McGrath Cup Football – Clare 1-10 Tipperary 1-9

Clare defeated Tipperary by 1-10 to 1-9 in the first round of the McGrath Cup Senior Football competition on Sunday January 3rd at Miltown Malbay.

Late goal by Kieran Malone caps Clare comeback

By Gerry Quinn for the Irish Examiner newspaper

Clare 1-10 Tipperary 1-9: A late goal by local star Kieran Malone earned Clare victory over Tipperary in the opening round of the McGrath Cup yesterday.

Clare’s Keelan Sexton opened the scoring, from a fifth-minute free, before Tipperary’s Brian Fox and Eoin Cleary exchanged scores.

Then, Liam Kearns’ visitors took the game by the scruff of the neck and scored 1-5 in a devastating ten-minute spell. Kevin O’Halloran was the goal-scorer. He cheekily lobbed Clare goalkeeper, Pierce De Loughrey, who was off his line. At half-time, Tipperary had a 1-6 to 0-4 lead.

On the restart, Clare scored two valuable points, from Sexton and sub, Gary Brennan, to reduce the deficit to three. However, with seven minutes remaining, Tipp led 1-9 to 0-8, but another Clare sub, David Tubridy, kicked two points from play, before turning provider for the in-rushing Malone, who rifled home from close range. Tipp had chances to tie the game, but poor shooting let them down.

Scorers for Clare: K Sexton (0-4, 3 frees), K Malone (1-0), D Tubridy (0-2), E Cleary (f), C O’Connor (’45), G Brennan, S O’Donoghue (0-1) each.

Scorers for Tipperary: K O’Halloran (1-3, 2 frees), B Hewitt (0-2), B Fox, A Moloney, C Sweeney, C O’Shaughnessy (0-1) each.

CLARE: P De Loughrey, M Malone, K Harnett, M McMahon, S Haugh, E Coughlan, P Lillis, C O’Connor, S O’Donoghue, C O’Dea, S Collins, K Sexton, M O’Leary, A O’Neill, E Cleary.
Subs: G Brennan for O’Dea (28), K Malone for O’Leary (half-time), E Ralph for O’Neill (49), D McMahon for Haugh (51), D Tubridy for Cleary (56).

TIPPERARY: C Kendrick, J Feehan, A Campbell, C O’Shaughnessy, J O’Callaghan, R Kiely, S Leahy, A Moloney, M Dunne, B Fox, C Sweeney, J Keane, K O’Halloran, L Casey, B Hewitt.
Subs: N O’Donovan for Moloney (54), D Leahy for Keane (61), L Boland for S Leahy (62), G Cronin for D Leahy.

Referee: S Mulvihill (Kerry).

Munster Senior Hurling League – Limerick 2-23 Kerry 0-18

Limerick defeated Kerry by 2-23 to 0-18 in Round 1 of the Munster Senior Hurling League on Sunday January 3rd at the Gaelic Grounds Limerick.

McGrath Cup Football – Cork 1-10 Limerick 0-12

Cork defeated Limerick by 1-10 to 0-12 in the McGrath Cup Football Group B Round 1 on Sunday January 3rd at Mallow.

Mixed bag for Cork as new boss Peadar Healy kicks off

Report from the Irish Examiner newspaper

Cork 1-10 Limerick 0-12: Much like the half-eaten tin of Roses post-Christmas, there wasn’t a whole pile to get excited about yesterday afternoon in Mallow. For Cork, that is.

Beyond the result and the return to action of midfield pair, Ian Maguire and Ruairí Deane, Cork boss Peadar Healy was hard-pressed attempting to squeeze the positives out of this one-point win.

Then again, the 2016 calendar is but three days old and it should be noted that only two members of the team that lined out against Limerick in this McGrath Cup opener were present inside the whitewash last July when Cork folded to Kildare — Colm and Kevin O’Driscoll. This was a largely experimental Cork side and, to be fair, they did what was asked of them, even if they went about it in a laboured manner.

