Posts by thesaffrongael

Photographer and GAA writer who has been covering hurling, football and camogie for almost forty years

CPC win All Ireland B sevens on a great day for Ulster colleges

44146405_1862657963852694_7638725655219142656_nUlster Schools’ Camogie Council President Sr Máiréad Fearon pictured with the three Ulster representatives at the All-Ireland Schools’ Sevens competition in Dublin yesterday (WEDNESDAY). All three schools reached their respective All-Ireland finals

Our Lady’s and St Patrick’s Knock playing in the A Grade for the first time defeated Ursuline’s Thurles and Presentation Athenry to set up a final with defending champions Presentation Kilkenny.

In a tremendous final that went score for score Knock led by four points, 3-10 to 4-3 with time running out. However Kilkenny hit back with a point and then a goal in added time. From the poc out, they were awarded a dubious free and that was the decisive score with no time for Knock to recover.

Better news in the B Grade where Cross and Passion Ballycastle collected the title with a 5-6 to 5-4 victory in the final over defending champions St Mary’s Nenagh.

Meanwhile in the C grade St Patrick Keady were edged out in their final by St Mary’s Fermoy after a tremendous battle that went to the final whistle

Carr and O’Duifin drive St. Mary’s onto first ever colleges win

Danske Bank Arthur Cup 

Lismore Comprehensive College 1-11-3-08 St. Mary’s CBGS 

By Kevin Herron 

St. Mary’s CBGS current Year 12 Gaelic team claimed their first Ulster colleges victory ever with a 3-08-1-11 win over Lismore Comprehensive College in Lurgan this afternoon. 

Trailing by four points at the break it appeared as though the Glen Road side were going to experience that familiar feeling of defeat – though seven-point swing in the second-half finally saw St. Mary’s CBGS claim that elusive win at Ulster colleges level. 

CJ Sullivan edged the visitors ahead inside of two minutes – though Lismore seized control early on and followed up an equalising point with a converted free to edge ahead. 

A hosts then added a goal to go 1-02-0-01 ahead – though St. Mary’s CBGS captain 

Liam Carr powerfully rifled to the net to give his side a lifeline. 

It spurred the Glen Road side on and after Dylan Magee and Daire Murphy combined well in midfield Caolan O’Duifin was slipped through on the left wing and O’Duifin advanced before cooly side footing to the net to edge his side 2-01-1-02 in front. 

Lismore responded to their set-back emphatically and outscored St. Mary’s 0-07-0-01 in the remainder of the opening half – Liam Carr converted a free for his sides only score in that period as the Glen Road side trailed 1-09-2-02 at the interval. 

Playing with the wind advantage in the second period St. Mary’s set about finding a route back into proceedings. 

The industrious and hard working Michael McDaid conjured up the opening point of the second-half with a fine curling effort having manoeuvred his way through a packed Lismore defence. 

The Craigavon side played the patience game with possession and attempted to lure St. Mary’s out of shape in order to increase their tally, however Eoin Trainor, Conall McCabe and Barra McCaffrey helped get their side on the front foot – forcing turnovers that led to scores through confident captain Carr. 

With little under ten minutes to play Carr edged his side 2-07-1-09 ahead – Lismore refused to panic though and levelled through their sharp shooting half-forward whose accuracy from the placed ball was excellent all afternoon. 

The hard working St. Mary’s full back line of Patrick Moyes, Ben McCauley and Anton McLaughlin were marshalled well by shot stopper Paul McLaughlin and determined to leave with the two-points the Glen Road side regained the lead with two minutes to play through Carr who took his personal tally to 1-06. 

It looked as the though the points would be shared though as Lismore’s number eleven converted his third free of the half to draw level at 2-08-1-11. 

But as the game moved into injury-time St. Mary’s CBGS clinched the spoils – a delicious and delicate pass from substitute Jay Burns was gathered by Caolan O’Duifin and the St Paul’s wing-half forward advanced and cooly slotted beneath the Lismore goalkeeper and into the net for his second goal of the afternoon. 

