All-Ireland Under 16 Hurling Championship

The following were the results of the Tipperary Supporters Club Under 16 hurling tournament finals played at Semple Stadium on Sunday:

Shield Final – Clare 1-11 Westmeath 1-9

Final – Tipperary 2-21 Galway 2-13

The following are the results of the Group rounds and semi finals of Tipperary Supporters Club Under 16 Hurling Tournament played on Saturday:

Group 1: Limerick 1-9 Wexford 1-6; Limerick 0-15 Offaly 1-5; Wexford 1-10 Offaly 1-9

Group 2: Waterford 3-8 Cork 1-12; Galway 3-14 Waterford 0-7; Galway 3-7 Cork 1-10

Group 3: Kilkenny 2-9 Westmeath 0-13; Dublin 2-7 Kilkenny 0-7; Westmeath 2-12 Dublin 2-9

Group 4: Tipperary 4-9 Clare 0-6; Tipperary 4-23 Antrim 0-4; Clare 5-16 Antrim 0-1

Shield Semi Finals:

Clare 1-14 Wexford 1-9; Westmeath 4-9 Waterford 2-8

Cup Semi Finals:

Tipperary 2-15 Limerick 1-12; Galway 0-14 Dublin 0-12

Launch

The launch of this year’s Tipperary Supporters Club All Ireland Under 16 hurling championship was presided over by Christy Cooney, Uachtarán, Cumann Lúthchleas Gael at the County Tipperary Golf and Country Club, Dundrum on Friday night May 15th. This annual inter-county festival of hurling is in its 22nd year and twelve counties will be taking part on the weekend of 29th and 30th August.

The competition is organised by Tipperary GAA Bord na nÓg and is kindly sponsored by the Tipperary Supporters Club.

Tipperary tops the roll of honour for this competition with nine titles. Galway are next with seven titles. Kilkenny with three titles and Clare and Wexford with one are the only other counties on the roll of honour. Wexford are the reigning champions having defeated Kilkenny in last year’s decider to claim their first title.

As well as Christy Cooney the attendance at the launch included Barry O’Brien, County Senior Board Chairman; Seán Creamer, County Bord na nÓg Chairman and John Tierney, Chairman of Tipperary Supporters Club.

Representatives from a number of the competing counties were also in attendance.

The complete draw is as follows:

GROUP 1

Venue: Kilsheelan

A. Wexford

B. Limerick

C. Offaly

GROUP 2

Venue: Clonmel Sports field

St. Marys’ Pitch

A. Cork

B. Waterford

C. Galway

GROUP 3

Venue: Ardfinnan

A. Westmeath

B. Kilkenny

C. Dublin

GROUP 4

Venue: Monroe

Moyle Rovers Pitch

A. Clare

B. Tipperary

C. Antrim

SEMI FINALS

Group 3 -V- Group 2

Group 4 -V- Group 1

Cup semi-finals: Group 1 winner V Group 4 winner in Monroe

Group 2-winner V Group 3 winner in Clonmel Sportsfield

Shield semi-finals Group 1 runners up V Group 4 runner up in Kilsheelan

Group 2 runners up V Group 3 runner up in Ardfinnan

• Top team in each group qualifies for Cup semi finals.

• Second placed team in each group qualifies for Shield semi finals.

• If teams tie on equal points scoring difference will apply.

• Group matches – 20 minutes-a-side.

• Semi Finals – 25 minutes-a-side.

• Finals – 30 minutes-a-side.

• In the event of a draw in the semi finals and finals extra time to be played.

The group rounds and the semi finals will be played on Saturday 29th August. The top team in each group will qualify for the Tipperary Supporters Club semi finals and the second placed team in each group will qualify for the Shield semi finals. Both finals will be played on Sunday 30th August. The venues for the group stages will be in South Tipperary clubs and the finals are scheduled for Semple Stadium.

All-Ireland SFC S-Final – Kerry v Meath

Kerry defeated Meath by 2-8 to 1-7 in the All-Ireland Senior Football Championship Semi-Final at Croke Park on Sunday.

Kerry outclass Meath to seal final spot

From the GAA.ie web site

Sunday, August 30.

Kerry will meet their great Munster rivals Cork in the All Ireland final after a comfortable if unimpressive 2-8 to 1-7 semi-final defeat of Meath in Croke Park on Sunday. The Kingdom failed to reproduce the fireworks that saw them annihilate Dublin in the quarter-final, but in truth they did not have to against a Meath side that kicked just 1-2 from play all afternoon. Kerry were 1-3 to 0-4 ahead at half-time after Darran O’Sullivan had given them the lead from the penalty spot in the fourth minute. Tommy Walsh’s introduction before the break proved the match-winning move by Kerry boss Jack O’Connor as the 2008 Young Footballer of the Year scored 1-2 in a fine spell just after half-time. Walsh’s goal in the first minute of the second half appeared to deflate Eamonn O’Brien’s charges, and once Kerry realised that the big full-forward had the beating of Anthony Moyles, they persevered with the tactic to good effect.

Kerry led by 2-7 to 0-5 after 46 minutes and the game was over as a contest, although Cian Ward capped a fine individual display when he netted a consolation goal in junk time to save face for the Royals. Meath were not helped by the poor conditions, which worked against their tactic of playing long balls into the corners for their speedy full-forward line. Frequently, the Royals’ middle men misjudged the final ball and they kicked 11 wides in the first half alone. When Kerry rumbled their game plan, Meath did not have a plan B, their predictability proving their downfall in the end. Kerry appear to have the monopoly on making devastating starts. Having carved Dublin open inside a minute in the quarter-final, their rapid fire opening to this game has more than an element of good fortune to it.

Moyles, who had shrugged off a hamstring injury to take is place in the Meath full-back line, dropped a long ball on the edge of the square and it fell to Colm Cooper, who touched the ball past Moyles before he was dragged back by a flailing arm. The referee had little hesitation in pointing to the penalty spot. Darran O’Sullivan stepped up to face Paddy O’Rourke, but the Glenbeigh man slipped as he struck the shot. He was relieved to see the ball deflect off his trailing leg and dribble home past the wrong-footed goalkeeper. Things got worse for the Royals soon after when their captain and top scorer, Stephen Bray, was forced off the field with a dislocated collar bone. He was replaced by Michael Burke and Seamus Kenney moved back to wing-back, as Meath reverted to the line-up that started in the quarter-final win over Mayo.

Meath were struggling to cope with the slippery conditions in the opening minutes. Kerry were having no such problems and they moved further ahead when Joe Sheridan’s wild cross-field pass was intercepted by Paul Galvin, who fed Cooper for an easy point. They might have grabbed a second goal a minute later when Declan O’Sullivan’s goalbound shot struck Cooper’s foot and went out for a ’45. Meath eventually got off the mark after 15 minutes, having kicked a series of poor wides. Sheridan won possession from the kick drove into Kerry territory and offloaded to Brian Farrell, who kicked a point with typical ease. Tommy Walsh came on for his namesake, Donncha, after 28 minutes after Jack O’Connor assembled his charges at the break to spell out the change in tactic to draw the giant full-forward into the game. In the meantime, Meath managed a purple patch just before the break as Cian Ward struck a free followed by a glorious sideline kick to leave them just two points down at half-time.

