AIB All-Ireland Club Senior Football Championship Semi-Final – Ballymun Kickhams (Dublin) 1-10 Dr. Crokes (Kerry) 0-9

Ballymun make hay as Crokes fall flat

Ballymun Kickhams (Dublin) 1-10 Dr Crokes (Kerry) 0-9

By John Fogarty (GAA Correspondent) for the Irish Examiner newspaper

“Did you ever hear of the horror story?” asked Noel O’Leary of the press afterwards. “This is what it was.” The Dr Crokes manager couldn’t have put it better about a team performance that couldn’t have been much worse. This was a frighteningly bad display by a team that had coasted its way through Munster, lighting up several wintry Sunday afternoons with champagne football. Yet with spring in the air, they came up well short in front of a poor 2,278 crowd in Semple Stadium.

O’Leary acknowledged Ballymun deserved their win but there were elements of the game that went unfairly against Dr Crokes, namely Marty Duffy’s refereeing. Five minutes after picking up a yellow card, the influential Philly McMahon, who operated with aplomb in a new midfield role, hauled down Daithí Casey as he was about to shoot towards goal. Yet Duffy elected not to punish him. To add insult to injury, Chris Brady’s low shot to Sean Currie’s right was saved by the Ballymun goalkeeper. The decision not to punish McMahon aggrieved O’Leary. “And yellow card afterwards. Did he duck out the field? He must have. The referee didn’t see him. “No fella wants to see a fella sent off but ref it properly anyway. If you’re going to ref it ref it clear. He saw it, I didn’t see it.”

O’Leary also grumbled about Duffy’s officiating in the main. “Look, the GAA have to wake up a small bit. They’re making rules but Marty, this fella today, he didn’t come to play with the rules. “One (Ballymun) fella there was tying his lace — I thought that rule was gone. For tying your lace you get on with the game. “Look, Ballymun were the better team on the day and we can’t complain but the GAA would want to have a look at themselves.”

What will hurt Dr Crokes most is Ballymun didn’t have to play out of their skins to win this game. Ted Furman may have been their goal-scorer but as manager Paul Curran said afterwards he didn’t contribute much else after. Furman only kicked the one wide but the Dublin and Leinster champions amassed 11 over the 60-plus minutes compared to Dr Crokes’ five. Ballymun were never made to pay for their erratic shooting although much of that was down to the work-rate of their defence. Alan Hubbard gave a performance that will surely have made Jim Gavin sit up and take notice while James Burke and Sean George did fine detailing jobs on Kieran O’Leary and Colm Cooper respectively.

For Cooper, who we judge by a higher standard, it was an All-Ireland semi-final to forget. His dummy solo and pass to set up Chris Brady for a first-half score was a rare moment of inspiration for a player who was hounded by the Ballymun defence. By the closing stages, the movement of the Crokes inside forward line, with Cooper having moved out, was non-existent. Eoin Brosnan, whose switch to midfield for the Killarney club made it a two-point game with 19 minutes to go after a rallying third quarter, was out of gas by the end. Furman’s goal was what separated the teams at the break, 1-4 to 0-4, although Crokes were fortunate to be so close with Ballymun have racked up seven wides.

But for a brilliant instinctive save from David Moloney in the 20th minute when Dean Rock squared a hand-pass to Kevin Leahy for a close range palm, they could have been further behind. George, though, had to stretch seconds later to break up an O’Leary pass intended for Cooper. Ballymun didn’t just work harder — they were cleverer too. After a variety of deliberate lateral passes by his team-mates, Cooper was forced to foul the ball having been swamped by opposing defenders in the 27th minute.

A short time later, Ballymun found themselves confronted by a similarly packed defence only for Furman to sweep a crossfield kick-pass to Davey Byrne who duly knocked it over. John Payne denied McMahon Ballymun’s third goal chance five minutes into the second half and when Crokes’ one opportunity for a three-point score came Sean Currie was equal to Brady’s penalty. Four unanswered Crokes scores in seven minutes, two from Casey and Cooper and Johnny Buckley notching one each, brought them back into the affair but Ballymun’s threat was emphasised by Moloney’s block on Leahy in the 52nd minute. Two Rock points widened the gap to four and all Crokes could return fire with was a Fionn Fitzgerald point.

