Allianz Hurling League Division 1B – Limerick 1-19 Antrim 0-19

Breen goal sparks Limerick’s late comeback

By John Reddington for the Irish Examiner newspaper

Limerick 1-19 Antrim 0-19

After walloping Antrim by 32 points in last July’s qualifiers, Limerick were unbackable favourites in this Division 1B league opener but the hosts were hugely relieved to emerge with victory at the Gaelic Grounds. Despite lining out without their Loughgiel contingent, the Glensmen took the fight straight to their opponents and, had they pressed home their advantage earlier, might have been out of sight by half-time. However, they faced a different Limerick after the break and, once the hosts started to contest every ball, they chewed into the lead and got their breakthrough when sub Dave Breen bagged the game’s only goal with 15 minutes remaining.

Neil McManus opened the scoring, Séamus Hickey’s equalised and Shane McNaughton restored the visitors’ lead after before Graeme Mulcahy and Hickey put Limerick in front. After McManus and Declan Hannon exchanged frees, a second McManus free and Stephen Beattie had Antrim ahead. Shane Dowling tied the game up again but McManus, Conor Carson, KB McShane, Beattie and two McManus frees found the target before Hannon broke the sequence. McManus’s penalty, tipped over by Aaron Murphy, and Matthew Donnelly stretched Antrim’s advantage to eight but Hannon and Dowling’s free reduced the half-time gap to 0-13 to 0-8.

Hannon replied to McManus’s free and then added three before McManus struck one back. After Paul Browne, Hannon’s sideline cut and Hickey had the sides level, sub Paddy Doherty put the Glensmen back in front but Breen pulled to the net immediately after. Despite Karl Stewart’s reply, James Ryan, Hannon, Browne and Niall Moran tied up the result before PJ O’Connell and McManus’s free ended the scoring.

Scorers for Limerick: D Hannon 0-9 (4f, 1 s/l), S Hickey 0-4, D Breen 1-0, S Dowling (1f), P Browne 0-2 each, G Mulcahy, J Ryan 0-1 each.

Scorers for Antrim: N McManus 0-10 (5f, 1 pen), S Beattie 0-2, S McNaughton, C Carson, KB McShane, M Donnelly, P Doherty, K Stewart, PJ O’Connell 0-1 each.

LIMERICK: A Murphy; S Walsh, R McCarthy, T Condon; W McNamara, D O’Grady, G O’Mahony; J Ryan, P O’Brien; D Hannon, S Hickey, P Browne; G Mulcahy, K Downes, S Dowling.

Subs: D Breen for P O’Brien (ht), S Tobin for K Downes (57), Niall Moran for S Dowling (62), A Breen for G Mulcahy (68).

ANTRIM: R McGarry; A Graffin, C Carson, B McFall; S McCrory, N McAuley, C McKinley; M Donnelly, C Laverty; S Beattie, K Stewart, E McLoskey; N McManus, KB McShane, S McNaughton.

Subs: M Gethens for B McFall (inj 32), C McFall for S Beattie (45), P Doherty for KB McShane (47), PJ O’Connell for C Laverty (53), D McClean for E McLoskey (61).

Referee: J Ryan (Tipperary)

Allianz Hurling League Division 1A – Waterford 2-15 Clare 1-17

Ryan revels in perfect timing

Report from the Irish Examiner newspaper

Clare 1-17 Waterford 2-15

Jubilant Waterford manager Michael Ryan couldn’t help putting it to the press that they had got it wrong in their assessment of his team’s chances in Cusack Park yesterday. “First question from me,” he asked jokingly of the congregated journalists. “Did any of ye get a prediction right?” There were no takers as a fancied Clare side were ousted by an injury-time Jake Dillon free to settle a thriller in which the teams had enjoyed parity on 11 occasions. The decisive result also made it two wins out of two for Ryan against former Waterford boss Davy Fitzgerald and land a psychological blow ahead of the counties’ Munster quarter-final in June. They may yet meet in a relegation final before that but with three home games from four to come for Waterford they may elect not to deliver on their side of the bargain.

With the fourth official having signalled for two additional minutes, referee John Sexton could have blown up for full-time prior to Brendan Bugler’s high foul on Shane O’Sullivan in the 73rd minute. He may have also played more time as play was stalled for two long injury periods in the second half but Dillon’s composure was faultless as he swept over the winning free. It confirmed a vital victory for a Waterford team that had been favourites for the drop prior to arriving at Cusack Park. “The spirit in the camp has been absolutely magnificent,” said Ryan. “I smile when I hear stories about things not being well in our camp. “We know the spirit in our camp is fantastic and all that really matters are the 30 or 40 guys in our group and they’re working really hard.”

Waterford’s young tyros were impressive. Pauric Mahony may not yet be fully fit but he was among the six starting forwards that had all scored by the 51st minute. It was an afternoon of redemption for Brian O’Halloran, a player who had suffered the indignity of being withdrawn after 22 minutes in the 2010 All-Ireland semi-final defeat to Tipperary. Here the Clashmore/Kinsalebeg man was in sumptuous form, bagging two points either side of the half. Clare will be haunted by their wide count of 12 and a couple of second-half goal chances that went begging. Substitute Colm Galvin was counting his lucky stars when Stephen O’Keeffe inexplicably hand-passed to him in the 43rd minute. He then appeared to be tripped by the Waterford goalkeeper but still managed to get a shot away, a passage of play which eventually resulted in a Clare 65.

Fifteen minutes later and, with the sides level, Stephen Daniels put in a vital block on Shane O’Donnell. In the end, Tony Kelly was the only player who forced O’Keeffe to pick the sliotar out of his net, in the 24th minute when the left flank of the Waterford defence had been sucked in by John Conlon whose pass laid on the goal for Kelly. Waterford had opened their goal account in the 16th minute when Seamus Prendergast took advantage of a lethargic attempt by the Clare defence to clear their lines.

With a massive gap behind the full-back line and Pat Donnellan losing his balance, the veteran of the Waterford attack make it 1-2 to 0-2. A beautiful O’Halloran point a couple of minutes later was followed by the visitors’ second goal when a crafty ground stroke by Gavin O’Brien around his body went straight into the path of the onrushing Dillon, who elected not to raise the ball either in beating Patrick Kelly. Seven points behind, Kelly’s goal helped Clare to repair most of the damage by the break, when they trailed 1-7 to 2-5.

O’Donnell’s 42nd minute point put Clare ahead, 1-11 to 2-7, for only the second time in the game. It turned out to be the first of five brief occasions they enjoyed a one-point advantage in the second half. With two minutes left, Waterford broke the pattern and went ahead via Dillon before Tony Kelly responded to level matters going into dramatic injury-time.

