Gala All Ireland Junior Camogie Championship Final – Waterford v Offaly

Joachim Kelly’s Offaly are bringing the New Ireland Cup to the midlands following their 3-14 to 2-8 victory of first time appearing Waterford. A comprehensive performance from the Faithful county saw them lead at the interval 1-11 to 0-4 and when Siobhan Flannery and Arlene Watkins netted on 46 and 49 minutes the game was up for the Deise.

Credit to Waterford who never gave up and a much improved second half when they shot goals from Patricia Jackman and Aine Lyng will give them hope for the future.

Team News

In the Gala All Ireland junior final (12.45pm) last season’s defeated finalists, Offaly line out as they did against Meath in the All Ireland semi-final. Waterford show one alteration from their penultimate victory over Laois with Áine Breathnach securing her starting place at the expense of Jenny Simpson.

Offaly: A Kennedy; K Brady, L Keena, F Stephens; L Sullivan, M Crean (Capt), S Sullivan; K Nugent, M Morkan; A Kelly, T Hannon, M Davis; S Flannery, E Darmody, A Watkins.

Waterford: A O’Brien; V Gaffney, S O’Grady (Capt), K M Hearne; G Kenneally, M O’Donnell, S Kiernan; M Murphy, C Raher; S Curran, Á Lyng, N Morrissey; P Jackman, K Kelly, Á Breathnach

Match Preview

This junior decider promises to be a cracking contest. Offaly, after being sensationally denied by a last minute goal 12 months ago are back to complete the job. They look good again, but they will be conscious that their only defeat this year came at the hands of Waterford.

The Déise are in Croke Park for the first time, and will travel full of confidence. They lost out to the Faithful County at the penultimate stage last year, so too, they will be keen to atone.

Verdict: Offaly

Match Preview

Offaly’s ‘chicks with sticks’ aiming for All Ireland Camogie glory

By Alan Walsh for the Offaly Express newspaper

OFFALY’S chicks with sticks, managed by 1980’s All Star winner Joachim Kelly, will be hoping to create history this Sunday as they make the journey to Croke Park to face Waterford in an eagerly awaited Gala All-Ireland Junior Camogie Championship Final. Offaly have appeared in two previous finals, against Tipperary in 2001 and Clare last year, but were unsuccessful on both occasions. Last year Offaly defeated Waterford at the semi-final and they also defeated the Déise girls in the ’08 All-Ireland Minor ‘B’ title showdown. The counties did meet earlier this year in the group stage of the championship with Waterford, managed by Tipperary native Andy Maloney, taking the spoils on that occasion and a huge effort will be required from Offaly if they are to get their hands on the New Ireland Cup.

Offaly supremo Joachim Kelly told ‘Express Sport’; “Losing last year against Clare was bitterly disappointing for both management and players. It was our aim to get back to the final. “We had the game almost wrapped up with a minute to go and next thing the whole thing fell asunder. Sport is cruel but we have another opportunity to redeem ourselves and hopefully we’ll be able to do it.” The Offaly versus Waterford showdown, which has a 12.45pm throw-in will be televised live, and it is part of an attractive triple bill at GAA headquarters. Kilkenny and Cork square up to each other in the Gala All-Ireland Senior Camogie Final at 2.45pm and this will be followed by the Bord Gáis All-Ireland U-21 Hurling Championship Final at 4.30pm between Kilkenny and Clare.

Admission prices are: Adults n30, Students/OAP €10, Juvenile n5. Group passes (for Cusack Stand only, n5 per child and 1 adult per 10 Juveniles free of charge) are available (see www.camogie.ie). Tickets can be purchased from the GAA Ticket Office – Phone: 01 8717400 or on-line: http://tickets.gaa.ie. There will be three selling points around Croke Park on Sunday from 10am – GAA Ticket Shop at 53A Dorset St Lower, GAA Ticket Shop on North Circular Road – opposite Gill’s Pub and GAA Ticket Outlet at junction of Ballybough Road and Clonliffe Road. Speaking at a pre-final reception in the County Arms Hotel, Joe O’Brien, on behalf of Offaly GAA, wished the players and management every success in the final.

