A large and boisterous Breffni contingent was on hand and they shook Gaelic Park’s bleachers with their spirited support.
They, and the rest of the crowd, were treated to a match that had a little bit of everything. For example the scoring opened with a well-taken point from Cavan fullback Thomas Pierce.
Pierce was so far forward because he was marking Kerry corner forward Paddy O’Connor playing as a third midfielder. Pierce and Seamus McIntyre had been switched with McIntyre assigned to shadow Kerry star John Crowley. The strategic maneuvers of the respective sidelines were another noteworthy aspect of this match.
Kerry corner forward Dermot Foley had two quick points and he looked capable of doing even more damage. Crowley was also looking like he had a big match in him. The physical number 14 pointed two frees, the second after he had been fouled.
Cavan quickly switched Pierce on to Foley and they also dropped cornerback Steven Mahoney back to help out on Crowley and Foley, leaving O’Connor unmarked in the middle of the park.
Two good points from Garreth Smith got Cavan within a point, and Kerry responded with a Donnacha Walsh point on an O’Connor set up. O’Connor was picking up a lot of loose ball but Kerry didn’t avail of it as Cavan tacked on points from Alan Brogan and Ryan McCormack.
Dave McSweeney came down hard after soaring to make a great catch and the Kerry midfielder temporarily left the pitch before recovering and returning after the break. Walsh and JP Smith, a 15th minute sub for Cavan, traded points and we had a 0-6 all deadlock at the intermission.
Cavan shuffled their back once more on the restart this time putting Denis McCarthy on O’Connor and trusting McIntyre and Pierce to contain the threats of Foley and Crowley.
With Dave “Rooster” Rooney blunting Walsh’s effectiveness on the 40, Kerry were missing Bingo O’Driscoll and Dave McCarthy as their normally varied attack was limited to pumping the ball into Crowley and watching.
Meanwhile Cavan had the first 0-3 of the second half from Cormac Kelly, Colm Shannon, and Paddy Smith. Kerry pulled to 0-10 to 0-9 on a good point from attacking wingback Eoghan Lawlor. Crowley had two points and one bad wide in that Kerry mini rally.
Cavan responded to the Kerry pressure with a counterattack that sprung Ryan McCormack on a breakaway. McCormack’s well-placed rocket was headed for the twines when Finbarr Flood went full stretch for what may well have been the save of the year to deny McCormack. Cavan kept their heads and two frees from JP Smith put the Blues 0-3 clear, 0-12 to 0-9.
Kerry bounced back with a point from a Crowley free as the Kingdom were bearing down on the Cavan goal. Twice Kerry’s shot bounced high off the woodwork and then with Kerry swarming the Cavan square Dan Downey’s shot wound up in the Cavan goal. But referee Sean Jones had already blown the whistle for a penalty.
Up stepped cornerback and penalty specialist Niall Corbett. Corbett didn’t get all of it and Cavan keeper Kieran Traynor came up big with the diving save. The rebound went for a Kerry 50 that resulted in a free. With one eye on the clock, Crowley shot hard and low, and nearly hit the corner flag. Cavan’s reply was a point from Alan Brogan as he alertly intercepted a Kerry kickout and pointed.
Then Paddy Smith got the ball with nothing but space between himself and Kerry keeper Flood. Smith bore down on goal and a desperate Flood fired his goalie gloves at the onrushing forward. Tomo was not that easily put off and his goal sunk Kerry, and effectively punched Cavan’s ticket to the SFA playoffs.
Man of the Match: Dave Rooney.
Cavan: Kieran Traynor, Seamus McIntyre, Thomas Pierce (0-1), Steven Mahoney, Paul Crossan, Dave Rooney, Denis McCarthy, Sean Lordan, Cormac Kelly (0-1), Colm Shannon (0-1), Paddy Smith (1-1), Alan Brogan (0-3), Ryan McCormack (0-1), Alan Colloran, Garreth Smith (0-3) Sub: JP Smith (0-3, 2 fr, 1 sl).
