Monday, 26 January 2015

Brave Cappoquin bid fall’s short against O’Donovan Rossa

Cappoquin’s bid to become the first Waterford GAA Club to win an All-Ireland Intermediate Club Championship came to an end on Sunday afternoon last when they went under to a strong O’Donovan Rossa side from Belfast at the semi final stages of the competition.

Heading into the game the Cornerstone Men even though they were fancied by many to win knew that they always were going to face a Titanic battle with the Belfast Club as they played Senior hurling in Antrim until relatively recently.

Cusack Park in Mullingar was also a ground that has not proven to be kind to Waterford Club sides in the past.

Mount Sion lost to Dunloy from Antrim in the past and just under twelve months ago Ballysaggart lost out to another side from Antrim – Creggan Kickhams in an All-Ireland Junior Club final replay at the ground.

The Corner-stone men could not have dreamt a worst start to the game than they actually had.

With just 11 seconds on the clock, O’Donovan Rossa were a goal up. A long ball from Michael Armstrong and was diverted by Michael Turley to Thomas Morgan who whipped past Donal O’Rourke in the Cappoquin goal.

Cappoquin would respond with a point from Andy Molumby but the Ulster side would tag on the next two score, a point from a Thomas Morgan free and then the same player played in by Deaglain Murphy netted his second major score of the game on eight minutes to give O’Donovan Rossa a 2-1 to 0-1 lead.

Shane O’Rourke pulled a point back for Cappoquin from a free but it was to be their last score of the half as wind assisted O’Donovan Rossa tagged on the next four scores through Stephen Shanahan, Thomas Morgan, both from placed balls as well as Colm McVeigh and Deaglain Murphy to give them a 2-5 to 0-2 lead at the break.

Things in fact could have been much worse for the Corner-Stone men at the break.

On 15 minutes, the Antrim Club side were awarded a penalty when Colm McVeigh was brought to the ground and facing a three man wall on the Cappoquin goal line Gerard Walsh saw his effort saved by Donal O’Rourke who put the ball out for a ’65 which Stephen Shanahan made no mistake from in splitting the Cappoquin posts. Had the competition been played along the experimental rule used in the early past of the year O’Rourke would have been standing on the line on his own and his job would have been much tougher. (On a personal point of view, I am hoping that delegates to the Annual Convention stick to three on the line when it comes to penalties in hurling).

Cappoquin’s task in the second half in the second half, even if the wind was going to be at their backs was made all the more difficult when Andy Molumby was ordered off by the Carlow referee after he issued him with a second yellow for a pull on Christopher McGuinness.

Although playing with a numerical disadvantage in the second half, Cappoquin began the half the better of the two sides.

Shane O’Rourke and Thomas Morgan traded early second half scores to keep nine between the sides, but points from Shane O’Rourke and Finnan Murray cut that lead to seven.

Stephen Shannon from a ’65 extended the Ulster sides lead before Aaron O’Sullivan having been introduced as a sub just before the break for Shane Coughlan hammered to the net on 45 minutes to leave his side trailing by five (2-7 to 1-5).

Cappoquin failed to get any closer to the Antrim and Ulster Champions in the time that remained.

Stephen Shannon and Paul Murray swapped points before Johnny McGuinness and Killian O’Sullivan did likewise. Cappoquin however were unlucky not to have been closer at this stage as a Shane O’Rourke 20 metre free was saved, but after the ball was worked out the field, Paul Murray did split the posts.

It was O’Donovan Rossa that finished the game the stronger of the two sides as they landed points from Michael Armstrong, Johnny McGuinness who impressed having come on for Colm McVeigh towards the end of the third quarter and Stephen Shannon.

Cappoquin to their credit continued to work hard but the scores that they needed to get them back into the game failed to come their way. They did hit a point with the last puck of the game from a Keith Landers free but it proved to be a mere consolation score.

For the winners, they now look forward to an All-Ireland final appearance against Kilburn Gaels from London at Croke Park next month while Cappoquin are back playing senior hurling for the first time since the mid 1990’s, and will be hoping for a favourable draw when the championship draws are made later this evening at a county board meeting.

O’DONOVAN ROSSA: C McDonnell; C Orchin, E O’Neill, K McDonnell; G Walsh, C McClelland, S Shannon; C McElhatton, D Murphy; C McVeigh, M Armstrong, C McGuiness; M Turley, T Morgan, A Orchin. Subs: C Rocks for McElhatton (38); J McGuinness for McVeigh (42); M Kettle for Turley (48); G Bell for K McDonnell (59); J Quinn for A Orchin (61).

Scorers: T Morgan 2-3 (2fs); S Shannon 0-4 (2 65s); J McGuinness 0-2; M Armstrong, D Murphy, C McVeigh 0-1 each.

