Na Fianna Are League Champs

Na Fianna 5-15 Kerry/Donegal 0-7

In a surprisingly one-sided affair, Na Fianna won the New York Ladies League Championship and a tie with Fermanagh in the semifinal of the Sean Faherty championship. Kerry/Donegal now goes on to meet Cavan in the other semifinal.

With Molly O’Rourke and Yvonne McMonigle a two pronged monster up front, the winners had a 3-10 to 0-2 lead at the break and easily cantered to the finish in an impressive display. They will now be the strong favorite for the Sean Faherty Championship in the weeks ahead.

Na Fianna had the game clinched from the start when they had the first six points before K/D had their first point. A goal from O’Rourke immediately following that score definitely put beyond doubt who was going to be the victor.

They were scoring at will, and at the half it was 3-10 to 0-2 in favor of Na Fianna with O’Rourke getting 2-5 of that total. The O’Dwyer girls in the middle of the park were dominating, with McMonigle on the 40 running at will and supplying very good ball to the inside forwards.

The only attacks that K/D had resulted in Kelly Roche and Aoife O’Sullivan scores, but a sin bin for Sharon Mulligan with 20 minutes gone gave Na Fianna a glorious chance, which they took with open hands to put the result out of reach.

A Mary O’Rourke soccer-style goal within four minutes of the restart put further padding on the scoreboard. Sue Bennett and Aoife Gibson with an excellent running score helped the K/D cause, but 1-1 from McMonigle 10 minutes in extended the already substantial lead.

The side took the foot off the pedal and even had a penalty go wide as the second half casually headed to the finish line.

Outstanding for the winners were Katrina Lynch, Grainne Johnston and Mairead Brennan at the back. Aine Dwyer had a brilliant outing in the center, while up front Yvonne McMonigle, Molly O’Rourke, who was outstanding and Karina Richards were unmarkable on this occasion.

Coaches Fergal O’Neill and Mark Comerford have the side poised for a title run, and on this performance they will be very hard to stop.

K/D will want to forget this outing and quickly. Aoife Gibson, Kelly Roche and Allie Kelly were few of the lone stars. They have what could be a dangerous outing in the semi against a Cavan outfit that would love to play spoiler.

Na Fianna: 1 Allison Leydon, 2 Stephanie Tierney, 3 Marie Marron, 4 Katrina Lynch, 5 Karen Henry, 6 Grainne Johnston, 7 Michelle Brennan, 8 Aine Dwyer (1-2), 9 Fiona Dwyer, 10 Joanne McKenna, 11 Yvonne McGonigle (1-3), 12 Mary O’Rourke (1-1), 13 Karena Richards (0-2), 14 Molly O’Rourke (2-7), 15 Imelda Mullarkey. Subs: Stephanie Bush, Tina Foy, Karen Shelly.

Kerry/Donegal: 1 Leith Mulherne, 2 Caitlin Enright, 3 Una Burke, 4 Niamh Britton, 5 Anita McKenna, 6 Michelle McVann, 7 Aoife Gibson (0-1), 8 Aoife O’Sullivan (0-1), 9 Kelly Roche (0-1), 10 Stephanie Anakettel, 11 Loretta Cunningham, 12 Sharon Mulligan, 13 Denise Dunnion (0-2), 14 Sue Bennett (0-1), 15 Allie Kelly (0-1). Subs: Catherina Sullivan, Siobhan Neville.

Player of the game: Molly O’Rourke (Na Fianna).

Referee: Dean O’Connor.

 Ross Leads Kerry Onslaught

 Kerry 3-11 Donegal 1-6

KERRY used a dominant second half when they held their opponents to a point and they crashed over 2-8 to get the win in this senior football outing.

Ross Donovan was the scoring leader as he had a terrific game from full forward to pace the side. Two goals from Kieran Bergin in his second game of the afternoon all added up to a very nice win for the Kingdom.

In a slow-paced first half Donegal had the better opening -- granted it did not arrive until the first 10 minutes were over. That period was stale to say the least.

When the game did get going the sides swapped points before Donegal had a John McNicolas point from play. It was followed by a long ball into the square from Shane Carr after he had made an inviting solo run down the left sideline. The ball was fumbled between the keeper and corner back, with Bill Gasperino grabbing the loose ball and taking the easy task of putting it in the net.

