East Kerry’s Jack Sherwood takes the game to Mid Kerry in the county final. [Inpho/Ben Brady]

Kilcoo ruthless in Harps' home

Kilcoo 2-13; Derrygonnelly Harps 1-7

Kilcoo’s efficiency, even in the fortress for Fermanagh teams that Brewster Park invariably is, saw them demolish the Harps without salt in the Ulster SFC on Sunday.

Operating from the old mantra that a good start is half the battle, the Down champions were sharp and decisive from the throw-in and by half-time, their work was done as they led by 1-8 to a solitary point from the home side.

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The 10-point cushion came from some fine point-scoring but also from a coolly dispatched Paul Devlin penalty after 20 minutes.

When visiting midfielder Ryan Johnston was black-carded at the start of the second half, two points from the Jones boys, Ryan and Garvan, temporarily gave home fans some hope but such notions were shattered shortly afterwards when sub Sean Óg McCusker flicked the ball home to finish a lethal six-man move.

Harps to their credit fought to the bitter end and won that moiety by a point on scoring but long before the blow of the final whistle, the travelling squad and their mentors were thinking ahead to the dangers they will face versus Monahan kingpins Scotstown in Newry this weekend.

Kilcoo: N Kane (0-1); N Branagan, R McEvoy (0-1), A Branagan (C Rogers 60); M Rooney, D Branagan (0-1), E Brannigan (0-2); A Morgan (0-1), R Johnston (0-2) (T Fettes 52); S Johnston, J Devlin (C Laverty 49), A Morgan (0-1); Pl Devlin (102, 1-0 pen), C Rooney (S McCusker (1-1) 36), C Doherty (0-1).

Derrygonnelly: J Kelly; A Jones, O Smyth, Ml Jones (D Ward 56); S McGullion, R McGovern (D Cassidy 44), N Maguire (RMcGovern 36); R Jones (0-1) C McGovern; S Gilroy R McHugh 44), G Jones (0-4 0-,2f) E McHugh (B McKenna 54); L Jones, C Jones (0-1f) G McKenna (1-1f)

Ref: M McNally (Monaghan).

Ballygunner (Waterford) 2-20 Sarsfields (Cork) 0-9

Cork side Sarsfields had their trouble during last week with flooding in their town and community due to inclement weather conditions but they faced a torrent of another sort when they lined out against Munster and Waterford champs Ballygunner in Walsh Park on Sunday.

Seeking a third provincial crown in a row, they sent out a warning to all and sundry that they are still hungry with this 17-point demolition of the Cork champs. They showed great cohesion and determination to build on a nine-point advantage — 1-12 to 0-6 — in a wind assisted first half by containing their opponents to only three points in the second half when facing the elements.

Former soccer player, Dessie Hutchison, was in flying form, scoring four points from play but using his runs to open up the Rebel defense at will. It was his brainwork which opened up the path for Peter Hogan and Kevin Mahony to get in for a goal in either half which were stakes to the heart of their opponents.

Back in Glanmore last week, the GAA club came to the assistance of locals by using their facilities except their own pitch which was waterlogged due to the persistent heavy rains. 

That certainly disrupted their preparations for this tilt at the Deise side but in truth they had no rhythm or response to a slick and well-versed winning group, who are now favorites to go all the way with Ballyhale Shamrocks gone, to claim their second national title in three years.

They are not 10-in-a-row title holders for nothing in Waterford and that experience showed on Sunday as they played so well out of defense to set up scores as if by telepathy with forwards making telling crossfield dashes to find clearances almost falling into their hands.

Inexplicably, it was Sarsfields who won the toss and decided to play against the wind. They also persisted with a short puckout strategy which the Gunners tripped time and again to keep the scoreboard ticking over.

In contrast, their netminder Stephen O’Keeffe was happy to unleash long clearances into the heart of the losers defense and this tactic yielded the first half goal after Hutchinson won possession and Hogan finished his pass to the net.

