Cavan 1-7 Leitrim 3-19

The day started in near unbearable heat, with a clash of the big men in Conor Brady and Kenny O’Connor, with Brady being pulled down for a free almost in sync with the throw ball.  

The start was merely a tease however, as Leitrim ran away with the first ten minutes of the match, giving no opportunity to Cavan.  To open the attack, Leitrim set themselves up with a two-on-one chance, only to have john O’Neill’s shot put wide.  

Their continuous pressure did yield results, however, with Dolan Hartnett capitalizing on a free after Mike Creegan posted a score of his own from play.  

Hartnett managed another score before Kenny O’Connor made a run through the middle of the defense, and with a combination of timing, effort and luck, he managed a score, burying the ball in the net to put Leitrim up 1-3 to no score.  

Leitrim’s halfback line was like a wall, gobbling up every play Cavan made until the eleventh minute, when Declan Fitzpatrick got them on board with a point.  

Play seemed to even out with the teams trading scores before Leitrim again went on a run, with Dan Doona scoring five straight points (two from frees) to further widen the gap.  

Amidst the mayhem, a penalty was called when Declan Fitzpatrick was pulled down in the box.  Kevin McGeaney stepped to the ball and coolly placed it in the net, breathing life into Cavan’s struggle for a comeback.  

Declan Fitzpatrick and Tony Cullen swapped a score each to finish the half with Leitrim ahead 1-11 to 1-4.

The second half opened with another Leitrim score, but Cavan quickly showed their intent, taking over the opening minutes with three quick points. It soon became evident Cavan’s best intentions were not enough.  

Mike Creegan began a strong play moving the ball to Dolan Hartnett who placed another in the goal, furthering the stranglehold Leitrim had on the game.  

Leitrim continued creating opportunities with two-fisted points and another free within minutes of each other, not allowing Cavan the chance to move the ball far into the opposing half.  

Dolan Harnett earned himself another rattle at goal, but instead chipped the ball over the bar for a simple point.  With Kenny O’Connor and John O’Neill sharing two more points and Jonny McGoldrick scoring a last minute goal, Leitrim ended the game with the same authority they started it with. 

The constant pressure and accuracy of Leitrim’s scorers and the stopping power of their halfback line was too much for Cavan to handle and the game finished 3-19 to 1-7.

Cavan: 1 Martin O’Connor 2 Michael Smith 4 Brendan Gannon 5 Brian 6 Brendan Reilly 7 Alan Carlin 8 Gareth Kelly (0-2) 9 Conor Brady 10 Declan Fitzpatrick (0-3) 11Kevin McGeaney (1-1) 12 Michael McGuire (0 -1) 13 Derek Williams 15 Sean Collins Sub: Eoghan McHartland

Leitrim: 1 Pa Ryan 2 Lonan McGuire 4 Alan Foley 5 Niall McGuire 6 Dermot Keane 7 Danny O’Sullivan 8 Kenny O’Connor (1-1) 9 John O’Neill (0-1) 10 John McGoldrick (1-3)  11 Tony Cullan (0-1) 12 Mike Creegan (0-1) 13 Dan Doona (0-6) 15 Dolan Hartnett (1-6) Sub: Tommy Gee (0-1)

Man of the Match Dolan Hartnett

Referee Jimmy Naughton

Cork 1-12 Down 1-12

Cork and Down were slow to start, with few real chances in the opening minutes.  Michael Sloen opened the proceedings for Down, but his first shot went wide.  

Cork responded with a failed attack of their own, earning a free, which was dropped into the square, only to be cleared out by the strong Down Defense.  

It wasn’t long before Michael Sloen’s work paid off to put Down ahead with a superb long point.  

At the other end, Alan Raferty took a close shot, with only the post stopping him foreshadowing the hard time Cork would have scoring.  

Finally, after twelve minutes of play, Francie Cleary was able to convert, and buried a goal, throwing cork ahead by two points.  

Sloen again responded with a point for Down, this time from a long free.  Alan Raferty traded another, scoring a routine point before another dry spell took over the match.  

For near ten minutes, neither Down or Cork could finish, both sets of defenders playing the ball well, while none of the forwards were able to get into a groove.  

Finally at the twenty minute mark, Sloen put it over from a free, with Raferty slotting over another from play again, canceling each other’s scores.  

Down took control of the scoreboard then, tapping over another three points, from Seamus Kelly, Brenden MacGourty and Michael Sloen, the last coming from an excellent switch by Shaun Munnelly to finish the half 1-2 to 0-6 in favor of Down.

The second half began without much change, with both teams swapping scores, J.P. Boyle and Alan Raferty scoring for Cork and Seamus Kelly and Brenden McGourty slotting over for Down within the first five minutes.  

Francie Cleary added a tally of his own to Cork’s score before a goal chance came up for Cork to take control of the game.  After a brief scramble in front of the net, a Cork shot rebounded off the post and into Derek Courtney’s hands.

