Leinster Schools Junior League Division 2A Final: Naas CBS V Ardscoil Na Trionoide – The Kildare Nationalist – May 14 2019


Naas CBS add more silverware to collection

NAAS CBS…………………………………..19


By Daire Walsh

FOLLOWING a dominant display at Energia Park last Thursday afternoon, Naas CBS were crowned Leinster Schools Junior League Division 2A champions at the expense of county rivals Ardscoil na Trionoide.

This completes an outstanding season of rugby for this Naas team, who had already added the Fr Godfrey Cup and Duff Cup to their trophy cabinet. They had to overcome Salesian College of Celbridge to claim top honours in the latter and they produced another accomplished display in Donnybrook to earn the bragging rights in Kildare schools rugby.

Whereas Adam Byrne is a notable past student of CBS, Ardscoil list current Munster duo Joey Carbery and Jeremy Loughman amongst their alumni. Carbery’s younger brother Culann led the side at out-half but with Naas dominating possession and territory, there was little room for creative play during the early exchanges.

They established a firm footing inside the Ardscoil ’22’ and broke the deadlock with just four minutes gone on the clock. With space in the central channel proving limited, the ball was switched out towards the left-flank.

Lock Paddy McMahon was on hand to touch down in clinical style and although Andrew Osborne was off-target from the subsequent conversion, the early signs were ominous for Ardscoil. Props Calum Stout and Adel Mahmoud made a series of powerful carries to keep Naas on the front-foot moving into the second-quarter. Despite being under the cosh, Ardscoil were beginning to hold firm in defence. The wet conditions led to a number of handling errors by Naas, which in turn presented Carbery and number eight Seamus Hickey with opportunities to showcase their undoubted abilities.

They were struggling to make an impact inside the Naas half, however, and they ultimately leaked a second try on the stroke of half-time. At the tail end of another sustained attack on the left-flank, McMahon crossed over for his second try of the contest.

Osborne made amends for his earlier miss with a stunning touchline effort – lifting Naas into a 12-0 lead as a consequence. An already tricky situation for Ardscoil was made more difficult on the restart when Naas grabbed their third try on 36 minutes.

When replacement scrum-half Oscar Cawley discovered a gap on the right-wing, he glided over the whitewash for an impressive five-pointer. McKevitt was entrusted with kicking duties in the aftermath of this score and he added the bonuses to give Naas an unassailable 19-point buffer.

An injury to Naas flanker Jamie Carroll on 43 minutes led to an extended delay, but they remained in control against their Athy counterparts when the play resumed. The fleet footwork of Carbery almost created an opening for Ardscoil, though the relentless CBS defence ensured they were living off scraps.

Niall O Geallachoir and Mahmoud were narrowly denied a fourth try in the dying moments as Ardscoil continued to dig their heels in. Having unloaded their replacements bench well before the end of the proceedings, Naas CBS eased over the line to complete an unprecedented treble triumph.

NAAS CBS: Andrew Osborne; Eoin Clarke, Charlie Sheridan, James Forde, Sam Dunne; Jack McKevitt, Ethan Travers; Calum Stout, Simon Hughes, Adel Mahmoud; Brian Doonan, Paddy McMahon; Jamie Carroll, Mark Alexander, Odhran Kelly.

Replacements: Conor Phelan, Darragh McDonnell, Niall O Geallachoir, Mark Keogh, Austin Brennan, Oscar Cawley, Pierce Mooney, Tim Ryan.

ARDSCOIL NA TRIONOIDE: Cormac Byrne, Oisin Grufferty, Aidan Henry, Lochlann Kelleher, Conor Watchorn; Culann Carbery, James Harris; Kieran Doyle, Jack Henry, Darragh Ashton; James Walsh, Adam Healy; Harry Bradbury, Niall O’Hanlon, Seamus Hickey.

Replacements: Ger-Jack Walsh, Eoin Cobbe, Conor Kelly, Dara Nolan-Kelly, James McGrath, Szymon Zdrajkowski, Shane Kavanagh, Christopher Wilson.

Referee: Joe Lyons (Leinster Rugby Referees).

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Dublin Adult Football League Division Two Round-Up (May 12): Dublingaa.ie – May 14 2019


By Daire Walsh 

Thanks to their accomplished 2-9 to 0-9 victory at the expense Raheny in St Anne’s Park on Sunday morning, St Sylvester’s continue to lead the way in Division Two of the Adult Football League.

Courtesy of five consecutive triumphs in the second-tier, the Malahide men currently hold a one-point cushion over Na Fianna ‘B’. Having shared the spoils with Round Tower Lusk in St Mobhi Road on Wednesday (2-9 to 0-15), their Glasnevin counterparts had the measure of Naomh Olaf in the same venue two days later – 2-11 to 1-12 – to maintain their promotion push.

Syls, for their part, had resumed their own league campaign with a 0-14 to 0-9 win against Castleknock in the midweek round of fixtures. Despite being hell-bent on an automatic return to the top-flight, they faced Raheny without a host of regular starters.

