Cork's Patrick Horgan takes a free in Saturday's game against Limerick. For Ireland GAA coverage, see the sports section. [Inpho/Laszlo Geczo]

Shannon Gaels edge intense, exciting contest at Gaelic Park

Shannon Gaels 3-11   

St. Barnabas 3-9

Though it was Mother’ Day, there wasn’t too much of a maternal atmosphere around Gaelic Park. The crowd was small, the weather cold and damp and one game was marred by a few bouts of hostilities. The Shannon Gaels and St. Barnabas clash was the most keenly contested and the best game on the program. There were some exquisite bouts of individual skills, but unfortunately there were a few unsporting scenes. 

Sign up to The Irish Echo Newsletter

Sign up today to get daily, up-to-date news and views from Irish America.

Meanwhile Shannon Gaels were on the offensive from the throw-in but wasted their first few scoring opportunities. At the other end Dion Norney opened the scoring with a pointed free. Norney would go on to have a very productive first period, but Ciaran Craig increased the Bronx Boys’ lead courtesy of a well delivered pass from Shane Brosnan. Then at a blistering pace Rory Duggan carried the ball for over the half the field before releasing it to Oisin Mathers, but his goal-bound effort was brilliantly saved by keeper Jack Dennis. 

A turnover set the scene for a major score as Shane Brosnan picked out Dion Norney lurking behind the defense and once he got possession the net was soon bulging. On a counter attack, Aiden Lawler sent over a very spectacular point, but the seesaw nature of the game continued as Dion Norney worked his way in for his second goal and followed up with a fine long range point. At the end of the first quarter the Bronx Boys led by 2-3 to 0-1. 

 Well, Shannon Gaels were dominant for the second quarter, with Rory Duggan and Oisin Mathers very instrumental in turning the tide. The duo came close to scoring a goal but Duggan’s shot was deflected for a “45” which keeper Ryan Corrigan pointed.  Oisin Mathers quickly followed with a fine point and then a three-player combination ended with Sean Corridan splitting the posts. Dion Norney added another point to his impressive tally, but the last 10 minutes saw Shannon Gaels surge ahead courtesy of two goals. For the first one, Oisin Mathers capitalized on a wayward pass to set up Rob Corridan for the major strike. The second goal was the best score of the match as speedster Duggan left several players in his wake before planting the ball in the net to level the scoring 2-4 to 2-4 as half time approached and tempers began to flare. The second period was a much more balanced affair, played with great passion and intensity, but unfortunately unsavory flare-ups were all too common.  

Meanwhile away from the fisticuffs, and back to the scoreboard, Shane Brosnan and Oisin Mathers exchanged points before Shannon Gaels went ahead on the basis of a well-executed goal from Eamon Devlin, with Oisin Mathers providing the requisite pass. Barnabas went goal hunting but several attempts were repelled before Peter Cronin managed to squeeze in a major strike. They would then go two points ahead on the back of two Shane Brosnan pointed frees. However the lead was soon negated with two long range points from Cian O’Dea and Oisin Mathers as the last quarter approached. 

Barnabas looked to grab the lead once more as Pat McGrinder seemed set to score but his shot was brilliantly saved by keeper Corrigan. Shannon Gaels wasted a few bone fide chances to go ahead, but Shane Brosnan scored from play to leave the score at 3-8 to 3-7 with 10 minutes left on the clock. Shannon Gaels came out the better in those crucial minutes as they would score four points while limiting Barnabas to just one. Senan Price and Oisin Mathers added a brace and play switched quickly to the other end where Dion Norney was back in the fray. However, this time his goal foraging attempt was safely deflected by the keeper. Then keeper Corrigan showed his versatility by coolly sending over for a “45” and another long range free to open up a three points lead with just a minute left on the clock. Barnabas launched a last raid in search of a goal, but had to settle for a Shane Brosnan point moments before the buzzer sounded.  Overall a very exciting and entertaining game, interspersed with bouts of great skill and most of the players products of the Minor Board.     

St. Barnabas: Jack Dennis, Dylan Curran, Paudie Mathers, Liam Rafferty, Mikey Boyle, Peter Cronin, Shane Rafferty, Adam Power, Colm Doherty, Shane Brosnan, Sean Liddy, Dion Norney, Cian Craig. Subs. Mark McMorrow, Bradley Doherty, Jack Donohoe, John Clarke, Alan Smith, Cormac Murphy, Jack Gleason, Brendan Rooney, Tiernan Mathers. 

Shannon Gaels: Ryan. Corrigan, Aiden Mooney, Pat McNamara, Sean Corridan, Fintan Corbett, Rob Corridan, Cian O’Dea, Aidan Lawler, Danny Corridan, Pat Devlin, Eamon Devlin, Oisin Mathers. Subs Luke Corridan, Senan Price, Eamon Doran, Colm Smith, Colm Buckley. Men of Match, Rory Duggan and Dion Norney, Referee Jeff Farrell.

Cavan in control

Cavan 5-15   Mayo 3-8

Though it is early in the season Cavan look destined to be the front runners in the Intermediate division as they lined out an experienced squad, supplemented by a long and strong bench. Mayo were forced to line out with the minimum which helped accentuate Cavan’s supremacy. 

