Cork – Waterford Rivalry Resumes In Semple

Having met in some of the most memorable Munster Championship clashes of the past decade, Cork and Waterford kick-start the 2014 edition with a potentially fascinating Quarter-Final tie at Semple Stadium. The Rebels have not tasted provincial glory since 2006 and despite narrowly failing to land the Liam MacCarthy last year, captain Patrick Cronin believes his side must focus fully on the challenge posed by The Deise given the tight nature of their recent Championship duels. Waterford begin a summer without stalwart Tony Browne for the first time in more than 20 years and defender Stephen Daniels admits that the panel is in transition following some high-profile retirements and last year’s Minor All-Ireland success.

Cork’s Seanie McGrath Targets Silverware

Cork Selector Seánie McGrath thinks his side have made great progress under Jimmy Barry-Murphy and feels they must now land a trophy in 2014 having just missed out on Munster and All-Ireland titles last summer. The Rebels are heavily favoured to overcome Waterford in this Sunday’s Munster Championship Quarter-Final but McGrath has warned against complacency, believing The Deise have no fear of Cork.

Shannon Airport Munster Go Games launched

Championship fever begins for children as Shannon Airport Munster Go Games launched

Championship excitement for almost 400 primary schoolchildren across Munster took flight today as the Shannon Airport Primary Go Games were launched.

Photos from the launch

The Go Games are an integral part of the Munster Championship season as children from across the province get to play for their respective counties at half time in all senior matches.

This year’s Go Games are being boosted by Shannon Airport, which has come on board as a title sponsor. The launch of the games took place at Shannon Airport with schoolchildren, representatives of Munster GAA, including Chairman Robert Frost, members of the airport executive and GAA stars Podge Collins, Conor Ryan, Séadna Morey and Colin Ryan of Clare and Limerick hurler Stephen Walsh.

Two games, one each for boys and girls, with eleven players per team, will take place at the break in big matches at Semple Stadium, Páirc Uí Chaoimh and other iconic venues throughout the province during what promises to be another magical summer for championship football and hurling in Munster.

The Go Games are a long standing fixture in the province, with many leading stars of the games today having made their inter-county bow in the primary school game, among them Limerick hurlers Seamus Hickey and Declan Hannon and camogie stars Niamh and Claire Mulcahy; Tipperary’s Noel McGrath and Cork’s Paudie O’Sullivan.

On the footballing side, Declan O Sullivan, who led the Kingdom to the Sam Maguire in 2006 and 2007, made his inter-county debut also in the Go Game, as did Kerry midfield duo Anthony Maher and Denis Moran.

“The emphasis in Go Games is on participation, enjoyment and developing skill,” said Robert Frost, Chairman of the Munster Council. “Children who get to play in these games get a magical experience in their ‘field of dreams’ in front of huge crowds. All you have to do is be there on the day and see the excitement in their eyes in the moments before they get to step out onto the pitch. Participation in the games creates a memory that lasts them a life-time.

“We are delighted this year to have Shannon Airport on board as a sponsor. Shannon is such an important airport for Munster, the only one with transatlantic services for example. It enables so many emigrants fly back in for matches and is also a place that creates huge excitement for children.”

Shannon Airport CEO Neil Pakey, an immediate convert to the magic on the GAA on his arrival here last year from the UK to take up his role, said that the Go Games typify the uniqueness of the GAA.
“There’s so much to admire about Irish culture but the GAA is such a stand out piece. It knits communities together and has the family and children at its core as well. The Go Games typify this. You won’t see too many sports around the world that will have children on their pitches at half time in major games playing in front of huge crowds like this.

“We jumped at the opportunity to sponsor the games when it was put to us. We make a big effort here to make Shannon as child friendly as possible through a range of initiatives. Last Christmas, for example, we flew 4,000 parents and children 15,000ft into the sky to meet Santa for free and this sponsorship is continuing in that vein.”

Joe Lyons, Chairman of Munster Cumann na mBunscol emphasised the importance of the games: “This year’s Shannon Airport Primary Go Games promise to be very exciting for all the children. Innovative ideas such as this are the lifeblood of our games.”


