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Allianz Football League Division 1 – Dublin 2-8 Kerry 1-10

Dublin defeated Kerry by 2-8 to 1-10 in round 1 of the Allianz Football League Division 1 on Saturday February 1st at Croke Park. 

Dubs go the distance in night of shadow-boxing

Dublin 2-8 Kerry 1-10

Report by Dermot Crowe for the Sunday Independent newspaper

EARLY February, and a familiar sight, Dublin emptying their bench and beating Kerry in a strong finish. This will not matter a great deal in the larger scheme of things but the pattern is being established. Those two big championship wins stand out from the last three years, turning this rivalry firmly in Dublin’s favour, and has fed a neat winning habit.

The winning score came from that flying Clontarf man Jack McCaffrey who some day may end up in the stand such is the velocity of movement that sees him thunder up the field. He finished his run after coming on as a sub with a fisted point in the 65th minute and that edged Dublin one to the good. They left it at that, Kerry unable to conjure up another score.

You couldn’t deny that it had been coming. Michael Darragh Macauley came on in the second half and the Footballer of the Year made his presence felt. Paul Mannion entered and scored two frees. Dublin’s varied options were reflected, less auspiciously, in their spread of free-takers, with five kickers. They struggled with long-range place-kicking.

Costello was one of four players making their first league start for Dublin and he put in an impressive shift. His direct running style led to their opening goal in the 10th minute when he rounded Paul Murphy and teed up Kevin McManamon. The St Jude’s player might have had three goals in the first half, a great save by Brendan Kealy denying him, then Kealy’s upright.

Kerry were not without some element of danger, the All Star James O’Donoghue the pick of a lively forward line. O’Donoghue finished with 1-3 and should have had a second goal in the first half. He made the evening very uncomfortable for Michael Fitzsimons.

At the break Kerry led 1-7 to 2-3. They did not find the same openings in the Dublin defence in the second half, the highlight being two stylish points by Stephen O’Brien. His second, in the 56th minute, would be their last score, putting them 1-10 to 2-5 ahead. Dublin’s pressing from there on had the Kerry defence stretched and the final three scores, from Mannion’s frees and McCaffrey, had a sense of the inevitable.

Dublin’s win had added merit given that they played from the 45th minute with 14 men after one of their newcomers, Sean George, was red-carded after the referee consulted with his umpires. Alan Brogan made his first start since the 2012 Leinster final and took his place at centre-forward. Though eager, his time out of the game was evident. George, part of the Dublin under-21 team that won the All-Ireland in 2012, looked tidy in defence until his departure. Along with Costello, Eric Lowndes and Shane Carthy were on the successful minor team of the same year. Carthy stood up well, looking a confident and natural midfield man.

Dublin were deprived Bernard Brogan and Paddy Andrews, both injured, and the suspended Paul Flynn, with Diarmuid Connolly club-tied. Dr Crokes’ interest in the club championship ruled out Colm Cooper. Tomas O Se watched his first Kerry-Dublin match since retirement, while his brother Marc and Declan O’Sullivan are enjoying a rest. Injuries ruled out Darran O’Sullivan, Kieran Donaghy, Bryan Sheehan and Killian Young. This was like going to see a great play shorn of great actors. To be fair the available cast still served up a fine evening’s entertainment.

Kealy’s kickouts weren’t always pinpoint and on the half-hour one such punt fell to Ciaran Kilkenny who transferred to Ciaran Reddin and the latter’s precise pass landed in the lap of Eoghan O’ Gara. He finished confidently. That score had Dublin 2-3 to 1-5 in front but Kerry finished with the last two points to lead at the interval. McManamon then hit the upright, while O’Gara combined with Costello and sent a shot along the wet surface inches outside Kealy’s post approaching the interval.

Scorers – Dublin: K McManamon 1-1, E O’Gara 1-0, J Costello (0-2fs), S Carthy (0-1 f), P Mannion (0-2 fs), 0-2 each, J McCaffrey 0-1. Kerry: BJ Keane 0-4 (0-3 fs), J O’Donoghue 1-3, S O’Brien 0-2, D Moran 0-1 (1 ’45’).