Manager O’Leary was beaten was unbowed. “Where are we going to go from here? We’re going to rally and we’re going to be back here again next year. We’re going nowhere. I’m a bad loser, I don’t go nowhere but we will be back. How long did it take them to win a county championship? It took them three or four years before they beat South Kerry. This is going to be the same thing. As long as these fellas keep knuckling down to it and give a bit extra. But these (Ballymun) lads are flying fit. Any chance that we can test them!”

Scorers for Ballymun Kickhams: D Rock 0-5 (3 frees); T Furman 1-1; Davy Byrne, P McMahon, J Whelan, Derek Byrne 0-1 each.

Scorers for Dr Crokes:, D Casey 0-3 (1f); C Cooper 0-2; J Doolan, C Brady, J Buckley, F Fitzgerald 0-1 each.

BALLYMUN KICKHAMS: S Currie; E Dolan, S George, E Dolan; A Hubbard, K Connolly, J Burke; P McMahon, J McCarthy; Davy Byrne, K Leahy, J Whelan; C Weir, D Rock, T Furman.

Subs: E Reilly for Weir (46); Derek Byrne for Leahy (inj), S Forde for Connolly (both 55).

DR CROKES: D Moloney; J Payne, M Moloney, F Fitzgerald; L Quinn, E Brosnan, S Myers; A O’Donovan, J Buckley; K O’Leary, D Casey, B Looney; C Brady, C Cooper, J Doolan.

Subs: S Doolan for O’Donovan (inj 19); D O’Leary for Myers (43); K Ward for Quinn (45); G O’Shea for Brady (55).

Referee: Marty Duffy (Sligo)


Brilliant Ballymun qualify for maiden final

Report from the web site

Dr. Crokes (Kerry) 0-9 Ballymun Kickhams (Dublin) 1-10

Ballymun Kickhams are through to the AIB GAA Football All-Ireland Senior Club Championship final for the first time in their history following a four-point defeat of Dr. Crokes at Semple Stadium, Thurles on Saturday. Ballymun led by 1-4 to 0-4 at the break, with Ted Furman scoring the only goal of the game on 17 minutes. Furman, who has been Kickhams’ main goal threat throughout the campaign, gathered a long ball from Philly McMahon and drove an unstoppable shot past Mike Maloney, the Crokes goalkeeper. Crokes were out of sorts in the first half. Colm Cooper scored his first score of the game just before the interval, when he popped the ball over the bar following great work by Kieran O’Leary. Ballymun then hit the first three scores of the second half, with Rock, who finished with 0-5, and McMahon amongst the scorers.

However, that ‘Mun burst came only after Dr Crokes’ Chris Brady had missed a penalty. McMahon fouled Daithí Casey but Ballymun goalkeeper Seán Currie did well to stop Brady’s effort. That miss seemed to shake Crokes into life, as they kicked four points in a row to come storming back into the game. Cooper started the purple patch, Casey added two and Johnny Buckley fired over from play to leave just two points in it with nine minutes to go.

However, when the game was there for the taking, it was Ballymun who stepped up. Rock landed two crucial scores in the closing stages and Derek Byrne wrapped the win up in injury time. It was cruel on Dr. Crokes, who lost at the same stage last year, but Paul Curran’s side were excellent throughout and thoroughly deserved the win.

Ballymun Kickhams Scorers: Dean Rock 0-5 (0-3f), Ted Furman 1-1, Philly McMahon, Davey Byrne, Kevin Leahy, Derek Byrne 0-1 each.

Dr. Crokes Scorers: Daithí Casey 0-3 (0-1f), Colm Cooper 0-2, Fionn Fitzgerald, Jamie Doolan, Chris Brady, Johnny Buckley 0-1 each.

Dr. Crokes Profile

Aheadof their AIB GAA Football All-Ireland Senior Club Championship Semi-Final against Ballymun Kickhams on Saturday, we take a closer look at Kerry and Munster champions Dr. Crokes.

Crokes face the Dublin champions Ballymun Kickhams at Semple Stadium, Thurles on Saturday at 4pm. will have live updates from the game, as well as from the other semi-final featuring Crossmaglen and St Brigid’s (2pm) throughout the afternoon.

Who are they?

Founded in 1886, Dr Crokes GAA Club is just two years younger than the Association itself. They are named after Dr. Thomas Croke, the Archbishop of Thurles and Emly and the first patron of the GAA. Nine-time winners of the Kerry senior football championship, the Killarney-based outfit have dominated the competition in recent seasons, claiming three-in-a-row in 2012 with victory over Dingle. Munster champions in 1991, 1992, 2006, 2011, 2012, their only All-Ireland club title to date came way back in the 1991-’92 season.

