Rugby Column Number 119: The Kildare Nationalist – July 17 2018

RUGBY COLUMN – JULY 17

By Daire Walsh

IT promises to be a hectic weekend for Kildare duo Billy Dardis and Jimmy O’Brien – who have been selected in the Ireland men’s squad for the Rugby World Cup sevens at the AT & T Arena in San Francisco.

Following their absence from the 2013 competition, the Green Army will be aiming to make a serious statement of intent in the US city. After a respectable seventh-place finish five years ago, the women’s side will also return to the global stage for a Round of 16 affair with England on Friday.

Taking place over just three days – at the home of the famed San Francisco Giants baseball team – there is very little room for errors in both Irish camps. While the women’s selection face a tough encounter against their overseas rivals, their male counterparts are expected to negotiate their way past Chile in a Pre-Round of 16 showdown.

The reward for the winner of that clash is a tantalising meeting with South Africa (who finished as runners-up in the 1997 World Cup), with the loser entering the Bowl section of the competition.

Though there is also a Challenge place on offer for those that come off second best in the last-16 of the Championship, a straight knockout format means teams can’t afford any slip ups if they have designs on securing the coveted world titles.

In the 12 months since he left Leinster without a single senior cap to his name, Dardis has thrived on the sevens circuit. Although he had already been part of the squad for their unsuccessful bid at qualifying for the 2016 Olympics in Rio De Janiero, the Naas man in now fully at ease within Anthony Eddy’s set-up.

Before playing Leinster Senior Cup rugby with south Dublin nursery Terenure College, Dardis displayed initial promise in the black and white of his local school – Newbridge College. This is the same alma mater that has produced the aforementioned O’Brien, who is still an active member of the Leinster Academy.

Still only 21, the Eadestown native came to prominence on a national level as part of the Ireland U20s side that reached the World Championship decider two years ago. He has been an active member of the Sevens programme in the build-up to this tournament and is expected to bring a youthful exuberance to their expansive back play.

Dardis and O’Brien are currently team-mates in the capital with UCD, and they are joined in the Sevens squad by fellow Students Hugo Keenan and Harry McNulty. Their game against Chile gets underway at 3.35pm local time (11.35pm Irish time) on Friday.

Bringing a sense of calm to the women’s side will be Lucy Mulhall – a former All-Ireland junior football winner with her native Wicklow. Alongside her are the Leinster quintet of Kathy Baker, Katie Fitzhenry, Eve Higgins, Stacey Flood and Hannah Tyrrell, who will need to produce big performances if they are to overcome the challenge of England on Friday (12.12pm local time/8.12pm Irish time).

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Dublin Adult Football League Division Two Round-Up (July 14-15): Dublingaa.ie – July 16 2018

AFL DIV. 2 ROUNDUP: 14TH – 15TH JULY

ADULT FOOTBALL LEAGUE DIVISION TWO ROUND-UP: JULY 14-15

By Daire Walsh

After edging an eight-goal thriller against Skerries Harps at Dolphin Park on Sunday morning, Templeogue Synge Street hold onto top spot in Division Two of the Adult Football League.

With only score difference separating the two sides prior to the proceedings, it had all the makings of a crunch second-tier encounter. Both teams came into this encounter hoping to secure a third consecutive league triumph – and create some daylight at the summit of the table in the process.

There was little to separate them during a keenly-contested opening period – played out in testing conditions on the Crumlin Road. Despite conceding a goal to in-form TSS attacker Ger Vickery, Skerries entered the break on level terms with the hosts (1-5 apiece).

This left the tie delicately poised for the second half, when both sides continued to vigorously pursue scores. While Skerries displayed a ruthless streak of their own, it was Templeogue who ultimately held the edge.

In addition to an Alex O’Toole three-pointer, Vickery completed a hat-trick of goals to bring his final tally up to 3-3. Killian O’Gara (younger brother of Dublin footballer Eoghan) kept the scoreboard ticking over with four points and there was also impressive contributions from Luke O’Brien and Kevin Hughes.

Former Dublin star Denis Bastick (a five-time Celtic Cross winner with the Sky Blues) also chipped in with a point – helping Templeogue to record an eventual 4-12 to 4-8 triumph. This provides them with some breathing space over Skerries in the table – they are now two points clear of the Harps with a game still in hand.

Yet, despite only dropping four points from a maximum of 20, TSS are facing a fresh challenge from Fingallians. Indeed, after the Swords men squeezed past St Patrick’s, Palmerstown at Glenauline Park (1-9 to 1-6), they leap-frogged Skerries into second.

They are now just a point behind Templeogue with the same number of games played and have an away clash at Dolphin Park pencilled in for the end of this month (July 28). Round Tower Clondalkin will also feel they have a realistic shot at promotion, as they currently lie just three points adrift of Templeogue in fourth place.

