Friday, 6 March 2015

Waterford Senior Hurlers look for another brace of points away to Offaly

Derek McGrath’s Waterford senior hurling team will be hoping to keep their unbeaten start to this year’s Allianz National Hurling League in tact on Saturday afternoon when they travel to Tullamore to take on Brian Whelehan’s Offaly side.

This game was originally due to take place on Sunday afternoon but was brought forward twenty-four hours as a result of some in-house squabble in Offaly who were due to have a double header involving the footballers at O’Connor Park on Sunday, with the footballers playing the curtain raiser. However the game was brought forward as it was reported those involved with the hurling panel felt the ground would cut up with a football game played before the game.

Offaly head into this game with one win from two games, beating Laois 1-24 to 0-23 in the opening round of games, but they lost out to Wexford on a 2-15 to 0-12 score line at O’Connor Park.

Waterford head into this game with a better record, drawing away to Limerick in the first round and last time out accounting for Laois at Fraher Field.

Offaly are without Cillian Kiely for this game, but they could well welcome back Cathal Parlon and Brian Carroll back for this game, which will add strength and debt to the squad.

Waterford selectors could well have been caught between a rock and a hard place in selecting their starting fifteen for this game.

Jake Dillon, Austin Gleeson, Pauric Mahony, Gavin O’Brien, Martin O’Neill and Stephen Bennett were involved in Fitzgibbon Cup action since Waterford’s last league game.

Dillon, Gleeson, Mahony, O’Brien and O’Neill were involved with WIT who were involved in a delayed quarter final game last week, and last weekend were at the finals weekend, where the semi final and final went to extra time, and will be in action again on Wednesday evening next when they replay at Pairc Ui Rinn.

With the amount of action the players have had in the last two weeks, Derek McGrath could be forgiven for leaving the players out for this game citing player welfare, but he has opted to include Dillon, Gleeson and Mahony in the starting team.

The De La Salle Club man and his selectors have opted to keep changes in the team to a minimum as they have replaced Shane Bennett who started against Laois with Jake Dillon, with the rest of the team remaining unchanged.

The Waterford selectors however depending on how the game is going, may opt to take some of the players involved in the Fitzgibbon Cup Replay on Wednesday evening off and with the squad strengthen in the past week with the return of Colin Dunford, Maurice Shanahan and Stephen Daniels after injury lay-offs the management may opt to give them some game time to build some bigger games in the weeks ahead with both club and county.

Waterford’s last visit to O’Connor Park (in hurling) was in the All-Ireland qualifiers two years ago.

On that occasion Waterford had it all to do to beat the home side, and with a number of the players involved in that win no longer involved with Waterford another close game is expected to be fought out this time around.

Offaly may no longer have the big name players they had in the past, however in addition to the likes of the already mentioned Cathal Parlon and Brian Carroll they will be looking to the likes of James Dempsey between the posts, as well as Joe Bergin, Dan Currams and Shane Dooley in attack, they have the players to cause Waterford problems.

However, while Waterford are a different looking side to that which lined out two years back, the players that have come in to replace them have up to now shown up well and if they can help the side to another brace of points in this game, it should secure Waterford’s place in the quarter finals of the league where they would face a Division 1A team in a few weeks time.

Waterford footballers look to get back to winning ways away to Longford.


Waterford Senior Footballers hopes of gaining promotion from Division four of the National Football League in 2015 took a serious dent last Saturday night when they lost a five point advantage at the break having played with a strong wind at their backs to loose by two against Carlow at Fraher Field.

Tom McGlinchey’s charges will get a chance to get back on track this weekend when they take on an unbeaten Longford side at Pearce Park, where anything but a win will mean that Waterford’s chances are all but over for another year.

The home side have collected a possible five points from a possible side in what has proven to be a positive start to the league beating Antrim and London (two sides Waterford have lost to in recent times) and drawing with Leitrim who Waterford beat last year at Fraher Field, and they will be looking to keep that great start in tact this weekend.

Under Jack Sheedy Longford have made steady progress this year and will be looking to move up a division as quickly as possible.

Offaly may we be the favourites to win this year’s Division Four section of the league. Longford however are not far behind them and the game between the two could well in the eyes of many be the game that decides who tops the group.

Waterford have already played and lost to Offaly in what proved to be somewhat of a controversial game as Shane Ahearne was ordered off after just nineteen minutes and after his sending off Waterford were playing an uphill battle.

However, should Waterford beat Longford this weekend and with Carlow who are also going well in this years league also to play both Longford and Offaly, things could get very interesting.

After loosing to both Offaly and Carlow in the last two games, there is some that would suggest that changes should be made to the team for this weekend, especially as Tony Grey, Liam Lawlor and Liam Ó Lonáin are now all back in contention, while Shane Walsh who rejoined the panel during the week could also be a surprise inclusion.  