However, Kerry were a different team in the first ten minutes of the second half. A fine goal inside a minute helped them shake off the rust that was prevalent in the first half. Tadhg Kennelly delivered a high ball into the edge of the square and Walsh beat Moyles before slipping it past the Meath goalkeeper. He added a point three minutes later to stamp his authority on the game. Kennelly added another and suddenly Kerry were seven points to the good. Joe Sheridan and Ward – from another glorious sideline kick – hit back for Meath, but Kerry had little difficulty containing their challenge over a scoreless next 17 minutes. In that time, the Kingdom could have netted another goal, but O’Rourke made a fine save after Cormac McGuinness had misjudged the flight of a ball that had drifted all the way in from a speculative sideline kick. Kennelly added another Kerry point in the 65th minute, before Brian Farrell added a point and Ward a fine goal in the dying minutes that proved nothing more than window dressing.

Kerry: D Murphy, M Ó Sé, T Griffin, T O’Sullivan, T Ó Sé, M McCarthy, K Young, D Ó Sé, S Scanlon, P Galvin, T Kennelly (0-2), D Walsh, C Cooper (0-3, 0-2f), Declan O’Sullivan, Darren O’Sullivan (1-1, 1-0 pen).

Subs: T Walsh (1-2) for D Walsh ’28, A O’Mahony for Young ’50, M Quirke for D Ó Sé ’60, P O’Connor for Cooper ’60, B Sheehan for Declan O’Sullivan ’66.

Meath: P O’Rourke, C O’Connor, A Moyles, E Harrington, S Kenny, C McGuinness, C King, N Crawford, B Meade, P Byrne, J Sheridan (0-1), S Bray, D Bray, B Farrell (0-2, 1f), C Ward (1-4, 0-2f, 0-2 sl).

Subs: M Burke for S Bray ‘6, J Queeney for Kenny ’45, N McKeigue for D Bray ’49, M Ward for Crawford ’53, K Reilly for King ’57.

Referee: G Ó Conámha (Galway)

Kerry give little away in cruising past Meath

From the Irish Independent newspaper

Monday August 31 2009

NEVER mind the journey — it’s all about the destination. Kerry head into September in familiar territory, having qualified for the All-Ireland final for the sixth successive year and for the eighth time this decade. The voyage hasn’t been without its troubles but they survived all the squalls and will sail into the final quite confident that they can mark the GAA’s 125th anniversary in the company of Sam Maguire. They will have to play a whole better than they did against Meath in yesterday’s semi-final but, as they proved against Dublin, they are well capable of turning up the power when the occasion demands.

They needed to do it early on against Dublin to convince themselves that the inertia which had clung to them up to then wasn’t a permanent condition and while they dropped back considerably yesterday, they were still far too good for Meath in a terribly disappointing game. The final score flattered Meath, who trailed by 2-8 to 0-6 heading into stoppage time before a pointed free by Brian Farrell and a consolation goal from Cian Ward ate into Kerry’s lead, even if there was never a possibility of it being completely wiped out. Indeed, from the moment Tommy Walsh scored Kerry’s second goal in the first minute of the second half, Meath were chasing a lost cause. Even then they didn’t do it particularly well, scoring just two points (one from a line ball) in 35 minutes before finally making some progress in stoppage time. Kerry didn’t have to do anything especially impressive to put daylight between themselves and their sloppy pursuers, who were in trouble in every line, starting with goalkeeper Paddy O’Rourke, whose kicking put his side under pressure on several occasions.

It was an added problem in a long line for Meath, but it was far from the perfect display from Kerry either. The sides kicked 32 wides between them while they managed a total of 18 scores, which is unusually low for any game, let alone an All-Ireland semi-final played on a calm, damp afternoon. Pre-match rain left the pitch extremely slippy and, with some players obviously wearing the wrong boots for the conditions, there were several examples of players falling over as they tried to turn. Bouncing the ball was also a hazardous business as it tended to squirt away from the carrier. Still, the conditions can’t be blamed for all the poor kicking and most certainly not for the inaccurate passing which led to a remarkably high number of possession turnovers. Meath were especially culpable in this regard and since they were operating off a lower possession ratio than Kerry, they could ill-afford to be so careless.

Just as they had done against Dublin, Kerry struck early in the first half, albeit with considerable help from Meath in the form of a rash tackle by full-back Anthony Moyles on Colm Cooper in the third minute. The main danger appeared to have passed as the ball had squirted away but Moyles took Cooper’s legs, prompting referee Gearoid O Conamha to signal for a penalty. Darran O’Sullivan slipped as he made contact with the ball but his shot still beat O’Rourke, who also lost his footing, to set Kerry on their way. However, unlike the quarter-final, where Dublin melted under the early heat, Meath hung on in there and created enough chances to build up a decent score, but were betrayed by poor shooting. Farrell’s 15th-minute point was their only score of a first quarter, during which they shot seven wides. By half-time, their wides tally had reached 10 (to Kerry’s seven) but two late points from Ward had cut the deficit to two points, 1-3 to 0-4.

Farrell’s point was Meath’s only score from open play, a truly dismal return, but Kerry weren’t a whole lot better, as 1-1 of their total had come from placed balls. Meath had to begin repair work after just seven minutes when captain Stephen Bray was forced out with an injured collar bone, and Jack O’Connor began unloading his subs after 28 minutes when he sent Tommy Walsh in for Donncha Walsh. It was to prove hugely significant as Walsh went on to score 1-2. His goal came a minute into the second half when Tadhg Kennelly targeted him with an accurately delivered diagonal ball which Walsh fielded expertly before spinning away from Moyles and beating O’Rourke with a crisp drive. By the 46th minute, Kerry had opened up an eight-point advantage (2-7 to 0-5) and the contest was effectively over. The only remaining item on the agenda was whether or not Kerry would gallop on towards the sort of score they produced against Dublin, but Meath kept battling on, even if a recovery was never on the cards. Still, they restricted Kerry to one point in the closing 25 minutes but could make no impression at the other end until stoppage time.

By then, Kerry could afford to lose concentration as they had banked enough to withstand a few raids. If Walsh’s arrival led to a major improvement in the Kerry attack, they had several other plus factors too which underpinned their efforts to become the first team since Dublin in 1974-’79 to reach six successive All-Ireland finals. Kennelly and Paul Galvin were industrious all through the game; Seamus Scanlon did well at midfield, while Mike McCarthy locked the defence tightly from his centre-back look-out point. His return to the scene has greatly strengthened the Kerry defence, and Marc O Se and Tom O’Sullivan also did well in front of goalkeeper Diarmuid Murphy, who is enjoying a really good season. O’Connor was in the happy position of being able to withdraw Darragh O Se and Cooper on the hour mark, with Declan O’Sullivan following some minutes later.

Meath manager Eamonn O’Brien also emptied his bench, but it made no appreciable difference on a day when the Meath attack found the Kerry defence far more security-conscious than Mayo had been in the quarter-final. Cork manager Conor Counihan, who was among the 50,770 crowd, won’t have learned anything about Kerry that he didn’t already know. They won with the minimum of fuss yesterday and will be happy to have conceded so little but, at the same time, will not be satisfied with their final return, especially as they shot 16 wides, nine of which came in the second half. Ten scores is remarkably low in a 70-minute game, but then Cork won the Munster final after scoring just eight times against Limerick. Bookmaker reaction to yesterday’s game was to install Cork as marginal favourites to win the final, leaving Kerry in the most unusual position of being outsiders on the big day. It’s a rating they will relish. For while they were far from foot-perfect yesterday, they still did more than enough to grab control of a game that certainly won’t go down as one of the classic semi-finals. Meath had taken full advantage of the ‘back door’ to re-build their season and then gave their supporters real hope when they hit Mayo for 2-15 in the quarter-final but it was back to reality yesterday against a superior force who would probably have found another gear had the occasion demanded.

