All-Ireland Senior Hurling Championship Qualifiers – Tipperary 3-24 Wexford 0-19

Tipperary defeated Wexford by 3-24 to 0-19 in the All-Ireland Senior Hurling Championship Qualifiers on Saturday at Semple Stadium Thurles.

Sheedy’s rookies get Tipp back on track

By Cliona Foley for the Irish Independent newspaper

Monday July 05 2010

MISSION accomplished in Semple Stadium alright, as this went some way towards exorcising Tipperary’s Rebel demons, but just how far remains to be seen. Whether the 2009 beaten All-Ireland finalists are completely back on track is hard to gauge on this showing. They conceded a worrying amount in this lacklustre match on Saturday, which they had tucked away in their back pockets as soon as All Star Lar Corbett blasted in two goals within three minutes of the restart. Still, manager Liam Sheedy could afford a wry grin after such a comprehensive victory. He was accused of complacency against Cork and of panicking ahead of this one, due to his radical reshaping of the defence and half-forward line. Yet, this time his team selection proved to be spot on.

Such was the impact of wing-back David Young on his full championship debut that the former county U-21 captain actually pipped Corbett (who scored 2-3) for man of the match. By half-time the Toomevara star had scored 0-3, which was more from play than the entire Wexford attack had then managed. Gearoid Ryan also shot 0-4 on his first championship start while Patrick ‘Bonnar’ Maher, the other rookie in Tipp’s half-forward line, pitched in with 0-2. “Maybe there was a few eyebrows raised but we were 100pc comfortable,” Sheedy said of rearranging the deck and giving youth its fling.

“If guys are doing it in training you’ve got to give them their chance,” he added, sounding ominously like Brian Cody. So, did this comprehensive bounce-back prove that the criticism after the Cork game was completely over the top? “Look, when you lose a game by that margin (10 points) you’re going to get criticism and that’s what drives us on,” Sheedy said. “If it doesn’t happen for them (players) on the day I’ll defend them because all I can vouch for is that the work they do, since I’ve been involved, has not changed. They are a top-class group. “It’s good to get back on track but I’m under no illusions, the level of performance will have to go up again,” he stressed, noting that they lost their momentum for periods in the first-half.

The great irony was that, after Aisake O hAilpin’s aerial antics in the Cork game prompted the switching of the current All Star full-back (Padraic Maher) to the wing to be replaced with the 2007 version, Declan Fanning was then lost to Tipp within two minutes. The ball was barely thrown in when he picked up an ear injury in an off-the-ball tussle with Stephen Banville that later needed 25 stitches. The Wexford man looked extremely lucky to escape with just a yellow after initiating it by pulling across him and the Croke Park mandarins look likely to revisit the whole incident. But Paul Curran subsequently proved to be an able deputy at full-back in a defence that worked well as a unit. Yet, how do you judge yourself against inferior opposition, especially in a game which died as a contest so early on?

Corbett was wearing red boots but even without them there would have been danger written large all over him. He was picked up, from the start, by Ciaran Kenny as Keith Rossiter moved over onto Noel McGrath, but had still banged over three long-range points by half time, when Tipp lead by more than double figures (0-15 to 0-7). Within two minutes of the restart, after Shane and Noel McGrath had combined to set him up, the local hero scrambled in his first goal. Then, in less than a minute, off a Patrick Maher delivery, he ghosted along the end-line to apply the coup de grace from an impossible-looking angle. Game over. Tipp raced into a 17-point lead long before Darragh Egan’s late third goal and never looked back.

Wexford didn’t do badly for the first 30 minutes. By half time their midfielders, Colm Farrell and Harry Kehoe, had scored 0-3 from play and they finished with 0-6 between them, which raises some centre-field questions for Tipp, though Brendan Maher worked his way into it as time went on. Wexford’s half-backs also held their men to a point apiece before the break. They did well when using short puck-outs and, clearly deciding that they couldn’t match Tipp in the air, they concentrated on delivering heavily angled balls forward. But far too many of their cross-field passes dribbled out over the sideline and their core problem, of course, was that they were without suspended captain Diarmuid Lyng. His value as their centre-forward fulcrum was certainly underlined by his enforced absence.

By half time, when all six of Tipp’s forwards had registered from play, only three of Wexford’s forwards had scored; just a point each, including Peter Atkinson’s ’65’. As their manager Colm Bonnar noted, they needed to take swift advantage of the second-half breeze but instead his native county hit them for 2-2 in five minutes. They kept plugging away right to the end and the game opened up ridiculously after Corbett’s goal flurry, but as both sides piled on subs — Jim Berry did well for Wexford — not much more could be gleaned from it. Wexford certainly got not one but two ‘draws from hell’ this summer and Bonnar, at least, has helped them back to Division 1 next season. His two-year term is now up and he was non-committal afterwards about his future. “Those decisions are for another day,” he said. “I was brought in for a two-year stint and we were very unlucky with the draw, getting two teams (Galway and Tipp) who are in contention for knocking Kilkenny off their stride.”

Scorers — Tipperary: L Corbett 2-3, E Kelly 0-8 (0-3f, 0-2 ’65’), G Ryan 0-4, D Egan 1-0, N McGrath (0-1f),D Young 0-3 each, Patrick Maher 0-2, S Callanan 0-1. Wexford: R Jacob, H Kehoe, C Farrell (0-1f) J Berry 0-3 each, S Banville, P Atkinson (0-1f, 0-1 ’65’), T Mahon 0-2 each, D Stamp 0-1.

Tipperary — B Cummins 8; M Cahill 8, D Fanning (inj), C O’Brien 8; D Young 9, C O’Mahony 8, Padraic Maher 8; B Maher 7, S McGrath 6; G Ryan 8, S Callanan 5, Patrick Maher 7; N McGrath 7, L Corbett 8, E Kelly 7. Subs: P Curran 8 for Fanning (2), J O’Brien 7 for Callanan (50), S Hennessy 6 for Kelly (58), D Egan 7 for S McGrath (64), S Maher for B Maher (67), M Heffernan for Ryan (70).

Wexford — N Carton 6; P Roche 7, C Kenny 6, K Rossiter 7; R Kehoe 7, D Stamp 8, D Redmond 6; C Farrell 8, H Kehoe 8; P Atkinson 6, T Waters 5, E Quigley 6; R Jacob 7, S Banville 5, T Mahon 6. Subs: L Prendergast 6 for Quigley (h-t), J Berry 8 for Atkinson (43), M Jacob 7 for Banville (44), T Dwyer 6 for Redmond (50), B Kenny 6 for Roche (65).

Ref — J McGrath (Westmeath).

——————————————————————————–

Tipperary debutants impress

From the Irish Times newspaper

ALL-IRELAND SHC QUALIFIERS: Tipperary 3-24 Wexford 0-19 TIPPERARY BROKE no rule despite using six substitutes during Saturday’s qualifier against Wexford at Semple Stadium watched by 10,927 spectators. Full back Paul Curran played virtually the entire match after replacing Declan Fanning as a blood substitute after two minutes before Tipperary made five replacements during the second half. Tipperary County Board secretary Tim Floyd was given assurances by match referee James McGrath and the fourth official that Curran would be classed as a temporary substitute only, giving Tipp licence to use five “full” additional substitutes. At any point, Fanning was eligible to come back on for Curran but he required 25 stitches to his ear injury after a skirmish with Wexford full-forward Stephen Banville, which was captured by TV cameras.

That was just one of a number of incidents which may be looked at by the GAA’s Central Competitions Control Committee (CCCC). Wexford forward Tomás Waters was lucky to stay on the pitch after standing on Conor O’Mahony’s hand in the 44th minute. O’Mahony’s retaliation earned him a yellow card but Waters escaped a second booking, having caught David Young with a high challenge minutes earlier. Liam Sheedy was reluctant to declare his team “back on track” following this success. The beaten 2009 All-Ireland finalists were satisfied simply to get the job done against poor opposition.

Tipp led by 0-15 to 0-7 at the break and Wexford’s only consolation was they would have the breeze at their backs. But after Eoin Kelly landed a brace of points within two minutes of the restart, Lar Corbett bagged two goals in a minute. Tipperary’s new faces did well as right-half back David Young finished man-of-the-match, a display decorated by three points from play. Patrick Maher, the other debutant, bagged two points while Gearóid Ryan hit four on his first championship start. The only real worry for Tipp was the concession of 0-19 but eight points were conceded in the last 12 minutes when the game was at challenge-match pace.

TIPPERARY: B Cummins; M Cahill, D Fanning, C O’Brien; D Young (0-3), C O’Mahony, Pádraic Maher; B Maher, S McGrath; G Ryan (0-4), S Callanan (0-1), Patrick Maher (0-2); N McGrath (0-3, one free), L Corbett (2-3), E Kelly (0-8, three frees, two 65s). Subs: P Curran for Fanning (2 mins), J O’Brien for Callanan (50 mins), S Hennessy for Kelly (58), D Egan (1-0) for S McGrath (64 mins), S Maher for B Maher (68 mins), M Heffernan for Ryan (70 mins).

WEXFORD: N Carton; P Roche, K Rossiter, C Kenny; R Kehoe, D Stamp (0-1), D Redmond; C Farrell (0-3, one free), H Kehoe (0-3); P Atkinson (0-2, one free, one 65), T Waters, E Quigley; R Jacob (0-3), S Banville (0-2), T Mahon (0-2). Subs: L Prendergast for Quigley (ht), J Berry (0-3, one free) for Atkinson (42 mins), M Jacob for Banville (50 mins), T Dwyer for Redmond (50 mins), B Kenny for Roche (69 mins).

Referee: J McGrath (Westmeath).

Tipperary defeated Wexford by 3-24 to 0-19 in the All-Ireland Qualifiers on Saturday next in Semple Stadium Thurles.

Tipperary 3-24 Wexford 0-19

From the RTE.ie web site

Wexford’s Championship challenge petered out at Semple Stadium as hosts Tipperary comfortably took a 3-24 to 0-19 win in a one-sided All-Ireland SHC phase 1 qualifier. Tipperary were allowed to coast into a 0-15 to 0-07 half-time lead, and added second half goals from Lar Corbett (2-03) and substitute Darragh Egan (1-00) to put the result beyond any doubt. Wexford’s marking was lacklustre and they lost the midfield battle, allowing the likes of Eoin Kelly and David Young, who crowned his Championship debut with three points, to push the hosts clear.

The best performers for Wexford were Keith Rossiter, Rory Jacob and substitute Jim Berry, but it was a day to forget for the NHL Division 2 champions who never looked like providing manager Colm Bonnar with a win over his native county. Looking to bounce back from losing their Munster title, Tipp manager Liam Sheedy made four changes to the team that was overwhelmed by Cork last time out, with right half-back Young and left half-forward Patrick Maher making their Championship bows. Gearoid Ryan also made his first Championship start in the half-forwards, with Declan Fanning installed at full-back and Seamus Callanan leading a youthful half-forward line.

Suspended captain Diarmuid ‘Gizzy’ Lyng was Wexford’s most notable absentee and his presence was certainly missed. Tomas Waters took over from him as one of four changes to the Wexford side that suffered the Leinster quarter-final defeat to Galway. Paul Roche and David Redmond, who is back from Australia, returned in the visitors’ defence and Tomas Mahon also got the nod at top of the left. The sides’ first Championship meeting since Wexford’s 2007 All-Ireland quarter-final triumph began with an off-the-ball skirmish involving Tipperary full-back Declan Fanning and Wexford full-forward Stephen Banville. Blood was seen coming from Fanning’s ear after his helmet was ripped off him, with Banville also emerging from the tussle without his headgear. Referee James McGrath brandished a yellow card to both, and the Tipp defender had to be replaced by Paul Curran.

The opening ten minutes were evenly contested before Sheedy’s men added some cushion to their lead, without hitting third gear. Corbett pointed the dethroned Munster champions ahead in the first minute, quickly followed by wing back Young’s first score at this level. Good work by Eoin Quigley preceded Colm Farrell’s opener for Wexford and as Tipp hit their stride, an athletic catch and point on the turn from Noel McGrath took their tally to 0-03. The Premier County side were finding scores easier to come by and in between pointed efforts from Banville and Harry Kehoe, Corbett, Ryan and Young fired over at the other end. An arcing run from Shane McGrath ended with a rising shot which Wexford goalkeeper Noel Carton deflected out for a ’65’ which Tipp captain Kelly knocked through the posts for a 0-07 to 0-04 lead.

Wexford then failed to clear their lines, allowing Noel McGrath swoop on the ball and score on the run. Wexford showed their threat when Rory Jacob darted around Curran and lashed a one-handed shot towards goal. Net minder Brendan Cummins stood up well to force it wide though, and Peter Atkinson converted the resulting ’65’. Tipp opened up a six-point gap as Seamus Callanan, Kelly (free) and Corbett collected successive points. Wexford responded through Farrell (free) and Mahon, but they could not prevent Kelly (two frees), Patrick Maher and Young from bolstering the home side’s lead to eight at the half-time whistle. The game was effectively over as a contest just three minutes into the second half. Kelly grabbed a quick brace of points from play before, in the space of a minute, Corbett cracked home his two goals.

The pacy full-forward flicked home his first after taking a hand pass from Noel McGrath and riding two challenges, and followed up by latching onto a through ball to blast home his second with an angled drive to the roof of the net. Atkinson and the impressive Harry Kehoe reduced the arrears to 2-17 to 0-09 for a demoralised Wexford, and it was target practice thereafter as Tipp were relatively untroubled right to the finish. The Jacob brothers, Rory and substitute Michael, caused some problems for Cummins and his defenders but they could not get the goals the Model men craved. Kelly took his haul to 0-08 before being called ashore twelve minutes from the end, and Tomas Waters was fortunate to get away with a stamp on a prone Conor O’Mahony as frustration got the better of Wexford.

Wexford goalkeeper Carton reacted smartly to deny Patrick Maher as he raced through unchallenged and a terrific catch and point from Ryan, following Brendan Maher’s diagonal delivery, made it 2-20 to 0-10. Patrick Maher notched his second point and Ryan added his third as Tipp ticked towards the 30-point mark. Wexford put in a final spurt, during which Mahon, Rory Jacob, Farrell and substitute Berry landed points, as Tipp switched off slightly. Ryan registered his fourth point before the winners mustered their final goal in the 67th minute. Wexford were caught for numbers through the middle and although Noel McGrath’s kicked effort bounced back off the bar, substitute Egan finished clinically to the net after a great piece of first time control.

Scorers:

Tipperary: L Corbett 2-03, E Kelly 0-08 (0-03f, 0-02 ’65’), G Ryan 0-04, D Egan 1-00, D Young, N McGrath (0-01f) 0-03 each, P Maher 0-02, S Callanan 0-01

Wexford: H Kehoe, R Jacob, J Berry (0-01f), C Farrell (0-01f) 0-03 each, P Atkinson (0-01 ’65’, 0-01f), S Banville, T Mahon 0-02 each, D Stamp 0-01

TIPPERARY: B Cummins; M Cahill, D Fanning, C O’Brien; D Young, C O’Mahony, Padraic Maher; B Maher, S McGrath; G Ryan, S Callanan, Patrick Maher; N McGrath, L Corbett, E Kelly.

