Thursday, 11 September 2014

Will it be title number 33 for Ballymacarbry or number 1 for Comeragh Rangers?


Think of some of the most successful teams in Ireland down the years and you think of the likes of the great Kerry team from 1977 to 1986, you think of the Kilkenny team of the past decade and a half, you think of the Mount Sion and Erin’s Own teams of the past in Waterford that won so many County Senior Hurling Finals over a number of years, or you think of the great Crossmaglen Rangers side that dominated the Armagh Senior Football Championship for so long.

But there is another team that has to be included in the greats, and maybe for one simple reason.

Ballymacarbry Ladies Football Club has as much a right as anyone else to consider themselves amongst the great teams. They have dominated the Waterford Ladies Football scene going back to the early 1980’s winning 32 senior county finals, going on to compete in Munster, winning Provincial Finals and then winning ten All-Ireland Finals.

They for a long time dominated the All-Ireland sevens competition and they have supplied numerous players to different Waterford teams down the years, often having maybe fourteen players in the White shirt of Waterford at different times when Waterford began their great era as kingpins or should that be queenpins of the game on the inter county scene in the early 1990’s.

This weekend Ballymacarbry will look to add to their already impressive roll of honour when they take on Comeragh Rangers in the County Senior Football Final at Fraher Field on Saturday afternoon.

Many of the finals they won in the past were won with some years and some years they were won uncontested, but this years one promises to be one of the toughest they have ever played.

Cross Comeragh rivalry when it comes to football is nothing new. For a long number of years the men from The Nire and the Rathgormack area have served up many great battles and now a rivalry between the ladies from the Nire/Ballymacarbry area and the women from Clonea and Rathgormack extending up into Newtown and Ballydurn is beginning to develop.

The two sides clashed in last years final where Comeragh Rangers really tested Ballymacarbry who needed to call on all their experience amassed over the years to secure a 1-11 to 0-8 win, needing a Danielle Hallahan goal to turn the tide.

Both sides have qualified for this year’s final with some ease. Both Comeragh Rangers and Ballymacarbry collected the full quota of points on offer from their games with Saint Anne’s and Abbeyside.

When the two sides clashed in the round robin section of the league, a close battle was fought between the two with Comeragh Rangers coming out on top on a 3-9 to 1-12 score line.

While Ballymacarbry were set up in the 1970’s Comeragh Rangers are a much younger club, being formed as late as 1999. They won their first county final, a junior one six years later, beating Ballyduff in the final and the following year beat the Brickeys to win the Intermediate Final. Since then the mid county club has grown from strength to strength and head into Saturday’s game confident that now is the time to win a first senior final.

Both clubs have produced some top quality players over the past few years.

Seven members of the Ballymacarbry Club were part of the Waterford Intermediate team this year while four members of the Comeragh Rangers Club were part of the Waterford side which lost the League Final to a strong Armagh side, won the Munster final against a good Limerick side and then bowed out of the championship against a strong Fermanagh side in the All-Ireland quarter finals.

Over the past few years, Waterford have put together some excellent under 14 and 16 sides and both clubs also have a share of their members involved in these sides and it is only a matter of time before they are called into the Waterford Intermediate team.

Ballymacarbry in this game will be looking to their inter county players – Linda, Mairead and Aileen Wall, Louise and Michelle Ryan, Karen and Michelle Ryan as well as Lauren Guiry for much of their inspiration. Others that could play a leading roll for Ballymacarbry are Sinéad Grant in goals, Eibhlís Cooney, Marian Ryan and Laurissa Hogan.

Not to be outdone, Comeragh Rangers have their star players. Nora and Anne Dunphy are players that have been part and parcel of the Waterford set up with a few years now and so will Ciara Dunphy who played at Full back for Waterford in many of their league games this year while Shauna Dunphy has the potential to be a leading light of the game in the years ahead. Another player involved with Waterford this year is Aisling Hahessy and is again a player to look out for.

And just like Ballymacarbry, Comeragh Rangers are a side that will not depend on their players that have played with the Waterford Inter county team for inspiration in this game.

Eibhlin and Geraldine Power, Clodagh Keane, Aoife Dunne and the Murray triplets Aoife, Emma and Katie Murray are all players to keep and eye on and could play a huge roll in this game.