Dublin: S Cluxton; S George, M Fitzsimons, P McMahon; E Lowndes, C O’Sullivan, J Cooper; D O’Mahony, S Carthy; C Kilkenny, A Brogan, C Reddin; K McManamon, E O’Gara, C Costello.

Subs: MD Macauley for O’Mahony (45), J McCaffrey for Reddin (49), P Mannion for McManamon (53), D Byrne for O’Gara (56), K Nolan for Carthy (64), D Nelson for Cooper (67).

Kerry: B Kealy; P Murphy, M Griffin, S Enright; P Crowley, B McGuire, J Sherwood; A Maher, D Moran; J Lyne, M Geaney, D Walsh; BJ Keane, J O’Donoghue, S O’Brien. Subs: A O’Mahony for Geaney (47), C Cox for J Lyne (53), D Culhane for Sherwood (59), P Geaney for Walsh (62), P Kilkenny for Murphy (67), A Fitzgerald for Crowley (69).

Referee: D Coldrick (Meath).

Team News 

The Kerry Senior Football Team to play Dublin in Round 1 of the Allianz League in Croke Park on Saturday shows 8 changes in personnel from the side that went down to the Metropolitans in the All Ireland semi final back in September. Bryan Sheehan joins the injury list following a knock picked up in a recent trial game.

Paul Murphy (Rathmore) and Stephen O’Brien (Kenmare), both of whom featured in the recent McGrath Cup competition, make their Allianz League debuts. Paul Galvin and Aidan O’Mahony, who returned to training in recent weeks, are included among the subs.

The Kerry team is as follows:

1. Brendan Kealy (Kilcummin)

2. Paul Murphy (Rathmore)

3. Mark Griffin (St Michaels/Foilmore)

4. Shane Enright (Tarbert)

5. Peter Crowley (Laune Rangers)

6. Brian McGuire (Listowel Emmets)

7. Jack Sherwood (Firies)

8. Anthony Maher (Duagh)

9. David Moran (Kerins O’Rahillys)

10. Jonathan Lyne (Killarney Legion)

11. Michael Geaney (Dingle)

12. Donnchadh Walsh (Cromane) (Captain)

13. Barry John Keane (Kerins O’Rahillys)

14. James O’Donoghue (Killarney Legion)

15. Stephen O’Brien (Kenmare)

Fir Ionaid:

16. Brian Kelly (Killarney Legion)

17. Paul Galvin (Finuge)

18. Aidan O’Mahony (Rathmore)

19. Barry Shanahan (Austin Stacks)

20. Conor Cox (Listowel Emmets)

21. Paul Geaney (Dingle)

22. Pa Kilkenny (Glenbeigh/Glencar)

23. David Culhane (Ballylongford)

24. James Walsh (Knocknagoshel)

25. Alan Fitzgerald (Castlegregory)

26. Shane O’Callaghan (Austin Stacks)


Bainisteóir: Eamonn Fitzmaurice (Finuge)

Traenálaí: Cian O’Neill (Moorefield, Kildare)

Róghnóirí: Diarmuid Ó Murchú (Daingean Uí Chúis), Mikey Sheehy (Austin Stacks).

Additional Player/Team Information

Club Tied:

Colm Cooper (Dr Crokes)

Daithí Casey (Dr Crokes)

Fionn Fitzgerald (Dr Crokes)

Johnny Buckley (Dr Crokes)

Kieran O’Leary (Dr Crokes)


Rehabbing from Injury

Bryan Sheehan (St Marys)

Darran O’Sullivan (Glenbeigh/Glencar)

Kieran Donaghy (Austin Stacks)

Killian Young (Renard)


Extended Break

Marc Ó Sé (An Ghaeltacht) (Due back March)

Declan O’Sullivan (Dromid Pearses) (Due Back April)

• Paul Murphy (Rathmore) Played with the Kerry Under 21s in 2012 and played Sigerson Cup with UCC last year. He won a Kerry Club Championship (senior) medal with Rathmore in 2012.

