British & Irish Cup Pool Two: Leinster ‘A’ V Doncaster Knights – – January 20 2018


Leinster ‘A’ had already booked a home British & Irish Cup quarter-final before kick-off, but an impressively second half rally from Doncaster Knights saw them hand the province their first defeat of the season.

Doncaster overcame a 13-point half-time deficit to join Pool 2 winners Leinster ‘A’ in the quarter-finals, progressing to the knockout stages as one of the best runners-up.

The hosts’ strong starting line-up was an indication of how seriously they were taking the Doncaster challenge, as Ireland internationals Noel Reid and Michael Bent were selected at inside centre and tighthead prop respectively. There were also roles for fellow first-team players like Barry Daly, Nick McCarthy, Ed Byrne, Mick Kearney and Ian Nagle.

Doncaster’s sense of purpose raised the possibility of a free-flowing encounter at Donnybrook. However, when the visitors broke the deadlock in the seventh minute, it was from a well-executed lineout move at the Bective end of the ground.

Ben Hunter’s lineout found its way into the hands of prop Joe Sproston who was able to drve over the whitewash from close range. Simon Humberstone’s tricky conversion drifted wide of the left hand post, and although this was an early setback for Noel McNamara’s charges, Doncaster’s lead was a short-lived one.

After they made initial headway on the right wing, Leinster ‘A’ moved play into midfield and centre Gavin Mullin broke through a gap for a well-taken try, converted by out-half Ciaran Frawley.

Doncaster regained the lead with a routine Humberstone penalty on 14 minutes, only to be pegged back once again by an increasingly confident Leinster ‘A’ attack. With twin brother Bryan featuring from the bench in the senior side’s Champions Cup success in Montpellier, Ed Byrne was itching to make an impression.

The all-action loosehead assumed the role of team captain from the absent Cathal Marsh, and he brilliantly sidestepped a Doncaster tackle to race through for an outstanding score underneath the posts.

Frawley added the extras, and with 23 minutes on the clock, Leinster ‘A’ put further daylight between themselves and the English Championship outfit. Scrum half McCarthy profited from some forward pressure, including a scrum penalty, to dive over from a few metres out.

Frawley added his third conversion of the half, as Leinster ‘A’ edged a step closer to their sixth try-scoring bonus point of the campaign. Yet, with former Ulster scrum half Michael Heaney showing plenty of industry – and ex-Munster out-half Declan Cusack also part of the visitors’ squad – Doncaster kept within touching distance of the two-time champions.

Trailing 21-8, the Yorkshire men were a reinvigorated outfit at the start of the second half, and they were camped inside the Leinster ‘A’ 22 for an extended spell after the restart.

Second row Nagle was sent to the sin-bin as the pressure increased on the Leinster ‘A’ try-line, and after he was deemed to have knocked on an attempted pass towards winger Tyson Lewis deliberately, full-back Daly also received a yellow card.

This resulted in a penalty try for Doncaster, which reduced their deficit to six points. With 13 players on the pitch for a temporary period, it was all hands to the pump for Leinster ‘A’. Indeed, with space appearing inside the opposition half, Doncaster full-back Paul Jarvis raced over at the end of a lung-bursting run.

Humberstone’s wayward conversion saw Leinster ‘A’ holding onto a 21-20 advantage, and with Nagle and Daly returning to the fold just past the hour mark, they had an opportunity to regroup and push on for the remainder.

Yet, a highly-motivated Doncaster continued to pose a significant threat, and within the space of eight minutes, the outlook of the game changed completely. A superb carry by replacement flanker Adam Batt had Leinster ‘A’ on the back-foot, and his neat offload saw Junior Bulumakau touch down on 70 minutes.

Humberstone’s first successful conversion followed and he then split the posts with a 72nd-minute penalty for 30-21. Knights now had a bonus point triumph in their sights, and skipper Matt Challinor put the outcome beyond doubt with a neat finish to the right of the posts.

There was enough time for Leinster ‘A’ to claim a late try-scoring bonus point try of their own through Sean McNulty from a lineout drive. Replacement Harry Byrne, younger brother of Ross, converted as the province now wait for confirmation of their quarter-final opponents.

REFEREE: Mike English (WRU)


Leinster ‘A’ Tries: Gavin Mullin, Ed Byrne, Nick McCarthy, Sean McNulty; Cons: Ciaran Frawley, Harry Byrne

Doncaster Knights Tries: Joe Sproston, Penalty try, Paul Jarvis, Junior Bulumakau, Matt Challinor; Cons: Simon Humberstone, Pen try con, Declan Cusack; Pens: Simon Humberstone 2



Barry Daly; Jack Kelly, Gavin Mullin, Noel Reid, Tommy O’Brien; Ciaran Frawley, Nick McCarthy; Ed Byrne (CAPTAIN), Ronan Kelleher, Michael Bent, Mick Kearney, Ian Nagle, Josh Murphy, Max Kearney, Peadar Timmins.

