By Eamonn Kelly
Following their humiliating loss to Wolfe Tones the previous week, current central division champions St. Brendan’s took advantage of the July 20 registration deadline to add much needed help to their squad by signing intercounty players Michael Donnellan, Seamus Quinn and Fergal Cuassan during the past week.
Despite this extra strength, the Brendans made hard work of defeating a bench weak Parnells team that put up a tremendous challenge in this senior football clash. They found it extremely difficult to get the right combination in place and, despite having the more powerful team on paper, led by only two points at the interval.
In the end, St. Brendan’s won by 4-10, Parnells 0-9.
Parnells were the early aggressors and were the first to score when Paul McGrady pointed in the opening minutes.
Galway star Michael Donnellan replied with a similar score before John Sparling blasted to the net to give St. Brendans a 3-point lead.
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Parnells’ best forward, Davy Shields, reduced the gap with a point before Brendan’s scored three consecutive points.
Parnells enjoyed their best spell of the game just before half time resulting in Shields sending over three points in a row to put just three points between the teams.
St. Brendan’s finally got their act together on the turnover with Sparling opening the scoring with a point.
Opportunist center forward Colm Murphy netted in the fifth minute and did likewise again at the beginning of the fourth quarter to set his team on the road to victory.
Both teams are likely to meet again in the semi-final on Aug. 15.
Tones 5-15, Pearse 2-10
What seemed in the first half to be heading for a Wolfe Tones cake walk turned into an entertaining contest as the challengers fought back to make a game of it.
With no interest left in the league since early July, fair credit to Pádraig Pearse for battling back after being down 3-7 to 0-2 at the end of the first quarter. They had goals from Shane Collins (player of the match) and Andy Maloney to reduce the deficit to six points at half time.
They kept up the challenge in the second half but the outcome of the game was never in doubt as a powerful Wolfe Tones squad now strengthened by the inclusion of Wicklow star Kevin O’Brien never had to go into top gear.
O’Brien had a marvelous first outing, scoring 2-7 of his side’s total. The other Wolfe Tones top scorer was Rory Mone who accounted for the other goals.
In addition to Conlisk, best players for Pádraig Pearse were Leigh O’Brien, Trevor McFern and Ken Claffey.
Wolfe Tones have now qualified for the divisional final to be played on Aug. 22.
Bolands 3-16, Limerick 1-11
With little hope of reaching the playoff stages of the senior hurling league, Limerick put up a gallant effort against current champions Harry Bolands to make this an entertaining contest. They played some fine hurling in the early stages of the game and trailed by no more than five points for most of the first half.
It was only in the 20th minute that Bolands stretched their lead to eight points when James Murphy blasted to the net from close range. Limerick narrowed the gap to six points when Peader Hurley and James O’Brien pointed just before the interval.
However, the game ended as a contest when Kevin Horan and Tom Culkin scored goals early in the second half.
In junior football, St. Brendans maintained their unbeaten record with a convincing 2-8 to 0-4 win over current champions John McBrides and have qualified for the divisional final.
In the other junior football game, Wolfe Tones defeated Parnells 2-8 to 0-6.
Detroit Wolfe tones are on top of the midwest division and have qualified for the semi-final stages of the competition.
In games played last Sunday, Cleveland St. Pats had a one-point victory over Buffalo Na Fianna, 1-10 to 1-9 while Cleveland St. Jarlaths defeated Pittsburgh Celtics 5-10 to 3-12.
Next week’s playoff games are: Buffalo Na Fianna vs Pittsburgh Celtics; Cleveland St. Pats vs Detroit Pádraig Pearse.
In the senior championship, Kevin Barry defeated Donegal by 2-10 to 2-9 in a close, hard hitting opener of the championship. Jonathan Niblock sealed it for the Barry’s with a point in injury time.
Declan McNichol opened the scoring for Donegal with a point from a quick free in the third minute. McNichol added another point from a line ball one minute later.
Three successive fouls on Jonathon Niblock led to two points for the Barry’s, Niblock scoring both points. A free on the 50-yard line was sent in high by McNichol and it found its way into the top corner of the net for a goal for Donegal. Kevin Barry’s responded immediately with a long ball to Niblock who tapped it over the bar.
Both teams exchanged two points each before Seamus McNicholl collected a loose ball from a line kick and blasted it to the net for Kevin Barry’s first goal.
With eight minutes left in the half, the Barry’s could only muster three wides while Donegal had a fine point from Denis Gallagher to tie the score at 1-5 each at half time.
A point from a foul on Niblock opened the scoring for Kevin Barry’s in the first minute of the second half. McNicholl replied immediately with a point from a free kick.
Christy Ryan entered the fray in the 36th minute, replacing an injured Jason McCarron.
A foul on McNichol produced Donegal’s second goal, McNichols free kick came off the post and fell to the alert Denis Gallagher who gladly put the ball in the back of the net.
The Barry’s responded immediately with a goal from Larry McVeigh and a point from Niblock.
Mark Alcorn scored two more points for Donegal to give Donegal the lead by one point.
Points were exchanged by Paul McIvor (Barry’s) and Jason McGahan (Donegal) before Niblock leveled the score with a point five minutes from time.
With each team kicking a couple of wides in the last few minutes, the game entered injury time and a line ball from Darren McGeehan found Niblock who tapped it over for a point and a one point margin for the Barry’s at the final whistle.
Scorers: Kevin Barry’s: J. Niblock 0-8, S. McNicholl 1-1, L. McVeigh 1-0, P. McFlynn 0-1.
Donegal: D. McNichol 1-4, D. Gallagher 1-1, M. Alcorn 0-3, J. McGahan 0-1.
In the ladies junior clash, Philadelphia Harps defeated Washington Gaels by 4-11 to 2-0.
The scoreline didn’t really reflect the game, as Washington had a lot of possession that they were unable to convert into scores.
The Harps took a 2-5 to 0-0 lead early on in the game with 2-2 from Tara Filler and points from Bridget Coyle, Patricia Monaghan and Una Mullan.
Washington didn’t score in the second half. Philadelphia added two goals, one each for Mullan and Filler, and points from Sheila Doherty, Bridget Coyle, Una Mullan (2), and Michelle O’Neill to make the score 4-11 to 2-0 at the final whistle.
Best for the Harps were U. Mullan, S. Clark and Holly Regan, while Washington had fine performances from Joann Sperling and Anne Marie Murphy.
Donegal 3-16, Kevin Barry’s 2-9
Donegal’s junior footballers made an impressive start to the championship with a win over Kevin Barry’s.
Best for Donegal: S. Campbell, P. Duffy and S. Higgins, while Kevin Barry’s had fine performances from J. King, M. Feeny and G.
Scorers: Donegal: S. Campbell 0-7, P. Duffy 2-3, B. Hughes 1-0, M. Kane 0-5, R. Goodison 0-1.
Kevin Barry’s: J. King 1-7, R. McHale 0-1, G. McAleer 1-1.
Washington 1-11, Young Irelanders 4-16
Young Irelanders had a comfortable win over Washington Gaels in the junior championship.
Washington’s first response came from a point by Loftus and points from Coyle and Keeley for Young Irelanders left the score at 1-7 to 0-5 at the half.