A round up of this week's happenings in the New York GAA scene.

Rangers Too Strong at End

Rangers 4-10,  Brooklyn Shamrocks 2-15

This was another epic battle that went right down to the wire as Rangers’ Sean O’Neill and Kevin Loane kept their composure to land late scores to propel their team over the line. 

Brooklyn started well as keeper Tansey was forced to execute a great save to deny Kevin Connolly a goal. Brooklyn was dominating the early exchanges and soon had three points on the board courtesy of a brace by Cormac McWalter and a “45” sailed over by keeper Cunningham. 

After five minutes Rangers landed two quick points in succession. Corner man Shane Homan was fouled and Eoin Delaney floated over the free. Then Loane fetched well in traffic for a mark and then a point for his first score. 

Over the next two minutes, Rangers would strike for two goals. Conor McIntyre got the first after he corralled a long pass from Conor McStay. The second came from Loane after Keith Quinn picked him out with a well-directed pass. 

Rangers led by six points at the first water break. After hydration, the lead was soon at nine as Delaney (two) and Brian Twomey were on target. 

Then the Boyles combined for a goal to stall the Rangers scoring spree. Paddy set up the chance and Shane finished it to the net. 

Rangers went back on the attack as Loane sent James Breen in on goals, but he was fouled in the penalty area. The spot-kick was taken twice, the first shot was wide but the keeper advanced off his line. 

However, there was no issue with the second attempt as Loane sent the ball in one direction and the keeper went the opposite way. 

For the rest of the period, Brooklyn dominated, with some fine fetching by Connolly being the launching pad for a series of attacks. He showed the way with a point before he set up Steve Malone for a goal. It looked as if, in the parlance of ESPN’s Tommy Smyth, the union bag would be stretched again but keeper Tansey did well to keep out a blistering shot from McWalter. 

Paddy Boyle closed out the scoring with a fine long-range effort to have his team just trailing by two, 3-5 to 2-6 at the short whistle. 

The introduction of Niall Madine at the interval looked to be the proverbial game-changer, and he had an immediate impact punching over a point. Brooklyn was now controlling operations, and he would quickly add a brace as did McWalter to go three ahead after ten minutes. 

When play finally switched to the other end a penetrating run by Loane ended with Homan pointing the resultant free.  There was no stopping Loane on his next attempt as he reacted quickest to a ball that spilled across the square to hammer it to the net. Still, with a quarter to play Rangers were a point up, but a man down due to a second yellow card. Madine had the sides level after an incisive pass from Paddy Boyle. 

Parity didn’t last long as a discussion about a Delaney effort undid the stalemate. Brooklyn came right back with another Madine point after he collected a long delivery from Connolly. 

Then they would nail two more courtesy of Madine and McWalter with just three minutes left on the clock. Rangers kept battling and tenacious tackling forced a turnover. 

O’Neill picked up the spilled ball and sped forward before confidently splitting the posts with a fine long-range effort. It was now level with little more than a minute to play as Brooklyn worked the ball up the field in search of a winner. 

However, a wayward or careless pass fell into the path of Loane, and this speedster and scoring specialist was not about to squander a gilt-edged opportunity. He didn’t, and as the ball crossed the bar for the winner it sent the Rangers supporters and bench into a fit of ecstasy, and despondency was the main emotion on the Brooklyn bench. 

Yes, Rangers snatched victory from the jaws of defeat. Small things make a big difference in tight games!

Rangers: Aidan Tansey, Martin Sutton, Conor Madigan, Andrew Bourke, Conor McStay, Keith Quinn, James Breen, Sean O’Neill, Donnacha O’Dwyer, Brian Twomey, John Power, Conor McIntyre, Kevin Loane, Eoin Delaney, Shane Homan. Subs: Danny Lehane, Dennis O’Shea.

Brooklyn Shamrocks: Mickey Cunningham, Diarmuid Browne, Adam Keaney, Redmond Hanna, Keith Scally, Alan Campbell, Paddy Boyle, Andrew McGowan, Anthony Devlin, Shane Boyle, Steven Malone, David Langan, Cormac McWalter, Kevin Connolly, Ciaran McLoughlin. Subs: Ronan Boyle, Adam George, Gearoid McDonnell, Niall Madine, Conor Connolly. 

Referee: John Fitzpatrick. 

Man of the Match: Kevin Loane.

Kingdom Done as Mayo Marches On

Mayo 2-6, Kerry 1-8

Mayo marches on while Kerry’s one-point defeat effectively ended their chances of promotion. However, there was a note of controversy regarding that one point, as the scoreboard showed a two-point deficit when Kerry were awarded a free as time ticked away. 