Nevertheless with Micheal McCarthy in fine form, they found themselves in the ascendancy. This was until Raheny staged a late rally towards the end of the opening round – which ensured they were on level terms (0-6 apiece) just in time for the interval.

Syls regained momentum on the resumption, though, thanks in no small part to excellent approach work from Dan Deneher, Karl Archibald and Alex Wright. Substitute Dan Brennan was also making a sizeable impact and the pressure eventually told on the under siege Raheny defence.

A Mark Finnerty goal created some daylight for Syls and they remained in front for the remainder of the contest. Wright subsequently released the impressive McCarthy for another major and with the former Dublin senior panellist amassing a final tally of 1-7, the visitors were thoroughly deserving victors in the end.

Just behind second-place Na Fianna on eight points are Ballyboughal – who had the edge over Round Tower Lusk in their latest away assignment. With three successive wins under their belt (they have a game in hand after an earlier postponement), they faced the prospect of a maiden reversal when Lusk raced into a 1-7 to 0-2 lead on 20 minutes.

However, Ballyboughal gained a numerical advantage in the closing moments of the first half and they responded with a scoring blitz of their own. They restored parity at the midway point in the action and given a strong breeze was at their backs, they were now odds-on favourites to continue their winning run.

A determined Lusk maintained their potent threat in attack when the play resumed and remained in the hunt for their third league victory of the season. Yet, Ballyboughal were not to be denied.

With Greg Rooney, Gerry Seavers and Eoghan MacPhilbin combining to devastating effect, they reeled off 1-4 without reply to ultimately claim a 3-15 to 2-14 success. David Downey, Jono Rooney, Keith Lynch and Ciaran Wynne were also impressive for Ballyboughal, while Stephen Harfordflew the flag for Lusk throughout.

Meanwhile, Castleknock issued an ideal response to their midweek set-back against Sylvester’s with a 3-7 to 0-5 triumph over Scoil Ui Chonaill at Somerton Park.

During a tentative opening, Shane Boland broke the deadlock with a hard-earned point. His excellent build-up play laid the foundations for a later goal by John Kindlon.

Scoil did their best to stem the tide in a low-scoring half, but Rory Corcoran and Boland ensured Castleknock were 1-3 to 0-1 ahead moving into the second period. Whilst Scoil initially fought their way back into the reckoning, a superb Rob Shaw major propelled the hosts into a commanding position.

Substitute Tommy Corcoran then set-up his brother Rory for a well-earned goal as Castleknock eased over the line. Joining Ballyboughal and Castleknock on eight points are Naomh Mearnog – 1-9 to 1-6 winners at the expense of St Patrick’s, Palmerstown at Glenauline Park.

Niall Murphy’s 1-5 haul proved pivotal for the Portmarnock, though they also had telling contributions from Shane Kavanagh (0-2), Darren Byrne and Alan Doyle (0-1 each).

After back-to-back defeats to Castleknock and local rivals, Clontarf have discovered their best form in recent weeks. A comprehensive 2-20 to 0-10 victory against Round Tower Clondalkin on Wednesday signalled their intention ahead of a trip to Naomh Fionnbarra on Sunday.

A stunning Kieran McKeon hat-trick was the highlight of their latest success on the field of play – 4-22 to 3-6 – and Maitias MacDonncha also rattled the Fionnbarra net over the course of the hour.

Elsewhere, RT Clondalkin produced the perfect riposte to that heavy reversal to Clontarf. At Monastery Road, they finished with a nine-point hold over Kilmacud Crokes ‘B’ – 3-10 to 1-7.

Having lost out to Round Tower Lusk and Naomh Olaf by the narrowest of margins in their previous round fixtures, St Mary’s, Saggart were on the right side of a 1-15 to 1-14 final scoreline at home to Whitehall Colmcille.

Former Dublin senior footballer Blaine Kelly amassed an impressive individual haul of 1-7, while James Timmins also contributed five points off place-balls. Kelly’s penalty 10 minutes into the second half looked set to guide Mary’s towards a morale-boosting success.

Whitehall grew in confidence as the proceedings progressed, however, and a 1-1 salvo had them one point in front moving into stoppage-time. There was enough time for Mary’s to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat, though, with Kelly and Timmins very much to the fore.

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Dublin Adult Football League Division One Round-Up (May 12): Dublingaa.ie – May 14 2019


By Daire Walsh 

Ballinteer St John’s continued their whirlwind start to Division One of the Adult Football League with a convincing 2-16 to 2-8 victory over Fingallians at Marlay Park on Sunday morning.

The southsiders already had four consecutive wins under their belt prior to the visit of the Swords men to Marlay. Since they got the better of Templeogue Synge Street on the opening weekend of the campaign, Fingallians’ form has drifted in an opposite direction to that of Ballinteer.

Following a narrow reversal to Naomh Maur in Lawless Park on March 3, they subsequently lost out to Lucan Sarsfields and defending champions St Vincent’s. They struggled to build attacking momentum against the in-form Ballinteer – who created daylight courtesy of points from Aodhan Clabby, Donncha Carey and Robbie Gaughan.

