Waterford Crystal Cup S-Final – Waterford v Clare

Waterford defeated Clare by 1-17 to 0-8 in the Waterford Crystal Cup Semi-Final on Sunday in Ballyduff Upper.

Davy not fooled by Banner’s ‘mind games’

Waterford 1-17 Clare 0-8

Waterford Crystal Cup (sh)

From the Irish Independent newspaper

Monday February 01 2010

PICTURESQUE Ballyduff glistened under a late winter sun yesterday but amid all the brightness and beauty on the banks of the Blackwater, Waterford manager, Davy Fitzgerald got the whiff of what he suspected was a very large rat. He had watched his side squash his native county with surprising ease and clearly felt that Clare’s interest in reaching the Waterford Crystal Cup final was, to put it at its most charitable, less than obsessive. In fact, Davy suspected that with the counties scheduled to do battle in the Munster semi-final on June Bank Holiday Monday, mind games were at work to such a degree that yesterday’s clash wasn’t a real game at all.

“I’m not fooled by that. There was no comparison between how Clare played today and against Tipperary (last Tuesday night). They blocked and they tackled and they hustled against Tipperary, but there was none of that there today. They might say there are no mind games going on, but I’m not an idiot. I know we’ll be hit with an avalanche on June 7,” he said. He even suggested that the body language of new Clare manager and former playing colleague, Ger ‘Sparrow’ O’Loughlin spoke of a man who wasn’t too concerned by the outcome.

“I know the guys that are over Clare are very shrewd and I know too we’re in for an absolute dinger of a game in the Munster championship,” said Fitzgerald. The next port of call was the Clare dressing-room to check out what O’Loughlin thought of suggestions that mind games were at work. “I wouldn’t expect him (Fitzgerald) to say anything different,” smiled ‘Sparrow’.

His take on a game where Clare were comprehensively trimmed was stark and straight-forward. “We were well and truly outclassed in nearly every position. We came here to do the best we possibly could, but we were very flat. We didn’t play any brand of hurling at all. We certainly know how much work we have to do,” he said. Clare had serious problems all over the place yesterday, but, in particular, in an attack where the starting six forwards yielded just two points between them from play. Three of them were replaced but apart from a brief flourish by Barry Nugent just after half-time it made no difference.

The Waterford defence, anchored imperiously by Michael ‘Brick’ Walsh, who had assertive co-workers in Jerome Meagher, Declan Prendergast and Jamie Nagle, prepared their snares early on and watched happily as Clare forwards ran into them. In some cases the hapless snipers were rescued by management, while other remained tied up right to the end. Nugent, who came in for the second half, looked as if he might made significant progress when he clipped over two points within 50 seconds of the re-start, but Waterford quickly snuffed out the new threat and conceded just one more point from there to the finish.

Nugent’s points cut the margin to four points (1-8 to 0-7) and when Waterford had Eoin McGrath sent off on a straight red card for an off-the-ball foul on Alan Brigdale in the 33rd minute it looked as if Clare had been handed a clear opening to launch a spirited revival. Instead, it was Waterford who pressed the power button, shooting a string of points, which took them comfortably clear of their listless opponents and into the final against UCC.

Despite his reservations about the eagerness of Clare’s resistance, Fitzgerald will have been happy with the performance of many of his players. The defence was solidly defiant, while the attack prospered on a number of fronts. Maurice Shanahan continues to advance at an impressive rate; Gary Hurney was a consistent threat; Shane Walsh looked strong and eager, while Thomas Ryan, a graduate from last year’s minor team, turned in an energetic performance in the corner. Eoin Kelly had a relatively quiet day at midfield, but still scored 1-1.

His point — the last of the game — was a delightful effort, while the goal came from a 20-metre free in the 21st minute. Waterford were leading by four points at the time, but instead of taking the easy option and pointing the free, Kelly went for goal and spun the ball past a packed defence. Waterford led by 1-8 to 0-3 after 24 minutes, but Clare pulled back two points before the break. Those scores, coupled with Nugent’s points immediately on the re-start, followed by McGrath’s dismissal, raised hopes of a Clare revival, but it tapered off just as quickly as it had been launched. Clare’s awful day got even worse late on when sub Fergal Lynch was sent off for a pull on Shanahan.

Taken at face value, Clare could take no positives from this performance, but O’Loughlin believes that, in an overall context, the competition has been good for them. “We’re trying to settle a team, while at the same time giving new lads a chance. It didn’t work today, but we’ve got to press on with what we’re doing,” he said. Clare will spend the spring in Division 2 which means they can’t meet Waterford again until June 7.