Ahead by the minimum at the break, 1-5, to 0-7, Dan MacEoin’s second point on 55 minutes moved Healy’s outfit two to the good — 1-8 to 0-9. Having kicked five wides between the resumption and MacEoin’s second, and lost excellent corner-back Paul White through injury on 44 minutes, it was expected the Limerick challenge would fade. Anything but.

Danny Neville kicked their third score of the half on 56 minutes and there followed a James Naughton free and a huge effort from Neville to propel John Brudair’s men in front for the first time in proceedings. Naughton did have a chance to double their lead, but his effort dropped short. And on an afternoon when clear-cut chances were at a premium, owing largely to the biting cold weather and soft underfoot conditions, it was an important miss.

Indeed, aside from a Neville hit-and-hope deep in stoppages, it proved their last chance of the game as the final five minutes saw Cork press forward at every turn.

A gentle nudge on sub Killian O’Hanlon allowed Daniel Goulding level matters from the placed ball on 68 minutes and within 50 seconds of that score Cork were level. The ensuing kick-out was fielded by a red shirt, possession moved to Alan O’Donovan who in turn picked out Goulding; the Éire Óg full-forward duly obliging.

O’Donovan was one of a number of players handed their first Cork start by Healy and although the Rebels’ half-back-line came under fierce pressure in the first half, as Limerick defenders Paul White, Ian Corbett — the contributor of two points — and Sean O’Dea poured through at every opportunity, the Nemo Rangers footballer finished strongly.

Encouraging too were the performances of Maguire and Deane in the middle of the field, Luke Connolly and Seamus Hickey in the opening half and MacEoin in the second.

Connolly was involved in setting up Goulding for the opening score and come the close of the first quarter, the home side had pushed 1-3 to 0-2 in front; Connolly again involved in the contest’s sole major. His crossfield kick to Deane cut open the visitor’s rearguard and when the latter threaded possession to the onrushing Kevin O’Driscoll, the end result was inevitable.

Limerick, through Stephen Kelly, Corbett, O’Dea and Sean McSweeney (0-2), rallied with five of the next six scores to level matters at 1-4 to 0-7 on 31 minutes. Indeed, the lead would have been theirs but for a missed penalty on 19 minutes, full-forward Stephen Kelly driving right and wide after Tom Clancy was adjudged to have pushed White. A mixed bag so for Healy in his first competitive game in charge. Next stop; An Rinn for the clash with Waterford.

Scorers for Cork: D Goudling (0-5, 0-2 frees); K O’Driscoll (1-0); S Hickey, D MacEoin (0-2 each); L Connolly (0-1, 0-1 free).

Scorers for Limerick: S McSweeney (0-3, 0-1 free); D Neville, I Corbett, S Kelly (0-2 each); S O’Dea, J Naughton (0-1 free), B Fanning, (0-1 each).

CORK: M Aodh Martin; C O’Driscoll, J Davis, L Harrington; A O’Donovan, T Clancy, M Collins; I Maguire, R Deane; S Beston, L Connolly, K O’Driscoll; D MacEoin, D Goulding, S Hickey.
Subs: B Coughlan for Connolly (HT), D Hazel for Harrington (HT), K O’Hanlon for Beston (HT), P Kelleher for K O’Driscoll (59), B Daly for Deane (65).

LIMERICK: B Scanlon; J McCarthy, P Browne, P White; S Cahill, I Corbett, S O’Dea; G Hegarty, D Treacy; B Fanning, P Ranahan, S Buckley; S McSweeney, S Kelly, D Neville
Subs: C Moran for McCarthy (30 mins), S Flanagan for White (44, inj), J Naughton for Ranahan (53).

Referee: A Kissane (Waterford).

