Rangers edge Astoria to take final berth

The semifinal of the intermediate knockout competition was a highly entertaining and a very competitive affair with extra time being required to decide the contest. Rangers now meet Dublin in the final on Thursday evening.

The first half was a relatively low scoring affair with Astoria squandering many opportunities while Rangers made optimal use of theirs. Ronan Caffrey opened the scoring after two minutes as he finished a good move that was begun by defender Peter McKenna. Astoria countered with a John Keaveney point after Sean Kelly did the support work. Caffrey was on target for Rangers' second score as he reacted fastest to a breaking ball in the goal mouth.

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Astoria has the preponderance of possession but they wasted good chances before Robbie Moran had the second point at the half way stage. Stephen O'Shea replied with a fine long range effort which began a sequence of four uninterrupted scores. Caffrey was on target from a very acute angle despite being tightly shadowed while O'Shea linked up well with Mike McCarthy to split the post. Mike Sheridan shot confidently on the run before Shane Sweeney finished a penetrating run by Derek McKenna for a point. Peter McKenna finished the scoring to leave Rangers ahead by 7pts. to 3 at the break.

Astoria rectified their accuracy problem during the intermission and they had three points quickly on the board courtesy of Keaveney, Moran and Sweeney, though one was of a very dubious nature. Rangers struck back with two as substitute Mike Bishop burst through for a point with good support from Derek Courtney and Killian Caffrey, and Mike McCarthy also landed a fine effort. Astoria battled back as substitutes James Dolan and David Harvey were contributing, Dolan with a point and a free that led to a score plus the hard running Harvey was making creative runs, setting up Sweeney for the tying score on twenty minutes.

The exchanges were now intense as both sides strove to break the deadlock before Sweeney edged his team ahead with five minutes left. Rangers wasted two chances before a run by Courtney was illegally impeded on the forty yard mark. Up stepped Caffrey, to split the post and send the game into overtime. Rangers got the better start in extra time as Caffery pointed from a free while McCarthy drove over after Bishop and Kevin Daly did the support work. Sweeney who had morphed into a fine target man and prolific score getter after a lackluster first half got one back for Astoria before man of the match Caffrey sent over another. Nester Allen and Kieran Moran exchanged points while Keaveney tagged on another before the sides changed. The close encounters continued after the mini break as midfielder Caffery pointed while Sweeney swung over a lovely point after Moran had carried the ball from deep in defense. Then Sweeney returned the kick out straight for a score to tie the game again. However John Power had the last score and the winner though a few timely blocks from O Driscoll, Bishop and Courtney prevented any last reprieve for Astoria. Rangers were just about deserving winners as they were more consistent over the hour while Astoria will rue the squander mania that thwarted them in the end. Rangers John Williams, Lorcan Malone, Pat O Driscoll, Bernie Madden, Derek Courtney, Peter McKenna(0-1), Killian Caffrey(0-1), John Power(0-1), Stephen O'Shea(0-2), Mike McCarthy(0-3), Mike Sheridan(0-1), Ronan Caffrey(0-6), Brian Twomey Subs Mike Bishop(0-1), Kieran Moran(0-1), Kevin Daly Astoria Gaels Pa Ryan, Alan Foley, Ray Carroll, Eoghan Kyne, Justin O'Halloran, Ronan Rogers, Derek McKenna, Sean Kelly, John Keaveney (0-4), Robbie Moran(0-2),Seamus Kelly, Shane Sweeney(0-7), Liam Farrell Subs James Dolan(0-1), Nestor Allen(0-1), David Harvey Referee Danny McKenna Man of Match Ronan Caffrey

Kingdom win exciting game

Kerry started very impressively in this senior championship football match as they had 1-5 on the board before Cork managed to raise a flag. Kevin Walsh, a very industrious and productive player, had the opening score after two minutes as he finished off a good pass from Darren Moore. Walsh also had the next score after Sean Reilly was fouled. Cork had little success as their attempts were off target while Kerry continued to dominate and add to the lead as Walsh struck his third point after radar- directed delivery from Vinny Gavin. Cork had a major escape on thirteen minutes as Paddy Harrington managed to drive a goal bound effort from Moore off the line and into touch. However Ambrose O'Donovan drove the sideline ball straight over for a majestic point. The other O'Donovan then cut through for a point and the situation went from bad to worse for Cork as they were bedeviled by missed frees and balls dropped short before Mike Jim Fitzgerald blasted in a great goal, culminating an incisive move involving Gavin and Moore.

Cork were still scoreless with just five minutes left in the period until a free from Sean Purcell for an illegal hand pass took the barren look off the score board. This score infused some badly needed direction and energy into the Rebels' camp as a marauding run through the middle by Rory Stafford ended with a powerful blast from Jason Kelly to the Kingdom net.

Cork maintained the momentum after the break as John McLoughlin and Derek Courtney shot over early points whil on a counter attack Dermie Foley put over when he should have put under after five minutes. The tide changed as that was to be Kerry's last score for over twenty minutes. Meanwhile Stafford, Lowney, Kelly and Harrington stepped up their performances as the Rebels methodically whittled away at the Kingdom's lead. After ten minutes Kelly was on target with a free and five minutes later he took off on one of his trademark runs eluding several would be tacklers before sending Purcell in on goal. Keeper Clifford reacted smartly to smother the shot. With five minutes left the scores were level as Lowney and Kelly landed superb scores with good support from Cleary and Harrington. Then Kerry came off the ropes as CJ Molloy won a vital ball out on the wing and then muscled his way around a defender to set Walsh free. The Mayo man spotted the speedster Moore cutting through the middle and he deftly laid the ball into his path for him to punch to the net for a goal. Cork launched several late raids but defenders McGill, Corbett and O'Mahoney cut out a few major threats though Stafford did land two points. However it was too little too late but the crowd certainly got good value in what was an exhilarating and absorbing game.

