Buy or Renew your GAA Season Ticket for 2019 now

Bord Gáis Energy GAA Hurling All Ireland U21 B Championship Final – Kerry 0-16 Westmeath 1-9


All-Ireland U-21 B Hurling Final

Kerry 0-16 Westmeath 1-9

By Murt Murphy for the Kerry GAA web site

Kerry produced a superb performance to capture the All-Ireland U-21 B Hurling title for the third year on the trot with a four point win over Westmeath at Semple Stadium Thurles this evening. Kerry led 0-9 to 0-7 and despite shooting sixteen wides, John Meyler’s young guns never looked in any danger of losing with Shane Nolan giving a Man of the match display. The Crotta O’Neill’s forward, , scored 0-11 as the Kingdom secured a four-point victory against Westmeath. Remarkably, Nolan has played in each of the last three years for Kerry’s successful under 21 teams and is eligible once again for this grade next year, but overall Kerry dominated in most sectors of the pitch.

However they could never relax against this Westmeath side because of some very wayward shooting but Kerry boss John Meyler will be pleased that the players that he hoped would step up to the plate, did exactly that. Martin Stackpoole, was ultra reliable in goal, making a number of crucial saves and his lengthy puck-outs were also a big bonus. He would appear to have leapfrogged JB O’Halloran as number two to Bernard Rochford on the senior squad and looks to have a bright future. Westmeath came with a big reputation in their full-forward but they were met head on by Kerry’s best line, which just like the semi final against Roscommon, was the fullback line.

Brian Murphy from Causeway, continues the catch the eye at fullback with another superb display of defending. His bravery under the dropping ball, his ability to read the game and his blocking were once again superb and he will be a senior in the near future. He got great help from his two cornerbacks, James O’Connor and captain Jason Bowler who hurled magnificently throughout, clearing their lines time and time again while they also swept up behind their fullback.

Centre back Anthony Fealy is improving with every outing and is developing into a top class defender, another with a tremendous positional sense. The diminutive PJ Keane was tenacious throughout ands got his stick in to effect some vital blocks, while Jason Leahy, was tight and cleared some great ball in the second half. Overall the Kerry defence, was superb in both games and John Meyler and his management team will be looking to get three or four players for next years senior squad, and should have little difficulty in finding them.

The selection of Sean Dowling at midfield with Brendan Brosnan might well have seen as a risk but Dowling hurled admirably and god in some great work for his team with Brosnan being his assured self after a torrid ten minutes before half time against Clarke. The Kerry attack was superbly led by Shane Nolan who was always threat, and his point taking from the wings was most impressive. He rallied his side when Westmeath threatened to spoil the party and he is fast developing into a classy performer.

Darragh O’Connell missed some frees early on, which may have affected his performance but when the game was getting tight, O’Connell showed his class with some great fetching and running at opponents. Ronan Kenny tried hard and got in some useful work, while young Pa Joe Connolly showed glimpses of the young talent that he is, and though Colm Harty and Patrick O’Keeffe have had better outings, they still played a part. Two of the substitutes who cam in early showed up well with Sean Weir adding pace to the attack while Alan O’Leary got stuck with some excellent defensive work late on.

Kerry were on top from the very outset and raced 0-5 to 0-1 clear by the 17th minute but Kerry shot six wides also. Darragh O’Connell at the fourth attempt posted Kerry’s first score in the 6th minute from a free, and points followed from Ronan Kenny, Brendan Brosnan, Pat Joe Connelly, and Shane Nolan with Barry O’Meara opening Westmeath’s account in the 14th minute. Kerry continued to rack up the wides but still led 0-6 to 0-3 after twenty three minutes, with Nolan adding another point. Kerry then lost their way a little coming up to half time with Westmeath’s John Gilligan and both midfielders winning vital possession, and points flowed from O’Meara, Boyle, McGrath and Dowdall. Kerry responded with three from Nolan, one from a ‘65, and Nolan and Kenny had by now swapped positions.

