and Conor Brady followed suite before the Four Provinces attack finally broke through.
In what was the last attack of the match, Four provinces earned a penalty which Mick Higgins slotted expertly passed Dermot Flen, putting some life in Four Provinces, but it proved too little when the final whistle blew leaving them just behind 0-13 to 1-8.
Sligo 1Dermot Flen 2Peter Kelly 3Sean Panober 4Denis Kilkenny 5Roy Hennessy 6Kevin Caffery(0-1) 7Eamon Daffy 8Conor Brady(0-2) 9Naill Higgins(0-1) 10Naill Moran(0-6) 11Paul Kelly(0-1) 12Colm Byrne(0-1) 13Paul Doyle(0-1) 14Brian Quintar 15Michael Lang
Four Provinces 1James Cannon 2Mark Peacock 3Patsy Moore 4David Doyle 5Gerry Burke 6Antony Moore 7Kevin Marcon 8Mickey Grimes 9Eoghan Kyne 10Glen Campall 11Mick Higgins(1-5) 12Ciaran Moore(0-1) 13Paul McBrearty(0-2) 14Mickey Sweeney 15Brenden Walsh