Kerry Shane Clifford, Darren Courtney, Paul McGill, Anthony Glacken, Alan Lyne, Eoghan O'Mahoney, Niall Corbett, Ambrose O'Donovan(0-1), Mike Jim Fitzgerald(1-0), Kevin Walsh(0-3), Dermie Foley(0-1), Sean Reilly, Vinnie Gavin, Ross Donovan(0-1), Darren Moore(1-0). Subs CJ Molloy, Brian O'Connor Cork Darren O'Mahoney, Paddy Harrington, Liam Hanley, Derek Courtney(0-1), John Fitzpatrick, John McLoughlin(0-1), Shane Hanley, Gary Lowney(0-1), Rory Stafford(0-2) Francie Cleary, Jason Kelly(1-2), Shay Furlong, Sean McNamee, Tadgh Foley, Sean Purcell Sub Keith McMahon. Referee Tommy Fahey Man of the Match Paul McGill.
Cavan improve to win in 2nd half

Armagh on their return to senior championship football were quickly out of the blocks as Ciaran Conlon set up Caolan Short for the opening score. James Moynagh followed with another before Cavan struck for their opening brace as Kevin Smith drove over after Gerald McCarthy did the approach work. Brendan Reilly grabbed the resultant kick out and cut through to score. Unfortunately he soon had to retire with an injury. The exchanges were evenly balanced and keenly contested as play flowed rapidly from end to end in the opening half. Armagh jumped in front with a point from a strong run by Gareth Kelly while Conor King struck from long range. The momentum then switched to Cavan as Gerald McCarthy finished a good move by Joey McKeon and added another from a free. Midway Shane Williams had the Breffni Boys ahead. Parity was quickly restored with a Conlon point and the lead regained with further scores from Moynagh and Conlon. A late point from a Williams' free left Armagh leading by 7pts. to six at the break.

Cavan stepped up their performance markedly in the second half as McCullough and Harold began to dominate the middle while the strong running of Williams had Armagh on the defensive. After five minutes Williams goaled with Sean McGivney supplying the critical assist. Then the midfielders combined for McCullough to hit the target. The complexion of the game then changed for the worse as too many players seemed to be overly concerned about good hits on the opponents rather than hitting the right play.

There were more cards than scores as referee Fitzpatrick brandished two reds and eight yellows as he sought to maintain discipline and decorum. Meanwhile Harold increased Cavan's lead and it was midway before Armagh's Moynagh had their first score of the period. Five minutes later Richie Morgan got in behind the Cavan defense only to be hauled down for a penalty. Gareth Kelly blasted to the net to level the game. Cavan quickly regained their composure as McCarthy hit two points and Williams was unlucky to see his shot rebound form the crossbar with the keeper well off the line. Conlon did have a late score for Armagh but the other chances were wide of the target as Cavan gained the spoils of this rugged contest especially the second half.

Cavan Maurice Dee, Paul Lambe, Alan Carolan, Ciaran Martin, Dennis McCarthy, Ronan McGinley, Barry McGinn, Paddy McCullough(0-1), Stephen Harold(0-1), Shane Williams(1-2), Kevin Smith(0-1), Brendan Reilly(0-1), Paddy Smith, Joey McKeon, Gerald McCarthy(0-4). Subs Sean McGivney, Ronan Fitzsimmons, Justin O Halloran Armagh Alan Hearty, Eoghan McPartlan, Patsy Martin, Stuart Stokes, Caolan Short(0-1), Kevin McGeeney, Aidan Morton, James Donnelly, Gareth Kelly(1-1),Richie Morgan, Conor King(0-1), James Moynagh(0-3), Ciaran Conlon, (0-3), Seamus Toner, Collie Fearon Referee John Fitzpatrick Man of the Match Gerald McCarthy

Celtic are through

Celtics 2-16 St. Raymond's 1-4 A quick glance at the team rosters certainly swung the victory pendulum very much in favor of the Celtics as they had the full panel of players with a deep bench. In contrast St. Raymonds struggled to fill the roster and it included players from different generations. Still CJ Doherty had the opening score but once the Cox led scoring machine got lubricated the scores just rained over and the Celtics led by 9 pts. to 3 at the break.

However, a Conor Bowden goal after the intermission seemed to interrupt the Celtics' rhythm but St. Rays were not able to capitalize on it. Midway a point from Danny O'Sullivan steadied the team and once Kenny Cox and his crew found their shooting boots and used them to very good effect as they comfortably cantered to the finish line. Celtics now meet St. Barnabas in the final.

Celtics Kevin McArdle, Mike Burke, Sean Coyle, Brian Greene, Ger McCullough, Rory Creegan, Derek McKenna(0-1), Cathal Loughnan, Gary Nugent(1-4), Ryan Logue, Ken Cox(1-6), John McArdle(0-2), Dennis O'Sullivan. Subs: Danny O'Sullivan(0-1), Keith Lang(0-1), Anthony Smith, Richie Morgan(0-1), Mike McSweeney, Marty Roche, David Hough, Mike Lang, Aidan Traynor, Darren McDermott St. Raymonds Danny McGinty, Louis Bruno, Thomas Huvane, Mike Ryan, Dennis Kilkenny, Roger Slattery, Richie Gaule, Steve Gomez(0-1), Pat Ryan, Shay Furlong(0-1), Conor Bowden(1-0), CJ Doherty(0-2), Dave Ryan Referee Martin O'Connor Man of the Match Ken Cox.

Schedule Sunday May 29th2:00 S. F Tyrone v Armagh3:30 S. F Leitrim v Cavan5:30 Ladies N Y v Ballymacarbary