“What we saw here today won’t count for much then,” said Fitzgerald. Indeed. In the interim, though, he seems to have a much more solid base to work off than his former colleague.

Scorers — Waterford: M Shanahan 0-7 (5f), E Kelly 1-1 (1-0f), G Hurney, S Walsh 0-3 each, T Ryan, K Moran, J Murray 0-1 each. Clare: M Flaherty 0-3 (2f), B Nugent 0-2, D McMahon, P Donnellan, M Hawes (f) 0-1 each.

Waterford — C Hennessy; J Meagher, L Lawlor, M O’Brien; D Prendergast, M Walsh, J Nagle; J Murray, E Kelly; S Walsh, K Moran, M Shanahan; E McGrath, G Hurney, T Ryan. Subs: O Whelan for Ryan (52), M O’Neill for Hurney (56), N Jacob for Shanahan (58).

Clare — D Touhy; P Vaughan, C Dillon, A Brigdale; P Donnellan, B O’Connell, G Quinn; M Murphy, J Clancy; A O’Brien, M Scanlon, A Markham; M Flaherty, D McMahon, J Cusack. Subs: D Barrett for Scanlon (28), B Nugent for McMahon (h-t), C O’Donovan for O’Brien (h-t), F Lynch for Clancy (43), M Hawes for Quinn (48).

Ref — J Sexton (Cork).
Waterford through to Crystal Cup final

From the Irish Examiner web site

Sunday, January 31, 2010 – 05:32 PM

Waterford 1-17 Clare 0-8, Ballyduff Upper

Waterford comfortably booked their place in next weekend’s Waterford Crystal Cup final against the students of UCC, courtesy of a 1-17 to 0-8 victory over Clare at Ballyduff Upper. The hosts impressed throughout this game with points from Thomas Ryan and Maurice Shanahan ensuring Waterford led by 0-3 to 0-1 by the sixth minute. Ryan, Shanahan, Kevin Moran and Gary Hurney were dangerous throughout the opening half, with Eoin Kelly’s 21st-minute goal ensuring a 1-8 to 0-5 interval lead for the Deise.

Free-taker Mark Flaherty did his utmost to keep Clare in touch from placed balls, but the Banner men struggled to find the sort of form that saw them beat Tipperary in midweek. Ger ‘Sparrow’ O’Loughlin’s charges redeemed themselves on the restart as substitute Barry Nugent added two quick-fire points to cut the deficit to four points. But Waterford always held the upper hand and despite Davy Fitzgerald’s men being dealt a major blow late on when losing the influential Eoin McGrath to a straight red card, they held out for an impressive win.

All-Ireland Club JHC S-Final – Blackrock (Limerick) v Black and Whites (Kilkenny)

Blackrock (Limerick) defeated Black and Whites (Kilkenny) by 1-18 to 1-11 in the AIB GAA Hurling All Ireland Junior Club Championship 2009/2010 Semi-Final on Sunday  in Sean Treacy Park Tipperary Town.

McGrath Cup Football Final – Kerry v UCC

Kerry captured the McGrath Cup Senior Football Final on a scoreline of 1-11 to 0-9 at Austin Stack Park Tralee on Saturday.

Kerry lift McGrath Cup

Saturday, January 30, 2010 – 05:39 PM

From the Irish Examiner web site

Kerry 1-11 UCC 0-9

The Kerry footballers lifted the McGrath Cup for only the second time in their history, following a 1-11 to 0-9 final win over UCC at Austin Stack Park this afternoon. Not since 1996 have Kerry won this early season Munster competition and Jack O’Connor’s men were full value for today’s success, with defender Killian Young receiving the trophy afterwards. The All-Ireland champions prevailed despite finishing the match down to 13 players. Aidan O’Mahony was dismissed for a second bookable offence and goal scorer James O’Donoghue had to be helped off with an ankle injury late on, after O’Connor had cleared his bench.

UCC started with five Kerrymen in their team and one of them, Dr. Crokes clubman Daithi Casey, almost broke through for a first minute goal. His shot was pushed over the crossbar by Kingdom goalkeeper Ger Reidy. O’Connor’s men settled soon after with Kieran Donaghy pointing from wide out and then the big Tralee men was part of a give-and-go movement that ended with corner forward O’Donoghue slinging a low shot to the UCC net. Declan O’Sullivan and O’Donoghue added points for Kerry as the latter’s marker, Shane McEnright, was replaced.