CAPPOQUIN: D O’Rourke; K Looby, C Looby, T Looby; P Morrissey, C Murray, D Cahillane; S Murray, P Murray; S O’Rourke, K Landers, A Molumby; S Coughlan, F Murray, K O’Sullivan. Subs: A O’Sullivan for Coughlan (30); PJ Curran for K Looby (38).

Scorers: A O’Sullivan 1-0; S O’Rourke 0-3 (3fs); A Molumby, P Murray, F Murray, K O’Sullivan, K Landers (f) 0-1 each.

Referee: P O’Dwyer (Carlow).

Transfer deadline day 2015 has passed

Transfer deadline day when it comes to transfers in soccer has another seven days to go, but for those transferring within the GAA in Waterford, the deadline has passed and those agreed to by the transfer committee within the county board are set to be sanctioned this evening at a county board meeting.

As has become the norm in recent years, the greatest number of transfers come involving clubs in the east of the county.

In the East Waterford this year, it should be noted that Kill only play Football, Fenor only play hurling, Kilmacthomas only play football as do Newtown. Ballydurn, Ballyduff Lower and Butlerstown only play hurling. As is normal for many years now Rathgormack and John Mitchell’s only play Football and Clonea only play hurling.

With Naomh Pol deciding to not to field teams this year, thirteen players have decided to move clubs for 2015. 3 players have decided to move to Erin’s Own, 5 have moved to Saint Saviours, while Ferrybank, Portlaw, Roanmore, Dunhill and Mount Sion have all gained one player each from the Lisduggan club.

Two members of the Ballyduff Lower Club who are not fielding football teams in 2015 have decided to throw their lot in with Newtown. 12 members of the same club will be playing their football with Kilmacthomas, while 10 members of the Kilmacthomas club who are not fielding hurling teams in 2015 will be playing their hurling with Ballyduff Lower.

8 members of the Fenor Club have decided to throw their lot in with the Kill Footballers in the year ahead.

The Tramore Club have suffered a number of losses for the year ahead with players moving to Saint Saviours, Mount Sion, Butlerstown, Kill and Fenor.

The John Mitchell’s Club have had four players move to them which could well strengthen their challenge to get out of the Intermediate Football Championship at the end of the year.

With Butlerstown not fielding football teams in 2015, three club members will be playing their football with Newtown in the year ahead. 1 further player from Butlerstown will be moving from Butlerstown to Dunhill.

Bunmahon will have three new faces within their ranks in 2015, two from eastern clubs and one from the west.

Ballydurn (in hurling) and Newtown (in football) will have players moving to them from Kilrossanty and De La Salle.

Other transfers see players move from Fenor to Erin’s Own, Saint Saviours to Mount Sion, St. Molleran’s to Clonea, while the stand out transfer sees John Dee move from Portlaw to Mount Sion for the second time.

In the west, movement between clubs was not as widespread.

The biggest gain in the West sees former minor inter county player Kieran Power move from John Mitchell’s and Clonea to Dungarvan.

Old Parish who were beaten in last years Junior Football County Final after a replay against Kill sees four players move to the club for 2015, three of which move from An Rinn and one from Ardmore.

Melleray/Glen Rovers will have three new faces in the year ahead, as two players move from Cappoquin/Affane and one from Lismore.

Cappoquin who are playing senior hurling in 2015 sees one player move to them from neighbours Tourin.

Two juvenile transfers were granted to players in the east of the county involving players moving from Kill to De La Salle and Ferrybank to Mount Sion.

1 adult transfer from Tramore to Saint Saviours was turned down as was 1 juvenile transfer in the east from Butlerstown to Mount Sion. The latter was turned down as there was not a change of address, something that is required with a number of years in Waterford when it comes to juvenile transfers.

In the west two juvenile transfers were granted involving players moving from Abbeyside/Ballinacourty and Dungarvan to Naomh Brid, one of which will play adult hurling and football for Sliabh gCua/St Mary’s the other for Modeligo.

Four juvenile transfers were turned down in the east of the county involving players moving from Ballyduff Lower to Kilrossanty and Kilmacthomas to Stradbally because of a no change of address as is required.

Transfers in 2015.

Kevin Cheasty, Liam Flynn and Mathew Creed – Naomh Pól to Erin’s Own.

Pat Buckley, Wayne Shorthall, Pat Halpin, Stephen Butler, Stephen O Donohue – Naomh Pól to Saint Saviours.