Further details:

Joe Lyons, Chairman. Cumann na mBunscol
(086) 8113284

Gearóid Ó Riain, Munster GAA PRO, OCP Comhairle na Mumhan

Christy Ring Cup – Kerry 3-18 Kildare 1-16

Kerry defeated Kildare by 3-18 to 1-16 in the second round of the Christy Ring Cup on Saturday May 17th at Newbridge.

Star man Nolan keeps Kingdom on the march

Report from the Irish Independent newspaper

Kerry advanced to the semi-final of this competition after a hard-earned win over Kildare at St Conleth’s Park. The hosts started strongly and a run of four points gave them a three-point lead before Padraig Boyle levelled with an 18th-minute goal. The Ballyduff man followed up with a second before Shane Nolan converted a penalty to give Kerry a 3-9 to 0-11 interval lead. Paul Dermody got Kildare back into the game with a goal from a 44th-minute penalty, but Kerry finished strongly to secure the victory.

Scorers –
Kerry: S Nolan 1-8 (6fs, 0-1 ’65’, 1-0 pen), P Boyle 2-2, D O’Connell, J Egan 0-2 each, M Boyle, D Butler, P Lucid, S Weir 0-1 each. Kildare: P Divilly 0-5 (4fs), G Keegan 0-3, P Dermody 1-0 (pen), D Harney, M Delaney, E O’Neill (1 s/l) 0-2 each, M Fitzgerald, B Deay 0-1 each.

Kerry: T Flynn; B Murphy, T Murnane, D Fitzell; S Weir, D Dineen, T Casey; D O’Connell, J Egan; D Collins, S Nolan, C Harty; P Boyle, M Boyle, D Butler
Subs: J Griffin for Casey (52), K Carmody for Harty (61), P Lucid for Dineen blood (69-70), P Lucid for Butler (70).

Kildare: P Dermody; J Doran, M Moloney, P Curtin; D Harney, N Ó Muineacháin, R Hoban; E O’Neill, M Fitzgerald; R Kelly, T Murphy, P Divilly; G Keegan, M Delaney, B Deay
Subs: K Whelan for O’Neill (52), R McLoughney for Delaney (58), R Casey for Kelly (68).

Referee: S Cleere (Kilkenny)

Last year’s runners-up Kerry are through to the Christy Ring Cup semi-finals for the fifth time in six years after they saw off Kildare in Newbridge. Kildare started brightly, with a sideline cut by Éanna O’Neill and points by Gerry Keegan and Bernard Deay helping them into a 0-7 to 0-4 lead by the end of the first quarter, but Kerry found the net three times between then and the half-hour mark. Pádraig Boyle hit two of those goals and Shane Nolan got the third from a penalty to leave Kerry ahead by 3-9 to 0-11 at half-time. Kildare won a penalty themselves eight minutes into the second half and goalkeeper Paul Dermody buried it to inspire them to close the gap to three points, but Kerry outscored the hosts by six points to one in the last 20 minutes to win by eight.

Best Score Competition – Win Cork v Waterford tickets

Cork will play Waterford in the Munster GAA Senior Hurling Championship Quarter-Final on Sunday May 25th at 4:00pm in Semple Stadium Thurles.

Competition to win Tickets for Cork v Waterford

Thanks to everyone who entered the competition for tickets to the Cork v Waterford match on Sunday.

Score 1 – Paul Flynn’s goal in the 2004 Munster Senior Hurling Final was the choice of over 50% of entries. Congratulations to Seamus Power who was selected from the list of Paul Flynn entries and will receive 2 tickets for Sunday’s game.

Score 2 – Aisake O’Hailpin’s goal in the 2010 Munster Final was the most popular Cork score among those entered and James Tobin was selected from the list of Score 2 entries and will also receive 2 tickets for Sunday’s game.

Further Ticket Information available here

2014 Munster Senior Hurling & Football Championship Launch

The 2014 Munster GAA Senior Hurling & Football Championship Launch took place on Monday evening May 12th at King John’s Castle Limerick.

Photos from the 2014 Launch – via Munster GAA Facebook

The championships were officially launched by the recently retired Kerry Footballers Tomas O Se in the presence of a large attendance of GAA officials, sponsors and the assembled media who met with players & management throughout the evening.

GAA / UCD Community entrepreneurship programme

We are delighted to announce the arrival of the GAA-UCD Community entrepreneurship programme to the Munster region. The GAA and the Innovation Academy UCD through the Community Entrepreneurship Programme are providing very direct support to individuals living in rural communities to take that step to becoming self-employed. This is about job creation, about maintaining vibrant and economically successful communities and providing a viable alternative to emigration.