Courtney reacted with style, fisting it over the bar rather then allowing it to fall back into the bedlam that was in front of him.  

Seamus Kelly and Paul Higgins answered with goal chances of their own for Down, with both taking powerful shots but putting them inches over the bar, adding on to the still close score.  

Cork suddenly went on fire, setting up chance after chance and capitalizing on most, scoring four straight points, one from a free when Derek Courtney was taken down just outside the box in what could have been a penalty.  

For Down, Sloen again put one over, further proving his worth, before Shaun Munnelly again connected with Brenden McGourty giving him a chance that he couldn’t miss, slotting in a goal to bring Down ahead once more.  

Sloen followed it up with another goal chance, but keeper Mark Kelley wasn’t willing to be beat again, making an excellent stop.  J.P. Boyle scored another point, tying the game once more before Francie Cleary and Michael Sloen traded another set of points to finish the match all square 1-12 to 1-12.

Cork: 1 Kieran Potter 2 Conor Hunter 4 Paddy Harrington 5 Jack Hoare 6 John Fitzpatrick 7 Liam Hannelly 8 Rory Stafford (0-1) 9 Pat Mahoney 10 Alan Rafferty (0-3) 11 Sean Lordon 12 Derek Courtney (0-2) 13 J.P. Boyle (0-3) 15  Francie Cleary (1-3) Sub: Shea Furlong

Down: 1 Mark Kelly 2 Brian Murray 4 Dermot Hayes 5 Barry Annett 6 James Mitchell 7 Gary Cornyn 8 Shaun Munnelly 9 Brendan McGourty (1-02) 10 Seamus Kelly (0-1) 11 Mark Dobbin 12 Brian Annett 13 Liam Farrell 15 Michael Sloen (0-6) Subs: Sean Kelly(0-2) Paul Higgins (0-1) Eugene O’Hagen Michael Sheridan

Man of the Match Francie Cleary

Referee Lawrence McGrath

Tyrone 5-5 Kerry 1-16

It was a game of two halves, the likes unseen in Gaelic Park in many a day, Kerry completely dominated the first period and went into the break 1-8 to 1-2.  

The first four points all belonged to the Kingdom, with Shane Carty scoring a gem form the left side.  After a Gerard McCullough goal, linking with Aiden Power and finishing low in the net, Kerry continued their attack to have an eight point to one goal lead at the twenty-minute mark.  

Vinnie Gavin and Shane Carty easily canceled out two Paddie McGuire free’s as the kingdom capitalized on each opportunity they were given.  

Ross Donovan emphasized the dominance after carrying the ball from 45 yards and scoring a goal on sheer personal effort.  Any spectators heading for the gate were unaware of what they were to miss in the second half.

Kerry added six points to their total in the first fifteen minutes and one could have felt all the competitiveness in this match was over.  However, the men from Tyrone had no such thoughts.  

Their recovery started when Aiden Power blasted a goal chance over the bar and Darren Petit followed it with a point in what was to be the calm before the storm.  

Gareth McCrory was introduced off the bench and almost immediately had the ball in the net.  After linking with Aiden Power within a minute, he had a second goal on the scoreboard.  

Another sub, Sean Hall was introduced, showing the depth of their bench by scoring Tyrone’s third goal of the half, putting Kerry on the back heel.  

Aiden Power and Ross Donovan traded scores making the tally 1-16 to 4-5 in favor of the kingdom with only a minute on the clock.  

A Tyrone free on their own Halfback line was worked to Joe Bell, who combined with Pat McGuire before a long pass was delivered to Gareth McCrory.  The Big man was gunning for goal, before he was pulled down by the shaken Kerry defense

He dusted himself off and calmly placed the ensuing penalty in the net to punctuate the stunning comeback, and win the match 5-5 to 1-16 for Tyrone.

Tyrone: 1 Brian Cullinane 2 Paul Mulhern 4 Joe Bell 5 Steve Keating 6 Sean Coyle 7 Cathel Skeffington 8 Aiden Power  (0-2) 9 Conor McNabb 10 Peader Donnelly 11 Conor Skeffington 12 Patrick McGuire (0-2) 13 Conor Downey 15 Gerard McCullough(1-0) Subs: Darren Petite (0-1) Sean Hall (1-0) Gareth McCrory (3-0)
Kerry: 1 Conor Ryan 2 Enda Lally 4 Eoghan O’Mahoney 5 Collie Fearan 6 Kieran Bergin (0-1) 7 Tommy Quaid( 0-1) 8 Vinnie Gavin (0-2) 9 Dave McSweeney 10 Paudie Doyle 11 Ross Donovan (1-3) 12 Shane Carty (0-3) 13 Bingo O’Driscoll (0-1) 15 Dermie Foley (0-4) Sub: Sean Twomey (0-1)

Man of the match Gareth McCrory

Referee Sean Jones