Log in

Royals too powerful for Roscommon Ladies

 

 

 

 

All-Ireland Intermediate Ladies Football Championship Semi-Final

Meath 4-20

Roscommon 1-12

Roscommon’s memorable All-Ireland Intermediate Ladies Football Championship odyssey came to an end at the hands of an excellent Meath side at Nowlan Park, Kilkenny last Saturday afternoon.

  Despite being on level terms with the Royals on the stroke of 20 minutes - and just three points adrift shortly after the restart - the Rossies couldn’t get to grips with the impressive firepower of the Leinster outfit.

  Éire Óg’s Rebecca Finan led the way throughout for Michael Finneran’s charges, finishing the contest with seven points to her name. Aimee O’Connor found the net during the opening period, while substitute Sinead Glennon had a positive impact off the bench.

  The primrose and blue had suffered a heavy reversal to the Royals at the same stage last year, and looked to keep it tight during the early exchanges of their latest meeting. In a tentative opening, a Vikki Wall point was cancelled out by a Finan free at a right-hand angle.

  There were some warning signs for the Roscommon defence as Orla Byrne flashed a shot inches past the post in the seventh-minute. The Duleek/Bellewstown star eventually opened her account after breaking through the middle and half-forward partner Emma Duggan was also on target for the easterners.

  Although Paul Garrigan’s charges passed up a number of opportunities in the first quarter, their maiden goal inevitably arrived on the stroke of ten minutes. At the end of a fast-paced move, Fiona O’Neill was on hand to kick home.

  This was a significant set-back for Roscommon, though Finan split the posts either side of an O’Neill single to keep their dream of a final place alive. Indeed, after Western Gaels’ Jenny Higgins and Duggan traded scores, they forced their way back on level terms.

  Another Finan point lifted the spirits of the travelling Rossies and it was quickly supplemented by an O’Connor goal off a precise Natalie McHugh pass. The tie was finely balanced as a result and the western women appeared primed to push on for the remainder of the half.

  Instead, it was the catalyst for Meath to signpost their own championship aspirations. O’Neill and Duggan contributed points in succession, before Bridgetta Lynch and Kelsey Nesbitt combined to release Byrne for a superb goal.

  Another score for the increasingly influential Byrne further emphasised their authority, but Finan’s fifth of the half did at least help Roscommon to end the half in an encouraging manner. There was an additional glimmer of hope on the resumption, when Laura Fleming and the excellent Finan clipped unanswered points.

  Unfortunately, their quest for a place in the mid-September showpiece suffered a decisive blow on 36 minutes. As she bore down on goal, the raiding Duggan was fouled inside the square by Kilbride centre-back Alice Kelly.

  Referee Stephen McNulty initially played an advantage only to finally award a penalty in Meath’s favour. Duggan dusted herself off to negotiate the resulting spot-kick and expertly slotted beyond the reach of Helena Cummins.

  There was a sense that the floodgates were beginning to open at this juncture and while both sides lost players to the sin-bin, it was Meath who dominated proceedings edging towards the final-quarter.

  Duggan’s two-point salvo afforded them further leeway and Wall unleashed a thunderbolt to the roof of the net on 44 minutes. Wing-back Megan Thynne also ventured forward to kick a fine score - giving them a seemingly unassailable 4-11 to 1-8 cushion in the process.

  Glennon and Higgins eventually ended this lengthy scoring sequence with well-worked points at the far end. McHugh and Finan (free) also found the range in response to Nesbitt and Wall efforts for Meath.

  Nonetheless, with places up for grabs ahead of their latest second-tier final appearance, it was Meath who finished the game on a high. Substitutes Emma White (two) and Kate Byrne staked their claims for a starting berth by supplementing O’Neill, Byrne and Nesbitt points in the dying moments.

  It was ultimately a disappointing way for Roscommon’s campaign to draw to a close, but it has been a productive 2019 overall for a progressing side.

 

Meath: Monica McGuirk; Katie Newe, Sarah Powderly, Orlaith Duff; Shauna Ennis, Megan Thynne (0-1), Sarah Wall; Maire O’Shaughnessy, Aoibhin Cleary; Vikki Wall (1-2), Emma Duggan (1-5, 1-0 pen, 0-2f), Orla Byrne (1-3); Bridgetta Lynch, Fiona O’Neil (1-4), Kelsey Nesbitt (0-2).

Subs used: Emma White (0-2) for Lynch (47), Megan O’Brien for S Wall (50), Kate Byrne (0-1) for O’Shaughnessy (55), Shelly Melia for O’Neill, Aoibheann Leahy for Duggan (both 56).

 

Roscommon: Helena Cummins; Honor Ennis, Amanda McLoone, Niamh Feeney; Joanne Cregg, Alice Kelly, Sorcha Bruen; Sinead Kenny, Laura Fleming (0-1); Siobhan Tully, Roisin Wynne, Natalie McHugh (0-1); Rebecca Finan (0-7, 4f), Aimee O’Connor (1-0), Jenny Higgins (0-2).

