OFFALY TAKES ROAD TO FINAL
Astoria Gaels 2-8
Offaly qualified for the intermediate final against Roscommon courtesy of this win over the Gaels of Astoria. With John Purcell brilliant from frees and the side able to respond to an Astoria goal with a flood of points, they were deserving of the win and will have no fears in the next round.
It was all Offaly to open the game. They had a 0-6 to nil lead by the 16th minute. John Purcell had two frees when he punished two late tackles, while Ray Keenan advanced to join the attack for one excellent score.
The side had settled easily and their moves into attack had the Astoria backs at sixes and sevens. Astoria had two wides in this period, but they were having huge difficulty in moving the ball into attack.
The duck was finally broken when a long solo run down the left wing by Nester Allen resulted with a cross field ball hitting Derek McKenna on top of the square. The veteran shot low to the net to bring his side immediately back into the game.
The sides swapped scores as the 20th minute arrived with Sam Yore and John Curran the men with the hot feet. The sides again had a score a piece, with James White wisely fisting over with the goal staring him in the face.
It was Offaly who finished strongest, however, as again Purcell punished an indescression with a pointed free.
Astoria had five minutes of complete dominance to open the second half, but they only had a Shaun Munnelly free to show after Allen was fouled. Shane Sweeney had a goal chance that he drove wide when he might have been wiser to tap over the bar.
After Gary Cornyn and Jason Kelly cancelled each other out Astoria had a huge break. Allen took a feed from sub James Dolan and soloed to the corner.
When he turned back he found Cornyn, who was then fouled for a penalty. Kelly blasted the ball to the top right corner and the sides were level.
It awoke Offaly, however, and they had five of the next six points as Vinnie Gavin rifled two points over and Purcell had scores from frees.
It pushed their side out into a four point lead, and as Astoria came back each time with Dolan and McKenna points Offaly were able to cancel them out with Purcell scores.
Offaly had a host of stars in the win. Ray Keenan, John Fitzpatrick and Will Holton were excellent at the back. Vinnie Gavin’s points were at a critical stage. Jason Kelly is a flyer on the 40, while John Curran, Timmy Quaid and the outstanding John Purcell gave Astoria nightmares at the back.
Astoria did not play to their potential at all. Gary Cornyn, Red McGuinness and Sean Kelly had moments at the back, Sam Yore had an excellent second half when he lifted the team, Derek McKenna took his two scores well. Nester Allen created the two goals and could have done more if the ball was ripped in his direction, with James Dolan very effective off the bench.
Astoria Gaels: Georgie Doyle, 2 Red McGuinness, 3 Alan Foley, 4 Gary Cornyn, 5 Damien Ward, 6 Sean Kelly (1-0), 7 Michael Coyle, 8 Sam Yore (0-2), 9 Derek McKenna (1-1), 10 James White (0-1), 11 Shane Sweeney, 12 Kenneth Quirke, 13 Nester Allen, 14 Pa Ryan, 15 Shaun Munnelly (0-1). Subs: James Dolan (0-1).
Offaly: 1 John McGinley, 2 Mark Dolan, 3 Will Holtan, 4 Mike Maher, 5 Pat Kelly, 6 Ray Keenan (0-1), 7 John Fitzpatrick, 8 Vinnie Gavin (0-2), 9 Noel Coughlin, 10 Tom Rosney, 11 Jason Kelly (0-2), 12 John Curran (0-1), 13 John Purcell (0-9), 14 Timmy Quaid, 15 Mike Dolan. Subs: Brian Delaney, Trevor Flynn.
Man of the match: John Purcell (Offaly).
Referee: Tommy Fahey (Waterford).
CLOSE CALL FOR ROSCOMMON
Roscommon built a large halftime lead in the second intermediate semifinal on Sunday, but then had to withstand a furious comeback by Dublin. In fact the winners had to come from behind at the end to get the win.
