Allianz NHL Division 1 – Tipperary 2-24 Limerick 0-8

Tipperary defeated Limerick by 2-24 to 0-8 in Round 4 of the Allianz GAA Hurling National League on Sunday at the Gaelic Grounds Limerick.


Allianz National Hurling League Division 1

Tipperary 2-23 Limerick 0-8

By Cathal Ryan

Tipperary ran riot on Sunday afternoon against a much troubled fourteen man Limerick side in their Division 1 National Hurling League clash at the Gaelic Grounds. It was as early as the 12th minute of the match the crucial incident of the game occurred as referee Michael Wadding dished out a second yellow card to Limerick midfielder Dean Madden for a clip across the shoulder of Tipperary midfielder Shane McGrath. The Ballinahinch man continued without any fuss much like Seamus Hennessy did after the first incident involving Madden but the referee felt it necessary to penalise the Bruff man with a second yellow followed by a red.

Tipperary took control at this point of proceedings and in the 24th minute of the first half Timmy Hammersley latched onto a breaking ball in the inside forward line before manouvering enough space to finish to the net off his right hand side. Eight minutes after the restart half time substitute John O Brien instantly controlled a delivery from the right side of the field. O Brien turned and drove an unstoppable effort from 21 yards to the top corner of the Limerick net that consolidated the Tipperary advantage. This may spell the end of this Limerick experimental side as the general view is that at a meeting arranged for Tuesday night a vote of no confidence will be put forward against Justin McCarthy.

The Tipperary manager Liam Sheedy will look to the positive issues that were attained. They have gained another valuable two points in their attempts to reach the league final and some players got some invaluable game time to put in their claim for regular first team duties before the management. Tipperary started the game brighter and when Madden saw red in the 12th minute Eoin Kelly had registered three points from dead balls as Limerick had failed to register any more than four wides. Corner forward Graeme Mulcahy finally registered for the Shannon side outfit in the 14th minute and repeated the feat in the 19th minute but these were the only scores registered by McCarthy’s men in the first half.

Tipperary on the other hand were in cruise control as Seamus Hennessy picked up two points off his trusty left hand side, Gearoid Ryan and Michael Webster both popped up with a score each and Timmy Hammersley scored a point to follow his 24th minute goal leaving Tipperary leading 1-10 to 0-2 at the half time whistle. The second period began in the same mode as Hennessy with two, Hammersley and John O Brien notched up unanswered points in the first five minutes of the second period. Once O Brien netted in moments later with his fantastic strike the biggest cheers of the afternoon were as Liam Sheedy emptied the bench giving stars such as Shane McGrath and Eoin Kelly well deserved breaks. Next up for Liam Sheedy and Tipperary is a clash against Waterford next Sunday where no doubt a more resolute test will be brought by the Deise to Semple Stadium. Meanwhile Limerick will line out in Tullamore next weekend to face Offaly. This question is will Justin McCarthy still patrol the line for next Sunday’s encounter.


Tipperary: Darren Gleeson; Paddy Stapleton, Paul Curran, Conor O Brien; David Young, Padraic Maher, Hugh Maloney; Brendan Maher, Shane McGrath; Seamus Hennessy (0-5), Seamus Callanan, Gearoid Ryan (0-2); Eoin Kelly (0-5,3F,1,65), Michael Webster (0-2), Timmy Hammersley (1-4,1F). Subs: John O Brien (1-2) for S. Callanan (h/t), John Devane (0-2) for S. McGrath (44), Paul Kelly for E. Kelly (44), Michael Heffernan (0-1) for B. Maher (51), Thomas Stapleton for M. Webster (56).

Limerick: Tadgh Flynn; David Lynch, Des Kenny, Shane O Neill; Lorcan O Dwyer, Andrew Brennan, Nicky Quaid; Brian O Sullivan (0-1), Dean Madden; Paul Browne (0-1), James O Brien, Cathal Mullane; Graeme Mulcahy (0-2), Paudie McNamara (0-2, 2F), Alan O Connor. Subs: Peter Harty for C. Mullane (h/t), Anthony Owens (0-1) for A. O Connor (43), Richard McKeogh (0-1) for P. Harty (55), Kieran O Rourke for D. Lynch (58), David O Neill for J. O Brien (64).

