NFL Division 1 – Monaghan v Cork

Cork defeated Monaghan by 3-13 to 3-12 in Round 1 of the National Football League Division 1 on Sunday at Scotstown.

Cork 3-13 Monaghan 3-12

From the GAA.ie web site

Cork opened their Allianz GAA National League Division One campaign with a 3-13 to 3-12 win over Monaghan at Scotstown on Sunday. Paul Kerrigan scored two goals in the first half as the Rebels led by 3-4 to 1-6 in a high-scoring encounter. However, Monaghan hit back after the break with Tommy Freeman and Darren Hughes both on target to set up a thrilling finale. The sides were level at 3-12 apiece going into the final minutes, but attacker John Hayes struck a 69th minute winner to give the Rebels two league points on their return to the top division.

Kerrigan had grabbed Cork’s opening goal after five minutes, when Dónal Morgan pushed the ball onto the crossbar and the Nemo Rangers clubman prodded into the empty net. Remarkably, the Rebels led by 3-1 to 0-6 after just 28 minutes after Kerrigan had set up Paddy Kelly’s goal and helped himself to a second. Monaghan’s goal came in somewhat bizarre circumstances as Cork goalkeeper Kevin Murphy misjudged Paul Finlay’s free and allowed the ball to sail over his head and into an empty net. Daniel Goulding hit two quick points after the break to nudge Cork further ahead, but Tommy Freeman grabbed a second goal for the Farney men when he hammered home after Murphy had failed to hold Dermot Malone’s shot.

Monaghan completed the turnaround when Hughes hit the back of the net and then added a point to put them 3-8 to 3-7 ahead. However, Cork hit back with points from Paudie Kissane, Kerrigan and substitute Hayes, who drove over a fine effort from the 45-metre line. Hughes, who struck 1-2 in the second half, did have a late chance to level the game, but he fired Monaghan’s 13th wide of the game and Conor Counihan’s Cork will have the comfort of an opening day league win on the long trip back to Leeside.

Counihan praises Rebel spirit

Monaghan 3-12 Cork 3-13

By Brendan O’Brien for the Irish Examiner newspaper

Monday, February 08, 2010

IT has been over four months since that crushing All-Ireland final defeat but the Cork footballers returned to competitive action for the first time yesterday with the sort of performance that oozed character and determination. Considering the venue, the opposition and the lack of game time, this was a standout display by Conor Counihan’s men. Alan Quirke, Graham Canty and John Miskella had been ruled out due to injury early last week and the visitors were hampered still further by subsequent knocks to Alan O’Connor, James Masters and Derek Kavanagh and Noel O’Leary’s unavailability. That said, it was still a strong squad that Counihan brought north with him yesterday, one with eight of the CIT players who played in the Sigerson Cup last week, as well as UCC’s Michael Shields.

Facing them was a Monaghan side containing five men who were making their competitive inter-county senior debuts and without a handful of injured first-teamers but it was, nonetheless, no scratch 15 either. As one glance at the scoreboard would suggest, this was a delight of a game, one riddled with scores and entertainment, and it was in the melting pot until referee David Coldrick called for the ball. “We’d be reasonably happy,” was the assessment of Counihan, a man known to greet victory and defeat with the same poise. “At the same time, when you concede 3-12 you’d be disappointed about that. It gives us plenty of room for work. On the plus side, we did score 3-13. We did come from a situation where we were behind to coming around and getting out the right side of it.”

Counihan suggested that experience was key to this win. He was right. With ten minutes to play, the visitors were two points down and seemingly on the ropes but they scored the last three points from play. It wasn’t just the scores in that spell that impressed, it was the manner in which they went about regaining the lead and then closing the game out with the winner coming courtesy of a superb John Hayes strike from play. If anything was the difference between the two sides however it was Monaghan’s shooting. Seamus McEnaney’s side finished the afternoon with 14 wides, 11 before the break. Cork were living off scraps for much of that period and, a Paddy Kelly point aside, their only contribution to the scoreboard in the first 25 minutes was a scrappy, rebounded goal from Paul Kerrigan after six minutes.

Such was Monaghan’s dominance at that point that they were able to intersperse their copious wides with the odd point here and there and they had six to their credit before being hit by a double whammy. First Kelly latched on to a Kerrigan pass before shooting low to the net and then, less than 60 seconds later, Kerrigan himself fielded a long ball from Nicholas Murphy before claiming his second green flag. That left Cork with a bizarre score of 3-1 after half an hour and, while they racked up the points from there to the final whistle, Monaghan were soon to get in on the goal-scoring act with three of their own inside ten minutes either side of the interval. Vincent Corey claimed the first after Kevin Murphy dropped Paul Finlay’s long free into his lap. The Cork keeper did better six minutes after the interval but his save from Dermot Malone’s shot rebounded to Tommy Freeman who blasted home.