All three are very good footballers and would be a huge addition to the team if selected, but if they were to be included, some may be wondering where they would be slotted into the team and what damage if any would it do to the confidence of the players that have come in for them while they were out of contention for a place in the team.

There are many that put down football in Waterford at every opportunity. However as those that follow the game closely will tell you, Waterford are able to hold their own with most at club level as borne out by Stradbally, Ballinacourty and The Nire in recent years in the Club Championship.

Waterford have some good footballers to pick from, and in the past when least expected, they have put up a very good showing and pulled off a result or have come very close to doing so. Who will forget how close Waterford came to beating Galway two years ago in Pearce Stadium.

Few will be expecting anything from Waterford this weekend, especially from outside the county.

With this in mind and taking into consideration that Waterford are wrote off by most, they come up with a good result and I for one will be expecting it to happen here.

Thursday, 5 March 2015

A big Colleges GAA Weekend in Waterford


Big GAA Weekend’s in Waterford are really nothing new are they?

Over the past few years we have got quiet used to it, but it is something we would like to see happen much more often.

If it’s not our senior hurling or football side that is in action, is one of out underage teams.

Maybe it might not be an underage team that is in action, it could be one of out second level college sides that are playing or even Waterford IT or even a club side.

And it is not always male teams that are in action.

Here in Waterford we have some excellent Camogie and Ladies Football teams at Intermediate or underage levels. Sometimes it amazes me that these sides do not get the same level of support as our male sides. They after all put in the same level of commitment, sometimes the commitment is even greater, and often it costs our ladies sides a lot more from their own pockets to represent their club or county than it does our male sides. But I suppose - each to their own.

This coming weekend we see our senior hurling and football teams play important away games in the national league.

The county’s Intermediate Camogie team is also in action, away to Cork after a great win two weeks ago against Tipperary at Carriganore.

However, with due respect to the sides already mentioned, the main action this weekend could well centre around three college sides who are playing an All-Ireland Camogie Final, an All-Ireland Hurling semi final and an All-Ireland Ladies Football Final. Why should they not get centre stage? Young players playing for the Colleges and on underage teams today are the future stars of Hurling and football, Ladies Football and Camogie in the years to come.

In the last decade or so, supporters of GAA teams on the Colleges scene have been spoilt for choice in Waterford.

De La Salle College, Dungarvan CBS, Saint Augustine’s College, Blackwater Community School, Saint Paul’s Community College as well as Colaiste na Déise or Dungarvan Colleges, a merging of Dungarvan CBS and Saint Augustine’s College have all put together good teams and have given their supporters much to talk about.

Now another side could do much the same.

Saint Declan’s Community College from Kilmacthomas this Saturday play Saint Louis Grammar School from Ballymena in an All-Ireland ‘C’ Hurling Final at Ashbourne in Meath.

Picking from clubs in the centre of the county, Saint Declan’s path to Saturday’s All-Ireland semi final is a relatively short one.

In the group stages of the Munster Championship, they were drawn in Group E along with one other side, their near neighbours – Carrick-on-Suir CBS.

Twenty one teams were entered into the championship, split into five groups of three and three groups of two, with two teams advancing from each group to the second round of games.

The game against Carrick-on-Suir resulted in a 2-15 to 0-19 win for the Kilmacthomas side. In the second round Kilmacthomas had it a little more easier playing against Coachford, winning 2-16 to 2-6. In the quarter finals extra time was needed before Saint Declan’s beat Presentation from Ballingarry 1-21 to 0-20 and in the semi final they had a 2-13 to 1-6 win over Kinsale.

Last time out in the Munster Final at Killeagh, Saint Declan’s proved that the old saying that goals win games could in fact be true as they put three past Scoil Mhuire Gan Smal from Blarney, winning on a 3-7 to 1-8 score line.

Eoin Bray from Clonea proved to be the Saint Declan’s hero that day. He came on after 22 minutes for Ross Coffey and bagged himself 2-1 after coming on. Others to get on the score sheet that day were Ballyduff Lower’s John Kennedy who hit 1-1, Portlaw’s Jamie Murphy who put over three points, two of which came from placed balls and Ciaran Kirwan from Kill landed 0-2.

The Kilmacthomas based panel will know heading to Ashbourne not to under estimate the challenge of the Northerners. Over the past number of years, while some sides have won, Waterford sides do not have the best of records when playing northern opposition. No doubt the Saint Declan’s panel will not want to fall to opposition from Ulster.

What changes if any, from the win in the Munster final the Kilmacthomas teachers will make to the team remain to be seen.

What ever fifteen the Kilmacthomas side puts out, it will be a strong one, picking from a panel from six clubs.

Ballyduff Lower has the biggest representation on the panel with eleven. Clonea and Dunhill have four each, one more than Portlaw, while there is two from Saint Mary’s and one from Kilmacthomas.

