Dublin Intermediate All County Football Championship Final: St Jude’s V Kilmacud Crokes – The Tallaght Echo – October 1 2020

Jude’s jubilant in Inter Final

By Daire Walsh

ST JUDE’S secured the Dublin Intermediate All County Football Championship crown with a clinical display against Kilmacud Crokes at O’Toole Park on Saturday.

Ritchie English’s impressive haul of 11 points went a long way towards ensuring the silverware was accrued by the Wellington Lane men, while inside forwards Declan Donnelly (0-3) and Alan Connolly (0-2) also stood tall. Known best for his exploits with the club’s senior hurlers, Ger McManus was an assured and commanding presence at centre half-back.

Further up the field, Brendan McManamon – older brother of Sky Blues star Kevin – provided strong leadership throughout for Jude’s.

Team captain Ross O’Brien also appeared off the bench in the final-quarter to help his side over the line in the most comprehensive of fashions.

Mark Coughlan led the Crokes challenge, contributing an excellent tally of 0-7 over the course of the contest.

The Stillorgan outfit were defending champions at this grade but, on this occasion, they ultimately came off second best.

Following a 3-12 to 2-10 semi-final victory over rivals Ballyboden St Enda’s, Jude’s were hell-bent on going a step further in this season’s competition.

Playing with the aid of a slight breeze, they moved two points clear inside the opening five minutes of the action.

After English superbly split the posts off a 35-metre free, a memorable Connolly run released Neal Mangan for an excellent score. Crokes fired back through Conor Kane, but this was to be their sole point of the first-quarter.

Jude’s were patiently controlling possession, waiting for the precise moment to unleash a shot at the uprights. English converted another placed-ball effort out towards the left-hand touchline, before Simon Murphy and Donnelly (after claiming an impressive mark) raised further white flags.

English’s third point of the game on 17 minutes was his first from open play and it meant Jude’s were 0-6 to 0-1 ahead in time for the opening period water break. While this offered Crokes a much-needed breather, Jude’s continued to dominate nonetheless.

Already an influential presence in attack, English underlined his undoubted quality with four points in the space of nine minutes. Murphy was denied by the fingertips of Gavin Sheridan in the middle of this sequence as Jude’s looked to place the tie beyond the reach of their opponents.

Crokes finally addressed their scoring drought with a pointed Egan free deep into stoppage-time, but Jude’s remained in a comfortable position at the break – leading 0-10 to 0-2.

Having failed to sparkle in the first half, Kilmacud were expected to provide greater resistance on the restart. Coughlan got his account up and running with a brace of quick points and Michael Nealon combined to good effect with Egan for a similar strike.

Crokes were now beginning to gather momentum and courtesy of Coughlan and Anthony Quinn singles, their deficit was down to three on the stroke of 40 minutes. Jude’s initially struggled to rediscover the rhythm that had served them so well before the interval.

However, thanks to the outstanding English, they subsequently reinforced their superiority. His three-point salvo – and another Donnelly contribution from an offensive mark – left Crokes with a mountain to climb in the closing stages.

Coughlan and Barry O’Rorke pointed frees to offer them a glimmer of hope, but with their leader O’Brien introduced on the ’40’, Jude’s maintained a stranglehold on the proceedings.

The dynamic duo of English and Donnelly enhanced their personal totals and although Coughlan found the target either side of Connolly’s fisted point, a Jude’s triumph was never in doubt.

Moments after replacing the tireless McManamon, Darren Gallagher found the range off a close-in free. The battling Coughlan responded once again at the opposite end, but Connolly had the final say for a jubilant St Jude’s with his second score of the half.

ST JUDE’S: C Barden; C Mangan, S Kavanagh, C Smith; D Walsh, G McManus, L Joyce; S Noone, E Walsh; S Murphy, N Mangan, R English; A Connolly, D Donnelly, B McManamon. Subs: A Fitzmaurice, R O’Brien, D Gallagher.

KILMACUD CROKES: G Sheridan; D Geraghty, S Murphy, J Murphy; C Clinton, S Daly, D Kennedy; P Duggan, P Flaherty; C Kane, M Coughlan, A Egan; A Quinn, A Fox, T O’Neill. Subs: M Nealon, H O’Donnell, D Doyle, B O’Rorke.

