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Chicago GAA Tones now top of the league with Brendan’s

February 16, 2011

By Staff Reporter

By Eamonn Kelly

In the central division, Chicago and North American League champions Wolfe Tones defeated St. Brendan’s senior footballers by 4-8 to 1-13.

Tones, a team that was on the verge of an early exit from this year’s competition with a dismal record of three points after four games, had it’s title hopes resurrected following four second-half goals that helped defeat St. Brendan’s.

This Wolfe Tones victory puts them all square at the top of the league with St. Brendan’s.

As expected, this third meeting of these great rivals was another tense and physical encounter that produced long periods of top quality football. Strengthened by the inclusion of Meath star Graham Geraghty, Wolfe Tones came up with a sound second-half performance that must be repeated for a full hour in upcoming games if they are to retain their titles.

After a sluggish first half, where they trailed by two points at the interval, they gave a more encouraging display in the second half. St. Brendan’s, who included Sligo star Eamon O’Hara in their line out, were slightly the better team for most of the game but a total break down in defense midway through the second half contributed to their down fall. Two awful defensive errors in the 12th and 14th minute led to two soft but well-taken goals by corner-forward J.P. Rooney. This was the turning point of the game which put the Tones in command and tore the St. Brendan’s confidence to shreds.

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Scoring points in the opening moments from the boots of Eamon O’Hara and Ger Walsh, St. Brendan’s maintained a slight lead throughout the first half.

In a tense and close marking second quarter, both teams exchanges points. St. Brendan’s other scorers were Martin Delaney, Michael Finnelly and Nial Buckley while Rory Mone and Garry Mason accounted for Wolfe Tones points to make the half time score, St. Brendan’s 0-7, Wolfe Tones 0-5.

The Tones were the more aggressive side on the turnover and soon took the lead following a point by Mason and a fine goal scored by Conor Mone.

Two minutes later, St. Brendan’s were back in front when Chris Donnellan blasted to the net. It was shortly after this major score that the St. Brendan’s defense started to crumble, allowing Rooney in for two easy goals followed by a point by Mason to give them a six point lead, the biggest of the match.

It was an uphill struggle for the Brendan’s after that but they rallied in a most exciting last quarter, cutting the deficit to a single point. However, another defensive lapse allowed Pat Kealy in to score a decisive goal to ensure a deserved victory for Wolfe Tones.

Harry Boland’s 1-23, Cúchulainn 1-11

What was expected to be a senior classic hurling game between two great hurling rivals turned out to be a big disappointment for the biggest crowd of the year at Gaelic Park last Sunday where Harry Bolands had a twelve point victory over Cúchulainn.

The match did not spark to life at all as both sides seem to go through the paces to complete a fixture with little at stake.

Cúchulainn, who were league-leaders going into this game, were away below form, giving the worst display of the season.

Harry Bolands, much improved from early outings, were in command from the opening whistle.

Cúchulainn stayed within striking distance of their opponents in the first half. They got on level terms midway through the half and trailed by just a goal at the interval, 1-8 to 0-8.

However, the second half was a different story as the Bolands were in total command, outshooting Cúchulainn 0-15 to 1-3.

David Martin scored Harry Boland’s lone goal just before the half time break while Ollie Blanchfield, who came on as a sub, scored Cúchulainn’s goal from a penalty in the last play of the game.

Erins Own 3-18, Limerick 4-6

Chicago league champion senior hurlers Erin’s Own picked up their first win in this year’s campaign with a well-deserved nine points win over a weak Limerick team.

While the winning margin seems impressive, Erins Own still haven’t got the sparkle that brought them the title last year. They played some nice hurling, particularly in the second half, but conceded a couple of rather soft goals.

Limerick, who looked a very promising team early in the season having won their opening game against Erins Own, were disappointing in this latest clash between the two clubs. They trailed throughout the hour with the exception of a short period in the first half when they were on level terms following a goal by Julian Burke and a point from Ronan Tynan.

Within moments, Erins Own regained the lead for good when Liam McGrath blasted to the net from close range. Aidan Flanagan, Liam Walsh and Cathal Murray added points to give Erins Own a five point interval lead, 1-9 to 1-4.

Tony Doyle boosted Limerick’s confidence with a goal in the opening moment of the second half but were held scoreless for the next 18 minutes while Erins Own registered eight consecutive points.

Trailing by eleven points at the beginning of the last quarter, Limerick generated a rally that produced two goals by Ollie Ryan and Marcus Morris but a second McGrath goal sealed victory for Erins Own.

Other results

Junior football: Pádraig Pearse 1-13, John McBrides 1-6; St. Brendan’s 2-9, Wolfe Tones 1-6.

Philadelphia Division

The three-game series with the only two senior football teams in the Philadelphia division got under way last Sunday with Donegal winning the opening game over Derry by five points, 0-13 to 0-8.

Derry will look back on this encounter and realize that victory could have been theirs if there was a little more accuracy in front of goal from play and placed balls.

Donegal started the better team with the midfield partnership of Paul Scullian and Liam Moore dominating. Early points from Christy Ryan and Dominic Bradley gave the impression that this was going to be an easy victory for Donegal but a good point from Ryan Stringer brought Derry back in the game.

Donegal got stronger as the first half wore on and built up a six-point lead.

A strong rally by Derry in the final five minutes of the half gained points from Stringer and Ryan Comiskey to leave the half time score Donegal 0-9, Derry 0-5.

Despite total domination at the start of the second half, Derry could only manage one point, again from Stringer.

Good defending and a couple of great saves by goalkeeper David Hopkins helped to keep Donegal in the driver’s seat.

Derry did came within three points of their opponents but a strong finish by Donegal produced points from Colm Parkinson, Paul Scullion to give them a five-point victory.

Tyrone 0-17, Young Irelands 1-11

A great second-half performance from Tyrone gave them a three-point victory over Young Irelands in this Intermediate game in Philadelphia last Sunday.

After trailing by 0-6 to 0-5 at half-time, Tyrone produced a more fluid performance on the turnover. They raced into a seven-point lead through scores from Garry Mullins, Barry O’Hare and Anthony Monaghan.

Young Irelands fought back and a great goal and a point from Luke Coyle left them four points adrift but that was the end of the scoring and Tyrone held out for victory.

Minors

In minor football, North East Gaels drew with Delaware Gaels on a score of 2-5 each.

The growth of under-age football in Philadelphia got a great boost last Sunday when these two very skillful teams put on a fine performance before an appreciative audience.

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