A Fingallians goal turned up the heat on John’s, before the hosts re-established their superiority on the restart. Luke Naughton and Aaron Bradshaw both shook the Fingallians net to keep the Ballinteer challenge on the right track.

Although Fingallians maintained a strong threat in attack, Bradshaw, Carey and Micheal O Croinin raised a succession of white flags to preserve Ballinteer’s 100% opening to the top-tier season.

The only points Ballyboden St Enda’s and Kilmacud Crokes had dropped heading into round five was in their own meeting at the beginning of March. At the end of an enthralling clash in Pairc Ui Murchu, they shared the spoils on a final score of 1-10 apiece.

Despite being on the road on Sunday, they both maintained their early pressure on Ballinteer. At Rush, ‘Boden were comprehensive 4-14 to 1-13 winners at the expense of Naomh Maur.

Having recently defeated them in the Senior Championship at Parnell Park, Crokes once again came out on top of their encounter with Na Fianna (1-17 to 1-15).

After their winning start to the league was halted by St Jude’s at Tymon Park on Wednesday, Lucan Sarsfields got past the challenge of St Brigid’s at 12th Lock (2-15 to 1-11).

They are two points clear of Vincent’s, who face Jude’s at Pairc Naomh Uinsionn in a rescheduled affair on Tuesday evening. Meanwhile, Cuala recorded their second win of the term at home to Thomas Davis (2-13 to 0-13).

It was a similar case for Skerries Harps in their home tie with St Oliver Plunkett’s/Eoghan Ruadh. Thanks to Stephen Smith’s four-point haul, Skerries entered the interval 0-9 to 0-3 in front.

The reliable Ciaran Murphy registered a brace of frees to edge them further into the ascendancy on the resumption. Plunkett’s dramatically reduced their deficit as the action wore on but with Colin Daly in outstanding form at midfield, Skerries remained on top.

A Murphy goal opened up an unassailable lead, though Plunkett’s fired over three unanswered points to add a fairer reflection to the final outcome. Smith increased his tally with a second period score – supplementing Murphy’s impressive 1-5 contribution.

Like Thomas Davis and Plunkett’s, Templeogue Synge Street are still searching for their maiden win of the campaign. They produced some positive football at home to Ballymun Kickhams on Sunday, but were ultimately on the receiving end of a 1-13 to 1-18 reversal.

In the absence of brother Eoghan, Killian O’Gara was selected on the edge of the square. After seeing his opening point swiftly cancelled out, he released raiding wing-back Kevin Hughes for a superb goal.

Three successive points from the excellent Jason Whelan got ‘Mun back into the groove, only for O’Gara and Vickery to fired back at the opposite end. Yet, propelled by the influential Whelan, ‘Mun controlled the tempo inside the second-quarter.

Vickery’s 0-2 salvo ensured Templeogue stayed in the reckoning at the midway mark and he helped them to restore parity in the early stages of the second half. They proceeded to trade scores on a number of occasions, until ‘Mun developed purple patches either side of a Killian O’Gara point.

In addition to Whelan’s continued prominence, Ted Furman made a big impact off the bench for ‘Mun. He kicked three points during an impressive cameo as the northsiders earned their first league win since a round two success over Thomas Davis.

While Templeogue are yet to gain maximum points in the 2019 league, their March 31 draw with St Brigid’s keeps them ahead of Davis’ and Plunkett’s moving towards their away assignment against county champions Crokes on Wednesday week (May 22).

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Schools GAA Round-Up: The Evening Herald – May 9 2019


Colaiste Cois Life ready to rock ’n’ roll in decider after tough semi

Daire Walsh

COLAISTE Cois Life progressed to the final of the Dublin Schools Junior ‘C’ Football Championship courtesy of a 5-13 to 4-8 victory over Colaiste Choilm in Swords last Thursday.

They will now face Blackrock College in the upcoming showpiece encounter – the Williamstown outfit having accounted for Cois Life’s near neighbours Lucan Community College on April 11. The Gaelscoil (who include Dublin senior hurler Liam Rushe amongst their past pupils) didn’t always have it their own way, but ultimately had too much for Colaiste Choilm.

Elsewhere, Terenure College edged past the challenge of Colaiste Eoin on Tuesday to book their spot in the Tom Quinlan Cup semi-final. At the end of an enthralling affair, they held out for a 5-26 to 6-19 success.

However, there was disappointment for ‘Nure’s U14 hurlers as they suffered a 3-4 to 0-9 reversal at the hands of Castleknock CC in Russell Park yesterday. Castleknock will have to wait before discovering their Dublin Schools Juvenile ‘B’ final opponents, after Templeogue College and St Mac Dara’s CC played out a thrilling draw at Tymon Park (5-6 apiece).

Despite a gallant effort at Eire Og, Carlow yesterday, Colaiste Eoin were defeated by St Peter’s, Wexford on a scoreline of 4-16 to 1-14 in the Leinster Schools Juvenile ‘A’ Hurling quarter-final.

