AIB GAA Football All Ireland Senior Club Championship Semi-Final – Crossmaglen Rangers (Armagh) 3-8 Dr. Crokes (Kerry) 2-8

Crossmaglen Rangers (Armagh) defeated Dr. Crokes (Kerry) by 3-8 to 2-8 in the AIB GAA Football All Ireland Senior Club Championship Semi-Final on Saturday at O’Moore Park Portlaoise.

Report from the GAA.ie web site

Dr Crokes (Kerry) 2-8 Crossmaglen Rangers (Armagh) 3-8

Reigning champions Crossmaglen Rangers demonstrated once again why they are the biggest force in club football by overturning a seven-point first half deficit and overcoming the second half dismissal of Stephen Kernan to beat Dr Crokes at Portlaoise. With Eoin Brosnan in imperious form at centre-back for the Kerry champions, Crossmaglen looked to be in serious trouble when a Daithí Casey goal on 21 minutes gave Crokes a 1-5 to 0-1 lead. Cross hit back almost immediately when Michael McNamee hit the back of the net and had the gap down to just two points – 1-6 to 1-4 – at the break thanks to injury time frees from Aaron Kernan and Oisín McConville.

The Ulster kingpins were ahead within minutes of the resumption, when Stephen Kernan dummied past three men and steered a shot in off a post. Cross’ moved four points clear and appeared to be in control until goalscorer Stephen Kernan was shown a straight red card by referee David Coldrick. In keeping with the tone of a dramatic game, Crokes were level within minutes, as substitute Chris Brady fired home the rebound after the ball had come back to him off a post. With just six minutes left and Cross’ seemingly in trouble again, Aaron Kernan showed great composure to slip home the goal that ultimately decided the game. A superb Aaron Cunningham point was the score that ensured Crossmaglen are back in Croke Park on March 17 to defend their title.

Match Preview

Dr Crokes v Crossmaglen Rangers, Portlaoise, 2.00pmFriday, February 17, 2012

From the GAA.ie web site

AIB GAA Football All-Ireland Senior Club Championship semi-final

Dr Crokes (Kerry) v Crossmaglen Rangers (Armagh), Portlaoise, 2.00pm

With the mild winter just passed, there has been much comment about the early arrival of spring such as the flowering of daffodils or the birth of lambs, but perhaps another sign of the coming of the season is Crossmaglen Rangers featuring in another AIB GAA Football All-Ireland Club semi-final.

For the fifth time in six years the Orchard County kingpins have made it to the last four. Indeed, since they made their penultimate debut back in 1997, Crossmaglen have featured at the business end of the championship on eight occasions, only failing twice to make it to Croke Park in that period. Nemo Rangers, with five semi-final outings over the same time span, are the closest challengers to Cross’.

So, do those daunting statistics make Dr Crokes ‘David’ to Crossmaglen’s ‘Goliath’ this afternoon? Anything but, for the Kingdom side have a bit of form when it comes to last four appearances themselves having won two of the three they have featured in since their debut in 1991 – a 2-6 to 3-9 loss to Salthill of Galway. Twelve months later Crokes returned to gain revenge over the Corribsiders’ new champions Corofin, while five years ago Dr Crokes defeated Moorefield of Kildare to qualify for a second final.

In the final on that occasion the Kerry title-holders met today’s opponents and appeared on course for victory when they led by three points with nine minutes remaining at GAA Headquarters but Crossmaglen clawed their way back to parity by the close of the hour. Having notched the last three points of the drawn encounter, the Armagh side hit the final five in the replay at O’Moore Park for victory.

With that history don’t rule out extra-time.

Senior All-Ireland Inter-County Football Vocational Schools Semi-Final – Cork 1-13 Donegal 0-8

Cork turn it around to claim final spot

Cork 1-13 Donegal 0-08

By Rory Delaney for the Irish Examiner newspaper

A dominant second half display in Portarlington on Saturday saw Cork book their place in All-Ireland Vocational Schools SAFC final. The Rebels held Donegal scoreless for the second half, as they turned around a three point half-time deficit to run out eight point winners . The win sets up a final date with Kildare next weekend. Donegal had the benefit of a strong breeze in the opening period and took early control through senior inter-county star Paddy McBrearty. He hit two points from frees in the opening seven minutes before Cork hit back to draw level. McBrearty was the star man and tagged on another four points from frees, along with a superb point from play, as Donegal led 0-8 to 0-5 at the break.

