Cork’s Eoin Downey in action during the Under 20 All Ireland hurling final at Semple Stadium on Sunday. Cork defeated Offaly by 2-22 to 3-13 for the title. [Inpho/Ken Sutton]

Le Cheile take NY 3-in-row

Le Cheile   4-17   Shannon Gaels   1-11

Le Cheile captured their third consecutive New York Minor championship hurling title with a fairly comprehensive victory over a game Shannon Gaels outfit. Victory was built on a first half goal splurge by Le Cheile.  A notable feature of the game was the striking of long range scores by players from both sides. 

Meanwhile, Le Cheile went on the offensive from the throw-in as free-taker Lorcan Kennedy set up Tadgh O’Neill for the opening score. They remained on the attack and looked to have bagged a goal, but it was disallowed. However when play switched to the other end, Shannon Gaels appeared to have set up a bone fide goal opportunity, but overelaboration snuffed out the chance. Tadgh O’Neill increased his team’s lead with a lovely point before Lorcan Kennedy and Sean Og O’Neill combined well for the latter to get the first major after ten minutes. 

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Shannon Gaels battled back as Thomas Kelly landed a long range free to open their account.  That score was followed by a brilliant solo effort from midfielder Sean Roche, and Liam Spillane also landed a fine score from the wing. The exchanges appeared to be fairly even, but that perception didn’t last long. Midway in the period Daithi O’Connor blasted in a goal, and Aaron Traynor came off the bench to hit two more majors to put Le Cheile clear by four goals.  Despite the mounting deficit Shannon Gaels battled away and Thomas Kelly, their most influential player, scored a great goal, plus a point.  Both teams would add a few points, Sean Og O’Neill, Daithi O’Connor and chief marksman Kennedy for Le Cheile, while Sean Roche and Thomas Kelly replied for the Gaels, to leave the score at 4-7 to 1-6 at the intermission. 

Shannon Gaels got a good start to the second half as Keelan Kenny struck for a fine brace of pints, and they seemed to constrain Le Cheile for the first ten minutes. However to get back in contention Shannon Gaels needed goals but Le Cheile had staunch defenders in Fintan McGourty, Jack Donohoe, Cormac Murphy and company were not in any mood for conceding majors.  

For the remaining 20 minutes Le Cheile would add 10 points while holding Shannon Gaels to just three. The scorers were Lorcan Kennedy (4), Tadgh O’Neill (3), Liam Spillane(2) and Sean Og O’Neill, while Thomas Kelly, Brendan Rooney and Keelan Kenny had the points for the Gaels. There were some great individual displays by players from both sides, and overall the skill level was quite commendable. Especially noticeable was the facility with which players could score long range points, as well as their ball control skills. This is obviously testament to the great effort being made by the Minor Board and the development squads to promote the game among the American-born Gaels.     

Le Cheile: Michael Buckley, Fintan McGourty, James Lyons, Cullan Conroy, Jack Donohoe, Cormac Murphy, Jimmy Carmody, Ryan Scanlan, Daithi O’Connor, Liam Spillane, Lorcan Kennedy, Sean Og O’Neill, Tadgh O’Neill, Jack Doyle, Eoin Kennedy. Subs Aaron Traynor, John Kennedy, Emmett Linden, Jack Lyons.

Shannon Gaels: Evan Sheridan, Eddie Boyle, Conor O’Leary, Mike McGinley, Kieran Meehan, Ethan Flanagan, Brendan Rooney, Sean Roche, Keelan Kennedy, Shea Duffy, Thomas Kelly, Shane Deane, Cian Kelly, Ronan O’Leary. Sub Michael Dermody. Referee Alan Gleason

Celtics in control

Celtics 2-15   Rangers 1-10

Celtics always seemed to be in command and they had a bit more firepower in the final of this Junior B league competition. They were first out of the blocks and Sean O’Neill scored before their opponents touched the ball. Play quickly switched to the other end, and Rangers had two goal-bound rejected before Calvin Quinn directed the ball over the bar. Celtics were doing most of the pressing in the opening minutes as the keeper was forced to deflect a pile-driver over the bar and Tiernan McLaughlin was on target as well. 

Matt Gallagher interrupted Celtic’s attacks with a fine long range point. However Celtics were very much in command for the rest of the half as their forwards had a plentiful supply.  They chipped over a point before a nice sequence of passes between Ryan Lang and Sean O’Neill ended with Tiernan McLaughlin blasting the ball to the net midway in the period. Celtic’s dominance would lead to a further three points courtesy of Sean O’Neill, Francis Cole and Ryan Lang. As half time approached Chris Kennedy ended Ranger’s scoring drought with a well-executed point. 

At the short whistle Celtics led by 1-7 to 0-3. On resumption a quick score by Ronan Melly seemed to invigorate the Rangers.  Chris Kennedy followed immediately with another point. However Celtics quickly showed who was boss in the league final. Jack Donohoe sailed up from wing back to point and Ryan Lang delivered a long range shot across the black spot. Then Celtics followed up with a major strike, a goal from Sean O’Neill, with Francis Cole laying the foundation for the major.

