The three championship clashes between Kilkenny and Galway were highpoints of the 2012 All-Ireland series and now the fascinating rivalry is set to launch this year’s Allianz Hurling League.

They meet in Pearse Stadium next Sunday (2.0) in what promises to be a great occasion on the opening weekend of the new competition. Kilkenny are the reigning League and All-Ireland champions and will be determined not to concede any early ground to rivals who showed huge improvement last year.

Kilkenny beat Galway in last year’s Walsh Cup and Allianz League games before losing heavily in the Leinster final. The sides drew in the All-Ireland final – the first drawn hurling final since 1959-  before Kilkenny won the replay.

There will be huge interest in next Sunday’s game which will be shown ‘live’ on TG4 as Brian Cody leads his champions into the west to take on a Galway side, managed by Anthony Cunningham.

Uachtarán Chumann Lúthchleas Gael Liam O’Neill said:

“It’s more than four months since Galway and Kilkenny served up two thrilling All-Ireland finals last September and I have no doubt that the renewal of their rivalry in particular this weekend in the Allianz Leagues will whet the appetite of GAA supporters ahead of the coming season.”

The return of top level inter-county hurling is very welcome after the long break and much of the expectations that will garner around teams this season will be generated on the back of their performances in this competition as the best hurling teams in the country clash on a regular basis.”

The Allianz League gets underway on Saturday evening when Cork, runners-up to Kilkenny last year, host Tipperary. That game will also be shown ‘live’ on TV (Setanta). Cork v Tipperary games are always special affairs and with Tipperary under new management, the supporters will be very keen to see how the side is shaping up under Eamon O Shea. Cork ran a good League campaign under Jimmy Barry-Murphy last year, reaching the final where they lost to Kilkenny.

Clare mark their return to Division 1A with a home clash against Waterford on Sunday. It’s important for both sides to make a good start to the League while supporters will also be looking for pointers to the Munster championship clash between the counties in Thurles on June 2.

With promotion to Division 1A and a place in the League semi-finals the prize for winning Division 1B, this group is certain to be extremely competitive.  Dublin, winners of  the Allianz League title outright in 2011, will be very anxious to make a quick return to the top flight after being relegated last year.

GAA Handball national awards announced

Brady and Reilly win main GAA Handball National All-Star Awards

GAA Handball Ireland have officially announced the National All Star award winners for 2012. Last season was unquestionably one of the most outstanding in the chronicles of GAA Handball with unprecedented success at the World Championships, while this very special event also highlighted the incredible input of hundreds of officials and volunteers.

There was little surprise at the announcement of the National Male and Female Players of the Year awards, with Paul Brady and Aisling Reilly collecting the two major accolades in the players domain following their World Senior Singles championship triumphs, as well as US Open glory. “2012 was the most fantastic ever in the history of GAA Handball and the World Championships showed the sporting world in general what we have to offer. That was the most breathtaking spectacle ever in world handball and the atmosphere when 5,000 spectators filled the Citywest arena for our world finals will be remembered for a very long time. These awards further highlight the brilliant high standards now reached by GAA Handball”, commented GAA Handball President, Walter O’Connor.

One of the most coveted awards, the Club of the Year, goes to the county of Armagh for the very first time, following a season when the highly progressive Lurgan Club, Clnn Eireann, picked up an unrivalled 12 World Championship medals. Add to that the fact that Charly Shanks from the Clann Eireann Club, also picked up the International Player of the year following his impressive run in the USA WPH Pro Tour, which saw him win his first pro stop and move to number 1 on the US circuit.

The 2012 GAA Handball National All-Star Award Winners are as follows:

Player Awards:

Male Player of the Year: Paul Brady, Cavan

Female Player of the Year: Aisling Reilly, Antrim

International Player of the Year: Charly Shanks, Armagh

Masters Player of the Year: Dominick Lynch, Kerry

Young Male Player of the Year: Martin Mulkerrins, Galway

Young Female Player of the Year: Lorraine Havern, Down

Youth Male Player of the Year: Colin Crehan, Clare

Youth Female Player of the Year: Ciana Ní Churraoin, Galway

Official of the Year: Austin McKenna, Monaghan

Clubperson of the Year: Eugene Kennedy, St. Brigid’s, Dublin

Coach of the Year: John O’Donoghue, Tipperary

Special Achievement Award: Aoife Kelly, Tyrone

Team of the Year: Kells Open Club Team, Meath

Hall of Fame Award: Paddy Lennon, Wicklow

Club of the Year: Clann Eireann GAA HC, Lurgan, Armagh

President’s Volunteer Award: Mary Tully, St. Coman’s, Roscommon

M Donnelly Inter-Pro Football S-Final – Ulster 1-14 Munster 1-13

Munster rue late missed chances

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

Ulster 1-14 Munster 1-13

Munster manager Ger O’Sullivan was keen not to blame two of his players for missing late chances to bring yesterday’s Interprovincial football semi-final into extra-time. In a gripping encounter played in front of a paltry 1,615 crowd in Armagh, Gary Hurney on two occasions and Donncha O’Connor both could have levelled the game but kicked wides. Hurney’s first effort in the penultimate minute of normal time hit the post and went wide and O’Connor followed suit a minute later. With almost the last kick of the game, Hurney, who had a shot blocked by Pascal McConnell in the 52nd minute, kicked off balance and saw his shot finish wide of the Ulster goalkeeper’s right-hand post by 50 yards.

The Waterford forward, an impressive performer in last year’s series and key to winning frees in yesterday’s game, hung his head knowing the significance of the miss. O’Sullivan, though, wasn’t going to fault him or O’Connor. “We had a very good few chances in the end but the legs were very tired at that stage,” he said. “It’s not easy, a lot of these fellas were training with their counties the last number of weeks and they were training with their counties again this week. “I’m delighted with the response that I got, they love playing the competition. You look at the players from Cork and Kerry, they make two trips each up here to the north later on this year and the first weekend they get off this year they give the commitment to play for Munster.”

Munster’s fight-back was captivating, seeing Cork and Kerry players combine in one-twos to stage a resurgence that saw them go ahead by a point in the 56th minute after trailing by 10 points in the 29th minute. Having kept Ulster scoreless for 29 minutes and notching up 1-8 without reply, there was part of O’Sullivan that rued his team’s dramatic finish but he felt Ulster earned the win. “The first half took a lot out of us [Munster trailed 1-11 to 0-6]. We were under fierce pressure in the first half and then we had enough in the tank to come back at them in the second half. “It was difficult after that. They raised their game again and there was going to be another kick in them. More power to them, they deserved it over the 70 minutes.”