Monaghan’s third was perhaps the best of the six with full-back Darren Hughes, operating out the field to huge effect thanks to Cork’s two-man full-forward line, rounding off a well-worked team move. By the time the glut of goals dried up the sides were level at 3-7 apiece and there was still nearly half an hour to go in front of what was, understandably, an increasingly animated crowd. The next ten minutes were spent shadowing one another with three points apiece. Monaghan then made a break for the tape when they moved two ahead but replies from Paudie Kissane, Kerrigan and Hayes finally swung it Cork’s way. “It was a combination of three missed chances and conceding three bad goals early on in the game but I will be taking the positives out of today’s game,” said McEnaney. “We started five debutants today. We do need to address the concession of the three goals but the character that the team showed was absolutely magnificent and I am disappointed for them that they didn’t take at least a point out of the game. “We were completely on top in the first-half but we just couldn’t get the scores. But it was the first game for our whole team to be together this year so I was more than delighted with the performance and the character shown.”

Scorers for Cork: P Kerrigan 2-2, P Kelly 1-1, D Goulding 0-3, P O’Neill 0-2, D O’Connor 0-2, P Kissane 0-1, A Walsh 0-1, J Hayes 0-1.

Scorers for Monaghan: T Freeman 1-2 (0-1f), D Hughes 1-2, V Corey 1-1, C McManus 0-4 (2f), P Finlay 0-3 (2f).

Subs for Cork: C O’Neill for O’Flynn 60, C O’Driscoll for Spillane 60, J Hayes for Goold 65.

Subs for Monaghan: C Greenan for Morgan 29, C Hanratty for McElroy 35, K Hughes for D Freeman 65, H McElroy for T Freeman 68.

Team News

The Cork team to play Monaghan in Sunday’s Allianz NFL Division 1 clash at 2.30pm in Scotstown is as follows:

1. Kevin Murphy – Boherbue

2. Ray Carey – Clyda Rovers

3. Michael Shields – St. Finbarrs

4. Eoin Cadogan – Douglas

5. Ger Spillane – Ballygarvan

6. Paudie Kissane – Clyda Rovers

7. Noel O Leary – Cill na Martra

8. Alan O Connor – St. Colums

9. Nicholas Murphy – Carrigaline

10. Paul Kerrigan – Nemo Rangers

11. Pearse O Neill – Aghada

12. Paul O Flynn – Ballyclough

13. Daniel Goulding – Eire Og

14. Colm O Neill – Ballyclough

15. Donncha O Connor – Ballydesmond

Match Preview

This game is a repeat of last year’s Allianz NFL Division Two final, but both sides have made very different progress in the interim. Cork look the team most likely to end the All-Ireland dominance of Kerry and Tyrone in recent years after a brilliant Championship campaign, while Monaghan disappointed in the Ulster Championship against Derry and exited the qualifiers in the second round against the same opposition.

Monaghan gave a superb performance in beating Cork by seven points on a very tight pitch in Scotstown last year, but the Rebels travel north with an experienced side this time, although they may be rusty after spending the early part of January on a team holiday. Monaghan topped the Division Two table last year but could find the going tough against better quality opposition in the top tier.

Cork are without Anthony Lynch, John Miskella and Graham Canty, and manager Conor Counihan has included Eoin Cadogan and Paudie Kisane in defence in their absence. Up front, Counihan has plumped for most of the forward line that played in last year’s All-Ireland final.

Monaghan boss Seamus McEnaney is without the suspended Dick Clerkin after his dismissal in the McKenna Cup match against Fermanagh. Owen Lennon and JP Mone are out injured and doubts persist over the availability of Desie Mone and Stephen Gollogly.

NFL Division 1 – Kerry v Dublin

Dublin defeated Kerry by 1-12 to 1-10 in Round 1 of the National Football League on Sunday at Fitzgerald Stadium Killarney.

Dublin 1-12 Kerry 1-10

From the GAA.ie web site

Feb 07, 2010

Dublin claimed their first win in Kerry since the 1982-1983 season by beating the All-Ireland champions 1-12 to 1-10 in an exciting Allianz GAA NFL Division One clash in Killarney on Sunday. After the humiliating 17-point All-Ireland Quarter-final against the Kingdom last August, Dublin boss Pat Gilroy will look back with some satisfaction on this game in which his charges withstood a late comeback to claim a narrow win. The Dubs led 1-6 to 0-6 at the break after Paul Flynn’s 33rd minute goal, and kicked three points in a row after the restart to extend their advantage. Inevitably, Kerry hit back, with Barry John Walsh grabbing an injury-time goal to set up a grandstand finish. The league champions went in search of an equalising point, but Michael MacAuley stepped up to fist over a late point to hand the Dubs victory.

Eamon Fennell, who finished the game with three points from play, carved out an early chance to put his off-field troubles to the back of his mind, but the midfielder smashed the ball over the bar in the first minute after bursting through on goal. Fennell gave a superb performance in the first half, scoring a second point from play after 17 minute to give Dublin a 0-3 to 0-2 lead. However, Paul Galvin was in equally good form and slotted over three points from play in the first half alone, his effort with the outside of his foot to level the game after 24 minutes being the highlight of a very enjoyable 35 half. However, Dublin did take the lead into the break after Flynn found the back of the net in the 33rd minute. Darragh MacAuley tapped a high ball into the path of the onrushing Flynn, who fired a low shot past Ger Reidy. Flynn added a point a minute later before Paul O’Connor struck his third point of the day to leave Kerry trailing by 1-6 to 0-6 at half-time.