Kerry led 0-9 to 0-7 at the interval but had shot eight wides so nothing was secured as the teams retired to the dressing rooms. The introduction of Sean Weir gave Kerry more penetration in attack and if they had taken their chances in the third quarter, they would have been home and hosed. Westmeath might have goaled in the 38th minute when Dowdall shot across Stackpoole but outside the right hand post, as Kerry had to wait until the 40th minute for their score of the half from Shane Nolan who followed quickly with another class effort. When Pa Joe Connolly made it 0-12 to 0-7, it was almost game over considering r the way Brian Murphy and the Kerry defence were playing.

However by the 46th minute Kerry had amassed 13 wides and then Martin Stackpoole made a great save from McGrath in the 47th minute but Boyle pointed the ’65 and followed up with another from play and suddenly with twelve minutes left, the gap was three. There was to be no comeback by Westmeath however as Shane Nolan took over with Darragh O’Connor and Sean Weir providing the assists , he added three more points to push Kerry six in front.

It was now back to wall stuff by Kerry with some heroic defending as Keane denied O’Meara, and Stackpoole denied Boyle with a stunning save. O’Connor, Murphy, Leahy and Fealy all cleared dangerous situations. In the final minute Westmeath did get a goal from McGrath after a free had been blocked – but a superb Darragh O’Connell led to a free that Nolan converted and Kerry were All-Ireland Champions for the third year in a row. It has been a great year for Kerry hurling, with a Chritsy Ring Cup and All-Ireland U-21 title plus retention of Div 2 status so well done to John Meyler and his management team, for continuing to point Kerry hurling in the

Scorers — Kerry: S Nolan 0-11 (5f, 1 ’65’), PJ Connolly 0-2, B Brosnan, R Kenny, D O’Connell (f) 0-1 each.

Westmeath: A Clarke 1-1, C Boyle 0-3 (1 ’65’), B O’Meara 0-2 (1f), N Dowdall, A McGrath, C Murphy 0-1 each.

Kerry: M Stackpoole; J O’Connor, B Murphy, J Bowler; PJ Keane, A Fealy, J Leahy; B Brosnan, S Dowling; D O’Connell, R Kenny, P O’Keeffe; C Harty, S Nolan, PJ Connolly. Subs: S Weir for O’Keeffe (h-t), A O’Leary for Harty (38), S Leen for Connolly (59), B Leen for Kenny (60+2).

Westmeath: S McGovern; S Fagan, C Slator, A Fitzsimons; N Dowdall, J Gilligan, P Dermody; A Clarke, C Boyle; K Martin, A McGrath, T Doyle; C Murphy, S Boylan, B O’Meara. Subs: M Heffernan for Murphy (41), C Scally for McGrath (49).

Referee: C Lyons (Cork)

Team News


The Kerry U21 team V Westmeath on Saturday 10th September has been announced and is as follows:

1. Martin Stackpoole (Lixnaw)
2. James O Connor (Abbeydorney) 3. Brian Murphy (Causeway) 4. Jason Bowler, Captain (Ballyduff)
5. PJ Keane (Abbeydorney) 6. Anthony Fealy (Causeway) 7. Jason Leahy (Causeway)
8. Brendan Brosnan (Lixnaw) 9. Sean Dowling (Kilmoyley)
10. Darragh O’Connell (Abbeydorney) 11. Ronan Kenny (Ballyheigue) 12. Patrick O’Keeffe (Glenflesk)
13. Colm Harty (Causeway) 14. Shane Nolan (Crotta O’Neills) 15. Pa Joe Connolly (Ballyduff)

