Ladies 7s Go to Na Fianna
Na Fianna took home the Mattie Farrelly New York seven a side title on Saturday. They defeated Kerry/Donegal in a brilliant final, with both sides having opportunities to win. At the end it was two goals, one in each half that was the difference.
With nine teams involved the group stages were divided into two sections. Na Fianna were tops in division one with victories over Tir Na Nog (8-8 to 1-2), Cavan (7-8 to 4-4), and Europe (5-11 to 2-3).
Europe finished in second place courtesy of wins over Cavan (7-2 to 0-6) and Tir Na Nog, (9-3 to 2-7).
In the final game of the group Cavan defeated Tir easily, 5-12 to 1-3. In the second group Kerry/Donegal came out on top with wins over St. Bridget’s (4-9 to 1-6) and Fermanagh (3-7 to 1-2), a draw against Tyrone (0-7 to 1-4) and a win over Lurgan, 2-7 to 1-5.
Tyrone came in second with a battling draw against Lurgan (3-5 to 4-2), and wins over St. Bridget’s (7-7 to 1-3), and Fermanagh (5-7 to 4-3).
It set the stage for Na Fianna versus Tyrone in semifinal one which went 5-12 to 3-2 for Fianna and a 2-10 to 1-05 win for K/D over Tir Na Nog in the second.
While both Kerry/Donegal and Na Fianna had two points each to open the final, it was all K/D for the next seven minutes of the 12 minute half.
They added six points in succession, with Mairead Henyson and Marie Dalgan in brilliant form.
Na Fianna made a spirited comeback in the last two minutes as they had 1-1 from Aoife Herbert and also drove a harshly awarded penalty wide. It was given on a foot block on the keeper Roisin Langan, who had a point when she stormed up the field before the break, but Brianna Tierney had the last score to leave the K/D interval lead sitting precariously at 0-9 to 1-4.
Herbert added the second Na Fianna goal after K/D had the better of the opening again. It tied the contest for what was to be a repeat endeavor for the final 10 minutes.
Leads changed hands repeatedly, with both sides kicking some excellent dead ball points. With time ticking down Na Fianna had one last burst as they pushed the lead out to 2-10 to 0-14.
K/D responded by hitting the post and crossbar, but they could not get the goal they needed.
While both sides added points Na Fianna were able to hang on for a two point win.
Scores Galore for Kerry
Kerry 4-19 Armagh 3-11
The qualification for the final of the Ned Devine championship was clinical for Kerry as they overcome an Armagh team that on this day were chasing at too many positions.
With a double score interval lead it was all Kingdom, with a goal from Bingo Driscoll the wily veteran setting the stage.
It was 1-4 to 0-1 after nine minutes, with the Bingo goal coming when Padraig King and Eoin Hogan set him up.
Armagh did get a lifeline when Alan Hearty had two frees and Caolan Short soloed 50 yards before drilling a low shot to the net.
After two further points from Hearty and Richie Morgan, the Orchard men were within two at 1-5 to 1-7 with eight minutes left on the clock.
Another scoring avalanche from Kerry, however -- CJ Molloy with three points, Bingo and Danny Kennelly with minors and Hogan with a major -- pushed Kerry back out into a 2-12 to 1-5 lead.
Armagh was chasing now, with Short, Brian Patton and Morgan all battling hard. They had a goal from Morgan to open the second half and added further points from the same player and Hearty, but the good work was nullified by 1-2 at the other end including Hogan’s second goal.
After Morgan’s second major when he had two chances at it following a quick free, it was 3-14 to 3-8. Kerry, however, with Mike Jim Fitzgerald and King tremendous in the middle, was able to create attacks at will.
They added a further 1-5 to their total to pad their advantage and cruise to a final slot where they will face off against Leitrim next week.
Armagh: 1 Gary Nugent, 2 Ramie Kane, 4 Collie Fearan, 5 Stuart Stokes, 6 John Morton, 7 Caolan Short, 8 Brian Patton, 9 Seamy McDaid, 10 Richie Morgan, 11 Kevin McGeeney, 12 Liam Collins, 13 Alan Hearty, 15 Chris Morton. Sub: Kenny Cox.
Kerry: 1 Shane Clifford, 2 James Huvane, 4 Sean Kelly, 5 Shane Coffey, 6 John Kerins, 7 Paul Kelly, 8 Mike Jim Fitzgerald (0-1), 9 Padraig King (1-3), 10 Danny Kennelly (0-1), 11 Eoin Hogan (2-3), 12 Kevin Walsh, 13 Bingo Driscoll (1-3), 15 CJ Molloy (0-8).
Referee: Brian Quinn.