Lismore pushed for a late leveller but saw a late goal chance loop wide of the target as St. Mary’s CBGS Year 12s held out for their first Ulster colleges win as a year group and will take confidence into their remaining group games. 

CPC Sports Dept. receive sponsorship

Saffron Gael were at Cross & Passion College on Monday for the handing over of a new kit by Premier Electrics to the school’s Mageean Cup team ahead of their semi-final against An Dún. The hurling and camogie management teams showed off their new jackets and body-warmers which were sponsored by TeamKit Ballymena while the school received an award which was won in an Irish News competion

Pictured are Premier Electric representatives Kevin McGarry and Ryan Elliot presenting a new set of jerseys to Mageean Cup team captains Oisin McAuley & Michael McGarry and managers Mr Joe Cassidy & Mr Sean Cassidy


Cross & Passion College Sports staff would like to pay a massive thanks to North Antrim sports suppliers Team Kit, Ballymena and O’Neills for their kind donation of Coach Jackets to all the coaches in CPC who take teams in the school. Pictured in their new jackets are Mr Barry Kelly, Mr Joe Cassidy, Mr Sean Cassidy & Mrs Una Kelly


Cross & Passion College were recent winners of a Schools competition held in conjunction with Irish News and leading Performance Analysis company Performa Sports. The competition called Stats for Success – gives CPC the status of a Sports Stats School and provides CPC senior hurling & camogie teams with innovative Performance & Video analysis software to use in the development of their respective teams in competition this year. CPC would like to thank Performa Sports & Irish News and Mr Joe Turley in particular for his input into staff training to allow this initiative to get up and running.

Pictured are Senior Hurling & Camogie team reps Oisin McAuley & Maeve Kelly along with teachers Mr Barry Kelly & Mr Joe Cassidy and Performa Sports owner Mr Joe Turley

St Pat’s set up semi-final meeting with St Louis

Danske Bank Mageean Cup quarter-final

St Patrick’s Maghera 3-13 St Mary’s CBGS Belfast 2-14

Holders St Patrick’s Maghera came from four points down at the break in Ballymena yesterday to maintain an interest in this season’s Danske Bank Mageean Cup after a game that was remarkable for the stats Maghera produced.

Only two Maghera players scored – their two survivors from last year’s final, Fintan Bradley and Tiarnán McHugh – and all 13 points came from placed balls.

But it was not a flawless performance on frees from Bradley as, with his team two points ahead and nine minutes left on the clock, he blasted a penalty wide and then scuffed an easy 30 metres free a minute later.

The Swatragh forward however atoned for those transgressions before St Mary’s could add to their total when he followed through on a shot from McHugh that was blocked on the goal-line and Bradley forced the sliotar home from close range.

This was an exciting cup-tie but St Mary’s will rue the indiscipline that handed frees to Bradley and ultimately cost them a semi-final spot. Caolan McKernan and Cormac McGettigan hurled well in defence and Daire Murphy and free-taker Aaron Bradley performed well up front.

Aaron Bradley took a pass from Murphy to blast the opening goal and St Mary’s were 1-4 to 0-2 up before Maghera put any real pressure on their defence.

McHugh blasted a 14th minute goal and they got back to 1-4 to 1-3 before St Mary’s pulled away again. Helped by a 26th minute goal from Murphy, when Caolan Slack found him with a neat reverse pass, St Mary’s turned over ahead by 2-8 to 1-7.

12Tiernan McHugh celebrates after scoring St Patrick’s second goal. Pic by John McIlwaine

With the breeze at his back, Fintan Bradley kept the score-board moving with some fine long frees, and McHugh fired in a second goal to put his team 2-13 to 2-11 ahead entering the last 10 minutes.

Fintan Bradley was then centre-stage for a few minutes eventually pushing his side into a five points’ lead before two late points from Aaron Bradley frees and another from Eoghan McMenamin made for an exciting finish.