Meanwhile Mayo started well as Jack Reilly, their most effective and productive player, pointed on their first possession and attack. However, Cavan soon stamped their authority on affairs with Frank Reilly pointing and then earning a free, which Conor Hunter pointed. Then, a great individual effort by Cian McArdle ended with a goal, but Mayo were still staying on their tails as Jack Reilly set up center-back Matt Queenan for a goal. Parity didn’t last long as Conor Hunter goaled midway in the period. Jack Reilly pointed another free but Cavan hit three unanswered points courtesy of Jack Reilly, Cian McArdle and Tommy Shalvey. 

Then as Cavan appeared to be cruising ahead, Jack Reilly struck Mayo’s second goal. However for the last ten minutes Cavan were dominant hitting 1-2, while limiting Mayo to a Conor Lynam point. Tommy Shalvey led the mini scoring spree and Michael Argue followed with another after he collared a long delivery from Donal Flanagan. Just before the intermission Frank Reilly got the third goal, the genesis of which was a very timely interception by Colm Shalvey to leave the Breffni Boys ahead by 3-7 to 2-3 at the short whistle. 

On resumption Cavan tagged on two points courtesy of big midfielder Michael Argue and Cian McArdle, but Mayo hit back with a goal and point from Conor Lynam.  That was to be as good as it got for Mayo. Cavan quickly killed off any hope of a comeback as Tommy Shalvey maneuvered his way in for a great goal, and he looked to be on target for another but keeper James Kilgariff saved brilliantly. The points continued to rain over as Cian McArdle and Caoilean O’Rourke hit two before Conor Mahoney came off the bench to nail Cavan’s fifth goal.  Cavan’s remaining scores came from corner-man McArdle, Gareth McMahon, Conor Mahoney and Cormac Morgan. On the other side Mayo were limited to a few points from their chief marksman Jack Reilly, Conor Hunter and Conor Tinny.  Cavan looked very impressive, but I’m sure Mayo’s squad will be reinforced as the season progressive.

Cavan: Mark Galligan, Daniel King, Caoilean O’Rourke, Jamie Coyle, Donal Flanagan, Colm Shalvey, Michael Argue, Adrian Mulligan, Thomas Shalvey, Martin Cunningham, Conor Hunter, Cian McArdle, Frank O’Reilly. Subs Paul Kelly, Conor Mahoney, Tim O’Driscoll, Michael O’Driscoll, Ryan Sexton, Keith Kelly, Eoin Tally, Gareth McMahon, Stephen Harten, Cormac Fagan, Cormac Morgan.

Mayo: James Kilgariff, Conor Cronin, Mick Murphy, Jamie McNicholas, Matthew Queenan, Colm Kilkenny, Conor Bowden, Johnny Power, David Pond, Jack Reilly, Pa Glynn, Conor Lynam, Conor Tinney. Referee Peter McCormack, Man of Match Colm Shalvey. 

Easy for Rangers

Rangers 1-11 Monaghan 1-2

In this Junior A match Rangers were in the driver’s seat from start to finish. Though Monaghan were in scoring range in the early innings they failed to hit the target. Rangers had no such problem as Kevin Loane pointed on their first attack and PJ King quickly followed with another. By midway, Rangers led by 0-6 to zero. Lorcan Kennedy sent over two fine long range efforts with PJ King and Kevin Loane adding to their stats.

 The second quarter exchanges were a bit better balanced, but Fergal O’Brien’s attempt from a mark drifted wide before James Connolly got their opening score. The Farney men hadn’t much luck as another scoring attempt came back off the upright, plus stern Rangers defending squashed goal-scoring opportunities. Rangers finished out the period with a brace from Kevin Loane and a single from Cathal Egan to lead by 0-9 to 0-1.   

In the second half the game petered to its inevitable conclusion as Rangers had the spoils of victory safely wrapped up. They gave their bench a run. Joey Grace pointed a “45” and Kevin Loane sent over another. Midway Lorcan Kennedy seemed to be on target for another of his long range specials, but the dropping shot deceived the keeper to fall under the crossbar and settle in the back of the net.  Monaghan got a late goal but it just took the bare look off the score board.

Rangers: Joie Grace, Eoin McCaffrey, Dylan Grace, Shane Doheny, Danny Burke, Cathal Egan, Tommy Kelly, Conor McStay, Chris Kennedy, Michael Loughnane, Lorcan Kennedy, PJ King, Kevin Loane. Subs. Emmett Clarke, Martin Loane, Andrew Burke, Pat Brennan, Brian McElligiot, Mathew Gallagher, Johnny Power.

Monaghan: Andrew McGrew, Ryan Sexton, David Muiraghen, Ross Byrne, Shane Woods, Mustafa Ahmed, John McSorley, Niall Curran, Jarlath Boyce, Kieran Leonard, Niall Moen, Nico Slevin, Ryan Gleason, Fergal O’Brien, James Connolly. Subs. Enna Folen, Reece Traenor. Referee Mike Reilly, Man of Match Kevin Loane.