Waterford Crystal Cup Hurling – Kerry v UL

UL defeated Kerry by 3-15 to 1-15 in the Preliminary Round of the Waterford Crystal Cup Senior Hurling competition at Austin Stack Park Tralee on Sunday.

Waterford Crystal Cup Hurling – Waterford v CIT

Waterford defeated CIT by 1-26 to 1-11 in the Preliminary Round of the Waterford Crystal Cup Senior Hurling competition at Kilmacthomas on Sunday.

McGrath Cup Football – Cork IT v Limerick

Cork IT defeated Limerick by 2-8 to 0-11  in the McGrath Cup Quarter-Final on Sunday at Foynes.

McGrath Cup Football – Clare v UCC

The University College Cork defeated Clare by 0-12 to 0-9 in the McGrath Cup Football Quarter-Final on Sunday in Cooraclare.

Cork IT defeated Limerick by 2-8 to 0-11  in the McGrath Cup Quarter-Final on Sunday at Foynes.

McGrath Cup Football – Waterford v Kerry

Kerry defeated Waterford by 2-12 to 3-5 in the McGrath Cup Football Quarter-Final on Sunday at Fitzgerald Stadium Killarney.

Deadly Donaghy denies Déise

Kerry 2-12 Waterford 3-5

By Fintan O’Toole for the Irish Examiner newspaper

Monday, January 18, 2010

WATERFORD were on the cusp of a momentous success over Kerry in yesterday’s McGrath Cup quarter-final in Fitzgerald Stadium. With two minutes remaining the Déise men led 3-4 to 0-11 but then Kieran Donaghy strode forward to alter the course of the game. Utilising the modified square ball rule, Donaghy fielded a high ball in the 58th minute, swivelled and planted a shot in the net. Sixty seconds later, he delightfully fisted in a long Bryan Sheehan ball for his second goal and then applied the coup de grace in injury-time by sending over a brilliant point from the sideline. It had been a hectic weekend for Jack O’Connor, with yesterday’s match preceded by a preliminary round victory over IT Tralee on Saturday afternoon. The unblemished record of results was something to savour but the news from the infirmary clouded O’Connor’s mood. David Moran limped off in the first-half with a knock to his leg and more critically new captain Bryan Sheehan was stretchered off late on with a serious ankle injury.

Sheehan looks certain to miss Kerry’s opening rounds on the NFL and almost definitely will not lead out Kerry for their glamour League opener against Dublin on February 7 against Dublin and away to Cork a week later after an x-ray revealed damaged ankle ligaments. The weekend marked the birth of latest raft of GAA experimental rules, yet it was the technicalities of hand-passing rather than the spectacular visual effects of the mark that dominated yesterday’s game. Kerry’s players found the handpass changes problematic. O’Connor revealed his misgivings about the handpass rule afterwards but the mark did work well for Kerry, with David Moran making fine fetches early on. Waterford prospered from penalties being taken a couple yards close to goal. Michael Donnelly tucked home a neat shot from a 35th minute placed kick, to propel Waterford into a 3-3 to 0-6 lead after a flurry of goals.

Their first had come just before the interval when Tony Grey’s point effort was misjudged by Kerry netminder Ger Reidy and looped into the net. That strike enabled Waterford to draw level 1-3 to 0-6 at half-time and then three minutes after the break, attacker Conor McGrath jinked through before finishing a sublime shot into the far corner. However, after Donnelly’s goal they endured a 20-minute scoring drought and manager John Owens pinpointed that afterwards a critical shortcoming. “That was the disappointing aspect that we went so long without a score. But it was a positive enough display. If you’d said to me beforehand that we’d play reasonably well against Kerry, I’d have taken it.” Kerry’s comeback to victory was engineered not only by Donaghy’s scoring burst but also the methodical point-kicking of Bryan Sheehan who registered six points during the game. The energy of their youngsters also helped, with Barry John Keane and James O’Donoghue both able to reflect on impressive contributions in both matches over the weekend.

Scorers for Kerry: K Donaghy 2-2, B Sheehan 0-6 (0-3f, 0-1 ‘45), K O’Leary 0-2, S Scanlon, J O’Donoghue 0-1 each

Waterford: M Donnelly 1-2 (1-0 pen, 0-2f), T Grey, C McGrath 1-0 each, B Wall 0-2 (0-2f), JJ Hutchinson 0-1.