All-Ireland Final Referee confirmed

Pat Walsh is the man in the middle for the junior final between Offaly (last season’s beaten finalists) and Waterford who are appearing in their first decider. Pat, who is a supervisor with Quinn Brothers Construction Company, is a native of Cappawhite in County Tipperary but now lives in Portadown. He played senior hurling with Killeady in Armagh. He also spent some time in London where he hurled with Glen Rovers. Pat refereed the 2008 Nancy Murray Cup final and numerous county championship finals.

Pat’s umpires are Michael McNabb, Vincie McErlean, Malachy McToal and Derek McNabb. The line umpires are Alan Lagrue (standby referee) and John O’Leary, while Julie O’Neill and Owen Elliott are the fourth and fifth officials.

Following the announcement Camogie Association President Joan O’Flynn said,

“Congratulations to Una Kearney and Pat Walsh on the achievement of being selected as referees for this year’s Gala All Ireland senior and junior camogie championships finals in Croke Park. Refereeing is a vital part of our sport and in any game the referee’s performance is as important as the players. For any referee, the opportunity to be in charge of the whistle on All Ireland Final day is a career highlight. That it should fall to two Armagh referees is a unique coincidence.

“Camogie All Ireland Final Day showcases the skill, speed and athleticism of our sport. I am looking forward to two very competitiveness finals with Kilkenny hoping to spoil Cork’s party in the senior final and Waterford looking to deny Offaly the silverware in their first ever trip to Croke Park. The club and family base of camogie, as part of the Gaelic Games community, will also be much in evidence. I am delighted that this year the All Ireland programme will again unite the camogie and hurling families. Kilkenny in particular will have an interest in the Gala senior camogie and the Bord Gáis U21 hurling finals.”

The junior camogie final is at 12.45pm, senior camogie final at 2.45pm while the U21 hurling final takes place at 4.30pm.

Gala All Ireland Senior Camogie Final – Cork v Kilkenny

Cork secured their 24th Gala All Ireland senior title today in Croke Park with a dogged performance overcoming Ann Downey’s Kilkenny on a scoreline of 0-15 to 0-7. Cork were in front by three points at the break, giving the Black and Amber a real chance. But, Cork led by the outstanding Aoife Murray proved to be unbeatable. Several times the Cork custodian denied Kilkenny time and time again. And with Cathriona Foley outstanding at full back, Kilkenny couldn’t get the scores that mattered. Rachel Moloney top scored for the Rebels with seven points.

Team News

Champions Cork make one change ahead of Sunday’s Gala All Ireland senior camogie championship final against Kilkenny in Croke Park (2.45pm). Eimear O’Sullivan from the Ballinhassig club replaces Emer Dillon at wing-forward. Kilkenny, back in their first final since 2001, are unchanged from their All Ireland semi-final win over Galway.

Cork: A Murray; J O’Callaghan, C Foley, R Buckley; J Duffy, M O’Connor, S Hayes; B Corkery, O Cotter; E O’Sullivan, G O’Connor, U O’Donoghue; S Burns, E O’Farrell, R Moloney.

Kilkenny: C Ryan; L Fennelly, C Doherty, J Frisby; L Lyng, A Butler, E Aylward; C Dormer, A Dalton (Capt); T Muldowney, K Power, E Keane; M Quilty, D Gaule, A Neary.

Match Preview

Cork are the form team in this novel pairing, having topped their group. Their midfield engine of Briege Corkery and Orla Cotter will prove crucial and if this young Kilkenny side is to cause a shock they will have to at least break even here.

Don’t rule out the Cats though. They are not concerned about Rebel tradition or history and following their hurling victory last Sunday, momentum will be high. Along with their U21’s they will bring big support.

Verdict: Cork

All-Ireland Final Referee confirmed

Cumann Camógaíochta na nGael has announced the details of their referee appointments for the forthcoming Gala All Ireland senior and junior camogie finals which will take place in Croke Park on Sunday, September 13.

The senior final between Cork (holders) and Kilkenny will be under the control of Una Kearney who is a member of the St Brenda’s Ballymacnab club in Armagh. Una, a teacher by profession, previously took charge of the All Ireland senior final in 2004, and she also handled the junior finals of 2005 and 2008. Una is Chairperson of the National Referees Committee and has been officiating since 1999. Una’s umpires are Paula McGuigan, Conor Dodd, Bebe Devlin and Ann O’Hare. The line umpires are John Morrissey (standby referee) and Ciarán Quigley, while Karl O’Brien and Eadhmonn MacSuibhne are the fourth and fifth officials.

