Bord Gais Energy GAA Hurling All Ireland U21 A Championship Final – Clare 2-28 Antrim 0-12

Clare defeated Antrim by 2-28 to 0-12 in the Bord Gais Energy GAA Hurling All Ireland U21 A Championship Final on Saturday at Semple Stadium Thurles.

Clare cashing in on winning mentality

Clare 2-28 Antrim 0-12

By Diarmuid O’Flynn for the Irish Examiner newspaper

Semple Stadium was a sea of saffron and blue at the end of this All-Ireland U21 hurling final, with thousands of enthused Clare supporters in the 11,148 crowd covering the pitch and acclaiming their heroes after yet another great day for the county. Though this was a facile win, Antrim doing their limited best but never at the races against a Clare side backboned by eight players (four starters, four panellists) from Sunday’s drawn SHC final in Croke Park against Cork.

It took Clare just 12 minutes to unlock the crowded Ulster men’s defence, at which point they led by just two points (0-4 to 0-2). Once they found the key it became a rout and when they led by 18 points at the break (2-16 to 0-4), a record win looked on the cards. Seven minutes after the resumption, however, having extended their lead by four, the Clare management duo of Donal Moloney and Gerry O’Connor hauled the big guns ashore, David McInerney, Colm Galvin, Tony Kelly and Podge Collins all leaving the field to a massive ovation. In the remaining 23 minutes Antrim managed an honourable draw, seven more points apiece, free-taker Ciaran Clarke doing most of their scoring, corner-forwards Cathal O’Connell (11 points) and Davy O’Halloran (1-4) doing the damage for Clare.

Overall though it was a total mismatch, Clare’s title before a ball was pucked. “The final was probably in Walsh Park, against Waterford,” admitted O’Connor. “That was the toughest test we have faced in a long time and we must acknowledge the work going on down there. They pushed us to the very limit and the resolve we gained from that, the test we got, really stood to us in the second half against Tipperary when they came back at us (Munster final), and in the first half against Galway (semi-final) here a few weeks ago.”

This has been a team in the making however for a lot longer than that. “I call this the class of 2010 and we lost the All-Ireland minor final in pretty harrowing circumstances against Kilkenny that year. We felt we left it behind us and in the dressing room afterwards — through tears, and we don’t remember a whole pile of the words that we uttered but we remember the hurt and the pain and the anguish — we made a pact as a group that if we ever got the opportunity to win an All-Ireland together, we would. It probably came a year sooner than expected (Clare also won last year) but these guys have been training and preparing for today for the past four years.

“While the result might appear facile, the performance we wanted to give, we gave, in the first half. We wanted to give a top-class professional performance that reflected a team that had been training for four years. People have been surprised how well a young team like Clare performed in Croke Park on Sunday but these guys have a winning mentality, they know nothing else other than winning. That’s a huge advantage to have going into any game — they expect to win, fear nobody but respect everybody.”

The senior guys are an inspiration to the others, reckons O’Connor, not a prima donna among them, just settled straight back into the U21 set-up. “It’s being reported in the media that 14 of these guys are on the (extended) senior panel but the reality is that only four of them are playing day in, day out. The biggest challenge we had was to ensure our training was of a high enough intensity to bring the guys who weren’t playing last Sunday up to speed. It gives you a taste of the mentality of these guys that on Tuesday night Podge Collins had a puss on him because he couldn’t train! That’s the way they are; they love playing hurling, they love the way Paul Kinnerk has them playing, they enjoy it — this was a huge and a wonderful opportunity for them to express themselves.”

It’s going to work in their favour now too going into the senior replay, reckons Donal Moloney. “I think from a Clare perspective there is an unwarranted level of despondency (after the draw) — I think they are really set up to win the replay. This will help them, absolutely. The enthusiasm they will go back in with will be palpable — that will help the rest of the guys to push over the line. We may never see this again in Clare, everything possible has to be done to finish the year on a high.”

Scorers for Clare: C O’Connell (0-11, nine frees); D O’Halloran (1-4); S O’Donnell (1-0); C Galvin (0-3); T Kelly (0-3); S Morey (0-2); C Malone (0-2); A O’Neill (free), J Colleran, E Boyce (0-1 each).

