Allainz NFL Division 2 – Down 0-14 Tipperary 1-11

Tipperary salvage a point

From the web site

Down 0-14 Tipperary 1-11

NFL Division 2

Barry Grogan converted a pressure free in the third minute of stoppage time to earn Tipperary a point from their visit to Pairc Esler. For long stages, it looked as if Down were about to exact revenge for last season’s defeat in the NFL Division Three final, but in the end, they failed to drive home the advantage.

All credit to Tipp, who battled courageously after falling behind in the early stages, and it would have been an injustice had they started off on the long journey south with nothing to show for their efforts. Down showed some excellent movement and good ideas in an opening quarter that they almost totally dominated. Too often, however, they over-played the ball and tried to pick a pass too many.

But the territorial advantage they enjoyed, thanks to the ball-winning of Ambrose Rodgers and the artistry of Martin Clarke, helped them open out a 0-6 to 0-1 lead by the 20th minute John Clarke, Conor Laverty, along with frees from Martin Clarke and Paul McComiskey, found the target, with Conor Sweeney responding with a couple of Tipp scores. The last 10 minutes of the half, however, belonged to the resurgent Munster men.

George Hannigan and Seamus Grogan took over at midfield, and the strong running of centre forward Philip Austin had the Mourne defence in real trouble. They hit 1-4 in that closing period, Sweeney, Austin and wing back Christopher Aylward all on target. And a minute before the end of the half came the goal that dramatically gave them the lead. Barry Grogan floated a long free into the danger area, and when Down failed to clear, Brian Mulvihil poked the ball to the net from close range to send Tipp in with a 1-6 to 0-8 interval lead.

After falling further behind to Aylward’s second point, Down regrouped and got themselves back in front through John Clarke 12 minutes into the second half Down were forced to increase the workrate to match the industry their opponents had displayed right from the start. But Seamus Grogan continued to win vital Tipp possession in midfield, keeping his side very much in the game.

Benny Coulter’s emergence as an influential figure saw John Clarke and younger brother Martin ease the home side three points clear, the latter sending a screaming volley just over, clipping the crossbar as it went. But once again, John Evans’ men dug deep, and scored the last three points of the game, all from placed balls, with Grogan showing an ice cool temperament to slot the leveller.

Down: B McVeigh, D McCartan, B McArdle, D Rafferty, K McKernan, J Colgan, C Garvey, A Rodgers, K King, C Maginn (0-1), M Clarke (0-5, 1f), P McComiskey (0-2, 2f), C Laverty (0-3), J Clarke (0-3), B Coulter.

Subs: P Fitzpatrick for King, S Kearney for Maginn, M Poland for Laverty, R Murtagh for McComiskey

Tipperary: P Fitzgerald, N Curran, C McDonald, A Morrissey, C Aylward (0-2), R Costigan, C McGrath, G Hannigan, S Grogan, B Mulvihill (1-0), P Austin (0-1), J Cagney, C Sweeney (0-5, 4f), B Coen, B Grogan (0-3, 3f).

Subs: S Hahessy for Cowen, S Carey for Cagney, P Acheson for Austin, A Rockett for S Grogan

Referee: J Curley (Meath).

Down 0-14 Tipperary 1-11

From the web site

Down’s dream start to their Division Two campaign was ended when they were held 0-14 to 1-11 by Tipperary at Páirc Esler on Saturday night.  Barry Grogan gave the Premier County their first point of the 2010 campaign when he landed a late free to level the game.

Johnny Evans’ side led 1-6 to 0-8 at the break after Down had dominated the early stages of the game. They led by five points at one stage thanks to scores from Martin Clarke and Paul McComiskey.   Tipp’s goal came on the stroke of half-time as the ball was deemed to have crossed the line after a Grogan free deflected past Mourne goalkeeper Brendan McVeigh.  Tipp hit the last three points of the game with Grogan firing the leveller three minutes into injury time.

