Dollard, Sweeney Combo Is a Winner

Offaly 2-19 Galway 1-14

Thecombination of Shane Sweeney and Richie Dollard were too much to handle for Galway on Sunday as they teamed up for a total of 1-15 in the senior hurling win.

The game was far closer than the score reflects as Galway were tied at the half and had put the game up to Offaly at that point. The free taking of Thomas Gillane was clinical for the Tribesmen, and it gave them a huge impetus during the game.

In the end, however, it was the double-edged sword of Sweeney and Dollard that was indefensible.

The first half opened with a trio of scores, all from Offaly’s Sweeney, quickly seeming to make it a one-sided affair. Galway was quick to answer, however, with free taker Gillane taking a pair. 

Dollard scored a point for Offaly before Gillane took another free and capitalized for Galway. Offaly would stop Galway from getting a head of steam, helped by Brian Watkins who added himself to the scoreline. 

Galway would take the next three, from Michael Costello, Gillane and Ray Duggan. Dollard slotted over another for Offaly pulling the sides even again after 15 minutes when a brief scuffle broke out. 

After two yellow cards were presented the game continued. Gillane and Fergal Tracy would combine for four points for Galway, trading with Sweeney, Richie Duggan and Brendan McGourty for Offaly to finish the half tied 10 points a piece.

The second half began the same as the first, with two scores from Sweeney and Colin White for Offaly. Duggan responded with a lovely score, picking it up and shooting quickly without touching it with his hands. 

Sweeney and Dollard teamed up for another pair for Offaly before Galway gained another chance, a free that Gillane scored. 

Offaly began to run off with it when a sideline ball that stayed low enough for Enda Condron to deflect into the back of the net. Two points for Offaly from Dollard and McGourty and a Gillane free for Galway would lead up to a Gillane goal from a 21 yard free directly in front of the net.

In fact the free was wide on the right, but some chat to the ref had the ball moved front and center. The drive took a few deflections before it found the net, but find it, it did. 

Dollard and Costello would trade a pair and Sweeney would add one on for Offaly before Dollard managed to bury a shot in the net for Offaly in the closing moments of the game to finish it out 2-19 to 1-14 for Offaly. 

Offaly had quite a few stars in this one. Aiden Ryan is a very confident keeper, and his long puck outs are a tremendous advantage. He is a former Galway panelist in Ireland who calls Craughwell home.

Darren Reilly and Richie Gaulle were impressive at the back, while Rory Stafford was huge off the bench. Time and again Galway dropped puck outs on his head, and each time it came back at them. Richie Dollard, Shane Sweeney and Colin White all showed well up front. The twins were marvelous.

Galway will be very happy with the play of Joe Cocheren in goal. Mike Kearney, Thomas Gillane and Glen Kelly all had prominent moments, while Ray Duggan and Michael Costello were the most consistent of the forwards.

Galway: 1 Joe Corcoran, 2 Seamus Pender, 4 Tadgh Lyons, 5 Glen Galvin, 6 Mike Kearney, 7 Sean Flynn, 8 Thomas Gillane (1-9), 9 Glen Kelly, 10 Graham McGuire, 11 Ronan Sheedy, 12 Ray Duggan (0-2), 13 Fergal Tracy (0-1), 15 Michael Costello (0-2).

Offaly: 1 Aiden Ryan, 2 Niall Caffrey, 4 Darren Reilly, 5 Brian Watkins (0-1), 6 Richie Gaule, 7 Eunon McKillon, 8 Brendan McGourty (0-2), 9 Michael Dwane, 10 Brian Naughton, 11 Richie Dollard (1-7), 12 Donie Broderick, 13 Shane Sweeney (0-8), 15 Colin White (0-1). Subs: Enda Condron (1-0), Rory Stafford.

Referee: Eugene Kyne (Turloughmore).

Man of the match: Shane Sweeney (Offaly).


Cork Do Just Enough

Cork 1-12 Donegal 0-9

Cork jumped out into a 0-9 to 0-03 lead at the half in this senior football contest and never looked threatened as they coasted home against a depleted Donegal side.

Donegal were missing players through injury and suspension but battled all the way to make the victory as difficult as possible for Cork. It helped the Rebels that they could spring a sub who could find the net in Joe O’Neill; they are now on a collision course with Leitrim as the year progresses.

As the match started with the throw in, play stopped with an injury as Pat Mahoney was taken off for Cork. The bad start for Cork would continue when John McNichols and Kevin Lilly both scored points for Donegal.

J.P. Boyle would turn it around with three straight points, from a free, a 50 and play, the last coming from Derek Courtney who won the break from Alan Rafferty. 