Kerry did recover, with Donovan pulling two points back. The second was an excellent score when Colin Mahoney made a good run out of the back to start the move.

Again, however, Donegal responded. They were winning all the ball in the half back line with Aiden Downes and Shane Carr very productive, and points from McNicholas and a brace from Bobby McDonald. It left them 1-5 to 0-3 ahead with the half approaching.

Kerry had one more trick in their bag before the break. The ball was worked down the field, with Bergin latching on to the final pass and finding the net with less than a minute on the clock. The perfect tonic heading to the break.

Kerry continued in the scoring vain to open the second half. They had 1-6 in the first 15 minutes while keeping Donegal scoreless.

The goal again came from Bergin when a long free by Vinnie Gavin dropped in the box where it ricocheted about before The Kid pounced and had his second of the afternoon.

Donegal finally got their first score of the half when McNicholas put a 45 brilliantly over the bar from wide on the left, but it was to be their only score of the second period as Kerry added to their lead with a further brace from a rampant Donovan, with Dermie Foley grapping a late goal with just seconds on the clock.

Donegal will be pleased with the effort that the side gave, particularly in the first half. Shane Carr, Aiden Downes, Bobby McDonald, John McNicholas and Anton Toner could not be faulted for their enthusiasm.

The lead at the half gave false hope, however, as Kerry were able to easily cancel it out once they shook the cobwebs off.

Colin Mahoney and Damien Reilly are fluid ball players up the middle. Niall Corbett is well on the way back to match fitness after a late start to the football year. He was running marathons earlier on. Alan O’Sullivan is a strong runner and a very good distributer.

Dermie Foley had a good outing, with Kieran Bergin active in open play as well as grabbing his pair of goals. Ross Donovan had an excellent outing. He was out in front throughout the afternoon and the scoring boots were definitely working.

Kerry: 1 Shane Clifford, 2 Enda Lally, 3 Colin Mahoney, 4 Niall Corbett, 5 Collie Fearan, 6 Damien O’Reilly, 7 Paudie Doyle, 8 Alan O’Sullivan, 9 James Walsh, 10 Bingo Driscoll, 11 Vinnie Gavin, 12 Kieran Bergin (2-0), 13 Dermie Foley (1-3), 14 Ross Donavan (0-7), 15 Shane Carty (0-1).

Donegal: 1 Eunan Doherty, 2 Anton Toner, 3 Justin Friel, 4 Tony McMahon, 5 Kieran Purce, 6 Aiden Downes, 7 Shane Carr, 8 Tom Hardwick, 9 Brian Heggerty, 10 Bobby McDonald (0-2), 11 John McNicholas (0-3), 12 Conor Brosnahan (0-1), 13 Dale O’Neill, 14 Gary Dowd, 15 Bill Gasparino (1-0).

Man of the match: Ross Donovan (Kerry).

Referee: Tom Fahey (Waterford).


Perfect Tyrone Bests Leitrim


Tyrone 0-12 Leitrim 0-6


IN what was a battle of unbeaten sides, and a battle it most certainly was, Tyrone emerged as the last man standing as they gave Leitrim their first loss of the year. An outstanding second half display when they outscored they rivals 0-9 to 0-4 paved the way for victory.

The game was marred, however, by a horrible row in the first half with a number of players very lucky not to have joined the two players that were sent off as a result.

The sight of a Tyrone back room staff member running on to the field at the beginning of the row and actually encouraging it has no place in football. There are plenty of people on the field to handle such things.

Certainly violence is not condoned in any way, shape or form, and if you break the rules you should take the punishment. However, any Leitrim player who applied physical force to the mentor would have a legitimate excuse, as John Goldrick never saw him coming.

The second half had its over-rambunctious moments as well, but it was marked by the brilliant shooting of John Murtagh and Conor Downey for points that created the lead that Tyrone never gave up in the final twenty minutes.

The first half was devoid of scores, with Tyrone leading by 0-3 to 0-2 at the break. It certainly was full of passion and fire from both teams.