Following recent reversals to Fingallians and Raheny, they had the measure of Whitehall Colmcille at Monastery Road – 4-12 to 1-11 the final score. Although they suffered an early set-back when Dublin senior hurler Eoghan O’Donnell rattled the net for the Collins Avenue outfit, Towers recovered sufficiently to take a slender cushion into the break.

Thanks to a brace of Micheal Walsh goals, they found themselves in the box seat on the half-hour mark. Alongside impressive netminder Gary Cleary, Chris Berry and the vastly-experienced Derek Murray significantly curbed the influence of the Whitehall attack in the second period.

Conor Flannery was also a dominant figure in midfield, which in return afforded the Towers forwards the platform to enhance their side’s advantage. Owing largely to Jason Joyce’s two-goal salvo, Towers had 10 points to spare over their northside opponents on the final whistle.

O’Toole’s are still searching for their opening win of this year’s league, after they were comprehensively defeated away to St Mary’s Saggart on Sunday (2-16 to 0-6). Along with Mary’s, Fingal Ravens and St Anne’s moved eight points clear of Larriers with respective triumphs over Scoil Ui Chonaill (3-10 to 0-10) and Raheny (2-10 to 0-10).

Na Fianna ‘B’ climbed into the top-six by shading a tense clash against Clontarf at St Mobhi Road by the minimum of margins (1-10 to 1-9) and Ballyboughal also enjoyed a productive weekend – beating Naomh Mearnog by 1-15 to 1-12 on Saturday morning.

Posted in Gaelic Football | Comments Off on Dublin Adult Football League Division Two Round-Up (July 14-15): Dublingaa.ie – July 16 2018

Dublin Adult Football League Division One Round-Up (July 13-15): Dublingaa.ie – July 16 2018

AFL DIV. 1 ROUNDUP: 13TH – 15TH JULY

ADULT FOOTBALL LEAGUE DIVISION ONE ROUND-UP: JULY 13-15

By Daire Walsh

They were held to a draw by local rivals Na Fianna at Pairc Naomh Uinsionn on Sunday morning, but with 10 rounds played in Division One of the Adult Football League, St Vincent’s remain in pole position.

With one defeat (to Ballyboden St Enda’s in mid-June) to their names, the Marino men have been in excellent form throughout 2018. An accomplished 1-14 to 0-11 success over the previously high-flying Kilmacud Crokes on July 4 ensured that Brian Mullins’ charges were in high spirits ahead of Na Fianna’s visit to PNU.

The St Mobhi Road outfit were aiming to bounce back from recent reversals to Lucan Sarsfields and Naomh Maur – in addition to avenging their April Championship defeat to Vins. They finished that contest just two points in arrears (2-17 to 2-15) and knew a fifth league triumph of the present campaign would lift them back up the table.

However, at the end of a compelling encounter, both sides had to settle for a share of the spoils; St Vincent’s 1-15, Na Fianna 2-12.

An extended weekend of league action had begun on Friday evening with a clash between Ballinteer St John’s and Kilmacud Crokes at Marley Park. St Sylvester’s and Ballymun Kickhams also faced off at Broomfield, where Syls came through with just one point to spare (0-13 to 0-12).

Crokes had lost ground on Vins as a result of their aforementioned home defeat, but they got back on track in a titanic tussle against their fellow southsiders. Though Ballinteer provided a stern resistance, the Stillorgan men eventually prevailed on a scoreline of 2-15 to 2-13.

This victory – coupled with a narrow defeat for Ballyboden St Enda’s at the hands of Cuala on Sunday morning (1-12 to 1-11) – moves them back into second place, two points adrift of Vincent’s.

The top-four in Division One is completed by Lucan Sarsfields, after they recorded a commanding 3-16 to 1-13 win against Naomh Olaf at 12th Lock on Saturday morning.

While Olaf’s kept in touch for much of the opening period, they were ultimately facing into a four-point deficit (1-8 to 0-7) at the break. With Luke Walsh and returning Dublin U20s defender CJ Smith producing the goods, Lucan pushed forward on the resumption.

Although Leitrim attacker Brendan Gallagher finished with an impressive personal haul of 1-6, he was given able-assistance on the scoring charts. In addition to Conor Gallagher’s 1-4 tally, Declan O’Shaughnessy also chipped in with 1-2 for the victors.

Sky Blues underage star Darren Gavin (son of All-Ireland winning Galway footballer Fergal) offered a powerful presence in midfield and the evergreen Stephen O’Shaughnessy was also a leading light over the course of the hour.

With Gavin, Dara Shanahan, Jack Carey and Harry Ladd landing a point apiece to compliment their chief marksmen, Lucan eased over the line.

Meanwhile, St Jude’s returned to winning ways at Somerton Park on Sunday by getting the better of basement side Castleknock (3-10 to 1-6). Courtesy of goals from Declan Donnelly and Chris Guckian, the Wellington Lane side – defeated last time out by St Oliver Plunkett’s/Eoghan Ruadh – led 2-5 to 0-5 at the midway stage.

