Corn Uí Mhuirí Football Q-Final – Tralee CBS 1-15 St Flannan’s, Ennis 1-12

Moriarty points the way for Tralee CBS

Tralee CBS 1-15 St Flannan’s, Ennis 1-12

By Murt Murphy for the Irish Examiner newspaper

Thursday, January 27, 2011

FANCIED Tralee CBS were made fight all the way before beating a determined St Flannan’s, Ennis side in the Corn Ui Mhuiri quarter-final at bitterly cold Glin yesterday. The game was in the balance right to the final whistle as St Flannan’s, boosted by their dominant midfield pairing of Alan O’Neill and Tony Kelly, threatened to spoil the Tralee party. However, the potent Tralee attack, led by full-forward Jamie Moriarty who bagged eight points, was enough to see the Kerry side advance. Both Niall Sheehy and Sean Moloney ran Moriarty close with some superb running and shooting from the half forward line, and, in the final analysis, those players made all the difference.

Tralee CBS, despite having to play second fiddle in the middle of the park all through, led 0-5 to 0-3 at the end of the opening quarter thanks to three points from Jamie Moriarty and one each from Shane O’Callaghan and Sean Moloney. St Flannan’s countered with points from Martin O’Leary, Jamie Malone and Conor Cleary and would have been in front but for a brilliant save by Tralee keeper Peter Nammock who denied Martin O’Leary a certain goal. Exchanges were tight until half time with midfielder Tony Kelly the stand out performer, kicking three points in the final six minutes of the half, as Tralee led 0-8 to 0-6 at the interval playing with a stiff wind. Martin O’Leary closed the gap with an early second-half free before the game exploded into life with two goals within a minute in the 34th minute. Firstly Tralee, after a great Niall Sheehy run, set up Jamie Moriarty, who had his effort saved by the keeper, but Shane O’Callaghan drilled the rebound to the net.

From the kick out the Clare side attacked and when the move broke down close to the Tralee goal, a defender attempted a hand pass across his own goal that Cathal Doohan intercepted and shot to the Tralee net. Niall Sheehy and Moriarty kept Tralee in front but points from Martin O’Leary, Jamie Malone and Cathal Doohan saw the sides tied on 1-10 apiece with 10 minutes left. However, Tralee finished the stronger, full-back Laurence Bastible a rock at the heart of their defence, and it was Niall Sheehy and Sean Moloney who became the providers as Jamie Moriarty showed his class with three late points that killed off the St Flannan’s. Tralee CBS now meet the only non Kerry side left in the competition, Coláiste Chriost Ri in the semi-final.

Scorers for Tralee CBS: J Moriarty 0-8 (0-3 frees), S O’Callaghan 1-1, N Sheehy and S Moloney 0-3 each.

St Flannan’s: C Doohan 1-1, T Kelly 0-4, C Cleary 0-3 (0-2 frees), M O’Leary and J Malone 0-2 each

TRALEE CBS: P Nammock; M Tierney, L Bastible, A Crean; J Moran, R O’Shea, C Deane; J C O’Connor, S Walsh; N Sheehy, S Moloney, I McCarthy; R Quill, J Moriarty, S O’Callaghan.

Sub: J Savage for S O’Callaghan (52)

ST FLANNAN’S: J Neylon; M Malone, G Ryan, B Clancy; E Enright, J Colleran, G O’Connell; A O’Neill, T Kelly; L Breathnach, A Downes, C Cleary; M O’Leary, J Malone, C Doohan.

Subs: E Boyce for G Ryan (24), B Lynch for A Downes (42).

Referee: M Meade (Limerick)

Corn Uí Mhuirí Football Q-Final – Pobalscoil Chorca Dhuibhne 0-11 De La Salle, Macroom 0-6

Chorca Dhuibhne turn tables on Macroom

Pobalscoil Chorca Dhuibhne 0-11 De La Salle, Macroom 0-6

By Jason O’Connor for the Irish Examiner newspaper

Thursday, January 27, 2011

POBALSCOIL Chorca Dhuibhne advanced to a second successive Corn Ui Mhuiri semi-final after a five point win over their conquerors last year, De La Salle Macroom in Killarney. Shading a tight first-half 0-4 to 0-3, Pobalscoil clicked into a higher gear in the second-half, inspired by substitute Tomás Ó Caomhanaigh as well as four points from wing-forward Eanna Ó Conchuir. De La Salle were too reliant on full-forward Ben Shorten (he kicked five points) while a late save by Pobalscoil keeper Gavin Ó Curráin from Darren Kelly denied last year’s runners-up hope of a grandstand finish.

