O’Byrne Cup Group One: DCU V UCD – The Irish Times – January 16 2017

DCU 0-18 UCD 1-9

UCD’s O’Byrne Cup campaign came to an end at Belfield on Sunday when they suffered a six-point defeat to college rivals DCU in their final group game.

Following their victory over All-Ireland champions Dublin last Wednesday evening, UCD were in pole position to qualify for the semi-finals – and a 24th-minute goal from corner-forward Eoin Lowry helped them to develop a 1-5 to 0-7 interval advantage.

However, Niall Moyna’s DCU were eager to make amends for previous defeats in the competition to Dublin and Wexford, and thanks to strong second-half showings from Niall Murphy, Shane Carthy and Mayo star Patrick Durcan, they secured a morale-boosting victory. And early season bragging rights ahead of the Sigerson Cup.

DCU: A Farrelly; D Ward, D O’Neill, S Lavin; B Kerr, J Mealiff (0-2), P Durcan (0-1); S O’Brien, S Carthy (0-2, 0-1f); C Mulligan (0-1), E Smith (0-1), M Plunkett (0-2); R Burns (0-2), N Murphy (0-6, 0-4f), E O’Connor. Subs: E Smith for Ward (24); T Galligan for O’Brien (25); D Mannix (0-1) for O’Connor (h-t); T Lahiff for Durcan (55); C Boylan for O’Neill (60); E Smyth for Murphy; B Cawley for Kerr (both 69).

UCD: C Honan; A Hassett, M Fitzsimons, N McInerney; S O’Dea, S Coen, P Fagan; BD O’Sullivan (0-2), B O’Seanachain; A McDonnell (0-1), C Basquel, L Kelly; T Hayes, R Cleary, E Lowry (1-2, 0-2f). Subs: R McDaid for Fitzsimons (18); L Casey for O’Sullivan (31, BC); S Mullooly for O’Dea; D Maguire for McInerney; L Moran (0-2, 1f) for McDonnell; G Farrell for Lowry; E Wallace (0-1) for Hayes (all h-t); S Meade for Farrell (50, BC); C Nolan (0-1) for Coen (55).

Referee: S Murphy (Louth).

Posted in Gaelic Football | Comments Off on O’Byrne Cup Group One: DCU V UCD – The Irish Times – January 16 2017

Post-Match Reaction: European Rugby Champions Cup – Leinster V Montpellier – Irish Examiner (Online) – January 14 2016

Leo Cullen: Red card ‘changed the game pretty drastically’

Leinster coach Leo Cullen admitted the first-half sending off of Montpellier fly-half Frans Steyn significantly altered the course of the game in their 57-3 European Champions Cup clash at the RDS.

Steyn received his marching orders from referee JP Doyle following a high tackle on Jonathan Sexton, and Cullen was pleased to see his charges taking advantage of their numerical supremacy to qualify for the quarter-finals.

Cullen said: “Satisfied with a very good win. I thought the lads showed really good intent. We want to be able to play at pace, and sometimes if you have that intent to play at pace, you see the rewards of it later in the game as well.

“Obviously the red card, it changed the dynamic of the game pretty drastically. Montpellier actually came with a lot of intent to play as well, which probably got them in trouble when they were down to 14 men. I thought guys stuck to tasks really, really well, which was very, very pleasing.”

Flanker Jack Conan, who deputised for the injured Sean O’Brien in the back row, finished with a hat-trick of tries for the Pool 4 winners, with captain Isa Nacewa, Adam Byrne, Luke McGrath, Cian Healy and Garry Ringrose also touching down.

Steyn’s red card arrives less than fortnight on from the introduction of a number of law changes from World Rugby that seek to crack down on head-high tackles, and while Cullen feels it is a tough area to govern, he also believes players are taking a major risk if they continue to make these challenges.

“With everything that’s gone on at the moment, it’s a very tough area. I haven’t studied it in enough detail really, but it’s late around the head. You’re running that risk. Players have been made aware of it. The word accidental doesn’t mean anything anymore. It’s a tough one, because a red card in rugby is a big deal, and it gives the opposition, which is us, a huge advantage.”

Meanwhile, Montpellier boss Jake White was reluctant to comment on whether Steyn’s red card was deserved, but did reveal that he is annoyed with the indiscipline that has led to his side finishing their last three Champions Cup games with 14 men.

“I am annoyed (with our discipline), because it has a domino effect on performance. I’m annoyed also because there’s some really good players making some really stupid mistakes and decisions. Not only red cards, but kicking (loosely) out of your 22. You’ve some really talented players, and you can’t turn the ball over,” said the South African.