They would not have been in the precarious situation, but Alan O’Reilly brilliantly saved two Senan O’Grady penalties to give Dublin a lifeline which they embraced, but with the loss of a man due to a red card, the hill was too high to climb for the Dubs.
The first score of the contest came from Dublin when Shane Moore finished off a hard worked move with a point. It was all Roscommon on the scoreboard, however, over the next 10 minutes.
Michael O’Reilly, advancing from his six slot started the ball rolling. A Liam O’Sullivan free, followed by Adrian Tate and Michael Travers scores, had them ahead on the board and they were dominant across the field.
But for a good stop on a O'Sullivan shot by Kevin Fitzgerald and a save on the rebound by Alan O’Reilly it would have been more.
Michael O’Reilly again advanced to get his second score before O’Grady had his first penalty saved after O’Sullivan was fouled.
Before the half arrived Roscommon did get a goal when a long ball from Shane Russell was picked up by Travers, who moved the ball to an advancing O’Sullivan and the net was shaking. It gave the Rosses a 1-5 to 0-1 lead at the short whistle and the game appeared over.
Travers added to the total in the second minute of the final half, but Declan Reilly answered it with a penalty he blasted to the net. Dublin followed it with two of the next three points, with Dave Mooney getting a free to narrow the deficit to 1-7 to 1-3.
With 13 minutes gone they got their second goal when Phil Daly ghosted in to snatch it. A point from Shane Carty when he soloed over 40 yards had the sides level with a quarter of the game still to be played.
Dublin had a letdown at this point, however, when Kevin Fitzgerald was shown a red card for an off the ball incident with the man disadvantage hurting the side tremendously.
They had two further points from Reilly and Daly, but Roscommon started to come back into the game. Two points down, they missed their second penalty but after good work by Colin Nester and Michael O’Reilly, Adrian Tate got the second Roscommon goal.
When O’Sullivan put a free over the black mark with moments left the victory was complete.
Liam Sheehan had a very important save in the first half for Roscommon. Colin Nester, Donnacha Dunne and the excellent Michael O’Reilly were prominent at the back. Adrian Tate was the best of the midfielders, while Shane Russell, Michael Travers, Liam O’Sullivan and Shane McKeever all had big parts to play up front.
Alan O’Reilly has a brilliant record from penalty kicks. His saves for Ireland in the New York soccer championship were followed by two more in this contest that make him the man of the match.
The loss through injury of Sean Flynn and Noel Kennedy, alongside the sending off of Fitzgerald was too much for Dublin to contend with. Dave Mooney is a tremendous footballer; Declan Reilly had moments while Phil Daly, Shane Carty and Shane Moore all had important scores.
Dublin: 1 Alan Reilly, 2 Niall Davey, 3 Barry McKieran, 4 Mick Furlong, 5 Kevin Fitzgerald, 6 Sean Flynn, 7 Dave Mooney (0-2), 8 Cathal Loughnane, 9 Noel Kennedy, 10 Ger Bannon, 11 Declan Reilly (1-1), 12 Shane Carty (0-1), 13 Shane Moore (0-2), 14 Ray McLoughlin, 15 Phil Daly (1-1).
Roscommon: 1 Liam Sheehan, 2 John Walsh, 3 Colin Nester, 4 Michael O’Neill, 5 Donnacha Dunne, 6 Michael O’Reilly (0-2), 7 Lonan Maguire, 8 Adrian Tate (1-1), 9 Michael Kenny, 10 Senan O’Grady, 11 Shane McKeever, 12 Jason O’Callaghan (0-1), 13 Liam O’Sullivan (1-2), 14 Shane Russell, 15 Michael Travors (0-3). Subs: Michael Curley, Adrian Doherty.
Man of the match: Alan Reilly (Dublin).
Referee: Lawrence McGrath (Donegal)
REBELS WIN AND MOVE ON
The rematch of Kerry and Cork was their second game in four days between the rivals, and again it went easily to Cork.
