By Eamonn Kelly
Bolands 3-10, Cu Chulainn 2-10
Senior Hurling champions Harry Bolands advanced to the Central Division final with a three-point victory over Cu Chulainn at Chicago Gaelic Park last Sunday. The game never reached the heights of their previous meeting, on June 27, when both teams played to a thrilling draw. Perhaps, not an awful lot was at stake in this encounter. Since both teams had qualified for the knockout stages of the competition they played for a place in the divisional final with the losers having to face Erins Own in the semifinal in two weeks.
As opposed to their previous clash, the pace rarely moved into second gear and the quality of the hurling was not of the same caliber. Harry Bolands deserved their win as they maintained the lead throughout the game except for a short period in the second half when a goal from Cu Chulainn’s right corner forward Dermot Mackey, tied the game.
Harry Bolands were the superior team in the opening quarter going into a 3-3 to 0-3 lead following two goals from Michael White and one from John Kingston. After some dreadful shooting by the Cu Chulainn forwards they finally found the mark when Carol Grant blasted to the net from a free in the 17th minute. The same player failed from a penalty a few minutes later but points by P.J. Cody and Mackey reduced the gap to four points at the interval. Grant added two more points on the turnover to put just two points between the sides. Bolands moved full-back Brian Geary to centerfield in an effort to offset the monopoly enjoyed by Declan Buggy and Simon Byrne. The move paid off resulting in points from Kingston and Rory McCarthy (player of the match). Then came Mackey’s goal but two glorious points from Geary in the final moments sealed victory for the Bolands and a place in the divisional final on Aug. 22.
In an earlier hurling game that had little significance as far as the league standings are concerned Erins Own had an easy win over Limerick.
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Wolfe Tones 1-12, Parnells 2-8
Likewise to the early hurling game Wolfe Tones and Parnells just went through the paces to fulfill this senior football schedule which had no effect on the knockout stages of the league. Despite the insignificance of the contest it was a lively affair due in part to a spirited second half display by Parnells. They kept close to the Tones in the early stages of the game until a Kevin O’Brien goal at the beginning of the second quarter. Damian Behan, Ronan Fitzmorris and O’Brien added points for Wolfe Tones but Parnells fought back resulting in points from Davy Shields and Paddy Reilly to reduce the gap to seven points at halftime.
On the turnover it appeared that the Tones were heading to an easy win when O’Brien and Beahan notched two early points but Parnells tightened their defensive lines which generated a great second half rally. Spearheaded by a solid display by man-of-the-match, Martin O’Grady, and excellent shooting by Shields, Parnells scored 2-3 without reply in a great twelve minute period. Shields scored 2-1, one goal from a penalty, while Reilly accounted for the other two points. With just a minute remaining in the game veteran Liam Cullen sent over the winning point to protect Wolfe Tone’s perfect record.
Rovers 2-5, St. Brigid’s 0-7
Erin’s Rovers made amends for their recent defeat by St. Brigid’s when they overcame their rivals in a very enjoyable Ladies football game last Sunday at Gaelic Park with a final score of 2-5 to 0-7. The Rovers led at halftime, 1-2 to 0-3, with the only goal coming from Geraldine Munnelly. A goal by Fiona Mulhern in the tenth minute of the second half and minor scores by Mary McLoughlin and Fiona Ryan gave the Rovers a comfortable six points lead by the middle of the final quarter. A late rally by St. Brigid’s produced two points by Aimee Bennett and Collette Rowan but time ran out and Erins Rovers held on for a deserved victory.
Intermediate Football: Ulster 1-16, Sons of Boru 1-15; Junior Football: Michael Cusacks 2-10, Ulster 0-10; Young Irelands 1-11, Sons of Boru 1-9; Senior Ladies Football: Fog City Harps 1-9, Saoirse 0-8 (Fog City Harps won series 3-1).