Posted in Gaelic Football | Comments Off on Dublin Intermediate All County Football Championship Final: St Jude’s V Kilmacud Crokes – The Tallaght Echo – October 1 2020

Dublin Senior One Football Championship Final: Ballyboden St Enda’s V Ballymun Kickhams – The Tallaght Echo (Online) – September 27 2020

More Dublin Championship heartbreak for Ballyboden

By Daire Walsh

BALLYBODEN St Enda’s suffered further heartache in Parnell Park this evening.

Following their five-point defeat to Cuala in last weekend’s county hurling decider, the Firhouse Road club again came off second best against an impressive Ballymun Kickhams side, losing 1-19 to 0-8 in this evening’s Dublin Senior One Football Championship decider.

Fresh from his appearance in the same venue seven days earlier, Conal Keaney got defending champions ‘Boden off the mark with a point inside the opening 60 seconds.

While Ballymun subsequently built up a head of steam, ‘Boden twice levelled matters through Keaney and Ryan Basquel.

However, a fired-up ‘Mun ruled the roost either side of the first half water break. Dean Rock – in particular – was in imperious form, contributing an outstanding opening period haul of eight points to propel the northside outfit into a deserved 0-14 to 0-4 interval lead.

A brace of Dillon Keating points increased the gap between the teams on the resumption, before Colm Basquel ended a barren scoring spell of 34 minutes for ‘Boden with a routine free.

Anthony Rainbow’s charges battled admirably during the final-quarter as Keaney and Ryan Basquel posted unanswered scores.

The latter proceeded to trade points with opposite number Fiach Andrews, but Brendan Hackett’s outstanding Ballymun were eager to finish with a flourish. Dean Rock buried a stoppage-time penalty after Shane Clayton had fouled Andrew McCaul, while Andrews and Jason Whelan added points to leave Ballyboden 14 points adrift at the end.

BALLYMUN KICKHAMS: E Comerford; P McMahon, E Dolan, D Conlon; L Young, J Small, C Keeley; A Elliott, J McCarthy; D Keating, C McCormack, C O’Tighe; P Small, F Andrews, D Rock. Subs: J Whelan for O’Tighe (50), A McCaul for Keating (53), E Hill for McCormack (58), B Ashton for Elliott (60).

BALLYBODEN ST ENDA’S: M McNamee; S Clayton, R McDaid, K Kennedy; B Bobbett, D Nelson, C Flaherty; MD Macauley, A Waters; D O’Reilly, W Egan, C Basquel; R McGarry, R Basquel, C Keaney. Subs: D O’Mahony for Bobbett, J Holland for Nelson, A Flood for O’Reilly (all h-t), S Lambert for C Basquel (50), T Hayes for McGarry (55).

Posted in Gaelic Football | Comments Off on Dublin Senior One Football Championship Final: Ballyboden St Enda’s V Ballymun Kickhams – The Tallaght Echo (Online) – September 27 2020

Energia Community Series: Leinster Conference One – St Mary’s College V Clontarf – Irishrugby.ie – September 27 2020

Meanwhile, Clontarf came away with a 27-19 bonus point victory from St. Mary’s College, aided by hooker Dylan Donnellan’s brace of first half tries. Mary’s were first on the board when centre Myles Carey crossed early on, following a sharp pass out wide by Dave Fanagan.

Donnellan touched down off a lineout maul and Tadhg Bird supplied the conversion for a 7-5 ‘Tarf lead. An unconverted effort followed near the half-hour mark as a long passage of play ended with Donnellan once again scoring, under a pile of bodies.

Carey’s dynamic ball-carrying had been the highlight of the opening half and he was the architect of Mary’s second try in the 39th minute. He capped off a memorable dash down the left wing with a terrific one-handed offload to send full-back Mark Fogarty over. Bird replied with a penalty for a 15-12 scoreline.

Into the second period, the arrival on the pitch of ex-Munster, Connacht and Ulster scrum half Angus Lloyd served to strengthen Clontarf’s hand. Michael Noone, another ex-professional, grabbed an excellent try – finishing off some sparkling build-up play – in the 50th minute with young out-half Bird again converting.