Scorers: Pobalscoil: E Ó Conchuir (0-4), S Ó Diomsaigh (0-2, 1 free), Dara Ó Se (0-2), A Ó Raoill (0-1, ‘45’), R Ó Beaglaoich (0-1) and J Ó Súilleabhain (0-1)

De la Salle: B Shorten (0-5, 4 frees) and D Creed (0-1)

CHORCA DHUIBHNE: G Ó Currain; P Ó Dubhain, C Ó Luing, P Ó Conchuir; P Ó Se, C Ó Gealbhain, A Raoill; R Ó Beaglaoich, M Ó Caomhanaigh; D de Brun, D Ó Se, E Ó Conchuir; D Mac Carthaigh, S Ó Diomsaigh, J Ó Súilleabhain.

Subs: T Ó Caomhanaigh for M Ó Caomhnaigh, T Ó Se for Mac Carthaigh and S Ó Grifin for Ó Diomsaigh

DE LA SALLE: P Kelliher; K Manning, R O’Dwyer, C Casey; S Creedon, P Grainger, F Buckley; L Kelliher, P Moynihan; D Creed, D Kelly, S O’Sullivan; D Foley, B Shorten, A Moynihan.

Subs: D Twomey for Grainger, C Vaughan for O’Sullivan.

Referee: D O’Mahony (Tipperary)

Dr. Harty Cup Hurling Q-Final Replay – Our Lady’s Templemore 1-16 Midleton CBS 0-6

Our Lady’s, Templemore 1-16 Midleton CBS 0-6

By Jackie Cahill for the Irish Examiner newspaper

Thursday, January 27, 2011

OUR LADY’S, Templemore produced a much-improved performance to storm past Midleton CBS in a one-sided Dr Harty Cup quarter-final replay in Cahir yesterday. The Tipperary outfit ran out 13-point winners to seal a place in the last four for the first time since 2002. And they will meet another Cork side, Charleville CBS, as they hunt for a first Harty Cup success since 1978. At half-time yesterday, they led 1-7 to 0-5 and it was a solid platform to work with, having played against a strong breeze in the opening half. And it was all one-way traffic in the second half as Our Lady’s tacked on another nine points while Midleton grabbed just one, a free from Barry Lawton. Captain Conor Lehane, who scored 2-9 in the drawn game, was badly off-colour. Lehane managed just three points, two from frees, and hit five of wasteful Midleton’s six first-half wides, with Lawton responsible for three of his side’s six wides in the second-half. Our Lady’s, meanwhile, were clinical and finished with scoring contributions from seven different players, as top scorer Liam McGrath notched six points to add to the 14 he banged over in the drawn match.

The Loughmore-Castleiney trio of McGrath, cousin John and Liam Treacy were in superb form. At corner back, Tom Meade was superb, while Thomas Hamill at centre-back showed good form. Lehane, despite missing many chances from placed balls and play, never stopped trying and pulled off a couple of spectacular catches. But, from Midleton puckouts, he was constantly policed by a pair of Templemore defenders and no other forwards were good enough to step up to the plate with Lehane well shackled. Goalkeeper William McCarthy did emerge with a huge degree of credit after pulling off a number of good saves to keep the score down. With eight minutes on the watch, McCarthy did well to block Shane Hassett’s rasping shot, but Our Lady’s full-forward Jason Bergin reacted quickest to tap home the only goal of the game.

Liam McGrath almost added a second for Templemore in the 17th minute but he was first denied by McCarthy and then the crossbar. And six minutes after half-time, McCarthy did well again as he deflected a fierce Liam McGrath penalty over the bar, awarded after the same player had been hauled down by Midleton corner back Neil O’Regan.

Scorers for Our Lady’s Templemore: L McGrath 0-6 (5f, 0-1 pen), J Bergin 1-1, M Kelly 0-3, J McGrath & S Hassett 0-2 each, L Treacy & C O’Riordan 0-1 each.

Scorers for Midleton: B Lawton (1f) and C Lehane (2f), 0-3 each.

OUR LADY’S, TEMPLEMORE: P Guerins; J Nyland, K Kennedy, T Meade; L Mullally, T Hamill, J Moloney; L Treacy, C O’Riordan; L McGrath, S Hassett, J McGrath; M Kelly, J Bergin, O Ryan.
Subs: B Kennedy for Mullally (57), P Meade for Ryan (58), D Donnelly for T Meade (60+1), A O’Riordan for Hassett (60+2), M Hogan for Kelly (60+2).

MIDLETON CBS: W McCarthy; D O’Brien, K Burke, N O’Regan; A Gosnell, L Coughlan, I Kennefick, D Cahill, C Walsh; D Walsh, B Lawton, C Lehane; D Morrissey, M Hennessy, P White.
Subs: W Leahy for White (37), D Dineen for Hennessy (58).