UCC did have their moments in attack in what was a scrappy first half, and frees from David O’Callaghan, Mike Griffin and Corkman David Goold saw them polish off some decent attacks. Alan O’Sullivan, who impressed alongside the high-fielding Micheal Quirke in midfield, kicked the first of his three points and Paul O’Connor added his name to the scoresheet as Kerry took a 1-6 to 0-4 lead into half-time. Scores from O’Sullivan and Donaghy saw Kerry click on the resumption, while UCC lived off frees at the other end. O’Sullivan pointed ahead before Donncha Walsh found the target after linking with O’Donoghue and Donaghy. That was job done really for Kerry who look in good fettle ahead of their National League opener against Dublin next weekend, although the injury to O’Donoghue, a player who was pressing his claims to start the game, did put a damper on the celebrations.

Waterford Crystal Cup S-Final – UCC v UL

UCC defeated UL by 4-16 to 2-14 after extra time in the Waterford Crystal Cup Semi-Final on Saturday in Buttevant.

Honan goals flatten UL

By MARIE CROWE for the Sunday Independent newspaper

Sunday January 31 2010

EXTRA-TIME goals proved to be the difference as UCC qualified for the final of the Waterford Crystal Cup after they overcame UL yesterday in Buttevant by 4-16 to 2-14.

The reigning Fitzgibbon Cup holders, UCC were within five minutes of being beaten as they trailed by 2-9 to 0-10 after 55 minutes. UL upped their game in the second half, substitute David Burke sent over some fine dead balls and Michael Gleeson added a second goal to the one he scored in the first half. That was before a late UCC scoring burst, including a goal by Eoghan Murphy, to force the extra 20 minutes. The sides were level, 1-13 to 2-10, at the full-time whistle.

In extra-time, UL had no answer as Murphy and Darach Honan struck for first-period goals to give themselves a cushion, and Honan wrapped up the win in injury-time with his second goal.

Waterford Crystal Cup Q-Final – Tipperary v Clare

Clare defeated Tipperary by 0-17 to 1-12 in the Waterford Crystal Cup Quarter-Final on Tuesday night  in Borrisoleigh.

Waterford Crystal Cup Quarter Final

Tipperary 1-12 Clare 0-17

By Cathal Ryan

Tuesday night under the floodlights of Borrisoleigh presented the Tipperary Senior hurlers with their first competitive encounter of 2010 against a Clare side eager to impress new manager Ger O Loughlin. With temperatures just above zero and a mild fog looming over the venue both sides undertook rigorous warm ups ahead of this Waterford Crystal Quarter Final that was evenly contested throughout. Ten minutes into the second half Tipperary were awarded a penalty when the ball broke in behind the Banner full back line. Eoin Kelly was a clear favourite to win possession when he was hauled back by Clare corner back Alan Brigdale. The resulting Eoin Kelly penalty was stopped and cleared which lifted the “Sparrow’s” troops. Soon after Diarmuid McMahon was sprung from the bench and within two minutes of his arrival the experienced Kilmaley man hit a towering point from 65 yards. This was followed by a blistering burst from Jonathan Clancy through heart the Tipperary defence where he scored off the stick from 30 yards to direct his side towards victory.

Liam Sheedy will no doubt be disappointed with the defeat but can be upbeat about some aspects of what he witnessed. Eoin Kelly picked up where he left off in last years All Ireland Final looking particularly sharp in attack and leaving his injury woes of early 2009 behind him. David Young of Toomevara gave a solid display on his competitive debut for the Portroe manager’s charges where he grew in confidence as the game developed at right half back. It was noticeable that Clare had that bit more work done heading into this encounter as they were sharper in many situations. Their defenders were impressive in terms of hooking and blocking and this was a key element in stifling the Tipperary attacks. The game started at a sharp pace and Clare took the lead in the first minute through a Fergal Lynch point. Mark Flaherty added a second through a free before the Premier returned fire with two scores from Pat Kerwick and Gearoid Ryan.

From here O’ Loughlin’s men pushed on and gained a three point lead by the tenth minute including a fine point from Alan Markham fired from the left touchline. This was a lead that they wouldn’t lose for the remainder of the contest. Tipp pushed hard to bounce back before the break but each score was matched with a Banner response and Clare ended the half stronger with a fine point from Martin Ogie Murphy. This left the Premier trailing at half time by 0-10 to 0-06.

Last years All Ireland Finalists emerged from the interval with more intent with Eoin Kelly scoring two frees among a flurry of attacks before the penalty decision. After the McMahon and Clancy points Tipp did attempt to rally again and last years Young Hurler of the Year Noel McGrath whipped on a ball that landed in the square to score the games only goal after being introduced as a substitute. This narrowed the gap to 1-11 to 0-16. Both sides added an additional point and this was as close as Tipp got to mount a comeback. Clare progress to Sunday’s Semi Final against Waterford while for Liam Sheedy and his panel will go to work in preparation for the National Hurling League.

