GAA Football All-Ireland Senior Championship Round 2A – Clare 2-18 Laois 0-14

Clare defeated Laois by 2-18 to 0-14 in the GAA Football All-Ireland Senior Championship Round 2A on Saturday July 1st at O’Moore Park Portlaoise.

GAA Hurling All-Ireland Senior Championship Round 1 – Waterford 1-35 Offaly 0-14

Waterford defeated Offaly by 1-35 to 0-14 in the GAA Hurling All-Ireland Senior Championship Round 1 on Saturday July 1st at Bord na Móna O’Connor Park Tullamore.


All Ireland SHC Qualifier: Emphatic win for Waterford

WATERFORD 1-35 OFFALY 0-14

Report By Kevin Egan for GAA.ie

Qualifier records aplenty were broken at Bord na Móna O’Connor Park in Tullamore when Waterford record their largest ever qualifier win and simultaneously inflicted Offaly’s largest ever qualifier defeat in an utterly one-sided contest.

Results so far this year suggested that Waterford were always likely to win this fixture with ease, but Offaly will have been very happy with their performance in the first 20 minutes, when they played into the teeth of a very stiff breeze and held their own, sharing the first 12 points of the game.

Both sides played with extra defenders, Offaly dropping Emmet Nolan and Shane Kinsella into deeper roles while Tadhg de Búrca came back to operate as a seventh back for the Déise men, and consequently both sets of attackers struggled to make inroads in the early stages. Offaly’s Shane Dooley was lively, converting five frees, including two which he earned himself, and with both sides patiently using their extra men to move the ball up along the lines, the contest took time to catch fire.

Inaccuracy plagued some of the Waterford forwards in the early stages too, but when they finally found their rhythm, they were irresistible.

A close-range score from Michael ‘Brick’ Walsh was the first of eight points in a row for the Déise men in the space of just 10 minutes, and while the stiff breeze that blew down towards the Park Avenue end of the Tullamore venue was a key factor, some of the striking of the sliothar from the Waterford forwards was simply sublime. Austin Gleeson, Maurice Shanahan and even de Búrca got on the scoresheet, the defender hitting the target with a monster strike from inside his own ’45.

Still Offaly were entitled to be moderately happy as half time drew closer, as any single figure deficit would have been seen as good going into the breeze. That all changed in the 33rd minute, however, as a monster puckout from Stephen O’Keeffe dropped right into the Offaly penalty area and with a quick catch and strike, Shane Bennett was able to flash the ball underneath James Dempsey for what turned out to be the game’s only goal.

Gleeson, Jamie Barron, Darragh Fives and Shanahan all added further points for Waterford to make it 1-18 to 0-8 at the break and while Offaly would have hoped to have fared better with the wind in the second half, they never looked like making any inroads against a Waterford side that was growing increasingly dominant in every phase of the game.

Good movement and support play out from the back allowed Waterford to work the ball into key scoring areas and while the Offaly attack was robbed of their most potent weapon when Shane Dooley was withdrawn due to injury at half time, the midlanders will still be hugely disappointed not to have asked more testing questions of the Waterford back line, particularly close to goal. Stephen O’Keeffe proved his worth with an excellent diving save to deny Peter Geraghty late in the game, but otherwise Offaly never looked like getting in to sneak the goals that they needed to stay in touch.

The strength in depth of the Munster county was clear to see when Colin Dunford, Jake Dillon, Tommy Ryan and Patrick Curran came off the bench to make scoring contributions, three of them doing so with their very first touch, however McGrath will be acutely aware that much tougher tests lie in store.

Scorers for Waterford: Pauric Mahony 0-11 (8fs, 165), A Gleeson 0-6, P Curran 0-4 (2fs, 165), S Bennett 1-0, J Barron 0-3, D Fives, K Moran, C Dunford, M Shanahan 0-2 each, T De Búrca, M Walsh, T Ryan 0-1 each.

Scorers for Offaly: S Dooley 0-5 (5fs), J Bergin 0-3 (2fs), J Mulrooney, E Nolan, O Kelly, S Kinsella, B Conneely, P Guinan 0-1 each.

WATERFORD: S O’Keeffe; N Connors, B Coughlan, S Fives; D Fives, C Gleeson, Philip Mahony; J Barron, K Moran; M Walsh, A Gleeson, Pauric Mahony; T De Burca, M Shanahan, S Bennett
Subs: C Dunford for Walsh (48), J Dillon for Shanahan (48), S Daniels for Moran (52), T Ryan for Bennett (55), P Curran for Pauric Mahony (59).