Allianz NFL Division 1 – Cork 1-19 Galway 1-17

In-form Rebels forced to dig deep to edge out Galway

Cork 1-19 Galway 1-17

By Bob Lester for the Irish Examiner newspaper

Monday, March 08, 2010

THOSE looking for entertainment at sandy Páirc Uí Rinn on Saturday got plenty of it. With some fine open play, lots of energy and 38 scores, it was manna for spectators. However, numerous mistakes and ball errors by both sides would not have impressed either Cork coach Conor Counihan or Galway counterpart Joe Kernan. Cork, under the cosh in the second-half despite holding a nine-point advantage at one stage, held out against gritty Galway for their third league victory in-a-row. But Counihan couldn’t have been too impressed. “In the second-half we gave them far too much space, didn’t close them down. But we had a lot of young players out there and we only played well in patches. There’s lots of bottle in this Galway side, Joe (Kernan) has given them steel and a new spirit. We got the points, but Galway will take a lot more out of the game than we will.”

Certainly Cork nearly paid for their complacency, though it was not evident in the opening half. It was a point apiece after the opening five minutes, the hard-working Paudie Kissane for Cork and the nifty Nicky Joyce replying for Galway. However, the Tribesmen were looking sharper and more composed early on and it was no surprise when Sean Armstrong put them ahead with a 45. But the centre-forward was then forced out of the contest with a hamstring injury to be replaced by Cillian De Paor and the Galway attack missed the big centre-forward’s presence.

With Ken O’Halloran making a good debut between the posts and Ray Carey and new boy Eoin Cotter solid in the full back line, Cork again took command as a couple of points from Paddy Kelly, who had an excellent outing, and one apiece from Paul O’Flynn and Donncha O’Connor put them 0-5 to 0-2 clear after 17 minutes. Despite Barry Cullinane and Paul Conroy winning some good ball around midfield, Cork still looked comfortable. The supply of quick ball to the dangerous Michael Meehan and Joyce wasn’t great and Galway struggled for scores. Two Meehan points left the minimum between the sides after 21 minutes, but Cork cut loose again and finished the half in super fashion with some sublime scores.

Paul Kerrigan could have had a goal, settled for a point. But a goal did come in the 29th minute and it was a beauty. It started with Alan O’Connor, who found Colm O’Neill in space. He put the flying Pearse O’Neill motoring and the big midfielder showed composure in smashing the ball high to the net. Said Galway boss Kernan: “We dominated the early exchanges, but that goal cost us. It was annoying the way the red sea just split us wide open and let O’Neill in though, in fairness, he took it beautifully. We were very naive in the opening half and gave too much ball away.” Cork drove on from O’Neill’s goal, all the forwards bar Daniel Goulding finding the target. Indeed Cork should have had a second goal in injury time only for excellent Galway full-back Finian Hanley taking Kerrigan’s shot off the line.

Cork led 1-10 to 0-6 at the break and looked comfortable. And the lead got even better after the restart. It took Paul O’Flynn just eight seconds to stretch the advantage with a super point and when Pearse O’Neill drove on for another the game looked done and dusted. With a nine-point cushion all Cork needed was to stay composed and keep possession. Instead they were sloppy, gave away far too many frees and how Joyce and Meehan, who was torturing Michael Shields, punished the transgressions as Cork’s lead was whittled down to just four points, 1-13 to 0-12, by the 51st minute. Fine points from Colm and Pearse O’Neill again gave the hosts a seven-point cushion after 58 minutes but Galway struck again, making it an uncomfortable ride to the finish. Cork were caught with a sucker punch on the hour when another Galway raid opened up a now fragile defence and, as Ken O’Halloran watched Meehan’s goal attempt come back off the upright, he could do nothing to prevent sub Gary Sice gleefully putting the rebound into the net. Just four behind now, Galway were sniffing an unlikely win as mistakes began to unlock a now shaky Cork defence. Point for point now, but when sub John Hayes saw red following a second booking Cork began to look real edgy. Wing back David Reilly made it even nervier for Cork with a fine point and Galway even had a chance to win it at the death only for substitute Danny Cummins to blast his shot over the bar with a goal on.