Subs used: P Curran for Fanning (2 mins, blood sub), J O’Brien for Callanan (50), S Hennessy for Kelly (58), D Egan for S McGrath (64), S Maher for B Maher (68), M Heffernan for Ryan (70).

WEXFORD: N Carton; P Roche, K Rossiter, C Kenny; R Kehoe, D Stamp, D Redmond; C Farrell, H Kehoe; P Atkinson, T Waters, E Quigley; R Jacob, S Banville, T Mahon.

Subs used: L Prendergast for Quigley (half-time), J Berry for Atkinson (42 mins), M Jacob for Banville (45), S Banville for Waters (46-49, blood sub), T Dwyer for Redmond (50), B Kenny for Roche (69).

Referee: James McGrath (Westmeath)

——————————————————————————–

Tipp easily advance past Wexford

From the GAA.ie web site

Saturday, July 03, 2010

Tipperary’s season is back on track after they recorded a comprehensive 3-24 to 0-17 win against Wexford at Semple Stadium in phase 1 of the GAA All-Ireland Hurling Senior Championship Qualifiers. This win was the perfect tonic for Liam Sheedy’s side after their heavy defeat to Cork in the Munster quarter-final at the end of May and, after flushing the toxins of that defeat out today, they will be optimistic with regard to the rest of their season. For Wexford, it’s a disappointing way for their year to end, having run Galway close for long periods of their Leinster clash, but when it comes down to it they can have no excuses.

Colm Bonnar’s side trailed by eight points, 0-15 to 0-7, and once Lar Corbett goaled twice for Tipp early in the second half, there was only going to be one outcome as the home side continued to increase their lead. Early on, they stayed with their opponents, keeping in touch without giving signs that an upset might be in the offing, but once Tipp began to get on top around the middle eight sector, it gave them a platform upon which to build.

They could even have led by more at the break, but for a good save by Wexford goalkeeper Noel Carton from Noel McGrath in the 17th minute, though four minutes later at the other end Tipp netminder Brendan Cummins had to do likewise from a Rory Jacob effort. Corbett was doing plenty of damage in the forward division for Tipp, whose shooting was excellent all through, and the Thurles Sarsfields’ man’s third point in the 29th minute pushed his side 0-11 to 0-5 ahead.

Another to shine in that first half was wing-back David Young, who scored three points, while Eoin Kelly was his usual assured self from placed balls, and Wexford knew going in at the interval that a big start to the second half was required. Unfortunately for them however, it was Tipp who got it, Kelly sending over two points from play before Corbett struck in the 38th and 29th minutes for the goals which killed Wexford’s challenge and ended the game as a contest. Gearoid Ryan, making his first start for Tipp, did his prospects no harm at all as he scored four fine points and sub Egan wrapped up the win with Tipp’s third goal late on.

——————————————————————————–

Team News

The Tipperary team to play Wexford in the All Ireland Senior Hurling Championship Phase I qualifier game at Semple Stadium on Saturday shows 4 changes in personnel to the team which was defeated by Cork in the Munster SH championship on May 30th. David Young at right half back and Patrick Maher at left half forward make their championship debuts while Gearóid Ryan at right half forward makes his first championship start and Conor O’Brien returns at left corner back. Paddy Stapleton, Paul Curran (both injured), Brian O’Meara (suspended) and John O’Brien are the ones to lose out. In positional switches Declan Fanning moves to full back, Padraic Maher to left half back, Noel McGrath to right corner forward and Lar Corbett to full forward. The team is:

1. Brendan Cummins (Ballybacon-Grange)

2. Michael Cahill (Thurles Sarsfields)

3. Declan Fanning (Killenaule)

4. Conor O’Brien (Éire Óg Annacarty)

5. David Young (Toomevara)

6. Conor O’Mahony (Newport)

7. Padraic Maher (Thurles Sarsfields)

8. Brendan Maher (Borris–Ileigh)

9. Shane McGrath (Ballinahinch)

10. Gearóid Ryan (Templederry Kenyons)

11. Seamus Callanan (Drom & Inch)

12. Patrick Maher (Lorrha & Dorrha)

13. Noel McGrath (Loughmore Castleiney)

14. Lar Corbett (Thurles Sarsfields)

15. Eoin Kelly (Mullinahone) Captain

Wexford XV: 1. Noel Carton, 2. Paul Roche, 3. Keith Rossiter, 4. Ciarán Kenny, 5. Richie Kehoe, 6. Darren Stamp, 7. David Redmond, 8. Colm Farrell, 9. Harry Kehoe, 10. Peter Atkinson, 11. Tomás Waters, 12. Eoin Quigley, 13. Rory Jacob, 14. Stephen Banville, 15. Tomás Mahon.

Admission Details

Both stands will be open on Saturday in addition to the Town End Terrace. Patrons are encouraged to enter Semple Stadium well in advance of the 3.30pm starting time to avoid a big surge close to the throw-in. This is a non ticket match with cash accepted at the stiles, and admission to the stands is €20 with special concession price of €15 for OAP’s and Students with ID. Entry to the Terrace will cost €10 with no concession. Juveniles (U16) are free to all areas.

Press Pack for Tipperary Senior Hurling Panel

2010 All-Ireland SH Championship Qualifier

Tipperary V Wexford

In Semple Stadium Thurles on Saturday July 3rd at 3:30pm

Team Announcement

The team will be announced by email and local radio at 9pm on Thursday July 1st. It will be posted on the Tipperary GAA website shortly after 9pm.

Player Profiles

A full list of player profiles can be found on the Tipperary GAA web site – click on the following link to view this information – http://tipperary.gaa.ie/seniorhurlingplayerprofiles.html

Management Profiles

Liam Sheedy (Portroe), Eamon O’Shea (Kilruane MacDonaghs) and Michael Ryan (Upperchurch-Drombane) are in their third season in charge of the Tipperary Senior Hurling team.

Liam Sheedy, who is team manager, was previously a senior hurling selector in 2003 and was Manager of the Tipperary Minor Hurling team in 2005 and 2006, winning an All-Ireland title in 2006. He also served as Manager of the Intermediate Hurling team. He played 7 senior hurling championship games for Tipperary between 1997 and 1999. He won Munster and All Ireland U-21 hurling championships in 1989, a Munster U-21 hurling championship in 1990 and a Munster minor hurling championship in 1987. He won a NHL title in 1999. He also won Munster and All-Ireland junior hurling championship medals in 1989 and 1991.

Eamon O’Shea who is team coach, played 5 senior hurling championship games for Tipperary between 1979 and 1986. He also played senior inter-county hurling with Dublin. He won Munster and All-Ireland minor hurling championships with Tipperary in 1976, Munster and All-Ireland U-21 hurling championships in 1979, a Munster U-21 hurling championship in 1978 and a NHL title in 1979. He won 4 County SH championships with Kilruane MacDonaghs and won an All-Ireland club title with them in the 1985/86 season.

Michael Ryan played 24 senior hurling championship games for Tipperary in a senior inter-county career that started in 1991 versus Limerick and ended with his retirement in 2000. He won Munster and All-Ireland SH championships in 1991. He won Munster and All Ireland U-21 hurling championships in 1989, a Munster U-21 hurling championship in 1990 and a Munster minor hurling championship in 1987. He also won two NHL titles in 1994 and 1999.

Trainer

Dr. Cian O’Neill from the Moorefield Club in Kildare and a lecturer and course director in Sports Science in University of Limerick (UL) is the team trainer. He has extensive experience training club, colleges and inter-county teams including the Limerick senior footballers.

NHL 2010

Results

Sunday February 28th in Dublin Dublin 1-21 Tipperary 1-12

Sunday March 7th in Thurles Tipperary 1-14 Kilkenny 0-13

Sunday March 14th in Thurles Tipperary 2-17 Galway 0-14

Sunday March 21st in Limerick Tipperary 2-23 Limerick 0-8

Sunday March 28th in Thurles Tipperary 1-19 Waterford 2-16

Sunday April 4th in Cork Cork 1-16 Tipperary 1-15

Sunday April 18th in Tullamore Tipperary 1-18 Offaly 2-14

Appearances

32 players lined out for Tipperary during the 7 matches

Scorers

20 players scored during the NHL led by Eoin Kelly (2-35), Timmy Hammersley (1-12), Lar Corbett (0-11), Seamus Callanan (1-8)

Tipperary V Wexford: Previous Championship Meetings

1899 Tipperary 3-12 Wexford 1-4 All Irl Final Jones’ Road

1951 Tipperary 7-7 Wexford 3-9 All Irl Final, Croke Park

1960 Wexford 2-15 Tipperary 0-11 All Irl Final , Croke Park

1962 Tipperary 3-10 Wexford 2-11 All Irl Final , Croke Park

1965 Tipperary 2-16 Wexford 0-10 All Irl Final, Croke Park

1968 Wexford 5-8 Tipperary 3-12 All Irl Final , Croke Park

1997 Tipperary 2-16 Wexford 0-15 All Irl Semi Final , Croke Park

2001 Tipperary 1-10 Wexford 3-10 D All Irl Semi Final Croke Park

2001 Tipperary 3-12 Wexford 0-10 R All Irl Semi Final , Croke Park

2007 Wexford 3-10 Tipperary 1-14 All Irl Quarter Final , Croke Park

Snippets

Two firsts

This is the first time that Tipperary and Wexford have met in the Senior Hurling Qualifiers and also the first time that either county has a home venue, for a championship match with the other. Tipp have won 6, drawn 1 and lost 3 of their ten championship meetings with Wexford.

League Rivalry

The counties have met on 39 occasions in the National Hurling League . Wexford lead the way with 20 wins to Tipperary’s 17 and 2 games drawn. Their last NHL meeting was in Semple Stadium, on March, 13th, 2005. Wexford won ,by 2-19 to 2-15, after Tipp had led , 1-8 to 0-6, at half time. Paul Carley scored 0-11 for the winners and Mark O’ Leary topped the Tipp returns, with 1-2. .

Managers

Colm Bonnar, who made his championship debut in 1986 against Clare and captained his county in 1992, is the first Tipperary man to hold the position of Wexford Bainisteoir. Opposing his native county in championship hurling is nothing new for Colm, who had previous inter county management team experience with Waterford and his native Tipperary. Liam Sheedy, now in his third year as Manager, made his championship debut for Tipperary in 1997 and played at right half back ,with Colm at centre back, on four occasions , against Down, Wexford ,Clare (1997) and Waterford (1998). Colm retired after Waterford beat Tipp in the 1998 Munster Semi Final, while Liam last played championship hurling for his county, in the 1999 Munster semi Final replay loss to Clare.

Pure gold

The very popular TG4 All Ireland Gold series had a significant viewership and when they were asked which was their all time favourite of the games shown, the 1968 All Ireland final between Wexford and Tipperary was the clear winner. Tipp led by eight points at half time ,but Wexford levelled up , went eight points clear before a late Tipp rally pulled it back to two points. That defeat continued the break up of the great Tipp team of the 1960s and it was a last championship game for John Costigan, Noel O’ Gorman, Mick Burns and Liam Devaney while 1969 brought the careers of Donie Nealon and Sean Mc Loughlin to an end.

Missing link

Between the last Sunday of October 1967 and the last Sunday of October 1968 Mick Roche ( Carrick Davins) captained his club to the Tipperary County title, his county to the National League, Provincial and Oireachtas titles and his province ,Munster, to the Railway Cup title. The one that really mattered was the All Ireland title and Mick’s disappointment at being the losing captain in 1968 was compounded ,by it being the second consecutive year –Tipp lost to Kilkenny in the 1967 decider- that he was the losing captain. The unfortunate experience has also befallen Tony Doran Wexford (1976/77) and Cork’s Jimmy Barry Murphy (1982/83).

Faithful referee

John Dowling (Offaly) refereed three All Ireland finals 1960, 1962 and 1968 between Tipperary and Wexford ,while championship rivalry was at its peak. The late John was the referee when Down won their first All Ireland Football title in 1960 and he also served, as Offaly Co. Secretary, for many years. He was GAA President from 1988 to 1991,during which time he presented the NHL (1988) All Ireland Senior and Under 21 honours (1989) to Tipperary captains.

Quartet stars

Tipperary’s Mick Burns, Jimmy Doyle, Liam Devaney, Donie Nealon and Sean Mc Loughlin played in the four All Ireland Final meetings, between the counties, during the 1960s. Wexford had Pat Nolan ,Tom Neville and Jimmy O’ Brien on the pitch, in each of those games. Jimmy Doyle and Jimmy O’ Brien were the only players to score in all four deciders.

Family days

When Wexford played Tipperary in the 1951 All Ireland Final, there were three Rackard brothers on the team, Willie, Bobby and Nicky. There were four for that year’s Leinster Final, but goalkeeper ,Jimmy, subsequently lost his place . The three brothers also lined out in the finals of 1954/55/56. Willie was still going strong in 1960 and 1962( Captain against Tipp).

Four brothers subsequently played for Wexford in the 1970 All Ireland final, when the Quigleys, also from Rathnure provided Dan, Martin, Pat and John. Unfortunately, they lost to Cork.

Tipperary had its own share of brothers over the years with, inter alia, the various families of Ryan’s, Kenny’s and Maher’s ,but it was the Bonnars who last played as a trio in All Ireland finals for the county. In 1989 and 1991 Conal, Colm and Cormac all played significant roles in Tipperary’s All Ireland victories.

Model Principal

There have been many Tipp men who promoted hurling in Wexford over the years and vice versa. Pat Quigley ( Sean Treacys) is based in the Model County for many years, where he has served as Principal at St Peter’s College-the traditional heartbeat of colleges’ GAA in the county. Pat was a free scoring wing and corner forward with Tipperary, in the 1976/77 championships , having previously hurled for Dublin. He captained his club to victory, in the 1982 West Tipp Championship ,but despite Pat’s five point contribution, they lost narrowly to Roscrea in the county semi final .

Ton up

The 1968 All Ireland final loss was disappointing for Jimmy Doyle, but he still made a little bit of history ,by scoring his 100th goal in Senior Inter County hurling. Jimmy went into the game with 99-638 to his credit from 151 games and added 1-5 to his tally, before retiring injured.

Jimmy was top scorer in the championships of 1958 ( 2-23 in 5 games), 1960 ( 6-18 in 4 games), 1961( 2-17 in 3 games) 1962 ( 4-24 in 4 games ) and 1964 ( 1-27 in 3 games).He was pipped by Wexford’s Tony Doran for the honour, in 1968 ( Doran scored 6-3 and Doyle 1-17).

