Ladies Senior Football
Connacht Ladies 7-16 Tir na nOg 2-8
The Ladies senior football championship got underway with a bang as current champions, Tir na nOg, faced the newcomers, Connacht Ladies. There was clearly a lot of work put into the Connacht effort in the off-season. The Connacht ladies looked fit and too powerful for the Brighton based team, and ran out winners by a considerable margin. Corner forward Sinead Ryan and center forward Louise Brett looked particularly impressive for the winners.
The Connacht Ladies held a sizeable advantage by the time the first 30 minutes were played, and sent a message about their intentions for the coming season. The full forward line was a particular area of strength for the westerners, Waterford county player, Sinead Ryan, proved to be a force at corner forward that Tir na nOg found hard to deal with. In addition, Louise Brett at center forward was full of running while the midfielders, Karen O’Dea and Imelda McNally were a formidable force. Connacht Ladies played a nice brand of passing football and opened up the spaces in the Tir na nOg back line. Ryan and Brett capitalized and notched up the scores, with a goal coming for each player late in the half. Tir na nOg enjoyed some spells of possession themselves and managed a couple of goals, one of which Noelle Healy poached late in the half.
The second half began with a run from center back Eileen McElroy deep into Tir na nOg territory. The final shot was wide, but it was clear what the intention was. Tir na nOg had to satisfy themselves by feeding off Caroline Nee free kicks, which were far too rare from the point of view of the Brighton side. The westerners swept down the field almost at will, and with each attack looked like it a score was likely. Brett and Ryan added another two goals each in the second period as well as a raft of points. The best score of the day for Tir na nOg came from the boot of Noelle Healy who finished off a fine move for a goal, but it was more a case of playing for respectability by that stage for Tir na nOg.
Connacht: C. Heraty, A. Kerr, J. O’Connell, L. Burns, M. Tianer, E. McElroy, L. Ryan, K. O’Dea, I. McNally, A. McDaid, L. Brett, K. Kenneally, J. McDonagh, C. Newton, S. Ryan. Tir na nOg: E. Kelly, A. O’Neill, L. Brick, J. Davoren, N. O’Neill, P. Greene, K. Combes, C. Keoghegan, N. Daly, L. Kehoe, C. Nee, S. Bannon, M. Walshe, N. Healy, C. Hanley.
Men’s Senior Football
Galway 0-16 Armagh-Notre Dame 2-4
The Brighton clubs crossed swords Sunday afternoon with each side looking for their first win of the season. It was a game that would have Galway as favourites by a significant margin. Galway ended up coming away with the win, but the outcome was in serious doubt until the last 10 minutes of the game. Armagh-Notre Dame held a one-point lead with 15 minutes to go, but the northern effort lost steam and scoring options were at a premium in the latter stages. Galway finished comfortably in the end, but not without being put to the test.
Armagh-Notre Dame held their own in the first half but one had the feeling that the chances of an upset were slim. Galway missed a plethora of scoring chances that would have seen their half-time lead be far more than the single point that it was. A sending off early in the game also gave the feeling that it would probably hurt the Orange half of Brighton more than it would Galway. Corner back, Shane Murney, and Galway’s Keith O’Hara were shown the line for their part in an off the ball wrestling match eight minutes into the game. Armagh-ND kept in it for most of the half thanks for a goal from Conor McGoran who fisted a bouncing ball into the net from the edge of the small square. Galway had put three points over the bar, one each from Mark Kenny, Eoghan Whelan, and Ollie Doherty. Jamie Keogh leveled the scores and Galway then opened up a lead. Leon Kelly and two Doherty frees looked like they would put Galway three to the good at the break, but a late flurry from the northerners reduced the deficit to the one point. Conor McGoran and Shane Marrow each pointed before the break. There could also have been a goal, but Pronsias McComiskey got down well to save from McGoran.
Armagh-Notre Dame threw the cat among the pigeons with a second half goal that put them into an unlikely one point lead. Galway had missed some easy chances to start the second period, and an upset looked possible. The game slipped away from Armagh-Notre Dame from that point on however. Galway stepped up their level of intensity and the orchard county side began to tire. After Doherty leveled the scores, Kenny and Graham Cullen went to work and combined well to put four points over the bar and put some distance between the teams. The frustration grew for the northerners as Galway played the ball around with relative ease in the final quarter. Doherty added two free kicks to round out the scoring. Armagh-Notre Dame yet to record their first win, and Galway
Galway: P. McComiskey, R. Vickers, J. O’Callaghan, S. Fox, E. Whelan, J. Kehoe, O. Doherty, E. Kavanagh, K. O’Hara, L. Kelly, M. Kenny, G. Cullen, D. Reddin. Armagh-ND: O. Murphy, S. McGee, S. Murney, S. McKenna, N. Lowry, F. Meehan, K. Sheerin, C. McGee, D. Shaw, A. Donovan, K. Marrow, C. McGoran, M. Davidson.