OFFALY: J Dempsey; B Conneely, D Shortt, P Camon; S Gardiner, A Treacy, D King; P Murphy, S Ryan; S Kinsella, J Bergin, J Mulrooney; O Kelly, S Dooley, E Nolan
Subs: E Grogan for Treacy (ht), S Cleary for Dooley (ht), M Cleary for Nolan (54), P Geraghty for Kinsella (54), P Guinan for Murphy (58).

REFEREE: Alan Kelly (Galway).


GAA Hurling All-Ireland Senior Championship Round 1 – Tipperary 2-18 Westmeath 0-15

Tipperary defeated Westmeath by 2-18 to 0-15 in the GAA Hurling All-Ireland Senior Championship Round 1 on Saturday July 1st at Semple Stadium Thurles.


All Ireland SHC Qualifier: Champions Tipperary advance

TIPPERARY 2-18 WESTMEATH 0-15

Report By Jackie Cahill for GAA.ie

Champions Tipperary flattered to deceive as they struggled through to Round 2 of the All-Ireland SHC qualifiers.

Westmeath produced a gritty performance to keep the losing margin to single figures – as Tipp failed to raise a gallop at Semple Stadium. Westmeath’s footballers lost by 31 points against Dublin last weekend, but their hurlers produced a display to be proud of in Thurles.

In the first ever Senior Hurling Championship clash between Tipp and Westmeath, the hosts ran out nine-point winners, but struggled for any real form in front of 6,893 spectators.

Tipp are in the hat for Monday morning’s round 2 qualifier draw, but they’ll have to improve significantly to trouble superior opposition next weekend.

With 17 minutes of normal time remaining, Westmeath were just three points behind, 0-12 to 1-12, when Cormac Boyle forced a brilliant save from Tipp’s championship debutant and netminder Daragh Mooney.

A goal then would have levelled matters, but Tipp, playing with a second half breeze, swept to the other end of the field and sub Jason Forde pointed.

From there, they wouldn’t be caught and were eleven points clear before Westmeath’s leading scorer, Allan Devine, scored two points deep in stoppage time to keep the margin between the sides at full-time in single figures.

Tipp registered 16 wides over the course of the game and also suffered a real blow when Niall O’Meara was stretchered off in the second half with an ankle injury, while ace marksman Seamus Callanan was subbed off.

Showing six changes from the that started the Munster quarter-final defeat to Cork, Tipp never got going and only a late goal from sub John McGrath added some gloss to the scoreline.

Tipp led by just four points – 1-10 to 0-9 – at the end of a desperately poor first half. John ‘Bubbles’ O’Dwyer netted for the hosts in the 15th minute, but it was one of the rare highlights of a dreadful opening period from the All-Ireland champions.

The game was 40 seconds old and Westmeath, playing with a first half breeze, had a two-point lead, Killian Doyle and Niall O’Brien raising white flags. Tipp took over from there and were nine points clear, 1-9 to 0-4, by the 19th minute.

They could have goaled as early as the third minute, but Paddy Carroll saved well at his near post from Michael Breen, before O’Dwyer found a way past him later in the half.

After moving into that big lead, the Premier County dozed off and went 18 minutes without a score, as Westmeath hit five on the spin. That purple patch from the Lake County narrowed the gap to just three points – 0-9 to 1-9 – before Ronan Maher stopped the Tipp rot in the second minute of stoppage time, firing over the final score of the half from distance.

Scorers for Tipperary: John O’Dwyer 1-3 (1f), Seamus Callanan 0-5 (4fs, 165), John McGrath 1-1, Noel McGrath, Niall O’Meara & Jason Forde 0-2 each, Ronan Maher, Brendan Maher and Patrick Maher 0-1 each.

Scorers for Westmeath: Allan Devine 0-6 (4fs), Paul Greville (1f) and Killian Doyle 0-2 each, Aonghus Clarke, Robbie Greville, Derek McNicholas, Niall O’Brien and Cormac Boyle 0-1 each.

TIPPERARY: Daragh Mooney; James Barry, Tomás Hamill, Donagh Maher; Joe O’Dwyer, Ronan Maher, Pádraic Maher; Brendan Maher, Noel McGrath; Dan McCormack, Patrick Maher, Michael Breen; John O’Dwyer, Seamus Callanan, Niall O’Meara.
SUBS: Jason Forde for Breen (44), John McGrath for Callanan (45), Aidan McCormack for O’Meara (60), Steven O’Brien for Patrick Maher (64) Tom Fox for Pádraic Maher (68).

