Tipperary 4-17 Galway 1-8

Tipperary had it all their way in an easy win over Galway at the Mecca on Sunday in a senior hurling contest that did nothing to clear up the seedings for the three teams in the playoffs.

Galway will be in the semifinal as we know, but it will take the result from next week’s Galway vs. Offaly encounter to decide who wins the group, and who comes second. If Offaly win they are through to final.

This game was an easy one for Tipp in contrast to the last game between these sides that ended up a draw. By the 15th minute Tipp had a 3-6 to 0-2 lead, with Niall Curtain and Liam Costelloe showing clean pairs of heels to their markers.

Curtain had 1-3 at this point, with Costello grabbing the other two goals. Such was their dominance the best play of the first half belonged to Galway goalie Ger Corcoran when he made a fantastic save from Coss.

The center access of John Madden, Dave Loughnane and Kieran Bergin was showering chances on their forwards while also negating and chances in the other direction. They limited Galway to 1-3 in the first half as they easily put distance between the sides.

The second half, even though it was shortened, was more of the same, with Tipp running out easy winners.

Tipperary: 1 Thomas O’Meara, 2 Joe Lane, 4 Tom King, 5 Jayson O’Callaghan, 6 Kieran Bergin, 7 Steve Lillis, 8 Dave Loughnane, 9 Ger Magner, 10 Paudie Ryan, 11 John Madden, 12 Tadgh Slevin, 13 Liam Costello, 15 Niall Curtain. Subs: John Cantwell, David O’Neill, Gary O’Donaghue.

Galway: 1 Ger Corcoran, 2 Mike Kearney, 4 John Glynn, 5 Glenn Galvin, 6 Seamus Pender, 7 Brian Gardiner, 8 Mickey Costello, 9 Thomas Gillen, 10 Darragh Walsh, 11 Ronan Sheedy, 12 Ger Kelly, 13 Brian Nolan, 15 Neil McMorrow. Subs: Tadgh Lyons, Ray Duggan, Cathal Tracey.

Man of the match: Liam Costelloe (Tipperary).


Sligo Makes Cavan Work for Draw

Cavan 1-12 Sligo 2-9

After Cavan had pushed a slim halftime lead into a five-point advantage Sligo recovered and made the Breffni Boys work all the way before they tied the game up with a minute on the clock.

In what was an impressive recovery by Sligo, they used a goal in each half to get back into the game and had chances to win it. They now sit in sixth spot in the senior football table as the division tries to sort out its playoff slots in the weeks ahead.

Each side had points to open the game from their free takers, Niall Moran and John Ryan, before Nester Allen put Sligo ahead with a tremendous score after nine minutes from the right side.

It was quickly negated, however, when a four man move by Cavan that included John Fitzpatrick and Brendan Reilly resulted in Paddy Smith blasting to the net for a brilliant goal and the early lead.

Ryan followed with a point before Kieran O’Leary had an excellent score when he soloed put of the right corner before flicking over.

Sligo replied to the indiscretions by pulling two points back from Colm Byrne and Allen again to make the score 1-4 to 0-4 after 22 minutes. Both teams had two scores before the break, but it was the magnitude of the Sligo scores that made the difference.

Ryan had the Cavan points with a Tony Woods reply from Sligo, and with just over a minute on the clock they were awarded a 50. The ball was sent in to the 14 yard line where it careened of a bunch of hands before Paul Doyle corralled it and blasted to the net. As the Cavan kick out sailed in the air the halftime buzzer sounded with Sligo on the ascension.

Cavan turned around the wave of power completely in the first 10 minutes of the second half. They had four points on the board, O’Leary scoring when he twisted and turned before firing over from 30 yards out.

Smith fired a 45-yard effort over while Ryan and John Payne, when he soloed forward and punched over, got the others.

A Moran point after 12 minutes brought the deficit back to 1-10 to 1-6, but a further eight minutes followed, scoreless by both, to leave Cavan comfortably ahead.

It was about to change, however. A through ball from Woods found Moran in front of the small square, and he rattled the net for Sligo’s second major to put the minimum between the sides. A tremendous point from Allen wide on the left and the sides were level.

