Category: Archive

O’Hanrahan’s stuns Na Fianna in Leinster

February 16, 2011

By Staff Reporter

By Mark Jones

O’Hanrahan’s (Carlow) 1-7

Na Fianna (Dublin) 1-5

An intermediate club just three years ago, O’Hanrahan’s made history with a first-ever Leinster club football title by overcoming hot favorites Na Fianna in Portlaoise last Sunday. With the likes of All-Star Kieran McGeeney, Dessie Farrell, Mick Galvin and Jason Sherlock in their ranks, few had bet against Na Fianna defending their crown. However, the Dublin side couldn’t cope with the winners’ blend of hard work and skill.

O’Hanrahan’s even had to cope without the services of the suspended Mark Carpenter as they faced into the wind in the first half, but when Na Fianna turned around with just a 2- point lead, the chances of an upset had increased massively. The underdogs duly hit 1-5 without reply in the third quarter and their supporters in the 4,500 crowd were already celebrating before the final whistle.

"People who weren’t familiar with O’Hanrahan’s assumed we wouldn’t win," said manager Michael Dempsey. "But the mood in the dressing room was very different. The confidence levels were high and I had no doubts that provided the occasion didn’t get to the lads, we would win."

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Following a superb defensive performance in the opening half, O’Hanrahan’s quickly pegged back Na Fianna’s 2-point lead with scores from David Birmingham and Pa Kavanagh. Another Birmingham point and two frees from Kavanagh kept up the pressure and then Brian Walker struck for the game’s vital goal. Once a labored Na Fianna passing movement broke down, Walker was quick to make ground before unleashing a perfect shot.

By now, the advantage was 5 points, and there was a nervous moment for O’Hanrahan’s when Aaron Shearer got through for a goal, but the winners’ defense held firm in the closing minutes.

The Carlow side now meet either Nemo Rangers or British champions Tir Chonaill Gaels in the All-Ireland semifinal round next year.

Nemo Rangers (Cork) 0-11

Glenflesk (Kerry) 0-7

For the first time in 2000, Seamus Moynihan had nothing to celebrate. Kerry’s All-Ireland-winning captain, an All-Star and the undisputed Footballer of the Year, Moynihan was on the losing side as Glenflesk’s brave challenge came unstuck in the Munster club football final at the Limerick Gaelic Grounds.

Yet it was never easy for Nemo Rangers, who had to rely on all their experience to see off their unheralded opponents. Level at 0-5 at the interval, Nemo took control in the second half as Colin Corkery picked off the scores and Steven O’Brien cut off the supply of possession to Glenflesk’s main threat, Johnny Crowley.

Corkery kicked six points, including four from frees, but it was Martin Cronin, Moynihan’s direct marker, who stole with show. Cronin was inspirational at midfield, where he outplayed Moynihan and contributed two valuable points from play. Crowley, meanwhile, was on target with three scores for Glenflesk.

Mayo 1-17, Derry 1-7

Mayo cruised past Derry in a rescheduled National Football League Div. 1B game at Charlestown at the weekend. While the winners retained their 100 percent record, Derry traveled with a shadow team, which was a clear indication of how intent they are on defending their title.

Other games

In hurling, there was an expected success for Athenry of Galway in the Connacht club hurling final when they were too strong for Roscommon’s Four Roads on a scoreline of 2-16 to 1-7. Eugene Cloonan and David Donohue had goals for the winners, while Donal Moran hit seven points.

Sixmilebridge of Clare advanced to the All-Ireland club semifinal with a comfortable 2-11 to 0-6 victory over Fr. Murphy’s of London at Ruislip, while Kilkenny rounded off a good year by defeating Galway in the Oireachtas final by 4-6 to 0-12.

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