“There’s nothing that happened tonight that they didn’t expect. It’s very simple, if you give the ball to Leinster, you’re going to defend for three minutes. Not only did we give it to them, we gave it to them in our own 22, and we wondered why they turned it into points?!”

Posted in European Rugby | Comments Off on Post-Match Reaction: European Rugby Champions Cup – Leinster V Montpellier – Irish Examiner (Online) – January 14 2016

Post-Match Reaction: European Rugby Champions Cup – Leinster V Montpellier – Sporting Life – January 13 2017

Rugby Champions Cup at

Date: 13/01/2017 KO: 19:45 

Leinster

TriesNacewa (15) Conan (24, 55, 70) Byrne (29) McGrath (64) Healy (68) Ringrose (75)ConversionsSexton (15, 24, 55) Byrne (28, 64, 68, 75)PenaltiesNacewa (27)

57
3

Montpellier

PenaltiesSteyn (21)

FT (HT: 24-3)

Post-match reaction to Leinster’s 57-3 victory over 14-man Montpellier in the European Champions Cup.

Leinster coach Leo Cullen admitted the first-half sending off of Montpellier fly-half Frans Steyn significantly altered the course of the game in their 57-3 European Champions Cup clash at the RDS.

Steyn received his marching orders from referee JP Doyle following a high tackle on Jonathan Sexton, and Cullen was pleased to see his charges taking advantage of their numerical supremacy to qualify for the quarter-finals.

Cullen said: “Satisfied with a very good win. I thought the lads showed really good intent. We want to be able to play at pace, and sometimes if you have that intent to play at pace, you see the rewards of it later in the game as well.

“Obviously the red card, it changed the dynamic of the game pretty drastically. Montpellier actually came with a lot of intent to play as well, which probably got them in trouble when they were down to 14 men. I thought guys stuck to tasks really, really well, which was very, very pleasing.”

Flanker Jack Conan, who deputised for the injured Sean O’Brien in the back row, finished with a hat-trick of tries for the Pool 4 winners, with captain Isa Nacewa, Adam Byrne, Luke McGrath, Cian Healy and Garry Ringrose also touching down.

Steyn’s red card arrives less than fortnight on from the introduction of a number of law changes from World Rugby that seek to crack down on head-high tackles, and while Cullen feels it is a tough area to govern, he also believes players are taking a major risk if they continue to make these challenges.

“With everything that’s gone on at the moment, it’s a very tough area. I haven’t studied it in enough detail really, but it’s late around the head. You’re running that risk. Players have been made aware of it. The word accidental doesn’t mean anything anymore. It’s a tough one, because a red card in rugby is a big deal, and it gives the opposition, which is us, a huge advantage.”

Meanwhile, Montpellier boss Jake White was reluctant to comment on whether Steyn’s red card was deserved, but did reveal that he is annoyed with the indiscipline that has led to his side finishing their last three Champions Cup games with 14 men.

“I am annoyed (with our discipline), because it has a domino effect on performance. I’m annoyed also because there’s some really good players making some really stupid mistakes and decisions. Not only red cards, but kicking (loosely) out of your 22. You’ve some really talented players, and you can’t turn the ball over,” said the South African.

“There’s nothing that happened tonight that they didn’t expect. It’s very simple, if you give the ball to Leinster, you’re going to defend for three minutes. Not only did we give it to them, we gave it to them in our own 22, and we wondered why they turned it into points?!”

Posted in European Rugby | Comments Off on Post-Match Reaction: European Rugby Champions Cup – Leinster V Montpellier – Sporting Life – January 13 2017

Dublin Schools’ Senior Hurling ‘C’ Championship SemI-Final: Scoil Chatriona V Portmarnock CS – The Evening Herald – January 12 2017

DUBLIN PP SCH SH ‘C’ SEMI FINAL: SC CHAITRIONA 0-10 PORTMARNOCK CS 0-8

O Finneadha is captain fantastic in semi tie

Daire Walsh

SCOIL Chaitriona will contest the Dublin Schools’ Senior Hurling ‘C’ decider after they edged a close encounter with Portmarnock CS on Tuesday afternoon.

Philip Behan’s Portmarnock side were playing on their home turf for this penultimate round clash and they developed an early lead against their Mobhi Road counterparts.