Flynn, Kevin McManamon and Blaine Kelly nudged Dublin further ahead after the break before Paul O’Connor got Kerry off the mark in the second half with a pair of frees. However, Fennell kept the Kingdom at arm’s length with his third of the afternoon after 57 minutes. Kerry then had a succession of goal chances, with Walsh denied by Stephen Cluxton and Declan O’Sullivan somehow skewing the ball wide after Donaghy had given him the easiest of goal chances. Galvin was next to go close, firing just over the bar to get his side back to within four points with two minutes left. Walsh then smashed the ball through a crowded goalmouth past Cluxton to give the home crowd hope that a remarkable comeback was on the cards. However, as Kerry went in search of a winner, MacAuley stripped a defender of the ball and blazed through on goal before taking the sensible option and fisting the ball over the bar.

Gilroy plays down capital gains

Kerry 1-10 Dublin 1-12

By Fintan O’Toole for the Irish Examiner newspaper

Monday, February 08, 2010

THERE was retribution in the Killarney air yesterday, but no one in the Dublin football camp was celebrating after beating the All-Ireland champions in this NFL Division One opener. A two-point league victory cannot erase the memories of last August’s championship meltdown, but as part of their rehabilitation this was an encouraging starting point. They travelled home last night as the first Dublin team since November 1982 to take league points from the locals in Killarney but perspective was the buzzword in the Dublin ranks afterwards. For manager Pat Gilroy, the key is building on this display: “I don’t think the result really matters, it’s more about performances. It’s all about consistency, there’s no point playing like that today and not following it up next week. We want to see how young lads acquit themselves out there and I was very happy with how hard everyone worked for us today. But look, it’s a February league match and that’s all it is.”

Gilroy went with just five of the side that started in last summer’s trouncing and that was reflected in how Dublin played free of inhibitions in the opening half. Their work-rate from the outset was ferocious, and they also played some bright, engaging football. Midfielder Eamonn Fennell brushed aside the recent club transfer talk that has dogged him to gain a strong foothold around the middle with partner Ross McConnell. Fennell’s best work was done in an attacking sphere, as along with centre-forward Michael MacAuley, he sliced open the Kerry rearguard with astute angles of running. The good news continued elsewhere around the pitch with Rory O’Carroll, Paul Flynn and Kevin McManamon validating their case for inclusion with high-standard displays.

For Kerry an early league defeat will not prompt grave inquisitions. With several names missing, their teamsheet underwent a huge makeover from last summer’s side while manager Jack O’Connor was also absent from the sidelines due to a family bereavement. Dublin’s greater dynamism suggested they are further advanced in their training schedule and it will take Kerry a few games to shake winter aches from their limbs. For all of Dublin’s early sparkle, Kerry competed well on the scoreboard in the first half. That was principally due to the excellence of Paul Galvin who kept his team afloat with his marquee moment arriving in the 23rd minute when his quicksilver footwork created a great point.

But Dublin were full value for their 1-6 to 0-6 interval lead, with Fennell notching two points and McManamon posing difficulties for Kerry defender Pádraig Reidy. The uncharacteristic laxness of Kerry’s passing from defence was another key factor as sloppy handling gifted Dublin cheap points, and but for fatal dithering by MacAuley in the fourth minute, they could have goaled after an errant Tommy Griffin sideline. When Dublin did hit the net in the 32nd minute, it was a product of their own invention. Ross McConnell arrowed a brilliant pass forward and McAuley deftly flicked on to Paul Flynn, who shot emphatically to the net.

In contrast, Kerry’s inside attackers Barry John Walsh and Paul O’Connor’s ambitions to impress were not helped by the paucity of possession fed into them in the first half. Kerry’s principal tactic was to lump high balls to ‘Star’ at the edge of the square, but Dublin were alert to Donaghy’s threat and effectively crowded him out when he gained possession.

Dublin’s ploy of clogging the middle third deprived Kerry players of the space they needed to execute clean deliveries forward and that practice continued after the interval. Flynn, McManamon and the improving Blaine Kelly all set umpires flags fluttering and when Paul O’Connor kicked a 50th minute free, Kerry trailed 1-9 to 0-7.

Kerry’s fortunes did enjoy resurgence in a helter-skelter finale. Aidan O’Mahony and Declan O’Sullivan started channelling the action towards the Dublin half, while frees from O’Connor and Walsh ate into the Dublin lead. The play was growing ragged at this stage and referee Rory Hickey had to keep a tight rein as skirmishes developed. Kerry needed the boosting injection of a goal and created several frantic scrambles, but it was not until Walsh finished a Killian Young cross in the 72nd minute that they hit the net. Momentarily Dublin’s grip on the game weakened but Kerry’s pursuit of an equaliser was undermined when MacAuley intercepted a Seamus Scanlon pass to race through and punch over the clinching point.