Scorers —

Kerry: T Walsh 1-2, Darran O’Sullivan 1-1 (1-0 pen), C Cooper 0-3 (2f), T Kennelly 0-2.

Meath: C Ward 1-4 (0-2f, 0-2 sidelines), B Farrell 0-2 (1f), J Sheridan 0-1.

Kerry: D Murphy 7; M O Se 7, T Griffin 6, T O’Sullivan 7; T O Se 7, M McCarthy 8, K Young 6; D O Se 6, S Scanlon 7; P Galvin 7, T Kennelly 8, D Walsh 5; C Cooper 6, Declan O’Sullivan 6, Darran O’Sullivan 6. Subs: T Walsh 8 for D Walsh (28), A O’Mahony 7 for Young (51), M Quirke 6 for D O Se (60), P O’Connor 6 for Cooper (60), B Sheehan for Declan O’Sullivan (66).

Meath: P O’Rourke 5; C O’Connor 6, A Moyles 5, E Harrington 7; S Kenny 5, C McGuinness 6, C King 5; N Crawford 5, B Meade 5; S Bray 5, J Sheridan 6, P Byrne 5; C Ward 7, D Bray 5, B Farrell 6. Subs: M Burke 6 for S Bray (7), J Queeney 6 for Kenny (45), N McKeigue 5 for D Bray (48), M Ward 5 for Crawford (54), K Reilly 5 for King (58).

Referee: G O Conamha (Galway)

Team News

Meath (SF v Kerry): P O’Rourke; C O’Connor, A Moyles, E Harrington; S Kenny, C McGuinness, C King; N Crawford, B Meade; P Byrne, J Sheridan, S Bray (capt); D Bray, B Farrell, C Ward

Kerry team V Meath in All Ireland Semi Final 09

(1) Diarmuid Murphy (Dingle)

(2) Marc Ó Sé (An Ghaeltacht)

(3) Tommy Griffin (Dingle)

(4) Tom O’Sullivan (Rathmore)

(5) Tomás Ó Sé (An Ghaeltacht)

(6) Mike McCarthy (Kilcummin)

(7) Killian Young (Renard)

(8) Darragh Ó Sé (An Ghaeltacht)

(9) Seamus Scanlon (Currow)

(10) Paul Galvin (Finuge)

(11) Tadhg Kennelly (Listowel Emmett’s)

(12) Donnacha Walsh (Cromane)

(13) Colm Cooper (Dr. Crokes)

(14) Declan O’Sullivan (Piarsaigh Na Dromada)

(15) Darran O’Sullivan (Glenbeigh/Glencar) (Captain)

Subs:

(16) Ger Reidy (Castleisland Desmonds)

(17) Aidan O’Mahony Aodán Ó Mathúna (Rathmore)

(18) Tommy Walsh (Kerins O’Rahilly)

(19) Bryan Sheehan Brian Ó Siocháin (St. Mary’s)

(20) Micheál Quirke (Kerins O’Rahillys)

(21) Paul O’Connor (Kenmare)

(22) Padraig Reidy (Scartaglin)

(23) David Moran (Kerins O’Rahilly’s)

(24) Seán O’Sullivan (Cromane)

(25) Anthony Maher (Duagh)

(26) Daniel Bohan (Austin Stacks)

(27) Aidan O’Shea (Glenbeigh/Glencar)

(28) Barry John Walsh Barra (Kerins O’Rahillys)

(29) Maurice Corridan (Finuge))

(30) Kieran Quirke (Duagh)

(31) Ronán Ó Flatharta (An Ghaeltacht)

(32) Kieran Donaghy (Austin Stacks)

Bainsteoir: Jack O’Connor (Piarsaigh Na Dromada)

Traenálaí: Alan O’Sullivan (Kerins O’Rahilly’s)

Roghnóirí: Ger O’Keeffe (Austin Stacks) Eamon Fitzmaurice (Finuge)

Snippets

Kerry’s win over Dublin in the All-Ireland Quarter-Final means that they have remained unbeaten in the All-Ireland quarter-final since the new system was introduced in 2001.

Their record reads: Played 10, Won 9, Drew 1. The draw was against Dublin in 2001 while wins were as follows: Dublin (2001-04-09), Galway (2002-2008), Roscommon (2003), Mayo (2005), Armagh (2006), Monaghan (2007).

Match Preview

Cork are through to the GAA All-Ireland senior football final and, barring a draw, their opponents will be known next Sunday when Kerry and Meath meet in the second semi-final in Croke Park (3.30). Kerry are bidding to reach the final for the sixth successive year and for the 8th time this decade while Meath last reached the final in 2001 where they lost to Galway. If Kerry win, they will set up a repeat of the 2007 All-Ireland final against Cork while Meath last met Cork in the final in 1999. Meath won that game by three points but the Rebels are now back in the final after dethroning reigning champions, Tyrone in last Sunday’s semi-final. They won by 1-13 to 0-11 to book a place in the final for the second time in three seasons.

Paths to the semi-final

Kerry

Kerry 0-13 Cork 1-10 (Munster semi-final) Cork 1-17 Kerry 0-12 (Replay) Kerry 1-12 Longford 0-11 (Qualifiers Round 2) Kerry 0-14 Sligo 1-10 (Qualifiers Round 3) Kerry 2-12 Antrim 1-10 (Qualifiers Round 4) Kerry 1-24 Dublin 1-7 (All-Ireland quarter-final) Played 6, Won 4, Drew 1, Lost 1.

Kerry scorers

Colm Cooper………………….1-25 (0-17 frees) Tommy Walsh………………..2-6 Declan O’Sullivan………….0-10 Paul Galvin……………………1-7 Bryan Sheehan……………….0-8 (6 frees) Sean O’Sullivan……………..0-6 (3 frees) Darren O’Sullivan………….0-5 Donncha Walsh………………0-5 Tadhg Kennelly………………0-4 Paul O’Connor………………0-4 (3 frees) Darragh O Se…………………0-3 David Moran…………………0-1(‘45’) Tomas O Se……………………0-1 Tom O’Sullivan…………….0-1 Seamus Scanlon…………….0-1

Meath

Dublin 0-14 Meath 0-12 (Leinster quarter-final) Meath 1-20 Waterford 0-8 (Qualifiers Round 1) Meath 1-15 Westmeath 1-5 (Qualifiers Round 2) Meath 2-12 Roscommon 0-11 (Qualifiers Round 3) Meath 1-13 Limerick 2-9 (Qualifiers Round 4) Meath 2-15 Mayo 1-15 (All-Ireland quarter-final) Played 6, Won 5, Lost 1.

Meath scorers

Cian Ward………………..2-22 (0-15 frees, 0-5 ‘45s,’1-0 pen) Joe Sheridan……………..1-12 David Bray………………..2-8 (0-2 frees) Brian Farrell……………..0-11 Peadar Byrne…………….1-8 Stephen Bray……………..0-7 Jamie Queeney…………..1-2 Cian O’Connor………….0-5 Shane McAnarney……..0-3 Caoimhin King………….0-2 Cormac McGuinness….0-2 Nigel Crawford…………..0-2 Mark Ward……………….0-1 Seamus Kenny……………0-1 Brian Meade………………0-1

Previous Kerry-Meath championship clashes

Somewhat surprisingly, Kerry and Meath have met only six times in the championship, three in All-Ireland semi-finals and three in finals. Kerry won four to Meath’s two.

