Patrickswell’s Tom O’Brien tackles Mike Casey of Na Piarsaigh. Inpho/Ben Brady

Na Piarsaigh win in Limerick

Na Piarsaigh 1-20; Patrickswell 0-19

The jewel in the crown of our national game is in Limerick and once again Na Piarsaigh prevailed against a star-studded Patrickswell side in the TUS Gaelic Grounds on Saturday evening.

The winners play and train only a few long pucks of the sliotar from the grounds where they won their eighth John Daly Cup with county man Peter Casey’s goal (ironically from the boot) five minutes before half-time the score that changed the course of the game.

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It meant the holders went into the interval leading by four points, 1-8 to 0-7, and even with the likes of hurler of the year Aaron Gillane in the ‘Well attack, it was enough of a cushion to keep the margin at arm's length.

Considering this was their sixth triumph in the past decade, the rise of Na Piarsaigh has coincided with the dominance of John Kiely’s men on the national front.

A man not known outside the county, Ronan Lynch, was the winners’ scorer in chief with 0-8, while Gillane, managed only a brace of scores from play in his seven-point haul for the ‘Well.

The Treaty star hit the ground running with two points in the first third minutes and with the likes of former hurlers of the year Cian Lynch and Damien Byrnes also in the ranks, you could be forgiven for thinking this would be their day.

Of course they were’t the only team with big names as aside from the goalscorer, Will O’Donoghue and Peter’s brother Mike Casey were swinging the camans for the light blues.

The teams were like heavyweights feeling each other out and were level four times before Peter’s goal, on top of two Lynch points gave the the champs a five point advantage.

Both sides were level four times in the opening half before Na Piarsaigh opened up a two-point gap when Lynch pointed two without response.

They threatened to be out of sight before the break and would have been had opposing goalkeeper Jason Gillane not pulled off two brilliant saves.

Na Piarsaigh netminder Shane Dowling also showed his class in this moiety with an unbelievable save earlier on to thwart a great effort by Kevin O’Brien.

The second half was run down expertly by the experienced champions who kept the scoreboard kicking over with Mike Foley, Lynch again, Will Henn and Conor Boylan with a brace seeing them stay five ahead despite fine white flags from their opponents through Byrnes, Gillane and  Jack Kelleher.

They had cut the margin to two when Kevin Downes stood up to land a cracking score - his fourth of the hour to push the game out to three again.

Lynch hit home two more placed balls after Calvin Carroll had pointed to leave the score at 1-18 to 0-18 down the home straight.

‘Well knew they needed a goal to fire them up but it wasn’t forthcoming as Lynch continued to punish indiscretion with pointed frees to ease his side to victory.

Two further Lynch frees, either side of a Calvin Carroll effort from play, had the score at 1-18 to 0-18 heading into stoppage time.

If we didn’t exactly get the fireworks we were expecting in this encounter, fasten your seat-belts for the upcoming battles with either  Ballygunner of Waterford or Cork’s Sarsfields in the Munster Club SHC semi-final in the middle of the month.

Na Piarsaigh: S Dowling; E McEvoy, M Casey (c), C King; M Foley (0-01), R Lynch (0-8, 0-7f), V Harington; W O’Donoghue, JJ Carey (0-1); C Boylan (0-2), D Dempsey (0-2), K Downes (0-4); A Breen, W Henn (0-1), P Casey (1-1) Subs: K Dempsey for Breen (57), J Fitzgearld for Henn (62).

Patrickswell: J Gillane; K Lynch, M Carmody (0-1), J Flynn (0-1); E Fitzgearld (0-1), D Byrnes (0-2f) C Fitzgearld; J Kelleher (0-4, 0-1s/l) J Considine; K O’Brien (0-2), C Lynch, J Higgins; T O’Brien, A Gillane (capt.) (0-7, 0-5f), J Kirby Subs: P Kirby for T O’Brien (ht), T Nolan for Fitzgerald (temp 37-40), C Carroll (0-1) for Considine, N Foley for Kirby (49), T Nolan for Higgins (59).

Ref: M Sexton (Bruree)


O'Loughlin Gaels 0-20; Ballyhale Shamrocks 0-19

All good things must come to an end and despite Shamrocks fighting to the very death in this Kilkenny SH final at Nowlan Park on Sunday to win a historic six-in-a-row, it was O’Loughlin Gaels who had their name written on the title for this year.

And so an unbeaten championship run dating back to 2017 comes to an end for this amazing Ballyhale bunch of hurlers, who have dominated the county, provincial and national club scenes during this golden spell at the top.

Even with 10 minutes to go in this hotly contested affair in front of 7,000 spectators despite the inclement weather, it looked like the holders would continue their reign. However the Gaels blew up a storm and it was fitting that county star Paddy Deegan crowned a  great season and personal performance on the day to land the winning point almost three minutes into the clock’s red zone.

His team showed their desire in that final 10 minutes when they stood up to what looked like a typical Ballyhale late tornado to come from behind twice before Deegan delivered the coup de gras to ensure his side won their first title in seven years.

