Boston GAA – Weekend round up 16/17th July
By Rory O’Donnell
Junior A Hurling Championship
Offaly 2-21 Wexford 4-12
Offaly held on to capture 2 championship points in a nail biting junior hurling championship game on Saturday evening at the ICC in Canton. Offaly looked to have established a comfortable 10 point lead about 20 minutes into the game, however, Wexford hit with 2 goals late in the half and another 2 in the second to make it a one goal game in the final minutes. With the spectators on the edges of the benches, Offaly held on as Wexford went for the goal to tie it up.
The end of the first half saw Offaly sitting on a comfortable 6 point lead. The Faithful men picked off their points well, and also combined well in opening up shooting angles. James Kilmartin at wing forward was the big dangerman and the former Offaly underage player opened the scoring with a point from each side of the field. Barry McManaman at corner forward was also a major threat, and it was he who accounted for a goal that put Offaly into an early 1-6 to a point lead. Wexford pulled themselves back into it with 2 goals. One Kevin Joyce at full forward and a second from John Dooley with Joyce involved. At the break it was 1-14 to 2-5 for Offaly.
Joyce hit with a third Wexford goal shortly after the restart, however it was none other than Kilmartin who pulled it back within minutes to dampen Wexford hopes. Offaly extened the lead to 7 points again through Barry Kealy and Kilmartin scores, but Wexford finally found the target. Peter Ryan andPaddy Whelan pulled the side within four as the Wexford men worked very hard throughout the field to rein in their counterparts. Whelan put a free from outside the 21 into the net to set up a grandstand finish with one point in it, however McManaman and Kilmartin restored the lead to four. After a Dooley point made it a one goal game Wexford had one last chance to tie it up but with Offaly back in numbers the ball never made it into the danger zone. A very exciting win for the newcomers, and great Saturday evening entertainment for the visitors to Canton.
Tipperary 5-15 Worcester 0-10
If it weren’t for the goals Worcester were very much in this game against Tipperary in the early game. Tipperary streaked into a a1-6 to a point lead before Worcester settled into the game. Peter O’Keefe was the free taker and corner forward dynamo for Tipperary. Pat Moriarty was very much involved in the half back line, while his brother Sean was another headache for Worcester opposite O’Keefe in the corner. Between them Moriarty and O’Keefe accounted for all of Tipperary’s 3-8, Moriarty with 2 of the 3 goals.
For their part, Worcester settled into the game in the latter part of the first half. John Griffey, Sean O’Shaughnessy and Dan Brown accounted for Worcester’s 6 points, O’Shaughnessy putting two fine efforts over the bar. John Donohoe did well in the half back line to return several threatening looking Tipperary attacks. At the break it was a 3-8 to 0-6 Tipp advantage.
Two Tipp goals in the first 10 minutes after the restart put the dampers on any hope of Worcester getting into touching distance. Again, it was Moriarty first and then O’Keefe hitting the majors. Worcester kept at it, O’Shaughnessy with another booming point and Dan Sweatland getting his name on the scoresheet. Tipp saw it out, but needed those goals to feel comfortable.
Offaly: G. Sherlock, J. Murray, A. Bergin, R. Reynolds, T. Rigney, C. McMahon, D. Kealy, C. Mahon, C. Flynn, L. Kiely, J. Kilmartin, M. Markham, B. McManaman. Wexford: E. Spruhan, E. Goff, J. Taggert, JJ O’Neill, D. Magill, P. Bergin, G. Lundy, S. Delaney, P. Whelan, P. Ryan, P. Guinan, J. Dooley, K. Joyce.
Worcester: T. O’Brien, D. Smith, T. Falise, P. Mann, C. Berry, J. Donohue, S. Shaughnessy, T, Gahan, D. Brown, D. Sweatland, P. Dolan, J. Grifffey, PJ Heffernan. Tipp: M. McGrath, M. Moriarty, S. Sinnott, M. Jordan, P. Moriarty, D. Donovan, S. Fortune, C. Madden, M. Kavanagh, T. Hanley, S. Delaney, S. Moriarty, P. O’Keefe.
Junior A Football
Wolfe Tones 3-7 Connemara Gaels 6-16
Connemara Gaels continued their winning run in the junior A football championship with a very convincing win over Wolfe Tones. Six goals underlined the dominance of the Connemara side, however, a late flurry by the Tones may have caused some concern for the Gaels heading into the teeth of the competition.