KERRY: G Reidy; P Reidy, T Griffin, A O’Connell; K Young, A O’Mahony, M Corridan; S Scanlon, D Moran; J O’Connor, B Sheehan, D Walsh; K O’Leary, K Donaghy, P O’Connor.

Subs: BJ Keane for Moran (inj) (27), A O’Sullivan for O’Connell (40), J O’Donoghue for J O’Connor (43), P Corridan for O’Leary (43), K O’Leary for Walsh (54).

WATERFORD: T Wall; J Walsh, Maurice O’Gorman, J Phelan; T Grey, S Briggs, P Ogle; M Ahearne, Michael O’Gorman; W Hennessy, C McGrath, B Wall; M Donnelly, R Ahearne, S Cunningham.

Subs: T O’Gorman for M Ahearne (43), JJ Hutchinson for W Hennessy (50), N Hennessy for Phelan (50), B Phelan for Michael O’Gorman (54).

Referee: D O’Mahony (Tipperary)

Sheehan blow sours Kingdom’s fightback

Kerry 2-12 Waterford 3-5

McGrath Cup

From the Irish Independent newspaper

Monday January 18 2010

AN injury to new Kerry captain Bryan Sheehan marred the All-Ireland champions’ first competitive game of 2010, when they had to stage a dramatic late fightback to deny Waterford in this quarter-final clash, played at the Fitzgerald Stadium Killarney yesterday. Sheehan was carried off the field late in the game and has been told that he will be out for anything from four to six weeks. As a result, he looks certain to miss the opening rounds of the NFL, which means that he won’t lead out Kerry for their glamour league opener against Dublin on February 7 or away to Cork a week later after an X-ray on his ankle revealed that he damaged ligaments.

This is a huge blow to the St Mary’s clubman, who indicated after his club won the South Kerry Championship, thus affording him the honour of skippering Kerry in 2010, that his main aim this spring was to nail down a starting place on the team after an indifferent 2009. Now it appears certain that it will be his friend and team-mate Killian Young who will lead out the All-Ireland champions against Dublin in three weeks’ time when the Kingdom open their defence of the NFL title. Kerry needed two late Kieran Donaghy goals to see off the challenge of Waterford, who were gifted a goal late in the first half and two more within minutes of resuming in the second half.

Trailing by two points with just minutes to go, Donaghy caught a high pass just outside the Waterford square, and turning swiftly, the ‘Star’ fired home to send Kerry into the lead. Just over a minute later, he punched a Sheehan point-attempt into the back of the net, as he twisted in mid-air like a falcon, and swooped to guarantee Kerry’s place in the semi-final of the Munster competition, against Tipperary and John Evans on Sunday next. Fielding a relatively strong team (only Adrian O’Connell survived the previous day’s win over IT Tralee) that included the likes of Aidan O’Mahony, Young, Seamus Scanlon, Tommy Griffin, David Moran as well as Sheehan and Donaghy, it was still no surprise to see Kerry struggle for large patches.

At one stage in the first half, they led 0-6 to 0-1 as Sheehan (0-3), Scanlon, Donaghy and Kieran O’Leary were all on target but Waterford, thanks to a fortuitous goal from Tom Grey in the 28th minute, saw the visitors back on level terms at the break, 0-6 to 1-3. Two early Waterford goals in the second half handed the visitors a six-point lead — the first from Conor McGrath and the second a penalty from Michael Donnelly — and suddenly at 3-3 to 0-6 clear the distress signals were starting. However Kerry chipped away at that lead — mainly through the accuracy of Sheehan, who finished with 0-6 — but the shock looked on until Donaghy’s late double won the game for the Kingdom. However the Sheehan injury soured the Kingdom’s impressive recovery.

Scorers — Kerry: K Donaghy 2-2, B Sheehan 0-6 (0-3fs), K O’Leary 0-2, S Scanlon and J O’Donoghue 0-1 each.

Waterford: M Donnelly 1-2 (1-0 pen, 0-2f), T Grey, C McGrath 1-0 each, B Wall 0-2 (0-2f), JJ Hutchinson 0-1.