Donnelly’s second major after the restart effectively placed the outcome beyond doubt, but Padraic Clarke, Niall Coakley, Barry Fitzgerald and Aidan Fitzmaurice ensured there was an emphatic nature to the final result.

They are joined on 10 points by Na Fianna, Cuala and Naomh Maur – who enjoyed a five-point win over Thomas Davis. With Ciaran Archer contributing the bulk of their scores, Maur’s held a slender 0-7 to 0-6 interval in Rush.

Following a 0-3 salvo by Archer, Danny Byrne rattled the back of the Davis’ net on 45 minutes to open up an eight-point gap between the teams. A spirited fightback by the Kiltipper men reduced the deficit in the final-quarter, only for Maur’s to hold out for a 1-15 to 1-10 triumph.

Elsewhere, Plunkett’s overcame the stubborn challenge of St Brigid’s at Martin Savage Park to claim back-to-back victories for the first time this season (0-11 to 0-10).

Posted in Gaelic Football | Comments Off on Dublin Adult Football League Division One Round-Up (July 13-15): Dublingaa.ie – July 16 2018

Dublin Adult Football League Division One: St Sylvester’s V Ballymun Kickhams – Dublingaa.ie – July 15 2018

AFL DIV. 1 MATCH REPORT: ST SYLVESTER’S V BALLYMUN KICKHAMS

DUBLIN ADULT FOOTBALL LEAGUE DIVISION ONE

ST SYLVESTER’S 0-13 BALLYMUN KICKHAMS 0-12

By Daire Walsh

Edmund Walsh was the St Sylvester’s hero at Broomfield on Friday night as his majestic 66th-minute point helped the Malahide men to overcome the stern challenge of Ballymun Kickhams in a tense Adult Football League Division One clash.

With the dynamic Walsh leading by example, Syls were in the ascendancy for the majority of this encounter. However, thanks to the scoring prowess of Ted Furman, ‘Mun battled back to level matters on the brink of full-time.

Yet – just when a draw appeared to be the most likely outcome – Walsh dissected the posts in devastating fashion to seal a much-needed victory for Jack Sheedy’s charges.

Following some difficult results to date, Syls could ill-afford another slip-up on home soil. Though most of their inter-county contingent were marked absent, Ballymun were able to call on a number of experienced operators for this tricky away assignment.

In addition to former Mayo panellist James Burke, the ‘Mun starting line-up also featured the Small brothers – John and Paddy. Because he is set to miss Dublin’s ‘Super 8’ clash with Donegal on Saturday evening through suspension, John was free to assume the pivotal position of centre-back.

Paddy was selected in the ‘Mun half-forward line alongside Brian Ashton and Fiach Andrews, while Furman was posted on the edge of the square.

Syls suffered a set-back prior to throw-in when full-back Conor Quinn was withdrawn from the side because of injury. He was replaced by Ciaran McArdle in a re-shuffled rearguard, but it was the home team who drew first blood courtesy of a routine Walsh free on six minutes.

‘Mun responded immediately through the dependable Furman, only to be subsequently pegged back by their determined opponents. After he brilliantly converted a ’45’ on the stroke of 10 minutes, Walsh added a pointed free to his ever-expanding personal tally.

The visitors were struggling to develop a consistent attacking rhythm, and as a result Syls were able to take advantage at the opposite end of the field. Following a fisted effort by corner-forward Brian Sexton, Walsh claimed his first point from open play.

Their lead was further extended via the boot of midfielder Gavin McArdle, before Furman ended this scoring sequence with an impressive left-footed single. His successful 35-metre free provided the 2017 Championship finalists with some much-needed breathing space, but Syls reinforced their superiority with Sexton’s second point of the half.

There was a sense that ‘Mun were beginning to settle as the interval approached, though, and Liam O’Donovan and Furman (free) found the target in quick succession for Barney Rock’s outfit.

In spite of this mini surge, it was Syls and Walsh who had the final say prior to the break. The dynamic centre-forward curled over with the aid of the woodwork, offering the his side a 0-8 to 0-5 buffer in the process.

Ronan Palmer – who was watched on by his brother-in-law, former Republic of Ireland captain Robbie Keane – was deployed effectively in a sweeper role in the opening period and he extended the Syls cushion on the resumption.

Ballymun added Cathal O’Tighe and Leon Young to the mix for the start of the second half, in a bid to inject fresh life to their challenge. Furman and Paddy Small gave them a fighting chance of success, but this was quickly followed by identical Syls efforts from Walsh and McArdle.

Traded scores between Furman and Walsh ensured that Syls remained four points in front on 48 minutes – and well on course for a fourth league win of 2018. However, with John Small’s influence becoming more pronounced, Ballymun were not prepared to go down without a fight.

Moments after his introduction, substitute Cian Gerrard narrowed the gap by kicking over at a tight angle. Furman and John Small both found their range when presented with opportunities inside the Syls half, which consequently reduced the deficit to a single point (0-12 to 0-11).

‘Mun were now building momentum with the finishing line in sight, and Furman displayed great composure to convert a free two minutes into time added on.

