Club Football Championship round-up
It was a busy weekend of senior club football championship action nationwide. Here’s our comprehensive round-up of the action across the counties.
CLARE SENIOR FOOTBALL CHAMPIONSHIP
Cratloe are still course for another football and hurling championship double in Clare after beating Cooraclare by 4-16 to 0-9 to qualify for the County SFC semi-finals.
Already in the hurling semi-finals, a powerful second-half performance saw them win this football quarter-final comfortably with the goals coming from Rian Considine, Cathal McInerney, Billy Connors, and Conal O’Hanlon.
Cratloe will be joined in the Clare SFC semi-finals by St. Joseph’s Miltown, Ennistymon, and Kilmurry Ibrickane.
St. Joseph’s had little trouble dispatching Clondegad on a scoreline of 2-14 to 1-7 as they avenged their semi-final defeat to the same opposition last year.
Ennistymon have reached the last four for the very first time in the club’s history thanks to a narrow 2-12 to 2-10 victory over Éire Óg Ennis, while Kilmurry Ibrickane’s quest for a three-in-a-row continues apace after their 3-12 to 0-10 victory over Corofin.
DONEGAL SENIOR FOOTBALL CHAMPIONSHIP
Reigning champions Kilcar were dethroned in the Donegal SFC Quarter-Finals by Naomh Conaill of Glenties yesterday.
There was just a point between the teams late on, but Naomh Conaill finished with a flourish thanks to two Brendan McDyer points and a Kieran Gallagher goal to run out 1-9 to 0-6 winners.
The big shock of the weekened saw Sean MacCumhaill’s of Ballybofey reach the county semi-finals for the first time since 2004 by beating St. Michael’s 2-10 to 0-13, with their goals scored by Martin Gallagher and Martin O’Reilly.
Michael Murphy kicked four points for Glenswilly as they defeated Four Masters by 0-12 to 0-5, while Gweedore showed why they’re championship favourites with a whopping 8-13 to 3-12 victory over Bundoran.
DUBLIN SENIOR FOOTBALL CHAMPIONSHIP
The hotly contested Dublin SFC is down to the final four the weekend’s four quarter-finals saw victories for St. Vincent’s, Ballyboden St. Enda’s, St. Jude’s, and Kilmacud Crokes.
The result of the round was St. Jude’s’ 1-11 to 2-9 victory over a fancied Ballymun Kickhams on Saturday.
The teams were level at 1-4 apiece at half-time but Ballymun looked like they were on the way to victory when they moved four points clear with 10 minutes remaining.
But St. Jude’s then stunned the favourites down the home stretch as a Tom Lahiff point and Chris Guckian goal brought them level before Kieran Doherty kicked the winning score in extra-time.
Saturday’s second quarter-final saw Ballyboden St Enda’s overpower Na Fianna on a scoreline of 3-13 to 0-15.
The Basquel brothers, Ryan and Colm, were the main men, scoring a combined 3-7 of their team’s total. Boden led by 2-9 to 0-6 at half-time and thereafter the result was never in doubt.
Diarmuid Connolly returned to action for St. Vincent’s as they defeated Castleknock by 1-21 to 1-9 at Parnell Park on Sunday.
He came on as a sub in the 50th minute when the contest was already settled after a fine performance from the defending champions.
A first-half goal from the evergreen Tomás Quinn helped them into a 1-9 to 1-6 half-time lead, and Vinnies went from strength to strength in the second-half with Quinn and Enda Varley leading the Castleknock defence a merry dance.
In Sunday’s other Dublin SFC Quarter-Final, Kilmacud Crokes had to dig deep to see off the stubborn challenge of St. Sylvester’s on a final scoreline of 2-17 to 0-15
The final margin of victory flattered Crokes who only made the game safe with late goals from Paul Mannion and Callum Pearson.
KERRY SENIOR FOOTBALL CHAMPIONSHIP
East Kerry’s ‘Terrible Twins’ David Clifford and Dara Roche were to the fore again in their team’s Kerry SFC Quarter-Final victory over South Kerry.
The deadly duo scored a combined 3-7 as East Kerry’s talented young team ran out 4-12 to 2-10 victors.
Roche’s two goals gave East Kerry a 2-6 to 1-4 interval lead, and there was no way back for South Kerry when they were reduced to 14 men shortly after the resumption.
East Kerry will now play Dingle in the semi-finals after the peninsula team pulled off a 3-9 to 0-9 victory over Austin Stacks.
Key to the victory was the performance of former Kerry minor star Mark O’Connor who was back home less than a week after another season in the AFL with Geelong Cats.
O’Connor was deployed as a sweeper in front of Kieran Donaghy and successfully neutralised the Stacks danger-man at one end of the field while Dingle’s Paul Geaney did the damage at the other end with a haul of 2-3 for the winners.
The other Kerry SFC semi-final will be contested by Dr. Crokes and Kerins O’Rahillys after their respective wins over Legion and St. Brendan’s.