Team News

Limerick footballers v Cork: Brian Scanlon (Gerald Griffins); Johnny McCarthy (St Kieran’s), Padraig Browne (Fr Casey’s), Paul White (Rathkeale); Stephen Cahill (Mountcollins), Ian Corbett (Newcastle West), Sean O’Dea (Kilteely-Dromkeen); Gearoid Hegarty (St Patrick’s), Darragh Treacy (St Kieran’s); Brian Fanning (Pallasgreen), Pa Ranahan (Ballysteen), Seanie Buckley (Drom-Broadford); Sean McSweeney (St Kieran’s), Stephen Kelly (Newcastle West), Danny Neville (Ballysteen)
Subs: Andrew Ruddle (Newcastle West), Colm Moran (Monaleen), Garrett Noonan (Drom-Broadford), Sean Flanagan (Feohanagh-Castlemahon), Paul Hannon (Newcastle West), James Naughton (St Senan’s), Kevin Moore (Glin), Mike Donovan (Galbally), Tommy Childs (Galtee Gaels), Adrian Enright (Fr Casey’s), Ian Ryan (St Senan’s)

Munster Senior Hurling League – Clare 1-14 Cork 0-14

Clare defeated Cork by 1-14 to 0-14 in Round 1 of the Munster Senior Hurling League on Sunday January 3rd at Sixmilebridge.

Shane O’Donnell haunts Cork again

By Michael Moynihan for the Irish Examiner newspaper

An old bogeyman — though still pretty fresh-faced up close — Shane O’Donnell re-enacted Croke Park in September 2013, grabbing the crucial goal that won this Munster Senior Hurling League game.

We nearly had the full reprise late on, when Cork keeper Patrick Collins took on the Anthony Nash role, jogging the length of the Sixmilebridge pitch to try for goal from an injury-time free. Unfortunately for the visitors, his shot whistled over the bar, and victory was Clare’s.

That also meant victory for the Banner’s newest addition, former Cork keeper Dónal Óg Cusack. The managerial move which sparked a hundred off-season headlines was a natural topic of discussion for Clare boss Davy Fitzgerald after the game.

“Dónal Óg has specific responsibilities,” said Fitzgerald. “He and Michael Browne would be responsible for our defence, which is something we badly need to shore up.

“After the Cork game last year, I did nothing but think for two or three weeks about what to do to change it up. Was it an easy decision (bringing in Dónal Óg Cusack)? The most important thing is I do the best I can for Clare. It’s not about Davy Fitzgerald, my job is to put the best team I can in place, and Dónal Óg can add to that. There’s no point in judging him straight away.

“Aengus O’Brien is serious, so is Jimmy Payne, and I may have another addition to make. They’ll all add to our thing.”

Cusack spent the game along the sideline from old comrades like Pat Ryan and clubmate Diarmuid O’Sullivan but the interaction was minimal. Cork team medic Dr Con Murphy looked to hit Cusack with a one-liner before throw-in, but that was it.

Sixmilebridge was playable but heavy, and an even contest took its decisive twist with less than ten minutes to go and the sides tied on a dozen points each. Clare free-taker Bobby Duggan mishit a free from the wing and when Cork failed to clear, O’Donnell goaled from close range.

Fitzgerald’s side led 0-8 to 0-6 at the half, thanks largely to the energy and distribution of Tony Kelly at centre-forward. Cork were reliant on Mark Ellis and William Egan in that first half, but looked set for a heavy beating when Clare rattled off three points on the resumption, pushing them five up.

However, with Paudie O’Sullivan showing up well, Cork then hit six points on the bounce to nudge themselves ahead. It looked as if a draw might be on the cards if neither side could come up with a goal to break the deadlock, and the Banner had just the man to do so in O’Donnell.

There was unhappiness on the Cork side with Clare’s goal — their management were trying to get a sub on at the time — and referee Johnny Murphy wasn’t too decisive about the off-the-ball incidents which saw Clare’s John Conlon put on the ground and Cork’s Conor Twomey taken off injured, but it was a game to suit the day and date alike.