Seven minutes from time, Andy Wood’s men bagged the bonus when Lloyd expertly dangled a grubber kick through for Michael Courtney to score in the right corner. Mary’s, who are a division below their opponents, battled on and took further encouragement from their performance when replacement hooker Steven O’Brien crossed right at the death.

Posted in Senior Club Rugby | Comments Off on Energia Community Series: Leinster Conference One – St Mary’s College V Clontarf – Irishrugby.ie – September 27 2020

Interprovincial Game: Leinster ‘A’ V Ulster ‘A’ – The Irish Examiner – September 26 2020

Bill Johnston fires Ulster A to victory over Leinster

There was a first run-out in blue for former Munster tighthead Ciaran Parker

Leinster ‘A’ 14 Ulster ‘A’ 29 

A 14-point haul from Bill Johnston helped Ulster ‘A’ to record a convincing triumph over Leinster ‘A’ in an interprovincial clash at the RDS.

Given both provinces get their PRO14 campaigns up and running next Friday, it was no surprise to see senior squad players mixed in with academy stars on either side.

While the initially anticipated return of long-term injury absentee Dan Leavy didn’t materialise, there was a first run-out in blue for former Munster tighthead Ciaran Parker. During his time with the southern outfit, the Stockport native played alongside Johnston.

The Tipperary man raced under the posts for a breakthrough Ulster try on 15 minutes and supplied the extras himself to put the visitors seven points clear.

Leinster eventually fired back at the end of the half, Ireland international Max Deegan crossing over off an extended attack. Harry Byrne comfortably added the bonuses to leave the sides on level terms at the break.

Less than two minutes after the resumption, Leinster edged in front courtesy of a converted Peter Dooley score. Ulster continued to go about their business, however, as Adam McBurney’s five-pointer off an intricate maul move added fresh life to their challenge.

A spectacular individual effort by Matt Faddes propelled them back into the ascendancy on 65 minutes and after Johnston stretched them further ahead with an outstanding long-range penalty, Craig Gilroy’s breakaway try completed an impressive final-quarter turnaround for the northern province.

Scorers for Leinster ‘A’: M Deegan, P Dooley try each, H Byrne 2 cons.

Scorers for Ulster ‘A’: B Johnston try, pen, 3 cons, A McBurney, M Faddes, C Gilroy try each.

LEINSTER ‘A’: M Silvester; T O’Brien, J O’Brien, C Frawley, C Kelleher; H Byrne, H O’Sullivan; P Dooley, J Tracy, C Parker; J Dunne, C Ryan; J Murphy, S Penny, M Deegan.

Replacements: T Clarkson, N Comerford, C Foley, D Hawkshaw, J McCarthy, J McKee, M Milne, M Moloney, R Molony, S O’Brien, R Osborne, R Ruddock, A Smith, A Soroka, L Turner.

ULSTER ‘A’: E McIlroy; C Gilroy, M Faddes, S Moore, A Sexton; B Johnston, D Shanahan; K McCall, A McBurney, G Milasinovich; D O’Connor, K Treadwell; D McCann, M Rea, G Jones.

Replacements: T Stewart, C Reid, R Kane, A Allison, R Crothers, L Finlay, B Houston, H Hyde, C Rankin, N Doak.

Referee: P Martin (IRFU).

Posted in Interprovincial Rugby | Comments Off on Interprovincial Game: Leinster ‘A’ V Ulster ‘A’ – The Irish Examiner – September 26 2020

SSE Airtricity League First Division: Cabinteely V Galway United – The Connacht Tribune – September 25 2020


Christopher strikes late as 10-man Galway Utd continue winning run



Daire Walsh in Stradbrook

STEPHEN Christopher was the matchwinner in Stradbrook on Monday night as his 99th-minute finish propelled 10-man Galway United to the most dramatic of triumphs over Cabinteely in the SSE Airtricity League First Division.

Restored to the United side in place of the injured Conor Barry, Christopher produced the goods for John Caulfield’s rejuvenated charges. Cabinteely had seemingly gained the upper hand when Marc Ludden was dismissed on 67 minutes, but United ultimately held firm to secure all three points.

United have now won five league games in succession since Caulfield assumed the reins from Alan Murphy. Although they remain outside the play-off spots for the time being, only goal difference currently separates them from fifth-place UCD.