Kerry: Finbarr Flood, Don Murphy, Derek Riney, Niall Corbett, Eoghan Lawlor (0-1), Pa Murphy, Collie Fearon, Mike Bishop, Dave McSweeney, Danny Downey, Donnacha Walsh (0-2, 1 fr), Paudie Mulvihill, Dermot Foley (0-2), John Crowley (0-5, 3 fr), Paddy O’Connor Subs: Louis Holland, Stephen Flynn.
Referee: Sean Jones.
Tipp take a big one
Tipperary 2-17 Galway 1-17
A late Tom Moylan goal gave Tipperary just enough of a cushion to hold off a hard charging Galway side in Sunday’s very entertaining senior hurling match at Gaelic Park. Galway needed to upset Tipperary to wrap up a playoff berth and avoid a playoff with New Jersey/Kilkenny for the last quarterfinal spot.
Tipperary started well with a good point from their energetic if diminutive midfielder Dave Loughnane. Three John Madden points were answered by points from Galway’s Shane Spellman, Dave Simms, and weekender James Moran.
Tipperary had Moylan from the start this week after he began last week’s match on the pines nursing a leg injury. Moylan worked tirelessly and effectively from his midfield position, defending well and pushing the Premier County’s attack.
Tipperary threatened to take control of the match with a long point from Colm Morrissey and a fine opportunistic goal from the dangerous Martin Finn. Tipperary looked like they might leave the Tribesmen behind them by the break until Dave Simms fed Eamon Jackman for a badly needed Galway goal.
Suddenly a 0-6 Tipperary lead was just three points and by the half Galway had pulled back one more point to trail 1-9 to 1-7 at the interval.
Martin Finn sparkled in the third quarter scoring three points in a skillful display. Galway kept in touch with Dave Simms’ free taking their primary weapon.
Galway were also getting some outstanding defensive work from Gerry Greaney and Niall Lysaght who did their part to keep dangerman Paul Kelly and Trevor Fletcher off the scoreboard.
Lysaght was particularly effective subduing Fletcher and chipping in a point in a fine match. Both sides deserve credit for the level of effort and skill on this brutally hot afternoon. Again Tipperary tried to pull away establishing a 0-3-point lead highlighted by wingback Shane Tierney’s long carry and point.
But Galway were fighting hard for that playoff spot and points from Lysaght and substitute John Kennedy shaved the deficit to the bare minimum. Time was now definitely an issue and when Moylan’s pull lashed the slithoar to the back of the net it was running low on Galway.
There was no quit in this Galway team and midfield Cian Burke very nearly matched Moylan only to be denied twice. First Tipperary’s excellent goalkeeper Thomas Maher saved a Burke blast and then the lanky midfielder’s rebound effort was turned away by the crossbar.
Mick Maher came off a deep Tipperary bench with a point to settle his side and a Dave Simms’ point was too little, too late for Galway.
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Man of the Match: Tom Moylan.
Tipperary: Thomas Maher, Seamus Burke, Tomas Keane, Shane Tierney (0-1), Colm Morrissey (0-1), Alan Slattery, Tom Moylan (1-0), Dave Loughnane (0-2), Trevor Fletcher, John Madden (0-6), Paul Kelly, Martin Finn (1-4), Kevin Kennedy (0-2) Sub: Mick Maher (0-1).
Galway: Finbarr Flood, Seamus Pender, Eamon Joyce, Gerry Greaney, Denis Gibbons, Niall Lysaght (0-1), Shane Spellman (0-1), Cian Burke, Dave Simms (0-9, 8 fr), James Moran (0-3), Dave Dunne, Eamon Jackman (1-1), Sean Greaney (0-1) Sub: John Kennedy (0-1).
Referee: Dermot Flynn.
St. Barnabas win a lame-duck match
Junior Football Div. A
St. Barnabas 4-9 Astoria 1-12
Sunday’s finale was the rescheduled match that was postponed due to lightening last Sunday. With both teams already qualified for the quarterfinals, the match was just played for the seedings.
Barnabas had it all their own way in the first half as they built a 4-4 to 0-3 half-time lead. Sean Carbin had two goals, New York minor star Thomas McGovern contributed two fine points, and Ronan Garvey tore the Gaels’ defense asunder with another of his trademark displays of pinpoint passing.