Subs used: Megan Kelly for Feeney (37), Sinead Glennon (0-1) for O’Connor, Rachel Brady for Cregg (both 43), Katie Daly for Fleming (51), Rachel Fitzmaurice for Tully (52).

 

Referee: Stephen McNulty (Wicklow)

 

 

 

Ciarán preparing to take aim at Europe

 

 

 

Olympic Skeet Clay Target shooter, Ciarán Hoare from Ballydooley, Donamon, has qualified for next month’s European Championships in Lonato, Italy.

  Ciarán transitioned to senior level earlier this year and qualified for the Europeans at an International Shooting Sport Federation (ISSF) event in Dublin recently.

  Since qualifying for Europe, Ciarán won the Irish High Gun at the Home Countries International in Dungannon, Co. Tyrone on August 10th in what has been a very succesful first year as a shooter at senior level.

  The Donamon shooter will travel to Italy on September 9th for training and practice in advance of the two-day European Championships which take place on September 13th and 14th.

  Ciarán’s father and secretary of Oran Shooting Grounds, James Hoare says Ciarán has continued to impress in what is an extremely challenging sport.

  “It’s a great achievement. It’s a Catch 22 situation when it comes to funding in that you have to make the top 15 in Europe in order to receive it. He moved to senior this year which is extremely challenging but he’s going in the right direction,” he said.

  James also highlighted the support of local sponsors such as David Mulvihill of Mulvihill Firearms in Ballymahon, Co. Longford.

  “David has sponsored him over the last few years and this sponsorship has allowed him to train at the level required to attain qualification scores as set down by the ISSF,” he added.

  Ciarán, who does all of his training at Oran Shooting Grounds, says his ambition is to get a ranking that would allow him to secure funding for 2020.

  “I’m looking forward to it but at the same time I’m going out there with a job to do because that top 15 finish secures funding and allows me to compete next year,” he said.

  The 22-year-old who works at Athlone Labs in Ballymurray and plays hurling for Oran hasn’t been phased by his recent transition to the senior ranks and will travel to Italy in good form.

  “It’s also good to be going over there on the back of winning the Irish High Gun in Dungannon. The transition to senior has good. I would have been competing with seniors in Ireland as a junior anyway so it feels normal,” he concluded.

  

 

 

 

 

Seamus Duke on sport - August 23rd

 

 

 

Tipp deserving winners of MacCarthy Cup

It’s a pity that last Sunday’s All-Ireland hurling final was so one-sided but Tipperary were full value for their win. There is no doubt that the sending-off of Richie Hogan made it easier for Tipp but they looked far too strong anyway.

  Liam Sheedy has done a great job this year since his return. Sometimes the role of the manager is over-played but in this case all you have to do is listen to the players and the respect that they have for him. It is obvious that he has something special.

  One thing that really interested me was listening to the speech made by Seamus Callanan as he received the Liam MacCarthy Cup. He starting naming out members of the backroom team that he wanted to thank. I stopped counting at 28, which is a truly amazing figure. That’s what it takes nowadays apparently.

  With regard to the dismissal of Richie Hogan, I thought it was a red card. The rules are very plain and simple; if you raise your hand (or elbow) to an opponent it’s a sending off. I thought the referee did very well. He didn’t rush into his decision; he consulted his linesman and then made up his mind.

  There are a couple of issues in relation to that incident last Sunday that I’d like to raise. The people in Croke Park who paid €90 for a ticket could not see a replay of the incident on the big screen in the stadium. They don’t show anything controversial at all. It meant that many tens of thousands were unsure what had happened or what the basis was for the referee’s decision to issue a red card.

  In contrast, those of us watching at home or in the pub were able to see about ten replays of the incident to allow us to make up our minds. Either show every incident on the big screen in Croke Park or show none at all.

  Then RTÉ repeatedly showed Richie Hogan sitting in the Hogan Stand, the pain of what had happened etched on his face. People in the stadium who had not seen the incident were wondering what the Kilkenny man had done to warrant all the attention he was getting from the camera. In fact, I found it to be very unfair to Richie Hogan. He is an amateur player after all. He made a mistake in an All-Ireland final. No one died.

Clann and Brigid’s beaten in openers!

It was an interesting start to the Roscommon club championships. In the senior grade it’s a long time since St. Brigid’s and Clann na nGael were beaten on the same evening. I was in Elphin where the home side were the worthy winners against Brigid’s and Western Gaels were also impressive winners against Clann. Early days yet but Clann and Brigid’s would need to be winning this weekend.  

  Roscommon Gaels and Pádraig Pearses did enough to win but will need to improve. Michael Glavey’s were very impressive against St. Faithleach’s while Fuerty got that all important win against St. Croan’s.

  In the Intermediate Football Championship, Tulsk have started well and Éire Óg, Castlerea, Creggs and Oran will be well pleased with their wins.

  In the Junior Football Championship, a couple of people have told me that they were very impressed by Ballinameen at the weekend. There is still a long way to go. Things might become clearer after this weekend’s action.