Kerry — G Reidy; P Reidy, T Griffin, A O’Connell; K Young, A O’Mahony, M Corridan; S Scanlon, D Moran; J O’Connor, B Sheehan, D Walsh; K O’Leary, K Donaghy, P O’Connor. Subs: BJ Keane for Moran, A O’Sullivan for O’Connell, James O’Donoghue for J O’Connor, P Corridan for O’Leary, K O’Leary for Walsh.

Waterford — T Wall; J Walsh, Maurice O’Gorman, J Phelan; T Grey, S Briggs, P Ogle; M Ahearne, Michael O’Gorman; W Hennessy, C McGrath, B Wall; M Donnelly, R Ahearne, S Cunningham. Subs: T O’Gorman for M Ahearne, JJ Hutchinson for W Hennessy, B Phelan for Michael O’Gorman.

Ref — D O’Mahony (Tipperary)

Waterford Crystal Cup Hurling – Cork v UCC

UCC defeated Cork by 1-12 to 1-7 in the Preliminary Round of the Waterford Crystal Cup Senior Hurling competition at Pairc Ui Runn on Sunday.

Walsh mystified as Rebels fade away

UCC 1-12 Cork 1-7

By Michael Moynihan for the Irish Examiner newspaper

Monday, January 18, 2010

UNIVERSITY COLLEGE CORK’s second-half scoring spree put Cork out of the Waterford Crystal Hurling Cup at Páirc Uí Rinn yesterday, the students’ 1-8 without replay after the break giving them a well-earned victory in front of 1,652 spectators. Cork coach Denis Walsh was unequivocal about his side’s scoreless second-half. “We died a death,” said Walsh. “I don’t know if you’d put it down to fitness or whatever, but they upped the pace and were able to move the ball. “They knew each other as well, whereas when we lost our way with an experimental team… you saw the fitness levels. We had to take a few fellas off because they were gone, their legs were gone. UCC had the advantage that they could knock the ball around. “But I’d be very happy with the first-half, we dictated the pace of the game and fellas showed up very well.”

Cork began brightly with two pointed frees from Cian McCarthy before a William Egan free was won near the UCC goal by Paudie O’Sullivan, who goaled from close range. The intercounty side were 1-4 to 0-1 ahead at the end of the first quarter and though neither team was clinical in its shooting, Cork added two more frees from McCarthy and a Mark Harrington point from play to lead 1-7 to 0-4 at the break. The students were heavily dependent on former Cork panellist Eoghan Murphy, who contributed three of their points from frees. “Unfortunately the second-half threw up more questions than answers,” said Walsh later.

UCC were far sharper after the break and reeled off three points in as many minutes at the three-quarter stage from Luke O’Farrell (two) and Shane Burke before Clare U21 star Darach Honan goaled from close range. That score put UCC 1-9 to 1-7 clear and they closed the game out with ease, though Cork had a goal chance from Paudie O’Sullivan that went narrowly wide and ended the game with 11 wides. “I’m pleased overall,” said Walsh. “The conditions were good enough given the bad weather we’ve had, and we have our eye on a certain number of players. “Now we’re out of the competition we can go away and think of what we’ll do next. “To be honest, there are probably six or seven players between UCC and CIT that I’d have on the selection if they weren’t tied to the colleges.”

Walsh conceded he and his management team would have liked another outing in the Waterford Crystal League. “I would, but we had games lined up provisionally anyway – the bookies had UCC as slight favourites, so they must know something I didn’t – and we’ll be out again. “We have a game in Fermoy on February 6 to mark the turning on of floodlights there, and we have a game on the 13th as well against Waterford, so they’ll be good matches to lead into the league.” Before the game there was plenty of interest in football convert Michael Cussen, but Walsh pointed out the towering Sarsfields clubman has only just returned from the county footballers’ team holiday.

“He only came off a plane at half one this morning,” said Walsh. “He did well enough inside, he was a threat, but we didn’t have enough of fellas motoring. We died a death really in midfield, we never got going there in the second half. “Paudie O’Sullivan got a good goal and he had a chance of a second after half-time, that would have put us out of sight. His touch was very good. Jamie Nagle played well. William Egan did well in the first half, Aidan Ryan, Ray Ryan, David Cunningham – they were excellent. Luke O’Farrell was enterprising as well, he kept going.” Referee Declan O’Driscoll refereed the game under the new rules sensibly, though the Cork manager suggested there may be headaches over the enforcement of one particular law.