REPLACEMENTS USED: Sean McNulty for Kelleher (9-11 mins, blood sub), Oisin Dowling for Kearney (52), Charlie Rock for McCarthy (65), McNulty for Kelleher (65), Conor O’Brien for Mullin (68), Jack Aungier for Bent (71), Harry Byrne for Frawley (72), Oisin Heffernan for Byrne (80).


Paul Jarvis; Junior Bulumakau, Tyson Lewis, Mat Clark, Curtis Wilson; Simon Humberstone, Michael Heaney; Richard List, Ben Hunter, Joe Sproston, Matt Challinor(CAPTAIN), Tom Hicks, Josh Tyrell, Will Owen, Alex Shaw.

REPLACEMENTS USED: Curtis Langdon for Hunter (33-40 mins, 61), Jack Bergmanas for List (52), Jason Hill for Tyrell (61), Ian Williams for Sproston, Adam Batt for Shaw, Tom James for Heaney (all 65), Declan Cusack for Humberstone (73).

Posted in British & Irish Cup Rugby | Comments Off on British & Irish Cup Pool Two: Leinster ‘A’ V Doncaster Knights – – January 20 2018

Kehoe Cup Second Round: Longford V DCU/St Patrick’s – The Irish Independent – January 20 2018



LONGFORD will face Wicklow in tomorrow afternoon’s Kehoe Cup decider, after they secured a five-point victory over DCU/St Patrick’s at UCD.

A fortuitous Rueben Murray goal edged the county side in front on the 20-minute mark. Fine contributions from Aodhan Foley, Dean Whelan, Martin Og Storey and Diarmuid Fenlon kept DCU on level terms at the break (1-6 to 0-9), before Murray and John Mulhern found the net for Longford.

DCU gave themselves a chance when Michael Begley fired past Conor Gallagher in the 47th-minute, but a magnificent Daire Duggan three-pointer put Longford into an unassailable lead prior to Storey’s last-gasp consolation goal.

Scorers – Longford: R Murray 2-5 (0-3f), D Duggan 1-2, J Mulhern 1-0, P Walsh 0-2, S Hannon, P Barden, S O’Brien 0-1 each. DCU/St Patrick’s: M Og Storey 1-6 (1-3f, 0-2 ’65’), M Begley 1-0, A Foley 0-3, D Fenlon, D Whelan 0-2 each.

LONGFORD: C Gallagher; C McLoughlin, K Murray, P Corcoran; D Connell, B Hanley, G Moore; S Hannon, J Leonard; D Duggan, P Walsh, J Casey; R Murray, S Stakelum, J Mulheron. Subs: E Daly, A Sheridan, P Leonard, M Farrell, PJ Masterson, S O’Brien, R O’Brien, N Rabbitt, E Murphy, D Lee, P Barden.

DCU/ST PATRICK’S: C McHugh; C Donnelly, D O’Shea, L Molloy; C O’Meara, S Baxter, L Rosney; T Lane, A Foley; C O’Flaherty, D Fenlon, D Whelan, D Fenlon; M Begley, M Og Storey, D Byrne. Sub: R Clerkin.

REF: K Dooley (Offaly).

Posted in Hurling | Comments Off on Kehoe Cup Second Round: Longford V DCU/St Patrick’s – The Irish Independent – January 20 2018

Dublin Schools Juvenile Football ‘C’ Championship Semi-Final: St Mac Dara’s Community College V Colaiste Choilm – The Evening Herald – January 18 2018


Super Saints progress

Daire Walsh

ST MAC Dara’s Community College qualified for the Dublin Schools Juvenile Football ‘C’ Championship final with an impressive 5-11 to 2-3 win over Colaiste Choilm at Abbotstown on Monday morning.

It had been a long road to this semi-final clash for the Wellington Lane school, as they had to work their way through a five-team group that included fellow Southsiders Clonkeen College, Drimnagh Castle CBS, Old Bawn CS and Oatlands College. Choilm were in a four-team Roinn Three alongside Chanel College, St David’s CBS and St Joseph’s Rush, before securing their place in the penultimate rounds of the competition with a quarter-final triumph.


Both sides have plenty of momentum coming into the game, but courtesy of their clinical edge in attack, Mac Dara’s progressed to the upcoming decider with 17 points to spare.