John Burke and Moran again swapped scores before Smith put Cavan in the slimmest of leads with a towering kick with time ticking down.

Sligo worked the ball out and was awarded a free on the 30 when Byrne was fouled. Moran fired over to end the game all square.

For Sligo, manager Enda Henry will be delighted with the comeback. Colm Byrne, Sean Pender and Paddy Brennan were the best of the back. Midfield was even, but Tony Woods did show well. Paul Doyle, Niall Moran and Nester Allen were tremendous up front.

Cavan will be disappointed with the draw; the game was there to be won. Michael Maloney is a very dependable full back, John Payne and Brendan Reilly did well in both directions, Alan Carolan had good moments in the middle, while the full forward line was brilliant. Ryan continues to be the scorer-in-chief, but he had help today.

Cavan: 1 Martin O’Connor, 2 Michael Smith, 3 Michael Maloney, 4 James Gannon, 5 John Payne, 6 Brian Naughton, 7 Brendan Reilly, 8 Alan Carolan, 9 David Williams, 10 John Burke (0-1), 11 Kieran Gannon, 12 John Fitzpatrick, 13 John Ryan (0-5), 14 Paddy Smith (1-2), 15 Kieran O’Leary (0-3). Subs: John Flanagan.

Sligo: 1 Dermot Fleming, 2 Peter Kelly, 3 Sean Pender, 4 Denis Kilkenny, 5 Roy Henley, 6 Paddy Brennan, 7 Colm Byrne (0-1), 8 Niall Higgins, 9 Tony Woods, 10 Niall Moran (1-4), 11 Paul Kelly, 12 Paul Doyle (1-0), 13 Nester Allen (0-3), 14 Brian Quinlan, 15 Eamonn Duffy.

Man of the match: John Ryan (Cavan).

Referee: Lawrence McGrath (Donegal).

Balanced Attack for Mournemen

Down 1-21 Cork 1-9

The second blowout of Sunday afternoon’s schedule was far more surprising. Down hit all the right notes with their performance as they completely overran Cork in this senior football contest.

Using a dominant first half when they ran off nine unanswered points to close out the half, they were never threatened from that point forward as they stated that they will certainly have plenty to say in the championship going forward.

The teams swapped four points in the opening 10 minutes, with the free takers the men in lights -- Michael Sloan and Robbie Moran for Down, J.P. Boyle for Cork.

Indeed the game was moving in a predictable mode as they both had a further two points each by the 13th minute, with Garth O’Neill scoring for Down while Boyle again and then Nicky Dineen for Cork gave the Rebels the slimmest of leads.

The game was then turned on its head when Down ran off nine points before the break. They came form a variety of angles and distances and a number of players, the best of which was an O’Neill score after a series of passes left him open in scoring position.

Cork had lost their shape at this point, and it left them in a deep hole as the half arrived, 0-12 to 0-4.

Down opened the second half with two further points as Sloan and Pakie Downey added to their total.

Cork finally broke the sequence when Rory Woods from Monaghan rifled a point over from 40 yards out. Michael O’Rourke cancelled it out, but that preceded what was Cork’s beat period of the game.

They had a further Boyle point before Francie Cleary had his shot blocked by Richard Dalton, but Donie Broderick hammered the rebound to the net. It gave them a lift, but it was short lived as Down cancelled it with three points in a row, with Moran grabbing two.

The teams swapped 1-03 to 0-03 as the minutes wound down, with Down easily able to reply to anything that Cork brought their way. 

Cork: 1 Evan Byrne, 2 Denis McCarthy, 3 Kevin Cotter, 4 Paddy Harrington, 5 Liam Hanley, 6 Sean Lordon, 7 John Fitzpatrick, 8 Alan Rafferty, 9 Rory Stafford, 10 Derek Courtney, 11 Rory Woods, 12 Francie Cleary, 13 Kieran Lyng, 14 J.P. Boyle, 15 Nicky Dineen. Subs: Joe O’Neill, Donal Broderick, Keith McMahon.