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Dublin Schools Senior ‘A’ Football Championship Semi-Final: St Aidan’s CBS V St Benildus College – The Evening Herald – May 9 2019



Northside Saints in firm control from the start

Daire Walsh

ST AIDAN’S CBS booked their spot in the Dublin Schools Senior ‘A’ Football Championship decider courtesy of a comprehensive triumph over St Benildus College at Collins Avenue on Tuesday.

Powered by the attacking triumvirate of John Foley, Sean Giles and Sean Lowry, Aidan’s developed an early cushion that they never relinquished. They now progress to face Maynooth Post-Primary in the forthcoming showpiece.

These two sides previously met in the group stages of the Leinster Championship last November, when Aidan’s emerged with 13 points to spare (2-15 to 0-8) in Benildus’ back yard. They began this contest firing on all cylinders – Foley (two), Tadhg Kellett, Eoin Flaherty and Niall Carroll registered quick-fire points to set the wheels in motion.

After Flaherty added his second score of the half, Lowry superbly rattled the Benildus net with an unstoppable strike on 10 minutes. Further goals followed through Foley and Kerrie Hannon before Benildus finally opened their account with a pointed Sean Monaghan free.

However, a Giles goal propelled Aidan’s into a 4-8 to 0-2 interval lead. Supplementing Niall Kellegher’s score just shy of the interval, Benildus centre-back Eoin Donnelly split the posts on the resumption.

Yet Foley swiftly responded with a 1-1 salvo for Aidan’s and their sixth goal inevitably arrived on the stroke of 40 minutes. Giles was once again on target via a precise Hannon pass and wing-back Keith Doran subsequently raised a white flag to enhance the ever-widening gap.

Aidan’s substitute Sean Finn found the net off another sweeping move, only for Bryan Keogh-Smyth to match his efforts in clinical style for the southsiders.

During an improved final quarter from Benildus, Niall Roe cancelled out an eighth Aidan’s goal courtesy of Dean Robertson. A number of their squad featured for their senior hurlers in their ‘A’ Championship final victory over Aidan’s in December, but it proved to be a reversal of fortune on this occasion.

Scorers – St Aidan’s CBS: J Foley 2-4, S Giles 2-0, S Lowry 1-2, S Finn 1-1, K Hannon, D Robertson 1-0 each, E Flaherty 0-2, K Doran, T Kellett, N Carroll, C Moore 0-1 each. St Benildus College: N Roe, B Keogh-Smyth 1-0 each, S Monaghan 0-2 (2f), C Mooney, E Donnelly, N Kellegher 0-1 each.

ST AIDAN’S CBS: J O’Brien; K O’Sullivan, R Cooper, D Wherley; T Kellett, J Thorp, K Doran; E Flaherty, A McNally; S Lowry, J Foley, N Carroll; S Giles, K Hannon, G Sheridan. Subs: J Byrne, T Gleeson, C Sheridan, S Finn, D Gallagher, C Daly, D Robertson, C Moore, J Berry.

ST BENILDUS COLLEGE: M Fox; S Mac Donnacha, D O’Leary, G Fahy; C Mooney, E Donnelly, J O’Carroll; N Roe, J Quinlan; S Monaghan, E McEnerney, N Kellegher; S Walsh, C Foley, C De hOra. Subs: B Keogh-Smyth.

Referee: L Lacey (Na Fianna).

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Dublin Adult Football League Division One Round-Up (May 8): Dublingaa.ie – May 9 2019



By Daire Walsh

Ballinteer St John’s continue to lead the way in Division One of the Adult Football League after they recorded a 3-12 to 0-11 triumph over St Oliver Plunkett’s/Eoghan Ruadh at Martin Savage Park on Wednesday evening.

On the opening weekend of the season, Ballinteer had stated their intentions for a the year with a magnificent eight-point victory (3-11 to 0-12) at the expense of Thomas Davis in Marley Park. Narrow successes followed against Skerries Harps and Cuala in the past two rounds and they maintained their perfect start to the campaign in spectacular fashion.

They are currently one point ahead of both Ballyboden St Enda’s and Kilmacud Crokes – who played out an entertaining draw at Pairc Ui Murchu on March 3 (1-10 apiece). Either side of that tussle, the southside rivals have been imperious.

Crokes had the measure of Thomas Davis on Kiltipper Road (4-8 to 1-12) yesterday, whereas Ballyboden were comprehensive winners in their encounter with neighbours Templeogue Synge Street.

Despite being placed under pressure for large stretches of the opening period – Killian O’Gara was prominent for TSS – ‘Boden earned the spoils on a scoreline of 2-15 to 0-8.

Meanwhile, defending champions St Vincent’s remain in the hunt for a second consecutive title as a result of their 4-13 to 2-10 triumph over Fingallians at Lawless Park. The Swords venue served Vins well for their Championship bow against St Brigid’s last month and they kept themselves in the mix with a third win in just four games.