The elusive Patrick Fitzgerald and Hutchinson were in fine scoring form and had the Sars rearguard run ragged with the quality of their play from the get-go to the final whistle. Indeed all six forwards were on the scoreboard by the half-time whistle with Pauric Mahoney claiming four points, three from frees to go with Hutchinson's impressive three points from that moiety.

Ballygunner: S O’Keeffe; I Kenny, B Coughlan, T Foley; S O’Sullivan, Philip Mahony, R Power; C Sheahan (0-1), P Leavey; P Hogan (1-0), Pauric Mahony (0-7, 0-6f), M Mahony (0-1); P Fitzgerald (0-5), D Hutchinson (0-4), K Mahony (1-1) Subs: H Ruddle for Philip Mahony (55), B O’Keeffe (0-1) for Leavey (55), C Power for Pauric Mahony (56), S Harney for Kenny (57), A O’Neill for Fitzgerald (58)

Sarsfields: D McCarthy; P Leopold, C Leahy, Cathal McCarthy (0-1); L Elliott, E Murphy, B Murphy; C O’Sullivan, D Kearney; J O’Connor, L Hackett, A Myers (0-6, 0-3f, 0-1 65); C McCarthy, C Darcy (0-1), D Hogan (0-1) Subs: B Nodwell for Hackett (h-t), L Healy for Leopold (38), J Sweeney for Colm McCarthy (40), S O’Regan for Kearney (45), D Long for Hogan (56)

Ref: C Doyle (Tipperary).

Corofin 1-11 Maigh Cuilinn 1-9

After ruling Galway and Connacht for so long up to 2019, Corofin  are back winning titles again following this two-point victory over  holders Maigh Cuilinn  at Pearse Stadium on Sunday.

They racked up title number 22 in Galway with this victory after an impressive third quarter which set the foundations for this latest silverware.

Maigh Cuilinn had failed to take advantage of the elements in the first half and in fact went into the break 0-7 to 0-6 in arrears. The champions suffered arguably their biggest blow on the day before the throw-in when Galway skipper and club talisman Sean Kelly was forced out of the game with an on-going injury problem.

Corofin on the other hands were driven forward by 39-year-old forward Gary Sice who ended up scoring five of his sides total, four from frees.

All though the winners had a better game plan and cohesion and that translated into what proved to be the match-winning score 10 minutes from time when Liam Silke expertly  picked out Tony Gill who blasted home to leave the scoreline standing at  1-11 to 0-7.

The holders didn’t give up without a major fight and former Offaly star Johnny Moloney scored a point and then a goal to set up a tense closing few minutes.

Only a goal now separated the sides and Maigh Cuilinn went hammer and tongs seeking that score but all they managed was a point from a 20-metres free from Dessie Conneely.

Corofin: B Power; L Silke (0-2), C Cunningham, C Silke; K Molloy (0-1), D McHugh, G Burke; C Brady, P Egan (0-1); B Cogger, D Wall (0-1), T Gill (1-1); D Silke, G Sice (0-5, 0-4f), J McCabe. Subs: M Farragher for D Silke (37), M Lundy for McCabe (37), G McHugh for C Brady (58), M Farragher for Wall (61).

Maigh Cuilinn: A Power; C Corcoran, E Kelly, N Mulcahy; J Moloney (1-1), D Wynne, A Claffey; J McLaughlin (0-2), G Davoren; P Cooke (0-2), T Cleary, Ml Maughan; O Gallagher (0-2), P Kelly, D Conneely (0-2f) Subs: M O’Reilly for Maughan (33), D Cox for Cleary (45), N Walsh for P Kelly (58), M Lydon for Claffey (63).

Ref: TMurphy (Annaghdown).

East Kerry 2-10 Mid Kerry 0-15

Regional teams aren’t just cutting the mustard in Kerry any more and now a big push is on for clubs to take back the Kingdom’s county championship. Be that as it is, it is unlikely there will be a sudden end to the current format, more a compromise which will give clubs greater opportunity to reach the closing stages of the elite competition.

Meanwhile East Kerry made it four titles in five years in a keenly contested match that was surprising in that David Clifford managed just two points from play over the hour in Austin Stack Park, Tralee, on Sunday.