Scorers for Antrim: C Clarke (0-7, five frees, one s/l); C McCann, S McAfee, J McGreevy, C McGuinness, M Bradley (0-1 each).

Clare: R Taaffe; P Flanagan (c), D McInerney, J Browne; S Morey, A O’Neill, S O’Halloran; C Galvin, T Kelly; P Duggan, P Collins, C Malone; C O’Connell, S O’Donnell, D O’Halloran.

Subs for Clare: J Colleran for Kelly (33); K Lynch for McInerney (33); E Boyce for Galvin (37); N Arthur for Collins (37); A Cunningham for O’Donnell (50).

Antrim: G Dixon; C Morgan, M Donnelly, T Coyle; T Ó Ciaráin, P McNaughton, C McGuinness; J McGreevey (c), E Campbell; S Dooey, S McAfee, N McKenna; D McKernan, C McCann, C Clarke.

Subs for Antrim: D Kearney for Ó Ciaráin (22); M Bradley for Donnelly (30); S Beatty for Dooey (30); M Dudley for McKernan (40); D McGuinness for McCann (54).

Referee: C Lyons (Cork)


Clare 2-28 Antrim 0-12

Report from the web site

Clare captain Paul Flanagan with the trophy Clare’s Davy O’Halloran scores his sides first goal Clare claimed back-to-back Bord Gáis Energy All-Ireland Under 21 hurling titles, following a 2-28 to 0-12 win over Antrim at Semple Stadium. The Banner County led throughout, and held a 2-16 to 0-04 interval advantage with Davy O’Halloran and Shane O’Donnell netting their goals. Clare opened up a 22-point lead inside seven minutes of the restart, and although Antrim worked hard with scores from Chris McGuinness, Ciaran Clarke and Niall McKenna, the reigning champions weren’t going to be beaten. Cathal O’Connell led the charge for the Munster outfit with 11 points, including ten from placed balls.

Antrim made one change to their side from the semi-final win over Wexford, with Chris McGuinness coming into defence in place of St John’s Ciarán Johnston. Clare opted for the same line-up named midweek, with four of the side which started the drawn All-Ireland Senior final against Cork last weekend handed starts. David McInerney, Colm Galvin, Tony Kelly and Padraic Collins were all included in the Banner line-up. A crowd 11,148 watched on in a game where Galvin and Kelly proved to be impressive in the midfield, scoring three points each, including two each in the opening half.

Clare ran at the Antrim defence from the off, with full-back Matthew Donnelly and Chris McGuinness handed yellow cards inside the opening three minutes, as the Saffrons rearguard found it hard to cope in the initial stages. Antrim went two points in arrears after five minutes, with O’Connell firing two early frees over for Clare. Conor McCann opened Antrim’s account after seven minutes, and although the scoreline stood at 0-04 to 0-02 after 11-and-a-half minutes, the Saffrons failed to score again for a further 13 minutes as Clare exerted firm control.

Antrim’s use of the short puck-out strategy was not proving fruitful with the Saffrons particularly caught in the 20th minute, as Davy O’Halloran controlled possession from Ger Dixon’s puck-out and fired the reigning champions to a 0-13 to 0-02 lead. O’Halloran’s score came in a spell which saw Clare score 1-10 without reply, with O’Connell deadly accurate from placed-balls, while O’Halloran fired the Banner’s opening goal in the 23rd minute. The Éire Óg Ennis clubman left Conal Morgan in his wake as he bore down on goals and bounced the ball, before giving Antrim goalkeeper Ger Dixon little chance as Clare moved 1-13 to 0-02 ahead.

Tony Kelly edged Clare further ahead a minute later, and although Ciarán Clarke replied after good work by Saffrons skipper Jackson McGreevey, Clare continued to pile on the pressure. O’Connell and Galvin added further points, before Shane O’Donnell’s 27th minute goal gave Clare a 2-16 to 0-03 lead. Antrim worked hard in the closing minutes of the half for a score and were eventually rewarded, with Clarke slotting over a sideline cut before the break, to ensure a 2-16 to 0-04 half-time scoreline.