Niall Madine lobbed the ball into the square with the hope of getting a goal but the ball was cleared.  The scoreboard was in error and a point would have leveled the game, and Kerry would still be in the hunt. 

Mayo started very impressively as Shane Slattery goaled after Eddie Hogan supplied the ball on their first attack. At the other end David Culhane set the scene for a Bobby Flavin point.  Ollie McLean got a rather fortuitous point as his speculative shot hopped over the bar. 

Mayo held the upper hand in the first quarter as points from Tom Conway and Damien Dolan saw them lead by 1-4 to 0-2 at the water break, with Kevin Dwyer notching Kerry’s other point. The second quarter belonged to Kerry with Keelan Hickey starting the scoring spree. Patience and perseverance saw Sean Liddy work his way in for a goal and Keith Quinn landed one of his long range specials. 

Conor Bowden pointed for Mayo just before the short whistle to send them leading by 1-5 to 1-4. 

Mayo got a great start to the second half as a long delivery from Conway was blasted to the net by Dolan. Kerry battled right back as Madine and Gary O’Driscoll entered the fray and soon they would add four points to their tally, courtesy of Dwyer, Madine and Quinn. 

A Slattery point kept his team ahead by the minimum entering the last quarter. Mayo missed several chances to open the gap more while Kerry missed a few as well. Then it was down to the miscued scoreboard as Madine’s free was cleared and the men from the west march on and Kerry rue the miscue.

Mayo: Conor Tinny, Sean McEvoy, Mike Murphy, Damian Varley, Ray Holian, Ryan O’Neill, Sean Corridan, Tom Conway, Conor Bowden, Ollie McLean, Shane McNeilis, Dave Pond, Damien Dolan, Eddie Hogan. Subs: Dave Hansbury, Jack Feeney, Marcus Hannick, Nico Slevin, Tom Cunniffe.

Kerry: Gavin Dwyer, Ronan McLoughlin, Ed Myers, Tom Callaghan, Sean Liddy, David Langan, Mike Cronin, Dave Culhane, Peter Fox, Padraig McCrory, Keith Quinn, Keelan Hickey, Michael Dorgan, Bobby Flavin, Kevin Dwyer. Subs: Paul Nolan, Gary O’Driscoll, Niall Madine, Steve Lotti. Referee: Peter McCormack.

Man of the Match: Tom Conway.

Rangers Edge Rockland

Rangers 1-19, Rockland 3-12

This junior A championship match between the native-born footballers was a thrilling encounter with lots of twists and turns, some majestic fielding, spectacular scores and played at a great pace with plenty of passion. 

Of course there was a little drama and argie-bargie close to the end with the decisive question as Hamlet might say, “to be or not to be in the square” which tilted the pendulum in Rangers’ favor. 

Though Shay McElligott  opened the scoring Rockland racked up 1-3 without reply, the goal by Brian Coughlan, the result of a field sweeping movement, and the points from Tom Shalvey, Rory Molloy and Coughlan. 

At the other end a Kevin Loane goal-bound effort was saved by the keeper and deflected twice by the woodwork before sharp-shooter Loane shipped it over. Further points from Mike Vinci, Ronan McGinley and Dylan Rooney had them ahead by 1-6 to 0-4 at the water break as McElligott added a closing point. 

In the second quarter Rockland went from being five ahead to being five behind at the short whistle. Rangers ran rampant as Niall McKenna set the scene for Joey Grace to goal as they would put 1-7 on the board, while Rockland had a missed penalty. PJ King (two), Mathew Gallagher (two) and  McElligott (three) were on target. Rockland claimed most of the spoils in the third quarter to put 1-6 on the board while restricting Rangers to two McElligott points. 

Ronan McGinley goaled almost straight from the throw-in, and Brian Thornton had a huge impact coming off the bench kicking three points, while “40 man” Coughlan added two and another from the “square man” Conor James. 

In the last stanza Rangers hit two per their scorer-in-chief McElligott to draw level. Then it looked as if Rockland had the game in the bag. First James delivered the ball to Vinci for him to goal. 

Rockland was still camped in Rangers’ territory when Brian Thornton sent a ball into the goal mouth which was punched to the net by James. It was ruled a square ball after consultation, and it was a reprieve for Rangers which they assiduously availed of. 

Matthew Gallagher landed a point before a melee unfolded leaving Rockland a player short. Emmett Loughnane and James Breen tapped over points to tie the game. Then a late tackle late in the game set up free-taker McElligott for the last score and the winner. 

Overall a great display by both teams, tough to see anybody lose, but that’s the raison d’etre of competition.