Saint Declan’s Panel: Ryan Murray, Craig Tyrell, Calum Lyons, Dylan Reade, Cormac Dunphy, Ross Coffey, John Kennedy, Alan Fitzsimmons, Ben Kennedy, Colm Dempsey, Kevin Cheasty (Ballyduff Lower), Billy Power, Conor Dalton, Eoin Bray, Noah O’Brien (Clonea), Eoghan Casey, Eoin Cooper, Gearoid Murphy, Niall Power (Dunhill), Jamie Murphy, Jake Scanlon, Craig Fraher (Portlaw), Jeff Hally, Ciaran Kirwan (Saint Mary’s), Jonathan Long (Kilmacthomas).

In Ladies Football, Saint Augustine’s College after a brilliant win over Loreto School from Clonmel in the Munster Senior ‘B’ Final at Clonmel back in late January take on Loreto Secondary School Saint Michael’s from Navan in this Saturday’s All-Ireland semi final at Crettyard.

To get to this stage of the competition, the Abbeyside College have had three great wins, beating Kilkee 7-17 to 1-1 in the quarter finals and in the semi finals they had a 6-11 to 0-4 win over Coláiste Corca Dhuibhne from Dingle.

In their Munster Final win Saint Augustine’s were served up with a player of the match performance from Liz Devine and the side will be looking to her and the sides other experienced players including the likes of Bronagh Condon, Molly Curran, Megan Dunford, Kaisha Tobin, Caoimhe McGrath, Megan O’Connor, Abbie Dalton and Katie Duggan-Sullivan for much of their inspiration in this game.

Underage Ladies Football in both Waterford and Meath is very strong, which should ensure a good game.

The Saint Augustine’s panel made up of Cadhla O’Sullivan, Megan Dunford, Sarah Keohan, Alice Hahesy, Catherine Hahesy, Caoimhe McGrath, Megan O’Connor, Liz Devine, Chloe Fennell, Aisling Mullaney, Bronagh Condon, Caragh McCarthy, Kaeisha Tobin, Molly Curran, Maighread Meehan, Maria O’Donovan, Katie Duggan-Sullivan, Caoimhe Curran, Claire Fennell, Rachel McGuickian, Saidabh Walsh, Sarah Morrissey, Abbie Dalton, Aine Flynn and Aisling O’Connor on paper looks to be a strong won with some players having experience of playing with the Waterford Intermediate Ladies Football team, which could well stand to them in this game, especially if the game is tight near the end.

The third Waterford side in action is Our Lady’s Mercy Secondary School in Waterford City and are deliberately left to last for a good reason, as unlike the other two sides mentioned who are playing All-Ireland semi finals, the city school are playing an All-Ireland Final.

The sides in sky blue shirts are back in a junior All-Ireland for the second year in a row. Last year they lost out to Presentation from Roscommon and they will be hoping to go that step further in this year’s Junior competition.

The side in their last two games have played remarkably well beating Loreto from Fermoy in  the Munster Final on a 2-3 to 1-2 score line at Passage and last time out at Colaiste Chríost Rí from Portlaoise at Mooncoin on a 5-5 to 2-7 score line.

In the Munster Final it was goals from Eva Aylward and Ciara Jackman that proved decisive and last time out it was again goals that made the difference as Eva Aylward hit a brace and Ciara Jackman, Shauna Fitzgerald and Aisling Madigan all raised a single green flag each.

Picking from the city clubs as well as those which surround it and into South Kilkenny, Mercy Secondary School will know that if they can hit goals in this game, as they have in their previous two games that victory could be there for the taking in (Ballykelly) Monasterevin on Saturday afternoon.

There is an old saying when it comes to sport, that you have to loose one to win one. While the Mercy outfit will show many changes to the one which contested last years final, the panel made up of Niamh Crowley, Emily Wadding, Shonagh Croke, Katie Ryan, Emily Crowley, Shauna Fitzgerald, Lucy Bradley, Jane O’Connell, Cliodhna Murphy, Emma Fitzgerald, Aisling Madigan, Kathleen Croke, Evan Aylward, Ciara Jackman, Evelyn Hayes, Grace Blanchfield, Aisling Power, Sarah Hayes, Aoife Purcell, Jane McEnery, Ciara Phelan, Áine Phelan, Aoife Allen, Katie O’Brien, Caprice Carroll and Caoimhe Drohan will prove through.

 

This weekend’s Colleges details

All-Ireland Senior ‘C’ Hurling Semi Final – Saint Declan’s Kilmacthomas V St Louis Grammar School (Ballymena) in Ashbourne at 2pm on Saturday.

All-Ireland Senior ‘B’ Ladies Football Semi Final – Saint Augustine’s Abbeyside V Loreto Secondary School (Saint Michael’s) Navan in Crettyard on Saturday at 2pm.