There was disappointment for a previously unbeaten Lucan Sarsfields at Tymon Park – where 2018 county championship finalists were commanding 1-18 to 1-7 winners. It had been a mixed start to the league for Na Fianna, but they found their best form for last night’s trip to Pairc Ciceam.

Facing a Ballymun Kickhams side that was short a number of inter-county regulars, they emerged with six points to spare (2-18 to 3-9). Following recent draws with Na Fianna and Templeogue Synge Street, St Brigid’s finally registered their first win at home to Naomh Maur.

Philip Ryan has been a fulcrum in the Brigid’s attack for a number of seasons and he bagged an outstanding haul of 2-3 in the first half at Russell Park. Collie Carr, Sean Murray, Lorcan McCarthy, Cian Mullins and Alan Daly also found the range to give the hosts a 2-8 to 0-8 interval buffer.

Whilst Maur’s persisted with their challenge when the play resumed, Jack Mullins and Sean Clarke largely stood firm in defence. McCarthy and Ryan continued to enhance their personal tallies, before Carr’s clinical goal in the closing-quarter helped Brigid’s to claim a 3-13 to 1-13 success.

At Hyde Park, Killian McGinnis once again came up trumps for Skerries Harps in their tantalising showdown with Cuala. McGinnis recently kicked a dramatic late point to give Skerries a Senior Championship victory over Clontarf and he split the posts deep into stoppage-time last night to secure a hard-earned point for his side (1-10 each).

A Steven Smith goal – via Donal McIlgorm’s powerful run – offered Skerries early leeway, until Cuala rallied to lead 1-6 to 1-2 at the break. Indeed, the Dalkey outfit retained their four-point cushion for large stages of the second period and looked set to emerge with their second win of the campaign.

Yet, there proved to be a final twist to the tale. After the reliable Ciaran Murphy kicked three pointed frees in succession, McGinnis restored parity with another place-ball effort.

There was enough time for Skerries to launch a final attack, but Cuala dug deep to ensure they weren’t on the receiving end of an agonising defeat.

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Dublin Adult Football League Division Two Round-Up (May 8): Dublingaa.ie – May 9 2019



By Daire Walsh

St Sylvester’s moved a point clear at the summit of the Adult Football League Division Two table with a hard-earned victory over Castleknock at Broomfield on Wednesday evening.

The Malahide men had entered round four level on points with Na Fianna ‘B’ – both having recorded three straight victories prior to last night’s action. Yet, their Mobhi Road counterparts had to be content with a sharing of the spoils in their home encounter with Round Tower Lusk (2-9 to 0-15).

This opened the door for Syls to create some daylight at the top and they maintained their 100% start to the league season with an eventual 0-14 to 0-9 triumph. This was the first defeat (in either league or championship) in 2019 for Castleknock, who drop down to fourth-place as a consequence.

Leap-frogging the Somerton Park side into third are Ballyboughal, after they had six points to spare (2-19 to 2-13) against St Patrick’s, Palmerstown. Following a delayed start to their campaign – their opening round meeting with Raheny was postponed – Ballyboughal had the measure of Round Tower Clondalkin and Naomh Fionnbarra in subsequent fixtures.

Utilising the elements to telling effect, they opened up a 1-8 to 0-0 lead by the 20-minute mark in yesterday’s contest. Greg Rooney, Timmy O’Sullivan and Gerry Seavers were in fine form in attack, while Jack Ryan, Willie Cooney and Ciaran Wynne produced excellent performances in defence throughout.

In spite of a mini surge from Pat’s in the closing stages of the opening period, Ballyboughal held a commanding 1-13 to 0-5 buffer during the interval. The two sides proceeded to trade scores on the resumption, before Pat’s developed a sustained purple patch inside the final-quarter.

Nevertheless, Ballyboughal had done more than enough to claim a deserved win. They now found themselves just two points adrift of Sylvester’s with a game in hand.

After the frustration of back-to-back draws against Round Tower Lusk and Whitehall Colmcille, Naomh Olaf were eager for a return to winning ways. In a nail-biting away assignment with St Mary’s Saggart, they squeezed through by the bare minimum (1-12 to 0-14).

Like the aforementioned Lusk, they remain unbeaten with two wins and two draws to their name thus far. Heading into Sunday’s next round of fixtures, Naomh Mearnog are one of five teams currently tied on six points.

They edged past the challenge of Naomh Fionnbarra at Portmarnock to make it three league wins on the bounce. There was little to separate the teams throughout the first half, with the lead changing hands on a number of occasions.

Mearnog had fallen behind in the early exchanges, only to ultimately bring a one-point cushion into the break. They looked set to prevail when they created a three-point stranglehold on 50 minutes, but Fionnbarra fought back to level matters once more.

However, a resilient Mearnog kicked two late points to secure a dramatic 0-17 to 0-15 victory. On a night when they were forced to dig deep, Shane Kavanagh, Jamie Walsh, Alan Doyle, Sean Hawkshaw and Niall Murphy stood out for the triumphant hosts.

