Search Results for 'Barry Kelly'
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Salthill-Knocknacarra qualified for an exciting county senior football quarter-final against Milltown in the next round of the Galway club championship when they proved too strong for Micheal Breathnachs last Sunday evening in a rain-drenched Moycullen.
I thought it impossible to see anything more bizarre than having to overtake an NYPD car on my way to MacHale Park last Sunday but just before the start of the Ballintubber/Knockmore county quarter final something else surpassed that. While I was watching the Ballintubber warm up to see if I could spot Cillian O’Connor ( to see if he was togged) I noticed a commotion in the middle of the field with all medical personnel running towards the place where Knockmore just had their team picture taken.
It was a weekend for surprises in Elverys MacHale Park in the Treanlaur Catering Senior Football Championship, with the defending champions Ballaghaderreen and the winners of the previous two titles Ballintubber both bowing out of championship at the quarter-final stage. The final of the last eight ties got off to a dramatic start, with most eyes during the warm up trying to see was Cillian O’Connor going to play any part in the game, then suddenly Knockmore’s Aiden Kilcoyne had to be stretchered off the field before a ball had even been kicked in anger. The All Ireland u21 winner, when running away from the team photograph did something to his knee in his run towards the warm up and had to be taken off the field on a stretcher, in some discomfort. It wasn’t the start that Nigel Reape would have been hoping for, but his charges, knuckled down without their marquee forward and tore into Peter Ford’s Ballintubber side. The main man in the clash was Declan Sweeney who rolled back the years with a performance for the ages in the full-forward position. He ran Cathal Hallinan ragged all day, and Hallinan didn’t have a particularly bad game and was the key difference between the sides. Knockmore were leading by 0-3 to 0-2 after ten minutes, when Ballintubber hit the first goal of the game to push themselves into the lead. Padraic O’Connor dropped the ball into the danger area and Knockmore goalkeeper Andrew Higgins didn’t cover himself in glory as the ball spilled loose and a combination of Alan Plunkett and Damien McGing combined to force the ball over the line from close range. But Knockmore weren’t going to bend the knee easily and 14 minutes later they pushed themselves back into a 0-8 to 1-3 lead thanks to points from Kieran Langan, Andrew Keane, Tom Clarke and a brace from Declan Sweeney. The north Mayo men tagged on two more points before the break through Kevin McLoughlin and they had the bit between their teeth at the turn around and headed for the dressing room leading 0-10 to 1-3. Diarmuid O’Connor opened the scoring in the second half with a fine point a minute in, but two minutes later the definitive moment of the game arrived when Knockmore bagged their only goal of the contest. Shane McHale who put in a top-class shift in around the middle third hit an effort for a point that came back off the post and Darren McHale was the quickest to react to the rebound a drove the ball high to the roof of Brendan Walsh’s net to put Reape’s side into a six point lead. But Ballintubber were not throwing in the towel just yet and they reeled off four points without reply in the next ten minutes to close the gap to just two points. Padraic O’Connor kicked three frees and Jason Gibbons added the other from distance. The game looked to be ebbing back towards the west Mayo men, but this was going to be Knockmore’s day and two pointed frees from Kieran Langan sandwiched other efforts from Stephen Sweeney and Kevin McLoughlin stretched their lead out to six points with ten minutes to go. Ballintubber went looking for goals at the end and they couldn’t dig themselves out of this one and Knockmore toughed it out at the end to win by 1-15 to 1-10.
A week seems a long time in sport, when I sat down to watch the All-Ireland hurling final replay on Saturday evening last I could not believe it was only six short days after Mayo’s agonising one point defeat to Dublin in the football final, it now seems like the game was on about three months ago. The evenings are getting shorter and for the players unfortunately reality bites. It is a horrible feeling, most of them would have taken the week off work to either celebrate or simply drown their sorrows, and to wake up last Monday morning and return to their daily lives is really the hard part for them especially as they left without the holy grail. It is very depressing. I have to commend the two O’Sheas and Robbie Hennelly who were very giving of their time to supporters after the Breaffy and Charlestown league match last Sunday, signing every autograph and taking part for every picture request.
St Thomas head to Parnell Park on Saturday to take on the current All-Ireland champions Loughgiel Shamrocks (4pm) in the All-Ireland semi-final with many supporters believing the club is in bonus territory.
I sent a brief text to Liam McHale and Kevin McStay last Sunday evening congratulating them on guiding St Brigid’s of Roscommon to a Connacht title. These two lads were brought in by the Roscommon club to launch a serious bid for All-Ireland, an honour which, understandably, placed and places them under huge pressure. Had they not managed to at least achieve a provincial title, they would have been perceived as failures. On the evidence of last Sunday, I believe they have a fantastic chance of going all the way with this team.
The last time a Mayo side claimed the Connacht Club Senior Football Championship it was Ballina Stephenites on a wet and wild day in James Stephens Park in 2007 and St Brigid’s were the opposition. In the past four years the Roscommon men have gone on to claim the last two titles and are looking to make it three in a row and their fourth over all, this Sunday in McHale Park, and in the process, draw Roscommon level on 13 titles each with Mayo in the overall roll of honour. However standing in their way are a Ballaghaderreen side who are looking to claim their first provincial title and Mayo’s 14th drawing them level with Galway on the number of titles won on the roll of honour.
There was terrific entertainment at the Connacht club championship semi-final last Sunday. The opening 30 minutes was as good as I have seen at club level this year. The first half was a real quality contest, very exciting with fast flowing end to end action, some wonderful scores, and generally two teams having a right go at advancing to a Connacht final. It went a good way towards warming the blood on a chilly day in McHale Park.
Ballaghaderreen 1-9 Ballintubber 0-4
Come this time of the season, the win is all that matters and that's exactly what Ballintubber and Ballaghaderreen both delivered in Elvery's McHale Park on Sunday afternoon. Both of this years senior championship semi-finals weren't games for the ages. What they were, was games that had to be won. Ballintubber who are looking to be the first team since the historic Garrymore side of the mid-seventies to put together a three-in-a-row title rein, booked their place in this years final, by coming out on the right side of a result that looked for a good portion of the game, was going to go against them.