But Maghera had done enough to get over the line and they will now play St Louis Ballymena in the semi-final, while An Dún’s win on Monday sets up a semi-final pairing with Cross and Passion Ballycastle.10

St Patrick’s : Daniel Glass, Barry Walsh, Eoin McCusker, JP McGuigan, Ryan McPeake, Daniel McCartney, Oran Downey, Seamus McKenna, John Mellon, Fintan Bradley (1-13, 0-13 frees), Darragh Simpson, Michael McCormick, Sean Thomas McErlean, Tiernan McHugh (2-0), Cahan O’Neill.

St Mary’s : Connor Flannery, Eoin May, Gary McIllhatton, Liam McCluskey, Cormac McGettigan, Caolan McKernan, Daniel Churchill (0-1), Dannan McKeogh, Sean Maguire, Caolan Ó Duifín, Eoghan McMenamin (0-3), Caolan Crossan, Daire Murphy (1-2), Caolan Slack, Aaron Bradley (1-8, 0-8 frees)

Subs : Ronan Crossan for S Maguire, Ruairi Murray for E May, Eoin Trainor for C Ó Duifín

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Brid Og claim Stout McDonald B honours

South Antrim GAA – Stout McDonald B Hurling

By Kevin Herron at Colaiste Feirste

Brid Og claimed the Stout McDonald B shield after victory over St John’s in Sunday mornings final at Colaiste Feirste.

Played in fine conditions for hurling it was St John’s who hit the front early on as Enda McGurk popped the ball over his shoulder to Luke Loughlin who fired over the opening score.

Brid Og almost had the game’s first goal after five minutes as Oisin Maguire switched the play to David Prenter whose shot was shot and Niall Duffy sent the follow-up into the side netting.

However two minutes later they were in luck – Fintan Cleary’s free dropped to Duffy and the forward atoned for his earlier miss with a blistering shot that had Stephen Sherlock between all ends up.

Cahir Carbery narrowed the deficit approaching the midway point, converting a free after a foul on Luke Loughlin – though Fintan Cleary responded in turn with a fantastic sideline cut that sailed between the posts.

Brid Og began to move through the gears and Brian McGurk fed Fintan Cleary for the midfielders second point of the half – McGurk provided a second score before the break as goal scorer Duffy conjured up a fine point.

Rory McErlean added a further point before the break but at the other end Brid Og goalkeeper Thomas Graham produced outstanding heroics to preserve his sides five-point lead at the interval – James Wilson responded quickest to a shot that crashed off the post and the midfielder looked odds on to tuck away the rebound, only for Graham to somehow parry the ball to safety and ensure his side went in at the break on the front foot.

Brid Og increased their lead within sixty seconds of the restart through Olibhear Corey and Fintan Cleary then converted his second free of the afternoon.

Seven minutes into the second half Brid Og found their second goal of the contest – David Prenter rifled home to the net after Stephen Sherlock had blocked Niall McDonnell’s original effort.

McDonnell managed to get on the score sheet with a point sixty seconds later and Niall Duffy picked out Fintan Cleary for the midfielders fourth point of the day.

Three goals in a row then followed for Brid Og who secured victory thanks to a quick fire double from Sean Cairns and a Niall McDonnell shot which fortuitously dropped to the net.

Stefan Hughes should have hit back for St Johns with long ranged efforts from frees that almost caught out Thomas Graham in the Brid Og goals.

Luke Loughlin would eventually hit back with his second point of the afternoon – Niall McDonnell and Owen McCarney completed Brid Og’s scoring for the day with late points.

Stefan Hughes was denied a consolation goal two minutes from time, but Hughes eventually registered two minutes into injury-time – the St John’s number eleven took off on a solo-run up field and shot confidently to the net past Thomas Graham.

It was too little too late to have an early bearing on the final result as Brid Og claimed the Stout McDonald B Shield after a more than confident showing.