CLARE: P Kelly; D O’Donovan, J McInerney, D McInerney; B Bugler, P Donnellan, P O’Connor; C Ryan, S Morey; F Lynch, T Kelly, E Barrett; J Conlan, S O’Donnell, P Collins.

Subs for Clare: N O’Connell for O’Connor, C Galvin for Barrett (both h-t); A Cunningham for Collins (54); S Collins for Lynch (58); J Clancy for Cunningham (inj 64).

WATERFORD: S O’Keeffe; S Daniels, S Fives, N Connors; J Nagle, M Walsh, K Moran; S O’Sullivan, D Twomey; B O’Halloran, S Prendergast, P Mahony; G O’Brien, J Dillon, B O’Sullivan.

Subs for Waterford: D Fives for Twomey (h-t); J Barron for O’Brien (43); R Barry for Mahony (57).

Scorers for Clare: C Ryan 0-9 (5f, 1 65); T Kelly 1-3; S Morey 0-2; F Lynch, S O’Donnell, C Galvin 0-1 each.

Scorers for Waterford: J Dillon 1-5 (0-3f); S Prendergast 1-1; B O’Halloran 0-4; P Mahony 0-3 (all frees); D Fives, B O’Sullivan 0-1 each.

Referee: J Sexton (Cork)

Team News

CLARE: Patrick Kelly (Inagh-Kilnamona); Domhnall O’Donovan (Clonlara), James McInerney (Newmarket-on-Fergus), David McInerney (Tulla); Brendan Bugler (Whitegate), Pat Donnellan (O’Callaghan Mills). Pat O’Connor (Tubber); Seadna Morey (Sixmilebridge), Colin Ryan (Newmarket-on-Fergus); Fergal Lynch (Clooney-Quin), Tony Kelly (Ballyea), Enda Barrett (Newmarket-on-Fergus); John Conlon (Clonlara), Shane O’Donnell (Eire Óg, Ennis), Padraig Collins (Cratloe)

Waterford SH team to play Clare in the Allianz Hurling League on Sunday in Ennis.

1. Stephen O’Keeffe Ballygunner

2. Shane Fives Carrigtwohill

3. Liam Lawlor Fourmilewater

4. Noel Connors Passage

5. Jamie Nagle Dungarvan

6. Michael Walsh Stradbally

7. Kevin Moran (CAPT.) De La Salle

8. Shane O’Sullivan Ballygunner

9. Dean Twomey De La Salle

10. Brian O’Halloran Clashmore/Kinsalebeg

11. Seamus Prendergast Ardmore

12. Jake Dillon De La Salle

22. Gavin O’Brien Roanmore

14. Pauric Mahony Ballygunner

15. Brian O’Sullivan Ballygunner

Dr. Harty Cup Final – Dungarvan Colleges 2-21 Templemore 1-11

Duggan hails ‘cream of crop’

By Jackie Cahill for the Irish Examiner newspaper

Our Lady’s Templemore (Tipperary) 1-11 Dungarvan Colleges (Waterford) 2-21

A powerful Dungarvan Colleges outfit cruised to a second successive Harty Cup final victory in front of a bumper crowd at Sean Treacy Park yesterday. An estimated 3,000 spectators were present to watch the Waterford amalgamation run riot in the second half, on a perfect afternoon for hurling in Tipperary town. A relatively dry sod and glorious sunshine proved very much to Dungarvan’s liking in the second half as they outscored Our Lady’s Templemore by 2-13 to 1-3. The sides were level at 0-8 apiece at the break but whatever coach and Tipperary native Darragh Duggan said to his players at the break had the desired effect as they upped the ante to win by 13 points.

Duggan revealed: “We just explained that they were going to get nothing soft from Templemore — they had to wake up. Templemore outsmarted us in a number of positions in the first half with quick line balls and quick frees. We weren’t taking our chances. Half time came at the right time for us and as the game opened up in the second half, I think we benefited big time.” Dungarvan cut loose on the restart and after Ryan Donnelly netted in the 35th minute to put his side five points clear, there would only be one winner. Seven minutes from time, Donnelly goaled again from close range and while John Joe Ryan bagged a consolation goal in the 56th minute for Our Lady’s, their long wait for a first Harty Cup success since 1978 goes on.

Duggan derived no pleasure from the downfall of a Tipperary team in the Harty final for a second successive year but admitted: “My heart is with the boys at the moment. Sometimes you get rewards and sometimes you don’t but for the last two years, they’re after getting exactly what they deserve. There might be better teams out there that we haven’t played yet but as far as I’m concerned, these guys are the cream of the crop.”

Whether or not there is a team outside of Munster to stop them remains to be seen. Operating under the Coláiste na nDéise name last year, Duggan’s charges were stopped in their tracks by Kilkenny CBS in the All-Ireland quarter-final. But on this season’s evidence, Dungarvan are as good, if not better, than last year’s side. They fielded 10 of the Dungarvan CBS side that won the Corn Phádraig Munster senior B title recently and there were seven survivors from the team that started last year’s Harty final against Nenagh CBS.

Within Munster, there has been nothing to match them over the last two years but other teams have expressed private disquiet at the fact that Dungarvan are an amalgamation of Dungarvan CBS and St Augustine’s. It should be remembered, of course, that it takes more than raw talent to win titles and Dungarvan have worked incredibly hard. They had eight players on the scoresheet yesterday and a watertight defence has conceded just one goal in their last three games. Our Lady’s, even with dual All-Ireland minor medallists John McGrath and Colin O’Riordan at midfield, struggled to make an impact after half time. They will take comfort though, from the fact that Nenagh bounced back from last year’s Harty Cup final defeat to finish the season as All-Ireland champions.

Scorers for Our Lady’s Templemore: J McGrath 0-5 (4f), JJ Ryan 1-0, D Carey 0-2, D McEnroe, T Nolan, Jamie Bergin & C O’Riordan 0-1 each.

Scorers for Dungarvan Colleges: P Curran 0-8 (5f), R Donnelly 2-1, C Dunford, C Breathnach & T Bourke (3f) 0-3 each, C Curran, M Harney & D Lyons 0-1 each.

OUR LADY’S TEMPLEMORE: SP Guerins (JK Brackens); D Brereton (Loughmore-Castleiney), J Ryan (Toomevara), James Bergin (JK Brackens); P Hogan (Templederry), B Kennedy (JK Brackens), M Campion (Drom & Inch); J McGrath (Loughmore-Castleiney), C O’Riordan (JK Brackens); D McEnroe (JK Brackens), D Carey (Templederry), T Maher (Loughmore-Castleiney); T Nolan (Drom & Inch), JJ Ryan (Clonakenny), Jamie Bergin (Drom & Inch).

Subs: B O’Connell (Loughmore-Castleiney) for Jamie Bergin (51), J Fogarty (JK Brackens) for Brereton (55), E Moloney (Drom & Inch) for Maher (55), T Brett (JK Brackens) for Carey (55).