Attendance figures

The popularity of this pairing in championship hurling can be gauged from the attendance figures at their championship games. The details are;

1899 4,000 estimated

1951 68,515

1960 77,154

1962 75,039

1965 67,498

1968 63,461

1997 62,241

2001 50,274 (draw)

2001 39,120 (replay)

2007 42,364 (played with Kilkenny v. Galway Quarter final)

Club double

Tipperary and Wexford clubs have met on two occasions in the All Ireland decider. Kilruane Mac Donaghs were winners over Buffer’s Alley on March 16th 1986,by 1-15 to 2-10 scoreline, while BorrisIleigh overcame Rathnure, on March 17th 1987, by 2-9 to 0-9. Both finals were played in Croke Park .Current Tipp Coach Eamonn O’ Shea played at right half forward on the Kilruane Mac Donaghs team, whose victory started the Tipp hurling revival. A week after the 1989 All Ireland Club final , the Kilruane Mac Donaghs club notes sportingly extended congratulations to Buffer’s Alley, who became Wexford’s first and only champions by beating O’ Donovan Rossa in the final and were inspired by the ageless Tony Doran.

Ten previous meetings

1899 All Ireland final ( played on 24th March 1901)

Tipperary ( Horse & Jockey selection ) were defending Champions and on the trail of a fourth All Ireland title in five years, when they faced Wexford (Blackwater) in the first championship clash, between the counties Both teams travelled to Dublin by train, with Tipp leaving from Horse & Jockey and arriving at Kingsbridge (Heuston). Wexford won the toss and played into the Clonliffe end ( Railway goal).An attendance of circa 4,000 witnessed a spirited Wexford perform well in the opening minutes. Tipp got moving after the tenth minute and they were leading comfortably, before a Wexford goal left the Premier men ahead, at half time, by 2-6 to 1-3. The opening minutes of the second half saw scores traded ,Mikey Maher scored Tipp’s first point, but by the 45th minute Tipp had the honours all wrapped up. The game came to an unexpected end, when a third Wexford player was injured and there wasn’t a sub available .This was Wexford’s third All Ireland final defeat in three appearances .

Details of the scoring in those days were often overlooked in the match reports, but the Tipp (17 a side) selection was- Tim Condon (captain), Joe O’ Keeffe, Billy (Big Bill) Gleeson, Jack Gleeson, Richard O’ Keeffe, Jim O’ Keeffe, Denis Walsh, Mikey Maher, Johnny Walsh, Jack Flanagan, John Ryan, Mike Wall, Watty Dunne, Phil Byrne, Jack Maher, William (Little Bill) Gleeson, Tommy Ryan.

A contemporary summary noted that ’’… Tipperary were far superior in speed and overhead striking, but the Wexford men were best at ground work..’’

Another report reflected on ’’.. the solid vigilant and defiant defence of Wall Condon and Walsh… and the dashing attack of Maher, O’Keeffe, and Gleeson, ever on the prowl for goals..’’

The match officials were Mr. A Mc Keogh , Chairman of the Dublin County Committee, which also provided the linesmen, in Messrs JJ Mc Cabe and P Nash. The umpires , who used white and red flags on the day, were Messrs Ryan, O’Gorman, Mc Inerney and Walsh. Wexford’s official dinner that night, in The North Star Hotel ,was attended by GAA founding father ,Michael Cusack.

A set of gold medals ,costing 25 pounds was presented to the Tipperary team, in 1902.

1951 All Ireland Hurling Final

This was an unusual pairing and Wexford hadn’t won the title, since 1910, nor appeared in the decider since 1918. Their team brought great support and with three Rackard brothers aboard, the Model County was heading for success . On this occasion, they had to give best to a Tipperary team which was claiming the county’s second ever three in a row. Wexford’s challenge was a serious one and after Nicky Rackard scored their first goal, by bundling Tony Reddin into the Tipp net, the champions had to change tactics. The early scores were mainly registered by Nicky Rackard and Paddy Kenny and by the 20th minute Wexford led by 2-4 to 1-4 -with Tipp’s goal coming from Seamus Bannon. In the remaining time Timmy Ryan and Ned Ryan scored Tipp goals and gave the Premier men a 3-6 to 2-6 ht lead. Tim Russell pointed twice for Wexford early in the second half, but goals by Sonny Maher and Timmy Ryan put Tipp back in control. Seamus Bannon and Mick Ryan scored a goal apiece and after 25 minutes, Tipp led by 7-7 to 2-8. Nicky Rackard scored his third goal of the day from a free, but it was too late and Tipp were champions by 7-7 to 3-9.

It was felt by many observers that Wexford tried for goals too often and wasted some good point scoring opportunities. Paddy Kenny was the outstanding player on the pitch and scored all of Tipp’s 7 points. Tony Reddin made some wonderful saves with Pat Stakelum and Tommy Doyle also excellent in defence.

An unusual aspect to the Tipp team was that Sean Kenny, who was unfit to play, replaced his brother Paddy, when he was injured in the closing minutes. Jimmy Finn, at 19 years of age, became Tipperary’s youngest ever All Ireland winning captain.

Tipperary earned 11 frees , Wexford 22, while Tipp shot 15 wides , and Wexford 10. Tipp were awarded 2 ‘70s’ while Wexford had 5. Gate receipts were 8,705 pounds – the largest ever for an All Ireland final in either code.

1960 All Ireland Hurling Final

Tipperary’s Munster Final win over Cork (4-13 to 4-11) led to them being installed as hot favourites to win the All Ireland title. Having beaten Kilkenny, by two points, in the Leinster final , Wexford prepared well and some astute selections saw them blunt Tipperary’s forward line. The new Patron of the GAA Most Rev. Dr. Tom Morris threw in the ball to start the game. ‘Hopper’ Mc Grath opened the scoring with a point after 20 seconds, to set the tone. A deflected goal from a Padge Kehoe free at the Railway goal, after three minutes, was the decisive score of the first half. Wexford powered on and having led by 1-5 to 0-2 after 18 minutes ,a Tipp scoring blast in about four minutes reduced the deficit to two points before four points were shared, leaving Wexford ahead at ht by 1-7 to 0-8.at half time .Another Wexford goal from Oliver ‘Hopper’ McGrath in the opening minute boosted the Leinster champions . After 10 minutes, Wexford had eased out to 2-12 to 0-9 and despite more urgency in the Tipp play they couldn’t get the goal they needed. The pitch was invaded just before the finish, when a spectator in the Hogan Stand blew a whistle, which was thought by many to be the end . With order restored ,the irrelevant final moments were played out. Wexford were champions anyway, with an unexpected ten point winning margin for the county’s fourth All Ireland title. Padge Kehoe was their scoring hero with 1-6, in what was their first championship win over Tipperary.

The performance of championship debutant John Nolan, who held Jimmy Doyle to one pointed free, was the talk of the day. Tipperary spent too much of the game trying to get the ball in their hands and it was a tactic which failed badly. Both teams struck 10 wides , Tipp won 13 frees and Wexford 10 while the Premier men earned all three ‘70s’ awarded in the game.

Tipperary’s full back Mick Maher recently refuted the suggestion that the Munster Final took too much out of Tipp that it cost them the All Ireland final . He reckoned that the five weeks between the two games was sufficient time for recovery and to prepare for the Wexford challenge. He credited Wexford with playing very well on the day and thought that they worked hard throughout the field to achieve victory. It was Tipperary’s first All Ireland final defeat since losing the 1922 decider to Kilkenny.

1962 All Ireland final

Many old timers will tell you that this was the best of the All Ireland finals between Tipperary and Wexford. Tipp were defending All Ireland Champions and favourites to win, but they worked hard to lift the cup by two points. Having won the toss the defending champions played against the slight breeze into the Canal end. The game started in a whirlwind and Tipperary had two goals on the board after only 90 seconds of play thanks to Tom Moloughney and Sean Mc Loughlin .A great recovery by Wexford culminating in a superb overhead goal by Ned Wheeler after 25 minutes levelled the scoring, but two Jimmy Doyle frees and another from Sean Mc Loughlin sent Tipp in at half time leading by 2-6 to 1-6.Doyle increased Tipp’s lead on the turnover , but a long range goal by Jimmy O’ Brien, as Maher and Wheeler tussled fiercely around the square ,lifted Wexford and Willie Rackard levelled the game from a ‘70’ ,at 2-7 each. Ned Wheeler and Liam Connolly exchanged points, before Wexford went ahead with a point from a Padge Kehoe free. Tim Flood doubled their advantage after 17 minutes. After some efforts were repelled Tipp came again.

The decisive goal was scored by Tom Ryan ( Killenaule) in the 20th minute, following a superb pass from John ‘Mackey’ Mc Kenna. Padge Kehoe levelled again from a free with nine minutes to go. The exchanges became more competitive as the minutes slipped by and Donie Nealon fired over a point after 24 minutes of play. Wexford tried everything to get an equaliser, but it was Sean Mc Loughlin who pointed, just before the end, to ensure victory for Tipperary, in an unforgettable game.

The final was noteworthy for some tremendous first time play and overhead striking, while the man to man the exchanges were hectic. The battle on the edge of the Tipp square between Ned Wheeler and Mick Maher is often recalled as the duel of the day. Tipperary captain Jimmy Doyle , who had scored four points retired injured in the second half and it was his club mate ,Tony Wall, who received the Mac Carthy Cup on behalf of the winners. Despite the intensity and fluctuating nature of the contest, there were only 16 frees awarded. during the game 7 to Tipp who hit 11 of the 19 wides and earned three of the five ‘70s’.

This was the first All Ireland Senior hurling final televised by RTE .

1965 All Ireland final

Tipperary were at the peak of their powers at this time, having beaten Cork in the Munster Final by an astonishing 18 points (4-11 to 0-5). Wexford had beaten the holders, Kilkenny, by one point, in the Leinster final, but had a young team with some survivors from the early sixties. The game was only a contest for 15 minutes and Sean Mc Loughlin’s brace of goals within thirty seconds ,John Mackey Mc Kenna’s point scoring excellence, allied to the deadly Jimmy Doyle , ensured that Tipp, who led by 2-5 to 0-6 at half time, were always in control. Wexford tried hard after the break, but Tipp continued to fire over the points and John Doyle’s record equalling eight All Ireland Medal was claimed long before Mick Hayes ( former Clare goalkeeper) blew the full time whistle. This game also saw Tipperary winning its 21st All Ireland senior hurling title and Jimmy Doyle , who had retired injured in the 1962 final when captain , received the Liam Mac Carthy Cup from GAA President ,Alf Murray.

The game marked the end of former heroes, Ned Wheeler and Oliver ‘Hopper’ Mc Grath, who both went in as substitutes for the Slaneysiders Larry Kiely the Tipp centre forward added a Senior All Ireland medal to his Junior equivalent, which he won with Kildare in 1962.

1968 All Ireland final

Tipperary had beaten Clare ( 5-11 to 5-6) and Cork (2-13 to 1-7 ) to win the Munster title and having beaten Wexford by 12 points in the 1965 All Ireland Final they started as favourites. Wexford had victories over Dublin (3-15 to 1-11) and Kilkenny ( 3-13 to 4-9). Tipperary dominated the first half inspired by their captain Mick Roche at centre back . Jimmy Doyle’s goal and point scoring helped Tipp to establish a 1-11 to 1-3 lead , but for the concession of a green flag to Tony Doran before the break and some great goalkeeping by Pat Nolan, the game would have been decided after thirty minutes. The decisive switches saw John Quigley introduced before half time, with Paul Lynch going to centre forward and Tony Doran to full forward.

Padge Kehoe’s half time pep talk had the desired effect and Paul Lynch’s goal from a ‘21’ free levelled the scoring after fourteen minutes, at 3-6 to 1-12. Jimmy Doyle, having hobbled around at full forward ,eventually left the pitch with an injured ankle and his scoring power was missed. Jack Berry and Tony Doran goals put Wexford in the driving seat and they were eight points ahead, before late goals by ‘Babs’ Keating and Sean Mc Loughlin brought Tipp back into contention. Time ran out and Wexford had won an amazing Final (5-8 to 3-12) ,which was again refereed by Tullamore’s John Dowling. Tipperary had reason to regret the unavailability of the durable John Flanagan, due to suspension.

1997 All Ireland Semi Final

This was the first time that the counties met ,while Wexford were defending All Ireland champions. Tipperary came back into the championship via the new system, which gave Provincial final losers in Munster and Leinster a second chance. After Clare had beaten them by a goal, Tipp restructured their team adding more power to their defence .They beat Down in the first ever back door quarter final, at Clones, on July 26th and came face to face with the Leinster and All Ireland Champions, at Croke Park ,on August 18th. Tipp were inspired by John Leahy, who scored a vital goal after five minutes and his club mate Brian O’ Meara who scored another six minutes before half time after Damian Fitzhenry had saved a rasper from Leahy. Tipp led at the break by 2-7 to 0-7. Wexford were unfortunate to lose their captain, Rod Guiney, to injury after four minutes and Rory Mc Carthy was also withdrawn injured, at half time. Wexford made inroads in the second half and reduced Tipp’s lead to four points on three occasions, but couldn’t get any closer .Tipp’s fearless half back line of Liam Sheedy, Colm and Conal Bonnar kept them in control and the inner line of Paul Shelly, Noel Sheehy and current selector, Mick Ryan, ensured that goal scoring opportunities were rare. Not even Billy Byrne’s arrival, with nine minutes to play ,could salvage this one for Wexford.

Among the strange goings on, in a game refereed by Cork’s Joe O’ Leary, were the booking of Tipperary’s team Doctor and a refusal to let the Wexford Doctor on to the pitch, to treat Rory Mc Carthy after his first half collision. Tipp’s main marksmen were John Leahy( who retired with facial bruising after 51 minutes, following a superb display at wing forward) 1-4 , Thomas Dunne( who was splendid at midfield ) 0-4 and Brian O’ Meara (highly influential at left corner forward) 1-1 .Paul Codd landed 0-8 for Wexford .

2001 All Ireland Semi Final ( Draw)

Wexford had sustained a thirteen point defeat, in the Leinster final, against Kilkenny, but a quarter final win over Limerick suggested they would challenge Tipperary who had beaten the Shannonsiders, by just a point more, in the Munster final. The opening quarter ran to form, with the teams level on four points each. Two more points were exchanged but Tipp took over in the concluding twelve minutes, adding 1-4 ( John Carroll scored the goal after 31 minutes) without reply, to lead by 1-9 to 0-5 at the break.

Lar Corbett increased Tipp’s lead to eight after half time and the Premier county still led by that margin when Larry O’ Gorman smashed in a goal at the Railway end after 48 minutes. The goal followed the introduction of Martin Storey, who had come out of retirement, as a substitute.

