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Joe sheridan

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the long and winding road to croke park

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The long and winding road to Croke Park

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GAA look to improve security

All the latest from the grounds

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All Ireland champion

Ciaran Kilkenny and Brian Cody

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After injury, Sweeney is now reaching for the stars

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Kilmacud Crokes, St.Mary’s Burren

Crossmolina, Moycarkey - Borris

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the team Editor: Alan Conway alan@clubgaa.com Contributors: Daire Walsh, Colm McCluskey colm@clubgaa.com Content Advisor: David Flanagan Media Partner: Jay Harding + 353 (83) 4431495 jay@clubgaa.com Design: Sinéad Miller sinead@clubgaa.com Photography: Inpho Financial Director: Tom McGrath Managing Director: Brian O’Connell brianpoconnell@clubgaa.com Sales Director: Gerard Connon + 353 (86) 6089220 gerard@clubgaa.com Sales: Thomas McCaul thomas@clubgaa.com 083 140 4887 Publisher: Council Publications Ltd. Copyright CLUB RUGBY MAGAZINE 2013. No part of this publication may be reproduced in any material form without the express written permission of the publishers.

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WELCOMe message It certainly has been a busy time of late in the world of Gaelic Games, and here at Club GAA, we have another fantastic line up of interviews, profiles and round ups for you to enjoy. In this month’s issue I sit down with Club GAA Editor Alan Conway as we discuss my career to date and my hopes for the Meath team for this year and beyond. There is also a terrific interview with former All-Ireland winner Paul Clarke. The former Dublin star takes us on a trip down memory lane as he talks about his stellar career, along with his opinions on this year’s championship action.

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Along with keeping an eye on the past, we also give a nod to the future as we sit down with a young star of Gaelic football in the shape of Gary Sweeney. Gary is on the cusp of breaking into the Dublin senior panel and after suffering a broken leg, he talks to us about his plans for the future and making an impact in the blue of Dublin. Along with these top class interviews, we profile four of the biggest clubs in Ireland. This month we talk to Kilmacud Crokes from Leinster, St Mary’s Burren from Ulster, Connacht based Crossmolina Deel Rovers and Moycarkey-Borris from Munster. We have up to the minute news from each club along with a one on one interview with each of the respective chairmen from each club as they detail their plans for the future of each club. Brian Cody and Ciaran Kilkenny come into focus in our special manager/ player section as we continue to profile some of the biggest names in GAA. There is a special provincial profile on Cavan along with a fully comprehensive review of all the championship action to date as the provincial action comes to an end and all eyes begin to turn to knockout stages of the All-Ireland championships as teams begin their drive for either the Sam Maguire or Liam McCarthy trophy. We also take a look at the Sigerson Cup and the impact that the tournament has had on the world of Gaelic Games. Along with tackling some of the most topical issues within GAA at the moment, we have a full roundup of all the club news from each of the provinces, as we keep our finger on the pulse of Club GAA in Ireland. I hope you enjoy this month’s issue and I look forward to talking to you next month.

Joe Sheridan

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On a beautiful summers afternoon Club GAA made ourselves comfortable in the beautiful surroundings of the Pillo Hotel in Ashbourne to talk shop with Joe Sheridan.

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heridan’s career is one that has taken its fair share of twists and turns. A gifted player, with an ability to rise to the big occasion, he is one of the most valued players in the Meath setup. However if circumstances were different, he could have been playing his football in London.

of a crowd in such a big stadium”.

Like today, Ireland was a challenging place to live in during the early 1990’s. Many people faced the same choice back then as they do now, namely the need to move to foreign climbs to build a life for themselves. The Sheridan family were no exception.

“As you get older you can relax that bit more” Sheridan states. This progression in attitude has certainly helped as he moved up through the ranks of the senior squad in the Meath county panel.

The large number of Irish that made their way across the water, did however have positive impact for the GAA, as Sheridan explains. “There was such a strong influence of Irish people in Birmingham at the time, so there was a strong group of people that played the game during that period of time.”

Sheridan made the move to the senior squad at the age of 17 when he was called up by Sean Boylan. It was a slightly surreal experience for the young man as he walked into the dressing room to sit beside some of the most influential people in his football career. “Trevor Giles was there and he would have been a big influence on me growing up. After Meath won the 1996 All Ireland final, I would put on my Meath gear and pretend to be Trevor Giles”, Sheridan remembers. Other players that helped him with his transition into senior football, Sheridan name checks Graham Geraghty and Darren Fay.

While this obviously has its negative connotations, the GAA look set to benefit from the exodus, with London’s run in this year’s All-Ireland Championship proof positive of some of the benefits of people moving away. When Sheridan eventually returned to Ireland in the early 2000’s it wasn’t long before he was back in the fold with the Meath GAA set up.

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“They were great at bringing in the young players. It was very helpful at that stage of my career getting words of wisdom from former All Ireland and All Star winners”.

This was not Sheridan’s first run at an All-Ireland final having been successful on two occasions with his college team St. Patricks who are based in Navan.

Sheridan is quick to pay respect to those who have come before him, a sign of the true gentlemen of the sport that he is. “Colm O’Rourke and Brian Stafford who played in the 1991 All Ireland team would have been a big influence in my early playing days”. While looking back on the older influences, Maurice Fitzgerald’s name comes up as Joe says ‘his skill was unbelievable, to have the ability he had being able to use both feet, was extraordinary. It is sad that he retired at such an early age”.

It was however his first time going into a final in Croke Park as part of an inter-county panel and as Sheridan admits himself, on the day he did not play his best football.

We initially spoke to Joe in the lead up the Wexford game where Sheridan was happy with the momentum the team was starting the build.

The Meath minor team that Sheridan was a part of reached the All-Ireland final against a slightly favoured Derry side. However Sheridan believes Meath went in as favourites having disposed of Kerry in the semi final.

“The nerves kicked in and I didn’t perform as well as I had hoped. It is sometimes harder to adjust to the situation of playing in front

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Derry came out on top that day with a 1-12 to 0-08 victory. Despite this loss and an early disappointment in his career Sheridan portrays a very optimistic outlook on the whole experience describing the experience as a ‘learning curve’

It may seem like a case of history repeating itself, given the recent slowdown in Irish economy and the migration of people out of Ireland.

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With promotion in the league, which the Meath man points out was the team’s main aim this year, confidence was beginning to

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build and this showed in the game against Wexford. Sheridan came on as a substitute in that game and helped his team to a five point win with the Royals coming out on top at 0-18 to 0-13.

rollercoaster feel. Sadly it wasn’t to be for Meath in Leinster SFC Final. Dublin came out on top this time round to pick up their 52nd Leinster title. Speaking in the days after the game, Joe remained in a positive mood following the disappointing loss.

Playing in front of a massive crowd at Croke Park has to be one of, if not the ultimate highlight for any GAA player and Sheridan is no exception.

“We took a lot of positives from the game. We were two points up on a strong Dublin team who are many people’s favourites to win the All-Ireland.

“There could be sixty to seventy thousand people there, it is usually a lovely summers day”. Joe points out that games like these are what players strive to be a part of “ You train hard in October and November in the rain and the wind, then come summer time, you are playing against Dublin and some of the other top teams, it is a great place to be.”

“We held them to only five scores in the first half. It was their second half performance and their scores that killed us off”

The Balancing Act However for those big days in Croke Park there is always a trade-off. Balancing work & family life with training and playing matches is perhaps one of the most difficult juggling acts that any sportsperson could do. It is a catch 22 for Joe as he says that playing with the county panel helped him to get a foot in the door with Acorn Life but his commitments to football can also hinder the hours he is available. This commitment to training and matches means that players like Sheridan will not always be available for work and this became another drawback of the times we live in now. In 2012 Joe moved to Boston, to try make a better life for himself with the lack of work in the construction trade. When he initially decided to leave, Sheridan had this to say “after a lot of thought I have decided to emigrate to take up an opportunity I simply could not refuse.” The GPA released a statement at the time saying they must now focus on helping players when they graduate to senior inter-county level. “The key and the challenge I suppose for us is to get guys when they come onto the inter-county scene, give them good advice and set them on a path in which they’re pursuing, something that’s sustainable,” he said. “Joe sadly is an example of how bad things are and can be and he’s a massive loss to the game but he’ll play some ball over there too I’m sure and hopefully things will work out and we’ll see him again soon.”

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However he says with the numbers of Irish over in Boston and other locations, there are numerous teams and that in itself is fantastic to see. “The emigration does have a negative effect on the teams in Ireland but it is helping to build up teams like New York and London. This summer has seen Meath’s fortune take on something of a

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That convincing win for Dublin once again highlighted the growing divide between the likes of Dublin and the other so called ‘top teams’.

Club GAA brought up the question of why this divide has begun to become more prevalent and Joe was quick to point out not just where the problem lies but also the solution that could help rectify the situation. “When you look at Dublin, Cork, Kerry and Tyrone, they have been at the top for the last number of years. It is really just Donegal who have stepped up, and they set the bench mark last year which people will be looking at during this campaign”. This benchmark along with the previously mentioned teams successes means there are always teams that will struggle to contend and herein lies the problem Joe believes. “It is very hard for some of the teams who are getting beaten by 15 to 20 points to keep these players motivated. Some of them might lose interest with the need to emigrate or because of other work commitments. “It is a work in progress and you need the proper structure in place for teams to build, most importantly at underage level. If you can bring them up from development squad through minor and Under 21 levels then you might have a better chance to succeed.” For the less successful teams to improve they must be able to keep hold of their top players and like we have covered before in Club GAA the issue of players emigrating is becoming more and more prelevant. Joe Sheridan has first-hand knowledge of this aspect of the game having hung up his boots for a short while to move across the Atlantic. “It is tough, a lot of clubs have been destroyed with players emigrating and that is just the reality of it. It is hard to stay to play football when there is no work, you have to look after yourself. “When you look at county level, years back players would have got jobs through the county supporters, but these jobs aren’t as plentiful as they used to be,” mentions Sheridan As we shake hands and part ways, Club GAA along with every other GAA fan can only hope that players like Joe Sheridan can stay and play in Ireland because with a talent like his the game can only continue to grow. n

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Sitting beside the backdrop of Croke Park stadium, all is calm. Life is going by at a much slower pace than it has for the last couple of championship weekends. Yet in the Croke Park Hotel, one man is taking Club GAA on a stroll down memory lane that makes you want to grab your boots and head out onto the famous turf and start kicking points into Hill 16 for the rest of the afternoon.

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aul Clarke is a giant of a man, and for many years a giant of Dublin football. Clarke was a part of many of the seismic highs and stomach churning lows that go with being a Dublin footballer. From winning Leinster titles, to coming up short in numerous All-Ireland finals, before reaching the ‘holy grail’ in 1995, Clarke was a staple of Dublin football for much of the 1980’s and ‘90’s. Yet it could have all been so different. Soccer was Clarke’s first sport of choice growing up. Having come from a sporting background, ‘we were sports mad’, the talent was always there, but as he explains to Club GAA, things could have worked out very differently. “Up to the age of 14 I played for St Kevin’s and Home Farm”, he explains. “I was an Arsenal supporter growing up and the school that I went to, Liam Brady attended too, so there was a strong connection there. “I went to Home Farm to try and further myself, but I had one or two bad experiences. You had players coming from other clubs TOC GAA Black dp strip ad_Macman_Black dp strip ad_Macman 25/07/2013 13:28 Page 1 who were starting ahead of you and your father would put the

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Dublin’s Paul Clarke and Keith Galvin celebrate victory

in fact. There was nobody really coming out of our group, and Dublin were going reasonably well at the time, so you never thought that you would be called into the panel. “It was a brilliant feeling, because you knew how lucky you were to get the call, so you had to be respectful of the environment and the players that were already in situ. “At the same time you couldn’t be standoff-ish. You were there to do a job and show everyone that you were worthy of getting the call.” That is something that Clarke achieved in spades, but there were some challenges along the way. Balancing work commitments, family life and football, became too much for Clarke after he broke into the senior setup.

Looking at this year’s championship the expectation on the Dublin side is as big as always. A convincing Leinster final defeat of Meath has seen Jim Gavin’s side installed as hot favourites to win their second All-Ireland in three years.

“It was a big call. It was the first time that I was really in the team, but I was in a new job and that had to come first. Thankfully I worked in a great job that looked after me and accommodated me whenever they could and I was able to get back playing.”

Finally winning the All-Ireland His comeback would prove to be worthwhile. Despite getting to, and losing a number of All-Ireland finals during that period of time, Clarke played a huge roll in Dublin finally taking Sam Maguire back to the capital in 1995.

“I remember we played Cherry Orchard and we were 3-0 with about five minutes to play. I was given the nod to come on, but my father said ‘no way’. On the way home he mentioned that I should give GAA a go. I went down to Whitehall with a few friends and I never looked back. Within a few months I was on the Dublin U-14 squad, so you could say I made the right call.”

championship, which was a tremendous achievement. We also played an Australian selection side in Croke Park, and believe it or believe not, the feeling in beating the Australian side was nearly as good as winning the All-Ireland minor title with Dublin. “These guys were future professionals and we beat them, and beat them well. I scored 28 points that day, so you can’t get much better than that.”

That decision to concentrate on GAA would reap tremendous rewards for Clarke. His natural talent shone through so quickly that he was soon making his way up the ranks both at club and provincial level. It was a time period that he looks back on with tremendous fondness.

Yet things would only get better for Clarke. Having won minor honours with Dublin, it wasn’t long before he was drafted into the senior setup. You mention that first time, the first time that he knew he was selected for the Dublin senior side. The smile that creases across his face at the mere mention of it tells you everything.

“They were great days. We had a really strong team in Whitehall at the time. During that period we won an All-Ireland Club

“It was magical”, he says. “I’ll never forget the first time I got the letter saying that I was called up to the senior squad; I still have it at home

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stand up. You would look around the dressing room and you just felt so proud of the guys that you are standing beside, knowing that they were not going to be defeated, no matter what the other team threw at us. “To win an All-Ireland was something special. You think of the guys who weren’t there and who played such an important role in enabling us to win a Sam Maguire. All the work that the guys before us put in, it was their Sam Maguire too.”

He decided to take a step back and reorganise things, before making his way back into the fold. As he explains, it was a tough decision, but one, he felt, that he had to take.

foot down saying ‘this isn’t good enough’ as all fathers would do.

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That journey was fraught with so many near misses, so many close encounters, that when Dublin did finally win the big ‘un, it must have been a tremendous sense of relief, if nothing else? “That’s exactly it”, Clarke says. “We had come so close, on so many occasions that it was great to just finally win one. That year there was just a tremendous sense of determination within the whole squad that we would not be beaten. “The intensity in training was something else. Guys just put everything they had into that whole campaign. Some of the speeches that were given during ’95 would make the hair on your arms

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Clarke acknowledges that weight of expectation, but when you quiz him about the rest of the summer ahead, he is quick to revert to the old sporting mantra: taking one game at a time. “I think Jim has done a tremendous job. The style of play that they use is almost a hark back to the ’95 side. They want to get the ball forward and attack teams. He isn’t looking at other counties, Jim wants to create his own style of play and I think he has done that very successfully. “There is a tremendous group of players on the Dublin panel at the moment. You have guys like Paul Flynn, who is a specimen of a footballer. Then there are the likes of Ger Brennan who has grown and matured as a defender and when you have Cluxton in goal, that is a tremendous starting point for any side. “I think the bench that Jim has at the moment is equally as important. Guys who come off the bench are looking to make an impact and put their hand up for selection. That’s a huge bonus and it drives the squad on as a whole. It proves that whatever Jim is doing, it is the right way. “Dublin have to tighten up in one or two areas. I think they have to prove they are a better defensive side, when they have to defend. “You take a look at the teams that are left in the championship and Dublin will adapt their style of play to each team. “I have been on Dublin sides where we have been favourites to win the All-Ireland and it hasn’t worked out. All they can do is take one game at a time and see how they go.” Just like Paul Clarke, the Dublin team of 2013 could be destined for the very top. n

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Think you know your GAA Football? He has been talked about in the same breath as many of the great wing forwards that have graced the famous blue jersey of Dublin throughout the decades. Among the conveyer belt of talent that is coming off the Dublin footballer conveyer belt, Gary Sweeney is among the brightest talents in the capital at the moment.

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ith a sharp eye for goal and a physique to cope with the demands of top class, senior football, Sweeney has harnessed his talent with his local GAA clubs St Sylvester’s for the last number of years while enjoying a tremendous amount of success at both minor and U-21 level with the Dubs.

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The road to provincial success, however, had one or two turns in the road. Like many young males growing up in the capital city, the lure of different sports was strong in the young Sweeney. Soccer, in particular, was the one sport, aside from GAA, that was a big passion or him growing up. He was similar to many of his age group in the fact that he has dreams and aspirations to move across the water and make the jump to professional football, but as he explains the lure of family & friends, along with the opportunity to play for Dublin was too much to tempt the young Sweeney away from home.

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“I played both soccer and GAA up to the age of 14, so the attraction was always there, I suppose”, Sweeney explains. “Soccer was a little bit different back then, for one thing there was a lot less diving. The money was, and still is in soccer, but it is very hard to make the breakthrough in England. For the amount of players that dream and hope of ‘making it’ there is only a very small percentage that actually do go on and make a living. “I remember I played in a Féile when I was fourteen and we ended up winning it, so that probably swayed my thinking a little bit”, he jokingly admits. “There is a very strong GAA connection in my family, both my father and grandfather would be passionate GAA men, so there was that pull as well. “There has never been one moment of regret. I am very happy at the moment. I’ve enjoyed a good deal of success with the

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Dublin side and now it is about kicking on and making the progression into the senior panel.” That progression, one could argue, could and should have happened a year earlier. Sweeney suffered a broken leg during a club game in June 2012, just at the exact time that Sweeney was invited into the Dublin senior panel and was due to commence training with Pat Gilroy’s side. To suffer such a setback at such a relatively early stage of his provincial career must have been a cruel blow to take, even more so given the fact that he was on the cusp of linking up with the senior side. “Ah it was a fair blow to take”, he admits. “Obviously it’s everyone’s goal to get into the senior panel and to come so close and have it taken away was tough to take. “However you cannot let it get you down. When something like that happens to you, there are two options. You can either let it get to you and you can wallow in self –pity or you can use it as motivation to come back fitter and stronger than you were before you were injured. “You just have to get your head in the right place and kick on. Thankfully the recovery has gone well. I have probably missed the boat in terms of making the senior panel for this year, but that just gives me extra motivation to make an impact next season, if I am lucky enough to be given an opportunity. “There is an awful lot of competition in the U-21 and senior setup’s but it’s a good thing, because the standards never dip, you are consistently pushing yourself because you know that if you dip by even 1-2% there is another guy that will come along and take your place. It’s good, however, as it drives the team forward, which is the main thing at the end of the day.” One of the most striking things about the current Dublin setup is the amount of young talent that is currently coming through the ranks. Be it football and hurling, there appears to be a tremendous amount of young and gifted players making the grade from underage football to the senior ranks.

from the pressures of life. You wonder out loud is it difficult to strike that balance, given the fact that he is a young twentysomething and would naturally want to go out with his friends and have the odd beer or two. “Well there is no real social life between October and February”, he laughs. “I don’t really mind missing out on that side of things. You realise how lucky you are to be in the position that you are in. To play for Dublin, no matter at what level, is something very special, so you don’t worry about having to sacrifice the odd night out, here and there. “When you do go out you have to treat it like a celebration in some ways, because you don’t get the chance. However the positives far outweigh the negatives.”

Looking towards the future At the moment there are a lot of positives in Sweeney’s career. Having progressed from that nasty leg break, he is now fully focused on, once again, making his mark at club and county level, starting with the club championship with Sylvester’s. “Without a doubt, helping Sylvester’s in the club championship is my main priority. The core of the team has been together for the last 2-3 years and we have performed in the league, but we haven’t really done the business when it comes to championship time. “We have performed well in the league over the last couple of years, so it is about transferring that league form to the championship, which is something I am confident that we can do.” Before the frenetic club championship begins, Sweeney is keeping one eye on Dublin’s progression in this year’s All-Ireland Championship. Despite casting an envious eye on the rest of the panel, he feels that Dublin are primed for a big finish to the summer, one which he hopes will culminate in Dublin bringing the Sam Maguire back to the capital for the second time in three years.

Sweeny nods in agreement and says that the county board deserve a lot of the credit. “It is something that everyone in Dublin can be proud of. A lot of work has gone in over the last number of years and people are beginning to see the benefits of that now.

“I was very confident before the Leinster final against Meath, now I am a little less confident but I still think that they have a great chance. You will always have the likes of Cork and Kerry at the latter stages and they will be tough to beat, but if you look at the strength in depth that Dublin have and the way that they are playing, they are going to tough to beat, no matter who they come up against.

“As you said there is an awful lot of talent coming through and that can only be good for the future of GAA in Dublin.”

“It is a little bit frustrating watching from the sidelines, but it serves as motivation to get back into the mix as soon as possible.”

Along with dealing with his injury setback, Sweeney, like every young GAA player has to find the right balance between work commitments, sport and having a social life, an avenue to escape

As the days begin to shorten, the prospect of running out in Croke Park with the senior Dublin panel, is something that will speed up the coming months. Exciting time await for Gary Sweeney. n

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Double Celebrations on the Double Two teams have had cause for double celebrations recently, as Monaghan and Mayo claimed provincial titles at both minor and senior levels. In the Electric Ireland Connacht Minor Football Championship Final in Castlebar, Mayo ended Roscommon’s bid for a third successive title with a three-point victory on a score line of Mayo 3-7 Roscommon 1-10. The Mayo lads got off to a dream start scoring two goals within the first five minutes but Roscommon responded well to this adversary during the remainder of the first half. Another goal early in the second half seemed to dint Roscommon’s spirit, giving Mayo a 3-5 to 0-6 lead but once again Roscommon staged another comeback and although they outscored Mayo by 1-4 to 0-2, Mayo held on to claim their first minor title since their three in a row of 2008-2010 The 115th Connacht Senior Football final was viewed by many as the modern day David and Goliath battle but Mayo never had any problems as they easily lifted the title by beating London 5-11 to 0-10.

gaa look to improve security Following some troublesome scenes at the Kildare and Tyrone game, the GAA has begun to look into improving security measures in grounds around the country. The match referee Joe McQuillan was pushed and jostled by Kildare fans who were left angered after their teams departure from the championship. Officials have been left disappointed with the way stewards escorted McQuillan from the pitch. Instead of bringing him the same way as the player left the field, the referee was brought through the fans, who had entered the field. That can’t be allowed to happen again,” GAA president Liam O’Neill said yesterday. “It shouldn’t happen anywhere and we have to put in place whatever safety requirements (are required) to make sure that it doesn’t happen,” he stressed, indicating that changes will be made at St Conleth’s Park and possibly elsewhere. “They have been very quick to point out where there are difficulties,” he said. “They have expressed their views on certain venues, and it shows that their attempts to put safety first have been totally justified.”

