A round of all the big games in GAA around New York this week.

Sligo 2-10  Brooklyn Shamrocks 0-11

This senior championship match was an exciting affair that generated plenty of discussion on the sidelines about the significance of the colors of the disciplinary cards for the infractions committed. Brooklyn started in a whirlwind fashion as David Culhane torpedoed through the Sligo defense to point after eight seconds.  Unfortunately for Brooklyn this illustrious and industrious player would soon retire injured to join their growing injury list. 

Brooklyn was still playing well and they quickly cantered into a four points lead. Niall Madine pointed a free and Kevin Meehan’s interception led to another. Madine acted supplier for the next score as he picked out Gearoid McDonald with a well-directed pass. 

Ten minutes elapsed before Sligo got the scoreboard moving, a pointed free from Mickey Lenaghan after Dylan Rooney was fouled. However Brooklyn was still looking dangerous as Madine rode cavalierly through the Sligo defense to land a fine point. Rooney replied quickly with a spectacular aerial effort. 

However, Sligo’s chances took a hit when referee Pat Donoghue brandished a black card and Madine punished the indiscretion with a pointed free. Now down a player, Sligo seemed to be more focused and purposeful in their play as they added two points before the first water break. Lenaghan popped over a quick free and Ger McCullagh was the supplier for a Dylan McCabe point.  After hydration Sligo maintained the momentum as Stephen Curley shot over a nice point from an acute angle. 

Things seem to be going Sligo’s way as a wayward short kickout was intercepted to set up Tony Donnelly for a goal chance. His shot appeared to be brilliantly saved by keeper Cunningham, but it trickled over the line to put Sligo up by 1-5 to 0-6. 

Sligo’s good fortune didn’t last long as soon another player was black carded, thus leaving his team down two players. Still Sligo managed to get the next score as McCabe assisted a Vinny Cadden effort from a “45” over the bar. 

For the remainder of the period Sligo did manage their imposed player shortage very well as Brooklyn was limited to a Madine point and Sligo led by 1-6 to 0-7 at the short whistle. 

The third quarter was a low scoring, defensive dominated stanza, but the hue of the disciplinary cards was vigorously discussed again.  The referee decided yellow matched the crimes before McDonald pointed a long range effort. 

At the other end, tenacious tackling resulted in a turnover, setting the scene for a Donnelly point. Then, just before the last water break Adrian Lawler looked poised to rattle the net after Madine sent him in on goal but Cadden saved brilliantly. 

After hydration Cadden coolly slotted over a “45” but Madine was keeping Brooklyn in the game as he pointed two frees for holding infringements. 

Sligo now had decamped big Jonathon Glynn to the attack with the ploy of lobbing  high balls into his vicinity.  It worked as he won possession and drew a free, which Donnelly pointed. 

The exchanges were tense and exciting as keeper Cunningham left the minimum between the sides. Big Glynn came to the rescue again as he slotted over a point after the hard-grafting Darragh McCoonan was the supplier. 

Black was certainly the color of the day as another player was directed to the sideline, but Brooklyn failed to capitalize as a free was sent uncharacteristically wide. 

Sligo finished the stronger as a forceful burst through the middle by Glynn set up Donnelly for the last score, a goal. 

Overall a well-contested game, it could have gone either way. Probably a dress rehearsal for the semifinal, with Brooklyn hoping injuries will have cleared up and Sligo hoping they see less black, that’s of course besides the color on the jersey.

Sligo: Vinnie Cadden, Paul Kelly, Bryan Glynn, Mike Diskin, Dan Maye, Jamie Davies, Darragh McCoonan, Colin Keane, Dylan McCabe, Tadhg O’Riordan, Ger McCullagh, Dylan Rooney, Stephen Curley, Tony Donnelly, Mickey Lenaghan. Subs: Paul McDaid, Jonathon Glynn, Shane Queenan, Tom O'Sullivan.

Brooklyn Shamrocks: Mickey Cunningham, Diarmuid Browne, Adam Keaney, Redmond Hanna, Keith Scally, Andrew McGowan, Adam George, David Culhane, Anthony Devlin, Shane Boyle, Niall Madine, Kevin Hannigan, Adrain Lawler, Gearoid McDonald, Kevin Meehan. Subs: Kevin Connolly, Ronald Boyle.

Referee: Pat Donoghue.

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Rockies, Rebels all square

Rockland 1-8 Cork 1-8

The junior A championship clash between Rockland and Cork was the nightcap on Sunday’s schedule, though there was considerably more exuberance and scores in the second half. 

Rockland’s Brian Thornton had the sole score at the end of the first quarter. At the short whistle it was 0-2 apiece. P.A. Sheehan and Patrick Glynn were Cork’s scorers, while Thornton was on the mark a for Rockland. 

However, by far the most notable feature of the half was the brilliant display by keeper Casey. During the game he executed at least a half dozen top shelf saves. 

Thankfully performances and production were stepped up considerably in the second half.  The youthful Rockland squad, Ronan McGinley would be an outlier, looked to be the better side as Conor O’Sullivan and Thornton shot over early points.

