Leinster Senior Football Championship Final: Dublin V Kildare – The Tallaght Echo (Online) – August 1 2021

Dublin safely through to another All-Ireland semi-final with Leinster victory

By Daire Walsh

Templeogue Synge Street’s Niall Scully kicked two points at Croke Park this afternoon as Dublin claimed their 11th consecutive Leinster Senior Football Championship title with a 0-20 to 1-9 success over Kildare.

0-9 to 0-5 ahead at the break, the Sky Blues pushed on after the resumption to claim another piece of silverware under the stewardship of Dessie Farrell. Provincial and All-Ireland champions in 2020, the Metropolitans will now face Connacht winners in the last-four of the Sam Maguire Cup.

Aside from Scully, there was local interest in the shape of a plethora of Dublin substitutes. The Basquel brothers Colm and Ryan (both Ballyboden St Enda’s), Tom Lahiff (St Jude’s) and Emmett O Conghaile (Lucan Sarsfields) all saw action during the second half of the contest in GAA HQ.

Ryan Basquel chipped in with a fine point and his sibling had a goal ruled out for over carrying as they both looked to force their way into the reckoning for a starting spot against Mayo.

Dublin were hoping to improve on a patchy performance delivered in their encounter with Meath in the previous round of the Leinster SFC, but encountered considerable resistance from the Lilywhites. Despite Dean Rock (two), Ciaran Kilkenny, Cormac Costello and James McCarthy finding the target, the holders were ahead by a single point (0-5 to 0-4) at the first water break.

Nevertheless, Rock (two), Costello and Con O’Callaghan ensured Dublin remained on top at the break and a brace of Scully efforts on the resumption helped to keep them firmly in the ascendancy.

Following a well-taken mark from the TSS star on 48 minutes, Dublin found themselves six points clear (0-13 to 0-7) and stretched the gap to eight inside the final-quarter. Daniel Flynn’s superb 62nd minute goal did give them a minor scare, but with Costello (two) and Ryan Basquel split the uprights late on, the pre-game favourites prevailed in convincing fashion.

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All-Ireland Senior Hurling Championship Quarter-Final: Cork V Dublin – The Tallaght Echo (Online) – August 1 2021

Dublin exit hurling championship at hands of Leesiders

Daire Walsh

In spite of a spirited final-quarter showing, Dublin’s All-Ireland Senior Hurling Championship campaign came to an end at Semple Stadium, Thurles last night.

Courtesy of first-half goals from Tim O’Mahony and Shane Kingston – son of team manager Kieran – it was their opponents Cork who secured the spoils on a final scoreline of 2-26 to 2-24. 30-time winners of the Liam MacCarthy Cup, the Leesiders will now face Leinster champions Kilkenny in the last-four.

Following their provincial decider defeat against the latter two weeks earlier, Dublin were looking to rediscover the form that saw them overcoming Galway so impressively at the Leinster semi-final stage.

This was Dublin’s first appearance in an All-Ireland quarter-final since 2015 and Mattie Kenny’s troops were eager to send out a big statement.

There was considerable local interest within the Sky Blues ranks, with James Madden (Ballyboden St Enda’s), Danny Sutcliffe (St Jude’s) and Chris Crummey (Lucan Sarsfields) included in the starting line-up. Crummey’s brother Paul and Thomas Davis star Davy Keogh were listed amongst the replacements and both players saw action over the course of the contest.

Additionally, former St Patrick’s, Palmerstown defender Liam Rushe – now a member of Na Fianna on Dublin’s northside – was selected in the pivotal position of centre half-back.

The initial signs were promising for the Metropolitans as Donal Burke’s 13th-minute free edged them into a 0-6 to 0-5 lead.

However, O’Mahony’s superb individual three-pointer five minutes later moved Cork into the ascendancy and the Munster giants pushed forward in the remaining minutes of the half.

While Rushe landed an excellent score to supplement a flurry of contributions from Burke, Kingston’s major handed their Rebel counterparts a 2-13 to 0-11 interval cushion.

