AIB Munster GAA Hurling Junior Club Championship Semi Final – Blackrock (Limerick) v Aherlow (Tipperary)

Blackrock (Limerick) defeated Aherlow (Tipperary) by 0-11 to 0-9 in the AIB Munster GAA Hurling Junior Club Championship Semi Final in Kilmallock on Sunday.

AIB Munster GAA Football Junior Club Championship Quarter Final – Castlegregory (Kerry) v Clooney Quin (Clare)

Castlegregory (Kerry) defeated Clooney Quin (Clare) by 1-16 to 0-4 in the AIB Munster GAA Football Junior Club Championship Quarter Final on Sunday at Castlegregory.

AIB Munster GAA Football Junior Club Championship Quarter Final – Mountcollins (Limerick) v Knockavilla Kickhams (Tipperary)

Mountcollins  (Limerick) defeated Knockavilla Kickhams (Tipperary) by 1-9 to 1-8 after extra time in the AIB Munster GAA Football Junior Club Championship Quarter Final on Sunday at Newcastlewest.

AIB Munster GAA Football Intermediate Club Championship Semi Final – Cratloe (Clare) v Valley Rovers (Cork)

Cratloe (Clare) defeated Valley Rovers (Cork) by 3-4 to 0-5 in the AIB Munster GAA Football Intermediate Club Championship Semi Final on Sunday at Cusack Park Ennis.

AIB Munster GAA Hurling Junior Club Championship Semi Final – Kilgarvan (Kerry) v Fermoy (Cork)

Fermoy (Cork) defeated Kilgarvan (Kerry) by 1-12 to 1-8 in the AIB Munster GAA Hurling Junior Club Championship Semi Final on Sunday at Kilgarvan.

AIB Munster GAA Football Senior Club Championship S-Final – Kilmurry-Ibrickane (Clare) v Stradbally (Waterford)

Kilmurry-Ibrickane (Clare) defeated Stradbally (Waterford) by 0-9 to 0-6 in the AIB Munster GAA Football Senior Club Championship Semi-Final on Sunday at Fraher Field Dungarvan.

AIB Munster GAA Hurling Intermediate Club Championship Final – Douglas (Cork) v South Liberties (Limerick)

South Liberties (Limerick) defeated Douglas (Cork) by 2-10 to 1-12 n the AIB Munster GAA Hurling Intermediate Club Championship Final on Sunday at Mallow.

Liberties turn it around

South Liberties (Limerick) 2-10 Douglas (Cork) 1-12

By Diarmuid O’Flynn for the Irish Examiner newspaper

Monday, November 23, 2009

A TRANSFORMATION bordering on the miraculous by South Liberties in the second half of an exciting Munster Club IHC final at the Mallow GAA complex yesterday powered them past Cork champions Douglas. Though playing with a huge gale at their backs in the opening half, the Limerick champions had been completely outplayed by Douglas, who looked a class apart in building up a 0-7 to 0-5 lead. During that period, the Cork men were completely dominant, starting in defence where Alan Barry and Eoin Cadogan were imperious down the centre, continuing in midfield where Colin O’Mahony and the strong-running Barry Fitzgerald were on top, and on to a hard-working forward sextet, five of whom got on the scoresheet, with the sixth, towering wing-forward Marc Collins, doing some superb setup work.

That two-point lead should have been much more had Douglas converted any of the several clear goal-chances they created, brothers Stephen and James Moylan denied only through desperate last-ditch tackling, while the former also opted for a point from close range when a goal was on. Nevertheless, as the teams headed for the sanctuary of the dressing-room it was set up for Douglas and even the most fervent of the huge South Liberties following, among whom were such luminaries as former Liberties stars Pat Hartigan, Joe McKenna and Eamonn Grimes, must have feared for what was to come. “It didn’t look good,” admitted winning captain Shane O’Neill. “Two points down, facing a strong wind, people might have thought that we were going to get slaughtered, but we knew, if put our heads down, worked hard, we’d get back into it. We’ve hurled better against the wind all year; the wind holds the ball up and we have small corner-forwards, that gives them more time to get onto the ball. We never let them get away from us, and that was the main thing.”