A goal from Ryan McDonald certainly put the cat among the pigeons. However, a goal from Ronan Curry put the Rockies back in front. Rockland may have plenty of youth but the Rebels have plenty of experience as Alan Raftery was on hand to split the posts. 

On the other side McGinley showed his guile and experience as he sauntered through traffic to point. 

Cork was hardly standing in awe as Dara Walsh landed the score of the day, a great run and finish by the midfielder. A spectacular point by O’Sullivan had Rockland ahead by two entering the last quarter, though the Rebels had two bona fide efforts rebound off the posts. 

After hydration a good run by Conor McIntyre set up Thomas Shalvey for a point to extend the lead.  However, Cork would produce their best spell to score four unanswered points to take the lead in the closing stages. 

Tom Joe Sullivan was making his presence felt with penetrating runs and setting up chances. Raftery pointed a free and Mike Sheedy scored after a good pass from Ger McCullagh.  O’Sullivan certainly boosted Cork’s spirits with the next score and a Sean Moynihan point gave them the lead. 

At the other end, O’Sullivan landed a great effort from away out the field to tie the score. Then both teams went feverishly in search of a winner before an incident around midfield stalled proceedings. 

Referee Peter McCormack, using tried and trusted investigating techniques, tried to determine who the main culprit was. From my vantage point it seemed the jersey was well-stretched and a slap was applied in response to testing the material. 

Before the investigation was completed time ran out. A draw was the final and fair result. 

Cork: Donal Casey, Anthony Hanley, William Percal, Stephen Hanley, Chris Shea, Shawn McNamee, John Lavin, Dara Walsh, Alan Raftery, Mike Sheedy, Ger McCullagh, Conor Hunter, Patrick Glynn, P.A. Sheehan, James Woods. Subs: Ryan McDonald, Sean Moynihan, Lorcan Gaull, Niall Judge, Tom Joe O’Sullivan, Donagh O’Sullivan, Enda Lowney. 

Rockland: Eoghan Fitzpatrick, Conor James, Conor Madigan, Dylan Rooney, Rory O’Riordan, Ronan McGinley, Jack Healy, Brian Coughlin, Ronan Curry, Thomas Shalvey, Tadhg O’Riordan, Conor McIntyre, Owen O’Brien, Conor O’Sullivan, Brian Thornton. Subs: Kieran Walsh, Sean Coughlin. 

Referee: Peter McCormack.

Man of the Match: Donal Casey.

Big win for Barnabas

St. Barnabas 2-13   Rangers 0-5

THE general perception was that this senior championship duel would be a keenly contested affair between two predominantly American-born squads.  However, that notion was quickly dispelled as Rangers had two players dispatched to the sideline for ill-discipline. 

Rangers were first on the attack, but Keith Quinn’s shot was off target. At the other end Mikey Brosnan pointed for a foul on Dylan McDermott.  Young Brosie along with Conor Mathers were involved in the next major attack as they set up goal specialist Tiernan Mathers to rattle the net. 

The Rangers were being rattled in the early exchanges as Ciaran Bennett pointed after a good delivery from Luke Kelly and free-taker Brosnan added another point. 

Then with just eight minutes gone a player verbally abused the referee for awarding a free after a ball was handled on the ground. Naturally the rules are quite explicit, that’s a red card offense for abuse. Unfortunately for Rangers another player adopted the same tone and tactic, and he too was dispatched to the side line. 

Obviously with a two player advantage this was going to be a facile contest for Barnabas. Kevin Loane would land two points for Rangers but by half time Barnabas’ lead was 2-8 to 0-2 as McDermott, Brosnan, Dylan Curran had handy points while Gearoid Kennedy goaled as Peter Cronin and Conor Mathers set up the opportunity. 

Though the result was basically a foregone conclusion, Rangers battled away as Shane Holman managed to force a good save from Brendan Cole and Keith Quinn, Loane and Eoin Delaney tapped over a few points. 

Needless to say Barnabas had plenty of possession, and whether it was the laxity of competitiveness or not, they were guilty of some wasteful and wild shooting. I’m sure the mentors will have something to say about the squander mania.

St. Barnabas: Brendan Cole, Jamie Boyle, Conor Hogan, Peter Cronin, Conor Mathers, Shane Hogan, Dylan Curran, Stephen Monaghan, Gearoid Kennedy, Dylan McDermott, Sean Reilly, Ciaran Bennett, Luke Kelly, Tiernan Mathers, Mikey Brosnan. Sub: Gerry Cullen.

Rangers: Bryan Twomey, Martin Sutton, Conor Madigan, Andrew Burke, James Breen, Conor McStay, Declan Corrigan, Blaine Malone, Sean O’Neill, Conor McIntyre, Keith Quinn, Evan McStay, Kevin Loane, Eoin Delaney, Shane Holman.

Subs: Emmett Clarke, Donnacha O’Dwyer.

*This column first appeared in the June 16 edition of the weekly Irish Voice newspaper, sister publication to IrishCentral.

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