Rugby World Cup preparations going well

I listened with interest to a discussion between two Irish rugby legends, Ronan O’Gara and Brian O’Driscoll, on Newstalk at the weekend. It was encouraging to hear that both are very positive about how Joe Schmidt is going about Ireland’s preparations for the World Cup. Both men agreed that winning the warm-up games was not important and that keeping the injury list to a minimum is the most important thing.

  The only conundrum is that there are a number of players who will be very anxious to show what they can do to get one of those 31 places on the plane to Japan and they will be trying very hard to impress over the next three weeks or so.

  It’s very interesting to note that Wales are now the number one ranked team in the world having beaten England at the weekend. Taking the views of the two Irish legends into consideration I wouldn’t pass too much heed on those results. England for me are still the dark horses for the title in Japan.

VAR will be the talking point this season

It’s been a predictable start to the soccer season with Liverpool and Manchester City looking by far the two best teams in the English Premier League. But VAR is now being used and it cost City two points last Saturday against Spurs.

  The new TV review system is very controversial and there are rumblings of criticism beginning already. For years past most of the pundits, managers and players have been pleading for the authorities to use the technology to improve decision-making. Now they are regretting that stance. The new rule whereby any contact with the hand or arm is deemed a foul, whether there is intent or not, is very unfair. It would be better if every case was judged on its own merits. VAR will cause huge controversy before this season is over!

Grab All Association is ripping people off

The GAA decided to increase the price of tickets for the All-Ireland finals to €90 this year and I mentioned that here last week. People who attended the match last Sunday were charged €7 for a programme. It used to be €5. With every passing day I am convinced that the GAA at national level are only interested in big money. They signed a deal with SKY TV that excludes hundreds of thousands of people who do not have that subscription. They have now increased the price of an All-Ireland ticket by ten euros and the programme is now gone up by 40%. Do they think that people have unlimited money? It’s blatant exploitation.

  The GAA will always have demand for an All-Ireland final but they are ripping people off. Eddie Brennan had a go at this last week and I fully support him. I hope more people who have influence in the association stand up and voice their concerns too.

How times change…

A friend of mine reminded me over the weekend that 25 years ago, in September 1994, a group of us attended the Manchester United v Liverpool Premier League game at Old Trafford. United won 2-0 with two goals in two minutes in the second half from Kanchelskis and substitute Brian McClair.

  The two teams that lined out that day were – United: Schmeichel, May, Irwin, Bruce, Pallister, Ince, Kanchelskis, Sharpe, Giggs, Hughes, Cantona. Sub: McClair. Liverpool: James, Ruddock, Bjornebye, Jones, Scales. Barnes, McManaman, Redknapp, Molby, Rush, Fowler. Sub: Babb. Those were the days!

Dr. Hyde Park works long overdue

It’s very good news that the programme of works planned for Dr. Hyde Park have got the green light from Roscommon County Council and it is vital that those works are started and completed as soon as possible.

  The delay has cost Roscommon GAA and our senior team some vital home fixtures in recent years not to mention many neutral games including the Galway v Mayo game a couple of months ago, which would add to the income of the board. Apart from the fact that a lot of the work planned such as new dressing rooms and toilet facilities are badly needed, the draw for the 2020 championship will be taking place in a month’s time and if Roscommon are paired with Galway or Mayo those matches will be played at Dr. Hyde Park.

  As someone who spent over 20 years on the Hyde Park Committee, I am looking forward to the upgrade of facilities at the venue which are long overdue.

 

‘Must win’ games for Clann and Brigid’s

 

 

Hodson Bay Hotel Roscommon SFC Preview

 

Boyle v Clann na nGael (Group C) on Saturday in Ballyleague at 5 pm

This is ‘must win’ territory for both sides. The champions were well beaten by Western Gaels last weekend, and with Pearses to come in their final game they will want to win this one badly. Donie Shine went off injured last Saturday and Clann will be hoping he will be fit.

  Boyle were very unlucky against Pearses and if they can bring their best form to Ballyleague they can cause a shock. On their day Boyle are a match for anyone and in recent years they have beaten a number of fancied teams. A very hard game to call. Maybe Boyle to win narrowly.

Prediction: Boyle

Group A

St. Brigid’s v Fuerty on Friday in Kiltoom at 8.30 pm

Fuerty were impressive winners against St. Croan’s but this will be a much tougher test. St. Brigid’s were poor against Elphin and without Senan Kilbride they looked rudderless up front. However, Brian Stack and Niall McInerney played well and they can be the inspiration this weekend.

  Niall Kilroy is the Fuerty talisman and led the charge against St. Croan’s once again. But they are not a one-man team and the likes of Philip Neilan, Gearoid Ennis and the Bannons are excellent performers. The pressure is off Fuerty after their win at the weekend and with Brigid’s needing a win, I am giving them the nod to win narrowly.