DUNGARVAN COLLEGES: L Power (Abbeyside); K Looby (St Oliver’s/Ballinameela), B Looby (Abbeyside), M Cronin (Ardmore); T Bourke (Clashmore), K Daly (Dungarvan), T Devine (Modeligo); C Curran (Brickey Rangers), M Harney (Ballydurn); C Breathnach (An Rinn), P Curran (Dungarvan), S Keating (Ardmore); D Lyons (Dungarvan), C Dunford (Colligan Emmets), R Donnelly (Dungarvan).

Subs: D Gartland (Ardmore) for Dunford (48), J Mullanney (Stradbally) for K Looby (59), S Daly (Abbeyside) for Donnelly (59).

Referee: Ger Hoey (Clare)

Match Preview

The 2013 Dr Harty Cup has thrown together the novel final pairing of Dungarvan Colleges and Our Lady’s Templemore. The two teams will meet in the final this Sunday at 2.30 pm in Tipperary Town to decide who takes home the most famous trophy in Colleges sport.

Templemore have had a rollercoaster ride to the final. They overcame Midleton CBS by a point in the quarter final in what was a game that could have gone either way and then required a replay to beat Ardscoil RIs. Indeed the Limerick school struck the crossbar in the final minute of the second game; a goal at this stage would have seen them into the final. However to suggest that Templemore have enjoyed a lucky ride is far from true, they have displayed an incredible work ethic coupled with no lack of skill and thoroughly deserve their place in the final. The mercurial talent of John McGrath has been evident for all to see but this team has many potential stars. In the semi-final goalkeeper Seán Patrick Guerins was called on to make two exceptional saves, this allied with his assuredness between the sticks mark him out as an exceptional keeper. The number 3 and 6 positions are vital if a team is to be successful and in Jason Ryan and Joseph Nyland, Templemore have two of the best in the competition. Colin O’Riordan at midfield carries the dual threat as an exceptional ball winning and at times free scoring midfielder, while up front John Joe Ryan has the ability to torment any defence. The Tipp outfit have surpassed many people’s expectations of them in reaching the final but they will hope to continue to upset the form book and claim a first title since 1978.

The amalgamated Dungarvan Colleges outfit that consists of players from Dungarvan CBS and St. Augustine’s are seen by many as favourites to lift the Harty cup again this year. On route to the final they have accounted for Blackwater CS and Thurles CBS. While their progression has not been as dramatic as that of Templemore, the Dungarvan outfit have been extremely efficient in accounting for two genuine contenders in the knockout stages of the competition. In their semi-final against Thurles they trailed early on but showed great resilience to come back and hold on for a thrilling victory. The progression to a second successive final owes lot to the lethal marksmanship of Patrick Curran, who is quickly establishing himself as one of the provinces top forwards at under age level. The hard running of Christy Breathnach in the half forward line is a real scoring threat and the highly skilled Michael Harney is another player who knows where the posts are. However the strength of this Dungarvan side is the half-back line of, Tadhg Bourke, Kevin Daly and Tom Devine. Those who attended the semifinal victory over Thurles witnessed a master class in half-back line play.

The Harty Cup has served up some memorable finals over the years and this year’s final promises to join the list of classic finals. Dungarvan V Templmore, Curran V McGrath, it could very well be decided in the final minute.

Our Lady’s Templemore Results to date

Our Lady’s Templemore 1-18 West Limerick Schs. 1-18

Our Lady’s Templemore 1-13 Charleville CBS 0-14

Our Lady’s Templemore 1-19 Blackwater C.S. 1-18

Our Lady’s Templemore 1-12 Abbey CBS Tipperary 0-7

Our Lady’s Templemore 2-5 Midleton CBS 0-10

Our Lady’s Templemore 0-14 Ardscoil Ris 1-11

Our Lady’s Templemore 1-13 Ardscoil Rís Limerick 0-14

Dungarvan Colleges results to date

Dungarvan Colleges 3-13 Doon CBS 1-13

St. Flannan’s Ennis 0-16 Dungarvan Colleges 2-9

Dungarvan Colleges 3-12 St. Caimin’s Shannon 0-11

Dungarvan Colleges 5-18 Gaelcholáiste Mhuire A.G. 2-8

Dungarvan Colleges 0-14 Blackwater C.S. 0-10

Dungarvan Colleges 1-12 Thurles CBS 0-12

Our Lady’s Templemore Panel

The Our Lady’s Templemore panel for the Dr. Harty Cup is as follows –

John McGrath – Loughmore\Castleiney

Tommy Maher – Loughmore\Castleiney

Denis Brereton – Loughmore\Castleiney

Joseph Nyland- Loughmore\Castleiney

Bill O’Connell – Loughmore\Castleiney

Jason Ryan – Toomevara (Captain)

Tommy Nolan – Drom\Inch

Jamie Bergin – Drom\Inch

Michael Campion – Drom\Inch

Kevin Ahearn – Drom\Inch

Kevin Hassett – Drom\Inch

Emmet Moloney – Drom\Inch

Joey Maher – Drom\Inch

Colm Kinane – Drom\Inch

Robert Ryan – Drom\Inch

Colin O’Riordan – JK Brackens

Sean Patrick Guerins – JK Brackens

James Bergin – JK Brackens

Jack Fogarty- JK Brackens

Dean Mcenroe – JK Brackens

Brian Kennedy – JK Brackens

Tommy Brett – JK Brackens

JohnJoe Ryan – Clonakenny

Paul Bergin – Clonakenny

Dylan Carey – Templederry Kenyons

Padraig Hogan – Templederry Kenyons

Matt Stapleton – Borris-Ileigh

Jacque Dowling – Erril\Rathdowney

Gary Russell – Moyne\Templetouhy

Shane Ryan – Moyne\Templetouhy

PJ Bourke – Upperchurch\Drombane

Dungarvan Colleges Panel

Laurence Power – Abbeyside

Kealan Looby – St Olivers/Ballinameela

Brian Looby – Abbeyside

Jack Mullanney – Stradbally

Tagdh Bourke – Clashmore

Kevin Daly – Dungarvan

Tom Devine – Modeligo (Captain)