Antrim were caught napping after the break, Kelly and O’Halloran firing a point each inside a minute of the restart. A Stephen McAfee point settled the Saffrons, but they still found it hard to cope with a pacey Clare attack. Clarke showed great pace of his own in the 35th minute, as he forced Clare keeper Ronan Taffe to make a fine save, after a rasping goal shot. Scores from O’Connell and O’Halloran handed Clare a 22-point lead in the 37th minute, but Antrim failed to give up.

Clarke, Chris McGuinness and Niall McKenna pegged back points for the Saffrons, while at the opposite end it could have been worse for the Ulster side but for the brilliance of Dixon who pulled off fine saves in the 46th and 56th minutes. The Cuchulanns clubman denied Cathal Malone at the start of the second quarter, while the inrushing Seadna Morey was also rebuffed with three minutes left on the clock. Half-back Morey was one of Clare’s outstanding players in this game, with two excellent points from play. Morey’s second point handed Clare a 2-25 to 0-10 lead.

Antrim worked hard late on with Clarke and substitute Michael Bradley taking scores, but it was too little too late as Clare powered to a 22-point win. After the game GAA President Liam O’Neill presented Clare captain Paul Flanagan with the Cross of Cashel trophy, while corner-forward Davy O’Halloran claimed the Man of the Match award.

Clare: R Taffe, P Flanagan, D McInerney, J Browne, S Morey (0-02), A O’Neill (0-01, 1f), S O’Halloran, C Galvin (0-03), T Kelly (0-03), P Duggan, P Collins, C Malone (0-02), C O’Connell (0-11, 10f), S O’Donnell (1-00), D O’Halloran (1-04).

Subs: K Lynch for Kelly (33), J Colleran (0-01) for McInerney (33), E Boyce (0-01) for Galvin (36), N Arthur for Collins (36), A Cunningham for O’Donnell (49).

Antrim: G Dixon, C Morgan, M Donnelly, T Coyle, T Ó Ciaráin, P McNaughton, C McGuinness (0-01), J McGreevey (0-01), E Campbell, S Dooey, S McAfee (0-01), N McKenna (0-01, 1f), D McKernan, C McCann (0-01), C Clarke (0-06, 4f, 1sl).

Subs: D Kearney for Ó Ciaráin (22), S Beatty for Dooey (HT), M Bradley (0-01) for Donnelly (HT), M Dudley for McKernan (39), D McGuinness for McCann (54).

Referee: Colm Lyons (Cork)

Fixture Details

14.09.2013 (Sat)

Bord Gais Energy GAA Hurling All Ireland U21 Championship Final

Semple Stadium Thurles 17:00

Aontroim v An Clár

Referee: Colm Lyons (Corcaigh)

(E.T. if Necessary)

Match Coverage

This game will be shown live on TG4

Team News

CLARE (U21H v Antrim): R Taaffe (Tubber); P Flanagan (Ballyea), D McInerney (Tulla), J Browne (Ballyea); S Morey (Sixmilebridge), A O’Neill (St Joseph’s Doora-Barefield), S O’Halloran (Clarecastle); C Galvin (Clonlara), T Kelly (Ballyea); P Duggan (Clooney-Quin), P Collins (Cratloe), C Malone (Ennistymon); C O’Connell (Clonlara), S O’Donnell (Éire Óg), D O’Halloran (Éire Óg)

Cathal Malone of Ennistymon comes into the side at left half-forward instead of the injured Aaron Cunningham in a side otherwise unchanged from that which beat Galway in the semi-final. David McInerney, Colm Galvin, Tony Kelly and Podge Collins all started for the Banner senior side in last Sunday’s drawn All-Ireland senior final against Cork.

Antrim: G Dixon; C Morgan, M Donnelly, T Coyle; T Ó Ciarain, P McNaughton, C Johnson; J McGreevey, E Campbell; S Dooey, S McAfee, N McKenna; D McKernan, C McCann, C Clarke.