Kerry selector Ger O’Keeffe, deputising for O’Connor, admitted they collided with a superior side: “Dublin came down with big intentions and that showed, in the first half particularly. They were far fitter, I’d say they’d probably more work done than the president of the GAA might have thought since January. It’ll be a lesson to our younger lads that you don’t win games just because you’re All-Ireland champions. “We’ve a lot of lads out and Declan O’Sullivan suffered a dead leg there, but we’d be hoping to get them back over the next few weeks.”

Scorers for Dublin: P Flynn 1-2, E Fennell 0-3, B Kelly (0-2f), K McManamon 0-2 each, A Hubbard, B Brogan (0-1f), M MacAuley 0-1 each.

Kerry: P O’Connor 0-5 (0-3f, 0-1 ‘45), BJ Walsh 1-1, P Galvin 0-4.

Substitutes

Dublin: B Brogan for Kelly (49), D Kelly for Hubbard (62), T Diamond for McManamon (68).

Kerry: A O’Sullivan for Quirke (47), Padraig O’Connor for Corridan (47), J O’Donoghue for Paul O’Connor (55), BJ Keane for D Walsh (66), K O’Leary for D O’Sullivan (inj) (66).

Referee: Rory Hickey (Clare)

Team News

KERRY (SF v Dublin) – (1)Ger Reidy, Castleisland Desmonds (2)Padraig Reidy Scartaglin (3) Tommy Griffin (Dingle) (4) Adrian O’Connell ( St Michael’s Foilmore ) (5) Maurice Corridan (Finuge )(6) Aidan O’Mahony (Rathmore) (7) Killian Young (Renard)- Captain (8)Seamus Scanlon (Currow)(9) Micheál Quirke (Kerins O’Rahillys) (10)Paul Galvin (Finuge) (11) Declan O’Sullivan (Piarsaigh na Dromada) (12) Donnacha Walsh (Cromane) (13) Barry John Walsh (Kerins O’Rahillys) (14) Kieran Donaghy (Austin Stacks) (15) Paul O’Connor (Kenmare)

Subs: (16) Brendan Kealy (Kilcummin) (17) Alan O’Sullivan (Tuosist) (18) James O’Donoghue (Legion) (19) Pat Corridan (Finuge) (20) Aidan O’Sullivan (Piarsaigh na Dromada), (21) Kieran O’Leary (Dr Crokes) (22) Barry John Keane (Kerins O’Rahillys) (23) Brian Looney (Dr. Crokes) (24) Paudge O’Connor (Legion) 25) Johnny Buckley (Dr Crokes)

DUBLIN (SF v Kerry): Stephen Cluxton; Ross O’Carroll, Rory O’Carroll, Philly McMahon; Paul Griffin (Capt), Cian O’Sullivan, James McCarthy; Eamon Fennell, Ross McConnell; Alan Hubbard Michael Darragh MacAuley, Paul Flynn; David Henry, Blaine Kelly, Kevin McManamon

Subs : Michael Savage, Paul Conlon, Conor McCormack, Paul Casey, Bryan Cullen, Denis Carrigan, Tiernan Diamond, James Brogan, Bernard Brogan, Dean Kelly, Kevin Bonner, Brendan McManamon

Match Preview

The Dublin camp have been keen to point out that revenge is not their primary motive in Killarney after last year’s All-Ireland Quarter-final humiliation, but there is little doubt that the wounds from the 17-point Bank Holiday massacre are still wide open in the capital. Pat Gilroy begins another year in the pressure cooker as Dublin manager with the toughest possible start to a league campaign. Kerry are the Allianz National League and All-Ireland champions, and will relish the prospect of flexing their muscles in the second week in February.

However, manager Jack O’Connor is missing 16 of the squad that faced the Dubs last year and only five of the team will start on Sunday. Kieran Donaghy will play at full-forward despite reports that he was going to join team-mates Colm Cooper and Darran O’Sullivan at the Superbowl in Miami. O’Connor began the search for replacements for Diarmuid Murphy, Tommy Walsh and Tadhg Kennelly during the successful McGrath Cup campaign, but he will have to look deep into Kerry’s pool of talent to adequately fill the yawning gaps left behind by three of their best performers last year.

Ger Reidy gets the nod between the posts, while Adrian O’Connell and Maurice Corridan are promoted after showing good form in the pre-season. Barry John Walsh steps straight into the spot vacated by his brother, Tommy, who has joined AFL side St Kilda, at corner forward. Gilroy has been similarly hampered, with ten of his panel unavailable due to injury. He has been forced to perform major surgery on his defence, as the O’Carroll brothers, Ross and Rory, are included in a back-line alongside the inexperienced Philly McMahon.

Only Stephen Cluxton, David Henry, Paul Griffin, Ross McConnell and Paul Flynn survive from the 17-point mauling the Dubs suffered last August. Bernard Brogan is kept in reserve despite his superb form in the O’Byrne Cup. Pat Burke, Conal Keaney, Darren Magee and Brennan are all sidelined. Denis Bastic is not expected to return until the end of February after undergoing ankle surgery, while Tomás Quinn faces four to six weeks in rehabilitation after fracturing his metatarsal.