Elsewhere, Kilmacud Crokes ‘B’ got the better of Raheny at Pairc De Burca (2-9 to 1-10) and Clontarf convincingly defeated Round Tower Clondalkin on a scoreline of 2-20 to 0-10.

Buoyed by an encouraging start to the Intermediate Championship, Scoil Ui Chonaill got their league campaign up and running with a 2-10 to 1-7 success at the expense of Whitehall Colmcille at Collins Avenue.

While Scoil suffered an early set-back in the shape of a Whitehall goal, they soon settled thanks to Conor Dixon’s 1-1 salvo. Dublin senior panellist Andy Bunyan was a notable presence between the sticks for Scoil and he split the posts off a brace of long-distance frees to supplement a Tiarnan Crowe effort.

The towering netminder later stepped forward to dispatch a penalty to the Whitehall net, giving the visitors a 2-5 to 1-2 cushion at the midway point. Despite a spirited showing from Whitehall in the second period, Crowe, Bunyan, Robert Kennedy and Donncha Fenton were all on target as Scoil Ui Chonaill eased over the line.

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Dublin Adult Football League Division One: Kilmacud Crokes V Thomas Davis – Dublingaa.ie – May 9 2019




By Daire Walsh

The impressive Pat Burke grabbed a hat-trick of goals at Kiltipper Road last night to help Kilmacud Crokes preserve their unbeaten start to Division One of the Adult Football League.

Trailing by eight points (1-9 to 1-1) on 21 minutes, the Stillorgan men eventually got to grips with the challenge of Davis. Having reduced their deficit in time for the interval, they subsequently registered 2-5 without reply in a dominant second half performance.

Prior to embarking on the defence of their Senior Championship crown – back-to-back group wins over Ballymun Kickhams and Na Fianna re-establishing their title credentials – Crokes recorded wins over St Brigid’s and Ballymun either side of a stalemate with Ballyboden St Enda’s.

After falling to a comprehensive 3-11 to 0-12 reversal at the hands of Ballinteer St John’s in their opening game of the competition, Davis suffered narrow top-flight losses to both Ballymun and Skerries Harps.

They were facing a much-changed Crokes side on their home turf, with inter-county stars Paul Mannion, Cian O’Sullivan and Rory O’Carroll proving to be notable absentees. O’Carroll’s brother Ross deputised for him at the heart of the defence, while Burke and Kevin Dyas provided the greatest level of experience in attack.

The visitors were shooting into a strong breeze during the opening period, which meant they had to be patient in their quest for clear-cut scoring opportunities. Conor Kinsella and Eoin Kirby traded early points, before the latter added a 0-2 salvo to give Davis some breathing space.

This was quickly supplemented by a stunning Ryan Deegan goal in the ninth-minute – the midfielder firing superbly beyond the reach of Adam McGovern at the end of a powerful solo run. It was beginning to look ominous for Crokes when Mark Nolan and the influential Kirby (two) combined to enhance the Davis cushion, but they received a potential lifeline on the first-quarter mark.

Following a foul on the raiding Kinsella, Burke coolly dispatched a penalty past the helpless Robbie Crilly. Initially, this only offered a brief respite to Crokes as Eanna O’Toole complimented another Kirby brace to restore Davis’ stranglehold on the contest.

Yet, Crokes were beginning to find space inside the opposition ’45’ and shook the net for a second time through a composed Dyas finish. The former Armagh footballer profited as a result of Ciaran Russell’s excellent build-up play and a Burke free meant their gap now stood at just four points.

The evergreen corner-forward (who has represented Dublin and Clare at inter-county level in the past) proceeded to split the uprights off another place-ball effort, though Reilly and Deegan ensured Davis were 1-11 to 2-3 in front at the break.

Despite requiring a re-alignment to combat against the elements, Davis maintained their momentum on the restart courtesy of Kirby’s superb free on the left-wing. They encountered a new-look Crokes forward line, however, with Callum Pearson and Dara Mullin replacing Kinsella and Hugh Kenny respectively.

In the space of 60 seconds, Pearson kicked a couple of outstanding points to give Crokes renewed hope. Mullin was also eager to make an impact and it was his incisive run down the left-hand side that released Burke for another smooth strike past Crilly on 41 minutes.

Off the resulting attack, Russell found the target off his right boot to sensationally wipe out Thomas Davis’ cushion. Just shy of the third-quarter mark – with the game firmly in the melting pot – Crokes introduced Brian Sheehy and Niall Brady as another double replacement.

Simultaneously, Shane McGrath (a former team-mate of Burke in the Clare panel) and Stephen O’Byrne were thrust into the action for Davis. It was an earlier substitute – Mullin – who continued to prosper and he was hauled down inside the square for another Crokes penalty.

For the second time on the night, Burke converted the ensuing place-kick. In addition to completing his aforementioned hat-trick, he had also edged Crokes into the ascendancy for the first time. A Stephen Williams point stretched them four clear and in spite of a 10 minute barren spell in front of the posts, Burke fired over what was effectively an insurance score.