Indeed it was. Having won the toss and opted to play into the wind, the first part of the Douglas plan – containment – had borne fruit. Now it was time for phase two – capitalise. It was vital for the Liberties, then, that they wouldn’t allow this happen. They did concede the first point of the second half, Marc Collins converting a superb crossfield ball from Richard Murphy, but they didn’t concede again til the 14th minute. It was heroic defence by South Liberties, Shane himself playing his part on the wing, with full-back Niall Shanahan doing a superb marking job on Douglas dangerman Mark Harrington, Shane Geary also prominent, with former Limerick U-21 scoring star Mark Keane delivering some good ball from centre-back. More importantly, however, during this period South Liberties also scored two points, one each from substitute Derek Grimes and free-taker Keane, to bring the deficit back to just one point (0-8 to 0-7), only quarter of an hour left for play.

Douglas did manage the next two points, from Harrington and Murphy, but the destructive seeds of doubt which had already been sown in the minds of the increasingly desperate Douglas players became full-blown and full-grown in the 49th minute with the first goal of the game. Fine solo from defender Shane Geary, fine finish from corner-forward Davy O’Neill – brother of captain Shane – which gave keeper Brian Boyle little chance. That goal tied it up, and now, wind or no wind, it was game on. Two points each the teams exchanged over the next ten minutes, the title very much in the balance, until, in the last minute of normal time, the Liberties got their noses in front with a superbly struck point into the wind from wing-forward Brian Slattery.

Two minutes later, they looked to have really locked up the win when the same player pounced on a loose ball and tapped home from close range for second South Liberties major. Back came Douglas, a goal of their own when Marc Collins got on the end of a huge Eoin Cadogan delivery. Seconds remaining, however, it was just too late, and against all the half-time odds, South Liberties had done just enough. “You can see (from the fan reaction) what this means to South Liberties,” said a delighted Shane O’Neill. “We’ve had a lot of pain over the last few years, lost a lot of county finals, but we always wondered how far we’d go in Munster if we finally got out of Limerick. We have a great tradition in this club, lost two senior Munster finals, to Mount Sion and Glen Rovers, but we have a fabulous setup now; it’s great to finally come out with a win.”

Scorers for South Liberties: B. Slattery 1-3 (0-2 frees); M. Keane 0-4 (all frees); D. O’Neill 1-0; A. Owens 0-2; D. Grimes 0-1.

Douglas: M. Collins 1-1; M. Harrington 0-4 (0-1 pen); R. Murphy 0-4 (0-3 frees); O. Mulrooney, S. Moylan, J. Moylan, 0-1 each.

SOUTH LIBERTIES: A. Shanahan; S. Garry, N. Shanahan, T. Carroll; T. Ryan, Mark Keane, S. O’Neill (c); W. Hickey, Mike Keane; B. Slattery, A. Owens, R. O’Neill; C. Godfrey, C. Carbery, D. O’Neill.

Subs: E. O’Connell (Hickey 30); D. Grimes (Godfrey 30); M. Moynihan (Carbery 48).

DOUGLAS: B. Boyle; D. McSweeney, A. Barry, F. Tobin (c); C. Dineen, E. Cadogan, R. Keating; C. O’Mahony, B. Fitzgerald; M. Collins, O. Mulrooney, S. Moylan; R. Murphy, M. Harrington, J. Moylan.

Subs: T. Cullinane (Mulrooney 55); C. Lucey (Fitzgerald 59).

Referee: S. Roche (Tipperary)

Munster Club SFC S-Final – Kerins O’Rahilly’s v Moyle Rovers

Kerins O’Rahillys (Kerry) defeated Moyle Rovers (Tipperary) by 1-9 to 0-10 in the AIB Munster GAA Football Senior Club Championship Semi-Final on Sunday at Austin Stack Park Tralee.

Quill right on cue for O’Rahillys

Kerins O’Rahillys 1-8 Moyle Rovers 0-9

By Jim O’Sullivan for the Irish Examiner newspaper

Monday, November 23, 2009

THERE was a serious question mark hanging over Kerins O’Rahillys ability to win in Austin Stack Park yesterday until Declan Quill inspired them with a 53rd-minute goal. Coming immediately after a hard-earned Barry John Walsh point restored their lead, following an admirable third quarter recovery from a brave Moyle Rovers side, its timing as much as its execution was decisive in earning them a place in the AIB Munster club SFC final for the first time in their history. And, they were also grateful for the save made by their goalkeeper David Hennessy less than half a minute after the start of the second half, when his alertness – and positioning – denied Brian Mulvihill a goal which could have produced a different result.