While delighted with the victory, Joe Kernan, in his home county, was saddened by the size of the crowd that turned up. “I’m disappointed, the people have to support this. You seen two very committed sets of players out there so it’s just a pity more people didn’t turn out. But they can come to Croke Park next week.” The presence of just one Armagh player in the panel, Ciaran McKeever, may have had some effect on the attractiveness to people in the vicinity of the Athletic Grounds.

However, he certainly made his presence felt here, locking horns once again with Paul Kerrigan after last year’s Armagh-Cork game at the same venue when Kerrigan was red carded and McKeever handed a retrospective ban that was later rescinded. Both were yellow carded for an off-the-ball incident in the first minute of the second half and McKeever later exchanged heated words with manager O’Sullivan. Noel O’Leary was booked six minutes from time for a foul on McKeever. Then, two minutes later, the Armagh captain was fortunate to stay on the field after pulling back Eoin Cadogan.

Kernan wasn’t happy with Jerome Henry’s officiating, especially with an unacknowledged foul on Mark Poland which could have resulted in a penalty. “I thought they were harshly treated with some of the decisions, we had a man straight through, tackled from behind and we don’t even get a free.” After almost 30 minutes of failing to score, it was McKeever who stepped up to equalise in the 58th minute following Aidan Walsh’s second point. A minute later and, with Tyrone substitute Conor McAliskey making an impact, McKeever added another before Seán Cavanagh extended Ulster’s lead to two with a free that was brought forward for remonstration.

In the 67th minute, Aidan O’Mahony pushed forward to make it a one-point game but there was no score to follow. For making it a contest when it looked anything but one in the first half, Munster deserve credit. Relying on four Colm O’Neill frees from their first-half total of six, they were struggling especially after Martin Penrose’s ninth minute goal. However, they revived themselves to creep ahead largely due to a 41st minute Donncha O’Connor penalty goal following a Neil McGee foul on O’Neill.

Scorers for Ulster: S Cavanagh 0-5 (4f); M Penrose 1-1; C McManus 0-4; C McKeever 0-2; E McGee, D Givney 0-1 each.

Scorers for Munster: C O’Neill 0-5 (all frees); D O’Connor 1-0 (pen); A Walsh 0-2; G Collins, G Brennan, M Ó Sé, B O’Driscoll, P Kerrigan, A O’Mahony 0-1 each.

ULSTER: P McConnell (Tyrone); C McKaigue (Derry); N McGee, E McGee (both Donegal); C McCarron (Tyrone), D Hughes (Monaghan), C McKeever (Armagh); S Cavanagh (Tyrone), D Givney (Cavan); M McHugh (Donegal), M Poland (Down), Joe McMahon (Tyrone); M Penrose (Tyrone) K Niblock (Antrim), C McManus (Monaghan).

Subs for Ulster: K Hughes (Monaghan) for McCarron (47); P McComiskey (Down) for Niblock (64); C McAliskey (Tyrone) for Poland (56).

Red card: D Givney (48, second yellow).

MUNSTER: B Kealy; M Ó Sé, A O’Mahony (all Kerry), P Codd (Tipperary); N O’Leary, E Cadogan, P Kissane (all Cork); G Brennan (Clare), A Walsh (Cork); P Kerrigan, D O’Connor (both Cork), A Clohessy (Clare); C O’Neill (Cork), G Hurney (Waterford), G Collins (Limerick).

Subs for Munster: M O’Gorman (Waterford) for Codd (29); B O’Driscoll (Cork) for Clohessy (32); R Donnelly (Clare) for Kerrigan, J O’Riordan (Limerick) for Collins (both 67).

Referee: J Henry (Mayo)


Ulster 1-14 Munster 1-13

Report from the web site

Ulster were left hanging on for a 1-14 to 1-13 win in this well-contested M Donnelly Interprovincial Football semi-final. Joe Kernan’s men looked in total control when they led by 1-11 to 0-06 at half-time, Martin Penrose scoring a fine goal in the 10th minute. However, Munster reeled off 1-06 without reply with Donncha O’Connor’s 40th-minute penalty igniting their fight-back. But Munster missed three chances to take the game to extra-time, Gary Hurney hitting two wides as Ulster hung on.

Sean Cavanagh was in superb form and Monaghan’s Conor McManus was also a key figure, hitting 0-04 from play. However, the home side totally lost their way as Munster scored an unanswered 1-08 either side of half-time. It took the visitors a long while to get up to the pace of the game but they came roaring back with a penalty five minutes after the restart from Donncha O’Connor. Colm O’Neill, who was fouled for the penalty, was at the heart of most of Munster’s scores as they chased down Ulster’s big lead. Aidan Walsh came into the game at midfield and Munster gradually chipped away at the deficit with points from Marc O Sé, Gary Brennan and substitute Barry O’Driscoll.

Ulster failed to score for 29 minutes either side of the break and with Munster in the ascendancy, the disappointing attendance of 1,615 supporters finally had a competitive match to watch. Ulster manager Kernan was furious when claims for a push in the back on Mark Poland were ignored and all the momentum was with Ger O’Sullivan’s men. Munster briefly took the lead when Aidan Walsh put them 1-12 to 1-11 in front with 15 minutes remaining.

Then Ciaran McKeever, Armagh’s sole representative on the Ulster team, scored two points from play inside 60 seconds to restore Ulster’s lead. Cavanagh tagged on a free before Aidan O’Mahony’s 68th-minute point left the minimum between the teams in a nail-biting finish. Ulster substitute, Tyrone rookie Connor McAliskey, made a useful impact and won the ball which led to McKeever’s second point. Munster spurned three chances to equalise and take the game to extra-time. Waterford’s Gary Hurney, who starred in last year’s final defeat to Ulster, was unlucky as his attempt at a point crashed off the post.

Goal scorer Donncha O’Connor was then guilty of a bad wide before Hurney missed again. After a quiet second half, Tyrone ace Cavanagh climbed highest and won a vital kickout to give Ulster possession and the defending champions survived to book their place in next Sunday’s final at Croke Park where they will face Leinster.

ULSTER: P McConnell; C McKaigue, N McGee, E McGee (0-01); C McCarron, D Hughes, C McKeever (0-02); S Cavanagh (0-05, 0-03f), D Givney (0-01); M McHugh, M Poland, J McMahon; M Penrose (1-01), K Niblock, C McManus (0-04).

Subs used: K Hughes for McCarron (47 mins), C McAliskey for Poland (54), P McComiskey for Niblock (64).