2001: Meath 2-14 Kerry 0-5 (All-Ireland semi-final)

1986: Kerry 2-13 Meath 0-12 (All-Ireland semi-final)

1970: Kerry 2-19 Meath 0-18 (All-Ireland final)

1954: Meath 1-13 Kerry 1-7 (All-Ireland final)

1947: Kerry 1-11 Meath 0-5 (All-Ireland semi-final)

1939: Kerry 2-5 Meath 2-3 (All-Ireland final)

Last Championship Clash

Meath 2-14 Kerry 0-5 (2001 All-Ireland semi-final)
A truly remarkable scoreline as Meath overwhelmed the reigning All-Ireland champions. Meath led by 1-6 to 0-4 at half-time but the expected Kerry revival never came. A point by sub Declan Quill was Kerry’s only score in the second half while Meath added 1-8 to run out 15-point winners. It was Kerry’s biggest championship defeat since losing to Cork by 2-23 to 1-11 in the 1990 Munster final.

Meath: Cormac Sullivan; Mark O’Reilly, Darren Fay, Cormac Murphy; Donal Curtis, Hank Traynor (0-1), Nigel Nestor (0-1); Nigel Crawford; John McDermott (1-0); Evan Kelly (0-2), Trevor Giles (0-1), Richie Kealy (0-1); Ollie Murphy (0-4), Graham Geraghty (0-1), Ray Magee (0-3).

Subs: John Cullinane (1-0) for Magee, Paddy Reynolds for Curtis; Mick O’Dowd for Kelly, Jody Devine for Kealy.

Kerry: Declan O’Keeffe; Mossy Lyons, Seamus Moynihan, Michael McCarthy; Mike Hassett, Eamonn Fitzmaurice, Tom O’Sullivan; Darragh O Se, Donal Daly; Eoin Brosnan (0-1), Noel Kennelly Aodan MacGearailt; Mike Frank Russell (0-1), Dara O Cinneide (0-1), Johnny Crowley (0-1).

Subs: Tommy Griffin for Hassett, Maurice Fitzgerald for O’Sullivan, William Kirby for O Cinneide, John McGlynn for Daly, Declan Quill (0-1) for MacGearailt.

Last Ten semi-finals

Kerry have won seven, drawn one and lost two of their last ten semi-finals. Next Sunday’s game will be their 12th semi-final clash this decade, including two draws.

They have reached the semi-final every year this decade.

2008: Kerry 2-14 Cork 1-13 (Replay)

2008: Kerry 1-13 Cork 3-7 (Draw)

2007: Kerry 1-15 Dublin 0-16

2006: Kerry 0-16 Cork 0-10

2005: Kerry 1-19 Cork 0-9

2004: Kerry 1-17 Derry 1-11

2003: Tyrone 0-13 Kerry 0-6

2002: Kerry 3-19 Cork 2-7

2001: Meath 2-14 Kerry 0-5

2000: Kerry 2-15 Armagh 1-15 (After extra-time)

Played 10, Won 7, Drew 1, Lost 2

Meath

Meath have a good record in All-Ireland semi-finals, winning eight of their last ten since 1970. Meath’s only semi-final defeats in that period were against Cork in 2007 and Kerry in 1986.

2007: Cork 1-16 Meath 0-9

2001: MEATH 2-14 KERRY 0-5

1999: Meath 0-15 Armagh 2-5

1996: Meath 2-15 Tyrone 0-12

1991: Meath 0-15 Roscommon 1-11

1990: Meath 3-9 Donegal 1-7

1988: Meath 0-16 Mayo 2-5

1987: Meath 0-15 Derry 0-8

1986: KERRY 2-13 MEATH 0-12

1970: Meath 0-15 Galway 0-11

Tony Forristal Under 14 Hurling tournament

Tipperary defeated Waterford by 3-7 to 2-2 in the Tony Forristal Under 14 hurling tournament final played on Sunday.

Results of the Tony Forristal Under 14 hurling tournament finals on Sunday:

Division 1 – Tipperary 3-7 Waterford 2-2

Division 2 – Tipperary ‘B’ 2-2 Waterford ‘B’ 2-7

Match Report

Tony Forrestal U14 Hurling 2009

Tipperary 3-7 Waterford 2-2

Report by Tom O’Donnell

Tipperary defeated Waterford in the final of the Tony Forrestal intercounty under 14 hurling tournament played in Mount Sion GAA grounds, Waterford on Sunday the 30th of August. The final score was Tipperary 3.07. to Waterford 0.12, Tipperary had qualified for the Final on Saturday 29th by virtue of winning section 1A of the competition, this section included Clare, Cork and Limerick. In the first round Tipperary drew with Clare 0.08 apiece. The second round finished Tipperary 3.05 to Cork 1.05 In the final round Tipperary faced Limerick who had a narrow win over Clare and had to win to stay in contention, the final score was Tipperary 3.07 Limerick 1.07 and Tipperary were in their second final in 3 years

Tipperary returned to the Mount Sion GAA grounds on Sunday to take on Waterford who had overcome Wexford in the semi-final, Tipperary won the toss and elected to play with a slight breeze, the game was at evenly matched for the first five minutes but then Waterford broke through for a well taken Goal, this spurred Tipperary into life and they dominated for the remainder of the half with goals from Tom Kirwan, Joshua Keane, and Jack Shelley, two pointed long range frees from Austin Tierney, Conor Lanigan, Jack Shelley and Tom Kirwan added points to leave the half time score at Tipperary 3.05 Waterford 1.02

The second half was a dour affair with Tipperary hounding the Waterford players on the ball and limiting them to a goal and a point in the second period, Tipperary added late points from Aidan Moloney and Kieran O’Dwyer to leave the Final score Tipperary 3.07 to Waterford 2.03. All the players and 5 substitutes gave it their all in the final. Joshua Keane Golden Kilfeacle Captain collected the trophy in what was Tipperary’s 10th Tony Forrestal victory, He also collected the player of the final award

Tipperary: Daryl Ryan, Roscrea, Jack Lineen, Dúrlas Og, Cathal Kennedy, Toomevara, Barry Heffernan, Eire Og Nenagh, Eoin Kehoe, Kilsheelan, Austin Tierney, Shannon Rvs, Kieran O’Dwyer, Holycross Ballycahill, Gerard Barlow, Golden Kilfeacle, Tom Kirwan, Ballybacon Grange, Ross Mulcahy, Moyle Rovers, Joshua Keane, Golden Kilfeacle, Brian Kennedy, J K Brackens, Jack Shelley, Mullinahone, Joey Knight, Portroe, Conor Lanigan, Dúrlas Og

Subs: Aidan Moloney, Newport, for Ger Barlow, Kevin Dunne, Dúrlas Og for Conor Lanigan, Fionnan O’Sullivan, Skeheenarinke, for Brian Kennedy, Jamie Woods, Holycross Ballycahill for Jack Shelley, Rory O’Regan, Moycarkey Borris for Joe Knight

Sub Goalie: Robert Larkin, Moyne Templetuohy

Tom Fox, Eire Og played against Clare and was injured against Cork

Sean Ryan, Sean Treacys played against Clare and Cork

Ronan Maher, Dúrlas Og played against Limerick

Mark Gleeson, Templederry & Mark McCarthy, Toomevara were injured in club games and were unable to take part

Coach: Kevin Butler Drom & Inch

Selectors: Tom O’Donnell, Golden Kilfeacle, Séamus Doran, Roscrea,Michael Hassett, Moycarkey Borris,Hugo Browne, Killenaule

Physio/First Aid: Sandra Molloy

TG4 Ladies All-Ireland Senior Football Championship Semi-final – Cork v Mayo

CORK remain on course for a fifth successive TG4 All-Ireland Ladies senior football championship crown after booking their place in the September 27 final on Saturday.