Referee: Michael Wadding (Waterford)


Limerick 0-08 Tipperary 2-24

Sunday, 21 March 2010 18:52

From the web site

Tipperary dished out a heavy beating to Limerick in today’s Allianz NHL Division 1 encounter at the Gaelic Grounds. Justin McCarthy’s men lost midfielder Dean Madden to an early red card and never recovered as Tipp cantered into a 1-10 to 0-02 half-time lead. Timmy Hammersley put his name to the opening goal and Eoin Kelly landed five points. A 44th minute goal from John O’Brien put the result beyond any doubt. Such was the one-sided nature of this game, Tipp boss Liam Sheedy took the opportunity to substitute some key players and rest them for forthcoming fixtures.

For technical reasons the scoreboard failed to work at one end of the Gaelic Grounds but Limerick supporters need not have worried too much as their side slumped to another big defeat and were lucky to escape with the scoreline as it was. The under-fire Justin McCarthy and his management team face a crucial vote at an emergency meeting of the Limerick County Board on Tuesday, but it will require a two-thirds majority to have a managerial change made. The meeting will be behind closed doors. Limerick’s cause on this occasion was not helped when midfielder Madden was dismissed for a second yellow card after 13 minutes for a wild pull on Shane McGrath. He had picked up his first yellow after six minutes for another clumsy tackle. While this added to Limerick’s woes, it did little to add atmosphere to a game in which both sides had eight first half wides.

But while Limerick could manage only two points – both efforts from play from Graeme Mulcahy in the 15th and 19th minutes – Tipperary managed 1-10 with Eoin Kelly getting 0-05 (0-04f). The all-important goal came after 25 minutes when Kelly created the chance for young forward Hammersley who managed to round two defenders before beating Limerick goalkeeper Taghg Flynn. Any slender hopes of even a respectable scoreline evaporated for Limerick eight minutes into the second half when half time substitute John O’Brien blasted home a second goal for Tipp, making it 2-15 to 0-02. Two points in 46 minutes of hurling summed up Limerick’s dismal afternoon up to that stage and while Tipperary continued to pick off points, McCarthy’s charges did manage to score six points in the last 22 minutes, two of them from frees. Sheedy hauled off Kelly, Shane McGrath and Seamus Callanan with 20 minutes remaining as the result was done and dusted.

Despite the heavy defeat, number of Limerick defenders, such as Shane O’Neill, Des Kenny and Nicky Quaid, performed well. But from midfield on Limerick were at sea once Madden had departed. Limerick hit 15 wides, one more than Tipperary but for the latter it was not really a pressing matter. This was certainly one of the most lacklustre games in the National League at this venue and while those in support of McCarthy and his management team will claim that the score was not as bad as in the All-Ireland semi-final when they lost by 24 points to Tipperary, today’s result still adds fuel to the fire surrounding the current row on Shannonside. Tipp boss Sheedy must have been impressed with the performances of Seamus Hennessy who scored six points from play, while Hammersley also made a major contribution with 1-04 (0-01f).


Hanging on by a thread

By Cliona Foley for the Irish Independent newspaper

Monday March 22 2010

IF Justin McCarthy thought he was under serious pressure walking into the Gaelic Grounds yesterday afternoon, it had multiplied three-fold by the time he left it. His fate as Limerick manager was already hanging precariously on a confidence vote at tomorrow night’s County Board meeting and that thread was stretched further towards breaking by yesterday’s drubbing. One scoreboard on the Ennis Road ground actually wasn’t working and the other helpfully credited the winners with one point less than they had scored. But there was simply no getting away from this: a 22-point hammering by a deeply under-strength Tipperary that will further increase the pressure on McCarthy to step down.

Cynics pointed out that Limerick’s losing margin was actually two points less than the 24-point slaughter they suffered at Tipp’s hands in last summer’s All-Ireland semi-final but that was a game between two very different teams. Most of last year’s Limerick team won’t play for the current management and, in fairness, any hope their inexperienced second-string side had of holding the Munster champions to even half of that evaporated once midfielder Dean Madden was sent off for his second yellow card after just 13 minutes.

After that there was only ever going to be one result; their fourth league loss in a row this season with by far the heaviest margin. Limerick’s backs battled to the bitter end but their forwards were only able to score two points in the opening 45 minutes and Tipp’s defenders, with Paddy Stapleton operating as the spare man, barely broke a sweat. McCarthy, emerging from the dressing-room flanked on all sides by members of his backroom team, was equally tightly marked by the media afterwards but answered queries on the run, not hanging around long enough for anyone to get in a heavy tackle.

