Heartbreak for St Paul’s as Kenny leads Naomh Ciarán fightback

LGFA All-Ireland Club Intermediate Football Championship final

Naomh Ciarán (Offaly) 2-11 St Paul’s (Antrim) 2-9

There was heartbreak for St Paul’s ladies at Breffni Park on Saturday as Offaly and Leinster champions Naomh Ciarán staged a late fightback to deny the Shaw’s Road girls a history making victory. Midway through the second half it looked like St Paul’s were on their way to becoming he first Antrim team to win an All Ireland ladies title, but the scoring dried up as the Offaly champions clawed their way back into contention and a late scoring burst saw them home by two points.

Kirsty McGuinness swings over a St Paul’s point

The early stages of the game were evenly contested as St Paul’s Natalie McGuinness and Naomh Ciaran’s star performer Kate Kenny led the way for their teams. Kenny got her team in front with a pointed free but St Paul’s hit back with a brilliantly taken goal from Kirsty McGuinness when she got onto the end of a neat pass by her sister Ciatlin to fire home.

Naomh Ciaran squandered a few chances to draw level but they made no mistake midway through the opening half when good approach work between Aofie Corbett, Kate Kenny and Anny Mangan ended with Mangan firing home to put her team two ahead. Kirsty McGuinness pulled a point back on 17 minutes and the Belfast girls should have hit the front soon afterward but two goal chances were squandered after excellent approach work.

St Paul’s captain Aine Turbidy surges forward

McGuinness drew them level and minutes later St Paul’s captain Aine Tubrity added one to put her side ahead but the dangerous Kenny replied with one at the other end.

Still, the Antrim and Ulster champions were back level and a free from McGuinness moved them into a 1-3 to 1-2 lead on 23 minutes before Kenny converted a free at the other end. Another exchange of point between the games top scores McGuinness and Kenny left the sides level at 1-4 apiece as they went in at half time.

St Paul’s started the second half brightly when two more McGuinness points put them two clear, but Kenny, who was now operating in midfield, was starting to make her presence felt and she had Naomh Ciarán back on terms by the 37th minute. When McGuinness restored her team’s lead with a goal the large St Paul’s following were in full cry and when the lead was stretched to five with points from Naoishe Burns and Kirsty McGuinness and with less than ten minutes to play the title appeared to be heading to Belfast. However the Offaly champions were far from finished and when substitute Shauna Heffernan got in for a goal the tide turned completely.

The Belfast girls’ chanced were dealt a bad blow when McGuinness was sin-binned, and from then on it was all downhill as Naomh Ciaran pushed for home and though St Paul’s gave it everything they had the Leinster champions were two to the good at the final whistle.

NAOMH CIARÁN: A Keena; N Buckley, E Nally, A Grehan; R Ennis, E Flynn, F Boland; K Kenny 0-8 (0-4fs), A Mangan; E Cahill, L Keena, K Rigney; A Corbett, R Cockram, E McEvoy 0-2.

Subs: R Egan 0-1 for Corbett (HT), A Kelly for Rigney (HT), S Heffernan 1-0 for Cockram (51mins), S Egan for Cahill (51mins).

ST PAUL’S: A Healy; C Stewart, E Kelly, L O’Neill; M Hanna, C Brown, L Wallace; S McCann, A Tubridy 0-1; N Enright, C McGuinness, L Dahunsi; F Rocks 0-1, K McGuinness 2-6 (0-3fs), M Cooper.

Subs: N Burns 0-1 for Rocks (48mins), K McConville for McCann (60mins), R Hemsworth for Brown (64mins).

REFEREE: M Kenny (Mayo).

Moneyglass fall to Impressive Bredagh

Ulster LGFA Minor Football Championship (semi-final)

St Ergnat’s Moneyglass (Antrim) 3-03 Bredagh (Down) 7-12

Photographs: Elaine Kelly

A brave Moneyglass lost out to a hugely impressive Bredagh in this Ulster Minor ladies club semi-final at Cloney on Sunday.