Mark O’ Leary steadied Tipp before Rory Mc Carthy scored another goal for Wexford , to reduce the margin to one green flag. An exchange of points, 4-2 , stretched the Tipp lead to five points ( 1-16 to 2-8 ) .Larry O’ Gorman struck again with his second goal after 66 minutes and now the tension was palpable. Adrian Fenlon pointed and as the game went into injury time, Michael Jordan levelled. Wexford had a late chance to win but the shot went wide . Nevertheless, they had salvaged a well deserved draw, when Pat O’ Connor blew for full time. Tipp’s top marksmen were Eoin Kelly 0-5 ,3 frees, Mark O’ Leary 0-4 and John Carroll 1-1.Wexford’s main hit men were Larry O’ Gorman 2-0 Ml Jordan and Paul Codd 0-4,3 frees and 1 ‘65’ each. Tipperary were lucky to survive, but after hitting 14 wides , there was room for reflection.

2001 All Ireland Semi final ( Replay)

The replay took place six days later and the Saturday evening was wet and miserable. In front of a 39,000 crowd, Tipp started well and led by 1-4 to 0-1 after 20 minutes, but by half time the game was finely balanced ,with only a point between them, 1-6 to 0-8. The main talking point from the opening half was the dismissal of Brian O’ Meara and Liam Dunne, on the advice of a linesman. Wexford also had Ml Jordan dismissed just before the break and their post interval effort was underwhelming, in many respects.

As it was, Wexford only scored two points in the second half, per Codd and Barry Goff, while Eoin Kelly (0-9, 6 frees) and Eugene O’ Neill (2-1) turned Tipp’s dominance into scores. John Carroll kicked Tipp’s first goal and Mark O’ Leary ,( who was obliged to miss his brother’s wedding and whose planned after match air trip was abandoned due to weather conditions, leading to a late night car journey to County Kerry) scored 0-2.

Paul Codd topped the Wexford returns with 0-7, 5 frees. Pat Horan from Offaly was the referee on this occasion. The Wexford Manager Tony Dempsey in response to the three dismissals opined ‘’..It wasn’t a dirty game. There has always been a friendship between our two counties’’.

2007 All Ireland Quarter Final

In the third year of the four All Ireland Quarter finals, Tipp’s reward for beating Cork in the qualifiers and winning their group was a date with Wexford at Croke Park, in another Saturday game. The Tipperary selection saw Brendan Cummins and Eoin Kelly on the substitutes bench, but despite that and a long season (three games and two periods of extra time against Limerick followed by qualifier games against Offaly, Dublin and Cork) Tipp were still optimistic of reaching the All Ireland semi final.

Inspired by Lar Corbett’s 19th minute goal ,Tipp led at half time by 1-8 to 1-5. Wexford had missed three good opportunities in that half, with Tipp custodian Gerry Kennedy saving twice from Eoin Quigley and once from Barry Lambert, when goals looked certain. Eoin Kelly came in as a sub after 26 minutes and he had a goal bound shot saved by Damian Fitzhenry, early in the second half. The game was tight enough thereafter.

Tipp hit a great spell between the 56th and 66th minutes and with points from Shane Mc Grath, Hugh Maloney, Darragh Hickey and Eoin Kelly, from a long free, they moved clear at 1-14 to 2-9.

With one minute of normal time to play, Wexford were awarded a free to the right of the Tipp goal, at the Davin stand. After a defender crossed the line of the ball, it was moved to a more central position, by the referee, James Mc Grath ( Westmeath) . There followed a predictable trip from goal of Wexford’s captain Damian Fitzhenry, who smashed the sliotar to the net, to give Wexford a one point lead.

Tipp tried to respond, but their best efforts came to nothing and it was Eoin Quigley who pointed again for Wexford, in the 4th minute of injury time.

Wexford’s top scorer was Barry Lambert 1-2, while Lar Corbett 1-1 and Darragh Hickey 0-4 led the way for Tipp . Wexford’s Keith Rossiter was considered to be the Man of the Match ,

This was Tipperary’s third consecutive quarter final loss- following Galway in 2005 and Waterford in 2006. This defeat marked the end of ‘Babs’ Keating’s two year term as Tipp Manager, during which time they failed to win League ,Provincial or All Ireland honours.

Ger Ryan

PRO, Tipperary County Board

Email: pro.tipperary@gaa.ie

Christy Ring Cup Senior Hurling Final – Westmeath 2-16 Kerry 1-18

Croker heartbreak for Kingdom

Westmeath 2-16 Kerry 1-18

By Diarmuid O’Flynn for the Irish Examiner newspaper

Monday, July 05, 2010

ANOTHER Christy Ring title for Westmeath, their third since winning in the inaugural season of 2005, cementing their position as the best of the teams-in-waiting beneath the top tier. Heartbreak though for gallant Kerry, beaten by a superb injury-time point from young Westmeath substitute Andrew Dermody but denied seconds earlier what appeared a clear, potentially game-winning, free for a Westmeath foul handpass well within scoring range for free-taker Darragh O’Connell – then denied again seconds later of any opportunity to equalise as referee Tony Carroll from Offaly blew for full-time immediately on the subsequent puckout. “The throw-ball is for ye to call,” said a bitterly disappointed Kerry manager John Meyler, “but he also played only 36min 8secs, that’s with three substitutions by us and three more by them in the second half – surely that was a couple of minutes on its own? There should have been at least three minutes.”

Had it been another couple of minutes of injury-time, had it even gone to the extra-time that had looked on the cards as two talented, totally committed, well-coached teams which were locked together for the final ten minutes of what had been a gripping contest, no-one would have complained – this was outstanding entertainment, hurling as it should be played. Though playing into a stiffish breeze it was Kerry looking the better side in the opening half, 0-4 to 0-1 ahead after 11 minutes. They were still two points in front at the break, 0-12 to 1-7, despite shipping that goal a few minutes before the break after razor-sharp corner-forward Dan Carthy latched onto the break from a long Pat Burke puckout, gave Bernard Rochford no chance from close range.

Six scorers the Kingdom had from play in that half, midfielder John Griffin joining John Egan, Michael Boyle, James Flaherty and Shane Nolan on the sheet, with the sixth forward, Gary ‘Boxer’ O’Brien doing really well as a set-up man. A sign of the balance in both sides, however, Westmeath had an even greater spread of scorers, all six forwards contributing, midfielder Joe Clarke also with a point. Very little between them then as the sides changed ends, and thus it continued for the first ten minutes after the resumption. Westmeath did manage a second goal in the 39th minute, Paul Greville this time, in the other corner, but needing (and more significantly, getting) three opportunities before he finally converted, again from close range. Kerry, however, had four points in that same period, three from the blade of youngster O’Connell, the fourth from the other wing-forward, hard-working John Egan, just about keeping their noses in front (0-16 to 2-9). Then came a Westmeath purple patch, five points on the trot taking them into the lead for the first time, the Kerry challenge looking shot, four points adrift.

To their credit, however, they came back, substitute Shane Brick (still not fully recovered from a lingering hamstring injury) goaling from the rebound after his own fiercely hit 20m free was saved, then Michael Boyle – swapped to full-forward with Gary O’Brien – with the equaliser in the 63rd minute. Five fiercely contested but fallow minutes followed, before midfielder Mike Conway put Kerry ahead with a fine point in the 68th minute – back in the driving-seat, then? Credit to Westmeath, however; backs to the wall, they responded like champions, and it was veteran centre-forward Brendan Murtagh with the equaliser from a 38m free, then the precocious Dermody with the cool winner.

“Heart-stopping stuff,” said Westmeath manager Kevin Martin, former All-Ireland winner with Offaly – “If I didn’t have a heart-attack today I’ll never have one. Brilliant stuff, right to the end. Kerry were much the better team in the first half but we hadn’t hurled – I knew there was more in them. We went four points up in the second half, I thought we were cruising, I thought we’d drive on and win by more, but in fairness to Kerry they dug deep, came back into it, and there was only a puck of a ball in it at the end.” One puck. “We had chances near the end,” said Meyler, “A few bad wides, but we were really working hard. It was just that little spurt they had where they got 1-4 or whatever (the five points between the 45th and 56th minutes); we clawed it back to go level, then went ahead, and I thought we’d drive on from there. A few calls then, the goal disallowed (66th minute, Gary O’Brien), I thought that was the turning-point, if we’d got that we would have driven on.” They didn’t on Saturday, but with standards improving across the board in hurling (evidenced in the high quality of hurling on offer in the earlier Lory Meagher and Nicky Rackard finals) both sides should certainly drive on from this.

Scorers for Westmeath: D Carthy 1-2; P Greville 1-2; B Murtagh 0-4 (1f); S Bardon 0-3; J Clarke 0-2; E Loughlin, B Lahorte, A Dermody, 0-1 each.

Kerry: D O’Connell 0-8 (6f); J Egan 0-3; S Brick 1-0; M Boyle 0-2; J Griffin 0-2; J Flaherty, S Nolan, M Conway, 0-1 each.

Subs for Westmeath: P Dowdall for Lahorte, 34; C Jordan for McCormack, 35; A Dowdall for Loughlin, 52; A Dermody for Bardon, 66.

Kerry: S Brick for Flaherty, 48; C Harty for Nolan, J McCarthy for Fitzgerald, both 60.

Referee: T Carroll (Offaly)

Substitute Andrew Dermody wrapped up an exciting Christy Ring triumph in Westmeath’s favour with a point in added time as Kerry’s hopes were dashed in Croke Park on Saturday afternoon. Dan Carthy scored a goal in the 32nd minute for Westmeath but Kerry’s sharper shooting gave them a 0-12 to 1-7 advantage at the break. Paul Greville grabbed a second goal for the Lake County in the second half but Kerry levelled up proceedings when sub Shane Brick fired to the net. The game looked set for extra-time until Dermody, who only came on with five minutes to go, sealed the title for Westmeath with a cracking effort from wide out on the left.

Team News

Kerry Senior Hurling team for Christy Ring Cup Final The Kerry Senior Hurling team for The Christy Ring Cup Final on Saturday 3rd July 2010 is as follows:

1 Bernard Rochford Killeagh, Cork

2 Colin Harris, Captain Kilmoyley,3 Tom Murnane Kilmoyley 4 John Fitzgerald Causeway

5 James Godley Kilmoyley 6 Liam Boyle Ballyduff 7 Aidan Healy Abbeydorney

8 Mike Conway Lixnaw 9 John Griffin Lixnaw 10 John Egan Ardfert 11 Michael Boyle Ballyduff 12 Darragh O’Connell Abbeydorney

13 James Flaherty Lixnaw 14 Gary O’Brien Ballyduff 15 Shane Nolan Crotta O’Neills The substitutes are : 16 John Brendan O’Halloran Kilmoyley ,17 James McCarthy Kilmoyley ,18 Colm Harty Causeway

19 Shane Brick Kilmoyley ,20 Sean Maunsell Kilmoyley ,21 Eoin Sheehy Kilmoyley 22 Ronan Kenny Ballyheigue

23 John Mike Dooley Causeway 24 Padraigh Monson Causeway 25 Niall Young Kilmoyley 26 David Fitzelle Kilmoyley

27 Jason Casey Ballyheigue 28 Sean Young Kilmoyley 29 Brian O’Leary Abbeydorney 30 Richard Nolan Crotta O’Neills

31 Darren Twomey Crotta O’Neills 32 Adrian Royle Kilmoyley 33 Nicky Leen Ballyduff 34 Andy McCarthy Kilmoyley

35 Patrick O Keefe Glenfesk

There are two personnel changes to the team that played Wicklow in the semi final. Aidan Healy comes in to the backs as Andrew Keane cannot play due to suspension. James Flaherty replaces John Mike Dooley in the full forward line.

Manager John Meyler

Selectors John Hennessey Hennessy

Sean O Shea O’Shea

Coach/Trainer Joe O Connor

WESTMEATH (SH v Kerry) — P Burke; A Price, J Shaw, O Price; R Whelan, A Mitchell, D McCormack,;J Clarke; L Smyth; S Bardon, B Murtagh, E Loughlin; P Greville, B Leharte, D Carthy.

ESB Munster Minor Football Championship Final – Cork 1-8 Kerry 1-7

Cork defeated Kerry by 1-8 to 1-7 in the ESB Munster Minor Football Championship Final on Sunday in Fitzgerald Stadium, Killarney.

Hurley the hero for Cork

Cork 1-8 Kerry 1-7

By Fintan O’Toole for the Irish Examiner newspaper

Monday, July 05, 2010

A touch of scoring class from Cork corner-forward Brian Hurley was the crucial intervention in deciding yesterday’s ESB Munster MFC final in Fitzgerald Stadium, Killarney. With three minutes left, Cork were looking devoid of inspiration when captain Daniel Fitzgerald, who made his first appearance of an injury- plagued season as a second-half substitute, gathered a high ball and did brilliantly to offload to Hurley. The Castlehaven player initially feinted to fire a drive from a tight angle but after seeing Kerry netminder Pádraic McCarthy dive, Hurley produced a delightful chip with his left foot and the ball dropped to the net.

It was a sublime strike which finally settle a largely mundane encounter. Cork soaked up a barrage of late attacks from their opponents and while Kerry had grounds for complaint with referee Keith O’Brien’s decision to award a free out for over-carrying as substitute Tadhg Morley burst forward, it was Cork who kept their nerve. “A great way to win it,” remarked Cork manager Brian Cuthbert after the dramatic conclusion. “We got the break and Brian Hurley’s finish was unbelievable. Our defence was very good as well and I think Damian Cahalane is going to make a name for himself in the future. He did a great job today and we’ll look forward to facing Armagh or Tyrone.”

The match winner Hurley, who supplied a hefty 1-6 out of Cork’s overall 1-8 total, attributed the plaudits elsewhere after the game. “Daniel Fitzgerald, who’s a great captain, got free off his man, I peeled off mine and got it off him. I dinked it and luckily it went into the back of the net. But it’s not my perform- ance, the whole team worked hard to beat Kerry today.” It was fitting that Hurley should fire the match-winning strike as he had shouldered the scoring burden for Cork for long stretches.

Cork faced into a first-half wind that ruled out clean shooting, yet Hurley’s freetaking was still spot on and in the second-half he scored some terrific points. The Castlehaven influence on Cork’s victory extended beyond Hurley as Cahalane was in marvellous form at full-back. Brian Cuthbert’s decision to pull Cahalane back to a defensive role reaped a massive dividend as he stymied the threat of Gavin O’Grady, who had torn Limerick to shreds at the semi-final stage. Elsewhere Cork overcame an opening-half of anxiety to improve in the second-half with Tomás Clancy resolute in defence, Jamie Burns strong at midfield and Kevin Hallissey impressing in attack.

The loss of Glenbeigh/Glencar defender Pa Kilkenny after only six minutes to injury was a serious blow to Kerry. Robbed of their best man-marker, Kerry were unable to halt the scoring charge of Hurley. They also endured difficulties at midfield early on where Burns and John O’Rourke established a foothold but Cork lacked the guile and direction to forge ahead on the scoreboard in the first-half. The scoring was limited in the opening 30 minutes with Kerry just edging ahead 0-4 to 0-3, with Eanna O’Connor the star of the show from open play and placed ball. Captain James Walsh fired over a stunning shot from distance before the break and Kerry started the second-half in a commanding fashion.