NFL Division 4 – Clare v Wicklow

Evergreen Micko hails courageous Garden men

Clare 1-9 Wicklow 0-11

By Diarmuid O’Flynn for the Irish Examiner newspaper

Monday, February 08, 2010

IT is 56 years since Mick O’Dwyer had his first involvement with inter-county football, lining out for the Kerry minors against Cork in the Munster championship. 54 years ago he played his first National Football League game with his native Kerry, yet there he was in Cusack Park, Ennis, yesterday, still in track suit, still as enthusiastic as ever for a game he loves beyond reason. After a hugely successful career as a player, Micko went on to an even more successful career as manager. First off he led Kerry to eight All-Ireland titles, before successful spells with Kildare and Laois before hitching up with his latest project, Wicklow. Last year, in a run never before experienced in the Garden County, Wicklow won their first championship game in Croke Park, went on to knock out three Ulster teams before eventually bowing out to Kildare, just before the quarter-final series.

A Gaelic football messiah then, though his magic didn’t quite work out yesterday, in this first-round Division Four NFL encounter with Clare coming back from an 0-9 to 0-2 deficit with just 30 minutes to go on to win by the narrowest of margins. “It was a tough one to lose,” O’Dwyer admitted, “There was indiscipline on the part of some of our players – we had won a free, there was retaliation and the referee decided to hop the ball. From that they got the goal and they got a point from the same kind of thing. Further down the field the same thing happened but he didn’t hop the ball at all – those are the little kind of things that make a difference in a tight game.” Ironic, that, indiscipline cost his team the points, because if there’s any one outstanding characteristic that has always been a hallmark of a Mick O’Dwyer team, it’s discipline. Work hard, play the ball, don’t give away needless frees, don’t get into trouble with the officials – be honest. That’s been his mantra down the decades. “I do try to get them to play an honest game, get them to play the ball at all times, that’s most important, and that’s the way I’m going to continue.”

It wasn’t just Wicklow indiscipline, of course, it was also a great show of heart by Clare to come back from such a deficit. They were inspired from the back by goalkeeper Joe Hayes, who made a number of outstanding interventions, while outside him the full-back line of Gordon Kelly, Barry Duggan and Dean Ryan also stood out. They had some crucial ‘marks’ at vital times in midfield by towering Ger Quinlan, while David Russell and David Tubridy were prominent up front along with all-action corner-forward Gearóid Lynch who touched home the goal. Never-say-die effort from them, then, and worthy winners in the end. Never-say-die from O’Dwyer either, who was as enthusiastic as ever on the sidelines.

“November 56 it started at senior level with my first league match. It was a long time ago but I enjoy every moment of it – even that game today. I got as much of a kick out of that as I would managing any team in the country. “It was great, tight and close, a good test for players as well. I’ve had so many good times, so many bad times; the best was winning my first All-Ireland in 1959. Coming from Waterville, a little place nestled away down in the west of Kerry, to win an All-Ireland – that wasn’t too bad. Winning your first, whether player or manager, is always the one, but as a manager – the All-Ireland final of 78, that was the one, coming back to beat the Dubs. “But looking back at last year, we had some wonderful games in the championship, we got great enjoyment from that – that’s what keeps you going. It’s not all about winning, it’s about preparing teams and having them playing to the best of their ability. Take today, that was a game we could have won, lost it by a point, but I was delighted with the players, they gave wonderful commitment – you can’t ask any more than that from players.”

Scorers for Clare: D Tubridy 0-5 (0-4 frees); G Lynch 1-0; L Healy 0-2; A Clohessy, D Russell, 0-1 each.

Scorers for Wicklow: T Hannon 0-6 (0-4 frees, 0-1 45); L Glynn 0-2; S Furlong, P Cunningham, P McWalter, 0-1 each.

CLARE: J Hayes; G Kelly (capt), B Duggan, D Ryan; G Kelly, M Tubridy, B Cummins; G Quinlan, L Healy; G Brennan, D Tubridy, D Russell; A Clohessy, P Reidy, G Lynch.

Subs: S Kinnevan (Reidy 30); C Dunning (Healy 65).

WICKLOW: M Travers; C Hyland, S Kelly, A Byrne; P McWalter, B McGrath, D Hayden; J Stafford, JP Dalton; L Glynn, T Hannon, P Cunningham; P Earls, S Furlong, C Jones

Sub: D Odlum (Earls 52).

Referee: M Meede (Limerick)

Dr. Harty Cup Hurling S-Final – St. Caimin’s College Shannon v Ard Scoil Rís, Limerick

Ard Scoil Rís, Limerick defeated St. Caimin’s College Shannon by 0-16 to 0-6 in the Dr. Harty Cup Hurling Semi-Final on Sunday at Meelick. Ard Scoil Ris led by 0-9 to 0-3 at the interval.

Dr. Harty Cup Hurling S-Final – Thurles CBS v Nenagh CBS

Defending champions Thurles CBS defeated Nenagh CBS by 1-15 to 1-10 in the Dr. Harty Cup Hurling Semi-Final on Sunday at Templemore. A second half goal by Thurles substitute John Bergin proved to be the crucial score.