Cormac Curran – Brickey Rangers

Colin Dunford – Colligan Emmets

Ryan Donnelly – Dungarvan

Michael Harney – Ballydurn

Eamon Crotty – Abbeyside

Darragh Lyons – Dungarvan

Seamus Keating – Ardmore

Patrick Curran – Dungarvan

Gavin Power – Dungarvan

Christy Breathnach – An Rinn

David Gartland – Ardmore

Michael Cronin – Ardmore

Sean Daly – Abbeyside

Kieran Barron – St Marys Touraneena

Aaron Donnelly – Dungarvan

Jack O’Donnell – Brickey Rangers

Michael Shine – St Olivers/Ballinameela

Conor Prunty – Abbeyside

Cian Culloo – St Olivers/ Ballinameela

Carthach Barry – Brickey Rangers

Cormac O’Grady – Brickey Rangers

Conor Tobin – St Marys Touraneena

Ross Browne – Colligan Emmets

Jack Morrissey – Dungarvan

AIB GAA Football All Ireland Junior Club Championship Final – Ballinasloe (Galway) 0-14 Kenmare Shamrocks (Kerry) 0-10

Ballinasloe shrug off jersey cock-up

By Daragh Ó Conchúir for the Irish Examiner newspaper

Ballinasloe 0-14 Kenmare 0-10

A day that got off to a most inauspicious start improved beyond measure for Ballinasloe, who donned the jerseys of Dublin club Na Fianna, to mark their return to intermediate football as All-Ireland JFC champions. One of the most storied clubs in Galway tradition, lying second in the county’s SFC roll of honour with 20 titles, Ballinasloe have fallen on very hard times in recent years. They relished a return to the spotlight and thrived in it, refusing to be affected by the potential mood-sapper of not being able to perform at Croke Park in their own jerseys.

“We just left them behind us” said a smiling Ballinasloe manager, Séan Riddell. “It was unfortunate but we used it as a bit of banter inside. We said ‘This is probably lucky’. Lads were having a joke saying ‘What Dublin team won the All-Ireland and never played in it?’ “But the lad that forgot the jerseys never forgets anything, and he was in bits. All the lads, they didn’t care. If we had to go out in pink jerseys today, we didn’t care. We had a mission and we really wanted to do it today.”

That was evident as they were the dominant unit, apart from the opening and closing ten minutes of the game, a fact conceded by Kenmare trainer, Enda Crowley. “It’s been a fairytale story but there was no fairytale ending” said Crowley. “It just didn’t happen. The better team won on the day. They blew us out of it in the first half and we were only able to get back into the game the last ten or 15 minutes of the second half. “The last day we took to it like ducks to water. I don’t know was it nerves or was it the occasion but something did affect our players today because‘cos we are better than that. We showed that in the last three games but we didn’t perform today.”

Kenmare had most of the early possession but Darragh McCormack scored at the other end from Ballinasloe’s first attack, in the fifth minute. That came from his left and he followed up with a point. The Galway men got a grip around midfield as they resolved to break the ball, and people like Pádraic Cunningham, who landed a super first half score, hoovered up the breaks. Ballinasloe led 0-7 to 0-4 at half-time and it was one-way traffic as they increased the margin to seven points, when Paul Whelehan landed their ninth successive score in the 41st minute. Paul O’Connor had been a very real threat early on for Kenmare but was starved of possession after the opening quarter. He did end a 25 minute scoreless period for Shamrocks from a free and as Ballinasloe retreated into their shells, the margin reduced to a goal. Stanley Harrington had a shot from a tight angle smothered by Nathan King – who had made a stunning finger-tip save from O’Connor in the first half – and when Whelehan landed a late point for Ballinasloe, the celebrations could begin in earnest.

Scorers for Ballinasloe: D McCormack, P Whelehan, K Kelly (2fs) 0-3 each, P Cunningham 0-2, D Burke, J Shaughnessy, L Lynch (f) 0-1 each.

Scorers for Kenmare: P O’Connor 0-5 (1f), DJ Brennan 0-4 (3fs), S O’Leary 0-1.

Ballinasloe: N King; E Fenton, D Nevin, J Shaughnessy; N Hynes, K Kelly, S Kenny; L Lynch, L Tierney; D Burke, P Cunningham, G Canavan; D McCormack, M Colohan, P Whelehan.

Subs: C Casey for Kenny (53); S Cogavin for Colohan (56).

Kenmare: H Murphy; D Crowley, T O’Sullivan, C O’Sullivan; A O’Callaghan, S O’Leary, A Crowley; S Dolton, J Wharton; R O’Sullivan, M Crowley, A O’Leary; DJ Brennan, P O’Connor, K O’Sullivan.

Subs: S Duncan for A Crowley (21); P O’Dwyer for R O’Sullivan (26); S Harrington for Dalton (45); S O’Brien for Harrington (54).

Referee: C Branagan (Down)

Match Preview

AIB All-Ireland Junior Football Club Final Preview

Kenmare Shamrocks (Kerry) v Ballinasloe (Galway), Croke Park, 2pm

Although Sunday’s AIB All-Ireland Junior club final is over two weeks later than initially planned due to the Kenmare Shamrocks-Castleknock saga, the third tier club showpiece has been given a fitting place in the schedule as the curtain-raiser for the M. Donnelly Interprovincial final at Croke Park.

After three games in Munster, Kenmare no doubt had planned to negotiate their semi-final hurdle at the first attempt. However, what started out as a regular All-Ireland Junior club semi-final turned into a gripping trilogy that reached a far wider audience.

Just 15 days after finally overcoming their Dublin rivals, Kenmare are back in Croke Park – and this time there’s silverware on the line as they face Galway’s finest in Ballinasloe. That 1-17 to 1-12 victory over Castleknock in the second replay finally separated the sides after 220 minutes of extraordinary action that took place in Mitchelstown, Cashel and finally Dublin 3.

In their three games in Munster, Kenmare enjoyed 23 (Kilmacthomas, Waterford), seven (Rockchapel, Cork) and six-point (Cappamore, Limerick) winning margins, before they met the seemingly immovable force that was the Dublin side in the All-Ireland series.

In keeping with the tone of their campaign to date, captain and full-forward Paul O’Connor was Kenmare’s star man in the second replay, scoring 1-8, including 1-5 from play, to sink Castleknock. O’Connor, a member of the Kerry panel from 2005 to 2010 and a three-time senior All-Ireland winner, has now scored a remarkable 2-43 in six games.

It’s comforting for Kenmare to know that they already performed so well at HQ, and with no real signs of stage fright. As well as Paul O’Connor, Mark Crowley and Alan O’Leary showed well in attack that night, while Hughie Murphy, Dara Crowley, Seánie O’Leary, Jimmy Wharton and Kevin O’ Sullivan have been their most consistent performers throughout a stellar campaign.

All the while, Ballinasloe have been waiting patiently for the Castleknock-Kenmare saga to conclude. Ballinasloe have scored 9-34 in three Connacht championship games without conceding a single goal. An excellent campaign started by beating Clifden after a replay in the Galway Junior Championship final, 2-16 to 4-9. Then they breezed past Leitrim Gaels in the Connacht quarter-final, and beat The Neale (Mayo) in the semi-final before winning a first-ever provincial title with a 4-11 to 0-9 win over Roscommon side Oran in the Connacht final. They continued that impressive record in the semi-final by beating Armagh’s An Port Mór by 2-7 to 1-10.