Courtney had a chance to throw Cork even farther with a shot on goal that was deflected by Eunan Doherty, but the rebound was collected by Nicky Dineen who choose the high route and scored a point. 

Lilly would answer with a point for Donegal before Sean Lordon managed himself a yellow card for a high tackle on Gary Dowd. 

The game became firmly Cork’s, with points from Boyle, Rafferty and Dineen. Colin Daly had a chance to slot in another goal when Boyle looped in a pass in front of goal for him, only to have his fist shot bounce off the keeper’s head and over the bar. 

Rafferty scored another point before the half ended leaving Cork ahead 0-9 to 0-3.

The second half seemed to be a different affair when Lilly scored the first point for Donegal. He was followed soon after by McNichols again for Donegal before Francie Cleary added to Cork’s tally. 

McNichols would score two more for Donegal, one from a free, before Cork was able to score again, this from Daly. 

Donegal’s attempt at a comeback was disrupted when the Cork substitute Joe O’Neill got a chance in front of goal in pressure and blasted a shot into the corner of the net as it curled away from keeper Eunan Doherty.

Boyle contributed another for Cork giving them more breathing space as the minutes wound away. Dowd scored a point for Donegal in an attempt to claw back, and was followed by McNichols, but it seemed too little too late as the final whistle blew, final score 1-12 to 0-9 for Cork.

Cork made hard work of the victory, but they will be happy with the performances of quite a few. David Crimmins is a solid full back, while Jack Hoare, Sean Lordon and Liam Hanley are beginning to gel at the back.

Rafferty and Stafford continue the good form, and what a sub to be able spring from the bench in Stafford, a rock in the center. Francie Cleary, Conor Hunter, J.P. Boyle and Colin Daly were all dangerous up front.

Donegal had honest effort from Andrew Donahue, James Huvane, Gary Dowd and Kevin Lilly. 

Cork: 1 Evan Byrne, 2 Paddy Harrington, 3 David Crimmins, 4 Denis McCarthy, 5 Jack Hoare, 6 Sean Lordon, 7 Liam Hanley, 8 Alan Rafferty (0-2), 9 Pat Mahoney, 10 Derek Courtney, 11 J.P. Boyle (0-5), 12 Conor Hunter, 13 Francie Cleary (0-1), 14 Colin Daly (0-2), 15 Nicky Dineen (0-2). Subs: Joe O’Neill (1-0), Rory Stafford.

Donegal: 1 Eunan Doherty, 2 Eoin McNeill, 3 Andrew Donahue, 4 Justin Friel, 5 James Huvane, 6 Aiden Downes, 7 Brian Haggerty, 8 Gary Dowd (0-1), 9 Brian O’Connor, 10 Bobby McDonald, 11 Conor Brosnan, 12 John McNichols (0-5), 13 Anton Toner, 14 Kevin Lilly (0-3), 15 Kevin Purce.

Referee: Jimmy Naughton (Roscommon).

Man of the match: J.P. Boyle (Cork).


Goals Save the Day for Tyrone

Tyrone 3-5 Cavan 1-7

Both of these senior football sides had eight scores in the last game of the afternoon on Sunday, but again Tyrone used goals to secure the win.

Three in the first half made all the difference, with John Murtagh snatching a pair. While Cavan certainly fought gallantly to get back into the contest, they were chasing after the second three pointer.

The game was a tough, hard contest with no quarters given or taken, with the outcome there for the taking until the final 10 minutes.

The first score came rather unceremoniously when John Ryan tapped over a simple free for Cavan. Ryan would repeat it again soon after with another point from a free and a third from play before Tyrone had a chance to reply. Murtagh would do the honors with a point. 

Gareth McCrory won the ball and worked it into Murtagh, who managed to break two tackles and find a gap towards goal, which he took and converted beautifully when he planted it in the net to ruin the small lead Cavan had. 

The hard earned chance was canceled out moments later when Tyrone took control of the ball in their own half, where the pressure by Gareth Kelly ended with the ball in his hands. He fist passed across the box into the hands of Paddy Smith, who slotted a shot in the upper corner of the net. 

Tyrone was not finished however, and Murtagh in particular seemed unhappy when he drove on goal a second time and buried another.

The now familiar sight of Ryan taking a free for Cavan was replayed again before Gary Reilly turned on goal for Tyrone and Murtagh took a free to finish the half 3-2 to 1-4 for Tyrone.

The second half began with Cavan in different spirits. Kelly opened the scoring with a point, followed quickly by Ryan, again from a free, in the first steps of their attempt to come back. 

Ryan would tip over another free before Tyrone could settle into the half and start scoring. Murtagh would manage two points before tempers began to flair. 