The all-conquering Leesiders ran out 3-10 to 1-9 semi-final winners against Mayo at McDonagh Park in Nenagh and will meet Dublin or Monaghan in the showpiece Croke Park decider.

Wing-forward Amy O’Shea was the two-goal heroine for Cork, with goals in each half arriving at opportune moments.

O’Shea fired home her opening goal five minutes before half-time as the Rebelettes opened up a 1-5 to 0-2 half-time lead and the Inch Rovers star grabbed another midway through the second half.

That second goal was answered in kind within a minute by Mayo’s leading scorer Cora Staunton but even though the beaten Connacht finalists gave Cork a stern examination in an entertaining game, the champions had enough in reserve.

Staunton shot 1-7 for Mayo, including two superb long-range points from play in the second half, but it still wasn’t enough as the Westerners bowed out of the championship at the semi-final stage for the second successive year.

Wing back and player of the match Briege Corkery made the game safe for Cork with less than two minutes remaining as yet another surge from defence resulted in a superb goal, driven high to the net past Mayo netminder Yvonne Byrne.

Corkery said: “We were favourites on the day but we knew that Mayo would give us a hell of a game.

“They’re an outstanding side and that was our first test of the year really.

“We know we have a bit of work to do now, we were a bit slow on the ball and hopefully we’ll pick that up for the All-Ireland.”

All-Ireland IHC Final – Cork v Kilkenny

Cork defeated Kilkenny by 2-23 to 0-16 in the All-Ireland Intermediate Hurling Championship Final on Saturday in Fraher Field Dungarvan.

Fixture Details

29.08.2009 (Sat)
GAA Hurling All Ireland Intermediate Championship Final
Fraher Field, 3.30pm
Cill Chainnigh v Corcaigh
Dungarvan
Referee: Seanie McMahon (An Clár)
(E.T. if Necessary)

Team News

The Cork Intermediate Hurling team to play Kilkenny in Saturdays All-Ireland Final will be as follows:

Anthony Nash (Kanturk)

Barry Coleman (Ballyhea)

Dara Sweeney (Blarney) – Capt.

Billy Murphy (Fr. O Neills)

John Carey (Dripsey)

Ross Cashman (Kilbrittain)

Joe Jordan (Blarney)

Eoin Dillon (Milford)

Leigh Desmond (Youghal)

Rory Dwyer (Ballymartle)

Mark O Sullivan (Dripsey)

Lorcán McLochlan (Kanturk)

Maurice O Sullivan ( Ballyhea)

Luke Farrell (Midleton)

Stephen Moylan (Douglas)

Carrigdhoun Munster GAA U-15 Hurling Competition

Carrigdhoun/Munster Gaa Fe 15 Hurling Competition

Organised by the South East Cork Junior Divisional Board

CARRIGALINE (Co. Cork) GAA GROUNDS

SATURDAY AUGUST 29th. 2009.

The 14th. Annual Carrigdhoun/Munster Fe 15 Hurling Competition takes place on Saturday August 29th. with all games taking place in the Carrigaline GAA Grounds.

Five counties, Cork, Limerick, Clare, Waterford and Tipperary will be participating and the winners will be presented with the Teddy Hanley Memorial Cup.

The competition is played on League basis with the Top 2 counties contesting the final.

Competition gets underway at 10.30a.m. and the final is down for decision at 3.45p.m.

All games are 30 minutes (15 minutes per half) with the Final 40 minutes (20 minutes per half).

Roll of Honour

Cork (9) – 1997, 1998, 200, 2001, 2002,2003, 2004, 2005, 2007

Clare (2) – 1999, 2006

Limerick (1) – 1996

Tipperary (1) – 2008

The programme of games is

PITCH 1 PITCH 2

10.30a.m. Cork v Waterford Tipperary v Limerick

11.20a.m. Limerick v Clare Cork v Tipperary

12.15p.m. Cork v Limerick Clare v Waterford

1.45p.m. Tipperary v Clare Limerick v Waterford

2.45p.m. Waterford v Tipperary Cork v Clare

3.45p.m. FINAL

All-Ireland SFC S-Final – Cork v Tyrone

Cork defeated Tyrone by 1-13 to 0-11 in the All-Ireland Senior Football Championship Semi-Final at Croke Park on Sunday.

Cork dethrone champions Tyrone

From the GAA.ie web site

Sunday, August 23.

Cork 1-13 Tyrone 0-11

Cork overcame the first-half dismissal of Alan O’Connor to dethrone champions Tyrone with a superb performance in an absorbing All Ireland semi-final at Croke Park on Sunday. In the end, Conor Counihan’s impressive charges had five points to spare, but they could easily have won by a far greater margin but for some wayward shooting in the final quarter, such was their complete dominance of the game. Their profligacy was the only sour note on an otherwise seminal day for this Cork team, which will face either Kerry or Meath in next month’s final. They will approach the final with huge confidence after squeezing the life out of the seemingly unbeatable Red Hands.

Cork were on top all over the pitch, but their defence was all but impregnable throughout a tight second half. Tyrone’s forwards continually overturned valuable possession, with attack after attack breaking down as Cork broke at pace to expose the Ulster champions’ wearying legs. Indeed, it appeared at times that Cork were playing with the extra man such was the energy they approached the final quarter. Alan O’Connor had been sent off in the 30th minute at a time when Tyrone were coming back into the game after an horrendous start. The St Colm’s midfielder, who had earlier been booked for a late challenge, was given his marching orders by referee John Bannon for a clumsy but seemingly innocuous tackle on Owen Mulligan. However, the sending off appeared to spur on the Rebels to even further heroics and Tyrone made little use of the extra man, Sean Cavanagh, who played a somewhat defensive role when he came on as a half-time sub for Tommy McGuigan.

Cavanagh was unable to start after struggling with a stomach bug overnight and his arrival at the break failed to wake Tyrone from their slumber. From the first minute, Cork were first to every ball and all-action running style Mickey Harte has fostered in recent years was easily countered by the Rebels, who competed in the physical stakes throughout and came out on top. Cork went on the rampage from the off and snaffled an early goal when Daniel Goulding crashed the ball past Pascal McConnell after just eight minutes. However, they went in just five points up at the break – 1-9 to 0-7 – after Tyrone had managed to get back into the game for a brief period towards the end of the half.

But Cork had dominated the game, especially in the vital middle third, where Enda McGinley’s performance betrayed the nearly two months he missed through injury. The lack of any primary possession meant the Tyrone attack was starved of any possession and key forwards Stephen O’Neill and Owen Mulligan played peripheral roles at time. Cork appeared fired up by Alan O’Connor’s sending off and they upped the physical stakes after the break. For a ten-minute period, they allowed Tyrone to have the ball, but they continually repelled them with crafty defending and thundering tackles. The closest Tyrone came to pegging Cork back was when they reduced the margin to four points in the 41st minute, but the Rebels quickly hit back and managed to keep the champions at arm’s length for the rest of the game.