Cillian O’Connor came on for Mayo at half time and scored three goals and two points to see the All-Ireland runners up into the Quarter finals of this year’s Championship. London manager Paul Goggins can be proud of his team. Although they struggled vainly against the superior fitness of Mayo, they stuck to their game plan but were no match to James Horan’s three-in-a-row title chasing squad.

Safety concerns have become a major concern for the GAA following pitch invasions at both the Munster hurling and Ulster football finals.

In Ulster, meanwhile, on the same day their seniors ended a 25-year wait for the Ulster title, the Monaghan minors ended a 68-year wait for the minor crown with a dramatic injury time victory over Tyrone in Clones. An extremely determined Monaghan hit two goals before the end, eventually grabbing a thrilling victory by outscoring Tyrone by 4-10 to 2-14.

“Any time there’s a pitch invasion it is like gambling; it’s like driving without a seatbelt,” he warned. “You just don’t know what’s going to happen.

At senior level, Monaghan were crowned the Ulster Champions for 2013 following an emphatic performance against Donegal. The Farney men lifted the title for the first time in 25 years before a crowd of just under 32,000 spectators. It was a performance which stunned Donegal, who were outworked and over-ran by a more authoritative, more powerful determined side. Malachy O’Rourke, the Monaghan manager said after the game that he was “delighted for the boys”. He claims his side’s belief is what saw them over the line and that he had a “very good feeling” during the week.

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The GAA have managed to eradicate pitch invasions completely inCroke Park by installing barriers and heavy stewarding but were powerless to stop them in Limerick and Clones on the last two Sundays. Liam O’Neill has asked supporters for their compliance, and hopes that there will be no more repeats.

“It’s proven beyond question in the last few All-Ireland finals that having the pitch clear and allowing the players the breathing room to adjust to either winning or losing, and particularly losing, has been very good and a lot safer. “We have outlined what we think is safest and best practice and we would like people to follow that,” said O’Neill. The President continued “there’s no mixed message – we don’t tolerate this. When a horde descends on a pitch it’s very hard to stop them, but this is an education process. “People are coming around and our message on this is clear. There are certain commentators or people who say it’s a populist thing that they (supporters) should be let on, but they should know better. “It’s not about taking draconian measures. It’s a ground by ground thing and it’s about safety,” emphasised O’Neill.


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If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it GAA Director General Paraic Duffy believes that the number of breakthrough teams and surprise victories in this year’s championship proves that the current layout still works. The Dublin and Limerick hurlers and the Monaghan footballers have shocked many critics by winning the provincial titles and pushing on towards the latter stages of the All-Ireland.

Pictured GAA President Liam O’Neill and Director General of the GAA Paraic Duffy

“I have always felt we should keep the provincial championships. Last Sunday and the Sunday before underlines the reasons why,” said Duffy. “For a county like Monaghan, 25 years since they last won for Monaghan players and supporters that’s a huge goal in itself. I was in Monaghan on Monday night after their win for the celebrations. “People who say we should get rid of the provincial championships don’t really get it. You have to be from a smaller county where success is limited to see what provincial championships mean.” Duffy emphasised the importance of the underdog, “that’s what sport is about. It has to be about romance so the small guy can have his day. For Monaghan, it’s only been four times in the last 75 years that they have won Ulster. You have to have that hope that you can somehow do it.” There have been calls made for the provincial championship’s structure to be changed into something like the current Champions League or for teams to be put into different tiers. However Duffy doesn’t agree. “Okay there are teams there that are not good enough and I get that. There are a very small number who are not good enough to compete but those counties want to be part of it. “You have to accept every year there will be a few mismatches. But if you had eight groups of four, you’d have far more mismatches than you have with

the present system.” “Someone suggested a few weeks ago we should have senior, intermediate and junior in football. That was one of the ideas floated. On that basis, both Cavan and Monaghan certainly, and London, wouldn’t have been there,” believes Duffy. Duffy continued “Monaghan are in the quarter-finals and either Cavan or London, will be as well. London wouldn’t have qualified for the senior, they mightn’t have qualified for the intermediate. “If someone comes up with a better system, we’d always be open to look at it. But I don’t think doing away with the provincial championship is the solution.” Duffy confirmed that the Football Review Committee, chaired by Eugene McGee, are continuing to carry out their brief of examining the structures of the senior championships. “They’re looking at structures, that’s what they’ve been asked to do. I’ve no idea what their views are or what they’ll come up with. That’s a matter for them.”

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on, Emmet Og were starting to fear the worse. Duggan opted to go short from this kick, however, and when the ball was caught by an opposing defender, the final whistle sounded, much to the delight of the Emmet Og faithful.

AUSTIN STACKS

The Latest From Around the Grounds ST VINCENT’S For quite a while now, Summer Hurling has been a major event for the St Vincent’s club in North Dublin, and 2013 is no different. This year’s version got underway in the early stages of July, with over 200 people taking in Week One, which was held in the nearby school of Ardscoil Ris. It is expected to run until the second week in August, and will include the now traditional trips to clubs across the country on Saturdays for a variety of challenge games. Precise details for these games can be found on the club’s website www. stvincentsgaa.ie. Since its inception more than a decade ago by Mick Connolly, this Hurling Fest had been a major feature in the club’s annual calendar. Boys and girls from the ages of eight are catered for, and those who are interested do not necessarily have to book in advance either. You can simply journey down on the night that each get-together is taking place, and register for participation. Each session comes at a cost of €2, which will also cover the costs of buses for away match-day trips. As we look a little further on the horizon, September 2013 will see St Vincent’s embarking on a Cycle Fundraiser, which should help to produce some significant revenue for future projects. At the present moment, the organisers are planning the route to take for the fundraiser, and it anticipated that there will be a meeting in the near future in relation to the venture, where precise details of the cycle will be revealed. Until then, it is advised that all those interested in participating should continue to practice, thus ensuring that they will be up to speed for an energy-sapping adventure. In terms of action on the field, the various teams in St Vincent’s continue to be competitive at their respective levels, and a number of members have also represented their club at inter-county level in recent weeks. Carolanne Canning and Roisin Collins were part of the Dublin Junior team that defeated Carlow in mid-July, a victory that helps to secure their place in the All-Ireland decider. Michelle Hetherton and Aibhe Fusco also featured on the Dublin Under 16 ‘B’ team that beat Antrim, while the Dublin Senior Camogie side that faced Tipperary in Parnell Park on Saturday July 20th had a strong Vincent’s representation in the form of Aine Fanning, Ali Maguire, Danielle Smith, Eimear McCarthy, Eve Marie Elliot and Aisling Maher. The Dublin Senior Footballers also look to the Marino men for inspiration, as both Ger Brennan and Diarmuid Connolly started for the Metropolitan’s in their recent Leinster Final success against Meath. Vincent’s are seen as one of the major players in the Dublin club scene, but they have had a mixed season so far in the Adult Football

League Division One. They currently lie in 10th place with just four wins from ten games. More recently, they faced Lucan Sarsfields on July 13th, and were on the receiving end of a 1-17 to 0-12 reversal.

EMMET OG The Emmet Og GAA Club in Clonee, County Longford had to reason to be pleased on Sunday July 13th, as they emerged from the final of the Longford Senior ‘B’ Football Championship with one point to spare (1-9 to 0-11) over Clonguish at Dunbeggan. Playing in ferocious conditions, Emmet Og did take a while to settle into the contest, as well-taken efforts by Ciaran Williams, Ian Reilly (free) and David Faughnan gave the Newtownforbes outfit an early three-point advantage. Emmet Og eventually got their account up and running with an expertly-converted free by corner-forward Larry Moran, before a subsequent point by Padraig Reilly reduced the deficit to the bare minimum. A placed ball score by Derek Duggan, and a second of the afternoon from Faughnan meant that Clonguish were once again three to the good, and swapped points between Moran and Williams meant that Eire Og were still playing catch up. However, Emmet Og received a major lifeline 25 minutes in, when referee Stephen Tierney issued a second yellow card to Clonguish midfielder John Dowd for a foul on Brian Finnerty. This threatened to swing the pendulum in Emmet Og’s direction, and thanks to a late point by Stephen McCoy in time added on, their deficit had been reduced to two (0-6 to 0-4) just in time for the interval. Clonguish continued to perform well despite their numerical disadvantage, and Stephen McLoughlin did open the scoring for them four minutes after the restart, but a quick 1-1 salvo from Moran suddenly turned the screw on the whole contest. Emmet Og were now in the lead for the very first time, and the onus was on Clonguish to try and peg it back. Courtesy of points from Liam Hughes (free) and the excellent Moran, they had moved into a threepoint cushion of their own, before their counterparts finally broke their dominance with scores through Shane O’Brien and Reilly. This left just one point separating the teams heading into the final quarter, and the remainder of the tie proved to be just as close. Hughes and Williams and proceeded to trade points once more, before Emmet Og looked like they were set to steal the silverware when Michael Connell kicked emphatically between the posts on the stroke of 60 minutes. There was still some time for Williams to make it a one-point game again, though, and when Clonguish were awarded a ‘45’ late

Connolly Park on the evening of Tuesday July 16th was the ideal setting for Austin Stack’s County Minor Championship opener against Mid Kerry. While they did prepare rather well for this clash, it was a full two months since the Austin Stacks minors last played a competitive game (the County League Final), which meant that match sharpness was always going to be an issue, at least initially.

It was no surprise, therefore, that the first half was a relatively quiet affair, though both sets of defenders had to be on their toes at all times. The dependable Kyle Fitzgibbon did chip in with a brace of points from placed balls for Stacks, and Greg Horan was also on target from general play, but they still found themselves trailing the divisional side by a single point (0-4 to 0-3) at the mid-way point.

WIN

The Stacks players would have been hoping to bring a lead into the second period, but they might have been in an even worse position were not for an excellent save by netminder Brian Horgan 11 minutes into the action. They were still very much in contention upon the resumption, however, and the switch of Michael O’Donnell to the edge of the square proved to be a shrewd move by the management team as the half wore on. He restored parity to the game with a 34th minute point, and when he was fouled close to goal just moments later, Fitzgibbon was on hand to secure his third score from a free. Indeed, the elusive No. 13 was a reliable source of scores for Stacks throughout, and he gave his side a two-point lead with just over 20 minutes to play after substitute Calvin Foley forced the Mid Kerry rearguard into the concession of yet another free. A neat one-two between Greg Horan and Shane Greensmyth led to a fine point from play for the former, and he subsequently added to it with what turned out to be the decisive score of the tie. Having evaded the challenges of two Mid Kerry players, Horan had only one thing on his mind, and that was heading straight for the goal. As the distance between him and the posts began to narrow, he unleashed an unstoppable shot into the roof of the net. Incredibly, Mid Kerry failed to score for almost the entirety of the second half, before finally breaking the Stack’s scoring sequence with a point from the last kick of the game. This offered paltry consolation to Mid Kerry, though, as Austin Stacks progressed to the next stage with a 1-9 to 0-5 triumph.

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CLOONEY-QUIN Feile 2013 was something of a disappointment for the ClooneyQuinn club in South-East Clare, as they came away empty-handed from the three games in their group, but it did serve as an excellent learning experience for the group players. Playing in a fiercelycompetitive Division Two, the Clooney girls were always going to be up against it, but they were nevertheless determined to represent their club with great honour and distinction. With this particular Feile taking place in Clare, they were called upon to host one of their competitors, Na Fianna of Meath, while their county rivals – Sixmilebridge – welcomed Offaly champions Birr to the locale. Clooney did perform commendably in their game

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The Latest From Around the Grounds against the girls from the Royal County, and were improving as the game wore on, but Na Fianna’s powerful start to the tie was enough to give them a hard-fought 3-2 to 1-2 victory. This was the only game on day one of the Feile for Clooney, but the second day proved to be a rather busy affair for all of the teams. Their second encounter in the group found them facing Birr, who had legendary former inter-county star Brian Whelahan on their sideline. Birr are one of the most recognised clubs in the whole of Leinster, but Clooney threatened to upset the odds for the majority of the contest, and Birr were more than pleased to come away with two points to spare. Their final game of the competition was one that Clooney approached with a certain degree of trepidation, as they were coming face-to-face with a Sixmilebridge side that had comfortably defeated them in an Under 14 ‘A’ Shield decider just two weeks earlier. However, they once again defied expectations, and it took a last-minute major from Sixmilebridge to deny them what would have been a wellearned triumph. In total, Clooney had a panel of 19 players, who all performed admirably when called upon. They had a total of six players who contributed to the scoreboard – Amy Moloney, Sinead Considine, Aoife Barry, Mary Liddy and Emma Deegan – which represents a fair selection of scorers. As it turned out, Na Fianna were extremely unfortunate not to make the semi-final of the competition, as they recorded a win over Sixmilebridge in their second game, but lost to Birr in their final group encounter. It was still an excellent weekend for both Clooney and Na Fianna, though, as they enjoyed a night of bowling together on the Saturday evening, and formed a number of new friendships as a result of their time together.

TUBBERCURRY The Tubbercurry GAA Club in Sligo recently made an important announcement in relation to the sponsorship of the club. Surlis’ Super Valu have been sponsoring the club for quite some time, and it was revealed that they will continue to be the club’s main sponsor until 2015. The Surlis family have been extremely gracious in offering their support to the club in the past few years, and as a consequence they have become a major part of the club in a general sense. There has been some positive developments in the respective leagues of the Tubbercurry underage sides in recent weeks, including the Under 12 team, who played the fifth round of their football league on Tuesday July 9th against St Molaise Gaels in Grange. In a very entertaining game of football, both sides gave their all, but Tubbercurry eventually came away with a 0-14 to 0-10 triumph. They were due to face Shamrock Gaels a fortnight later in their sixth game of the current term, when they would have been hoping to continue their good recent form. The Tubbercurry/Cloonacool Under

14s were also in fine form a day after the Under 12 were in action, as they finished their 2013 league campaign on a high with a fantastic 9-13 to 2-11 victory over St Farnan’s in their final round game at Kilcoyne Park. This meant that they finished fourth in their division, and have qualified for the semi-finals, the fixtures for which are yet to be fully confirmed. At adult level, Tubbercurry continue to thrive, and their senior footballers celebrated the arrival of two new trophies in their clubhouse during July. Connolly Park, Collooney was the venue on Friday July 5th for the Benson Cup Final against St Farnan’s, and with Fergal McDonagh and captain Colm McGee to the fore, they led 0-10 to 0-4 at the mid-way point. This placed them in a commanding position heading into the second period, and with substitute Jason Matthews contributing 1-1 upon his introduction, Tubbercurry cruised towards an emphatic 1-19 to 1-8 success. This was a major boost to the club, and with county star David Kelly back in the side, they aimed to secure a second trophy in the space of eight days when they faced Drumcliffe/Rosses Point in the Division Two League decider in Corran Park, Ballymote. With Kelly and Gary Curran in fine shooting form, they held a 0-8 to 0-4 cushion at the break, and despite coming under pressure from a determined Drumcliffe, they held on to their four-point advantage (0-15 to 0-11) at the end.

ORANMORE/MAREE The Oranmore/Maree club, based in the village of Oranmore on the outskirts of Galway city, have launched an exciting new development in the form of a “Community Loyalty Club”, the plans for which were revealed in front of a large audience at the Sky Blues’ home base. The scheme proposes to provide each and every paid up member of the Oranmore/Maree club with their very own “loyalty card”, which has a variety of purposes. It can be used in as many as 20 local participating businesses in the area, where you can get a discount of between 10% and 15% on available items when you produce the card. Aside from this, the card – according to David Hanniffy, the club chairman – has several benefits for club members. It helps to create a strong bond between club and community, and also increases the trade of participating businesses. As mentioned above, card holders can save money on goods that would otherwise be more expensive, but most importantly, it is hoped that the initiative will be able to attract more people from the community into the hallways of the club, as well as boosting the club from a financial standpoint. A number of people from local businesses in the community have expressed their pleasure at being able to co-operate with Oranmore/Maree in bringing this initiative to the village, as they feel that it will convince people to shop within their own community,

rather than making the longer journey to the city. What also helps to make the Loyalty Card so desirable is the fact that it can be garnered without incurring any costs. As Juvenile Chairman Shay Feerin identified on the club website, it can be particularly beneficial to the non-playing members of the club. A “nonplaying adult” option, which comes at a cost of €30 a year, offers full membership of the club with full entitlements, plus the loyalty card. The “fully family option” also offers an exciting deal, as it means that every member of the family, whether they be parents and/or children, can receive full club membership, a year’s subscription to the GAA Lotto and the community loyalty card, all for a price of €190. It really is a tremendous undertaking by Oranmore/Maree, and those interested can contact the club, either by e-mail (oranmoremaree@gmail.com) or by phoning Shay on 087-2349321.

DOOHAMLETS O’NEILLS Friday June 28th proved to be one of the highlight’s of the year for the Doohamlet O’Neills club, as the Monaghan outfit hosted their Annual 10K/6K Run amidst some glorious weather. With more than 150 athletes taking part, the events of the day were launched by Doohamlet club man, and current Monaghan Senior Footballer, Colin Walshe, and Dessie Duffy, a prominent local triathlete, was the first runner to cross the finishing line in a time of 36.22. Donna Evans was the first female runner to complete the course with a time of 40.14, and all those who took part in the runs are to be applauded for their efforts, as it is an event that continued to be an unqualified success for Doohamlet. The day wouldn’t be possible without the help of a large number of sponsors, though, and Doohamlet have expressed their gratitude to Raymond Watters (Old Coach Inn), Stephan Drury (Centra Ballybay), Robbie McDonnell (Corner Shop Ballybay), Harry Hughes

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(Spinning Wheel Castleblayney), Gerry Quinn Butchers Castleblayney, Alexis Connolly Doohamlet and Jim Kelly Oghill, who kindly offered their help for this year’s event. The Doohamlet Seniors were in league action in mid-June in O’Neill Park, and after an absorbing contest, they ultimately share the spoils with Blayney Faughs in a 0-13 to 1-10 encounter. Their opponents had started the game in fine form with a brace of points from Benny McElroy and Mark Hanratty, but Ollie Hughes finally got Doohamlet’s account up and running with a terrific score from the right-wing. Shane McManus was then on hand to bring parity to the tie with a long-range effort, and the sides remained on level terms (0-4 to 0-4) at the mid-way stage in the game after former Monaghan forward Ciaran Hanratty and Marty McElroy responded to a brace of Doohamlet points from Paul McArdle. It remained neck and neck when the play resumed, as Blayney scores from Damien Hughes and Ciaran Hanratty were quickly cancelled out by Doohamlet efforts by Paul McArdle (free) and Barry McGinn. You sensed that there might be a turning point that would swing the pendulum in the direction of one of the teams, and it looked like it might have fallen Doohamlet’s way when Ciaran Hughes was issued with a second yellow-card for hauling down Walshe as he was bearing down on goal. Doohamlet duly took advantage with consecutive points from Walshe, Mark Murphy and Ollie Hughes, but they soon found themselves trailing by a single point when Ciaran Hanratty’s second of the day was followed by a re-bounded major from Dermot Malone after his penalty had been saved by James Casey. Doohamlet did force their way back into the ascendancy with the help of three points from McArdle, but when Ollie Hughes was given his marching orders late on the momentum was on Blayney’s side, and a brace of scores from McElroy ensured that this fixture ended in a stalemate. n

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manager Profile BRIAN cody He is the driving force behind, perhaps, the greatest hurling team that has ever played the game. His remorseless pursuit for perfection has taken his Kilkenny side to heights that other counties could only dream of. Brian Cody is the force that makes the Cats purr. Cody is a phenomenon. Having enjoyed a stellar inter-county career with Kilkenny, he would forge his legacy as coach of the senior side during their most successful period in the counties history. In much the same way that, the now retired, Sir Alex Ferguson, was a revered figure at Manchester Utd, Cody is held in similar regard in the Marble county. There has never been, nor ever will be another Brian Cody. Raised in Sheestown, four miles outside Kilkenny city, the son of Thomastown natives Bill Cody and the former Annie Hoyne, he was born into a family that was heavily involved in the Gaelic Athletic Association. Hurling in particular was hugely important for Cody’s father. He was a selector with both the Kilkenny minor and senior teams before later serving as chairman of the James Stephens club for seventeen years. The young Cody would cut his teeth at the much vaunted St. Kieran’s College in Kilkenny, a virtual nursery for young, talented players. It was at St. Kieran’s where Cody first tasted major hurling success. He was a key member of the college team in 1971 when St. Kieran’s captured the Leinster colleges’ title. Cody later helped his school to the All-Ireland title following a win over St. Finbarr’s College from Cork. A second college medal would follow a year later in 1972. His success was not just confined to college, and having followed in his father’s footsteps by lining up for his local club, James Stephens, Cody would enjoy a bountiful number of years with the club. After losing a championship decider in 1973, James Stephens were back in the final again two years later. A comprehensive 1-14 to 1-5 defeat of first-time finalists Galmoy gave Cody his first championship medal. He later added a Leinster medal to his collection following a 1-14 to 2-4 defeat of Offaly champions St. Rynagh’s before lining out in the All-Ireland decider against Blackrock. Five points down at half-time, James Stephens came storming back to record a 2-10 to 2-4 victory. It was Cody’s first All-Ireland medal and the first time that a Kilkenny club had captured the All-Ireland title.