Sunday’s game will be a whole new experience for the Galway champions while Pat O’Connor’s Kenmare side know exactly what it’s like to prepare for a big game in Croke Park. Ballinasloe captain Keith Kelly, who takes their frees and is the team’s key man at centre-back, has been here before with the Galway minors, winning an All-Ireland medal on the side that beat Derry in the final in 2007. Nathan King, Liam Lynch, Paul Whelehan, Keith Kelly and Gary Canavan are their other players to watch.

Tickets for this Croke Park double header are priced at €10 for Adults, €5 for Juveniles with all proceeds going to Our Lady’s Children’s Hospital, Crumlin. Tickets can be purchased through or other usual outlets.

Allianz Hurling League Division 2A – Kerry 2-10 Westmeath 0-13

Kerry get early boost as Westmeath edged out

By Mortimer Murphy for the Irish Examiner newspaper

Kerry 2-10 Westmeath 0-13

New-look Kerry gained a valuable brace of league points after a deserved win over youthful Westmeath in this Allianz Division 2A opener in Tralee yesterday. It was a game decided by Kerry’s ability to score goals at vital junctures but in truth both sides were guilty of bad wides, Kerry amassing 12 while Westmeath managed 10 and also spurned two great goal chances. The first half skirmishes resulted in a one-point interval advantage for Westmeath (0- 8 to 1-4) with Aodan Boyle blasting the ball to the net in the 17th minute for Kerry’s goal after connecting with a Darragh O’Connell free. Kerry, buoyed by the introduction of John Griffin, started the second half well and it was in this opening five minute spell that Shane Nolan goaled and also added two points to give Kerry a four point lead.

They were always in control thereafter. The Kerry defence was superb with Tom Murnane outstanding at full back and with John Griffin and Daniel Collins dominant around the middle, the Westmeath attack never threatened except for the efforts of the Damian McNicholas. Nolan and Seanie Maunsell gave Kerry a six-point lead with just ten minutes left, too much of a gap for Westmeath to bridge though late points from McNicholas (two) and free from Eoin Price kept the home crowd on edge.

Scorers for Kerry: S Nolan 1-7 (0-3 frees, 0-1 ’65), A Boyle 1-1, P Boyle and S Maunsell 0-1 each

Westmeath: D McNicholas 0-4, N O’Brien 0-4 (0-1 free), E Price 0-2 (0-1 free), C Jordan, S Power and J Shaw 0-1 each

KERRY: B Rochford, R Horgan, T Murnane, P O’Keeffe, T Barrett, D Dineen, D O’Connell, D Collins, B Brosnan, B O’Leary, G O’Brien, W O ‘Dwyer, P Boyle , A Boyle , S Nolan

Subs: J Griffin for B Brosnan (29), S Maunsell for G O’Brien (46)

WESTMEATH: P Collins, M Keegan, A McGrath, T Gallagher, E Price, C Jordan, P Gilsenan, R Greville, S Power, J Boyle, J Clarke, A Clarke, D McNicholas, N O’Brien, J Shaw.

Subs: B Leharte for J Boyle (45), D Fennell for N O’Brien (54), C Glennon for J Shaw (65)

Referee: S Hourigan (Limerick)

Team News

The Kerry Senior Hurling Team to play Westmeath in the Allianz Hurling League Div 2A in Austin Stack Park on Sunday next at 1 pm is as follows:

1. Bernard Rochford Killeagh (Cork)

2. Rory Horgan St Brendans

3. Tom Murnane Kilmoyley

4. Patrick O’Keeffe Glenflesk

5. Tommy Barrett Causeway

6. Darren Dineen St Brendans

7. Darragh O’Connell Abbeydorney

8. Daniel Collins Kilmoyley

9. Brendan Brosnan Lixnaw

10. Brendan O’Leary Abbeydorney

11. Gary O’Brien Ballyduff

12. Willie O’Dywer Mullinavat (Kilkenny)

13. John Egan St Brendans

14. Aidan Boyle Ballyduff (Captain)

15. Shane Nolan Crotta O Neills

16. PJ Gorman Ballyduff

17. Brian O’Leary Abbeydorney

18. Pat Joe Connolly Ballyduff

19. Sean Maunsell Kilmoyley

20. Padraig Boyle Ballyduff

21. Sean Dowling Kilmoyley

22. Colm Harty Causeway

23. Jason Leahy Causeway

24. Mikey O’Halloran Ballyheigue

25. Cyril Lynch Crotta O’Neills

26. John Griffin Lixnaw


Manager: Tom Howard

Trainer: Fergie O’Loughlin

Selectors : Padraig Regan, (Kilmoyley); Mike Burke (Causeway); Noel Browne (Ballyduff)

Allianz Hurling League Division 1A – Cork 0-26 Tipperary 1-11

Cork spring into action after turbulent winter


DAMIAN LAWLOR at Páirc Uí Rinn for the Sunday Independent newspaper

CORK hurling may have endured a turbulent enough winter but their next generation roared out a defiant message of intent with a 12-point demolition job of Tipperary at Páirc Uí Rinn last night. Coming into the game much was expected, too much perhaps, of Tipperary’s 2013 title aspirations under an impressive new management team. A late Eoin Kelly goal may have spared their blushes but only just. Long term, last night’s shock result may be no bad thing to temper expectations in the county.

In contrast, Cork had to ride out player defections, retirements and some turbulence within the backroom but what they produced on their home turf was sensational, especially scintillating exhibits from Daniel Kearney, Patrick Horgan, Chris Joyce and Cian McCarthy. It was a sign of their deadly intent that with 12 points between the sides and just three minutes left Patrick Horgan opted to go for goal. But each player excelled in a game that was effectively over at the break as this young team, mostly bereft of underage All- Ireland medals and with only three hurlers over 25, delivered a text-book display to overwhelm their opponents. The genesis of this display came from the Cork forwards — they harassed and harried their opponents. Anytime it did reach the Cork defence the Tipp boys were out-fought and hassled to the extent that they were forced to shoot hurriedly and inevitably, wide.

They began with a classy, sharp, crisp display with balls zigging everywhere. Anthony Nash took over from Donal Og Cusack, acted as a playmaker from defence and looked on as his teammates won almost every contest. Save for Donagh Maher and Paudie Maher, Tipp had little to offer around the defensive lines. The away side was beaten to every ball as a ravenous Rebel outfit exploded out of the blocks and produced an impeccable style of hurling, not exactly short passing but incorporating purely intelligent link-up play. By the end Jason Forde and Larry Corbett showed serious promise of better things to come but overall this was a humbling experience for the Premier County.