They seemed to have taken a real grip on the game when Mark Reen burrowed through to slip a shot to the net in the 38th minute but Cork fought back and only trailed 1-6 to 0-8 with seven minutes left. Then came a vital incident when Cork goalkeeper David Hanrahan denied O’Connor a goal from point-blank range and from the rebound Kerry had a goal disallowed after it was adjudged that Morley had stepped out over the endline in possession. The miss proved costly when Hurley pounced for the late goal that consigned Kerry to defeat yet manager Pat O’Driscoll vowed they would revive their challenge for the All-Ireland series. “It’s a tough way to lose at the finish as I thought we’d hold out, since we were defending well. It was always going to be very close but I felt the referee made a few terrible decisions against us towards the end. But look there’s another day there and these lads aren’t finished yet.”

Scorers for Cork: B Hurley 1-6 (0-4f), K Sheehan (1f), K Hallissey 0-1 each.

Scorers for Kerry: M Reen 1-1, E O’Connor 0-4 (0-2f), G O’Grady, J Walsh 0-1 each.

Subs for Cork: D Fitzgerald for Ryan (44), D McEoin for Duggan (50), S O’Mahony for Sugrue (50).

Subs for Kerry: A Thompson for Kilkenny (inj) (6), C O’Leary for Durrant (25), T Morley for Hickey (54).

Referee: Keith O’Brien (Tipperary)

Hurley stuns Kingdom with late strike to snatch glory for Rebels

Cork 1-8 Kerry 1-7

Munster Mfc Final

From the Irish Independent web site

Monday July 05 2010

A 58th-minute goal from brilliant corner-forward Brian Hurley was enough to snatch victory for Cork minors over champions Kerry at a windswept Fitzgerald Stadium, Killarney, yesterday. It was a fortunate goal but the finish was sublime by man-of-the-match Hurley, who finished with a personal haul of 1-6 as Cork reclaimed the title for the first time since 2007. It was a game that Cork just about deserved to win based on their first-half display, but Kerry fought back well against the wind and once Mark Reen hit a goal and a point in the opening 10 minutes of the second half, they moved four points clear and looked likely winners. However, Cork had the physical edge and with John O’Rourke, Jamie Burns and substitute Danny Fitzgerald refusing to wilt, they had Kerry on the back foot. Cork had exploded from the blocks in the opening half despite playing against a stiff wind and they should really have had Kerry on the canvas, but their first-half tally of eight wides tells the tale as the Kingdom went in 0-4 to 0-3 ahead at half-time.

Kerry had received an early body blow when they lost their best defender, corner-back Pa Kilkenny, to injury in the sixth minute and as a result Hurley tormented the Kerry rearguard. The game swung on a 54th-minute incident when Kerry had a Gavin O’Grady goal disallowed after it was deemed that Thomas Morley had stepped over the end line in giving the final pass. This gave Cork hope and, trailing by two points, Danny Fitzgerald gained possession close to the Kerry goal and passed to Hurley, who dinked the ball into the Kerry net to give his side victory by a single point.

Scorers — Cork: B Hurley 1-6 ( 0-4f), K Sheehan (0-1f), K Hallissey 0-1each Kerry: E O’Connor 0-4 ( 0-2f), M Reen 1-1, J Walsh, G O’Grady 0-1 each.

Cork — D Hanrahan; K Fulignati , D Cahalane, D Murphy; S Ryan, T Clancy, J Wall; J Burns, J O’Rourke; K Hallissey, M Sugrue, A Cronin; K Sheehan, S Duggan, B Hurley Subs: D Fitzgerald for S Ryan (45), D McEoin for M Sugrue, S O’Mahony for S Duggan ( 50).

Kerry — P McCarthy; P Kilkenny, D Culhane, F McNamara; J Walsh, L Bastible, J Hickson; D Somers, G Durant; M Reen, T Hickey, G O’Leary; B O’Dwyer, G O’Grady, E O’Connor Subs: A Thompson for P Kilkenny (6), C O’Leary for G Durant ( 25), T Morley for T Hickey ( 51).

Ref — K O’Brien (Tipperary)

Team News

On the Kerry team, Barry Dwyer from Waterville comes in to the full forward line to replace Seán Keane who is injured. There are two new faces to the panel since the team played Limerick: Seán McCarthy Legion and Marcus Mangan from Milltown/Castlemaine.

The Kerry team to play Cork in The Munster Minor Football Final on Sunday next is as follows:

1 Padraic McCarthy Rathmore,

2 Pa Kilkenny Glenbeigh/Glencar 3 David Culhane Ballylongford 4 Fearghal McNamara Austin Stacks

5 James Walsh Knocknagoshel (captain) 6 Laurance Bastible John Mitchel’s, 7 Jason Hickson Annascaul

8 Damien Somers St Senan’s 9 George Durrant Dingle 10 Mark Reen Rathmore 11 Thomas Hickey Desmonds 12 Gary O’Leary Kilcummin

13 Barry Dwyer Waterville 14 Gavan O’Grady Glenbeigh/Glencar 15 Éanna O’Connor St Michaels Foilmore

16 Damien Horgan St. Marys Caherciveen 17 John Moynihan Rathmore 18 Chris O’Leary Kilcummin

19 Tadhg Morley Templenoe 20 Sean McCarthy Legion 21 Conor Cox Listowel Emmets

22 Andrew Thompson Kerins O’Rahillys 23 Marcus Mangan Milltown/Castlemaine 24 Padraig Boyle Ballyduff

Munster Junior Football Championship Final – Kerry 3-12 Limerick 1-6

Kerry defeated Limerick by 3-12 to 1-6 in the Munster Junior Football Championship Final on Tuesday in Newcastlewest.

Murphy sets Kingdom on way

From the Irish Independent newspaper

Kerry 3-12 Limerick 1-6

Wednesday July 07 2010

A goal after only 30 seconds by Michael Murphy gave Kerry the perfect start in the Munster Junior football final against Limerick at Newcastle West last night. Michael O’Donoughue and Garry Sayers added Kerry points before Tommy Butler had Limerick’s first point after eight minutes. Kerry got a second goal through Brendan Poff and while Ray Lynch goaled after 28 minutes to give the home side a lifeline, the Kingdom led 2-6 to 1-3 at the break. Limerick never looked like recovering and Alan O’Sullivan’s goal just after the interval killed the contest.

Scorers — Kerry: M O’Donoughue 0-5, G Sayers 0-4 (1f), B Poff 1-1, M Murphy, A O’Sullivan 1-0 each, J Buckley, T McGoldrick 0-1 each. Limerick: R Lynch 1-2, B Teahan 0-2 (0-2f), R Browne (0-1f), T Butler 0-1 each.

Kerry — S Og Ciardubhain; G O’Connor, F Griffin, A Cahill; E Hickson, A Greaney, B Guiney; M Corkery, D Murphy; B Poff, M Murphy, A O’Sullivan; G Sayers, m O’Donoughue, J Buckley. Subs: P O’Sullivan for Ciardubhain (50),T McGoldrick for Poff (48), D doyle for Cahill (52), F Courtney for Murphy (54), C O’Mahony for Greaney (56).

Limerick — P Ivess; D Finnerty, K O’Connor, E Mulcahy; E O’Donnell, B Teahan, E Barry; E Horan, M Behan; R Browne, T Collins, D McCarthy; J O’Connell, T Butler, R Lynch. Subs: S Mulcahy for Browne (40), W Enright for McCarthy (50), E Fitzgibbon for O’Connor (55).

Ref — C McCann (Clare)

Munster SFC Final – Kerry 1-17 Limerick 1-14

Kerry defeated Limerick by 1-17 to 1-14 in the Munster Senior Football Championship Final on Sunday in Fitzgerald Stadium Killarney.

Kerry’s 73rd title leaves Limerick in despair again

Kerry 1-17 Limerick 1-14

By Brendan O’Brien for the Irish Examiner newspaper

Monday, July 05, 2010

TO Kerry the spoils, to Limerick the admiration. And neither will be all that happy with their lot. Limerick? What is there to say? Little that hasn’t been said before. Once again, they came within an ace of claiming that elusive first provincial title since the 19th century. Once again, they found themselves coming up agonisingly short. Kerry’s 73rd Munster title means a fourth defeat in the decider for Limerick in eight years. Cruel. It appears that they are to be the Sisyphus of Gaelic football, doomed to roll the rock of history to which they are chained to the crest of the hill and only to be sent stumbling back down from whence they came. The question after this latest thwarted summit attempt is whether men like John Galvin, Stephen Lucey and Mark O’Riordan can summon the desire and determination to put their shoulders to the wheel one more time.

Bryan Sheehan implored them to “keep the heads high” in his victory speech but it will be of little consolation to any of the vanquished visitors that they exposed familiar fault lines in Kerry’s façade despite the defeat. Jack O’Connor’s side saw out the fag end of this contest with both of their starting midfielders looking on from the stands and with Tom O’Sullivan and Sheehan alongside them. All four had endured fitful afternoons. O’Sullivan had been cleaned by Ger Collins who hit four points from play while Sheehan was held scoreless from play, but it was the need to call both Seamus Scanlon and Anthony Maher ashore that will cause most concern.

With Paul Galvin absent, it fell to substitute Mícheál Quirke to drag the Kingdom to something approaching parity in the engine room and he did an excellent job of it. By the day’s end, Kerry had claimed 48% of the kick-outs. Quirke’s wasn’t the only cameo to give O’Connor food for thought. Barry John Keane, David Moran and Kieran O’Leary all contributed richly to scoring moves in the final quarter when the game was on the line. Kerry may well be in an All-Ireland quarter-final but they have got that far without knowing exactly what their best 15 is. Not an ideal scenario but how Limerick would love such conundrums.

Mickey Ned O’Sullivan’s men travelled to Killarney as 11/2 outsiders and yet they must have left loaded down with regrets. Not as many as last year when they somehow lost this decider to Cork, but far too many nonetheless. Regrets like the 13 wides they registered, almost half of them for balls that dribbled harmlessly over the end line. Regrets like the 20-minute period they endured in the middle third without a single point. Kerry landed 1-9 in that same spell, turning a five-point deficit into a seven-point lead and here was the game in microcosm. When Limerick held the whip hand they wasted the opportunity. When Kerry had it, they made hay.

Declan O’Sullivan landed three sublime points, Mike McCarthy raided upfield for another and Colm Cooper chipped in with a 50th minute goal courtesy of a quick pass off the ground from Donncha Walsh. 1-7 of that total had come after the break when Kerry had the stiffest of winds at their backs and it was all too apparent even then that Limerick’s failure to erect a bigger buffer in the first-half would cost them dearly. They had started so well, rattling off the game’s first four points before Kerry found their feet but find their feet they did. Their ability to adapt to the elements was remarkable and they ended the half without a wide to their name.

There was no panic, just a realisation that they needed to reach the dressing room with the deficit at manageable levels, unlike Galway in Pearse Stadium eight days earlier when they trailed Sligo by nine points at the interval. With 20 minutes to go, it seemed as though their day’s work was done. Stephen Lucey had done a credible job in handling Kieran Donaghy but Cooper still turned over a profit despite the restricted supply line. His goal was evidence of that.

Cooper ended the game with 1-2 from play but so too did John Galvin and it was the latter’s dispossession of Scanlon from a short kick-out and shot to the net past Brendan Kealy three minutes later that reignited the contest. Limerick had somehow drawn level when the Croom midfielder landed his last score of the afternoon six minutes later and a game that was in Kerry’s pocket was now floating in the wind and up for grabs. Limerick had the chances but they failed to tie it down. Goalkeeper Brian Scanlon had landed two long-range frees in the first period but two ill-advised long-distance efforts on the posts after Galvin’s equaliser emptied the wind from their sails.

Nine minutes ticked by without another score before Cooper broke the deadlock. Two more points from Moran and Tomas O Sé wrapped up the changes on the scoreboard but the drama spilled into injury-time. It ended with all hands to the pump for the home side, with nine men stood watch on their own goal line and Marc O Sé making a double block from Stephen Lavin’s last, desperate throw of the dice from a free. Not the most convincing of victories but, then again, Kerry survived similar late sieges against Longford and Sligo last summer and look how that turned out.

Kerry: B Kealy, M O’Se, T Griffin, T O’Sullivan, T O’Se ( 0-2), M McCarthy (0-2) , K Young, S Scanlon, A Maher, ‘Darran O’Sullivan (0-1) , Declan O’Sullivan (0-3) , D Walsh, C Cooper ( 1-5, 0-3 frees), K Donaghy, B Sheehan 0-2 frees.

Subs: M Quirke 0-1 for a Maher (33), B J Keane for Darran O’Sullivan (69), P Reidy for T O’Sullivan (69), D Moran 0-1 for S Scanlon (61), K O’Leary for B Sheehan (63)

Limerick – B Scanlon ( 0-2 frees), , M O’Riordan, J McCarthy, A Lane, S Lavin, S Lucey, P Ranahan, J O’Donovan (0-1) , J Galvin (1-2) , P Browne, J Ryan(0-2), S Buckley(0-1) , G Collins ( 0-5 ( 0-3 frees), I Ryan, S Kelly ( 0-1).

Subs: J Mullane for P Browne (40), S Gallagher for A Lane (45), E O’Connor for S Kelly (64), E Joy for S Buckley (67), S O’Carroll for J Ryan (70)

Ref: Pat Fox (Westmeath)

Kerry pip Limerick to reclaim Munster title

From the GAA.ie web site

Sunday, July 04, 2010

All-Ireland champions Kerry have won their first Munster GAA Football Senior Championship title since 2007 after they withstood a second-half comeback by Limerick to win by 1-17 to 1-14 at Fitzgerald Stadium on Sunday afternoon. Having trailed by 0-10 to 0-7 at half-time, Jack O’Connor’s side then reeled off 1-7 without reply in the first 15 minutes of the second half and looked to be cruising to victory only for a John Galvin-inspired Limerick to level the game with 11 minutes remaining. Ultimately though, Kerry had enough to get past their opponents, with late points from Colm Cooper, David Moran and Tomás Ó Sé seeing them home.

The victory was far from straightforward, however. Playing with the wind in the first half, Limerick seared into a 0-4 to nil lead inside the first four minutes and dominated midfield for much of the opening period. In addition, Stephen Lucey was totally nullifying Kieran Donaghy and Stephen Kelly was hugely industrious while the Kerry forwards struggled to get motoring. It was not until the introduction of Micheál Quirke shortly before half-time that Kerry began to get a handle in the middle and the Kerins O’Rahilly’s man won a number of clean kickouts as the momentum turned after the break. Prior to him coming in though, Seamus Scanlon and Anthony Maher were struggling as James O’Donovan and John Galvin combined well. It was Galvin who opened the scoring with a fisted point inside 20 seconds, and when Ger Collins added three more, the prospects of an upset were increasing.