• Stephen O’Brien (Kenmare) was a Kerry Minor panellist in 2009 and played Under 21 with the County in 2011 and 2012. He is the holder of a Cork Senior Football Championship medal and a Sigerson Cup medal, both with UCC (2011). He holds Kerry and Munster Junior Championship medals with his club.

DUBLIN (SF v Kerry)

1 Stephen Cluxton Parnell’s

2 John Cooper Na Fianna

3 Seán George Ballymun Kickhams

4 Michael Fitzsimons Cuala

5 Eric Lowndes St. Peregrine’s

6 Cian O’Sullivan Kilmacud Crokes

7 Philip McMahon Ballymun Kickhams

8 Declan O’Mahony Ballyboden/St. Enda’s

9 Shane Carthy Naomh Mearnóg

10 Ciarán Kilkenny Castleknock

11 Bryan Cullen Skerries Harps

12 Ciarán Reddin St Maur’s

13 Kevin McManamon St Jude’s

14 Eoghan O’Gara Templeogue Synge Street

15 Cormac Costello Whitehall Colmcille

AIB All-Ireland Club Intermediate Hurling Championship Semi-Final – Leitrim-Kilnadeema (Galway) 2-11 Youghal (Cork) 0-15

Leitrim-Kilnadeema (Galway) defeated Youghal (Cork) by 2-11 to 0-15 in the AIB All-Ireland Club Intermediate Hurling Championship Semi-Final on Saturday February 1st at the Gaelic Grounds Limerick.

Youghal’s glory hopes go west

Kilnadeema/Leitrim (Galway) 2-11 Youghal (Cork) 0-15

By Therese O’Callaghan for the Irish Examiner newspaper

For those who dare to dream! The thoughts of Kilnadeema/Leitrim joint manager Pat Donohue after watching his charges defeat a much fancied Youghal in a gripping AIB All-Ireland IHC club semi-final at the Gaelic Grounds on Saturday.

The Connacht champions, reduced to 14 men in the final quarter, were pushed all the way but were worthy winners following a splendid contest despite very testing conditions. They march on to Croke Park next Saturday in search of ultimate glory against Kilkenny’s Rower-Inistioge.

“We didn’t go well last year [2012],” explained Donohue. “This year we won the Galway semi-final by a point. We won the last group game by a point. We won the Connacht final by two points and our backs were to the wall again today. These lads battle and give you everything they have.”

“We had a couple of Galway minors out there but we also have the likes of Kevin Boyle, our goalkeeper who is over 40. Our [regular] goalie broke his shoulder in the county final and he is out for a couple of months. Kevin started off the championship at full-forward but we convinced him to go into goals.”

It was one of those county minors that stole the show. Full forward Brian Molloy, who featured in the 2013 All-Ireland final loss to Waterford, was in superb form. The talented attacker racked up 1-7 and he was also the provider for the other goal. These two majors before the break were crucial to the outcome as Kilnadeema/Leitrim turned over 2-9 to 0-4 ahead, having won the toss and played with the gusting wind.

For their part, battle-hardened Youghal came close. However, two points was the nearest they got. Disappointed manager Christy Cooney said the three-pointers were significant. “Today wasn’t our day. They took their goals in the first half which left us with a lot to do. With five minutes to go you’d think we might get a draw. It didn’t work out. They were a little bit better. They took their chances, that was the difference. “We will take a couple of weeks off now. Fellas need a break, get their heads around this. We will all learn from it. We look forward to playing the senior championship in 2014.”

It was 0-3 apiece by the 13th minute but once Kilnadeema/Leitrim – which is located near Loughrea – settled with former county player David Tierney immense at midfield, they notched 2-6 to Youghal’s point. Alvin Mitchell’s goal on 20 minutes put them 1-7 to 0-3 in front. But it was Molloy’s green flag a minute from the interval that did the most damage.

Youghal needed to resume all guns blazing. They double substituted at half-time and made a number of positional switches. Whilst Molloy restarted the scoring, slowly Youghal began to eat into the 12-point lead. The gap was down to seven points when corner back Mark Kelly received a second yellow card in the 48th minute.