Posted in Schools GAA | Comments Off on Dublin Schools Juvenile Football ‘C’ Championship Semi-Final: St Mac Dara’s Community College V Colaiste Choilm – The Evening Herald – January 18 2018

Dublin Schools Senior Hurling ‘C’ Championship Semi-Final Round-Up: The Evening Herald – January 18 2018


Ryan on double as David’s will face Mac Dara’s in final

Daire Walsh

FOLLOWING their respective semi-final victories this week, St David’s CBS and St Mac Dara’s CC will face each other in the Dublin Schools Senior Hurling ‘C’ Championship decider.

David’s met St Joseph’s, Rush at the GAA’s National Games Development Centre on Tuesday afternoon, having accounted for Maynooth PP in a last-eight clash at the end of November. Although this encounter was played on a state-of-the-art Astro pitch in Abbotstown, the adverse weather conditions were not ideal for either side.

However, David’s still managed to create an early platform, thanks in no small part to a goal from Billy Ryan. The dynamic attacker has been a key figure for Dublin North in this season’s Leinster SH ‘A’ Championship, and after he found the Joseph’s net for a second time, David’s entered the break with a commanding 2-6 to 1-2 lead.

The Artane school had another strong performer in centre-back Cian Dowling – who is also a team-mate of Ryan at club level with Craobh Chiarain.


They continued to search for scores when the play resumed after the interval, and a third goal by Robert Burness provided them with a comfortable cushion during the third-quarter.

A POWERFUL purple patch by Joseph’s significantly reduced the gap between the teams in the closing stages, but David’s ultimately progressed on a scoreline of 3-8 to 2-5. This sets up a compelling showpiece meeting with Mac Dara’s – who claimed a comprehensive win against St Kevin’s CBS at the same venue on Monday (3-12 to 0-5).

Posted in Schools GAA | Comments Off on Dublin Schools Senior Hurling ‘C’ Championship Semi-Final Round-Up: The Evening Herald – January 18 2018

Dublin Schools Junior Hurling ‘C’ Championship Final: Maynooth Post-Primary V Skerries CC – The Evening Herald – January 18 2018


Job is Dunne for Maynooth PP as Lilies take spoils

Daire Walsh

A POWERFUL second-half display guided Maynooth Post-Primary to a Dublin Schools Junior Hurling ‘C’ Championship final success (3-7 to 1-8) at the expense of Skerries CC in Abbotstown on Tuesday.

Maynooth followed Eoin Kelliher’s first-minute point with a terrific Cillian Kearney goal before neat effort from Luke Whelan helped Skerries to settle into the game.


The Townparks outfit then moved into the ascendancy courtesy of Tomas Hegarty’s 1-3 salvo – only to be pegged back by their north Kildare rivals.

Adam Jordan claimed Maynooth’s second goal, and after Skerries responded through Hegarty and Davis Graham, a second point by midfielder Cathal McCabe kept their deficit at a minimum during the break (1-7 to 2-3). A mixture of rain and snow at the start of the second half made life difficult for both sets of players, but the subsequent introduction of Harry Dunne provided the Maynooth attack with a different dimension.

He found the target either side of a David Qualter goal, and thanks to the accuracy of McCabe and Shane Whyte, they suddenly opened up a six-point gap.


Heading into the final quarter, Skerries were still searching for their first score of the half. Though they registered a point through Whelan in stoppage-time, this wasn’t enough to deny Maynooth a hard-earned victory.

Scorers – Maynooth PP: D Qualter, C Kearney, A Jordan 1-0 each, C McCabe 0-3, H Dunne 0-2, E Kelliher, S Whyte 0-1 each. Skerries CC: T Hegarty 1-4 (0-4f), L Whelan 0-2, F Duncan, D Graham 0-1 each.

MAYNOOTH PP: G Hogan; A McNally, K Carroll, G McVann; S Hillyer, M Eustace, J Stanley-McKenna; C McCabe, E Kelliher; C Kearney, D Qualter, L Kosinski; A Jordan, S Whyte, P Doran. Subs: C Nolan for Doran (36), H Dunne for Jordan (38), P Donovan for Qualter (55), C McBrearty for Whyte (61).

SKERRIES CC: M Joyce; E O’Connor Flanagan, C Nulty, C Ensor; T Grehan, M Dooley, C Duncan; F Chatten, A Fearon; F Duncan, J Casey, T Hegarty; L Whelan, E Wilde, D Graham. Subs: J Drumm for C Duncan (41), S Emmett for Ensor (42), R Kenny for Hegarty (51).

REFEREE: John Dunning (St Brigid’s).