Anthony Heffernan – Naomh Pól to Ferrybank

Joe O’Brien – Naomh Pól to Portlaw

Pat Foran – Naomh Pól to Roanmore

Anthony O’Brien – Naomh Pól to Dunhill

Anthony Fitzpatrick – Naomh Pól to Mount Sion

Raymond Ryan and Paul Kennedy – Ballyduff Lower to Newtown

John Carey, Craig Tyrell, Eoin Cummins, Cillian Harris, Coleman Power, Marcus Millea, Emmett Power, Darragh Larkin, Declan Cheasty, Bryan Power, Brian O’Leary and John O’Leary - Ballyduff Lower to Kilmacthomas

Martin Sutton, Adam Walsh, Evan Joy, Patrick Mulhearne, Caolan Kiersey, David Hugh, Moyles Walsh, Ryan Gallagher, Arron Walsh Davis, Sean Dee – Kilmacthomas to Ballyduff Lower  

Anthony Whelan, Walter O’Neill, David O’Brien, Sean O’Keeffe, Oisin Queally, Robert Tyrell as well as Peter and Donal Kelly – Fenor to Kill

David Hayes – Tramore to Saint Saviours

Sean Colfer, Damien Frisby Nicholas Cannell – Tramore to Mount Sion

Sean Hicks – Tramore to Butlerstown

David O’Connor – Tramore to John Mitchell’s

Oliver St. John, Eoin Farrell, William Cullinane, Eric Lonergan – Tramore to Kill

Oliver St. John, William Cullinane, Eric Lonergan – Tramore to Fenor

Cian Butler and Jason Browne – Rathgormack to John Mitchell’s

Jason Wall and Barry Frayne – De La Salle to John Mitchell’s

Pat Matthews, Richard Barron and Shane Kavanagh – Butlerstown to Newtown

Ryan Butler – Butlerstown to Dunhill

Stephen Power – John Mitchell’s to Bunmahon.

Ross Kiely – Newtown/Ballydurn to Bunmahon

Stephen Curran – Kilrossanty to Ballydurn

Ronan O’Sullivan – De La Salle to Newtown (football), Ballydurn (Hurling).

David Bennett – Fenor to Erin’s Own

Lee Douglas – Saint Saviours to Mount Sion

Thomas O’Connell – Saint Molleran’s to Clonea

John Dee – Portlaw to Mount Sion.

Paddy Kiely – Kilrossanty to Stradbally

Kevin Dineen – Stradbally to Bunmahon.

Colm Ryan – Kilgobinet to Abbeyside/Ballinacourty

Craig Dunne – Tourin to Cappoquin/Affane

Cathal Fitzgerald – Ballysaggart to Lismore

Ed Molumphy – Ballyduff Upper to Tourin

Nicholas Condon, Adam O’Riordan, Seamus Ó Lonáin – An Rinn to Old Parish

Richard Stillwill – Ardmore to Old Parish

Pat Whyte – Kilrossanty to Clonea

Ricky Power – Bunmahon to Stradbally

Sean and Martin Ormonde – Cappoquin/Affane to Melleray/Glen Rovers

Shane Hickey – Dungarvan to Colligan

Kieran Power – John Mitchell’s (Football) Clonea (Hurling) to Dungarvan

Sean Cunningham – Ballyduff Upper to Ballysaggart

Pat Carey – Sliabh gCua/St Mary’s to Ballysaggart

Mark Montayne – Lismore to Melleray/Glen Rovers

The following are expected to be allowed to assist other clubs in 2015.

Corey Kennedy, Cillian Kirwan and Michael Mooney (all Kill and assisting Fenor)

Danny Sutton, Shane Fanning, Dan Cusack, Jonathan Long, Alan Fitzsimmons, Michael Mears (all Ballyduff Lower to Kilmacthomas)

Dylan Reed, Ross O’Shea, Jake Power, Colm Dempsey, Kieran Cheasty, Cormac Dunphy, Luke Gahan O’Brien, John Kennedy, Calum Lyons, Ryan Murray Eoin O’Brien (all Kilmacthomas to Ballyduff Lower)

Michael Galvin, Donal Fitzgerald (Kilrossanty to Ballydurn)

Juvenile Transfers:

Gearoid Hallinan – Abbeyside/Ballinacourty to Sliabh gCua/St Mary’s

Darragh Reddy – Dungarvan to Modeligo

Evan Hayes – Kill to De La Salle

John Martin – Ferrybank to Mount Sion

Sunday, 25 January 2015

First silverware for Waterford Senior Footballers in 34 years

Waterford Senior Footballers ended a 12,270 day famine for silverware to an end on Saturday evening last when they beat University College Cork in the final of the McGrath Cup Final at Fraher Field.

The first final of the competition was played on the longest day of the year in 1981 when Waterford beat Clare 5-2 to 2-7 at Limerick.

On that occasion Jim ‘Bimbo’ McGrath and Tom Casey were the Waterford hero’s sharing the five goals between them, the Brickey Rangers Club man who would later be involved in the Waterford Management set up under John Owens hitting three of the Déise men’s goals on the day.