The rain came down as Youghal floated over five more unanswered points — Leigh Desmond, Bill Cooper, Brendan Ring and Brendan Coleman stepped up. It was heart-stopping, a two-point game with one minute remaining 2-10 to 0-14. Then, there was a stoppage for an injury to one of the Galway players and when the action resumed Molloy (after missing a few previously) drilled over a magnificent free into the strong wind. A three-point difference now. The Youghal men frantically searched for a goal to force extra time but they were pushed back by dogged defending. A Brendan Ring point was their lot.

Scorers for Kilnadeema/Leitrim: B Molloy (1-7, four frees), A Mitchell (1-0), S Lawless (0-2), D Tierney (sl) and T Tierney (0-1 each).

Scorers for Youghal: Brendan Ring (0-6, three frees), L Desmond, B Cooper and B Coleman (0-2 each), D Ring, A Frahill-O’Connor, and C Spillane (free) (0-1 each).

KILNADEEMA/LEITRIM: K Boyle; P Deely, D O’Donoghue, M Kelly; G Winters, E Hyland, A Spaight; D Tierney, M Donohue; D Donohue, D Herlihy, A Mitchell; T Tierney (captain), B Molloy, S Lawless.

Sub: L Geraghty for S Lawless (45).

YOUGHAL: R Cunningham; B O’Sullivan, J Grace, K Walsh; M Cronin, C Spillane, Barry Ring; L Desmond, N Roche; D Ring, A Frahill-O’Connor, B Cooper (captain); J O’Mahony, O Dempsey, Brendan Ring.

Subs: C O’Mahony for A Frahill-O’Connor, B Moloney for K Walsh (both half-time), A Curtin for J O’Mahony (42), B Coleman for C Spillane (46).

Referee: Tony Carroll (Offaly).


The 10 minutes before the break. Kilnadeema/Leitrim’s goals arrived during this period particularly Brian Molloy’s strike a minute from the interval, leaving Youghal with a mountain to climb.

Talk of the town

The dismal weather. Players had to contend with high winds and heavy conditions. But they got on with it.

Did that just happen?

A Galway club is in line to win the All-Ireland Intermediate hurling title for the first time. Killimordaly, Tommy Larkins and Cappataggle were beaten finalists in ’07, ’08 and ’09. Maybe ’14?

Best on show

Brian Molloy was both finisher and creator. He tallied 1-7 and, although he missed a couple in the second half, he was very impressive and his pointed free on 60 minutes was crucial as the game was still in the balance.

The man in black

Tony Carroll did a good job on a tough day for hurling. The dismissal of Mark Kelly was for two yellow cards. Youghal followers argued for a bit more added time. No disputing that the better team won though.

What’s next?

All-Ireland club final next Saturday for Kilnadeema/Leitrim. Throw-in at 5.30pm in Croke Park. Senior hurling beckons for both clubs this season.

AIB All-Ireland Club Junior Football Championship Semi-Final – Fuerty (Roscommon) 0-10 Keel (Kerry) 0-9

Fuerty (Roscommon) defeated Keel (Kerry) by 0-10 to 0-9 in the AIB All-Ireland Club Junior Football Championship Semi-Final on Saturday February 1st at Rathkeale.

Inspirational Kelehan helps Fuerty claim spot in final

Fuerty 0-10 Keel 0-9

Report from the Irish Independent newspaper

All-Ireland club jfc semi-final

THIS game should probably never have been played at the Rathkeale venue, considering there was no stand or press box, so no shelter for spectators from the gale-force winds and driving rain that turned this match-up into a lottery. Fuerty, from Roscommon, just about deserved to edge out Kerry champions Keel by a point, but it could have gone either way, and the playing conditions were as close to impossible as it gets.