Brian Cody Cody would spend another ten years playing at the top level for Kilkenny. He would win three All-Ireland medals during that period of time, but it is what he did next that insured that his name will live on for generations to come. Having retired from the game, Cody made his way back into the world of GAA when he was appointed Kilkenny manager in November 1998. It would prove to be a masterstroke. In his first full season in charge Cody brought some new players onto the team. James McGarry, at the age of 27, made his senior debut as goalkeeper while a young Henry Shefflin was unearthed and was a new addition in the forward line. With a blend of youth and experience Cody guided his team to a second consecutive Leinster title. The 5-14 to 1-16 defeat of reigning All-Ireland champions Offaly was a portent of things to come, as Cody began to put his own mark on his side. Despite losing out to Cork in the All-Ireland final that year, Cody and Kilkenny would not have to wait long to claim the silverware they crave the most. Having won their third Leinster title in a row, Kilkenny were back in Croke Park that September and destroyed Offaly by a score line of 5-15 to 1-14, in one of the most one sided All-Ireland Finals in recent memory. That performance lit the blue touch paper and Kilkenny embarked on one of their most successful periods ever. Despite defeats to Galway in 2001 and trophy less seasons in 2004 and 2005, Cody guided Kilkenny to eight All-Ireland titles during that period of time. While things have not gone according to plan this year, it would be foolhardy to think that Kilkenny and Cody are past their best. If and when the time comes for Cody to leave the post, he will have left an indelible mark on his county and the game of hurling in general. There could be no finer legacy. n

Player honours All-Ireland Senior Club Hurling Championship (2): 1976, 1982 Leinster Senior Club Hurling Championship (2): 1975, 1981 Kilkenny Senior Hurling Championship (3): 1975, 1976, 1981 Kilkenny All-Ireland Senior Hurling Championship: 1975, 1982, 1983 Leinster Senior Hurling Championship (4): 1975, 1978, 1982, 1983

James Stephens retained their championship title the following year with Cody collecting a second winners’ medal following a 2-14 to 0-13 defeat of Rower-Inistioge.

National Hurling League (2): 1976, 1982

All that success captured the attention of the county selectors and it was around that time that Cody was drafted into the Kilkenny setup. Two All-Ireland medals at minor level preceded his rise to the senior side, where he would have something of a stop-start beginning to his career.

All-Ireland Minor Hurling Championship (1): 1972

Having started in the defeat to Limerick in the 1973 All-Ireland Final, Cody struggled to nail down a place in the starting 15, although he would play a part in Kilkenny’s victorious campaign, which saw them recapture the Liam McCarthy Cup, along with collecting another provincial title.

Leinster Senior Hurling Championship (12): 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011

All-Ireland Under-21 Hurling Championship (2): 1974, 1975 Leinster Under-21 Hurling Championship (2): 1974, 1975 Leinster Minor Hurling Championship (2): 1971, 1972 Managerial honours: Kilkenny All-Ireland Senior Hurling Championship (9): 2000, 2002, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2011, 2012

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National Hurling League (6): 2002, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2009, 2012 Walsh Cup (4): 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

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Cup Final 2013, Irish Daily Mail Sigerson of DIT scores ty her Do on DIT vs UCC, Jas the game his side’s second goal of

The Sigerson Cup, the oldest national trophy in Gaelic games competitions, is the GAA Higher Education’s premier Gaelic Football competition and is the ultimate prize for any football player who is a student in college. This competition is currently sponsored by the Irish Daily Mail.

The numbers grew to 2,500 by 1959/60. However it was in this decade that the numbers jumped massively to 10,000 by 1969. Since then the numbers of students has doubled to around 20,000 students registered with the college. These numbers demonstrate the vast pool of talent available for selection in the Sigerson Cup from this University alone.

George Sigerson, born in Strabane Co. Tyrone, was an Irish physician, scientist, writer, politician and poet during a remarkable career. He was a leading light in the Irish Literary Revival of the late 19th century in Ireland. He was born on the 11th of January 1836 and was the youngest of 11 children. Sigerson studied at Queen’s University in Galway before becoming ill with typhoid fever. Following this he moved to Queens University in Cork where he studied as a medical student. It was while he was there that he began to develop his interest in Irish culture. He contributed poems and sketches to various newspapers and magazines.

of Colin Walshe r te Pe h DIT wit UCC of y le Crow

In 1911 Sigerson, used his salary to make a donation for the provision of a trophy for an intervarsity tournament for Gaelic Football. This cup, in the shape of a mether, an ancient Irish drinking vessel, has four handles representing each of the four Irish provinces and is symbolic of friendship. By making this donation he became the first man to present a perpetual trophy for a national Gaelic games competition. When the competition first began it was held in the months of February and early March. However from 1921 to 1967 it took place in November and December. This changed in 1967 when a foot-andmouth outbreak led to the competition to being postponed until early 1968. Since then the competition has returned to taking place in February and March. It is because of this allotted time that the Sigerson has become associated with cold, dark, wet evenings where the games are played out on muddy pitches. This can only add to the mental toughness challenging those participating in the competition. The initial inception of the competition following the donation for the cup was structured in a league format. The competition only had three teams when it first began with UCD, UCC and UCG playing each other in one off games. In 1933 Queens entered the competition and it became a straight knockout tournament. UCD were the first winners of the cup and are the most successful side in cup’s history with 32 titles. UCD completed the first five-in-a-row in 1932. The tournament changed again in the following years and more and more universities began to join.

Third Level Team

Institute of Technology Tralee became the first non-university side to win the Sigerson Cup, when they claimed the title in 1997. They then went on to complete a remarkable three-in-a-row and since then Sligo IT and Cork IT have also emerged victorious. UCG are the only side to complete six titles on the trot (1936-1941). In the 1970s, a UCD managed by Eugene McGee won six titles in seven years and also collected two All-Ireland club titles.

Wins

University College Dublin

32

National University of Ireland, Galway

22

University College Cork

20

Queens University Belfast

8

University of Ulster Jordanstown

5

Institute of Technology Sligo

3

Institute of Technology Tralee

3

Dublin City University

3

Cork Institute of Technology

1

St Mary’s University College

1

National University of Ireland Maynooth

1

Dublin Institute of Technology

1

Not only has interest in the competition increased among the third level institutes involved but there has been a great upsurge in the interest of spectators. These games often feature the next generation of inter-county stars as well as many of the current ones. The concluding stages of this long-established competition, often termed “the Sigerson weekend”, offer a treat of top class football to GAA fans around the country. TG4 have been broadcasting Sigerson Cup finals since 1998 which has made the games available to a much wider audience and has helped spread interest in and enjoyment of the tournament. If All-Ireland senior finals are the preserve of the top-tier counties, the Sigerson Cup offers good players from weaker counties a well-deserved opportunity on the main stage. The original George Sigerson Cup was finally decommissioned in 2001 after 90 years of passing between colleges and now resides in the GAA Museum, Croke Park. A replica cup is now presented to the winning team.

In 1963 Trinity came on board before teams representing NUI Maynooth, Jordanstown and DCU joined bringing the Sigerson Cup into the 1990’s. This increase of teams showed the development in Ulster football with Queens winning a number of cups since 1985. It has been said the Sigerson Cup also represents the development of Irish Culture and the growth of third-level education in Ireland. Using UCD as a case study we can see the growth in the number of students leading to the vast amount that pass through the doors in Belfield today. In 1909/10 the numbers of students stood at 500.

As more and more students began to enter third-level education, the number of colleges and universities participating in the competition grew rapidly. The Sigerson Cup has now evolved into a nationwide tournament with several universities, institute of technology’s and colleges taking part.

DCU’s William Lowry and Aidan O’Shea of DIT

This new replica got off to a bad start as it was sensationally lost by University of Ulster Jordanstown after they won it in 2001 but was later recovered in time for the 2002 competition. Dublin Institute of Technology are the present holders after they won the 2013 final against University College Cork. Queens University will host both the Sigerson Cup and Fitzgibbon Cup in 2014. What number of wins will change or could there be a new name of the Roll of Honour? (see table opposite page).


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UCC’s Peter Acheson and Dan Queeney of AIT

“We played much better in the second half scoring 1-2 to equalise in the last minutes of the match to bring it to extra time. We scored three points and a goal in the first few minutes but they came back to score 1-2 , we managed to just hold on in the second period, winning by 3-14 to 3-12. UCC were a superb team and that was the best Sigerson match I ever saw”.

Last year 17 teams, including the return of Trinity College, participated in the competition which took place on the Westmeath campus of Athlone IT which has recently seen the development of a state-of-theart sporting arena. Going into the 2013 Irish Daily Mail Sigerson Cup the clear favourites for the competition were Dublin City University. Their lineup consisted of many inter county talent and confidence was high as they headed west. The Dublin College were looking to reach their third final in four years going into the competition. However it did not go as planned. Going into the semi final DCU came up against a determined D.I.T. side. Dublin Institute of Technology controlled the game from the get go against their county counterparts. Although it took until the 51st minute for the result to be sealed when Bernard Allan of Offaly put the ball into the back of the net, DIT were always in charge of proceedings. Despite the best efforts of All Ireland winner Michael Murphy of Donegal, DCU could not bounce back and eventually lost by 1-11 to 0-09. In the other semi final the result was never in question as University College Cork outclassed hosts Athlone IT to reach the final and push for their second title in three years. Even an early goal from Athlone’s James McGivney this did not knock the confidence of a UCC side, who were looking to bounce back from their disappointing semi final loss to NUI Maynooth in 2012. The teams went in at half time with the score 0-11 to 1-03 and it was as you were when the second half kicked off with Eoin O’Mahony, Peter Crowley and Jamie O’Sullivan displaying their skill to form a formidable front line. So it was University College Cork who proceeded to the final to meet Dublin Institute of Technology. DIT came out victorious when they beat the University College Cork by a commanding ten points. When the final whistle was blown, 20 time winners UCC were left disappointed as the scoreboard displayed a very one sided 3-08 to 0-07. The game was played out on cold afternoon in Athlone but the game became a heated affair when Darragh O’Sullivan was shown a red card. O’Sullivan who had just come on a substitute clashed with Shane O’Connor of DIT was duly given his marching orders. Even before the sending off UCC were already struggling following two first half goals from Ciaran Redding and Jason Doherty that sent the Dublin team in at the half-time break with a lead of 2-04 to 0-04. David Givney put the game out of reach with another goal in the 58th minute. UCC could not build up any momentum in the game managing to score only three points from play during the game. They also went for 14 minutes without registering any points. The win in 2012/13 competition topped off a very successful year for the Dublin Institute of Technology following their league title win before Christmas. They will surely be looking to bounce back and repeat this accomplishment in next year’s competition. However the players who featured in this year’s tournament only

Moments like these really highlight the immense excitement of the cup and why so many players continue to love the competition. Ciarán McManus was playing on that UCD team that won the Sigerson final in 1996 and was selected a Man of the Match for the final. “It was a very proud moment for me in front of my family, friends and teammates. It was an amazing year considering it was my first year to play Sigerson.”

UCC’s Niall Daly and Kieran Marti n of AIT

represent a small number of those who have fought and battled to get their hands on the Sigerson Cup. A selection of University College Dublin team members spoke about their experiences playing in the prestigious competition in the book UCD and the Sigerson. It is clear from their accounts that a win in the Sigerson is one of the greatest accomplishments a gaelic footballer can achieve. Players who have participated in the illustrious competition down through the years discussed in detail not just how the game has changed but also how Irish culture and the landscape on which the game is played has transformed. Padraig “The Flying Doctor” Carney played in the 1940’s and detailed how he had to adjust to his new surroundings. “Football was very important to integrating into UCD – especially after coming to Dublin from a small town in Co. Mayo at seventeen years of age to do medicine. UCD back then was very manageable. Everything took place in a small space, especially at the college of science. It was all confined. We would go to our classes and then head up to the hospital on our bikes.” Carney won three Sigerson Cups during his time in UCD but it was his first win that he remembers the best. “I was only 17 at the time, we played up in Belfast, which was exciting in itself, as it was a great opportunity to see the city in that era, just after the Second World War.” Carney continued “We beat Queen’s quite well in the semis and went on to beat UCC in the final”. The Mayo native mentions how training for these matches was a lot different when he played. “We used to train once or twice a week in Belfield. We would ride our bikes out, run around and try to develop some strategies. It was self motivated really. We would get together after matches to discuss what happened but it wasn’t as

well organised as later years.” Padraic Gearty who played in the 1950’s describes how in his first Sigerson in 1952, which was played in Belfast, he was positioned at left-half forward. However he was moved into goal some time later. What is important about this is Gearty played in goal in soccer too which was forbidden under Rule 27. Gearty was part of the Longford representatives which helped have the rule, forbidding players to play both sports, abolished in the Belfast Congress in 1971. Gearty sees this as one of the highlights of his career, but it is the Sigerson cup wins in 1953 and 1955 that eclipse all other achievements. “That 1953 team was an incredibly talented bunch – as was the 1955 team”. There has been some heartache throughout the generations of Sigerson games, Pat O’Neill who played in the 1972 competition is a good example of this. “In 1972, we lost by a point in the semi final to a late UCC goal. My recollection is of having a woeful game and getting taken off at half time, which added to the disappointment.” However like all good teams, the UCD players, along with O’Neill bounced back the following year. “1973 was to be our year. We beat Queen’s in the semi-final in a hard grind of a match before finally beating Maynooth in the final in Cork.” As the years passed the love of the Sigerson never faltered but the set up began to change. Seamus Rogers played a big role in this change. Firstly he described how training, though still different to nowadays had still evolved over the years. “We would have to do a 1500m run at full tilt. Then we would have ten 80m sprints, followed by six 200m sprints” This extreme workout helped Rogers and his team to Sigerson Cup glory in 1985. Rogers had a second go at the Cup as a coach when he brought UCD back to the promised land in 1996. It was at the semi-final stage of that competition that has stayed with Rogers over the years. “At half time we were losing by five points and we were in trouble so we moved Trevor Giles from centre-back to centre-forward and brought in Monaghan’s Joe Coyle in to the half back line.

DIT captain Colin Walsh lifts the Sigerson Cup

McManus sums up the importance of the Sigerson to any player who has had the privilege to be involved in the competition. “Sigerson is vital for college life. You only have a limited chance to be involved in it. You have over a decade to play in your county championship but only a small window during your college life to play Sigerson. There was nothing easy about winning any Sigerson match and I never remember any runaway victories.” To play in this competition is a constant challenge, but with the potential honour of lifting the cup players will continue to battle come rain, wind, mud and course work. As players and fans alike now look forward to the 2014 tournament the future for the competition is brighter than ever. In April of this year, Comhairle Ardoideachais (Higher Education Counsel) and the Irish Daily Mail announced the Irish Daily Mail Future Champions Teams of the 2013 Irish Daily Mail Higher Education Championships. This award, similar to the All-Stars Awards, is a great indication of the present and indeed future football talent attending third level institutes. The Sigerson remains a continuous source of talent and skill from the future of the GAA. It is only a matter of time before these players begin to taste success at senior level, if they haven’t already. Will any of these players (below) match the accomplishments of some of the illustrious names that have graced the Sigerson Cup throughout the decades? n

2013 Sigerson Team of the Tournament

Robert Lambert

(DIT/Wicklow) Kevin O’Brien

Bryan Menton

Peter Crowley

(DIT/Dublin)

(DIT/Meath)

(UCC/Kerry)

Colin Walshe

Jonny Cooper

Peter Acheson

(DIT/Monaghan)

(DCU/Dublin)

David Givney

Aidan O’Shea

(DIT/Cavan)

Conor Sweeney

(UCC/Tipperary)

(DIT/Mayo) Kieran Martin

Donal Lenihan

(UCC/Tipperary) (Athlone IT/Westmeath) (IT Blanchardstown/ Jason Doherty (DIT/Mayo)

Michael Murphy (DCU/Donegal)

Meath)

Conor Cox

(UCC/Kerry)


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player stats > ciarán kilkenny D.O.B. 06/07/93 Height: 1.83 m Weight: 76kg

County: Dublin Position: Forward Honours: One Leinster title

Ciarán Kilkenny Ciarán Kilkenny, born on July 6th 1993, is a young sport’s star with many talents. He is a dual player in the GAA, playing both football and hurling for his club Castleknock and for his native county Dublin. Kilkenny’s early Dublin career demonstrated his future potential, with wins in both the Leinster Football and Hurling Minor Championships in 2011. Dublin progressed to the All-Ireland finals in both competitions but lost. Even at this early stage of his career, his commitment and allegiance to the GAA, something that would have a huge impact on his later life, was clear for all to see. Ciarán was called up to the Dublin Under 21 team in 2012. In March of that year he played in the final of the Leinster Under 21 Football Championship against Louth. It was the Dubs who came out on top, winning 1-16 to 0-08. The young star played a major role in his county’s win, scoring a very credible 1-07. This display of skill and talent was nurtured and has matured since his inclusion in the Dublin senior squad. Along with this accomplishment of a Leinster football medal, Ciarán also excelled for the Dublin hurlers. As they progressed through the championship, Kilkenny, an ever present, put points on the scoreboard and helped them to victory. In their first game against Cork, Kilkenny contributed four points as the Dubs secured a 3-11 to 0-14 win against the Munster powerhouse. In the under 21 Hurling Championship, Dublin and Ciarán went all the way and won the All Ireland Final. In a closely contested battle against Connacht champions Roscommon, Dublin finished strong to claim the title. With a late flourish the boys in blue won by 2-12 to 1-11 with Kilkenny notching up four points to assist the Dubs. Since this illustrious start, the name Ciarán Kilkenny has been on many people’s lips tipping him to be one of the next big stars of the game. In 2012 Ciarán was named the ‘Cadbury’s Hero of the Future’, an award given to the top performing under-21 player in the Provincial and All-Ireland Championship each year. The next step for the young player was to progress to the Dublin senior team. In the 2012 campaign Kilkenny made that transition when he came on as substitute for Diarmuid Connolly against Laois in the Leinster Championship. In the All Ireland semi final of that campaign, Kilkenny was handed his first start. Dublin lined up against Mayo. The Dubs were looking to get into their second All Ireland final is as many years. This time round,

Ciarán Kilkenny

though, they came up short. However Kilkenny left his mark on the game by kicking over three points. Before the end of September, 2012, his GAA career nearly came to an abrupt end. Like so many other Irish people, and talented GAA players, Kilkenny headed to the Land of Oz On the 29th of September Kilkenny officially signed with Melbourne based outfit Hawthorn. He did not depart straight away, remaining in Ireland to see out his club season with Castleknock, as far as the semi-final of the Leinster Club Junior Football Championship. Many predicted that he would emulate the likes of Zach Tuohy, Pearce Hanley, Tommy Walsh and become an Aussie Rules star. However life in Australia did not suit the then 19 year old and in early January 2013 news broke that Kilkenny would be returning home. The young star himself revealed why he returned. “Achieving success and realising my potential as a hurler and footballer with my club and county will always be more important to me than any of the benefits to be obtained from professional sport. I’ve come to realise also that although I enjoy the game of Australian Rules football, it could never replace the satisfaction I get from the round ball or a sliotar (hurling ball). Kilkenny continued “Sport has always been something I did for enjoyment and I have found that it’s not something I can do merely because it’s my job. The passion I feel for hurling and football is not transferrable to any other sport and seeing my neighbours and team mates happy when we do well is reward enough.” New Senior Dublin football manager, Jim Gavin, must have allowed himself a quiet smile. Kilkenny announced his return to GAA for the Under 21s when he scored 2-10 against Carlow in midFebruary. With this year’s campaign now fully underway, Kilkenny has decided to focus on football and possibly achieving another All Ireland win for Dublin. However he won’t rule out returning to hurling. In a statement at the beginning of the championship Kilkenny said “I’m going to under-21 hurling training tonight and I’d like to keep the hurling up because I have a great passion for it. I’m going to college next year and I’ll have a bit of down-time and that could be an opportunity to play a bit of hurling and football.” Who knows what sport Ciarán will decide to play next year and for many more years to come. Speaking to RTE earlier this year he said: “When you grow up you dream about winning All-Irelands with your club and county and playing in Croke Park. That’s my goal and it’s what I want to achieve.” One thing is certain, Ciarán Kilkenny has the ability to achieve success in whatever he puts his mind and his considerable skills to. n

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Daire WALSH

Crossmolina deel rovers The evening of Wednesday May 29th was the date for the sixth annual Ryan Lynch Memorial Cup between Crossmolina Deel Rovers and Belmullet, which took place this year in the latter’s home ground. There has always been a healthy rivalry between these two clubs, and their meeting in Tallagh produced some excellent football on what is always a special occasion. It was Belmullet who had the better of the opening half, as their forward line was causing the Crossmolina rearguard a number of difficulties when they broke into their half of the pitch. Gary Boylan, in particular, was in top form, and he contributed two goals (including an expertly-taken penalty) from the half-forward line. Crossmolina did settle into the proceedings towards the end of the half, as a succession of points courtesy of Fionan Duffy, Nicholas Gallagher and Nigel Caden were added to by a fine major from the lively Niall Timoney. Belmullet had been even more clinical in front of goal during the opening 30 minutes of play, however, as further threepointers by Eoin Healy, Matthew Gaughan and Cathal Barrett gave them a commanding 5-4 to 1-7 lead at the mid-way point. A spirited Crossmolina outfit were never going to throw in the towel, though, and they force their way back into the reckoning thanks to a 1-2 salvo from dynamic corner-forward Duffy. Barrett and Boylan did help Belmullet to maintain their superiority with a couple of fine points from play, but with Gallagher, Caden, Gary Hopkins, Tony O’Brien and Martin McAndrew also finding the target for the visitors, their deficit had been dramatically decreased to just two points. At this stage, the trophy was very much up for grabs, and when the excellent Duffy brought parity to the proceedings with another brace of points, Crossmolina started to sense the game was there for the taking. Indeed, the elusive No. 13 had a glorious chance to put his side in front moments after his latest scoring burst, but Belmullet netminder Scott Kilker was equal to his efforts. This proved to be the pivotal moment of the tie, because from the ’45’ that followed Kilker’s excellent save, Belmullet cleared the ball down the pitch, and registered their sixth goal of the night through the effective Healy. The pacey wing-forward added to this major with a fine point from the resulting kick-out (meaning that both him and Boylan finished with a personal tally of 2-2), and with Barrett and Shane McIntyre also raising white flags late on, Belmullet were able to emerge victorious on a 6-10 to 2-15 winning margin. This means that Belmullet and Crossmolina have three wins apiece since the inception of the trophy, which raises anticipation for next year’s meeting. Despite coming off second best in the end, Deel Rovers had a number of fine performers on the day, with Fionan Duffy perhaps being the most notable, as he finished the game as top-scorer with 1-8 from his position at top of the right.