Posted in Schools GAA | Comments Off on Dublin Schools Junior Hurling ‘C’ Championship Final: Maynooth Post-Primary V Skerries CC – The Evening Herald – January 18 2018

Rugby Column Number 104: The Kildare Nationalist – January 16 2018


Leinster look every inch European contenders after demolition of Glasgow Warriors

By Daire Walsh

LEINSTER produced another serious statement of intent against Glasgow Warriors at the RDS on Sunday afternoon, and also became the first team to book a Champions Cup quarter-final place in the process.

Glasgow were the last team to handed out a competitive defeat to the Blues – a round eight encounter in the Guinness PRO14 back in November.

The Scottish club are currently flying high in Conference A of the revamped league with 12 wins from 13 games, but have been strangely subdued in Pool Three of European rugby’s premier competition.

Four straight losses effectively ruled them out of contention for the knockout rounds, and they fielded with a number of first-choice operators for their latest trip to Dublin.

Leinster head coach Leo Cullen also saw this an ideal opportunity to test the much-talked strength in depth within the province – the inclusion of Jordan Larmour and James Lowe in the back-three being of particular interest to the RDS faithful.

They were joined there by Suncroft’s Fergus McFadden, who has been a regular fixture in the Leinster side since the round three victory over Exeter Chiefs at Sandy Park. Cian Healy returned from the suspension he served as a result of an incident in the reserve fixture with the Chiefs, but after regaining confidence in his absence, Jack McGrath was favoured in the loosehead position.

He was joined in the pack by fellow Irish internationals Sean Cronin, Tadhg Furlong, Devin Toner, Jordi Murphy, Josh van der Flier and Jack Conan, while ex-Wallabie Scott Fardy added considerable physical power in the second-row.

A converted Murphy try in the seventh-minute offered Leinster a dream start to the contest, though Glasgow would restore parity through Niko Matawalu. Yet, any hope that Glasgow had of causing soon evaporated, as Leinster claimed a bonus-point with just 34 minutes gone on the clock.

Skipper Isa Nacewa and Sean Cronin crossed over for the three-time Heineken Cup champions, before Fardy ensured that maximum points were on the horizon when he secured his first try since his summer arrival from the Brumbies.

A Sexton seven-pointer (to add to his three earlier conversions) helped Leinster to establish a 34-7 lead at half-time, and Nacewa continued the rout with his second try after the restart. The Warriors finally responded with an Adam Ashe five-pointer on the hour mark, and Matawalu added to his second score of the day inside the final-quarter.

However, this try was preceded by a similar effort from Lowe on his European debut, and Fardy’s second touchdown three minutes from time guided them towards a magnificent 55-19 success.

They can now enjoy a relatively stress-free trip to Montpellier next weekend, and may yet be joined in the last-eight by fellow pool leaders Ulster and Munster.

Posted in Rugby Column | Comments Off on Rugby Column Number 104: The Kildare Nationalist – January 16 2018

British & Irish Cup Pool Four: Ealing Trailfinders V Connacht Eagles – The Irish Independent – January 15 2018

Harries hat-trick helps power Ealing to 66-point victory

Ealing Trailfinders 78 Connacht Eagles 12

Connacht Eagles suffered a heavy British & Irish Cup defeat at the hands of a ruthless Ealing Trailfinders in West London on Saturday.

Connacht remain in second place in Pool Four and the province still have a chance of making the knockout stages of the competition.

However, with Will Harries, Luke Daniels and Luke Carter in simply sublime form, they were easily swept aside by their English Championship opponents.

The game started on a positive note for Connacht, as left-wing Adam Leavy claimed a converted try on 11 minutes.

However, Ealing issued an immediate response through Miles Mantella, and with Alun Walker, Harries (two) and Carter also crossing over, the home team developed an insurmountable 31-7 interval advantage.

Ben Ward’s side brought this momentum into the second period and opened up a 50-point gap as Harries completed his hat-trick.

Connacht responded with a 66th-minute try from centre Stacey Ili before late efforts by Dan Temm, Rhys Lawrence and Lewis Jones rounded off an impressive Ealing display.

EALING TRAILFINDERS: L Daniels; W Harries, L Jones, J Munro, M Mantella; R Clegg, L Carter; J Gibbons, A Walker, L Thiede; B Maddison, L Jones; K Murphy, R Smid, M Bright. Reps: R Lawrence, D Sears Duru, S Rodman, M Allen, D Temm, D Grant Adamson, P Lydon.