After Crokes had already utilised their full compliment of substitutes, Burke was black-carded for a foul on McGrath. Williams’ dismissal on a second yellow-card offence meant Kilmacud ended the tie with just 13 players, but they had done more than enough to claim the spoils.

They can now look forward with confidence to their Sunday morning clash against Na Fianna at St Mobhi Road. By contrast, Thomas Davis will aim to dust themselves down for an away trip to Cuala on the same day.

Scorers – Kilmacud Crokes: Pat Burke 3-3 (2-0 pen, 0-3f), Kevin Dyas 1-0, Callum Pearson 0-2, Ciaran Russell, Conor Kinsella, Stephen Williams 0-1 each. Thomas Davis: Eoin Kirby 0-8 (5f), Ryan Deegan 1-1, Sean Reilly 0-2, Eanna O’Toole 0-1.

KILMACUD CROKES: Adam McGovern; Nathan Nolan, Ross O’Carroll, Michael Mullin; Aidan Jones, Cillian O’Shea, Ronan Ryan; Gavin English, Ciaran Russell; Conor Kinsella, Dan O’Brien, Stephen Williams; Hugh Kenny, Kevin Dyas, Pat Burke. Subs: Callum Pearson for Kinsella, Dara Mullin for Kenny (both half-time), Brian Sheehy for O’Carroll, Niall Brady for Ryan (both 44), Mark O’Leary for Dyas (46), Henry O’Donnell for O’Brien (52).

THOMAS DAVIS: Robbie Crilly; Brian Kirby, Aaron Shorten, Conor Molloy; Sean Kennedy, Peter Quinn, Cian Murphy; Ryan Deegan, Brendan Kirby; Oisin Kelly, Eoin Kirby, Sean Farrelly; Eanna O’Toole, Sean Reilly, Mark Nolan. Subs: Shane McGrath for O’Toole, Stephen O’Byrne for Farrelly (both 44), Chris Sallier for Nolan (50).

Referee: Andrew Cummins (Trinity Gaels).

Posted in Gaelic Football | Comments Off on Dublin Adult Football League Division One: Kilmacud Crokes V Thomas Davis – Dublingaa.ie – May 9 2019

Rugby Column Number 154: The Kildare Nationalist – May 7 2019


Leinster ready for another tilt at Europe’s top prize

By Daire Walsh

IT is destination St James’ Park for Leinster on Saturday evening as they look to preserve their perfect record in European finals against formidable English Premiership outfit Saracens.

In addition to being four-time winners in the recent past (2009, 2011, 2012 and 2018), the Blues are yet to lose out in a top-tier continental showpiece. They also contested the Challenge Cup decider back in 2013 – comfortably overcoming the challenge of Stade Francais at the RDS Arena.

While Saracens secured back-to-back titles in 2016 and 2017, they were defeated by a Jonny Wilkinson-inspired Toulon at Cardiff five years ago. Their current Director of Rugby is Bangor man Mark McCall, who is seeking to become the first Irish coach to guide a club to three European titles.

His understated demeanour – and the boundless resources at his disposal – means his achievements aren’t always recognised in his homeland, but he has established an impressive body of work nonetheless.

There has always been a strong Kildare influence at the heart of Leinster’s European successes and the same may well be true this weekend. When they finally reached the promise land under Michael Cheika 10 years ago, Naas’ Jamie Heaslip was the sole try scorer in a 19-16 triumph over Leicester.

Heaslip’s fellow Newbridge College alums Geordan Murphy and Johne Murphy were included in the Tigers match day squad. This was only the start of the Heineken Cup odyssey for Leinster and Heaslip was joined by Suncroft’s Fergus McFadden for their much-discussed 2011 victory at the expense of Northampton.

Both men returned to play starting roles in their subsequent demolition of interprovincial rivals Ulster 12 months later – McFadden converting a Sean Cronin try in the dying embers at Twickenham Stadium.

A full six years passed before Leinster returned to a top-tier European showdown, in which time Heaslip and McFadden continued to be a major part of the Ballsbridge furniture. Yet Heaslip had been forced into retirement through injury just a few months before their final with Racing 92 and McFadden was ruled out after damaging his hamstring in an earlier round.

Nevertheless, Kill’s James Tracy appeared in a final-quarter cameo and Joey Carbery (Athy) was an unused replacement as Jonathan Sexton and club captain Isa Nacewa edged them over the line.

Carbery has since departed for pastures new at Munster, but the Lilywhites representation is alive and well at Leinster. Despite McFadden being suspended for a headbutt incident involving Ulster’s Sean Reidy, a recent injury to Cronin could propel Tracy into the starting line-up.

There is also a potential spot within the 23 for Adam Byrne, the former Naas CBS having featured prominently this season only to indirectly lose his place to Rob Kearney in the past few weeks.