Keel won the toss and opted to play against the gale (in hindsight, it possibly cost them) as they spent the opening half on the back foot. Fuerty – inspired by midfielder Fran Hanlon and the work rate of Eamon Bannon, Robbie Fallon and Niall Kilroy – camped in the Kerry side’s half, but were reliant on Gearoid Ennis, who kicked three frees, and Niall Kilroy who posted two points (one free) as they led 0-7 to 0-1 at half-time, with Gary Sayers kicking Keel’s solitary score.

The second half saw Keel take the game to Fuerty, with Thomas Ladden a colossus at midfield, but they were over reliant on two forwards with Gary Sayers kicking three from play with Liam Sheehan also kicking three, his 56th-minute effort from play closing the gap to 0-9 to 0-8.

With extra-time looking a possibility, Fuerty rallied and Ennis kicked a free in injury-time to put his side two clear (0-10 to 0-8). Despite a late Sheehan free, Keel just could not grab the kick out and they came up just short as Fuerty and their inspirational full-back Peter Kelehan advanced to the final next weekend.

Scorers – Fuerty: G Ennis 0-6fs, N Kilroy 0-2 (1f), R Fallon, E Bannon 0-1 each. Keel: G Sayers 0-4 (1f), L Sheehan 0-3 (1f), T O Sullivan, M Burke 0-1 each.

Fuerty – J Fallon; D Flaherty, P Kelehan, A Moore; P Neilan, T Bannon, S Melia; E Bannon, F Hanlon; R Fallon, N Kilroy, N Keenan; G Ennis, G Fallon, P Leahy. Subs: M Keaveney for P Leahy (h-t), D Delaney for S Melia (37), C Kelly for E Bannon (BC, 40), N Connolly for D Flaherty (55).

Keel – S Cahillane; E Ashe, G Nagle, B Murphy; G Evans, E O’Connor, J Nagle; T Ladden, M Burke; G Sayers, L Sheehan, E O’Neill; L O’Shea, T O’Sullivan, A Cahillane. Subs: K Foley for L O’Shea (42), M O’Connor for T O’Sullivan (48).

REF – N Mooney (Cavan)

Dr. Harty Cup Semi Final – Ard Scoil Ris 2-14 Hamilton HS Bandon 1-4

Ard Scoil Ris defeated Hamilton HS Bandon by 2-14 to 1-4 in the Dr. Harty Cup Semi Final on Saturday February 1st at Mallow.

Lynch leads the way for rampant Ardscoil Rís

Report from the Irish Independent newspaper

Ardscoil Rís 2-14 Hamilton HS 1-4

Limerick’s Ardscoil Rís are just one game away from a third title in the space of five years following their victory over Hamilton High School Bandon in Mallow. County minor star Ronan Lynch led the way for 2010 and ’11 winners Ardscoil as he scored 1-9, including the crucial second goal which ended the Hamilton challenge when opening up a 2-9 to 1-4 lead with a quarter of the game left.

Despite falling behind to Michael Cahalane’s early point, Ardscoil soon took control in the first half and Colin Crehan’s goal, from Cian Lynch’s pass, put them 1-3 to 0-1 in front. By half-time, that advantage had stretched to 1-7 to 0-2, with Ronan Lynch deadly from frees. Against the severe wind, Bandon had withdrawn Luke Meade to play as a sweeper and while he was their best player, snuffing out danger more than once, they were labouring in attack.

A renewed vigour at the outset of the second half helped Bandon to edge a bit closer and then they got lucky when Cahalane’s delivery was mishandled by Ardscoil goalkeeper Páraic O’Loughlin to leave just four points in it. They would not score again, however. Ronan Lynch responded immediately with a free and then his ’65’ eluded the Hamilton defenders and travelled all the way to the net to leave eight points between the sides.

Ronan Lynch continued to punish any indiscretions by converting frees and Crehan also added another point late on to leave 13 points between the teams. The Limerick side now await either St Francis College, Rochestown or Scoil na Tríonóide Naofa, Doon in the final on February 23. This other semi-final, scheduled for Cahir on Saturday, was postponed due to an unplayable pitch.

Scorers – Ardscoil Rís: R Lynch 1-9 (1-0, 65, 0-7 frees), C Crehan 1-1, A Morey, M O’Loughlin, C Lynch, I Galvin 0-1 each. Hamilton HS: M Cahalane 1-4 (0-2fs).