The collaboration will build on the combined strengths of the two parties, (i) community participation on the part of the GAA, (ii) action based entrepreneurial education as developed by the UCD Innovation Academy on the part of UCD.

The next course is kindly hosted by the Munster GAA office in Limerick. Its a 18 week part-time course (Every Tuesday/Wednesday) and participants can apply for a free place through Springboard courses. The next course commences on Tuesday May the 20th, but places can be secured until the 28th of May.

We are holding an information evening on Tuesday the 13th of May between 5 and 8pm in the GAA Munster Head quarters (Limerick) where people will be able to come and find out more about this powerful GAA-UCD programme.

This programme is being Championed by a great Munster Entrepreneur in Frank Murphy (CEO Monex).

Attached are more details of the course and we hope you can distribute this information to anyone you feel might benefit from this course.

GAA-UCD Community entrepreneurship programme

Irish Daily Star National Camogie League Division 4 Final Replay – Limerick 5-5 Kerry 1-10

Limerick defeated Kerry by 5-5 to 1-10 in the Irish Daily Star National Camogie League Division 4 Final Replay on Sunday May 11th at Newcastlewest.

Limerick 5-05 Kerry 1-10

Kerry fought back but Limerick held on for the title

Limerick held off a stunning Kerry fight-back in the second half to be crowned Irish Daily Star Camogie League Division 4 champions after a 5-05 to 1-10 victory in this thrilling replay in Newcastle West.

Ger Curtin’s team needed a late point to earn a second bite of the cherry and were never behind on home turf this time around. Indeed, they led by three goals at half time and looked to be cruising to a comfortable success. That was to reckon without the character of a Kerry squad competing in the league for the first time. Nor did it take into account the prodigious Sara Murphy, who followed up her magnificence in the drawn game with another tour de force that yielded all bar one point of her side’s tally.

That stunning contribution brought Kerry level with five minutes remaining, but Limerick finished with goals from their saviour in the drawn encounter, Caitrín de Bhál, and Sarah Collins to stop their opponents in their tracks. Limerick got off to a brilliant start with a goal from Elaine Kennedy in the second minute. It was a very well-worked score, with the quick transference of the sliotar bemusing the Kerry defence.
The final pass found Kennedy unattended and she made no mistake from close range.

Murphy she got her side off the mark from a free. Lisa Scanlon responded from a long-distance placed ball before Murphy notched up her second pointed free. Kennedy struck for her second goal after 17 minutes though, following some fine play in the corner by Margaret Lynch, and within two minutes, Collins made it 3-1 to 0-2, with an unstoppable shot for the first of her two majors. David Doyle’s crew managed to tighten up their defence until the significant closing moments of the game but trailing by 3-03 to 0-03 at half time, their prospects weren’t looking good.

Doyle certainly worked the oracle during the interval though and Kerry were a completely different outfit after the resumption. Points from Murphy (free), Laura Collins and Murphy again (45) increased confidence and when Murphy followed up another converted free with a goal the margin was down to two points suddenly. Kerry were flying and Limerick were clearly teetering.

Muireann Creamer steadied the ship momentarily for the hosts with their first score of the second half but Murphy punished Limerick indiscipline on three further occasions to bring the sides level on 3-04 to 1-10 with five minutes left. At this juncture, all the momentum was with Kerry but Limerick showed tremendous spirit to dig deep in the defining period of the game. De Bhál put them ahead with a point before Collins pounced for a 58th minute goal. As Kerry poured forward, de Bhál capitalised on the gaps to grab another goal in injury time.

SCORERS FOR LIMERICK: E Kennedy, S Collins 2-00 each; C de Bhál 1-01; L Scanlon 0-02(fs); K Carroll, M Creamer 0-01 each

SCORERS FOR KERRY: S Murphy 1-09 (0-08fs, 0-01 45); L Collins 0-01

Tesco Homegrown National Ladies Football Division 1 Final – Cork 1-9 Dublin 2-4

Cork defeated Dublin by 1-9 to 2-4 in the Tesco Homegrown National Ladies Football Division 1 Final on Saturday May 10th at Parnell Park Dublin.