If you are a regular reader of what I have to say here and elsewhere, I often tend to favour the team that lost the first day when teams meet twice to win second game. This time I am not too sure if this will happen.

Champions seldom if ever give you their crown easy and Ballymacarbry are going to show this on Saturday afternoon.

The players will feel that county title number 33 in a row as a bit of a ring to it and is unlikely to be equalled or bettered anytime soon by any club in any county.

But they will know that this could well prove to be the hardest to win. On paper, both sides have some very good players.

Some will say that the experience of Ballymacarbry has to county for something, but so too does the hunger of Comeragh Rangers to win a first. They will feel they have learned from last years defeat and will want to show all present this is the case.
This is one of the few games that I am not going to make a call on as to who is going to win. It’s one where I will sit on the fence. It looks as though it is too close to call.

Big Weekend for GAA Fans in Waterford.


Senior Hurling Championship: Quarter Finals
Abbeyside V Mount Sion – Sunday at 2pm in Walsh Park

Both of these sides reached the semi finals of the championship last year but only one can this year.

Abbeyside’s year appears to be replicating last years.

They began the year with defeats to Fourmilewater and De La Salle in the league section of the championship, but since then they have put back to back wins over Passage, Lismore and Roanmore together.

Mount Sion have also qualified for the quarter finals with three wins from five games in the league section of the competitions, recording wins over Ardmore, Ballyduff Upper and Tallow, but lost out to Dungarvan and Ballygunner.

Both sides have some very good players and whoever comes out of this game will cause problems to any of the three other teams in the semi final draw.

Most will be favouring Mount Sion to come out of top in this game, but they could be severally tested here.

Abbeyside have some very dangerous forwards, and Mount Sion as a result could be forced to move Tony Browne and Austin Gleeson from attack where they have proven effective all year into defence which is where both are probably best suited. If this was to happen then as both have accounted for a great deal of Mount Sion’s scores this year, the question has to be asked where would the Mount Sion scores come from.

Mount Sion get the nod to win this game, but it could well be close.   

 

Ballygunner V Lismore – Sunday at 3-30pm in Walsh Park

Ballygunner are the only team with a 100% win record in this years championship this year and it is hard to see them maintain this record here.

The ‘Gunners’ have built a very good team around a number of excellent underage teams that won successive minor and under 21 championships and also had a number of players involved in the successful De La Salle College teams that put together back to back Dr Harty and Dr Croke Cup wins a few years back.

They have lost Philip Mahony this year with a serious injury which he picked up while playing with Waterford earlier in the year. However, up to now, they would appear not to have missed him too much as they have won a lot of their games with some ease, but now as we approach the business end of the championship every player will be needed to be at their best as there will be no easy games.

Lismore failed to reach the knockout stages of last years championship and only just about made this years championship, needing a late Maurice Shanahan point in their last game against Fourmilewater to clinch a quarter final spot at the expense of Fourmilewater.

Lismore over the past few years have depended on Maurice Shanahan for the bulk of their scores. When he was not in the team others have stepped up to the mark and provided the leadership up front, but when Maurice Shanahan is in the team the same leadership up front has not always been there.

If Lismore can get all their players firing on all cylinders up front, they could well put it up to Ballygunner, but it has not been happening, so Ballygunner get the nod to win here.

 
Senior Football Championship: Quarter FInals
Nire V Rathgormack – Saturday at 7-30pm in Fraher Field

The first of this years quarter finals in this years Senior Football Championship sees these two great rivals do battle at Fraher Field.

The Nire have qualified for this years quarter finals with a 100% win record and with the group of players involved in the panel (maybe with the exception of those still playing minor) not playing hurling, its football all the way and the panel could feel that it could well be there year as their main rivals (Ballinacourty and Stradbally) going into this weekend are still involved in the Senior Hurling and Intermediate Hurling Championships.

Rathgormack finished fourth in group one, loosing out to all three sides that finished above them but beat both Clashmore and Ardmore who finished lower than them in the league table.

Rathgormack in the late 80’s and early 90’s were a very difficult side to beat. Things slipped back a bit for a while in the years that followed, but they are now re-grouping bringing on players that have played in successful under 16, minor and Under 21 teams into their senior set up and they could well be a force to be reckoned with again in the near future.