Following the announcement Camogie Association President Joan O’Flynn said,

“Congratulations to Una Kearney and Pat Walsh on the achievement of being selected as referees for this year’s Gala All Ireland senior and junior camogie championships finals in Croke Park. Refereeing is a vital part of our sport and in any game the referee’s performance is as important as the players. For any referee, the opportunity to be in charge of the whistle on All Ireland Final day is a career highlight. That it should fall to two Armagh referees is a unique coincidence.

“Camogie All Ireland Final Day showcases the skill, speed and athleticism of our sport. I am looking forward to two very competitiveness finals with Kilkenny hoping to spoil Cork’s party in the senior final and Waterford looking to deny Offaly the silverware in their first ever trip to Croke Park. The club and family base of camogie, as part of the Gaelic Games community, will also be much in evidence. I am delighted that this year the All Ireland programme will again unite the camogie and hurling families. Kilkenny in particular will have an interest in the Gala senior camogie and the Bord Gáis U21 hurling finals.”

The junior camogie final is at 12.45pm, senior camogie final at 2.45pm while the U21 hurling final takes place at 4.30pm.

Camogie captains meet in Croke Park ahead of Gala All-Ireland Finals

Press Release

8th September 2009

The Gala All Ireland Junior and Senior Camogie Championship Finals take centre stage in Croke Park Sunday next 13th September. The captains and managers of the competing counties Offaly, Waterford, Cork and Kilkenny joined Joan O’Flynn President of the Camogie Association and Gary Desmond CEO of Gala today in Croke Park.

Offaly play Waterford in the junior final while Cork meet Kilkenny in the senior decider. Marion Crean captains Offaly for the second year in a row. Waterford are led by Sally O’Grady. Amanda O’Regan is the Cork supremo while Ann Dalton leads Kilkenny.

Cork, appearing in their eighth successive final, will be looking to put back-to-back titles together. They are bidding for their 24th All Ireland senior title bringing them to within two titles of Dublin who top the table with 26 All Ireland Senior Camogie titles. This year the Rebels won all of their three games in the round robin stage of the Championship.

Cork Captain Amanda O’Regan is in confident mood ahead of Sunday’s clash, “Training has gone well and the competition for places is very strong,” she said. “But, we know Kilkenny will be very hungry, they are a young team coming through.”

Kilkenny last contested the All Ireland in 2001 when they fell to Tipperary. Their most recent victory was in 1995 when today’s manager Ann Downey came head to head with current Cork boss Denise Cronin.

Kilkenny Captain Ann Dalton is excited to be back in this year’s final: “It is the first All Ireland final for many of our players and we have worked hard. It was great to see the hurlers do the four-in-a-row on Sunday, it would be massive if we could bring another cup for the second week in succession.”

Offaly will be hoping to bring a first title to the Faithful County while Waterford are appearing in their first All Ireland junior final.

Joan O’Flynn President said, “Every Camogie player’s dream is to win an All Ireland in Croke Park. So in next Sunday’s Gala All Ireland finals dreams will come true in the biggest day in the sporting lives of the players of Cork and Kilkenny, Waterford and Offaly.

“The All Ireland finals are the showcase of Camogie. The skill, speed, athleticism and artistry of the game’s finest players will be on display. The club and family base of Camogie, as part of the Gaelic Games community, will be much in evidence.

“I am delighted that this year’s All Ireland programme continues to unite the Camogie and hurling families when the All Ireland 21 hurling title will also to be decided. A great day of action is in prospect.”

This is the fourth year of Gala’s sponsorship of the Camogie Championship and Gala CEO, Gary Desmond, is delighted to be involved again this year.

“In Gala’s fourth year partnering the Camogie Association, we are thrilled with how the relationship has developed. As an Irish company, with over 200 stores, we are proud to be the title sponsors of this iconic sport’s Championships.