Path to the semi-final?

They beat Dingle by 2-13 to 0-8 in the county final, with Brian Looney kicking 1-3 in a very convincing win. Their biggest test in the Munster Championship came in the quarter-final stages against Kilmurray-Ibrickane (Clare), where the champions were subjected to a sustained onslaught in the closing stages but held on to record a 2-8 to 0-13 win. Clonmel Commercials (Tipperary) and Castlehaven (Cork) were then beaten by 11 and seven-point margins respectively, as Crokes retained the provincial crown.

In the All-Ireland quarter-final, Crokes eased to a 3-12 to 0-6 win over London side Tír Chonaill Gaels at Ruislip. Kieran O’Leary was the star of the show, scoring 1-2, while Chris Brady kicked two goals in three first half minutes as Crokes had the game wrapped up at the break, leading at that stage by 3-7 to 0-3.

Players to Watch?

Colm Cooper, obviously, is their key man, but his Kerry team-mate Kieran O’Leary is just as important to Crokes, with some of his best displays coming in a black and gold jersey. Kerry captain Eoin Brosnan is their rock at No. 6 but has been hampered by a calf injury in recent months. Brian Looney (pictured below) and Chris Brady, along with Cooper, do the damage up front.


Crokes’ star-studded attack, with Colm Cooper and Kieran O’Leary pulling the strings, naturally grabs all the attention, but the Killarney side are built on very solid foundations. They didn’t concede a single goal in the Kerry county final, three games in Munster and the All-Ireland quarter-final. In those five games alone, Crokes have scored 6-53 and only conceded 0-37, leaving them in credit to the tune of 34 points.

Still, their greatest strength is the way they play the game, wedded as they are to the traditional brand of free-flowing football that all the best Kerry teams are renowned for. Kick-passing and fast-paced, slick forward movement feature prominently in their game plan.

On the sideline?

After Harry O’Neill’s decision to step down last February, joint managers Noel O’Leary and Vince Casey have stepped seamlessly into the breach. O’Leary was a member of the All-Ireland winning Crokes team in 1992, while Casey is the club chairman.

Track Record?

All-Ireland champions in 1992, when they beat Thomas Davis of Dublin in the final on St Patrick’s Day with former Kerry manager Pat O’Shea scoring 1-3 in the decider. That remains the club’s only All-Ireland title. O’Shea did guide them back to the final in 2007, but they were beaten by Crossmaglen Rangers after a replay. The Armagh champions put an end to their All-Ireland aspirations again last year with Crokes losing 2-8 to 3-8 in the semi-final.

Corn Phadraig Senior B Hurling Final – Dungarvan CBS 1-22 St.Joseph’s Tulla 1-15

Dungarvan CBS 1-22 St Joseph’s Tulla 1-15 (AET) – Corn Phadraig Final

Report by Tomás McCarthy

Dungarvan CBS got their hands on the Corn Phadraig after a spicy contest against St Joseph’s of Tulla at Golden on Saturday afternoon. The Waterford school had to absorb the physicality brought to the table by the Banner men before eventually wriggling free and sprinting clear in the second period of extra time.

Patrick Curran rose to the occasion once again and finished up with a staggering 1-15 to his name at the close of business. Although he was pinned down for the first thirty minutes, he sparkled when switched to full forward and also harried the opposing backs to win back possession.

St Joseph’s had the aid of a strong breeze in the opening half but Dungarvan were awarded a penalty after two minutes when Darragh Lyons was brought to ground. Cormac Curran accepted the responsibility but rose the sliotar too high and his shot was saved by Dan Vaughan. Some sharp Tulla shooting at the other end established a seven point gap (0-8 to 0-1) by the twenty minute mark. Dungarvan spurned a couple of good chances but they settled down before the break. Darragh Lyons made a difference when pressed into defensive duties and they outscored their opponents by three points to one for the remainder of the half to trail by 0-9 to 0-4 at the short whistle.

With the wind in their favour, they chipped away at that five point lead. They pared it down to two before Patrick Curran conjured up a moment of magic. On 50 minutes, Colin Dunford supplied the delivery and Curran plucked the ball from the sky before he emphatically dispatched to the bottom corner. They were in command for the first time and they added two more points to lead by 1-12 to 0-12 entering the dying embers of the contest. Kevin Daly led a stout Dungarvan defence but there was a late twist in the tale. They conceded a 21 metre free in front of the posts in the final minute and although Eoin Tuohy’s rasper was blocked, Con Smyth followed up to force extra time.