Scorers for Cork: P. O’Neill 1-2, D. O’Connor and C. O’Neill (0-3 frees) 0-4 each, P. Kelly 0-3 (frees), P. O’Flynn and D. Goulding 0-2 each, P. Kissane and P. Kerrigan 0-1 each.

Scorers for Galway : N. Joyce 0-7 (0-5 frees), M. Meehan 0-6 (0-3 frees), G. Sice 1-0, S. Armstrong (45), C. De Paor, D. Reilly, D. Cummins 0-1 each.

Subs for Cork: J. Hayes for O’Flynn (47); C. O’Driscoll for O’Leary (58); F. Goold for A. O’Connor (66) J. Masters for C. O’Neill (70).

Subs for Galway: C. De Paor for Armstrong (inj 10m); G. Sice for Dunleacy (41); M. Clancy for Healy (55); D. Cummin for Joyce (65).

Referee: M. Condon (Waterford).

Cork hang on for narrow win

From the web site

Mar 06, 2010

Cork maintained their 100 percent record in Allianz GAA Football National League Division One with a 1-19 to 1-17 defeat of Joe Kernan’s Galway at Páirc Úi Rinn on Saturday night. The Rebels led by 1-10 to 0-6 at the break and appeared to be cruising to a comfortable win when they extended their advantage to nine points in the 38th minute. However, the Tribesmen, with the aid of a lucky Gary Sice goal, staged a comeback in the final ten minutes and might even have salvaged a draw had Danny Cummins not wasted a glorious goal chance deep into injury time.

Cork started the game with great intent as wing-back Paudie Kissane moved forward from defence to slot over the first point of the game after four minutes. Nicky Joyce and Sean Armstrong hit back to give the Tribesmen the lead, but manager Kernan’s plans were thrown into disarray just ten minutes into the game when Armstrong was forced off the field with a hamstrung injury. Cork’s forwards then clicked into gear after a stuttering start, as their midfield began to take over and supply a slick attack with quality ball. Paul O’Flynn’s free was the first of four successive points for the home side, while Donncha O’Connor struck points off both feet to leave the Rebels 0-5 to 0-2 ahead after 17 minutes. Michael Meehan stopped the rot for Galway with a brace of points, before the Caltra man had a fisted effort on goal saved by Cork’s debutant goalkeeper, Ken O’Halloran. Cork broke straight up the field and Paul Kerrigan pitched in with his first score of the night after a scorching run.

Cork’s goal after 29 minutes bore all the hallmarks of the football Conor Counihan has encouraged his team to play during his two fruitful years in charge. Alan O’Connor’s long ball into the full-forward line was collected by corner forward Colm O’Neill, who offloaded first time to the onrushing Pearse O’Neill. The giant Aghada man barely broke stride as he launched a rocket into the top corner of the Galway net. Nicky Joyce, who started the game despite picking up a shoulder injury in training on Tuesday, kicked two points from placed balls just before the break, but Donncha O’Connor had the last say as his third point of the night and a further Colm O’Neill effort gave the Rebels a 1-10 to 0-6 half-time lead.

Cork started the second half with a bang. The buccaneering Pearse O’Neill again found space in attack and fed Paul O’Flynn through on goal, but the late addition to the Rebels’ attack blazed over when the goal was at his mercy. Pearse O’Neill added another point a minute to give Cork a nine-point lead. Credit to Galway, however, as they kicked four points without reply to fight their way back into the game. Joyce hit three of those scores, with the first of that purple patch a real beauty after he had beaten his marker, Eoin Cotter, to the ball. Daniel Goulding halted Galway’s revival when he lashed over the bar after the ball had broken somewhat fortuitously for him in the full-forward line. The Éire Óg man had a similar opportunity nine minutes later, but again he opted to kick over the bar after he had raced clear of the Galway defence. In between Goulding’s efforts, Joyce kicked his seventh of the night, while Michael Meehan kicked a brilliant score after substitute Sice had picked him out with a precise pass.

