Drum & Inch, Coolderry, win Tipp, Offaly county deciders

[caption id="attachment_67364" align="aligncenter" width="600" caption="Paddy Kennedy of Drum and Inch celebrates at the final whistle. "]


SUNDAY'S championship club finals threw up plenty of exciting and close contests with a couple of notable exceptions.

Most obvious was Crossmaglen's 2-22 to 0-3 annihilation of Ballymacnab in the Armagh Senior Football Championship decider. On the hurling front, Ballygunner demolished Tullow by 1-19 to 0-6 in the Waterford SHC final.

Sign up to The Irish Echo Newsletter

Sign up today to get daily, up-to-date news and views from Irish America.

Thankfully, those sort of scorelines weren't the general trend. On the contrary, there were some cracking contests with the Tipperary SHC decider between Drom and Inch and Clonoulty-Rossmore providing one of the best of them.

Drom and Inch prevailed by 1-19 to 2-14 to become the Tipperary club champions for the first time. The victory more than compensated for three final defeats in the last six years.

When Clonoulty moved into a five-point (2-10 to 1-8) lead early in the second half, Drom and Inch must have wonderered if their disappointments were going to continue. But Drom and Inch then took over to dominate the remainder of the game.

No one was better than their captain Seamus Callanan. He finished with 0-6, three from frees as Clonoulty lost their way in the second half.

In another well contested hurling final Coolderry got the better of Birr 2-14 to 0-16 in Offaly. Over in Waterford, rising star Pauric Mahony was the man mainly responsibly for Ballygunner's huge 1-19 to 0-6 win over Tallow, scoring 11 points.

If you could only feel sympathy for Tallow, then the same can certainly be said of Ballymacnab following their 25 point loss to Crossmaglen Rangers. It was Ballymacnab's first appearance in an Armagh final and one their won't forget for a long time.

Crossmaglen went about their business in impressive style from the start to capture their 15rh title in 16 years and 39th in all. The Derry decider proved to be much more competitive with two first half goals from Raymond Wilkinson helping Ballinderry defeat Kilrea by 2-5 to 0-6.

At the other end of the country, UCC surprised favourites Castlehaven 1-12 to 0-10 to add the Cork county football title to the Sigerson Cup they won earlier this year. The sides were level with five minutes left but a Daithi Casey penalty proved crucial in seeing the students home.

It was a good weekend for Casey as the previous day he helped Dr Crokes reach the Kerry final. Elsewhere, there was another exciting game between Summerhill and Dunshaughlin in the replayed Meath football final.

Summerhill emerged victorious 0-14 to 1-9 after extra time to win their first Meath title in 25 years.

Also on the football county final front, St Patrick's beat Newtown Blues in Louth (0-10 to 1-7), Portaloise got the better of Craiguecullen (1-12 to 1-6) in Laois, Monaleen defeated Newcastle West (1-12 to 1-7) in Limerick and Old Leighlin edged out Tinryland (1-8 to 1-7) in Carlow.

There were also a couple of first round matches in the first round of the Ulster and Connacht Senior Football Club Championships. Donegal's Glenswilly edged out Cavan Gaels 1-8 to 0-10 in Ulster, with Sligo champions Tourlestrane getting the better of Glencar/Manorhamilton from Leitrim by 1-15 to 2-7 in Connacht.

Stephen Cluxton's club Parnells have made it through to the the quarter-finals of the Dublin Championship, beating St Sylvesters 1-18 to 2-9 after extra-time.

The Irish squad is due to travel to Australia on Friday, while Parnells quarter-final against Ballymun Kickhams is scheduled for the following day. It's an unfortunate club-country situation which will hopefully see Cluxton opt to travel with the Irish squad.

The Irish squad will play to tests in Australia on October 21 in Melbourne and November 4 at the Metricon Stadium on the Gold Coast. Eighteeen players were named in the orginal squad with five selections pending.

They are - Stephen Cluxton (Dublin) Capt, Ciaran McKeever (Armagh) vice-captain, Emmet Bolton (Kildare), Eoin Cadogan (Cork), Kieran Donaghy (Kerry), Leighton Glynn (Wicklow), Finian Hanley (Galway), Pearse Hanley (Mayo/Brisbane Lions), Darren Hughes (Monathan), Tadgh Kennedy (Kerry/Sydney Swans), Steven McDonnell (Armagh), Kevein McKernan (Down), Joe McMahon (Tyrone), Neil McGee (Donegal), Michael Murphy (Donegal), Darran O'Sullivan (Kerry), Kevin Reilly (Meath), Aidan Walsh (Cork).

White won three medals with Cats

Martin White, who featured on the Kilkenny All-Ireland Hurling winning teams of 1932, 1933 and 1935, has died. At 102, he was oldest surviving All-Ireland medalist.

New format upsets some

THE controversial new format for National Hurling League will go ahead as planned with six teams, instead of eight, in Division One A and in Division One B.

Those who objected, feeling the new format is unfair, failed narrowly to get the two-thirds majority to scrap the proposal. Consequently, Division One A will be comprised for Kilkenny, Dublin, Waterford, Tipperary, Galway and Cork.

Division One B will include Wexford, Offaly, Limerick, Clare, Laois and Antrim. Division Two A will comprise Down, Carlow, Kerry, Westmeath, Wicklow and Derry, with London, Kildare, Meath, Armagh, Mayo and Roscommon making up Division Two B.

There are quite a few unhappy counties, notably Limerick and Wexford in Division One B. Limerick, in fact, threatened to withdraw from the competiton if the six-county format went ahead.

But their new manager John Allen stresses that he is hopeful that they will participate. At the same time, Allen believes that the new format remains very unfair.