Paul Mulhern, already owner of one yellow card, and Conor Brady managed to trade blows very inconspicuously, and it was only the linesman who could inform the ref of the situation. Both men received yellow cards, excusing Mulhern from the match and offering Cavan a chance. 

The man advantage was short lived, however, when Brady, already excited from the prior instance, decided to continue and earn himself a second yellow and a one way ticket off the pitch. 

Conor Downey would score again for Tyrone before a long drought that would become the end of the match in favor of Tyrone 3-5 to 1-7.

For Tyrone, Gerard McCullough, Sean Coyle and Steve Keating impressed at the back. Gary Reilly and Eamonn Lyons are a big midfield, with Reilly returning to the team he helped win a junior championship with last season.

Garth McGrory and John Murtagh were prominent inside, with Murtagh taking his goals very well.

Martin O’Connor could not be faulted on the goals for Cavan; his kick outs certainly were good. Eoghan McPartland, Brian Naughton, who had an outstanding day, and James Gannon did very well at the back.

Garth Kelly started at full forward but spent the second half in the middle. He’s a tremendous ball carrier. Paddy Smith and Johnny Ryan were important up front.

A couple of items boggled the mind on Sunday. If a player is fouled in the act of shooting, the free is from where the ball lands. If a player is booked for retaliation after he gets a free, he certainly loses the free.

John Murtagh was fouled as he kicked in the second half, he drove the ball wide, the aggressor was booked but the goalkeeper took a kick out. Items like these allow a game to fester and get out of control. Thankfully it didn’t on Sunday.

Cavan: 1 Martin O’Connor, 2 Michael Smith, 3 Alan Carolan, 4 Eoghan McPartland, 5 Brian Loughton, 6 Brendan Reilly, 7 James Gannon, 8 Gareth Kelly (0-1), 9 Conor Brady, 10 Kevin McGeeney, 11 Paddy Smith (1-0), 12 John Fitzpatrick, 13 John Flannigan, 14 John Ryan (0-6), 15 Aiden Mortimer.

Tyrone: 1 John McGinley, 2 Joe Bell, 3 Gerard McCullough, 4 Paul Mulhern, 5 Sean Coyle, 6 Aiden Power, 7 Steve Keating, 8 Gary Reilly (1-0), 9 Eamonn Lyons, 10 Shane Skeffington, 11 Packy McMullagh, 12 Pat McGuire, 13 Gareth McCrory, 14 John Murtagh (2-4), 15 Darren Pettit. Subs: Conor Downey (0-1).

Referee: Lawrence McGrath.

Man of the match: Johnny Murtagh (Tyrone).

First Championship for Brooklyn

Brooklyn Shamrocks 2-2 Celtics 1-1

There is something growing out in Brooklyn, and it is fast becoming a shining part of the GAA. The Brooklyn Shamrocks took home their first title under the GAA Minor Board on Saturday in the under-10 age group.

The club started competing in 2007 and reached the semifinals of the under-10 B division last year. This season they went one giant step further as they defeated New Haven in a rain swept semifinal two weeks ago, and then had a brilliant victory last Saturday over the New York Celtics to win the championship this year.

With a panel of 20 strong for the under-10B final, the side jumped out into a 2-2 to 1-0 halftime lead. They were able to stop any advances for scoring chances by the Celtics in the second half, and the final whistle set of some joyous celebrations for the club.

“Our under-12s had a great year this season, while this panel of players is a tremendous bunch. We are working hard in Brooklyn to build our club and the future looks very bright,” said coach John Moore.

Paul Gallagher, John Bennett, Danny Shields and the Kerry-born Moore are the coaches involved with the teams. With sponsor Brendan Lally from IRL Systems involved with the club and supplying jerseys for the teams, the club is on very solid footing as it looks to grow into the future.

“This win was very much a squad effort. All the panel had parts to play in the win and it was fantastic for the players. The rain seems to shine on us as both the semifinal and final were played in wet circumstances. The club is always looking for new players and we are certainly looking forward to next season already,” remarked Moore.

Paul Gallagher at 347-782-3175 or John Moore at 646-321-4021 can be reached for prospective players with the club looking to enter teams at under 8s 10s and 12s next season.

Challenge games will be played as the summer and autumn months arrive with the other New York clubs. A lively future ahead for the Shamrocks. 

Roscommon Wins Second Brady Title

Roscommon 0-14 Dublin 0-12

With the rain doing little to deter the passion shown by both sides on Saturday evening, Roscommon took home their second John Brady Intermediate Cup title in three years.

The cup was introduced four years ago in the memory of John Brady, the former New York and Cavan footballer, with Astoria Gaels, Roscommon and Tyrone the first three winners. Dublin and Roscommon went toe to toe for a full game and two 10 minutes periods of extra time before the Rosses took home the title.

