Kerry/Donegal win 1st Faherty title

Eileen McKenna and Caoimhe Mohan, celebrating a win in Ireland in 2013, were among Kerry/Donegal’s key stars in the cup victory at Gaelic Park at the weekend. [Click on picture for larger image.]

NYGAA By Frank Brady

Kerry/ Donegal 2-13

Na Fianna 1-11

There were scenes of great jubilation at the final whistle as Kerry/Donegal captured the Sean Faherty Cup to become New York champions for the first time. It was not just a case of third time lucky, they had lost the last two finals, but they fully deserved their sweet victory. Victory did not come easy as they endured a sin-binning, and it was only in the last quarter it looked like that they would finally shed the Sergio Garcia syndrome.

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Critical to their victory was the performance of Eileen McKenna at midfield and Caoimhe Mohan on the “forty”, while their full forward line also had a very productive hour. Meanwhile Kerry/Donegal took off at top speed and they had four points on the board after eight minutes. Caoimhe Mohan, the most impressive player in Gaelic Park in recent times had three, while veteran Denise Dunnion curled over the other after a fine pass from Linda McKeon.

Eventually Na Fianna moved into Kerry/Donegal territory, but their first few efforts were off target before Brianna Tierney pointed after Mary O’Rourke delivered the pass. Na Fianna were now on their A game as Molly O’Rourke landed two points with good support from Kelly Mc Cormack and Katie Murphy, before the very busy Kim Flood leveled up with a free. Na Fianna were now cutting paths through the Kerry/Donegal rearguard as Heather Durkin sauntered in for a goal while Flood added two points, one from an acute angle, and the other from a free after a powerful run by Brianna Tierney was illegally impeded.

On twenty minutes Mohan lifted the siege with a pointed free after Sara Sorahan was fouled, and Linda McKeon cut in for another. Though Eileen McKenna was winning the lion’s share of possession, wayward and irrational shooting was not helping the scoreboard. Both sides hit a further point to leave the score at 1-7 to 0-7 in Na Fianna’s favor at the break. On resumption Mohan landed two spectacular points, and both teams spurned good chances before Na Fianna hit a brace. Shannon Spillane finished a good move involving Flood and Murphy, while Molly combined well with Durkan and Stephanie Tierney for the other.

Na Fianna were still ahead by a goal approaching midway, but then came the turning point. A long ball from Eileen McKenna was fielded on the edge of the square by Dunnion, and in the blink of an eye the trusty left boot had the ball in the net. Perpetual motion Mohan set up Courtney Traynor for the lead score, and Traynor was unlucky not to goal on the next play as the shot hit the post. However, Dunnion was now playing with a vigor and verve that belied her years as she hit a brace, while setting up Sorohan for another minor. Na Fianna’s strong running Flood and ever the dangerous Molly were still keeping their team close as they hit over two.

With just three minutes left on the clock Kerry/ Donegal came with the knockout score. A timely interception by Linda McKeon, followed by a strong run at the Na Fianna defense set up the speeding Courtney Traynor for a major strike. Na Fianna launched late attacks but sterling defensive displays by Lilly, McGovern, McVann, Britton and with McKeon dropping back to bolster the defense, they repelled the best efforts of Maloney, Molly Flood and the Tierney sisters. There was no way the trophy was going to be snatched from their grasp this time.

Kerry/Donegal: Deirdre Maher, Sara Roche, Niamh Britton, Michelle Dowd, Amanda McGovern, Louise Lilly, Michelle McVann, Eileen McKenna, Anita McKenna(capt), Linda McKeon(0-1), Caoimhe Mohan(0-6), Jenny Moran, Denise Dunnion(1-3), Courtney Traynor(1-1), Denise Sorahan(0-2). Subs Niamh Curristin, Laura McMahon, Petra McCafferty, Aoife Gill, Jenny Kirby, Sarah Walsh, Michaela Rodican, Aisling Daly, Edel Fitzgerald, Kathleen Enright, Ciara O’Neill, Shannon Walsh.

Na Fianna: Lisa McIntyre, Cait McQueeney, Cliodhna Maloney, Imelda Mullarkey, Shannon Spillane(0-1), Stephanie Tierney, Katrina Lynch, Heather Durkin, Kim Flood(0-6), Katie Murphy, Brianna Tierney(0-1), Kelly Mc Cormack, Mary O’Rourke, Molly O’Rourke(0-3), Michelle Brennan. Subs Kayla Coughlin, Mairead Durkin, Mairead McNamara, Kiera O’Connor, Karen Buckley, Laura Cooper, Sarah Treacy. Referee Yvonne Duffy, Player of Game Caoimhe Mohan.

U-21 final tied

Rangers 0-17 Rockland 3-8

The under 21 final ended all square despite extra time being played. The first half was a low scoring affair as Rangers led by 0-5 to 0-3 at the break. Rangers started impressively as Kevin Daly opened with a superb point and Sean Moore had a shot cleared off the line before Kieran Moran pointed for a foul on Adrian Jusseppi.

Shane Durkan brought Rockland into the game with two fine points, but Rangers were having the better of the exchanges as Ryan O’Neill pointed after a good pass from Donnacha O’Dwyer, while Moran was on the mark with a free. As the period wore down, Rockland were winning a lot more possession through Durkan and McIntyre, but poor finishing kept their tally low.

However both sides finished out the period with fine points, with Sean Moore on the mark for Rangers, and Ronan Curry for Rockland. On resumption Rangers knocked over three points, but they were soon negated by a superb goal from Garvin Lee. On ten minutes another goal from Paul Prendergast had the Rockies ahead.

