Dónal McAnallen to give give talk on GAA in North Antrim

DThe next North Antrim Cultural Event features a talk by Dónal McAnallen who will cover the history of the GAA in North Antrim.

The event will be held in Carey Parish Hall Saturday 23rd February 8.00pm. (Contact a North Antrim club for tickets or pay at the door. entry £5.00)

Dónal McAnallen (1978-) is an historian, researcher and educator. He graduated with a BA from Queen’s University Belfast and a PhD from NUI Galway. He co-edited (with David Hassan and Roddy Hegarty) The Evolution of the GAA, based on a conference held at the Cardinal Ó Fiaich Library and Archive, Armagh, in 2009. He authored The Cups that Cheered: A History of the Sigerson, Fitzgibbon and Higher Education Gaelic Games (Collins Press, 2012), which examines the uniquely fascinating and sometimes controversial world of Irish intervarsity sport. His most recent book, The Pursuit of Perfection (Penguin Ireland, 2017), is a deeply personal memoir of his late brother Cormac, an All-Ireland winning Gaelic footballer who died suddenly in 2004, at the age of 24. Dónal has also lectured at the University of Ulster

Dónal McAnallen is a former national treasurer and secretary of Comhairle Ardoideachais, the GAA’s Higher Education Council, and the author of The Cups That Cheered: A History of the Sigerson, Fitzgibbon and Higher Education Gaelic Games.

1.      Armoy Glen Rovers GAC

2.      Ballycastle McQuillan GAC

3.      Carey Faughs GAC

4.      Cloughmills St Brigids GAC

5.      Cushendall Ruairi Og CLG

6.      Cushendun Robert Emmets GAC

7.      Dunloy Cuchullians GA & CC

8.      Glenariffe Oisin CLG

9.      Glenarm Shane O’Neills GAC

10.  Glenravel Con Magees GAC

11.  Latharna Og GAC

12.  Loughgiel Shamrocks GAC

Brillaint CPC are back in an All Ireland final

All-Ireland Schools’ Senior A semi-final
St Brigid’s Loughrea 1-9 Cross and Passion Ballycastle 2-10
BALLYCASTLE’S Cross and Passion Senior camogs are back in the All-Ireland final after holding off a determined second half fight back from St Brigid’s Loughrea in Kilnadeema, Co Galway on Saturday.
The three-in-a-row Ulster champions played into the elements during the first half and emerged at the break with a 2-5 to 0-5 lead. But Loughrea, All-Ireland winners three seasons ago, came back strongly to narrow the gap to three points early in the second half and then down to just two points with ten minutes on the clock.

What do you think about that Joe Brolly? Star of the show Roisin McCormick celebrates at the end. Pic by Eddie McCormick

But CPC were able to survive by drawing on their experience from last season when they came within a couple of points of a national title. Maeve Kelly and Roisin McCormick led with their work-rate and Roisin’s score-taking under pressure, while Ruairí Óg’s Aoife McClafferty was brilliant at the back and Áine Magill and Anna Connolly repeatedly took the pressure off defence with their strong running.
Roisin McCormick opened the scoring with a free in the 4th minute, but then had to step into goals for a penalty. Between them Shauna McKillop and McCormick stopped Sarah Healy’s effort but Katie Gilchrist followed up to grab a point.
Healy then shot three frees in succession before a 10th minute goal from Roisin McCormick tied the teams on 1-1 to 0-4. Áine Magill popped over two excellent points before Aoife Toner snapped up a half-chance with a ground pull to the Loughrea net in the 22nd minute.
Points from Anna Connolly and Ciara Laverty left the Ulster champions with a healthy two goals’ lead at the break.
That was cut on the re-start with two frees from Healy and a point from Niamh McInerney on the wing as CPC failed to raise a flag during the third quarter. Eventually Riana McBride got them going again after good interplay from Áine Magill and Ciara Laverty and within a minute Roisin McCormick tapped over another.
With ten minutes to go a goal from Katie Gilchrist left just two points between the sides but Ballycastle recovered with McCormick delivering an inspirational score on the run from 45 metres and then a second from a free.