“On Tuesday night, Justin … ” “Ah no, no. I’m not talking about Tuesday night,” he interrupted swiftly, while quipping: “That’s another night” over his shoulder with a chuckle. It is a night expected to feature some very long knives but one man not sticking them into McCarthy yesterday was Tipperary boss Liam Sheedy. We’ve all heard of ‘mercy killings’ and Sheedy pulled off what could only be described as two ‘mercy subbings’ when he withdrew Shane McGrath and Eoin Kelly 10 minutes into the second-half, after John O’Brien had just scored Tipp’s second goal with a 20-yard rasper.

Afterwards Sheedy was particularly empathetic, saying: “Ah the sending-off made a difference. It was very early in the game and it was always going to be tough on Limerick after that.” Shane O’Neill, who starred for South Liberties in their run to last year’s All-Ireland intermediate club final, did indeed do a fantastic job on Kelly, holding him to a point from play in his 0-5 by half-time when Tipp led 1-10 to 0-2. Limerick’s other corner-back David Lynch also did very well until he let Timmy Hammersley goal after 25 minutes. McCarthy described their defenders as getting “a baptism of fire” but agreed that they actually battled it like the bravest of firefighters.

Andrew Brennan and Nicky Quaid were strong in the half-backs and, ridiculous though it may sound given the scoreline, their defence gave as good as they got for long periods. Limerick also could have no quibble with Madden’s dismissal. He picked up his first yellow after six minutes so his decision, eight minutes later, to contest a ball that McGrath had already caught brilliantly, was ill-advised and ref Michael Wadding made the right call. But with their forwards wasteful of the rare enough chances they did create — the only thing Limerick won all day was the wide tallies, 15 to Tipperary’s 14 — their gutsy defenders were under a constant barrage, and when O’Brien rifled Tipper’s brilliant second goal after 45 minutes, the floodgates opened.

“I think Tipp will be the team that’ll go a long way this year,” McCarthy suggested, but Sheedy would admit he couldn’t judge his side on this one. Padraic Maher was imperious at centre-back and McGrath, who had hands like glue, was brilliant in midfield. But apart from Seamus Hennessy, who scored 0-6 from play, the rest of Tipperary’s forwards were far too wasteful and will need to sharpen their sights before facing Waterford next week. On his full county debut Hammersley scored 1-3 from play and his Clonoulty’ clubmate John Devane (0-2) did well when he came on but some of Tipp’s shot selections were dubious at times. As for Limerick, who next face Offaly, the mood locally seemed to be reflected by the elderly man walking past the Gaelic Grounds who said: “The quicker those lads from Ard Scoil Ris grow up the better!”

Scorers — Tipperary: T Hammersley 1-4 (0-1f), S Hennessy 0-6, J O’Brien 1-2, E Kelly 0-5 (0-3f, 0-1 ’65), G Ryan, M Webster, J Devane 0-2, M Heffernan 0-1. Limerick: P McNamara (0-2f), G Mulcahy 0-2 each, B O’Sullivan, P Browne, R McKeogh, A Owens 0-1 each.

Tipperary — D Gleeson; P Stapleton, P Curran, C O’Brien; D Young, P Maher, H Maloney; B Maher, S McGrath; S Hennessy, S Callanan, G Ryan; E Kelly (capt), M Webster, T Hammersley. Subs: J O’Brien for Callanan (h-t), J Devane for S McGrath (44), P Kelly for Kelly (45), M Heffernan for B Maher (51), T Stapleton for Webster (55).

Limerick — T Flynn; D Lynch, D Kenny, S O’Neill; L O’Dwyer, A Brennan, N Quaid; B O’Sullivan, D Madden; P Browne, J O’Brien, C Mullane; G Mulcahy, P McNamara, A O’Connor. Subs: P Harty for Mullane (h-t), A Owens for O’Connor (43), R McKeogh for Harty (55), K O’Rourke for Lynch (58), P Russell for O’Brien (65).

Ref — M Wadding (Waterford).


Another day, another drubbing for Limerick hurlers

From the Irish Times newspaper

Tipperary 2-24 Limerick 0-8

ANOTHER BIG beating for Limerick hurlers as Tipperary strolled to a 22-point victory is sure to spark demands for an end to the crisis which has gripped the county for the past five months. That Limerick were reduced to 14 players after only 13 minutes had a bearing on the outcome but, even so, the lack of experience was evident from early on. Limerick’s cause was not helped when Dean Madden was dismissed for a second yellow card after for a wild pull on Shane McGrath. Limerick could manage only two points in the first half – both from Graeme Mulcahy from play – while Tipperary scored 1-10, with Eoin Kelly getting 0-5 (four frees) to have the visitors leading 1-10 to 0-2 at the end of a miserable half.