Referee: S Hourigan (Limerick)

Corn Uí Mhuirí Football Q-Final – Coláiste Chríost Rí 0-11 Coláiste na Sceilge 0-10

Críost Rí finish strongly to edge Kerry rivals

Coláiste Chríost Rí 0-11 Coláiste na Sceilge 0-10

By Fintan O’Toole for the Irish Examiner newspaper

Thursday, January 27, 2011

COLÁISTE Chríost Rí shaded a gripping Corn Uí Mhuirí quarter-final encounter in Rathmore yesterday and also booked their berth in the last four of the competition for the first time since 2005. This was a superb victory for Críost Rí with the teams level eight times over the hour. But when the game entered its critical phase, Críost Rí displayed the necessary enterprise to make a winning burst.  Firstly, in the 60th minute, corner-forward Ciarán Dalton did extremely well to keep the ball in play and then he cut in along the endline before popping over a priceless point. That was followed by a composed score by midfielder Shane O’Keeffe after a methodical build-up and suddenly Críost Rí had moved two points clear.

Coláiste na Sceilge tried desperately hard to save their campaign as they heaped pressure on the Críost Rí defence. But the Cork side’s rearguard coped impressively and a Morgan O’Donoghue point was all that the Kerry school could muster. Cork minor Kevin Fulignati anchored Críost Rí’s challenge at full-back as he kept a close watch on dangerman Ciaran Keating, while Tomás Lawrence and Stephen Cronin sparkled in the half-back line.  In the Críost Rí attack, Alan Nolan was full of running at half-forward, Conor Horgan’s 0-4 haul was invaluable in such a close game and Luke Connolly, another county minor last year, was a potent target man during the first-half.

Coláiste na Sceilge were boosted when Ciaran Keating swung over two classy points with his left foot in the first-half, his cousin Michael clipped over another and midfielder Kieran O’Driscoll also got forward to raise a white flag. Connolly’s fine score in the 21st minute edged Críost Rí in front 0-5 to 0-4, yet they were tied at the break courtesy of an injury-time O’Donoghue score.  There was a clear pattern to the second-half play as the teams traded points incessantly. Críost Rí had a good spread of scores with efforts from Eoin Finn and Nolan from play ensuring they finished up with five of their forwards on target during the tie.  In contrast Coláiste na Sceilge were dependent on the accurate freetaking of Darren O’Sullivan to keep them in touch. Ciaran Keating suffered from a lack of possession close to goal and was forced to come deep to get on the ball. The surging runs of wing-back Paul O’Sullivan and the assurance of centre-back Michael O’Connor ensured Coláiste na Sceilge remained in the hunt.  An incisive Michael O’Connor run led to a free that O’Sullivan pointed to tie the game at 0-9 apiece in the 57th minute and Coláiste na Sceilge did have a couple of opportunities to hit the front at a vital stage. But Chríost Rí’s greater power and accuracy at the finish was decisive in setting up a semi-final meeting with Tralee CBS.

Scorers for Coláiste Chríost Rí: C Horgan 0-4 (two frees); S O’Keeffe, L Connolly 0-2 each; A Nolan, E Finn, C Dalton 0-1 each.

Coláiste na Sceilge: D O’Sullivan 0-3 (three frees); C Keating, M O’Donoghue 0-2 each; M O’Connor, K O’Driscoll, M Keating 0-1 each.

COLÁISTE CHRÍOST RÍ: J Kerins; M Lyons, K Fulignati, D O’Keeffe; E Dennehy, T Lawrence, S Cronin; P Fitzgerald, S O’Keeffe; A Nolan, C Horgan, E Finn; C Dalton, L Connolly, E McGreevy.

Subs: B Madden for Fitzgerald (59).

COLÁISTE NA SCEILGE: D Murphy; K Curran, B Murphy, O O’Mahony; S O’Shea, M O’Connor, P O’Sullivan; K O’Driscoll, J Curran; D O’Sullivan, D Daly, M Keating; C O’Shea, C Keating, M O’Donoghue. Subs: E O’Sullivan for M Keating (55).

Referee: D Cahill (Tipperary)

Corn Uí Mhuirí Football Q-Final – St. Brendan’s, Killarney 2-15 Intermediate School, Killorglin 1-9

Slick St Brendan’s show the stuff of champions

St. Brendan’s, Killarney 2-15 Intermediate School, Killorglin 1-9

by Brendan Larkin for the Irish Examiner newspaper

Thursday, January 27, 2011

CHAMPIONS St. Brendan’s, Killarney had little difficulty beating Intermediate School Killorglin in a disappointing Corn Ui Mhuiri quarter-final at Listry yesterday. Playing superb football, the Sem were never headed after the talented Brian O’Shea kicked them in front with a point in the second minute, and it was very much a case of how much the Killarney school would win by. They laid the foundations for their victory up front where, apart from O’Shea, Conor Keane and Tom Moriarty sparkled. Keane, in particular, gave the ISK defence a torrid time.

County minor Gary O’Leary ruled the roost at midfield, while in defence Colin Tobin and Killian Fitzgerald were never beaten. ISK were a big disappointment. They could never come to grips with the excellent team work of their opponents though they did threaten to make game of it with a Jack O’Connor goal just after half time which cut the deficit to four points. However, they failed to build on it and were a well beaten side at the final whistle. There was a great competitive edge to the clash in the opening minutes but, after the sides exchanged points, there was an air of inevitably about the outcome after Tom Moriarty slipped home Brendan’s opening goal in the 10th minute.