Prediction: St. Brigid’s

St. Croan’s v Elphin on Sunday in Enfield at 4 pm

Elphin were arguably the most impressive winners last weekend and will be hoping that they can repeat the dose here. Fintan, Gerry, and Frankie Cregg along with the Killoran brothers Enda and Shane all played their part as Elphin breezed past St. Brigid’s

  St. Croan’s are struggling and without the likes of Ross Timothy they could be in relegation trouble.

Prediction: Elphin

Group B

St. Faithleach’s v Roscommon Gaels on Saturday in Ballyleague at 6.45 pm

Ciaráin Murtagh will not be back for this match and he will be a big loss for the home side. They will be hoping that Diarmuid Murtagh, Dylan Carbery and Dave Rooney can supply the scores they will need. Further back Faithleach’s will need to tighten up as they conceded three goals to Glavey’s last weekend.

  The Gaels never looked like losing to Strokestown last weekend but they didn’t put them away until injury-time. Mark Healy and Ronan Carolan could be back in action but Cian Connolly is likely to be out. The town team look a solid outfit but are too reliant in young Peter Gillooly up front. They should be good enough to win by a couple of points here.

Prediction: Roscommon Gaels

Michael Glavey’s v Strokestown on Sunday in Ballinlough at 1.30 pm

Glavey’s made a very good start to their campaign last weekend and impressed many observers with their organisation, clever use of the ball and their ability to get goals.

  Strokestown are short a number of their more prominent players and it is beginning to tell. They were very weak up front against Roscommon Gaels and will have to play much better if they are not to become involved in a relegation dog-fight. Glavey’s look the better bet at home.

Prediction: Michael Glavey’s

Group C

Pádraig Pearses v Western Gaels  in Athleague on Saturday at 6.45 pm

This would normally be the game of the weekend but the fact that both sides won last weekend eases the pressure. Pearses got out of jail against Boyle with two late goals but they remain favourites to claim their first ever title. Whether they justify that favouritism will be seen over the next six weeks or so.

  Western Gaels were excellent against Clann, and with their full team out they are a match for anyone. The Creggs, Kevin Higgins Seanie McDermott and Niall Higgins are all playing well for them and they look very well organised. It’s another very hard game to call.

Prediction: Draw

 

 

All to play for in the IFC!

 

 

 

Mulryan Construction IFC Preview (Round Two)

 

Round Two of the Mulryan Construction Intermediate Football Championship takes place this weekend and it’s very much all to play for…

Group A

Kilglass Gaels v Creggs on Saturday in Kilglass at 5 pm

Creggs easily accounted for Kilbride last weekend while Kilglass ran into a very impressive Tulsk outfit. This looks a very tight match and both sides will be eyeing up a win. Creggs were sharp in attack and might just have enough for Niall Kilcrann’s side.

Prediction: Creggs

Kilbride v Tulsk on Saturday in Kilbride at 6.45 pm

Tulsk made a very good start last Saturday while in contrast Kilbride are struggling. Tulsk will be hoping to have bigger fish to fry later on in this championship but they should still be good enough to account for Albert Looby’s men in this local derby.

Prediction: Tulsk

Group B

Castlerea St. Kevin’s v Éire Óg on Saturday in Castlerea at 6.45 pm

The pressure is off both sides after good wins last weekend. Castlerea have a young team and will be hoping to build on their victory. Éire Óg were impressive last weekend and have unearthed a fine attacker in Mark O’Brien. I have a feeling that the Loughglynn men could cause an upset here.

Prediction: Éire Óg

St. Barry’s v Shannon Gaels on Sunday in Tarmonbarry at 2 pm

Both sides will come looking for a win. Barry’s lost out to Castlerea in the opening round but they still put up a decent showing while a depleted Shannon Gaels were well beaten by Éire Óg. Home advantage to decide it.

Prediction: St. Barry’s

Group C

Oran v St. Dominic’s in Athleague on Saturday at 5 pm

Oran were too strong for Kilmore last weekend but are without a lot of their more established players for one reason or another. Dominic’s have a lot of talented young players and are in transition. There won’t be a lot in it but Oran might just have enough.

Prediction: Oran

Kilmore v St. Aidan’s on Saturday in Kilbride at 5 pm

St. Aidan’s will have been happy with a share of the spoils last weekend against St. Dominic’s while Kilmore were poor against Oran, failing to score in the first half. Both sides know that a loss will put them into trouble.

Prediction: Kilmore.

Wins for Fuerty, Glavey’s, Pearses and Gaels

 

Hodson Bay Hotel SFC Round-Up

Group A

A winning debut!

Fuerty 1-13  

St. Croan’s 0-8

Fuerty’s first game in the senior ranks was a winning one at Mulhern Park as the home side were far too good for a disappointing St. Croan’s team. Niall Kilroy was once again the Fuerty talisman scoring 1-8 of his side’s total. Kilroy scored a fine goal towards the end of the first quarter and by half-time Fuerty led by 1-8 to 0-3.

  In the second half Croan’s were improved but Fuerty had already done the hard work and they coasted to victory. Richard Thompson was accurate from frees for Croan’s but they could only manage two points from play.