“The handpass was the thing,” said Walsh. “The new square rules didn’t really come into it, but the handpass, I think, will be down to interpretation. “And it’ll probably drive people bananas – ‘is it or isn’t it’. I thought at times during the game when players were under pressure that they were afraid to hand pass.” UCC play Limerick in the next round of the competition.

Scorers for UCC: D Honan 1-0, E Murphy (frees), S Burke 0-3 each, L O’Farrell, B O’Sullivan 0-2 each; M Wilkinson, S Moylan 0-1 each.

Scorers for Cork: C McCarthy 0-4 (frees); P O’Sullivan 1-0; M O’Sullivan 0-1, M Harrington, W Egan (free) 0-1 each.

UCC: A Nash (Cork); C O’Sullivan (Cork), R Foley (c) (Waterford), C O’Driscoll (Cork); K Hartnett (Cork), E Martin (Wexford), J Jordan (Cork), B O’Sullivan (Limerick), M Wilkinson (Limerick); S Burke (Tipperary), M Grace (Kilkenny), R White (Cork); L O’Farrell (Cork), E Murphy (Cork), T Óg Murphy (Cork).

Subs: D Honan for T Og Murphy, S Moylan for Grace, half-time; J Halbert for E Murphy, 45; L Sexton for Wilkinson, 53.

CORK: M Coleman (Ballinhassig), S Murphy (Erins Own) D Cunningham (Glen Rovers), R Ryan (Sarsfields); D Rodgers (Brian Dillons), A Ryan (Midleton), J Nagle (Midleton); G Calnan (Glen Rovers), W Egan (Kilbrin); M Harrington (Douglas), C McCarthy (Sarsfields), M O’Sullivan (Dripsey); P O’Sullivan (Cloyne), M Cussen (Sarsfields), A Walsh (Killeagh).

Subs: J Neville (St Finbarrs) for Egan 52; Michael O’Sullivan (Tracton) for Walsh, 55; D O’Callaghan for Mark O’Sullivan, 57.

Referee: D O’Driscoll (Limerick)

McGrath Cup Football – LIT v Tipperary

Tipperary defeated the Limerick Institute of Technology by 2-13 to 2-6 in the McGrath Cup Senior Football Quarter-Final on Sunday in Dr. Morris Park Thurles.

Evans slams hand-pass rule

From the Irish Independent newspaper

Monday January 18 2010

TIPPERARY manager John Evans described Gaelic football’s experimental hand-pass rule as “farcical” following yesterday’s McGrath Cup quarter-final victory over Limerick IT. Tipp ran out seven-point winners against the students on the back of a strong second-half display but players being penalised for not laying off a hand pass in the correct fashion made for frustrating viewing at times. Evans believes that referees will be scapegoated as the stakes get higher next month when the league begins.

“I think when it goes to the National League, that will show that this is an unworkable situation,” he said. First-half goals from Limerick star Ger Collins and Conor Daly had LIT in touch at half-time, trailing by 2-1 to 1-5. Debutant Padraig O’Dwyer had scored Tipp’s first-half goal and after the hosts upped the ante considerably in the second half, a second goal from Donal Lynch four minutes from time ended the LIT resistance.

Scorers — Tipperary: B Grogan 0-7 (5f), S Hahessy 0-4 (2f), P O’Dwyer, D Lynch 1-0 each, S Carey, B Coen 0-1 each. Limerick IT: G Collins, C Daly 1-1 each, T Dalton 0-3 (2f), E O’Connor 0-1 (f).

TIPPERARY — P Fitzgerald; D Buckley, C Morrissey, A Morrissey; D Lynch, R Costigan, C McGrath; C Dillon, A Rockett; S Carey, S Hahessy, P O’Dwyer; J Tierney, B Coen, B Grogan. Subs: D Bourke for Morrissey (14), P Acheson for O’Dwyer (41), C Sweeney for Tierney (44), G Hannigan for Rockett (49), L O’Gorman for Hahessy (59).

LIMERICK IT — C Ryan (Cork); S Upton (Galway), B Shanahan (Kerry), D Finnerty (Limerick); N Gaughan (Sligo), S Ryder (Mayo), S Langton (Cork); R O’Connor (Offaly), E Cummins (Waterford); E Hogan (Limerick), C Daly (Kerry), G Collins (Limerick); E O’Connor (Limerick), T Dalton (Tipperary), G Gorman (Cork). Subs: C Ruane (Clare) for Gorman (36).