Brendan’s class was evident from early on and playing some delightful football they kicked five points without reply to lead 1-9 to 0-1 after 20 minutes. And it could have been a goal more but for an excellent save by ISK keeper Sean Lillis to deny Pádraig Nagle. Killorglin moved full-forward Gary O’Sullivan to midfield for the remainder of the first-half and he was very influential as they finished the half strongly with a brace of points by Gavin Nolan.

Maintaining their first-half finish, ISK threw down the gauntlet on the change over with a Timmy Walsh point and a cracking goal by Jack O’Connor after a great run. Game on now. However, the champions had the ability to step up a couple of gears when danger threatened and nipped any hint of an ISK recovery with three unanswered points by Brian O’Shea, and a Paul Nagle goal to lead 2-14 to 1-5 at the three quarter-stage.

All credit to the Killorglin school, they kept plugging away and added three points in a row. But they only served to make the final scoreline more respectable.

Scorers for St. Brendan’s: B. O’Shea 0-7 (0-5 frees); T. Moriarty, P. Nagle 1-0 each; C. Keane 0-3; C. Horan, G. O’Leary 0-2 each; K. Murphy 0-1 (free).

ISK: G. Nolan 0-5 (0-4 frees); J. O’Connor 1-0; T, Walsh 0-3 (0-1 free); N. Breen 0-1.

ST. BRENDANS: D. Cronin; M. Egan, D. O’Leary, A. Slattery; J. Devane, C. Tobin, K. Fitzgerald; K. Murphy, G. O’Leary; N. Duggan, P. Nagle, C. Horan; T. Moriarty, B. O’Shea, C. Keane.

Subs: D. O’Donoghue for D. O’Leary (25); K. McCarthy for Duggan (40); D. Stack for Keane (45); J. Aherne for O’Shea (50); M McCarthy for Egan (55).

Intermediate School, Killorglin: S. Lellis; S. O’Sullivan, G. Nagle, K. O’Sullivan; P. Foley, K, Courtney, S. Lehane; J. O’Connor, F. Hallessy; D. O’Sullivan, K. Sheehan, E. O’Sullivan; G. Nolan, G. O’Sullivan, T. Walsh.

Subs: N, Breen for K. O’Sullivan (20); A. Gamble for Sheehan (50); M. McKenna for Foley (50); S. Daly for Nolan (55).

Referee: E. Walsh (Rathmore)

Dr. Harty Cup Hurling Q-Final – Ardscoil Rís Limerick 1-19 Thurles CBS 1-10

Ard Scoil in control as tempers fray

Ard Scoil Rís (Limerick) 1-19 Thurles CBS 1-10

By Diarmuid O’Flynn for the Irish Examiner newspaper

Thursday, January 27, 2011

A BAD-tempered start to this Harty Cup quarter-final in Tipperary Town yesterday, two players – John Fitzgibbon (Árd Scoil) and Seamus Kennedy (Thurles) — booked before even before throw-in. A bad-tempered finish also as another two players – Mark Ryan (Árd Scoil) and Michael O’Brien (Thurles) – were singled out for straight red cards after another mass brawl, when several players from both sides could easily have walked. Árd Scoil Rís hit the ground running, ahead 0-7 to 0-1 after just 10 minutes, Shane Dowling leading the way with three fine strikes, centre-back Declan Hannon scoring with a long-range free. Those two burgeoning stars were to the fore for the Limerick school, completely dominating their respective positions, but they weren’t alone by any means. The full-back line of Kelvin Lynch, Barry O’Connell and Martin Moroney faced a daunting task in trying to mind Michael O’Brien, Aidan McCormack and Conor Hammersley but did the business to spectacular effect.

Wing-backs Alan Dempsey and Damien Moloney defended well, midfielders Jamie Shanahan and Mark Ryan (so unlucky now to miss the semi-final) were also on top, while up front, wing-forwards Mark Carmody and Brendan O’Connor worked like Trojans, and both the elusive Kevin O’Brien and Óisín Hickey caused the Thurles inside defence problems. With so much talent on view then, a well-coached side playing intelligent hurling, no surprise Árd Scoil maintained their advantage to the break, at which point they led 1-10 to 0-6. Thurles were keeping in touch, but it was mostly through the blade of McCormack, who hit some huge points from placed balls – but you’re not going to beat this Árd Scoil side with just one major scoring threat.

Into the second-half and still it was the Limerick side on top, midfielder Shanahan with a point straight from the throw-in, then Dowling, Fitzgibbon, O’Connor, Carmody, Hickey and Dowling again all pointing, helping to stretch the Árd Scoil lead to 1-17 to 0-9 by the 51st minute, Thurles still very much relying on McCormack’s free-taking. Not enough, and that 55th minute goal by Slattery merely served to put a gloss on the scoreboard.