Cork ladies continued their winning run over Dublin and lifted their eighth Tesco Homegrown National Football League title in ten years at Parnell Park on Saturday. Dublin were desperate to get one over the Rebelettes, who had beaten them at the All-Ireland quarter-final stage in two of the last three years, and they led by four points early in the second half.

However Cork showed their resilience and battling qualities once again, scoring six points in a row to turn the game on its head with Dublin failing to score for 21 minutes. The Dublin girls hit six wides after the break, the most crucial being a poor effort from captain Sinead Goldrick when they trailed by a point with two minutes remaining. Cork, appearing in their seventh league final in a row compared to Dublin’s first, used all their experience to run the clock down and drew the free which Geraldine O’Reilly expertly converted with ten seconds remaining. There were the same number of goals scored as points in a low-scoring first half.

Lindsay Peat, who scored a hat-trick in the semi-final win over Monaghan, was back among the goals with two cracking finishes in the first half. There was good work down the stand side by Noelle Healy, who passed inside and Peat blasted the ball high to the far corner of the net for the opening goal after ten minutes.

Cork responded with a goal from Orlagh Farmer three minutes later with a low snapshot which flew past Cliodhna O’Connor in the Dublin goal.
Lyndsey Davey scored a long range point for Dublin and she then created Peat’s second goal, spinning brilliantly and running towards before unselfishly passing inside to Peat whose explosive finish left Martina O’Brien with no chance. All Star forward and expert free-taker Valerie Mulcahy was not named to start the game but she ended up as Cork’s top scorer with 0-5. Her only point from play came just before the break to leave her team trailing by just 2-1 to 1-2.

When Dublin opened up with two points in three minutes from Davey and Sinead Aherne to stretch their lead to four, it looked as though they would finally get a victory over the Rebelettes. Cork had other ideas, however, and three Mulcahy frees as well as points from Geraldine O’Flynn, Doireann O’Sullivan and substitute Deirdre O’Reilly from a narrow saw them turn the game around.

While the brilliant Carla Rowe won and carried a lot of ball, the Dublin forwards disappointed and could not win the ball. Aherne’s close-in free ended Dublin’s 21 minute scoring drought after 54 minutes to reduce the gap to a point. But Cork, who have lost some key players since last season, showed they still had the confidence to play the possession game with O’Flynn kicking the insurance point to break Dublin hearts again.

Scorers for Dublin – L Peat 2-0, L Davey 0-2, S Aherne 0-2 (2f)

Scorers for Cork – V Mulcahy 0-5 (4f), O Farmer 1-0, G O’Flynn 0-2 (1f), D O’Sullivan, D O’Reilly 0-1 each

DUBLIN: C O’Connor; S McGrath, S Furlong, R Ruddy; S Goldrick (capt), S Finnegan, C Rowe; D Masterson, S McCaffrey; S Woods, N McEvoy, N Healy; L Davey, S Aherne, L Peat
Subs: D Murphy for Woods (45), N Hyland for McEvoy (48), O Leonard for Masterson (55)

CORK: M O’Brien; R Phelan, Angela Walsh, B Stack; V Foley, Ann Marie Walsh, G O’Flynn; R Buckley, B Corkery (capt); Annie Walsh, C O’Sullivan, O Farmer; E Farmer, D O’Sullivan, V Mulcahy
Subs: D O’Reilly for Ann Marie Walsh (36), O Finn for O Farmer (40), E Scally for Annie Walsh (40), G Kearney for E Farmer (51), N Kelly for Foley (54)

REFEREE: J Niland (Sligo)

Team News

CORK: M O’Brien (Clonakilty); R Phelan (Aghada), A Walsh (Inch Rovers), B Stack (Liscarroll); V Foley (St. Val’s), AM Walsh (Inch Rovers), G O’Flynn (Lisacarroll); R Buckley (Donoughmore), B Corkery (C) (St. Val’s); A Walsh (Inch Rovers), C O’Sullivan (Mourneabbey), O Farmer (Midelton); E Farmer (Aghada), D O’Sullivan (Mourneabbey), O Finn (Kinsale)
Subs: J O’Sullivan (St Val’s), V Mulcahy (Rockbán), G Kearney (Bride Rovers), E Scally (Éire Óg), M Ambrose (St Val’s), N Kelly (Liscarroll), A Barrett (Donoughmore), J Barry (Bride Rovers), R O’Sullivan (Mourneabbey), D O’Reilly (Liscarroll), C Creedon (St Vals), J O’Shea (Inch Rovers), ÁT O’Sullivan (Beara), M O’Callaghan (Mourneabbey), E Scally (Éire Óg).