Again, Cork seemed to find an extra gear with ease and hit three points in a row – including another trademark Pearse O’Neill effort – before Galway hit back with a lucky goal in the 60th minute. Michael Meehan’s fisted effort struck a post and fell into the path of the unmarked Sice, who prodded the ball into the empty net to leave his side trailing by four points. Cillian de Paor then struck his first of the night to further reduce the gap. Donncha O’Connor, the experienced Ballydesmond man, hit a vital point for Cork and Paddy Kelly added another to extend their lead to five. Cork’s John Hayes, a second half substitute, was sent off following a second yellow card for a late tackle. However, Galway set up a grandstand finish when Michael Meehan and David Reilly kicked injury time points. Trailing by two points in the third minute of injury time, Cummins had a great chance to level the game, but he blazed over the bar from a tight angle after Sice had played him in with a clever pass.

Match Preview

Cork will look to maintain their winning ways in Division One when they entertain Joe Kernan’s Galway under the lights at Páirc Úi Rinn on Saturday night. The Rebels have made an impressive start to the league, beating Monaghan and Kerry to move to the top of the table alongside Mayo and Dublin. However, Conor Counihan, as is his wont, will not be getting carried away with the early season success just yet. Cork were were lucky to escape from Scotstown, Monaghan with two points after a decidedly rusty performance, and although their forward play against Kerry was slick for this time of the year, it should be noted that the Kingdom were missing most of the team that played in last year’s All-Ireland final.

Eoin Cadogan is suspended following his sending off against Kerry with his place going to his clubmate, Eoin Cotter, who will make his National League debut at corner back. The defensive trio of Anthony Lynch, Graham Canty and John Miskella remain sidelined through injury. Bishopstown’s Ken O’Halloran is another league newcomer between the posts with Alan Quirke still out injured, despite reports to the contrary. In attack, Nicholas Murphy continues at number 14, where he will have Colm O’Neill and the in-form Daniel Goulding for company in the full-forward line. Galway boss Kernan will hope to continue his side’s recovery from the jolt they received on the opening day against Mayo. The Tribesmen were considerably better in beating Monaghan the following week, but Cork will provide another stern test of exactly where the Tribesmen stand in the current pecking order.

Kernan has made five changes from the side that beat Monaghan. Nicky Joyce has overcome a shoulder injury he picked up in training on Tuesday night to start in the full-forward line, but Tomás Fahy is ruled out with an ankle injury and is replaced by David Reilly in defence. Fiachra Breathnach is also ruled out with a calf injury while Cormac Bane is another to miss out, with Damien Dunleavy and Conor Healy coming into the half-forward line. Eoin O Conghaile, from the Leitir Mór club, starts between the posts ahead of Adrian Faherty. Barry Cullinane comes back into the team to partner Paul Conroy at midfield in the final change from the side that beat Monaghan, with Joe Bergin moving into full-forward. Galway are without their Corofin contingent who have been given another week off to recover after the defeat to St Gall’s in the All-Ireland Cub semi-final last week, while Pádraic Joyce won’t appear in the league as he continues his rehabilitation from an Achilles injury.

Team News

Cork: K O’Halloran; R Carey, M Shields; E Cotter, P Kissane, G Spillane, N O’Leary; A O’Connor, P O’Neill; P Kerrigan, D O’Connor, P Kelly; D Goulding, N Murphy, C O’Neill.

Galway: E O Conghaile;; D O’Neill, F Hanley; G Bradhshaw, D Reilly, D Blake, G O’Donnell; B Cullinane, P Conroy; C Healy, S Armstrong, D Dunleavy; M Meehan, J Bergin, N Joyce.

Dr. Harty Cup Hurling Final Replay – Thurles CBS v Ard Scoil Ris

Thurles CBS and Ard Scoil Ris played out a cracking draw after extra time in the Dr. Harty Cup Hurling Final Replay on Saturday at MacDonagh Park Nenagh. Final score – Thurles CBS 4-15 Ard Scoil Ris 2-21.