Wolfe Tones 1-14 Christopher’s 1-10
It was a tremendously exciting 60 minutes with Wolfe Tones were looking for a win over Christopher’s to get back on track in their quest for the 2012 senior football championship title. The Blue team from Southie got the two points but not without some concern as Christopher’s had a one goal lead heading into the final quarter of the game. The Tones lifted themselves and showed signs of being worthy of the early season tag of favourites.
The Tones looked very good when in possession and passed the ball around well. Plenty of running in the forward line opened up the Christopher’s rearguard on several occasions, though Noel Ryan and Chris Murphy stuck to their task well at corner back for Christopher’s. Marty Farrell was on the mark and popped over three points, while Gary Brilly, Barry Grogan and Charles McCarthy also got on the scoreboard. Christopher’s looked dangerous when going forward, and when the ball got into the hands of Daithi Casey at center forward the possibilities opened up for Christopher’s. The Wolfe Tones rearguard proved to be a tough barrier to overcome however, and broke up several attacks. One such turnover by Davy Dalton at corner back resulted in the Tones sweeping upfield and putting the ball between the sticks. Christopher’s kept in touch through points from Paddy Manning, Gavin O’Grady, Eoin Gorman and Casey. At the break it was three to the good in favour of the Tones, 0-7 to 0-4.
After the Tones added to their lead by two points Christopher’s went on a scoring streak thanks for some impressive play in the half back line by Paudie Kenneally, and Shane Flanagen and Pat Delaney in the middle of the field. Gavin O’Grady at corner forward pointed twice, and Chris Brady once before Paudie Kenneally put a wonderful point over the bar from distance. After Shane Flanagan and Brady brought the teams on level terms, it was O’Grady who fired Christopher’s into a one goal lead with a well taken goal following a great move upfield. 13 minutes to go and how would the Tones react? Michael Newman pointed twice and Farrell once to bring the teams level once again as the Tones lifted their game. Christopher’s introduced Danny Kenneally for the last 10 minutes but in a twist the Tones netted within seconds of the big man’s introduction. With an awkward ball bobbling around the corner of the small square, Barry Grogan fisted the ball into the far corner of the net over the head of the advancing Jerry Kenneally. The Tones now had the initiative once more and the midfield ball fell into the hands of the blue shirts. Farrell added another point to make it a two score game. Christopher’s needed a goal and had to settle for a point from David Aherne as the Tones defended in depth. Brilly added the insurance point in the dying minutes as the Tones tally another 2 points.
Tones: R. McKeown, P. McGuirk, D. Dalton, M. O’Brien, B. Kenihan, D. McGuire, C. McCarthy, K. Lynch, G. Brilly, M. Newman, M. Farrell, C. Joyce-Power, B. Grogan. Christopher’s:J. Kenneally, N. Ryan, C. Murphy, P. Kenneally, T. Clancy, D. Aherne, P. Delaney, S. Flanagan, C. Brady, D. Casey, P. Manning, G. O’Grady, E. Gorman.
Connemara Gaels 2-12 Donegal 2-15
The Gaels were up against it on Sunday against the table topping Donegal and almost pulled off an unlikely comeback. Donegal opened up an eight point lead that they held for most of the game and a late Gaels comeback saw it reduced to two points, but it proved to be a bridge too far for the Gaels and the northerners held on to retain their hundred percent record.
There was plenty of desperate defending from the Gaels in the opening period as Donegal opened up the defence on several occasions. At least twice the Gaels prevented sure goals by making desperate blocks to keep the ball from crossing the goal line. The best goal chance that fell for the Connemara men was in the opening minute when Eric Monahan was through, but his shot from 14 yards went wide of the post. Ironically, Donegal then netted their first chance at goal a minute later, and the goal had an air of fortune, good if you are a Donegal man and bad if a Gaels one. James O’Donnell got down well to save from Derek Maguire, but the rebound hit defender Ciaran O’Donnell and into the net. Donegal proceeded to take over the game, and in spite of some hard effort on behalf of the Gaels they could not turn the tide of the game. Garbhan Friel was on fire in the corner for Donegal, while the midfield of Brian White and Brian Donnelly had the edge over their opposite numbers. Points flowed form Friel, White, Maguire, and Donnelly. The Gaels kept in touch and made the most of the chances that came their way. Accurate free taking from Noel Graham, and points from Sean Conneely and Eric Monahan left the Gaels eight points adrift at the break, 2-8 to 0-6.