The St Ergnat’s girls, having defeated Monaghan representatives Donaghmoyne entered this one with high hopes but in the event they found the Mourne county representatives too hot to handle.

Bredagh, settled well on their first visit to Cloney and a couple of early points by centre forward Anna O’ Keefe and another from Anna McKee saw them off to a flying start.

Anna Mc Kee confidently stroked the leather between the posts in the 5th minute following an indiscretion on wing half forward Niamh Edgar to make it 0-03 to 0-00 as the Down champions controlled the opening exchanges.

Moneyglass were in need of a score to calm the nerves and opened their account when Niamh McKeefrey despatched between the posts in the 7th minute but their lack of experience was more than evident as those in blue and gold struggled to gain composure.

Such was not the case with Bredagh who were quick to capitalise on unforced errors and they added a point through Anna McKee who then strode confidently forward to despatch a spot kick in the 11th minute to the back of the net to see her side move 1-04 to 0-01 clear.

A good exchange involving Sarah O’ Neill and Aoife Kelly opened the way for Niamh Martin to add a Moneyglass point in the 13th minute but the Down girls made a positive reply.

Bredagh moved forward with purpose as Lily Mc Kee added an 18th minute point before following with a goal.

The Antrim girls were coming under pressure and making further concession as Fiona Dolan added a 20th minute goal before tacking on a point and the visitors were in complete control at this stage of the contest.

As the game moved into the last five minutes of the half St. Ergnat’s were rewarded for their honest endeavours as Maria O’ Neill grabbed an eye catching 26th minute goal but the Mourne side were quick to reply and goals from Lily McKee and Anna McKee ensured a 5-07 to 1-02 lead at the break.

Moneyglass started the second half in search of early scores and when Aoife Kelly sped down the right hand side to fire into the corner of the net it was the start the Antrim girls required.

Bredagh replied through the impressive Anna McKee who raised back to back white flags but a 37th minute Molly Higgins goal saw Moneyglass further reduce the deficit.

Aoife Kelly followed with a 43rd minute point and the Antrim champions seemed to have settled to the task on hand.

In the event this was as close as the St Ergnat’s girls got however as Bredagh went on to dominate the remainder of the game.

Fiona Dolan scored a 47th minute point before Anna McKee completed her hat trick with a 54th minute goal and a point to follow.

Bredagh ran out convincing winners with an Anna O’ Keefe goal in the 29th minute to see her side conclude 7-12 to 3-03 winners and into a place in the Provincial final.

Moneyglass: Emily Mc Coy, Jude Mc Coy, Saoirse Mc Erlain, Erin Duffin, Sarah O’ Neill, Cliona Griffin, Katie Scullin, Emma Mc Areavey, Aoife Kelly (1-01), Ciara Scullin, Maria O’ Neill (1-00), Mollie Higgins (1-00), Niamh Martin (0-01), Niamh Mc Keefrey (0-01), Ciara O’ Boyle

Subs

Caoimhe Mc Erlain for Ciara O’ Boyle

Molly Dixon for Katie Scullin

Niamh Neeson for Cliona Griffin

Bredagh: Sian Curran, Maeve O’ Keefe, Aobhinn Brentall, Eireann Gallen, Grainne Sweeney, Orna Kelly, Eve Elliot, Aoife Mc Camphill, Orlaigh Blayney, Niamh Edgar, Anna O’ Keefe (1-02), Caitlin Cunningham, Fiona Dolan (2-02), Anna Mc Kee (3-06), Lily Mc Kee (2-02)

Subs

Grace Cunningham for E Elliot

Caoimhe Duffy for N Edgar

Orlaith Mc Laughlin for L Mc Kee

Maebh Kelly for F Dolan

Referee C Lennon (Ard Macha)

Rossa host 4th G4Ms tournament on Saturday

Saturday see O’Donovan Rossa Belfast host the 4th G4Ms and others tournament.

Spiorid an Dóchais (spirit of hope)

We as a club are very proud to host this tournament which sees all proceeds going directly to Lighthouse Belfast. A charity that helps families live and cope after suicide.
All of us have been touched by suicide in some way or another. Some more than others.

