This week's GAA news from Ireland.

Donegal and Derry to battle for Ulster

Rory Gallagher will face his old Donegal charges once again with the Ulster title on the line this time after Derry booked their provincial final place with a 3-12 to 0-17 win over Monaghan at the Athletic Grounds in Armagh on Sunday.

A first Ulster final appearance since 2011 will see Derry seek a first Anglo-Celt Cup title in 24 years after goals from Gareth McKinless and Benny Heron (two) made all the difference according to Gallagher.

He said afterwards, “The goals gave us the platform to win the match. If we scored two goals, we were never going to be beaten, and we scored three. Some of the first half was brilliant.

“We probably sat back a wee bit in the second half, a wee bit of apprehension, and a few things didn’t go our way, but when you go eight or nine points up it’s very hard to get pegged back.

“Monaghan are a serious outfit, they’re a well-established top six or seven team, and they were always going to come back at us. Monaghan were always going to come back at us. You could see with their body language at half-time that they were never beaten.

“But when they got back to three points we responded and stretched it out to seven or eight again. You’ve got to earn your right to win Ulster Championship games especially when you are playing Monaghan or Tyrone.”

Donegal will throw up so many connections for Gallagher, who served as assistant to All-Ireland winning boss Jim McGuinness before following him into the hot seat. “I had an unbelievable time at Donegal, and special memories,” added Gallagher.

“But this is a new chapter. This is about Derry now. We just want to be here. We enjoy it and we’re looking forward to two brilliant weeks.”

Galway Needs Another Win

Galway will need a win against Dublin next weekend to book a place in the Leinster SHC final despite making it three wins on the trot with the 2-37 to 0-21 victory over Laois at O’Moore Park when Conor Whelan and Joseph Cooney scored second half goals.

“It was about getting the two points and getting us seven on the table for the Leinster Championship,” said Galway boss Henry Shefflin afterward. “That was the objective today. The first half we started very well but I thought Laois were very impressive thereafter. Enda Rowland was controlling the game with his puckouts…he was pinging puckouts short and long and they were hurting us.

“They got back into the game, hurled really well, and got some brilliant scores and it was a bit of a concern but I thought our lads responded really well before half time. We were six points up in a Leinster championship match and we probably would have taken that. We knew if we got a handle on the puckouts and the restarts and we got the couple of goals to give us a bit of cushion.”

Cats Maul Dubs

Kilkenny put Dublin back in their box with an emphatic 3-25 to 0-17 Leinster SHC round robin win at Parnell Park, with manager Brian Cody particularly pleased with their second half performance.

“It was a good performance for sure and the second half was impressive for sure and it needed to be,” said Cody. “The first half was very, very tense and very, very tight but the attitude was great, the spirit was great and the work-rate from start to finish, we’ll be happy with that.

“It was not particularly tactical at all to be fair, it was just that the lads pushed on and increased their work-rate over the field and got scores. We got goals and goals are so important.

“It’s about the panel the whole time. The team was finalized very late and there’s niggles and injuries and all that kind of stuff to be figured out and we have what we consider a decent panel so we’re not sure if we have to bring in different players, on different days. We’re happy to do that.”

Kildare Ekes Out Win

Kildare won out by just three points at the end of their Leinster SFC final against Westmeath at Croke Park on Sunday – 1-21 to 2-15 – but all the talk afterward was inevitably about the gap between them and provincial final opponents Dublin ahead of the title showdown.

A whirlwind first half saw the Lilywhites 1-13 to 2-6 ahead at the break, but the Dubs will present a different class of opposition altogether on May 28 when they return to headquarters.

“Do I think that performance will win us the Leinster final?” asked Kildare manager Glenn Ryan when he spoke to the media. “I doubt it. It was a performance that got us over the line. We kicked some good scores but I’d still be expecting an improvement in all areas for the next day.

“I’d be happy enough, to a degree, that we got ourselves back in the position we did considering the start but there were probably areas that we need to improve upon.”

1st Point for Westmeath

Westmeath shocked Wexford as a last gasp Derek McNicholas goal earned them a 2-15 to 0-21 draw in the Leinster SHC round four clash at Cusack Park, the first point of the campaign for Joe Fortune’s side.

“It’s a really special day for Westmeath people. You heard them there at the end, they really drove us on,” Wexford native Furlong told RTE Sport afterwards.
“I can only commend the group. In the team circle afterwards we said we have to go down to Laois in O’Moore Park next Saturday. Performances like this are great and it’s a special day for Westmeath people, but we need to go down to Laois and make sure we get a result there as well.”

GPA, GAA Settle Dispute

The Gaelic Players Association and the GAA have announced an agreement to end their long-running dispute over expense payments for inter-county players. 

A joint statement issued by both bodies said, "Subject to approval by the GAA's Ard Chomhairle and the GPA's National Executive Committee who meet separately this week, the GAA and the players’ representative body can confirm that agreement has been reached on a Players’ Charter which will cover the 2022 season.

"It has also been agreed after recent discussions that a new charter will be negotiated for 2023. All previously outstanding issues relating to travel expenses have been resolved. The GAA and GPA are committed to working together in a positive way in an effort to avoid similar issues arising in the future." 

Joint GAA and GPA Statement on agreement regarding issues to player expenses and player charter.

— GPA (@gaelicplayers) May 16, 2022

GAA Shorts

Goals from Josh Ryan and Brian Donovan made all the difference as Limerick defeated Tipperary by 2-10 to 0-10 in the Munster SFC semifinal at Semple Stadium on Saturday night, a result that will see them meet Kerry now in the final on Saturday week.  It will be Limerick’s first final since 2010 . . .  

Tyrone are the All-Ireland under-20 champions for 2022 after a 1-20 to 1-14 final win over Kildare in Carrick-on-Shannon on Saturday.

*This roundup first appeared in the May 18 edition of the weekly Irish Voice newspaper, sister publication to IrishCentral.

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