The Nire get the nod to win here, but when these two clash, anything could happen and if Rathgormack were to emerge as winners, it would hardly be the surprise of the year.

 

East Intermediate Hurling Championship: - Semi Finals
Ferrybank V Ballygunner – Saturday at 1-45pm in Walsh Park

Both of these two sides last weekend had good wins over sides that many would have fancied.

Ferrybank had a 3-11 to 0-17 win over a Dunhill side that won the Eastern Intermediate Championship three years ago and played Senior for one year before going back down to Intermediate, and reached last year’s County Final again but lost to Ardmore. 

Ballygunner also had a good but narrow win over Portlaw who won the Eastern Final two years ago but suffered a heavy loss to An Rinn in the County Final. Portlaw will have felt somewhat unlucky not to have come out of this game and could have but for Paddy Cooke in the Ballygunner goal who made a great save to deny former Waterford Minor DJ Foran what would be a very good goal.

Shrewd judges of the game are telling me that 2014 could well be Ballygunner’s year and could well become the first Waterford club side to win a Senior and Intermediate Hurling Double.

Going on what I am told, Ballygunner get the nod to win here, but I have seen Ferrybank’s underage teams a number of times in the last number of years and they have some very good players who could put it up to Ballygunner. 

 

Erin’s Own V Saint Saviours – Saturday at 3-45pm in Walsh Park

This local derby game is likely to attract a good deal of interest at Walsh Park on Saturday afternoon.

Last weekend Saint Saviours bear one of the favourites (Clonea) to win this year’s intermediate championship on a 4-10 to 2-13 score line and that result will give them a great of confidence this weekend.

Likewise, Erin’s Own recorded a good win last weekend in beating Saint Molleran’s on a 3-18 to 0-4 score line.

Many will be favouring Erin’s Own to do well this year and they do have the players to make it happen in the shape of Darragh Flynn, Sam O’Neill, Tommy Waring etc.

Saint Saviours may well be known as a football side but they also have some very good hurlers in their win over Clonea. John Paul Jacob and Dean Crowley will take a bit of watching by the Erin’s Own defence. Failing to do so could mean they are punished the same way Clonea were.

The two sides have already met in this year’s championship and when they last met, Saint Saviours won out with a point to spare at Walsh Park.

Regular readers of what I have to say will know that I often tend to favour the side that lost the first day when the sides meet twice in fairly close proximity and I expect this to happen again here.

 
West Intermediate Hurling Championship:
Cappoquin V An Rinn – Friday at 8pm in Fraher Field - Semi Final

These two sides are meeting for the second time this year. When they previously clashed it was An Rinn who were relegated from the senior grade last year after just one season playing there, that came out on top with six points to spare in what was a high scoring game (4-12 to 1-15).

Cappoquin in the last decade or so have put an awful lot of energy into promoting underage games in the area. The likes of Michael Murray (Magoo) and Tommy Sullivan were responsible for getting a lot of the early work done and they were later joined by others.

Over the past few years, the Corner-stone men have been there or there about when it comes to the adult scene, but have yet to make the major break through that they crave for.

They will look to the likes of Shane O’Rourke, Cillian and Aaron O’Sullivan, Andy Molumby, Shane Coughlan, Finan and Paul Murray etc. for inspiration in this game.

An Rinn have won the Western and Intermediate County Finals twice in recent years and will go into this game a fairly experienced teams. They will look to the likes of Liam Ó Lonáin, Donai and Billí Breathnach, Ray Ó Ceallaigh, Noel Ó Murchadha and Tadhg Ó hUallachain for much of their inspiration here.

A lot of people seem to be going for An Rinn in this game, but something is telling me it will be Cappoquin’s day. When it comes to the latter stages of any championship they can be a very difficult side to beat and have some experienced fellows on the line and often even more experienced watching from the stand with a phone close to their ear.

Its going to be Cappoquin for me here, but I expect An Rinn to push them all the way.

 

Brickeys V Stradbally – Sunday at 7-15pm in Fraher Field - Quarter Final Replay

Last Sunday evening these two sides could not be separated and the two will have to do it all over again this Sunday evening to see who will advance to the semi finals where Ballinameela are waiting.

