Post-Match Reaction: Continental Tyres Women’s National League – Cork City WFC Manager Frank Kelleher – The Evening Echo – April 17 2018

Set piece failures cost city the game

WOMEN’S SOCCER

Daire Walsh

CORK CITY WFC manager Frank Kelleher believes his side’s frailty at set-pieces played a significant part in their 4-0 defeat to Shelbourne LFC in the Women’s National League last Saturday.

Still on level terms with 55 minutes gone on the clock at the AUL Complex, City were ultimately undone by the pin-point deliveries of Ireland international Isibeal Atkinson.

“What happened was three set-pieces to be honest with you. We have the video analysis and the set-pieces, we knew exactly where the first set-piece was going to go. That’s got to be down to how we react to those situations and do it better,” Kelleher explained after the game.

“In set-pieces at this level, you’ve got to know what you’re doing. They punished us, simple as. If we defended well on our set-pieces, it’s a 1-0 game. You’ve got to do that at this level, it has got to be better.”

Atkinson was selected in the Shels match day squad alongside four of her team-mates from Colin Bell’s international set-up. Danielle Burke and Saoirse Noonan were back in the City starting line-up following a hectic schedule with the Ireland U19s, while senior star Amanda Budden was named on the bench.

Though Budden was fit and available for selection, Kelleher placed his trust in Eve Badana for their latest encounter with the 2016 league champions.

“It’s one of those situations. We’ve two very good goalkeepers. They’re pushing each other. Amanda obviously was away this week with Ireland and Eve was obviously with us. From a tactical point of view, Eve was able to be there for the tactical stuff.

“It’s a tough decision, but I thought Eve did very well. I thought she came and collected crosses. She came off her line and went through the crowd a couple of times. She saved two one v ones.” When City faced Shels in the opening game of last year’s campaign, a stoppage-time Jamie Finn goal denied the Leesiders a morale-boosting triumph in the Morton Stadium. The north Dubliners were off the boil for large stretches of 2017, but Kelleher believes they are beginning to hit top form once again.

“We’ve work to do. There’s no doubt about it. I think today we know the level of Shelbourne. They look to be like the Shelbourne of two years ago. That’s my view.

“They dropped a bit last year and everybody knew it, but they look to be back to where they were two seasons ago. They’re a top side. We had a game plan. We executed it for 55 minutes, it just didn’t work for us today,” Kelleher added.

Posted in League Of Ireland | Comments Off on Post-Match Reaction: Continental Tyres Women’s National League – Cork City WFC Manager Frank Kelleher – The Evening Echo – April 17 2018

AIG Dublin Feile Division One Ladies Football Final: Ballyboden St Enda’s V Foxrock/Cabinteely – Dublinladiesgaelic.ie – April 16 2018

AIG FEILE DIVISION 1 FINAL MATCH REPORT

AIG DUBLIN FEILE DIVISION ONE FINAL

BALLYBODEN ST ENDA’S…………………….1-5

FOXROCK/CABINTEELY……………………….1-2

By Daire Walsh

Ballyboden St Enda’s held off a spirited fightback from Foxrock/Cabinteely to claim the AIG Dublin Feile Division One title at a misty IT Blanchardstown on Sunday afternoon.

After Abbie Brennan had raised a green flag in the early moments, a Rachel Callery penalty offered Foxrock a lifeline. There were a number of fine defensive performances on both sides in a tightly-contested affair, but it was ‘Boden who eventually emerged with the spoils on the day.

This was the second part of a double-header for Ballyboden in the northside venue, as their ‘B’ side had earlier competed in the Division Five decider. They lost out to a classy Westmanstown Gaels outfit in that encounter and their ‘A’ girls were hoping for better fortune in this top-tier showpiece.

The Emma Jones Memorial Cup was the prize on offer for the winning team – named in memory of the Templeogue Synge Street underage star, whose family donated the trophy for the Feile competition in 2009.

In a similar vein to the curtain-raiser in Blanchardstown, ‘Boden and Foxrock had already faced each other in Group B of the top division a day earlier. Cabinteely edged that low-scoring outing (1-0 to 0-2) at Silver Park, but thanks to their superior scoring average, ‘Boden progressed to the semi-final as group winners.