A brace of points by midfielder Ryan Ó Cléirigh kept Chaitriona in touch, but in spite of fine performances from defenders Eoghan Cinnseallach, Brook Mac Eoin and Oísín Ó Maolagáin, Portmarnock held a 0-5 to 0-2 advantage at the midway point.

The hosts extended their lead with a well-worked score upon the resumption, but courtesy of points from Ó Cléirigh (free), Dónal Mac Ruairí and Conal De Búrca, Chaitriona forced their way back into the reckoning.

Portmarnock were proving to be stubborn opponents, though, and Chaitriona goalkeeper Colm Ó Braonáin had to be on his toes throughout.

However, following two points apiece in the closing moments by skipper Peadar Ó Finneadha and Ó Cléirigh (who finished with a personal tally of 0-5), Chaitriona sealed a 0-10 to 0-8 success.

Posted in Schools GAA | Comments Off on Dublin Schools’ Senior Hurling ‘C’ Championship SemI-Final: Scoil Chatriona V Portmarnock CS – The Evening Herald – January 12 2017

Leinster Schools’ Senior Hurling ‘A’ Group Teams Round One: Dublin North V Offaly Schools – The Evening Herald – January 12 2017

LEINSTER PP SCH SH ‘A’ GROUP TEAMS RD 1: OFFALY SCH 0-13 DUB NTH 1-11

McHugh proves to be super sub as North edge out Offaly

Daire Walsh

DUBLIN North will face Wexford Schools in the second round of the Leinster Schools’ SH ‘A’ Group Team Section this Saturday, following their narrow victory over Offaly Schools at Killeigh last weekend.

North were defeated by eventual All-Ireland champions, St Kieran’s College, Kilkenny, in the semi-final of last year’s provincial competition, but they were facing into a 0-6 to 0-1 deficit 20 minutes into their away meeting with the Faithful County representatives.

However, thanks to the dependable scoring prowess of Micheal Murphy and corner-forward Jason Byrne, they had cut the gap to three points in time for the break. Centre-back Kevin Burke and skipper Eoin O’Neill were also producing inspirational displays for the visiting team.

Although they were without the services of injured duo Sean Currie (a 2016 Dublin minor) and Enda O’Donnell, they eventually restored parity after the restart. With a combined tally of 0-9, Murphy and Byrne were key figures for the Sky Blues, but it was the 1-1 second-half salvo from substitute Ben McHugh (of Raheny) that ultimately proved decisive in a tightly-contested game (1-11 to 0-13).

Posted in Schools GAA | Comments Off on Leinster Schools’ Senior Hurling ‘A’ Group Teams Round One: Dublin North V Offaly Schools – The Evening Herald – January 12 2017

Leinster Schools’ Senior Hurling ‘A’ Group Teams Round One: Dublin South V Antrim Schools – The Evening Herald – January 12 2017

TOP OIL LEINSTER PP SCH SH ‘A’ GROUP TEAMS RD 1

DUBLIN SOUTH……………………………………..3-14

ANTRIM SCHOOLS………………………………….1-16

SOUTH SHOW WAY TO GO

Murphy and Desmond deliver for Dublin outfit in scoring stakes to see them progress

Daire Walsh

LIAM Murphy and Kevin Desmond were in fine form at the National Sports Campus on Saturday in Abbotstown when Dublin South held off a late surge from Antrim Schools to book their place in the next stage of the Leinster Senior Hurling ‘A’ Group Team Section.

Antrim have been knocked out of the provincial championship by Dublin North in the past two seasons, and they conceded scores to the southside duo of Tom Kehoe and Murphy in the early stages of this encounter.

DEPLETED

The Saffron County outfit were depleted for their trip to the capital, and despite opening their account with a point from centre-forward Donal McKernan, a superb Desmond goal moved Cronan Dooley’s side into a four-point lead. Yet, Antrim were determined to keep themselves in contention.

Following a scrambled goal by Peter McCallin, Tiernan Murphy and Conor Boyd edged the visitors into the ascendancy. However, South didn’t allow panic to seep into their play and courtesy of a 1-3 salvo by Murphy (one of four Cuala players in their starting line-up), they had once again created daylight between themselves and their northern counterparts.

SEQUENCE

Antrim interrupted this scoring sequence with a brace of points from Murphy, but even though midfielder Ryan McGarry added a terrific score at the end of the half, earlier points from Murphy and Lucan CBS’ Emmet Allen – as well as 1-1 from the excellent Desmond – helped South to develop a 3-8 to 1-6 interval cushion.