The Brickeys looked as though they were heading into a semi final game this weekend as they lead by four points with six minutes to play, but as we all know, no game is over till that full time whistle is blown and credit to Stradbally they kept on fighting away not once but twice to earn another bite off the apple.

A Shane Ahearn goal on sixty minutes sent the game to extra time and a point from a free struck by Michael Walsh sent this game to a second meeting.

Replays are often funny affairs, and the side that learned more from the drawn game and from extra time will come out on top in this game.

This replay is something that neither side will have wanted as they have important football games coming up, but will gladly accept another clash of the two.

Stradbally will probably be the happier of the two last weekend to have got something from the game, but Brickeys will be expecting to be the happier this weekend.

 

East Junior Hurling (Proper) Hurling Championship: Semi Finals
Ballyduff Lower V Bunmahon – Saturday at 2pm in Kill

Fenor V Ballydurn – Saturday at 5pm in Dunhill

Just five clubs competed in the Eastern Junior Hurling championship this year and four in the west which beggar’s the question how far more can we go without going all county with out competitions as for players getting three or four games a year is going very little for him and some will surly be turning to other codes where they will be getting a lot more games in their chosen number one sport.

It is no surprise that Ballydurn topped the group in the east of the county. They reached a number of finals in the last few years and were further strengthened in last few years when Kilrossanty decided to stop fielding adult hurling teams a number of their players threw their lot in with a number of clubs in the east of the county when it came to hurling.

Fenor is another club that have being strengthened this year after Kill decided not to field any hurling teams and their players threw their lot in with Fenor who have won the title in the east of the county six times in the last fourteen years but never won the County final in that time.

Ballyduff Lower played senior a few years back and while they have lost some of the players that played in the highest grade of hurling within the county are no longer still with the club, still are and will be vital to their hopes here.

Bunmahon may well be the least know of the four clubs involved in this weekends games in the east of the county, but with a player such as the ability of Michael Harney in their team they will have to be taken seriously.

Ballyduff Lower and Ballydurn get the nod here to set up a local derby eastern final in a few weeks but when it comes to knockout hurling, anything could happen.

 

West Junior (Proper) Hurling Championship - Semi Final
Colligan V Geraldine’s – Sunday at 6pm in Fraher Field

Colligan are in this semi final’s with a few weeks, while Geraldine’s qualified last weekend when they beat Saint Mary’s in the last league game in the group section of the competition, a game that was in effect a quarter final game where the winner took all.

Geraldine’s were without Jerome Maher for some time this year but he is expected to be back for this game and his experience will be a big plus for his side.

Colligan have some good players in their ranks but there are suggestions that they could be without both Sean Dempsey and Colin Dunford in this game. If the pair are missing, then it will be a major blow to the chances of the Rockies.

Should the Colligan pair be available, then they get the nod to win this game, but should one or both be missing, the nod goes to Geraldine’s. Modeligo await the winners in the Western Final.  

 

East Junior A Hurling Semi Finals
Passage V Mount Sion – Friday at 8pm in WIT Carriganore

Clonea V Roanmore

Passage over the past few years have put together a nice second string team which involves a number of seasoned former senior players as well as some young players who may not at the time be fully fit for a place in the clubs senior team.

This will be Mount Sion’s third sting team, and just like Passage will have a few players who have done it all before and some players who are finding it difficult to win a place in the clubs second string team, which plays in the Intermediate championship.

Passage are unbeaten in this years championship and get the nod here to keep that record in tact for a while to come.

The game between Clonea and Roanmore is off owing to Rathgormack’s involvement in the senior Football championship and will have to be re-fixed.

 

West Junior (Senior Attached) Hurling Final
Dungarvan V Ballyduff Upper – Saturday at 6-15pm in Cappoquin

Again, just like in the east of the county, these two teams have some experienced ex seniors involved with them this year in this grade of hurling as well as some up and coming players.

When the sides met earlier in the year, it was Ballyduff that came out on top, winning by six points.

This is a game that could go either way and the side that suffered the least losses to their senior team could well come out on top.