The Tribesmen were facing a Cabinteely side that began the day three points adrift of table-toppers Bray Wanderers. It was the hosts who had the first opportunity with Steven Kinsella’s long-range strike forcing a routine save out of Galway netminder Kevin Horgan.

Midfielder Dylan Thornton had a subsequent header cleared off the line by Killian Brouder as Pat Devlin’s Metropolitan outfit looked to set out their stall. Nevertheless, United posed a considerable threat of their own – not least from wide attackers Mikey Place and Shane Doherty.

The latter got his head to an enticing Place cross during the early exchanges and even though Corey Chambers was equal to his effort, it was a sign of things to come. After the Cabinteely custodian turned away Place’s half-volley, Doherty fired agonisingly over the opposition crossbar on the first-quarter mark.

United suffered a setback on 27 minutes when Doherty was forced out of the action. He was replaced on the left-wing by Timmy Molloy, who was also unavoidably withdrawn before the half was out.

Just after Doherty’s departure, a fierce Thornton drive smashed off the inside of the post before eventually drifting away from the target. This was a significant let-off for United, but with Carlton Ubaezuonu adding fresh impetus in the final-third, they finished the opening half on top.

Following a Christopher pull-back, Duggan struck a powerful shot against the woodwork. Heading into stoppage-time, Enda Curran was denied by Chambers’ superb fingertip save and Cabinteely’s dependable number one also tipped over from Sam Warde after Ubaezuonu had a penalty claim turned down.

While the tie remained scoreless at the interval, the momentum was with the westerners as the play resumed. Christopher was making the most of his return to the starting line-up in an energetic display and he continued to test the resolve of the Cabinteely rearguard.

From a distance of 25 yards, the industrious central midfielder shook the outside of the post. Just past the hour, his swerved effort floated marginally off-target and a similar strike pressed Chambers into action on 65 minutes.

However, United suffered a potentially fatal blow just two minutes later. Left-back Ludden had already been booked by referee Alan Carey when he committed a foul deep inside his own half.

This resulted in a second yellow card for the defender and consequently ensured his side were under the cosh in a frantic conclusion. Having gone close to breaking the deadlock on several occasions, United now had their backs to the wall against their pumped-up hosts.

To their credit, the Galway men dug deep in the face of mounting pressure by Cabinteely. Their opponents launched a series of crosses into the penalty area, but Horgan and his back-four generally stood up to the challenge.

Though the home team claimed handball after Warde blocked a Conor Keeley effort, the appeals were quickly waved away. When Horgan smothered from Shane Barnes late on, United appeared more than content to settle for a draw.

Yet, there was high drama in the ninth and final minute of stoppage-time. Due to an injury picked up by Cabinteely’s Kevin Knight, the game went well beyond the four minutes of additional time that were initially advertised.

The visitors were awarded a free-kick wide on the left from which Christopher sent in an inswinging cross and the flight of the ball caught out everyone, including the goalkeeper, as it sailed over his head and inside the far post to send the Utd bench into rapture.

CABINTEELY: C Chambers; M Byrne, C Keeley, J Carlin, K Knight (A Aspil 97); J Connolly, D Thornton; S Kinsella (K Marty Waters 57), P Fox, K Dalton; L Clucas (S Barnes 57).

GALWAY UNITED: K Horgan; J Lynch, K Farragher, K Brouder, M Ludden; S Christopher, S Duggan, S Warde (M Nugent 79); M Place, E Curran (W Waweru 79), S Doherty (T Molloy 27 (C Ubaezuonu 42)).

Referee: A Carey.

Posted in League Of Ireland | Comments Off on SSE Airtricity League First Division: Cabinteely V Galway United – The Connacht Tribune – September 25 2020

Dublin Senior ‘A’ Hurling Championship Final: Cuala V Ballyboden St Enda’s – The Tallaght Echo (Print Edition) – September 24 2020

“I’m just very proud of my lads”

Fortune remains upbeat after his Ballyboden team fall just short in Senior Hurling Championship decider


BALLYBODEN ST ENDA’S………………………….1-18

By Daire Walsh

DESPITE the obvious disappointment of losing out 2-20 to 1-18 to Cuala in a tense Dublin Senior ‘A’ Hurling Championship decider at Parnell Park last Sunday, Ballyboden St Enda’s manager Joe Fortune was able to keep things in perspective.