Crokes won the Killarney derby in style, running out 1-20 to 0-9 victors.
It’s a testament to their attacking riches that they could afford to hold Colm Cooper in reserve, with players like Tony Brosnan, Brian Looney, David Shaw and Kieran O’Leary all in fine form.
O’Rahillys also looked like they were on the way to comfortable win over St. Michael’s when 16th minute free from Jack Savage put them 3-3 to 0-2 ahead after just 16 minutes.
But St. Brendan's came roaring back to make a real match of it until late points from Cormac Coffey and Karl Mullins eventually made the game safe for O’Rahillys.
LAOIS SENIOR FOOTBALL CHAMPIONSHIP
Portlaoise and O’Dempsey’s will contest the 2018 Laois SFC Final after semi-final wins over St. Joseph’s and Graiguecullen respectively.
It will be Portlaoise’s 12th Final in a row, and they’ll be warm favourites to win it if they can replicate the quality of performance that saw them outclass St. Joseph’s on a score-line of 4-15 to 1-7.
O’Dempsey’s will be playing in the county final for the first time since 1983 after their 2-12 to 0-13 win over Graiguecullen, with the all-important goals scored by Mark Barry and Dan McCormack.
LIMERICK SENIOR FOOTBALL CHAMPIONSHIP
Monaleen and Ballylanders have progressed to the semi-finals of the Limerick SFC after wins over St. Kieran’s and Ballysteen respectively.
Monaleen defeated St. Kieran’s by 3-13 to 2-9 while Ballylanders needed a dramatic injury-time goal from Jimmy Barry-Murphy to get the better of Ballysteen by 2-16 to 4-8.
Monaleen will play Adare in the County SFC semi-finals while Ballylanders will play Newcastle West.
LOUTH SENIOR FOOTBALL CHAMPIONSHIP
Newtown Blues are on track for back to back Louth SFC titles after a comfortable 0-14 to 0-7 win over Dreadnots.
They’ll be faced in the Final by Naoimh Mairtin who looked good in their 3-13 to 1-8 victory over St. Patrick’s.
MEATH SENIOR FOOTBALL CHAMPIONSHIP
Simonstown’s dreams of a third Meath SFC title in a row were dashed by Dunboyne in county semi-finals at the weekend.
The most surprising thing about the result was the emphatic nature of Dunboyne’s 2-16 to 0-8 victory.
Simonstown actually led by 0-7 to 0-3 at half-time, but were blown away in the second-half as Dunboyne took total command with their goals coming from Robbie McCarthy and Cathal Lacey.
In the weekend’s other Meath SFC semi-final, Summerhill defeated 2017 runners-up Donaghmore-Ashbourne by 3-12 to 2-7 with two-goal hero Barry Dardis doing most of the damage for the winners.
OFFALY SENIOR FOOTBALL CHAMPIONSHIP
Rhode’s bid for a third Offaly SFC title in a row and 10th in 14 years is still on track, but only just.
A Ruairi McNamee goal 10 minutes from time and late points from Anton Sullivan and Paul McPadden saw them overcome a strong challenge from Tullamore on a final scoreline of 2-9 to 1-10.
In the other semi-final, Ferbane came with an even more spectacular late scoring flourish, hitting 2-2 in injury-time to defeat Clara by 3-10 to 1-10.
SLIGO SENIOR FOOTBALL CHAMPIONSHIP
Tourlestrane’s bid for a third Sligo SFC title in a row is just about still on track after an injury-time free from Cathal Henry rescued a 1-10 to 2-7 semi-final draw against Coolera-Strandhill.
Yesterday’s other scheduled semi-final between Tubbercurry and Coolaney-Mullinabreena was postponed due to a bereavement.
TYRONE SENIOR FOOTBALL CHAMPIONSHIP
Reigning champions Omagh were dethroned by neighbours Killyclogher in Sunday’s Tyrone SFC Quarter-Finals.
18-year-old wing-back Matthew Murnaghan was the main-man for the winners, scoring four points from play as they ran out 1-12 to 0-9 winners, while his brother Luke came off the bench to score the game’s only goal.
Last year’s beaten finalists, Errigal Ciaran, are also out of the running after they were beaten 0-15 to 2-7 by Coalisland, with five Paddy McNiece points proving crucial for the winners.
A Shay McGuigan point capped a stunning comeback by Ardboe as they shocked Trillick by 2-8 to 1-10, while Edendork also booked their place in the last four with a 0-15 to 1-10 win over Galbally.
WATERFORD SENIOR FOOTBALL CHAMPIONSHIP
Kilrossanty have reached the Waterford SFC Final for the first time since 2000 thanks to a 3-16 to 0-12 semi-final victory over An Rinn.
Inside forwards Pa Cunningham and Paul Whyte were the main men for the winners, scoring a combined tally of 3-3.
Kilrossanty will now play either The Nire or Ballinacourty in the County Final.