O’Brien inspires holders

From the Irish Times newspaper

HARTY CUP SEMI-FINAL: TIPPERARY MINOR Michael O’Brien was the star of the show as 14-man Thurles CBS, the holders, saw off Nenagh CBS in yesterday’s semi-final at Templemore.

O’ Brien bagged nine points for Thurles and was an inspirational figure as the holders overcame the loss of centre-half forward Aidan McCormack who was sent off after only 15 minutes. But the champions rose to the challenge in style and despite a Jason Forde penalty goal for Nenagh in the 24th minute, Thurles led 0-7 to 1-2 at the interval. Substitute John Bergin’s late goal sealed the win.

THURLES CBS : A Stakelum; S Maher, C Carroll, J Bourke; C Barrett, D Maher (0-1) , J Meagher; P Dunne, P Ralph (0-2) ; P Looby, A McCormack (0-1) , N O’Brien; C Treacy (0-1) , D Devane, M O’Brien (0-9); Subs: J Bergin (1-0) for Devane; K Slattery for N O’Brien; T Doyle (0-1) for Treacy; M Sadlier for Looby;

NENAGH CBS : D Reddan; P Peters, D Maher, J O Dwyer; M O’Flaherty, D Quinn, P Gill; B Stapleton (0-2) , C Canning; J Forde (1-5) , K Seymour, J O’Brien; T Gallagher, E Hogan, M Tuite (0-1). Subs : P Butler for Canning, N Gleeson for O’Brien, P Shanahan for Gallagher, J Minogue for O’Flaherty, D Walsh (0-1) for D Maher.

Referee: N Cosgrove (Clonmel).

Munster Camogie Convention

Munster Camogie Convention took place in the Rochestown Hotel in Cork yesterday Sunday 7th February. Convention saw the re-election of all Officers. Reports were adopted from the Secretary, Treasurer, PRO, Schools Division, Development, and Referees. Draws for Munster Competitions were also finalised. The Chairman Morgan Conroy also addressed the meeting and spoke on the positive developments within the orginisation and paid tribute to all who are working at it within the province. Munster can hold its head high in regard to development, integration, and progress. National President Joan O’Flynn and Ard Stuirathoir Sinead O’Connor attended the meeting and complimented all who have been involved. They also spoke on the current review of rules and that these will be conveyed to all at a special congress in March.

Munster Byelaws had been reviewed and the proposed amendments were accepted. The motion on behalf of Munster Colleges – That the wearing of shin pads be mandatory for Munster Council Juvenille competitions(U18 down). Was adopted into the Bye Laws.

Recommendations from the Referees Committee were forwarded to congress and the group looking at rule changes.

The convention was informed that the Inter Provincial Gael Linn would only take place at Senior Level this year as Provinces were finding it difficult to provide Junior teams due to finance restrictions.

Championship Draws

U16A

Clare v Limerick Semi-final July 3rd

Cork v Tipperary Semi-final July 3rd

Final July 18th

U18

Cork v Tipperary Prelimenary Rd April 17th Clare v Waterford Semi-final May 1st Cork/Tipperary v Limerick Semi-final May 1st Final May 15th

Senior

Tipperary v Limerick Semi-final April 18th Cork v Clare Semi-final April 18th Final May 8th

Officers

Officers for the coming year are

Uachtaran: Rose Malone, Cork

Cathaoirleach: Morgan Conroy, Waterford

Leas Cathaoirleach: Eamonn Browne, Tipperary

Runai: Marion Graham, Tipperary

Cisteoir: Jean Hayden, Tipperary

Claradoir: Marie Kearney, Cork

PRO: Orla Considine, Clare

Delegate to Central Council: Maire Kearney, Cork Trophy Officer: Bridie O’Looney, Clare Child Protection: Margaret Skehan, Tipperary Delegate to Central Council, Fixtures: Marion Graham, Tipperary

Preview

The Annual Convention of Cumann Camógaíochta Na nGael Comhairle na Mumhan will take place on this Sunday February 7th. Uachtarán Cumann Camógaíochta Joan O’Flynn will be in attendance at the Convention. Munster Council are very happy with this as the President continues to establish strong links with all divisions of camogie and this gives the opportunity to further express the views of the council and counties within the provence. There will be reports from the Secretary, Treasurer, PRO, Schools and Post Primary Schools as well as the Chairman’s Address. Election of Officers for the 2010 season, Motions and Championship draws for the 2010 season will also be on the agenda.

The nominations for positions on the board sees no competition for places with all the current Board being re-nominated. These are Uachtarán Rose Malone Cork, Cathaoirleach Morgan Conroy Waterford, Vice Chair Eamonn Browne Tipperary, Secretary Marion Graham Tipperary, Treasurer Jean Hayden Tipperary, Registrar Marie Kearney Cork, PRO Orla Considine Clare, Delegate to Central Council Marie Kearney, Trophy Officer Bridie O’Looney Clare, Delegate to Central Council Fixtures Marion Graham Tipperary, Child Welfare Officer Margaret Skehan Tipperary. Convention is being hosted by Cork and will take place in Rochestown Park Hotel Cork and starts at 2pm.