It was marred, however, by the ugly brawl five minutes before the break which resulted in Goldrick and Conor Skeffington both getting the line. If three more players from each side had joined them justice would have been served and no one could have complained.

As it was, it was difficult for the referee to see all the blows that were thrown. When the dust settled it was Seamus Skeffington who had the third Tyrone point to give them the slim lead.

The second half was certainly played on the edge as well. The sides had three points each in the first 12 minutes with the best a Tyrone score when Aiden Power made a strong run before Murtagh put the finishing touch to the play.

Two of Leitrim’s scores came from long balls into Kenny O’Connor at full forward, with his touches setting up Dan Doona. The side went away from the tactic, however, when they should have stayed with the hot hand.

After another strong run out of the back, this time by Steve Keating, Murtagh had a chance at goal with a drop kick effort, but it screamed over the bar. It put Tyrone in front to stay.

Three further points, two from Downey just off the bench, extended the lead before Doona had one back, a sublime effort from a sideline under the railroad.

Leitrim lost a second player to a card when Adrian O’Connor picked up his second yellow at this point.

Weird how it happened. They were awarded a free when Doona was fouled, but O’Connor had continued and blasted to the net. It was called back, and at this point he had got involved with Gerard McCullough.

In front of the umpire contact was made, how much was difficult to see from the press box, but the result was a throw-up. No free, no player, and to add salt to the wounds Tyrone won the jump ball and a free out.

Tyrone responded with two further scores from Murtagh and Pakie McMullan to put the game beyond doubt against the outnumbered opponents.

How good is Tyrone then? The defense was magnificent again. The No Name gang will soon be getting a new title. Gerard McCullough was outstanding, with Joe Bell also prominent.

Aiden Power had his best game in the Tyrone shirt against his old teammates. His forward running was a constant thorn while his defensive play was excellent. Seamus Skeffington completely snuffed out the threat of Jamie Doolin. Gary Reilly was brilliant in the center, Sean Coyle and Conor McNabb very impressive subs while John Murtagh continues his torrid summer in New York.

For Leitrim, Alan Foley and Eoin O’Neill were the best of the defenders. John Goldrick was prominent before his sending off, Pat Madden had a brilliant first half but faded after the break.

Dan Doona continues his pace of this summer. His free in the first half and the sideline were both two tremendous scores. Kenny O’Connor battled, but the rest of the forwards were very subdued. 

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, 9 Pat Madden, 10 Jamie Doolan, 11 Dan Doona (0-4), 12 Scott Conroy (0-1), 13 John O’Neill, 14 Kenny O’Connor, 15 Donal Hartnett (0-1).

Tyrone: 1 John McGinley, 2 Joe Bell, 3 Gerard McCullough, 4 Paul Mulherne, 5 Aiden Power, 6 Steve Keating, 7 Seamus Skeffington (0-1), 8 Eamonn Lyons (0-1), 9 Gary Reilly (0-1), 10 Kevin McSorley, 11 Conor McNabb, 12 Cathal Skeffington (0-1), 13 Conor Skeffington, 14 John Murtagh (0-5), 15 Pakie McMullan (0-1). Subs: Sean Coyle (0-1), Conor Downey (0-2).

Man of the match: Gary Reilly (Tyrone).

Referee: John Fitzpatrick (Rockland).


Down Too Strong for Neighbors


Down 2-12 Cavan 0-11


ON Saturday evening Down continued their march to the senior football playoffs with a strong showing against their Dugout sharing neighbors Cavan. Both sides have the Dugout in Woodside as their sponsor, but it was the Mournemen who went back celebrating on Saturday night with bragging rites.

Both sides started brightly, with John Ryan and Kevin McGeeney getting Cavan points while Robbie Moran and Pakie Downey replied for Down.

The winners dominated the second 10 minute period of the game as they had a Seamus Kelly goal when he ghosted in the right wing to go with three points.

Again Ryan and McGeeney replied, but Down finished the half strong with a further two points from Mickey Sloan to close with a 1-7 to 0-4 lead.

The sides again had four points split to open the second half before Down’s second goal arrived. John Payne was adjudged to have fouled Michael O’Rourke in the box, and for his trouble he received a second yellow while Mark Dobbin dispatched the resulting penalty to the net.