A runners-up spot for Foxrock saw them facing St Brigid’s in a most dramatic penultimate round fixture. With the sides on level terms after extra-time (Brigid’s 0-6, Foxrock 2-0), a free-taking competition was needed to determine who would face ‘Boden – following their 1-4 to 0-6 success over Lucan Sarsfields.

A 2-0 win finally secured Foxrock’s place in the final, which was preceded by an impeccably-observed minute’s silence for Na Fianna Club Secretary Deirdre Lambe – who sadly passed away over the weekend.

Eager to make up for their defeat to the same opposition on Saturday, ‘Boden broke the deadlock with a Kate Donaghy point in the second minute. In tandem with Aine Rafter and Hannah Byrne, Brennan was lively presence in the Ballyboden full-forward line.

After she was picked out close to the Foxrock goal, she coolly fired beyond the reach of the stranded Nicole Kenna for a well-worked three-pointer. She added a single to this major at the end of a subsequent attack, as ‘Boden created early daylight between the teams.

Though Foxrock were finding it hard to settle, their challenge finally came to life on 11 minutes. When Sarah Jane Campbell was fouled inside the square, referee Andrew McAllister pointed to the spot. Gallery’s subsequent effort from 11 metres got the better of ‘Boden custodian Shauna Feely.

This placed the Pairc Ui Murchu side on high alert, but their response to the concession of this goal was emphatic. Byrne and Rafter (following excellent approach work by Brennan) added points in the large stages of the opening period, giving Ballyboden a commanding 1-4 to 1-0 lead at the interval.

Foxrock had displayed a great deal of resilience en route to the final and it was expected that they would push ‘Boden all the way after the break. Indeed, they cut the gap to three points when an Ailbhe French ’45’ bounced over the woodwork just three minutes into the second half.

They squeezed out the ‘Boden attack on a number of occasions, ensuring they couldn’t bring the same fluidity to their forward play as they had in the opening 15 minutes. Leah Cunningham did find the back of the Foxrock net six minutes from the end, but it was ruled out for a square ball.

With Callery driving forward at every available opportunity, Foxrock were priming themselves for a final onslaught on the opposing goal. Yet, ‘Boden eventually cancelled out French’s earlier score with a Donaghy point, after she cut across from the left-wing to split the posts in devastating fashion.

Foxrock were not prepared to throw in the towel, however, and the ‘Boden rearguard scrambled to divert Hannah O’Sullivan’s goal-bound strike away from the target. French’s second point in the 27th-minute kept the Ballyboden supporters on tenterhooks, but even though their side were on the back-foot in the dying embers of a compelling contest, they held out a hard-earned three-point win.

Scorers – Ballyboden St Enda’s: Abbie Brennan 1-1, Kate Donaghy 0-2, Aine Rafter, Hannah Byrne 0-1 each. Foxrock/Cabinteely: Rachel Callery 1-0 (pen), Ailbhe French 0-2 (1 ’45’).

BALLYBODEN ST ENDA’S: Shauna Feely, Abbie Brennan, Aine Rafter, Alice Rudden, Caoimhe O’Sullivan, Megan Deignan, Clodagh Reid, Emma Jane Weir, Ella MacNair, Ella Reid, Hannah Byrne, Kate Donaghy, Megan Dignam, Leah Cunningham, Leonie Power, Sarah Gleeson, Sarah Cooney, Shona Kenny, Sadie Codd, Nadislane Mbelu Kabongo, Laura Rourke.

FOXROCK/CABINTEELY: Nicole Kenna, Hannah O’Sullivan, Elise Kerrigan, Sarah O’Neill, Molly Egan, Sophie Kane, Rachel Callery, Calla Murphy, Ailbhe French, Ella O’Donohue, Sadhbh Duffy, Elsa Norlin, Robyn Dowling, Lucy O’Connell, Ava Conroy, Eabha Keane, Grace Cawley, Ciara Kelly, Charlotte Long, Lauren Walsh, Lola Smyth, Sarah Jane Campbell.

Referee: Andrew McAllister.

