News from this week's happenings across the New York GAA scene.

Rangers Best Saints in U-17 Final

Rangers 2-11, St. Barnabas/Celtics 1-10

The under-17 championship final was the game of the day. Despite the late scheduling and oppressive heat, Gaelic Park hosted the largest crowd this season. 

Danny Browne, the Minor Board chairman, stated that this is the future of New York football, and I must admit it looks good from this very talented display. 

The combo squad scored on their first attack as Sean Og O’Neill lofted over a free. When play switched to the other end Calvin Quinn worked his way in for a point that was precipitated by good work from the very industrious and high-fielding Ashton Walsh. 

Chris Kennedy quickly followed with another exquisite point to capitalize a defense-splitting run. Indeed this speedy and very skillful player would go on to give a stellar performance, popping up all over the field as well as getting critical scores. 

Sean Og restored parity with a fine point from the wing, but a quick fetch and shoot on the turn by Chris Mulvihill had the Rangers ahead at the first water break. 

Rangers stepped up their performance after hydration. A fine catch and delivery from Walsh sent Quinn scurrying through the attack zone before releasing to Mulvihill who blasted the ball to the net. 

Kennedy continued to torment the defense as he slipped in for another point, but that was answered by a fisted point by Sean Og after a pile driver from Thomas Brady was deflected out. 

Both sides missed chances before points from frees by Kennedy and Tiernan McLoughlin left Rangers leading by 1-5 to 0-4, plus they had a player consigned to the sin bin just before the short whistle. 

On resumption both sides exchanged points, Kennedy for Rangers and a spectacular effort from McLoughlin seemed to inspire his teammates. Now with an extra player, the wind on their backs, frenetic urging from the sideline, and with Traynor, Cleary, Kavanagh, Sheahan, and company cordoning off midfield, the combo crew went on a scoring spree. 

McLoughlin led the way with a goal engineered from a tenacious turnover and a Kavanagh point soon had the sides level. McLoughlin was very much in the driving seat as he hit over three consecutive points to have Barnabas/Celtics ahead by 1-9 to 1-6 at the last water break. 

Well if the third quarter belonged to the combo squad, Rangers ruled for the last and decisive quarter. The game was soon level as Quinn was grounded, a yellow card issued, and Walsh put the spot-kick in the back of the net. 

Now Rangers had the momentum as the attacks poured forward from Walsh, Rooney, and company setting the scene for corner forwards Kennedy and Quinn to tap over points. Full forward Mulvihill capped off a great performance with a monstrous point to rapturous applause from his legion of fans in the stands. 

It was now full throttle stuff from the Rangers as Barnabas /Celtics valiantly tried to stay in the chase, but points from Michael Loughrane and Man of the Match Kennedy had their team cruising to the victor’s circle. 

Yes, certainly a tough game to lose, but overall a great testament to the wonderful development work being done at grassroots level by the New York Minor Board. Browne presented the trophy to captain Eoin McCaffrey. 

Rangers: Jack Doyle, Daithi O’Connor, Eoin McCaffrey, Cody Murphy, Roger Reyes, Ray McCormack, Dennis Maloney, Jack Rooney, Ashton Walsh, Cathal Egan, Michael Loughrane, Ronan Melly, Calvin Quinn, Chris Mulvihill, Chris Kennedy. Subs: Danny McCluster, Lorcan Kennedy, Shane Burns, Conor Gillson, Jack McElligott, Jamie McCormack.

St. Barnabas/Celtics: Jack Gleason, Sean McKenna, Daniel Sheahan, Sean Carty, John Flynn, Aaron Traynor, Ryan Scanlan, Michael Croke, Ian Kavanagh, Ed Cleary, Tiernan McLoughlin, Aidan Gaughan, Sean Og O’Neill, Rory Moore, Jack Donahue. Subs: Mike Buckley, Oisin O’Shea, JP Naughton, Cormack Murphy, Thomas Brady, Adam Traynor.

Manhattan Topple Westmeath

Manhattan Gaels 0-15 , Westmeath 1-11

Though Westmeath was unbeaten and ranked favorites, a strong performance from Manhattan Gaels put an end to that status. 

Thomas O’Kane opened the scoring but points by Dylan McDermott and Luke Kelly got the Lakesiders on the board. Veteran Eoin Carew pointed a free and a good pass from Gearoid Looney set him up for another, but Kelly popped over another to restore parity. 

Manhattan jumped ahead before the first water break with a fine individual effort from Jack Kiernan, who directed operations from the 40, and another long-range free from chief marksman Carew. 

After hydration, Luke Kelly added another point with an assist from Jason Kelly, but that was answered with a superb effort from John Collins with Kiernan being the supplier. 

Then Westmeath seemed to live up to their billing as McDermott ran off four points to capitalize on good possession by Monaghan, Flanagan, Finnegan, and company. Still, a point from Carew just left the minimum between the sides at the short whistle. 

On resumption Looney leveled up, but points from Phelim Finnegan and McDermott had Westmeath back in front. Carew’s free-taking was keeping the Manhattanites close on their tail. 

Then as Stephen Monaghan was motoring well in the middle and a fine catch for a mark by Adam Loughlin Stones, followed by a point plus a scrambled goal by McDermott saw them open up a five-point lead. Points by Carew and Looney left a goal between the sides at the last water break. 