Thurles CBS 4-15 Ard Scoil Rils 2-21

Round-up by Ed Donnelly

Thurles CBS captain Denis Maher – lining out at full-forward due to injury scored a goal in the first minute. However, Ard Scoil Ris were the sharper team for the first 20 minutes and helped by a long range goal from Cathal McInerney, they raced in to a 1-8 to 1-2 lead. Thurles CBS responded with four unanswered points coming up to half-time and by the interval, Ard Scoil Ris led by 1-9 to 1-6.

Thurles CBS kicked off the second half with a goal by substitute Kevin Slattery after 33 minutes to draw level before taking the lead in the 53rd minute when a long range free by Pat Ralph ended up in the net. Ard Scoil Ris were now down to 14 men after Cathal McInerney had been sent off but they dug deep and found the scores to equalise and had a chance to win it late in injury time which went narrowly wide. Final score after normal time was Thurles CBS 3-10 Ard Scoil Ris 1-16.

Extra time was equally dramatic. Ard Scoil Ris were now back up to 15 men and took the lead thanks to a brilliant individual goal by centre-forward Declan Hannon. Thurles CBS earned a penalty four minutes later which Denis Maher dispatched to the net and by half-time in extra time, Ard Scoil Ris led by two points, 2-20 to 4-12. Thurles CBS scored the first three points of the second half of extra time and looked set for victory but just on the stroke of full-time, Declan Hannon scored a long range point for Ard Scoil Ris to ensure that no one went home as losers after an enthralling match where the attendance of 3,090 stood as one at the final whistle to applaud the efforts of two outstanding hurling teams.

Dr Harty Cup Final Replay

Thurles CBS 4-15 Ard Scoil Ris 2-21 (AET)

By Cathal Ryan

In a pulsating encounter at MacDonagh Park Nenagh on Saturday afternoon Thurles CBS and Ard Scoil Ris yet again could not be separated after extra time of a fantastic Dr Harty Cup Final replay. After last Sunday’s bruising encounter both sides exceeded the very high levels that were set in the first encounter bringing even more intensity with no little skill to make this game one which will live long in the memory in front of a crowd in excess of 3000. Declan Hannon scored yet another late and dramatic equaliser for the Limerick school with a 60 yard strike off his right hand side with pressure being applied from defenders as for the third time in this Harty Cup Final saga Ard Scoil Ris levelled proceedings deep into stoppage time to keep the tie alive.

With eight minutes to go in normal time Thurles seemed to have sealed the their second Harty Cup success in as many years when Pat Ralph floated a long range free deep into the Ard Scoil Ris square and as Shane Dowling dropped back onto the line he made a despairing reach to pluck the sliotar from under the crossbar only for the ball to agonisingly clip the tips of his fingers and drop to the net. This left the Tipperary men three points clear but this Ard Scoil Ris side once more showed their never say die attitude and one minute into stoppage time last week’s saviour John Fitzgibbon latched onto a ball played into the inside forward line. The Adare starlet shrugged off the attention of would be tacklers to strike sweetly off his left hand side under the MacDonagh Park stand to send this rip roaring final to extra time.

Both sides looked weary as proceedings finally came to an end with there being many casualties to cramp in extra time. Some of the Thurles players looked jaded and their management team will have to work hard to lift a side that was within touching distance of victory. The reintroduction of Aidan McCormack to their side for round three of this epic will go a long way in helping as the classy forward has missed the first two encounters through a harsh suspension picked up in the semi final.

The Ard Scoil Ris management will be delighted with the spirit and persistence of their side who have found scores when needed the most in injury time at the end of both games to keep themselves alive in the contest. However as Thurles regain a player from suspension the Shannon-siders will lose one of their co- captains Cathal McInerney who saw red for an off the ball incident five minutes into the second half that will mean he will miss the third chapter of this contest. There were many positional changes before throw in on both sides but when the action did get underway it was the men in black with yellow trimming who pounced first through a point from forward Mark Ryan. The Thurles response was as fast as it was emphatic. In the following play a long ball broke in behind the Limerick sides full back line and Denis Maher who had started at full forward glided on to the loose ball and cracked a left handed drive to the net.

