AIB GAA Football All-Ireland Junior Club Championship Semi-Final – Knocknagree (Cork) 2-9 Naomh Colmcille (Donegal) 0-7

Knocknagree (Cork) defeated Naomh Colmcille (Donegal) by 2-9 to 0-7 in the AIB GAA Football All-Ireland Junior Club Championship Semi-Final on Saturday January 20th at TEG Cusack Park, Mullingar.

Daly delight as Knocknagree advance to Croker finale

Report by John Tarrant for the Irish Examiner newspaper

All-Ireland Club JAFC semi-final: Knocknagree (Cork) 2-9 – Naomh Colmcille (Donegal) 0-7

Knocknagree guaranteed their place in a Croke Park showpiece after comfortably ending the interest of Naomh Colmcille in the AIB All-Ireland JAFC semi-final at arctic TEG Cusack Park, Mullingar on Saturday. It was another solid team performance from the Cork champions, underpinned by an outstanding work ethic. Again, Knocknagree’s style of play was easy on the eye throughout the hour with clever link play and accurate passing evident.

And while Naomh Colmcille made a determined effort to get back into the frame midway through the second half, too many errors and the concession of sloppy goals in the opening spell proved their downfall, as did the loss of two players in the latter stages. At the full-time whistle, it was easy to understand Knocknagree manager John Fintan Daly’s delight.

“Our focus was much better, for I banned the use of two words over the past two weeks: ‘Croke Park’. If you didn’t win this game, you might as well have been a million miles away. It wasn’t our most polished performance but you go out and better what’s in front of you,” he said.

Naomh Colmcille boss Ryan McKinnley admitted the better team prevailed and took the defeat on the chin.

“Calling a spade, a spade, you‘ve to hand it to Knocknagree, they were fastest out of the starting blocks, a series of enforced errors saw us concede goals which isn’t good enough at this level. The boys are hugely disappointed, the setback will drive us on, to become the first Donegal club to a win an Ulster JAFC is positive for intermediate ranks,” he said.

Daly’s expectations about the Naomh Colmcille line-up came to fruition and the Knocknagree attack had the Ulster men’s defensive policy in disarray from an early stage.

“Like everybody else, we research opponents as best we can, their listed corner forward William Lynch is a natural half-back. They were applying a sweeper system yet it wasn’t going to deter us from our attacking policy,” he said.

Knocknagree looked the more accomplished side from the outset, though they enjoyed a large slice of luck for the opening goal in the fourth minute. James Dennehy’s effort for a point was partly blocked by a defender and despite the best efforts of keeper John Roulstone, the ball looped into the roof of the net.

Defensively, Knocknagree scarcely put a foot wrong with Michael Mahoney, Paul O’Connor, Kealan Buckley, and Donagh Moynihan outstanding. Up front, Eoghan McSweeney and John F Daly Junior thrived on a supply of quality possession.

At times, Knocknagree kicked frustrating wides yet they were in the driving seating approaching half-time, a classic turnover allowed Anthony O’Connor place Daly for a goal that forged a 2-4 to 0-3 interval advantage.

The Munster champions extended their position to nine points on the restart before the Netowncunningham side came more into the picture. Team captain Willie Gillespie and Daniel Clarke pointed frees and former Derry City and Finn Harps soccer player Matthew Crossan provided their lone score from play.

Knocknagree lost midfielder Danny Cooper and McSweeney to injury and that will be a concern ahead of the final, while a dismal afternoon for Naomh Colmcille got worse with red cards for the Lynch brothers.

Scorers for Knocknagree: J Dennehy, JF Daly Jnr (1-0 each); E McSweeney, F O’Connor, A O’Connor (f), D Moynihan (0-2 each); C White (0-1).

Scorers for Naomh Colmcille: W Gillespie (0-4 frees); M Crossan (0-2), D Clarke (0-1 free).

KNOCKNAGREE: P Doyle; M Mahoney, Gary O’Connor, K Buckley, K Daly, D Moynihan, P O’Connor; D Cooper, P Collins; J Dennehy, E McSweeney, F O’Connor; M Dilworth, J F Daly, A O’Connor.
Subs: A Sheehan for K Daly(28 bc), C White for D Cooper(ht inj), T Cooper for McSweeney(56 inj), C O’Leary for Collins(61), T Long for J F Daly(61).

NAOMH COLMCILLE: J Roulstone; A Devenney, R Hegarty, G Curran; K Gallagher, C Devine, P Friel; M Lynch, D Clarke; J Fullerton, R McErlean, O Hilley; M Crossan, W Gillespie, W Lynch.
Subs: M Friel for Curran (ht), E Gillespie for Gallagher (37).

Referee: J Gilmartin (Sligo)

Fixture Details

20.01.2018 (Sat)
AIB GAA Football All-Ireland Junior Club Championship Semi-Final
TEG Cusack Park, Mullingar 14:00
Knocknagree (Corcaigh) v Naomh Colmcille (Dún na nGall)
Referee: John Gilmartin (Sligeach)
(E.T. if Necessary)

2018 Munster GAA Club Forum

Report – Munster Club Forum – Pairc Ui Chaoimh 20/1/2018

Presentations for Download

Derek McGrath – Guest Speaker

Kieran Leddy – Bringing it all together – Coaching & Administration, Working Effectively

Stephen McDonnell – Volunteers the Lifeblood of Our Club – Recruiting & Retaining

Fionn Fitzgerald – Our Club Our Future – Why Our Club Needs a Plan?

Garryspillane GAA Club – Case Study – Best Coaching Practice in Clubs

Laune Rangers GAA Club – Case Study – Developing a Club Pan – How it works in Practice

Kevin O’Donovan – Utilising Your GDA – A Vital Resource

Micheal Quirke – Sharing and Learning Together – A Pathway for Clubs

Paudie Butler – Linking Juvenile to Adult Clubs – Player, Coach & Administrator

Building For Our Future – Best Practice in Club Development

The 2018 Munster GAA Club Forum will take place on Saturday January 20th at Pairc Ui Chaoimh with an impressive line-up of topics and speakers.

This event has now SOLD OUT. Contact your local County GDA’s if you wish to put your name on a waiting list should places become available due to cancellations.

Booking Details

The cost is €20 per person or €50 for a club (between 3 and 10 club members). Lunch is provided.

List of Speakers

If you have any questions, please e-mail Munster GAA at