This placed the hosts (who include former Dublin and Galway hurler Niall Corcoran in their management team) in a commanding position, but early second half efforts by Murphy and Daire Matthews for Antrim ensured that South were kept on their toes.

South full-back Joey Mowlds was booked at the beginning of the third-quarter before points from Ben Coffey (’65’) and Kehoe restored their eight point advantage. The Lucan Sarsfields pairing of Coffey and centre-back Robert Ward were also target after the increasingly-prominent Matthews split the posts for Antrim – who started to build momentum as the half wore on.

CONTRIBUTION

Kehoe’s third point cancelled out a similar contribution by Antrim’s Murphy, but following unanswered scores by the away side from Shea Shannon, Murphy (three) and McCallin, the gap had reduced to four points as the final whistle approached.

A successful Coffey free eliminated any prospect of a shock fightback by Antrim, though, and despite finishing the action with a McGarry point, they couldn’t prevent Dublin South’s progression to the second round – which takes place this Saturday at the Abbotstown venue against Laois Schools.

SCORERS – DUBLIN SOUTH: L Murphy 1-5 (0-4f), K Desmond 2-1, B Coffey (2 ’65’, 1f), T Kehoe 0-3 each, R Ward, E Allen 0-1 each. Antrim Schools: T Murphy 0-8 (6f), P McCallin 1-1, R McGarry, D Matthews 0-2 each, S Shannon, D McKernan, C Boyd 0-1 each.

DUBLIN SOUTH: C O’Donoghue; J Weinmann, J Mowlds, T Glynn; L Walsh, R Ward, M Tracey; B Coffey, T Kehoe; E Allen, K Kirwan, D O Floinn; L Murphy, K Desmond, A Carroll. Subs: F O Ceallaigh for Kirwan (38), C Quinn for Allen (51), S Kennedy for O Floinn (58).

ANTRIM SCHOOLS: P McMullan; M Napier, C McHugh, N McCann; D Magee, E McQuillan, A O’Brien; R McGarry, S Shannon; D Matthews, D McKernan, P McCallin; T Murphy, C Boyd, O O’Callaghan. Subs: M Donnelly for Magee (29), N McCormick for Shannon (h-t).

REFEREE: K Brady (Louth).

Posted in Schools GAA | Comments Off on Leinster Schools’ Senior Hurling ‘A’ Group Teams Round One: Dublin South V Antrim Schools – The Evening Herald – January 12 2017

Rugby Column Number 68: The Kildare Nationalist – January 10 2017

RUGBY

Fit again Sexton pulls the strings as Leinster crush Zebre

By Daire Walsh

LEINSTER maintained their push for a play-off spot in the Guinness PRO12 on Friday night, as they comfortably overcame the challenge of a struggling Zebre in front of a 10,821-strong crowd at the RDS.

While the Blues were short of some star names ahead of this Friday’s European Rugby Champions Cup encounter with Montpellier, Leo Cullen was able to call on the services of Garry Ringrose, Robbie Henshaw, Cian Healy, Sean O’Brien and the fit-again Jonathan Sexton.

Naas’ Jamie Heaslip was included amongst the replacements (and made his 11th ever substitute appearance at provincial level), and there were also opportunities for the Kill duo of Adam Byrne and James Tracy to once again impress in the starting line-up.

The form guide suggested that the hosts were hot favourites to claim a bonus-point win from this game, and they broke the deadlock with just five minutes gone on the clock. A fine attacking move was finished off on the right-flank by O’Brien, and thanks to a superb Sexton conversion, Leinster had already created some daylight in the game.

Zebre did respond with a penalty from Edoardo Padovani on 15 minutes, before a second Blues try arrived through lock Hayden Triggs. Padovani was once again on target for the visitors from the kicking tee, but thanks to additional touchdowns by Luke McGrath and Cian Healy, Leinster had wrapped up their bonus point on the half-hour mark.

A confident Sexton had supplemented both of these scores with two-point salvos, and there was enough time for Leinster to get a fifth try in the opening period. McGrath was the instigator of a number of attacks for the home team, and he set-up the in-form Rory O’Loughlin for a try in first-half stoppage-time.

A fifth bonus strike from Sexton ensured that Leinster brought an insurmountable 35-6 cushion into the interval, and after taking their foot off the gas for much of the second-half of the previous weekend’s meeting with Ulster, there was a desire from the Blues to maintain their momentum after the restart.

Indeed, after some patient play in the Zebre ’22’, excellent approach work by McGrath and Sexton (via a well-organised line-out maul) enabled Ringrose to cross over for his sixth try in a Leinster shirt.