With the action held up on a number of occasions, there was always the prospect of late drama in the northside venue. While it was impossible to tell where the pendulum was going to swing, Walsh spectacularly brought his side’s 18-minute barren spell to an end with an outstanding effort off the outside of his left peg.

This proved to be the final act of an engrossing contest, played in perfect conditions throughout. Syls now move to 11th place in the table, one point ahead of Ballymun – who have a game in hand on their conquerors.

They welcome Cuala to Páirc Ciceam this coming Wednesday, whereas Syls make the journey to Silver Park to face Kilmacud Crokes.

SCORERS – St Sylvester’s: Edmund Walsh 0-8 (4f, 1 ’45’), Gavin McArdle, Brian Sexton 0-2 each, Ronan Palmer 0-1. Ballymun Kickhams: Ted Furman 0-8 (4f), John Small, Paddy Small, Liam O’Donovan, Cian Gerrard 0-1 each.

ST SYLVESTER’S: Michael Shiel; Paidi White, Eoghan Hamill, John Peacock; Andrew Cunningham, James Walsh, Ciarán McArdle; Gavin McArdle, Simon Owens; Andrew Hartnett, Edmund Walsh, Dylan McEvoy; Ronan Palmer, Jack Hazley, Brian Sexton. Subs: Glen Hazley for J Walsh (45, BC), Kevin McKeown for White (55), Ross Hazley for Palmer (59, 61, blood).

BALLYMUN KICKHAMS: Eric Cumberton; Alan George, Eoin Dolan, Alan Hubbard; Carl Keeley, John Small, James Burke; James Talbot, Davey Byrne; Brian Ashton, Paddy Small, Fiach Andrews; Liam O’Donovan, Ted Furman, Colm Hulton. Subs: Cathal O’Tighe for Ashton, Leon Young for Hulton (both half-time), Cian Gerrard for O’Donovan (45), Jason Welby for Andrewa (52).

REF: Willy O’Connor (Clontarf).

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Dublin Adult Hurling League Division Two Round-Up (July 11): Dublingaa.ie – July 13 2018

AHL DIV. 2 ROUNDUP – 11TH JULY

DUBLIN ADULT HURLING LEAGUE DIVISION TWO ROUND-UP: JULY 11

By Daire Walsh

Whitehall Colmcille recorded an emphatic 1-20 to 1-8 victory over Erin’s Isle on Wednesday to boost their promotion prospects in Division Two of the Adult Hurling League.

With pace-setters Ballinteer St John’s losing out to a determined Naomh Barrog, the Collins Avenue outfit were presented with an ideal opportunity to showcase their own title credentials. While there is little to separate the top-six teams in the second-tier, Whitehall have displayed impressive form throughout the current campaign.

Following consecutive wins against St Oliver Plunkett’s/Eoghan Ruadh, Naomh Fionnbarra, Kilmacud Crokes ‘B’ and Scoil Ui Chonaill, they appeared hell-bent on claiming top-flight status for 2019.

They subsequently hit a speed bump at home to Setanta on June 16 – losing out to their northside rivals on a scoreline of 1-17 to 3-18. However, with Cathal Ryan producing a powerful performance, they largely controlled proceedings against Isles in Finglas.

Ryan registered an opening half goal for the dominant visitors – who entered the interval with all of eight points to spare (1-10 to 0-5). After back-to-back successes over Parnell’s and Raheny had halted a three-game losing streak, Isles were also defeated by Ballinteer in their most recent league encounters.

They were left with a mountain to climb after the restart, though they did pick off some nice scores as the action progressed. Yet, thanks to a five-point haul courtesy of former Dublin minor star Lee Gannon (a scoring feat that was matched by Paddy Spellacy) and Ryan’s 1-4 salvo, Whitehall remained in command.

Additionally, Conor Sheedy, Niall O’Donnell and Niall O’Connor all finished the game with two points each, as Whitehall deservedly preserved their 100% away record. They are currently joined on 10 points by Barrog – after they brought Ballinteer’s unbeaten run to an abrupt end in Kilbarrack (2-19 to 0-16).

With Dublin U21 panellist Cillian Costello (a former student of St Fintan’s High School in Sutton) featuring prominently in attack, Barrog held a convincing interval cushion of 1-13 to 0-10. They carried momentum through to the second period and eventually secured the spoils in comprehensive fashion.

They find themselves just behind Plunkett’s and Fionnbarra on score difference, following their respective triumphs over Crokes (3-20 to 3-13) and Scoil Ui Chonaill (4-15 to 1-9) on Wednesday.

Meanwhile, Raheny laid down a marker at Chanel – defeating Parnell’s 2-27 to 0-13 to claim their fourth win of the season. Thanks in no small part to the scoring prowess of midfielder Ger Coady (1-6) and wing-forward Eoin Keogh (1-5), the All Saints Drive outfit built on a recent home victory at the expense of the aforementioned Barrog.

