St. Barnabas makes history, Three straight for Hoboken, and McAfee goal seals Ulster crown

St. Barnabas makes history

St. Barnabas 4-19, Sligo 4-15

In almost half a century of St. Barnabas’s history, there have been many glorious days and some wonderful achievements. However, none can compare to Sunday when they won the New York senior football championship, the flagship event on the Big Apple’s Gaelic sporting calendar.

They certainly have claimed a hallowed and honored space in New York’s Gaelic annals. This was the first all-American-born team to win a New York senior football championship. Championship winners have consistently been a team of ex-pats, boosted by a number of imports and perhaps a few players that came through the Minor Board.  Sligo, the defending champions, is a seasoned squad, sprinkled with a smattering of former intercounty players such as Peter Cooke, Vinny Cadden, Niall Murphy, and Johnny Glynn.

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One former player noted that this was probably the first time that a championship was won without having to buy a plane ticket. Implicit in the statement was the reliance on local talent and outstanding development work being done by the New York Minor Board and in particular the St. Barnabas club.

This was a wonderful and joyous occasion for the St. Barnabas faithful and in particular one man, Richie Hanglow, one of the founders from 1972. His two grandsons starred for this team, Conor and Shane Hogan.

Naturally, the final score dictates the winner, but the manner in which it occurred is almost incredulous. The winners were down 10 points entering the last quarter, but the resolve to battle back to a draw just before the final whistle speaks volumes about the character and caliber of these native-born and bred New Yorkers.

St. Barnabas started well with Mikey Brosnan chipping in with points from a free and play in the opening minutes. However, it was soon parity as Stephen Curly slotted over a point after a good pass from Glynn, and Sligo’s top marksman Murphy followed up with another from an acute angle.

Francis Cole then called a mark and scored after he latched on to a good delivery from Sean Reilly. It was tit for tat in the opening stanza as John Collins and Murphy hit over, but a great effort from Peter Hatzer split the posts to leave the sides tied at the first water break. (Incidentally, Hatzer and Brian Glynn had played earlier in the hurling finals.)

Upon rehydration, St. Barnabas had the better of the exchanges as they put three unanswered points on the board courtesy of Tiernan Mathers (two) and Dylan McDermott. When play switched to the other end, Johnny Glynn was using his physique and positional sense to good effect as he set up John Collins and Daniel McKenna for points.

Then Kevin Rafferty sauntered up the field to confidentially split the posts with a monstrous kick. Then things went a bit awry for the Bronx Boys. A defensive snafu left the goal line unattended, and Dylan McCabe pounced on the gilt-edged chance to slot the ball to the net.

Murphy would add another point while Barnabas fluffed a few chances to leave Sligo leading by 1-7 to 0-8 at the break.

Upon resumption, Sligo opened up a four-point gap. Curly slotted over and Murphy completed a nice give and go sequence to score another point. 

Barnabas appeared to storm right back as a penetrating run by Shane Hogan ended with McDermott setting up Tiernan Mathers for a goal. Soon they were level as Gearoid Kennedy landed a fine effort over the bar.

Then Sligo enjoyed their best period to put 2-4 on the board, while St. Barnabas had a nightmarish experience. Curly led the Sligo scoring spree with a point, while Murphy followed with a point from a great individual effort, and he soon bested that with a goal.

McCabe raced up the wing for another point, and he intercepted the kick out to have a clear path for his goal. Tony Donnelly finished the scoring for the third quarter to leave Sligo in what appeared to be an almost unassailable lead 3-13 to 1-9, yes 10 points.

If the third quarter belonged to Sligo, the fourth belonged to St. Barnabas. Kennedy got the scoreboard moving rapidly as he blasted a penalty to the net, sending keeper Cadden the wrong way.

Shane Hogan began to use aerial prowess very effectively by breaking the ball well and keeping it out of Sligo hands. The points began to rain over, with Hogan himself showing the way. Brother Conor didn’t want to miss the fun as he also pointed as did Brosnan (two), McDermott, and Kennedy.