Although the game was totally one-sided before long, a sizeable crowd of around 6,381 was at least treated to a feisty opener with plenty of hard tackling and two yellow cards brandished by Barry Kelly in the opening minutes. A stream of frees from Patrick Horgan sent Cork into a commanding 0-5 – 0-1 lead as Cork, clearly with more hurling and fitness work behind them , put the foot to the floor and kept it there. Tipp’s only option was to lump it long to Brian O’Meara who worked hard but was left isolated more often than not.

Chris Joyce looked like he had owned the number six shirt for years. He was pulling to the wings demanding short puckouts from Nash and mopping up at every opportunity. After 13 minutes he fired an incredible point to put Cork 0-7 – 0-1 ahead. Together with Daniel Kearney, Joyce was on fire. Tipp on the other hand were limp — they had five wides recorded before the first half ended, all of which were scoreable. Eamon O’Shea replaced Johnny Ryan and Seamus Callan with Adrian Ryan and Corbett as another flow of points from Luke O’Farrell, Stephen Moylan, William Egan and Cian McCarthy put Cork 12 points up at the break.

Young Jason Forde was brought on at the break as Tipp racked up the yellow cards — they had four by the 37 th minute, but Cork ploughed on in ruthless fashion and extended their lead to 0-17 – 0-2. Super scores from Corbett and Forde left 13 points in it with 20 minutes to go and when O’Meara went off Tipp finally stopped going the direct route. But the overall template of the game didn’t alter much. Cork did ease up a little but had their mark more than made by the game’s ending. Tipp face Kilkenny in a fortnight’s time and it goes without saying that they can’t countenance another display like this. Still, it’s early days. There are five full months between February and August which for any serious contender is when the season really kicks off.

For Cork, the danger is of peaking very early in the season. Will they be so razor sharp at the business end of the season? For the moment Jimmy Barry-Murphy won’t be one bit concerned about that — for him last night was the perfect opener after a tumultuous few months.

Scorers —

Cork: P Horgan (0-13, 10f), D Kearney (0-3), S Moylan (0-2), C Joyce (0-1), L O’Farrell (0-1), L McLoughlin (0- 1), C McCarthy (0-1), W Egan (0-1), P O’Sullivan (0-1), C Lehane (0-1), M Walsh (0-1).

Tipperary: J O’Dwyer (0-3), N McGrath (0-3f), E Kelly (1-0), J Forde (0- 2), L Corbett (0-2), A Ryan (0-1),

Cork: A Nash, S O’Neill, S McDonnell, C O’Sullivan, S White, C Joyce, W Egan, D Kearney, L McLoughlin, P O’Sullivan, C McCarthy, C Lehane, S Moylan, L O’Farrell, P Horgan. Subs: T Kenny for D Kearney (60), M Walsh for L McLoughlin (62), A Mannix for L O’Farrell (66)

Tipperary: B Cummins, P Stapleton, P Curran, C O’Brien, D Maher, Paudie Maher, B Maher, S McGrath, J Ryan, S Callanan, N McGrath, Patrick Maher, S Bourke, B O’Meara, J O’Dwyer. Subs: A Ryan for J Ryan (25), L Corbett for S Callanan (31), J Forde for Patrick Maher (h/t), E Kelly for B O’Meara (45), M Cahill for P Stapleton (60).

Referee: B Kelly (Westmeath)


Cork 0-26 Tipperary 1-11

Report from the RTE GAA web site

Patrick Horgan scored 13 points as Cork opened their Allianz Hurling League campaign with a 0-26 to 1-11 victory over Tipperary at Páirc Uí Rinn. Cork scored 14 points in the first half with Horgan, Daniel Kearney and Christopher Joyce impressing. Tipp improved in the second half wth substitutes Lar Corbett and Jason Forde doing well and Eoin Kelly grabbing a late goal. But the result was never in doubt with Paudie O’Sullivan and Luke O’Farrell among Cork’s 11 scorers.

In front of 6,381 spectators, Jimmy Barry-Murphy’s side produced a performance that their Munster rivals found difficult to live with for long periods. Tipp were restricted to just two points in the first half, Noel McGrath scoring inside a minute and Johnny O’Dywer then registering in injury-time. In between, the hosts put 14 unanswered scores together, their all-round play outstanding, and while the second half was not as much of a procession, Cork still ended with 26 points and 11 different scorers, Horgan leading the way with 13 points.

Cork’s success was built on the endless effort of midfielders Daniel Kearney and Lorcán McLoughlin, both of whom were excellent, while the defensive performance was epitomised by Conor O’Sullivan and William Egan. If Cork were to have any quibbles, it would be that they did not get a goal while Tipp did and that Stephen Moylan was the only starting forward apart from Horgan to get more than a point, but overall the Rebels will be delighted with the outcome.

Some of the first half play was wonderful, with the ball usage of the highest order and extremely hard work shown to win back possession and frustrate Tipp’s efforts. The visitors could not get going at all, as evidenced by their usage of three substitutes by the start of the second half, though when Horgan (0-02) and Kearney extended Cork’s advantage to 0-17 to 0-02 soon after the restart, things looked very ominous.

To give Tipp credit, substitutes Forde, Corbett and Adrian Ryan all did well, and Forde’s second point cut the gap to a comparatively small 11 points – 0-20 to 0-09 – as Cork tired following their first half exertions. A full-blown comeback was never a prospect though, and Horgan continued to convert frees for Cork to ensure they kept the scoreboard ticking over. Eoin Kelly, another Tipp sub, got a late goal but it was nothing more than window-dressing on the scoreboard.

CORK: A Nash; S O’Neill, S McDonnell, C O’Sullivan; S White, C Joyce (0-01), W Egan (0-01); D Kearney (0-03), L McLoughlin (0-01); C McCarthy (0-01), P O’Sullivan (0-01), C Lehane (0-01); S Moylan (0-02), L O’Farrell (0-01), P Horgan (0-13, 0-09f).

Subs used: T Kenny for Kearney (60 mins), M Walsh (0-01) for McLoughlin (63), A Mannix for O’Farrell (67).

TIPPERARY: B Cummins; P Stapleton, P Curran, C O’Brien; D Maher, Pádraic Maher, B Maher; S McGrath, J Ryan; N McGrath (0-03, 0-03f), J O’Dwyer (0-03), Patrick Maher; S Bourke, B O’Meara, S Callanan.

Subs used: A Ryan (0-01) for J Ryan (26 mins), L Corbett (0-02) for Callanan (32), J Forde (0-02) for Patrick Maher (half-time), E Kelly (1-00) for O’Meara (45), M Cahill for Stapleton (60).

Referee: Barry Kelly (Westmeath)

Irish Daily Mail Sigerson Cup Final – DIT 3-8 UCC 0-7

Dublin Institute of Technology (DIT) defeated University College Cork (UCC) by 3-8 to 0-7 in Irish Daily Mail Sigerson Cup Final on Saturday in the Athlone IT GAA grounds.