Tipperary: Brendan Cummins, Conor O Brien, Declan Fanning, Paul Curran, David Young, Thomas Stapleton, Shane Maher, Benny Dunne(0-1), Gearoid Ryan(0-1), Pat Kerwick(0-2), Hugh Maloney, Paul Kelly, Pa Bourke(0-1), John O Brien, Eoin Kelly(0-6, 5F)

Subs: Micheal Webster for Bourke (39), Lar Corbett for Paul Kelly (44), Noel McGrath(1-0) for Kerwick (46), Shane McGrath(0-1) for G Ryan (53), Padraic Maher for B Dunne (60).

Clare: Philip Brennan, Pat Vaughan, Cian Dillon, Alan Brigdale, Domhnall O Donovan, Brian O Connell, Pat Donnellan(0-1F), Martin Ogie Murphy(0-1), Jonathan Clancy(0-2), Alan Markham(0-2), John Conlon(0-3), Fergal Lynch(0-1), Mark Flaherty(0-6,6F), Michael Scanlon, Aonghus O Brien.

Subs: Diarmuid McMahon(0-1) for O Brien, John Cusack for Scanlon, Brendan Bugler for O Connell.


Banner stay on track

Tipperary 1-12 Clare 0-17

by Jackie Cahill for the Irish Examiner newspaper

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

CHAMPIONS Clare scored a notable early season victory with a hard-fought two-point win over Tipperary in the Waterford Crystal Trophy under lights in Borrisoleigh last night. New manager Ger ‘Sparrow’ O’Loughlin made it two wins out of two as roughly 3,000 spectators braved the bitter cold to watch both sides served up some good fare. This tie was a repeat of last year’s final and once again, Clare had the upper hand to set up a clash with Davy Fitzgerald’s Waterford next Sunday in a dress rehearsal for the Munster championship. The winter of discontent which rocked Clare has now been replaced by an apparent calm and there was a noticeable hunger about O’Loughlin’s charges last night. John Conlon, a centre-forward in the traditional mould, caught the eye with a barnstorming performance decorated by three points. Fearless and direct, Conlon caused endless problems for Tipperary’s defence. Conlon was the outstanding player for Clare perspective but there were impressive performances too from livewire midfielder Jonathan Clancy and the experienced Alan Markham.

Clare started with seven players who began last year’s Munster championship match with Tipperary, while the home side fielded six of the players who lined out then. Clare signalled their intentions with the opening two points, provided by Fergal Lynch and Mark Flaherty with the first of his six pointed frees. Tipp roared back through Pat Kerwick and Gearoid Ryan and during the early stages, Eoin Kelly looked particularly keen for action. Kelly missed all of last spring with a back injury before lining out in the championship and it now appears that his long standing problem has been put to bed. Clare built up a 0-5 to 0-2 lead after 10 minutes and were comfortably holding Tipp before going on to lead 0-10 to 0-6 at the interval. Eleven minutes after the restart, and with Tipp trailing by 0-11 to 0-8, Kelly had the chance to restore parity with a penalty but his effort was batted away by Domhnall O’Donovan. Clare looked comfortable from then on but Tipp were thrown a lifeline in the 56th minute when substitute Noel McGrath netted. Tipp were now back to within two points, trailing by 0-16 to 1-11, but they could not close the gap.

Scorers for Tipperary: E Kelly 0-6 (5f), N McGrath 1-0, P Kerwick 0-2, G Ryan, B Dunne, P Bourke & S McGrath 0-1 each.

Scorers for Clare: M Flaherty 0-6f, J Conlon 0-3, J Clancy & A Markham 0-2 each, F Lynch, M ‘Ogie’ Murphy, D McMahon & P Donnellan (f) 0-1 each.

TIPPERARY: B Cummins; C O’Brien, D Fanning, P Curran; D Young, T Stapleton, S Maher; B Dunne, G Ryan; P Kerwick, H Maloney, P Kelly; P Bourke, J O’Brien, E Kelly.
Subs: M Webster for Bourke (39), L Corbett for P Kelly (45), N McGrath for Kerwick (48), S McGrath for Ryan (56), P Maher for Dunne (60 + 2).

CLARE: P Brennan; P Vaughan, C Dillon, A Brigdale; D O’Donovan, B O’Connell, P Donnellan; M Ogie Murphy, J Clancy; A Markham, J Conlon, F Lynch; M Flaherty, M Scanlon, A O’Brien.
Subs: D McMahon for O’Brien (43), J Cusack for Scanlon (51), B Bugler for O’Connell (57).