Substitutes : 16. Nicholas Leen (Ballyduff) 17. Stephen Leen (Ardfert) 18.Anthony Carroll (Ballyduff) 19. Brian Leen (Abbeydorney) 20. Kevin Orpen (Ardfert) 21. Sean Weir (Crotta O’Neills) 22. Alan O’Leary (Kenmare) 23. Adam White (Causeway) 24. John Brendan O’Halloran (Kilmoyley) 25. Conor Fitzelle (Kilmoyley) 26. Micheal O Sullivan (Kilgarvan) 27. Gary Marshall , Douglas 28.Thomas Quill, Crotta O’Neills

Bainisteoir John Meyler

Trainer Joe O’Connor

Maor Foirne Frank Flannery

Selector John Hennessey

Selector Sean O’Shea

Physiotherapist Trudy Tait

2011 MBNA Kick Fada

Big boot: Duffy lifts Kick Fada title

Monaghan goalkeeper Shane Duffy lifted the 2011 MBNA Kick Fada title on Saturday afternoon. Duffy held off competition from Crossmaglen Rangers and Armagh star Paul Hearty and Paul Flood, from Maynooth in Co Kildare, to win the crown.

The Magheracloone man won with a 60-metre kick, edging out Hearty and Flood by a tight margin in windy conditions at the Bray Emmets club in Co Wicklow at the weekend. The Kick Fada competition is a relatively recent addition to the GAA calendar, as football’s version of the age-old Poc Fada which takes place over the Cooley Mountains on August Bank Holiday weekend.

The MBNA-sponsored event determines the longest and most accurate kicker in Gaelic football, with contestants required to kick the ball over the bar through specific competition goalposts which are twice the width of conventional goal sizes. Twice the width of conventional goal-posts? Duffy’s teammates in the Monaghan forward line could do with something like that to give them a chance of ending their 24-year wait for an Ulster football title.



Donegal’s Brian McEniff Recognised by Hall of Fame Award

GAA Stars Urged to Break 10 year Record at the 2011 MBNA Kick Fada

24th August 2011 – Donegal’s Brian McEniff today joined the ranks of the great and the good of Gaelic Football as he was inducted into the MBNA Kick Fada Hall of Fame at a special presentation ceremony in Croke Park.

Brian was joined in Croke Park for the announcement by former MBNA Kick Fada Hall of Fame recipients including Billy Morgan (2010), Frank McGuigan (2009), Jimmy Keaveney (2006), Donie O’Sullivan (2004), Paddy Doherty (2008), and Peter Nolan (2003).

A legend in both the Donegal and wider GAA community, Brian has enjoyed an outstanding career both as a player and manager for over forty years. An All-Star in 1972, he featured in the first Donegal team to win an Ulster Championship that year. A member of St Joseph’s GAA Club (a combination of Bundoran and Ballyshannon) Brian also won numerous club titles in both Donegal and Ulster.

It was his move into management where Brian really made his mark, leading Donegal to an All Ireland in 1992, Ulster to 10 Railway Cups between 1983-2007, a member of the management team when Sligo claimed a Connaught Championship in 1975 and also as Ireland Manager where he lead Irish Compromise Rules Teams in 2000 and 2001.

Commenting at the presentation, Suzanne Holmes communications director, MBNA said, “Brian’s achievements as both a player and a manager are matched only by his love and commitment to Gaelic Football and to the GAA as a whole. We are delighted and honoured to recognise Brian’s achievements and welcome him into the MBNA Kick Fada Hall of Fame. We have no doubt that Brian will continue to play an influential role within the GAA in the years ahead and we wish him every success.”

MBNA Kick Fada Hall of Fame

2010 Billy Morgan Cork

2009 Frank McGuigan Tyrone

2008 Paddy Doherty Down

2007 Mick O’Dwyer Kerry

2006 Jimmy Keaveney Dublin

2005 Dermot Earley (RIP) Roscommon

2004 Donie O’Sullivan Kerry

2003 Peter Nolan Offaly & New York

Now in its tenth year the MBNA Hall of Fame Award has recognised many of the greats of Gaelic Football and forms part of MBNA’s sponsorship of the Kick Fada competition which will be held at Bray Emmet’s GAA Club on Saturday September 10th 2011.