Mid Kerry were still licking their wounds from last year’s defeat and came out determined to make up for that loss with a victory this time. And they might have got it, too, except they suffered two sucker punches with goals in either half by the other Clifford, Paudie, and sub Luke Crowley in the second moiety, which was the platform for the reds one-point win.

The first half was tit-for-tat at four points apiece until the excellent Darragh Roche set up Clifford, the elder, for a goal which gave the champs the lead for the first time.

Further points from his brother and Roche  enhanced the advantage to 1-6 to 0-5 at half time, and with wind advantage to come, it looked like the holders would kick on to an easy victory.

Mid-Kerry showed heart and no little skill with Eanna O’Connor pointing frees and big Gavin Horan weighing in with another white flag from midfield, they cut the deficit to the minimum - 1-7 to 0-9.

East pushed the lead out to two points but it was a precarious lead until Crowley shot home his side’s second goal to seemingly put the game to bed.

The underdogs responded once again to further points from man of the match Roce and Donal O’Sullivan with a storming five minutes as points rained down from O’Connor’s brace to single white flags from Mike Breen, Sean O’Brien and Liam Carey.

This left the final balancing on a knife-edge but heroic defense from the winners meant the Mid Kerry team couldn’t even get a shot for a point or goal in the remaining time.

East Kerry: B Kelly (Legion), C Lynch (Glenflesk), C O’Leary (Kilcummin), D Callaghan (Kilcummin), C Gammell (Legion), J Sherwood (Firies), D O’Brien (Glenflesk), K Murphy (Kilcummin), R Buckley (Listry), D Lyne (Legion), P Clifford 1-0 (Fossa), P D’Arcy (Glenflesk), D Clifford 0-3 (0-2f) (Fossa), D Roche 0-5 (0-3f) (Glenflesk), DO’Sullivan 0-2. Subs: N Donohue (Firies) for D Callaghan (24), LCrowley 1-0 (Glenflesk) for P Darcy (45), E O’Shea (Fossa) for D Lyne (53), M Rennie (Fossa) for K Murphy (53), F Murphy (Legion) for D O’Sullivan (58)

Mid Kerry: S Coffey (Beaufort), P Wrenn (Milltown/Castlemaine), N Breen (Beaufort), D Mangan (Laune Rangers), D Roche (Milltown/Castlemaine), M Breen 0-1 (Beaufort), P Kilkenny (Glenbeigh/Glencar), S O’Brien 0-1 (Beaufort), G Horan 0-1 (Milltown/Castlemaine), D Houlihan (Cromane) F Clifford 0-2 (0-1f) (Laune Rangers), K Evans (Keel), G O’Grady 0-2 (Glenbeigh/Glencar), C Burke 0-1 (Milltown/Castlemaine), É O’Connor 0-6f) (Milltown/Castlemaine) Subs: E Coffey (Beaufort) for N Breen (inj, 18), D Cleary (Laune Rangers) for D Houlihan (39), G Hassett (Laune Rangers) for F Clifford (45), J Brosnan (Glenbeigh/Glencar) for G Horan (47), L Carey 0-1 (Beaufort) for J Brosnan (inj, 53).

Ref: P Hayes (Kerins O’Rahillys).

Ulster SFC Club

Kilcoo 2-13; Derrygonnelly Harps 1-7

Munster SHC Club championship

Ballygunner (Waterford) 2-20 Sarsfields (Cork) 0-9

Leinster SFC Club championship

St Loman's (Westmeath) 1-20; Killoe Young Emmets (Longford) 1-10

St Mary’s Ardee (Louth) 3-9; Blessington (Wicklow )2-5

Naas (Kildare) 2-12; Summerhill (Meath) 0-8

Kilmacud Crokes 1-12 Éire Óg 0-4

Galway SFC Co Final

Corofin 1-11 Maigh Cuilinn 1-9

Kerry SFC Final

East Kerry 2-10 Mid Kerry 0-15

Limerick SFC Co Final

Newcastle West 3-5 Adare 0-13