Three points from the forward line gave the side a dominant 2-12 to 0-6 lead. It was then that Cavan awoke to the game with the introduction of Conor Brady and John Flanagan off the bench having a marked impact on the side.

They had the final five points of the game, with Flanagan, Kieran O’Leary (three) and Ryan all getting on the score sheet.

O’Leary in fact exploded into action. His second point was a bullet that screamed over, while he also thundered a shot against the crossbar. Had one of those found the net it would have made for a stressful final few minutes for Down.

As it was they lived dangerously but withstood the onslaught to get a deserved win.

Richard Dalton, Barry Annett, James Mitchell and Declan Traynor were solid at the back for Down. Sean Munnelly played as a sweeper and also did a mountain of work.

Robbie Moran was the best of the four midfielders, while Michael Sloan, Mark Dobbin and Pakie Downey all had major contributions.

Michael Maloney, Brendan Reilly, Kevin McGeeney, John Ryan and Kieran O’Leary were Cavan’s best, with John Flanagan a live wire off the bench.

Down: 1 Mark Kelly, 2 Gary Cornyn, 3 Richard Dalton, 4 Barry Annett, 5 Mark Connolly, 6 James Mitchell, 7 Declan Traynor, 8 Robbie Moran (0-5), 9 Brendan McGrourty, 10 Seamus Kelly (1-0), 11 Michael Sloan (0-4), 12 Sean Munnelly, 13 Pakie Downey (0-3), 14 Mark Dobbin (1-0), 15 Michael O’Rourke.

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

Man of the match: Robbie Moran (Down).

Referee: John Fitzpatrick (Rockland).



Tipp Head for Final


Tipperary 3-21 Galway 1-14


TIPPERARY qualified for the senior hurling final with an easy win over a gallant but over powered Galway last Sunday.

With almost identical scoring, 1-13 and 2-12 in each half, they had more than enough firepower to overcome Galway despite strong resistance in the first half. It was the continuous onslaught that broke down the rearguard with a point scoring exhibition going on for the crowd at the Mecca.

The first half opened with both sides getting points from frees and play. Paudie Ryan was the main man over place balls for Tipp, while Mike Costelloe and Ger Kelly did the damage for the Tribesmen.

A goal by Liam Costelloe halfway through, however, helped to open a substantial lead in a very entertaining first half. It was 1-13 to 0-8 at the break.

Tipperary scored 1-6 to 0-2 in the third quarter to put the game beyond reach, with John Madden, Tadgh Slevin and Niall Curtain all getting on the scoresheet.

Galway did have a late goal to put a respectful look on the scoreline, but it was after two further Tipp majors.

Tipperary now go on to meet Offaly in what will be a mouth watering tie in two weeks. They have had a stern rivalry this season and last, with both sides getting wins in the regular season.

At half time of that game the New York hurling team that beat Wexford in 1958 and the New York side that beat Kilkenny in 1969 will be honored. Names that were involved on those sides include Paddy Egan, Brendan Hennessy, Bernie Aherne, Henry Condron and Josie Harte.

An in-depth look at the teams will be in next weeks Irish Voice. Save the date then -- August 23rd at the Mecca, Gaelic Park, in the Bronx.

Tipperary: 1 Thomas O’Meara, 2 Jayson O’Callaghan, 4 Tom King, 5 Gearoid Magner, 6 Kieran Bergin, 7 Steve Lillis, 8 David Crimmins, 9 Dave Loughnane, 10 Paudie Ryan, 11 John Madden, 12 Tadgh Slevin, 13 Niall Curtain, 15 Liam Costelloe.

Galway: 1 Ronan Sheedy, 2 Tadgh Lyons, 4 Mike Kearney, 5 Glen Galvin, 6 Seamus Pender, 7 Brian Gardner, 8 Mike Costelloe, 9 Ray McGuire, 10 Ray Duggan, 11 Dara Kelly, 12 Ger Kelly, 13 Brian Nolan, 15 Eanna Boland.

Man of the match: Kieran Bergin (Tipperary).

Referee: Eugene Kyne (Turloughmore).