“The Gala All-Ireland Senior and Junior Championship Finals are the pinnacle of the Camogie season. Cork, Kilkenny, Offaly and Waterford have all showed tremendous talent, spirit and determination to get this far. On behalf of Gala, I would like to wish Cork’s Amanda O’Regan, Ann Dalton from Kilkenny, Marion Crean of Offaly and Waterford’s Sally O’Grady the best of luck on Sunday. We’re all looking forward to a thrilling day of Irish sporting action.”

For more information and highlights from the Gala All-Ireland Senior Camogie Championship log on to www.Camogie.ie or contact Therese O’Callaghan at pr@camogie.ie, 01-8364619 or 087 9030755

Gala Camogie All Ireland Senior Championship Final

Cork (holders) v Kilkenny 2.45pm **Live on RTÉ**

Referee: Úna Kearney, Armagh

Gala Camogie All Ireland Junior Championship Final

Offaly v Waterford 12.45pm **Live on RTÉ**

Pat Walsh, Armagh

Bord Gáis Energy GAA Hurling U21 All Ireland Championship Final

Kilkenny v Clare 4.30pm **Live on TG4**

Ticket information

Tickets can be purchased from the GAA Ticket Office – Phone: 01 8717400 or online: http://tickets.gaa.ie

Admission Prices

* Adults – €30

* Students & OAP – €10

* Juvenile – €5

Group Passes

* See www.camogie.ie for group pass application form

* All Group Passes are for the Cusack Stand only

* €5 per child. One adult per 10 juveniles free of charge

There will be three selling points on Sunday:

GAA Ticket Shop at 53A Dorset St Lower

GAA Ticket Shop on North Circular Road – oppsite Gill’s Pub

GAA Ticket Outlet at junction of Ballybough Road and Clonliffe Road.

All will be open from 10am on match day and close at 4.30pm.

Bord Gais Energy GAA All-Ireland U-21 Hurling Final

Conlon shows nerves of steel to point way for new breed

Clare 0-15 Kilkenny 0-14

From the Irish Independent newspaper

Monday September 14 2009

Another Sunday in Croke Park, another Plan B. Whatever chance the hard-pressed stewards had to keep Kilkenny off the field, they hadn’t a prayer once referee Cathal McAllister blew his whistle for the final time to pronounce Clare All-Ireland U-21 champions for the first time. The ‘edge-of-the-seat’ manner of their victory made it an impossibility to provide any secure cordon afterwards as they came pouring from the stands in a whirlwind of excitement to acclaim a new generation of heroes. No county wears its collective heart on its sleeve more than Clare and while the numbers were less than 1995 or ’97, the joy that greeted this win was overwhelming. The fact that they beat the game’s most imperious county is a consideration for another day. They needed to draw on all the county’s traditional grit and obstinacy to first rein in Kilkenny and then keep them at bay in a truly gripping finish.

McAllister only had to award seven frees, four to Kilkenny, in a second half that ebbed and flowed to a wonderful hum before finally resting on Banner shores. They’ll cherish it in Clare after a decade that failed miserably for the most part to build properly on the legacy of Lohan, Daly, McMahon, O’Connor and Fitzgerald. The bitter relations between some of the game’s protagonists in more recent years can be put behind them now as they look to a brighter future underpinned by some of these players. Clare had held sway throughout the first half, empowered by the force of their full-back line that saw Cian Dillon make some wonderful catches and Eamonn Glynn and captain Ciaran O’Doherty sweep all before them.

Centre-back Nicky O’Connell and centre-forward John Conlon, the eventual man of the match, also played leading roles as the Banner wriggled clear by the break. Colin Ryan’s marksmanship from placed balls — six frees and a ’65 were converted — punished the indiscipline of the Kilkenny defence every time. Kilkenny did manage to get to grips with Darach Honan, Clare’s main threat, who struggled in the physical furnace he found himself in. That said, an injury since the semi-final win over Galway may also have held him back. He was taken out of it by Kilkenny corner-back Paul Murphy in injury time at the end of the first half, a tackle not too dissimilar to Jackie Tyrrell’s on Seamus Callanan the previous week. Ryan’s free made it 0-8 to 0-6 but it was a fragile lead, however, and sure enough when Richie Hogan popped over his second score just on the restart, Kilkenny found impetus from it.