Waterford went into the game at Fraher Field on a high having beaten Cork in Senior Football for the first time in over five decades at the semi final stages of the competition at Clashmore. However had Waterford not won this game all the hard work in beating the Rebels would have been for nothing.

Played in front of just over 900 spectators which was about three times the number that saw the game at Clashmore, Waterford in the first half were made work very hard by the students who rested some of their players ahead of a Fitzgibbon Cup game against CIT this week.

Waterford on the night had ten different scorers, but needed goals from Joey Veale and Maurice O’Gorman in the first 26 minutes of the game to turn around at the break with a 2-6 to 1-7 advantage on the score board after some good work by Michael Curry and Tadhg O hUallachain in the build up.

Waterford had a dream start to this game when after just three minutes Joey Veale pounced for a goal from a long range effort from Liam Lawlor.

However, the students would come storming back hitting the next four scores through Conor Horgan, Adrian Spillane, David Harrington and Kevin Davis to go 0-4 to 1-0 in front with 11 minutes on the clock.

Waterford regained the lead with points from Shane Ahearne and Michael Curry but the students would retake the lead on 18 minutes when Tom Hickey was played through by Alan O’Donovan and when Castleisland Desmonds man effort was saved by Stephen Enright in the Waterford goal, Conor Horgan was in the right place to finish to the net giving the students a 1-4 to 1-2 lead.

Points from Patrick Hurney and Liam Lawlor levelled matters on 22 minutes, but the students went ahead again two minutes later when David Harrington split the Waterford posts.

Nine minutes from the break Waterford struck for a second goal, the Nire’s Maurice O’Gorman the player to send the umpire reaching for a green flag.

Liam Lawlor and Patrick Hurney kicked points to extend Waterford’s lead to four with six minutes of the half remaining, but the Students would finish the half the stronger of the two sides as Tom Hickey hit a brace of points to leave his side trailing by two (2-6 to 1-7) at the break.

The students at the start of the second half reduced Waterford’s lead to just one when David Harrington split the posts with a delightful effort on 37 minutes, but this was as close the students go to winning the competition for the first time.

Shane Ahearne restored Waterford’s two point advantage before Waterford took control of the game.

Fifteen minutes into the second half Padraig McCarthy failed to deal properly with a Michael O’Halloran high delivery which was dropping short and an alert Gavin Nugent was in the right place to slot past the Rathmore man to give Waterford a 3-7 to 1-8 advantage.

On a high, Waterford went on to add points from Tommy Prendergast, David Grey, Shane Ahearne and Conor Phelan to go 3-11 to 1-8 in front with seven minutes to play.

The Students in the second half were a much different side to what they were in the opening 35 minutes kicking just two points, the last of which came three minutes from time when top scorer put over from a free.

Waterford ended a fine evening’s work for Waterford on 70 minutes when Shane Ahearne pointed to give Waterford a 3-12 to 1-9 victory.

Both sides involved in this game have big games coming up. For UCC they face local rivals CIT at the Mardyke in the first round of the Siggerson Cup while Waterford’s next outing is against Wicklow in the first round of the National Football League in Fraher Field on Saturday evening next.

WATERFORD: Stephen Enright; Dean Crowley, Niall Walsh, Thomas O’Gorman; Tadhg Ó hUallacháin, Maurice O’Gorman, Ray Ó Ceallaigh; Shane Ahearne, Tommy Prendergast; Michael Curry, Michael O’Halloran, Patrick Hurney; Liam Lawlor, Gavin Nugent, Joey Veale. Subs: Conor Phelan for Niall Walsh (21), David Grey for Joey Veale (52), Jason Curry for Patrick Hurney (61), Billy Power for Dean Crowley (66), Oran Keevers for Tommy Prendergast (66), Mark Ferncombe for Michael Curry (69).

Scorers: Shane Ahearne 0-4 (3 frees); Joey Veale, Maurice O’Gorman, Gavin Nugent 1-0 each; Patrick Hurney, Liam Lawlor 0-2 each; Michael Curry, Tommy Prendergast, David Grey, Conor Phelan 0-1 each.

UCC: Padraig McCarthy (Kerry); Jamie Davis (Cork), Kevin Fulignati (Cork), Kieran Histon (Cork); Kevin O’Sullivan (Kerry), Sean White (Cork), Enda Dennehy (Cork); Alan O’Donovan (Cork), Adrian Spillane (Kerry); Fintan O’Connor (Cork), Kevin Davis (Cork), Shaun Keane (Kerry); Thomas Hickey (Kerry), David Harrington (Cork), Conor Horgan (Cork). Subs: Francis Courtney (Kerry) for Thomas Hickey (H-T), Kevin Hayes-Curtin (Cork) for Jamie Davis (42), Colm Hyde (Cork) for Sean White (43), Padraig Scanlon (Kerry) for Alan O’Donovan (44), Padraig Lohan (Tipperary) for David Harrington (51), Shane Power (Tipperary) for Shaun Keane (61).