O’Shea saves sweetest for last

By Brendan O’Brien for the Irish Examiner newspaper

Dublin Institute of Technology 3-08 University College Cork 0-07

Not everyone leaves college having found it a fulfilling experience but Aidan O’Shea will have few complaints when he completes the last of his four years as a logistics and supply chain degree student at Dublin Institute of Technology later this year. The Mayo midfielder had already claimed a Freshers All-Ireland and two Ryan Cups (league titles) before completing the full set with the Dublin college’s first Sigerson success, in Athlone, last Saturday. “I’ve won all I can in college,” said the Breaffy brick house, “but this is a sweet one seeing as we probably beat the three most consistent teams in the tournament over the last three years in UCC, DCU and Maynooth. We did it the hard way.”

O’Shea’s commitment to the cause has been complete. A former DIT club chairman, he was central — both literally and figuratively — to a double-winning season which saw them defeat 10 colleges and navigate the Sigerson without conceding a goal. The only blot on their copybook was a four-point loss to Kildare in the O’Byrne Cup at Geraldine Park in Athy last month but that hardly registered with a side spearheaded by half-a-dozen or so players who had grown heartily sick of real heartbreak. O’Shea was one of those survivors who suffered a shock defeat to UL in the opening round two years ago when they started as tournament favourites and as many again were part of a dispiriting 10-point loss to DCU in last year’s quarter-final.

That latter reversal was exorcised with an impressive win against their star-studded northside neighbours in Friday’s semi-final and they completed their maiden title victory with a comfortable defeat of UCC 24 hours later. DIT brought an irresistible combination to the table this year: a squad littered with inter-county class but one grounded by the pain of past disappointments and thus wedded to the concept of sheer hard work and driven by hunger. The spine of the side contained Meath’s Bryan Menton at full-back through to O’Shea and Cavan’s David Givney at midfield, Darran O’Sullivan at centre-forward and Kildare’s Tomas O’Connor at full-forward, with Mayo’s Jason Doherty providing the majority of the scores.

Surrounding them were players whose names may not jog as many memories but whose input over the weekend was no less notable: guys like Cavan’s metronomic Martin Reilly, Dublin’s Ciaran Reddin who scored one goal and set up another against UCC and Colin Walsh, their captain from Monaghan. UCC dealt capably with their opponents in the opening quarter, providing the DIT midfield with a greater challenge than DCU had managed the day before and forcing the eventual winners to pass laterally across the Cork 45 in order to find gaps. Yet, find them they did and Reddin claimed the first goal after only 14 minutes on the back of a beautifully crafted move involving Givney, Doherty and O’Sullivan and the poacher turned creator for Doherty’s second two minutes before the interval.

Only DIT’s nine wides in that half kept the suspense bubbling but UCC’s difficulties were more pressing and summed up by Conor Cox’s skewed point attempt towards the interval. Cox and Tipperary’s Conor Sweeney had registered scores from all 16 of their efforts against AIT from play and dead balls but the former’s first free, registered on the half-time whistle, still left his side two goals in arrears. UCC enjoyed their best period after the interval but could only pull the one point back and DIT were still the six points to the good when the superb Givney put the matter to bed with the third of his side’s excellent goals with two minutes to go. “DIT are new winners now and it is good for the competition that there are new winners,” said UCC selector John Corcoran. “The most disappointing thing is that we didn’t play up to our form. We are better than that. “I would have no problem with the effort the lads put in. We had a period of dominance early in the second-half but they broke away after that. The final margin doesn’t really reflect the difference between the teams but well done to them.”

Scorers for DIT: D Givney, J Doherty (2fs), C Reddin 1-2 each, G O’Hare, P Maguire 0-1 each.

Scorers for UCC: C Sweeney 0-3 (2fs), T Clancy, B Coughlan, C Cox (f), L Connolly 0-1 each.

DIT: R Lambert (Wicklow); G O’Hare (Louth), B Menton (Meath), K O’Brien (Dublin); R Sheridan (Cavan), N Devereaux (Dublin), C Walshe (Monaghan); A O’Shea (Mayo), D Givney (Cavan); M Reilly (Cavan), D O’Sullivan (Kerry); C Reddin (Dublin); M Collins (Cork), T O’Connor (Kildare), J Doherty (Mayo).

Subs: B Allen (Offaly) for Reddin (41), A Nestor (Meath) for Sheridan (47), P Maguire (Dublin) for Reilly (51), S O’Connor (Dublin) for O’Sullivan (53), J McGrath (Wicklow) for O’Connor (59).

UCC: S Mellet (Cork); P Galvin (Kerry), E O’Mahony (Cork), N Daly (Roscommon); J O’Sullivan (Cork), P Crowley (Kerry), T Clancy (Cork); P Acheson (Tipperary), JB Spillane (Kerry); K O’Driscoll (Cork), B Coughlan (Cork), L Connolly (Cork); G O’Grady (Kerry), C Cox (Kerry), C Sweeney (Tipperary).

Subs: D O’Sullivan (Kerry) for Coughlan (48), P Murphy (Kerry) for Clancy (48), E Buckley (Cork) for O’Grady (52).

Referee: M Deegan (Laois)


DIT crush UCC to take first title

Report from the Irish Independent newspaper

DUBLIN IT won the Sigerson Cup for the first time yesterday with a 10-point victory against UCC. A star-studded DIT scored three classy goals at a bitterly cold Athlone IT as they added the coveted trophy to the league title collected before Christmas. And while DIT caught the eye with some of their attacking play throughout the competition, they also went through the entire campaign without conceding a single goal. Sean Fox’s outfit were far too good for 20-time winners UCC, who last took the title in 2011.

UCC may have had half a dozen survivors from that success in their ranks but DIT were backboned by some household intercounty names. Mayo’s Aidan O’Shea, in his final year at DIT, was superb once again at midfield but he had brilliant support from Cavan’s David Givney, who scored 1-2 from the centre of the park. Givney scored the opening point of both halves and crowned his rampaging display with DIT’s third goal two minutes from time. Defensively, DIT were imperious again and Bryan Menton, who shackled DCU’s Donegal star Michael Murphy so effectively in Friday’s semi-final, claimed the man of the match award. At half-time, DIT led by 2-4 to 0-4 and were well on their way to a maiden Sigerson Cup final win.

The 2009 beaten finalists scored the first of their three goals in the 14th minute as Ciaran Reddin finished a quite brilliant team move. Givney won possession at midfield and the ball went through the hands of Mayo’s Jason Doherty and Kerry ace Darran O’Sullivan before Reddin finished clinically. Three minutes before half-time, DIT struck again as Kildare totem Tomás O’Connor palmed Reddin’s delivery into the path of Doherty, who made no mistake with a low finish.