CONNACHT EAGLES: M Byrne; R Scholes, S Illi, K Joyce, A Leavy; A Deegan, C McKeon; C O’Donnell, D Tierney, C Kenny; P Claffey, C Gallagher; S Masterson, J Connolly, P Boyle. Reps: C Torpey, M Burke, C Kyne, N Murray, R Feehily, L Carty, M O’Reilly.

REF – D Phillips (WRU)

Posted in British & Irish Cup Rugby | Comments Off on British & Irish Cup Pool Four: Ealing Trailfinders V Connacht Eagles – The Irish Independent – January 15 2018

British & Irish Cup Pool Two: Cardiff Blues Premiership Select V Leinster ‘A’ – The Irish Independent – January 15 2018

On-fire Marsh powers Leinster ‘A’ into quarters

Cardiff Blues P S27 Leinster ‘A’ 41

Leinster ‘A’ booked a British & Irish Cup quarter-final spot with a dramatic victory over Cardiff Blues Premiership Select at Sardis Road on Saturday.

The Cathal Marsh-led visitors were in the driving seat for large periods, before Cardiff restored parity during a frenetic second-half.

However, late tries from Gavin Mullin and Jack Kelly got Leinster over the line, and safely into the last-eight with a round of fixtures to play.

After a Ben Thomas penalty moved the hosts into an early lead, Leinster started with a seven-point salvo by the impressive Marsh.

Ciaran Frawley and Conor O’Brien then crossed over for Noel McNamara’s charges as they started to take command.

Tries from Dafydd Smith and James Botham reduced the Cardiff deficit to four points (19-15) in time for the interval, only for Leinster to reinforce their superiority with a Jack Aungier try after the break.

A Marsh penalty created further daylight, but when Ben Thomas and Scott Gibson crossed for Cardiff inside the final quarter, the sides were level and the game delicately poised (27-27).

Yet, following their late surge in the Welsh venue, Leinster maintained their perfect record in this season’s competition.

CARDIFF BLUES PREMIERSHIP SELECT – P Lewis; D Smith, J Roberts, J Martin, M Billen (M Llewellyn 65); B Thomas, S Gibson; C Domachowski (R Carre 62), E Lewis (I Harris 70), S Andrews (K Assiratti h-t); B Murphy, J Down; S Lewis-Hughes, J Botham (S Edwards 70), A Lawrence (O Lloyd 56).

LEINSTER ‘A’- C Frawley; J Kelly, G Mullin, C O’Brien, T O’Brien; C Marsh, C Rock; P Dooley, R Kelleher (S McNulty 69), J Aungier (O Heffernan 69); Mick Kearney (O Dowling 69), I Nagle; J Murphy, Max Kearney, P Timmins.

REF – A Leal (RFU).

Posted in British & Irish Cup Rugby | Comments Off on British & Irish Cup Pool Two: Cardiff Blues Premiership Select V Leinster ‘A’ – The Irish Independent – January 15 2018

New Ireland Assurance Senior Dub Stars Ladies Football Challenge: Dublin V Dub Stars 2017 – – January 14 2018



DUB STARS 2017 4-08

By Daire Walsh

All-Ireland champions Dublin enjoyed a winning start to 2018 on Sunday afternoon, when they held off a late rally from the Dub Stars in their annual challenge New Ireland Assurance encounter at the DCU Sportsgrounds.

A hat-trick of goals from half-time substitute Noelle Healy placed Mick Bohan’s side in the driving seat, and even though three-pointers by Laura Nerney and Fiona Claffey kept the Stars in contention during the closing stages of the contest, the county side finished with three points to spare over their opponents.

Of the 20 players that saw game time in Dublin’s Brendan Martin Cup success over Mayo at Croke Park last September, 14 of them were in action at the St Clare’s venue. Healy was joined on the Sky Blues bench by team captain Sinead Aherne, while Martha Byrne (Cuala), Niamh McEvoy (St Sylvester’s) and Hannah O’Neill (Foxrock/Cabinteely) were named in the Stars line-up.

This was ideal preparation for Dublin ahead of their National League opener against Donegal on January 28, and despite threatening to pull away on a number of occasions, they were eventually pushed to the wire by the club representatives.

The Stars sought to close down Dublin’s route to goal in the early moments of the play, as they kept a number of bodies deep inside their own half. However, their opponents still found a way to break through for a clear-cut opportunity in the third-minute, which was palmed to the net by Clann Mhuire’s Carla Rowe.

This was an early hammer blow for Stars – who were jointly-managed by Pat Ring, Mark Kelly and John McKeown – and Dublin added to their lead with a fine Eabha Rutledge point eight minutes after Rowe’s major.