In the aftermath of this score, Tracy departed the field of play along with his front-row partners Healy and Michael Bent, and just past the hour, Heaslip took the place of recent international debutant Dan Leavy in the back-row.

Old Belvedere clubman O’Loughlin recorded two tries in the victory against Ulster, and courtesy of five-pointers in the 69th and 72nd minutes, he secured his maiden hat-trick in professional rugby. Their Italian counterparts were trying to limit the damage inflicted upon on them as the final whistle approached, but simple finishes by Ringrose and Heaslip (his 38th for Leinster) in the closing stages meant that Leinster ultimately emerged with a thoroughly-deserved 70-6 triumph.

Posted in Rugby Column | Comments Off on Rugby Column Number 68: The Kildare Nationalist – January 10 2017

New Ireland Assurance Dub Stars Challenge: Dublin V Dub Stars 2016 – Dublinladiesgaelic.ie – January 9 2017

NEW IRELAND ASSURANCE DUB STARS MATCH REPORT

NEW IRELAND ASSURANCE DUB STARS CHALLENGE

DUBLIN 3-12 (21) DUB STARS 2016 3-11 (20)

By Daire Walsh

The Dublin ladies senior side began 2017 in a winning fashion at the DCU Sports grounds on Sunday afternoon, when they held off a late surge from the 2016 Dub Stars in the New Ireland Assurance Dub Stars Challenge.

In his first game as Sky Blues supremo, Mick Bohan selected eight players from the team that lost the 2016 All-Ireland decider to Cork. Foxrock/Cabinteely’s Niamh Collins also featured for the Dub Stars, but courtesy of first-half goals from Carla Rowe, Lyndsey Davey and Kelli Taite, the county side claimed the silverware for a third year in succession.

In front of a lively crowd, Dublin were aiming to hit the ground running on the northside college’s immaculate 4G pitch. Early points from the reliable Sinead Aherne and Hannah O’Neill helped them to shake off the early season cobwebs, and even though the Stars responded with a fine point from Amy Connolly, Aherne split the posts in spectacular style for the Leinster champions.

The Stars were able to include six Foxrock players in their matchday squad (Fox/Cab manager Pat Ring was in charge of the team for the day), but it was Thomas Davis’ Niamh McGoldrick who produced the goods for them in the 10th-minute.

She registered the opening goal of the game at the end of a fine move, and from the subsequent attack, Olivia Leonard (a substitute for Dublin in last year’s All-Ireland defeat) fired past helpless opposition netminder Ciara Trant to open up a gap of four points.

A rampant Stars side then added a point through the increasingly-influential Leonard, and Connolly was later on hand to cancel out a Dublin score from midfielder Noelle Healy. Yet, there was always a sense that Dublin would eventually settle into their stride, and after Nicole Owens narrowly missed out on securing a three-pointer, Lyndsey Davey fired clinically to the bottom corner of the Stars net.

This was the bolt of energy that Dublin needed, and a brace of scores from Owens helped them to level matters in the 23rd-minute. The Stars initially replied with a point by Fingallians’ Niamh Ward, but it was Dublin who dominated the closing stages of the opening period.

Centre-back Siobhan Woods and Carla Rowe pointed to move them back into the ascendancy, and during a lengthy spell of stoppage-time, they issued a series of hammer blows to the Stars challenge.

Rowe finished simply to the net after substitute Taite had a shot superbly saved by Emer Ni Eafa, and this was followed by another point from Owens. Dublin were now playing with supreme confidence, and a third goal from Templeogue Synge Street’s Taite ensured that they brought a 3-9 to 2-4 lead into the second-half.

This left the Stars with a mountain to climb upon the resumption, and although they added to their tally with a Rebecca McDonnell point from the opening attack, they remained eight points in arrears when Naomi Clare registered a 35th-minute single for Dublin.

Yet, the Stars were showing plenty of resilience, and white flag efforts from St Maur’s centre-fielder Eadaoin McGuinness and McDonnell kept them within touching distance of their well-drilled counterparts.

Dublin reinforced their superiority with consecutive points from Clare and Aherne, but in a similar vein to the way they had ended the opening half, it was the Dub Stars who assumed control of the proceedings in the latter stages.

Leonard was eager to make an impression ahead of Dublin’s National League campaign, and she added two points to her tally in the 47th and 54th minutes respectively. The Stars were still facing into a sizeable deficit at this point, but following Kate McKenna’s excellent point four minutes from the end, they posed several questions for the Dublin defence.