Greg Bennett and Richie Judge also finished the contest with a combined tally of 10 points, while Fergal Smyth and Ben McHugh were in flying form for Dave McGrath’s outstanding charges.

Although Naomh Olaf are still searching for their first win in Division Two, a battling display away to Setanta helped them to share the spoils at the end of an engrossing affair (2-17 apiece).

Posted in Hurling | Comments Off on Dublin Adult Hurling League Division Two Round-Up (July 11): Dublingaa.ie – July 13 2018

SSE Airtricity League Round-Up Number 4: The Kildare Nationalist – July 10 2018

SOCCER: SSE AIRTRICITY LEAGUE ROUND-UP

Shaw and Rovers powerless to stop Celtic

By Daire Walsh

AFTER sitting out his side’s scoreless draw with Cork City at Turner’s Cross on Friday evening, Shamrock Rovers striker Gary Shaw was back in action for a glamour friendly against Glasgow Celtic on the following day.

For the Hoops’ trip down to the Leeside, Kildare native Shaw was named on the bench alongside recent recruit Alan Mannus – the Northern Ireland international returning to the south Dublin club for a second spell. Given the tight and tense nature of the play, Rovers boss Stephen Bradley kept changes to a minimum over the course of the contest.

Joel Coustrain was added to the mix for the visitors, and he arrived just in time to see teenage netminder Gavin Bazunu turn away a Kieran Sadlier spot-kick. Given the exertions of the selected team, it was no surprise that Shaw – and several others – were then given an opportunity to shine at home to Brendan Rodgers’ SPL champions.

When the teams met in the same venue 12 months ago, Celtic came away with a 9-0 success. It wasn’t quite as emphatic time around, but the Scottish giants nevertheless hit seven goals without reply to warm themselves up for the upcoming Champions League qualifiers.

Shaw led the line for Rovers, before eventually being replaced in the 63rd minute. He will now hope to place added pressure of first-choice centre-forward Dan Carr – with a busy domestic and European schedule on the horizon. Meanwhile, Athy’s Rory Feely returned from suspension to play his part in Waterford FC’s 1-1 draw at home to Bohemians – former club of his older brother Kevin. With his side trailing to a Dinny Corcoran opener, Feely was added to the fray in place of ex-Republic of Ireland international Noel Hunt.

This move worked to Waterford’s advantage, as Bastien Hery found the net to keep the Blues seven point clear of Shamrock Rovers in third place.

In the Airtricity League First Division on Saturday, Clane goalkeeper Paul Hunt was an assured presence for Cobh Ramblers in their 2-1 win at the expense of Longford Town.

Another Lilywhite star, Mark Hughes, featured from the start for Shelbourne in their 1-1 stalemate with UCD on Friday – which keeps Shels just four points adrift of the pace-setting Students.

Finally, Kilcock man Aaron Brilly appeared off the bench for basement side Athlone Town in their 4-1 defeat to Galway United at Eamonn Deacy Park on the same night.

Posted in League Of Ireland | Comments Off on SSE Airtricity League Round-Up Number 4: The Kildare Nationalist – July 10 2018

Dublin Adult Hurling League Division One: O’Toole’s V Faughs – Dublingaa.ie – July 12 2018

AHL 1 MATCH REPORT: O’TOOLES V FAUGHS

ADULT HURLING LEAGUE DIVISION ONE

O’TOOLE’S 0-26

FAUGHS 1-13

By Daire Walsh

O’Toole’s secured their first league win of 2018 in fine style at Blunden Drive on Wednesday night – finishing with 10 points to spare over Faughs in a fiercely-contested Division One encounter.

With Conor Carton, David Concarr and Ciaran Kimmage delivering stand-out performances, the hosts were always a step ahead of their southside counterparts. Centre-back John Prendergast led by example for Faughs and wing-forward Conor O’Shea claimed a goal for the visitors in the closing stages of the contest.

This only proved to be a mere consolation, however, as O’Toole’s had already done more than enough to emerge with the spoils.

Despite coming into this game on the back of six consecutive top-flight defeats, recent displays provided the Ayrfield outfit with cause for optimism. While they suffered a comprehensive reversal to Kilmacud Crokes last month, St Jude’s were happy to settle for a one-point triumph in Blunden Drive at the end of May.

It has also been a tough campaign thus far for Faughs – who followed an opening round success against Crumlin (6-11 to 0-13) with five losses on the bounce. They faced into a stiff breeze during the first half of the action and O’Toole’s took full advantage with unanswered scores from half-back Christy Mulligan, Peadar Carton (one of several players in the side with vast inter-county experience) and Ciaran Kimmage.

Faughs responded through centre-forward Ciaran Brady, only for O’Toole’s to fired back with six points in the space of seven minutes.

In addition to a 0-3 salvo courtesy of Concarr, Conor Carton (two) and Mulligan were also on target for the club affectionately known as ‘Larriers’. Though Faughs attacker Karl O’Mahoney (free) brought this scoring sequence to a halt at the opposite end, there was no let up in the O’Toole’s challenge.