It was down to the last minute when St. Barnabas forced a 45 close to the sideline. Sean Reilly sent a shot zooming towards the goalmouth, and Mathers would rise highest from a phalanx of players to flick over the bar to leave the proceeding level for a second Sunday in a row, necessitating extra time again. In the first period of extra time, Mathers and Shane Hogan hit over two points but they were quickly negated when Johnny Glynn goaled after he collared a high ball from Cooke, but Reilly tied the game with a point.

Then came the two-goal strike from Mathers, to leave the score at 4-19 to 4-13 with 10 minutes to play. Both goals were critical, but one was an absolute gem, a snapshot of the incredible talent of this young man.

Murphy got a point but they needed goals, and the Raffertys, Hogans, Curran, Boyle, and company were not going to allow that to happen. The game got a bit rugged and referee Peter McCormack brandished red cards to a player from both sides.

Sligo kept trying but were limited to a Cooke point as St. Barnabas claimed the prestigious New York championship with a four-point victory.

There were great scenes of joy among the throngs of faithful Barnabas supporters who never wavered over the years. In fairness to the Sligo supporters, though they were crestfallen, they were gracious enough to agree that the victory was a great testament to the wonderful work being done at grassroots level in the Big Apple.

Usually, I give an accolade for Man of the Match, and there were a number of great individual performances especially from Shane Hogan, Mikey Brosnan, Tiernan Mathers, Sean Reilly among others, but in this instance, the award goes to the whole team.

In the interest of full disclosure and in case I didn’t adequately curb my enthusiasm at this historic achievement, I must admit that St. Barnabas was the last team I played with, plus I was their trainer and selector with manager Eamon Deane for a number of years.

St. Barnabas: Brendan Cole, Shane Rafferty, Conor Hogan (0-1), Jamie Boyle, Kevin Rafferty (0-1), Shane Hogan (0-2), Dylan Curran, Conor Rafferty (capt.), Tiernan Mathers (3-3), Gearoid Kennedy (1-2), Sean Reilly (0-2), Mikey Brosnan (0-4), Dylan McDermott (0-2), Francis Cole (0-1), Caolan Mathers.  Subs: Conor Mathers, Ciaran Bennett, Peter Cronin, Shane Brosnan, Peter Hatzer (0-1), Liam Deane, Shane Hennessy, Adam Power, Johnny McGeeney.

Sligo: Vinnie Cadden, Shane Queenan, Paul Kelly, Dan Maye, Darragh McConnan, Colin Keane, Rob Davies, Ger McCullagh, Brian Glynn, Dylan McCabe (2-1), Daniel McKenna (0-1), Niall Murphy (1-6), Peter Cooke (0-1), Johnny Glynn (1-0), John Collins (0-2).  Subs: Jamie Bannigan, Stephen Curly (0-3), Niall Judge, Niall McDonagh, Tony Donnelly (0-1), Enda Williams, Paul McDaid. 

Referee: Peter McCormack.

Players of the Game: St. Barnabas team.

You can watch the New York GAA Senior Football Final Replay 2020 here, courtesy of New York GAA:

New York Senior Football Final Replay 2020

New York Senior Football Final Replay 2020 St Barnabas vs Sligo

Publiée par New York GAA sur Dimanche 27 septembre 2020

Three Straight for Hoboken

Hoboken Guards 2-22, Tipperary 2-19 

The New York senior hurling final was another thrilling, exciting, and entertaining affair between these keen rivals, with the decision in the balance until the final minute.

Hoboken was on target for their three-in-a-row, but that target seemed to be slipping away when their talisman, Paul Gordan, limped off injured. However, the wounded warrior returned to the battlefront late in the game and with a deft touch of the caman, he put the sliotar into the path of Dara Walsh, and the Man of the Match rocketed the ball to the net to ensure that the Mike Flannery Memorial Cup would be heading back to New Jersey for another year.

Tipp opened the scoring with a Mike Sheedy point but Hoboken got down to business quickly to put the next five points on the board courtesy of Gordan (two), Harry O’Connor, Walsh, and Eamon Glynn.

However, Tipp stepped up their performance to add three in succession as Tommy Kavanagh and Sheedy (two) were on target. The dynamic duo of Gordan and Walsh tagged on two more to have their team ahead by 0-7 to 0-4 at the first water break.