Bord Gais Energy GAA Hurling All Ireland U21 B Championship Final – Kerry 1-21 Kildare 4-10

Kerry defeated Kildare by 1-21 to 4-10 in the Bord Gais Energy GAA Hurling All Ireland U21 B Championship Final on Saturday September 14th at Semple Stadium Thurles.

Boyle’s late goal swings it Kerry’s way

Kerry 1-21 Kildare 4-10

By Diarmuid O’Flynn for the Irish Examiner newspaper

How quickly the pendulum swings in hurling! Fourth minute of injury-time in this All-Ireland U21 B final in Semple Stadium on Saturday Kildare were in the driving-seat, ahead by two points and with one hand on the trophy. Then came one last high ball into Kerry danger man Podge Boyle on the edge of the Kildare square and in an instant the ball was in the net and the Kingdom were ahead by a point. Seconds later, from the Kildare puckout, sub Phillip Lucid iced the cake with a fine point. Having had a bye all the way to the final (with no other B team in Munster, and a walkover from Tyrone in the semi-final), Kerry were All-Ireland champions after just one game, adding to the minor B title won last weekend in similar late and dramatic fashion.

“Unbelievable!” was the reaction of manager Jim Walsh. “I thought we were going to run out of time with the last puckout, but I was hoping we’d get one more chance, and Podge (Boyle, full-forward) is the right man in those situations. He was unlucky in the first half and could have had two goals. But look, that’s the kind of thing that can happen in hurling. Those things are possible. We conceded four goals but kept plugging away, got 21 points which is a fine score.” For the same Podge that last high ball was just what the doctor ordered. “We robbed them in the end but I think we deserved it; the goals kept them in it but we were the better team all the way through. That’s what I wanted all day, a high ball into the square. I hurt my ankle earlier in the game and couldn’t really move after that.”

Truth be told, in a game that was tied at the break (0-14 to 3-5) Kerry were marginally the better side and 22 scores to 14 tells a tale. Even Kildare manager Noel McMahon admitted as much, though the manner of the defeat left a sour taste. “Two points up in injury-time, a blatant penalty ignored — I don’t know, what can you do? We were here again last year against Roscommon, a referee who didn’t give us one free inside their half bar one in the first minute. Today we get done again by a refereeing decision. Niall Kenny (the player fouled) is only 17, man-of-the-match by a mile, that would have crowned it for him, but what do you do? They were possibly that little bit better than us but we got the goals, led for most of the match and they got one four minutes into injury-time, when it should have been done and dusted at the other end.”

Scorers for Kerry: P Boyle (1-7, three frees); B Brosnan (0-4, two frees, one 65); P McGrath (0-3); D Collins (0-3); B O’Leary (0-2); P Connolly, P Lucid (0-1 each).

Scorers for Kildare: N Kenny (2-3); M Delaney (0-5, two frees, one 65); R Casey (1-0); P McKenna (1-0, pen); E Dempsey (0-2).

KERRY: N Leen; TB McElligott, A Fealy, K Orpen; T Casey, B Murphy, D Fitzell; B Brosnan, B O’Leary (c); P McGrath, D Collins, M O’Leary; PJ Costello, P Boyle, D Leahy.

Subs: K Carmody for Connolly (25); T Barrett for McElligott (25); S Weir for Leahy (41); P Lucid for Carmody (53).

KILDARE: P McKenna; C Farrell, C Gordon, S O’Flynn; K Murphy, D Flaherty, K Connor; P Kennedy, J Byrne; N Kenny, F Conway, R Casey; M Delaney (c), G Keegan, E Dempsey.

Subs: E Doddy for Keegan (51); D Keane for Kenny (63).

Referee: F Horgan (Tipperary)

Fixture Details

14.09.2013 (Sat)

Bord Gais Energy GAA Hurling All Ireland U21B Championship Final

Semple Stadium Thurles 15:00

Ciarraí v Cill Dara

Referee: Fergal Horgan (Tiobraid Árann)

(E.T. if Necessary)

Match Coverage

This game will be shown live by TG4

Team News

Kildare: P McKenna; S O’Flynn, C Farrell, C Gordon; K Murphy, D Flaherty, K Connor; P Kennedy, J Byrne; N Kenny, F Conway, M Delaney; R Casey, G Keegan, E Dempsey