GAA players from across Ireland will be attempting to break the Kick Fada distance records for both male and female players which now stand for a decade.

The Kick Fada records which stand at 73m for men and 52m for women were set in 2001 by Mark Herbert from Kildare and Suzanne Hughes from Dublin.

Any GAA players interested in taking part in the 2011 MBNA Kick Fada competition can contact PJ Cunningham of Bray Emmet’s GAA Club on 086 8217631 or go to and become a fan on facebook at!/people/Bray-Emmets/100001032670648?sk=wall

Fans can also follow the latest news from the MBNA Kick Fada competition on


GAA Stars Urged to Break 10-Year Record at the 2011 MBNA Kick Fada

Male and Female Club Players Nationwide Urged to Compete!

Dublin, 27 July 2011: Placed ball specialists Bryan Sheehan of Kerry and Paul Durcan of Donegal took time out in advance of the eagerly anticipated all-Ireland Football Quarter Finals this weekend to launch the 2011 MBNA Kick Fada competition. They were joined in Croke Park by members of Bray Emmets GAA club and MBNA and current record holder Mark Herbert from Kildare where they issued a challenge to GAA players from both club and county to take part in the 2011 competition and break the Kick Fada distance records which now stand for a decade.

The Kick Fada records which stand at 73m for men and 52m for women were set in 2001 by four-time MBNA Kick Fada Champion Mark Herbert from the Ballyteague GAA Club and Suzanne Hughes from Ballyboden St Endas GAA Club in Dublin. Over 20 inter-county stars are expected to accept the record-breaking challenge and take part in the 2011 competition, which takes place in Bray Emmets GAA Club on Saturday, 10 September.

Speaking at the launch, Suzanne Holmes, communications director, MBNA, outlined the challenge facing 2011 competitors, “Breaking the 10-year record will be a considerable feat for any player. For the men, the distance required is equal to one and half times that of an Olympic swimming pool or placing 18 cars end to end! We are confident however that the 2011 competitors for the MBNA Kick Fada will have what it takes, and we are looking forward to the competition in September.”

The MBNA Kick Fada determines who is the longest and most accurate kicker of a Gaelic football in Ireland. Competitors must kick the ball over the bar through specific competition goalposts twice the width of conventional goal sizes.

Explaining the considerable interest in the MBNA Kick Fada competition among established GAA inter-county stars, competition organiser Dermot O’Brien of Bray Emmets GAA Club said, “Over the last 11 years, a huge array of inter-county stars have taken part annually in the competition. Ultimately, any player at inter-county level is a serious competitor at heart and the opportunity to test the core skill of kicking a Gaelic football against top quality opposition in a novel fashion becomes addictive. In 2010, we had players from over 15 counties represented, including 2010 Player of the Year Bernard Brogan, and our aim is to have every county in Ireland represented.”

Over the last decade, MBNA has contributed to the grass roots of Gaelic Games through their NUI Maynooth Scholarship programme; paid tribute to some of the greatest football players to have played the game with their Hall of Fame awards; and stimulated friendly inter-county rivalry with the hotly contested annual MBNA Kick Fada competition.

The MBNA ‘Hall of Fame’ will induct a new GAA legend into its ranks later this summer to join past inductees Cork’s Billy Morgan, Kerry’s Mick O’Dwyer and Donie O’Sullivan, Dublin’s Jimmy Keaveney, Offaly’s Peter Nolan and the late Dermot Earley of Roscommon.

Any GAA players interested in taking part in the 2011 MBNA Kick Fada competition can contact PJ Cunningham of Bray Emmet’s GAA Club or go to and become a fan on facebook at!/people/Bray-Emmets/100001032670648?sk=wall.

Fans can also follow the latest news from the MBNA Kick Fada competition on