WESTMEATH: Paddy Carroll; Shane Power, Tommy Doyle, Gary Greville; Aaron Craig, Paul Greville, Liam Varley; Aonghus Clarke, Robbie Greville; Joey Boyle, Killian Doyle, Derek McNicholas; Allan Devine, Niall Mitchell, Niall O’Brien.
Subs: Cormac Boyle for J Boyle (21), Brendan Murtagh for McNicholas (64), Darragh Egerton for O’Brien (66), Jack Galvin for C Boyle (69), Conor Shaw for Varley (70+1).

REFEREE: Paud O’Dwyer (Carlow).

GAA Hurling All-Ireland Senior Championship Round 1 – Kilkenny 0-20 Limerick 0-17

Kilkenny defeated Limerick by 0-20 to 0-17 in the GAA Hurling All-Ireland Senior Championship Round 1 on Saturday July 1st at Nowlan Park Kilkenny.



All Ireland SHC Qualifier: Kilkenny triumph at Nowlan Park

KILKENNY 0-20 LIMERICK 0-17

They had a real battle, but Kilkenny held off a strong challenge from Limerick to advance to Round Two.

Brian Cody’s Cats worked hard over the 70 minutes to shake off a dogged Limerick at a sunny Nowlan Park on Saturday evening.

The opening half was a slow-burner, as both sides found it hard to find their rhythm in a stop-start affair. Limerick started with the wind, but couldn’t make it work in their favour – they shot 13 wides in the first half alone.

Kilkenny made a bright start, a Paddy Deegan point coming in between two T.J. Reid frees, but Limerick weren’t about to let them get far ahead. By the 18th minute there was just a point between the sides, Gearoid Hegarty finishing a good move involving Kyle Hayes and Peter Casey to leave the Treaty County breathing down Kilkenny’s necks (0-4 to 0-3).

Goal chances were few and far between in the opening half, but Reid almost went close to nabbing one when a low Michael Fennelly pass broke his way.

The roles were reversed on 23 minutes, when Fennelly tried a one-handed shot after dashing on to Reid’s defence-splitting pass, but his shot was straight at goalkeeper Nickie Quaid who stopped the shot, then reacted well to prevent the sliotar from spilling back over the line.

The Cats grew in confidence as the half wore on, helped in no small way by the hard work of Fennelly, Deegan, and Walter Walsh. The Tullogher man enjoyed a purple patch in the second quarter, scoring three good points as Kilkenny stretched into a three-point lead (0-8 to 0-5) by the 33rd minute.

However, they couldn’t shake off Limerick for long. With Hayes and Shane Dowling in good form, the Treaty men got to within two points at the break (0-10 to 0-8).

Limerick were quicker out of the traps in the second half, and with Peter Casey leading the way they took the game to Kilkenny. They were on level terms by the 44th minute, but found themselves chasing the game again when Kevin Kelly (two), Lester Ryan and Walter Walsh fired the Cats into a five-point lead by the 64th minute.

Shane Dowling (free), Barry Nash and Pat Ryan helped to close the gap to two points with time almost up, but injury-time scores from T.J. Reid and Lester Ryan sealed Kilkenny’s place in Monday morning’s draw.

Scorers for Kilkenny: TJ Reid 0-8 (6fs), Walter Walsh 0-4, Paddy Deegan 0-3, Kevin Kelly, Lester Ryan 0-2 each, Chris Bolger 0-1.

Scorers for Limerick: Shane Dowling 0-8 (6fs), Peter Casey 0-3, Gearoid Hegarty, Kyle Hayes 0-2 each, Pat Ryan, Barry Nash 0-1 each.

KILKENNY: Eoin Murphy; Paul Murphy, Padraig Walsh, Joey Holden; Conor Fogarty, Cillian Buckley, Joe Lyng; Michael Fennelly, Paddy Deegan; Chris Bolger, Walter Walsh, T.J. Reid; Richie Hogan, Colin Fennelly, Ger Aylward
Subs: Kevin Kelly for Aylward (44), Liam Blanchfield for Hogan (52), Lester Ryan for Deegan (55), Mark Bergin for Bolger (64).

LIMERICK: Nickie Quaid; Sean Finn, Richard McCarthy, Michael Casey; Dan Morrissey, Declan Hannon, Seamus Hickey; Darragh O’Donovan, Paul Browne; David Dempsey, Cian Lynch, Geraoid Hegarty; Peter Casey, Shane Dowling, Kyle Hayes
Subs: Barry Nash for Hegarty (46), James Ryan for O’Donovan (50), Tom Morrissey for Dempsey (54), Pat Ryan for Browne (59), Graeme Mulcahy for Lynch (68).

REFEREE: Brian Gavin (Offaly)