Dublin had introduced the likes of Jennifer O’Dell (Templeogue Synge Street) and Michelle Davoren (Kilmacud Crokes) from the substitutes’ bench in the second-half, but they were left reeling by the concession of a third goal to McGoldrick.

Indeed, another McKenna point turned it into a one-point game heading into stoppage-time, and from the resulting attack, McGoldrick was presented with an opportunity to change the course of the game. However, Dublin ultimately turned over possession, and held firm for their first victory of the New Year.

Scorers – Dublin: Carla Rowe 1-1, Lyndsey Davey, Kelli Taite 1-0 each, Sinead Aherne (f), Nicole Owens 0-3 each, Naomi Clare 0-2, Siobhan Woods, Noelle Healy, Hannah O’Neill 0-1 each. Dub Stars 2016: Niamh McGoldrick 2-0, Olivia Leonard 1-3, Rebecca McDonnell, Amy Connolly, Kate McKenna 0-2 each, Eadaoin McGuinness, Niamh Ward 0-1 each.

DUBLIN: Ciara Trant (St Brigid’s); Amy Conroy (Round Towers, Clondalkin), Olwen Carey (Thomas Davis), Jade Sweeney Knott (Thomas Davis); Margaret Mohan (Clontarf), Siobhan Woods (Raheny), Orlaith Durcan (Skerries Harps); Noelle Healy (St Brigid’s), Molly Lamb (Kilmacud Crokes); Nicole Owens (St Sylvester’s), Laura McGinley (Naomh Barrog), Carla Rowe (Clann Mhuire); Hannah O’Neill (Foxrock/Cabinteely), Lyndsey Davey (Skerries Harps), Sinead Aherne (St Sylvester’s).

SUBS: Shannon Richardson (O’Dwyers), Naomi Clare (St Maur’s), Leah Caffrey (Na Fianna), Ciara McGuigan (Thomas Davis), Jennifer O’Dell (Templeogue Synge Street), Kelli Taite (Templeogue Synge Street), Michelle Davoren (Kilmacud Crokes).

DUB STARS 2016: Emer Ní Eafa (Fingallians); Emma McDonagh (Foxrock/Cabinteely), Rachael Byrne (Clanna Gael Fontenoy), Ciara Crotty (Foxrock/Cabinteely); Sarah Fagan (Clontarf), Niamh Collins (Foxrock/Cabinteely), Claire Ryan (Clanna Gael Fontenoy); Eadaoin McGuinness (St Maur’s), Lauren Magee (Kilmacud Crokes); Rebecca McDonnell (Clanna Gael Fontenoy), Olivia Leonard (St Maur’s), Niamh Ward (Fingallians); Amy Connolly (Foxrock/Cabinteely), Niamh Carthy (St Maur’s), Niamh McGoldrick (Thomas Davis).

SUBS: Anne Marie Murphy (Foxrock/Cabinteely), Tarah O’Sullivan (Foxrock/Cabinteely), Kate McKenna (Clanna Gael Fontenoy), Jessica Kelly (St Maur’s), Deirdre Murphy (St Brigid’s), Emily Flanagan (Ballyboden St Enda’s), Siobhan Kennedy (Clontarf), Ciara Regan (Kilmacud Crokes), Elaine Kelly (St Brigid’s), Ciara Burgess (Castleknock).

Player of the Match: Emer Ní Eafa (Fingallians)

Referee: Paul Flanagan (St James’ Gaels).

Posted in Ladies GAA | Comments Off on New Ireland Assurance Dub Stars Challenge: Dublin V Dub Stars 2016 – Dublinladiesgaelic.ie – January 9 2017

New Ireland Assurance Junior Dub Stars: Navy Team V Blue Team – Dublinladiesgaelic.ie – January 9 2017

MATCH REPORT NEW IRELAND ASSURANCE JUNIOR DUB STARS

NEW IRELAND ASSURANCE JUNIOR DUB STARS

NAVY TEAM 5-5 (20) BLUE TEAM 4-7 (19)

By Daire Walsh

Rachel Staunton and Frances McCann were in flying form at the DCU Sports grounds on Sunday for the Dub Stars Navy Team, who narrowly defeated the Dub Stars Blue Team in the inaugural New Ireland Assurance Junior Ladies Dub Stars Challenge.

In an entertaining encounter at the Ballymun Road venue, there was always very little to separate the two teams, who used rolling substitutes throughout the course of action. Erin’s Isle corner-forward Gillian McCluskey impressed for the Blues, but with a hat-trick of Staunton goals Staunton being supplemented by a brace of majors from St Anne’s wing-forward McCann, the Navys ultimately held out to triumph by the slenderest of margins.