Scorers for Árd Scoil Rís: S Dowling 0-9 (0-6 frees); J Fitzgibbon 1-2; O Hickey 0-2; J Shanahan 0-2; K O’Brien, B O’Connor, M Carmody, D Hannon (free), 0-1 each.

Thurles CBS: A McCormack 0-6 (all frees); K Slattery 1-0; P Ralph, J Meagher, M Sadlier, D Burke, 0-1 each.

ÁRD SCOIL RÍS: PJ Hall; K Lynch, B O’Connell, M Moroney; A Dempsey, D Hannon, D Moloney; J Shanahan, M Ryan; M Carmody, S Dowling, B O’Connor; K O’Brien, O Hickey, J Fitzgibbon. Subs: C Lynch for O’Brien (43); C Keogh for Moloney (inj. 47); J Kelliher for O’Connor (inj. 49); F Carey for Lunch (53); J Hannon for Hickey 54).

THURLES CBS: J Maher; S Kennedy, J Ryan, J Bourke; C Quirke, J Meagher, J Stapleton; S Maher, S Cahill; P Ralph, M Sadlier, D Burke; M O’Brien, A McCormack, C Hammersley. Subs: E Moriarty for Cahill (47); K Slattery for Burke (41); M Cussen for Stapleton (57); M Lanigan for Hammersley (58).

Referee: D Copps (Cork)

Waterford Crystal Cup Hurling Q-Final – Waterford 1-12 CIT 0-11

Davy delighted with Déise attitude

by John Murphy for the Irish Examiner newspaper

Monday, January 24, 2011

Waterford 1-12 Cork IT 0-11

FOR the opening half of this Waterford Crystal hurling quarter-final at Walsh Park yesterday the students of Cork IT were calling the shots and looked odds-on to topple the champions. All would change however in a dramatic second-half and, inspired by Richie Foley, the hosts ground out a hard-earned — but deserved — victory. Waterford manager Davy Fitzgerald said: “We had to work hard for our win, but I was more than pleased about the way the players took on board the tricky situation in which they found themselves at half time. We simply didn’t turn up in the first half and CIT were good value for their six points lead at the break. I can take a lot of encouragement from the attitude of my players on the turnover, and even when we were reduced to 14 with the sending off of Maurice Shanahan it was then that they really showed their mettle. I liked that, I liked it a lot.”

Cork IT dominated the opening spell, with Ryan Clifford from frees and Pat O’Connor from play firing them to a 0-9 to 0-3 half time lead. The wayward shooting of Foley hadn’t helped the home side’s cause in that spell, but it was his virtuoso second-half display that decided the outcome. Waterford’s man of the match finished the day with 1-8. Gavin Crotty and Foley (free) cut the gap inside 60 seconds of the restart, and when Foley goaled from a 20 metre free there was only the minimum between the sides. Waterford lost Maurice Shanahan to a red card in the 55th minute but Fitzgerald’s side seemed to find inspiration from their numerical disadvantage.

CIT failed to score in the closing quarter of an hour, and with Waterford rampantly dominant in the closing stages there was only going to be one result. Foley, now lording things in middle of the field, rifled over four unanswered points to sign and seal a well deserved victory for his side.

Scorers for Waterford: R Foley (1-8, 6f), G Crotty, S Prendergast, M Shanahan (0-1f), B O’Halloran (0-1) each.

Scorers for Cork IT: R Clifford (0-5, frees); P O’Connor (0-3), T Murphy (0-2), L McLoughlin (0-1).

WATERFORD: C Hennessy; J Maher, L Lawlor, C Ryan; D Fives, M Walsh, J Nagle; S Molumphy, B O’Halloran; S Prendergast, R Foley, M Shanahan; G Crotty, S Walsh, S Casey.

Subs: F McGrath for Ryan, P Mahony for Crotty, E Murphy for Casey.

CORK IT: T Quaid (Limerick); S Kearney (Waterford), J O’Callaghan (Cork), J Herlihy (do); S McDonell (do), R Cashman (do), C Leahy (do); L O’Loughlin (do), S White (do); P O’Connor (Clare), C Casey (Cork), M Bowles (do); T Murphy (do), M O’Sullivan (do), R Clifford (do).

Subs: N Kelly (Cork) for McLoughlin, S O’Brien (Cork) for Bowles; S Corcoran for Casey.

Referee: T Ryan (Tipperary)

McGrath Cup Football S-Final – Kerry 2-11 Cork 1-11

Kerry shade the shadow boxing

By Fintan O’Toole for the Irish Examiner newspaper

Monday, January 24, 2011

Kerry 2-11 Cork 1-11

THERE was a distinct pre-season air to the first Cork and Kerry football instalment of 2011 at Dr Crokes’ home in Killarney yesterday. The McGrath Cup hardly sets the pulse racing in either camp and this semi-final clash was a tame affair when placed against the fire and brimstone ties of recent summers. The bragging rights, such as they were, belonged to Kerry, thanks to a resurgent second-half performance, yet they were not ecstatic in victory, just as Cork were hardly crushed by the defeat. The teams will square off in a fortnight in a National League opener and there are favourable prospects that their paths will cross during the summer. Those are the games on which Jack O’Connor and Conor Counihan will be judged. For O’Connor the prospect of a final date with Clare next Saturday was the primary source of his satisfaction as he gets another chance to survey nascent talents.