DUBLIN: C Trant (St Brigid’s); S McGrath (Thomas Davis), S Furlong (St. Brigid’s), R Ruddy (Ballyboden St. Enda’s); S Goldrick (C) (Foxrock Cabinteely), S Finnegan (Fingallians), C Rowe (Clann Mhuire); D Masterson (Naomh Mearnóg), S McCaffrey (Clontarf); S Woods (Raheny), N McEvoy (St Sylvester’s), N Healy (St Brigid’s); L Davey (Skerries Harps), S Aherne (St Sylvester’s), L Peat (Parnell’s)
Subs: C O’Connor (Naomh Mearnóg), N Hyland (Ballyboden St. Enda’s), D Murphy (St. Brigid’s), O Leonard (St Maur’s), L Caffrey (Na Fianna), N Collins (Foxrock Cabinteely), M Mohan (Clontarf), L Collins (Na Fianna), E McDonagh, (Foxrock Cabinteely), M Lambe (Kilmacud Crokes), N Owens (St Sylvester’s), O Carey (Thomas Davis), A Barrett (Clann Mhuire), C Barrett (St Brigid’s), E Merrigan (Parnells).

Doireann O’Sullivan

By Jackie Cahill

AT just 19 years of age, Cork star Doireann O’Sullivan already boasts a career CV that is the envy of many. The Mourneabbey player is a two-time TG4 All-Ireland senior medallist and a Munster senior championship winner from 2012. And next Saturday at Parnell Park, O’Sullivan is hoping to claim a second Tesco Homegrown Ladies National Football League Division 1 crown in three seasons.

But the 2014 campaign has been one of transition for Cork, following the retirements of goalkeeper Elaine Harte and ‘puppet-master’ midfielder Juliet Murphy. O’Sullivan’s abiding memory of O’Sullivan is from last year’s All-Ireland quarter-final – when Cork staged a staggering comeback from nine points down to win by four against Dublin.

O’Sullivan recalls: “We went in at half-time and we were in an ok place. “They (Dublin) came out all guns blazing and we weren’t ready for that at all. Down to Juliet, I think. “A few of were panicking on the ball, small things like getting passes wrong or fumbling the solo. “There was a break in play, one of the Dublin girls went down and she called the six forwards in and spoke to us. “She’s just an incredible leader on the field. She’s like a puppet-master – she pulls all the strings and someone to look up to when things are going bad.”

Cork have slowly adapted to life with Murphy and Harte to reach a seventh successive Division 1 final, despite losing to Kerry and Monaghan along the way. And O’Sullivan is “unsure” about the future of another eight-time All-Ireland senior medallist, Nollaig Cleary, who is contemplating her intercounty future.

O’Sullivan revealed: “Unsure – I think she’s making up her mind after the League. “She came back I think just before the semi-final of the League last year. “She got married there over Christmas so I’d say it’s taking her a bit longer this year! Hopefully she’ll be back.”

Harte, Cleary and Murphy were just three of the vastly experienced Cork stars who welcomed O’Sullivan into the fold with open arms. She explains: “This is my third year. 2012 was my first season. The girls are very humble – they welcomed me in. “I was only 17 and could probably tell that I was nervous. But they were really helpful, gave advice and them passing you the ball in the match is a big thing. “They obviously trust you as well – that’s important. The last couple of years, there’s a good balance between young and old.”

O’Sullivan adds: “When you lose your one of your midfielders and your goalie, it’s a lot to contend with but the everyone in general has pulled up their socks. “We have four minors on the panel and ten U21s pushing for places. We have 40 on the panel; we’ve had A v B matches and you might as well be playing Kerry or rivals like that. There’s a fierce intensity in training, which is good.”
O’Sullivan’s sisters Ciara and Roisin are also key members of the Cork squad.

Ciara has recovered not once but twice from cruciate knee ligament damage and played in the 2012 decider despite suffering injury in the semi-final victory over Monaghan. Doireann confirms: “She played the All-Ireland after doing the cruciate – gym twice a day with Declan O’Sullivan. She’s good now, injury-free fingers crossed but you’d still be worried about her regardless.”