When Keogh entered the fray in place of Cian O’Sullivan just past the 50-minute mark, Dublin were all of nine points adrift. To their credit, they managed to bring the gap down to four in the closing minutes with Sutcliffe twice finding the target in clinical fashion.

Nevertheless, Cork fired back with four unanswered points to see out the game in fine style.

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Women’s Olympic Field Hockey Group A: Great Britain V Ireland – The Tallaght Echo (Online) – August 1 2021

Ireland Hockey team bow out at end of group stages

Daire Walsh

Despite a gallant effort, the Ireland women’s hockey team exited the Tokyo Olympics following a 2-0 defeat at the hands of Great Britain in Oi Seaside Park earlier today.

Requiring a win in order to progress from Group A into the quarter-final stages of the tournament, the concession of goals in either half to Susannah Townsend and Hannah Martin saw Sean Dancer’s charges ultimately missing out on a spot in the last-eight.

This will come as a disappointment to the Katie Mullan-led side, but the margin for error was always going to be small in a highly-competitive field.

There was a strong contingent from the Rathfarnham-based Loreto club in the Ireland squad for this Olympics – an historic first for an Ireland women’s hockey team.

In addition to back-up goalkeeper Liz Murphy, Sarah Torrans, Nicci Daly and Hannah Matthews were also included amongst Dancer’s ranks.

Torran was on target in their 2-0 opening day victory over South Africa, but results haven’t gone Ireland’s way since then.

Having suffered a comprehensive reversal to the Netherlands in their second game, the Green Army fought valiantly before also losing out to Germany on a final score of 4-2.

A last-gasp 1-0 loss to India on Friday increased the pressure on Ireland ahead of their meeting with Team GB.

Although their neighbours had already qualified for the knockout rounds, they were hoping for a favourable draw in the next phase and therefore were eager to secure their third win of the campaign.

India’s own success over South Africa meant anything less that a win would eliminate Ireland from the tournament.

However, the 2018 World Cup finalists fell behind to Townsend’s close-range finish on 18 minutes and this left them with significant ground to make up in the second half.

Ireland needed to hit the ground running on the resumption if they had designs on forcing their way back into the reckoning. Instead, Martin rattled the net in the 32nd-minute to effectively place the outcome beyond doubt.

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Graham Shaw Olympic Hockey Piece: The Tallaght Echo (Online) – August 1 2021

Shaw leads New Zealand to Olympics quarter-final

Daire Walsh

While the Olympics journey for the Ireland women’s hockey team is at an end, the village of Firhouse will be keeping a keen interest on the progress of their New Zealand counterparts in the knockout rounds.

At the helm of Ireland for their march towards the 2018 World Cup final, local hero Graham Shaw subsequently left this post to take over the southern hemisphere nation the following year.

Though it hasn’t been without its speed bump, he has successfully guided the Vantage Black Sticks towards a quarter-final date against the Netherlands on Monday.

In stark contrast to his home country – who were competing at the Summer Games for the very first time – New Zealand are competing at their eighth Olympics in the Japanese capital.

Currently sixth in the FIH world rankings, they began their campaign with a convincing 3-0 win over Argentina last Sunday. Back in action a day later against host nation Japan, Olivia Merry and Hope Ralph goals propelled them towards a 2-1 victory.

This already put Shaw’s troops within touching distance of a knockout spot, but the Kiwis made life difficult for themselves in the remaining games of Group B.

After losing narrowly to 1992 gold medallists Spain on Wednesday (2-1), narrow reversals followed at the hands of Australia on Thursday (1-0) and China earlier today (3-2).

However, a superior score difference ensured they held onto fourth place at the expense of the Chinese.

Leading out New Zealand at the Olympics is the latest milestone in a remarkable sporting career for Shaw. A former student of Coláiste Éanna in Ballyroan, he picked up 151 senior international hockey caps for Ireland.

A two-time Men’s EuroHockey Nations Trophy winner in the green jersey, he took up his first coaching role with St Kilian’s German School in Clonskeagh while still an active player. Although he has worked across the men’s and women’s games, it is in the latter that he has had the greatest success as a coach.