Down: 1 Mark Kelly, 2 Brian Murray, 3 Richard Dalton, 4 Gary Cornyn, 5 Barry Annett, 6 Declan Traynor, 7 Mark Connolly, 8 Garth O’Neill, 9 Brendan McGourty, 10 Shaun Munnelly, 11 Robbie Moran, 12 Michael Sloan, 13 Pakie Downey, 14 Mark Dobbins, 15 Michael O’Rourke. Subs: James Mitchell, Liam Farrell, Brian Annett, Diarmuid Hayes, Sean Kelly.

Man of the match: Robbie Moran (Down).


Doona, Dodo Lead Leitrim


Leitrim 1-11 Four Provinces 1-9


IN a game that was certainly the epiphany of a tale of two halves, Leitrim did just enough in the second to scrape a win over a very determined Four Provinces.

The game went down to the wire, but it was the scoring prowess of Donal Hartnett and Dan Doona that was the difference, combining for 1-8 in the win. With Scott Conroy surprisingly quiet, the other guns stepped up and got the vital scores when needed.

Every Saturday night it seems we have Leitrim at the Mecca. They will not complain, however, as the temperatures are far more manageable at eight at night.

They had a good opening half when they jumped out into a halftime lead of 1-8 to 1-3. The scoring of Hartnett was crucial as he had five of the eight. He is very smart on the ball and keeps the work to a minimum. Grab it, shoot it, nothing complicated.

Doona opened the scoring with a goal in the first minutes, but after two spread out scores for Four Ps they had to wait until the 18 minute before Caolan Daly burst through for a brilliant goal.

It preceded four unanswered Leitrim scores, however, as Paddy Kearney’s charges showed their shooting ability. While the scores were happening the game was showing a decidedly bitter side.

Both sides were guilty of late hits and unnecessary displays of hard man antics. It did not help either side, and certainly none came out of it in a better flow or shape.

As the half came to a close, Mickey Jordan had the final score for Four Ps, a promise of what was to come in the second half.

Four Ps rebounded dramatically in the second half -- six points without reply in the first 22 minutes. Shane Mulgrew was proving to be a handful across the full forward line, with Mike Higgins also having contributions in the assist factory.

But for two excellent saves by Pa Ryan, Leitrim would have been in a deep hole. As it was they were still within one point as the 25th minute passed.

The recovery began with a marvelous point by Doona from the 45-yard line. It was followed by a point by Hartnett from a free when Jamie Doolin was upended.

Was it a free or a defender protecting himself from the galloping Doolin? It will be seen in both lights.

Leitrim won the kick out, and Adrian O’Connor had his second of the day, a running point from the left that gave his side the win and another valuable brace of points on the division table.

Leitrim will look at the recovery at the end as positive, but the Four Provinces defense showed there are ways to slow the vaunted attack.

Pa Ryan made a couple of very important saves at crucial times. Johnny Goldrick, Eoin O’Neill and Dermot Keane were prominent in the defense that was pulled around all night. Adrian O’Connor had a good opening half, Jamie Doolan, Dan Doona and Donal Hartnett all showed well, with Dodo’s first half excellent.

Four Ps will know that they are capable of playing with any of the teams in the playoffs. The key now is to get there; they may have left it a little late.

Michael Grimes made some very timely interceptions. Patsy Moore won his contest with Kenny O’Connor. Mark Peacock had a very good second half. Padraig Mallon was excellent; Caolan Daly when he gets running is very exciting.

Mike Higgins, Shane Mulgrew who was tremendous, and Paul Walsh led the forward division. After an outstanding display last week he scored 2-05. Chris Calhoun could not find the range. The more he tried the worse it was. Just an off day.

Leitrim: 1 Pa Ryan, 2 Alan Foley, 3 Mark Delaney, 4 Dermot Keane, 5 John Goldrick, 6 Shane Doolin, 7 Eoin O’Neill, 8 Adrian O’Connor (0-2), 9 John O’Neill (0-1), 10 Jamie Doolin, 11 Scott Conroy, 12 Ray O’Connor, 13 Dan Doona (1-2), 14 Kenny O’Connor, 15 Donal Hartnett (0-6). Subs: Mike Creegan, Michael Travors.