Stars had created some promising openings in between these two scores, but facing into a stiff breeze, they struggled to find their range. A number of shots drifted into the arms of Ciara Trant, though the St Brigid’s shotstopper was relieved to see an effort by raiding half-back Sarah Fagan drifting past her left-hand post.

A Rowe point from a left-hand angle enhanced the Dublin lead, before the Stars challenge finally kicked into gear on 19 minutes. Oonagh Whyte (who had just been introduced on the edge square) released Niamh Rickard, and the Fingallians corner-forward fired to the roof of the net for a superb goal.

This was swiftly followed by a Jennifer Dunne free, as their persistence was beginning to pay off. The bare minimum separated the sides at this juncture, and following traded scores from placed-balls by Rowe and Dunne, it remained as a one-point game.

It was quite a low-scoring affair in comparison to the Junior Dub Stars encounter that preceded it, but thanks to a terrific Denise McKenna single on the half-hour mark, Dublin did enter the interval with a 1-4 to 1-2 cushion.

The cavalry was called upon during the half-time break, though, and this understandably gave Dublin a significant edge when the play re-started. Healy, Aherne and Nicole Owens were all named on the 2017 Ladies All-Star team after outstanding campaigns in blue, and their very presence in the Sky Blues forward line was enough to keep the Stars defence on their toes throughout the second half.

It was Whyte who initially drew first blood for the Stars with a 32nd-minute point, but this was followed by a superb Healy goal at the opposite end. The Senior Players’ Player of the Year jinked past a number of challenges to fire clinically beyond the reach of Martha O’Connor.

A routine Aherne free was cancelled out by Rickard at the opposite end, but courtesy of excellent approach work by Emily Flanagan, Healy was presented with the opportunity to claim her second goal in the space of four minutes.

She did so with much aplomb, and also split the posts off her trusty right-foot from the resulting attack. Dunne’s third free released some of the pressure off Stars’ shoulders, only for Healy to once again secure maximum points at the end of a typically incisive attack.

This left the Stars with a serious mountain to climb in the closing 20 minutes, and a superbly-executed Whyte three-pointer provided them with a much-needed lifeline. Points from the Clann Mhuire star and the experienced McEvoy, either side of an Owens contribution for Dublin, kept them within touching distance of the competition holders.

Dublin continued to offer a considerable goal threat, though, and their fifth of the outing arrived through Danielle Lawless 11 minutes from the end. This appeared to place the outcome beyond doubt, and a second point by Owens – the provider in chief for Lawless’ calm finish – stretch their lead into double figures.

Yet, Stars remained resilient as the final whistle approached, and a Laura Nerney goal was supplemented by points from the dynamic attacking duo of Whyte and McEvoy. A Lyndsey Davey score had given Dublin some breathing space, and although Fiona Claffey joined her Foxrock/Cabinteely compatriot Nerney in getting the better of Trant in stoppage-time, they came up just short in the end.

Scorers – Dublin: Noelle Healy 3-1, Carla Rowe 1-2 (0-1f), Danielle Lawless 1-0, Nicole Owens 0-2, Sinead Aherne (f), Eabha Rutledge, Lyndsey Davey, Denise McKenna 0-1 each. Dub Stars 2017: Oonagh Whyte 1-3, Niamh Rickard 1-1, Laura Nerney, Fiona Claffey 1-0, Jennifer Dunne 0-3 (3f), Niamh McEvoy 0-1.

DUBLIN: Ciara Trant (St Brigid’s); Ciara Lynch (St Sylvester’s), Katie Murray (Clontarf), Leah Caffrey (Na Fianna); Aoife Kane (Kilmacud Crokes), Niamh Collins (Foxrock/Cabinteely), Lucy Collins (Na Fianna); Muireann Ni Scanaill (Fingallians), Olwen Carey (Thomas Davis); Eabha Rutledge (Kilmacud Crokes), Lyndsey Davey (Skerries Harps), Carla Rowe (Clann Mhuire); Sarah McCaffrey (Clontarf), Denise McKenna (Fingallians), Rebecca McDonnell (Clanna Gael Fontenoy).

SUBS: Heather Smith (Garda/Westmanstown Gaels), Noelle Healy (St Brigid’s), Sinead Aherne (St Sylvester’s), Nicole Owens (St Sylvester’s), Shannon Murtagh (Fingallians), Kate Fitzgibbon (O’Toole’s), Maria McGrath (Ballyboden St Enda’s), Emma McDonagh (Foxrock/Cabinteely), Lauren Magee (Kilmacud Crokes), Deirdre Murphy (St Brigid’s), Danielle Lawless (St Sylvester’s), Emily Flanagan (Ballyboden St Enda’s), Mia Jennings (Kilmacud Crokes), Julia Buckley (Kilmacud Crokes).