In addition to the phenomenal achievement of reaching the World Cup final three years ago, he also guided Ireland to the Women’s EuroHockey Championship II and the Kuala Lumpur Tournament in 2015 and 2017 respectively.

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SSE Airtricity League First Division: Shelbourne V Cobh Ramblers – The Evening Echo – July 31 2021

O’Connell’s strike earns Cobh Ramblers a point away to leaders Shels

Shelbourne 2 Cobh Ramblers 2

FOR the second game in succession, namesakes Danny and Nathan O’Connell found the net as Cobh Ramblers secured a magnificent 2-2 draw with runaway SSE Airtricity League First Division leaders Shelbourne at Tolka Park last night.

On target in last Sunday’s extra-time triumph over Liffey Wanderers in the FAI Cup, the recent recruits to St Colman’s Park cancelled out Shels’ strikes from Michael O’Connor and Dayle Rooney to earn their side a share of the spoils.

In their first league game under interim boss Darren Murphy, Ramblers were facing a Shels side that were seeking to extend their unbeaten run in the second-tier to 17 games. They may have lost out to UCD in the Cup seven days earlier, but this only made them more determined to lay down a marker.

Cobh had looked lively during the opening exchanges, with Nathan O’Connell getting himself in a good position before dragging a shot past the right-hand post.

Space was the one thing the visitors couldn’t afford to give their much-fancied opponents, but that is precisely what Michael O’Connor had at his disposal for a 10th-minute opener. Picking up possession 25 yards from goal, the Dundalk native unleashed an unstoppable strike to the top right-hand corner of Sean Barron’s net.

This was an early setback for Ramblers and their travelling supporters breathed a sigh of relief when Rooney headed narrowly over the crossbar three minutes later. The Leesiders were struggling to make an attacking impact until, in the blink of an eye, they found themselves back on level terms.

Ian Turner was released down the right-flank just shy of the half-hour mark and after Shels netminder Brendan Clarke failed to gather his subsequent cross, Danny O’Connell was on hand to fire the rebound into an empty net.

This was O’Connell’s first league goal for the club and the confidence within the Ramblers ranks visibly grew as a result of this landmark scoring contribution. Yet Shels eventually settled after the shock concession of this equaliser and Rooney’s superb finish on the turn in stoppage-time gave the hosts a 2-1 interval cushion.

Ian Morris’ charges were expected to push forward on the resumption and former Cork City footballer Kevin O’Connor fired agonisingly off-target from a left-hand angle on 49 minutes. Georgie Poynton saw a later opportunity rebounding off the post as Shels continued to turn the screw.

However, Cobh remained defiant in the face of mounting pressure and forced their way back into the reckoning once again on 62 minutes. Danny O’Connell was a lively presence up front throughout the contest and his mazy run placed the Shels defence on the back-foot.

The mid-season arrival from Avondale United was ultimately turned over, but his namesake Nathan was ideally positioned to latch onto the loose ball. He expertly eyed up the target and proceeded to curl a superb effort beyond the reach of the helpless Clarke.

Although Shels were largely on top of possession, Cobh’s ruthless efficiency in attack meant it was anyone’s game for the taking inside the final quarter. As it transpired, Ramblers held firm in a tension-filled finale and, with Cabinteely suffered a comprehensive defeat to Bray Wanderers, moved up to seventh in the First Division standings.

SHELBOURNE: Brendan Clarke; Ally Gilchrist, Luke Byrne, Kevin O’Connor; JJ Lunney, Georgie Poynton (Brian McManus 77); Shane Farrell, Ryan Brennan (Cameron Ledwidge 68), Dayle Rooney (Eric Molloy 68); Michael O’Connor.

COBH RAMBLERS: Sean Barron; John Kavanagh, Charlie Lyons, Ben O’Riordan, Cian Murphy (Nathan Coleman 80); David O’Leary, Pierce Phillips (Jake Hegarty 86); Ian Turner, Nathan O’Connell, Killian Cooper (Darren Murphy 53); Danny O’Connell.