Scorers: Conor Horgan 1-2 (2 frees); David Harrington 0-3; Tom Hickey 0-2 (1 free); Kevin Davis, Adrian Spillane 0-1 each.

Referee: Seamus Mulvihill (Kerry)

Thursday, 22 January 2015

Waterford seek Second McGrath Cup Title, UCC seek a first.

When it comes to football, it must be said that although from time to time Waterford have produced some good teams down the years, there has been little to shout about.

To win a Munster Senior Football Final is always going to be a big ask for Waterford, as Cork and Kerry have dominated the Championship since its inception. Since 1935 when Tipperary won the last of their nine championships, only one county other than Cork or Kerry have won the championship, Clare winning it in 1992. For the other two Munster counties you have to go back even further for their last Championship success. Waterford won it in 1898, while Limerick’s last success came two years earlier.

In 1981, the four often referred to as ‘weaker counties’ were given the chance to win some silverware when the (Joe) McGrath Cup was presented to the Munster Council on the longest day of the year.

Waterford were the first winners of the competition. The Waterford captain on the day was Michael Coffey.

In the mid 90’s Cork and Kerry began to play in the competition. Kerry were the first of the big two to win the competition in 1996. Cork won it for the first time two years later. Since their admission to the competition, they have dominated it, just as they have in the championship, winning it 11 times between them since 1996. Prior to their admission to the competition, Clare ruled the competition winning it 8 times. Since the admission of the big two they have won it four times.

After the turn of the Millennium the major third level football sides in the province were admitted to the competition to help them prepare for the Siggerson Cup. Their admission made it even harder for Clare, Limerick, Tipperary and Waterford to win the competition as they now had first call on all players from the counties as they had from Cork and Kerry for the competition.

In 2014 the four counties that competed in the competition back in 1981 did not take part in the competition as the players from the four counties opted not to participate in the competition as Munster Council chiefs voted to keep Cork and Kerry apart in the Championship till the final.

Since the turn of the Millennium both sides in this year’s final have records that they would like to have been better.

The students of UCC have played 17 games winning seven. For Waterford they have played 20 games winning just 6 of them.

UCC entered this year’s competition at the quarter final stages where they beat Limerick 4-16 to 3-9.

Heading into the final quarter of the game a hat-trick from Seanie Buckley separated the sides as Limerick held a 3-7 to 0-8 advantage, but goals from Thomas Hickey (2) as well as Adrian Spillane and Tomás Clancy in the last quarter turned the game around.

In the semi finals last weekend, the students recorded a 0-18 to 0-6 win over IT Tralee.

Played on a heavy sod coached by former All-Ireland winner and manager Billy Morgan UCC’s all-round strength, particularly their that of their full-forward line of Thomas Hickey, Conor Cox and Paul Geaney did most damage sharing 11 points between them.

Their defence restricted the Tralee college to one point from play in the 63rd minute.

UCC raced 0-10 to 0-2 clear at half-time with Conor Cox, Luke Connolly, Sean Kiely and Brian O’Driscoll impressing.

Waterford for their part played an extra game to reach the final, having to play University of Limerick in the first round.

All of Waterford’s games in the competition this year have been played on home soil.

The opener was played at the WIT Campus in Carriganore and resulted in a 1-16 to 2-7 win.

Waterford were always on top in this game held a 1-8 to 0-2 lead at the break. At one stage in the second half that lead was stretched to 11 points, but two Gearoid Hegarty goals in the second half made life a little more uncomfortable for the home side.

Waterford under new manager Tom McGlinchey for the first time on the day however managed to hold out putting in a good afternoons work, hitting 1-15 from play through nine different scorers won out 1-16 to 2-7.

In the quarter finals Waterford took on another college side CIT at Clashmore and won 1-11 to 0-9.

Waterford played with a strong wind at their backs in the first half and after 25 minutes they lead 0-6 to 0-1.

However, the students in the last ten minutes of the half found their feet and turned around trailing by just two points 0– 0-7 to 0-5.

The students in the second half began well kicking four points in succession to help them into the lead.

The introduction of Liam Lawlor proved to be a master stoke for Tom McGlinchey as he helped keep the students at bay playing in defence.

Points from Gavin Nugent and Ray Ó Ceallaigh helped Waterford draw level and with eight minutes to play a high ball in front of Sean Barron unsettled the Ardmore man in the CIT goal and Lorcan Ó Curraoin finished to the net for the games only goal.

For the semi final it was back to the Clashmore venue for a meeting with a hotly fancied Cork side.

Played in front of 337 paying spectators, Waterford recorded a first win over Cork in senior football since 1957.