The goal came after 25 minutes when Kelly created the chance for Timmy Hammersley, who rounded two defenders before beating Tadhg Flynn. Any slender hopes of even a respectable scoreline evaporated for Limerick eight minutes into the second period when half-time substitute John O’Brien blasted in a second goal for Tipperary. While Tipperary picked off points at will, Limerick did manage six points in the last 22 minutes, two of them from frees. Tipperary manager Liam Sheedy hauled off Eoin Kelly, Shane McGrath and Shane Callanan with 20 minutes remaining. While defenders such as Shane O’Neill, Des Kenny and Nicky Quaid did well for Limerick, from midfield on, they were at sea once Madden departed. Limerick hit 15 wides, one more than Tipperary, but for the latter it not not really matter.

LIMERICK: T Flynn; D Lynch, D Kenny, S O’Neill; L O’Dwyer, A Brennan, N Quaid; B O’Sullivan (0-1), D Madden; P Browne (0-1), J O’Brien, C Mullane; G Mulcahy (0-2), P McNamara (0-2, frees), A O’Connor. Subs: P Harty for Mullane (half-time), A Owens (0-1) for O’Connor, R McKeogh (0-1) for Harty (55 mins), K O’Rourke for Lynch (60 mins), P Russell for O’Brien (65 mins).

TIPPERARY: D Gleeson; P Stapleton, P Curran, C O’Brien; D Young, P Maher, H Moloney; B Maher, S McGrath; S Hennessy (0-6), S Callanan, G Ryan (0-2); E Kelly (0-5, four frees), M Webster (0-2), T Hammersley (1-4, one free). Subs: J O’Brien (1-2) for Callanan (half-time), J Devane (0-2) for McGrath (44 mins), P Kelly for E Kelly, (45 mins), M Heffernan (0-1) for Maher (53 mins), T Stapleton for Webster (67).

Referee: M Wadding (Waterford)


Team News

The Tipperary Senior Hurling team to play Limerick in Sunday’s Allianz GAA Hurling National game at Pairc na nGael has 8 changes from the team which started against Galway last Sunday. Darren Gleeson, Paul Curran, Diarmaid Fitzgerald, David Young, Hugh Maloney, Gearoid Ryan, Micheal Webster and Timmy Hammersley all come into the side. David Young will make his National League debut and Timmy Hammerlsey starts after an impressive debut as a substitute against Galway.

1. Darren Gleeson (Portroe)

2. Paddy Stapleton (Borris-Ileigh)

3. Paul Curran (Mullinahone)

4. Diarmaid Fitzgerald (Roscrea)

5. David Young (Toomevara)

6. Padraic Maher (Thurles Sarsfields)

7. Hugh Maloney (Nenagh Éire Óg)

8. Brendan Maher (Borris–Ileigh)

9. Shane McGrath (Ballinahinch)

10. Seamus Hennessy (Kilruane MacDonaghs)

11. Seamus Callanan (Drom & Inch)

12. Gearóid Ryan (Templederry Kenyons)

13. Eoin Kelly (Mullinahone) Captain

14. Micheál Webster (Loughmore Castleiney)

15. Timmy Hammersley (Clonoulty Rossmore)

Allianz NHL Division 1 – Waterford 2-20 Cork 3-17

Kelly on fire as Waterford rein in Rebels

By Martin Breheny for the Irish Independent newspaper

Monday March 22 2010

EOIN Kelly launched himself on a glorious scoring spree in the Walsh Park sunshine yesterday, landing 1-17 which steered Waterford to a dramatic draw in a game that at times seemed to be sprinting away from them. However, they’re nothing if not dogged and with Kelly pointing frees from all angles and distances they kept Cork in their sights before finishing with a flourish which ended Cork’s 100pc league record. Cork led by five points after 50 minutes, but Waterford continued to pour as much energy as they could muster into their efforts, and when Tomas Ryan whipped home their second goal in the 61st minute, it re-ignited their survival effort. They took the lead in the 64th minute before Cork countered with two points to take the narrowest advantage into stoppage-time.

Waterford plugged on and won a free out on the left which Kelly steered over the bar with the last puck of the game. It was as appropriate as it was inevitable that Kelly emerged as the match-saver as he had been in excellent form on all fronts in a high-quality game which suggests that both sides are keeping very much on target as the season gathers momentum. Kelly scored 0-15 from placed balls and 1-2 from open play, the goal coming in the 23rd minute when his long-range delivery dropped into the net as full-forward Shane Walsh applied intense pressure on Cork goalkeeper Anthony Nash, who would later go off injured.