There was heartbreak for the Crossmolina Under 14 side on Tuesday June 4th, as they were eliminated at the semi-final stage of the Mayo Division Four competition in spite of a gallant effort against Ballintubber. Playing on their opponents’ community pitch, a Niall Maughan point got the Deel Rovers account up and running, and they might well have added significantly to the scoreboard in the opening exchanges were it not for the intervention of the woodwork in a couple of instances. Having received something of a lifeline, Ballintubber replied by finally imposing their personality on the play, as two goals from Jamesie Finnerty meant that Crossmolina had to come up with a suitable response of their own. To their credit, this was exactly what they did, and by the 12th minute Ballintubber’s lead had been completely wiped out by majors from Niall Maughan and Sean Canavan (penalty). The game continued to ebb and flow during the opening period, and Crossmolina raised further green flags before the interval courtesy of Eoin McDonnell and Keelan Hegarty, but with Ballintubber also registering three-pointers via the endeavours of Noel Geraghty and Matthew Fox, the hosts took a slender one-point cushion (4-5 to 4-4) into the second half. Despite this deficit, however, Crossmolina felt good about their prospects upon the resumption, and following a 0-3 haul from Maughan and a fifth goal of the game from centre-forward Lorcan Loftus, they had moved into a five point ascendancy. The pressure was now on Ballintubber to force Crossmolina on the back-foot, but they effectively sealed their victory with three goals in quick succession by Fox, Jamie Finnerty and Ciaran Gavin mid-way through the half. Another goal by the impressive Canavan did raise hopes that Crossmolina could stage a dramatic comeback late on, but Ballintubber had just enough in reserve to book their place in the decider. Despite the best efforts of all concerned, Crossmolina ended their Mayo Senior Football Championship campaign for 2013 in disappointing fashion, as they finished third in Group One of the competition, and thus failed to advance to the knock-out stages. They found themselves on the receiving end of a ten-point defeat in their opening day clash with Breaffy on Sunday May 26th, as the Aidan O’Shea-inspired side overcame the 2001 All-Ireland Club Champions on a scoreline of 2-15 to 2-5. This left them desperately needing a win in their second outing against Moy Davitts, but much to the relief of the Deel Rovers faithful, they did just that, and a three-point triumph (1-10 to 0-10) set them up for a crunch final day outing with Castlebar Mitchels on July 6th. Mitchels had comfortably defeated their near rivals Breaffy in their second tie, which meant that Crossmolina had a live chance of advancing beyond the group stages. They certainly produced a spirited performance on the day, but Castlebar were ultimately superior in the end, and a 1-15 to 2-6 success means that they progress to the next stage along with Breaffy. n

TOMMY JORDAN

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looking at portraying the club in a more positive fashion at the moment. We’re putting a program together to run out in the next couple of months of where we plan to bring the club to in the next CROSSMOLINA DEEL ROVERS couple of years. I’d probably be part of that I would imagine.” Jordan has devoted a lot of time to his current role, though, and he April 16th 2001 is a date that will be remembered by all those was able to outline a lot of the work that is done behind the scenes to connected to the Crossmolina Deel Rovers club in Mayo for a long ensure that Crossmolina will continue to thrive in the years to come. time. This was the day that they captured their first (and to date “It takes up a lot of time. Nothing maybe to do with football, but only) All-Ireland Senior Club Football Championship title with a with the running of the club. Planning, financing, etc. We would slender winning margin over Nemo Rangers of Cork in front of their have embarked on a couple of projects. We built a new Sports Hal, vocal travelling supporters at Croke Park. renovated the old dressing rooms and built a new stand terrace. Current Club Chairman, Tommy Jordan, was the manager of “The last 15 years we would have probably spent over €800,000 on Crossmolina for this outstanding triumph, and though he readily developments around St Tiernan’s Park. Just making sure those debts acknowledges the significance of steering his home club towards such are paid off takes up a fair bit of time. There’s a good group of people a monumental achievement, he firmly believes that none of it would helping out doing that, but somebody had to co-ordinate it all. It takes have been possible without the help of a fantastic group of players. a good bit of time.” “That’s as good as it can get for a club. If you can win an All-Ireland However, like any club, Crossmolina have encountered their fair Senior title, it’s a high point. Without a doubt,” Jordan remarks. share of problems in recent years, with emigration having a particular “Regardless of what you achieve as a manager, if you haven’t got effect on the club, as was evident in the recent Connacht SFC Final players that are capable of doing it, regardless of what sort of manager between Mayo and London. you are, you won’t do it. We were very fortunate that in Crossmolina “It has (had an effect). Even in the Connacht Final, Sean Kelly, who we had an exceptional bunch of players there for ten years. If you came on for London, would have played with the club. It has don’t have players, you won’t achieve or win anything really. taken a lot of lads away. We’re no different than any That’s the bottom line.” other club. Maybe not as bad as some, but when One of the outstanding players from this team was you start going through the list you come up centre-forward Kieran McDonald, who is regarded as with six or seven, very quickly of the lads who one of the most naturally gifted players ever to don are no longer with us because they’ve had to go the green and red of Mayo. However, aside from elsewhere for work.” the mercurial McDonald, they also had a whole host of present and future county stars, including Having won six Mayo Senior titles between James Nallen, Tom Nallen, Peadar Gardiner and the years 1995 and 2006, as well as three Michael Moyles, who Jordan always felt were the Connacht Championships in the same period, perfect foil for the talismanic leader of their the Crossmolina Seniors currently find attack. themselves undergoing a transition. “Kieran had a pivotal role in that particular Yet, with the strong emphasis on team. I suppose, not to take anything from their Bord na nOg section, and a Kieran’s ability and the influence he would number of young players starting have had, but he was often fortunate that to feature at inter-county level, he had an awful lot of good footballers the future does look bright for around him at that time. It gave him an Crossmolina Deel Rovers. opportunity to show what he could do “Our Bord na nOg is when he had good players around him. “We were fortunate at that time that particularly strong. We’re very we had a lot of exceptional players. fortunate that we’ve a strong You had Kieran, you had Jimmy Nallen, group of workers at the moment, the likes of Barry Heffernan in goal, Tom led by the chairman Michael Nallen. You could name every one of them. Hegarty.” They were all exceptional lads.” “Cathal (Carolan) is on Following his time at the helm of the the (Mayo) senior squad at Crossmolina seniors, Jordan had a brief the moment. He made the stint as Sligo manager in 2008, but the past breakthrough last year, and we’ve few years have seen him assume the role of three lads that are involved with Chairman, with tremendous distinction. He the Mayo minor team that won is almost to the end of his period in this role, the Connacht title. We have Conor but having been involved with the club since a Loftus, we have Hugh Cafferty and very young age, he is likely to take up a different position within Deel Rovers. Fionan Duffy. From that point of view, “I’ve been a part of the club since I was able to it’s encouraging to see these young play underage football. I have played with the club lads coming through, and it’s very and continued on to be involved with the club. I was encouraging for the future of the club away for a number of years working. When I came to see those fellas coming through,” back home, I got involved again. I’m chairman now. Jordan adds. I’ve four years done as chairman. So, I’ll be finished Certainly, the structures appear to be in November. I’ll have my five years done and I’ll be All Ireland Club Hurling in place in Crossmolina at present, and handing over to someone else,” Jordan explains. Final Crossmolina this can only benefit the club in the “I definitely won’t be walking away. I’ll be staying Crossmolina Captain Tom long run. n involved. As regards what role, I’m not sure. We’re Nallen with the trophy

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Daire WALSH

Liam hackett

Moycarkey-Borris

MoycarkeyBorris

Moycarkey-Borris GAA, founded in 1884, is located in North Tipperary. While centred on the village of Littleton it also includes the areas of Two-Mile-Borris, Horse and Jockey and Moycarkey . This club is involved in both hurling and football with teams at senior, intermediate, junior and all underage levels. Although Moycarkey-Borris were relegated in 2003 to playing hurling at intermediate level, they succeeded in winning the mid intermediate final twice in 2005 and 2007 but lost the county final 3 years in a row. In 2008 Moycarkey Borris were back playing senior hurling and in 2009 they participated in the All Ireland Seven -a -side championship played in Dublin. They went on to defeat fellow Tipperary club Kilruane MacDonaghs in the All Ireland final decider to claim the title for the first and only time in their club’s history. The Tipperary Senior Hurling Championship is an annual competition comprising of the top hurling clubs in the county. The winner qualifies to represent Tipperary in the Munster Senior Club Hurling Championship, the winner of which progresses to the All-Ireland Senior Club Hurling Championship. Moycarkey-Borris are third on the Roll of Honour list, although they have not won it since 1984. Thurles Sarsfields, the present holders, have won this competition 32 times while Toomevarra have won it 22 times. In this year’s competition Moycarkey-Borris defeated Portroe by 1-14 to 1-12 in Round 2. There were other consequences apart from defeat or victory and this showed in the hard-hitting exchanges. This encounter also showed the mindset of the Moycarkey players that after losing at this stage of the Championship for the past 5 seasons, there was a determination that this year would be different. The most important long-term benefit is that Moycarkey-Borris will take part in the Senior A Championship next year while Portroe will take part in Senior B. This victory was needed for the Moycarkey-Borris faithful given the club’s poor record in knockout games since returning to the Senior ranks in 2008. On 4th August they will face Roscrea in round 3 at Templemore. A number of players still carrying injuries including Captain Kevin Moran, Conor Hayes, Pat Ralph and Anthony Healy. In Football the club’s recent biggest success was the winning of the county intermediate football championship in 2012 for the first time in 32 years. The team captained by Daniel Kirby won both mid and county titles defeating Upperchurch Drombane in both finals. The club completed a historic four in a row mid titles in Junior “A” football from 2007 to 2010 and also won two junior “B” mid football titles in 2010 and 2012. At underage level the club claimed mid football titles with Under 21 “B” in 2002 and 2007 and minor “B” in 2003.

However Moycarkey-Borris lost to Kilsheelan-Kilcash by 2-13 to 0-6 in the Tipperary Senior Football Championship on Saturday July 20th at New Inn. The final league game will against Mullinahone is on Saturday August 10th at 7.30pm in Fethard. The result of this fixture will decide the final placings in the group for the knockout stages of the championship. The Moycarkey Borris U14 team won the Conor Kennedy memorial tournament on July 20th . They defeated Clonoulty and Moyne Templetuohy in the group stages. Their progression led to the defeat of a very skilful Mallow side in what was a terrific final .The team was led by Philip Ryan who was outstanding throughout the tournament and also received the player of the tournament award. The Moycarkey Under 14 football team took part in a competition held in Waterford on July 13th. Some solid performances from players like Anthony McKelvey, in goals, and Jack Hackett. McKelvey helped the team progress through the competition disposing of the Cork and Clare contingent. In the final a strong Kerry team were too much for them on the day and they lost out on the cup. As of the date this publication went to print Moycarkey-Borris had suffered two defeats losing to JK Brackens by 5-24 to 3-13 on July 18th and to Kilsheelan-Kilcash by 2-13 to 0-6 on July 20th. In addition to this, Moycarkey-Borris contested Thurles Credit Union Mid Tipperary Minor A Hurling Championship games against HolycrossBallycahill in Holycross on 24th of July and Thurles Sarsfields on the 31st of July. There has also been plenty of activity on the sporting field. The club have installed a defibrillator. Training courses on how to use it will take place in the coming weeks. The club have asked that a selector from each group both adult and juvenile level participate in this training. Preparations are also taking place for this year’s Funday. The Moycarkey Borris GAA Club Fundraising Lotto draws which run on a weekly basis play a huge part in the Club’s fundraising efforts. Members can now offer their support by playing online. In fact, they can enter their lines of numbers for up to a year, in one go, so that they need never miss a draw again. Those who play online will receive the Lotto results and club news updates by email after each draw has taken place. n

Moycarkey Borris Pat Ralph

People say that success often breeds more success and that is definitely true in the case of Moycarkey-Borris chairman Liam Hackett. Throughout his time as a player and afterwards as a selector success has followed Hackett. In true modest fashion he will not take the credit for any of it. “I was lucky to be in the right place at the right time,” he admits. “I have played for the club since Under 12 level and throughout that age group as well as Under 14 and 16, we won championships.” This was not enough for the young star as the team also reached a divisional final when playing at minor level. Hackett mentions that it was all about stability as the team that made it to all of these finals consisted of the same panel of players. “During the 1980’s we also had success as we reached finals in Munster in 1982 and again in 1984, we also reached an intermediate final in 1985.” This is impressive by any player’s standard and when his career on the field came to an end, the chairman describes how he moved into management and also became a selector for the club. It was while he was in this position, while achieving success with the teams he managed that he also became involved in the administration side of proceedings. “While you are in these roles, you get asked to one or two meetings and it just goes from there. I was never one for going to meetings originally, there was never much progress made,” admits Hackett. However progress began to build and two years ago Liam Hackett was elected chairman of the club and he has not looked back since. “The job becomes more straight forward and effective with the correct people around you. When the right people are brought into administrative roles and as selectors the club runs a lot better” In his administrative role Hackett has helped bring success back to the club, which he admits had some empty trophy cabinets for some time. Again he passes on the credit to others involved in the club. “We have around 170 juveniles in the club at the moment and a very good youth system in place with the coaches and selectors in that grade” It is with this youth system in place that Moycarkey-Borris are starting to once again reap the rewards as Hackett and his team mates did back when he was playing at under age level. The system is bringing success across the board. Firstly the club

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has grown and developed to allow for a senior football panel to be part of the club, materialising from the intermediate team that was already in place. “This is the first team at this level we have had since the 1980’s.” The Tipperary club has also begun to see success on the pitch since the current chairman took up his position. “Last year alone we reached three county finals” a clearly proud and delighted Hackett tells Club GAA. “We lost two of them but won one which was a big success for the club,” something which they hope to build on this year. Moycarkey-Borris could move into the top 12 teams in the near future should success continue on the field. This is only the start of the success the club is aiming to achieve. “I would love to see us win a Senior Hurling county final” admits Hackett, not moving far from his playing roots. “As a club we would also like to get more of our players on the Tipperary senior squad, we have one player at intermediate level at the moment. “It would be very good for the club itself if more of our players were selected, so that is something we are looking towards.” This potential success will not come easy to a side that faces constant challenges from a decline in the numbers of players and necessary funding available. Hackett admits that “we have lost a few players because of work commitments. Some players have jobs in Dublin and Cork and are just not able to commit fully to the team” Not that the chairman blames the players “the fixtures for the games are not released at the start of the year. Therefore players are unable to plan work or trips away around the games. This is not fair on them either.” The club is also constantly on the lookout for more funding. Although the chairman admits they are financially stable, gathering funding has still been one of his greatest challenges while in the position. “We hold several events such as the scrap metal day, the golden goal competition and the weekly lotto which are all helpful sources. “There is also the County Board draw and the monthly draw which has been going for over 25 years.” The club has approximately 600 members, which give a wide base for funding but like most other companies and organisations the need is also greater than what is available. Liam Hackett has had the club in his heart for many years and the success is once again sure to follow him and those around him that help the club to keep moving forward. Those trophy shelves will not be empty much longer I am sure. n

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JOHN-JOE CASSIDY ST MARY’S, BURREN

ST MARY’S BURREN

The St Mary’s Burren GAA club in Down had a day to remember at Celtic Park on the afternoon of Sunday June 30th, as they were crowned All-Ireland Feile Peil na nOg champions with a narrow victory over Ulster rivals O’Donovan Rossa in the Division Two decider played in Celtic Park at the end of a cracking weekend of action.

With the prestigious competition taking place in their own province, Burren entered the tournament hoping to make a real impact. However they didn’t have it all their own way in the early stages of their opening game, but having developed a 0-5 to 0-2 lead at the mid-way stage, they settled firmly into their stride in the second period, when goals from Sean O’Connor and Aaron Laverty helped them to cruise towards a 2-13 to 0-5 triumph. They returned to the field of play the following morning, though, when they were welcomed to Pairc Naomh Phadraig by The Loup, a popular GAA club near the western shore of Lough Neagh. This was a potentially tricky encounter for Burren because of the enthusiastic support that the home team attracted, but a comprehensive 7-11 to 0-5 success set-up a crunch final group tie against St Eunan’s, Letterkenny. Burren’s composure and determination was commendable during the game, however, and with captain Liam Kerr and Thomas Travers both raising green flags, Burren made it three wins from three on a score line of 2-10 to 1-5. South Derry and Slaughtneil was the next port of call for Burren on the Saturday afternoon, when Moortown of Tyrone were their opponents at the penultimate stage of the grade. This was a potentially nervy situation for all involved with the Burren side, but they took to their challenge in impressive fashion, and had effectively booked their place in the final by half-time. A 3-5 to 0-3 lead gave them an ultimately insurmountable cushion, and although Moortown caused them some difficulty upon the resumption, they still had 11 points to spare (3-7 to 0-5) at the end of the outing. This understandably meant that they were favourites to emerge victorious in many people’s eyes, but having suffered a heartbreaking defeat to New York at the same stage in 2012, Burren were hell-bent on going a step further this year. However, they struggled to find a firm footing in the game early on. However thanks to a brilliant team performance Burren had a four-point hold (3-4 to 2-3) over O’Donovan Rossa by the time the final whistle was sounded, and after a series of magnificent performances throughout the competition, skipper Liam Kerr received The Frank King Cup from GAA President Liam O’Neill, much to the delight of the travelling Mary’s supporters. n

The St Mary’s club from the village and townland of Burren in County Down is one with a great tradition that is maintained to this very day. The 1980s was a particularly successful period for the club, as they were Ulster Senior Football Champions on five different occasions (1983-85 & 1987-88) on top of winning six consecutive county titles, a truly magnificent achievement.

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They were also crowned All-Ireland Senior Club Football Champions in 1986 and 1988 on St Patrick’s Day in Croke Park, and with Burren native James McCartan (a two-time All-Ireland winner at inter-county level) currently in charge of the Down Senior Team, it continues to be a very prominent club in 2013. Present Club Chairman, John-Joe Cassidy, originally hails from the Slaughtneil club in Derry, but has been living in the Burren for a number of years, and has had a major involvement in the running of the club since his arrival.

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“I’m what you’d class as a “blow-in”. I’m only living in the Burren 12, 13 years. I’m relatively new to the whole area. I’m Chairman at the minute. I was Secretary for four or five years. I’d have taken youth teams for ten years before that. I was also involved with Slaughtneil in Derry (before then),” Cassidy states. From a financial standpoint, Cassidy feels that Burren are in a healthy situation at the minute, but that the club are constantly focused on investing any money they make back into the club. “Basically, we’re the same as every other small, rural club. We’re doing okay, but we’re expanding this year. We’ve re-invested in our field. Re-surfaced the main playing surface. There’s a proposal for addition floodlighting.

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Cassidy is acutely aware of the need to have a strong underage system, and although their honours list at youth levels isn’t extensive, he believes that players can still reap plenty of benefits in their formative years. “Underage is a massive focus. It has been for a long time within the club. We haven’t won that many Down Championships. The Under 14s won the Down Championship, I think, last year. This year the Under 14s won Division Two of the Feile. We have the inaugural Ulster Under-21 Club Championship up in Creggan, run in memory of Paddy McClernon. We won the inaugural one four years ago, and we followed it up with a back-to-back success.” With Cassidy currently enjoying his first year as Chairman, he can’t afford to look too far ahead. He does, however, see a role for himself beyond the current one, and that he will remain in Burren for the foreseeable future. “(It’s my) inaugural year. So, it could be my last or I could be here for another two years! It all depends on an AGM in the back end. No matter where you are from, GAA is in the heart, and it’s more than just a game. It’s a way of life. It’s the oxygen that makes you breathe sometimes.

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With such a strong set-up at adult and juvenile levels, and plenty of dedicated people working behind the scenes, there is no reason that St Mary’s, Burren can’t continue to be successful, on and off the pitch. n

Live. Learn.


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Daire WALSH

Kevin Foley

Structures and Administration.

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Underage games development.

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The clubs attempts under their new strategic plan to help develop not just the skills of the players in events like the summer camps but to also integrate the club into the community were shown when they held their Family Fun Day on the 29th of June.

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While the Mini All Irelands in both camogie and ladies football were held recently. The event featured over 200 girls playing Camogie and about 240 playing Ladies Football. The finals night took place on the Friday the 7th of June. Each group of matches was preceded by a piper leading the teams onto the pitches. After the games, there were medal ceremonies. The event also acted as a launch for the new club sponsor WEEE Ireland. Many of the players and parents were in attendance for the unveiling.

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Kilmacud Crokes under 6 team represented the club well in the recent Mini All Ireland competition. The event which was held in Glenalbyn was eventually won by a team from Galway.

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The programme is being carried out by club hurling coach Niall Corcoran, and John Mulroy. John is a current League of Ireland player with Bray Wanderers and has just finished a Sports Science Degree with DCU. To be included on the programme please submit your name to Niall Corcoran (email niall.corcoran.gpo.dublin@gaa.ie) or alternatively contact the age group co-ordinator. The cost of the program is €20.

One of the clubs U12 boys was diagnosed with Long QT syndrome (LQTS) which is a rare inborn heart condition in which delayed repolarisation of the heart following a heartbeat increases the risk of episodes of irregular heartbeat.

“There are seven themes to the new plan” the chairman tells Club GAA.

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The programme is also aimed at educating the clubs young players in the areas of athletic development & healthy lifestyle. In the athletic development sessions the emphasis will be mainly focused towards injury prevention. Players will be functionally assessed and will be given exercise programs that will correct any movement deficiencies or areas of weakness that might show up from the initial assessment. Players will also be taught proper lifting techniques which is also key to injury prevention.

It has become all too common in sports in recent years for players to suffer from sudden death syndrome. Kilmacud Crokes had 1st hand exposure to this last year, when one their young players got into difficulty. Thankfully this time the outcome was a positive one, but it did spur the club into taking action to improving their capabilities in this area. Because of this the club invested in a defibrillator.

Foley and Kilmacud Crokes have begun their 12 month strategic plan along with Croke Park to help the club development. “It is the aim of the plan to help the club development both structurally and also in the community” the chairman told Club GAA. “We hope to develop the facilities that we have for our teams to play and train on. We also would like to build on our community involvement and bring in more coaches for the teams.

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The curriculum is aimed at developing our players in areas such as lifestyle and nutrition, hurling skills acquisition & athletic development. . Participants will get a chance to work and develop their speed & running technique, while also developing their hurling skills to a high level. Included will be guest sessions from some of the current Dublin Senior Hurling players.

Kilmacud Crokes have also developed quiet the presence on the inter county scene with club star Paul Mannion recently participating in the Leinster Senior Football final where he helped the Dubs to a win over rivals Meath for their 52nd Leinster title and their eight in nine years. The club recently spoke on what a positive presence Mannion is around the club helping out at all levels of training and speaking to the younger players.