“It was good to win as it means we have another game next weekend. That’s what fellas want. They don’t want to just train away so it’s good to have another game. We won’t really have too many sleepless nights if we don’t win the McGrath Cup. It’s a good way for trying to prepare for the league and get our panel in shape.” O’Connor will be heartened by the manner in which this game shifted towards his side in the second-half. Trailing by 1-8 to 0-8 at the interval, Kerry were forced to yield to Cork’s supremacy early in the second period. A beautifully struck point by Kevin McMahon in the 44th minute nudged Cork 1-10 to 0-9 ahead but for the heroics of Brendan Kealy in goal, Kerry’s situation would have been perilous. The Kilcummin netminder was in fine form all day, beating away an Alan O’Connor drive in the 26th minute and smothering a Fiachra Lynch shot in the 39th minute.

Kerry took over in key areas in the second-half. Tomás Ó Sé, efficiently controlling play, was a familiar sight at centre-back while optimism for the future was provided by the effectiveness of Jonathan Lyne alongside him. Further upfield it was Darran O’Sullivan who emerged as the offensive figurehead. His electric pace created early first-half points and in the second-half he began the move that led to a tidy goal by Donncha Walsh in the 48th minute. O’Sullivan signed off on an impressive day’s work when he was fouled for the 66th minute penalty that David Moran converted to seal Kerry’s victory. After a brief sojourn in defence, the Glenbeigh-Glencar man has returned to a familiar terrain.

“We played him in the backs the first day because we were stuck there”, remarked O’Connor. “He’s in a good patch of form at the moment. We are playing him more centrally so that when he does run, he’s going for the goals. It seems to be working.” Cork may have exited the competition but they could still reflect on useful workouts over the last three weekends. In the opening-half they looked on the brink of capsizing as Kerry’s midfield superiority paved the way for a 0-8 to 0-3 lead after 20 minutes. The introduction of Kieran O’Connor provided valuable experience in defence and they settled to the rhythms of the match. Denis O’Sullivan bombed forward from his right half-back berth at will while Fiachra Lynch inflicted some scoring damage.

The standout operator though was Mark Cronin, handed a starting jersey after sparkling substitute showings. In the first-half he curled over two points from play, landed two frees that he had earned himself and was impeded for a penalty in the 26th minute. Lynch rifled home a goal from that opening and Cork were full value for their three-point interval lead. Cork maintained that tempo early in the second-half yet failed to press home that advantage on the scoreboard. Selector Terry O’Neill pinpointed that phase as critical but was mindful that the inter-county arena is a new experience for these players. Cork’s big guns, who were in action in a challenge against Meath on Saturday, will be back in harness soon and could be augmented by some of the newcomers. “Three points in the second-half wasn’t going to be enough to win. We had 10 minutes there when we should have got a goal on the board and three points out of it. At this level you just can’t afford to miss those chances. We were disappointed but inexperience probably told during the period. “But you couldn’t say they didn’t put in a battling performance all round. We’d be very happy to have got three games over the last few weeks. It’s a long year ahead yet, we’re only in the third week of January now.”

Scorers for Kerry: D Geaney 0-5 (0-4frees), D Moran 1-1 (1-0 pen), D Walsh 1-0, Darran O’Sullivan 0-3, P Geaney 0-2.

Cork: F Lynch 1-2 (1-0 pen), M Cronin 0-4 (0-2 frees); D Goold (0-1 ‘45), K McMahon 0-2 each, G Spillane 0-1.

KERRY: B Kealy; P Reidy, Danny O’Sullivan, S Enright; J Lyne, T Ó’Sé, E Hickson; A Maher, S Scanlon; A O’Sullivan, Darran O’Sullivan, D Walsh; D Geaney, D Moran, P Geaney.

Subs: P O’Connor for Enright (28), G Sayers for A O’Sullivan (half-time), K O’Dwyer for Hickson (49), M O’Donoghue for D Geaney (59).

CORK: D Lordan; I Jones, G Spillane, E Cotter; D O’Sullivan, R O’Sullivan, AJ O’Connor; E Keane, A O’Connor; D Goold, T O’Neill, K McMahon; M Cronin, F Lynch, C O’Driscoll.