The second half continued in the same vein as the first with Donegal too full of running for the Gaels. The northerners tallied four points to one for the Gaels in the 10 minutes following the restart. White and Maguire were the proponents. Eric Monahan accounted for the solitary Gaels point, and a goal came from Sean Moran. The Gaels broke downfield and Moran blasted the ball goalwards and it found the back of the net. Was a Gaels revival to come? Dara McCormack, Daryl Hayden, and Sean Curran were brought into the fray. Hayden pointed, and almost netted but Peter Boyle saved well. The Gaels then enjoyed a spell on top and pointed four without reply to reduce the gap to five points. McCormack played a big part in the revival, the big man proved to be an effective target and played the ball well into the forward line. A penalty then came, and Eric Monahan delivered with a low shot and now the Donegal lead was a mere two points with plenty of left to play. The Gaels did themselves no favours in the final minutes and Donegal took full advantage of some sloppy passing to restore the lead to four before the final whistle. A gallant display from the Gaels and for Donegal another win in the bag.
Gaels: J. O’Donnell, D. Doolan, C. O’Donnell, S. Conneely, J. Vaughn, F. O’Beara, G. Delaney, B. Joyce, N. Graham, S. Moran, P. Cunningham, E.Monahan, C. Mulkerrins. Donegal: P. Boyle, M. Canning, J. Gallagher, K. Mulhern, K. McColgan, R. Crawford, B. White, B. Donnelly, D. Maguire, S. O’Hanlon, F. Clancy, K. Williams, G. Friel.
Wexford 2-20 Fr. Tom Burke’s 2-10
The senior hurling championship got underway with Fr. Tom’s and Wexford facing off. Wexford had the edge over their opponents, especially on the scoring end as several Wexford players contributed to the scoresheet while Tom’s had to relay on the stick of David O’Mahoney for almost all of their scores.
Wexford held a slight advantage at the end of the first half. Tom Maloney opened the scoring and Kevin Sheerin added a second before Tom’s got on the scoreboard. Keogh and Sheerin added two more and Tom’s struck with a goal from Shane Howley who booted the ball across the line from close range. Tom’s took a brief lead before Wexford kicked it up a gear and took over the latter part of the first half. Eoghan Kavanagh canceled out Tom’s goal with a three pointer from inside the 21. Wexford added points from Sheerin and Kavanagh as the scoring was spread around the forward line. Tom’s relied on the prowess of David Mahoney at corner forward for their scores, as apart from Howley’s goal the scores came from the number 12. At the break Wexford led by four points, 1-10 to 1-6.
Things did not improve for Tom’s in the second period. Wexford maintained the upper hand and chances were few and far between for the boys of the west. A free that was moved up 10 yards even went amiss for Tom’s as their luck didn’t change. Wexford widened the gap, Michael Maloney got in on the act with a point following a mis-hit clearance. With the time out hope faded for a turnaround for Tom’s and Wexford kept up the pressure. A late consolation goal from Ciaran Moore improved the look of the scoreboard, and they will be hoping for better things as the championship moves on.
Wexford: E. Spruhan, M. Walsh, D. Redmond, B. Dalton, D. Magill, B. O’Connor, T. Maloney, M. Maloney, E. Kavanagh, J. Kehoe, K. Sheerin, S. Maher, P. Kehoe. Fr. Tom’s: D. Fox, S. O’Brien, J. Doran, C. Horan, S. Higgins, P. Heneghan, P. McGrath, J. Dooley, S. Howley, C. Joyce-Power, C. Moore, D. Mahoney, B. Dunn.
Senior Football: Shannon Blues 3-14 Mayo 0-9
Junior B Football: Cork 2-11 Mayo 3-13
Junior A Football: Connemara Gaels 1-7 Aidan McAnespies 4-12
Junior B Football: Armagh-Notre Dame v New England Celtics
Wednesday June 20
5:30 Junior A Football: Aidan McAnespies v Shannon Blues
Saturday June 23
4:15 Ladies Senior Football: Boston Shamrocks v Tir na nOg
5:30 Senior Football: Kerry v Connemara Gaels
4:30 Junior B Football: Armagh-Notre Dame v Galway
5:45 Junior B Football: Cork v Aidan McAnespies
3:00 Junior C Hurling: Portland v Barley House Wolves
4:15 Junior B Football: Shannon Blues v Hartford
Sunday June 24
12:00 Junior A Football: Donegal v Connemara Gaels
1:15 Senior Football: Christopher’s v Mayo
2:30 Senior Football: Cork v Wolfe Tones
3:45 Senior Hurling: Galway v Tipperary
5:00 Senior Football: Aidan McAnespies v Shannon Blues
4:45 Junior B Football: Kerry v New England Celtics
Listen to T.C. Cummings preview the games at the ICC on Thursdays on WUNR 1600 AM from 8:00-10:00pm and Saturdays at 1:00 on WROL 950AM.