Cork began a little tentatively as Donncha O’ Connor drove an early free wide and then John Miskella was similarly wayward with a long-range shot minutes later. Ryan McMenamin was handed the unenviable task of marking Pearse O’Neill, but he abandoned his defensive duties in the third minute when he scorched forward from centre-back to land the opening score of the game. Cork were level a minute later when Paul Kerrigan, as is his wont, skinned Davy Harte for pace on the outside and fisted the ball over the bar from a tight angle.

Again, Tyrone edged ahead when Harte found Stephen O’Neill with a long ball and the Former Footballer of the year found his range from out on the left. Bu the pattern of the first half changed irrevocably after eight minutes when Cork stole in for a deserved goal. Graham Canty, the Cork captain, barrelled forward and fed in Colm O’Neill, but his goalbound shot was blocked by PJ Quinn. The ball fell kindly for Goulding, whose emphatic shot crashed to the roof of the net. The goal visibly lifted the Rebels and they began to impose their counter-attacking style on the game. Tyrone were struggling in the middle third and Cork took advantage clinically to kick the next four points without reply.

Pearse O’Neill, who was getting the better off McMenamin in the opening exchanges, found space in the inside forward line and opted to fist the ball over the bar when he might have opted to go for goal. O’Connor landed two further frees and Colm O’Neill hit his first of the day as Cork raced into a 1-6 to 0-2 lead. Kevin Hughes stemmed the Rebel tide when he found acres of room in the middle of the field and raced through the heart of the Cork attack to hit the Red Hands’ first point for 11 minutes. But Goulding reasserted Cork’s dominance when he robbed full-back Conor Gormley of the ball and slotted neatly over. Colm O’Neill then added a stunning point, following some patient build-up play, to leave Cork eight points up and coasting.

Inevitably, the Tyrone response came and they finally seemed to emerge from their stupor as they hit four of the next five points. There were encouraging signs as Brian Dooher started to exert his influence on the game after Miskella had tracked him well over the first 30 minutes. Dooher was the architect of a fine Tyrone score on 28 minutes, his clever low ball finding Stephen O’Neill, who stole past Anthony Lynch and chipped over the bar. O’Neill added a free and Tyrone trailed by 1-9 to 0-7 at the interval. Tyrone needed to come at Cork from the start, but the Rebels nearly put the game beyond any doubt at the start of the second half. Pearse O’Neill’s long-range shot appeared to be drifting wide until it struck a post and fell kindly for Paul Kerrigan, who fumbled the ball when he looked destined to hammer home the killer blow.

The second half played out somewhat unexpectedly as 14-man Cork easily repelled their opponents. Strangely, Cavanagh was deployed in a deep-lying role and he failed to make any major contribution after his arrival. The game spilled over after 54 minutes – at a time when Cork had stretched their lead out to six points again – when Pearse O’Neill appeared to catch Brian McGuigan with a late challenge. Cork showed no signs of weakness and the outcome at that point looked inevitable. Indeed, it seemed like a telling moment when Mickey Harte opted to haul Brian Dooher ashore after just 55 minutes.

In the final quarter, Cork hit an alarming number of wides and could have been made to pay when Cavanagh rattled the post in injury time. However, it was not to be Tyrone’s day and Cork held on for a five-point win.

Tyrone: P McConnell, PJ Quinn, C Gormley, R McMenamin (0-01), D Harte (0-01), Justin McMahon, P Jordan (0-1), K Hughes (0-1), E McGinley, B Dooher, T McGuigan, Joe McMahon, M Penrose (0-1), S O’Neill (0-4, 0-1f), O Mulligan (0-2, 0-2f).

Subs: B McGuigan for T McGuigan (HT), S Cavanagh for McGinley ’46, Sean O’Neill for Gormley ’54, A Cassidy for Dooher ’54, C McCullagh for Joe McMahon ’64.

Cork: A Quirke, R Carey, M Shields, A Lynch, N O’Leary, G Canty, J Miskella, A O’Connor (0-1), N Murphy, P Kerrigan (0-1), P O’Neill (0-1), P Kelly (0-2), D Goulding (1-1), C O’Neill (0-2), D O’Connor (0-4, 0-3f).

Subs: F Goold (0-1) for Goulding ’58, J Hayes for Kerrigan ’60, M Cussen for O’Connor ’66, K O’Connor for O’Leary ’69, Cadogan for Miskella ’71

Referee: J Bannon (Longford)

Attendance: 52, 492

Team News

Cork (SF v Tyrone): A Quirke; R Carey, M Shields, A Lynch; N O Leary, G Canty, J Miskella; A O Connor, N Murphy; P Kerrigan, P O Neill, P Kelly; D Goulding, C O’ Neill, D O Connor.

Tyrone (SF v Cork) – P McConnell; PJ Quinn, C Gormley, R McMenamin; D Harte, Justin McMahon, P Jordan; K Hughes, E McGinley; B Dooher, S Cavanagh, Joe McMahan; M Penrose, S O’Neill, O Mulligan.

Match Preview

Rather surprisingly, Cork and Tyrone meet for only the second time in the GAA All Ireland football championship when they clash in next Sunday’s semi-final in Croke Park (3.30). They previously met in 1973 when Cork won the All-Ireland semi-final by 5-10 to 2-4 en route to winning the All-Ireland title. Cork have played five games to reach the semi-final while Tyrone have played four. Cork last reached the final two years ago while Tyrone are the reigning All-Ireland champions and are attempting to reach the final for the fourth time this decade.

Paths to the semi-final

Cork

Cork 2-18 Waterford 1-7 (Munster quarter-final)
Cork 1-10 Kerry 0-13 (Munster semi-final)
Cork 1-17 Kerry 0-12 Kerry (Replay)
Cork 2-6 Limerick 0-11 (Munster final)
Cork 1-27 Donegal 2-10 (All-Ireland quarter-final)
Average For: 1-17; Average Against: 1-10

Cork scorers

D O’Connor……….3-18 (0-12 frees, 2-0 pens) D Goulding…………1-15 (0-2 frees) P Kerrigan…………2-7 J Miskella…………..0-9 P O’Neill…………..1-4 C O’Neill……………0-6 (0-1 ‘45’) J Masters………….0-4 P Kelly………………0-3 F Goold…………….0-3 P Kissane………….0-2 P O’Flynn…………0-2 G Canty……………0-2 F Lynch……………0-1 N O’Leary………..0-1 M Shields………….0-1

Tyrone

Tyrone 2-10 Armagh 1-10 (Ulster quarter-final)
Tyrone 0-15 Derry 0-7 (Ulster semi-final)
Tyrone 1-18 Antrim 0-15 (Ulster final)
Tyrone 0-16 Kildare 1-11 (All-Ireland quarter-final) Average For: 1-14; Average Against: 1-10

Tyrone scorers

Stephen O’Neill……….1-11 (0-4 frees) S Cavanagh…………….1-7 T McGuigan……………0-10 (0-7 frees) O Mulligan………………0-7 M Penrose………………0-4 (0-1 free) K Hughes……………….0-4 B Dooher………………..0-4 D Harte…………………..0-3 Joe McMahon………..0-3 (0-1 ’45) C Gormley…………….1-0 B McGuigan……………0-2 Justin McMahon…….0-1 Sean O’Neill…………..0-1 P Jordan………………..0-1 R McMenamin……….0-1

All-Ireland Semi-finals in this decade

Cork will be playing in their seventh All-Ireland semi-final this decade but have a poor record, having won just once when they beat Meath in 2007. They also drew one but lost four, all to Kerry. Tyrone have a 100 per cent semi-final record this decade having beaten Kerry, Armagh and Wexford. On each occasion they went on to win the All-Ireland final.