After refueling, Hoboken emerged fired up as Walsh blasted the ball to the net after an incisive pass from Gordan. Tipp was staying in the rearview mirror with points from Sheedy, but Hoboken was giving a much more commanding performance as they had built up a seven-point lead by the break.

Walsh led the way with a 65, and Gordan, Hanlon, Walsh, and company rained over points to be ahead by 1-12 to 0-8.

Upon resumption, Tipp came back fired up and were now taking the game to their opponents as they enjoyed their most productive spell. They managed to run off 1-6 without a reply from their opponents. The goal came from John O’Neill, while Sheedy (four), Kavanagh, and O’Neill also added points courtesy of some long deliveries from center back Liam O’Connor.

Though Hoboken appeared to be on the ropes, a counter-attack was brilliantly flicked over the bar by keeper Keith Robinson at the expense of a point from a Walsh rasper.

Tipp continued to call the shots as David Pond came off the bench to goal, running their account to 2-6 for the quarter, while limiting Hoboken to just three points.

Hoboken was behind by two, 2-14 to 1-15, entering the last quarter and without the stewardship of Gordan. Tipp certainly got their tails up on the restart as an O’Neill point put them ahead by three.

With Gordan gone, Walsh manfully assumed the leadership mantle and led the comeback with a massive long-range point. Hanlon pointed a free after Declan Fahey was fouled, and Walsh accentuated his skill with another spectacular point from away out the field.

Now the game was tied and the fat was in the fire. Sheedy definitely seemed to be producing the bacon as he landed a fine long-range effort before coolly slotting over a 65 for a two-point lead.

The lead didn’t last long as Fahey and Walsh belted over two points, and then a great individual effort characterized by an exquisite vignette of skill saw him push his team back in front.

However, points from James Woods and Liam Donovan regained Tipp the lead, but not for long as a Hanlon point had the sides all square entering the two-minute zone.

Gordan limped back on to the field, but the first few balls eluded him as he was greatly constrained by his immobility.  However, he managed to get the all-important touch that set the platform for Walsh to get the goal, the three-in-row, and for captain Glynn to hoist the Mike Flannery Memorial Cup

Hoboken: Cillian McNamara, Diarmuid Hehir, Padraic Morrissey, Eoin Kiely, Eamonn Glynn (0-1), Kevin Hennegan, Stephen Powers (0-2), Harry O’Connor (0-1), Paul Gordan (0-4), Brian Glynn (capt.), Billy Hanlon (0-3), Dara Walsh (2-9), Declan Fahey (0-2). Subs: Paul Loughnane, Mark Cunningham, James Egan, Pat Egan.

Tipperary: Keith Robinson, Brian Power, Paul Cannon, Frankie Kennedy, Liam O’Connor, Kevin Bulfin, Tommy Kavanagh (0-2), Darragh Hynes, Michael Sheedy (0-12), Ross Butler, Liam Donovan (0-1), John O’Neill (1-1), Patrick Morrissey (0-2). Subs: Niall Corbett, David Pond (1-0), James Woods(0-1), Stephen Harten, Adrian Croston, Shane Slattery, James McInerney, Jack Nolan, Tom Seymour. 

Referee: Chris Dalton.

Man of the Match: Dara Walsh.

You can watch the New York GAA Senior Hurling Final 2020 here, courtesy of New York GAA:

New York Senior Hurling Final 2020

New York Senior Hurling Final 2020 Tipperary vs Hoboken

Publiée par New York GAA sur Dimanche 27 septembre 2020

McAfee Goal Seals Ulster Crown

Ulster 2-18, Westmeath 3-12 

This was another very competitive, exciting, and entertaining final, this time in junior hurling, with the decision also going down to the last minute. So with four finals being decided so far, and with little more than a kick of the ball or a puck of the sliotar, you’d be forgiven for thinking that Covid-19 has ushered a more level playing field amongst the clubs.