Apparently, hydration didn’t have the desired effect as there was a bit too much of a heated physical engagement, handbags stuff as the old schoolers would say. Referee Shane Hogan awarded the main participants two black and one yellow accolades for their efforts. 

When the dust settled Carew added another point before Looney cut right through the middle to land another. Then Manhattan seemed poised to kick the game astray as the free-taker seemed to lose his GPS for the posts. Midfielder Coleman also appeared to spurn a great goal chance as he left the defense grasping at his fleeing shadow, only to see his blistering shot scuttle outside the posts. 

However, the other midfielder, Looney, came to the rescue as he landed a herculean effort from away out the field. 

Now it was all square as a few more were squaring up to each other, but the show went on. With time ticking away, center forward Kiernan methodically sliced his way through a thronged defense to fire over the lead point. 

Westmeath had late chances, but they were wasted or cut out as Manhattan manfully held down the forth and more importantly lead. A tough but well-deserved win by the Manhattanites.

Westmeath: Pat Guerin, Paidi Mathers, Jack Lynch, Liam Butler, Alan Dunne, Keith Scally, Trevor Holloway, Stephen Monaghan, Mark Nally, Pheilim Finnegan, Shane Flanagan, Ciaran Brennan, Dylan McDermott, Luke Kelly, Adam Loughlin Stones. Subs: Gary Moore, Jack Martin, Jason Kelly, Ger McPartlin, Sean Loughlin Stones.

Manhattan Gaels: Pauric Looney, Mustafi Ahmed, Jack Callaghan, Cormack O’Keefe, Stephen Nolan, Jamie Davies, David Carrick, Gearoid Looney, Killian Coleman, Stephen Power, Jack Kiernan, Fergal O’Brien, John Collins, Eoin Carew, Thomas O’Kane. Sub: Eoin Kiely. 

Referee: Shane Hogan.

Man of the Match: Gearoid Looney.

Gaels Abú. pic.twitter.com/7L8Vif0HnA

— Manhattan Gaels (@ManhattanGaels) June 27, 2021

Barnabas Coasts by Brooklyn

St. Barnabas 1-13,  Brooklyn Shamrocks 1-4

At the beginning of the season, these were regarded as the top two teams in the senior division, and close encounters were expected. Brooklyn had been promoted from the intermediate ranks and had a formidable panel at their disposal. 

Unfortunately, that’s not the way things turned out, as initially their team was decimated by injuries. Then it would seem to be a case of Murphy’s Law, namely, anything that can go wrong, will go wrong. Now their two best players, and arguably the best in New York, Niall Madine, and David Culhane, are injured, plus their ace forward Shane Gillespie is no longer available. 

They had to take the field without subs against a full St. Barnabas squad backed up by a formidable bench. Though Barnabas opened with points from Mikey Brosnan and Tiernan Mathers, Brooklyn managed to go ahead after Paddy Boyle sent a long ball to Kevin Connolly who was grounded for a penalty, which he scored. Stephen Malone would add a point to double their lead. 

Well, that was as good as it got for Brooklyn as the Bronx Boys hit their stride. Shane Hogan, Ciaran Bennett, and Mathers all pointed with assists from Brosnan and Dylan McDermott to lead by a point at the water break. 

Five points were added in the second quarter courtesy of Tiernan Mathers (two 45s), Peter Cronin, Caolan Mathers, and Brosnan. 

Brooklyn did have a shot at a major as CJ McLoughlin put Connolly in on goal, but his shot was brilliantly saved by keeper Cole. 

After the short whistle, Tiernan Mathers added a goal as Ryan Kerly set up the chance. The game petered to its inevitable conclusion as Barnabas added a few more points while keeper Cunningham pointed a “45” and McLoughlin added minors for the depleted outfit. 

Brooklyn is a resilient squad and I’m sure they'll be back in the thick of things before too long.

St. Barnabas: Brendan Cole, Peter Cronin, Conor Hogan, Jamie Boyle, Ryan Kerley, Kevin Rafferty, Dylan Curran, Stephen Monaghan, Shane Hogan, Ciaran Bennett, Gearoid Kennedy, Conor Mathers, Dylan McDermott, Tiernan Mathers, Mikey Brosnan. Subs: Caolan Mathers, Conor Rafferty, Shane Rafferty, Francis Cole, Luke Kelly, Timmy Fitzmaurice.

Brooklyn Shamrocks: Mickey Cunningham, Diarmuid Browne, Adam Keaney, Redmond Hanna, Keith Scally, Alan Campbell, Paddy Boyle, Andrew McGowan, Anthony Devlin, CJ McLoughlin, Stephen Malone, Kevin Meehan, Joe Leone, Kevin Connolly, Sean Leone. 

Referee: John Fitzpatrick.

Man of the Match: Shane Hogan.

New York Senior Football Result

St Barnabas 1-14
Brooklyn 1-4#gaa #newyorkgaa

— Newyorkgaa (@NewYorkGAA) June 28, 2021

*This report first appeared in the June 30 edition of the weekly Irish Voice newspaper, sister publication to IrishCentral.

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