Cork

2008: Kerry 3-14 Cork 2-13 (replay)

2008: Kerry 1-13 Cork 3-7 (Draw)

2007: Cork 1-16 Meath 0-9

2006: Kerry 0-16 Cork 0-10

2005: Kerry 1-19 Cork 0-9

2002: Kerry 3-19 Cork 2-7

Played 6, Won 1, Drew 1, Lost 4.

Tyrone

2008: Tyrone 0-23 Wexford 1-14

2005: Tyrone 1-13 Armagh 1-12

2003: Tyrone 0-13 Kerry 0-6

Played 3, Won 3.

Snippets

Cork maintained their excellent All-Ireland quarter-final run with a comfortable win over Donegal to record their sixth wins from six attempts.

They beat Donegal (2006-09), Mayo (2002), Galway (2005), Sligo (2007), Kildare (2008).

• Tyrone’s win over Kildare was their fourth in the qualifiers. Their quarter-final record reads: Played 8, Won 4, Drew 1, Lost 3. Their wins were against Fermanagh (2003), Dublin (2005-08), Kildare (2009). They drew with Dublin in 2005 and lost to Derry in 2001, Mayo in 2004 and Meath in 2007.

• The Cork-Tyrone semi-final on August 23 will be the first championship clash between the counties since 1973 when Cork won the All-Ireland semi-final by 5-10 to 2-4.

ESB GAA All Ireland MFC S-Final – Kerry v Armagh

Armagh defeated Kerry by 2-10 to 0-10 in the ESB GAA Football All Ireland Minor Championship S-Final on Sunday at Croke Park.

Team News

KERRY (SF v Armagh) – 1. Paul O’Sullivan (Churchill) 2. Matthew Galvin, (Ballymacelligott) 3 .Philip Galvin, (Ballymacelligott) 4.Padraig O’Connor (Gneeveguilla) 5. Greg Gibson, (Waterville), 6. James Coffey, (Beaufort) 7. Michael Brennan, (Churchill) 8. Shane Carroll, (Austin Stacks) 9. Donal O’Sullivan, (Rathmore) 10. Jack Sherwood, (Firies) 11. Damien Kelly, (St. Michael’s/Foilmore) 12. Ian Galvin (Derrynane) 13. Niall O’Shea (Captain), (Piarsaigh na Dromada) 14. Kieran Hurley (St. Pat’s Blennerville) 15. Éanna O’Connor, (St. Michael’s/Foilmore)

Subs: 16. Padraic McCarthy (Rathmore) 17. Jamie O’Sullivan (Kilcummin) 18. Mark Reen (Rathmore) 19. Niall Fitzgerald (Waterville) 20. Danny Wren (Tarbert) 21. Max Thiemann (St. Michael’s/Foilmore) 22. Pa Joy (Laune Rangers) 23. James Walsh (Knocknagoshel) 24. Mark Griffin (St. Michael’s/Foilmore)

Selectors: John Kennedy (St. Mary’s, Asdee) – Manager Liam Ó Rócháin (An Ghaeltacht) Sean O’Leary (Currow) Brendan Donnelly (Waterville)

ESB GAA Hurling All Ireland Minor ‘B’ Championship Final – Kerry v Westmeath

Sublime Boyle breaks Westmeath hearts to seal title for Kerry

From the Irish Independent newspaper

Monday August 24 2009

A superbly drilled Kerry side saw off a gallant Westmeath outfit in this thrilling final, played in Cloughjordan, Co Tipperary, on Saturday afternoon. Kerry can thank the precocious Padraig Boyle for two sublime second-half efforts off the hurley and from play and with fellow wing- forward Patrick O’Keeffe firing over two more vital points, this proved enough to push Kerry clear in the final quarter. Westmeath had the wind in the opening half but it was Kerry who raced 0-5 to 0-1 in front with two points from Shane Nolan and one each from Padraig Boyle and Brian Leen. Westmeath fought back, however, with Barry O’Meara converting a succession of frees and then took the lead when Angus Clarke shot into the Kerry net in the 22nd minute. The Lake County led 1-7 to 0-9 at the interval but the second half was tension-packed with intense championship hurling from both sides.

Barry O’Meara extended Westmeath’s lead with an early second-half point but Kerry then took over and five unanswered points took the Kingdom two clear at the three-quarter stage. However Westmeath fought back and two more points from O’Meara and another from substitute Conor Thompson saw them regain the lead with 13 minutes remaining. Kerry responded in the style of champions though, with points from Sean Weir, O’Keeffe and the score of the game from 15-year-old Boyle that gave Kerry the cushion they managed to hold on to despite a late Westmeath flourish.

Scorers — Kerry: S Nolan 0-6 (0-4f) P Boyle 0-4 (0-1f) P O’Keeffe 0-3, B Brosnan (0-2 ’65s), S Weir 0-2 each, A O’Leary, C Harty, S Dunne, B Leen 0-1 each. Westmeath: B O’Meara 0-9, (0-2 frees) A Clarke 1-0, S Boylan 0-2 (0-1 free) S Donaher, C Thompson 0-1 each

Kerry — N Leen; T Maunsell, M O’Regan, B Murphy; A O’Leary, B Brosnan, J Bowler; C Harty, S Weir; P Boyle, S Leen, P O’Keeffe; S Dunne, S Nolan, B Leen. Subs: L Fitzell for B Leen, S Dowling for S Leen, C McCarthy for J Bowler.

Westmeath — C Scally; A Shields, D Gavin, D Healy; C Boyle, A McGrath, J Cassidy; S Boylan, C O’Brien; G Flynn, A Clarke, S Donaher; E Kincaid, B O’Meara, B Laide. Subs: C Thompson for P Laide, T Doyle for A Shields, D Gavin for G Flynn.

Ref — J O’Mahony (Limerick)

Westmeath edged out by hungry Kerry

Kerry 0-21, Westmeath 1-13

From the Westmeath Examiner newspaper

Westmeath’s Shane Donaher tries to get away from Kerry’s Sean Weir during Saturday’s All-Ireland Minor ‘B’ Hurling final in Cloughjordan. Short the services of many keys players from their memorable Leinster Championship run earlier this year, Westmeath minor hurlers fell at the last fence for the second year running. They lost to a fit and focused Kerry outfit in a very entertaining decider.

With injuries and a bereavement to add to the non-selection of two players who had failed to show for the semi-final win over Armagh, it was a depleted Lake County side who took the field at the well-appointed County Tipperary venue last Saturday, but there was still enough class in the maroon and whites’ squad to suggest that the cup could be won. However, the Kingdom lads’ destruction of Meath in the penultimate round was ominous and the green and golds proved to be a very useful team, roared on by a significantly larger number of fans than their opponents, given that the county had their Under-21 hurlers in action in the curtain-raiser. At the end of a ding-dong struggle, the Kerry lads just about deserved their win, with eight players contributing a very creditable total of 21 points between them, many of the scores of a very high quality. Undoubtedly, this is a trophy that slipped from Westmeath’s grasp and it is truly an enormous pity that not all players showed the competition the respect it deserved. Those who did and wore the maroon jersey with pride will be bitterly disappointed not to have garnered an All-Ireland medal, when Celtic Crosses in hurling are such a rarity in the Lake County.