Referee: D Copps (Cork)

McGrath Cup Football S-Final – Kerry v Tipperary

Kerry defeated Tipperary by 0-13 to 1-9 in the McGrath Cup Football Semi-Final on Sunday in Fitzgerald Stadium Killarney.

Kerry master McGrath test

From the Irish Examiner newspaper

Kerry 0-13 Tipperary 1-9

Monday, January 25, 2010

THE Kerry management are confident of having their goal-keeping position resolved before the end of the Allianz NFL, with coach Jack O’Connor indicating after yesterday’s game in Fitzgerald Stadium that they are unlikely to “spread the net” beyond the three players who have filled the position so far in the McGrath Cup following Diarmuid Murphy’s retirement.

Kilcummin’s Brendan Kealy was the one who stood in yesterday, having relatively little to do apart from making a confident high catch at the start of each half before having the ball kicked under his legs for the only goal of this semi-final.

That came from hard-working midfielder George Hannigan five minutes from the end of normal time and it put Tipperary briefly in front until substitutes James O’Donoghue and Barry John Keane combined to produce an equalising score three minutes later.

After that, Cromane’s Donncha Walsh kicked the winning score at the start of three minutes of injury time but it was inexperience – when two late frees from around midfield were kicked into Kerry hands – that cost the visitors the opportunity to take the game to extra-time.

On the broader front, the Kerry boss expects to have most if not all of his regulars back in the panel by the third round of the league (on March 7).

“We’ll experiment a bit during the league. We rotated the goalies last year, because we wanted to give Ger Reidy a bit of experience,’’ explained O’Connor.

“Sooner or later we’re going to have to settle fellows down and give them a bit of confidence. You can’t keep chopping and changing all the time.’’

However, O’Connor is pleased with the way they have started the new season. “We are able to train away during the week and having a game at the weekend to look forward to is good,’’ he commented. “We have put in a couple of good weeks training and this was a step up today.”

Former Laune Rangers manager John Evans, in charge of Tipperary for the third season (and recently appointed director of football in the county) accepted that the game was “slow” in the first half and that after his team “upped it considerably” in the second half, Kerry responded.

Interestingly, both Kerrymen endorsed the ‘mark’ experiment and concurred that the ‘handpass’ change is virtually a waste of time.

Jack O’Connor wasn’t happy with some of Michael Collins’ decision-making, saying that while the referee didn’t penalise players for hand-passing, “he did pull a few other things”.

While Tipperary got the opening score, from Declan Hahessy in the fifth minute, we waited until the 20th before Seamus Scanlon kicked the first point from play. Tipp were quicker to settle and worked the ball well out of defence – where the returning Niall Curran had a successful outing against a largely out-of-touch Kieran Donaghy – but they lacked real scoring power.

Likewise, a Kerry side featuring only four of the players who started in the All-Ireland final, wasn’t very forceful in attack, apart from Declan O’Sullivan and Donncha Walsh also prominent at stages. Principally because they controlled midfield through Micheal Quirke (who made seven marks), Kerry impressed more when they began to get their game together, and led 0-7 to 0-3 at the break.

The third quarter was much more competitive, with Tipp substitute Seamus Grogan making an immediate impression at full-forward, but the more steady Kerry remained in front, with Paul O’Connor’s free-taking decisive.

However, two Conor Sweeney frees brought Tipp to within a point by the 53rd minute, before Hannigan got the goal. But, they didn’t have the strength to hold out for a win.

Expressing ‘delight’ with the way his team is improving, Evans says that Tipperary’s principal objective is to retain their Division Two status.

Scorers for Kerry: P. O’Connor 0-4 (0-3 frees); D. O’Sullivan, D. Walsh and S. Scanlon 0-2 each; K. O’Leary (free), M. Corridan and B.J. Keane 0-1 each.

Tipperary: C. Sweeney 0-4 frees; G. Hannigan 1-0; S. Grogan 0-2; D. Hahessy (free), B. Grogan and A. Rockett 0-1 each.

KERRY: B. Kealy; P. Reidy, T. Griffin, A. O’Connell; M. Corridan, A. O’Mahony, K. Young (capt.); S. Scanlon, M. Quirke; D. Walsh, Declan O’Sullivan, B. Looney; K. O’Leary, K. Donaghy, P. O’Connor.

Subs: P. Galvin for Looney (second half); B. J. Keane for O’Sullivan and J. O’Donoghue for O’Leary (50); Alan O’Sullivan for Scanlon (58).

TIPPERARY: P. Fitzgerald; C. Morrissey, N. Curran (capt.), A. Morrissey; C. McGrath, R. Costigan, C. Aylward; G. Hannigan, C. Dillon; S. Carey, S. Hahessy, P. Acheson; C. Sweeney, B. Coen, B. Grogan.