NFL Division 4 – Leitrim v Waterford

Waterford defeated Leitrim by 0-13 to 0-10 in Round 1 of the National Football League on Sunday at Ballinamore.

Waterford Footballers got their season off to a winning start in Ballinamore with a three point win over Leitrim.Waterford dominated the early exchanges, racing into a two-point lead after four minutes. However, Leitrim improved as the half progressed, led by Philip Howard who scored three points from play.An added-time pointed free by Brian Wall left Waterford ahead 0-6 to 0-5 at the break

Leitrim started the second half impressively as Waterford struggled to get a grip in mid-field, scoring five points without reply between the 41st and the 57th minute. Waterford were awarded a penalty in the 49th minute but Robert Arearne’s shot was saved at full stretch by goalkeeper G Phelan.

Waterford’s greater fitness was to prove vital as Leitrim visibly tired in the final ten minutes. Seven points without reply in that final spell turned the game for Waterford who ran out winners 13 points to ten.

SCORERS — Waterford: W Hennessey 0 – 4, B Wall 0-4, C McGrath 0-2, M Aherne, S Briggs, M Donnelly 0-1 each.

WATERFORD — T Wall; J Walsh, T OGorman, M OGorman; T Grey, S Briggs, P Ogle; M Ahearne, E Walsh; W Hennessey, C McGrath, B Wall; M Donnelly, R Ahearne, S Cunningham.
Subs: L OLionain for M Donnelly, C Phelan for P Ogle, T Prendergast for S Cunningham. C O’Keeffe for B Wall

NFL Division 4 – London v Limerick

Limerick defeated London by 0-17 to 1-4 in Round 1 of the National Football League on Sunday at Ruislip.

Limericks trip to Ruislip over the weekend proved a fruitful one when they defeated London 0-17 to 1-04 in the opening round of the NFL Division 4. While the result was favourable the team performance was below par with some wayward shooting and vital possession being lost on several occasions

Ian Ryan got Limerick off to a good start with a point in the opening minute. However, the Limerick defence were caught napping and conceded an easy goal shortly after. At half time Limerick were in front 0-10 to 1-2 and never really looked in danger from here on, with 10 points between the sides at the final whistle. Limerick had impressive performances from Stephen Lavin and Johnny McCarthy in defence, up front James Ryan showed no signs of rustiness after this lay off and Ian Ryan proved a handful for the London defence.

Limerick Team: Conor Ranahan, Shane Gallagher, Conor Mullane, Andrew Lane, Stephen Lavin, Johnny McCarthy (0-1), Pa Ranahan, Jim ODonovan (0-1), John Galvin, John Mullane (0-1), James Ryan (0-3), Padraig Browne(0-1), Ger Collins (0-1), Ian Ryan (0-7), Cormac Joyce-Power (0-1). Subs used: Mark ORiordan for P Ranahan, Stephen Kelly (0-1) for G Collins , Eoin Joy for J Galvin, Wayne Enright for Cormac Joyce-Power, Barry Fitzpatrick for S Lavin.

Waterford Crystal Cup Final – Waterford v UCC

Waterford defeated UCC by 1-9 to 0-11 in the Waterford Crystal Cup Senior Hurling Final on Sunday in Fraher Field Dungarvan.

Timely wake up call for out of sorts Waterford

BY PHIL FANNING for the Waterford News & Star newspaper

WATERFORD 1-09 U.C.C. 0-11

HAVING enjoyed an impressive pre season campaign in the build up to last Sunday’s Crystal Cup final with U.C.C. Waterford were given a timely reminder that there is still some work to be done prior to next Sunday week’s opening league tie against Dublin as the team that crushed Clare a week earlier produced a very flat performance at Fraher Field when stuttering to a fragile one point win over the Cork students. U. C. C. came to Dungarvan on the back of a devastating Fitzgibbon Cup defeat by Limerick I. T. but their determination to bounce back from that disappointment was obvious in the manner in which they carried the game to Waterford from the first whistle and were it not for some woeful finishing that produced thirteen first half wides to Waterford’s four the home side would have been facing a much heavier deficit than three points going into the second half.

Displaying far greater urgency after the break Waterford took the lead in the 36th minute through a well worked Martin O’Neill goal but did well to hang on for victory after the sending off of Eoin Kelly on a straight red card in the 40th minute by Limerick referee Damien Richardson whose overall interpretation of the rules, experimental and established, left much to be desired. For a team that went through a protracted ‘warm up’ ritual Waterford were stone cold in the opening quarter as the students were allowed to dominate from midfield going forward. Three points from placed balls by Eoghan Murphy and one from Eanna Martin gave their side a four point lead inside six minutes and the College side would not at all have been flattered to have at least doubled that lead before Waterford finally got on the scoreboard in the 17th minute with a fine point from Kevin Moran. Moran’s score seemed to settle his side down as Maurice Shanahan followed up with a point from a free following a foul on Thomas Ryan and in the 19th minute Shanahan was heavily fouled by Joe Jordan, at the cost of a yellow card to the Blarney man, and the Lismore youngster’s point from the free amazingly left Waterford just a single point adrift.