Cork had the advantage of playing with what advantage the wind was on the day but missed four early chances. Shane Ahearne opened the scoring for Waterford with a brace of frees, but Cork drew level with a brace of Dan McEoin frees.

Waterford however would go to the break leading 0-4 to 0-2 after Patrick Hurney and Michael O’Halloran landed points for the home side.

Five minutes into the second half, Waterford stretched their lead to four after Rathgormack’s Gavin Nugent kicked a brace of points.

Cork brought on some of their big guns during the second half of the game and points from Donnacha O’Connor and Colm O’Neill quickly had them within one of Waterford.

Further points from Michael O’Halloran and Shane Ahearne followed for Waterford but Cork were not able to overtake Waterford on the score board as much as they tried.

Waterford won 0-8 to 0-7. It may be “only the McGrath Cup”, but a win is a win and a win over Cork in senior football is a rarity. This one will be remembered for some time.

Win loose or draw this weekend, reaching the final of the competition is an achievement. For Waterford to win would be nice, but to loose would not be the end of the world.

For Waterford the pain aim this year is to get out of the bottom division of the league which starts the weekend after this final. If Waterford were not involved in the McGrath Cup up to the final weekend of the competition, they would be playing challenge games, but while challenge games can be useful, nothing beats a competitive game.

No college side has won this competition in its history. As a Waterford support, I for one will be hoping that this statistic does not chance for another while.

With the Siggerson Cup set to begin shortly, the students will be out to stake a place in the team for the competition and will want to impress Billy Morgan in this game.

A win for Waterford is possible this weekend, but it wont be easily achieved. It may be still January, but strides are being made with football in the county and it would be nice to see the team receive the support they deserve for the game.

Waterford Scorers to date: Shane Ahearne 0-9 (4f), Patrick Hurney 1-4, Paul Whyte (2f), Gavin Nugent 0-6 each, Michael O’Halloran 0-4, Lorcan O Curraoin 1-0, Tommy Prendergast 0-2, David Grey, Joey Veale, Michael Curry, Ray Ó Ceallaigh 0-1 each.

Gavin Nugent, Shane Ahearne and Michael O’Halloran have scored in all three games to date.

Waterford players used to day: (In brackets is the amount of times they have started and being used as a sub). Stephen Enright (3), Dean Crowley (3), Niall Walsh (3), Thomas O’Gorman (3), Tadhg Ó hUallachain (3), Tommy Prendergast (3), Shane Ahearne (3), Michael Curry (3), Michael O’Halloran (3), Patrick Hurney (3), Gavin Nugent (3), Maurice O’Gorman (2), Ray Ó Ceallaigh (2 +1 sub), Joey Veale (2), Paul Whyte (2), Liam Lawlor (1 +1 sub), Conor Phelan (1 +1 sub), David Grey (1 +1 sub), Oran Keevers (1), Loran Ó Curraoin (0 +3 sub), David Hallahan (0 + 3 sub), Stephen Prendergast (0 + 2 sub).

Cappoquin and O’Donovan Rossa set for Titanic battle

Waterford’s last chance to win a male All-Ireland Club final lies in the hands of Cappoquin, who this Sunday take on Antrim Side O’Donovan Rossa at Mullingar where the prize on offer for the winners is an All-Ireland Final Kilburn Gaels from London or Galway side Cappataggle in the All-Ireland Final at Croke Park next month.

Confidence within the Cornerstone Club heading to Mullingar this weekend is high, with all in Cappoquin rowing in behind the club, as was evident when the club held a fund raising quiz at the Central Bar where there was standing room only.

However while Cappoquin will travel in a confident mood, supporters and players will have to guard against complacency.

Clubs from Antrim have to be underestimated at your pearl.

The North east county have always produced some good hurlers, in fact some great hurlers but they have not always got the rewards that they deserve, a little like Waterford in a way.

Club hurling in Antrim is very strong, and you don’t have to go back too far to remember that Dunloy beat a Mount Sion side that in the eyes of many were odds on favourites in the club championship.

It’s also worth noting that Cusack Park in Mullingar is not a happy hunting ground for Waterford clubs. The above mentioned Mount Sion and Dunloy game was played there and there was a similar outcome as in that game for Ballysaggart just over twelve months ago when they lost an All-Ireland Junior Club Hurling Final replay against another Antrim side Creggan Kickhams.

O’Donovan Rossa are one of the stronger clubs in Antrim. They are the third most successful club in the county when it comes to winning senior hurling championships. They played in the senior championship until relatively recently. They have returned to what they regard is their rightful position having blood some young players playing in the Intermediate Championship, some of whom have played on different underage Antrim inter county sides.

2014 was a good year for the Belfast based club.

They played in a ten team division two league and won it without having to play second placed Clooney Gaels a second time.

The championship proved to be even more profitable for the Belfast Club.