Now the exchanges were becoming more intense as Moran leveled up, and Prendergast forced a great save from keeper Tansey at the expense of a point. McIntyre then looked set to goal after Lee put him through, but the shot was outside the post. Moran and Durkan exchanged points to leave Rockland ahead by the minimum with two minutes left on the clock. However a foul on Ryan O’Neill enabled Moran to level with the free. In extra time it looked as if it was becoming the Kevin Daly show as he hit three points on the trot, but Ronan Curry quickly stole his thunder with a goal to level at the end of the first period.

On the restart Brian Twomey coolly shot over two points, but Mike Vince and Kieran Walsh kept the stalemate with a brace. Brendan Hynes put Rangers back ahead with a fisted point, but Mike Vince equalized after he latched on to a good delivery from Aidan Weir to set the scene for another encounter as the final whistle sounded. Unfortunately an engaging and absorbing game was marred by an ugly brawl at the end.

Rangers: Aidan Tansey, Chris Sheridan, Liam Coyle, Emmett Clarke, Liam Butler, Jack Becker, Matt Minniter, Donnacha O’Dwyer, Brendan Hynes(0-1), Ryan O’Neill(0-1), Kieran Moran(0-5), Kevin Daly(0-4), Sean Moore(0-1), Adrian Jusippi(0-2), Brian Twomey(0-3).

Rockland: Conor O’Sullivan, Joe Joyce, Danny Duggan, Tim Furlong, Andrew Guarino, Conor Madigan, Andrew Duggan, Denis Michalak, Shane Durkan(0-3), Conor McIntyre, Garvin Lee(1-0), Stephen Maroney, Mike Vinci(0-2), Paul Prendergast(1-1), Kieran Walsh(0-2). Subs Austin O’Toole, Ronan Curry(1-1), Brandon Healy, Aidan Weir, James Stephens, Ryan McNamara. Referee Peter McCormack.

Cork 2-10 Monaghan 0-10

Cork did enough without being spectacular or overly consistent in this senior football clash to see off Monaghan’s challenge. Monaghan started well and they had two points from Paul McArdle and Ross McKenna in the first five minutes. However for the next quarter the Rebels took over to put 1-4 on the board, the goal a great individual effort from Mickey Lenaghan. Monaghan surged back into the game with four unanswered points as Cork appeared to sit on the ropes. Paul O’Hara started the Farney scoring spree, and then three defenders came up to hit the target. Jason Kelly ended the drought before the short whistle to leave them ahead by 1-5 to 0-4. On resumption Cork opened the throttle again to hit four unanswered points, a brace for Jason Kelly, and singles from defenders Morrissey and Flynn, plus Alan Hearty saved well from Shane McCarthy. Then Cork, similar to the first half, whether resting on their laurels or the ropes, Monaghan punched back with three points, plus Gary Lowney did well to stop Ross McKenna’s shot. However Cork showed who was boss after Lenaghan and McArdle exchanged points as David O’Callaghan goaled on a counter-attack to close out the game.

Cork: Gary Lowney, Keith Scally, Paul O’Connor, Michael Furlong, Adrian Flynn, Ciaran McCartan, Adrian Morrissey, Alan Raftery, Conal Kelly, Jason Kelly(0-2), Shane McCarthy(0-1), Sean O’Neill(0-1), David O’Callaghan(1-0), Hugh Curran(0-3) Mickey Lenaghan(1-1). Subs. Derek Courtney, Darren Walsh, John Power, Ian Jones, Caolan McLoughlin.

Monaghan: Alan Hearty, Fergal Malone, Sean Kelly, Paul Lambe(0-1), Liam Deane(0-1), Mickey O’Regan, Paul Farnham(0-1), Gary White(0-1), Paul McArdle(0-2), Shane Bogue, Ross McKenna(0-1), Kevin Connolly(0-2), Paul O’Hara(0-1), Kevin Smith, Caoimhin O’Callaghan. Subs. Eugene McPhilips, JC Connolly, Fergal McPhilips, Rory Molloy, Rory Connolly. Referee Sean Jones, Man of Match Mickey Lenaghan.

Leitrim close

after break

Leitrim 1-13

Cavan 1-7

There was little between the sides in this local derby as Leitrim led by 0-6 to 0-4 at the break. However by midway in the second period Leitrim had surged ahead by 1-10 to 0-5, mainly on their midfield supremacy, their defensive tenacity, and an effective front unit. Cavan’s case was not helped by Ronan McGinley’s black card, a yellow would have sufficed, plus their late goal put a better gloss on the scoreboard. Though Leitrim were not as spectacular as the last day, they still gave a solid performance, but as the statisticians would say, they regressed towards the mean. Still Frankie and the ball-players are moving in the right direction.

Leitrim: Aidan Tansey, Lonan McGuire, Paddy Maguire, Ronan O’Flaherty, Ronan Gallagher, Nathan Breen, Cian Maher, Damian Moran(1-1), Brian Connor(0-2), Darren Freeman(0-3), Shane Moran, Keith Quinn, Eoghan Carew(0-3), Paddy Kelly, Ciaran Brennan(0-1). Subs. Dan Doona(0-2), Aidan Power, Conor Moley(0-1), Andy Grey, Malachy Gallagher.

Cavan: Gavin Joyce, Ronan McGinley, Ciaran Shields, Shane Hogan, Liam Fleming, Fergal Ellis, Michael Reilly, John Comerford, Richie Morgan, Michael Ireland(0-1),Tommy Warburton, Sean Dalton(0-1), Conor Harrison(1-4), Harry Silke. Subs Brian Thornton, Michael McVerry, John McCullagh. Referee Dean O’Connor, Man of Match Brian Connor.