Westmeath had whatever advantage was accruing from a mainly crossfield wind but it was the Kingdom lads who were the livelier in the early exchanges. They opened the scoring in the second minute with a well-taken point from Shane Nolan, after initial hesitation. Barry O’Meara soon equalised from a 30-metre free, but the winners raced into a four-point lead by the tenth minute with points from Padraig Boyle (a terrific score from 55 metres), a brace of Shane Nolan frees (from 45 and 25 metres respectively) and team captain Brian Leen (a neat point under pressure). Westmeath’s Barry O’Meara almost snuck in for a goal during this perid of Kerry dominance, but the Crookedwood lad was bundled out of it by a tight-marking Kerry defence. O’Meara then made amends with a great point from a tight angle but a lovely point from Shane Dunne put the Munster side 0-6 to 0-2 at the midpoint of the first moiety.

Seamus Qualter’s charges then took control and rattled off three unanswered points. Sandwiched between a great brace from Stephen Boylan (a fine score from play and a 60-metre free), Barry O’Meara maintained his outstanding freetaking form with a converted 40-metre free. His opposite number, Shane Nolan was also on form from placed balls and he rifled over a 30-metre free in the 21st minute. The only goal of the contest arrived in the 23rd minute, a lovely pass from Barry O’Meara picking out Aonghus Clarke and the Under-16 star from Castletown-Geoghegan took a few steps goalward before unleashing a piledriver to the top of the Kerry net. Shane Donaher chipped in with an opportunist point after picking up the sliotar from Stephen Boylan’s long-range free, to put the losers two points to the good. However, this lead was quickly wiped out by Kerry points from Patrick O’Keeffe and a Padraig Boyle free (the change of freetaker indicative that the number 10 had a goal on his mind, but the ball flew over the bar). In the second last minute of normal time, Barry O’Meara converted a routine free to leave Westmeath ahead at the break by the narrowest of margins, 1-7 to 0-9.

Westmeath increased their lead within 25 seconds of the resumption of play, a stumbling Aonghus Clarke doing well to pick out Barry O’Meara who applied a neat finish over the Kerry crossbar. However, the winners clicked into immediate action and fired over four points in as many minutes to take a two-point lead. Four different scorers popped up – Patrick O’Keeffe (a wonderful effort), Shane Nolan (despite being heavily pressurised), Alan O’Leary (timing his run from defence to perfection) and Padraig Boyle (a great individual score). Indeed, it could have got worse for the losers when Shane Dunne’s ‘goal’ was disallowed for a chop en route to goal and Cathal Scally saved a weak shot from Shane Nolan, when a goal looked certain. In the 12th minute, Sean Weir got his name on the scoresheet with a great long-range strike. Westmeath badly needed a score to settle the nerves and it duly arrived from the ever-reliable Barry O’Meara from a 30-metre free. Substitute Conor Thompson then chipped in with an opportunist point after a period of scrappy play and when Barry O’Meara converted a tricky free, it was all to play for with a quarter of an hour remaining, with the sides tied.

Soon afterwards, Cathal Scally blocked Shane Nolan’s half-volleyed shot at the expense of a ’65’ which was expertly converted by Brendan Brosnan. Alan McGrath, who was carrying an injury into the game and operating at full forward rather than his conventional role as defensive pivot, almost got through for a much-needed Westmeath goal before an unmarked Patrick O’Keeffe slotted over a fine Kerry point from 45 metres. Barry O’Meara (a 35-metre free) and Sean Weir (after cleverly shortening his grip on the hurley) then swapped points. A terrific piece of individual stickwork freed Padraig Boyle to rifle over a lovely point, but Barry O’Meara’s frees were keeping the losers in touch and he whipped over his seventh placed ball with five minutes of normal time remaining.

The Kingdom boys were only two points to the good but they wrapped up the title in fine style in the closing minutes. A fabulous point from a tight angle by Colm Harty was followed by another successful Brendan Brosnan ’65’ and a converted free from 25 metres by Shane Nolan. Shane Dunne then came very close to netting for the winners and Westmeath’s wholehearted attempts to eke out a face-saving goal were thwarted when Nicky Leen pulled off a great save from Aonghus Clarke’s goalbound rasper, with Alan McGrath unable to bundle home the rebound in a massed goalmouth. Moments later the Kingdom lads were celebrating a rare but deserved title in the small ball game.

Kerry: Nicky Leen; Tommy Maunsell, Mark O’Regan, Bryan Murphy; Alan O’Leary (0-1), Brendan Brosnan (0-2, both from ’65’s), Jason Bowler; Colm Harty (0-1), Sean Weir (0-2); Padraig Boyle (0-4, 0-1 from a free), Stephen Leen, Patrick O’Keeffe (0-3); Shane Dunne (0-1), Shane Nolan (0-6, 0-4 from frees), Brian Leen (0-1). Subs: Luke Fitzell (for B.Leen, 54 mins), Sean Dowling (for S.Leen, 60 +1 mins), Chris McCarthy (for Bowler, 60 +1 mins).

Westmeath: Cathal Scally; Patrick Laide, Diarmuid Garvin, Derek Healy; Cormac Boyle, Adam Sheils, Jordy Cassidy; Stephen Boylan (0-2, 0-1 from a free), Colin O’Brien; Aonghus Clarke (1-0), Glen Flynn, Shane Donaher (0-1); Enda Kincaid, Alan McGrath, Barry O’Meara (0-9, 0-7 from frees). Subs: Thomas Doyle (for Sheils, half-time), Conor Thompson (0-1) (for Kincaid, 40 mins), David Fennell (for Laide, 45 mins), David Higgins (for Flynn, 51 mins).

Referee: Jason O’Mahony (Limerick)

Bord Gáis Energy GAA Hurling All Ireland U21 ‘B’ Championship S-Final – Kerry v Kildare

Kerry defeated Kildare by 2-10 to 0-14 in the Bord Gáis Energy GAA Hurling All Ireland U21 ‘B’ Championship Semi Final on Saturday in Cloughjordan.

Hurling success for Kerry

From the breakingnews.ie web site

Kerry 2-10 Kildare 0-14

Former Wexford senior boss John Meyler was a happy man after Kerry qualified for the All-Ireland U-21 ‘B’ Hurling Championship final with victory against Kildare at Cloughjordan this afternoon. Despite Meyler admitting after the game that his side “hadn’t much preparation put in beforehand”, the Kingdom dug deep to qualify for another All-Ireland decider. Kerry led by 2-6 to 0-10 at the interval thanks to two goals from Dara O’Connell.

Very little could separate the sides for the majority of the opening half – they were locked level at 1-5 to 0-8 in the 22nd minute. Although Kildare broke two points clear thanks to the efforts of Paul Fitzgerald, Kerry finished strongly with O’Connell netting his second goal to open up a two-point interval. Kildare did well to battle back and take the lead on the restart, but Kerry showed the greater resilience as they held on to a two-point buffer at the death.