“I lined out at corner back but throughout my years of playing I never once picked up a medal,” admits Foley, but the new chairman, much like the club itself, does not believe in looking back on the past, instead they are building toward a big future for the club.

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The Hurling Coaching & Games Youth Committee announced last month that the clubs Summer’s Coaching Development Programme for the youth players (U13 - U18) commence on the 25th of June. The programme is ongoing as it is planned to run for six weeks. Players will be required to attend sessions three mornings in the week.

There were multiple stands for cake sales and stalls where people could meet and greet. A selection of Dublin players, senior club members and even actors from hit television program Love/Hate were in attendance.

Kevin Foley has always been involved with his beloved club but he admits that he did not gain much glory as a player in his youth.

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Under the most tragic of circumstances Kevin Foley has stepped into the role as chairman of one of Dublin’s top clubs, Kilmacud Crokes. Following the death of former Kilmacud Crokes Chairman Tom Murphy, Foley has gone straight to work on bringing the club forward and helping them develop the new strategic plan.

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Sunday | Monday | Thursday - €3.50 drinks! Tel: 01 830 6606Night • www.mcgowans.ie Tuesday - Ladies with €5 Cocktails! Wednesday | Friday | Saturday - Late bar & DJ

Following this event members led by Coiste committee led by Eamonn O’ Flynn got together to use this event as a catalyst to improve the Kilmacud Crokes understanding of such conditions and ensure in future they are better prepared to respond to potential reoccurrences. The club ran an information night on the impact of sudden death syndrome in youth. Dr Deirdre Ward, Cardiologist from CRY centre presented the event. Seaghan Kearney from St Oliver Plunkett also attended and spoke. He had suffered a sudden cardiac arrest and only for the availability of a defibrillator would not have survived. He has done a lot since to promote their use in clubs. He coined the acronym ACT - Accessible, Charged and Trained pertaining to defibrillators.

Tel: 01 830 6606 • www.mcgowans.ie

The evening drew a large number of mentors and parents to attend. The club helped set up training courses. Coiste have now trained 16 mentors in CPR and Defibrillator usage. More courses are to follow. n

Kilkenny’s Walter Walsh and Niall Corcoran of Dublin

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As a direct member of the clubs executive committee Kevin Foley is front and centre on many of the matters the club has to deal with in accordance with the new plan. He is part of the governance of the club with decisions relating to members subscriptions, budgets, leasing with all areas of the club, managing any disciplinary actions and also appointing a Child Welfare officer. When Foley spoke to Club GAA he told us that “there are over 2000 members in the club and each weekend we have nursery activities where 100’s of children attend.” Paramount to Foley is both the importance of managing these events in a financially successful manner so they can continue to grow in the community and ensuring the children’s safety with the Welfare Officer in place. However he is quick to mention all the help he gets week in and week out from others involved in the club. “We have a very good integrated coaching scheme (something they hope to build on with the new strategic plan) in place. We have players such as Niall Corcoran and Paraic McDonald who come in to help train players in all age groups.” The club also has summer camps for children and the very successful Mini All Ireland for players under the age of ten. “These events help the community to become integrated in the club and we also aim to have the families present and involved in the games. “It is the aim of the club to build up unity in the community and in turn help the support of the club to grow throughout all age groups and across football, hurling, camogie and ladies football.”

It is because of this, that for Kevin and the club, the underage development is only part of the plan he hopes to help implement. The club is currently looking to overhaul many aspects of the set up. “We are in the process of developing both camogie and ladies football at the minute” says the clubs chairman. in the hope that the club can get the numbers of participants to grow over the next twelve months.

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The benefits of these plans are already starting to pay dividends as two ladies from the Kilmacud set up are not regular fixtures on the Dublin minor team. “We are very proud of the fact that Molly Lamb is now the captain of the team” admits a delighted Foley. As for the other teams participating throughout the ranks in Kilmacud Crokes, the chairman is pleased with the progress of the club. “We became the Senior Hurling champions last year which was great for the club, we are hoping to move on and build from that in the coming year”. For a man who was put into the position in the most heart breaking of circumstances Kevin Foley is helping to bring some joy back to the club. With their strategic plan in place it looks like there will be many great days ahead for Kilmacud Crokes.

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You can read the clubs strategic plan here www. kilmacudcrokes-hurling.com/sites/default/files/pdfupload/2013/KC_Strategic_Plan_2103_v2.pdf or keep up to date on the clubs coming and goings on www.kilmacudcrokes. com. n

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CLUB ROUND-UP

Daire WALSH

2013 so far has been a year to remember for the Claregalway Under 14 team, as it has seen them not only crowned as the county Under 14 League Champions, but also as the victors of the All-Ireland Feile Peil na nOg, which was held in the city of Derry at the end of June. This is testament to the work that is being done by manager John Kilmartin and his large team of selectors, who are in charge of a very special squad of players. They had gotten the ball rolling with a victory over close rivals Salthill/Knocknacarra in the Galway Feile Final, and having defeated the same opposition in the Division 1A League, they moved onto their county decider against Moycullen at Pearse Stadium on Wednesday May 22nd in a confident manner. However, their counterparts on the day had also impressed in their semi-final triumph over Corofin, and Claregalway knew that they would need to produce a powerful display if they were to emerge victorious. Claregalway did have a slight breeze at their disposal, but for whatever reason, the Moycullen challenge failed to materialise during the opening period, and thanks to fine individual majors courtesy of Oisin Connolly, Aaron Connolly and Padraic Cummins, they held an extraordinary 4-8 to 0-0 lead at the mid-way stage. It was a major surprise to find The Rabid Greyhounds so far ahead of Moycullen at a relatively early point in the contest, but given the half-back dominance of Matthew Kilgannon, Sean Kilmartin and Luke Roache – who were moving the ball quickly in the opposition ‘45’ – it seemed inevitable that their lethal forward division would make such an impact. Moycullen didn’t become a bad team overnight, however, and having made a number of changes to their side during the break, they cut the deficit significantly with a brace of majors during the third-quarter.

This was an historic achievement by Claregalway, as it was the first time in the club’s history that they won the National Feile Peil na nOg, while it was also the fifth time that a team from Galway won the trophy, as both Corofin and Salthill/Knocknacarra have two wins apiece to their name.

WESTERN GAELS

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up perfectly ahead of the National Feile in the Oak Leaf county, and given the past achievements of Galway clubs in this competition, they certainly fancied their chances a making a real impact in this high-profile event. Upon their arrival, Claregalway were hosted by the Lavey club, who were their opponents in the opening group game on the evening of Friday June 28th. They had 11 points to spare (1-13 to 0-5) on this occasion, and they followed this display with equally comprehensive triumphs over Magherafelt (4-10 to 2-6) and St Paul’s, Laois (7-7 to 1-2) the following day. They were identified as a formidable outfit as a result of these victories, but a completely different challenge was anticipated ahead of their semi-final against a much-fancied Ballyboden St Enda’s. A 1-2 to 0-1 interval lead presented the Tribesmen with a promising platform, but with the wind favouring the Dubliners in the second period, plenty of hard work and endeavour was required. They rose to the occasion, though, and having outscored Ballyboden by a point after the restart, they moved on to the Division One Final thanks to a well-deserved 2-5 to 1-3 success. Reaching the final was a fine feat in itself, and even though Derry champions Bellaghy had reason to feel that they could secure the silverware in their own county grounds (Celtic Park), momentum was certainly on Claregalway’s side. There were certainly no signs of nerves during the opening quarter, and following well-taken points by Oisin Connolly, Padraic Cummins and corner-forward Aaron Connolly, as well as a supremely crafted team goal by Keelan Grainger, they held a 1-3 to 0-1 advantage with just 11 minutes gone on the clock. Though it was still in the early stages of the action, there was a sense that Claregalway could start to pull away from their Ulster counterparts, and following further majors by Aaron Connolly and Grainger, they had built up an 11-point cushion (3-4 to 0-2) by the mid-way point.

Yet, Claregalway also had some fine options off the bench in the shape of Daniel Loftus, Mark King and Eoghan Gallagher, who ensured that their side remained in the ascendancy for the duration of the tie. Another substitute, Shane O’Gorman, also had a fine impact with a terrific point from play, and with Ronan McDonagh providing a powerful presence on the edge of the square, Claregalway were able to hold out for a 15-point victory (5-12 to 2-6).

With the elements on Bellaghy’s side in the second half, there was still an outside chance that Claregalway could be denied their victory, and indeed it was Bellaghy and Damien Gallagher who got the scoring underway upon the resumption. Claregalway were simply in no mood to be denied the win they so badly craved, however, and the superb Grainger registered his hat-trick with 17 minutes left to play following excellent approach play by Oisin Connolly, Padraic Cummins and Conor Walsh.

Their outstanding skipper, Matthew Kilgannon, was on hand to accept the Padraig Dandy Kelly Cup (named after the popular former Galway footballer), and thanked the Coiste Peil na nOg, the referee, his mentors, all the supporters that travelled, as well as Moycullen, who provided a very sporting game on the day. This set them

This offered Claregalway a great deal of breathing space during the final stages, and with Barry Callanan and Matthew Kilgannon keeping a tight rein on the Bellaghy attack, their loyal travelling supporters were able to relax. Peter McErlane did finish coolly to the back of the net late on, but it proved to be too late in the day for Bellaghy, as Claregalway sealed a hard-earned 4-5 to 1-6 success.

Saturday June 29th was a special night for all involved with both Western Gaels and Ballaghaderreen GAA, as the two clubs came together for a joint Strictly Come Dancing club fundraiser in St Nathy’s Hall. Given the close proximity of the both clubs (the stories of Ballaghaderreen’s links to both Mayo and Roscommon GAA are legendary at this stage) it seemed apt that the two sides would come together for such an event. Tickets for this occasion had been on general sale for quite a while, and aside from the committee members in both clubs selling tickets to their members, retail outlets in the areas of Tibohine, Frenchpark, Fairymount and Ballaghaderreen were also acting as a point of sale. Tickets came at a cost of €20 each, but not only did it offer you admittance to the Hall, it also offered you free entry into the night’s monster raffle, which a series of great prizes on offer. Aside from the dancers, there were also a number of supporting performers on show, while there was also a disco and late bar following the dancing show. However, the main attraction of the evening were the dancers, and with nine couples in total participating, it promised to be an unforgettable date for all concerned. Each dancer had produced a huge effort during the preshow preparation, and over a ten week period, they developed and honed their skills to a fine art. There were a number of fine dancers on display, but ultimately it was Seamus Beirne and Marie Hannon who ended the night as the winning couple, having garnered enough votes from both the audience and judges. It was difficult to pick a winner on such a fine evening, as all those who competed impressed in their own unique way. The judging panel of Patsy, Maureen and Willie did an excellent job throughout the night, though, and Angelina performed her job as MC quite superbly. Jimmy Flynn also excelled in an organising role during the ten week training period, and the St Nathy’s College in Ballaghaderreen proved to be fine hosts on the day. The various teams in Western Gaels have had contrasting fortunes during the month of July, with many of them now having a greater sense of where they stand in 2013. The Intermediate Team have had an eventful July, although they did have to wait until the middle of the month to play their re-fixed Roscommon Junior ‘A’ Championship against St Michael’s ‘B’. Playing in a very warm Cootehall on the afternoon of Sunday July 14th, Western Gaels were certainly the pre-game favourites, and though Michael’s caused them some problems at certain junctures of play, Western Gaels ultimately had too much in reserve, and they recorded a comprehensive 0-16 to 1-6 triumph in the end. Noel Higgins was top scorer on the day for Western Gaels with 0-6 to his name (0-3 of which came from placed balls), and he will be vital towards their cause in the future rounds of this year’s Championship. He will also have a crucial role to play for the Gaels during the John Corcoran Menswear sponsored Division Two Football League, which is perhaps more commonly known as the O’Gara Cup. There are also some busy times ahead for the Western Gaels underage football sides, as they negotiate their way through their respective competitions. n

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past few years, Kelly was a vital member of the Kilkenny CBS team that reached this year’s All-Ireland Colleges Hurling decider. His excellent form with his school led to his inclusion on this year’s Kilkenny minor team, for whom he has featured in the centre-forward position. However, his summer was cruelly cut short with just eight minutes gone in the recent Leinster Final against Laois when he fell awkwardly on his ankle, which was later revealed to be broken. His absence will be felt at both club and inter-county level, and we wish him a speedy recovery from this latest set-back.

TINRYLAND At the time of writing, they were due to face Conahy in the semi-final of this league grade, and though it will be difficult to replicate the outstanding performance against James Stephens, they will feel confident that they can build on this victory, as well as continuing to improve in the months and years that follow. They weren’t the only O’Loughlins underage team to impress during the month of July either, as the Under 16 team made it seven wins from seven in their respective league with a commanding 5-11 to 0-13 success in Larchfield on Saturday July 13th. They are well on course to progress to the League Final in their grade, and with the Under 14 A team also featuring in a recent league showcase, it is clear that there are good underage structures in place at St John’s Park.

Mark Bergin, O’Loughlin Gales, in action against Martin Scullion, Loughgiel Shamrocks. AIB GAA Hurling All-Ireland Senior Club Championship Semi-Final

O’LOUGHLING GAELS The O’Loughlin Gaels Under 14 B side qualified for the league semifinal in some style during mid-July, as they overcame the strong challenge of near neighbours James Stephens after extra-time with a total of 11 points to spare (7-16 to 4-14). Much like the rest of the country, Kilkenny was caught up in a heat wave, and the players from these two city rivals had to deal with extraordinary temperatures of 28 degrees throughout this contest. As a result, it was no surprise that the many water boys on both teams were active during the course of this Duggan Steel U14 Hurling League Roinn C encounter, as it was vital that players remained hydrated in the ferociously warm conditions. For much of the two periods of normal time, O’Loughlins had a slight edge over their opponents, but thanks to well-taken goals by James Stephens, the sides were on level terms by the end of the initial 60 minutes of play. The final outcome was extremely hard to predict before extra-time had gotten underway, but James Stephens did take a slight edge into the second half of the additional period, before a terrific scoring blitz by O’Loughlins helped them to secure their place in the penultimate stage of the competition. It was a tremendous effort by all the panel members on the day, and some fine individual displays by Tom Gormley, Fiachra O’Callaghan, Jay Meagher and David McCormack were vital towards their cause.

The beginning of the month also saw a very important event being launched that is set to provide a major boost to the city of Kilkenny, as well as to O’Loughlin Gaels itself. The Cat Run will take place on Saturday September 7th at 10am, and is being organised in the hope of raising enough funds for The Friends of St Luke’s Hospital, Kilkenny, who are hoping to buy a new CAT scan machine and O’Loughlin Gaels GAA Club. With Tony Teehan of The Friends of St Luke’s and O’Loughlin Gaels Chairman Eddie Buckley in attendance, the Cat Run road race was officially launched in the EUROSPAR in Newpark Shopping Centre. The store are the sponsors of the event, and TV fitness guru Karl Henry, as well as a local residents and potential runners, were on hand to launch the race itself. The Cat Run will be a Half Marathon over the famous old Johnswell course, but a 10k race will be held simultaneously, along with a 5k fun run/walk for more relaxed participants. A full morning of entertainment will also be held in O’Loughlin Gaels on the morning of the race, and those who are looking for further information on the event can check on-line at www.thecatrun.com. There was some good news in O’Loughlin Gaels recently, as it was revealed that dedicated club member Paddy Greene was making fine progress on his road to recovery following a major heart attack. Via the club’s website, Paddy has expressed his gratitude to the many wellwishers within the club, but most of all his wife Pauline, who recently attended a first aid course and has been certified by Premier First Aid as a result.

The journey to Dr Cullen Park on Sunday June 30th ultimately ended in disappointment for Tinryland, as they came off second best to their long-standing rivals Old Leighlin in the semi-final of the 2013 Senior Football League. It was a closely-fought encounter for the most part, but Old Leighlin ultimately came out on top with just two points to spare (2-7 to 0-11). Midfielder David Bambrick had gotten the scoring underway for Old Leighlin five minutes into the contest, but Glen Doyle was on hand to cancel out their slender advantage with a magnificent point of his own. However, with wind advantage at their disposal, Old Leighlin were looking to apply pressure of the Tinryland defence, and they eventually forced their opponents into the concession of a penalty after ten minutes of play. The penalty by Seamus Kinsella came crashing off Darren Murphy’s crossbar, but Willie Minchin was on hand to finish to the net from the subsequent rebound. This was a major blow to Tinryland’s hopes of success, and when half-back David Dowling increased Old Leighlin’s lead a couple of minutes later, things were starting to look quite ominous for the south Carlow men. They soon received a lifeline, however, as the previously influential Bambrick was given a straight red card for lashing out at an opponent right in front of the referee. This should have provided the catalyst for Tinryland to make a big push for the remainder of the half, but instead it was the team with the numerical disadvantage that produced the greater response. Further scores from Seamus Kinsella (two) and Hughie Gahan increased their cushion to seven, before Jeff Sutton finally brought an end to Tinryland’s scoring drought with a 23rd minute point.

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bare minimum moving into the final ten minutes of play. It was at this point that Old Leighlin pounced for the game’s deciding score, though, as rampaging defender John Hayden found space in behind the Tinryland cover to apply the finishing touches to a long delivery. This left Tinryland with too much to do in the closing stages of the contest, and although Cathal O’Toole and Doyle points kept them in touch, it was Old Leighlin who were the victors on the day. Tinryland recorded their second straight victory in the 2013 Carlow MFC on Monday July 1st, when they overcame Michael Davitts with relative ease. However, they were made to work during the early stages of this game, and it was actually Davitts who opened the scoring thanks to a fine point by corner-forward Darragh McNally after two minutes. Inevitably, Tinryland did open their account five minutes later, when Michael Calvey calmly slotted to the net after an initial effort from Ciaran Townsend had been saved, but Davitts were soon back on level terms with points from Niall O’Reilly and Hugo Ashmore. Indeed, O’Reilly’s second of the contest edged them back into the lead, but Tinryland finished the half strongly, as white flag efforts from Conall O Se and Luke Nolan left them with two points to spare (1-3 to 0-4) during the break. The victory was far from being secured, though, and the Tinryland management took decisive action to ensure that they remained in control, with Conor O’Toole, Fiach Byrne and Dermot McGuill all being introduced into the proceedings. Davitts once again opened the half with a score, but any chance they had of pulling off a shock result soon disappeared when points from O Se (two) and Andrew Hanly, supplemented by a major from Townsend, moved them seven points to the good 42 minutes into the action. Tinryland, and Townsend in particular, were starting to ooze confidence, and the corner forward put the seal on his side’s triumph with his second three-pointer of the contest. Further points from Townsend, Owen O’Gorman, Kuba Debosch, Shane Webb and substitute Diarmaid Walsh gave Tinryland an unassailable 15-point cushion, and though Davitts did their best to try and address the slide, their vastly superior counterparts continued to punish their defensive frailties, and a fourth goal from Walsh helped them to cruise towards a 4-15 to 0-6 triumph.

Seamus Kinsella raised another white flag for Old Leighlin, but points either side of it from Doyle and Ian Scully did reduce Tinryland’s deficit to five (1-6 to 0-4) in time for the interval. Though Old Leighlin had been the better team in the opening 30 minutes, Tinryland would have felt that they could make the extra man count after the restart, and only for a brilliant save by goalkeeper James Clarke, Doyle may well have registered a three-pointer in the 33rd minute.

The Tinryland U16 side are the current league champions, and they brought their fine form into the championship at Ballinboley on Wednesday July 3rd when they enjoyed a facile 4-10 to 0-2 win over Michael Davitts. Much like the game between the two teams in the minor championship two days beforehand, Tinryland took a while to really get on top, but with Conall Dunne and James McGrath registering 1-3 between them during the opening half, they were well on course for victory nevertheless.

Old Leighlin moved into a six-point lead with the first score of the period three minutes later, but with 18 minutes remaining on the clock, Tinryland had cut into their deficit with fine individual scores by Matthew O’Toole and Cathal O’Toole. For the first time in the game, Tinryland looked like they were starting to play the football that they are capable of, and after raising white flags courtesy of Cormac Walshe, Matthew O’Toole and Doyle, they cut the gap to the

They did appear to receive a hammer blow upon the resumption when Jason Curran was given his marching orders, but to their credit, Tinryland never panicked, and with John Murphy, Conor Ryan and Cathal Gaffney all performing heroically in defence, Dunne, Brendan Quirke-Bolt and Niall Lowry were given the platform to record welltaken majors, and therefore ensure that they came out on top of a potentially tricky fixture. n

Paddy was also gracious for the work done by the ambulance crew who attended to him, as well as to the doctors and nurses who have cared for him since his suffered the attack, and the many people who have sent him Get Well cards and texts during his recovery. Both Kilkenny and O’Loughlin Gaels suffered a major blow recently, when it was announced that promising Kilkenny and O’Loughlin Gaels minor hurler Gary Kelly is set for a long spell on the sidelines with a broken ankle. Having bounced back from a series of injuries during the We specialise in quality and prestige used cars and commercial vehicles. We stock over 120 vehicles in all makes and models to offer an extensive range of options to our customers. We also have a full service workshop and do car servicing, NCT preparation, mechanical repairs, body repairs and have a recovery and tow truck service. We can also provide Finance and Warranty facilities for the purchase of your used car or commercial.