All Ireland Junior ‘D’ Camogie Final – Our Lady’s Mercy Secondary School – Waterford V St. Mac Dara’s in (Ballykelly) Monasterevin, Co Kildare at 1pm on Saturday.

Monday, 2 March 2015

Heartbreak for Lismore at Croke Park


If you are from Lismore, a member of the towns Camogie Club, a supporter of the same club or even a supporter of the game in general, there can be no disputing that the past two years have proven to be a great time for all involved.

It’s well documented that the club under the Management of Seamus Prendergast, working along side Geraldine Barry, Austin Curran and Jim Russell began training for the year ahead on the weekend of Saint Patrick’s Day in 2013.

Everyone knows of the efforts put in by the top inter county and club sides over the past few years in a bid to win silverware. Everyone knows of the commitments shown by the players on these sides. What may be not known to many is that when it comes to the ladies games (Camogie and Ladies Football) the commitment and effort is just as big as what their male counterparts put in and sometimes the commitment is even greater.

Over the past two years, a great bond has been built up within the Lismore Camogie Club. How many club players for example involved in the club championships in the early part of the New Year will give up Saint Stephen’s morning to go training. Such is the bond built up by the Lismore players over the past two years, on Saint Stephen’s Day in 2013 after a training session the players sat down and ate a Christmas Dinner together.

While Lismore will be disappointed with this narrowest of narrow defeats, its possibly fair to say that some may take a short break away from the game now, but in a few weeks time, they will come back regroup and begin a new journey along what is a familiar road, beginning with an attempt to win the County Senior League Cup and then the championship and if successful head into Munster and hope to reach an All-Ireland Final at Croke Park, where they will be hoping that what they say about the third time does prove through.

This years All-Ireland Final was always going to be hard fought. Both sides qualified on merit, and whichever was going to come out on top be it after one game or two as was the case twelve months ago, they were going to be worthy winners.

Between them, the two respective sides lost just one game over the past twelve months.

The South Kilkenny side went into the game with a perfect record, winning the Kilkenny Intermediate League, the All-Kilkenny League, the Kilkenny Intermediate Championship and the Leinster Intermediate Championship.

Lismore went into the game having won last years All-Ireland Intermediate Club Final, the County Senior Championship and the Munster Intermediate Club Championship, their only competitive defeat in the past twelve months coming in the County Senior League Final against arch rivals Saint Annes.

While it was Piltown that made the better start to this game, it was Lismore that scored first, Aoife Hannon putting over her first of the afternoon from a free on three minutes.

Edel Long levelled matters on six minutes and from the restart Tanya Morrissey was adjudged to have come outside the fourteen metre line, a harsh call maybe as she appeared to have had the ball released from her grasp before momentum took her over the line. From the resulting strike from the forty-five metre line Katie Power made no mistake, sending the challengers into the lead, a lead they never lost.

Niamh Culleton gave her side a two point advantage on the score board on eight minutes and three minutes later, that lead when to five when following some good work by Katie Power and Niamh Culleton, Chloe Blackmore a player to keep an eye on in the coming years beat Tanya Morrissey with a low shot.

Nicola Morrissey who moved from corner forward in semi final win over Oranmore Maree to wing forward for this game pulled a point back for Lismore on seventeen minutes to leave her side trailing by four.

Katie Power from a ’45 restored a five point advantage with ten minutes of the half remaining but that lead was cut to three on twenty four minutes after Aoife Hannon put over a brace of frees.

Points from Katie Power from a free and Laura Norris followed for Piltown inside a minute of each other to open a five point lead once more with four minutes of the half remaining.

Lismore however went to the dressing rooms in a confident mood after a free won two minutes from the break was moved to a more favourable position after some descent from the Piltown players.

Aoife Hannon stepped up to take the free and she made no mistake in dispatching to the net which in a way makes the decision taken at Congress over the weekend look all the more controversial as when the player strikes the ball properly, the advantage is with the attacking player.

Coming out with a 1-6 to 1-4 advantage on the score board Piltown extended their leas by two within six minutes of the restart as Chloe Holden and Katie Power put over points.

Aoife Hannon had what looked like to be a point ruled out by the umpire soon afterwards, waving the effort wide. Was it some sort of “justice” for Lismore? In their County Final win over Saint Anne’s at Fraher Field at much the same point in the game, Saint Anne’s had what looked like a point waved wide, which if given the game would have ended in a draw.

Two points in a two minute spell did follow for Lismore both from Aoife Hannon to leave just two between the sides at the end of the third quarter.

Katie Power followed up with a brace points on forty-nine and fifty two minutes, the latter the only score from play in this game by the former WIT Ashbourne Cup winning captain to give the South Kilkenny outfit a 1-10 to 1-6 lead with eight minutes to play.

The sign of a good team is one that keeps going right to the end, and this is exactly what Lismore did.