Having started the competition playing in front of a small crowd, ‘Boden’s latest county final appearance was played behind closed doors. The rise of Covid-19 cases around the capital led to a surreal atmosphere in the Donnycarney venue and Fortune is hopeful the country can return to a semblance of normality before too long.

“I’m just very proud of my own lads,” Fortune remarked in the aftermath of the game. “They really gave everything they had. I thought a couple of decisions coming towards the end just went against us. Maybe we gave away a couple of frees at a critical time as well. We’d a couple of chances at the end where the ball was scrambled off the line.

“It has been a strange year, a tough year for an awful lot of people. This hurts, but it’s not the most significant thing in everybody’s lives at the minute. We hurt today and we move on in the next couple of weeks, please God. I hope everybody is safe and sound after today.”

Once they crossed the white line, however, ‘Boden were solely focused on trying to secure an eighth county hurling title. After leaking an early point to Cuala sharpshooter David Treacy, the Firhouse Road outfit responded with unanswered contributions from Paul Ryan (two), Conor Dooley and Niall Ryan.

Niall Carty and Treacy (free) were later on target for the holders, before Paul Ryan (‘Boden’s scorer-in-chief with eight points) and Aidan Mellett raised white flags at the opposite end. Sean Moran angled a superb strike beyond the reach of opposition custodian Finn McGarry in the 11th-minute, but it was ‘Boden who gained a foothold either side of the first-quarter mark.

After Paul Ryan and Cuala’s Jake Malone traded scores, the dependable inside forward edged his team back into the ascendancy with a coolly-converted ’65’. Niall Ryan and Dooley found the range once again, with another Treacy point sandwiched in between.

The evergreen Conal Keaney announced his presence with a well-worked single on 23 minutes and when Paul Ryan had a penalty turned away by Sean Brennan two minutes later, the dual player scooped the rebound to the Cuala net.

The Ryans – Niall and Paul – enhanced their personal tallies before the half was out, but with Treacy, Colm Cronin, Mark Schutte and Con O’Callaghan all raising white flags, Cuala had reduced their arrears to four (1-13 to 1-9) in time for the interval.

Given there was going to be a slight breeze at their backs, the Dalkey outfit were expected to step up their challenge on the resumption. Within two minutes, Treacy (who finished with 0-11 to his name) had thrown down the gauntlet with a brace of points.

Similar efforts from Paul Doherty and Paul Ryan helped ‘Boden to settle, only for a ravenous Cuala to come back for more. The Treacy and Moran double act produced a score each and while Paul Ryan’s dead-ball accuracy was once again on display, Moran ensured Willie Maher’s defending champions were just one point adrift (1-16 to 1-15) during the second half water break.

The pivotal moment of the game then arrived in the 52nd-minute. Dublin senior footballer O’Callaghan had the ball in the ‘Boden net, but referee Sean Stack called the play back for a foul.

Moran duly dispatched his penalty past the helpless McGarry to give his team the upper hand at a vital juncture. ‘Boden twice brought their deficit down to the bare minimum in the closing minutes, but unanswered points courtesy of Nicky Kenny, Moran and Treacy (two) ultimately propelled Cuala to their fifth county title in just six seasons.

BALLYBODEN ST ENDA’S: F McGarry; S O’Connor, L Corcoran, J Madden; S Durkin, D O’Connor, S Lambert; S McDonnell, N McMorrow; N Ryan, P Doherty, C Dooley; A Mellett, C Keaney, P Ryan. Subs: D Curtin for Lambert, P Christie for McDonnell (both 47), P Dunleavey for S O’Connor (52), L McDwyer for Mellett (56), C McCormack for Doherty (60).

CUALA: S Brennan; O Gough, Cian O’Callaghan, M Conroy; D O’Connell, J Sheanon, J Malone; N Carty, S Treacy; D O Floinn, D Treacy, C Cronin; Con O’Callaghan, M Schutte, S Moran. Subs: C Sheanon for Carty (27), S Timlin for Conroy (36), N Kenny for D Treacy (36-38), N Kenny for O Floinn (45), L Murphy for Con O’Callaghan (52-53), L Murphy for Cronin (65).