Kerry rallied though and by the 13th minute had cut the deficit to just a point, 0-5 to 0-4, following Bryan Sheehan’s free. Credit to Limerick, however, as three in a row, including two frees from the 45m line by goalkeeper Brian Scanlon, extended their advantage again with 13 minutes left until the break. If they were to have any chance of winning, then the consensus was that, given the strength of the wind, they would need to have a cushion at the interval, and some bad wides were hampering those chances. In contrast, Kerry did not have a single wide in the first half, and though Limerick captain Seanie Buckley’s super individual score made it 0-10 to 0-5 two minutes before the whistle, Mike McCarthy and Colm Cooper ensured there were only three points between the sides as they retired to the dressing rooms.

When the teams re-emerged, there was no doubt that the momentum had shifted. Cooper (two) and Quirke had them level by the 41st minute while Donaghy, relocated to full-forward after spending the latter part of the first half at midfield, went close with a half-chance of a goal. Limerick were struggling to take what few chances they were getting while Declan O’Sullivan hit a purple patch, kicking three points which, allied to McCarthy’s second, meant that it was 0-14 to 0-10 by the 48th minute and when Cooper, set up nicely by Donncha Walsh, goaled soon after, a procession to the end looked to be in the offing. Ger Collins ended Limerick’s drought immediately though and then Galvin got them back in the match, dispossessing Scanlon after Brendan Kealy’s short kick-out and firing home to make it 1-14 to 1-11.

James Ryan, Collins and Galvin then all found their range and with the final 10 minutes approaching, it was anybody’s game. Unfortunately for Limerick though the lead score would not come, Scanlon shooting wide after coming up to take a free and a 45, and when Cooper pointed on 68, it settled Kerry. Eventually they managed to see out the game, Limerick unable to find a late equalising goal as Stephen Lavin’s 13m free was blocked, but the champions will certainly know that they were in a game. For Limerick, it is yet another chapter in their story of footballing heartache, but there will be few teams who will want to meet them in the Qualifiers.

Scorers for Kerry: C Cooper 1-5 (0-3f), Declan O’Sullivan 0-3, B Sheehan (0-2f), T Ó Sé, M McCarthy 0-2 each, Darran O’Sullivan, D Moran, M Quirke 0-1 each.

Limerick: J Galvin 1-2, G Collins 0-5 (0-2f), J Ryan, B Scanlon (0-2f) 0-2 each, S Kelly, J O’Donovan, S Buckley 0-1 each.

KERRY: B Kealy; M Ó Sé, T Griffin, T O’Sullivan; T Ó Sé, M McCarthy, K Young; S Scanlon, A Maher; Declan O’Sullivan, B Sheehan (capt), D Walsh; C Cooper, K Donaghy, Darran O’Sullivan.

Subs: M Quirke for Maher (32), P Reidy and BJ Keane for T O’Sullivan and Darran O’Sullivan (59), D Moran for Scanlon (61), K O’Leary for Sheehan (63).

LIMERICK: B Scanlon; M O’Riordan, S Lucey, J McCarthy; S Lavin, A Lane, P Ranahan; J O’Donovan, J Galvin; P Browne, I Ryan, S Buckley (capt); G Collins, S Kelly, J Ryan.

Subs: J Mullane for Browne (39), S Gallagher for Lane (45), E Joy for Buckley (57), E O’Connor for Kelly (62), S O’Carroll for J Ryan (70).

Referee: P Fox (Westmeath)

Team News

LIMERICK SENIOR FOOTBALL TEAM V. KERRY 04/07/10 – Brian Scanlon, Mark O’Riordan, Johnny McCarthy, Andrew Lane, Stephen Lavin, Stephen Lucey, Pa Ranahan, James O’Donovan, John Galvin, Padraig Browne, James Ryan, Seanie Buckley (Capt), Ger Collins, Ian Ryan & Stephen Kelly.
Substitutes: Conor Ranahan, Shane Gallagher, Eoin Joy, Conor Fitzgerald, Eoghan O’Connor, John Mullane, Cormac Joyce-Power, Diarmiud Carroll, Raymond Hayes, Garrett Noonan, Seamus O’Carroll, Conor Mullane, John Cooke, Barry Fitzpatrick & Eoin Fitzigibbon

The Kerry Senior Football team to play in The Munster Final on Sunday is as follows:

1. Brendan Kealy Kilcummin

2. Marc Ó Sé An Ghaeltacht 3. Tommy Griffin Dingle 4. Tom O’ Sullivan Rathmore

5. Tomás Ó Sé An Ghaeltacht 6. Mike McCarthy Kilcummin 7. Killian Young Renard

8. Seamus Scanlon Currow 9 Anthony Maher Duagh

10. Darran O’ Sullivan Glenbeigh /Glencar 11. Declan O’ Sullivan Piarsaigh Na Dromada 12. Donnacha Walsh Cromane

13. Colm Cooper Dr Crokes 14. Kieran Donaghy Austin Stacks 15. Bryan Sheehan (CAPTAIN) St. Mary’s

The substitutes are:

16 David Hennessey Kerins O’Rahillys 17. Padraig Reidy Scartaglin 18. Barry John Keane Kerins O’Rahilly’s

19. David Moran Kerins O’Rahillys 20. Micheal Quirke, Kerins O’Rahilly’s 21. Daniel Bohan Austin Stacks

22. Kieran O’Leary Dr. Crokes 23 Adrian O’Connell St Michael’s Foilmore 24. Niall O’Mahony Spa

25. Pat Corridan Finuge 26. Jonathan Lyne Legion 27. Johnny Buckley Dr Crokes

28. Paudge O’Connor Legion 29. James O’Donoghue Legion and 30. Aidan O’Mahony Rathmore.

Bainisteóir: Jack O’Connor (Piarsaigh Na Dromada)

Traenálaí: Alan O’Sullivan (Kerins O’Rahillys)

Roghnóirí: Ger O’Keeffe (Austin Stacks) Eamon Fitzmaurice (Finuge)

Ticket Vans

WEDNESDAY JUNE 30th.

10.30am to 11.30am Twohig’s SuperValu, Abbeyfeale

12 noon to 1.00pm Garvey’s SuperValu, Castleisland

3.00pm to 4.30pm Garvey’s SuperValu, Dingle

6.00pm to 7.00pm Hickey’s Centra, Rathmore

Terrace Tickets and Family Terrace Tickets Munster Football Final in the above Stores

FRIDAY JULY 2nd.

11.30am to 12.15pm Garvey’s SuperValu, Newcastlewest

12.30pm to 1.15pm Dooly’s SuperValu, Newcastlewest

2.30pm to 3.30pm Twohig’s SuperValu, Abbeyfeale

4.30pm to 5.30pm Twohig’s SuperValu, Askeaton

6.30pm to 7.30pm SuperValu, Castleconnell, Limerick

Terrace Tickets and Family Terrace Tickets Munster Football Final in the above Stores

SATURDAY JULY 3rd

10.30am to 11.30am Garvey’s SuperValu, Listowel

12noon to 1.00pm Garvey’s SuperValu, Tralee

3.3opm to 6.00pm Daly’s SuperValu, Killarney

Terrace Tickets and Family Terrace Tickets Munster Football Final in the above Stores

TV Coverage

This game will be shown live on TV3 with coverage starting at 1:00pm.

Match Preview

MUNSTER BEGINS PROVINCIAL FOOTBALL FINAL ROTA

The approach of July and the start of the GAA’s provincial football final circuit. The honour of staging the first of the 2010 football finals falls to Munster where Kerry and Limerick clash in Fitzgerald Stadium, Killarney next Sunday (2.00pm). Kerry, the reigning All-Ireland champions, are bidding for their first title since 2007 while Limerick are trying to end a 114-year wait, having last won the title (their only one) in 1896. They played in four Munster GAA Football Championship Finals in the last decade, drawing with Kerry in 2004, before losing the replay, while they lost to Kerry in 2003 and to Cork by a point last year.

Managed by former Kerry star, Mickey Ned O’Sullivan, they have had just one game in the championship so far, beating Waterford in the semi-final. Kerry have had a much busier time, beating Tipperary and Cork (after extra-time in a replay).

Paths to the final

Kerry 2-18 Tipperary 2-6

Kerry 0-15 Cork 0-15

Kerry 1-15 Cork 1-14 (after extra-time)

***

Limerick 1-17 Waterford 1-9

Top scorers…

Bryan Sheehan is Kerry’s top scorer in the championship so far, having returned a total of 2-14 (0-9 from frees, 0-2 from ‘45s’) in three games. Colm Cooper has scored 0-15 (0-10 from frees), followed by Kieran Donaghy on 1-2 and Barry John Keane on 0-5. Ger Collins scored 1-4 (0-4 from frees) for Limerick against Waterford with Ian Ryan and Conor Fitzgerald each scoring 0 3.

Last Five Championship Clashes

2005: Kerry 2-10 Limerick 0-10 (Munster semi-final)

2004: Kerry 3-10 Limerick 2-9 (Munster final) Replay

2004: Kerry 1-10 Limerick 1-10 (Munster final) Draw

2003: Kerry 1-11 Limerick 0-9 (Munster final)

2002: Kerry 0-14 Limerick 1-7 (Munster quarter-final)

Kerry-Limerick Munster finals

2004: Kerry 3-10 Limerick 2-9 (Replay)

2004: Kerry 1-10 Limerick 1-10 (Draw)

2003: Kerry 1-11 Limerick 0-9

1991: Kerry 0-23 Limerick 3-12

1965: Kerry 2-16 Limerick 2-7

1934: Kerry 1-14 Limerick 1-2

1905: Kerry 2-10 Limerick 1-6

ESB Munster Minor Hurling Championship Semi-Final Replay – Waterford 2-17 Cork 1-13

Waterford defeated Cork by 2-17 to 1-13 in the ESB Munster Minor Hurling Championship Semi-Final Replay on Wednesday in Walsh Park Waterford.

Brilliant Déise hold off Rebels’ late revival

Waterford 2-17 Cork 1-13

By John Murphy for the Irish Examiner newspaper

Thursday, July 08, 2010

IT MAY not have quite measured up to their classic drawn game at Páirc Uí Chaoimh, but Waterford and Cork still served up another compelling hour’s hurling in an action-packed Munster minor hurling championship semi-final replay before 4,000 at Walsh Park last night. Victory, richly deserved, in the end to defending champions Waterford, who will now meet their first-round conquerors Clare in Sunday’s Semple Stadium decider. But all credit to a Cork side that was totally outplayed in the opening half, trailed by an intimidating 12 points within a minute of the restart, and looked to be staring a comprehensive defeat in the face.

However the young rebels worked their way back into contention, and a flurry of scores both from play and frees saw them narrow their deficit to a single goal with 10 minutes still remaining. The home side was beginning to look increasingly rattled. But when their need was greatest, they magnificently rose to the occasion, and finally killed off Cork’s brave comeback with some of the finest scores of the game in the closing minutes. Waterford laid the foundations for their victory in an opening half of near total mastery for them, outplaying Cork in virtually every sector, and building up an intimidating if not unassailable 2-10 to 0-5 interval lead.

Ironically it was Cork who jumped into a first-minute lead when Brian Hartnett, who had a fine game at corner forward, had the first of his eight points from a free. But they would go another 18 minutes without scoring, and in between a rampaging Waterford found the range with unerring accuracy from varying distances and angles. Their half forward trio of Paraic Mahony, Eamonn Murphy, and Jake Dillon had the opposing Cork half-back line in a spin and it was no major surprise when two of three, Dara O’Carroll and Kevin Buckley, were substituted inside 21 minutes. Before hour’s end the three Waterford attackers would score 1-12 between them – a just reward for their outstanding play throughout. The home side, playing hurling of vintage quality, built up a 2-7 to 0-2 lead by the 20th minute. The goals came in the 10th and 17th minutes – the first gifted to them by a goalkeeping blunder as William McCarthy allowed Eoin Madigan’s prodigious free from deep inside his own half to deflect off his hurley and over the line.

Nothing fortuitous however about their second seven minutes later, with Jake Dillon brilliantly finishing off a three man-move that also involved Eamonn Murphy and Cormac Heffernan. Cork at that stage were reeling under the intensity of Waterford’s play, and the half-time break, when it came, saw them trailing by 2-10 to 0-5 with a mountain to be climbed. Things got even worse when Mahony stretched the Waterford advantage with another point inside 40 seconds of the restart, but when Hartnett replied with a Cork point two minutes later, also from a placed ball, a heroic Cork fightback was about to get under way. Conor Lehane knifed his way through the home defence to crash a great ball to the net in the 36th minute, and when midfielder Darren Sweetnam struck over a long-range beauty Cork had become aside transformed.

The brilliant and unerring Hartnett found the range with four points in as many minutes, and when Lehane added yet another super one from play, it was 2-12 to 1-12, and most definitely game on. Now it was Waterford who were being asked the most searching questions and they responded as only a good side can. Their defenders came forth with tigerish qualities to snuff out the Cork attack just as emphatically as they had in the opening half with Daragh Fives and Jamie Barron particularly impressive. A flurry of points flowed, two of them from substitute Colm Curran and Martin O’Neill worthy of winning any game. For Waterford the perfect finale to a memorable evening.

Scorers for Waterford: P. Mahony (0-6); J. Dillon (1-2); E. Murphy (0-4); E. Madigan (1-0); M. O’Neill (0-2); P. Prendergast (0-2); C. Curran (0-1).

Scorers for Cork: B. Hartnett (0-8); C. Lehane (1-2); J. Coughlan (0-2); D. Sweetnam (0-1).

WATERFORD: D. Duggan; J. Barron. S. O’Keeffe. L. Egan; R. Barry. D. Fives. E. Madigan; P. Prendergast. G. O’Brien; J. Dillon. E. Murphy. P. Mahony; S. Roche. C. Heffernan. M. O’Neill.

Subs: C. Curran for Roche(58 min); T. Curran for Madigan(59)

CORK: W. McCarthy; D. Cahalane. C. Spillane. D. Lester; K. Buckley. C. Joyce. D. O’Carroll; D. Sweetnam. N. Kelly; S. O’Keeffe. C. Lehane. S. Moore; J. Coughlan. D. Lordan. B. Hartnett.

Subs: A. Dennehy for Carroll(15 mins); R. O’Shea for Buckley(21); J. Wall for Moore(36); K. Hallissey for Lordan(51); B. Murray for O’Keeffe(55)

Referee: Seamas Roche, Tipperary

Team News

WATERFORD MH: D Duggan; J Barron, S O’Keeffe, L Egan; R Barry, D Fives, E Madigan; P Prendergast, G O’Brien; P Mahony, E Murphy, J Dillon; S Roche, C Heffernan, M O’Neill.

CORK MH: W McCarthy; D Cahalane, C Spillane, D Lester; K Buckley, C Joyce, D O’Carroll; D Sweetnam, N Kelly; S O’Keeffe, C Lehane, S Moore; J Coughlan, D Lordan, B Hartnett.