Tulla had a pep in their step and early points from Oisin Donnellan and Steven Conway got them off to the perfect start in the first period of ten minutes. Dungarvan were facing the elements and a two point deficit but they dug in. A hat trick of frees from Curran and an Aaron Donnelly single gave them a 1-16 to 1-14 at the change of ends.

Colin Corbett’s sixth successful free reduced the arrears to the minimum on the resumption but the Déise students managed to steer clear of danger. Despite shooting 21 wides, the Dungarvan attack had come to terms with the aggressive approach from their opponents and the dam burst in that second period of extra time. Three points in rapid succession finally broke Tulla’s resolve as Dungarvan ran out convincing victors.

Scorers:- Dungarvan CBS: P Curran 1-15 (10f), R Donnelly, A Donnelly, C Dunford 0-2 each, D Lyons 0-1.

St Joseph’s Tulla: C Corbett 0-6 (6f), C Smyth 1-1, E Tuohy, O Donnellan, S Conway 0-2 each, J O’Brien, M Lynch 0-1 each.

Dungarvan CBS: G Power, C Culloo, K Daly, M Cronin, K Barron, K Looby, J O’Donnell, C Dunford, C Curran, R Donnelly, M Harney, C Breathnach, D Lyons, J Morrissey, P Curran.

Subs: A Donnelly for Morrissey (41), J Morrissey for Barron (74).

St Joseph’s Tulla: D Vaughan, M Perrill, J Noonan, E McMahon, E Tuohy, N Bolton, C Cooney, O Donnellan, C Smyth, D Chaplin, M Lynch, D Kearney, J O’Brien, C Corbett, S Conway.

Subs: J Nelson for Kearney (50), M Daly for McMahon (60).

Referee: John McCormack

Corn an Uachtaráin Senior B Football Final – Our Lady’s Templemore 2-16 Abbey CBS Tipperary 1-9

Irresistable Our Lady’s Land First Leg Of A Potentially Historic Double

By Brian McDonnell at Leahy Park, Cashel for the Tipperary Star newspaper

Corn an Uachtaráin Munster

Senior B Colleges Football Final

Our Lady’s Templemore 2-16 Abbey CBS Tipperary 1-9

An irresistible display saw Our Lady’s Templemore enjoy a ten-point win over Abbey CBS in an all-Tipperary Munster colleges senior B football final played at Leahy Park in Cashel on Saturday afternoon. Although Our Lady’s trailed at the break (0-7 to 1-5) a sensational second half performance (2-9 to 0-4) helped the Templemore lads to land the first leg of a potentially historic double – on Sunday, February 24th Our Lady’s face Dungarvan Colleges in the Dr Harty Cup final.

Seán Cunningham, Tony Byrnes, James Hogan and David Finnane enjoyed fine outings for Abbey CBS, but the west Tipperary outfit struggled to cope with a Templemore team which was led by a most obvious candidate for man of the match in John McGrath. Meanwhile Brian Kennedy, re-located to centre-back in place of the injured Joseph Nyland, Colin O’Riordan, Jack Fogarty, Seán Patrick Guerins and the relentless Dean McEnroe were outstanding for Templemore.

Decision-making is an under-appreciated skill. And, it was good sensible decision-making that ultimately separated Our Lady’s Templemore from a game Abbey CBS side. Take, for instance, the opening twenty-two minutes of this provincial final. Abbey CBS started in enthusiastic fashion and managed two points, but also fired four wides, dropped two balls into the grateful arms of Templemore ‘keeper Liam Murphy and saw two optimistic shots drop well short of the Our Lady’s goal during that period. In the meantime however Templemore took aim at the Abbey CBS posts on six occasions and scored each time – shooting opportunities were carefully created and the right option was selected on a regular basis.

Two frees, one from John McGrath and a second from Jack Fogarty, helped Our Lady’s into a 0-2 to no-score lead inside the opening eight minutes. Abbey CBS created a goal-scoring opportunity in the tenth minute, but Liam Murphy deflected David Finnane’s shot over before points from Thomas Nolan, Seán Patrick Guerins and a John McGrath free helped Templemore into a 0-5 to 0-1 lead by the 15th minute. A David Finnane free cut the deficit to three points in the 18th minute before John McGrath and John Joe Ryan combined to set up the impressive Dean McEnroe for an absolute cracker of a point in the 22nd.