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MUNSTER Kilmallock captain Paudie O’Brien lifts the John Daly Cup

KILMALLOCK The Kilmallock GAA Club in Limerick hosted a special event on Saturday July 20th – the Inaugural Free Taking Competition in Hurling. This was a Croke Park-approved competition, which is set to be held on an annual basis, and tests the skills of free taking of the various competitors from a variety of distances and angles. The participants on the day took part in a knockout system, with the winner ultimately decided from a final involving two of the best exponents on the day. This is a competition that has been played as a fun exercise in the Treaty club for a number of years by members of all ages, and it has helped to develop the skills of the many free takers that they have at their disposal at each age level. The highly competitive event was run on a “First Come First Served Basis”, and the closing date for entry was back on June 14th, which gives you an indication of the kind of demand that Kilmallock were receiving for entry into the contest. The entry fee came at a cost of €20, and all participants were given a souvenir top and as part of the package. Refreshments were also provided on the day, with the eventual winner coming away with the coveted All-Ireland Free Taking Trophy. Members of adult teams from across the nation were invited to this occasion, and in general it was a very successful endeavour for Kilmallock GAA. The rules for the free-taking competition are quite simple, but for

those who are unfamiliar with the concept, or may have aspirations of entering into the 2014 version, it is worth looking at how the game itself breaks down. Each participant starts from the junction of the 20-metre line on the right sideline. From there they take a free and if successful they move to the junction of the 45-metre line on the right sideline once again. If they have success from this position, they move on to the third shot from the 65-metre line. They are in a central area while taking this shot, but despite the ideal angle, this is perhaps the most difficult effort that competitors would have to negotiate. However, should you be successful from this long-range effort, you would then return to the 45-metre line, only this time you would be taking it from the left-hand sideline. A successful attempt from here would see you finishing up with a fifth shot from the 20-metre line on the left sideline

– point E on the course. There are also a series of rules for the competition, with perhaps the most important ones relating to potential missed opportunities. Should a competitor fail to score a free at any attempt from their designated spot, they must remain in that position until he is successful. A minimum of five shots will complete the course (100% accuracy in other words), but it could take ten shots or more before some people finally finish their day’s work. The first competitor to complete the event in the least number of shots is deemed the overall winner, with the ranking of each player below him determined by their position on the field having completed the same number of shots. In the event of a tie, the players are allowed to select a random position from 1 to 5, at which point sudden death will apply. It is the job of the umpires on the day to decide whether each strike is successful, although frees are taken on rotation, and all players must start at point A. They can, however, take frees from either their left side or their right side. There are also some rules in relation to the eligibility of players. For example, a competing player must be over the age of 17 on January 1st in the competition year as per GAA rules. They must also complete an entry form before they are allowed to take part, and they must also don their club colours on the day. With a few well-known faces currently in John Allen’s high-flying Limerick senior side, it is expected that Kilmallock will be one of the major players in this year’s county Senior Hurling Championship. They certainly had a good day at the office in the Gaelic Grounds on June 14th, when a clinical edge in front of goal helped them to narrowly overcome Ballybrown in Round Two of Group Four in this year’s competition. They enjoyed a whirlwind start to the game, as county star Paudie O’Brien’s early major was added to swiftly by a point from Robbie Egan. Kevin O’Donnell also added to his side’s tally with a 1-1 salvo, but although Kilmallock looked like they might run away with the game at certain stages of the opening period, a determined Ballybrown managed to forced their way into the reckoning, and despite the concession of the aforementioned three-pointers, they managed to return to the dressing room for the interval on level terms. Indeed, the Ballybrown defence had managed to subdue the Kilmallock defence towards the end of the half, and the Fitzgerald Park outfit needed to raise their game once again upon the resumption if they were going to overcome the stiff challenge pose by their opponents. With a strong wind on their side, Kilmallock assumed a six-point lead in the early stages after the re-start, but as the game wore on, they reverted to a more defensive approach, which invited Ballybrown on to them. Kilmallock always had the ability to increase the tempo of their play when required, though, and when inter-county corner-forward Graeme Mulcahy registered their third goal, a lot of pressure was lifted off their shoulders. Ballybrown continued to fight for their lives until the very end of the proceedings, but another goal courtesy of O’Donnell (giving him a personal total of 2-5) helped Kilmallock to secure a hard-earned 4-8 to 1-14 victory.

STRADBALLY

2013 has seen the launch of The Gathering Ireland, which is a spectacular, year-long celebration of all things Irish. So far this year (and up until the end of the year) Ireland has been opening it arms to the many hundreds of thousands of Irish people from all over the world, and calling for them to return home to their various villages, towns and cities for the gatherings that are being organised in a whole host of areas. This enables communities throughout the nation to showcase the very best of what Ireland has to offer in terms of culture, tradition, business, sport and entertainment,

Castlehaven’s Stephen Hurley and Michael ‘Brick’ Walsh of Stradbally

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and the extended Irish diaspora (i.e. second and third generation Irish men and women) are also encouraged to make the journey to the Emerald Isle. The sporting and GAA world has been extremely active throughout this campaign, and Sunday August 4th sees the Stradbally GAA club in Waterford hosting their very own GAA Gathering. For this event on the August Bank Holiday Weekend (which is an ideal time to organise something of this magnitude), all past players and past members are invited to come back to Stradbally for this special occasion. Outdoor music will be taking place in the GAA field for the duration of the day, while later on in the evening a band will be playing in the social centre. An outdoor barbecue will also be on site, which means that there will be plenty of drinks and refreshments throughout the day. As the showpiece of the day, Stradbally – who are the current county football champions – and the Tipperary county champions will be playing each other in an exhibition game. It is hoped that many people from overseas will be coming home on the day to meet some friendly old faces, and it is anticipated that many will be returning to the club for the first time in a number of years. In addition to those who are returning to the club, and those who are still active members, an invitation has also been sent out to a number of people who are new to the parish, and are looking to become acquainted with some of their new neighbours. It promises to be an excellent afternoon and evening for the club, and those who are attending are asked to bring any old photos and/or paper cuttings they have of Stradbally from the past, as it will add richly to the festivities. The Stradbally Ladies Football Under 12 side have had a memorable 2013 thus far, as they were recently crowned as Waterford County Under 12 ‘B’ Champions. This outstanding journey began for Stradbally back in early June when they played Ardmore, Clashmore, Kilmac and St Anne’s in a tricky beginning to their campaign. They did, however, come away with three wins from these games, and as a result they qualified for the U12 ‘B’ County Final in Stradbally against St Anne’s on Saturday July 13th. They had good recent form against St Anne’s, as they had beaten them earlier on this year in the championship, but given the nature of their meeting on Stradbally’s home patch, it was difficult to know whether that game was going to have any bearing on the outcome of this decider. The Stradbally girls rose to the occasion one again, though, and after a finely contested encounter, they secured their fourth Under 12 County title in succession. The partisan home support were sent into raptures following this triumph, and the magnificent Stradbally squad, led brilliantly by their captain Megan O’Brien, were fully deserving of this achievement. The team have been ably supported by a number of people during 2013, most notably Deirdre Keane and Tracey Fennell, who coached the team alongside the likes of Melissa Fennell, Eileen O’Brien and Claire Crowley, but also Terrence Morrissey, who supplied the jerseys for the team. This isn’t the only silverware that the club have secured recently, however, as the Intermediate Ladies Football Team were crowned Mary Walsh 7-a-side Division Two winners during mid-July. On an extremely warm day, Stradbally found themselves engaged in a titanic battle against Tramore at the penultimate stage of the tournament, but despite being made to work throughout the tie, they eventually book their place in the final with an impressive display. Brickey Rangers were their opponents in the final, and much like their last-four fixture, it was a close-run contest, which was not unexpected when you consider that the two teams had played out a draw in the earlier stages of the competition. The resolve of Stradbally was key in this showdown, though, and they were deserving overall champions in the Na Deise club. Stradbally have been well represented at county levels in recent years, and 2013 has been no different, as club man Michael ‘Brick’ Walsh was the fulcrum of the Deise hurling defence during their gallant Munster and All-Ireland Senior Championship campaign, which ultimately ended in an extra-time defeat to reigning Liam McCarthy holders Kilkenny at Semple Stadium, Thurles on July 13th. This was a disappointing result for all involved with Waterford, but as ever, Walsh represented Stradbally with great distinction, as did David Grey, Shane Lannon and Eddie Rockett, who recently featured for the Waterford Junior Footballers against Tipperary. n

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the closing 24 minutes of play, but points by Rocks from Mulgrew (two) and Eastwood still left them trailing by one with time almost up. Strong running by Shea McGarrity did produce a free right at the death, however, and the inspirational Mulligan stepped forward to calmly slot the pressurised place kick between the posts. When you consider the chances that Cookstown had during the course of the game, they could easily have emerged victorious on the day, but given the quality that Carrickmore have at their disposal, they were more than happy to come away with a share of the spoils. They returned to league action again on Sunday July 7th with another emphatic win over An Eaglais, Naoimh Pádraig (2-15 to 0-7), their third victory of the current league season.

COOKSTOWN FR ROCK’S Aidan Doyle, Barry Potter and Ryan Owens – who are active club players with the Cookstown Fr Rock’s club in Tyrone – have come together to design a very special jersey in memory of their close friend and former player Leigh McCracken. The jersey features the number nine, which was Leigh’s favourite number, and also dons his favourite colour of purple. In addition to this, “Beastie” can be seen across the back of the jersey. The jersey is fit for playing in, and comes at a cost of £40. The money raised from the sale of these jerseys will go to the Níamh Louise Foundation, and will also help to raise money for suicide awareness. Those who wish to purchase a jersey, and contribute to a truly great cause, can contact Aidan, Barry or Ryan (their information can be gathered by contacting the club through phone or by e-mail), and all club members in Cookstown are encouraged to get involved and raise money for a worthy endeavour. It is also a great way to honour the memory of Leigh, who made an unforgettable contribution to the club. Those who are interested in purchasing the jersey are asked to contact one of the three lads as soon as possible, as there is plenty of demand coming through. Due to Tyrone’s busy schedule in the All-Ireland Football Qualifier Series, the Cookstown Senior and Reserve sides have been idle for quite a few weeks, but when they finally do return to action, they will certainly find themselves in decent positions in their respective leagues. The senior side had a very productive spring, as they became the first club to win the All-Ireland Intermediate Club Football Championship for a second occasion with a well-deserved victory against

Finuge of Kerry. Having recently competed at the second-tier of their county championship, Cookstown would be seen as one of the underdogs in the AFCL Division One, and they were on the receiving end of a four-point defeat (2-7 to 0-9) in their opening league encounter of the year against Omagh St Enda’s on Sunday April 21st. This was an early set-back for Fr Rocks, but they soon got a first win on the board with a commanding 1-10 to 0-9 triumph against Moy Tir na nOg on May 5th. Another narrow reversal against Coill an Chlochair Naomh Mhuire (1-8 to 0-9) followed a week later, before Cookstown recorded their second victory of the term with a comprehensive nine-point away success (3-13 to 1-10) over Derrylaughan Kevin Barry’s GAC on May 17th. This meant that they had four points from a possible eight when they travelled to Carrickmore for a tricky June 9th league encounter.

AIB GAA Football All Ireland Intermediate Club Championship Final - Cookstown Fr. Rocks Owen Mulligan

This was always going to be a hardfought fixture, but even though the hosts opened the scoring with a free from current county star Mark Donnelly, Cookstown’s former inter-county heroes Raymond Mulgrew and Owen Mulligan responded with fine points, which complemented a similar effort courtesy of Conor Mullan, helping to give the visitors a two-point cushion inside the opening five minutes of play. With the wind at their backs, Carrickmore were always going to take advantage, though, and three scores from dead balls by Martin Penrose (another member of Mickey Harte’s Red Hand outfit) edged them back in front. Christopher Eastwood did register a brace of fine points for Cookstown, but with Donnelly and Penrose continuing to display unerring accuracy, they were facing into a 0-8 to 0-5 deficit at the mid-way point. In fact, Penrose was on hand to increase his team’s advantage to four with an expertly-taken free just after the restart, but for the remainder of the tie, it was Cookstown who were the dominant force. Carrickmore failed to score in

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This leaves them in 11th place (it is a 16-team division) with seven points, but they are only five points behind divisional pace-setters Coalisland Fianna, and just two behind Clonoe O`Rahilly’s CLG in fifth place. They also have at least one game in hand of each team in the top flight, and there is every chance that they will climb up the table should they build on their encouraging displays to date.

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However, the in-form team in the club at the moment are the Cookstown Reserves, who are currently leading the Reserve Division One table with six wins and one draw from seven outings. They are the only team in their division who are yet to lose a game, and they set the tempo for their excellent start to the competition when they defeated Omagh St Enda’s 1-11 to 1-8 back in April. This increased confidence within the squad, and after their battlehardened opening day victory, commanding wins followed against Moy Tír na nÓg (2-16 to 0-3), Coill an Chlochair Naomh Mhuire (2-11 to 0-8) and Derrylaughan Kevin Barry’s GAC (0-20 to 0-4). Their perfect start to the campaign continued with a fifth straight success against Carrickmore St Colmcille’s (2-14 to 0-6) at the beginning of June, but a tough test was anticipated when they faced An Droim Mór Naoimh Damhnait in a June 16th meeting. This was the first time in the term to date that they failed to win a game, but their tremendous strength and resolve ensured that they played out a 0-11 apiece draw with their equally impressive opponents. They had another difficult encounter at home to An Eaglais, Naoimh Pádraig at the start of July, but they finished this tie with two points to spare (1-12 to 0-13), which means that they remain top of the league with a one-point hold over Domhnach Mór Naoimh Pádraig, who have played one game more.

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DERRYGONNELLY HARPS Derrygonnelly Harps got their Fermanagh Reserve ‘A’ Football Championship campaign for 2013 up and running at the beginning of July, but despite some fine football on the night, they weren’t able to find a way past a determined Devenish side, and a 1-9 to 0-12 draw meant a replay was needed in order to find a suitable outcome for this opening round pairing. Things could have been worse for Derrygonnelly, though, as they had found themselves two points in arrears (0-6 to 0-4) at the break. JJ O’Brien and Jason Love had secured a brace for their opponents, in addition to a point each from Kevin Coyle and Gavin Gallagher. Two points from frees by Kevin McGrath, and points from play by Garvan McGinley and Leigh Jones prevented Devenish from pulling any further away, however, and The Harps were still well in contention as the action resumed. >>

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Jason Love was in fine form at midfield for Devenish, but the aforementioned McGinley was starting to become prominent as the game wore on, and excellent scores in the second period from the effective Cormac Glynn and Jones, along with placed ball efforts via Anthony Maguire and substitute Garry McKenna moved them into the ascendancy. Devenish were certainly not as dangerous during the third-quarter as they had been before the interval, but they soon settled back into the proceedings with points from full-forward Raymond Flanagan (two) and Love (free). The elusive Gallagher then had a glorious opportunity to register the opening major of the game, but Harps custodian Ryan Farrell pulled off an excellent save to keep him at bay. This looked like being one of the more decisive moments of the tie, as Harps pounced for a three-pointer ten minutes from time when Kevin McGrath finished to the back of the Devenish net at the second time of asking. When an Anthony Maguire free swiftly added to this goal, Derrygonnelly seemed odds-on to come away with a win, but to their credit, Devenish never gave up, and a further brace from Gallagher reduced the gap to the bare minimum with 59 minutes of play gone. The game was now firmly in the melting pot, and it was left to Love to be Devenish’s saviour, as he won a free at the very end of an eventful encounter, and proceeded to split the posts in clinical fashion. Given what had just preceded the full-time whistle, a draw was probably a fair result, and though the winner of the replay will be known at the time of writing, it will be a shame to see either team departing the competition on the basis of this fixture. The beginning of July was a busy time for Derrygonnelly, as the club visited Croke Park for the very first time. Starting off at 7.50am on a rainy day in the North, a bus full of young Harps footballers and mentors journeyed to GAA Headquarters for a day they are unlikely to ever forget. The conditions were also unsettling in Dublin, and it was therefore pleasing that they remained indoors for much of their tour around Croke Park. The trip started with a visit to the museum and the stadium tour, which brought them from the highest position at the back of the Cusack Stand, through to the various exhibits, videos, and interactive sections of the museum. They also visited the changing rooms in the Hogan Stand, which provided a real eye-opener to all those who made the trip. Thankfully, when the time came to take a journey on to the pitch itself, the rain had all but stopped, which helped to add significantly to the enjoyment of the occasion. As they entered the pitch, they were greeted by none other than Patsy Haren, who has worked at Croke Park for a total of 42 years, and is an old friend of Derrygonnelly Harps. While on the field, the travelling party played close to an hour of games amongst themselves – four teams in total were gathered from the group – before later breaking into two squads, who faced off against teams from Erne Gaels, who had also made the long journey up from Fermanagh. Eventually, Derrygonnelly had to make way for another group of players, but their day didn’t end there, as they made a visit to the museum’s souvenir shop, which contains eye-catching merchandise for all ages. Though many would wish that the day didn’t end, the Harps bus eventually made the journey home, though they did stop off in Dunshaughlin’s County Club before returning to the club later in the evening. Moving on to August, Derrygonnelly will be hosting the Cúl Camp from the 5th to the 9th. Forms for this are available from Garry Smyth or Brendan Rasdale in the club, or alternatively from the Kelloggs Cúl Camp website www.kelloggsculcamps.gaa.ie. n

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Irish Wholesale Flags On any day at a range of sporting events there are a host of colours trailing in the wind as fans hold aloft the colours of their counties. Businesses display their logos proudly outside their buildings as passersby cast their eyes over the company brand. Any such flags flown in Ireland may have come from the warehouse of Irish Wholesale Flags. Keith Costello started the business when his home county of Galway reached the All Ireland final in 2001. The company started to send out flags to shops and businesses. Costello admits that at the start “Our production could not meet the demand of the customers. “With matches on from week to week, you have a very short space of time to get the flags prepared.” From there, the company looked to improve their product in the hope that they would produce a product that was of high quality but could also meet the demands of the customers. “We discovered from our customers that there was also a market for other flags related products including accessories and international flags” “As a result of increased demand we had to outsource some of the work to other countries such as Germany ,China and Pakistan” Business grew from there as the flag maker began producing business logos and flags for sports outside of the GAA. Irish Wholesale Flags decided to develop their own website which expanded their business opportunities. “The company is now top of the Google search page” Costello details, the importance of which is massive for any company trying to make a name for themselves into

today’s market. This notoriety has meant that Irish Wholesale Flags is now based in Ireland from production to sale. “There is a graphic designer in our office, a lady who manufactures the flags and several people who work on our sales. “There is a small window of opportunity when it comes to club games, a team may win a match on a Sunday and have to play the final the following weekend. The beauty of having the business based at home means production is quick and we can have flags out to the clubs by a Tuesday/ Wednesday for them to distribute.” Irish Wholesale Flags know how the market is divided as Costello explains they produce for two separate markets. “One which wants the product at a lower price, allowing them to buy in bulk and another which wants a long term product of high quality at a slightly higher price”. The knowledge of these markets has allowed for Irish Wholesale Flags to expand. The company has now moved into the UK market through their online community. This new UK branch is called UK Wholesale Flags LTD. They will adapt to the different sporting and business culture there, something that the company is more than willing to push for. In 2012 they produced flags and bunting for the Volvo Ocean Race, the European Championships, the Eucharistic Congress and the All Ireland in both hurling and football as well as club finals. As they look to expand Costello knows that they must remain competitive. “We must have the products that the customer wants, there are always events we look to be involved in and we are always hoping to expand”. Irish Wholesale Flags will continue to fly the flag for some time to come. www.irishwholesaleflags.com n

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Elevate Sports Solutions Starting out as a coach can be an intimidating experience. Irrespective of how illustrious your playing career was, if at all. Many a player has failed to transfer the talent that they displayed on the pitch, to the dugout. However making that transition, from player to coach, has now been made significantly easier thanks to an Irish based company that is pushing the boundaries of how coaches hone and perfect their craft. Elevate Sport Solutions (ESS) is an innovative company, very much in its infancy and based in County Derry. Their aim is to enhance the skills of those involved in coaching sport through the use of our products. ESS is always amazed by the lengths that coaches go to, in order to improve their skills and provision. That’s why ESS has taken the time to develop and provide products and services that coaches can use to achieve great things. Elevate Sports Solutions believe that simple resources are the most effective. Having seen so many different types of coaching products we believe they could be so much better. In sport, a lot of coaching material fails because it does not communicate with the intended audience. Developing coaching resources requires more than just sporting knowledge. It requires a creative approach that maximises the message. ESS overall aim is to provide resources to coaches, wherever and whenever they need it, in whatever format they choose. Now, thanks to ESS, help is at hand in an easily usable deck of coaching cards that can help any coach run a well-planned and effective session, whether they are a beginner or an experienced bainisteoir. The pack is handily colour coded into four suites covering passing, skills, defending and attacking. Each card sets out how to run a specific drill. It includes a graphic illustrating the ideal layout of players, marker cones, goals etc.; the main coaching points to be emphasised); the specific equipment required to run the drill or game, typically

this includes the number of participants and also crucially, the number of footballs. Finally each card has suggestions on how to change, condition and develop each drill if required. “The coaching resource tools would be a big area for us and it is something that we feel is only going to get bigger, our coaching cards and GAA tactic boards are especially popular. The area of coaching, tactical awareness and performance analysis is huge and we have already worked with the likes of Derry GAA, London GAA and Antrim GAA”, says Donal Leahy of Elevate Sports Solutions. “We have also recently launched a brand new coaching application for mobile phones. For the first time ever, Gaelic Football coaches will be able to access drills/games and create training sessions with little or no preparation. The ESS Gaelic Football Coaching App aims to provide coaches with colour-coded drills and games that are laid out in a fast, easy-to-understand format. The app will add another string to our bow and is something that we are hugely excited about.” For more information, check them out on Facebook & Twitter or if you would like to purchase any products, please visit: www. elevatesports.co.uk or contact Donal at donal@elevatesports.co.uk to discuss your coaching requirements. n