All-Ireland Senior Football Championship Qualifier – Dublin 1-21 Tipperary 1-13

Dublin defeated Tipperary by 1-21 to 1-13 in the All-Ireland Senior Football Championship Qualifier on Saturday in Croke Park.

Off-key Dublin find extra gear to limp past Premier

DUBLIN 1-21 TIPPERARY 1-13

By DAMIAN LAWLOR for the Sunday Independent newspaper

Sunday July 11 2010

AN uneasy Dublin stuttered to a hard-fought and unimpressive win over Tipperary at a rain-soaked Croke Park last night. They could never quite put their opponents away and had Tipperary managed to hold on to possession a bit more in the first half they could have pulled off a shock. With 20 minutes of this second-round qualifier left, Dublin were clinging to a nervous three-point lead and the groans around Croke Park were audible.

But with time running out they pulled away as Tipp ran out of puff. The home team’s fitness, strength and an improved work rate in the closing stages helped them over the line and into the next round. It was the usual suspects who delivered for the Dubs; points from the Brogan brothers steered them away from danger while Eoghan O’Gara worked hard for the cause. There was little else for them to enthuse over. Their defence looked vulnerable for a long time, their midfield was out-fought for long periods and they continuously gave the ball away, much to the frustration of their supporters. It’s a long time since Dublin were in this position and they looked like they didn’t know how to handle it. A paltry crowd, unknown opposition and a team in rebuilding mode.

Only 22,107 deemed a Saturday afternoon qualifier at home to Tipperary worth turning up for — a poor show, considering their hurlers were in action just beforehand. Tipp were guilty of turning over the ball several times early on, allowing Dublin to race into a 0-3 – 0-1 lead. But it could have been worse; Kevin McManamon missed an open goal after just 40 seconds which would probably have killed the minnows off before the game had even started. Still, daunting as the task ahead of them was, Tipp stuck at it. They only had three previous qualifier wins under their belt, and had just a 30 per cent success rate with the back door. But this game meant something; it was the 90th anniversary of Bloody Sunday when Tipp man Michael Hogan was shot dead. And it was their first championship meeting with Dublin since 1922. And with Barry Grogan, Conor Sweeney and Hugh Coghlan working hard, this young side acquitted themselves well.

They slowly established a foothold around the Dublin half-back line as the first half progressed. Grogan gave Rory O’Carroll plenty to think about on the edge of the square and after 20 minutes they trailed by just three points. Even though Dublin goaled soon after, after great work from O’Gara to set up Michael McAuley, the home side looked nervous and devoid of confidence. They brought goalkeeper Stephen Cluxton out to kick a ’45 early on and proceeded to shoot eight first-half wides. They led by seven points at one stage, but Tipp responded quickly to their goal with a slick George Hannigan pass to Barry Brogan who turned Cluxton and goaled. Barry Brogan added two more points, Philly Austin and Conor Sweeney hit one each and they only trailed 1-9 to 1-7 at the break.

The Dubs made two changes, bringing on Eamon Fenell and Conal Keaney, and they upped their game considerably in the second half, shooting eight points in quick succession. As they emptied their bench, Dublin’s overall experience stood to them. It may not have been the most impressive of shows, but they are safely in the hat for today’s draw. That’s all that counts.

Scorers — Dublin: B Brogan 0-7 (3f), M McAuley 1-1, A Brogan 0-4, C Keaney 0-3 (3f), R McConnell 0-2, S Cluxton 0-1 (1 ’45), E Fennell, E O’Gara, K McManamon 0-1 each. Tipperary: B Grogan 1-5 (5f), P Austin (1f), C Sweeney 0-3 each, S Hahessy, B Coen 0-1 each.

Dublin: S Cluxton; M Fitzsimons, Rory O’Carroll, P McMahon; K Nolan, G Brennan, D Henry; M MacAuley, R McConnell; N Corkery, A Brogan, P Flynn; B Brogan, E O’Gara, K McManamon. Subs: E Fennell for P Flynn (h-t), C Keaney for K McManamon (43), B Cullen for N Corkery (55), P Casey for K Nolan (68)

Tipperary: P Fitzgerald; P Codd, R Costigan, A Morrissey; C McGrath, B Jones, B Fox; G Hannigan, N Curran; S Hahessy, H Coghlan, P Acheson; P Austin, B Grogan, C Sweeney. Subs: B Coen for S Hahessy (29), B Mulvilhill for B Jones (46), K Mulryan for P Acheson (56), A Rockett for H Coghlan (64), E Kearney for P Codd (70).

Referee: P McEnaney (Monaghan)

Dublin 1-21 Tipperary 1-13

From the RTE.ie web site

The Brogans shot 0-11 between them to drive Pat Gilroy’s men to victory in a dour contest which gave little indication as to Dublin’s All-Ireland credentials. Tipperary tried their utmost to test the recently dethroned Leinster champions, but faltered in the second half as the Dubs broke clear. After an edgy first half, Gilroy’s charges got their Championship challenge back on the rails with an improved second half showing. Michael Darragh MacAuley and Barry Grogan traded goals as Dublin led by 1-09 to 1-07 at half-time.

Grogan led Tipp’s scoring with 1-05, but Dublin, with their bench proving influential, pulled through in front of just 22,107 spectators. In rain-soaked conditions, Kevin McManamon got a glimpse of the Tipperary goal in the opening seconds but failed to find the target. It was left to Alan Brogan to open the scoring for Dublin, with Ross McConnell and Bernard Brogan (free) making it 0-03 to 0-00 by the six-minute mark. The Dublin team showed five changes to the one that succumbed to Meath last time out, with experienced campaigners like Bryan Cullen, Conal Keaney and Barry Cahill among the players to miss out. Tipperary, who conquered Laois in the last round, opened their account through wing forward Stephen Hahessy, but Dublin pressed on for a 0-06 to 0-01 lead as goalkeeper Stephen Cluxton and Bernard Brogan converted three placed balls between them. Cluxton stepped up to knock over a ’45’, taking over from the benched Tomas Quinn.

While Dublin’s wides tally mounted to five, Tipp’s talismanic forward Grogan struck a free over off a post and Conor Sweeney, in the left corner, scored from play to reduce the arrears to three. Then, in the 19th minute, Dublin engineered their only goal when Eoghan O’Gara turned and raced in from the right to pass for the advancing MacAuley to fist home and crown his first Championship start with a goal. Alan Brogan had time and space to follow up with a point, making it 1-07 to 0-03, but a slip by Dublin full-back Rory O’Carroll in the 21st minute allowed Grogan slide home a well-taken goal in response. George Hannigan’s pinpoint through ball was latched onto by Grogan who cut past Cluxton and fired home in front of a sparsely populated Hill 16. Grogan added a free to make it a three-point game.

The remainder of the first half was evenly contested with Dublin clearly rattled by the concession of that goal. Philip Austin nailed a point and Grogan and Sweeney tagged on two more frees, in between scores from Bernard Brogan and McManamon at the Davin End. Indeed, Dublin would been celebrating a second goal by the break if O’Gara had not clipped a late shot wide. Tipp kept in the hunt as the second half started, with scores from Grogan and Sweeney sandwiching a single effort from Bernard Brogan. There were a lot of wides and frees conceded, but Dublin managed to add some much-needed cushion to their advantage, helped by a run of points from substitute Eamonn Fennell, Alan Brogan and O’Gara.

The life was sucked out of the game as, by the hour mark, Dublin were armed with a 1-17 to 1-10 buffer and had one foot in the next round. Substitute Conal Keaney came on and kicked two points, Ross McConnell raided forward to score and Bernard Brogan continued to cause problems for the Tipp defence, taking his haul for the afternoon to seven. Their overall effort could not be questioned, but the Premier County side, hit by recent squad withdrawals, had no answer. Their closing points from Grogan, substitute Brian Coen and Brian Mulvihill were cancelled out by MacAuley, Man of the Match Alan Brogan and Keaney. So, at the final whistle, it was a case of mission accomplished for Dublin who will be pleased with this return to winning ways, but they had enough shaky moments to still leave a question mark over their ability to mount a serious challenge for All-Ireland honours.
Dubs eventually prevail against dogged Tipperary

From the GAA.ie web site

Dublin 1-21 Tipperary 1-13

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Dublin are safely into Round 3 of the GAA All-Ireland Football Senior Championship Qualifiers, but not after being pushed hard as they beat a gallant Tipperary side by 1-21 to 1-13 at Croke Park on Saturday evening. After an excellent start, when they led by seven points, the Dubs allowed Tipp back into the game and it was only in the final 20 minutes that they really pulled away from their opponents. What was crucial in deciding the outcome was that Dublin always stayed ahead of Tipp, though the margin was just one point on a few occasions. Man of the match Alan Brogan and Michael Dara McAuley both performed excellently for Dublin while Barry Grogan did plenty to keep Tipp in contention.

Early on, it looked as if Dublin would win at their ease, as they moved into an early 0-6 to 0-1 lead, and when McAuley found the net, following good work by Eogan O’Gara in the 20th minute, it was 1-6 to 0-3. From there to half-time however, Tipp managed to get on top, Grogan doing plenty to help their cause when he finished to the net with a ground shot after rounding goalkeeper Stephen Cluxton – who scored one of the Dubs’ points from a 45 – only a minute after McAuley’s goal. That made it 1-7 to 1-3, and with two minutes remaining until half-time, the gap had narrowed to the minimum, 1-8 to 1-7, following an excellent Conor Sweeney free, though Kevin McManamon’s point ensured Dublin had some breathing space at half-time, O’Gara unlucky with a goal effort just before the whistle.

It remained nip-and-tuck at the start of the second half, Dublin continuing to respond whenever Tipp cut the deficit to a point, and when Alan Brogan scored his third point, in the 45th minute, it was 1-12 to 1-9 for Pat Gilroy’s side, with Brogan’s brother Bernard converting two more soon before Conal Keaney opened up a five-point lead, a Grogan point Tipp’s only response. Dublin were in a commanding position by now, Tipp goalkeeper Paul Fitzgerald having to do well to deny O’Gara a goal and though Tipp reeled off three unanswered points, Cathal Coen and Sweeney pointing, the lead was still five, 1-18 to 1-13. Tipp needed a goal to set up a nervy last few minutes for Dublin, but instead it was the Leinster side who finished the stronger, McAuley, Alan Brogan and Keaney all pointing to secure their side’s passage.

Munster Minor Hurling Championship Final – Clare 1-16 Waterford 1-11

Clare defeated Waterford by 1-16 to 1-11 in the ESB Munster Minor Hurling Championship Final on Sunday in Semple Stadium.

O’Halloran lifts Clare

CLARE 1-16 WATERFORD 1-11

From the Irish Independent newspaper

Monday July 12 2010

DAVID O’HALLORAN’S second-half goal proved crucial as Clare were crowned ESB Munster minor hurling champions for the first time since 1989 yesterday, WRITES Jackie Cahill. The Banner County produced a strong second-half performance to deny Waterford back-to-back provincial crowns at this grade for the first time in Deise history. Davy Fitzgerald and Jamesie O’Connor were members of the last Clare minor team to win the Munster title 21 years ago and Banner supporters will hope that this latest success can spawn more senior glory.

It should be noted, however, that Waterford were playing for the second time in just five days after beating Cork in a semi-final replay last Wednesday night. Deise boss Jimmy Meaney felt that this was a factor in his team’s display but he also generously admitted that Clare fully deserved their success.

When the sides met at Walsh Park in April, Waterford ran out 1-21 to 0-16 winners, but Clare had certainly learned the lessons from that defeat . Conditions were ideal in Thurles, with barely a hint of a breeze, but the first half was relatively low-scoring as the half-time whistle blew with the teams level at 0-6 apiece.

Eight minutes into the second half, Clare struck a decisive blow when O’Halloran netted a tremendous goal to give his side a 1-8 to 0-9 lead. But back came a dogged Waterford as Eamonn Murphy scored a brilliant solo goal in the 45th minute, after running past a number of would-be challengers. Last year’s champions were now back to within a point but Clare stepped on the gas and six unanswered points in a seven-minute spell made the game safe.

Scorers — Clare: D O’Halloran 1-3 (0-1f), N Arthur 0-6 (0-5f, 1 ’65’), D Keane 0-3, T Kelly 0-2, S O’Halloran, J Shanahan 0-1 each. Waterford: E Murphy 1-2, P Mahoney 0-4 (0-4f), P Prendergast, J Dillon, S Roche, C Heffernan, C Curran 0-1 each.

CLARE — R Taaffe; H Vaughan, P Flanagan, S Morey; E Boyce, K Lynch, S O’Halloran; C Galvin, T Kelly; C Malone, P Collins, J Shanahan; D O’Halloran, N Arthur, D Keane. Subs: A Mulready for Malone (48), C O’Connell for Collins (59).

WATERFORD — D Duggan; J Barron, S O’Keeffe, L Egan; R Barry, D Fives, E Madigan; P Prendergast, G O’Brien; P Mahoney, E Murphy, J Dillon; S Roche, C Heffernan, M O’Neill. Subs: C Curran for O’Neill (40), C Chester for Roche (51), T Curran for Heffernan (55), S Lawless for Prendergast (59).

Ref — D Copps (Cork)

Another Clare boost as 21-year wait ends

Waterford 1-11 Clare 1-16

By Jackie Cahill for the Irish Examiner newspaper

Monday, July 12, 2010

A POWERFUL second-half display saw Clare claim a first ESB Munster minor hurling championship crown since 1989 at Semple Stadium yesterday. Davy Fitzgerald and Jamesie O’Connor were minors when Clare last ruled the province at this grade, but a 21-year wait for glory was ended in magnificent style. It should be noted, however, that Waterford were playing for the second time in just five days after beating Cork in a semi-final replay last Wednesday night. Déise boss Jimmy Meaney felt this was a factor in his team’s display but he also generously admitted that Clare fully deserved their success.

For Clare, this landmark success offers further proof of a real upsurge in the Banner County’s fortunes in the underage ranks, coming as it does after last year’s All-Ireland U21 win. Appearing in this first provincial minor final since 1999, Clare grabbed their chance with both hands to claim just their third Munster crown at this grade. In the process, Waterford were denied back-to-back Munster minor crowns for the first time in the county’s history and must now regroup through the back door in the hunt for All-Ireland glory.

When the sides met at Walsh Park in April, Waterford ran out 1-21 to 0-16 winners, but Clare had certainly learned the lessons from that defeat and were well prepared for yesterday’s rematch. Conditions were ideal in Thurles, with barely a hint of a breeze, but the first-half was relatively low scoring as the half-time whistle blew with the teams level at 0-6 apiece. They were level four times in that opening half as Waterford clawed back a 0-4 to 0-6 deficit with two Paudie Mahoney frees to restore parity at the midway point.