Posted in Ladies GAA | Comments Off on AIG Dublin Feile Division One Ladies Football Final: Ballyboden St Enda’s V Foxrock/Cabinteely – Dublinladiesgaelic.ie – April 16 2018

AIG Feile Division Five Ladies Football Final: Westmanstown Gaels V Ballyboden St Enda’s ‘B’ – Dublinladiesgaelic.ie – April 16 2018

AIG FEILE DIV 5 FINAL MATCH REPORT

AIG DUBLIN FEILE DIVISION FIVE FINAL

WESTMANSTOWN GAELS…………………….3-5

BALLYBODEN ST ENDA’S ‘B’…………………0-1

By Daire Walsh

Zeta Hemeryck produced an outstanding individual display at IT Blanchardstown on Sunday to help Westmanstown Gaels towards the AIG Dublin Feile Division Five title at the expense of Ballyboden St Enda’s ‘B’.

Over the course of the contest, Hemeryck amassed a personal haul of 2-4 from the pivotal position of centre-forward. ‘Boden forged a spirited attempt at a comeback in the second half, but they couldn’t stem the tide of the Westmanstown girls – who ultimately finished with 13 points to spare over their southside opponents.

Westmanstown enjoyed home advantage during the group stages of the competition, where they locked horns with ‘Boden in a 12.30pm encounter. This was preceded by encounters against Foxrock/Cabinteely ‘B’ and St Mary’s Saggart for both teams, with two wins apiece in those games making their eventual meeting a race for top spot in Group A.

An eight-point success (0-9 to 0-1) for Westmanstown set-up a penultimate round showdown with Man-O-War, while Boden aimed to bounce back in their last-four clash against Robert Emmet’s. After they advanced to the final with flying colours, the scene was set for a renewal of acquaintances.

However, following a whirlwind opening to the contest, Westmanstown effectively left ‘Boden with too much ground to make up. An early free by Hemeryck set the wheels in motion and the dynamic attacker had a subsequent effort tipped over the bar by opposition netminder Elly Rodgers.

Westmanstown were camped inside the ‘Boden half during the early exchanges, with a strong breeze making life difficult for their Pairc Ui Murchu counterparts. The rampant Hemeryck rattled the back of the ‘Boden net in the third-minute after she intercepted Rodgers’ short kick-out and she repeated the trick at the end of another memorable run through the heart of the defence.

Ballyboden were already facing into a sizeable deficit (2-2 to 0-0), with Westmanstown showing no signs of fatigue as a result of their expansive opening. Sophie Tynan released some of the scoring burden off Hemeryck’s shoulders with a neat point on nine minutes, before ‘Boden forced themselves on the front-foot in the closing stages of the half.

Yet, the Westmanstown outfit held onto their nine-point buffer in time for the break with some stout defending inside their own ’45’. While there was potentially a way back into the reckoning for ‘Boden, it was Gaels who drew first blood on the resumption.

Hemeryck once again discovered a gap through the heart of the opposing rearguard to kick another magnificent point from play. ‘Boden finally opened their account through a pointed Karyn Burke free in the 18th-minute and a goalmouth scramble almost led to a morale-boosting goal moments later.

They couldn’t break down a Westmanstown defence that was marshalled by the likes of Caoimhe Howard, Sinead Farrell and Aoife Connolly, however, and the outcome was soon placed beyond doubt.

A ’45’ was worked into the hands of industrious midfielder Lia Cronin, whose speculative effort at a right-hand angle drifted into the roof of the ‘Boden net. In spite of the unassailable gap between the teams, the southsiders continued to search for scores.

Under severe pressure from the Westmanstown defensive set-up, Katie O’Brien fired narrowly past the target. They couldn’t add to their tally in the closing minutes, though, and it was left for Hemeryck to complete a wonderful afternoon for Westmanstown with a fine point on the half-hour mark.

Scorers – Westmanstown Gaels: Zeta Hemeryck 2-4 (0-1f), Lia Cronin 1-0, Sophie Tynan 0-1. Ballyboden St Enda’s ‘B’: Karyn Burke 0-1 (f).

WESTMANSTOWN GAELS: Sophie Hickey, Siobhan McCann, Caoimhe Howard, Emma Begley, Aoife Clegg, Sinead Farrell, Aoife Connolly, Aoife Foran, Lia Cronin, Beibhinn Forker, Katie Murphy, Zeta Hemeryck, Alyssa Cormican, Aibhilin Woods, Sophie Tynan, Sarah Goulding, Ciara Troy, Sophie Maher, Rua O’Donoghue, Ava McGrath, Rachel Walsh, Emma Fay, Grace McLoughlin, Keeva Corcoran.