“I’m very happy with the display, firstly,” said new Cork manager Kieran Kingston.

“With the amount of guys we had making their senior debut with the conditions that were out there and thirdly, with the fact that we haven’t had an outdoor training session yet.

“A lot of guys were playing their first game at this level and they showed great hunger and that’s all we asked of them, and in fairness they didn’t let us down.”

His opposite number had positives to take as well. “What I was happy with today was that we didn’t have too many wins last year against county teams,” said Fitzgerald.

“I thought we fought it well. Was it skilful out there? It wasn’t. But there was a bit of fight out there.”

Scorers for Clare: T. Kelly (0-6, 4 frees); S. O’Donnell (1-0); G. O’Connell, J. Conlon (frees), B. Duggan (frees) (0-2 each); P. Duggan, M. O’Malley, (0-1 each).

Scorers for Cork: P. O’Sullivan (0-7, 6 frees); W. Leahy (0-2); P. Collins (f), L. Meade, P. Haughney, M. Ellis, D. Brosnan (0-1 each).

CLARE: D. Tuohy, E. O’Brien, P. O’Connor, P. Flanagan, J. Browne, C. Ryan, G. O’Connell, C. Galvin, S. Golden, D. Fitzgerald, T. Kelly ( c), P. Duggan, J. Conlon, D. Honan, D. Reidy.
Subs: S. O’Donnell for Honan, 45; B. Duggan for P. Duggan, 48; M. O’Malley for Galvin, 55; C. McGrath for Ryan, 65.

CORK: P. Collins, C. Twomey, P. O’Mahony, C. Spillane, B. Moylan, D. Cahalane, W. Egan, P. Haughney, M. Ellis, W. Leahy, P. O’Sullivan( c), D. Brosnan, S. Moylan, C. Cormack, T. Horgan.
Subs: L. Meade for Horgan, 41; P. O’Rourke for Cormack, 50; D. Browne for Twomey (inj.), 55; N. Cashman for B. Moylan, 63.

Referee: J. Murphy (Limerick)

Att: 1,309.

Team News

1) Donal Tuohy (Crusheen)
2) Eoin O’Brien (Newmarket-on-Fergus)
3) Pat O’Connor (Tubber)
4) Paul Flanagan (Ballyea)
5) Jack Browne (Ballyea)
6) Conor Ryan (Cratloe)
7) Gearóid O’Connell (Ballyea)
8) Colm Galvin (Clonlara)
9) Shane Golden (Sixmilebridge)
10) David Reidy (Éire Óg)
11) Tony Kelly (Ballyea) – captain
12) Peter Duggan (Clooney Quin)
13) John Conlon (Clonlara)
14) Darach Honan (Clonlara)
15) David Fitzgerald (Inagh Kilnamona)

1. Patrick Collins (Ballinhassig)
2. Conor Twomey (Newtownshandrum)
3. Patrick O’Mahony (Midleton)
4. Colm Spillane (Castlelyons)
5. Brian Moylan (Glen Rovers)
6. Damian Cahalane (St Finbarrs)
7. William Egan (Kilbrin)
8. Paul Haughney (Midleton)
9. Mark Ellis (Millstreet)
10. William Leahy (Aghada)
11. Paidi O’Sullivan (Cloyne)
12. Dean Brosnan (Glen Rovers)
13. Stephen Moylan (Douglas)
14. Bill Cooper (Youghal)
15.Trevor Horgan (Newcestown)
16. Declan Dalton (Fr O’Neills)
17. Niall Cashman (Blackrock)
18. Darren Browne (Kanturk)
19. Patrick O’Rourke (Na Pairsaigh)
20. Cathal Cormack (Blackrock)
21. Luke Meade (Newcestown)
22. Tim O’Mahony (Newcestownshandrum)
23. Shane O’Neill (Bishopstown)
24. Cormac Murphy (Mallow)
25. Pat Horgan (Glen Rovers)
26. Alan Cadogan (Douglas)