Galway’s Jason Flynn warms up ahead of Saturday’s clash with Westmeath at Mullingar. For a report of the weekend's games in Ireland, click.on the link at the end of the column. INPHO/TOMMY GREALY

NY GAA: W’meath edge passionate clash

Westmeath 1-17   Clare 0-15

This senior league hurling contest was played with great passion and physicality with plenty of strikes of timber on timber and occasionally timber on bone as well. There were some super long-range scores coupled with bouts of very timely and tenacious tackling.  Referee Pat Donoghue was quite busy maintaining law and order as he brandished a half dozen yellow and two red cards. Westmeath topped the card category. 

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They started strongly as David Langan and Ger McPartland had the opening scores before Trevor Fallon opened Clare’s account. Langan landed another free before Clare went on a brief scoring spree. Speedster Aidan Kennedy hit a brace from the wing and set up Padraig Brady for another to put his team ahead after ten minutes. Both teams traded points, Langan with a long range free and Fallon with a fine effort from midfield. For the next quarter Westmeath dominated the bone-crushing proceedings to lead by 1-9 to 0-5 with five minutes left in the period. Langan was on target for three points, plus he goaled from the penalty spot after Simon Hickey was fouled. Eamon Brennan and John Comerford also scored.  Clare finished the period strongly with points from Daryl Gaughan and Cian O’Connor to trail by 1-9 to 0-7 at the interval. 

Clare maintained the momentum entering the third quarter to put five unanswered points on the board as Cathal Darcy, Gaughan(2) and Fallon(2) were on target.  Indeed Clare should’ve had more on the scoreboard but they failed to benefit from a few frees plus their goal-attempts came to naught. 

Meanwhile Westmeath got back in the swing of things despite having a player red-carded.  Sharp-shooter Lang began a mini scoring spree. For the next ten minutes Westmeath fired on all cylinders to put five unanswered points on the board. Adam Loughlin-Stones chipped in a nice point from the wing and Lang sent over from long range. Ultan O’Connor set up Lang for the next score and the same player punished fouls with well-struck frees to have his team ahead by 1-15 to 0-12. 

However the Banner boys were not about to summarily succumb to the Lakesiders. Enna Barry tightened up the defense and launched a superb point from beyond midfield that seemed to rally the troops. Further attacks set the stage for a brace of pointed frees from the “forty man” Fallon to get within a goal of their opponents with five minutes left on the clock. Then Simon Hickey temporarily lifted the siege with a massive long range effort, but Clare went back on the attack. They looked perfectly positioned to rattle the net as Aidan Kennedy left the defense in his trail, and with just the goalkeeper to beat.  Keeper Danny Motram produced one of the finest saves seen in quite a while in Gaelic Park to deny young Kennedy. The parried shot was cleared to safety as Conor Caulfield and his troops stormed up the field to leave Adam Loughlin-Stones to finish the scoring and the game. 

Overall a very passionate and physical encounter, where neither  man or ball was spared.  Westmeath just had about the edge in the scoring department, and of course their defense was quite frugal. Clare contested manly throughout but a few missed opportunities had them playing catchup. 

Westmeath: Danny Motram, Brandon Hickey, Garry Corless, Alan Sherlock, Conor Caulfield, John Comerford, Ger McPartland, Ultan O’Connor, Eamon Brennan, David Langan, Simon Hickey, Adam Loughlin-Stones, Sean Loughlin-Stones. Sub Tom Blackburn.

Clare: Sean Collins, Damian Lahey, Tadgh Connelly, Finn O’Reilly, Enna Barry, Cian O’Connor, Cathal O’Connor, Mike Ryan, Daryl Gaughan, Trevor Fallon, Padraig Brady, Aidan Kennedy, Sean Dilger. Subs. Cathal Darcy, Killian O’Donoghue. Man of Match Conor Caulfield, Referee Pat Donoghue. 

