Category: Archive

Waterford hurlers stun All-Ireland champions

February 16, 2011

By Staff Reporter

The reigning league and All-Ireland champions weren’t exactly in need of therapy following Sunday’s setback in Div. 1A, but later in the competition manager Brian Cody certainly won’t want a repeat of the missed chances that characterized his team’s performance.
In fact, when Waterford led by just 0-10 to 1-5 at the interval, having had the advantage of a stiff breeze, Kilkenny appeared to be in a strong position to take the points, and when Paul Flynn had a penalty superbly saved by James McGarry early in the second half, only one result was likely.
With Declan Prendergast and Tony Browne holding the defense together in an effort to stave off the influence of late substitutes D.J. Carey and John Hoyne, two injury-time points by Flynn gave Waterford a deserved victory.

Without Conal Keaney, Dublin would have been dead and buried and as it was they still were no match for Galway, who were comfortable winners at Parnell Park. Keaney blasted in both his side’s goals from frees, and as his teammates hit a total of 20 wides, he remained the one threat to the Connacht champions’ supremacy.
Eugene Cloonan, with 1-6, showed flashes of excellence, and there was the occasional moment of inspiration from David Tierney and Alan Kerins, but in truth Galway didn’t have to be at their best to register this victory.

CLARE 3-15, LAOIS 1-11
Clare’s new manager, Anthony Daly, got his stewardship off to a promising start with a solid success over Laois at Portlaoise. The margin could have been much wider such was Clare’s dominance. Makeshift full forward Frank Lohan scored two goals, Niall Gilligan struck for another and David Forde added 5 points.
Laois failed to derive any benefit from the wind during the second half and their best spell came just before the changeover when they fashioned 3 points and a goal from Liam Tynan.

In Div. 1B, Cork got their campaign off to a positive start when they edged Limerick at the Gaelic Grounds. With both teams missing numerous regulars, it was an opportunity for experimentation and little will be read into this result in terms of May’s championship showdown between the two rivals.
Cork newcomer Jonathan O’Callaghan scored 6 points, including 4 from frees, in an assured performance and Mark Prendergast fared well in defense alongside Diarmuid O’Sullivan. Patrick Tobin had a goal for Limerick, who trailed by 7 at the break, but new manager Pad Joe Whelehan was philosophical about the outcome. “Rome wasn’t built in a day and we’re building up for the big one, it’s as simple as that,” he said.

OFFALY 1-15, TIPP 0-17
A late goal by Gary Hanniffy saw Offaly through to a dramatic victory over Tipperary at Birr. Hanniffy’s crucial score came 6 minutes from the end, and then his brother Rory converted a free to put the winners 2 points clear. Tipp’s Eddie Enright closed the gap with a point. However, manager Mike McNamara’s players held out.
Rory Hanniffy with 9 points, including 7 from frees, was Offaly’s main marksman, while Eoin Kelly, Ger O’Grady and Shane each had 3 points for Tipperary.

Two goals in quick succession by Anthony O’Leary and Robbie Codd set Wexford on the way to a comfortable win over Antrim at Wexford Park. With both teams giving opportunities to new players, Wexford were quicker to settle and Antrim were always going to find it difficult to make a meaningful challenge when they found themselves 2-10 to 0-4 in arrears at the changeover.

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In the one club hurling game to be played last weekend, Newtownshandrum of Cork defeated Kilkenny’s O’Loughlin Gaels in the replay of All-Ireland semifinal at Thurles. Ben O’Connor’s 8 points were vital as Newtownshandrum played superbly against the wind during the second half.
The Munster champions never trailed and they overcame the concession of a soft goal by Maurice Nolan to book their place in the St Patrick’s Day decider against Dunloy of Antrim.

Kerry’s An Ghaeltacht reached their first-ever All-Ireland club football final when they defeated St. Brigid’s of Dublin in last Sunday’s semifinal at Thurles. Powered by the O Se brothers Tomas and Darragh, and with another brother player-manager Fergal on the line, An Ghaeltacht bounced back after conceding two goals to finish strongly.
St. Brigid’s looked to be on course following goals by Kevin Bonar and Declan Lally, however, a defensive slip-up allowed Roibeard MacGearailt in for a goal, and then four answered points by the Munster champions in the closing stages settled the issue.

An Ghaeltacht’s opponents will be Caltra of Galway, who saw off the challenge of Derry’s The Loup in the second semifinal at Markievicz Park. With five Meehan brothers in the side, communication wasn’t much of a problem, and in the end a goal apiece by Michael and Noel Meehan made the difference.

Tyrone hammered Donegal in the final of the McKenna Cup at Ballybofey without the services of Owen Mulligan and Peter Canavan. An early Brian McGuigan goal set the tone as a record crowd for the competition of 12,000 witnessed a master class of scoring by the All-Ireland champions.

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