Aisling O’Brien played the ball in around the Piltown goal with five minutes to play. Nicola Morrissey finished to the net, but before the Lismore support in the stand could raise what would be the loudest cheer of the day up to that point Peter Dowd gave a loud shrill of his whistle and indicated that the Lismore player was in the small square before the ball arrived in.

Lismore however still refused to give up. An Aoife Hannon effort went wide of the posts before she cut the Piltown lead to three with two minutes to play. Grainne Kennelly who impressed throughout followed up with another Lismore point on the hour mark and Aoife Hannon put over her sixth free of the game, her seventh point in total to leave just one between the sides

Time however ran out for Lismore. Piltown ran out winners 1-10 to 1-9. They will now play in the senior championship in 2015 and with a young team it will be interesting to see how they will get on.

Lismore too have a relatively young team, the most senior players still in their mid to late 20’s. There is no doubt the hunger is still there. They have played two All-Ireland’s at Croke Park. Neither has resulted in wins at the venue.

But it’s worth remembering that Lismore played in three All-Ireland semi finals before they won one. Maybe a third visit to Croke Park will result in win for Lismore. Can it happen?

Lismore: Tanya Morrissey; Niamh Molumphy, Shauna Prendergast, Marie Russell; Aoife Houlihan, Shauna Kiernan, Sarah Fenton; Grainne Kenneally Shona Curran; Nicola Morrissey, Aoife Hannon, Sharon Williams; Ruth Geoghegan, Catriona McGlone, Johanna Houlihan. Subs: Laura Buckley for Sharon Williams (28), Sarah Coughlan for Niamh Molumphy (h.t), Aisling O’Brien for Johanna Houlihan (46). Rest of the Panel: Sarah Geoghegan, Alice Russell, Kate Heneghan.

Scorers: Aoife Hannon 1-7(1-6fs); Nicola Morrissey, Grainne Kenneally 0-1 each

Piltown: Aoife Norris, Mairead Power, Elaine Kenny, Jennifer Norris: Debbie Phelan, Katie Duggan, Kelly-Ann Doyle; Laura Norris, Alice Talbot; Nicole Culleton, Katie Power, Edel Long; Chloe Holden, Chloe Blackmore, Lorraine Long. Subs: Georgina Culleton for Alice Talbot (47), Lisa McCarthy for Chloe Holden (59), Katelynn Phelan for Debbie Phelan (60+1). Rest of the Panel: Carol McCarthy, Niamh Dermody, Ellen Commins, Sinead McCarthy, Áine Power, Nicola Phelan, Maria Foley, Leanne Dunne, Siobhan Dermody, Fiona Long, Jean Power, Antonia Power.

Scorers: Katie Power 0-6(3fs, 2 ‘45); Chloe Blackmore 1-0; Laura Norris, Nicole Culleton, Edel Long, Chloe Holden 0-1 each

Referee: Peter Dowd (Meath) 

Waterford Intermediate Ladies remain unbeaten in National League.


Waterford’s Intermediate Ladies Football team made it four out of four in this year’s Tesco Homegrown National League with a hard fought win over Tipperary at Ardfinnan on Sunday afternoon.

Operating with a large panel, Pat Sullivan and his selectors made wholesale changes to the side that beat Sligo a week earlier at Fraher Field.

Clodagh Walsh a used sub in the win over Sligo came in from the start in place of Katie Hannon between the posts. Megan Dunford and Emma Murray the corner backs that started against Sligo were replaced by the experienced Mary Foley and Kate McGrath. Emer Scanlon was the only change in the half back line replacing Caoimhe McGrath and in the middle of the field Nicola Fennell came in for Mairead Wall.

In attack the experienced pair of Linda Wall who captains the side this year and Michelle Ryan were also left out as was Aoife Murray, Ciara Hurley, Lauren McGregor and Shauna Dunphy the players coming in.

It was Gillian O’Brien who has stood out for Tipperary in the last few years that opened the scoring in this game after five minutes, but points from Sinead Ryan on ten minutes and Shauna Dunphy soon afterwards had Waterford in front.

Laura Dillon scored Tipperary’s first goal on fourteen minutes which was followed by an effort from the impressive Gillian O’Brien which went between the uprights.

Since re-joining the panel earlier this year, Maria Delahunty has impressed immensely. The Abbeyside player brought the visitors to within one of the hosts on nineteen minutes, hitting a brace of points inside a minute of each other, the first from play, and the latter from a free.

Gillian O’Brien with her third of the game extended Tipperary’s lead soon afterwards which was followed up with a second Tipperary goal, this one from Cappawhite’s Aoife Ryan to give the hosts a 2-4 to 0-4 lead.

Waterford would however finish strong and points from teenagers Lauren McGregor and Ciara Hurley, two players that have come through from successful underage teams left Waterford trailing 2-4 to 0-6 at the interval.