Posted in Hurling | Comments Off on Dublin Senior ‘A’ Hurling Championship Final: Cuala V Ballyboden St Enda’s – The Tallaght Echo (Print Edition) – September 24 2020

Dublin Junior ‘A’ & Junior ‘C’ Hurling Championship Finals Round-Up: The Tallaght Echo – September 24 2020

Mixed c’ship fortunes for Lucan hurlers

By Daire Walsh

THERE were contrasting fortunes for Lucan Sarsfields hurlers in the concluding stages of the Dublin Junior Hurling Championships last Saturday.

Whereas the 12th Lock club suffered an agonising one-defeat to St Brigid’s in the ‘A’ decider at Parnell Park, they were crowned ‘C’ champions courtesy of a 3-15 to 2-15 triumph at the expense of St Sylvester’s in O’Toole Park.

Following scores from Kevin O’Reilly (free), Rob Lambert, Barry Aird and Dave Kavanagh, Dermot O’Brien’s side were a single point adrift on 22 minutes in their Junior ‘A’ showdown with Brigid’s.

This was before Kieran O’Sullivan (two), Matt Barr and Michael Fraine registered unanswered efforts to give Brigid’s a 0-9 to 0-4 cushion at the interval.

A Barr point offered Brigid’s additional leeway on the resumption, but Lucan subsequently came to grips with the task at hand.

After he had added a brace of frees to compliment an Oisin O’Brien point, the dependable O’Reilly rattled the back of the opposition net.

A Rob Lambert single on 37 minutes edged them in front for the first time and all the momentum appeared to be with Lucan at this juncture.

However, Brigid’s regained control of the proceedings by amassing six consecutive points – including three from the dynamic O’Sullivan. Lucan refused to throw in the towel and O’Reilly’s four-point salvo reduced the gap to the bare minimum.

With just under 10 minutes of stoppage-time played, Colm Behan restored parity with a superb score on the right-wing. The tie now looked destined for extra-time, only for Brigid’s to be awarded a penalty at the opposite end.

O’Sullivan opted to tap the ball over the bar and it was enough to get the Russell Park outfit over the line on a score of 0-17 to 1-13.

At the exact same time on the opposite side of the city, Lucan’s third adult squad were in raptures as a result of their impressive Junior ‘C’ championship success against St Sylvester’s.

This victory was particularly noteworthy as they had claimed Junior ‘D’ honours in the same venue just under 12 months earlier.

There was a good mixture of youth and experience within the ranks, with Kevin Roche – Lucan’s senior hurling goalkeeper for a number of seasons – lining out at full-back.

Ciaran Keane was the team’s scorer-in-chief on the day, finishing with a magnificent personal tally of 11 points. While five of these were frees, he also bolstered his haul with four points from play and two majestic sideline cuts.

Their ability to strike goals at vital moments was in evidence throughout the course of the action. Thanks to fine finishes by Andy Carroll and Killian Boylan, Lucan led 2-6 to 0-9 at the midway point in the contest.

Another Carroll goal followed in the third-quarter, but the Syls challenge was beginning to rise. At the midway stage in the second half, Lucan were just two points in front (3-9 to 1-13).

Although their Malahide counterparts struck a second major inside the final-quarter, Lucan were able to keep them at bay. Supplementing the scoring prowess of Keane, the impressive Boylan ended the tie with 1-3 to his name.

Evan Lombard also contributed a fine point to give Lucan considerable leeway on the scoreboard. Even though Keane, Carroll and Boylan did the bulk of the scoring, this was a unified effort – both on and off the field of play. Alex Hanley, Peter Fagan, Ian Fitzgerald and substitute Sean Kelly all stood out for the victors.

It was a family affair for the Finnertys with manager PJ watching his son Luke holding his own between the sticks for Lucan.

The elder Finnerty has been ably-assisted on the sideline by Christy Boylan, Paul Kyne and Kevin O’Toole, all of whom will be hoping the club can make a serious impact in next season’s Junior ‘B’ Championship.