In addition to this 8 G4M’s teams will play non competitive Gaelic football and guaranteed great craic.

This year we welcome
St Galls
Eire óg
St James Aldergrove
St Joseph’s Glenavy
Carryduff
St Brigids
Creggan Kickham’s

If you about why not call in to our club and help us to help others and be the spirit that brings hope to families in their darkest times.

Gorts are Junior Champions as Dessie top scores

Casements Social Club

Junior Hurling Championship final

Gort na Mona 0-20 St. Paul’s 0-14

Dessie McClean scored 0-11 as Gort na Mona proved too good in the end for a battling St. Paul’s side who kept going right until the final whistle. The former county man gave an outstanding exhibition of free taking, landing at least four from beyond 70 meters and punished every foul that the opposition conceded.

McClean got the Turf Lodge men off the mark from a free in the opening minute before Sean O’Carroll equalised with a point from play with two minutes on the clock. O’Carroll fired over when he might have had a goal and it was Gort na Mona who went on to dominate the opening exchanges.

Patrick McCafferty restored their lead with a good point from play with Dessie McClean (free) and Thomas McCaffery moving them 0-4 to 0-1 ahead after nine minutes. Sean Lawell raised the Shaw’s Road side’s second point but Gort na Mona replied immediately through Darren Diesel Boyd as they continued to hold the upper hand.

St. Paul’s were badly in need of inspiration and suddenly they began to find a bit of momentum as substitute Cairbre O’Caireallain split the uprights and points from Colm McLarnon and Gerard Carberry had them on level terms by the 15th minute as their supporters roared their approval.

Gort na Mona were soon back on the ascendancy however as Dessie McClean pointed a ‘65’ and followed with another from 70 meters before Patrick McCaffery added another from play to leave them three in front by the 23d minute.

Cairbre O’Caireallain pulled one back for the Hoops but another couple of long range efforts from the brilliant McClean had the Gorts four in front by the 29th minute and they again looked to be taking control.

St. Paul’s were fighting with everything they had to keep in touch however and Colm McLarnon replied from two pointed frees to leave just two in it again as the game moved into injury time. The final scores of the half were to go the way of the Turf Lodge men however as Patrick McCaffery and Dessie McClean concluded the first half scoring to restore their four point advantage as the half time whistle sounded.

St. Paul’s need a good start to the second half if they were to get back into contention and Colm McLarnon raised their hopes when he pointed a free in the opening minute but as the hits continued to go in thick and fast Dessie McClean replied from frees in the 33d and 42nd minutes at the other end.

St. Paul’s were enjoying their fair share of possession at this stage but Sean O’Carroll held his head in frustration after his goal bound shot came back of an upright but they continued to press and were rewarded with a pointed free from Colm McLarnon and a superb long range point from corner-back, Chris Murray.

Dessie McClean again eased the pressure from another free but Gort na Mona were then dealt a blow when James Connolly was shown red after a dangerous pull.

Could this be the turning point in the game? The answer was a definitive no as Gort na Mona came storming forward, led by the impressive McCaffery and the big mid-fielder hit a fine point with Dessie McClean and Steven Rooney following suit to put a bit of daylight between the sides.

A Colm McLarnon free with four minutes of normal time remaining and another from Stephen Rooney gave St. Paul’s a bit of encouragement but it was too little, too late with Dessie McClean and Martin Ward concluding the Gort na Mona scoring and Rooney responding with St. Paul’s final point of the game.

A very competitive game of hurling with little quarter asked or given but it was Gort na Mona who had the greater experience and fire power and they never really looked like losing this one.

They were solid in defence where keeper Padraig Fryer, Niall Henry, Padraig McHugh and Mark Rea excelled. Patrick McCaffery and Declan Hughes dominated at mid-field while Dessie McClean and Thomas McCaffery were superb in a sharp attack.