Abbey CBS needed to respond and did so with a terrific right-footed effort from David Finnane before the west Tipperary lads pieced together a great move which ultimately saw Emmet Fitzpatrick’s jinking run come to an end when the midfielder was pulled down a penalty in the 26th minute. David Finnane took responsibility for the spot kick, expertly sent Liam Murphy the wrong way and duly tied the game (1-3 to 0-6). Abbey CBS’ James Hogan and Templemore’s Dean McEnroe then traded points before a foul on Ciarán Lowry in the 33rd minute handed David Finnane an opportunity to force his side into a 1-5 to 0-7 interval advantage. Our Lady’s asserted themselves early in the second half when John McGrath beat two defenders before being pulled down for a penalty in the 31st minute. Abbey CBS’ Kevin Burns guessed right, but there was no stopping Seán Patrick Guerins’ rasping right-foot shot into the corner – 1-7 to 1-5.

Two minutes later David Finnane responded with a free, but Our Lady’s were utterly dominant now. Indeed, brilliant long-range points from Colin O’Riordan and John McGrath helped Templemore into a 1-9 to 1-6 lead by the 38th minute. Then, in the 45th minute, John McGrath scored the point of the game when he played a ’45 backward to wing-back Jason Ryan and accepted a return pass before landing a terrific left-footed effort from distance. Jack Fogarty (free) and Colin O’Riordan added to the Our Lady’s tally and Templemore led by six (1-12 to 1-6).

With six to play David Finnane landed Abbey CBS’ first point from play since the 28th minute to cut the deficit to five, but Our Lady’s responded almost immediately with points from Jack Fogarty and Emmet Maloney. Two Abbey CBS frees reduced Templemore’s lead to five points as this encounter ticked into injury time before Jack Fogarty landed an absolute cracker of a point following terrific work from Dean McEnroe to leave six between them. In the 63rd minute Abbey CBS centre-back Ed O’Meara was sent off following a second bookable offence. By that stage Abbey CBS must have been praying for the final whistle, but there was still plenty to come from Our Lady’s. A Jack Fogarty free added to their tally before Colin O’Riordan intercepted an Abbey CBS clearance in the 64th minute and passed to full-forward Seán Patrick Guerins who buried a terrific goal to seal the ten-point win.

Our Lady’s Templemore: Liam Murphy (JK Bracken’s), Michael Campion (Drom & Inch), Denis Brereton (Loughmore-Castleiney, captain), James Bergin (JK Bracken’s), Jason Ryan (Toomevara), Brian Kennedy (JK Bracken’s), Jamie Bergin (Drom & Inch), John McGrath (0-4, 0-2 frees), Colin O’Riordan (JK Bracken’s, 0-2), Jack Fogarty (JK Bracken’s, 0-5, 0-4 frees), Emmet Maloney (0-1, Drom & Inch), Dean McEnroe (JK Bracken’s, 0-2), John Joe Ryan (Clonakenny), Seán Patrick Guerins (JK Bracken’s, 2-1, 1-0 penalty), Thomas Nolan (Drom & Inch, 0-1). Subs: (23rd) Tommy Maher (Loughmore-Castleiney) for Jamie Bergin, (41st) Bill O’Connell (Loughmore-Castleiney) for Thomas Nolan.

Abbey CBS Tipperary: Kevin Burns (Solohead), David Cussen (Galbally), Seán Cunningham (Lattin-Cullen, captain), Pearse Richardson (Arravale Rovers), Tomás O’Donoghue (Lattin-Cullen), Ed O’Meara (Aherlow), Tony Byrnes (Arravale Rovers), Cormac O’Donoghue (Lattin-Cullen), Emmet Fitzpatrick (Arravale Rovers), Mark Russell (Lattin-Cullen), Ciarán Lowry (Arravale Rovers), Dónal O’Dwyer (Éire Óg Annacarty), Darren Neville (Lattin-Cullen), David Finnane (Galtee Rovers, 1-7, 0-4 frees, 1-0 penalty), James Hogan (Arravale Rovers, 0-2, 0-1 free). Subs: (41st) Darren McGrath (Galtee Rovers) for Darren Neville, (53rd) Conor Kissane (Arravale Rovers) for Emmet Fitzpatrick.

Referee: Brian Tyrell (Tipperary)