The Gaels dominated the opening period, holding the Tones to two points and accumulating a tally of 2-7 themselves. With the scores at a point each the Gaels first goal came when Shane O’Reilly lobbed Pauric Miskell in the Tones goal. Points flowed afterwards from Phil Sullivan and AJ Maguire (who entered play following an injury to Damien Doolan). The Gaels looked sharp, and the half back line had the game under control, setting up the forward forays.
After Darrragh Mulgrew put a well taken point over with his left foot, the Gaels won a penalty that Sullivan dispatched with little fuss. The Tones managed to muster a couple of points from Brian O’Connor and Sean Kelly, but struggled to move the ball in the face of a determined and focused Gaels.
The second half saw the Tones score a fantastic goal from Ciaran Cunningham. The Tones opened up the Gaels defence with some quick passing and Cunningham’s shot from outside the 21 flew into the far corner of the net. For the Gaels, however, it was a bump on the road to a convincing victory. There were three more second half goals as there always seemed to be a man available in green and white. Sullivan, Mulgrew, and Stephen Murray hit the back of the net.
Pauric Miskell guessed right but Phil O’Sullivan’s
penalty slipped past.
The Tones showed flashes of what they are capable of with another well worked goal finished by Joyce-Power and points from Kevin Ryan and Kelly and finished the game strong, but it was a little too late to have an impact on the outcome. Another win for the Connemara men though, who are looking like a serious threat for the coveted junior football championship this year.
Tones: P. Miskell, C. Moran, B. Faulkner, K. Gill, K. O’Regan, N. Mullen, C. Cunningham, B. McShea, C. Joyce-Power, C. Moriarty, B. O’Connor, G. Walsh, S. Kelly. Gaels: T. O’Malley, D. Black, C. Morisson, F. Cassidy, P. McNicholas, D. Doolan, J. Farrragher, B. Joyce, S. Murray, C. Mulkerrrins, S. O’Reilly, D. Mulgrew, P. Sullivan.
Cork 2-10 Donegal 1-14
Donegal and Cork battled out an entertaining junior football contest that went down to the wire. Donegal first opened a sizeable lead and Cork came back in the middle part of the game. With the teams all square it was Donegal with who seemed to have more in reserve to push on for the win over the final stretch, though Cork came within a hair of salvaging a draw.
It was Donegal with the slightest of leads heading into the half time break. The northerners had the upper hand for most of the game and at one point held a 1-5 to 0-2 lead. Donegal had most of the play and Brian Kelly at corner forward, along with Karl Archibald at wing forward were proving to be a handful for the Cork back line. The Donegal goal came from a high ball to Kelly who engaged in a back and forth with Colm Byrne till Byrne poked the ball into the net. Kelly and Archibald shared four of Donegal’s five first half points between them.
Cork worked their way into the game, and with Colm Caffrey playing well at center back, Padraig O’Shea, Mike Moynihan and Mike Maye pointed before a lovely ball from Darren O’Donovan found Niall O’Connor behind the Donegal defence, and O’Connor netted with only Jonathan Byrne to beat. Cork had threatened on a couple of occasions up to that point to net a goal and did so just in the nick of time. 1-5 to 1-6 in Donegal’s favour at the half.
A penalty mid – way through the second half put Cork into a two point lead. The rebels had wasted multiple scoring chances, while Donegal had made the most of the couple that came their way. The teams swapped points through Kelly and a well taken Mark Dunphy point for Donegal, with Peter Wallace pointing twice for Cork. Cork will have felt that their efforts were for naught until a great ball from Jack Lynch found O’Shea who was held in the penalty area. O’Shea took the kick himself and put Cork into the lead as the ball nestled in the back of the net.
After Donegal had leveled matters through Archibald with a brace, it was up and down the field for the final 10 minutes with each side trying to vie for the advantage. It was Donegal who looked like they had a tad more gas in the tank for the final run in. Cork’s fatigue probably accounted for errors that the men from Tir Chonaill capitalized on. Dean Kelly put three points over the bar, two from frees as Cork were forced to foul, and Donegal had a three point lead in injury time. Late points from Colm Caffrey and Wallace brought Cork within a point, but time ran out on the rebels and Donegal leapfrog them in the standings.
Cork: O. Murphy, B. Devlin, D. O’Donovan, C. Caffrey, S. Loftus, J. Lynch, N. O’Connor, L. Cunningham, M. Moynihan, M. Maye, P. Wallace, P. O’Shea. Donegal: J. Byrne, P. McNulty, D. McBride, D. Doherty, A. Cammon, M. Canny, D. Kelly, M. Dunphy, C. Byrne, R. Diver, K. Archibald, B. Kelly, K. McDevitt.