MUNSTER: B Kealy; M O Se (0-01), A O’Mahony (0-01), P Codd; N O’Leary, E Cadogan, P Kissane; G Brennan (0-01), A Walsh (0-2); A Clohessy, D O’Connor (1-00, 1-00 pen), P Kerrigan (0-01); G Hurney, C O’Neill (0-05, 0-05f), G Collins (0-01).

Subs used: M O’Gorman for Codd (30 mins), B O’Driscoll (0-01) for Clohessy (33), R Donnelly for Kerrigan, J O’Riordan for Collins (both 68).

Referee: Jerome Henry (Mayo)


Match Preview

Ulster v Munster, Athletic Grounds, 2.15pm

Reigning Interprovincial football champions Ulster take on Munster in the semi-final this Sunday in Armagh, and once again the northern province brings a remarkably impressive selection of players into the competition.

All nine counties are strongly represented on the panel, with the cream of Ulster footballers set to line out for Joe Kernan’s side. Among them are four of Donegal’s All-Ireland winners, with Michael Murphy, Neil McGee, Eamon McGee and Mark McHugh all taking part. Down stars Brendan McVeigh, Paul McComiskey, Mark Poland, Benny Coulter are in the panel while those involved from Tyrone include Pascal McConnell, Joe McMahon, Sean Cavanagh, Martin Penrose, Peter Harte, Cathal McCarron, Justin McMahon and Connor McAliskey.

The list of top players goes on, and beyond those from those three counties, elite players from Antrim, Armagh, Cavan, Derry, Fermanagh and Monaghan will all be hoping to play a role on Sunday. Their opponents Munster are managed by Ger O’Sullivan, who has Maurice Horan and Ger O’Keeffe with him as his selectors. They too have a serious crop of talent lining out for them this weekend.

They have All-Ireland winners from Cork and Kerry throughout their squad, with Marc Ó Sé and Aidan O’Mahony there from Kerry, and Noel O’Leary (Captain), Paudie Kissane, Paul Kerrigan, Aidan Walsh, Colm O’Neill, Donncha O’Connor, Eoin Cadogan all forming the Cork contingent. The squad is certainly not just limited to players from those two counties though – Waterford, Clare, Limerick and Tipperary are all very well represented on the panel.

Waterford and Limerick both have four representatives, while Clare have three and Tipperary have two. It means that all 15 counties from the two provinces of Ulster and Munster will be represented in this semi-final, a fine example of the meaning of the Interprovincial Championships. The winners will go forward to play the winners of the other semi-final, between Connacht and Leinster, at Croke Park on February 24.

Ulster Football Squad: Kieran McKeever (Armagh), Kevin Niblock (Antrim), Tommy McElroy (Fermanagh), Brendan McVeigh, Paul McComiskey, Mark Poland, Benny Coulter (all Down), Darren Hughes (capt), Kieran Hughes, Conor McManus (all Monaghan), David Gibney, Gearoid McKiernan (both Cavan), Pascal McConnell, Joe McMahon, Sean Cavanagh, Martin Penrose, Peter Harte, Cathal McCarron, Justin McMahon, Connor McAliskey (all Tyrone), Michael Murphy, Neil McGee, Eamon McGee, Mark McHugh (all Donegal), Chrissy McKaigue, Dermot McBride (both Derry).

Munster Football Squad: Noel O’Leary (Captain), Paudie Kissane, Paul Kerrigan, Aidan Walsh, Colm O’Neill, Donncha O’Connor, Eoin Cadogan (all Cork), Tony Grey, Maurice O’Gorman, Paul Whyte, Gary Hurney (all Waterford), Ger Collins, John O’Riordan, Thomas Lee, Seamus O’Carroll (all Limerick), Alan Clohessy, Gary Brennan, Rory Donnelly (all Clare), Brendan Kealy, Marc Ó Sé, Aidan O’Mahony (all Kerry), Paul Fitzgerald and Paddy Codd (both Tipperary)

For the Record

Munster Ulster
Team Management Ger O’Sullivan
(Cork, Manager),
Ger O’Keeffe (Kerry),
Maurice Horan (Limerick)
Joe Kernan (Armagh)
2012 Performance Defeated Leinster by 1-16 to 1-13 in the Semi-Final before losing to Ulster in the final Defeated Connacht by 3-16 to 0-11 in the Semi-Final before defeating Munster in the final
Number of Football titles 15 30
Last Football Title 2008 2012
Inter Provincial Football Record since 2000 Played – 15
Won – 5
Lost – 10
Drawn – 0
Played – 19
Won – 15
Lost – 4
Drawn – 0

2013 M Donnelly Inter Provincial Football Fixtures

Semi-Finals (Extra time)

Sunday February 17th

@ Morgan Athletic Grounds Armagh                 Ulster v Munster                          @ 2:00pm

@ Glennon Brothers Pearse Park Longford       Leinster v Connacht                     @ 2:00pm

Final (Extra time)

Sunday February 24th

Inter Provincial Football – A look back

Ulster have defeated Munster in the last 9 Inter Provincial Finals they have contested dating back to 1979.

Munster’s last victory over Ulster in a final came in 1978 after a replay on a scoreline of 4-12 to 0-19.

Ulster and Munster have played 49 times in the Inter Provincial Football competition since their first meeting in 1927. Ulster have won 26, Munster 18 while there have been 5 draws.

The record of the teams in Inter Provincial Finals involving both Munster and Ulster is Played 18, Ulster 12, Munster 4 and Drawn 2.

Munster have won 15 Inter Provincial Football titles. The breakdown by county of winning Munster Football captains is as follows – Kerry (11), Cork (4). John O’Keeffe (Kerry) is the only player to captain Munster to Inter Provincial Football success on two occasions, winning in 1977 and 1978 while playing at full-back. Tomas O Se is aiming become the 11th captain from Kerry to lead Munster to Inter Provincial Football honours.

Munster did not win an Inter Provincial Football title from 1950 through 1971.

After winning the 1999 title (captained by Seamus Moynihan of Kerry), Munster lost in the semi-final for the next 7 consecutive years. During those barren years, Nicholas Murphy (Cork) played in 6 of the 7 games, missing out only in 2004 before getting his just rewards as winning Munster captain in 2008.

Munster captured 4 Inter Provincial Football titles in a row from 1975 to 1978. Jimmy Barry-Murphy (Cork), Dave McCarthy (Cork), John O’Keeffe (Kerry), Ger Power (Kerry) and John Egan (Kerry) won medals in all four years.