Subs: K O’Connor for AJ O’Connor (21), D O’Connor for O’Driscoll (52), N Murphy for O’Neill (57), J Sexton for Lynch (inj) (63), B Shanahan for Jones (69)

Referee: Rory Hickey (Clare)

Team News

KERRY TEAM FOR MCGRATH CUP SEMI FINAL

Jack O’Connor has announced The Kerry team for The McGrath Cup Semi-Final vs. Cork

1. Brendan Kealy (Kilcummin)

2. Padraig Reidy (Scartaglin)

3. Marc Ó Sé (An Ghaeltacht)

4. Shane Enright (Tarbert)

5. Jonathan Lyne (Legion)

6. Tomás Ó Sé (An Ghaeltacht) Captain

7. Eamon Hickson (Annascaul)

8. Anthony Maher (Duagh)

9. Seamus Scanlon (Currow)

10. Alan O’Sullivan (Tuosist)

11. Darran O’Sullivan (Glenbeigh/Glencar)

12. Donnacha Walsh (Cromane)

13. David Geaney (An Daingean)

14. David Moran (Kerins O’Rahilly’s)

15. Paul Geaney (An Daingean)

16. Tomás Ma An tSaoir (An Ghaeltacht)

17. Gary Sayers (Keel)

18. Barry O’Grady (Ballyduff)

19. Kevin Dwyer (Waterville)

20. Michael O’Donoghue (Spa)

21. Danny O’Sullivan (Kerins O’Rahilly’s)

22. Colin O’Mahony (Ballydonoghue)

23. Pa McCarthy (Austin Stacks)

24. Padraig O’Connor (Legion)

McGrath Cup Football S-Final – Clare 1-10 Waterford 0-10

New recruit vital in Clare win

by Brendan Larkin for the Irish Examiner newspaper

Monday, January 24, 2011

Clare 1-10 Waterford 0-10

DAVID O’CONNOR, one of the players from outside the county recently called onto the Clare panel, scored the crucial goal in this mundane McGrath Cup semi-final at Ardmore yesterday. Banner manager Micheal McDermott has injected new talent into his squad under the rule which allows players to represent the county of their parents, and the policy has worked well with this victory setting up a decider with Kerry on Saturday night. In a game that won’t be remembered for the purity of its football, both sides enjoyed periods of dominance. But a combination of some excellent defending and poor shooting meant scores were at a premium.

Waterford made the better start with a brace of points from frees by Michael Donnelly as Clare struggled to find momentum. The visitor’s approach work was good, but a combination of poor finishing and excellent defending by Tomas O’Gorman and Shane Briggs in particular meant they went without a score for 13 minutes. Niall Browne eventually opened their account with a point. The former Kildare underage star was another making his first appearance in a Clare jersey and his height and strength in midfield allowed the visitors enjoyed a lot of possession in that area.

Waterford endured a scoring drought until Kieran Power kicked a great point from 40 metres. That helped the hosts regain the initiative for the remainder of the half and they finished strongly with three points in a row, the best of which was a Patrick Hurney effort, to lead 0-6 to 0-5 at half-time. Both sides used their bench for the second half, Clare bringing on O’Connor, and he made an immediate impact. After Alan Cloghessy levelled the scores for the third time with his third point, O’Connor was on the end of a great move involving Cloghessy and Rory Donnelly, to slip home the decisive goal. Waterford needed a similar store to stay in contention. But while they enjoyed plenty of possession, they couldn’t break down a solid Clare defence in which goalkeeper Joe Hayes, Barry Duggan and Gordon Kelly gave nothing away. Both sides swapped points to keep the game alive, before Hayes saved well from substitute Michael O’Gorman.

Scorers for Clare: D. O’Connor 1-0; A. Cloghessy (2 frees), C. O’Connor 0-3 each; D. Tubridy 0-2 (1 free); N. Browne, D. Donnelly 0-1 each.

Scorers for Waterford: M. Donnelly (frees), P. Hurney (0-1 free) 0-3 each; S. Fleming 0-2; K. Power, P. Whyte 0-1 each.

CLARE: J. Hayes; L. Healy, B. Duggan, M.McMahon; Graham Kelly, Gordon Kelly, John Hayes; C. O’Connor, C. Ryan; D. Daly, D. Tubridy, N. Browne; R. Donnelly, T. Ryan, A. Cloghessy.

Subs: G. Fannin for G. Kelly (33); D. O’ Connor for C. Ryan (half-time); D. O’Brien for T. Ryan (56); D. O’Neill for C. O’Connor (65).

WATERFORD: T. Walsh; K. Connery, T. O’Gorman, J. Hurney; E. Walsh, S. Briggs, J. Phelan; B. Phelan, T. Prendergast; M. Donnelly, K. Power, B. Wall; JJ Hutchinson, P. Hurney, P. Whyte.

Subs: M. Aherne for K. Power (half-time); S. Fleming for Hutchinson (half-time); W. Hennessy for Whyte (56); M. O’Gorman for Prendergast (55); J. Veale for Donnelly (65).