Ladies Senior Football
Connacht ladies 1-11 Tir na nOg 0-11
Connacht Ladies had to fight hard against a dogged Tir na nOg side to record an all important win to bolster their title credentials, and leave the Brighton side needing a win in their final game to remain in the championship. The westerners lorded it in the early going only to see their opponents fight back in the second half and come within a great save getting a result.
Connacht Ladies had a great first half and played some blistering football with great running in the forward line. Rose Boyle, Jane Ward, and Aisling Reynolds were out of the blocks fast and at times carved open the Tir na nOg defence. With Maria Kelly looking strong in the middle of the field, the Connacht Ladies dominated possession and had tallied six points before their opponents got off the ground in the scoring stakes. Reynolds and Ward finished off some well worked moves to put Connacht Ladies into an early six points to no score lead.
As the half time break approached Tir na nOg managed to put some sustained pressure on Connacht Ladies and cut the lead in half. Niamh Crowe, Emma Connolly points from play and a Chloe Ryan pointed free cut the lead in half to make it a 0-6 to 0-3 score in favor of the westerners.
The second half saw Tir na nOg pick up their efforts. The Brighton side played the ball well out of the back line and worked hard for each other. Rebecca Stapleton, Maggie Sayers and Emma Connolly helped raise their side’s efforts, while in the front Niamh Daly, Caroline Nee and Niamh Crowe were to the fore. Points from Nee, Ryan and a great effort from Sayers reduced the gap to a goal.
Although they were not as rampant as in the first half Connacht Ladies remained very dangerous when in possession and breaking downfield. A Reynolds point following some slick passing was followed by a goal in for Connacht ladies. Another fast breakaway move ended with the ball in the hands of substitute Aoibheann Leahy who was stopped dead in her tracks by Niamh Hynes, but unfairly so and a penalty was awarded. Reynolds slid the kick low past Hynes and the gap was restored to six.
With the clock running out Tir na nOg continued to work very hard to pull off a result. Nee and Leahy exchanged points and the Brighton side pulled back three points until just the goal stood between the teams. With relentless pressure on the Connacht Ladies goal, the westerners had to defend in numbers. The best opening fell to Crowe whose shot was saved by Jackie McDonagh and Maria Kelly was on hand to clear. The tall midfielder’s presence in assisting her defence was critical in the final minutes and Connacht Ladies held on to record a hard fought victory. Tir na nOg need a win in their final game against the Shamrocks to qualify for a semi-final place.
Connacht: J. McDonagh, H. Ennis, A. Egan, C. Boyle, S. Cleary, M. Peel, E. Hannon, R. Boyce, M. Kelly, R. Boyle, J. Ward, R. Cox, A. Reynolds, R. Curran, A. Kerr. Tir na nOg: N. Hynes, M. Murphy, R. Stapleton, A. McKenna, C. Murphy, C. O’Neill, M. Sayers, E. Connolly, D. Pugh, C. Dalton, N. Crowe, S. O’Callaghan, N. Daly, C. Nee, C. Ryan.
Christopher’s 1-18 Shannon Blues 1-6
Christopher’s recorded their first win of the season at the expense of the Shannon Blues. Christopher’s came flying out of the blocks and the Blues were never really at the races. Christopher’s had the game in the bag early in the second half and more or less played out the time. The Blues engineered a handful of goal opportunities that just would not go in to even provide some degree of consolation late in the game.
The first half saw Christopher’s come full belt at the Blues and did not let their opponents settle. A quick 1-1 contrasted with the Blues who missed an early chance at a point and then at a goal. Niall Hughes pointed and Danny Neville followed with a well taken goal. With Christopher’s seemingly winning every kickout four unanswered points followed, Neville, Cormac Collins, Kevin Hodgins and Andrew Murphy.
The Blues initiated some attacks however their efforts were wayward before George Bastible got his side off the mark. Paul O’Sullivan soon added another point, but for the Blues that would be their final score of the opening period. Christopher’s were flying and the midfield tandem of Syl Byrne and Conor O’Brien dominated. O’Brien pointed twice, Collins and Neville once each to see Christopher’s sitting on a 1-11 to 0-2 half time lead.
