Category: Archive

GAA Roundup Shorthanded Galway roll past Clare

February 16, 2011

By Staff Reporter

By Mark Jones

Galway hurling was in turmoil last weekend when the news emerged that star forward Joe Rabbitte had quit the county panel. A mainstay of the team during the 1990s, Rabbitte is believed to be disillusioned with the Galway setup.

Manager Mattie Murphy confirmed that Rabbitte had pulled out due to personal reasons. And there was more trouble for Murphy when it was later revealed that goalkeeper Kevin Devine had also opted out of the squad.

Both Rabbitte and Devine were listed as substitutes for last Sunday’s National Hurling League game against Clare at Ballinasloe, but neither turned up at the ground.

They weren’t missed in the short term as Clare treated this Div. 1A game as a bit of a stroll. Without Ollie Baker, Jamesie O’Connor and Sean McMahon, who are in action for St. Joseph’s Doora-Barefield in the All-Ireland club final, and with a few of their big names still not back in training, it was no surprise that Galway cruised to a 2-17 to 1-11 victory.

Despite the lackluster opposition, Galway looked sharp and well organized as they clocked up a second successive League victory. Every attacker got on the score sheet and both Cathal Moore and Eugene Cloonan were particularly incisive.

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The contest had been muddling along for much of the first half when suddenly Galway turned on the power. Inspired by Cloonan, they hit Clare for 1-6 without reply and from then on the result was never in doubt. Mark Kerins was on target for the first goal, Alan Kerins later struck for a second and the impressive Cloonan helped himself to 8 points.

Clare clearly have their minds set on the bigger prizes of summer. Galway, despite their good form, now have to clarify the Rabbitte situation.

Antrim 1-14, Offaly 2-10

Antrim registered a first victory of the season when a late Alastair Elliott goal stunned All-Ireland champions Offaly at Loughgiel. With his side trailing by two points, Elliott pounced in injury time to dramatically earn Antrim the spoils by 1-14 to 2-10.

The game turned out to be a personal triumph for the Dunloy forward, who scored an outstanding 1-10. Offaly looked to be on their way when Brian Whelehan hammered home a second goal 12 minutes from the end, but they hadn’t bargained for Elliott’s brilliant marksmanship.

Wexford 1-14, Waterford 0-11

The main game of Div. 1B ended in frustration for Waterford as they had Paul Flynn sent off on the way to a 1-14 to 0-11 defeat by Wexford. Flynn’s dismissal just before the interval remained a source of mystery after the game. Use of the boot seemed to be the referee’s censure. However, his dubious decision even drew pleas for leniency from several Wexford players.

Still, Waterford tenaciously held on despite playing against the breeze during the second half and the match was only decided five minutes from time when Tom Dempsey shot the all-important goal following an Adrian Fenlon sideline cut.

Kilkenny 2-15, Laois 0-16

A brilliant second-half goal by D.J. Carey made the difference as Kilkenny got the better of Laois by 2-15 to 0-16 at Nowlan Park. Charging through the Laois defense in the closing stages, Carey made no mistake with a fierce shot that gave his team an unassailable 7-point cushion.

Despite being under pressure for long periods, Laois had hauled themselves back into the game when Carey struck. David Cuddy’s accuracy had done much for the Laois cause, but with Henry Shefflin in impressive form, Kilkenny always had the upper hand.

Tipperary 4-23, Down 0-8

Tipperary opened their campaign with a facile 4-23 to 0-8 win over Down at Ballycran. This was glorified scoring practice for Tipp and Tomas Dunne was the main beneficiary with a personal tally of 1-8.

Div. 2

In Div. 2, Wicklow can thank Jonathan O’Neill for a convincing 2-16 to 0-9 victory against Carlow at Dr. Cullen Park. O’Neill contributed an outstanding 2-5 from play as Wicklow moved to the top of the table alongside Roscommon, who defeated Westmeath by 1-10 to 0-10 at Athleague. A late Brendan Boyle goal did the trick for Roscommon.

Also, Derry collected their first points with a 0-15 to 0-9 success over Kildare. London beat Meath by 1-12 to 2-4 and Monaghan fell to a second defeat when Tyrone took the points at Omagh by 3-12 to 1-7.

Div. 3

Sligo moved into the top spot in Div. 3 when they trounced Leitrim by 4-11 to 1-5. Cavan beat Donegal by 2-10 to 1-3 and Mayo edged Louth by 0-13 to 1-9.

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