DUB STARS 2017: Martha O’Connor (Kilmacud Crokes); Laura McGinley (Naomh Barrog), Sarah Quinn (Foxrock/Cabinteely), Ciara Ni Mhurchadh (Foxrock/Cabinteely); Sarah Fagan (Clontarf), Martha Byrne (Cuala), Sinead Burke (Ballyboden St Enda’s); Eadaoin McGuinness (Naomh Maur), Fiona Claffey (Foxrock/Cabinteely); Jennifer Dunne (Cuala), Hannah O’Neill (Foxrock/Cabinteely), Hannah O’Dea (Cuala); Colleen Barrett (St Brigid’s), Niamh McEvoy (St Sylvester’s), Niamh Rickard (Fingallians).

SUBS: Laura Nerney (Foxrock/Cabinteely), Sinead Goldrick (Foxrock/Cabinteely), Megan Foley (Naomh Maur), Gemma Thorne (Naomh Maur), Olivia Leonard (Naomh Maur), Jess Tobin (Cuala), Siabh Hannigan (Parnell’s), Oonagh Whyte (Clann Mhuire), Katie Norgrove (Skerries Harps), Sabrina Moloney (Lucan Sarsfields).

Player of the Match: Noelle Healy (St Brigid’s).

Posted in Ladies GAA | Comments Off on New Ireland Assurance Senior Dub Stars Ladies Football Challenge: Dublin V Dub Stars 2017 – – January 14 2018

Junior Dub Stars Ladies Football Challenge: Navy Team V Blue Team – – January 14 2018





By Daire Walsh

A final-minute point from Aoife Keyes helped the Navy Team to complete an impressive comeback against their Blue Team counterparts in the New Ireland Assurance Junior Dub Stars Challenge at the DCU Sportsgrounds on Sunday.

With 15 minutes remaining in a gripping contest, the Blues had developed a seemingly insurmountable nine-point advantage (5-10 to 3-7). However, Navy dug deep in the final-quarter, and thanks in no small part to strong scoring returns from Gillian McCluskey, Clara O’Sullivan and Rachel Staunton, Martin Mitchell’s charges ultimately came out on top.

The Navy team had a point to spare in last year’s inaugural junior clash, but while there were some returning faces 12 months on (McCluskey and Staunton were opponents on that occasion), this was a debut bout for a number of players.

From the first attack of the proceedings, the Blues hit the front with an excellent point by St Oliver Plunkett’s/Eoghan Ruadh attacker Gaby Couch. Edel O’Brien was a late introduction for her Ranelagh Gaels team-mate Deirdre Breathnach at the heart of the Blues attack, and she played an instrumental role in the game’s opening goal.

With just under 60 seconds gone on the clock, the full-forward saw her effort from a left-hand angle tipped onto the woodwork. Navy weren’t able to clear the ball from safety, though, and Garristown’s Edel Quinn palmed home the rebound.

The Blues continued their dream start with a third-minute point from O’Brien, but though these were ominous signs for Navy, they subsequently fought their way back into contention. Louise Fagan found the Blues net with a sublime chipped effort over the advancing Chloe Downs, and this was supplemented by McCluskey’s opening score of the day.

O’Sullivan was fouled as she attempted a shot from close-range in the 10th-minute, but after Downs let the ball slip through her fingers, a goal was awarded to the Naomh Olaf star.

The Blues were now facing into a two-point deficit, and required a score to calm their nerves once again. A memorable run by Jenny Kelly brought them into the Navy half, and she eventually picked out Laura McManus with a neat hand-pass.

McManus was aiming for a point off her right-foot, but when her strike deceived Navy netminder Olivia McLoughlin, she came away with her side’s second goal. This was the catalyst for a strong purple patch by the Blues, which yielded unanswered points from Couch, Ciara McDunphy (two) and Kelly.

Another speculative shot by McDunphy produced another major on 17 minutes, and increased their advantage to a commanding eight points (3-6 to 2-1). Navy were once again left in a position where they had to chase the game, but with both sides opting to make rolling substitutions as the half developed, it was expected that they would enjoy another period of dominance.

Indeed, a combined salvo of 0-6 from McCluskey (four) and Rita Carroll (two) cut the gap down to three points, before a stoppage-time Anne Whelan goal propelled the Blue Team towards a 4-6 to 2-7 lead at the break.

Navy were able to take solace from being in a similar position at the midway stage in last year’s final – they trailed 2-4 to 1-4 – and the free-flowing nature of the play meant they were still in the running for the top prize.