The pace of the game slowed down somewhat in the second half as legs tired in the heat. Christopher’s extended the lead by three points, Syl Byrne and Neville the scorers, while center back Andrew Murphy had matters fairly in control. When the Blues threatened they were let down by turnovers, some forced some unforced. The highlight of their day was a great goal finished by Brian Ryal, some quick handpassing left Ryal with the open net to fist the ball into.
Ruairi Lavelle was called into action to save from close range shortly thereafter and the missed chance was one of a handful that fell the Blues way in the late stages. Points from Tervor Wallace and Conor Cox put some respectability on the scoreboard but Christopher’s were happy to maintain the slow pace and see out the win. It looks like there will be a real battle over the next few weeks to avoid being the team that misses out on the playoffs.
Christopher’s: R. Lavelle, D. Kelliher, R. Vallejo, S. Lonergan, A. Murphy, J. Horgan, S. Byrne, C. O’Brien, J. Murphy, C. Collins, N. Hughes, K. Hodgins, D. Neville. Blues: E. Whelan, S. Kelly, P. O’Sullivan, C. Cofffey, G. Cuniffe, T. Wallace, M. Young, D. Somers, D. McElligott, S. Moriarty, G. Bastible, B. Ryal, C. Cox.
Donegal 1-13 Connemara Gaels 2-12
Donegal and the Gaels served up a cracker of a game to make for a tremendously exciting finale to the day on Sunday. Donegal had added Ger Brennan of Dublin fame as well as Derry’s Eoin and Paddy Bradley to the ranks. It was the proverbial game of two halves with the Gaels lording it over their opponents in the first and Donegal controlling the second. It seemed as the Gaels had shot their bolt in the first half as in the second it was all Donegal, with an exhausted Gaels team desperately hanging on. But hang on they did thanks to late points from substitute Ronan Kennedy and move up in the standings.
The Gaels were clearly up for this game and played with a high intensity from the get go. The westerners battled for every ball and their running off the ball was constant. Ryan Hyde lined out in the middle of the field and broke the ball well, with Gaels runners picking up almost everything. After Donegal opened the scoring with a point each from corner forwards, Paddy and Eoin Bradley, the Gaels kicked into high gear.
Brian Donnelly rises highest for this kickout.
Sean Conneely netted after picking up on a rebound from a high ball into the box, and Jack Kielt pointed to follow up the score. Conneely added another point and the Gaels were flying. Two long range dead ball efforts from Fintan Cooney had the Gaels looking at a 10 points to 3 lead. Eoin Bradley had moved deeper out the field and tallied a point with John Campbell adding another for Donegal who could not settle into the game. Just before the half time whistle Hyde burst through the defence and buried the ball into the top corner. At the break the Gaels were ahead 2-9 to 0-4.
This Donegal team though has too much quality to be counted out and came out all guns blazing in the second half. After the northerners outscored the Gaels three points to one to set the tone for what was to come in the second stanza, Eoin O’Connor ran through virtually unchallenged to blast past Eoin Connolly and it was game on again. This time it was Donegal who looked unstoppable while the Gaels lost their way. Some chances that fell to the westerners were badly missed, and badly needed, and at the other end Paddy and Eoin Bradley made hay with three points unanswered.
Entering the last quarter it was the Gaels hanging on by a thread to a one goal lead. Changes were made with Ronan Kennedy, Jack Wyndham, and Noel Graham entering the fray for the Gaels and Darragh Kavanagh for Donegal. The long ball into the isolated corner forwards from Derry continued to work for Donegal and the deficit was reduced to a single point, and it looked as though Donegal would pull off a massive comeback. However it was two late scores from Leitrim man, Ronan Kennedy, that kept the Gaels noses just about ahead when nobody else in a green and white shirt could find the space between the posts. A big win for the Gaels, however, once this Donegal team settles into the remainder of the championship they will be hard to beat.
Donegal: B. Flynn, D. Monagle, J. Noctor, R. Dunleavy, G. Brennan, C. Russell, R. Caldwell, B. Donnelly, J. Campbell, E. O’Connor, G. Gallagher, P. Bradley, E. Bradley. Gaels: E. Connolly, L. Cullen, A. Girvan, F. Cooney, R. Caffrey, D. Larkin, R. Hyde, B. Boylan, S. Conneeley, C. Sheehan, J. O’Brien, R. Rafferty, J. Kielt.
Junior B Football
Connemara Gaels 3-8 Hartford 1-4
Donegal 0-19 Cork 0-14
Junior C Hurling
Hartford 2-5 Portland 2-15