ARDSCOIL RÍS – P O’Loughlin; E Costelloe, J O’Halloran, M Casey; G Brown, B Fitzpatrick, J English; C O’Brien, R Lynch; I Galvin, C Lynch, T Grimes; C Crehan, A Morey, M O’Loughlin. Subs: C McCarthy for Grimes (42), C Fitzgerald for M O’Loughlin (53), E Mulcahy for O’Halloran (55), A Gillane for C Lynch (59).

HAMILTON HS: R McCarthy; A O’Connell, M McSweeney, J O’Callaghan; N Muray, C O’Leary, E O’Brien; J Mulcahy, J O’Neill; K O’Donovan, M Cahalane, D Curran; B Crowley, T Horgan, L Meade. Subs: E O’Reilly for Crowley (51), D Healy for Curran (56).

Ref – P Foley (Waterford)


Limerick’s Ardscoil Ris power into Harty Cup final

by Jerome O’Connell for the Limerick Leader newspaper

ARDSCOIL Ris are back in the Dr Harty Cup final after an emphatic 2-14 to 1-4 win over Hamilton High School of Bandon this Saturday afternoon in Mallow. The winners in 2010 and 2011, the Limerick city secondary school were beaten at the semi-final stage of the last two years. They will meet either Doon or Rochestown in the final – that semi-final will take place next weekend after falling to the weather earlier on Saturday.

Ardscoil Ris played with the aid of the wind in the opening half and led 1-7 to 0-2 at half time. Their goal came in the ninth minute when Colin Crehan fired low to the net. Micheal O’Loughlin, Alex Morey and Cian Lynch also chipped in with points.

But it was to be Ronan Lynch, who was the scoring hero for the Limerick side. On a bitterly cold and wet day he showed great composure from frees and ended with 1-7 from placed balls. Ardscoil carried an eight point lead into the second half when they had to defend their lead. But they put in a terrific defensive performance to break the hearts of the Cork side.

As the wind and rain cleared, Ardscoil powered into final. Their second goal came in the 43rd minute when Lynch’s ‘65 slipped through the fingers of a defender on the line.

Scorers: Ardscoil Ris: Ronan Lynch 1-9 (0-7frees, 1-0 ‘65), Colin Crehan 1-1, Micheal O’Loughlin, Cian Lynch, Ian Galvin 0-1 each. Bandon: Michael Cahalane 1-4 (1-2frees).

ARDSCOIL RIS: Paraic O’Loughlin (Clonlara); Eoghan Costelloe (Adare), Michael Casey (Na Piarsaigh), Josh O’Halloran (Na Piarsaigh); Gordan Browne (Na Piarsaigh), Barry Fitzpatrick (Sixmilebridge), Jack English (Adare); Cian O’Brien (Mungret), Ronan Lynch (Na Piarsaigh); Thomas Grimes (Na Piarsaigh), Cian Lynch (Patrickswell), Ian Galvin (Clonlara); Colin Crehan (O’Callaghan Mills), Alex Morey (Sixmilebridge), Micheal O’Loughlin (Clonlara). Subs: Charlie McCarthy (Adare) for Thomas Grimes (h-t), Conor Fitzgerald (Claughaun) for Micheal O’Loughlin (50mins), Eoin Mulcahy (Mungret) for Josh O’Halloran (53mins), Aaron Gillane (Patrickswell) for Cian Lynch (57mins).

BANDON: Robbie McCarthy; Andrew O’Connell, Micheal McSweeney, Jack O’Callaghan; Eoin O’Brien, Chris O’Leary, Niall Murray; Jonathan Mulcahy, Luke Meade; Jerry O’Neill, Michael Cahalane, Darragh Curran; Billy Crowley, Trevor Horgan, Kevin O’Donovan. Subs: Eoin O’Reilly for Billy Crowley (50mins), David Healy for Darragh Curran (56mins).

REFEREE: Paul Foley (Waterford).