BALLYBODEN ST ENDA’S ‘B’: Elly Rodgers, Lara Whelan, Aoife Doyle, Grace Regan, Emily Tuite, Laura Dunne, Shauna McCarty-Reid, Tara O’Kelly, Emma Fisher, Aisling Duffy, Saoirse Pender, Karyn Burke, Niamh O’Farrell, Anna Kinsella, Siofra Kelly, Aoife Gollogly Doyle, Cara Ryan, Kate O’Brien, Anna Lambert.

Referee: John Doherty.

Posted in Ladies GAA | Comments Off on AIG Feile Division Five Ladies Football Final: Westmanstown Gaels V Ballyboden St Enda’s ‘B’ – Dublinladiesgaelic.ie – April 16 2018

Continental Tyres Women’s National League: Shelbourne LFC V Cork City WFC – The Evening Echo – April 16 2018

Shels beat City with four late goals

LADIES SOCCER

Daire Walsh

SHELBOURNE LFC………………4

CORK CITY WFC………………….0

SHELBOURNE produced a ruthless second-half display to defeat Cork City in the Women’s National League on Saturday.

With 55 minutes gone on the clock, Frank Kelleher’s side were level, 0-0. However, Shels’ returning international stars, Isibeal Atkinson and Leanne Kiernan, asserted themselves.

City welcomed back Danielle Burke and Saoirse Noonan, from the Ireland U19 set-up, at the AUL Complex. Early efforts on goal by Hannah O’Donoghue and Katie McCarthy forced Shels’ goalkeeper, Amanda McQuillan, into action, while Eve Badana turned away a Niamh Prior strike at the opposite end.

The hosts then lost Courtney Higgins through injury and Roma McLaughlin was also withdrawn towards the tail end of the opening period.

The Ireland midfielder suffered a gash on her knee and was treated on the pitch for 30 minutes, before being carried away in an ambulance.

Both sides struggled to re-create the tempo, until McLaughlin’s replacement, Atkinson, unlocked the City defence.

Her perfectly-weighted corner, 10 minutes after the break, was headed home by Jessica Gleeson.

Atkinson doubled Shels’ lead through a 25-yard free-kick, just past the hour mark. Later, another fine delivery from the industrious winger was finished off by skipper, Noelle Murray.

Having held their ground for large chunks of the contest, City were now effectively resigned to a second defeat in this season’s league. In contrast, Shels continued to attack in waves.

After the ball broke into her path, Kiernan coolly registered the north Dublin side’s fourth goal. The Cavan teenager was denied a second deep into stoppage-time, by Badana, who was also equal to a close-range Prior shot.

In spite of some initial signs of promise, City struggled to make an impact in the final-third. Danielle Burke and Katie McCarthy offered a strong outlet on the right-wing, at various junctures, but Shelbourne were full value for their comprehensive victory.

SHELBOURNE LFC: Amanda McQuillan; Lynn Craven, Jessica Gleeson, Niamh Prior, Courtney Higgins (Pearl Slattery 12); Alex Kavanagh, Rachel Graham; Leanne Kiernan, Roma McLaughlin (Isibeal Atkinson 41), Kate Mooney (Fiona Donnelly 70); Noelle Murray.

CORK CITY WFC: Eve Badana; Danielle Sheehy, Danielle Burke, Maggie Duncliffe, Ciara McNamara, Natalie O’Brien (Mary Barrett 75); Katie McCarthy, Savannah McCarthy, Saoirse Noonan (Christina Dring 70), Michelle O’Driscoll; Hannah O’Donoghue (Kate O’Donovan 66).

Referee: Emma Cleary (Leitrim).

Posted in League Of Ireland | Comments Off on Continental Tyres Women’s National League: Shelbourne LFC V Cork City WFC – The Evening Echo – April 16 2018

Dublin Senior Football One Championship Group Three: St Sylvester’s V Parnell’s – The Evening Herald – April 14 2018

MAC POINTS WAY FOR SYLS

Dublin SFC1 Group 3

ST SYLVESTER’S…………0-19

PARNELL’S………………….0-6

Daire Walsh

MICHAEL McCarthy and Ed Walsh registered a combined tally of 15 points last night in Balgriffin, where St Sylvester’s recorded a commanding victory over Parnell’s in their Dublin SFC Group 3 encounter.

