The Shannon Blues advanced to the quarter final of the Pat O’Brien Cup with a solid display against a gallant Kerry side in difficult, windy conditions. It was a game that Kerry will look back on and rue many missed opportunities in the second half. The wind played a factor as kicking frees into the gate end goal proved nearly impossible. Trailing by three points at half time, the kingdom lifted their efforts in the second half but having won several frees that would have been very scoreable under normal conditions, conditions were not normal.
The game opened at a fast pace and the Blues streaked into a four points to none lead to get things going. Nicky Murray, Simon Sinnott, Sean Moriarty, and James Hynes scored as the Blues were moving and passing the ball well.. Waterville man Donnacha Fenton stemmed the Blues wave with a pointed free, and after the excellent Conor Mullen cancelled it out for the Blues, Kerry center back Kieran O’Connor put a massive effort over the bar to lift Kerry spirits. At the break there was very much a game on with three points separating the teams.
James Dooley at wing back and Ian Somers in the middle of the field in particular lifted the Kerry effort and the Kingdom generated several chances to score as the Blues back line committed several fouls. Fenton, however, was unable to cope with the strong breeze and put a couple over the bar, and Kerry remained scoreless. As the half wore on and Kerry failed to take advantage, the Blues found their rhythm of the first period and motored again through Mike McGowan, Mullen, Sean Moriarty, and James Hynes to put the lock down on the game. Moriarty and Hynes pointed three between them to make it a 0-7 to 0-2 final score.
They Kerry football club would like to extend the greatest sympathy to Paddy Tanny and his family on the passing of his father.
Blues: C. Wallace, S. Kelly, D. O’Brien, M. Keegan, M. McGowan, C. Mullen, P. Murray, D. Clarke, S. Moriarty, J. Hynes, K. Sullivan, G. Henry, N. Murray. Kerry: S. Leary, M. Godley, G. O’Caobhain, J. Dooley, K. O’Connor, P. Doyle, I. Somers, G. Cummings, T. Fitzgerald, D. Fenton, M. Taylor, J. Kennedy, T. Caobhain.
Armagh-Notre Dame 1-3 Christopher’s 0-5
Armagh-Notre Dame pulled off somewhat of a dramatic victory over Christopher’s to earn a quarter final game against their local Brighton rivals, Galway. The game was empty of scores in the first half as both sides floundered in front of goal, but the second was much more enjoyable as Christopher’s looked like pulling away only to be reined in by a determined Armagh-Notre Dame side.
Mid-way through the first half the game remained scoreless, and it was only with the period winding down that either side chalked up a score. For the men in the orange jerseys it was Dominic Magill, and then for Christopher’s it was Owen Keohane who made it a point each at the break. Christopher’s opened the second half looking like they were about to steamroll their opponents. Some great play resulted in four points for Christopher’s. The quick ball into the corner forwards paid heavy dividends. Armagh-Notre Dame dug in however. Conor McGarry popped over a point, making it a one-score game. Midfielders Adrian Gunn and Kieran Sheerin made things difficult for their opposite numbers, and Pat Delaney ended up getting a second yellow card for rough play and the Orchard men had the numbers advantage with plenty left to play.
It was a fine move that ended up with the ball in the hands of McGarry that resulted in a penalty for the northerners. McGarry was pulled down and Frank Meehan slotted the resulting penalty home. All square now and with Christopher’s frustration growing and the bit between the teeth for the Brighton team, veteran Darren Maguire popped over a free in the dying moments of the game to send his side through to the next round.
Armagh-ND: O. Murphy, S. Redmond, S. McKenna, F. Meehan, N. Lowry, M. Graham, A. Gunn, K. Sheerin, G. Hall, D. Magill, M. Tiffany, C. McGarry, D. Maguire. Christopher’s: J. Duane, N. Ryan, L. Luke, M. Delaney, C. Murphy, P. Manning, D. Kenneally, J. Kenneally, P. Mannion, P. Delaney, L. Hickey, D. Keohane, R. Kenneally.
Schedule – All Games on Field A
Saturday May 4
Pat O’Brien Cup
5:00: Connemara Gaels v Shannon Blues
Sunday May 5
1:00 Armagh-ND v Galway
2:00 Donegal v Aidan McAnespies
4:00 Cork v Wolfe Tones
3:00 Wexford v Fr. Tom Burke’s
The history behind “When Irish Eyes are Smiling”