In the League semi-final victory over Munster rivals Kerry, Ciara operated at centre forward, with Doireann occupying the full-forward position. The siblings are expected to occupy the same positions against Dublin on Saturday and Doireann has warned that the Sky Blues won’t let another big lead slip if they manage to establish it.

She said: “If we go down nine points at the weekend, we won’t get away with that. We have to get a good start. They have some good players like Lindsay Peat and Lyndsey Davey and we’ll have to mark a few of their forwards.”

Tesco Homegrown National Ladies Football Division 3 Final – Armagh v Waterford

Armagh defeated Waterford by 1-14 to 1-5 in the Tesco Homegrown National Ladies Football Division 3 Final on Saturday May 10th at Parnell Park Dublin.

Armagh ran out comfortable winners of the Tesco Homegrown Division 3 ladies football league final in Parnell Park, doing most of the damage in a 20 minute spell either of half time to clinch promotion. The orchard county hit an unanswered 1-3 in the eight minutes before the break, and then reeled off four points early in the second half to Waterford. The game finished 13-a-side after a flurry of cards in the last ten minutes.
Armagh full-forward Kelly Mallon received a very harsh straight red after 53 minutes, with team-mate Sarah Marley and Waterford duo Shona Curran and Grainne Kenneally all going into the sin bin.

Waterford were not expected to push Armagh so hard and will feel they could have got even closer only for their eight first-half wides and a missed penalty by Michelle Ryan in the 45th minute. After a tentative start by both teams, Michelle Ryan’s free gave Waterford the opening score in the tenth minute. Armagh did not live up to billing as hot favourites but they did land three quick-fire points in a four minute spell through Lauren McConville, Mags McAlinden and Fionnuala McKenna’s free.

Liz Devine got Waterford’s first and only point from play of the first half in the 17th minute to reduce the deficit to 0-3 to 0-2.
Waterford certainly had their chances, with Grainne Kenneally and Aileen Wall influential, and they were made to regret those misses when Armagh reeled off an unanswered 1-3 before half-time. Kelly Mallon pointed when Caroline O’Hanlon kicked a ’45’ short, and McKenna added a second point to put clear daylight between the teams.

Then came a crucial few minutes, when Waterford spurned a great goal chance. Wall’s passed inside to substitute Hannah Landers but her goal-bound shot was brilliantly blocked by fullback Caoimhe Morgan. The rebound fell loose to Shona Curran who inexplicably hit her shot wide of a gaping net.
Armagh made them pay with a Lauren McConville goal in the 29th minute. She dispossessed Mary Foley and played a one-two with McAlinden before blasting the ball high into the roof of the net. Substitute Siobhan Mackle tagged on another point to give Armagh a 1-6 to 0-2 lead which flattered them.

McConville, McKenna (two) and Aoife McCoy helped put Armagh 1-10 to 0-3 ahead, but Waterford responded with a goal from substitute Shauna Dunphy.
Waterford had the initiative and Armagh were struggling to put the game to bed, hitting seven wides in the second half. However Waterford’s challenge faded after Ryan’s missed penalty as Armagh went one better than last year by clinching the Division 3 title.

Scorers for Armagh – L McConville 1-2, F McKenna 0-5 (2f), S Mackle 0-3, K Mallon 0-2, M McAlinden, A McCoy 0-1 each

Scorers for Waterford – S Dunphy 1-0, M Ryan 0-2 (2f), S Curran, H Landers, L Devine 0-1 each

ARMAGH: K Daly; M Tennyson, C Morgan, S Marley; M McGuinness, N Marley, S Reel; C Malone, C O’Hanlon (capt); N Henderson, F McKenna, A McCoy; L McConville, K Mallon, M McAlinden
Subs: S Mackle for Malone (28), S Grey for McGuinness (38), L Kenny for McAlinden (45)

WATERFORD: A Jordan; N Dunphy, G Enright, M Foley; S Curran, K McGrath, G Kenneally; M McGrath (capt), E Power; L Wall, M Ryan, M Wall; A Wall, M Revins, L Devine
Subs: H Landers for Revins (19), S Dunphy for Devine (36)

REFEREE: M Doherty (Wexford)