Cork will be unhappy with the number of frees they conceded because, while Kelly missed one early on, it quickly became apparent that he was ready to embark on another of those scoring blitzes which have been quite common throughout his career. It was fitting then that he should land the equaliser in a game where both sides will have been happy to take a point. “A fair result really. I felt both sides deserved to take something out of it, which happened in the end. Waterford hurled very well in the second half but I thought we put some nice passages of play together too,” said Cork manager Denis Walsh.

A draw keeps Cork in line to win a place in the final for the first time since 2002, while Waterford are in the mix too. What’s more, they’re getting better all the time and with some big names still to return, Davy Fitzgerald has things motoring along nicely. “What I like about these lads is that they always keep fighting back. That takes great character, but then they have plenty of that,” he said. He acknowledged that they did have an issue to address in terms of conceding goals but promised to get it right.

Cork’s giant full-forward, Michael Cussen, hit Waterford for two goals in the first 25 minutes and also helped himself to two points as the visitors raced five points clear by the half-hour mark. Kelly pared two points back before half-time to leave Waterford trailing by 2-9 to 1-9. They had a fresh wind behind them in the second half and seemed to be well on track for victory when they cut the margin to a point after 49 minutes. Both John Mullane and Dan Shanahan had come off the bench to add substance to the Waterford attack while further back, Kelly, Shane O’Sullivan, Aidan Kearney and Mark O’Brien, who had recovered well from his earlier problems with Cussen, were hurling efficiently.

However, Cork injected their own burst of pace into the proceedings with Pat Horgan galloping through for their third goal in the 53rd minute. Ben O’Connor added a point to leave Cork leading by 3-13 to 1-14. It looked as if that might be the decisive break but Waterford put their heads down and worked their way tirelessly to a well-deserved draw. “Games like that are really brings a team on. This is a very competitive National League. There’s real intensity to the games which is exactly what you need at this time of year,” said Walsh. For Fitzgerald and Waterford, it was another encouraging day, even if they won’t be happy to concede three goals against fairly direct threats.

“We have issues we have to deal with in the team — how we’re conceding goals,” Fitzgerald continued. “We’ll identify why the errors are happening and sort them out. I would not cast any blame on Mark O’Brien at full-back. “I wouldn’t fault him for the two goals Michael Cussen got. He had to go to a man and the ball was worked in over him. “I would have to praise him today; he got criticism last week and I don’t think he deserved it.”

It may be of concern too that Waterford were so reliant for scores on Eoin Kelly’s free-taking as it’s unlikely that as many chances will come his way in other games. However, the arrival of Mullane and Shanahan increased the attacking potency, with Mullane slotting over two points and Shanahan imposing his particular brand of menace in front of the Cork goal. “I’m happy with the manner in which we kept fighting back,” Fitzgerald added. “Other teams might have thrown in the towel after getting two or three killer blows. How many times were we six points down? Again in the second half we could have folded. But we didn’t.” Honours even then and with both sides taking plenty positives out of Walsh Park, they will feel it was one of the more constructive days as the season continues to gather pace.

Scorers — Waterford: E Kelly 1-17 (0-14 f, 0-1 ’65’), T Ryan 1-0, J Mullane 0-2, S Prendergast 0-1. Cork: M Cussen 2-2, B O’Connor 0-8 (0-7f), P Horgan 1-2, C Naughton 0-3, T Kenny, J Gardiner 0-1 each.

Waterford — C Hennessy; E Murphy, M O’Brien, N Connors; A Kearney, S O’Sullivan, J Nagle; E Kelly, R Foley; S Prendergast, K Moran, S Molumphy; T Ryan, S Walsh, E McGrath. Subs: M Shanahan for McGrath (34), D Shanahan for Walsh (43), J Mullane for Prendergast (47).

Cork — A Nash; K Hartnett, B Murphy, S Og O hAilpin; S O’Neill, R Curran, M Walsh; J Gardiner, C Naughton; B O’Connor, C McCarthy, N McCarthy; K Murphy, M Cussen, P Horgan. Subs: L O’Farrell for K Murphy (h-t), D Og Cusack for Nash (40), T Kenny for C McCarthy (45), M O’Sullivan for N McCarthy (52).