Following another Conor Carton brace, they were nine points in front (0-11 to 0-2) on the first-quarter mark. Faughs finally put a couple of scores back-to-back via the sticks of O’Mahoney and O’Shea, but the marauding Mulligan was on hand to split the posts off the right-wing.

After spending most of the early exchanges as a spare man inside his own defence (Gerald O’Meara played a sweeper role for O’Toole’s), Emmet McKenna gradually progressed up the pitch for Faughs.

He converted placed balls in the 20th and 21st minutes, helping the Wellington Lane men to reduce the gap to six. O’Mahoney cancelled out a Concarr contribution, as Faughs started to grow in confidence.

Prendergast and McKenna (’65’) added to their tally, but thanks to the considerable endeavours of Kimmage, Concarr and Peadar Carton, O’Toole’s were still commanding 0-16 to 0-9 leaders at the midway point.

Although this left Faughs in a precarious position, there was potential light at the end of the tunnel. Kimmage and Peadar Carton added to their respective hauls on the resumption, before a 10th Faughs single arrived through the spirited Prendergast.

While a well-worked Sean O’Keefe point kept O’Toole’s in control, Faughs were offered a lifeline in the 39th-minute. A foul on Stephen Fallon led to the awarding of a penalty, which O’Mahoney stepped forward to take.

Yet, his resulting strike was brilliantly turned away by veteran netminder Brendan McLoughlin – a past star in the Sky Blue of Dublin. After Kimmage and Fallon proceeded to trade scores, Faughs lost O’Mahoney to a red card on 43 minutes.

However, the sides were quickly evened up when Mulligan was dismissed for a second yellow card offence. Despite losing out on a numerical advantage, O’Toole’s added points from Conor Carton (two) and O’Meara in another dominant spell.

Faughs midfielder Jake Moore pointed with nine minutes of normal time remaining, but O’Toole’s held a seemingly unassailable cushion – 0-23 to 0-12 – at this stage in the tie.

Eager to finish on a high, O’Toole’s once again found the range via the impressive duo of Conor Carton and Concarr (two). Faughs continued to pursue scores and a Peter Shaw point was supplemented by a O’Shea major – after McKenna’s goal-bound free had ricocheted into his path.

They ultimately came off second best on the night, though, and will now seek a return to form at home to Lucan Sarsfields on Sunday week. O’Toole’s, on the other hand, can embark on a local trip to St Vincent’s with renewed vigour.

Meanwhile, Crumlin bounced back from a recent heavy defeat to Ballyboden St Enda’s by overcoming St Brigid’s on a scoreline of 2-15 to 2-14 at Pearse Park on Tuesday evening.

Scorers – O’Toole’s: Conor Carton (3f), David Concarr 0-7 each, Ciaran Kimmage 0-4, Christy Mulligan, Peadar Carton 0-3 each, Sean O’Keefe, Gerald O’Meara 0-1 each. Faughs: Conor O’Shea 1-1, Emmet McKenna (2f, 1 ’65’), Karl O’Mahoney (2f) 0-3 each, John Prendergast 0-2, Jake Moore, Ciaran Brady, Stephen Fallon, Peter Shaw 0-1 each.

O’TOOLE’S: Brendan McLoughlin; Graham Dinh, Eoghan Darcy, Ciaran Gethings; Christy Mulligan, Michael Carton, Richie Walker; Conor Carton, Aaron Lynch; David Concarr, Peadar Carton, Ciaran Kimmage; Sean O’Keefe, Cian Wilson, Gerald O’Meara. Subs: Danny Webster for Wilson (40), Paul Donoghue for O’Keefe (51).

FAUGHS: Liam Gleeson; Ciaran Nagle, Emmet McKenna, Stephen Casey; Neil Bennett, John Prendergast, Colin Devane; Jack McVeigh, Jake Moore; Conor O’Shea, Ciaran Brady, Karl O’Mahoney; Stephen Fallon, Peter Shaw, Ruaidhri Crowley. Subs: Adam Hogan for McVeigh (43), Niall Cunningham for Crowley (49).

Referee: Jason Buckley (Setanta).

Posted in Hurling | Comments Off on Dublin Adult Hurling League Division One: O’Toole’s V Faughs – Dublingaa.ie – July 12 2018

Rugby World Sevens Squad Announcements: Anthony Eddy – Irishrugby.ie – July 11 2018

Eddy Readies Ireland Sevens Squads For World Cup Challenge

As well as the continuing achievements of the elite Ireland men and women, the IRFU are ensuring that the domestic Sevens calendar is becoming busier and busier with each passing season. The Universities Super Sevens Programme, which was announced in March, is the latest initiative from the Union to grow the Sevens player and coach platform.

It comes on top of the fiercely-competitive IRFU Schools and Emerging Schools Sevens tournaments, the Girls X7s, and the Dublin 7s Festival, which is making its mark alongside the other popular and long-established club-hosted competitions like the Kinsale, Carrick, Midland Midnight and Marble City Sevens.