Referee: Kevin O’Sullivan.

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Dublin Adult Hurling League Division One Round-Up (July 28): Dublingaa.ie – July 30 2021

GO-AHEAD ADULT HURLING LEAGUE DIVISION ONE ROUND-UP: JULY 28TH

GO AHEAD ADULT HURLING LEAGUE DIVISION ONE ROUND-UP (JULY 28)

By Daire Walsh

With just one round of fixtures left to play, it remains extremely tight at the summit of the Go Ahead Adult Hurling League Division One North table.

At Clonshaugh on Wednesday evening, St Vincent’s suffered defeat for the first time in 2021 – losing out to Craobh Chiarain on a final score of 2-13 to 1-14. This was also the case for St Brigid’s, who – after previously recording three consecutive wins – were on the receiving end of a 2-21 to 2-18 reversal at the hands of Na Fianna at St Mobhi Road.

By virtue of their win on home soil, the Glasnevin men move level on points with both Brigid’s and Vincent’s. Despite this recent set-back, a slightly superior scoring difference ensures the former lead the way in Division One North.

Na Fianna hold onto second place for the time being, with Vincent’s occupying third spot. The final round of fixtures on August 14 sees Vincent’s hosting Brigid’s at Pairc Naomh Uinsionn and Na Fianna facing Naomh Barrog in Kilbarrack.

It promises to be a tantalising conclusion to a shortened campaign, with all three teams possessing a realistic opportunity of coming out on top of the pile. Elsewhere in One North on Wednesday, Whitehall Colmcille and Naomh Barrog picked up their first points of the term when playing out a 1-16 to 1-16 draw at Collins Avenue.

Promoted from Division Two for the first time in 2019, Barrog were on the brink of a maiden top-flight triumph as they led 1-11 to 1-7 at the interval. In addition to goalkeeper Josh Rooney, the visitors held a stubborn resistance in the form of defenders Liam Glynn and Niall Ring.

Cillian Costello and Joe Flanagan dovetailed to good effect in midfield, with centre-forward Ciaran Gallagher another player to make his presence felt. Diarmuid O’Donnell, Dean Flood and Sean Doyle were named on the inside line as Barrog were going the right way towards atoning for a July 14 defeat to Craobh Chiarain.

Heavy losses to Vincent’s, Na Fianna and Brigid’s had preceded this game for Whitehall, but they showed plenty of resilience on the resumption. Outscoring their opponents by 0-9 to 0-5, the hosts came away with a commendable draw in the end.

As a consequence of their thrilling 2-21 to 4-15 stalemate at Silver Park on Wednesday, both Kilmacud Crokes and Ballyboden St Enda’s remain unbeaten in Division One South. ‘Boden’s scoring average puts them marginally ahead of their Stillorgan counterparts, but this could all change in the coming weeks.

On August 11, ‘Boden will face Lucan Sarsfields at 12th Lock. By the time Crokes play Cuala at Shanganagh Park three days later, they will know what is required to come out on top spot in the division.

Overcoming Cuala won’t be easy of course and the Dalkey side remain in contention for back-to-back league titles, having been crowned champions at the end of the last completed league season of 2019.

Since their defeat to Kilmacud on the opening day of the term,John Twomey’s charges have embarked on an impressive winning run. Lucan Sarsfields and Faughs were both accounted for, in advance of their 2-14 to 1-11 victory against Ballinteer St John’s on Wednesday.

This puts Cuala a single point behind both Ballyboden and Kilmacud in the league standings, all of whom are expected to challenge at the business end of the Dublin Senior Hurling Championship.

Meanwhile, Faughs left the frustration of three straight defeats behind them by securing their first win of Division One South at the expense of Lucan Sarsfields in Tymon North. Lucan were looking to move up the table with a win in their second away game of the year, but the Templeogue club shaded it on a score of 1-19 to 1-17.