Four Provinces: 1 Mike Grimes, 2 Mark Peacock, 3 Patsy Moore, 4 David Doyle, 5 Ciaran Moore, 6 Padraig Mallon, 7 Liam O’Donnell, 8 Thomas Hughes, 9 Caolan Daly (1-2), 10 Mickey Jordan (0-1), 11 Mike Higgins (0-1), 12 Michael Boyle, 13 Chris Calhoun, 14 Paul Walsh (0-1), 15 Shane Mulgrew (0-4). Subs: Caolan Doyle.

Man of the match: Shane Mulgrew (Four Provinces).

Referee: John Fitzpatrick (Rockland).


Gaels Take Alphabet Bowl


Astoria Gaels 0-11 Armagh 0-8


THE first two teams in the New York GAA website again battled each other for the fictional Alphabet Bowl title this week, with Astoria coming out first after a very impressive display by Offaly hurler Shane Sweeney.

The big man fired over four points and was not afraid to fire the ball up in the air at the posts form any range. Add to his shoulder a very impressive defensive display and the win was secure.

Astoria kept the game a close contest against their own doing as they had five wides in the first 10 minutes to accompany two points on the board. Shane Lyons replied for Armagh in what was one of their few attacks in that period.

Four consecutive points by Pa Ryan in his new position of full forward, Sam Yore on the run, Shane Sweeney and a marauding Sean Kelly had the side in a five-point lead as the half approached.

A number of Armagh attacks were stopped by very good defensive play by the Astoria back line. Add to the mix the fact that Niall Rogan was coming down with the majority of the kick outs and it gave his side ample opportunity to dictate the game. 

Armagh had their second point with moments left when Lyons had his second, a fisted effort, but they were behind in a host of areas across the field.

Wides hurt both sides in the first 10 minutes of the second half. Ryan eventually had his second when he reached in to punch over the bar from a dropping Sweeney drive. It was cancelled out by Lyons again and an Alan Hearty free.

Two good saves by Donal Hearty in the Armagh goal kept his side in the game, but two points by Sweeney extended the Astoria lead.

On the Hearty save from Ryan, the full forward was accidentally hit in the head and minutes later he was down on the field waiting for an ambulance. Thankfully after a few hours in hospital he made a full recovery.

As the game continued Armagh had their best period when they had three points from Hunter, Martin and Lyons. It narrowed to deficit to 0-7 to 0-9.

Astoria finished strongest, however, with Munnelly and Kenneth Quirke snatching points to counteract a Hearty free -- Quirke’s was an excellent over the shoulder effort.

With Kelly, Gary Cornyn and Alan Foley strong at the back, they were able to withstand anything that Armagh through their way in the final minutes and get the win.

Astoria will be delighted with the form of Georgie Doyle in goal. He dealt capable with whatever was thrown his way, and his kick outs gave Rogan a chance throughout. Gary Cornyn, Alan Foley and Sean Kelly were outstanding. Damien Ward had a huge first half. McKenna and Rogan complemented each other in the middle. Shane Sweeney, Shaun Munnelly and Pa Ryan before his injury were the most dangerous of the forwards.

Donal Hearty had an excellent game in goal for Armagh. It runs in the Hearty blood, the brilliant goalie gene. Aiden Morton, Patsy Martin, and Shane Lyons were others to shine, Lyons in particular.

Astoria Gaels: 1 Stephen Doyle, 2 Niall McGuinness, 3 Alan Foley, 4 Gary Cornyn, 5 Michael Coyle, 6 Sean Kelly, 7 Damien Ward, 8 Derek McKenna, 9 Niall Rogan, 10 Sam Yore (0-1), 11 Shane Sweeney (0-4), 12 Shaun Munnelly (0-2), 13 Nester Allen, 14 Pa Ryan, 15 Kenneth Quirke (0-1).

Armagh: 1 Donal Hearty, 2 Desi Tolan, 3 Aiden Traynor, 4 Eoghan McParland, 5 Aiden Morton, 6 Patsy Martin (0-1), 7 Sean Kelly, 8 Garth Kelly, 9 Collie Fearan, 10 Shane McKenna, 11 Conor Hunter (0-1), 12 Sean McMullan, 13 Niall Farrelly, 14 Alan Hearty (0-2), 15 Shane Lyons (0-4).

Man of the match: Sean Kelly (Astoria).

Referee: Lawrence McGrath (Donegal).