As evidence of the burgeoning talent coming through, the Ireland Under-18 Men’s team were European Sevens champions in both 2016 and 2017 and runners-up this year, while their female counterparts made history this season as UK School Games champions and bronze medal winners at the European Championship. Eve Higgins and Kathy Baker are the latest players to progress from that successful U-18 pathway, with both making their World Series bows in 2017/18 and earning World Cup squad places.

The Ireland Women’s squad, who defeated Canada and Russia for the first time this season, will be led by Wicklow native Lucy Mulhall. They get their World Cup campaign up and running with a round of 16 encounter against England on Friday week at San Francisco’s iconic AT&T Park (kick-off 12.12pm local time/8.12pm Irish time).

This will be their second appearance at the World Cup, following their previous top-eight showing in Moscow five years ago when current 15s star Claire Molloy was captain. The Ireland Men’s Sevens side, who famously achieved a third-place finish at the inaugural World Cup Sevens at Murrayfield in 1993, will be competing in the tournament for the first time since 2009.

Billy Dardis and his team-mates face Chile in a pre-round of 16 fixture on the same day as the Women’s team (kick-off 3.35pm local time/11.35pm Irish time) for the right to face South Africa, the recent World Series champions, in the next phase.

While confidence is high within both Ireland camps, a switch to a knock-out format for the 2018 World Cup leaves them with very little room for error. Speaking about the change from pool stages to a straight knock-out style, Eddy said: “I think it probably makes it harder, because you can always have one poor game. The way Sevens is, sometimes it could be a bounce of a ball or a restart that can actually win or lose you a game.

“You’ve just got to make sure that you’re red hot for every single game that you play and very accurate with your execution. Both teams will go there with the aspirations and the ambitions to be extremely successful, but sometimes Sevens can be a really cruel game as well, so we’re realistic about our chances.”

Unlike the Men’s team, which primarily consists of Ulster Bank League and provincial Academy players, the 12-strong Women’s outfit has a substantial crossover with the Ireland 15s squad.

After featuring in the recent Women’s Six Nations for the latter, Ashleigh Baxter, Hannah Tyrrell, Katie Fitzhenry and Louise Galvin will make the trip to the west coast of America. The quartet were unavailable for the opening rounds of Ireland’s Championship run because of Sevens duties, before returning to the fold under 15s head coach Adam Griggs, who is now part of the IRFU High Performance Unit Women’s Programme.

Asked about increasing the playing numbers across both 15s and Sevens so Ireland can continue to compete to the highest possible standard in both codes, Eddy commented: “We’re not like most countries. We don’t have a huge playing pool at the moment, so we’re still looking to develop the numbers. I think Sevens is a great introduction to the game, but we’ll always continue to have players playing 15s and Sevens.

“We’ll always have players just playing 15s and we’ll always have players just playing Sevens, but we’re not focused on either 15s or Sevens. We’re just focused on the game of Women’s rugby and trying to develop the numbers.”

The Ireland Men’s squad have enjoyed an encouraging build-up to the Rugby World Cup Sevens, with a brilliant bronze medal finish at the recent London leg of the World Series proving to be a particular highlight. They also lead the Rugby Europe Grand Prix Series standings by 10 points ahead of September’s final tournament in Poland.

Given the platform a World Cup can provide, Eddy expects this to stand his charges in good stead. “It’s massively important, the players recognise how important it is too. Outside of the Olympics, the Sevens World Cup is the major event,” he added. “They’ve done exceptionally well to qualify, and done exceptionally well in recent tournaments to prove that they’re worthy competitors in any competition. They’re looking forward to the challenge.”

Posted in International Rugby | Comments Off on Rugby World Sevens Squad Announcements: Anthony Eddy – Irishrugby.ie – July 11 2018

Rugby World Cup Sevens Squad Announcements: Anthony Eddy – The Irish Examiner – July 10 2018

Eddy reveals Sevens World Cup squads

Rugby

Daire Walsh

IRFU Director of Sevens Rugby Anthony Eddy admitted last night the Ireland men’s and women’s squad will be left with very little room for error at the forthcoming Rugby World Cup Sevens in San Francisco.

The women’s side get their tournament underway with a Round of 16 encounter against England on July 20, before their male counterparts face Chile in a Pre-Round of 16 fixture later on the same day.

With a knockout format in operation, Eddy believes it will be difficult for an outsider to upset the odds.

“It probably makes it harder, because you can always have one poor game. The way sevens is, sometimes it could be a bounce of a ball or a restart that can win or lose you a game,” Eddy explained at the squad announcements yesterday.

The 12-strong women’s selection for the World Cup features the Munster quartet of Aoife Doyle, Louise Galvin, Aimee-Leigh Murphy Crowe and Deirbhile Nic a Bhaird, while the province is represented on the men’s side by Shane Daly and Greg O’Shea.

“On the back of what the girls have done in recent times, as well as what the boys have done in this short period, the game is in a pretty good position,” said Eddy.