Kerry knocked out the Rebels in last season’s semifinal, but there was no fear of that happening this season with Stephen Kavanagh, Damien Reilly, Alan O’Sullivan and Colin Mahoney all in Ireland. Cork had close to a full side out and followed the Thursday evening win with another comprehensive victory.
The old firm rivalry of the Munster rivals was all Cork in the first half despite a bad start to the side. They had the first point, but then gave up a goal when they did not react to a long ball to the square that Bingo Driscoll flicked to the net.
Cork then replied with five points from JP Boyle (three), Denis McCarthy and Ciaran Lyng. McCarthy did very well when he twice went forward to back up his forward line.
Driscoll had a free in reply but that was cancelled out by a Francie Cleary score before the break to leave Cork ahead 0-7 to 1-1.
Boyle had the first Cork point in the second half and it was followed by a long shot to the post by the same player. When it rebounded Joe O’Neill grabbed it and stuck it low in the corner of the net.
Despite points from Driscoll and Dermie Foley, Cork continued to pressure and pile up the points. They had the final five points of the game with Crimmins getting a brilliant score from the sideline, Boyle, Raferty, Lyng and Courtney all getting on the score line. Cork is now set to play Tyrone in the semifinal next Sunday at the Mecca.
Kerry had few highlights in the one sided loss. Niall Corbett, Eoghan O’Mahoney, Bingo Driscoll, Vinnie Gavin and Dermie Foley were the best of the bunch. Bingo belied all with a battling performance.
Cork had Denis McCarthy, Alan Rafferty, Jack Hoare, J.P. Boyle and Joe O’Neill as their leaders. O’Neill had his best game in the Red’s colors. Lyng is also showing his Irish form, a dangerous side heading into the semi final.
Kerry: 1 Ger Sullivan, 2 Enda Lally, 3 Anthony Glacken, 4 Niall Corbett, 5 Alan Lyne, 6 Eoghan O’Mahoney, 7 Collie Fearan, 8 Dave McSweeney, 9 James Walsh, 10 Tom Quaid, 11 Vinnie Gavin, 12 Bingo Driscoll (1-2), 13 Dermie Foley (0-1), 14 Ross Donovan, 15 Muiris O’Sullivan.
Cork: 1 Evan Byrne, 2 Dennis McCarthy (0-1), 3 Kevin Cotter, 4 Paddy Harrington, 5 John Fitzpatrick, 6 Alan Rafferty (0-1), 7 Jack Hoare, 8 Sean Lordon, 9 David Crimmins (0-1), 10 Francie Cleary (0-1), 11 J.P. Boyle (0-5), 12 Nicky Dineen (0-1), 13 Ciaran Lyng (0-2), 14 Rory Woods, 15 Joe O’Neill (1-1).
Man of the match: J.P. Boyle (Cork).
Referee: Sean Jones (Fermanagh).
DOWN JUST GOOD ENOUGH
It was a game that had a host of hills and valleys, an ID question at the outset and a glut of goals from Johnny Ryan to offset superb shooting by Robbie Moran and Michael Sloan.
Down held on against a furious comeback attempt by Cavan to win the quarterfinal and the Dugout Championship for ‘09. Both sides are sponsored by Mike Reilly in Queens, but there was little love lost when the ball was thrown in as they battled to try and get to the next stage.
Down had an excellent start and were quickly out into a 0-06 to 0-1 lead. The double-edged sword of Moran and Sloan punished, while Garth O’Neill was winning the early midfield duels.
A fantastic point by Kevin McGeeney gave Cavan hope in the 16th minute, but three further points by Moran (two) and Sloan ballooned the lead to 0-9 to 0-2.
Cavan began their road to recovery at this juncture, with the start a Ryan point from a free before a goal chance by Andrew Gillick hit the side netting.
Two further scores by McGeeney cut the deficit to four points, but Down threw a major blow when Seamus Kelly got to a Moran pass and drilled the ball low to the net five minutes before the break. A Sloan point followed to give the Mournemen an eight-point lead.
