Category: Archive

Irish Sports Desk Bangor to take on Shelbourne in FAI Cup

February 16, 2011

By Staff Reporter

By Sean Creedon

After knocking out premier division Drogheda United in the last round, Dublin junior club Bangor Celtic meet another premier division club in the next round of the FAI Cup this weekend. This time it’s League leaders Shelbourne and Bangor have opted to play the game at Richmond Park, home of St. Patrick’s Athletic, who are out of the competition.

Shels struggled against first division St. Francis in the last round, but they should make it to the quarterfinals, especially as the game is being played on a League ground and not a non-League ground.

Bluebell United, who knocked out Sligo Rovers last time, would have liked a big name, but they have to be content with an away trip to Rockmount in Cork. We are guaranteed two non-League teams in the quarterfinals as Swilly Rovers and St. Mochta’s also meet. The only all-premier division clash is the meeting of Bohemians and UCD at Dalymount Park.

Wood named captain

Keith Wood received the ideal birthday present last week when he was reinstalled as captain of the Irish Rugby team, who make their Six Nations debut against England at Twickenham on Saturday next. The 31-year-old, who takes over from Dion O Cuanneagain has a dismal record as captain, Ireland lost all nine of Wood’s previous games as skipper.

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Fitzgerald setback

Kerry star Maurice Fitzgerald, who has not played for The Kingdom since last summer’s Munster Final, has suffered another setback. Five months after damaging his left leg while taking a free in a club game, Fitzgerald suffered a stress fracture in the same place as the first

injury. The injury occurred in a Kerry training session and means that the Cahirciveen star will miss the remainder of the League campaign, but should be fit for the Munster championship opener against Cork or Limerick in June.

Galway’s McNamara plans return

Better news for Galway with the confirmation that goalkeeper Martin McNamara is ready to return to the panel for the upcoming National League campaign. The Tuam publican has not played since the Connacht Final loss to Mayo last summer.

GAA venues

The GAA are sticking with their policy of neutral venues for the All-Ireland club championship semifinals. Birr and Athenry will meet in the hurling semifinal at Semple Stadium, Thurles on Feb. 13, while on the same day St Joseph’s Doora-Barefield meet Cushendall at Parnell Park, Dublin. Venues for the football semifinals the following week have not been confirmed, but the speculation is that Parnell Park will be the venue for the UCC v Crossmaglen Rangers game, with the game between Na Fianna and Crossmolina will probably be played in Tullamore.

However, the Association has rejected a proposal to experiment with the rules regarding penalty taking in hurling. The suggestion was that like in football, only the goalkeeper should face the penalty taker.

At present three players are allowed to stand in goal for a penalty, but not so long ago any number of players were allowed to line the goal. Another suggestion which was rejected, was that all players except the goalkeeper and the penalty taker be kept outside the 45 meter line.

Watson for Ballybunion

American golf star Tom Watson will be in Ballybunion on Feb 25 for the Annual General Meeting of the local Golf Club. Watson will be installed as captain of the North Kerry Club at the meeting. Of course it’s a big year for Ballybunion as they will host this year’s Murphy’s Irish Open from June 29 to July 2.

Bertie to honor O’Connell

Taoiseach Bertie Ahern will be the keynote speaker at a function to honor former Kerry star Mick O’Connell in Killarney on Feb. 18.

Friends and former colleagues will gather in the Great Southern Hotel to honor the man from Valentia, without doubt the most stylish footballer to ever wear the famous green and gold. All proceeds will go to the Kerry Parents and Friends Association, for whom O’Connell has been a dedicated fund-raiser.

19 entered in Grand National

A total of 19 Irish runners, including last year’s winner Bobbyjo, have been entered for this year’s Aintree Grand National on April 8.

It’s the biggest Irish initial entry since 1986 and overall a total of 108 horses have been entered for the World famous race.

Limerick accord

The Limerick GAA Board have agreed with manager Eamon Cregan and have requested that the Munster Council fix their championship game on June 4 against Cork for Semple Stadium, Thurles. If Limerick were to enter into a home-and-away agreement with Cork, the first game would have to be played in Pairc Ui Chaoimh as the Limerick Gaelic Grounds will be undergoing development work this year. But of course we cannot presume it will be a Limerick/Cork game. The All-Ireland champions first have to overcome Kerry, but while football contests between the Munster neighbors are tight, there should be no doubt about the outcome of the hurling encounter.

FAI committed to Eircom

FAI Chief Executive Bernard O’Byrne says that he expects to get the full backing of the FAI Board of Management on Eircom Park when they meet in Dublin on Friday.

"We’re committed to Eircom Park and we’re not going on board with the Government. We have funding of £54 million in place already and won’t be spending a penny of the taxpayers’ money,” O’Byrne said.

One of the biggest problems for Eircom Park will be planning permission. The new park is in the line of approach for airplanes to Baldonnel Airport. But it will be the South Dublin County Council who decide whether to give permission and not the Government.

Givens favored for U21s

Former Irish striker Don Givens has emerged as favorite to take over as Irish under 21 manager. Givens is currently on the coaching staff of Arsenal. The job is held by Ian Evans at present, who doubles as assistant to senior manager Mick McCarthy. There was speculation last year that the FAI were going to ask Evans to step down, but it was thought that McCarthy’s new contract deal stipulated that his assistant would continue as Under 21 boss.

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