Dungarvan get the nod having the greater pick available to them and for the reason I often tend to favour the team that lost the first day when sides meet twice in the same competition.

 

East Junior B Hurling Semi Finals
Dunhill V Portlaw – Friday at 6pm in Kill

Erin’s Own V Ferrybank – Friday at 6pm in De La Salle

Both of these games are fixed for Friday evening. Along the way all four clubs will have suffered losses and the sides that suffered the least amount of these losses could well be the ones that come out on top.

I don’t like to hark on about it, but it is something that irritates a lot of people both inside and outside the county, but to find results that both clubs have achieved to date this year is a difficult task, as to be blunt, the county website is one of the poorest in Ireland, and there is many small clubs which have websites which are far better run than what we have.

Maybe the problem in Waterford is that we have too many chiefs and not enough Indians, and it’s about time that someone on the county board is appointed be it from inside the officer board or a non officer to run the website, keeping it updated day by day with results uploaded onto it as quickly as possible after games.

  

West Junior (Intermediate attached) Hurling semi finals
Kilgobinet V Abbeyside – Saturday – at 6pm in Colligan

Kilgobinet played Junior proper with the last few years but suffered some heavy losses and applied to go down to play with the second string teams this year, the result being that they look too strong for this level of hurling.

Kilgobinet went through the league section of the championship unbeaten and will want to keep that run going. Abbeyside are the reigning champions at this level of hurling in the west of the county and will not want to relinquish their title at this stage of the competition.

This is one of these games that could go either way, but at the end of the day most will be some what shocked if Kilgobinet do not advance to the Western Final.

 

Glen Rovers V Clashmore – Sunday at 2pm in Fraher Field

A few years back after having no team for a number of years the Glen Rovers/Melleray club reformed. For a short while they assisted Tourin after getting back and helped them to reach a Junior County Final a few years back.

The two clubs have now gone their separate ways and play on their own. Tourin played the last few years in the Intermediate grade while Glen Rovers/Melleray played against second string sides in the junior championship.

At the start of the year, Clashmore were having a lot of troubles with injuries and would have promoted some of their players to play at a higher level, and therefore have done well to reach this stage of the competition.

The Clashmore outfit will be all out for a win in this game, but Glen Rovers are unbeaten at this level of hurling in 2014 and will look to keep that record going here. They get the nod to advance to the final but it could be close.

 

West Junior Football Quarter Finals
Old Parish V Shamrocks – Sunday at 3-30pm in Fraher Field

Modeligo, Colligan and Tallow have already qualified for the semi finals of this competition and one of these sides will join them.

A few years back, Old Parish reached the latter stages of the competition and were somewhat unlucky not to win.

Shamrocks are always a good football side and will be looking to get back up to where they feel they belong having played Junior now for a few years.

The Knockanore based club have some good players in the likes of Shane and Colm Roche, the Ahearne’s, Tom O’Donovan and Sean O’Neill.

Old Parish likewise have some good players to choose from, including Aidan Power, Brian French, Brendan Hogan and Ray Terry.

This is another game that could go either way, and which ever side but the Old Parish blood that is in me tells me that they will prevail.

Saturday, 30 August 2014

Tony Forristal - League Tables and Results


Division 1 - Groups 1 and 2
Team 1
Goals
Points
Team 2
Goals
Points
Venue
Time
Laois
 0
 4
Cork
 5
 8
Mount Sion
10am
Waterford
 2
 11
Offaly
 0
 8
Mount Sion
10-50am
Laois
 1
 1
Dublin
 5
 9
Mount Sion
11-40am
Galway
 4
 21
Offaly
 0
 2
Mount Sion
12-30pm
Cork
 1
 9
Dublin
 0
 3
Mount Sion
1-20pm
Waterford
 1
 7
Galway
 3
 10
Mount Sion
2-10pm
Galway
 4
 9
Cork
 2
 6
Mount Sion
3-50pm

 

Group 1 League Table
Team
Played
Won
Drawn
Lost
Score
Points
 
 
 
 
 
Difference
 
Cork
 2
 0
 0
0
 +28
4
Dublin
 2
1
 0
+11 
Laois
 2
-39 
Group 2 League Table
Team
Played
Won
Drawn
Lost
Score
Points
 
