Category: Archive

Walsh goal secures McKenna Cup for Donegal, Kerry take McGrath

February 17, 2011

By Staff Reporter

Play was held up for a time in what was an entertaining contest due to an injury to Tyrone’s former Footballer of the Year, Stephen O’Neill, who dislocated his elbow and will now be out of action for at least six weeks. However, if a scan reveals further damage, O’Neill could miss most of the upcoming National Football League campaign.
Deep into stoppage time, it seemed as if Tyrone would shade it following a Niall Gormley score, however, their defense failed to deal with a long ball, and Walsh managed to get the vital touch.
Meanwhile, an understrength Kerry got the better of an equally depleted UCC by 1-11 to 0-9 in the McGrath Cup decider in Tralee. The winners were decimated both by the absence of several star players and by injuries, whereas the students fielded a shadow team due to current Sigerson Cup commitments.
With the promising James O’Donoghue helping himself to 1-3, Kerry had moved eight points clear going into the closing stages, however, UCC rallied with the three final scores of the game.
In Leinster, Louth qualified for the O’Byrne Cup final, in which they will meet the students of DCU, following a deserved 1-16 to 0-14 victory over Kildare in Newbridge. Although the holders only got through thanks to a lucky late goal from corner-back Declan Byrne, they were more consistently competitive than a stop-start Kildare.
Byrne was definitely attempting a point three minutes from full time when his high shot somehow found its way into the Kildare net. At that stage, Kildare had been reduced to 14 men after Brian Flanagan’s sending off for a second yellow card offense, and they didn’t appear to have the stomach for a comeback.
As for DCU, they had the Sigerson Cup campaign on their minds, yet they still managed to defeat Meath by 0-16 to 0-13 in the other semi-final. The decision by manager, Niall Moyna, to rest 14 of his players appeared to have played into Meath’s hands, but the favorites came up short with a disappointing display. Shane Roche kicked eight points, including seven frees, for the winners in a game marred by eight yellow cards and a straight red shown to Meath midfielder, Brian Meade.
In Connacht, Mayo duly booked their place in the provincial League final thanks to 1-9 to 0-8 success against Roscommon in Ballinlough. Mark Ronaldson, a former underage soccer international, emerged as the star of the show with an impressive personal total of 1-6.
Their opponents in the decider will be Galway who overran the students of GMIT on their way to a comfortable 1-16 to 0-13 win in Moycullen. With Nicky Joyce helping himself to six points, Galway were 10 clear at the interval, and despite a GMIT revival, the result was never in doubt after that.
In other League fixtures, Sligo finished off their campaign with a 1-12 to to 0-9 win over Leitrim in Carrick-on-Shannon, while IT Sligo were narrow 1-7 to 0-9 victors against NUI Galway in Ballinode.
On the hurling front, Waterford eased their way into the Waterford Crystal Cup final with a comprehensive 1-17 to 0-8 success against Clare at Ballyduff, however, the winning manager, Davy Fitzgerald, wasn’t reading too much into the victory.
“I’m not under any illusions. Clare, in my opinion, did not try,” he said. And he was right, as Clare might’ve been more concerned not to show an early hand ahead of the Munster championship semi-final between the two counties in early June.
Eoin Kelly struck for an important goal from a 20 meter free and Maurice Shanahan hit 0-7, including five frees, as Waterford strolled into the decider where they’ll meet UCC who defeated college rivals, University of Limerick, in Buttevant by 4-16 to 2-14 after extra-time.
UCC trailed coming to the end of normal time, but they survived and then turned on the style in the 20 minutes of extra-time as two goals from Darach Honan and a third by Eoghan Murphy settled the issue.
In Leinster, Offaly won the day against a shadow Kilkenny line-up by 1-16 to 1-13 in Tullamore to book their place in the Walsh Cup semi-finals. If no one was reading too much into the result, it was still Offaly’s first senior victory over their vaunted rivals since the 1998 All Ireland decider.
Offaly’s opponents in the last four will be Galway who got the better of Laois by 4-24 to 2-17 after extra time in Rathdowney. Wexford, 2-16 to 1-13 winners over UCD, will play Dublin, who had a comfortable 2-16 to 0-12 success against NUI Galway, in the other semi-final.

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