In that hectic finish to the game, veteran Colin Fennelly landed a point to give his side a two-point margin. Mark Bergin cut the deficit to the minimum from a placed ball before Paddy Butler stepped forward to shoot over the equalizer.

It was obvious by then that Shamrocks were in a fight to the death and even when Fennelly reprised his earlier score four minutes before the hour, they refused to go away. Even two misses chances failed to deter them and once defender Dave Fogarty burst forward to shoot a second equalizer at 0-19 a piece, the crowd felt the city side might have a little more artillery left in their arsenal. And so it proved when Deegan clipped over his second score of the day from 35 meters to acclaim from the big Gaels following.

They won’t have much time to celebrate the ending of this Shamrocks dynasty as they now face Mount Leinster Rangers from neighboring Carlow away in the Leinster club championship on Saturday week.

O’Loughlin Gaels: S Murphy; T Forristal, H Lwlor, M Butler; D Fogarty (0-1), P Deegan (0-2), J Molloy; J Nolan (0-2), C Loy; M Bergin (0-10, 0-7f), E O’Shea, C Heary (0-1); O Wall (0-1), P Butler (0-1), S Bolger (0-1) Subs: C Kelly (0-1) forO’Shea 40th min; L Hogan for Butler 49th min; J Ryan for  Nolan 55th min.

Ballyhale Shamrocks:  D Mason; D Mason, D Corcoran, K Corcoran; E Shefflin (0-1), R Reid, P Mullen; C Walsh (0-1), L Barron; A Mullen (0-2), TJ Reid (0-09, 0-6f), E Cody (0-3); E Kenneally (0-1), C Fennelly (0-2), N Shortall.

Ref:  P Burke (Emeralds).


Glen easily rise to Rossa challenge

Glen 1-13 O'Donovan Rossa 0-7

The Glen is alive to the sound of victory as O’Donovan Rossa was easily put to the sword at Celtic Park on Sunday to complete a hat-trick of Derry SF championships in front of a crowd close to 5,500.

Those in attendance wouldn’t have predicted a nine-point victory on the evidence of the opening stanza as the Magherafelt challengers gave as good as they got to maintain parity by the sounding of the short whistle.

In that period Malachy O’Rourke’s charges appeared sluggish and looked like they believed they only had to turn up to win. However, following a half-time pep talk, the Watty Graham’s  appeared focused on the task at hand and within a few minutes were on their way thanks to a goal from Cathal Mulholland.

That injected Glen with a new sense of purpose while their opponents fell flat, with the loss through injury of Odhran Lynch with a hamstring injury in the first half obviously a big blow to their hopes.

Mulholland’s goal, coming hot on the heels of Emmett Bradley’s point, sent the winners’ on their way. Before they knew Magherafelt were six points in arrears thanks to scores from Conor Glass and a special one from ‘keeper Connlan Bradley. Another defender Connor Carville followed up in the scoring stakes and once Jack Doherty landed a classy score, it was home and hosed for the champs who now face Cargin on Antrim.

Glen: C Bradley (0-1);  M Warnock, R Dougan, C Carville (0-1); E Mulholland (0-3), C McFaul (0-1), C Mulholland (1-0); C Glass (0-1), Emmett Bradley (0-2, 0-1f); E Doherty, J Doherty (0-1), C Convery; D McDermott, D Tallon (0-1f), C McGuckian (0-1) Subs: T Flanagan for  Mulholland, 35 mins; J McDermott for  Convery, 47 mins; S O'Hara for  Tallon, 59 mins.

Magherafelt: O Lynch; S McErlain, J McErlain, G Lupari; C McCluskey, E McEvoy (0-1), C Heron; D Heavron, D Higgins; S McGuckin (0-2f), R Lennox, P McLarnon (0-1); C Murphy (0-1), S Heavron (0-2f), R Walls

Subs: C McLarnon for  Lynch (inj), 25 mins; C Kearns for Walls, 36 mins; J Murray for  McGuckin, 47 mins; E McGuckin for  Lennox, 55 mins; Fl Duffin for  Lupari, 56mins;

Ref: Benny Quinn.


Trillick 1-13 Errigal Ciaran 0-13 (aet)

This Tyrone SF final was a high-octane affair and it took extra time before Trillick managed to get the better of Errigal Ciaran at Healy Park on Sunday.

Holders Errigal were seeking to retain the O’Neill Cup but it is now 18 years since any club has managed back-to-back successes in this keenly fought competition.

The losers made a fight and a half of it to buck that trend with a great fight back that saw them score three points in added time to force the game into extra time.

Trillick knew they should have sealed the deal in regulation time with their slick play which had Errigal Ciaran working hard just to stay in the game.

Instead of feeling sorry for having been caught up, Trillick, with Rory Brennan and Richie Donnelly  leading from the front, pushed on in extra time to get over the line in an intense battle for supremacy.

Every game plan the country over appears to be based on a defensive surety and so it was with the winners who operated with a very developed tactical plan of attacking on the counter to lead by 0-3 to 0-1 after the first quarter.