The Blues are also challenging on two fronts, with a home PRO14 semi-final coming fast on the horizon. A Munster side that included Eadestown’s Tadhg Beirne squeezed past Benetton at Thomond Park on Saturday to set-up another battle with their arch rivals.

Posted in Rugby Column | Comments Off on Rugby Column Number 154: The Kildare Nationalist – May 7 2019

LIDL National Football League Division One Final Overview: Cork V Galway – The Evening Echo – May 6 2019

Cork hold off late Galway surge to claim the silverware


Daire Walsh

THEY had to withstand a spirited Galway surge in the final-quarter, but Cork deservedly reclaimed the National Football League Division One trophy at Parnell Park yesterday.

Martina O’Brien, Ciara O’Sullivan, Orla Finn and Eimear Scally produced outstanding individual displays to earn Cork their 12th title at this grade. Though Cork’s season will ultimately be defined by how they fare come Championship time, in light of Dublin’s recent stranglehold on the national prizes, the importance of this win cannot be underestimated.

Since they were last crowned NFL champions in 2017, Ephie Fitzgerald has maintained the policy of injecting fresh blood into the Cork squad. Like their Munster counterparts, there has also been something of a transition within the Galway ranks. Of the team that was edge out by Cork – on a replay – in the 2015 decider, only five players remained in place.

In stark contrast to the Rebelettes’ record of 11 wins out of 12 (their sole reversal coming to Monaghan in 2012), Galway were searching for their maiden triumph following five defeats in previous finals.

Whereas the Division Two curtain-raiser between Cork’s Munster rivals Kerry and Waterford was a high-scoring encounter – 5-13 to 1-17 in favour of the Deise – this top-tier showpiece was always expected to be a cagey affair.

Following a template that served them so well in their last-four success at the expense of Donegal, the westerners dropped a host of bodies inside their own 45.

This strategy was deployed with a view to limiting the influence of O’Sullivan and Finn – whose place-ball accuracy had played a pivotal role in Cork reaching their ninth league final of the decade.

After creating early daylight through a Tracey Leonard free, Galway caused their opponents to recycle possession with some disciplined defensive work. The Leesiders kept their composure in the face of mounting pressure, however, and Finn finally opened their account on eight minutes.

Even though skipper Martina O’Brien (standing in for Doireann O’Sullivan) failed to find a colleague off her first kick-out, she enjoyed a 100% success rate (eight from eight) for the remainder of the half. This helped Cork to establish an attacking template and in spite of Roisin Leonard restoring Galway’s one-point cushion, they subsequently hit the front through Ciara O’Sullivan and Libby Coppinger scores.

Before Finn could add her first free of the contest, Mairead Seoighe was sin-binned for a body check on Cork full-back Hannah Looney. Given how Galway had opted to set-up, this was the ideal opportunity for the Rebelettes to exploit the extra space on offer.

Nevertheless, it was during this juncture that the Connacht women displayed their mettle. Megan Glynn conjured their first point from play and this was soon supplemented by Roisin Leonard.

Indeed having fought hard to regain the initiative – Finn and Eimear Scally were on target in quick succession. Then Roisin Leonard’s bid to break free down the left-flank was halted by Aishling Hutchings and the versatile Fermoy star paid the price with 10 minutes on the sideline.

While Cork also largely held their own with 14 players, there was a couple of let-offs either side of the interval that could have drastically changed the complexion of the game. In the closing moments of the opening period, the excellent Sinead Burke released Megan Glynn for an opening on goal but the Claregalway forward couldn’t capitalise. With just two points separating the teams at the break (0-7 to 0-5), a 35th-minute penalty presented a potential lifeline to Galway.

However the ever-dependable O’Brien turned away Roisin Leonard’s resulting effort and instead of being forced to chase the game, Cork proceeded to dominate the remainder of the third-quarter. In addition to Hutchings’ return to the fray, the double introduction of Saoirse Noonan and Eimear Meaney on 37 minutes helped to propel Cork into the driving seat.

Meaney applied a sense of calm to the Leeside rearguard and after returning to the fold in time for the epic semi-final showdown with Dublin, a fit-again Noonan bagged the opening goal of the game on 44 minutes.

Niamh Cotter, Scally (excellent throughout) and Finn had contributed points prior to the Nemo Rangers ace finishing off a sweeping move. Given they had now created a gap of 1-10 to 0-5, Cork looked set to cruise over the line.

To Galway’s credit, they refused to throw in the towel and Charlotte Cooney’s major 12 minutes from time added renewed life to their challenge.

The temporary dismissals of Niamh Cotter and Ciara O’Sullivan permanently forced Cork on the back-foot in the dying moments and a stunning Louise Ward finish dramatically cut the gap to two points.

The ability to see out a game when it’s in the melting pot has been Cork’s bread and butter down through the years and it was once again in evidence yesterday. They clinically held onto the ball until the final hooter sounded, bringing the curtain down on another big success for Cork senior women’s football.

Posted in Ladies GAA | Comments Off on LIDL National Football League Division One Final Overview: Cork V Galway – The Evening Echo – May 6 2019