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Laser Radial Day Five: Annalise Murphy – The Tallaght Echo (Online) – July 30 2021

Murphy’s Olympic journey come to an end

Daire Walsh

She gave it her all, but Rathfarnham sailor Annalise Murphy just fell short in her quest for a place in the Laser Radial medal race on Sunday at the Tokyo Olympics.

After finishing 30th and 40th in today’s races – her ninth and 10th at these Summer Games – Murphy achieved an overall ranking of 18th.

That put her eight places behind what was required to advance to the showpiece event for the third Olympics in succession.

Given she finished fourth at the London Games in 2012 before securing a silver medal in Rio de Janeiro four years later, Murphy will of course be disappointed not to make the cut this weekend.

Nevertheless, it was due to a string of impressive performances on Tuesday and Thursday that the 31-year-old got herself in contention for the medal race.

Ninth and 10th in race five and six respectively on Tuesday, she subsequently won race seven in the early hours of yesterday morning Irish time and later claimed the runners-up spot in the second race of the day.

Raring to go in the Japanese capital, her race nine prospects were affected by a penalty that put her back several places in the pecking order.

In the end, she crossed the finishing line 29 spots behind eventual winner Marit Bouwmeester – the Netherlands sailor who won gold in this category at the 2016 Olympics.

This effectively left her with too much ground to cover for the remainder of the day and she ended her Olympics journey in a time of 53:42 in race 10.

Speaking to RTÉ Sport following the conclusion of her campaign, Murphy – who is returning to college to do an MBA in September – admitted she is unlikely to return for the 2024 Olympics and is potentially contemplating retirement.

If this to be the case, she can bow out with her head held high having shone on the greatest stage of all in her chosen field.

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Women’s Olympics Hockey Group A: India V Ireland – The Tallaght Echo (Online) – July 30 2021

Ireland suffer another set-back in Olympics Hockey campaign

Daire Walsh

Navneet Kaur struck a 57th-minute goal in the Oi Stadium earlier today to consign the Ireland women’s hockey team to a 1-0 defeat at the hands of India in a tense Group A clash at the Tokyo Olympics.

With one win from three games before this tie, Sean Dancer’s charges had looked set to hold out for a draw that would place them on the brink of a spot in the tournament quarter-finals.

India were on the receiving end of three straight defeats in advance of this contest and desperately needed a win to keep their own quest for a knockout place alive.

Their wish was ultimately granted in the closing moments of the action, when a Kaur strike found its way past Irish netminder Ayeisha McFerran. As a result, India now move level on points (three) with their opponents in the group table.

While Ireland remain fourth, tomorrow sees them rounding off the pool stages with a tricky assignment against defending champions Great Britain – who are not yet guaranteed of progression.

Buoyed by this success, India will take on basement side South Africa and will be hopeful another win can keep the heat up on the Irish.

A goalscorer in their sole victory to date – an opening day success over the South Africans – Knocklyon native Sarah Torrans was included amongst Ireland’s starting line-up.

Her Loreto club-mates Hannah Matthews and Nicci Daly were named on the bench for a game that was a rematch of the 2018 World Cup quarter-final that Ireland won on penalties.

McFerran produced a brace of fine stops in the opening quarter, before Deirdre Duke (making her 150th appearance for Ireland) saw a shot diverted away from the target. Anna O’Flanagan was also close to breaking the deadlock, but given the volume of penalty corners they had to defend, Ireland were content to be on level terms at the interval.

Thanks to the presence of the impressive Daly, Ireland did create some good openings in the second half. Muckross’ O’Flanagan was twice denied by India netminder Savita Punia, but the Irish defence were coming under sustained pressure of their own.

Following excellent spade work by Rani Rampal, Kaur was ideally placed to fire home the decisive score of the game in the dying minutes.

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Leinster U20 Hurling Championship Final: Galway V Dublin – The Tallaght Echo – July 29 2021

Dublin Under 20s fall short in Leinster Championship decider

By Daire Walsh

IT WAS was ultimately disappointment for the Dublin Under 20 hurlers in Portlaoise on Tuesday night as they fell to a 2-15 to 0-15 defeat at the hands of Galway in the 2021 Leinster Championship final.