Though the deficit was growing Rangers battled away. First Calvin Quinn scored a fine long range point and that was followed by a goal from Ronan Melly.  This was the best score of the final as Melly left several defenders in his wake before unleashing a powerful shot to the net. The next two scores came from Francis Cole, and though he lined out as a defender, he was having a very effective game up front as he worked his way in for a brace of points. Rangers hit back with a brace too, as Ronan Melly scored another fine point after zig-zagging his way through defense, and Matt Gallagher pointed a free midway in the period to leave the score at 2-11 to 1-8 in favor of Celtics. 

As well as dominating proceedings on the field, Celtics also had good reinforcements on the bench. Shane Carty came off the bench and made his presence right away with two points.  Francis Cole, who had a powerful second half, added another to his tally and Ryan Lang also added to his stats. It was left to two of Celtic’s more effective players, namely Tommy Kelly and Matt Gallagher to finish out their team’s scoring. Substitute Michael Buckley finished out the scoring for the winners. The chairperson of the New York GAA, Joan Henchy, presented the Junior B 1 League Cup to Rory Naughton, Celtic’s captain.

Celtics: Rory Naughton,Michael Croke, Daniel Sheahan, Conor Cronin, Sean Tierney, Francis Cole, Jack Mahoney, James Smith, Keelan Conroy, Jack Donohoe, Ryan Lang, Aaron Traynor, Sean O’Neill, Tiernan McLaughlin, Ryan Scanlan. Subs. Owen Cole. Kevin Burke, Jack Coleman, Ben Sullivan, Sean Carty, Aidan Gaughan, Michael Buckley, Jack Muldoon, Michael McSweeney.

Rangers: Jack Doyle, Daithi O’Connor, Eoin McCaffrey, Roger Reyes, Cathal Egan, Ciaran O’Connor, Andrew Burke, Cian O’Connor, Tommy Kelly, Ronan Melly, Matt Gallagher, Jack Rooney, Calvin Quinn, Brian McElligiot, Chris Kennedy. Referee Conor Hogan.

Gaels do enough

Manhattan Gaels 0-11   Hibernians 0-8

 Though this was a low scoring junior B championship game, it was quite exciting at times. There was a great range of talent on display, ranging from the very experienced to a few novices. 

Meanwhile Hibernians got a great start as Mark Gantly blasted the ball over the net, when perhaps he could have buried it in the net. Two more points quickly followed as Jack Burke dodged a few defenders to point, and Dave Kelly landed a super score from away out the field. Then play switched to the other side for the forthcoming scores. Indeed it looked as if Hibernians were fortunate not to have a penalty award against them. The keeper after winning possession in the small square, seemed to hold the ball for more time than the rule stipulates. It was possibly a penalty, but Barry Gilbert tapped over the resultant free. 

Manhattan Gaels would almost totally dominate the remainder of the half. Midfielders Ronan McGovern and Mikey Deegan kept the front men well supplied and they would put eight unanswered points on the board. The scorers were Barry Gilbert(3), Mikey Devane(2) and Stephen Power, Barry O’Seanain and Des Featherstone had the others. The Hibernian drought finally ended with Vincent Petrosino putting the ball over the bar after it was twice scrambled off the goal line.  Des Featherstone finished the period with a point to have his team leading by 0-9 to 0-4 at the short whistle. 

Hibernians had a much more productive second half, indeed they got double the score of their opponents, four points versus two. The situation hardly looked promising early in the period as Niall Carew increased his team’s lead further. However Hibernians noticeably stepped up their performance  as Ciaran Kelly, Tom Vaughan, Dave Kelly, Malachy McHugh and company were taking the game to their opponents. They shot over three consecutive points courtesy of Dave Kelly, Thomas O’Brien and Kevin Murphy.  Both teams would only score a point each for the last quarter. Mikey Deegan scored for the Gaels, while Thomas O’Brien replied for the Hibs.    

Manhattan Gaels: Nevan Higgins, Dom Mills, Kevin Shroff, Liberty Mthunzi, Piaras McNeill, Colm O’Neill, Cormac O’Keeffe, Ronan McGovern, Mikey Deegan, Mikey Devane, Stephen Power, Barry O’Seanain, Con King, Des Featherstone, Benny Gilbert. Subs Paddy McGuinness, Dylan Hackett, Mark Hatton, Gearoid McHugh, Matt Duggan, Alan Meany, Kevin Purce, Rob Ferguson, Torin DiSalvo. Niall Carew.

Hibernians: John Cahill, Kevin Moore, Gerard McCullagh, Steve Mossy, Vincent Petrosino, Ciaran Kelly, Mike Burke, Tom Vaughan, Dave Kelly, Seamus Nagle, Thomas O’Brien, Malachy McHugh, Jack Burke, Andrew Keane, Mark Gantly. Subs JP Feighrey, Daniel Belles, Phil Kennedy, Kevin Murphy. Referee Michael Reilly.