Though there was little to separate the sides in the opening stages, the pace and power of Syls was ultimately too much for their Coolock counterparts to handle.

After reaching the quarter-final of last year’s competition, Jack Sheedy’s charges will be seeking another productive campaign in 2018.

For this encounter at the home of Innisfails GAA, Parnell’s were able to call on the services of veteran Dublin goalkeeper Stephen Cluxton.

However, rather than taking up a position between the posts, the five-time All Star was selected in a pivotal centre-back role.

Following an opening scoring by Syls midfielder Jack Hazley, Cluxton superbly split the posts from a 35-metre free.

Corner-forwards Stephen Duffy and Jamie Sammon were on target either side of a Walsh effort at the opposite end to offer Parnell’s a slender advantage.

Their Malahide opponents suffered a double blow when a John Peacock black card was compounded by an injury to centre-fielder Simon Owens, but they grew in confidence as the half progressed.

Unanswered scores courtesy of McCarthy (two), who was a member of Dublin’s All-Ireland SFC winning panel in 2011, and Walsh boosted their prospects, before Cluxton  found the range for Parnell’s. While this latest effort kept them in contention, the remainder of the half was dominated by Sylvester’s.

Thanks to seven points without reply – including four by the impressive McCarthy – the Malahide men entered the interval with a 0-12 to 0-4 buffer.

Parnell’s were struggling to contain an increasingly rampant Syls side, and it was hoped that the half-time introduction of Adam Myler and John Sammon would kick-start a barn-storming revival.

Jamie Sammon split the posts in spectacular style five minutes after the break, but this only provided a temporary respite to the Chanel outfit. After Ciaran Charlton opened his own personal account, Walsh added his fifth point at the end of another patient attack.

John Sammon raised a white flag for Parnell’s on 48 minutes, but this proved to be their final score on an underwhelming evening in the northside venue. Additional two-point salvos by McCarthy and Walsh created further daylight, while Jamie Kennedy was also on target as Sylvester’s closed out of the game in considerable style.

Scorers – St Sylvester’s: M McCarthy 0-8 (4f), E Walsh 0-7 (2f), J Hazley 0-2, C Charlton, J Kennedy 0-1 each. Parnell’s: S Cluxton (2f), Jamie Sammon (1f) 0-2 each, S Duffy, John Sammon 0-1 each.

ST SYLVESTER’S: M Shiel; J Peacock, C Quinn, C McArdle; J Walsh, G McArdle, P White; S Owens, J Hazley; C Charlton, E Walsh, R Palmer; G Hazley, M McCarthy, D Brennan. Subs: G Greenan for Peacock (12, BC), J Kennedy for Owens (13), A Cunningham for Quinn (37, BC), A Hartnett for White (55).

PARNELL’S: E Walsh; C Nolan, C Oonon, S McCluskey; S McGrath, S Cluxton, B McCarthy; A Doyle, E Brunton; M Boyd, M Gleeson, T Davis; Jamie Sammon, D Joyce, S Duffy. Subs: A Myler for Doyle, John Sammon for Boyd (both h-t), A Jameson for McCarthy (39), R O’Shea for Nolan (50), C May for Davis, for G Collins for Joyce (both 54).

Referee: D Sweeney (St Oliver Plunkett’s/Eoghan Ruadh).

Posted in Gaelic Football | Comments Off on Dublin Senior Football One Championship Group Three: St Sylvester’s V Parnell’s – The Evening Herald – April 14 2018

SSE Airtricity League Round-Up Number 3: The Kildare Nationalist – April 10 2018

SSE AIRTRICITY LEAGUE ROUND-UP

Feely’s Waterford win eventful Munster derby

By Daire Walsh

ATHY’S Rory Feely marked his return to full fitness with a late substitute appearance for Waterford in their headline-grabbing 2-1 victory against Cork City at the RSC last Friday night.

Sidelined through injury since the 12 March home success over Bohemians, Feely entered the fray as an 85th-minute replacement for Blues striker Ismahil Akinade. After he missed out on subsequent meetings with Dundalk, Shamrock Rovers and Limerick, the former St Patrick’s Athletic defender will now look to re-establish himself in the Waterford starting line-up.