Subs: A. Rockett for Dillon (28th minute); S. Grogan for Hahessy (second half); J. Cagney for Carey (39); H. Coghlan for McGrath (50); E. Kearney for Acheson (59).

Referee: Michael Collins (Cork).
Kerry just manage to see off Tipp

From the Irish Times newspaper

McGRATH CUP/Kerry 0-13 Tipperary 1-9: WHILE THIS McGrath Cup semi-final meeting of Jack O’Connor’s Kerry and the John Evans-led Tipperary was slow to get going, there was enough bite in the second half to satisfy both Kerry men, but this one-point win for Kerry will have little bearing when the sides lock horns next May in the Munster senior football championship.

Both managers are still tinkering with their sides, as Kerry started with only four of the side who started in last September’s All-Ireland final, though Paul Galvin made his entrance at half-time, and Micheál Quirke, Donnacha Walsh and Kieran Donaghy and Pádraig Reidy all played some part in the championship last season.

The search for Diarmuid Murphy’s successor goes on as O’Connor used his third goalkeeper in as many games, when former Kerry minor and under-21 goalkeeper Brendan Kealy played in goal.

O’Connor was pleased with the win and the way some of the younger players have taken their chance: It has worked out well for us, we are able to train away during the week and having a game at the weekend to look forward to is good.”

One of the main talking points of the game was the mark and Mike Quirke managed seven.

“Micheál (Quirke) catches a lot of ball and he was particularly good today,” said O’Connor, “as I said last week the mark certainly has possibilities, but overall the rules were not a big issue today, the game itself was a good lively game.”

The first quarter of the match was poor as Quirke and Séamus Scanlon ruled the roost at midfield but the distribution and passing by both sides was poor and typical January fare.

Kerry led by 0-7 to 0-3 at half-time, but Tipperary brought it back to 0-7 to 0-6 within five minutes of the restart.

Kerry, with Reidy, Tommy Griffin and Aidan O’Mahony solid upped their game, had points from Scanlon, Maurice Corridan and Paul O’Connor with a free pushed them four clear with just 15 left.

However, Tipperary refused to give up and two Sweeney frees were followed by a well-taken George Hannigan goal in the 55th minute to give Tipp the lead on 1-9 to 0-11 and there was a whiff of an upset in the air.

Then Kerry dug deep and experience told as firstly youngsters James O’Donoghue and Barry John Keane combined for the latter to kick the equaliser and then in the final minute a Donaghy ground pass was picked up by Donnacha Walsh who kicked the winning point.

KERRY: B Kealy; P Reidy, T Griffin, A O’Connell; M Corridan (0-1), A O’Mahony, K Young; S Scanlon (0-2), M Quirke; D Walsh (0-2), Declan O’Sullivan (0-2), B Looney; K O’Leary (0-1, free), K Donaghy, P O’Connor (0-4, three frees). Subs: P Galvin for B Looney (half-time), J O’Donoghue for K O’Leary (50 mins), BJ Keane (0-1) for D O’Sullivan (50 mins), Alan O’Sullivan for S Scanlon (58 mins)

TIPPERARY: P Fitzgerald; C Morrissey, N Curran, A Morrissey; C McGrath, R Costigan, C Aylward; G Hannigan (1-0), C Dillon; S Carey, S Hahessy (0-1, free), P Acheson; C Sweeney (0-4, frees), B Coen, B Grogan (0-1). Subs: A Rockett (0-1) for C Dillon (28 mins), S Grogan (0-2) for S Hahessy (half-time), J Cagney for S Carey (39 mins), H Coghlan for C McGrath (50 mins), E Kearney for P Acheson (58 mins).

Referee: M Collins (Cork).

Kerry will take on UCC in the decider next weekend.

Kerry edge into McGrath Cup final

Kerry 0-13 Tipperary 1-9

From Breakingnews.ie

Cromane clubman Donncha Walsh hit the winning point as Kerry battled their way through to next Sunday’s McGrath Cup final, edging out Tipperary 0-13 to 1-9 in a well-contested semi-final at Fitzgerald Stadium.

In sunny conditions, Kerry manager Jack O’Connor and Tipperary boss John Evans fielded two talent-laden teams and a late goal from midfielder George Hannigan had Tipp just minutes away from an early season upset.

Hannigan finished off a length of the pitch move, firing low past Kerry goalkeeper Brendan Kealy who hardly put a foot wrong during the hour-long contest – particularly under some testing high balls.

The goal put Evans’ men into a 1-9 to 0-11 lead but they were overhauled at the death as closing points from Barry John Keane and Walsh saw Kerry book their place in the cup decider against UCC.