A big part of keeping Errigal on a leash was how defenders Daniel Donnelly and Daire Gallagher fared against the famed Canavan brothers, Ruairi and Darragh. Such class players will always have moments but it is to the credit of the defensive pair that they came out on top.

Brennan starred in this period at the back and they looked like kicking on when Daley Tunney at the second attempt put his side 1-5 to 0-3 to the good.

It was a mountain for Errigal to climb but they showed their mettle with the likes of Peter Harte, Hoe Oguz and Darragh Canavan, getting through a mountain of work.

They had pulled the game back to two points with 15 minutes left on the clock. Trillick hit a brace of their own and you felt these scores were game changers.

Errigal kept plugging away to their credit and had the margin back to two points in injury time when Harte and sub Odhran Robinson raised white flags to make the scoreline 1-8 to 0-11 at the final whistle.

Ciaran Quinn drew first blood in extra time but the excellent Richie Donnelly leveled within the minute before adding another which James Garrity topped up to give the winners a two points advantage.

Bad luck struck for Errigal when county stars Darragh Canavan and Peter Harte had to go off injured

The herculean Donnelly and  Garrity again added scores whichRyan Gray and Lee Brennan added to as the winners finally got on top in a tough arm-wrestle of a game.

Trillick: J Maguire; S O’Donnell, P McCaughey, D Tunney; S O’Donnell (0-2), R Brennan, D Gallagher; R Donnelly (0-3), L Gray; C Daly (1-2), N Donnelly, R Gray (0-1); D Donnelly, L Brennan (0-2f), J Garrity (0-3) Subs: C Garrity for R Gray (38), D Kelly for Tunney (56), R Gray for S Garrity (61), D McQuaid for N Donnelly (70), Tunney for S O’Donnell (79).

Errigal Ciaran: D McAnenly; Cormac Quinn (0-2), A McCrory, D Morrow; B McDonnell, C Quinn (0-1), P Og McCartan; P Harte (0-2), J Oguz (0-1); P O’Hanlon, T Canavan (0-1f), M Kavanagh (0-2); P Traynor, D Canavan (0-2), R Canavan (0-1f) Subs: E Kelly for Morrow (39), B Horisk for Traynor (39), O Robinson (0-01) for O’Hanlon (53), M McCann for Kavanagh (58), O’Hanlon for T Canavan (69), P McGirr for D Canavan (73), Kavanagh for Harte (75)

Ref: C Forbes (Ardboe).


Castlehaven 0-11 Nemo Rangers 0-9

The Hurley brothers Michael and Brian showed their class in pointing Castlehaven to a hard-fought victory against holders Nemo Rangers in the Cork SFC final at Páirc Uí Chaoimh on Sunday.

Nemo are formidable opponents at any time but in a final they always seem to step up a level. However, the winners decided that a good start was half the battle and came out of the blocks flying with the brothers each scoring in the opening five minutes.

Haven also brought a modern approach by playing possession football from the back with county dual star Damien Cahalane a pivot in this gameplan. It meant Nemo were chasing shadows trying to win back the ball and they eventually found their rhythm to level thanks to county man Luke Connolly and Jack Horgan.

With caution the key, scores were at a premium with Michal Hurley getting a second score and Sean Browne also on the scoresheet for the west Cork side. Barry O’Driscoll and Mark Cronin replied to leave the scoreline at four points a piece at the break.

The tit-for-tat nature of the game continued on the changeover with Connolly putting the Rangers ahead for the first time in the game only from a Brian Hurley free to tie the scores once again.

Cronin raised a white flag with the same Hurley negatived through a placed ball. In the battle for supremacy both sides managed to strangle the life out of scoring chances until Connolly struck again to nudge his side ahead.

The introduction of 2010 All-Ireland winner Paul Kerrigan could have been a master stroke for Nemo but if anything it saw them raise their game resulting in chances for the Hurleys to convert chances.

GAA Results

Derry SF  final

Glen 1-13; O’Donovan Ross 0-7

Tyrone SF Final

Trillick 1-13; Errigal Ciaran 0-13 (AET)

Mayo SF Final

Ballina Stephenites 0-6; Breaffy 0-4

Wicklow SF final (Replay)

Blessington 0-11; Aughrim 1-6

London Final 

Fulham Irish 0-11; Tir Chonaill Gaels 0-8

Cork SF Final

Castlehaven 0-11; Nemo Rangers 0-9

Waterford SF Final

Rathgormack 1-9; The Nire 0-6

Galway  SH Final

St Thomas 2-12; Turloughmore 1-13

Kilkenny SH Final

O’Loughlin Gaels 0-20; Ballyhale Shamrocks 0-19

Tipperary SH Final (Replay)

Kiladangan 1-21; Thurles Sarsfields 1-20

Dublin SH final

Na Fianna 2-19; Ballyboden St Enda’s 0-9

Limerick SH Final

Na Piarsaigh 1-20;  Patrickswell 0-19