With the game tied on no fewer than 11 occasions as both sides slotted points over only to be pulled back continuously, the game was certainly tremendously exciting from a nerve-wracking standpoint.

In the end two points from Michael O’Neill and Liam O’Sullivan sealed the win as Dublin ran out of time.

The game opened at tremendous pace, with both sides slotting over two points in the first 10 minutes. Dave Mooney was already showing good form for Dublin, while Phil Bannon was also causing problems for Roscommon. After a third Dublin score from Bannon, Roscommon had a huge chance to break the game open. A long cross from Adrian Doherty hit the cross bar and the rebound was fisted goal ward by Peter Conroy. His chance hit virtually the same spot before Michael Travers slotted the rebound wide.

O’Sullivan had the equalizer on the 22nd minute, a brilliant free from the right wing. Both sides had points as the half wore down and at the half it was 0-5 points apiece.

The first two minutes of the second half were tough to say the least. When the dust cleared as it will all sides were still intact, but Tommy Fahey knew a bunch on a first name basis.

Dave Mooney had a Dublin point after a long solo run; he showed why the Dublin seniors had an interest in him earlier in the year. His score was cancelled out by Big Michael O’Neill, who had arrived off the bench and was showing promise.

Shane Carty with two and Kieran Keaveney and Conroy for Roscommon kept the game level, but a marked fact for Roscommon was the forwards were battling hard when Dublin defenders had the ball and that created the chances for scores.

After O’Sullivan had a score when Conroy was fouled Roscommon again attacked. Nick Mangan was moving forward but was met with a frontal challenge by Andy Gray that drove the young Irish American to the floor.

Gray was not cautioned for his endeavor and remained on the field while Mangan went off for treatment. Stunning.

With seconds on the clock it seemed that Roscommon were champions. However, one last attack by Dublin resulted in a free just inside the 50-yard line. The buzzer sounded but it made little difference to Carty as he calmly slotted the ball over the bar to force overtime.

Dublin started the first period quickly with Carty getting denied by Liam Sheehan and Niall Davey hitting the post.

Mooney had a point for Dublin after another long run, but O’Sullivan had two points for the eventual winners to push them in front.

Just before the break of the first 10 minute period Davey had the sides level again. Roscommon finally did enough to win the cup after 70 long minutes in the final 10 minute period.

They had the first point from a O’Sullivan free, then they cancelled out a Carty fisted effort with a good score by O’Neill. Man of the match O’Sullivan had the final nail in the coffin for Dublin with a fisted point, with Alan Reilly stopping the last goal chance Roscommon attack.

A very fitting contest then for the final of the Intermediate Cup. Roscommon have been in all four finals and they have now achieved two wins from four.

Liam Sheehan is a very confident keeper; Martin Slowey did an excellent job on Declan Reilly at full back. Lonon Maguire and Colin Nester impressed in the half line. Peter Conroy was unlucky on occasion but kept plugging -- his two points were very important.

Michael Travers, Liam O’Sullivan, who is a tremendous pick up from St. Pat’s outside Tralee, and sub Michael O’Neill all had valuable moments.

For Dublin, Alan Reilly again proved why he is possibly in the top two of keepers in the Intermediate division. Cathal Loughnane, Joe Usher and Barry McKiernan were other defenders who shone.

Phil Bannon, Dave Mooney, who was outstanding, and Shane Carty, who was close to O’Sullivan in the man of the match accolades, could not have done much more up front.

Dublin: 1 Alan Reilly, 2 Mick Furlong, 3 Cathal Loughnane, 4 Kevin Fitzpatrick, 5 Alan Kelly, 6 Joe Usher, 7 Barry McKiernan, 8 Andy Gray, 9 Steve Gomez, 10 Shane Carty (0-7), 11 Phil Bannon (0-1), 12 Shane Moore, 13 John McDowell, 14 Declan Reilly, 15 Dave Mooney (0-2). Subs: Fergal Mulvanny (0-1), Fergal Donnell, Niall Davey (0-1).

Roscommon: 1 Liam Sheehan, 2 Michael Curley, 3 Martin Slowey, 4 Donnacha Dunne, 5 Niall Merney, 6 Lonon Maguire, 7 Colin Nester, 8 Nick Mangan, 9 Michael Kenny, 10 Emmitt Woods, 1 Peter Conroy (0-2), 12 Michael Travers (0-2), 13 Adrian Doherty, 14 Shane Russell, 15 Liam O’Sullivan (0-7). Subs: Kieran Keaveney (0-1), Michael O’Neill (0-2), Dave Gannon.

Referee: Tommy Fahey (Waterford).

Man of the match: Liam O’Sullivan (Roscommon).