Man of the match: CJ Molloy (Kerry).
Thriller Goes to Saints
St. Barnabas 3-13 Westmeath 3-10
ST. Barnabas did just enough to get the win and the date with Celtics in the KO junior final after a pulsating hour of football.
A period of dominance in the first 18 minutes of the second half when they outscored Westmeath 1-8 to 0-2 was the foundation for the win.
The introduction of two subs, Adrian Wynne and Liam Deane, who contributed 0-5 collectively also was a huge factor.
The sides were tied at the break at 2-4 apiece, with Westmeath’s goals coming in the first 10 minutes as they built a 2-2 to 0-2 lead.
Keith Scally was excellent, and his surging runs caused problems all day for the Saints.
After a Jeff Farrell point to open the second half, St. Barnabas played sweet music in front of goal to the tune of 1-8 against a Robbie Jackson point.
The subs were on at this stage and their energy brought a renewed enthusiasm to the side.
Westmeath did have a goal chance stopped by Frankie McDermott and they finished strong with 1-4 to pull within two. They had to high a hill to climb, however, and the winners added one further Wynne point as they held on for victory.
St. Barnabas had an all American born side on the field to start, and it is a side that will get even better as the year goes on.
One horrible negative on the day was the injury to Dermot Hayes when he went in to challenge a Westmeath shot at goal. He was taken from the field to hospital and we wish him all the best.
An incident that happened in the second half of the contest was one that my sources tell me hadn’t happened since 1976. On kicking out the ball after a score, Niall Croke with a mighty effort actually burst the football. The last man to do this was Philip Varley for the Connemara Gaels side in a junior football contest.
Westmeath: 1 Danny Fagan, 2 Ray Keenan, 4 James Stones, 5 Nester Allen (0-1), 6 Keith Scally, 7 Robbie Jackson (1-1), 8 Darren Petit, 9 Leon Carbury (1-0), 10 Jimmy Higgins, 11 Jeff Farrell (0-2), 12 Pierce Loftus (0-1), 13 Kevin Lilly (0-1), 15 Mark Downes (1-1). Sub: Vinnie Gavin (0-3) Mike Stones.
St. Barnabas: 1 Matt Shuemacker, 2 Niall Clarke,, 4 Frankie McDermott, 5 Dermot Hayes, 6 Conor Hogan, 7 Brian McGovern, 8 Shane Hogan, 9 Brian Dennehy, 10 Nick Moustousis, 11 Paddy Maguire (0-1), 12 Thomas McGovern (0-2), 13 Sean Carbin (2-3), 15 Shane Flanagan (1-2). Subs: Liam Deane (0-2), Adrian Wynne (0-3), Michael McVann.
Man of the match: Sean Carbin (St. Barnabas).
Morgan Points Way for Celtics
Celtics 0-19 Rockland 2-6
RICHIE Morgan was the scoring star for Celtics as they defeated Rockland to qualify for the junior KO final. H scored 11 points over the hour and was outstanding, particularly in the first half when he had nine of those scores.
While Celtics dominated the first half on the amount of scores, they had a relatively slim three point lead at the break. After a Morgan point to open the game, a defensive snafu allowed a fisted effort from Chris Rehilan to find the net. It was against the run of play.
A stream of points arrived in the aftermath for Celtics, with Morgan getting five of the seven. He was on fire as he showed constantly and punished his marker with turns and shooting.
They were in a forceful lead, but after the sides swapped points in the 19th minute -- both arrived in that 60 second span -- Rockland again had a goal.
Rehilan was again the scorer, and his major brought his side back within two at 0-9 to 2-1.
Morgan sandwiched a Jimmy Flynn score with two points from frees, but the game was far too close such was the Celtic dominance.
When Rockland added two points to their total from Damien Patton to open the second half the deficit was down to the minimum. That was to serve as their last quest for glory, however, as Celtics responded with another two bursts of scores.
Three points before the eighth minute, with Gary Nugent’s after a long run the pick of the crop, put daylight between the sides.
Rockland did have a brace from Patton, but again Celtics replied with four further points to take the win.
Rockland tried hard for the goal they needed, with Steve Spellman and Nick Mangan both prominent, but resolute defending by Ger McCullough and Sam Yore quenched their fire on three occasions, with one Shane Hanley screamer going across the face of goal and wide.
McCullough and Yore bring a wealth of experience to the back line; Sam was excellent at number six. Derek McKenna and Gary Nugent shaded the middle while Kenny Cox took his three scores very well.
Richie Morgan was phenomenal, and his day was not over -- add in 2-4 for Armagh later and it was some day at the office.