UCC endured a barren 14-minute spell without a score in the first half and they managed just three in total in the second half as DIT cruised home. Fittingly, Givney rammed home DIT’s third goal off the post in the 58th minute before UCC’s misery was compounded in stoppage time when substitute Darragh O’Sullivan received a straight red card for a high challenge on Shane O’Connor. Overjoyed DIT selector Billy O’Loughlin said: “We won our first freshers title in 2008 and another in 2010 and this is just absolutely brilliant for the college. We were tipped at 4/1 against DCU but the boys took it as a bit of an insult. We have some fantastic players.”

Scorers – DIT: D Givney, J Doherty (2f) 1-2 each, C Reddin 1-1, G O’Hare, T O’Connor, P Maguire 0-1 each. UCC: C Sweeney 0-3 (2f), T Clancy, B Coughlan, C Cox (f), L Connolly (’45’) 0-1 each.

DIT: R Lambert; K O’Brien, B Menton, G O’Hare; C Walshe, N Devereaux, R Sheridan; A O’Shea, D Givney; M Reilly, D O’Sullivan, C Reddin; M Collins, T O’Connor, J Doherty. Subs: B Allen for Reddin (41), A Nestor for Sheridan (47), P Maguire for Reilly (51), S O’Connor for O’Sullivan (53), J McGrath for O’Connor 59).

UCC: S Mellet; P Galvin, E O’Mahony, N Daly; J O’Sullivan, P Crowley, T Clancy; P Acheson, JB Spillane; K O’Driscoll, L Connolly, B Coughlan; G O’Grady, C Cox, C Sweeney. Subs: D O’Sullivan for Coughlan (48), P Murphy for Clancy (48), E Buckley for O’Grady (52).

Referee: M Deegan (Laois)


The final and semi-final of the prestigious Irish Daily Mail Sigerson Cup will be hosted at AIT on 22 February and 23 February. In addition, AIT will host also the Irish Daily Mail sponsored Trench and Corn na Mac Leinn Cup, a total of six semi-finals on Friday and three finals on Saturday, as well as the inaugural Corn Comhairle Ardoideachais final on the Friday of what promises to be fantastic weekend of Gaelic Football.

2012/2013 All Ireland Scór na nÓg Final

The 2012/2013 All Ireland Scór na nÓg Final took place on Saturday February 23rd 2013 at 12:00pm in ‘The Venue” in Derry City.

All-Ireland Scór na nÓg Champions 2013

Rince Foirne: Bóthar Buí, Corcaigh

Amhrànaiocht Aonair: Seosamh Ó Gormáin, Cill Dara

Ceol Uirlise: Druim Shamhain, Muineachán

Aithriseoreacht: Colm Ó Cuirc, Muineachán

Bailéad Ghrúpa: Achadh Mór, Maigh Eo

Tráth na gCeisteanna: An Gleann, An Dún

Nuachleas: Teampall Doire, Tiobraid Árann

Rince Seit: Crois ar Loch, An Cabhán

Scór showpiece comes to Derry

Up to 2000 people drawn from all counties of Ireland are expected to take their seats at ‘The Venue’ on Saturday, February 23 as Derry’s showpiece cultural arena plays host to the national finals of Scór na nÓg 2013.

Scór is a GAA competition that combines all the colour and rivalry of Gaelic Games with the social/fun element of Ireland’s traditional past-times. The competition was established by the GAA in 1969 with the aim of promoting Ireland’s traditional pastimes and culture while offering club members the chance to meet up, have fun and represent their club during the winter months while Football and Hurling had ceased.

The event is one part of the GAA’s heavy involvement in Derry’s City of Culture celebrations in 2013. As well as Scór, the GAA will host its Annual Congress in the city this coming March.

There are eight events/disciplines in Scór that cover all aspects of Irish culture: Figure/Céilí Dancing, Solo Singing, Instrumental Music, Recitation/Scéalaíocht, Ballad Group, Novelty Act, Question Time and Set Dancing. The competition is divided into two age levels, Scór Na nÓg, for young people under 17 and Scór Sinsear, for those over 17.

All Ireland Scór champions are presented with their medals by Uachtarán Chumann Lúthchleas Gael, winners are All-Ireland Champions in their own right in the same way as All-Ireland Senior Football or Hurling Final winners.

This is the first time that Co. Derry has ever hosted the national finals of Scór, making Saturday’s event that bit more special and unique. Previous venues to host the event include the INEC Killarney, Cork’s City Hall and the Gaiety Theatre, Dublin.

Derry GAA Chairman, John Keenan said “2013 is a very special year for the GAA in our county. This year marks the 125th anniversary of the founding of the association in Derry. We are a sporting and cultural organisation and are delighted to get our programme of events underway with the hosting of the Scór na nÓg finals on February 23.

“Scór is just one of the many national events we’re bringing to Derry this year and I’d like to thank the Culture Company for all their support they have given us with the hosting of these. We have four GAA clubs within the City itself, with a further five in the surrounding areas.

“I have no doubt that the events of 2013 will leave a lasting legacy on the GAA scene in the City, as well as introduce tens of thousands of people to the attractions and amenities the City has to offer. Derry will benefit not only culturally, but socially and economically from the events of 2013 and that is something to truly welcome.”

Culture Company Chief Executive Shona McCarthy said: “It’s fantastic that Scór na nÓg is taking place at the new venue in Ebrington. To have the most talented young performers from every corner of Ireland displaying their abilities here in the city is a great way to initiate the GAA’s participation in City of Culture celebrations.”

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Scór na nÓg All-Ireland Finals: Saturday 23rd Feb 2013 at ‘The Venue’ (12:00)

Tickets are priced at €20/£17 and can be purchased at the venue on the day. Advance reservations can also be made through your county Scór officer or County Board. In Derry, people can reserve tickets by emailing Scór committee secretary Maureen Quinn ( or Derry GAA Secretary Liam Peoples ( or Telephone 028 777 42990.



We want medals – Cork’s Anthony Nash

He may be filling the boots occupied by Cork’s legendary senior hurling goalkeeper Donal Og Cusack but Anthony Nash intends making the most of his chance to make a name for himself after waiting patiently for the opportunity to represent his native county.
The Rebels get their Allianz League Campaign underway Saturday (7.0) with an opening assigment against Tipperary in Division 1A at Pairc Ui Rinn;

Clare will struggle in the League this season – Davy Fitzgerald

A serious step up for the Banner senior hurlers in the Allianz League is in prospect this season according to Clare manager Davy Fitzgerald. A former All Ireland winner himself, Davy says he just wants his team to compete this season. Clare’s first league outing of 2013 will be against Fitzgerald’s former charges Waterford on Sunday.