Though Feely’s time on the pitch was quite brief, his arrival preceded a chaotic conclusion to a tasty Munster derby. Following a late scuffle deep into second-half stoppage-time, Waterford pair Bastien Hery and Stanley Aborah were red-carded along with City duo Garry Buckley and Steven Beattie.

The fact that neither Aborah or Beattie were part of the game at that point (the former had just been withdrawn from the action and the latter was an unused substitute) gives you a sense of what referee Rob Rogers head to contend with in the dying embers of this contest.

Both managers (Alan Reynolds of Waterford and Cork City’s John Caulfield) were also sent to the stands for their part in the melee. Before all that, Conor McCarthy had offered the Leesiders a perfect start to the proceedings with a second-minute opener.

Waterford eventually restored parity through a Conor McCormack own goal in the second half and it was then left for ex-Everton striker Courtney Duffus to propel Waterford towards their seventh league win of the campaign.

With nine rounds played in this season’s top-flight, the Blues are now just behind pace-setters Dundalk on score difference. Kill native Sam Byrne was an unused replacement for Stephen Kenny’s Co Louth outfit in their 2-1 triumph over Shamrock Rovers at Oriel Park on the same night.

After Robbie Benson had broken the deadlock for the hosts, netminder Kevin Horgan allowed a speculative cross by Chris Shields to drift all the way into the Rovers net. Kildare native Gary Shaw was sent on in the closing-quarter as the Hoops searched for a way back into the reckoning.

A neat headed finish by Daniel Carr offered the visitors a glimmer of hope, but the south Dubliners ultimately remain in fourth spot – five points adrift of Dundalk and Waterford.

In the First Division on Friday, Clane man Paul Hunt played the full 90 minutes in Cobh Ramblers’ 1-1 draw with Wexford FC at Ferrycarrig Park. Anthony McAlavey opened the scoring for Stephen Henderson’s side in the sixth-minute, only to immediately concede a goal to Wexford striker Aaron Dobbs at the opposite end.

With just one win from six in the second-tier, Cobh have a lot of ground to make up in their latest bid for promotion. Their next competitive fixture is this Friday evening (13 April) away to Athlone, who suffered a 7-0 hammering at the hands of Shelbourne at Tolka Park four days ago.

Posted in League Of Ireland | Comments Off on SSE Airtricity League Round-Up Number 3: The Kildare Nationalist – April 10 2018

Rugby Column Number 112: The Kildare Nationalist – April 10 2018

RUGBY

Leinster ring the changes but continue winning ways

By Daire Walsh

FOLLOWING the high of their European Rugby Champions Cup success over Saracens, Leinster got back to basics in the Guinness PRO14 on Saturday afternoon.

With a much-changed starting team, the Blues secured a bonus-point victory (41-6) against Michael Bradley’s Zebre at the RDS. Though there are two games remaining in the regular season, Leinster are already assured of a quarter-final place at the very least.

They currently hold a four-point buffer over second-place Scarlets – their upcoming opponents in the Champions Cup last-four. Should they remain in pole position in Conference B, Leo Cullen’s men will receive a bye into the PRO14 semi-finals.

From the side that dethroned Sarries at the Aviva Stadium on Easter Sunday, James Lowe was the only player to retain his spot in the Leinster back line. Cian Healy, Tadhg Furlong, Devin Toner (captaining the province for the very first time) and Dan Leavy started their second game in the space of six days in the forward pack, while there was a debut off the bench for exciting back Gavin Mullin.

James Tracy was handed his ninth start of the campaign in the front-row, and he was joined in the side by fellow Kill native Adam Byrne. The former Naas CBS student has enjoyed some memorable appearances against the Italians in the past.

In the calendar year of 2016, Byrne scored five tries in three wins at the expense of Zebre – including a magnificent hat-trick in a November PRO12 triumph. However, it was the in-form Lowe who got the ball rolling on this occasion with a converted try on 12 minutes.

Heavy rainfall made it difficult for Leinster to cut loose in front of a home crowd of 10,115 and a Carlo Canna penalty helped the visitors to narrow the gap. The Blues remained in control of their own destiny nonetheless – a Rory O’Loughlin five-pointer giving them a 12-3 interval cushion.