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Munster GAA Football Senior Championship Final, Fitzgerald Stadium, Co. Kerry - Kerry’s Declan O’Sullivan and Michael Shields of Cork The Munster SFC Final that almost everybody was anticipating took place in Fitzgerald Stadium, Killarney on Sunday July 7th, and though some people were split in the build-up as to who would be crowned the 125th winners of the competition, there was a general agreement that a loss for either Kerry or Cork wouldn’t necessarily rule them out of contention for the Sam Maguire Cup, as both sides have secured All-Ireland titles in recent years after losing to each other at the provincial stages. After two relatively comfortable victories for the two teams in the earlier rounds of the Championship, this was the first realistic opportunity to judge what shape they are in for 2013, but it was Kerry who made the bright start on their home patch, as centre-forward Colm Cooper gave them an early lead with a pointed free. Goulding restored parity from a similar position five minutes in, and a second score for him was complimented by John O’Rourke and Paul Kerrigan efforts, but with Declan O’Sullivan and James O’Donoghue on target for Eamonn Fitzmaurice’s charges, and the midfield duo of Johnny Buckley and Anthony Maher also finding their range, the hosts maintained an early edge. With the usually assured Aidan Walsh struggling to make an impact at midfield for Cork, the developing Buckley-Maher partnership displayed impressive aerial prowess, and after O’Donoghue and Darran O’Sullivan kept the scoreboard ticking away, the clinical Cooper calmly slotted to the back of the Cork net on 29 minutes at the end of a sweeping move. The concession of this major seemed to deflate Cork, as further scores for Kerry by Paul Galvin, Declan O’Sullivan and goalkeeper Brendan Kealy (long-range free) left them with seven points to spare (1-10 to 0-6) at the end of the opening 35 minutes. They carried this momentum through to the second period, and with a Marc O Se point opening up a nine-point gap (1-14 to 0-8) 13 minutes after the restart, there seemed to be little hope of Cork staging a comeback. However, a drop-off in performance level by Kerry did allow their opponents back into the reckoning during the final 20 minutes, and thanks to well-taken scores by Goulding (two), Donncha O’Connor, substitute Ciaran Sheehan (moments after his introduction), Walsh and Brian Hurley, Cork outscored their rivals by 0-6 to 0-0 between the 54th and 62nd minutes. Kerry did eventually stop this scoring sequence with a monstrous free from distance by substitute Bryan Sheehan, but Cork continued to probe, and excellent scores by James Loughrey (the former Antrim defender’s second) and Hurley left just two point separating the teams. A 69th minute Peter Crowley point looked to have sealed it for The Kingdom, but netminder Kealy was forced to turn a goal-bound Hurley shot around the post in the dying moments. Goulding’s subsequent ’45’ sailed between the posts, but it proved to be the final incident of significance in an absorbing encounter, as Kerry survived a late scare to emerge with a 1-16 to 0-17 triumph. After the uncertainty of the winter and spring, Fitzmaurice and his side will

be boosted by this win, and will enter the quarter-final stages of the All-Ireland Series with plenty of enthusiasm. Cork will be expected to join them in the last-eight, but should this come to pass, they will be the only Munster sides to have progressed this far in the Sam Maguire Cup, as the remaining four teams in the province found themselves exiting 2013 before Round Three of the Qualifiers. Alan Mulholland’s Galway accounted for Tipperary and Waterford in Round One and Round Two respectively, though there were positives for both losing teams to take from these games. Tipperary travelled to Pearse Stadium on June 29th to face the Tribesmen, who had suffered a demoralising 17-point defeat (4-16 to 0-11) to Mayo in the Connacht Championship. Peter Creedon’s Premier side had lost by the same margin to Kerry in their Munster opener, though, and it was no surprise that it was such a low-scoring first-half. Despite playing with the breeze, Galway only took a narrow 0-6 to 0-5 lead into the second period, but a strong third-quarter by the under-pressure hosts, which crucially included a major by debutant Michael Farragher, meant that Galway had enough to secure a 1-12 to 0-11 triumph, in spite of five late points from the Premier County. It was expected that the Westerners would be able to build on this performance against Waterford the following week, but they once again made life difficult for themselves on their home turf. They led by three points (0-10 to 0-7) during the interval on this occasion, but the Deise were able to utilise their second-half wind advantage, and a major shock was in store when the Paul Whyte-inspired outfit took a three-point lead with six consecutive points. Galway looked in real trouble at this point, but points from Sean Armstrong and Michael Martin, and a crucial 64th minute Michael Meehan goal, got them out of jail with just one point to spare (1-12 to 0-14). This accomplished display is something that Niall Carew can hopefully work on next year, but there was disappointment all round for Limerick and Clare, who lost their qualifier outings to Longford (2-14 to 0-8) and Laois (3-17 to 0-10). Both Maurice Horan and Mick O’Dwyer stepped down from their managerial positions after these losses, and in the case of the latter it may well be the last that we see of him as an inter-county coach. A gap of 17 years was bridged in the Munster Senior Hurling Championship Final played at the Gaelic Grounds on Sunday July 14th, as a forceful second-half display helped Limerick to finish with a nine-point winning margin (0-24 to 0-15) over 14-man Cork, much to the delight of their intensely passionate home support, which included British & Irish Lion Conor Murray, and Leinster hooker Sean Cronin. Limerick had reached the final against the odds, as they were expected to come up short at the penultimate stage against Tipperary, but a 1-19 to 1-16 success over the holders helped them to progress to a first Munster Final in six years. Cork were equally impressive in their last-four fixture against Clare, which they won by a margin of eight points (0-23 to 0-15), and were hoping to secure their first Munster SHC title since 2006.

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Interestingly, current Treaty boss John Allen was their manager for that success, and this decider saw him pitting his wits against his St Finbarr’s club-mate Jimmy Barry-Murphy, who is in his second term as Rebels boss. Both sets of fans had high expectations for those donning their county colours, but it was Limerick who had the better of the opening exchanges, as points from Paudie O’Brien, Declan Hannon (two) and James Ryan gave them an early 0-4 to 0-1 edge. Munster finals tend to ebb and flow, though, and the 2013 version was no different, as three points courtesy of Patrick Horgan, and one from rising star Seamus Harnedy gave Cork the lead in the 14th minute. Limerick corner-forward Graeme Mulcahy restored parity three minutes later, before free-takers Horgan and Hannon swapped scores in a lively beginning to the contest. Cork were enjoying plenty of possession during the opening period, but their shot selection was often below the standard required. Horgan (free) and captain Patrick Cronin did set things right with consecutive points, and they maintained a two-point hold on the half-hour mark, as Harnedy and Cronin responded clinically to Hannon and Paul Browne scores for their opponents. IThe half-time break was fast approaching, but there would be just enough time for the game’s turning point. After catching O’Brien on the back of the head with his hurley, Horgan was issued with a straight red-card by Westmeath whistler James McGrath. Horgan’s dismissal did seem overly harsh (it was later rescinded), and Barry-Murphy was forced to change his tactics following this set-back, which meant that Limerick often had two spare players in their defence. That being said, Cork were never going to relinquish their challenge completely, and despite falling five behind on 53 minutes as a result of Limerick points from Mulcahy, Hannon (two), Ryan (two), Tobin and substitute Shane Dowling, they brought their deficit back down to two with terrific scores courtesy of Harnedy, Cathal Naughton and Cronin. A superb sideline cut by Hannon and one each from play by Dowling and fellow replacement Kevin Downes moved them six clear, and with each players continuing to push themselves to the limit, they made it seven points in a row with a trio of points from substitutes Downes, Dowling and Niall Moran. With an All-Ireland Semi-Final appearance ahead of them, Limerick are now genuine contenders for the Liam McCarthy Cup, and will hope that their Championship season can extend into the month of September. With an All-Ireland Quarter-Final against Kilkenny on July 28th in Semple Stadium, Cork still had a chance of reaching the last-four, as did Munster rivals Clare, who played Galway in the second game of this double-header. Clare had dispatched Laois with little difficulty in the Phase 2 qualifier, but their 1-32 to 0-15 winning margin was never going to be repeated against Wexford. Thanks to fine performances by Colin Ryan, Shane O’Donnell and Tony Kelly, Clare looked like they had done enough to progress from Phase 3, but buoyed by their recent Leinster U-21 success, the Slaneysiders brought the action into extra-time with a late Jack Guiney goal, before two goals in the additional periods from Cathal McInerney eventually sealed a 3-24 to 1-20 victory for Davy Fitzgerald’s men. On the same day, and in the same venue (Semple Stadium), Waterford had threatened to knock near neighbours Kilkenny out of the Championship, as a marvellous score from midfielder Kevin Moran ensured that extra-time was also needed to separate the teams. Despite finding the net through Jake Dillon and Ray Barry, Kilkenny simply had too much for the Deise in the extra 20 minutes of play, but there are signs that a new crop of players are beginning to make their presence felt in this Waterford line-up. n

Provincial round - up

The Connacht Senior Football Final on Sunday July 21st was an historic occasion not just for the province itself, but for the wide-ranging GAA community, as the London footballers were competing in their first-ever provincial decider, a full 38 years after they had entered into the Championship. Until this year, a 0-9 to 0-6 defeat of Leitrim in 1977 had been their only Connacht victory, but they finally added a second triumph on May 26th with a gutsy one-point success over Sligo (1-12 to 0-14). A 2-7 to 0-13 stalemate with Leitrim at Pairc Sean Mac Diarmada on June 23rd meant that Paul Coggins’ side played an unprecedented third Connacht SFC game at the neutral venue of Dr Hyde Park in Roscommon, and going toe-to-toe with The Ridge County for a full 70 minutes on their home turf gave Paul Coggins’ squad the belief that they could overcome them at the second time of asking.The loss to injury of former Galway panellist Mark Gottsche during the drawn encounter was a massive blow for The Exiles, but with fellow Tribe Paul Geraghty assuming his pivotal midfield role, the overseas outfit responded well to Emlyn Mulligan’s opening point by moving six in front (0-7 to 0-1) by the 25th minute mark with a series of scores from ex-Cavan star Lorcan Mulvey, and a brace by half-back Tony Gaughan. The injury-hampered Mulligan had to the depart scenes at a very early stage, and with a major gale-force breeze to London’s advantage, they added a Greg Crowley major to their tally. A couple of expertly-taken points followed from corner-forward Cathal Magee, and when Ciaran McCallion capitalised on excellent spade work by Damien Dunleavy (another player to have featured for his native Galway) to secure his side’s second major, a Connacht final appearance looked to be on the cards. Robbie Lowe finally brought an end to this incredible scoring sequence with a Leitrim point, but to the amazement of the spectators in the Roscommon Town setting, London held a 2-10 to 0-2 cushion as the action re-commenced. With the elements now in their favour, Leitrim did respond with some fine placekick scores by Kevin Conlon, but with Mulvey adding his fifth point, there were still nine points separating the teams (2-11 to 0-8) at the end of the third-quarter. Panic did set in for London during the closing stages, though, and when James Glancy’s goal on the hour mark was subsequently added to by points from Conlon (two) and Paul Brennan, the deficit had been dramatically reduced to two with just five minutes remaining. Conlon’s eighth raised the possibility of extra-time, but despite

Mayo’s Andy Moran celebrates his sides third Connacht title in a row

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being presented a scoreable opportunity at the very end of normal time, he was unable to add to his personal total. Glancy was also off-target from a negotiable distance, and despite some very nervy moments, London were able to hold out by the narrowest of margins (2-11 to 1-13) for an emotional victory. For anyone connected to London GAA, the build-up to this meeting was something to saviour, but they were entering into the lion’s den against a Mayo side that were aiming to capture a third consecutive provincial title for the first time since 1950, and had enjoyed emphatic victories over old rivals Galway (4-16 to 0-11) and Roscommon (0-21 to 0-9) in the Championship to date. Kevin McLoughlin and Lorcan Mulvey traded points early on in the final, but with Aidan O’Shea setting the tempo at midfield, Mayo opened up a five-point cushion thanks to Alan Freeman’s 11th minute goal. Damien Dunleavy did chip in with a vital score for The Exiles, but with points courtesy of Lee Keegan, McLoughlin and Freeman, as a well as 23rd minute major from newcomer Darren Coen, further daylight had opened up between the two teams. Some wasteful shooting by Mayo (they had 11 wides during the opening 35 minutes) meant that London weren’t completely out of sight, though, and a trio of expertly converted Mulvey frees helped to cut their deficit to seven (2-6 to 0-5) in time for the interval. Cornerforward Eoin O’Neill was unfortunate to see a first-half flick to the net ruled out for an apparent foul on deputising netminder Robert Hennelly, but in truth Mayo should have been much further in front. The introduction of Cillian O’Connor (returning from a recent shoulder injury) helped to re-energise the Green And Red Army, however, and following points from the raiding Lee Keegan and captain Andy Moran, the Ballintubber club man finished calmly to the opposition net from close-range on 41 minutes after O’Shea had journeyed through the heart of the London defence.

After the blow of their opening round Connacht loss to London, the Yeats County were dealt a tough hand in the Round One draw, as Division Two winners Derry were their opponents in the county’s new Centre Of Excellence at Owenbeg. To their credit, Sligo couldn’t be faulted for effort in this clash, as they recovered from a slow start to head in at the break trailing by six points (0-9 to 0-3). They were hampered by the fact that all but one of their scores came from either Mark Breheny or Adrian Marren, and with just two points of their total coming from play, Derry were able to ease towards a 0-15 to 0-8 success. This game signalled the end of Kevin Walsh’s five year helm as Sligo manager, and the three-time All-Star opted to step down in the immediate aftermath of this defeat. A favourable Round One draw against Tipperary in Pearse Stadium did offer Galway a shot at redemption, however, and despite struggling to make their wind advantage count in the opening half, a purple patch that saw them registering 1-6 in a 20-minute spell after the restart - fine efforts by Mark Hehir, Sean Armstrong, Michael Meehan and Danny Cummins (two) were enough to give them a four-point triumph (1-12 to 0-11) in spite of a late surge by Peter Creedon’s side. n

Senator Kathryn Reilly

The two-time Young Footballer Of The Year quickly added a score from a routine free, and though London responded with placed ball efforts of their own via Mulvey and Sean Kelly, O’Connor was in the right place to slot home his second goal after 48 minutes following terrific approach play by Andy Moran. Mayo were in cruise control now, and O’Connor completed a memorable hat-trick by coolly stroking a penalty past the helpless Treanor 14 minutes from the end after Tom Cunniffe had been hauled down in the large square. London did finish the game positively with points from play by substitute Padraig McGoldrick and the tireless Mulvey, but there was still a significant 16-point gap (5-11 to 0-10) between the sides at the end of an anti-climactic finale. Without ever being rigorously tested by any of their opponents, Mayo progressed as expected to the All-Ireland Quarter-Final, and it will be interesting to see if their lack of a real test will cost them against one of the highly-motivated teams that have progressed through the back-door. Following their first Championship defeat of the year, London had just a week to recover for a Round 4 Qualifier against Cavan, who have been one of the surprise packages in the Sam Maguire Cup so far.

Sinn Fein Office, 39 College Street, Cavan Tel: 049-4373510 Email: kathyrn.reilly@oireachtas.ie or sinnfeincavan@hotmail.com


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and Michael Newman twice cancelled each other out from placed balls, but with Ben Brosnan (two), Lyng, half-back Adrian Flynn, PJ Banville and Brian Malone all finding the target, the Yellow Bellies held a four-point cushion 26 minutes in. A trio of late points by Graham Reilly, Eamonn Wallace and Peadar Byrne left The Royals trailing by just one point (0-8 to 0-7) during the break, but quick-fire scores from Brosnan and Malone after the restart helped Wexford to regain focus. Yet, by the time Redmond Barry added his team’s 11th point mid-way through the half, Meath had hit a purple patch, which saw them registering five points without reply – three from Newman and two from Reilly. It was still a one-point game as the game moved into its final ten minutes, but Meath had the much stronger finish to the proceedings, as they book their place in the final with the final three scores in a morale-boosting 0-18 to 0-13 triumph. Having disposed of Kildare in ruthless fashion, Dublin were red-hot favourites in the July 14th Leinster decider, and with a potential hurling-football double in the province on the cards, there were plenty of warning signs for Meath ahead of their trip to the capital.

History was made in Croke Park on Sunday July 7th, as Dublin were crowned Leinster Senior Hurling Champions for the first time with an outstanding 12-point victory (2-25 to 2-13) against reigning holders Galway at Croke Park in front of a crowd of 36,657. Having overcome Wexford at the second time of asking at the quarter-final stage, Dublin were moments away from recording their first Championship triumph over All-Ireland Champions Kilkenny in 71 years, but a last-gasp TJ Reid point meant that the Sky Blues once again finished in a stalemate at O’Moore Park, Portlaoise. However, they approached the replay in a confident mood, and with Paul Ryan and David ‘Dotsy’ O’Callaghan chipping in with 0-4 apiece, they were four points to the good (0-11 to 0-7) at the half-way point. Both of Kilkenny’s starting midfielders, Cillian Buckley and Michael Rice had been replaced before the half-hour mark (by Lester Ryan and Colin Fennelly respectively), but thanks largely to the sharp-shooting of Eoin Larkin and Richie Power, they trailed by the bare minimum (013 to 0-12) moving into the final quarter. However, Danny Sutcliffe’s 53rd minute major (which arrived after O’Callaghan had seen his effort cleared off the line) helped to reenergise the Metropolitans, and although Power displayed magnificent leadership throughout for The Cats, the Carrickshock man was given his marching order late on for a second yellow-card offence, and when substitute Eamonn Dillon fired over an insurance score in stoppage time, Dublin had done enough to seal a memorable 1-16 to 0-16 success. The task for Daly was to try and re-focus his players after the elation of this win, as eight days later they faced the 2012 champions, Galway, who needed final-quarter goals from Davy Glennon and Aonghus Callanan to see off the stern resistance of Laois in their penultimate round fixture. The sides were evenly matched during early exchanges, when braces from Ryan and O’Callaghan were cancelled out by Tribesmen efforts from Joe Canning (two), Conor Cooney and Iarla Tannian, but Dublin held the aces for the remainder of the half, and brought an eight-point cushion into the break thanks to a plethora of points – including a couple by Ryan O’Dwyer and captain Johnny McCaffrey – and a 25th minute major by the elusive Ryan. With their confidence now sky high, Dublin stretched their advantage to 12 when a point by half-back Michael Carton followed another marvellous three-pointer from Ryan, but with the introduction of Andy Smith, Jonathan Glynn and Damien Hayes beginning to galvanise the Westerners, they cut the deficit to six with 17 minutes to play courtesy of terrific individual majors by Canning and David Burke. The always threatening Canning was agonisingly close to reducing the margin to three inside the final five minutes, and Gary Maguire’s fantastic point-blank save did cause Dublin to raise their game late on, but thanks to six scores on the trot from Conor McCormack (two), Simon Lambert, Ryan (two) and Danny Sutcliffe, they ensured that they made the journey up the steps of the Hogan Stand for the first time since 1961.

Dublin captain Stephen Cluxton raises the Delaney Cup Waterford had forged a dramatic fight back to level matters at the end of normal time, but despite registering goals in the additional periods through Jake Dillon and Ray Barry, a Richie Hogan-inspired Kilkenny displayed incredible character to secure a 1-22 to 2-16 victory. On the same evening as they made the progression to the quarterfinals, Wexford found themselves making an early exit from the 2013 Championship, as two extra-time goals from Clare’s Cathal McInerney gave the Banner County a 3-24 to 1-20 success after a hectic 90 minutes of action. Galway were pitted against Clare as part of a double-header with Kilkenny-Cork, and at the time of writing, they were the only three teams from Leinster remaining in the Liam McCarthy Cup after Antrim and Carlow were knocked out by Liam Dunne’s Slaneysiders, and both Westmeath (who recorded a Qualifier win against provincial newboys London) and Laois were heavily defeated by Waterford and Clare respectively. The Dublin Footballers had entered their provincial semi-final against Kildare on June 30th with the prospect of a remarkable eighth Leinster SFC crown in just nine seasons on their mind. Kieran McGeeney’s charges were determined to make life difficult for the Sky Blues, though, and an early 1-1 salvo from teenage prodigy Paddy Brophy, as well as a point by the industrious Eoghan O’Flaherty, gave them an early five-point cushion. Dublin eventually settled into the proceedings with a Paul Mannion three-pointer moments after Brophy’s goal, and despite being denied further goals on a number of occasions by Kildare netminder Shane Connolly, another major inevitably arrived through Bernard Brogan in first-half stoppage time. This gave the holders a deserved 2-7 to 1-5 lead at the break. Kildare were still in contention as the action resumed, but having only added 0-4 to their total in the second half, their opponents were able to cruise towards victory. Wexford had caused a surprise in narrowly defeating Louth at the last-eight stage, but Meath’s victory over Wicklow indicated that these sides would be evenly matched. This was certainly the case early on, as Ciaran Lyng

The Royals have never had trouble raising their game against their long-standing adversaries, however, and despite falling four behind after 23 minutes when points from Diarmuid Connolly, Paul Mannion and Stephen Cluxton (two) followed Paul Flynn’s fourth minute goal, they enjoyed a barnstorming conclusion to the opening period, as five points in succession – four from the rapidly influential Newman – gave them a two-point advantage at the break (0-9 to 1-4). Thanks to the continued excellence of Newman, Meath remained in the hunt, and they had a couple of goal-scoring opportunities at vital junctures in the play. Yet, they weren’t able to take advantage of these situations, and Dublin opened up a three-point cushion thanks to fine contributions from Cluxton and the superb Mannion (two). This finally killed off the strong Meath challenge, as a 2-14 to 0-13 victory meant that Dublin had their first Leinster double since 1942. This win means that they move forward safely to the All-Ireland Quarter-Final on the August Bank Holiday Weekend, and it is hoped that they will be joined by some of their fellow Leinster competitors in the last-eight. Unfortunately, four of the province’s teams were eliminated in their Round One Qualifiers, with Offaly and Wicklow suffering particularly disheartening reversals to Tyrone and Armagh. Carlow loss to local rivals Laois in a Friday evening game by a margin of ten points (3-13 to 0-12) after a positive opening, while Westmeath finished the 2013 Championship without a win, as they were edged out 3-10 to 1-15 by Fermanagh. The Round Two draw produced a couple of Leinster derbies, as Longford and Kildare were drawn at home to Wexford and Louth respectively. Aidan O’Brien’s Wexford needed goals from Daithi Waters and PJ Banville to force their game into extra-time, but they pushed on during the additional periods to record a 2-15 to 0-16 victory. The Lilywhites had a tricky assignment against Louth, but although they trailed for large portions of the game, a late goal from the powerful Tomas O’Connor gave them a much-needed 1-19 to 0-15 success. The Laois and Clare game in Ennis pitted the O’Moore County against their former manager, Banner supremo Mick O’Dwyer, but despite the presence of the great Waterville man on the sideline, Laois recovered from a slow start to emerge victorious 3-17 to 0-10 – the goals coming from Ross Munnelly, John O’Loughlin and Darren Conway. Similar to the previous round, Wexford twice found the Laois net courtesy of Banville and Paddy Byrne in their Round 3 encounter at Wexford Park, but with Ross Munnelly registering 0-8, Justin McNulty’s charges were the ones to progress on a score line of 0-16 to 2-8. n

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Provincial round - up

Daire WALSH

They were narrowly overcome in Enniskillen during the Ulster Championship, but with backroom members Anthony Forde (Cavan) and Lorcan Martin (Fermanagh) receiving their marching orders along with Fermanagh duo Sean Quigley and Shane McCabe and Cavan’s Martin Reilly in an ill-tempered affair, an 11th minute goal by Martin Dunne enabled the home side to record a comprehensive 1-14 to 0-10 victory.