The Kerry Team to play Kildare in the Bord Gais Energy GAA Hurling All Ireland Under 21 B Final on Saturday next in Semple Stadium Thurles is as follows:

1 Nicky Leen Ballyduff

2 T.B. McElligott Crotta O Neills

3 Anthony Fealy Causeway

4 Kevin Orpen St Brendans Ardfert

5 Dougie Fitzell Kilmoyley

6 Brian Murphy Causeway

7 Thomas Casey Causeway

8 Brendan Brosnan Lixnaw

9 Brendan O’Leary Abbeydorney (Capt.)

10 Micheal O’Leary Abbeydorney

11 Daniel Collins Kilmoyley

12 Paul McGrath Causeway

13 Pat Joe Connolly Ballyduff

14 Padraig Boyle Ballyduff

15 Darren Leahy Causeway


16 Kieran Fitzgibbons Kenmare

17 Tommy Barrett Causeway

18 Sean Weir Crotta O’Neills

19 Chris McCarthy Abbeydorney

20 Keith Carmody Causeway

21 Philp Lucid Ballyheigue

22 Daniel O’Leary Abbeydorney

23 Stephen O’Connor Abbeydorney

24 David Goulding Ballyduff

25 Tommy Maunsell Kilmoyley

26 Jason Bowler Ballyduff

27 David Griffin St Brendans Ardfert

28 Kevin O’Sullivan Kenmare

29 Alan O’Leary Kenmare


Other panel members out through injury

Kevin O’Connor Ballyduff

Colman Savage Kilmoyley


Manager: Joe Walsh (Kilmoyley)

Selectors: D. J. Leahy (Causeway) John Lucid (Ballyheigue), Tom O’Connell (Abbeydorney)

Medical / Physio: Maura Griffin, Stephanie O’Sullivan

Liason Officer: Ger McCarthy

Kerry Under 21 Hurling Panel – Did You Know?

1. Brotherly Love – Three O’Leary brothers from the Abbeydorney club are part of this Kerry panel; Daniel, Brendan & Michéal. Brendan and Micheal played on last year’s minor team that won the All Ireland B with Michéal wining his 2nd Minor medal last Saturday. Brendan captains the side & all three are under age again next year.

2. Nine of the panel were part of the 2011 Under 21winning team.

3. Thirteen of the panel are still involved in the senior county hurling championship semi -finals.

4 Michéal O’Leary, Keith Carmody & Philp Lucid were members of last years and this years winning All Ireland Minor B teams.

5. Manager Joe Walsh and selectors D.J. Leahy, and Tom O’Connell were members of the Kerry senior team that beat Waterford in the Munster senior championship in 1993 and played all grades with the county.

6. Selector John Lucid played all grades with Kerry from underage to senior.

7. Darren Leahy is son of present selector D.J.

8. Seven of the panel were part of the Christy Ring team who lost to Down in the final earlier in the year.

9. Most of this panel have played with Causeway Comprehensive School and were very successful at Colleges level in Munster.

10. Padraig Boyle and Daniel Collins have also played Minor football for the county.

11 Kerry have seven U21 titles 1998, 2001, 2002, 2006, 2009, 2010, 2011,

12 Michéal O’Leary from the Abbeydorney club is captain of the team.

Kerry Manager Joe Walsh – A Profile

Joe is a member of the Kilmoyley Hurling club and played at all grades for both club and county. He holds 4 county senior championship medals along with a Munster senior league with the club. Along with his brother Christy, he was a member of the Kerry senior hurling team when Kerry beat Waterford in the Munster championship in 1993. Joe coached the Kerry minor team to All Ireland success in 2009 and also coached underage club teams for many years. He is also coach to the local camogie team, Cillard Under 14s and 16s.

Joe was the first hurling officer to be elected to Coiste Chontae Chiarrai in 2008, a position he held for 5 years. During his term Kerry won the Christy Ring Cup in 2011, three U21 and 2 Minor titles, he also set up a new hurling club in Tralee town in 2012 and Tralee Parnells have since been a great success. Joe is married to Margaret and they have three children, Clodagh. Sarah and Ronan.