Having missed an earlier free, Stephen Hahessy opened the scoring for Tipperary in the sixth minute and there was very little between the sides until Kerry broke into a four-point lead coming up to half-time.

The Killian Young-led Kingdom side hit the front with Kieran O’Leary and Paul O’Connor pointing frees. Micheal Quirke impressed under the high ball, taking a number of excellent marks in midfield and Kieran Donaghy and Tipperary full-back Niall Curran enjoyed a ding dong battle on the ground and in the air.

Seamus Scanlon and Tipp free-taker Conor Sweeney swapped points before Kerry enjoyed their first real purple patch, ignited by a fine run and point from a sharp-looking Declan O’Sullivan.

With Padraig Reidy clearing well in defence, the All-Ireland champions pressed on with points from Donncha Walsh, O’Sullivan again and O’Connor. Tipp’s only response was a well-taken point on the turn from Barry Grogan.

All that left the Premier County with a 0-7 to 0-3 deficit to mull over during half-time, although Curran, Hahessy, Sean Carey and Christopher Aylward got through some excellent work for the visitors in the opening half.

The Kerry management sent Paul Galvin on for the second half and the 2009 Footballer of the Year had plenty of influence as his side opened up a 0-11 to 0-8 gap. However, they needed Galvin’s presence as Tipp, with their superior fitness levels coming to the fore, had briefly made it a single point game – 0-7 to 0-6.

They began the second half by stroking over three points on the bounce, with Seamus Grogan (0-2) and Sweeney both on target. Kerry, doing just enough to keep ahead, carved out points for Scanlon, Maurice Corridan and free-taker O’Connor, who landed four placed balls in all.

At the other end, Alan Rockett and Sweeney added to Tipp’s tally before a slick passing move ended with Hannigan beating Kealy from close range.

But Kerry failed to panic. The levelling point came from Keane after a neat link-up with James O’Donoghue and then Walsh shot Kerry through to a meeting with UCC, his former college.

AIB All Ireland Club IHC S-Final – South Liberties (Limerick) v St Lachtains (Kilkenny)

St Lachtains (Kilkenny)  defeated South Liberties (Limerick) by 1-14 to 0-14 in the AIB GAA Hurling All Ireland Intermediate Club Championship on Sunday in Sean Treacy Park Tipperary Town.

The Guinan brothers take Liberties

From the Irish Independent newspaper

St Lachtain’s 1-14 South Liberties 0-14

Monday January 25 2010

St Lachtain’s of Kilkenny had to fight hard to beat South Liberties at Sean Treacy Park Tipperary yesterday.

A two-score blast, a point by sub Paul Guinan followed by a goal from his brother Eoin in the 38th and 39th minute, gave the Kilkenny champions the break after good play from ‘Liberties.

The losers went in at the break 0-7 to 0-5 behind after Brian Slattery had scored all their scores from frees.

After the Guinan brothers cameo, St Lachtain’s nosed 1-9 to 0-8 in front and held on for victory.

Scorers — St Lachtain’s: E Guinan 1-5, R Dowling 0-4, P Guinan 0-2, N McGree, D Brennan, B Beckett 0-1 each. South Liberties: B Slattery 0-10, A Owens 0-2, T Ryan, R O’Neill 0-1 each.

St Lachtain’s — T Delaney; M Cormack, M Kavanagh, G Dalton; S Hayes, J Costelloe, P Costelloe; N Hickey, N McGree; J Fitzpatrick, D Brennan, R Dowling; O O’Connor, B Beckett, E Guinan. Subs: P Guinan for O’Connor, N Phelan for P Costelloe.

South Liberties — A Shanahan; S Garry, N Shanahan, B Butler; T Ryan, M Keane, S O’Neill; W Hickey, M Keane; B Slattery, A Owens, R O’Neill; M Moynihan, D O’Neill, D Grimes. Subs: C Godfrey for D Grimes.

Ref — A Kelly (Galway)

Waterford Crystal Cup Q-Final – Limerick v UCC


UCC defeated Limerick by 0-19 to 2-9 in the Waterford Crystal Cup Q-Final on Sunday in Kilmallock.

McCarthy pleased with efforts but new-look Treaty lose out

UCC 0-19 Limerick 2-9

By Diarmuid O’Flynn for the Irish Examiner newspaper

Monday, January 25, 2010

SPIRITED performances by two young teams in this entertaining Waterford Crystal hurling tournament quarter-final in Kilmallock yesterday, the students eventually out-pointing a plucky Limerick side by three points, thus qualifying to meet UL on Sunday next. There was a sub-plot, of course, this being the first competitive appearance of the season for a Limerick team which is shorn of 24 of the 2009 panel, 12 of them cut by manager Justin McCarthy in October, another 12 who have since withdrawn their services, all of which sees Limerick hurling in crisis.