A brace of Max Deegan scores after the break ensured that the Blues would come away with maximum points, while Lowe touched down in the 68th-minute to make it nine tries in just 10 caps for the New Zealander.

It had turned into a damage limitation exercise for a demoralised Zebre, whose line was subsequently breached by replacement front-rows Vakh Abdaladze and Bryan Byrne in the closing stages.

Elsewhere, Craig Ronaldson (Ballymore Eustace) contributed seven points in Connacht’s heavy defeat (39-10) to Ospreys at the Liberty Stadium on Friday night.

There was disappointment for the Ireland Men’s 7s in Hong Kong at the weekend, as their semi-final reversal to Japan saw them missing out on a place in next year’s World Series.

Naas’ Billy Dardis was the Ireland captain for this World Rugby Sevens Series Qualifier tournament, with Jimmy O’Brien of Eadestown also amongst the travelling party. They played prominent roles in victories against Cook Islands, Jamaica, Uruguay and Zimbabwe, before the Green Army fell short in the penultimate round.

Posted in Rugby Column | Comments Off on Rugby Column Number 112: The Kildare Nationalist – April 10 2018

Dublin Senior ‘A’ Hurling Championship Group One: St Jude’s V O’Toole’s – The Evening Herald – April 9 2018

Fionn hits high note for Jude’s

Dublin SHC Group 1

ST JUDE’S 0-20

O’TOOLE’S 0-11

Daire Walsh

AN outstanding performance by Fionn Ó Riain Broin helped St Jude’s to secure a comfortable victory in the Dublin Senior ‘A’ Hurling Championship at O’Toole Park on Saturday.

The Trinity College student developed a strong understanding in attack with county star Danny Sutcliffe – who contributed three points in the opening period. Conor Carton kept O’Toole’s in contention, before Ó Riain Broin, Sutcliffe, Joe McManus and Mark Maguire guided Jude’s towards a 0-12 to 0-7 interval lead.

Eoghan Darcy, Carton and Andrew Morris found the range for O’Toole’s after the break, but they couldn’t curb the influence of Ó Riain Broin. The impressive wing-forward finished with 0-7 name as St Jude’s cruised to a commanding win.

Scorers – St Jude’s: F O Riain Broin 0-7 (1f), D Sutcliffe 0-4, M Maguire 0-3, D Fox (1f, 1 ‘’65’), J McManus (1f) 0-2 each, T Devlin, R Joyce 0-1 each. O’Toole’s: C Carton 0-7 (7f), A Morris (1f), E Darcy 0-2 each.

ST JUDE’S: D Walsh; P O Laimhin, G McManus, C Mangan; T Divilly, E McLoughlin, A Byrne; D Fox, N Mangan; F O Riain Broin, T Devlin, D Sutcliffe; J McManus, M Maguire, R Joyce. Subs: P Maguire for Devlin, D McLoughlin for Joyce (both 48), J Kennedy for Joyce, M Malone for Byrne (both 59).

O’TOOLE’S: B McLoughlin; C Gethings, R Walker, G Dinn; G O’Meara, M Carton, E Darcy; D Mooney, C Carton; P Bradshaw, D Farrelly, A Morris; P O’Donoghue, C Mulligan, C Wilson. Subs: P McLoughlin for B McLoughlin (38), A Lynch for O’Donoghue (40), D Concarr for Wilson (46).

Referee: J Buckley (Setanta).

Posted in Hurling | Comments Off on Dublin Senior ‘A’ Hurling Championship Group One: St Jude’s V O’Toole’s – The Evening Herald – April 9 2018

SSE Airtricity League Premier Division: Bohemians V Limerick – The Irish Times – April 7 2018

Bohemians 0 Limerick 0

Limerick produced an impressive defensive display at Dalymount Park on Friday night to claim a share of the spoils with Bohemians in the SSE Airtricity League Premier Division.

Though seventh-place Bohs dominated possession from the get-go, they breathed a sigh of relief on 17 minutes when Limerick striker Mark O’Sullivan failed to connect with an enticing Cian Coleman pull-back.

Following this let-off, an audacious lob by Gypsies striker Eoghan Stokes floated just over the visitors’ crossbar.

Keith Ward provided a strong attacking outlet for the hosts on the left-flank, and he was narrowly off-target from a Keith Buckley cross.