Scorers - Fuerty: N Kilroy (1-8), D Heavey, P Neilan, C Murray, G Ennis and B McGahon  (0-1) each. St. Croan’s: R Thompson (0-6), D Malone (0-2).

Group B

Glavey’s deserving winners

Michael Glavey’s 3-5   

St. Faithleach’s 1-10

A converted penalty in the 5th minute of injury-time from Dylan Carbery narrowed the margin to just a point but it masked the fact that Glavey’s were the deserving winners of this contest at Mulhern Park.

  Glavey’s were impressive as they held on to the ball well and scored three fine goals which were decisive. Andy Glennon and Cian Ruane got those first-half goals and at half-time Glavey’s led by 2-1 to 0-4 against an out of sorts Faithleach’s.

  When Dylan Ruane grabbed Glavey’s third goal in the third quarter they were in the driving seat. Despite some good finishing from Diarmuid Murtagh and Carbery, Faithleach’s struggled to get scores and now they face a ‘must-win’ game against Roscommon Gaels this weekend.

Scorers - A Glennon (1-1), S Comer (0-4), D Ruane and C Ruane (1-0) each. St. Faithleach’s: D Murtagh (0-5), D Carbery (1-0), D Hussey (0-2), B Murtagh, G Carbery, D Rooney (0-1) each.

Group C

Pearses strike late!

Pádraig Pearses 2-10  

Boyle 0-11

Two late goals saw title favourites Pearses edge past Boyle at The Abbey Park. For Boyle it was two valuable points thrown away as Paul Carey’s free and Hubert Darcy’s shot deep into injury-time were the decisive scores for Pat Flanagan’s men. The opening half was well contested and at half-time Boyle were three points to the good.

  Carey and Emmet Kelly were playing well for Pearses but Boyle kept their noses in front with Donie Smith and Cian McKeon on song with frees and with Enda Smith and Kieran Cox doing well, it looked like the home team would prevail until those two late dramatic goals decided the issue.

Scorers - Pearses: P Carey (1-4), H Darcy (1-2), E Kelly (0-2), S Ryan and S Fahy (0-1) each. Boyle: D Smith (0-5), C McKeon (0-3), E Smith, D East, and M Hanmore (0-1) each.

Gaels punish Clann

Western Gaels 1-14  

Clann na nGael 0-13

Western Gaels were the deserved winners against the champions in Johnstown. Short a number of players such as Ultan Harney, Fergal Lennon and Jack Connaughton, Clann struggled to contain the lively Gaels attack in which Cathal and Finbarr Cregg and Tommy Gill were very impressive.

  Finbarr Cregg got the Gaels goal in the opening half and despite playing against the elements they were only a point behind at the break 0-9 to 1-5.

  In the second half Gerard Nolan’s side were impressive as they kicked a string of fine points to run out the comfortable winners.

Scorers - Western Gaels: N Higgins (0-5), C Cregg (0-3), F Cregg (1-0), K Higgins and T Gill (0-2) each, D Moran and J McDonnell (0-1) each. Clann: C Lennon and D Shine (0-3) each, E Kenny, and C Callinan (0-2) each, C O’Brien, D McManus, and S Pettit (0-1) each.

 

 

Scores galore in first weekend of IFC

 

 

 

Mulryan Construction IFC Round-Up

 

Group A

Gavin goal seals Creggs’ win

Creggs 1-14

Kilbride 2-5

Creggs took a huge step towards the quarter-finals of the IFC with a strong second-half display handing them a six-point win over Kilbride in a wild and windy Creggs last Saturday evening.

  The victors did not have it all their own way and a goal from Henry Walsh on the cusp of half-time handed Kilbride a three-point advantage at the break

  But with the wind at their backs after the restart, Creggs – with Enda O’Rourke to the fore – began to overturn the deficit. A second Kilbride goal from Mark Feeney left the game tied at the three-quarter mark with all to play for. However it was the home side who finished the stronger and a crucial three-pointer from Kieran Gavin sealed a deserved win for Creggs.

O’Rourke the hero for Tulsk

Tulsk Lord Edwards 3-16

Kilglass Gaels 1-11

Two goals from Tulsk’s Thomas O’Rourke propelled them to a deserved eleven-point win over Kilglass Gaels in a free-scoring IFC first round game played at Tulsk last weekend.

  The corner-forward found the net in both halves and these strikes – coupled with a further goal from David Carleton - ensured they made a winning start to their championship campaign.

  Kilglass Gaels did battle hard throughout the contest and a goal from Shane McCormack saw them stay in touch during a high-scoring first period – with Tulsk leading by 2-10 to 1-8. But they could only add three points after the break, and O’Rourke’s second goal sealed the win for the home side.

Group B

Éire Óg draw first blood

Éire Óg 1-17

Shannon Gaels 2-7

A clinical second-half performance from Éire Óg saw them run out comfortable seven-point winners over Shannon Gaels in Abbey Park, Boyle last Saturday evening.

  The Gaels gave as good as they got during the first period and goals from Dessie Beirne and Matthew McDermott saw them ahead at the break.