Tipperary came out for the second half in flying fashion and kicked a third goal inside a minute of the resumption, a second in the game from Aoife Ryan.

This was however as good as it got for the home side as from the restart, Waterford moved the ball up the field with pace and Lauren McGregor gave Lauren Fitzpatrick playing on a ground she is very familiar with no chance.

Maria Delahunty hit a point from a free on thirty four minutes which was cancelled out with a similar score from Aisling McCarthy, one that was to be her side’s last of the game.

From here on in it was Waterford all the way.

Aileen Wall landed a point on thirty four minutes after which Maria Delahunty, Ciara Hurley and Sinead Ryan landed points to draw the sides level (1-11 to 3-5) after forty-nine minutes.

Michelle Ryan not long after coming on for Lauren McGregor put Waterford in front with a second goal for the visitors and eight minutes from time Dede Fahey secured the win for Waterford with a point.

Next up for Waterford is a home game against Roscommon on March 15 at 2pm at a venue yet to be confirmed, while Tipperary this coming Sunday have a rearranged opening round game with Fermanagh to play at 2pm and on March 15 will be at home to Wexford.

Waterford: Clodagh Walsh; Mary Foley, Karen McGrath, Kate McGrath; Michelle McGrath, Elaine Power, Emer Scanlon; Mary Kate Morrissey, Nicola Fennell; Ciara Hurley, Maria Delahunty, Aileen Wall; Lauren McGregor, Sinéad Ryan Shauna Dunphy. Subs used: Linda Wall, Mairead Wall, Michelle Ryan, Aoife Murray, Dede Fahey, Katie Hannon

Scorers: Maria Delahunty 0-4, Lauren McGregor 1-1, Michelle Ryan 1-0, Ciara Hurley 0-2, Sinead Ryan 0-2, Aileen Wall, Dede Fahey, Shauna Dunphy 0-1 each.

Tipperary: Lauren Fitzpatrick; Treasa McGrath, Maria Curley, Elaine Kelly; Roisin McGrath, Louise Cadell, Lorraine O'Shea; Bernie Ryan, Breda Feeney; Laura Dillon, Gillian O'Brien, Aisling McCarthy; Shauna Ryan, Aoife Ryan, Sarah Everard. Subs used: Sarah Ryan, Elaine Butler, Emma Buckley.

Scorers: Aoife Ryan 2-0, Gillian O'Brien 0-4, Laura Dillon 1-0, Aisling McCarthy 0-1.

Referee: Jason Flood (Wexford).

Meanwhile, the same two counties clashed in the Munster Under 14 ‘B’ Championship at Bansha on Saturday afternoon.

A goal from Keeley Corbett Barry proved to be the crucial score of a very tight first half as it gave the visiting side a 1-4 to 0-6 lead.

Angela McGuckian in the second half scored a hat-trick of goals for the home side, but Waterford responded with goals from Sheena McGuckian who hit 1-5 on the day and Maeve Daly which helped Waterford to a 3-11 to 3-7 victory.

Next up for Waterford at this level is a game against Clare on March 14 while Tipperary play Limerick on the same day.

WIT and UL have to do it all again after exciting finish at the Gaelic Grounds.


Waterford IT and University of Limerick will have to do it all over again after one of the most exciting Independent.ie Fitzgibbon Cup finishes in the competitions long history.

With six minutes to play in injury time, the Limerick side held a four point advantage after Stephen Bennett and PJ Scully bagged a quick fire 1-1 giving their side a four point lead, but the Waterford students, many who were literally dying on their feet having played three times between Tuesday and Saturday evening, two of the games requiring extra time, hit the last four scores of the game, including a point from Tom Fox at the debt to earn what was a well deserved draw.

This was a game that ebbed and flowed where the outcome was in doubt right to the time that Offaly referee Brian Gavin shaded the final whistle for the second time on the evening.

It was not the first time over the 80 minutes that the holders had to fight back from being four points down in this game.

Over the course of the game, the Limerick students at four different times held a four point advantage.

The Waterford students for much of the game were playing catch up and only lead twice in the game, first on the hour mark when Johnny Hayes gave Waterford a 0-14 to 1-10 lead and again in the opening minutes of the first half of extra time when Pauric Mahony and Jake Dillon pointed to give Waterford a two point lead.

The Limerick Students opened the scoring from a John McGrath free. The same player landed the next two scores as well, the first from play and then another free after three minutes.

The holders opened their account on ten minutes when Wexford’s Harry Kehoe pointed only for Kevin O’Brien to cancel it out two minutes later.

Thomas Hamill and Tommy Heffernan exchanged points by the eighteenth minute after which Austin Gleeson the most impressive player on show over the course of the weekend hit his first of the game followed by a Pauric Mahony free to leave one between the sides with six minutes to play.