St. Paul’s gave it everything they had and were unfortunate to come up against a Gort na Mona side who were simply flying. Joe Gillan never put a foot wrong in goals while Ciaran Hetherington, Sean Lawell, Fionntan Gamble, Colm McLarnon and Sean O’Carroll impressed

GORT NA MÓNA: P Fryers; J Connolly, N Henry, C Devlin; G McKenna, P McHugh, C McCann; D Hughes (0-1), P McCaffrey (0-2); T McCaffrey (0-1), M Ward (0-1), L Dixon; B Quinn (0-1), D Boyd (0-1), D McClean (0-12, 7 frees, 2 65s, 1 sideline). Subs: C McErlean for L Dixon (24), S Doyle for C McErlean (46), P Cournane for M Rea (54).

ST PAUL’S: J Gillen; S Rooney (0-2), C Hetherington, S Bradley; C O’Carroll, F Sewell, S Lawell (0-2); F Gamble, D Chapman; C McLarnon (0-6, 5 frees), C Ó Caireállain (0-2), C Rea; P Doyle, S O’Carroll, J Farrell. Subs: G Carberry for C rea (6), C Murray for C O’Carroll (37), D Stevenson for P Doyle (52).

REFEREE: Ciaran McCloskey (Loughgiel)

Second Junior semi-final down for decision tonight

Junior Hurling Championship semi-final

Gort na Mona v St. Mary’s Rasharkin

Quinn Park Ballymena  Tonight (Wednesday 7-45)

The second of the Junior Hurling Championship semi-finals is down for decision tonight at Quinn Park Ballymena and if it proves as exciting as last week’s semi at the same venue then it will be well worth the admission money.

St. Paul’s came with a late surge to beat a Glenarm team who looked on their way to the final when they led 0-8 to 0-4 at half time and no doubt will have a few ‘spies’ at tonight’s clash between St. Mary’s Rasharkin and Gort na Mona.

Both tonight’s opponents came close to collecting Ulster Junior titles in recent years and after dipping their toes in the Intermediate waters have returned to the Junior grade and even at this stage will be setting their sights on another Ulster campaign.

The Belfast men will start tonight’s game as favourites by virtue of a strong division 3 campaign which saw them top the table and gain promotion to division 2 for next season. While the ‘Gorts’ were beating all before them to win promotion St. Mary’s enjoyed a steady if unspectacular league campaign but lost by five to Gort na Mona down at Dreen back in May.

Both sides have already had an outing in this year’s championship with Gort na Mona defeating Glenravel in Ahoghill and Rasharkin proving too strong for Junior B champions, Latharna Og at the same stage of the competition.

Championship favourites Gort na Mona progressed to the last four with 12 points to spare over Con Magees.  Despite a spirited challenge from the Glenravel men, Gort na Mona never really looked troubled over the hour in a comfortable afternoon’s work for the men from Turf Lodge.

A first half goal from Desi McClean and two in two minutes from substitute Christopher McErlean paved the way for the Gort victory.  McClean top scored for the Gorts with seven points in addition to his first half major but this victory was built around the strength of their half backs and midfield.  Padraig McHugh had a major influence throughout from centre half while Patrick McCaffrey and Declan Hughes went through a mountain of work to help the Gorts maintain a sense of control over this quarter-final.

Eleven points from Shane Hasson, and a man of the match performance from James Scally, was enough to see Rasharkin cruise their way through to the semi-final of the junior hurling championship.  The north Antrim men had 19 points to spare over Latharna Óg and despite a spirited start, the Junior B champions lost their way in the second half and ended the contest with 13 men.

It was an impressive attacking performance from the Dreen side, 15 of their 24 points coming from play with eight different scorers over the hour.  A tireless midfield duo of Emmet McFerran and Donagh Quigg and strong work rate of their half forwards allowed Rasharkin to enjoy a comfortable opener to their championship campaign.

Gort na Mona will represent a considerable step up for the South West side and will start tonight’s game as favourites by virtue of a high scoring and impressive league campaign but Rasharkin in the championship could be a different animal and they are likely to ask major questions of the South Antrim side and, like last week, this one could go right down to the wire.