Ref — J Ryan (Tipperary)
Cork maintained their unbeaten run in the Allianz GAA National Hurling league following a 2-20 to 3-17 draw with Waterford in a remarkable game at Walsh Park on Sunday. Eoin Kelly fired over the equalising point for the Deise two minutes into injury time after a virtuoso performance which yielded 1-17. Michael Cussen scored 2-2 in the first half to leave the Rebels 2-9 to 1-9 ahead at the break after Kelly had netted with a fortuitous effort for Davy Fitzgerald’s side. Pa Horgan then snaffled a wonderful solo goal for the Rebels to leave them 3-12 to 1-14 ahead and looking good to claim their fourth win of the campaign. However, Tomás Walsh grabbed a 62nd minute goal back for Waterford before substitute John Mullane and Kelly helped the home side snatch a late draw.

Cork opened the scoring in the second minute, when Ben O’Connor tapped over a free after Michael Cussen had been fouled. Kelly hit back after five minutes from play to open his account. Cork’s opening goal came when Kieran Murphy, their captain, evaded a number of tacklers and fed Cussen, who flicked the ball home from a tight angle for the Sarsfields man’s second goal of the campaign. Cork moved into 1-4 to 0-2 lead in the 16th minute when Cussen added a point from play to his earlier goal. Waterford then got right back into the game when Kelly raised a green flag after his long delivery saw Cork goalkeeper Anthony Nash clash with Shane Walsh and the ball floated to the back of the net without a touch from either player. However, Cork hit back immediately and again it was Cussen who did the damage, again netting from a tight angle to bring his total to an impressive 2-2 in the opening 25 minutes. Kelly struck two points from frees just before the break to leave the Deise just three points down at the half-time, 2-9 to 1-9.

Dónal Óg Cusack made an unexpected appearance at the start of the second half after Nash was forced to leave the field with an injury. Ben O’Connor opens the scoring in the half as the Rebels edged four points clear before Horgan scored Cork’s third goal of the afternoon when the Glen Rovers man slalomed through the Waterford defence and planted a low shot under Clinton Hennessy’s body. Denis Walsh’s side were looking good, leading 3-12 to 1-14. However, Waterford staged a wonderful comeback with Kelly deadly accurate from frees, and when John Mullane came on in the 47th minute, he had Waterford within a point as he struck from play to reduce the gap to 2-11 to 1-13. The Rebels moved ahead when Naughton and Horgan fired over points from play. However, the Deise stormed back into the game in the 61st minute when the ball broke in the small square to Tomás Ryan and the corner forward swept a groundstroke to the back of the net. Kelly then hit two quick frees and Waterford led the game with six minutes left. But Cork were equally as brave as their rivals and Tom Kenny equalised with four minutes left before Ben O’Connor lashed over a free to give them the lead after Naughton was fouled after fine run. Fittingly, however, the final act of the game fell to Kelly, who slotted over a free with the last puck of the game after Mullane was fouled.

Allianz NHL Division 2 – Clare 0-13 Antrim 1-9

Ryan point enough to see off wasteful Antrim

Clare 0-13 Antrim 1-9

From the Irish Independent newspaper

Monday March 22 2010

Antrim suffered another league defeat as they were edged out by table-toppers Clare at Casement Park yesterday, but it could have been all so different. The Saffrons were lightweight in attack where only Neil McManus really troubled the visitors’ rearguard. Granted, the winners were without six of their selected lineout, and they also saw Fergal Lynch red-carded in the 52nd minute, but they made up for all that with a fine display of running and passing. The home side got off to a great start when McManus rocketed a penalty to the Clare net in the second minute and led by 1-1 to 0-1 after seven minutes. Points by Clare free-taker Colin Ryan, Fergal Lynch and Diarmuid McMahon had the game level six minutes later.

Both sides traded points for the rest of the first half with the scores level on two other occasions. Clare moved 0-9 to 1-3 ahead after 33 minutes but two late points by McManus, the second a massive strike from midfield, left Antrim trailing by 0-9 to 1-5 at the break. Two points each were hit over in the opening quarter hour of the second half but over the next 13 minutes only two points were scored, both for Clare by Sean Collins and Ryan. That was the end of Clare’s scoring while Paul Shiels and Colm McFall brought Antrim back to just one point adrift. Clare’s defence survived a testing closing stage as it beat out a number of Antrim raids that should really have produced an equaliser.

SCORERS — Clare: C Ryan 0-5 (0-5f), B Nugent 0-3, D McMahon, F Lynch 0-2 each, S Collins 0-1. Antrim: N McManus 1-3 (1-0 pen), P Shiels 0-3, S McNaughton, C McFall, A Smylie 0-1 each.