Captained by Naomh Barrog attacker Aoife Martin, the Navys moved into a four-point lead during the early moments of the contest. Staunton kicked a point from play inside the opening 60 seconds, and after she was picked out by her inside partner Jennifer Judge, the Stars of Erin forward claimed a third-minute goal for her side.

The Navys were certainly intent on hitting the ground running during the first-quarter, and even though the Blues opened their account with a score from full-forward Shauna O’Hara, it was quickly cancelled out by a fisted effort courtesy of opposition midfielder Meabh Malone.

However, the Blues found their feet as the half wore on, and a routine O’Hara free was followed by a McCluskey three-pointer in the ninth-minute. O’Hara and Malone once again swapped scores to leave the sides on level terms, but with both managements opting to make changes to their respective line-ups, scores were at a premium in the closing stages of the opening period.

Navy had a couple of opportunities to move back into the ascendancy, but eight minutes before the interval, the Blues registered their second goal of the tie with a looped finish by Sarah McManus. This was the tonic that Michael Blount’s charges needed, and McCluskey enhanced their advantage with a close-range point four minutes later.

The concession of these scores did come as a set-back to the Navys, but thanks to a late point from substitute Dee Maher, they reduced their deficit to three points (2-4 to 1-4) in time for the interval.

This meant that they were well in contention ahead of what proved to be a goal-laden second-half, but they were initially left in a precarious position nine minutes after the restart. Navy netminder Hannah Richardson had tipped an earlier strike by Caroline Brennan onto the crossbar, before she was beaten by a speculative effort from Christine Harford from the right-hand side.

The Blues had now created a six-point gap, but this was immediately cut in half by an unstoppable Staunton shot at the opposite end of the field. This was a major confidence-booster for the Navys, and they then restored parity in the 43rd-minute, as a McCann free found its way past Castleknock custodian Rachel Slater.

This left matters delicately poised moving into the final-quarter, but despite conceding back-to-back points to Elin Kirwan and Brennan, Navy answered back with a second McCann goal ten minutes from time.

Momentum was now on their side, and although she was denied moments earlier by Slater, Staunton finally recorded her hat-trick on 53 minutes with a cool finish. This opened up some daylight between the sides, but credit must be given to the Blues, who continued to create chances in the closing moments of an absorbing game.

Ballyboughal’s Ciara McConnell found the net from a right-hand angle, and thanks to a well-worked point by Rachel Tully, the Navy lead had been reduced to the bare minimum. This kept their opponents on their toes as the final whistle approached, the Dub Stars Navy Team eventually finished with one point to spare.

Scorers – Dub Stars Navy Team: Rachel Staunton 3-1, Frances McCann 2-0 (1-0 pen), Meabh Malone 0-2, Aoife Costello, Dee Maher 0-1 each. Dub Stars Blue Team: Gillian McCluskey 1-1, Ciara McConnell, Sarah McManus, Christine Harford 1-0 each, Shauna O’Hara 0-3 (2f), Rachel Tully, Elin Kirwan, Caroline Brennan 0-1 each.

NAVY TEAM: Hannah Richardson (Man-O-War); Emma Grouse (Craobh Chiarain), Celine Darcy (Whitehall Colmcille), Rosie Cully (Raheny); Sorcha O’Kelly (St Monica’s), Karen White (Wanderers), Emer Kelly (Clanna Gael Fontenoy B); Meabh Malone (Kilmacud Crokes B), Erica Byrne (O’Dwyers); Debbie Lowe (Na Fianna B), Sarah Burns (Ballyboden St Enda’s B), Frances McCann (St Anne’s); Jennifer Judge (St Peregrine’s), Aoife Martin (Naomh Barrog), Rachel Staunton (Stars of Erin).

SUBS: Aoife Costello (Naomh Barrog), Aoife Hennessy (Ballyboughal), Kayley Hannon (Parnell’s B), Faun Duggan (Clanna Gael Fontenoy B), Anne O’Donovan (Clanna Gael Fontenoy B), Jessie Lynch (St Monica’s), Hannah O’Connor (Clontarf B), Dee Maher (St Jude’s B), Emma Bolger (Ballymun Kickhams), Grainne McGinnty (St Sylvester’s B).