A relieved Strand Road manager Mark Fitzgerald emphasised the importance of the block, commenting: “If it had gone it would have been all over. We only got two scores in the second half. The goal was the difference.’’ Moyle Rovers coach Jim Cahill was bitterly disappointed. “Second best is no good to us. When it was seven points each we needed a fillip to drive us on. Goals win matches. Unfortunately we couldn’t get one. “If we got the goal we could have gone on – and their goal came when it was too late for us to turn around again.’’

While the pitch was in good condition, the combination of a strong wind and driving rain made it very difficult for both sides. The hosts enjoyed wind advantage in the opening half – Timmy O’Sullivan kicked the first point after three minutes, before Barry John Walsh set up Declan Quill for one and then scored himself. And, after the first of only three Moyle Rovers points from a Declan Browne free in the 10th minute, O’Rahilly’s had five points to their credit in a two-minute period. So far so good for the Kerry club champions, with Quill quick to make an impression at right corner-forward, Barry John Keane eager at centre-forward and Barry John Walsh threatening in the left corner.

With Fitzgerald acknowledging that the presence of Australian-based Tommy Walsh and David Moran would have given them ‘extra physicality’ in conditions where strength and mobility were invaluable, it was noteworthy that things didn’t run smoothly for them in the 15-minute period before the break. Yes their finishing deteriorated but credit also the Tipperary champions. The tenacity of their defensive play, allied to their ability to work the ball upfield with a short passing style, gradually brought them into contention. They managed that with strong play at midfield, mainly through Paul Johnson, whose high work-rate brought him a better return than Micheal Quirke, who wasn’t to produce his best football until the second half.

And, selected half-back Peter Acheson (at left half-forward) was one of the players who impressed most, with Browne giving the expected leadership when he was given the right ball. At the break, it was 0-7 to 0-3 in favour of the hosts. Fitzgerald admitted the management were ‘a little unhappy’ at that stage, saying: “we felt we weren’t playing particularly well, that four points of a lead wasn’t going to be enough. There were five or six guys who could have upped it a bit more. The conditions and the fact that Rovers came at us forced a lot of guys into working harder.’’ However, it wasn’t until much later in the game that the necessary improvement was forthcoming, with Quirke influential and Brian Moran forceful at half-back.

Moyle Rovers were in control, overcoming the disappointment of not getting their goal on the resumption. Browne kicked over three frees, one a brilliant score from far out on the left wing, and continuous pressure had them level at 0-7 each in the 44th minute. Crucially, when it needed something special to decide the game, it was Quill who was in position to oblige. This was after Barry John Keane had tried for a score from out near the right corner and the wind pushed the ball away from the posts – into Quill’s hands. He explained: “I saw one in the first half when they had a kick and it went like that. I thought the wind was going to take it out, so I positioned myself under it. I thought I lost control of the ball and just threw my right leg at it. When I saw it going into the right corner I couldn’t believe it!’’

Scorers for Kerins O’Rahillys: D. Quill 1-2; B.J. Walsh and B.J. Keane 0-2 each; T. O’Sullivan and J. O’Connor (free) 0-1 each.

Scorers for Moyle Rovers: D. Browne 0-5 (0-4 frees, 0-1 ‘45); S. Keating, S. Carey, P. Acheson and J. Williams 0-1 each.

KERINS O’RAHILLYS: D. Hennessy; B. O’Shea, M. O’Shea, P. Begley; R. O’Callaghan, B. Moran, J. Kelly; M. Quirke (capt.), G. Duffy; J. O’Connor, B.J. Keane, R. Molloy; D. Quill, T. O’Sullivan, B.J. Walsh.

Subs: B. Quill for Molloy (46th minute); Molloy for Moran (injured, 56th).

MOYLE ROVERS: G. Kenrick; L. Cronin (capt.), R. Power, R. Desmond; P. Acheson, N. Fitzgerald, D. Dwyer; M. Dunne, P. Johnson; B. Mulvihill, P. Foley, S. Keating; S. Carey, D. Browne, D. Foley.

Subs: J. Shanahan for P. Foley; J. Williams for Keating (53rd); D. Lyne for Acheson (60th).

Referee: Rory Hickey (Clare)