Referee: J. O’Mahony (Tipperary)

Waterford Crystal Cup Hurling Q-Final – Cork 3-17 UCC 1-22

Nash nicks winner as Cork plan for future

by Diarmuid O’Flynn for the Irish Examiner newspaper

Monday, January 24, 2011

Cork 3-17 UCC 1-22 (aet)

SUBSTITUTE KEEPER Anthony Nash was the hero for Cork in this Waterford Crystal senior hurling quarter-final in semi-frozen Páirc Uí Rinn yesterday, a rifled penalty goal in injury-time of extra-time giving them a one-point victory in a highly entertaining match. This was largely a Cork development team, several teenagers in the starting 15, a host of players making their debut, while over half the UCC team were also from Cork — ideal circumstances for Cork manager Denis Walsh. Several players caught his eye, on both teams, prompting Walsh to declare: “William Egan played well for UCC, as did James Nagle when he came back on, and Paul Haughney in extra-time. We had a few players who played well for us — Graham Callanan (midfield) was dominant after a shaky start, which was very encouraging. Conor Lehane missed a few frees but his response told us something, he showed well then in general play, and that’s very important.”

When asked how many of the team from yesterday would be there come league action next month, Walsh said: “We’ll be trying to decide the panel at the end of January, which is what we did last year — we think we have two or three fellas from this squad today who will make that panel.” Only two or three? “Yes, unless you have a better calculator than us! We can only have a panel of 26; we had 34 last year, so we’ve had to cut eight already, and if we want to bring in another three now that means we have to cut three more.”

What they found out yesterday was that there will be a real battle for the number seven jersey left vacant with the surprise cut of Seán Óg Ó hAilpín at the end of last season, with both William Egan (UCC) and Ray Ryan (Cork) impressing at left-half-back for their respective sides. Additionally, Graham Callanan used his power to great effect in midfield, while alongside him Brian Lawton showed good qualities in the air. Up front, young Conor Lehane, though inconsistent from placed balls, showed some superb touches in general play, while the pace and precision of corner-forward Brian Hartnett were to the fore for his two goals. In the other corner, an equally light and young Jamie Coughlan showed well.

The game itself was pretty evenly balanced. UCC started well, were four points to two ahead after 13 minutes; five minutes later it was Cork in front, 1-5 to 0-4, the speedy Hartnett with the goal, Lehane with the three points. Next it was UCC’s turn, a run of 1-6 without reply (centre-forward Kevin Keehan with the goal) putting them in good shape, helping them to a 1-11 to 1-6 half-time lead. The second-half was dominated by Cork, Hartnett’s second goal helping them to a two-point lead with only minutes remaining, yet it took a long-range Jamie Coughlan free for Cork to take the game to extra-time. For most of the additional period it looked like the game was heading the way of UCC until Nash stepped forward to convert what was, in truth, a very softly-awarded penalty.

Scorers for Cork: B Hartnett 2-0, J Coughlan 0-7 (0-3 frees, 0-2 65s), C Lehane 0-6 (0-4 frees), A Nash 1-0 (pen), G Callanan, B Lawton, B Cooper, J Wall, 0-1 each.

Scorers for UCC: K Keehan 1-3 (0-3 frees), P Haughney 0-5 (0-1 free), D Brosnan 0-4, S Bourke 0-4 (0-2 frees), G Mulcahy 0-2, D Kearney, J Cassin, W Egan (free), M Carroll, 0-1 each.

CORK: M Coleman; P O’Leary, C Fogarty, S Murphy; C Joyce, M Ellis, R Ryan; G Callanan, B Lawton; T Murray, B Cooper, C Lehane; J Coughlan, S Harnedy, B Hartnett.

Subs: A Nash for Coleman (35), C McCarthy for Murray (45), E Murphy for Harnedy (45), M Cussen for Hartnett (57), B Johnson for Lawton (62).

Extra-time: G Moylan for O’Leary (80); J Wall for Lehane (80); P O’Mahony for Joyce (80).

UCC: L O’Flynn (Cork); W Kearney (Cork), P O’Loughlin (Limerick), C O’Sullivan (capt. Cork)); P Mahony (Waterford), J Nagle (Cork), W Egan (Cork); D Kearney (Cork), B O’Sullivan (Limerick); S Bourke (Tipperary), K Keehan (Galway), D Brosnan (Cork); P Haughney (Cork), J Cassin (Kilkenny), G Mulcahy (Limerick).

Subs: D O’Sullivan (Waterford) for Nagle (35), D Roche (Cork) for D Kearney (35), T Ryan (Waterford) for Haughney 49), M Carroll (Cork) for Keehan (55), S O’Farrell (Cork) for B O’Sullivan (61).

Extra-time: D Kearney (Cork), B Collins (Cork), B Cleary (Limerick), T Geaney (Cork), J Nagle (Cork) and P Haughney (Cork) started in place of W Kearney, C O’Sullivan, P Mahony, W Egan, J Cassin and S Burke; Cassin for Brosnan (80).

Referee: P Casey (Waterford)