Afterwards, however, Justin was in no humour to discuss the controversy, merely declaring himself pleased with his side. “Very encouraged,” he said; “It was a good game and we put up a good display – UCC’s teamwork was that much better. I thought we were very committed and I thought the best man UCC had was Brian O’Sullivan (from the local club, Kilmallock), so he will be back with us.” Selector John Touhy, who has been liaising on behalf of the management team with the disaffected players, did confirm that despite the players recent comprehensive statement, which ended with the assertion that they would not play again for the current management team, talks were ongoing: “We’ll see what happens in the future,” he said; “The door is open, everyone is still welcome.”

Limerick clearly looked very much like a work-in-progress. Nevertheless there was much for the several hundred Limerick supporters who braved the cold and damp conditions to cheer about, and cheer they did as several of Justin’s new young charges left a very positive mark. Keeper Barry Hennessey was solid, made an outstanding save in the 29th minute to deny hard-working college centre-forward Robert White what looked a certain goal; full-back Des Kenny, though conceding several inches, battled bravely and coped well with the threat of Clare’s young superstar Darach Honan.

It was up front, however, that the Limerick youngsters really impressed. They finished with two goals, both of them superbly set up and expertly taken, but it could as easily have been five or six, had UCC keeper Anthony Nash not made three superb saves, and had the UCC inside line of defence in which all three (Foley, Conor O’Sullivan and Conor O’Driscoll) sparkled, not managed to put just enough pressure on the shooter to force the final shot wide of the posts. Justin’s optimism, then, would appear to be reasonably well grounded though player sources suggest there will be no resolution to their particular dispute any time soon.

For a well-balanced UCC side, however, the Waterford Crystal run continues, thanks in no small part to the efforts of such as Nash and Foley, thanks also to the midfield work of Michael Cahill and Brian O’Sullivan, and thanks most of all to the accuracy of corner-forward Stephen Moylan from Cork intermediate champions Douglas, who finished with 10 points, five of those from play. Fielding nine of the side which, last March and in emphatic fashion, won the college’s first Fitzgibbon Cup since 1998, UCC were in control from the start, led by three points at the break (0-11 to 1-5) despite being sucker-punched in the 26th minute by a fine Graeme Mulcahy goal, set up by the impressive Cathal Mullane. They conceded again in the 55th minute, sub Alan O’Connor this time doing the damage, Mullane again doing the setup work, but really, there was never any doubt about the winner.

Scorers for UCC: S. Moylan 0-10 (0-5 frees); S. Burke 0-3; M. Cahill 0-3; T. Óg Murphy, P. Barry, B. O’Sullivan, 0-1 each.

Limerick: A. O’Connor 1-0; G. Mulcahy 1-0; P. McNamara 0-3 (0-2 frees); T. O’Brien (Patrickswell) 0-3 (all frees); T. O’Brien (Bruree), C. Mullane, R. McKeogh, 0-1 each.

UCC: A. Nash (Cork); C. O’Sullivan (Cork), R. Foley (Waterford, capt.), C. O’Driscoll (Cork); S. Corry (Cork), K. Hartnett (Cork), A. Quilligan (Clare); M. Cahill (Tipperary), B. O’Sullivan (Limerick); P. Barry (Cork), R. White (Cork), T. Óg Murphy (Cork); S. Burke (Tipperary), D. Honan (Clare), S. Moylan (Cork).

Sub: E. Murphy (Cork, Honan 56).

LIMERICK: B. Hennessy; D. Lynch, D. Kenny, K. O’Rourke; L. O’Dwyer, D. Madden, A. Brennan; D. Moore, T. Fleming; T. O’Brien (Patrickswell), T. O’Brien (Bruree), C. Mullane; G. Mulcahy, P. McNamara, R. McKeogh.

Subs: A. O’Connor (Moore 30); P. Harty (Fleming 39); S. Herlihy (McKeogh 41); B. Quinn (Madden inj. 42).

Referee: M. Wadding (Waterford)

Waterford Crystal Cup Q-Final – LIT v UL

UL defeated LIT by 3-22 to 2-18 after extra time in the Waterford Crystal Cup Q-Final on Sunday in the LIT grounds in Limerick.

Waterford Crystal Cup Q-Final – ITT v Waterford

Waterford defeated IT Tralee by 2-13 to 3-5 in the Waterford Crystal Cup Q-Final on Saturday in Austin Stack Park Tralee.