Barnabas win it in 2nd half

St. Barnabas 4-13    Cork   0-13

Judging by the score line it seems the Bronx boys coasted easily to victory in this senior league contest.  However the sides were level at the short whistle, 1-6 to 0-9. Though the Rebels went on the offensive from the throw-in, it was St. Barnabas who scored first as a long delivery from Shane Brosnan set up Jamie Boyle for a point. 

Barnabas soon followed the minor with a major as the busy Timmy Fitzmaurice set up Conor Mathers for the major strike. Cork got on the score board after five minutes as Tom Joe Sullivan drew a foul and veteran Ger McCullagh split the post with the free. Cork remained on the run as a well-orchestrated five man movement ended with McCullagh getting his second point. His mid-field partner Cathal O’Carroll was also getting into the action, but his first scoring attempt rebounded off the post. Incidentally O’Carroll would be Cork’s most impressive performer as well as being their top scorer. Young Lorcan Kennedy reduced the deficit to a point as he belted the ball confidently over the bar despite being policed up along the sideline. 

At the other end, a fine individual effort by Francis Cole ended with a foul, leaving Mikey Brosan to point the resultant free. The Brosnan brothers, Shane and Mikey, combined well for the latter to score.  Then midway in the period Conor Rafferty pointed to have his team lead by 1-4 to 0-3. Over the next ten minutes Cork had their best spell, and would go on to lead at one stage. Cathal O’Carroll landed four points before young Kennedy scored another point to culminate good support play from Tom Joe Sullivan. The lead didn’t last for long as Brendan Martin came off the bench to score,  and Timmy Fitzmaurice got his second point to capitalize on a good run from defense by Shane Hogan. At the other end Kennedy got his second point to have the teams level at the short whistle. 

The second half was a much different affair as Barnabas set about stamping authority straight from the restart. Paudie Stuttart  pointed straight away and a goal soon followed from a turnover. Tiernan Mathers picked up the spilled ball and set up brother Caolan  to plant it in the net. Tom Joe Sullivan did get a point for the Rebels, but it did little to alter the flow of the game. Barnabas’s superior fitness and support play had them sweeping up the field to score regularly. Tiernan Mathers picked off another point and Cork’s keeper Brian Corcoran did well to keep out a blistering shot from Brendan Martin. 

A Cathal O’Carroll point briefly interrupted the Barnabas scoring spree. Midway Thiernan Mathers netted a third goal after Francis Cole intercepted a Cork kick out. He would also land a fourth major interspersed between points from his teammates. In fairness to Cork despite being outplayed and greatly outscored they battled away to the end. Tom Joe Sullivan always looked dangerous in the corner and young Kennedy belied his years with a few fine scores. Cathal O’Carroll accentuated his class with some great scores, and veteran Alan Rafferty was still in the thick of things at the very end as he forced a great save from keeper Brendan Cole. 

St. Barnabas: Brendan Cole, Mikey Boyle, Dylan Curran, Jamie Boyle, Paudie Stuttart, Kevin Rafferty, Conor Rafferty, Conor Mathers, Francis Cole, Tiernan Mathers, Shane Brosnan, Timmy Fitzmaurice, Mikey Brosnan. Subs Caolan Mathers, Shane Hogan, Brendan Martin.

Cork: Brian Corcoran, Alan Rafferty, Sean Tierney, Jamie Davis, Enna Barry, John Conefrey, Cathal O’Carroll, Ger. McCullagh, Lorcan Kennedy, Andrew Bourke, Eoin O’Brien, Stephen Harten, Tom Joe Sullivan. Subs. Dan Kavanagh, Rory Redican. Man of Match Cathal O’Carroll, Referee Kieran Lee. 

The scheduled senior football match between Sligo and Rangers was not played. Manhattan College hosted a softball game during the time slot arranged for the football game. Apparently information regarding this fixture was not communicated to the New York GAA scheduling committee. 

For the weekend's Ireland GAA report click here.