CLARE — P Brennan; P Vaughan, C Dillon, G O’Grady; B Bulger, J McInerney, P Donnellan; S Collins, A O’Brien; F Lynch, B Barrett, D McMahon; D Honan, A Markham, C Ryan. Subs: B Nugent for Honan (15), C O’Donovan for O’Brien (22), M Flaherty for Markham (47), M Murphy for Barrett (64), E Glynn for Donnellan (69).

ANTRIM — G McGhee; A Graffin, C Donnelly, M Scullion; M McAuley, K McKeegan, C Herron; P Shiels, PJ O’Connell; S McCrory, N McManus, S McNaughton; B McFall, C McFall, C McAllister. Subs: A Smylie for McAllister (h-t), T McCann for Scullion (47), D Hamill for McCrory (53), S McKeague for B McFall (61), E McCloskey for O’Connell (68).

REF — B Kelly (Westmeath)
Fourteen-man Clare withstood a late comeback to beat Antrim 0-13 to 1-9 at Casement Park on Sunday. Antrim trailed 1-5 to 0-9 at the break, but fought back to level the game midway through the half thanks to Neil McManus, who finished with 1-5 for the Saffrons. Clare had Fergal Lynch sent off in the second half but they led by two points going into the final stages. They had goalkeeper Philip Brennan to thank for the two after he made a superb save from Aaron Smiley. Smiley and Colm McFaul hit late points for the home side, but the Banner held on for a one-point win.

Antrim grabbed an early goal after Pat Vaughan was penalised and the referee pointed to the spot, with McManus stepping up to slam the ball home. Lynch and Colin Ryan hit back for Clare before Barry Nugent came on as a substitute and levelled the game with a fine point at 1-2 to 0-5. Nugent, who came on for the injured Darach Honan, finished the half with three points while Ryan also finished with 0-3 in the first half. McManus pitched in with 1-4 of the Saffrons’ total in the opening 35 minutes, his late point leaving one point between the sides at the break. Paul Shiels was the only other Antrim man to register a score in the first half. McMahon extended Clare’s lead after the break, but Antrim might have taken the lead when Shiels’ free landed in the small square before bouncing off Clare goalkeeper Philip Brennan’s shoulder and clear. Clare led by 0-13 to 0-8 with five minutes left on the clock, but their hopes were not helped when Lynch was dismissed.

Allianz NFL Division 1 – Mayo 1-12 Kerry 1-10

Mayo defeated Kerry by 1-12 to 1-10 in Round 5 of Division 1 of the Allianz GAA National Football League on Sunday at Austin Stack Park Tralee.

Mortimer joins the fray to set up victory

From the Irish Times newspaper

Mayo 1-12 Kerry 1-10

MAYO POWERED to a deserved victory in the second half of this crucial league game, played before a huge crowd at the Austin Stack Park in Tralee. Four points from the boot of Conor Mortimer, who came off the bench in the 42nd minute, and a stunning goal in the 58th minute, from powerful midfielder Tom Parsons made all the difference as Mayo outgunned Kerry on their home patch. Kerry suffered a body blow before the throw in when Kieran Donaghy was unable to start because of tonsillitis and Bryan Sheehan came in to captain the side for the first time. The Kingdom were forced to play second fiddle to Mayo for long periods of the opening half.

Mayo, who created a number of excellent scoring chances, failed to finish off good approach work, particularly as corner forward Enda Varley had the beating of Tom O’Sullivan. Anthony Maher was the stand -out midfielder of the half but his partner David Moran was having an off day, and Kerry were forced to introduce Mike Quirke on the half hour. Colm Cooper and Declan O’Sullivan were ploughing a lone furrow up front for Kerry as Mayo made the early running with Varley giving the visitors the lead from a free. Bryan Sheehan, with a free from over 40 meters out near the sideline, that levelled the contest. Well-taken points from play by Kieran O’Leary and Bryan Sheehan and another from Cooper saw Kerry lead 0-5 to 0-4 at the interval but they were fortunate to be in front.

Kerry introduced Donaghy for the second half and he made an immediate impact as he fielded a great ball in the 37th minute before finding Cooper in a goal -scoring position but his rising shot went over the bar. Then two minutes later Declan O’Sullivan found Donaghy who dished it off to Kieran O’Leary and again with goal on, he clipped the crossbar to give Kerry a 0-7 to 0-5 lead. But once Mayo introduced Conor Mortimer, Kerry were in trouble. Despite another Cooper point in the 45th minute Mortimer proceeded to kick four points from the 43rd to 52nd minutes as Mayo moved 0-12 to 0-8 clear. Parsons and Seamus O’Shea were now on top in midfield as Kerry could not get the ball to Donaghy and Cooper, and the game was over as a contest when Parsons carved open a porous Kerry defence and sent a bullet-like drive low to the Kerry net in 58th minute. There was no way back for Kerry.