Posted in Hurling | Comments Off on Dublin Junior ‘A’ & Junior ‘C’ Hurling Championship Finals Round-Up: The Tallaght Echo – September 24 2020

Dublin Senior ‘A’ Hurling Championship Final: Ballyboden St Enda’s V Cuala – The Tallaght Echo (Online) – September 20 2020

Ballyboden senior hurlers denied in Championship decider

By Daire Walsh

THERE was disappointment for Ballyboden St Enda’s in the Dublin Senior ‘A’ Hurling Championship decider at Parnell Park this afternoon as they lost out 2-20 to 1-18 to Cuala.

Despite finding themselves in the ascendancy for large spells, Joe Fortune’s side suffered a five-point reversal at the hands of the defending champions.

Although they were rocked by the concession of a goal from Cuala attacker Sean Moran, ‘Boden were 0-8 to 1-4 in front on the first-quarter mark.

Indeed, after Paul Ryan had a penalty turned away by opposition netminder Sean Brennan in the 25th minute, the evergreen Conal Keaney was on hand to sweep home the rebound.

This helped the southsiders to establish a 1-13 to 1-9 interval lead, but with a slight wind at their backs on the resumption, Cuala were expected to step up their challenge.

Thanks to the dead-ball accuracy of David Treacy, the holders were a single point adrift (2-15 to 1-16) moving into the closing 10 minutes of action.

And the Dalkey outfit subsequently hit the front when Moran clinically dispatched a penalty to the net.

Even though Ballyboden battled to the bitter end, Cuala ultimately claimed their fourth senior county title in the space of five years.

Posted in Hurling | Comments Off on Dublin Senior ‘A’ Hurling Championship Final: Ballyboden St Enda’s V Cuala – The Tallaght Echo (Online) – September 20 2020

Post-Match Reaction: Heineken Champions Cup Quarter-Final – Mark McCall & Leo Cullen – Press Association – September 19 2020

‘We put Leinster under the kind of pressure that we hoped we could put them under, but you’ve got to go out and do it’

Director of rugby Mark McCall heaped praise on his Saracens squad after they advanced to the semi-finals of the Heineken Champions Cup with a superb 25-17 victory over Leinster at the Aviva Stadium.

The defending champions laid the foundations for their against-the-odds triumph with a dominant first-half display.

Standing in for the suspended Owen Farrell at fly-half, Alex Goode contributed 16 points, including a sharply-finished 36th-minute try, to propel Sarries into a 22-3 half-time lead.

“This group of players never cease to amaze us,” admitted McCall afterwards. “Given everything that has happened this year, to produce a performance of that kind of quality, and that kind of unity, says a lot about them really.

“We came up with a very experienced team, a team who have been through a hell of a lot together the last four or five seasons. The ups and downs of this competition. I think you saw all of the solidarity that they possess out there.

“The first half we played brilliantly. We put Leinster under the kind of pressure that we hoped we could put them under, but you’ve got to go out and do it. The players were so engaged and so alive to everything.”

Leinster, who retained their Guinness PRO14 title at the same venue a week ago, fought back with converted tries from Andrew Porter and Jordan Larmour, before a last-minute Goode penalty ended the Irish province’s 25-match winning streak and sealed a semi-final trip to France – against Clermont Auvergne or Racing 92 – for McCall’s men.

There were elements of the Saracens play in the second half that McCall found every bit as pleasing as the first, with the visitors pummelling the Leinster scrum for seven penalties in all.

“The (Leinster) onslaught started in the second half and we were probably guilty of being a little bit passive in hanging onto our lead,” the former Ireland international added.

“But there were some defensive sets in the second half against a high-class team which were out of this world and showed everything that we hope we’re about.

“I thought our scrum was unbelievable really, given that Mako (Vunipola) hasn’t played a game since the first game after lockdown. To come and scrummage the way he scrummaged, and the way Vincent Koch scrummaged, was incredible.”

Meanwhile, having been hotly-tipped to overcome Saracens at the quarter-final stage for the second time in three years, this defeat comes as a major disappointment for Leinster.

Right from the word go, head coach Leo Cullen felt his side struggled to get to the pitch of the game.

“I just thought we got a little bit spooked pretty much from the kick-off,” he said. “We don’t quite deal with it and Saracens score. We played right into their hands in many ways.

“It comes back to that mentality that we know they have – three, six, nine, 12 (points). We handed them those opportunities.

“They’re all things we were aware of coming into the match but we couldn’t quite deal with it.”