Munster captured the first ever Inter Provincial Football competition in 1927 with victories over Ulster and Connacht.  John Joe Sheehy of Kerry was the winning captain.

Inter Provincial Football Roll Of Honour

Ulster (30) – 1942, 1943, 1947, 1950, 1956, 1960, 1963, 1964, 1965, 1966, 1968, 1970, 1971, 1979, 1980, 1983, 1984, 1989, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2004, 2007, 2009, 2012

Leinster (28) – 1928, 1929, 1930, 1932, 1933, 1935, 1939, 1940, 1944, 1945, 1952, 1953, 1954, 1955, 1959, 1961, 1962, 1974, 1985, 1986, 1987, 1988, 1996, 1997, 2001, 2002, 2005, 2006

Munster (15) – 1927, 1931, 1941, 1946, 1948, 1949, 1972, 1975, 1976, 1977, 1978, 1981, 1982, 1999, 2008

Connacht (9) – 1934, 1936, 1937, 1938, 1951, 1957, 1958, 1967, 1969

List of Munster Inter Provincial Football Teams

Visit the Munster GAA web site at to view the list of all the teams to represent Munster in the Inter Provincial Football competition.

Most Recent meeting – Ulster v Munster

2012 Final – Ulster 3-11 Munster 1-15 – Morgan Athletic Grounds Armagh on February 26th

Munster: Alan Quirke (Cork); Aidan O’Mahony (Kerry), Johnny McCarthy (Limerick), Stephen Lavin (Limerick); Tomas O Se (Kerry), Graham Canty (Cork), Paudie Kissane (Cork); Gary Brennan (Clare), Seamus Scanlon (Kerry); Patrick Kelly (Cork, 0-2), Paul Kerrigan (Cork, 0-3), John Cooke (Limerick); David Tubridy (Clare, 0-8, 0-3 frees, 0-1 45), Gary Hurney (Waterford, 0-2, 0-1 free), Ian Ryan (Limerick)

Subs: Pearse O’Neill (Cork) for Cooke, Rory Donnelly (Clare, 1-0) for Kelly, Mark Collins (Cork) for Ryan

Ulster: B McVeigh, B Donaghy, N McGee (1-0), K Lacey, C McKeever, D Hughes (0-3, 0-2 45s), J Loughrey, D Gordon (0-1), R Kavanagh, P Harte (1-0), M Poland (1-1), M Penrose (0-2, 0-1 free), C Gilligan, B Coulter, O Mulligan (0-4, 0-1 frees)

Subs: J McMahon for Gilligan, O Lennon for Kavanagh, V Corey for Loughrey

Referee: M Duffy (Sligo)

Most Recent victory for Munster v Ulster

2008: Semi-Final: Munster 1-5 Ulster 0-5 – October 26th at Fermoy

Munster: Paul Fitzgerald (Tipperary); Diarmuid Duggan (Cork), Johnny McCarthy (Limerick), Padraig Reidy (Kerry); Tomas Ó Sé (Kerry), Stephen Lavin (Limerick), Tomas O’Gorman (Waterford); John Galvin (Limerick), Nicholas Murphy (Cork); Patrick Kelly (Cork), Daniel Goulding (Cork), Maurice O’Gorman (Waterford); Donncha O’Connor (Cork), Micheal Cussen (Cork), Ian Ryan (Limerick).

Subs: Alan O’Connor (Cork) for Kelly (38), Liam Ó Lionáin (Waterford) for M O’Gorman (56), Michael Crowley (Limerick) for Ryan (59)

Ulster: J Devine (Tyrone); F Moriarty (Armagh), V Corey (Monaghan), K Lacey (Donegal); D Harte (Tyrone), C Gormley (Tyrone), A Carr (Down); D Clerkin (Monaghan), R Kavanagh (Donegal); B Dooher (Tyrone), B Mallon (Armagh), D Hughes (Down); S Johnston (Cavan), E Bradley (Derry), T Freeman (Monaghan).

Subs: K Toner (Armagh) for Johnston (38), S O’Neill for Bradley, E Lennon (Monaghan) for Carr, R Flanagan (Cavan) for Hughes (all 44), R Woods for Kavanagh (53).

Last Inter Provincial Football Title for Munster

2008: Final – Munster 1-9 Connacht 0-7

Munster team: Paul Fitzgerald (Tipperary); Diarmuid Duggan (Cork), Johnny McCarthy (Limerick), Padraig Reidy (Kerry); Tomas Ó Sé (Kerry), Steven Lavin (Limerick), Tomas O’Gorman (Waterford); John Galvin (Limerick), Nicholas Murphy (Cork – Captain); Patrick Kelly (Cork), Donnacha O’Connor (Cork), Maurice O’Gorman (Waterford); Daniel Goulding (Cork), Alan O’Connor (Cork), Ian Ryan (Limerick)

Subs: Robbie Costigan (Tipperary) for Tomas O’Gorman, John Hayes (Cork) for Alan O’Connor, Steven O’Donoghue (Cork) for Patrick Kelly, Eddie Rockett (Waterford) for Maurice O’Gorman, Michael Crowley (Limerick) for Ian Ryan. Joe Hayes (Clare). Michael Cussen (Cork) and Liam Ó Lionáin (Waterford) played in the semi-final.


The GAA announced today that all proceeds from the 2013 M. Donnelly GAA Football Interprovincial Final to be held on Sunday February 24 in Croke Park will go directly to Our Lady’s Children’s Hospital, Crumlin.

The AIB GAA Football All-Ireland Junior Club Championship final involving Kenmare Shamrocks (Kerry) and Ballinasloe (Galway) will act as the curtain raiser at 2pm, while the inter-provincial football final will throw-in at 3.45pm.

Uachtarán Chumann Lúthchleas Gael Liam O’ Neill made the announcement in Croke Park today joined by footballers Bernard Brogan, Dublin and Ciarán Lyng, Wexford who were on hand to show their support for the charity.

“The Association is delighted to play its part in helping the hospital fulfill its ambitious target of completing and delivering world class facilities for cardiac and cancer patients and their families”.

“Our inter-county All-Ireland winners have a long standing tradition of visiting Our Lady’s Children’s Hospital, Crumlin with the Sam Maguire and Liam MacCarthy Cups, always bringing a lot of excitement to many of the children. It is now our time to support them and I also welcome the support of the GPA on this initiative”, commented Uachtarán Chumann Luthchleas Gael Liam O’ Neill at the launch.

“Our Lady’s Children’s Hospital, Crumlin is delighted to team up with the GAA to help raise funds for our Cancer and Cardiac Wards” said Geraldine Regan, Deputy CE / Director of Nursing Our Lady’s Children’s Hospital Crumlin at today’s announcement.