  However with the impressive Mark O’Brien in inspired form up front for Éire Óg, they overturned their deficit with a string of fine points, and a goal from Cathal Groarke ensured a deserved win for the Loughglynn-based outfit.

McDermott points the way

Castlerea St. Kevin’s 1-14

St. Barry’s 0-11

A commanding display from Castlerea St. Kevins saw them steal a march on their rivals in Group B of the IFC as they accounted for St. Barry’s in Rockfield last weekend.

  The foundations for their win were laid in the opening period when they established a 1-8 to 0-5 lead with former county star Darren McDermott the star of the show, accounting for 1-6 of his side’s tally overall.

  Although St. Barry’s battled hard after the resumption, Castlerea controlled proceedings and never looked like relinquishing their advantage, with David Casey’s side going on to seal an impressive six-point win.

Group C

All square in Knockcroghery

St. Dominic’s 1-15

St. Aidan’s 2-12

St. Dominic’s will be kicking themselves after they surrendered a four-point lead late on in a pulsating Group C IFC game played against St. Aidan’s in Knockcroghery on Saturday evening last.

  Although the home side led the contest throughout, a Shane Byrne fisted goal deep into injury time handed the visitors a share of the spoils, leaving the St. Dominic’s outfit frustrated at the death.

  Goals from Darren Donnelly for The Dom’s and Niall Corbett for St. Aidan’s meant that the visitors had it all to do at the interval, trailing 1-9 to 1-4 at the break.

  The teams continued to trade points during an entertaining second half, meaning the home side led by three during the final embers of the game. That was until Byrne’s late intervention rescued the day for his side.

Comfortable win for Oran

Oran 2-8

Kilmore 0-7

A stirring first-half display from home side Oran handed them a comfortable seven-point win over a lowly Kilmore outfit in Rockfield last Saturday evening.

  Oran raced into a 1-4 to 0-0 lead at the interval with Ciaran Casey finding the net. Following a poor opening half display, Kilmore left themselves with a mountain to climb at the break, but with Derek Connellan rallying his troops, the visitors played their way back into the tie to trail by only four points shortly after half-time.

  However their joy was short lived as a further goal from Ray Farrell put the game beyond any considerable doubt and the teams traded points for the remainder of the contest, with Oran running out deserved victors.

 

 

Catch us if you ‘Clann’!

 

 

Roscommon SFC throws in this weekend

 

 

 

Hodson Bay Hotel Roscommon SFC (Round One)

 

Game of the Weekend

 

Strokestown v Roscommon Gaels in Elphin at 5.30 pm

(Group B)

Strokestown have flattered to deceive so many times in the past that their supporters must be very frustrated because they certainly have plenty of very good footballers. This year they are without the likes of Thomas Corcoran, Cathal Compton, Kevin Finn and Ian Rogers who are all away. There is also a doubt about the participation of Sean Mullooly who has a back problem. In that case Strokestown will be under pressure.

  But Roscommon Gaels have pulled up no trees this year either. James McDermott and Cian Connolly have been big losses to the town team although Kieran Kilcline and Brian Kelly are back from long-term injuries. There are doubts about the fitness of new recruit Ronan Carolan, and Mark Healy who pulled up against Clann na nGael last Sunday with a hamstring problem.

  There are also rumours that Scott Oates and Cian Connolly may be back in time to feature on Saturday, which would be a big boost to the town team.

  But with John McManus, David O’Gara, James Featherston, Paul Gleeson and young Peter Gillooly on board, the town team should have enough to open their campaign with a win. Two experienced managers will clash with Liam McNeill (Gaels) and Nigel Dineen (Strokestown) in charge. There won’t be much in it.

Prediction: Roscommon Gaels

 

Group A

 

Elphin v St Brigid’s at 7.15 pm in Elphin

St. Brigid’s’ star has slipped in recent years while Elphin will be hoping to cause a shock on home ground. There are doubts about the availability of Senan Kilbride, and if he is absent Brigid’s will be without their talisman for the past decade at least. He has been such a magnificent servant for them. Brigid’s will be hoping that their younger brigade will be able to step up although they have huge shoes to fill. Niall McInerney, Ian Kilbride, Brian Stack, Mark Daly and Peter Domican will carry the flag for Brigid’s on Saturday.

  Elphin always have a scoring threat with the Creggs to the fore, and with Aaron Brady in goal and Shane Killoran supplying quality, the home side will be hoping to get their campaign off to a good start. Brigid’s might just have enough.

Prediction: St Brigid’s

 

Fuerty v St. Croan’s in Fuerty at 7.15 pm

Both sides will be looking at this game as a ‘must win’. Malachy Gately is back at the helm in Fuerty and with Niall Kilroy and the Lyons’ brothers prominent, the home side will be hoping to start their campaign with a win.

  It was reported this week that Ross Timothy will be missing for Croan’s and he would be a huge loss. Michael Holland, Maurice Connaughton and Shane Lannon will have vital roles to play for Croan’s but it looks like a home win to me.