Ref — M Condon (Waterford)

Waterford Crystal Cup Hurling – Clare v WIT

Clare defeated WIT by 0-15 to 1-9 in the Preliminary Round of the Waterford Crystal Cup Senior Hurling competition at Meelick on Sunday.

Debut victory for new Banner boss

Clare 0-15 WIT 1-9

By Diarmuid O’Flynn for the Irish Examiner newspaper

Monday, January 18, 2010

A useful exercise for new Clare manager Ger O’Loughlin in this first round Waterford Crystal senior hurling tournament in magnificent Meelick yesterday afternoon, as his charges chiselled out a gritty three-point win over WIT (Waterford Institute of Technology). Just across the border from Limerick city, Meelick boasts one of the finest club hurling pitches in the country, the extreme weather conditions of the past few weeks causing little adverse effect. Clare started with a very strong selection, the bulk of last year’s championship team still in place, but O’Loughlin also used the occasion to have a look at some new talent, so we had the likes of Alan Brigdale and Domhnall O’Donovan in defence, Pat Donnellan getting a run in midfield, with Aonghus O’Brien and Martin Ogie Murphy joining the attack.

All those youngsters impressed, with O’Brien (2) and Murphy (1) both scoring in a lively first half, at the end of which Clare led by a point, 0-7 to 0-6, John Conlon (1), Fergal Lynch (1) and freetaker Colin Ryan (2) with the other points. For the college, Tipperarymen Timmy Hammersley and Ray Moloughney caught the eye with two points apiece in that half, team captain Fintan O’Leary and midfielder Kieran Grehan completing the WIT total. The third quarter was dominated by Clare, three points from Colin Ryan (two frees), one each from Conlan and the raiding Gerry Quinn, against just one from WIT, a Hammersley free, had them five points ahead at the three-quarter stage, 0-12 to 0-7.

Then came a flurry from the students, and with Shane Fives and Enda Barrett (whose brother David came on as a sub for Clare) driving them on from the half-back line, in three minutes of high-scoring action WIT tied it up, 0-12 to 1-9. The points were notched by O’Leary and Hammersley, the goal was scored by Moloughney, the Tipp men on the end of a move that involved Hammersley and Kieran Grehan, firing home from close range. However, back came Clare. Matt O’Flaherty, David Barrett, John Cusack and the experienced Alan Markham were all introduced as the second half progressed; now all contributed, but none more so than O’Flaherty, whose deadly accuracy from placed balls (three from three, including a 65) saw Clare home.

A happy O’Loughlin said: “The whole idea of today was to just get back on the hurling field and we’ve done that. There was great commitment there – the hurling standard probably left a bit to be desired at times, but I wasn’t expecting anything different.” Next up for Clare are Tipperary in the semi-final. “Yes, they’re looking to play that midweek, but those matches are great. We have five or six sessions done on the physical side of it, and the lads were able to hold out.”

Scorers for Clare: C Ryan 0-5 (3f); M O’Flaherty 0-3 (2f, 0-1 65); J Conlon 0-2; A O’Brien 0-2; M Murphy, F Lynch, G Quinn, 0-1 each.

WIT: R Moloughney 1-2 (1f); T Hammersley 0-4 (0-2f); F O’Leary 0-2; K Grehan 0-1.

CLARE: P Brennan; P Vaughan, C Dillon, A Brigdale; D O’Donovan, B O’Connell (capt), G Quinn; P Donnellan, D McMahon; J Conlon, G O’Grady, A O’Brien; M Óg Murphy, F Lynch, C Ryan.

Subs: M O’Flaherty (McMahon 39); D Barrett (Donnellan 47); J Cusack (Ryan 49); A Markham (O’Grady 57).

WIT: A Power; B Kenny, W Hutchinson, N Connors; S Fives, E Barrett, PJ Rowe; K Grehan, M Molloy; J Gahan, F O’Leary (capt), R Good; R Moloughney, T Hammersley (Tipperary), S Power (Waterford).

Subs: B Johnston (Cork, S Power 30); W O’Dwyer (Tipperary, Grehan 56).

Referee: C McAllister (Cork)