“For many years the children and their families look forward to these visits from the victorious GAA teams and many of them decorate their rooms in the team colours”.

“This fund raiser is a very welcome extension of that support by the GAA and its players, which everyone associated with the Hospital much appreciates”.

Tickets for this Croke Park double header are priced at €10 for Adults, €5 for Juveniles with all proceeds going to Our Lady’s Children’s Hospital, Crumlin. Tickets can be purchased through or other usual outlets.

For more information contact Lisa Clancy, Director of Communications at 01-8658659 / 087-2314260


Sarah Benson, Communications Manager, Children’s Medical and Research Foundation at Our Lady’s Children’s Hospital, Crumlin on 087-7555988

Note to editor: The 2013 M. Donnelly inter-provincial football semi-finals take place this coming Sunday, February 17. In the first semi-final, reigning champions Ulster take on Munster at the Morgan Athletic Grounds, Armagh with throw-in at 2:15pm. In the second football semi-final, Leinster take on Connacht at 2pm in Glennon Brothers Pearse Park, Longford.

In the M. Donnelly GAA Hurling Interprovincial Championship semi finals the meeting of Ulster and Munster will take place at 12.30pm before the football equivalent in Armagh while the meeting of Leinster and Connacht takes place in O’Connor Park, Tullamore at 2pm.

Corn Uí Mhuirí Senior A Football Semi-Final – P.S. Chorca Dhuibhne 0-13 DLS Macroom 1-8

O Dubhain points the way for Dhuibhne

Pobalscoil Chorca Dhuibhne 0-13 DLS Macroom 1-8

Report from the Irish Independent newspaper

Pobalscoil Chorca Dhuibhne remain on course for a second consecutive Munster Colleges SFC title after a battling second-half performance saw off De La Salle at Knocknagree. Having gone in with a 0-6 to 0-4 half-time lead after playing with the strong breeze, the Dingle school – coached by Kerry manager Eamonn Fitzmaurice – looked in trouble when points from Pa Lucey (two) and James Moynihan put Macroom in front early in the second half.

But Chorca Dhuibhne responded strongly as Pádraig Ó Dubháin and Tom Ó Súilleabháin converted crucial frees, and when captain Éanna Ó Conchúir scored a pair of excellent points in the closing stages, their lead was 0-13 to 0-8. Macroom, who were beaten in last year’s final by Corca Dhuibhne, gave themselves late hope when Peter Kelleher fisted an injury-time goal, but they could not force another score. Chorca Dhuibhne began well as Ó Dubháin kicked three early frees, and despite missing some chances they led 0-6 to 0-1 as half-time approached. Two Lucey points and one from Seán O’Sullivan cut the gap to two by half-time, but Chorca Dhuibhne found another gear to advance to a final meeting with St Brendan’s, Killarney.

Scorers – Pobalscoil Chorca Dhuibhne: P Ó Dubháin 0-8 (5f), T Ó Súilleabháin (2f), É Ó Conchúir 0-2 each, P Breathnach 0-1. De La Salle, Macroom: P Lucey 0-5f, P Kelleher 1-0, S O’Sullivan 0-2, J Moynihan 0-1.

POBALSCOIL CHORCA DHUIBHNE – D Ó Conchúir; B Ó Beaglaíoch, C Ó Lúing, C Ó Súilleabháin; M Ó Flaharta, P Ó Conchúir, M Ó Conchúir; B Ó Súilleabháin, C Ó Beaglaíoch; T Ó Sé, P Breathnach, P Ó Dubháin; T Ó Súilleabháin, É Ó Conchúir, C Ó Bambaire. Sub: C Ó Muirthile for Breathnach (48).

DE LA SALLE, MACROOM – D Dineen; C Noonan, D O’Callaghan, K O’Dywer; S Creedon, S Kelleher, A Healy; P Kelleher, P Lucey; S Foley, J Moynihan, S O’Sullivan; P Berhanu, B O’Leary, J Murphy. Subs: D Cahalane for Creedon (h-t), M Cronin for Foley (43).

Ref – B Tyrell (Tipperary)

M Donnelly Inter-Pro Hurling S-Final – Munster 3-20 Ulster 1-14

Sheedy satisfied with Munster’s early impact

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

Munster 3-20 Ulster 1-14

Munster manager Liam Sheedy was satisfied with his team’s performance, even if they faded out in the second half at the Athletic Grounds yesterday. Ahead by 17 points in the 51st minute, Munster only managed two points from play against the wind in the second half while five Ulster scores on the trot in the last 10 minutes helped to put a kinder reflection on the score-line for the hosts. Munster’s three first-half goals, two from Limerick’s Graeme Mulcahy and the other a Paudie O’Sullivan strike, set them on their way to a convincing win.

Given how heavily counties are preparing for the start of the National League next weekend, Sheedy wasn’t concerned in the slightest by how the team’s scores dried up after the break. But for Shane Dowling’s six frees, Shane McGrath and Brian O’Meara’s efforts were their only other points. “We had a platform with the scores we took in the second 10-minute spell of the first half,” he said. “That is what we were looking for. “We put on five subs as well and we were anxious for other lads to see game-time. These guys have a lot of training done. “They’re in the middle of their league preparations and either had matches or trained on Saturday with their counties so 70 minutes was a big ask on the back of what they were doing. “There’s a lot of talk about the Railway Cup being this and that. Those players were very anxious to play in it and I think it’s a really good sign to see the energy and enthusiasm they bring. ”

In the final Munster will face a Connacht team comprising Galway players and they can expect a considerably tougher ride than they got in Armagh. Ulster captain Neil McManus was his team’s star performer and he weighed in with 1-7, his goal a peach of a score in the first half. However, he admitted he erred in electing to play against the wind in the first half after winning the toss. “In hindsight, it was the wrong thing maybe to do because we do lack a bit of confidence against that pedigree of opposition. “The right thing would have probably been to play with the breeze, take the advantage that was there and stay in the game for as long as possible.”

Munster, despite a strong wind at their backs, were slow to get up and running but found their feet when Mulcahy scored his first goal in the 14th minute. As Patrick Horgan’s free count increased, O’Sullivan bagged Munster’ second goal in the 17th minute when O’Meara and Mulcahy again combined to give him the chance. Now 2-6 to 0-3 ahead, Munster were in firm control, although there was a bit of fortune about their third goal when a speculative over-shoulder wind-assisted Shane McGrath puck from the centre of the field flew over the full-back line where a more alert Mulcahy pounced and beat Ryan McGarry for a second time.