David Langton’s game rose at centre-back, Mark Kelly went to a higher gear at midfield, Colin Fennelly ran at the Clare defence and from a deeper position Hogan found more room and had more influence. The two-point lead didn’t last long with corner-forward James Nolan equalising and then Fennelly putting them clear. Kilkenny just got tighter in the close exchanges and smarter with possession, forcing Clare into mistakes that may have cost them dearly. Conlon steadied them with a point on 39 minutes when he emerged from a thicket of options, spurning the scent of a goal he might have had for a safer option. It was a good call.

Nolan went by Dillon for the lead again and Hogan sent Kilkenny two clear as the game took on a predictable route in that third quarter. But Clare had the will and when Cormac O’Donovan pointed on 43 minutes to close the gap again, and ‘keeper Donal Tuohy brought off a remarkable save from Hogan, who had to settle for a point on 49 minutes, Kilkenny would have sensed an unwillingness in their opponents to yield. Emboldened by that defiance, Clare braced themselves for the home straight and drew energy from the crowd. Conlon’s equalising point (0-12 each) on 51 minutes did more than anything to lift them and while Fennelly and Liam Ryan drove wide uncharacteristically at the other end, it was Conlon again who sent them clear, showing nerves of steel in such a dogfight.

Kilkenny weren’t about it yield either and came back with inspirational scores of their own, Kelly taking a pass from Hogan to drive them 0-14 to 0-13 clear with his third point. Still Clare kept coming however. Ryan pointed a long-range free and then O’Donovan, with less than a minute remaining, fired over on the run from about 50 metres. Kilkenny had time and their full-forward John Joe Farrell spurned a glorious chance to equalise when he delayed sufficiently to allow pressure from the full-back line and the threat was averted, giving rise to jubilant scenes once again. For Clare manager John Minogue, a selector with Cyril Lyons in 2002, the prospect of a new generation witnessing this was most pleasing.

“We haven’t had good days since 1997 so it’s a good victory for a new generation. There are a lot of young kids who didn’t see Clare winning in 1995 or ’97. It’s important but whether it will add huge glory to Clare or not we will have to wait and see.” Conlon was happy that the bitterness of their 2008 Munster final defeat to Tipperary can be parked now. “The belief all year has been unbelievable. We just felt we couldn’t be beaten. It’s like a good club team. You haven’t seen that with Clare lately. I don’t know did last year drive us on for this year. We socialise together, everyone gets on like a house on fire.” The flames from that blaze can illuminate the next decade.

SCORERS —

Clare: C Ryan 0-9 (8f, 1 ’65), J Conlon 0-3, C O’Donovan 0-2, C Morey 0-1.

Kilkenny: R Hogan 0-5 (1f), M Kelly 0-3, J Nolan, C Fennelly, J Mulhall 0-2 each.

Clare — D Tuohy 8; E Glynn 8, C Dillon 8, C O’Doherty 8; D O’Donovan 6, N O’Connell 8, J Gunning 5; E Barrett 7, C O’Donovan 8; C Morey 6, J Conlon 9, S Collins 7; C Tierney 6, D Honan 5, C Ryan 7. Subs: C McGrath 7 for Tierney (44), P O’Connor 5 for Morey (49), E Hayes for Gunning (53).

Kilkenny — C McGrath 7; P Murphy 7, P Nolan 7, C Fogarty 6; M Walsh 7, D Langton 7, Lester Ryan 7; M Kelly 8, Liam Ryan 7; C Fennelly 8, M Bergin 5, J Mulhall 8; R Hogan 8, J J Farrell 6, J Nolan 7. Subs: N Cleere 5 for Bergin (49).

Ref — Cathal McAllister (Cork)

Roll of Honour

BORD GAIS ENERGY GAA ALL-IRELAND U-21 HURLING FINAL Roll of Honour

11 – Cork (1966-68-69-70-71-73-76-82-88-97-98)

11 – Kilkenny (1974-75-77-84-90-94-99-2003-2004-2006-2008)

10 – Galway (1972-78-83-86-91-93-96-2005-2007)

8 – Tipperary (1964-67-79-80-81-85-89-95)

4 – Limerick (1987-2000-2001-2002)

1 – Waterford (1992)

1 – Wexford (1965)