The Limerick students however hit the last score of the half, a minute from time, John McGrath finding the range to give his side a 0-6 to 0-4 advantage.

On emerging for the second half, the Waterford students halved the Limerick sides advantage with a point from Austin Gleeson one minute after the restart.

However, the Limerick students hit back with the first goal of the game on thirty two minutes through Tommy Heffernan which gave his side a 1-6 to 0-5 lead.

The Limerick students however never built on that goal.

Pauric Mahony and John McGrath swapped scores after which Tom Fox, Jake Dillon and Pauric Mahony hit points to leave Waterford trailing by one with forty-three minutes played.

Cathal McInerney, Tony Kelly and Jason Forde restored a four point (1-10 to 0-9) advantage with ten minutes played, but Colm Bonner’s charges refused to throw in the towel.

Johnny Hayes landed points on fifty-three and fifty-four minutes and three minutes from the hour mark Pauric Mahony pointed to leave one between the sides and to set up a grand-stand finale.

The Ballygunner Club man levelled matters on the hour mark and when Johnny Hayes pointed soon afterwards it looked as if the 2014 champions would retain their title.

No game however is over till the sound of that long whistle. The Limerick side kept plugging away and when Tony Kelly put over his second point of the game, this one from a free two minutes into added time the sides were level (1-11 to 0-14).

Waterford IT came out for the first half of added time looking very impressive with Pauric Mahony and Jake Dillon landing points to sent the Suir-side students 0-16 to 1-11 in front.

The holders however would turn around to play into the city end of the ground for the second time in arrears as the challengers beat Darragh Stapleton for the second time in this game, the goal coming from Jason Forde.

Pauric Mahony levelled matters for the third time on seventy-two minutes but within seconds, the holders were behind once more after Stephen Bennett struck for a third UL goal and PJ Scully followed up with a point to give their side a 3-12 to 0-17 lead with six minutes remaining.

Waterford IT however showed exactly why they are the current holders of the famous trophy.

They staged one of the most remarkable comebacks in the competitions history.

Pauric Mahony began the fight back with ’65 with five minutes to play. Martin O’Neill followed up with a brace, both from play.

Those inside the ground were wondering with time almost up could WIT hit the score that was needed to earn a draw or would the challengers hold out for a win.

On eighty minutes all got their answer when Tom Fox struck a huge point to level matters. Incredible stuff.

In the aftermath of the game many were wondering when the replay would take place.

Thankfully no rash decision was made.

With so many players involved on different inter-county set ups and with so many games coming up, it is surly important that time is given to players by both College mentors and by inter county mentors to leave players on both sides time to recover if all are as concerned as they say at times about player burn-out.

Its all great having great games to watch, but if players are not given time to recover after games and are dragged from venue to venue for training sessions and games, is it all worth it?

WIT: Darragh Stapleton (Doon, Limerick); Tom Fox (Tipperary), Ger Teehan (Kilkenny), Jerome Maher (Waterford); Tomas Hamill (Tipperary), Martin O’Neill (Waterford), Owen McGrath (Kilkenny); Jack Langton (Kilkenny), Stephen Roche (Waterford); Gavin O’Brien (Waterford), Pauric Mahony (Waterford), Harry Kehoe (Wexford); Liam McGrath (Tipperary), Austin Gleeson (Waterford), Jake Dillon (Waterford). Subs: Johnny Hayes (Kilkenny) for Liam McGrath (48mins), Ciaran O’Brien (Cork) for Austin Gleeson (77mins).

Scorers: Pauric Mahony 0-8 (5frees, 1 ‘65), Johnny Hayes 0-3, Martin O’Neill, Tom Fox, Jake Dillon, Austin Gleeson (1 SL) 0-2 each, Harry Kehoe, Tomas Hamill 0-1 each.

UL: Paul Maher (Tipperary); Eoin Moriarty (Kilkenny), Brian Troy (Kilkenny), Gearoid Ryan (Clare); Brian Stapleton (Tipperary), David McInerney (Clare), Daire Quinn (Tipperary); Tony Kelly (Clare), Dan Morrissey (Ahane, Limerick); Jason Forde (Tipperary), Conor Martin (Kilkenny), John McGrath (Tipperary); Kevin O’Brien (Patrickswell, Limerick), Cathal McInerney (Clare), Tommy Heffernan (Tipperary). Subs: Stephen Bennett (Waterford) for John McGrath (48mins), PJ Scully (Laois) for Cathal McInerney (56mins), Mark Carmody (Patrickswell, Limerick) for Kevin O’Brien, (67mins), Aidan McGuane (Clare) for Conor Martin, (75mins).

Scorers: John McGrath (0-5, 0-3 frees), Tommy Heffernan (1-1); Jason Forde (1-1);Stephen  Bennett (1-0); Tony Kelly (0-2, 0-1 free); Kevin O'Brien, Cathal McInerney, PJ Scully (0-1 each).