Sean Roche, Chris Rehilan, Steve Spellman when he was left in the middle, and Mangan in a late cameo were Rockland’s most prominent.
Celtics: 1 Kevin McArdle, 2 Cathal McCrory, 4 Ger McCullough, 5 Darren McDermott, 6 Sam Yore, 7 Joe Carolan, 8 Derek McKenna, 9 Gary Nugent (0-1), 10 Kevin Tracey (0-2), 11 Francis Cole (0-2), 12 Kenny Cox (0-3), 13 John O’Sullivan, 15 Richie Morgan (0-11).
Rockland: 1 Chris Clarke, 2 Marcus Fitzpatrick, 4 Gary Ginley, 5 Mike Reilly, 6 Sean Roche, 7 Conor Teelan, 8 Glen Roche, 9 Jimmy Flynn (0-1), 10 Shane Hanley, 11 Shane Durkin, 12 Chris Rehlian (2-1), 13 Sean McGrath, 15 Steve Spellman.
Referee: Tommy Fahey.
Man of the match: Richie Morgan (Celtics).
McCullough Leads for Cavan
Cavan 1-14 Tyrone 1-7
The contest between these two sides in what from a league standpoint was a challenge game was far from that.
With Kerry the top team in their group and odds on to qualify for the Ned Devine league final versus Leitrim, this game was for bragging rights and to lay a marker for the season ahead. It certainly served as such.
Tyrone started brightly and had a 1-2 to 0-1 point lead after five minutes. The goal arrived when Niall Farrell was fouled, the ball was moved forward to the 14 and he drilled it to the back of the net.
The Cavan defense was asleep. The Breffni side did arouse from their stupor in the next 15 minutes with a flurry of points.
Seven in a row had them back in the lead. They were also taking away the through ball to Farrell and Mangan, who had both started brightly but were now starved of football.
The midfield strength of Paddy McCullough and Rory O’Connor was also proving too much for Tyrone. McCullough in particular flows when in possession.
In the scoring mix Eoghan Carew had two brilliant points, one off the ground right footed from a 55-yard free, and the other off the left peg as he was chased by a defender.
After each side had points to close the first half, and also lost a player each to red cards for some off the ball shenanigans, Cavan were sitting on a 0-9 to 1-3 lead.
Cavan extended their advantage over the second half as they attacked easily with flow. They added 1-5 to their total against four points for Tyrone.
Mike Kennedy had the goal half way through when he was set up by JC Connolly on the right wing. The Kildare native lost his marker with some interestingly long strides, perhaps a couple to many before dispatching the ball to the back of the net.
Farrell was the scorer in chief for Tyrone with three points from play and frees, but again the amount of opportunities were slim. Sean Munnelly had a brace of points of the bench both for acute angles on the right wing to put a topping on the victory.
Cavan are now on a two game winning streak. Paul Lambe and Ronan McGinley were very confident at the back, and the full back line came into the contest after a shaky opening.
McCullough is again showing that he is in the top three of midfielders in New York. Extremely aggressive, he showed off his shooting with two excellent scores.
Eoghan Carew again showed his talents as a free taker and in open play. Barry McGinn was very lively on the wing, while JC in his second game of the evening also had a brace of good scores as he showed constantly for the pass. Mike Kennedy will have better games but still grabbed 1-2.
Tyrone battled hard, with Daniel Jackson, Seamus Skeffington and Niall Farrell all having positive moments. Aiden Power had a screamer wide in the first half while Farrell hit the outside of the post in the opening minutes of the second half -- a foot in the other direction would have made it interesting. Farrell’s quick thinking from the early free was top notch.
Cavan: 1 Gavin Joyce, 2 Alan Foley, 4 Ciaran Martin, 5 Paul Lambe, 6 Ciaran Shields, 7 Ronan McGinley, 8 Paddy McCullough (0-2), 9 Rory O’Connor, 10 Ciaran Clarke 11 Eoghan Carew (0-4), 12 Barry McGinn (0-2), 13 Michael Kennedy (1-2), 15 James Connolly (0-2). Subs: Eoghan Kyne, Alan Carolan, Sean Munnelly (0-2), Sean Kelly.
Tyrone: 1 Steve McNeilis, 2 John Long, 4 Daniel Jackson (0-1), 5 Kieran Queely, 6 Seamus Skeffington, 7 Niall Maguire, 8 Aiden Power, 9 Conor McNabb, 10 Adam Fitzgerald (0-1), 11 Conor Skeffington, 12 Pat McKeever, 13 Niall Farrell (1-4), 15 Declan Mangan (0-1). Sub: Ger Kelly.
Referee: Paddy Gormley.
Man of the match: Paddy McCullough (Cavan).