They entered a knockout championship at the quarter final stages of the championship, where they had a good 0-20 to 0-9 win over Naomh Eanna.

In the Semi finals they had a 1-19 to 2-8 win over Carey Faughs, who had beaten Creggan Kickhams 2-8 to 1-10 in the first round of the championship.

Glen Rovers provided the opposition for O’Donovan Rossa in the County Final and again the Belfast Club had another good win, winning 2-16 to 0-10.

In the Ulster Club Championship, O’Donovan Rossa beat the Donegal Senior Champions Burt 1-17 to 3-7. The Donegal Club prior to this game won a fifth championship in Donegal in six years.

It was another senior club side for O’Donovan Rossa in the semi finals where they Armagh side Keady and in the Ulster Final they had a comprehensive 1-15 to 0-6 win over Eoghan Rua from Derry.

In that game however, Stephen Beatty was sent off early in the second half on a straight red card and will miss the game with Cappoquin as a result. Prior to his dismissal he was showing his worth to the team having hit 1-2.

However while Stephen Beatty will be a big loss to his sides chances this weekend, they will feel that in the likes of Seaghan Shannon, Kevin McDonnell, Christopher McGuinness, Michael Armstrong and Conor McClelland they have the players that can end Cappoquin’s dream of a Croke Final appearance.

If O’Donovan’s Rossa’s run to this weekends All-Ireland semi final is impressive, so too is Cappoquin’s.

Along the way they may have rode their luck, but they won’t mind too much. In their Western semi final win over An Rinn, the Western Final win over Ballinameela, the Munster Semi Final win over Feakle and the Munster Final win over Bruff just one puck of the ball separated the sides. The game against Saint Saviours was also hard won, only hitting the scores that secured the win in the closing minutes of the game.

After beating Bruff in the Munster Final before Christmas, Cappoquin have quietly worked away getting ready for this weekend. A small break was taken from the game after the Bruff game, but in recent weeks they have played challenge games against the Cork Minors, Modeligo and Waterford and Cork Institute of Technology sides who are at this point getting ready for their Fitzgibbon Cup Campaign.

Reports coming out of these games suggest that things are going well for the Cornerstone Club. However there are reports that some niggling injuries have been picked up along the way, but Cappoquin are expected to deal with a full deck for the game.

Donal O’Rourke will again start in goals. The Looby brothers could well make up the full back line with Paul Murray, Conor Murray and either David Cahillane or Shane Murray forming the half back line.

Keith Landers and one from Shane Murray or David Cahillane could well be in the middle of the field while Shane O’Rourke, Finan Murray, Andy Molumby, Shane Coughlan, PJ Curran and Killian O’Sullivan in attack, but don’t be too surprised to see Pat Morrissey, Aaron O’Sullivan Damien McCarthy, Colin Landers and Paudie Landers be also considered for selection from the start.

O’Donovan Rossa have been winning their games over the past while by bigger margins that what Cappoquin are winning their games but it should be pointed out that while O’Donovan Rossa are playing against sides with some good hurlers, Cappoquin may have played against better hurling teams more than individuals who can win you games.  

Both will feel that they can win this game and very little is likely to separate the sides.

As pointed out already Waterford sides have lost to Antrim opposition in the past and the Mullingar venue has not always been a happy hunting ground for Waterford sides.

Can Cappoquin turn the tide? It has to happen sometime, so why not this weekend, but it won’t be easy for them.

Wednesday, 21 January 2015

Mixed results for Waterford players in Munster Colleges Ladies Football Finals

Three Munster Senior Ladies Football Colleges Final’s were played last weekend at Clonmel and Glanworth, where there was plenty of Waterford involvement in all three games.

In the ‘A’ Final it was an all South Tipperary affair as Coláiste Dun Iascaigh from Cahir took in Scoil Mhuire from Carrick-on-Suir who in their team contained a number of players that play their club football and live south of the River Suir which flows through the town.

The Cahir side had a strong spine to their team and it looked at the break it looked as victory was going to be theirs with some ease after goals from Aishling Moloney, Caoimhe Condon and Rachel Moloney gave then a healthy lead at the interval, and when Róisín Howard added a fourth after the restart it certainty looked good for the eventual winners as it gave them a twelve point lead.

However, the side down river in the staged a marvelous come back.

Aoife Murray scored a goal for the Carrick-on-Suir College side from close range and with ten minutes to go they pulled closer to the Cahir College when Áine Power beat the impressive Lauren Fitzpatrick from the penalty spot after Kelly-Anne Doyle was fouled which was followed with a Aoife Doyle point to leave four between the sides.  

The Carrick side continues to pile on the pressure in the closing minutes but were unable to tag on the scores that would have got them something from the game.