Referee: Brian Gavin (Offaly).

A game of two halves at Fraher Field


Carlow’s revival in footballing circles under the guidance of Turlough O’Brien continued on Saturday evening last when they kept their unbeaten start to this year’s Allianz National Football League in tact when they came from five points down at the break to beat Waterford by two points at Fraher Field.

The defeat for Tom McGlinchey’s charges means its back to back defeats for Waterford in this years league after winning their first five competitive games of the year and any further slip ups could mean that the main aim for the year which is to get promoted from Division four in the league could be over for another year.

Waterford at the break lead 0-7 to 0-2 having played with a strong wind at their backs. At this stage the home side could well have been out of site as they registered ten wide’s in the opening half.

However, the wind could at time prove to be difficult to play with at your backs, as in the second half the visitors too struck a high amount of wide’s registering just one less than Waterford did when they had the wind at their backs.

With just under ten minutes of the game still to play in Fraher Field, despite playing against the strong wind, it looked good for Waterford as they held a three point lead, but in those closing minutes, the visitors struck five points while the home side failed to score in the last fourteen minutes of the game.

The home side opened this game brightly kicking the first three scores.

Shane Ahearne opened the scoring on three minutes and moments later Michael O’Halloran who has impressed since coming into the side this year doubled Waterford’s advantage and his Ballinacourty club mate Patrick Hurney put Waterford three up with eight minutes on the clock.

Carlow hit their first score of the game on the quarter of an hour mark, Ciaran Moran the player sending the umpire for a white flag.

The score however failed to ignite the visitors and Waterford hit the next four scores.

The first three of these scores all came from the boot of vice captain Shane Ahearne all from frees to give Waterford a 0-6 to 0-1 lead with thirty-one minutes played.

Mark Ferncombe edged Waterford six in front a minute before the break, but Darragh O’Brien moments before the half time whistle kicked Carlow’s second score of the game.

Leading by five points at the break is normally a good enough advantage to win many football games, but in the wintery conditions of Fraher Field, a five point advantage may not have been enough.

Carlow came out a different side for the second half.

With the wind at their backs, they hit the first three scores of the half.

Sean Gannon struck first on thirty-six minutes. A minute later the experienced Daniel Saint Ledger got his name on the score sheet, and eight minutes into the half Brian Murphy got his first of the game to leave just two between the sides.

Shane Ahearne put over a brace of frees on forty-four and fifty-six minutes to put Waterford four in front but these were to prove to be the sides last scores of the game.

Carlow however did finish strong registering the last six scores of the game.

Brian Murphy got the ball rolling with a point from a free on the hour mark. Substitute John Murphy followed up with another point two minutes later before Sean Gannon brought Carlow to within one of Waterford with seven minutes to play.

The visitors top scorer on the evening Brian Murphy levelled matters with five minutes to play after which the visitors continued to attack the Waterford goals and were rewarded for their efforts three minutes from time when Sean Gannon edged them in front for the first time and on the hour mark Brian Murphy got his fourth of the game to seal a two point victory.

Waterford: Stephen Enright; Dean Crowley, Ray Ó Ceallaigh, Thomas O’Gorman; Tadhg Ó hUallacháin, Maurice O’Gorman, Conor Phelan; Shane Ahearne, Tommy Prendergast; Michael Curry, Patrick Hurney, Michael O’Halloran; Mark Ferncombe, Gavin Nugent, Paul Whyte. Subs: Tony Grey for Conor Phelan (21); Liam Lawlor for Gavin Nugent (H-T); Liam Ó Lonáin for Tommy Prendergast (52); Lorcan Ó Corraoin for Michael Curry (57); Oran Keevers for Tadhg Ó hUallacháin (62); JJ Hutchinson for Ray Ó Ceallaigh (66).

Scorers: Shane Ahearne 0-6 (5fs); Patrick Hurney, Michael O’Halloran, Mark Ferncombe 0-1 each.

Carlow: Craig Kearney; Barry John Molloy, Shane Redmond, Kieran Nolan; Mark Fitzgerald, Daniel St Ledger, Benny Kavanagh; Sean Gannon, Darragh Foley; Ed Finnegan, Ciaran Moran, David Bambrick; Brian Murphy, Brendan Murphy, Darragh O’Brien. Subs: Hugh Gahan for David Bambrick (43); Derek Hayden for Ed Finnegan (53); Eoghan Ruth for Darragh Foley (55); John Murphy for Ciaran Moran (58); Eric McCormack for Darragh O’Brien (67).

Scorers: Brian Murphy 0-4 (3fs); Sean Gannon 0-3; Darragh O’Brien, Daniel St Ledger, Ciaran Moran, John Murphy.

Referee: Derek O’Mahony (Tipperary)