This didn’t upset the first time finalist’s rhythm and they replied with scores from a John Fitzgibbon free and Shane Dowling who had began this game at centre forward in a change with Declan Hannon. Again the Mid Tipperary men responded in similar fashion through a Mike O Brien free and a score from Tommy Doyle who was only introduced as a substitute in the first clash but started this one and had a fantastic game. From this the tenth minute the Limerick boys owned the next quarter of an hour scoring 1 – 5 without reply. The goal came from a speculative ball dropped in from Cathal McInerney and Aidan Stakelum in the Thurles goal didn’t deal with the heavy pressure applied from Mark Ryan in the 13th minute.

With five minutes remaining in the half the men in blue and gold did bring themselves back into the encounter with four scores, two frees from Mike O Brien and points from play from Pat Ralph and Tommy Doyle. At half time the score stood at 1-9 to 1-6 in favour of Ard Scoil Ris. With only two minutes on the clock in the second period Thurles scored a superb team goal that was finished with a flick to the net from substitute Kevin Slattery. Niall Kennedy scored a lovely point for Ard Scoil Ris before McInerney was dismissed after an altercation with Mike O Brien.

The game ebbed and flowed with some great scores and immense intensity from both sides and there was never more than a point between the sides from this point until the 52nd minute when Ralph’s free found the net to put Thurles ahead by three heading into the final stages. But a free from Hannon and one from Fitzgibbon dragged the margin back to one before Fitzgibbon took centre stage to bring the side’s level and force extra time on a score of 3-10 to 1-16. As the audience in attendance caught breath both sides retreated to the dressing rooms for a much deserved break. Upon return to the field it was Ard Scoil Ris who drew the first decisive blow. Declan Hannon who was by now restored to the forward line shimmed around the last defender and planted the ball in the onion sack.

However when only two minutes later Thurles received a penalty that was dispatched by Denis Maher you began to sense that another draw was on the cards. At the interval of extra time the challengers to the thrown led by two points 2-20 to 4-12. Mike O Brien scored two super points on the restart and added another from a free six minutes into the second period of extra time and this was how it remained until Hannon equalised and set up a third meeting between two sides who rightfully were applauded and cheered for from every corner of the ground on the final whistle for an incredible afternoon of hurling.


Thurles CBS: Aidan Stakelum; Pa Dunne, Cathal Carroll, James Bourke; Philip Looby, John Meagher, Cathal Barrett; Stephen Maher, Pat Ralph (1-2,1-0F); John Bergin, Brian Campion, Tommy Doyle (0-3); Conor Hammersly, Denis Maher (2-0,1-0 Pen)(capt), Mike O Brien (0-10,7F). Subs: Kevin Slattery (1-0) for B. Campion (25), Cian Treacy for C. Hammersly (49), Niall O Brien for J. Bergin (57), C. Hammersly for C. Treacy (66), J. Bergin for N. O Brien (70), Ailbe Power for S. Maher (75).

Ard Scoil Ris: PJ Hall; Mark Carmody, Eoghan McCarthy, Alan Dempsey; Cathal McInerney(co-capt), Declan Hannon (1-5,4F), Martin Moroney; Sean O Brien (co-capt), Niall Kennedy(0-2); Adrian Breen, Shane Dowling(0-2), Brendan O Connor; Mark Ryan(1-1), Kevin Downes (0-1), John Fitzgibbon (0-8, 6F). Subs: Jamie Shanahan (0-2) for M. Ryan (38), Ciaran Keogh for A. Breen (54), Kevin Keane for B. O Connor (55), A. Breen for C. Keogh (63), M. Ryan for K. Keane (75).

Referee: David Copps (Cork)