It wasn’t much consolation, but the goal of the game belonged to McManus, who brilliantly doubled on a long ball in, a strike reminiscent of his fellow Antrim man Olcan McFetridge’s famous finish against Offaly in 1989. That 22nd minute score cut Munster’s lead to 10, (3-7 to 1-3), but Munster drove on again and picked up another five points to Ulster’s one before the break, giving them a 3-12 to 1-4 half-time lead. With Horgan leaving the action in the 51st minute, Dowling took over all free-taking duties after posting two beautiful long-range deadball strikes in the opening stages of the second half. Five Ulster unanswered scores from the 62nd to the 69th minute, McManus supplying two of them, cut Munster’s lead from 16 to 11 before Dowling struck over his sixth free.

Scorers for Munster: G Mulcahy 2-2; S Dowling 0-7 (0-1 65, 0-6f); P Horgan (0-6, all frees) P O’Sullivan 1-2; P Cronin, S McGrath, B O’Meara 0-1 each.

Scorers for Ulster: N McManus 1-7 (0-4 f); P Shiels 0-3; K Hinphey, R Gaffney, S McCrory, A Grant 0-1 each.

MUNSTER: A Nash; S O’Neill (both Cork), T Condon (Limerick), N Connors (Waterford); B Bugler (Clare), M Walsh (Waterford), W McNamara (Limerick); P Cronin (Cork), S McGrath (Tipperary); S Dowling (Limerick), P Maher (Tipperary); P O’Sullivan (Cork); G Mulcahy (Limerick), B O’Meara (Tipperary), P Horgan (Cork).

Subs for Munster: P Mahony (Waterford) for Horgan, S Daniels (Waterford) for Connors (both 51); G O’Mahony (Limerick) for Bugler, B Maher (Tipperary) for McGrath (both 54); S Sullivan (Waterford) for P Maher (61).

ULSTER: R McGarry (Antrim); M Warnock (Derry), A Graffin, K Stewart; N McAuley (all Antrim), L Hinphey (Derry), S McCrory (Antrim); B McFall (Antrim), K Hinphey; A Grant (both Derry); R Gaffney (Armagh), P Shiels; S McNaughton, N McManus (all Antrim), O McCloskey (Derry).

Subs for Ulster: C Carson (Antrim) for McFall (19); J Corvan (Armagh) for L Hinphey (h-t); E Clarke (Down) for McCloskey (46).

Referee: P Murphy (Carlow)


Munster 3-20 Ulster 1-14

Report from the web site

Munster crushed Ulster 3-20 to 1-14 in their M Donnelly Interprovincial Hurling semi-final clash at the Athletic Grounds. All the damage was done in the first half with three goals between the 14th and 19th minutes from Limerick’s Graeme Mulcahy (2) and Paudie O’Sullivan. Liam Sheedy’s side led by 3-12 to 1-04 at half-time but relied on free-taker Shane Dowling for most of their second half scores. Antrim’s Neil McManus led Ulster’s resistance with 1-07, including a 21st-minute goal, as he finished as the game’s top scorer

Ulster started with nine Antrim players and, for the first time in many years, no representative from Down who were in action the day before, beating Roscommon in the Kehoe Cup Shield. The home side took a third-minute lead through a McManus free and stayed with their opponents for the first 13 minutes, trailing by a respectable 0-04 to 0-03. It was not long before Munster started to find huge gaps and they scored three quick-fire goals from Mulcahy and Paudie O’Sullivan. Mulcahy scored 2-02 in the first-half, the Limerick forward giving Derry’s Michael Warnock probably the toughest test of his career. Patrick Horgan, one of five Cork men in the starting team, drilled over six frees during the opening period as Munster stretched their lead.

Ulster skipper McManus provided a much-needed goal for his team after 21 minutes. Shane McNaughton took a fine catch from Karl Stewart’s long puck and passed into McManus who did the rest. Paul Shiels then got Ulster’s first point in 18 minutes, brief respite against what was almost one-way traffic. Paudie O’Sullivan hit two points from out on the wing to add to his 16th-minute goal. Tipperary’s Brian O’Meara set up the first two goals and nice stick work put O’Sullivan through for Munster’s second major of the day. Mulcahy’s second goal demonstrated the space the Munster forwards were enjoying when he collected a long puck from the half-back and drilled the ball into the roof of the net.

Understandably, Munster took their foot off the gas in a pedestrian second half. Ulster outscored them by ten points to eight with McManus the player to shine in the second period. Munster only scored two points from play in the entire second 35 minutes, but Dowling’s six frees kept the scoreboard ticking over for them. Kevin Hinphey scored within 10 seconds of the restart and Antrim players accounted for five points in-a-row at one stage as Munster, never pushing beyond second gear, lost interest in the one-sided contest.

MUNSTER: A Nash; S O’Neill, T Condon, N Connors; B Bugler, M Walsh, W McNamara; P Cronin (0-01), S McGrath (0-01); S Dowling (0-07. 0-06f, 0-01 ’45’), P Maher, P O’Sullivan (1-02), G Mulcahy (2-02), B O’Meara (0-01), P Horgan (0-06,0-0 6f).
Subs used: S Daniels for Connors, P Mahony for Horgan (both 50 mins), B Maher for McGrath, G O’Mahony for Bugler (both 52), S Sullivan for Maher (60)

ULSTER: R McGarry; M Warnock, A Graffin, K Stewart; N McAuley, L Hinphey, S McCrory (0-01); B McFall, K Hinphey (0-01); A Grant (0-01), R Gaffney (0-01), P Shiels (0-03); S McNaughton, N McManus (1-07, 0-04f), O McCloskey
Subs used: C Corvan for McFall (18 mins), J Corvan for L Hinphey (half-time), E Clarke for McCloskey (45).



Match Preview

Sunday, February 17

M. Donnelly GAA Hurling Interprovincial Championship Semi-Finals

Ulster v Munster, Athletic Grounds, 12.30pm

Liam Sheedy takes a star-studded Munster squad to Armagh on Sunday for a semi-final clash with Gregory O’Kane’s Ulster, the first game of an exciting double bill of interprovincial action at the Athletic Grounds.

Sheedy was in charge of Munster last year when they were beaten at the same juncture by Leinster, so the former Tipperary boss will be keen to make amends given the province’s rich history in the competition. With 44 titles, their last coming in 2007, Munster are the most successful province in the long history of the competition formerly known as the Railway Cup. With seven players, Sheedy’s native Tipperary are the county with the highest representation in the panel, while Cork and Limerick each provide six squad members. Waterford (5) and Limerick (2) make up the 26-man selection. All told, Sheedy has a dazzling array of talent available to him, with Shane McGrath captaining the side.