Coláiste Dun Iascaigh went on to win 4-8 to 2-9 with Lauren Fitzpatrick, Rachel Moloney and Róisín Howard having big performances for the winners, while for the Carrick College side goal scorers Geraldine Power, Emma Murray, Áine Power, Katie Murray, Aoife Doyle, Shauna Power, Aoife Murray, Keeley Cortbett-Barry and Heather Phelan impressed.

The ‘B’ Final also played at Clonmel saw St. Augustine’s College from Abbeyside overcame the challenge of Loreto School Clonmel.

Playing to the final whistle is important for any team and the Abbeyside College side containing a number of players who have won Munster Intermediate Medals with Waterford in 2014 showed why in this game at they snatched victory from the jaws of defeat.

It was the South Tipperary side that opened the scoring with a point from Megan Shanahan but the Abbeyside college came storming back on five minutes when Bronagh Condon rose highest following a long high ball in and around the Loreto goal and the Na Déise played fisted to the net.

The South Tipperary side hit back with the next five scores on of which was a goal from Lauren Guiry from the Ballymacarbry Club is one of a number of rising stars in Ladies Football within the county to give her side a four point lead.

Three points in a row from Molly Curran cut the Loreto lead to one with seven minutes to play in the first half and with both sides swapping scores in the time that remained in a closely fought game, it was no surprise to see the sides finish the half locked at 1-6 a piece.

The second half proved to be a goal fest as Lauren Guiry hit a second goal for the side looking out onto the River Suir while Sarah Ryan also hit a brace of goals.

For Saint Augustine’s Liz Devine a sister for All-Ireland Minor Hurling and Dr. Harty and Dr. Croke Cup winner Tom put was outstanding throughout and when the pressure was on she produced the goods.

She opened the second half scoring with a point, and in the five minutes to go, she showed why she was called up to the Waterford Intermediate team in 2014 with the South Tipperary side holding a five point lead on the score board she played a part in helping her side reeling off three points in a row to cut the lead to two, and then with the game in injury time she drove forward to find Molly Curran who in a crowded goal was able to hit the Loreto net adding to a goal scored earlier by Kaeisha Tobin.

Loreto School for fifty minutes proved to be the better of the two sides, but St. Augustine’s never say die attitude saw them reap the benefits of their heroics.

The South Tipperary side in the time that remained  attempted to get something from the game attempting to break into the St. Augustine’s half of the field, but while playing the ball out of defence they took the wrong options and St. Augustine’s held on for a 3-13 to 4-9 victory.

For Loreto in addition to goal scorers Lauren Guiry and Sarah Ryan, Niamh Brennan, and Megan Shanahan impressed, while for Saint Augustine’s goal scorers Molly Curran, Kaeisha Tobin, Bronagh Condon all had big parts to play as had Player of the Match – Liz Devine will not go on to contest the All-Ireland semi final against the Leinster Champions in the coming weeks where with the likes of Megan Dunford, Caoimhe McGrath, Megan O’Connor, Katie Duggan-Sullivan and Abbie Dalton they have the players to bring them to the next stage of the competition.

The Munster ‘D’ Final was played at Glanworth in North Cork where Hazelwood College from Dromcollogher in Limerick prove too strong for Méanscoil San Nicolas from Ring.

Hazelwood opened the scoring through Laura Stack but the An Rinn side responded with a point from the impressive Dawn de Paor. 

The Limerick side’s half forward line through the game caused the An Rinn defence a lot of problems throughout the game and the pressure they were exerting paid off when Cliona O’Callaghan struck for a goal and Katie McCarthy hit a brace of points to give their side a 1-3 to 0-1 lead at the end of the first quarter.

While under pressure at the back, Mean Scoil San Nicolas continued to try hard and were rewarded with points from Katie Ní Urmholtaigh and Dawn de Paor.

The Limerick side would a further 1-1 before the break the goal coming from Alana Mulcahy and a point from Laura Stack to go in 2-4 to 0-3 in front, but Mean Scoil San Nicolas were unlucky not to be closer and maybe in front at this stage. Hazelwood goalkeeper Rebecca McGuinness made at least two great saves in the first half to deny the An Rinn girls goals while full back Ciara McCarthy also had to show some resolute defending to keep Mean Scoil San Nicolas at bay.

Mean Scoil San Nicolas began the second half brightly as Dawn de Paor kicked 1-1 to edge her side closer to the Co. Limerick side, but they would hit back with points from Katie McCarthy and Laura Stack to leave five between the sides with nine minutes to play.

A brace of missed frees and a great save from Rebecca McGuinness kept the Limerick side five points to the good with just seven minutes to go.

These missed chances spurred on the Limerick side for the closing minutes of the game.

Laura Stack kicked a brace of late goals and one from Katie McCarthy meant the title was heading to Limerick as Hazelwood held out for a 5-8 to 1-4 win.