“The U18 girls have just won a Home Nations tournament last weekend, so the development programmes are in a good position. We’ve just got to continue to grow the numbers.”

Ireland Men’s 7s squad: R Baloucoune (Enniskillen & Ballymena/Ulster), J Conroy (Buccaneers RFC), S Daly (Cork Constitution/Munster), B Dardis (UCD), I Fitzpatrick (Lansdowne), F Horan (Lansdowne), H Keenan (UCD), T Kennedy (St Mary’s College), H McNulty (UCD), B Mollen (DUFC), Jimmy O’Brien (UCD), J O’Donnell (Lansdowne), G O’Shea (Shannon).

Ireland Women’s 7s squad: K Baker (Blackrock College/Leinster), A Baxter (Cooke/Ulster), C Boles (Railway Union/Ulster), A Doyle (Shannon & Railway Union/Munster), K Fitzhenry (Blackrock College/Leinster), S Flood (Railway Union/Leinster), L Galvin (UL Bohemian/Munster), E Higgins (Railway Union/Leinster), L Mulhall (Rathdrum), AL Murphy Crowe (Railway Union/Munster), D Nic a Bhaird (UL Bohemian/Munster), A O’Flynn (Ireland Women’s 7s Programme), H Tyrrell (Old Belvedere/Leinster).

Posted in International Rugby | Comments Off on Rugby World Cup Sevens Squad Announcements: Anthony Eddy – The Irish Examiner – July 10 2018

Dublin Adult Hurling League Division One Round-Up (July 7): Dublingaa.ie – July 9 2018

AHL DIV. 1 ROUNDUP – 7TH JULY

DUBLIN ADULT HURLING LEAGUE DIVISION ONE ROUND-UP: JULY 7

By Daire Walsh

St Jude’s moved back up to third in the Adult Hurling Division One table with a comprehensive 3-21 to 0-15 success over Cuala at Shanganagh Park on Saturday evening.

Following a five-point triumph (3-15 to 1-16) for St Vincent’s against St Brigid’s last Thursday at Russell Park, the pressure was on the Wellington Lane outfit to return to winning ways. After four wins on the bounce has helped to earmark their title credentials, Jude’s were narrowly defeated by Lucan Sarsfields – 1-13 to 0-15 – in Tymon North on June 16.

Cuala were also seeking a return to form in the top-flight, with recent reversals to Lucan and Craobh Chiarain leaving them just two points in front of basement side O’Toole’s.

There was little to separate the two sides during the opening moments of the action, as early Jude’s points from Mark Maguire and Joe McManus were quickly cancelled out by the All-Ireland champions.

Fionn Ó Riain Broin kick-started his account with an eighth-minute pointed free, before McManus added a brace for the Templeogue men. The Sky Blues attacker proved to be a reliable source of scores throughout the first half, but McManus was equally adept at finding the target.

Though Cuala remained in touch, a penalty on 21 minutes provided Jude’s with an ideal opportunity to create daylight between the sides. Ó Riain Broin’s subsequent effort floated over the crossbar, however, much to the relief of their Dalkey counterparts.

Ó Riain Broin kept the opposition rearguard on their toes with a two-point salvo, though, and McManus ensured it was a productive end to the opening period for Jude’s. Courtesy of the ace marksman’s well-taken goal in the 28th-minute, the visitors held a 1-12 to 0-8 interval cushion.

Jude’s kept the scoreboard ticking over on the resumption through Ó Riain Broin and Galway native Donie Fox, keeping them on course for a fifth league win in the calendar year. Mark Maguire split the posts on the stroke of 40 minutes and 2013 All-Star Danny Sutcliffe also added a point at the end of a subsequent attack.

Just when Jude’s appeared odds-on for a commanding success, Cuala registered five points in as many minutes to keep themselves firmly in the reckoning. Yet, this was as close as they came to snatching victory from the jaws of defeat.

Ó Riain Broin and Maguire (two) raised white flags, before Ó Riain Broin brought his personal haul up to 1-7 with a clinical major. Indeed, there was enough time for Sutcliffe to add a third goal in stoppage-time, placing Jude’s in a perfect frame of mind ahead of a crunch encounter against Na Fianna on Saturday week (July 21).

Despite being two points adrift as a result of Ballyboden’s victory over Crumlin on Saturday, Na Fianna will have a chance to go joint-top when they host Craobh Chiarain at St Mobhi Road on Monday.

Meanwhile, Peter Kelly’s second half goal propelled Lucan Sarsfields to a 3-20 to 1-22 triumph at the expense of Kilmacud Crokes at 12th Lock. Anthony Daly’s visiting team looked to be the most likely winners when they led 1-13 to 1-5 at the midway stage.

However, after a superb goal from ex-county star Kelly brought them level on the third-quarter mark, Lucan pushed on for a third successive victory.

Posted in Hurling | Comments Off on Dublin Adult Hurling League Division One Round-Up (July 7): Dublingaa.ie – July 9 2018