By Eamonn Kelly
Parnells 3-8, Pádraig Pearse 0-14
In the Chicago Central Division, Pádraig Pearse made an early exit from this year’s senior football finals following a three-point loss to Parnells at Chicago Gaelic Park on Sunday.
After falling behind by eight points early in the second half, the Pearse generated a tremendous rally, spearheaded by Downman Gary Mason, reducing the deficit to two points.
However, with only seven minutes remaining in the game, Pearse were unable to sustain the effort and now have to look to next year.
For Parnells, it was a superb display by Cavanman Jason Reilly which set the foundation for victory. The right corner forward scored all three goals as well as six additional points which earned him the well deserved "player of the day" award.
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A close runnerup for the award was Mason who had a personal tally of 0-8.
Parnells were the earlier aggressors and went into an early four point lead with Reilly scoring the first point and followed with his first goal.
Pádraig Pearse soon settled down and the remaining part of the half was evenly contested, which left just four points between the sides at half-time, 2-5 to 0-7 in Parnells favor.
A second goal by Reilly in the fourth minute of the second half was a stunning blow to Pádraig Pearse but to their credit they responded with great heart.
With points from Mason, Charlie McNulty and Shane Conlisk they came within two points of their opponents and seemed to be in the driver seat to achieve their first league victory.
Unfortunately for them, Parnells reversed the tide and Reilly added another point in the closing minutes to gain a three-point victory.
Cu Chulainn 1-19, Limerick 1-7
In senior hurling, Cu Chulainn did not have to go into top gear to beat a weak Limerick team and maintain their unbeaten streak as the hurling league entered the second round.
Spearheaded by a strong half-back line of Pax Shevlin, Rory Moore and Cahal Shannon, Cu Chulainn took control early in the game and the final result was rarely in doubt.
They jumped into a five-point lead within the first eight minutes following points from Diarmuid Mackey and Owen McGuinness and a goal by Brendan McNamara.
Limerick came within two points midway through the first half when Peader Hurley shot to the net.
However, Cu Chulainn rebounded to take a seven-point lead at the interval.
Limerick opened stronger in the early stages of the second half and were first to score with points from Tom Dowd and Ed Hanley.
By the end of the third quarter, Limerick’s challenge faded away and Cu Chulainn went on a scoring spree with their best forward Diarmuid Mackey firing over five points and additional scores coming from Carol Grant and Rory Moore.
St. Brendan’s 1-15, Parnells to 1-5
A strong first half performance set St. Brendan’s on their way to an easy 10-point victory in this one-sided junior football game. They led by 0-9 to 0-2 at halftime and stretched their lead to 10 points by the end of the third quarter with minor scores from Jason Barrett, Pat Carton and Noel McDermott.
Parnells reduced the deficit by three points when Donald Carey goaled at the beginning of the fourth quarter. However, the Brendan’s sealed victory a few moments later when Dan Kelleher shot to the net.
In an earlier junior football game, Pádraig Pearse had a point victory over Wolfe Tones with a final score of 1-10 to 1-9.
The opening senior and junior championship games between Tyrone and Donegal were cancelled due to the tragic death of the brother of J.P. Kane of the Tyrone club in an accident in his native County Tyrone. Only two games were played as a result.
Haprs 2-14, Washington Gaels 1-0
The Philadelphia Harps were easy winners over the Washington Gaels in a junior women’s game. From the start this seemed like an even-sided affair. However, it was the Philadelphia Harps that were able to finish their attacks and opened the scoring with a Tara Fuller point which was followed by a fine point by Bridget Coyle and another one from Tara Fuller.
Washington’s first scoring chance came soon after when the ball was taken off the line by an alert back. The ensuing 45 was deflected off the line by goalie Eileen McElroy.
Three more points were added on by the Harps, before Washington got their opening score. A foul inside the big rectangle resulted in a penalty.
Despite a goalie change for the penalty Bronagh Murphy had no problem finding the corner of the net. The Harps put the ball straight down the field and Tara Fuller scored another point. A number of bad kick outs were not capitalized on by the Harps sending a number of easy chances wide.
A line ball, sent in high was won by Fuller and she stuck it in the back of the net. The Harps started to dominate midfield and scored five more points before the half was over.
A great save by the Washington goalie denied Fuller a goal in the opening minute of the second half. Washington never scored in the second half while Philadelphia scored another 1-5.
Philadelphia scorers: T. Fuller 2-8, B. Coyle 0-2, U. Mullan 0-2.
Washington: B. Murphy 1-0.
Derry 3-11, Young Irelanders 1-6
The opening junior men’s football encounter was a pretty tight affair most of the way.
The scoring was opened with Luke Coyle tapping over two points, one from a sideline and the other from a 14-yard free. The next score, from Owen Cullen, again came from a silly free given away by Derry.
Derry, down by three points, lost the services of Kieran Barton with a knee injury. Both teams exchanged two wides each before Derry got on the scoreboard with a free scored by Franco McBennett. He also scored the next two Derry points, one from a free and one from play.
A great break for Derry up the middle put Brian McKiernan through for a goal but a feeble kick was easily saved by the Young Irelanders goalie. A point each for Paul Thompson (Y.I.) and Ryan Commiskey (Derry) before halftime left the score 0-5 to 0-4 in Derry’s favor at the half.
A penalty in the second minute of the second half was converted by Franco. This was soon followed by a goal by Eamonn Lyons, who got a nice pass from a bad Young Irelanders kickout.
Derry added another point before their goalie Hugh O’Neill pulled off a great save from point-blank range by Luke Coyle. The rebound was tapped over by Coyle for the first score of the second half by Young Irelanders.
A bad foul on Anthony Daly gave Owen Cullen a 21-yard free. He shot for goal but he stuck the rebound in the net.
This was soon followed by a point by Patrick Cawley which was to be Young Ireland’s last score of the game. Another goal by Lyons and four more Derry points ended this encounter. Derry’s dominance in midfield in the second half was a major asset to the forwards who received a lot of feed as a result.