 
 
 
 
Difference
 
Galway
 2
 2
 0
+40
4
Waterford
 2
 1
 0
 1
Offaly
 2
 0
-40

 

Division 1 - Groups 3 and 4
Team 1
Goals
Points
Team 2
Goals
Points
Venue
Time
Clare
 1
 8
Antrim
 1
 7
Ballybeg
10am
Limerick
 0
 1
Kilkenny
 2
 15
Ballybeg
10-50am
Antrim
 2
 5
Tipperary
 3
 13
Ballybeg
11-40am
Limerick
 1
 9
Wexford
 0
 9
Ballybeg
12-30pm
Clare
 1
 6
Tipperary
 2
 12
Ballybeg
1-20pm
Kilkenny
 4
 12
Wexford
 0
 7
Ballybeg
2-10pm
Tipperary
 1
 2
Kilkenny
 4
 11
Ballybeg
3-50pm

 

Group 3 League Table
Team
Played
Won
Drawn
Lost
Score
Points
 
 
 
 
 
Difference
 
Tipperary
 2
2
 0
 0
 +19
 0
Clare
-8 
Antrim
 2
 0
 0
 2
 -12
 0
Group 4 League Table
Team
Played
Won
Drawn
Lost
Score
Points
 
 
 
 
 
Difference
 
Kilkenny
2
 2
 0
 0
 +37
 2
Limerick
 2
 1
 0
 1
 -17
 2
Wexford
 2
 0
 0
 2
 -20
 0

 

Division 2 - Group 1
Team 1
Goals
Points
Team 2
Goals
Points
Venue
Time
Wexford
 3
 5
Dublin
 2
 6
Erin's Own
10am
Kilkenny
 1
2
Cork
 0
 4
Erin's Own
10-50am
Wexford
 4
 4
Kilkenny
 0
Erin's Own
12-20am
Cork
 2
 9
Dublin
 1
 3
Erin's Own
1-10pm
Wexford
 0
 1
Cork
 3
 9
Erin's Own
2-40pm
Kilkenny
 1
 7
Dublin
 3
 4
Erin's Own
3-40pm
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

Group 1 League Table
Team
Played
Won
Drawn
Lost
Score
Points
 
 
 
 
 
Difference
 
Cork
 3
 2
 0
 0
+25
 4
Wexford
 3
 2
 0
 1
 -3
Dublin
3
 1
 0
 0
 -8
 2
Kilkenny
 3
 1
 0
 2
 -14
 2

 

Division 2 - Groups 2 and 3
Team 1
Goals
Points
Team 2
Goals
Points
Venue
Time
Tipperary
 1
 10
Waterford
 1
 1
De La Salle
10am
Clare
 3
 6
Limerick
 3
 7
De La Salle
10-50am
Tipperary
 4
 12
Kerry
 0
 6
De La Salle
11-40am
Clare
 0
 9
Galway
 4
 15
De La Salle
12-30pm
Kerry
 3
 2
Waterford
 1
 13
De La Salle
1-20pm
Limerick
 1
 10
Galway
 4
 8
De La Salle
2-10pm
Tipperary
 2
 6
Galway
 1
 5
De La Salle
3-50pm

 

Group 2 League Table
Team
Played
Won
Drawn
Lost
Score
Points
 
 
 
 
 
Difference
 
Tipperary
 2
 2
 0
 +27
 4
Waterford
 2
 1
 0
 1
 -4
 2
Kerry
 2
 0
 0
 0
 -23
 0
Group 3 League Table
Team
Played
Won
Drawn
Lost
Score
Points
 
 
 
 
 
Difference
 
Galway
 2
 2
 0
 0
 +25
4
Limerick
 2
 1
 0
 1
 -6
2
Clare
 2
 0
 0
 1
 -19
0

 

Division 2 - Final
Team 1
Goals
Points
Team 2
Goals
Points
Venue
Time
Tipperary
 1
 5
Cork
 3
 5
Walsh Park
5-40pm

 

Division 1 - Final
Team 1
Goals
Points
Team 2
Goals
Points
Venue
Time
Galway
 2
 5
Kilkenny
 2
 16
Walsh Park
6-45pm