To be fair, the home side never gave up and two Sheehan points and an O’Leary goal at the death merely brought respectability to the score board. Kerry boss Jack O’Connor was philosophical in the aftermath of his side’s third league defeat and he knows at least one more win is required, to avoid getting involved in a relegation dog-fight. Mayo on the other hand, sit proudly on top of the table with Dublin and Cork and in pole position to make it to the league final.

KERRY: G Reidy; P Reidy, T Griffin, T OSullivan; M OSe, A OMahony, A OConnell; A Maher, D Moran; D OCallaghan, Declan OSullivan, Darran OSullivan; C Cooper (0-4, 0-2 frees), B Sheehan (0-4, two frees, one 45), K OLeary (1-2). Subs: M Quirke for D OCallaghan (30), K Donaghy for Darran OSullivan (h/t), S Scanlon for a Maher (52), B Guiney for A OConnell (53), B Looney for D Moran (58).

MAYO: D Clarke; L OMalley, K Conroy, K Higgins; D Vaughan, T Howley, K McLoughlin; T Parsons (1-0), S OShea; A Moran (0-1, ‘45’), M Ronaldson, T Mortimer (0-1); E Varley (0-4, three frees), A OShea, A Dillon (0-2, frees). Subs: C Mortimer (0-4) for M Ronaldson (42), P Harte for A OShea (57), B Kelly for A Dillon (63), M Sweeney for E Varley (67).

Referee: David Coldrick (Meath)

Allianz NFL Division 4 – Clare 1-13 Carlow 0-15

Clare defeated Carlow by 1-13 to 0-15 in Round 6 of the Allianz National Football League Division 4 on Sunday at Cusack Park Ennis.

Allianz NFL Division 4 – Wicklow 0-14 Limerick 1-11

Wicklow and Limerick finished level in Round 6 of the Allianz National Football League Division 4 on Sunday at Aughrim on a final score of Wicklow 0-14 Limerick 1-11.

Allianz NHL Division 3A – Kerry 2-19 London 0-17

Kerry defeated London by 2-19 to 0-17 in Round 4 of the Allianz GAA Hurling National League on Sunday at Ruislip.

Dooley caps superb Kerry comeback

From the Irish Independent newspaper

Kerry 2-19 London 0-17

Monday March 22 2010

A free-scoring final quarter from Kerry saw them maintain their 100pc record at a sunny Ruislip. The visitors’ unbeaten streak looked under threat as a resurgent London led by three points at the midway point of the second half. However, Kerry outscored their hosts by 2-6 to 0-1 in the final 17 minutes — substitute Mike Conway and John Mike Dooley grabbing the goals. Inspired by the superb Martin Finn, London led by four points at the break, but in the second they struggled for scores from open play. Kerry began to claw back London’s advantage and on 55 minutes took the lead for the first time, Dooley set up Conway for an easy finish. Dooley capped a superb comeback with a second goal six minutes from time.

Scorers — Kerry: JM Dooley 1-4 (0-4f), M Boyle 0-5, M Conway 1-1, C Harty, J Griffin 0-2 each, J Egan, R Kenny, J Casey, S Mansell, P Maunson 0-1 each. London: M Finn 0-10 (0-7f, 0-1 ’65), P Stephenson 0-3, C Quinn 0-2 (2f), J McCormack, R O’Connell 0-1 each.

Kerry — JB O’Halloran; N Young, A Keane, J Fitzgerald; J Casey, J McCarthy, P Maunson; D Fitzell, E Sheehy; J Egan, M Boyle, R Kenny; JM Dooley, S Mansell, C Harty. Subs: J Griffin for Kenny (43), D O’Connell for Fitzell (43), M Conway for Mansell (44), J Flaherty for Harty (50), L Boyle for McCarthy (50).

London — JJ Burke; G Fitzgerald, M Ryan, F Tierney; C Burke, C Quinn, M Fitzsimmons; N Forde, K Kennedy; M Mythen, P Stephenson, R O’Connell; J McCormack, M Finn, T Twomey. Subs: B Forde for Fitzgerald (47), M Lismore for Stephenson (59), G Power for Kennedy (59), D Kinsella for McCormack (70).

Ref — T Ryan (Tiobraid Arann)