Prediction: Fuerty

 

Group B

 

Michael Glavey’s v St. Faithleach’s in Fuerty at 5.30 pm

A definite contender for game of the weekend here. With five players on the county panel this year, Glavey’s should be in good shape for this vital clash. The loss through injury of Cathal Heneghan robs Glavey’s of one of the best young players in the county but with Gary Patterson, Conor Hussey, Caoileann Fitzmaurice and Darren O’Malley on board Glavey’s will be hoping for a good start.

  Faithleach’s have been going along well and have qualified for the O’Rourke Cup final. Ciaráin Murtagh will not be back from Boston this weekend and he would be a major loss. Diarmuid Murtagh will be there as will new recruit Darren Carberry who has been a big success since he arrived into the Faithleach’s attack. The Ballyleague men look to have several exciting options in attack but they are suspect in defence. Without Ciaráin Murtagh Glavey’s have a chance here.

Prediction: A draw

 

Group C

Clann na nGael v Western Gaels in Johnstown at 7 pm

The champions open their campaign with a tough game against Western Gaels at home. Clann will be without Ultan Harney, Jack Connaughton and Fergal Lennon and those are three top-class players who they can ill afford to lose. Donie Shine is back in training and came on against Roscommon Gaels in the league last Sunday, which is good news for him. Ciaran Lennon and Shane Pettit are playing well and Clann will be looking to some of their younger players, especially in the early rounds.

  Western Gaels will be without Ciaran Cafferky who is injured and will be relying on the old guard like Cathal Cregg, Kevin Higgins, Seanie McDermott and Fintan Cregg. With Frankie Dolan on board in the backroom team I expect that ‘The Gaels’ will be very sharp up front but it is further back that there may be problems. I am giving a depleted Clann side a hesitant nod to win narrowly here.

Prediction: Clann na nGael

 

Boyle v Pádraig Pearses in Boyle at 7.15 pm

It’s hard to believe that Pearses have never won a Roscommon senior title but I suspect that this year will be one of the best chances that they have ever had of breaking their duck. With the three Daly brothers, Davy Murray and Hubert Darcy all on the county panel and the likes of Mark Richardson, Niall Carty, Seanie Fahy and Paul Carey to back them up, Pat Flanagan’s team will never have a better chance to bring the Fahy Cup back to Taughmaconnell and Moore with a lot of their main rivals struggling with injuries, absentees and poor form.

  Boyle at home are very dangerous team. Donie and Enda Smith, Cian McKeon, Seanie Purcell, and Tadgh McKenna are all top-class performers but it remains to be seen if they can take on a team like Pearses and get enough scores to turn them over.

  Make no mistake, Pearses will have to be about their business if they want to win here on Saturday night but they should be good enough.

Prediction: Pádraig Pearses

 

 

Intermediate Championship starts this weekend

 

 

Mulryan Construction Roscommon IFC Round One (All games on Saturday)

Group A

Creggs v Kilbride in Creggs at 5.30 pm

This looks an interesting clash with the home side anxious to start with a win. They look to have a sharp attacking unit and led by Noel Gately that could be decisive.

  Kilbride are without Conor Devaney and his loss and the loss of Cathal Shanagher is a big blow for them. Kilbride have a number of impressive young players but they could struggle at this level. There won’t be much in it.

Prediction: Creggs

 

Tulsk v Kilglass Gaels in Tulsk at 7.15 pm

The last thing Tulsk want is for the likes of me to be tipping them to win the Intermediate Football Championship after all that has happened in recent years when they have let the title slip from their grasp a number of times.

  Tadgh O’Rourke, Jack Conlon and Callum Fahey will be prominent in attack and Tulsk look a strong outfit overall. Kilglass won the Junior title in dramatic fashion last year and while they will give it everything, it will be a big step up in class for them here.

Prediction: Tulsk

Group B

St. Barry’s v Castlerea St. Kevin’s in Oran at 5.30 pm

The loss of club stalwarts David Keenan and Finbarr McGowan will be felt by the Shannonsiders.

  Castlerea are trying to bounce back immediately after being relegated last year and under David Casey they have a very young team.

  However, they have made the final of Division Four in the league with some excellent performances in recent weeks and a lot of those young players can expect to see duty here against St. Barry’s on Saturday. Castlerea may not have the players to win the title but they have enough to come out on top here.

Prediction: Castlerea St. Kevin’s

 

Shannon Gaels v Éire Óg in Boyle at 5.30 pm

This looks an evenly matched game. Neither side has been particularly impressive with Shannon Gaels plying their trade in the Tansey Cup this season.

  Éire Óg have retained their Intermediate status comfortably in recent years but have found the route to the top table hard to negotiate. They should start their campaign with a win here though.

Prediction: Éire Óg

 

Group C

Oran v Kilmore in Oran at 7 pm

This is the ‘game of the weekend’ in the Intermediate Football Championship. Oran will be many people’s choice to go on and take the title.

  Meanhile, Kilmore are the ultimate championship battlers and you never have them beaten until the final whistle has sounded for at least ten minutes! 