BELOW PAR

That margin was maintained after another exchange of points from frees between Murphy and Shanahan and it took a goal line intervention by Jerome Meagher to deny U. C. C. a certain goal before late points from another Murphy free and wing forward Shane Burke gave their side a 0 – 7 to 0 – 4 half time lead which was the least they deserved having had by far the better of the play in the first half. Having had time to reflect on a dismal first half performance Waterford came out for the second half in more positive mood and with Gary Hurney being fouled twice by Abbeyside club mate Richie inside two minutes Maurice Shanahan duly reduced the deficit to the minimum. Michael Walsh was now dominating play from centre back position and the Waterford half forward line was coming more into the game.

In the 36th minute the hard working Gary Hurney had the College defence at full stretch to create the opening for Thomas Ryan to lay the ball off to Martin O’Neill in front of goal and the teenager gave Anthony Nash no chance as he fired his side into the lead for the first time. U.C.C. hit back immediately with a point from Tadhg Og Murphy but Maurice Shanahan set up Kevin Moran for an excellent point and it looked as though Waterford were about to take control of the game.

DOWN A MAN

It all went wrong however, soon after, with the dismissal of midfielder Eoin Kelly following an incident on the touchline in front of the stand. Kelly won possession close to the side line and found himself being pushed towards the line by Eoghan Murphy. It was a clear free to the Waterford player but the referee took no action and when the ball dropped to the ground Kelly pulled a wild stroke to catch Murphy on his leg. There followed a bust up involving a prominent U. C. C. mentor who appeared to lash out at the Waterford player and aggravated the situation.

When peace was restored the referee showed Eoin Kelly a straight red card that will keep him out of the first two games of the league at least but, inexplicably, neither the referee nor his linesman, who was on the spot, took any action against the College mentor. It will be very interesting to see what the referee’s report says about this incident. Waterford were now under pressure and forced to play with just Gary Hurney and Thomas Ryan up front as Martin O’Neill was sent outfield and the extra man playing in front of the Cork goal worked to good effect, winning the breaking ball and effecting good clearances. Points from substitute Luke O’Farrell and Robert White levelled the tie in the 47th minute and the pressure was now back on Waterford. At that point the Waterford selectors sent on Bryan Phelan and Eoin Whelan in midfield for James Murray and Thomas Ryan with Martin O’Neill moving forward to rejoin Gary Hurney the front line.

DEISE EDGE IT

The deadlock was maintained for the following ten minutes as the Waterford defence held firm under strong pressure with the introduction of Aidan Kearney for Declan Prendergast having a huge influence in support of Michael Walsh in the half back line. The Waterford cause was helped by the continued failure of the U. C. C. forwards to convert some straightforward scoring chances but as the game went on the home defence gained the upper hand though the College introduced some fresh legs as the game went into the home straight.

There was concern in the Waterford camp as Mark O’Brien had to be stretchered off following a heavy knock in the 55th minute to be replaced by Michael Doherty but a minute later Maurice Shanahan calmly slotted over a free from midfield to put his side back in front. The sides were level again a minute later with Stephen Moylan slotting over a 20 metre free and when Aiden Kearney was narrowly wide with a long range strike the game looked destined for extra time.

The pressure was put back on U. C. C. however when Kevin Moran sent over his third point of the game in the 60th minute but there was still time for the College to hit back as the officials signalled four minutes of added time as a result of the delay for Mark O’Brien’s injury. The final minutes saw the Waterford defence in control as the clock ran down and the referee allowed the game to carry on beyond the four minutes into five until someone reminded Michael Walsh that under the new experimental rules the ball had to go out of play before the final whistle would sound.

It was a hard earned win for this young Waterford side but U. C. C. will feel they should have won this game in the first half when they dominated possession for long periods. While Waterford upped their game in the second half they really owed their victory to their strong defensive display when reduced to fourteen players. In goal Clinton Hennessy controlled his area well while never being seriously tested in terms of shots at goal.

Liam Lawlor did his prospects of securing the full back position no harm at all with a solid display while, after a tentative opening quarter, Michael Walsh settled down to again emerge as his side’s ‘man of the match’. As already pointed out the arrival of Aidan Kearney in the last quarter had a big influence in the closing exchanges.

Waterford never really gained a foothold in midfield at any stage of the game and with Eoin Kelly now ruled out for the opening games of the league, at least, the selectors have some work to do on this sector. In attack the Waterford half forward line of Shane Walsh, Kevin Moran and Maurice Shanahan continues to impress even if the return in scores from play was less than in previous outings. Up front Gary Hurney worked hard and Thomas Ryan and Martin O’Neill will gain in experience from this game.

U. C. C. will certainly feel that they left this game behind them but they will be happy to have regained confidence for their upcoming Fitzgibbon Cup games with G.M.I.T and Waterford I. T. after their heavy defeat to L. I. T. last week. Waterford’s final outing before the league clash with Dublin will be against Cork on Saturday evening next in Riverstown to mark the switching on of the new floodlights at the Sarsfields club grounds.