Maeve Kelly hits a long range free. Pic by Eddie McCormick

Again Healy closed the gap with a free, but McCormick replied with another free, an insurance point that seemed to frustrate their opponents with full back Joanne Daly picking up a straight red card for an off the ball incident with sub Charley McCarry.
There will now be a new name on the All-Ireland trophy with St Angela’s of Waterford surprising Loreto Wexford 3-9 to 2-8 in the other semi-final in Waterford. That final is scheduled to take place on March 2nd.
Cross and Passion : S McKillop, A McClafferty, M McGarry, E McShane, A O’Mullan, M O’Neill, K Laverty, M Kelly, A Lynn, A Magill (0-2), C Laverty (0-1), R McCormick capt (1-5, 0-4 frees), A Connolly (0-1), A Toner (1-0), C Laverty (0-1), R McBride (0-1)
Subs : C McCarry for A Toner
St Brigid’s : E Kelly, C Gilligan, J Daly, R Starr, S Broderick, K Manning, C Starr, A Brennan, A Earls, S Healy (0-7 frees), T Canning, C Farragher, N McInerney (0-1), K Gilchrist (1-1), C Blake

Pics by Eddie McCormick

Davy Fitzgerald guest of honour at the Dunloy Cuchullains dinner

Former Clare goalkeeper and All Ireland winning manager Davy Fitzgerald was guest of honour at the Dunloy Cuchullains awards dinner in the Wild Duck Restaurant in Portglenone on Friday night as the club celebrated a highly succesful season in which they won the Minor Hurling and Football double, the Under 21 Hurling Championship, Senior Hurling League Division 1 and McCormick Cup football.

The club also took the opportunity to launch their new fundraising drive, the 300 club with the Clare legend buying the first ticket.

Experience can be key for CPC

All-Ireland Schools’ Senior A Camogie semi-final

Saturday 1pm in Kilnadeema, Co. Galway

St Brigid’s Loughrea v Cross and Passion Ballycastle

WHEN you get to All-Ireland level there are few easy matches and, while Cross and Passion Ballycastle retain around half of the team that came so close to a national title last year in Louth, they have to face a major player in St Brigid’s Loughrea who won the title outright three years ago, taking out St Patrick’s Maghera in a semi-final in south Derry.

For a long time St Brigid’s lived in the shadow of the other school in the town, St Raphael’s who won eight successive senior All-Irelands from 1985-1992 under the stewardship of Cyril Farrell who was also Head Teacher for a number of those years.

St Brigid’s have established their own tradition in recent times and taken a number of Connacht titles in both senior and junior.

They were taken to a replay this year by Gort Community School; the pair finished on 1-10 each 24 hours before Cross and Passion emerged with a 3-8 to 0-3 win in the Ulster decider against neighbours St Louis Ballymena.

The Connacht replay was held last Saturday and St Brigid’s had a comfortable enough 4-9 to 2-3 victory in Ballinderreen, although Gort gave away too many frees, particularly during the first half, and Galway minor goalie Sarah Healy punished them with some impressive free-taking.

There were also a couple of handy goals from turnover balls – and Loughrea looked pretty sharp in turning those into scores.

Ballycastle’s key players in this age-group have already appeared in the Ulster and All-Ireland championships for Antrim seniors. Roisin McCormick and Maeve Kelly have also guided the Saffrons to the last two minor A titles and will be key players in their first tilt in over two decades at a Minor A title this spring.

Yet their contribution was overshadowed in the Corn Uan Uladh decider by the excellence of Katie Laverty dropping into half back and forwards Riana McBride and Ciara Laverty.

Laverty was a huge presence throughout and Ballymena rarely broke through the CPC half-backs over the hour. The other two were in and out of the play, but delivered when they got their chances.

St Louis contained Ballycastle for 26 minutes of the opening half and the score stood at 0-2 each. Over the final four minutes of play, McBride hit four points from play, one of which was brilliantly turned over for a point by Aine Graham in goals.

At the start of the second half, Laverty ghosted into the spaces and created 3-1, scoring one of the goals herself.

Last year’s All-Ireland final appearance and a Junior All-Ireland final appearance two years ago will have given this CPC squad a lot of experience. Loreto Kilkenny won both those finals and the fact that they have been beaten in the recent Leinster final will convince the Ulster champions that there is a huge opportunity this year.

This game will be tough. It may come down to fine margins. But if CPC can draw on the experience gained in the past couple of years, and if players like Roisin McCormick, Katie Laverty, Maeve Kelly, Anna Connolly and Charley McCarry can mix it up with the new stars like Aine Magill, Rianna McBride they they can come through and book another All Ireland final spot.