Just five weeks after the Sky Blues had overcome the Tribesmen in the much-delayed 2020 provincial decider, Seán Power’s charges were hopeful of holding onto their crown.

And despite the concession of goals to Galway attackers Oisin Flannery and John Cooney, they remained in the mix heading into the final-quarter of the action.

However, their western counterparts pushed on in the closing stages and consequently booked their place in the forthcoming All-Ireland showpiece on Saturday week (July 7).

Power called upon a heavy local contingent for this game, with Ballinteer St John’s duo Iain Ó hEithir and Seamus Fenton being joined in the starting line-up by Patrick Dunleavy (Ballyboden St Enda’s) and Kevin Lahiff (St Jude’s). Pearce Christie (Ballyboden) and James O’Brien (Faughs) were listed amongst the substitutes, but remained unused in the game.

Although Ó hEithir also featured in that recent Leinster title success, he was surrounded by a relatively new batch of team-mates on this occasion. Galway had more survivors within their ranks, including dead-ball specialist Donal O’Shea – son of Tipperary senior hurling selector Eamon.

When Lahiff struck over a point for the holders in the seventh-minute, it propelled them into a 0-4 to 0-2 cushion. Galway fired back with a goal from Flannery after a mishap by opposition goalkeeper Ben Hynes, and held a slender advantage at the first half water break.

Still, with Lahiff and wing-back Dunleavy finding the target, the sides were on level terms at the interval (0-10 to 1-7). Donal Leavy briefly edged Dublin clear on the resumption before a wonder goal by Cooney (younger brother of Galway senior star Joseph) saw them falling behind again.

Ciarán Foley’s free-taking kept Dublin in the hunt, though, and Dunleavy’s second point on 48 minutes left the bare minimum between the teams (2-9 to 0-14). Yet it was at this juncture that Galway pushed into overdrive and it took a brace of Hynes saves to keep the Blues within reach of the silverware on offer.

The prospect of a dramatic fightback remained a possibility, until Sean McDonagh (two) and O’Shea struck unanswered points to finally seal Dublin’s fate.

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Laser Radial Day Four Tokyo Olympics: Annalise Murphy – The Tallaght Echo (Online) – July 29 2021

Murphy excels to keep Olympic dream alive

Daire Walsh

Rathfarnham sailor Annalise Murphy produced a brace of superb performances earlier today to move within touching distance of a spot in Sunday’s Laser Radial medal race.

Having achieved top ten finishes in race five and six of this division on Tuesday, the 31-year-old was hopeful of continuing on an upward curve.

She took another giant leap forward by winning race seven in Fujisawa and subsequently claimed second place in race eight to enhance her overall prospects in this event.

Currently 14th in the Laser Radial rankings, Murphy needs to break into the top ten in order to progress through to Sunday’s grand showpiece.

She is just 14 points off making the cut and while it is easier said than done, a repeat of today’s heroics in race nine and ten tomorrow would go a long way towards extending her stay at the Tokyo Olympics.

After initially slipping to 32nd on Monday in the Japanese capital, Murphy was in a buoyant mood as a result of her improved displays on the following day.

Any fears that a period of rest on Wednesday could halt her momentum were quickly dispelled as she moved clear at the end of race seven’s opening leg.

She was 31 seconds ahead of Denmark’s Anne-Marie Rindom at this point and although the 2016 bronze medallist closed the gap to 11 seconds heading into the third leg, Murphy maintained her iron grip on pole position.

Crossing the finishing line in a time of 51:53, she threw down the gauntlet to her fellow competitors.

Scaling the same heights in race eight was always going to be a big ask, but it was Murphy and Rindom who once again led the way.

The roles were reversed on this occasion as Rindom came home in first, but having moved into the runners-up spot at the end of leg three, the UCD graduate held this position – finishing just 11 seconds behind Rindom.

Both Murphy and her Danish counterpart were on the podium in Rio de Janeiro five years ago and appear to be hitting their peak form at precisely the right time.

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