Rangers: Chris Sheridan, Martin Loane, Danny Burke, Shane Doheny, Emmett Clarke, James Breen, Dylan Grace, Conor McStay, Matthew Gallagher, Joe Grace, Kevin Loane, PJ King, Emmett Loughran, Niall McKenna, Shay McElligott.

Rockland: Conor Callen, Sean Sorohan, Conor Madigan, Owen O’Brien, Rory O’Riordan, Dylan Rooney, Ronan McGinley, Kyle Shannon, Brian Coughlan, Tom Shalvey, Ruairi Molloy, Conor James, Conor O’Sullivan. Subs: Dave McIntyre, Paul Larkin, Nick Mangan, Brian Thornton. 

Man of the Match: Shay McElligott.

Hoboken Holds On

Hoboken Guards 1-18, Tipperary 1-16

This senior hurling clash that pitted last year’s finalists against each other started at a rather nonchalant pace with Hoboken asserting their authority early on. However, that would change later when the fat hit the fire and two red cards were handed out.  Also, of late it seems there’s a tad of controversy in close-ending games. 

Hoboken had five straight points on the board courtesy of Dara Walsh (three), Declan Fahey, and Paul Gordan. Tipp eventually got motoring with a Kevin Bulfin point and Mike Sheedy added another. 

However, Hoboken was still cruising as Harry O’Connor landed a superb effort, and chief and unerring marksman Walsh tagged on a brace, one from a free and one from play to be ahead by 0-8 to 0-3 as Tipp’s main striker added another minor before the first water break. 

After hydration Walsh increased the lead to seven before Tipp began to come to grips with their opponents.  Sheedy added a brace before a booted effort from Bulfin came back off the post but was eventually sent over the bar by Sheedy. 

Walsh was still taunting and tantalizing Tipp as he would tag on three more points to have his team comfortably ahead by 0-13 to 0-7 after a super effort from Frank Kennedy lifted the siege before the intermission. 

Upon resumption, Tipp stepped up their performance as a John O’Neill point sparked a resurgence leading to a Bulfin goal. Tipp were much more assertive but unfortunately fluffed a number of good chances. 

Still, Sheedy would send over two as would Walsh to leave Tipp trailing by two entering the last quarter.  Tipp now seemed to hit top gear as tensions escalated. Points for Sheedy and young Gearoid Kennedy had the sides level with ten minutes left. 

Then a herculean effort from Liam O’Connor had his team in front and another from young Kennedy extended Tipp’s lead to two.  Johnny Glynn entered the fray and he soon made his presence felt as his forceful foraging set up his brother Brian for a major strike and the lead. Big Jack Guiney worked hard for another point. 

Tipp were still in the hunt as a Kennedy pass set up a Bulfin point but Walsh answered in kind.  Dylan Grace added another for Tipp but Walsh was like good insurance as he protected Hoboken’s slender lead with another crucial point. 

With two minutes left and two points down Tipp threw everything forward in search of a goal. They had chances but resolute defending by the Hanlons, Morrissey, Glynn and company plus hesitancy in pulling the trigger denied them the major strike. 

Then with just seconds left a long ball was lobbed into the goal mouth and a mighty scramble ensued as hurls were swung and bodies were strewn as the buzzer sounded. Some thought the ball has crossed the line for a goal, while others demanded a penalty. 

After consultation with his umpires, referee Alan Gleason coolly and correctly determined it was neither, and thus ended the riveting finale with Hoboken Guards as worthy winners, though Tipp made them fight for it.     

Hoboken: Cillian McNamara, Ciaran Hanlon, Diarmuid Hehir, Padraic Morrissey, Billy Hanlon, Eamon Glynn, Harry O’Connor, Brian Glynn, Maurice Sweeney, Declan Fahey, Paul Gordan, Damien O’Connor, Robert Frayne, Jack Guiney, Dara Walsh. Subs: Stephen Power, Paul Loughnane, Eoin Kiely, John Glynn, Mark Scanlon, Mark Keane, Pauric McNamara.

Tipperary: Keith Robinson, Paul Cannon, Henry Keyes, Brian Power, Frank Kennedy, Liam O’Connor, Dara Hynes, Ger McPartland, Tommy Kavanagh, David Foley, Mike Sheedy, Kevin Bulfin, David Pond, Liam O’Donovan, Joey Grace. Subs: Gearoid Kennedy, John O’Neill, Dylan Grace, Ross Butler. 

Referee: Alan Gleason.

Man of the Match: Dara Walsh.

*This report first appeared in the July 28 edition of the weekly Irish Voice newspaper, sister publication to IrishCentral.

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