Cavan had a fantastic start to the second half when a point by Tomo Smith was followed by a goal ward charge by Garth Kelly from the middle of the field. He was brought to the ground by a cynical leg trip and could have been punished a lot more but wasn’t. The resulting penalty was blasted to the net by Ryan.
The side attacked again, but wides hurt their cause while Down went to the other end and had four points in succession from Sloan, Brendan McGourty, Sloan and Moran. It again gave them an eight-point lead, 1-14 to 1-6.
At this time the winners lost Barry Annette to a second yellow, and the numerical advantage was used to the hilt by Cavan. With Reilly the open man and Smith driving long balls in the direction of the full forward line, one ball was caught by Ryan and he clinically drove to the net.
A Sloan point for Down arrived, but again Cavan attacked. A three player move that included Kelly, McGeeney and Smith ended with Ryan on the ball again.
The player who will be back in New York with Galway for the FBD final against New York in October calmly found the net for his and his side’s third goal.
With now just three points between the sides, the final five minutes were a hectic battle with Cavan attacking in waves and Down defending tremendously to stop a fourth goal chance.
Down moved the ball out the field twice which took valuable time off the clock. Try as they might, Cavan could not get the final score they needed to get a result.
Down are now moving on to meet Leitrim in the next round. Shaun Munnelly, Mark Dobbins in a defensive role, and Barry Annett all had strong games at the back. Midfield was even, with both sides bypassing it at points. Robbie Moran and Michael Sloan were excellent with their shooting with Michael O’Rourke showing constantly.
Cavan had a number of stars in their arsenal. Alan Carolan shut down the threat of Pakie Downey completely; in fact one free that went against his way was completely unjustified as the contact was akin to passing a person in a crowded room. Regardless Rossi kept battling and had a superb game.
Brendan Reilly again showed New York form, and his runs in the second half were very positive. Paddy Smith was outstanding in the comeback attempt, with Kevin McGeeney slotting over three brilliant scores. Johnny Ryan was outstanding and ranks as one of the top three 60 days for New York this summer.
Down: 1 Mark Kelly, 2 Brian Murray, 3 Eugene O’Hagan, 4 Dermot Hayes, 5 Barry Annette (0-1), 6 Gary Cornyn, 7 Shaun Munnelly, 8 Garth O’Neill, 9 Brendan McGrourty (0-1), 10 Seamus Kelly (1-0), 11 Robbie Moran (0-6), 12 Michael Sloan (0-7), 13 Pakie Downey, 14 Mark Dobbins, 15 Michael O’Rourke.
Cavan: 1 Martin O’Connor, 2 Michael Smith, 3 Alan Carolan, 4 Derek Williams, 5 John Flanagan, 6 Brendan Reilly, 7 David Walsh, 8 Garth Kelly, 9 Conor Brady, 10 Kieran Gannon, 11 Paddy Smith (0-2), 12 Kevin McGeeney (0-3), 13 John Ryan (3-1), 14 Michael McEntee, 15 John Burke. Sub: Andrew Gillick.
Man of the match: Johnny Ryan (Cavan), Michael Sloan (Down).
A minute of silence was observed before the Cavan-Down game for Jamie Kyne. Jamie was an apprentice jockey in England for the last 18 months, and had 29 winners this year as he started out on his career as a professional.
Thirty percent of his horses showed in the money, and he was heralded as the “Jewel of the North” by newspaper men and fans alike in England.
A former Irish title winner as a boxer, he fought for the Monivea club in Galway. He scored the winning point for his school when they won the first county title for Cregmore seven years ago.
A fun loving and outgoing young man, he died tragically on Saturday morning in a fire at the apartment complex where the jockeys lived. The blaze also took the life of another jockey, Jan Wilson.
Jan was 19 years old while Jamie turned 18 last June. May they rest in peace.