0-4 from the boot of Conor McManus had helped The Farney County to overcome 14-man Antrim with five points to spare (0-11 to 0-6) in a dour affair at Casement Park, Belfast on June 9th, but they needed to be at their very best to see off the challenge of a resurgent Cavan in the familiar surroundings of Clones just under three weeks later. Having responded with a trio of scores by David Givney, Cian Mackey and Niall McDermott after shotstopper Conor Gilsenan’s wayward kick-out had led to a 13th minute Christopher McGuinness goal from Monaghan, Cavan could count themselves unfortunate to be only on level terms at the mid-way point of this contest, as a brace of Conor McManus points, along with one each from brothers Kieran and Darren Hughes kept the scoreboard ticking away for the hosts. Despite falling behind 11 minutes after the restart through another McManus score, a brace of McDermott points moved Cavan back into the ascendancy, but the introduction of seasoned duo Paul Finlay and Dick Clerkin paid significant dividends for Monaghan. With Finlay and McManus both kicking a couple of points, Monaghan looked set for victory when they had two points to spare at the end of normal time. A pointed free from long-distance by Gilsenan narrowed the gap to the bare minimum for the umpteenth time, though, and the visitors should have had the opportunity to force a replay when Gilsenan’s opposite number, Rory Beggan, appeared to foul the ball while in possession. Referee Marty Duffy resisted the temptation to award a free, however, which meant that Monaghan held on for a hard-earned 1-10 to 0-12 win. Having played in Division Three of the Allianz National Football League, it was expected that there would be a gulf in class between Monaghan and All-Ireland Champions Donegal in the final, but the O’Donnell County’s record against their rivals has been patchy in recent years, and Down had also asked them plenty of questions in their semi-final clash. Home advantage was also a major plus for Monaghan, who enjoyed a whirlwind start with four points inside the opening seven minutes by Darren Hughes, goalkeeper Rory Beggan, Conor McManus and Padraig Donaghy. A full 22 minutes passed before Monaghan’s next score, a routine McManus free, but incredibly, it wasn’t until the 32nd minute that Donegal opened their account. Colm McFadden punished indiscipline by full-back Drew Wylie in this instance from a free on the right-side, and marauding half-back Frank McGlynn then followed with their first point from play in first-half

efforts of star forward Paddy Cunningham, who ended with 0-6 to his name. Fermanagh had their work cut out against Westmeath on the same day if they were to avoid suffering a similar fate, and having amassed 20 wides throughout the contest, there were plenty of worried faces amongst the travelling Erne faithful in Cusack Park, Mullingar. However, goals by Conor Quigley, Damian Kelly and Ryan Jones did give them plenty of hope, and a last-gasp point deep into time added on by corner-back John Woods secured a dramatic 3-10 to 1-15 victory for Fermanagh. This was Peter Canavan’s first-ever Championship win as an inter-county manager, and the Round Two draw offered him a shot at redemption, as Kingspan Breffni Park was the destination for their second meeting in the 2013 competition with Cavan.

With both Dublin and Mayo securing three-in-a-row successes in their respective provinces, it was expected, from the outset, that Donegal would do the same in the Ulster Senior Football Championship. It was certainly a case of so far, so good when they defeated Tyrone (2-10 to 0-10) and Down (0-12 to 0-9) in their quarter-final and semi-final fixtures respectively, but in the form of Malachy O’Rourke’s Monaghan, they facing a highly-motivated and determined outfit in the showpiece decider at St Tiernach’s Park, Clones on July 21st.

Monaghan captain Owen Lennon lifts the cup with Conor McManus

stoppage time to leave just three points between the teams (0-5 to 0-2) during the interval. Both teams had suffered losses through injury after Mark McHugh and Stephen Gollogly had clashed for possession ten minutes in, but it was the holders who struggled to adapt, as Kieran Hughes kicked his first point in the opening minute upon the resumption. McHugh’s brother, Ryan, did cancel out this effort seven minutes later, but their unbeaten run in Ulster under Jim McGuinness was under serious threat when Kieran Hughes (who was giving the normally assured Eamon McGee a torrid afternoon) brilliantly secured a brace to move his side five in front ten minutes into the half. Dessie Mone and McManus added to Monaghan’s tally, but two successful McFadden frees, and a first of the day from Rory Kavanagh, kept Donegal in touch with 64 minutes gone on the clock. A straightforward McFadden set play was their only score in these closing moments, though, and further Farney scores by Christopher McGuinness, custodian Beggan and long-serving forward Tommy Freeman shortly after coming on as a late replacement helped the underdogs to secure a fantastic 0-13 to 0-7 success. With the Anglo-Celt Cup now safely stored in their trophy cabinet, Monaghan moved forward to the All-Ireland Quarter-Final with plenty of confidence, while Donegal had only six days to recover for a Round Four Qualifier against Laois in Carrick-On-Shannon. This kind of turnaround has been a poison chalice for many in the history of the back-door, but Down’s triumph over Tipperary last year from a similar position has lifted the hoodoo to a certain extent. A number of Ulster teams entered into the Round One stage of the All-Ireland Qualifier Series, but the only ones to make an early exit were Antrim, who were on the receiving end of a six-point defeat (1-17 to 1-11) to Louth in Drogheda Park on June 29th, despite the best

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After the disappointment of their defeat to Donegal in the first round of Ulster, Tyrone bounced back in emphatic style in Round One with a 1-27 to 0-8 demolition of Offaly. Having led 0-15 to 0-0 at one point in the opening period, Tyrone were also in control of their own destiny, and with Darren McCurry and Sean Cavanagh securing 0-14 between them, they booked their place in the Round Two draw with consummate ease. In Round Two they were face-to-face with Roscommon, and were expected to once again prevail without much hassle. Rossies supremo John Evans had done his homework, though, and a strong emphasis on defence, as well as a goal from Conor Devaney, left the sides on level terms (1-2 to 0-5) during the break. The accuracy of McCurry helped Tyrone to build up a six-point lead in the second half, but four late points by Roscommon meant that Mickey Harte was more than happy to come away with a two-point victory (0-12 to 1-7). The tie of the round awaited them in the next phase at St Conleth’s Park against Kildare, who had recovered from their reversal to Dublin with a 1-19 to 0-15 success over Louth. An early exit for either team would be seen as a major disappointment, and it looked like Kildare were going to be the ones bowing out at the half-way point, as a spectacular 1-1 haul from Matthew Donnelly gave Tyrone a 1-6 to 0-4 interval advantage. The Lilywhites emerged with all guns blazing, however, as consecutive scores by Doyle (two), Padraig O’Neill, Niall Kelly and substitute Paul Cribbin restored parity, and when Shane Connolly saved a 47th minute penalty from Stephen O’Neill, it looked like they might have a psychological edge. Yet, Tyrone managed to ride this storm, and with Kildare losing Peter Kelly on a second yellow card late on, Tyrone held out for a narrow 1-11 to 0-12 victory. Armagh manager Paul Grimley had come under pressure in the aftermath of the county’s Ulster defeat to Cavan, but they got back on track against Wicklow in the first round of the qualifiers, as two early Jamie Clarke goals helped them to record a comprehensive 2-21 to 0-2 triumph. The one-sided nature of this encounter was difficult to fathom, but their Round Two clash with Leitrim was of a similar vein, as majors courtesy of Eugene Verry (three), Clarke (two), Tony Kernan, Kevin Dyas and Mark Shields powered them towards an 8-13 to 0-10 winning margin. n

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Cavan GAA: County and Club Focus Cavan have not tasted success in quiet sometime but as they progress onwards in this year’s championship through the qualifying rounds, there is hope that they are going to make the breakthrough into the top bracket of footballing counties in the country.

final against Monaghan.

With this year’s loss to Monaghan in the Ulster semi-final they have once again missed out on an Ulster Senior Football Championship title.

On the day Monaghan, led by coach Malacky O’Rourke, singled out the Cavan danger man Martin Dunne and kept his impact on the game to a minimum.

Many fans are disappointed that the last time they claimed an Ulster title was back in 1997, before that it was 1969. The last time they won an All-Ireland trophy was in 1952. The Ulster and indeed All Ireland titles have eluded them for so long, that they will hope a good run in the remaining rounds of the championship may bolster their chances for next year. Cavan have been a team in transition for some time, one which is looking to build on the success at Under 21 and minor level, which the county has enjoyed in recent years. Cavan have already been making waves, in what has been an exciting year for the county in the football championship. Cavan’s championship started in superb fashion as they dismantled Armagh and came out victorious with a score line of 1-15 to 1-11. On that day Martin Dunne was the hero for a young Cavan side as he led by example from the front. It seemed as if the ball was glued to the young Cavan Gaels star as he claimed the majority of balls that were played anywhere near him. Dunne managed to rack up a very impressive nine points in total. He ducked and weaved and placed the ball over from distance, off either foot, as Armagh stood watching. Cavan always looked the hungrier side as they built up a seven point lead at one stage in the second half. Armagh made it tough for Cavan as they clawed their way back into the game with a 58th minute goal. Cavan, led by Dunne who was assisted by his fellow front man Eugene Keating, stayed strong and continued to perform well. Armagh kept it close but with Dunne and Keating in great scoring form the nerves were settled as Cavan advanced.

Making waves

Next up for Cavan was the extremely close encounter with their neighbouring rivals Fermanagh in what many predicted would be a closely fought battle and they were not disappointed. Martin Dunne was once again on form as he helped Cavan to a late win with two points in the closing minutes of the match. With the sides looking to be heading for a draw in normal time, Dunne stepped up once again, just like he did in the Armagh match. The sides were level at 0-11 each until the Cavan Gaels man first lofted a wellplaced left footed shot over the bar before finishing off the game with a well-placed free kick. The sides remained close, in what was a back and forth battle before Dunne once again became the hero with his two late points to give Cavan the victory. This win marked the first time since 2001 that Cavan have won two consecutive Ulster Football Championship games. They have had a strong Under 21 team for many years and perhaps this year demonstrates that the fruits of this labour are beginning to show. With this win under their belt Cavan marched forward into the Ulster semi-

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It was a bridge too far for Cavan on this occasion as they lost out by a single, heart-breaking, point. However this loss did not suggest that Cavan were a poor team, after all as Monaghan have since gone on to claim their first Ulster title in 25 years with a win over Donegal.

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However Cavan still managed to control the early proceedings of the game until a slight lapse in concentration cost them dearly as Christopher McGuinness scored a goal to get Monaghan on the score sheet. It continued to be an enthralling and exciting encounter as the action ebbed and flowed before the referee blew the half time whistle. Fans were left chomping at the bit as the side went in equal at 1-05 to 0-08. Monaghan came out the most composed team in the second half with substitute Paul Finley giving them some stability. Cavan were unable to score from play in the second half, relying on frees to keep them in the game.

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Conor Gilsenan helped Cavan gain some ground with some wellplaced kicks but ultimately it was Monaghan who triumphed and went on to the Ulster final as Cavan looked forward to a challenging match up with Derry. In this round 3 qualifying game Cavan once again found their swagger and got back to winning ways. In what was another close contest, something of a tradition in their matches this year, they were victorious over Derry.

The Keepers Arms Bridge St, Bawnboy Co. Cavan

It was a back and forth, exciting battle, throughout the first half which saw the sides go in at the break 0-09 to 0-07. As the second half got underway it was as you were, with both teams pushing hard for the win. The game was as Derry evened up proceedings with points from Ryan Bell and Mark Lynch by the 56th minute. It was Cavan’s turn then as they went two points clear through Eugene Keating and Darragh McVitty, to give them a 0-16 to 0-14 lead. It did not last long as Derry tied the game.

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This exciting second half battle continued, before a 67th minute point from Emmet Bradley looked to have it won it for Derry. However a late Martin Reilly point levelled the sides and brought the game to extra time. The youth of this Cavan side shone through as they held out and pushed for the win, building a lead with a goal and four points.

Cavan vs Fermanagh Cavan’s Martin Dunne celebrates scoring a goal

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This provincial success is built on a strong club structure within the county. Cavan Gaels have played a very important role in the set up of the GAA in the county and they have enjoyed much success as of late. At the moment the club is involved in developing their five year strategic plan which will enhance many aspects of the organisation. This structural advance in the club has led to some on field success such as the convincing win Cavan Gaels had in Divison 2 recently. Cornafean provided the opposition but Gaels performed strongly and came out as convincing winners. The scoreboard showed a score line

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of 3-16 to 1-10 in favour of Gaels. Meanwhile Laragh United GAA are also making strides, especially in the Under 14 category. The team were recently crowned Division One champions with a marvellous victory over Crosserlough.

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Laragh came out on top after a very close battle that fans from both sides were enthralled in by a single point. The scoreboard showed the result as 4-09 to 5-05. The sides battled hard into the last few minutes before a young star named Jamie Cooney broke through the Crosserlough line and sent the ball over the bar to claim victory for Laragh. Laragh also recently enjoyed a Reserve Championship semi final win with a tough but convincing win over Mountnuggent. There was a three point difference in the end as Laragh won by 0-12 to 2-03. Another Cavan club who have enjoyed success recently is Lavey GAA. The numbers of clubs around the county enjoying success at different age groups is astounding and points to a bright future for the Breffni County. Not to be left out, Lavey has most recently enjoyed success at minor level. In the Division 3 Minor League final Mullahoran provided the opposition but after a tense battle it was Lavey who came out on top. The game was played in the Ballinagh GAA Grounds and the Lavey fans present left happy with their beloved club coming out on top with a six point win. The game ended 1-13 to 2-16. Killygarry are another club to have a series of highs and lows recently with results not always going their way.

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In the Junior Men’s Championship Killygarry came up against a strong Crosserlough side who halted Killygarry’s progress with a 2-13 to 1-11 victory. However on the same night the Under 16 team enjoyed great success when they claimed the final title. Killygarry proved too strong for Blackwater Gaels who provided the opposition. The final result stood at 4-09 to 0-15.

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Another Cavan GAA club making a name for themselves this year is Drumgoon GAA. When this publication went to print they were sitting in a very respectable second place in The Imperial Bar ACFL Division 1B standings, just one point behind leaders Gowna. In the last round of games, they performed well again taking on and beating Ballyhaise convincingly with a 1-13 to 0-09 points win. They now move on to the next rounds in the search of more points to push for the division title. It has been a mixed number of weeks for Kingscourt. At the time of print they were sitting in a respectable fourth place in the division behind strong opposition like Cavan Gaels, Castlerahan and Ramor United, who topped the league standings. A mixed bag of results after the last number of weeks has seen the Kingscourt side pick up two wins from four. These victories have come against Ballinagh who sit just behind Kingscourt, two places back in the league, while the other came against table topping Ramor United. However it is losses to Cuchulainns and Cavan Gaels that halted their steady progress up the table but Kingscourt are a determined team who will most certainly cause trouble for the teams above them in weeks to come. Finally we come to Denn. Each year a number of teams will struggle to gather some momentum in a division. This year it is Denn’s turn.

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They sat bottom of the league at the time of going to print, six points behind Lacken. In a turbulent season they have crashed to 12 defeats, with one draw and a walkover victory the only upside to a disappointing campaign. Next up for Denn is the visit of Kingscourt and the hope that they can begin to turn their season around. With clubs enjoying such success it is only a matter of time before the inter county panel starts to reap the benefits of the superb systems these clubs have set up. n

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underage club news

Daire WALSH

Stars of tomorrow ST PETER’S, DUNBOYNE The start of July was a busy period for the Dunboyne Under 14 team, as they made the journey across the province to participate in the 2013 Leinster Feile at the renowned Dicksboro club in Kilkenny. It was an early departure from the Meath venue, as the Under 14s left the clubhouse on a full bus that also included the Under 12 squad, and a host of enthusiastic supporters, at 8am. They eventually arrived in the Marble City two hours later, and not long after being afforded a generous welcome by the locals, the Under 14s took to the field for an encounter with the hosts. Owing largely to the long commute, Dunboyne took a while to really find their feet in the contest, but even though they ended up losing the game in narrow fashion, they gradually stepped up to the pace of the play as the tie wore on. This increased optimism ahead of their second clash against St Lactain’s of Freshford, which promised to be another tightly-contested fixture. Indeed, the game largely lived up to its billing, as both sides enjoyed their periods of dominance. In the end, Dunboyne managed to emerge victorious, but Lactain’s had made them fight every inch of the way. With the ferocious heat leaving many of the players drained

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throughout the day, the Under 14 side were given a welcome break from the action, but it was now time for the Under 12s to showcase their talents against their Dicksboro counterparts. There was some great, attacking, end-to-end hurling during the course of this game, and the crowd that gathered for the tournament showed their appreciation by applauding to the two teams off the pitch at the end. The Under 14 team’s third and final game of the day then followed against Burren Rangers of Carlow, a meeting that proved to be the highlight of the event for those from The Royal County. This contest was played with immense passion, and no little skill, and Dunboyne looked on course for a fine triumph when they had a few points to spare heading into the second period. The Carlow boys fired on all cylinders upon the resumption, though, and with just five minutes remaining, they had built up a four-point cushion. Dunboyne had struggled to replicate their excellent form from the first half, but after a series of promising forays into the opposition half, they struck 1-1 without reply to ensure that the sides ended the game on level terms. This was the end of Dunboyne’s adventure in Kilkenny, but they were able to return to the Rooske Road with their heads held high, and their management team of John Gilmartin, Ronan O’Doherty and Aidan Smith have plenty to build on as they return to competitive action in the county of Meath.

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WHITE’S CROSS The White’s Cross GAA club in county Cork reserved their own special place in the 2013 GAA Calendar, as they were the very first club in Ireland to host a Cúl Camp this summer. Running from June 24th to 28th, White’s Cross chose to host their Camp at an earlier stage than that all of the other clubs across the nation because of the relatively swift summer holidays that are afforded to the pupils of Upper Glanmire National School. This Camp was also unique in that it was spread across two different venues, with the younger children attending the Upper Glanmire Community Centre, while the older participants operated from the base at White’s Cross GAA itself. The former is a huge advantage to the club during this Summer Camp due to the presence of a Sports Hall on the site. This was a major bonus to White’s Cross last year, as the torrential rain threatened to cause a major disruption to the activities, and their ability to move the event indoors meant that they didn’t have to deal with any postponements. The excellent weather this year meant that this alternative didn’t need to be explored, but thanks to the Community Centre, White’s Cross have never had a cancellation in the 11 years that they have held their Camp, which is an impressive achievement in itself.

Engaging with the local community In total, there were 140 boys and girls in attendance at this year’s Camp, and they were treated to a number of special guests during the week of the Camp. Cork Senior Hurling captain Pa Cronin and Cork Senior Footballer Damien Cahalane – who are both Kellogg’s Cúl Camp Ambassadors – were guest visitors on the day, and were exceptionally courteous in terms of signing autographs for all of the young White’s Cross members.

They also held a questions and answers session for each of the groups at the Camp, during which Cronin revealed that his best friend within the Cork panel was his own club mate, Shane O’Neill, and that he played with an O’Connor hurley (designed by his former team-mate Ben O’Connor) in addition to wearing Adidas Predator boots. Cahalane stated that he played a number of different sports during his childhood (he is a current member of the Cork U-21 hurling panel), and he encouraged the youngsters in attendance to try a number of different sports, as it has helped him to hone his skills as a Gaelic Footballer.

The Best of GAA From 1960’s to Current Year

In general, the Camp was an outstanding success for White’s Cross, with a new hurling wall proving to be a very useful addition. A lot of time goes into ensuring that these Camps operate effectively, and the efforts of Micheal Cremin, Upper Glanmire National School principal, as well as Noel Crowley – Games Development Officer with the Cork County Squad – are to be commended.

BLARNEY Despite playing with tremendous spirit and determination throughout, the Blarney minor hurling side were ultimately defeated by seven points (4-16 to 2-15) in a Premier One Minor Hurling Championship tie against Blackrock on the evening of Wednesday July 3rd at Pairc Ui Rinn. Having already lost to Douglas in round one of the competition, this was a must-win encounter for Blarney, and they made the brighter start to the proceedings, as Dara Kelly displayed excellent composure in front of the Blackrock goal to register an opportunist major seven minutes in. Blackrock posed plenty problems for Blarney in the opening period, but further points courtesy of Dylan Lenihan, David Dunlea and

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influence during this crucial juncture, however, and a brace of crucial goals inside the last five minutes, as well as a couple of late points, gave them a victory that scarcely looked possible for much of the game. This was a disappointing way for their campaign to finish, but the Blarney minors will look to take positives out of the way they performed in 2013 as they move forward into the ranks of adult and Under 21 hurling. The fourth annual Sarah Buckley memorial tournament was held in Blarney during the month of June, which is an event that was set-up as a tribute to the late Sarah, whose name (along with that of her family) is synonymous with all those who are attached to the club. The Plate Final on the day was contested between Glen Rovers and Ballinascarthy, and though it was a closely-fought affair for the most part, Glen Rovers eventually ran out comfortable winners with a score line of 6-6 to 2-0.

Kellogg’s GAA Cúl Camps Champions (L-R) Dublin hurler Ryan O’Dwyer, Wexford camogie player Ursula Jacob, Down footballer Benny Coulter, Cork footballer Brid Stack and Laois football manager Justin McNulty with children at today’s launch David Cremen meant that Blarney still had three points to spare during the interval. Blarney’s second goal of the game arrived shortly after the restart when Cremen kicked to the top corner of the Blackrock goal from a distance of 20 metres, and thanks to well-taken efforts from Dunlea, Cremen and Shane Mulcahy, they were two points in front heading into the final ten minutes of play. The physically impressive Blackrock were starting to exert their

In the cup semi-final, Blarney took on Glen Rovers in a tense encounter, but despite some terrific play by their opponents throughout, the hosts managed to record a 1-4 to 0-5 triumph with the help of four points from Olivia Murphy, and a major courtesy of Megan Holland. In the other game of the penultimate round, St Finbarr’s enjoyed a comprehensive 7-1 to 2-0 success over Ballinascarthy.

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This meant that Blarney and Finbarr’s faced off in the final of the tournament, and it was the latter who were able to maintain their form from the semi-final, as some excellent approach play helped to seal a 4-8 to 1-1 victory. Sarah’s parents, Ray and Margaret, as well as her brother Shane, were there to present the trophies and medals to the winning Glen Rovers and Finbarr’s player, on what was once again a fantastic day of underage camogie action. n

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Club GAA Magazine August 2013