  The outcome here may depend on just what strength of a team that Oran are able to field. At full-strength they are an excellent side full of top-class young players. But Kilmore are just so resilient with the likes of Derek Connellan Jack Sharkey, the Caslins, John Donohue all still involved to name just a few. A shaky vote to the home side.

Prediction: Oran, narrowly.

 

St. Dominic’s v St. Aidan’s in Knockcroghery at 7 pm

Dominic’s looked to be slipping back badly last year but they came with a late surge and played some great football in the latter rounds. Dominic’s always have a big say in the destination of the Intermediate Championship, and at home they will be hoping to get off to a good start.

  St. Aidan’s have been making steady if unspectacular progress and they are making big strides at underage level. This is a game that they will be hoping to win but the home side might just have too much.

Prediction: St. Dominic’s

 

Missed chances cost Rossies final spot

 

 

Liberty Insurance All Ireland Premier Junior Semi-Final

Limerick 1-12

Roscommon 0-8

 

 

A cursory glance at the final score last Saturday would lead one to form the opinion that this was an easy win for Limerick, but that certainly was not the case. A goal and two points in injury-time at the end of the game gave the final margin a very lop-sided look and was unfair to a battling Roscommon team who just came up short in the end.

  Grit, determination and will-to-win were qualities that Roscommon showed all through this match but in the end it was missed chances that cost them a place in the All-Ireland final against Kerry next month.

  Having recovered from a poor start, Karol Collins’ team worked extremely hard to get to within two points by the 55th minute but some costly wides, and a failure to convert possession into scores proved a bridge too far.

   Played on a day borrowed from mid-winter at Cusack Park in Ennis, with a strong wind and squally showers, the conditions were difficult for the players and it was Limerick who began best with the elements at their backs. By the 9th minute they were ahead by 0-5 to 0-1 with Shauna Fallon’s converted free in the 4th minute Roscommon’s only score.

  But Rachel Fitzmaurice and Susan Spillane were getting a grip at midfield. Both were outstanding all through as they drove Roscommon forward time after time. In the 10th minute Fitzmaurice drove over a point after a surging run, and two minutes later Shauna Fallon converted a free. Then Lorraine Kenny pointed after a superb Roscommon team move and the margin was down to just one (0-5 to 0-4).

  But that was to be Roscommon’s last score of the half and it was Limerick who kicked on before the break. Pressure on the Roscommon defence was yielding frees, and Rebecca Noonan converted three placed balls before the break to leave the half-time score Limerick 0-8 Roscommon 0-4.

  Roscommon opened the second-half scoring in the 32nd minute with a Shauna Fallon free but the Shannonsiders were looking dangerous in attack and Roscommon had reason to be thankful to their goalkeeper twice in the space of two minutes as she kept her side in the game. First Geri Mai O’Kelly sent a blistering drive goalwards in the 36th minute but Michaela Fallon tipped it over for a point and then Ella Whelan was through only for Fallon to make another superb save.

  Rebecca Noonan converted another free for Limerick in the 44th minute to push the margin out to five but Roscommon responded well, and with Spillane and Fitzmaurice in the engine room, the revival came with Roscommon knocking over three points in a row. Shauna Fallon pointed two frees and Susan Spillane pointed from play. With 55 minutes on the clock it was Limerick 0-10 Roscommon 0-8.

  But that was as good as it got for Roscommon and as the game slipped into injury-time Limerick came with a decisive burst of scoring. Noonan pointed a free in the 61st minute and two minutes later Noelle Curtin cut in from the right flank to shoot another point. Then in the 63rd minute sub Shauna Darcy supplied the moment of the game when she burst through the Roscommon defence and blasted home for a superb goal.

  Limerick probably deserved to win it on overall play although Roscommon will point to several missed chances including a few frees that went astray especially in the second half. But it’s a young Roscommon team and under impressive manager Karol Collins they have plenty to look forward to.

Limerick: Leah O’Carroll; Kate Herbert, Anne Tangney, Evan Butler; Sarah Shanahan, Yvonne Lee, Sinead McElligott; Orlaith Kelleher, Ann Kennedy; Rebecca Noonan (0-6, 5 frees), Gery Mai O’Kelly (0-2), Noelle Curtin (0-1); Ella Whelan, Grace Lee, Michelle Curtin (0-3).

Subs: Leah Browne for Kennedy (32), Shauna Darcy (1-0), for Curtin (61), Katie Carroll for Whelan (63).

Roscommon: Michaela Fallon; Aisling McDermott, Maebh Tiernan, Chloe Whyte-Lennon; Aine O’Meara, Emer McNally, Joanne Beattie; Susan Spillane (0-1), Rachel Fitzmaurice (0-1); Alisha Lenehan, Kathy Jones, Shauna Fallon (0-5 frees); Lorraine Kenny (0-1), Fiona Connell, Lisa Dolan.

Subs: Kate Doyle for Dolan (37), Ella Killion for Kenny (47).

Referee: Paul Ryan (Kildare)

 

Subscribe to this RSS feed