O’Kane’s Ulster selection is dominated by Antrim players, with nine Saffrons named in the squad, while there are six Down and Derry men, as well as three from Armagh and two from Tyrone. Ulster were beaten heavily in their semi-final against Connacht last year, losing by 3-19 to 1-5 to a side made up entirely of Galway players. Ulster have never won the competition since its inception in 1927. The last time the sides met was in the semi-final back in October 2008, when Munster recorded a 2-14 to 1-12 victory at Fermoy. Eoin Kelly from Waterford top-scored for Munster with 1-5, while Séamus Callanan chipped in with 1-2. Down’s Paul Braniff hit 0-8 for Ulster and Shane McNaughton, who will feature on Sunday, scored their goal.

Ulster Hurling Squad: Ryan McGarry, Arron Graffin, Neal McAuley, Simon McRory, Barry McFall, Paul Shiels, Shane McNaughton, Neil McManus, Karl Stewart (all Antrim), Michael Warnock Liam Hinphey, Kevin Hinphey, Alan Grant, Oisín McCloskey, Conor Quinn (all Derry), Michael Ennis, Stephen Keith, Ciaran Coulter, Michael Hughes, Eoin Clarke, Danny Toner (all Down), Ryan Gaffney, Cathal Carville, Nathan Curry (all Armagh), Stephen Donnelly and Martin Grogan (both Tyrone).

Munster Hurling Squad: Brendan Cummins, Paul Curran, Brendan Maher, Shane McGrath, Patrick Maher, Brian O’Meara, Eoin Kelly (all Tipperary), Tom Condon, Donal O’Grady, Gavin O’Mahony, Wayne McNamara, Shane Dowling, Graeme Mulcahy (all Limerick), Anthony Nash, Shane O’Neill, Tom Kenny, Pa Cronin, Paudie O’Sullivan, Patrick Horgan (all Cork), Michael Walsh, Noel Connors, Shane Sullivan, Stephen Daniels, Páraic Mahony (all Waterford), Brendan Bugler, Colin Ryan (both Clare).

For the Record

Munster Ulster
Team Management Liam Sheedy
(Tipperary, Manager),
Jamesie O’Connor (Clare), Stephen Frampton (Waterford)
Gregory O’Kane (Antrim)
2012 Performance Lost to Leinster by 3-14 to 1-16 in the Semi-Final Lost to Connacht by 3-19 to 1-5 in the Semi-Final
Number of Hurling titles 44 0
Last Hurling Title 2007 N/A
Inter Provincial Hurling Record since 2000 Played – 17
Won – 10
Lost – 7
Drawn – 0

2013 M Donnelly Inter Provincial Hurling Fixtures

Semi-Finals (Extra time)

Sunday February 17th

@ Morgan Athletic Grounds Armagh       Munster v Ulster                          @ 12:30pm
@ O’Connor Park Tullamore                   Leinster v Connacht                     @ 2:00pm

Final (Extra time)

Sunday March 3rd

Inter Provincial Hurling – A look back

Munster have 44 Inter-Provincial Hurling titles. The breakdown by county of winning Munster Hurling captains is as follows – Cork (17), Tipperary (15), Waterford (5), Limerick (5) and Clare (2).

Sean Og Murphy (Cork), Christy Ring (Cork), Pat Stakelum (Tipperary), Tony Wall (Tipperary) and Jimmy Doyle (Tipperary) all captained Munster to win the Inter-Provincial Hurling title on 2 occasions.

On 2 separate occasions, Munster failed to win the Inter-Provincial competition for 5 consecutive campaigns (1971 to 1975 and 1986 to 1991).

3 of the last 8 Inter-Provincial Hurling Finals were played outside of Ireland – 2003 (Rome), 2005 (Boston) and 2009 (Abu Dhabi).

Leinster’s last 8 victories in this competition dating back to 1993 have been captained by Kilkenny players. 1993 (John Power), 1998 (Willie O’Connor), 2002 (Andy Comerford), 2003 (Michael Kavanagh), 2006 (Eddie Brennan), 2008 (Tommy Walsh), 2009 (JJ Delaney) and 2012 (Jackie Tyrell). The last non-Kilkenny captain of a winning Leinster hurling team was Aidan Fogarty (Offaly) in a 1988 victory over Connacht at Casement Park.

Since the competition began in 1927, only three Inter-Provincial Hurling Finals failed to produce a goal (1954, 1968 and 1997).

The competition was not played in 1990, 2010 and 2011.

Cork legend Christy Ring played for Munster for 23 consecutive seasons from 1941 to 1963, winning a total of 18 medals. John Doyle (Tipperary) won 8 Inter-Provincial medals

Last Munster Appearance in the Competition

2012 Semi-Final – Leinster 3-14 Munster 1-16 – Nowlan Park Kilkenny – February 19th

Munster Hurling Team: Donal Óg Cusack (Cork); Michael Cahill (Tipperary), Paul Curran (Tipperary), Tom Condon (Limerick); John Gardiner (Cork, 0-3, 0-2 frees, 0-1 65), Padraic Maher (Tipperary), Pat Donnellan (Clare, 0-1); Shane O’Sullivan (Waterford), Shane McGrath (Tipperary, 0-1); Pa Cronin (Cork, 0-1) Michael Walsh (Waterford, 0-1), Brendan Maher (Tipperary); John Conlon (Clare, 1-3), Eoin Kelly (Tipperary, Captain, 0-1 free), Pat Horgan (Cork, 0-3).