Congrats to Ulster Hurling New York on becoming New York Junior Hurling Champions! A great battle with Westmeath 2.18 to 3.12. #hurling #gaa #newyorkgaa

Publiée par New York GAA sur Dimanche 27 septembre 2020

Ulster captured the John Kelly Junior Memorial Cup with a late flourish against a valiant Westmeath outfit. Incidentally, the man who helped propel them across the finish line, Stephen McAfee, was first to get them on the scoreboard. Ultan O’Connor responded very quickly with a point.

The exchanges were evenly matched for the first quarter as both sides would put five points on the board. Conor O’Kane (two), Eamon Brennan, and McAfee were Ulster’s flag-raisers, while Ger McPartland (three) and O’Connor replied for the Lakesiders.

Upon rehydration, Trevor Fallon and McPartland exchanged points for parity, and that would be the pattern throughout much of the game. Leads were fleeting while all-square was very much the norm. 

Meanwhile, a few notable features from the second quarter was a brilliant save by Colin White from Brian Fitzgerald; a massive point from dual-player Offaly man Jason Kelly; great defensive play by Peter Hatzer Liam Butler, and Sean Loughlin-Stones other dual-players; and a red card for a reckless play.

Still, despite being a man down, Ulster held a slender lead at the short whistle, 0-9 to 0-8.

Upon resumption, Stephen Harten came off the bench and duly made his presence felt with a great goal. Ulster responded and soon the goal was whittled away with points from veteran McFetteridge, Brian Conroy, and O’Kane (two).

The lead was short-lived as Stephen Harten struck another goal after Eoghan Carew, another dual player, delivered a good pass.

However, it was soon level as O’Kane lofted over a 65. Then Westmeath’s chief scoring ace, McPartland, rode several robust tackles to plant the ball in the net. 

Ulster finished out the quarter with two pointed frees from O’Kane to leave the score at 3-8 to 0-15 in Westmeath’s favor. Westmeath were soon four ahead as Mark Dowds landed a super score and Kelly showed his prowess with the small ball by scoring another fine point.

However, Ulster was not about to submit easily and O’Kane narrowed the gap with two well-struck points. Then McPartland got his best score of the day as he fired over from close to the sideline as he was surrounded by plenty of timber to bring the lead back to three.

Ulster went in search of a goal, but a goal-bound effort from Lorcan Kennedy was deflected out, and in the ensuing scramble for possession Ulster was awarded a 21 yard free. Taker O’Kane picked his spot and sent his worm-burning and grass-cutting sizzler to the corner of the net with just five minutes left on the clock to tie the scores again.

Now the ever-growing crowd was on the edges of their seats as O’Kane lofted over a massive effort from midfield for the lead. However, a minute later, Kelly responded with as good a score.

It was looking that it might be down to extra-time as in the football, but staunch and sterling defender McAfee quickly put an end to that notion as he picked up a breaking ball, sped through the middle, and blasted the ball to the net from 25 yards for the win.

Ulster is now back in senior ranks, which they believe is their rightful position, and who would disagree with them. They showed their might when it was needed to get them over the finish line.

Westmeath: Colin White, Brendan Hickey, Liam Butler, Sean Loughlin-Stones, John Comerford, Alan Sherlock, Ultan O’Connor (0-2), Eoghan Carew, Josh Dennehy, Ger McPartland (1-6), Mark Dowds (0-1), Steve O’Neill, Jason Kelly (0-3). Subs: Stephen Harten (2-0), Mike Stones, Neil Francis, John Melia, Dean O’Donnell, Leon Dunican, Michael Caterson, Pat Layde. 

Ulster: Brian McNaughton, Emmett Hunter, Peter Hatzer, John Lavin, Stephen McAfee (1-2), Brian Conroy, Ger McFeteridge (0-1), Trevor Fallon (0-2), Lorcan Kennedy, Eamon Brennan (0-2), Conor O’Kane (1-10), Finbar McBride (0-1), Brian Fitzgerald. Subs: J. Joyce, C. Starr, C.  O’Connor.

Referee: Alan Gleason.

Man of the Match: Conor O’Kane.

You can watch the New York GAA Junior Hurling Final here, courtesy of New York GAA:

New York Junior Hurling Final

New York Junior Hurling Final Ulster v Westmeath

Publiée par New York GAA sur Dimanche 27 septembre 2020
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