Posted in European Rugby | Comments Off on Post-Match Reaction: Heineken Champions Cup Quarter-Final – Mark McCall & Leo Cullen – Press Association – September 19 2020

Dublin Minor ‘D’ Hurling Championship Final: Cuala V Faughs – The Tallaght Echo – September 17 2020

Heartbreak for Faughs as late rally falls short



By Daire Walsh

FAUGHS suffered final heartbreak at the hands of Cuala in a compelling Dublin Minor ‘D’ Hurling Championship showdown at a baking hot Tymon Park on Sunday afternoon.

Having found themselves 11 point adrift midway through the first half, the Templeogue side looked to complete a remarkable when they moved 2-14 to 2-11 in front on the stroke of 50 minutes.

The growing influence of inside forward Liam Lynch Crowe was a major factor behind this turnaround, while Conor Dargan and Ross O’Donovan also played their part.

However, their Dalkey counterparts refused to give in. Thanks to late goals by Lúca Sheehan and Ruaidhri Sinnott, Mick Dunphy’s side snatched victory from the jaws of defeat.

This was the second time Fergal Hogan’s charges had faced Cuala in this year’s competition. In the final round of Group Two on August 16, they were on receiving end of a 2-12 to 3-4 reversal at the same venue.

Despite facing into a stiff breeze for this showpiece affair, they opened the scoring courtesy of Conor Kenny’s pointed free. Nonetheless, Cuala took full advantage of the elements in a dominant first-quarter display.

Supplementing Sheehan’s magnificent long-distance score, Matthew Ryan was successful off three placed-ball efforts. The Dalkey men created additional daylight in the seventh-minute when Ryan Barnes pulled to the Faughs net from the tightest of right-hand angles.

Faughs settled briefly with a brace of points from midfielder Dargan, but Cuala embarked on another scoring blitz in advance of the game’s first water break.

After Aaron Carey, Sheehan and Ryan raised white flags, a floated delivery by the impressive Sheehan deceived opposition netminder Matthew Ryan for the second goal of the contest.

With a 2-8 to 0-3 cushion, Cuala were firmly in the driving seat. Half-back Shane Mangan and Ryan kept the scoreboard ticking over for the visitors, although Faughs were slowly creeping back into contention.

Either side of Mikey Dunphy’s penalty save from full-forward Conn Murray, the dependable Dargan dissected the Cuala uprights. Kenny followed up with a 1-1 salvo, reducing the Faughs deficit to five (2-10 to 1-8) in time for the interval.

Cuala appeared to restore order when Ryan posted a 35th-minute point – his sixth of the tie – but the home team’s challenge gathered momentum.

Wing-back O’Donovan converted long-range frees and with Luke Davis and Dargan singles sandwiched in between these efforts, the gap was down to just two points. When Lynch Crowe claimed possession close to goal in the 48th-minute, his unstoppable shot moved Faughs into the box seat with the finishing line sight.

Tom Casey and Lynch Crowe points offered them further breathing space, before Cuala’s Peadar Ó Muirí ended a 20-minute scoring drought for his side. This placed Faughs on tenterhooks and when Sheehan brilliantly dispatched a penalty moments later, they were left to chase the game once more.

The decisive score of the proceedings then arrived in the penultimate minute of normal time. Faughs’ Matthew Ryan superbly turned away a Carey strike, but Sinnott was on hand to flick home the rebound and ultimately secure the silverware for Cuala.

CUALA: M Dunphy; F Breathnach, A McGranaghan, E Hall; S Mangan, L Sheehan, A Tormey-Murphy; R Mason, O Moloney; M Ryan, M Ainscough, P Ó Muirí; R Barnes, R Ó Muirí, A Carey. Sub: R Sinnott for Barnes (45).

FAUGHS: M Ryan; M Breen, E Quinn, D Ryan; R O’Donovan, R Finnegan, S Ruane; F Dignam, C Dargan; E Nolan, C Curran, C Kenny; T Paterson, C Murray, L Lynch Crowe. Subs: S Lawler for Breen (h-t), C O’Hara for Paterson, L Davis for Murray (both 36), T Casey for Kenny (39).

Posted in Hurling | Comments Off on Dublin Minor ‘D’ Hurling Championship Final: Cuala V Faughs – The Tallaght Echo – September 17 2020