To their credit, Astoria came out full of fight in the second half putting a scare into the Saints before eventually falling 4-9 to 1-12.
Man of the Match: Ronan Garvey.
St. Barnabas: Barry Lynch, Brian Montgomery, Pat Lyons, Andrew Donoghue, Brian Kelly, Ed Greenan, Terrence Flynn (0-1), Dave Garvey, Adrian Clarke, Paddy Reddington, Jack Ferritter (1-4), Ronan Garvey (0-1), Thomas McGovern (0-3), Darren Meaney, Sean Carbin (2-0) Sub: Gary Rocks (1-0).
Astoria: Brendan Riley, Mike McAnee, Tim Lynch, John Beirne, Mike Conroy, Gerry O’Brien, Gary Corwyn, Alan Foley, Steven Doyle, Donal Flaherty (0-2), Derek McKenna (1-0), Damien Ward, Ultan Brown, John Rabbitte (0-1), Sean Munnelly (0-7) Subs: Ciaran Cull (0-1), Dave Dunne (0-1).
Referee: Tom Darby.
Derry do right
Junior Football Div. A
Derry 2-10 Cork 0-6
Derry closed out their League campaign in fine style, capping a perfect season with an impressive 2-10 to 0-6 victory over Cork. The Oak Leaf boys now turn their attention to the Senior B playoffs where they will be hot favorites to add to their 2005 SFB K.O. Championship.
Derry were on top from the start with some fine interplay among their forwards. Derry eased out to a 0-4 to 0-0 lead with Pauric Duffy and Martin Turner scoring a brace apiece as some accurate cross-field passing had the Cork backs grasping for air.
Cork finally got on the board via an Eoin Coveney free after 13 minutes. Cork nearly broke through for a badly needed goal but Eamon Collins’ rasper was saved by a diving Mark O’Connor blocking the Derry goal.
Neither side troubled the scorekeeper again until Edmund Cleary pointed a free after 23 minutes had elapsed. Cork were hanging tough with the division leaders, who were struggling to make their dominance known on the scoreboard.
Then a late scoring binge sunk the Rebels. Goals from Barry O’Neill and Rory McCluskey put Cork’s hopes on the respirator and they went into the break trailing Derry 2-5 to 0-2.
Nothing happened to upset the apple cart in the second half and so it’s on to the playoffs for both teams.
Man of the Match: Pauric Duffy.
Derry: Mark O’Connor, Joe Bell, Thomas Harkin, Sean Carney, Paul Mulhern, Chris Collins, Stephen Keating, Ruari O’Neill, Cathal McKeever (0-1, fr), Brian O’Connor, Barry O’Neill (1-0), Martin Turner (0-3), Rory McCluskey (1-0), Brian Donoghue (0-1), Pauric Duffy (0-5, 2 fr).
Cork: Barry Hanrahan, Tim O’Sullivan, Con Breen, Tim Giltenane, Robert Conlin, Liam Hanley, Stephen O’Shea, Tadgh Healy, Tadgh Collins, Mike McCarthy, Eamon Collins (0-1), Tadgh Foley (0-1), Ed Cleary (0-2), Eoin Coveney (0-1, fr), Brian Crowley (0-1).
Referee: Thomas Cormack.
Gaelic Park schedule for next weekend
Saturday, Aug 27
Junior Football Div. B Semi-finals
4:30 p.m. Long Island Gaels v. Dublin
6 p.m. Cavan v. Offaly
Sunday, Aug 28
1 p.m. Senior Football Div. A
Clare v. Leitrim
2:30 p.m. Senior Hurling
Connecticut State v. Offaly
4 p.m. Ladies Final
Mayo v. Cavan
5:30 p.m. Senior Football Div. A
Kerry v. Westmeath
Junior Football Div. A Playoffs
Sunday, September 4th at Gaelic Park
(Numbers denote seeding)
St. Barnabas (1) v. Kerry (8)
Stamford (2) v. Armagh (7)
St. Raymonds (3) v. Roscommon (6)
Down (4) v. Astoria (5)