Eight minutes into the second-half, Clare struck a decisive blow when David O’Halloran netted a brilliant goal and from there until the finish they led. Paudge Collins and the impressive Daire Keane were involved in the build up before O’Halloran dIspatched a fine finish at the Killinan End. It was 1-8 to 0-9 clear now, and Clare followed up with scores from O’Halloran and free-taker Niall Arthur to lead by four, the biggest advantage of any team until that point. Back came a dogged Waterford as Eamonn Murphy netted a brilliant solo goal in the 45th minute after running past a number of would-be challengers. Last year’s champions were now back to within a point but Clare then stepped on the gas and six unanswered points in a seven-minute spell made the game safe.

Clare joint-manager Donal Maloney admitted that this was a huge victory for his team, coming as it did less than 24 hours after the senior team suffered a 13-point mauling against Dublin at Croke Park. Maloney said: “The conveyor belt is starting to move — that’s the key thing. We had some barren years there with little or nothing at underage. We have to be patient but maybe in three or four years we’ll have a really strong senior team.” Maloney added: “It’s been quite a year for us. The fact that it’s our second term really stood to us because we took a lot of learning out of last year. Everything that went wrong for us last year, we tried to put it right. You can’t do anything without brilliant players and we have exceptional players.”

Waterford manager Meaney reflected: “We felt good coming into it but time is what’s required to recover from games and maybe we didn’t have enough time. I’m not going to use it as an excuse — Clare played very well and took their scores. “I didn’t feel that Wednesday’s game was going to impact on us as much. But some of our performances did seem quite flat. It was a tough ask to play on Wednesday and then be ready again for today. We just seemed a little bit flat as the game wore on.”

Scorers for Clare: D O’Halloran 1-3 (0-1f), N Arthur 0-6 (5f, 1 65), D Keane 0-3, T Kelly 0-2, S O’Halloran & J Shanahan 0-1 each.

Scorers for Waterford: E Murphy 1-2, P Mahoney 0-4f, P Prendergast, J Dillon, S Roche, C Heffernan & C Curran 0-1 each.

Subs for Clare: A Mulready for Malone (48), C O’Connell for Collins (59).

Subs for Waterford: C Curran for O’Neill (40), C Chester for Roche (51), T Curran for Heffernan (55), S Lawless for Prendergast (59).

Referee: D Copps (Cork).

All-Ireland Senior Hurling Championship Qualifier Round 2 – Dublin 2-22 Clare 0-15

Dublin defeated Clare by 2-22 to 0-15 in Round 2 of the All-Ireland Senior Hurling Championship Qualifiers on Saturday in Croke Park.

Dubs deliver bolt from the blue

Dublin 2-22 Clare 0-15

By Diarmuid O’Flynn for the Irish Examiner newspaper

Monday, July 12, 2010

HOW in heaven’s name did this end up as a 13-point win for Dublin? Yes it’s hurling, an All-Ireland qualifier in the plains of Croke Park where things can change very quickly, and the greasy pitch on Saturday often made ball-winning something of a lottery, but this was truly a bolt from the blue. Having built up a nine-points lead in a spectacular seven-minute first-half spell (21st to 28th minutes, 0-4 each to 0-13 to 0-4, full-forward Dotsy O’Callaghan the scorer in chief), Dublin then committed a cardinal error at any level of hurling, visibly relaxed they allowed a genuinely talented Clare in for three soft points before the break.

Even so, Dublin were still comfortably in front on the resumption, seven points (0-14 to 0-7). However a now-rampant Clare picked up where they had left off, hit six consecutive points in just nine minutes and were reeling in the Dubs point by point. Trailing by one (0-14 to 0-13), the underdogs were now in control in almost every sector of the pitch (still couldn’t breach the outstanding Dublin rearguard, in which custodian Gary Maguire was in superb form with two magnificent saves on the day). By comparison Dublin couldn’t even get a look at the posts at the other, not a single shot either on or off target in this period. This was it, Clare’s game to win and lose.

Then came an error by keeper Donal Touhy, one of the heroes of Clare’s U21 breakthrough All-Ireland triumph last year. He needlessly came off his line to contest a harmless long lobbing ball by Dublin wing-back Peter Kelly with Dublin’s Liam Rushe and his own Brendan Bugler. The ball beat them all and bounced into the empty net. A sucker punch, certainly, but it was only the 45th minute and they were still only four points behind. Still hurling far better as a team there was every reason for them to keep driving on. They didn’t. Where the outfield players should have gritted their teeth and thought, ‘Right, Donal has saved us on many an occasion, now we’re going to recover this for him,’ they did as they had done in the final crucial ten minutes of their Munster semi-final loss to Waterford and simply faded away.

Dublin now tacked on 1-8 against just two points for Clare, and what had been a game balanced on a knife-edge, and tilting towards the Banner, became a romp for the blue-and-blue. “We won by what, ten, 11?” asked bemused Dublin manager Anthony Daly, to be told it was actually 13. “It certainly didn’t seem like that — the reality was that we were in serious, serious trouble.” Ironically Daly, a Banner legend and former teammate and still great friends with Clare manager Ger O’Loughlin and his selectors, knew what was coming after the break and tried to warn his charges. He said: “The last thing we said before we went out after half-time was, ‘They’re going to come at us’. I know Sparrow (Ger) almost intimately and I knew there was going to be Doyler (Liam Doyle) and Danny Chaplin down there (Clare dressing-room) going bananas.

“We tried to warn fellas but our lads can tune out so easily and think the work is done. The few scores before half-time were crucial for Clare. Instead of driving on and killing it off at that stage, we seemed to be… it’s just inexperience I think. We don’t have that ruthless streak that you get off a Cork, Kilkenny or Tipp. We haven’t learned that yet.” The team with even more learning to do, however, is Clare, a team even younger, even more inexperienced, whose cause wasn’t at all helped when corner-back Pat Vaughan (17th minute) and wing-back Patrick Donnellan (47th minute), had both to be stretchered off the field after accidental hits with both ending up in hospital. O’Loughlin admitted their departures were costly. “Those are two very experienced guys and probably two of the fellas who were playing better at the time. In fairness to the lads, in the first 15 minutes of the second half there was only one team in it and that was Clare. We put them thinking big-time and that was the way I was hoping they’d play from the start. They didn’t, and I don’t know why.”

Ultimately however, Dublin strength, and that little bit of extra Dublin experience, was telling. The Clare manager agreed: “We had nine or ten guys out there around 20 or 21 years of age, and you can see the difference. A guy that’s 24 or 25 and has been around for a few years, probably has an advantage physically. That’s something we need to do over the next two or three years, build up on that. We have to find other players in the county, and those players are likely to be around 19 or 20 years of age again, rather than 24 or 25. We’ve been unlucky this year as well with James McInerney, Gerry Quinn, Gerry O’Grady (injured), that has been a bit unsettling for the team. I’ve seen enough to know that there is a good future for Clare, but you wouldn’t want to be getting 13-point beatings like that over the next while, it’s very deflating. Going forward, our best hope is with these lads.” At that stage the lights in the media room went out, plunging us all into darkness – “That probably sums up my day!” said Sparrow, proving the sense of humour, at least is still intact. Might have summed up the day, but doesn’t sum up the season, for Clare – there’s a lot of light ahead for those boys. Dublin? They’re only an hour up the road from the true masters of game control – closing down, closing out. Will they never learn?

Scorers for Dublin: A McCrabbe 0-8 (3f, 2s/l); D O’Callaghan (0-6); P Kelly, S Lambert (1-1 each); S Hiney (0-2); S Durkin, L Rushe, D O’Dwyer, M O’Brien, (0-1 each).

Scorers for Clare: J Conlan (0-3); C Ryan (0-3, 1f, 1‘65); J Clancy, N O’Connell, D Honan (0-2 each); S Collins, F Lynch, B Bugler, (0-1 each).

Subs for Dublin: L Ryan for O’Dwyer (41); S Lambert for Durkin (46); M Carton for P Carton (51); K Flynn for Rushe inj (68); S Ryan for O’Callaghan (69).

Subs for Clare: N O’Connell for Vaughan inj (17); A Markham for Collins (26); G Quinn for Donnellan inj (47); D Barrett for Ryan (59); C O’Donovan for Conlan (70+2).

Referee: J Sexton (Cork).

Dublin lower Banner to claim first Qualifiers win

Saturday, July 10, 2010

From the GAA.ie web site

Dublin are through to Phase 3 of the GAA Hurling All-Ireland Senior Championship after a 2-22 to 0-15 win over Clare at Croke Park on Saturday afternoon. The Dubs led by 0-14 to 0-7 at the break after a powerful first-half performance, but the Banner staged a fine comeback after the break, cutting the gap to just two points, after scoring five points in a row at the start of the second half. However, the Clare revival was halted abruptly when a goalkeeping mistake by Donal Touhy allowed Peter Kelly to grab a fortuitous first goal for the men from the capital.

Dublin led 1-14 to 0-13 and further points from the excellent Alan McCrabbe – he finished with eight points, including two sublime sideline cuts – and Maurice O’Brien before taking complete control in the final ten minutes. Their second goal came in the 65th minute when livewire forward David O’Callaghan fed substitute Simon Lambert, who drove the ball to back of the net. The sides were level at 0-4 apiece after 20 minutes before the Dubs, with O’Callaghan in excellent form, hit the next nine points of the game in a remarkable nine-minute spell.

John Conlon finally stopped the rot in the 33rd minute with a point from play, ending a 13-minute Clare spell without a score. The Banner added further scores from Nicky O’Connell and Jonathan Clancy just before the break to trail by seven points at half-time. O’Connell and the rangy Darach Honan were amongst the scorers as Clare hit five unanswered points after the break to cut the deficit to just two points. However, Kelly’s goal proved to be the turning point in the second half and the Dubs powered home to claim their first-ever Qualifier win with 13 points to spare.

All-Ireland Senior Football Championship Qualifier – Offaly 0-15 Waterford 0-11

Offaly defeated Waterford by 0-15 to 0-11 in the All-Ireland Senior Football Championship Qualifiers on Saturday in Tullamore.

Cribbin content as Offaly slip past Déise

Offaly 0-15 Waterford 0-10

By Fintan O’Toole for the Irish Examiner newspaper

Monday, July 12, 2010

OFFALY’S quietly efficient progress through the All-Ireland qualifiers continued at home in Tullamore on Saturday yet they laboured before advancing past Waterford. The victory did not require the hunger that Offaly displayed in fashioning an extra-time success over Clare in the previous round but this was another battle against Munster opponents for the Faithful men. Offaly have found the championship landscape to be barren over the last few seasons but after two wins in succession, manager Tom Cribbin feels his team are developing. “There was an awful lot of pressure on the team before the Clare game as we hadn’t won a championship match in three years. So it’s good now that we’ve got a couple of good results. They’re starting to believe in themselves a little bit more and they battled well. The draw has been kind to us and has allowed us to build up confidence. That’s crucial for us with a young team. The older guys provided great leadership as the game went on. “I’m happy that we won but I’m not getting carried away.”

An improvement in the quality of their play is critical for Offaly ahead of next weekend’s round three clash, with the glaring issue of free-taking badly needing to be addressed. In their Leinster championship defeat against Meath, Offaly had some ghastly misses and on Saturday the malaise showed no signs of abating. Five different Offaly players attempted frees within scoring range and between them they fired seven wides, including a couple of shocking attempts within 20 yards. “We did miss some easy frees and it is a problem,” admitted Cribbin. “There was one from 14 yards and another from 21 yards. That’s not good enough and it makes it hard for us. If you come down to our training, everyone’s stepping up to kick them and they’re all going over. They spend a half hour each night, three or four of them taking frees. “I don’t know what it is but hopefully it will come right.”

In open play, Offaly were able to source scores and their cause was aided by the presence of the classy Niall McNamee. Maurice O’Gorman did have a fine game on the Rhode dangerman but McNamee still managed to swerve over a couple of outstanding points. Youngsters Anton Sullivan and Graham Guilfoyle assisted McNamee in the scoring stakes while the experience of Ciarán McManus was vital in the second half. For Waterford, a season that began with burgeoning optimism in the spring has concluded in the summer on a flat note, according to manager John Owens. “It’s a very disappointed dressing room there. We can look back on the year later that we got promotion but it’s a long way back. It’s the last match of the year for us and it’s just a pity we couldn’t be involved in the draw (for the next phase). We were missing a few lads that we would’ve loved to have had. But you have to take the rough with the smooth and while we’re disappointed, Offaly were the better team.”

The loss of suspended duo Tony Grey and Tommy Prendergast dented Waterford’s aspirations. While their inside rearguard were sound and competent, the Déise struggled to gain a foothold in the middle third. Up front, the reliance on Gary Hurney for scores proved fatal. Hurney was superb at full-forward as he survived off limited possession and his input, along with a couple of neat scores by Conor McGrath, kept them in the hunt in the first half. Offaly had nudged 0-9 to 0-6 in front at the end of a first half where the players on both sides struggled with the greasy conditions. Offaly never truly kicked ahead in the second half and the suspicion that a Waterford goal could alter the game always prevailed. Their best chance came in the 48th minute but a McGrath shot was diverted wide by a diving block by McManus. After that Offaly had the wherewithal to secure the spoils with McNamee and Sullivan supplying the late flurry of points that sealed matters.

Scorers for Offaly: N McNamee (0-5, two frees); C McManus (0-3, one ‘45, one free); G Guilfoyle, A Sullivan (0-2 each); R Brady (one free), K Casey, B Connor (0-1 each).

Scorers for Waterford: G Hurney (0-5, three frees); C McGrath (0-2); S Briggs, M Donnelly, P Hurney (0-1 each).

Subs for Offaly: P McConway for Slattery (inj) (22); J Reynolds for Guilfoyle (55); S Ryan for Coughlan (60); A McNamee for Casey (68).

Subs for Waterford: C Phelan for Connery (inj) (31); L Ó’Líonáin for W Hennessy (45); S Cunningham for P Hurney (54); J Hurney for N Hennessy (60); C O’Keeffe for McGrath (68).

Referee: A Mangan (Kerry)

Faithful dominate against Waterford

From the Setanta.com web site

Offaly have progressed to the third round of the qualifier series with a 0-15 to 0-10 win over Waterford in rain-sodden Tullamore. Waterford started better in the tricky conditions, with Gary Hurney causing Scott Brady lots of problems in the Offaly defence, setting up the first point of the game for Conor McGrath. But the extra firepower that Offaly have was to prove the difference between the sides. The front three of Niall McNamee, Ken Casey and Anton Sullivan all got on the score sheet before the break and with Ciaran McManus chipping in from the half-forward line, Waterford were always chasing the game.

The home side led at the break by 0-9 to 0-6 and they pressed home that advantage in the second half. Gary Hurney scored all his sides second half points with 0-4 but Offaly managed 0-6 in the second period, including two from McNamee and the game was over as a contest well before the final whistle. Offaly are now in the hat for the next round while Waterford have the autumn to prepare for life in Division 3 for the first time.