With the wind picking up, the second half was mostly one-way traffic as Cork took control of the game. Midfielder Gary Farrell slotted over two early frees before points from Gearoid Finn and Daniel O’Connor put them in front. As Donegal struggled to breach the Cork half-back line, the ball kept coming back at them quicker and quicker. The gap between the teams eventually crept up to four points as the final whistle approached, and wing-back Daniel Nyhan put the seal on the victory when he got on the end of a well-worked team move before rounding Donegal keeper Shaun McCafferty for the game’s only goal.

Scorers for Cork: D Nyhan 1-1, G Finn 0-4 (4f), G Farrell (2f), D O’Connor 0-2 each, K Crowley, M Quinn, G Barry, R Cahalane 0-1 each;

Scorers for Donegal: P McBrearty 0-7 (6f), O McHugh 0-1

CORK: D Casey; K Dennehy, J Lynch, D Canty; K Crowley, C Hyde, D Nyhan; M Murphy, G Farrell; G O’Shea, D O’Connor, S O’Sullivan; M Quinn, G Barry, G Finn.

Subs: R Cahalane for Barry (41 – inj), J Casey for O’Shea (57), M McNamara for Quinn (60)

DONEGAL: S McCaffery; O Porter, J Coyle, C Cunningham; D Mulgrew, J Doherty, K Herron; R McNamee, H McFadden; C McGettigan, P McBrearty, O McHugh; B McLaughlin, K McNern, W Gillespie.

Subs: J Fitzgerald for Gillespie (4 – inj), C Thompson for McGettigan (39), S Houghton for McLaughlin (48)

Referee: D Brazil (Offaly)

Corn Phádraig SH B Final – Doon CBS 2-6 Dungarvan CBS 0-11

Quirke delivers winner for dogged Doon

Doon CBS (Limerick) 2-06 Dungarvan CBS 0-11

By Jackie Cahill for the Irish Examiner newspaper

Shattered Dungarvan CBS players must rouse themselves quickly for Sunday’s Dr Harty Cup final after a number of them suffered a heartbreaking defeat in Saturday’s Munster Schools SBHC decider. Ten players who featured for Coláiste na nDéise in the Harty semi-final victory over De La Salle started for Dungarvan CBS on Saturday, but they finished as Corn Phádraig runners-up against a dogged Doon outfit who thoroughly deserved their win. Doon’s first victory in this competition since 1998 was secured by full-forward Russell Quirke six minutes from time, when the Cappawhite youngster took advantage of a defensive mix-up to smash home a cracking goal. Quirke’s strike handed Doon a 2-6 to 0-10 lead and while Dungarvan’s top scorer, Cathal Curran, cut the gap to the minimum in stoppage time, time ran out on the Waterford boys.

Doon selector Diarmuid Carr said: “The school is closed in two years time so we feel this is our last chance to win something before we go into an amalgamation. It’s massive for the lads and they deserve it. Heart and determination won it on the day for us.” The Limerick outfit inflicted a second successive Corn Phádraig defeat on a talented Dungarvan side and goals at crucial times were the difference. Tony Berkery crashed home a stunning goal in the 24th minute after his first shot was blocked and that handed Doon a 1-2 to 0-4 advantage, after they had fallen 0-1 to 0-4 behind with just 11 minutes gone.

Dungarvan endured a 21-minute barren spell on the scoreboard in the first half but trailing by 0-5 to 1-4 at half-time, they would have been content enough having played against the breeze in the first half. And having moved two points clear, 0-10 to 1-5, with less than a quarter of an hour remaining, Dungarvan were firm favourites to claim silverware. But Doon, inspired by Tom Fox at wing-forward, stormed back into contention and ultimately, Quirke’s clinical strike proved decisive. Doon will play St Mary’s of Belfast in the All-Ireland semi-final on March 3.

Scorers for Doon CBS: T Berkery 1-2, R Quirke 1-1 (0-1f), T Fox 0-2, M Dee 0-1.

Scorers for Dungarvan CBS: C Curran 0-6 (5f), C Dunford, C Curran, M Harney, M Kiely and P Curran 0-1 each.

DOON CBS: D Stapleton; C Berkery, R English, J Hayes; Stephen Ryan, Sean Ryan, P Roche; D O’Donovan, T Fox; P Ryan, T Berkery, M Dee; D Coleman, R Quirke, K Stapleton.

Sub: S O’Connell for Stapleton (60+1).

DUNGARVAN CBS: E Kearns; K Looby, T Tobin, S Hyslop; S Hally, C Dunford, K Healy; K Power, Cormac Curran; Cathal Curran, M Harney, M Shine; M Kiely, R Donnelly, P Curran.

Sub: J O’Donnell for Shine (40).

Referee: W Barrett (Tipperary)