Their chances of success suffered an additional set-back in the form of a 34th-minute Lisa Sweeney goal for the Blues, and McDunphy added to her own personal haul from open play. Rachel Staunton was one of the star performers in the 2017 decider, and her superb finish on the stroke of 40 minutes breathed fresh life into the Navy challenge.

Yet, thanks to a trio of superb scores by Couch, McDunphy and Sweeney, the Blues quickly re-asserted their authority. Navy were not prepared to go down without a fight, however, and another clinical Staunton three-pointer kick-started a powerful rally from the defending champions.

They maintained their momentum with a close-range O’Sullivan free, and after McCluskey was fouled inside the square nine minutes from time, she coolly slotted home the resultant penalty. This sustained pressure placed the Blue Team on high alert for the remaining minutes, but they brought their counterparts’ scoring sequence to a halt with a fine McManus point from distance.

Navy were determined to finish the game with a flourish, and give the gathering supporters the gripping finale that they desired. An excellent McCluskey goal levelled matters for the first time since Couch’s opener at the start of the action, and there was certainly a sense that the next score could well be a decisive one.

At the end of normal time, versatile St Jude’s star Keyes kicked between the posts at the end of a fine move to give Navy a slender cushion. This was a remarkable turnaround for her side, and when a goal-bound effort by Eimear Mairtin from the final play was fisted inches past the left-hand upright, they squeezed over the line in dramatic fashion.

Scorers – Dub Stars Navy Team: Gillian McCluskey 1-5 (0-2f), Clara O’Sullivan 2-1 (1-0 pen), Rachel Staunton 2-0, Louise Fagan 1-0, Rita Carroll 0-2, Aoife Keyes 0-1. Dub Stars Blue Team: Ciara McDunphy 1-4 (0-2f), Laura McManus 1-01,  Lisa Sweeney 1-1, Edel Quinn 1-00, Anne Whelan 1-0 each, Gaby Couch 0-3, Jenny Kelly, Edel O’Brien 0-1 each.

NAVY TEAM: Olivia McLoughlin (Raheny); Lauren Sweeney (O’Dwyers), Ailish Neville (Na Fianna), Elaine Bolger (Foxrock/Cabinteely); Amy McCaffrey (Fingal Ravens), Laurie Baxter (St Finian’s, Swords), Naomi Leonard (St Monica’s); Hannah Brunton (Whitehall Colmcille), Aoife Keyes (St Jude’s); Amy Morgan (Crumlin), Clara O’Sullivan (Naomh Olaf), Christine Dilworth (St Brendan’s); Louise Fagan (Ballyboughal), Gillian McCluskey (Erin’s Isle), Rita Carroll (Thomas Davis).

SUBS: Cathy May (St Finian’s, Newcastle), Olivia Crossan (Foxrock/Cabinteely), Susan Lynch (Ranelagh Gaels), Aisling Frier (Na Fianna), Rachel Staunton (Stars of Erin), Linda Deasy (Thomas Davis), Alison Hickey (Cuala), Anne McSweeney (St Oliver Plunkett’s/Eoghan Ruadh), Rebecca Grimes (Round Tower Lusk), Aoife Keyes (St Jude’s), Rachael O’Shea (Trinity Gaels).

BLUE TEAM: Chloe Downs (Parnell’s); Laura Burke (Clontarf), Ailise Duffy (Fingallians), Karen Cooney (Ballyboden St Enda’s); Kate Fagan (Ballyboughal), Molly Power (Scoil Ui Chonaill), Niamh Rafferty (Castleknock); Jenny Kelly (Clanna Gael Fontenoy), Kate Murray (Kilmacud Crokes); Edel Quinn (Garristown), Eimear Mairtin (Naomh Olaf), Ciara McDunphy (Raheny); Laura McManus (Garristown), Edel O’Brien (Ranelagh Gaels), Gaby Couch (St Oliver Plunkett’s/Eoghan Ruadh).

SUBS: Roisin Doyle (Craobh Chiarain), Lisa Sweeney (St Peregrine’s), Tara Byrne Seery (Erin’s Isle), Niamh Leacy (Templeogue Synge Street), Shauna Allen (Robert Emmet’s), Niamh O’Sullivan (St James Gaels), Erin Fadian (St Brendan’s), Eilis Davenport (Ballymun Kickhams), Niamh Whyte (Man-O-War), Anne Whelan (Wanderers), Laura Leacy (Templeogue Synge Street).

Player of the Match: Ciara McDunphy (Raheny).

Posted in Ladies GAA | Comments Off on Junior Dub Stars Ladies Football Challenge: Navy Team V Blue Team – – January 14 2018