Limerick netminder Brendan Clarke turned over a subsequent piledriver by Dylan Watts, before Shane Tracy was denied by some last-gasp defending at the opposite end.

Bohs continued to press for an opening goal after the break – Stokes forcing fine saves from Clarke in the 58th and 66th minutes respectively. However, Limerick remained largely resolute in defence, where first-half substitute Darren Dennehy combined effectively with his brother Billy.

Shaun Kelly cleared a goal-bound Ward strike off the line as the Bohs challenge intensified in the final-quarter, but Tommy Barrett’s side ultimately held out for their third draw of the season.

BOHEMIANS: Supple; Buckley, Morris, Casey (Moore, 88 mins), Leahy; Watts, Byrne; Grant (Corcoran, 79 mins), Lunney, Ward; Stokes.

LIMERICK: Clarke; Kelly, Whitehead, Brouder (D Dennehy 44 mins), B Dennehy; Cantwell, Coleman; Tracy (Maguire, 67 mins), Duggan, Fitzgerald (Morrissey, 75 mins); O’Sullivan.

Referee: J McLoughlin (Roscommon).

Posted in League Of Ireland | Comments Off on SSE Airtricity League Premier Division: Bohemians V Limerick – The Irish Times – April 7 2018

My Club: Cork Constitution (Club President Anthony O’Leary) – In Touch Magazine – April 6 2018

CLUB SCENE: MY CLUB

By DAIRE WALSH

CORK CONSTITUTION

Cork Constitution FC

Temple Hill,

Ballintemple,

Cork

THE next few weeks will prove to be a season-defining period for Cork Constitution RFC, who are seeking to defend their Ulster Bank League and Bateman Cup titles in a hectic domestic schedule.

Before setting their sights of a Cup final showdown with Lansdowne at Temple Hill on Saturday, April 21, Constitution face crunch Division 1A encounters with play-off rivals Terenure College and Clontarf.

With Garryowen, Clontarf and Young Munster all within touching distance of Brian Hickey’s third-placed side, Cork Con club President Anthony O’Leary acknowledged they are ‘must-win’ games for the Leesiders.

“It’s great to be in the Bateman Cup final again. The Ulster Bank League is just a roller-coaster really. We’re in the hunt. We’ve two matches, both of which really we’ll have to win,” admitted O’Leary. “It’s sort of that type for everyone except Lansdowne, who are a bit launched. The next fortnight will tell a hell of a lot.”

Prior to assuming the role of club President, O’Leary was heavily involved with Con as a player and coach. He has seen a number of internationals pass through the hallways of the Cork club over the years, including present Munster, Ireland and Lions star Peter O’Mahony.

“Peter is our current pride and joy if you like, but we have loads of them. Billy Holland and John Ryan were capped last year. For Peter to lead the Lions in a Test was an extraordinary honour for him and his family, and definitely for our club. We’ve a good record regarding Munster players, Irish players, Lions over the years. We’ve got to keep it going.”

Indeed, O’Leary credits Cork Con’s underage structure for producing a plethora of future professional stars, noting: “We have an incredibly well-organised kids set-up, literally from Under-6s, Under-7s, every Saturday morning. It’s very well co-ordinated and it’s the backbone and future of the club really. That’s where the Peter O’Mahonys and Billy Hollands came from.

“And the Ronan O’Gara’s and Peter Stringer’s. They all started there. We’ve got to keep that going, otherwise the pipeline will dry up. Not just for Con!”

Established in 1892 by the staff of the Cork Constitution newspaper, the Leesiders have continued to evolve in the intervening years.

Although it was viewed as a significant financial risk, O’Leary feels the recent redevelopment of their Temple Hill clubhouse has been an unqualified success.

“We had a major undertaking about five years ago now. We rebuilt the clubhouse, which was a colossal undertaking and a great success. Our old clubhouse had served us very well, but it was definitely showing signs of age.

“It sounds great, but it costs money and it needs an awful lot of co-ordination. There was a very, very tight group managed it very, very well and within budget, etc. So we now, dare say, have one of the finest clubhouses in the country,” he added.

Posted in Senior Club Rugby | Comments Off on My Club: Cork Constitution (Club President Anthony O’Leary) – In Touch Magazine – April 6 2018