Galway teams impressing in Bank of Ireland Celtic Challenge
The third round clashes of the 2017 Bank of Ireland Celtic Challenge provided some intriguing tussles around the country this week.
The three Galway teams maintained their impressive record in this tournament, as did North Tipperary while Kilkenny Amber had a fine win over Wexford Purple.
Galway Maroon 0-24 - Offaly 1-13
By Seán Walsh
Galway Maroon recorded their second win of the campaign when they overcame Offaly in Birr on Wednesday evening.
Galway laid a marker early on and when Ross Albertini pointed on the 21st minute and they had built a 0-9 to 0-2 lead soon after.
By the interval Galway Maroon led by 0-12 to 0-5 as the spirited Offaly side clawed their way back into contention.
With a decent spread of scorers, Galway led by 0-18 to 0-10 at the three quarter stage before a Brian Duignan goal from a 20 metre free gave Offaly some hope at 1-12 to 0-21 with 7 minutes to go, but the Galway lads closed out the deal to seal a 0-24 to 1-13 win.
The Galway management team of Niall Canavan (Annaghdown), Joe Hession (Turloughmore), and Kevin Molloy (Kilnadeema-Leitrim) were delighted with the win.
For Offaly, Brian Duignan, son of Faithful legend, Michael, was on fire again with 1-9, while Rory Carty also impressed with 0-4.
Galway Tribesmen 7-24 - Kildare Cadets 0-3
By Seán Walsh
Galway Tribesmen enjoyed a comfortable win over a spirited Kildare Cadets side on a splendid pitch in the Athlone GAA grounds.
Dylan Carroll of Castlegar lead the scoring with 3-2 and his club colleague James Smith scoring 1-5 from play.
The other goals were scored by Ronan Mitchell (2) and Jordan Ruffley.
The final score did not do justice to a hard-working Kildare Cadets who never wilted despite the Tribesmen's dominance.
Next for Galway Tribesmen is a fourth round clash with Donegal.
Galway McDonagh 4-16 - North Clare 0-7
By Michael O'Connor
Three wins in a row and heading for Division one is the mid-term progress report for Galway McDonagh.
This is the reality for the squad led by GMIT GAA officer and former Galway selector Damian Curley after a sterling second half display against Clare in scenic Tubber on Wednesday evening.
The omens suggested based on opening rounds that the winner would be the maroon and white tinted in colour. North Clare had suffered two heavy defeats in their opening rounds and badly needed a performance to give hope for the remainder of the Celtic challenge.
This performance was forthcoming for the opening half and absent for the second half as Galway ran out comfortable winners. Darren O Brien opened the scoring for North Clare before three in a row from TJ Brennan, Conor Molloy and Isaa Dehora set Galway up for a lead they never subsequently surrendered. North Clare's top forward Tom Barry rallied the Clare cause with a free and indeed North Galway were finding it difficult due to the honest effort provided by the home side.
Eventually distance was put between the sides as Cillian Lawless and Conor Molloy hit minors before Isaac Dehora struck for the first Galway goal. Tom Barry and Molloy exchanged scores in the 20th minute as Galway McDonagh led 1-6 to 0-3 and beginning to stretch Clare without hitting heavily on the scoreboard.
North Clare hit eight first half wides that they could ill afford to waste in terms of possession and chances. The final five minutes saw Tom Barry and Darren O Brien on target for the home side as Dylan Shaughnessy hit back to leave the visitors 1-8 to 0-5 interval leaders.
At this juncture success for Clare looked improbable, but based on their defensive effort in the first half a positive effort in the second half looked likely as Aaron Moloney, Ronan Donnelly, Shane Dowling and John Finucane as well as Martin Barry were holding their own.
This defensive shield was shattered with little mercy five minutes into the new half as Galway hit (1-4) to no score for Clare. Conor Molloy (3) and Mark Kennedy scored with Dehora hitting the second Galway McDonagh goal to surge (2-12) to (0-5) clear. The game petered out in the last 20 minutes as both sides emptied their benches with Tom Barry the sole Clare North attack option.
Molloy cemented his place as top scorer with a further (2-3) as North Clare move onto Birr on Sat 27th seeking their first win as Galway McDonagh ironically will feature at McDonagh Park, Nenagh against North Tipperary.
Kilkenny Amber 1-11 – Wexford Gold 0-7
By Sarah Mc Guinness
Wexford Gold put in a courageous performance as they took on Kilkenny Amber in Dunmore Training Centre in Kilkenny in the 3rd round of the Celtic Hurling Challenge Tournament on Wednesday last.