Subs: Donal O’Grady (Limerick) for Shane McGrath (39); Stephen Molumphy (Waterford) for Cronin (44), Gearoid Ryan (Tipperary), for Kelly (58), Kevin Moran (Waterford) for Donnellan (67), Pauric Mahony (Waterford, 0-2 frees)

Most Recent meeting – Munster v Ulster

October 25th 2008 at Fermoy – Munster 2-14 Ulster 1-12

Munster – Brendan Cummins (Tipperary); Conor O’Brien (Tipperary), Paul Curran (Tipperary), Seamus Hickey (Limerick); Brendan Bugler (Clare), Gerry Quinn (Clare), Declan Fanning (Tipperary); Brian O’Connell (Clare, 0-2), Tom Kenny (Cork); Tony Carmody (Clare, 0-2), Seamus Callanan (Tipperary, 1-2), Cathal Naughton (Cork, 0-1); Andrew O’Shaughnessy (Limerick), Eoin Kelly (Waterford, 1-5 – 1-1 65, 0-4 frees), Niall Gilligan (Clare, 0-1)

Subs: Ben O’Connor (Cork) for Gilligan (25), Paul Kelly (Tipperary, 0-1) for Naughton (47), Brian Corry (Cork) for Callanan (55), Donal O’Grady (Limerick) for O’Connell (60)

Ulster – R McGarry (Antrim); A Griffin (Antrim), N McGarry (Antrim), M Kettle (Antrim); G Clarke (Down), L Hinphey (Derry), J Campbell (Antrim); A Savage (Down), K McKeegan (Antrim, 0-1); K Stewart (Antrim, 0-1), K Hinphey (Derry, 0-1), P Braniff (Down, 0-8 – 0-6 frees, 0-1 65); S McNaughton (Antrim, 1-0), B McGourty (Down), P Shields (Antrim, 0-1)

Subs: N McManus (Antrim) for Kettle (15), P McCormack (Armagh) for McGourty (37), M Craig (Derry) for McKeegan (49)

Referee: Anthony Stapleton (Laois)

Last Inter Provincial Hurling Title for Munster

2007: Final – Munster 2-22 Connacht 2-19 played at Croke Park

Munster Team: Brian Murray (Limerick); Eoin Murphy (Murphy), Declan Fanning (Tipperary), Gerry Quinn (Clare); John Gardiner (Cork), Tony Browne (Waterford), Seamus Hickey (Limerick); Donal O’Grady (Limerick), Brian O’Connell (Clare); Shane McGrath (Tipperary), Ollie Moran (Limerick), Eoin Kelly (Waterford); John Mullane (Waterford, Captain), Dan Shanahan (Waterford), Lar Corbett (Tipperary)

Subs: Sean Óg Ó hAilpín (Cork) for O’Connell (Blood sub 20th minute to 49th minute); Niall Gilligan (Clare) for McGrath; Gerry O’Grady (Clare) for Murphy; Sean Óg Ó hAilpín for Quinn); Niall Moran for Ollie Moran); Mike O’Brien (Limerick) for Shanahan (Blood sub 58th minute to 64th minute). Gerry Kennedy (Tipperary), Sean O’Connor (Limerick), Michael Fitzgerald (Limerick), Jonothan Clancy (Clare). Conor O’Mahony (Tipperary), Michael Walsh (Waterford) and Timmy McCarthy (Cork) played in the semi-final.

Inter Provincial Hurling Roll Of Honour

Munster (44) – 1928, 1929, 1930, 1931, 1934, 1937, 1938, 1939, 1940, 1942, 1943, 1944, 1945, 1946, 1948, 1949, 1950, 1951, 1952, 1953, 1955, 1957, 1958, 1959, 1960, 1961, 1963, 1966, 1968, 1969, 1970, 1976, 1978, 1981, 1984, 1985, 1992, 1995, 1996, 1997, 2000, 2001, 2005, 2007

Leinster (28) – 1927, 1932, 1933, 1935, 1936, 1941, 1954, 1956, 1962, 1964, 1965, 1967, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1974, 1975, 1977, 1979, 1988, 1993, 1998, 2002, 2003, 2006, 2008, 2009, 2012

Connacht (11) – 1947, 1980, 1982, 1983, 1986, 1987, 1989, 1991, 1994, 1999, 2004

Ulster (0)

List of Munster Inter Provincial Hurling Teams

Visit the Munster GAA web site at to view the list of all the teams to represent Munster in the Inter Provincial Hurling competition.

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)

GAA teams up with Crumlin Children’s Hospital for Interprovincial Final



The GAA have announced that all proceeds from the 2013 M. Donnelly GAA Football Interprovincial Final to be held on Sunday February 24 in Croke Park will go directly to Our Lady’s Children’s Hospital, Crumlin. Footballers Bernard Brogan and Ciaran Lyng encourage all fans to come to the final to support their province and Our Lady’s Children’s Hospital, Crumlin.

Ashbourne Cup Camogie weekend

The eagerly anticipated Ashbourne and Purcell Cup takes place this weekend in the University of Limerick UL. The Ashbourne Cup semi finals will take centre stage on the Saturday with UL, WIT, UCD and NUIG all vying for a place in Sunday’s final.

Host’s UL will play the first semi final at 1pm on Saturday when they take on Connacht College NUI Galway. UL captain Maria Walsh will be hoping to lead her charges to victory in what will be a tricky encounter against NUIG. The Limerick college topped Group A with excellent victories over UCC and UCD. The Bolger sisters Lisa and Linda, Cork Captain Julia Walsh and Tipperary’s Cait Devane form the backbone of the team and they along with Maria Walsh will be hoping to go one further than last year when they were beaten by Waterford IT in the Ashbourne Cup final. NUIG go into the game as an unknown quantity. They finished runners-up in Group B after behind WIT and ahead of UUJ. NUIG recorded a comprehensive victory over UUJ before taking on WIT in Waterford. The NUIG girls fought valiantly for three quarters of the match before finally succumbing to Ashbourne favourites and defending champions WIT.

In the second semi final Dublin college UCD will take on WIT in what should be a thrilling semi final. UCD have not reached the final of the Ashbourne Cup since 2009 when they were prevented from winning the three in a row by WIT. WIT have since gone on to win four Ashbourne Cup finals and UCD will be hoping to extract some revenge when they go head to head on Saturday at 3pm. UCD are backboned by Katie O’Dwyer, Grace Walsh and the free scoring Susie O’Carroll. Monaghan’s Eileen McElroy and Alison Maguire provide the experience for UCD and they will be hoping to provide an attaching launch pad.

WIT are defending champions and firm Ashbourne favourites, they still boast an abundance of talent and can call on 2012 Camogie All Star Katrina Parrock, former young player of the year Denise Gaule and Laois defender Sarah Ann Fitzgerald. WIT recorded a comprehensive victory against UUJ in the group stages followed by victory over NUIG in the final group game. WIT will be hoping that Katie Power has recovered in time from her injury and Patricia Jackman continues her strong performances from last year.

Both semi finals will prove to be intriguing battles. UL should overcome NUIG while WIT will be hoping that their experience will help them overcome UCD. UCD will go into the game as underdogs but their quiet build up to the competition could see them upset the odds and make it through to the final on Sunday.

Pitch 1 North Campus

1pm University of Limerick –v- NUI Galway

3pm Waterford Institute of Technology –v- University of College Dublin.