BLUE TEAM: Rachel Slater (Castleknock B); Aoibheann O’Dwyer (Parnell’s B), Heather O’Neill (Naomh Barrog), Emma Barry (Foxrock/Cabinteely); Shelley Delahunty (Crumlin), Helen White (Garristown), Audrey Murtagh (Lucan Sarsfields B); Julie O’Neill (St Brendan’s), Ruth Weakliam (O’Dwyers); Aoife De Burca (Scoil Ui Chonaill), Ciara McConnell (Ballyboughal), Sarah Brennan (Naomh Mearnog); Sarah McManus (Fingallians), Shauna O’Hara, (O’Dwyers), Gillian McCluskey (Erin’s Isle).

SUBS: Mide Ní Shuilleabhan (Na Fianna B), Caroline Brennan, Rachel Tully (Parnell’s B), Christine Harford (Fingal Ravens), Lisa Breheny (St Monica’s), Sandra O’Connor (St Finian’s, Newcastle), Elin Kirwan (Round Towers Lusk), Orla Ryan (Whitehall Colmcille), Louise Coonagh (Trinity Gaels), Aoife Reardon (Thomas Davis B).

Player of the Match: Erica Byrne (O’Dwyers)

Referee: John Doherty.

Posted in Ladies GAA | Comments Off on New Ireland Assurance Junior Dub Stars: Navy Team V Blue Team – Dublinladiesgaelic.ie – January 9 2017

Post-Match Reaction: Leinster Schools Junior Development Cup – Ardscoil Na Trionoide Coach Joe Carbery – The Kildare Nationalist – January 3 2017

SCHOOLS RUGBY

Carbery pleased to see continuing development of Athy rugby

By Daire Walsh

DESPITE seeing his side narrowly losing out in the Leinster Schools Junior Development Cup (also known as the Pat Rossiter Cup) last Tuesday, Ardscoil na Trionoide coach Joe Carbery was proud of his team’s efforts against an impressive Colaiste Chill Mhantain.

The lead changed hands on a number of occasions in Donnybrook Stadium, and when he takes into account the way his Athy outfit have performed throughout the season, and was delighted to see them producing a positive display of attacking rugby on the day.

“Incredibly proud. They’ve worked hard all year. They won close games, they’ve played some days beyond what you would expect their capabilities to be. Yeah, very proud of them,” Carbery remarked.

“I just like them to play what they see in front of them, and enjoy it. Not have any fear of making mistakes, and just make sure that they give everything they’ve got. When they’re sitting in there now, they can be proud of themselves.”

Tries from Mhantain either side of the interval meant that Ardscoil were facing into a 12-20 deficit in the early stages of the second-half. Yet, thanks to five-pointers from Ben Purcell, Aaron Rowan and Thomas Keane, they spectacularly moved back into the ascendancy.

Carbery was thrilled with his side’s response to falling behind, and while acknowledging there were areas that they could have improved on, he nevertheless offered his congratulations to Mhantain – whose earlier success in the Anne McInerney Cup ensured that they claimed a schools cup double in the south Dublin venue.

“They did respond well. I think if our team tackling had improved, we could have won the game, but fair dues to Wicklow on their double. They deserved it.”

As the Club Community Rugby Officer (CCRO) for Athy RFC, Carbery has been familiar with the vast majority of his squad since their time in primary school. Having overseen their development to this stage, he believes they can continue to progress in the coming years – provided they are eager to work hard and enjoy their rugby.

“Exactly [this is something they can build on]. That’s what I said to them in the circle. Learn the lessons from a day like today, and moved forward. Take experience from it.

“They’re full of heart and full of commitment. They’ve a lot of pride and a lot of honour, and they played with that today.”

“I’ve known them for years, through the primary schools and everything like that. If they work hard, if they continue to work hard, that’s the key.

“If you work hard, and you enjoy your rugby and play for the love the game.”

Indeed, having played for Athy and Ardscoil as a youngster, Carbery’s own son Joey has become an established member of the Leinster and Irish senior squads in recent months.

Joey’s provincial compatriot Jeremy Loughman also hails from Athy, and Carbery agrees that their development can act as a motivation for those who are currently playing underage rugby in the town.

“I think so. I think it puts it all in perspective, that it is achievable if they work hard.

“There’s a few boys there with potential, but the number one reason for playing the game is for the love of the game and working hard, and developing character. They did that today,” Carbery added.

Posted in Schools Rugby | Comments Off on Post-Match Reaction: Leinster Schools Junior Development Cup – Ardscoil Na Trionoide Coach Joe Carbery – The Kildare Nationalist – January 3 2017