At half-time, Kilkenny Amber lead by 0-6 to 0-3.
Wexford’s efforts in the second half did not result in score conversion as they hit a total of 11 wides and Kilkenny got better return and ran out easy winners with Declan Buggy very accurate from placed balls.
Wexford Goalie Kevin Cosgrave made several outstanding saves as Kilkenny pushed forward to increased the scoreline.
Clare South East 1-25 - West Limerick 1-14
By John Condon
Clare South-East maintained their good form in the competition defeating neighbours West Limerick in their Round 3 encounter at Cratloe GAA Club.
Playing with a strong breeze in the first half the Clare boys were quick out of the blocks and racked up early points through Fiachra Donnellan, Lorcan Fitzpatrick, Bryan McLeish and the impressive Ronan Molloy. West Limerick got their opening score from a free by Sean O Connor.
Clare continued to find their range while the Treaty men found both the opposition and the conditions tough going. A Conor Shanagher goal put the Clare South East team in a commanding position at half time on a 1-16 to 0-4 scoreline
The second half saw a revitalised West Limerick side get on the scoreboard early with points from Dylan O'Connell, James O'Brien and Jack Lenihan.
Frank Costello at centre back and the impressive O'Connor won a lot if possession which led to a well taken goal by Liam Molyneaux.
The Clare side upped their game and a brace of points from Paul Hogan as well as further scores from Donnellan, Eoin Power and Cian Cremmins kept their side in the ascendancy. While both sides continued to trade scores the overall result was not in doubt as Clare South East ran out 11 point winners.
West Limerick had impressive performances from goalkeeper TJ Kelly, Frank Costello, Sean O Connor, James O'Brien, and Conor White. While as well as those previously mentioned Clare South East players, Ronan Kelly, Luke Merrigan, and Darragh Lohan caught the eye.
Roscommon 3-7 - Mayo 2-4
By Tháigh Morley
Roscommon under-17 hurlers came out on top of the first of two meetings this week between the respective counties.
The senior teams playing in Christy Ring Relegation Final on Saturday at 5pm in Carrick on Shannon.
The game was played on a fine evening for hurling in Bekan with dry weather conditions and a perfect surface. Throughout, both teams were very even matched, but the Roscommon men dominated the score taking chances. Indeed Mayo only scored one point in the second half. The first half had been filled with missed chances for both teams with Mayo leading 2-3 to 1-4 at the break.
The second half started stronger for the Roscommon hitting Mayo for 2-1 within seven minutes of the restart, with Andrew Flood hitting 1-1 after his switch into full-forward.
The second goal a well worked goal by Michael Kelly left the score 3-5 to 2-3 with over 20 minutes to play.
On the night Mayo would rue not taking their scoring opportunities with Roscommon winning by six points. Liam Cassidy, Danny Hill, James Gallagher, Finian Bourke, Ray Walsh, and Paddy Lyons played well while, for the visitors, Fergal Hoare, Jack Lohan, Oisin Kelly, Andrew Flood, and Orin Walsh all played their part.
East Waterford 2-16 South/East Limerick 0-17
By Eoin Breathnach
It was a case of third time lucky as East Waterford recorded their first win of this year’s Bank of Ireland GAA Celtic Challenge in Round 3 of Group E beating South/East Limerick in Cahir on Wednesday.
After the heavy rain on Monday and Tuesday the weather gods were shining on Cahir GAA Club and the game as played in warm sunshine.
A bright opening from East Waterford with 2 early scores from Dylan Fitzgerald making his first start of the campaign help East Waterford open up a lead of 0-5 to 0-1 after 10 minutes. South/East Limerick then took control of next 10 minutes with some excellent long range shooting bringing them level after 15 minutes
Excellent free taking and a wonderful sideline cut had the Treaty lads ahead 0-10 to 0-8 with 5 minutes left in the half. However a brilliant individual goal by Neil O’Sullivan who pounced on a loose ball in midfield and soloed 40 yards before unleashing a great shot to the bottom corner of the Limerick net put Waterford ahead and with a few more scores left the half time score level at East Waterford 1-9 South East Limerick 0-12.
Three second half Jack Troy frees and two from play from his Ballygunner club mate Cormac Power were responded to by some good Limerick scores to keep the game tight. Some excellent defending from the Déise backs with John Sheahan and David Daniels putting bodies on the line kept the goal intact.
The clinching moment came with eight minutes left on the clock when Seaghan Walsh swooped for the second Déise goal to open up a four point gap. A great late score by East Waterford captain Conor Burns finished the game with South/East Limerick having to settle for a losing bonus point.