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Clare captain Gary Brennan is presented with the McGrath cup by Munster Council Chairman Jerry O'Sullivan after the McGrath Cup Final match between Cork and Clare at Hennessy Park in Miltown Malbay, Co. Clare.
Clare captain Gary Brennan is presented with the McGrath cup by Munster Council Chairman Jerry O'Sullivan after the McGrath Cup Final match between Cork and Clare at Hennessy Park in Miltown Malbay, Co. Clare.

Saturday's inter-county GAA round-up


McGrath Cup Final

Clare 1-9 Cork 0-9

Clare won their first McGrath Cup since 2008 after a strong finish against Cork in Miltown Malbay.

The sides were level with ten minutes to play, but points from Keelan Sexton (2) and Dean Ryan clinched the win for the home team.

They didn’t just finish the match impressively, they got off to a good start too when an eight minute long-range goal from Gordon Kelly gave them some early impetus.

Leading 1-3 to 0-3 at half-time, Clare stretched their advantage to five points early in the second-half before Cork scored five points in a row to level the game by the 50th minute.

The Rebels looked like the team with all the momentum at that stage, but Clare gritted their teeth and came with a late burst of scores that gave the home crowd plenty to shout about.

Robbie McDaid of Dublin celebrates after scoring his side’s goal during the Bord na Mona O'Byrne Cup semi-final match between Dublin and Meath at Parnell Park in Dublin.
Robbie McDaid of Dublin celebrates after scoring his side’s goal during the Bord na Mona O'Byrne Cup semi-final match between Dublin and Meath at Parnell Park in Dublin.

O’Byrne Cup semi-finals

Dublin 1-12 Meath 1-12 (Dublin win 3-1 on penalties)

Westmeath 2-10 Longford 0-4

All-Ireland champions Dublin are just one game away from claiming a second O'Byrne Cup title in three seasons with their development panel.

With Paul Clarke on the line for the third season running, and selecting from a development panel of rookie and fringe talent, the Dubs qualified for the final after a novel penalty shoot-out.

After drawing 1-12 to 1-12 with old rivals Meath at Parnell Park, Dublin prevailed 3-1 on penalties to secure a final clash with Westmeath next Friday night.

Mickey Newman had scored a 76th minute point from a free for Meath to level it up and force the penalty drama.

But the 2018 tournament winners were unable to punish Dublin further and missed three of their four kicks while the hosts scored all three of theirs.

Aaron Byrne and Conor McHugh, both former U-21 Footballer of the Year winners, and Fingallians Oisin Lynch all slotted their penalties for Dublin.

Meath were closer to full strength with eight starters who featured in last year's Championship and ran 1-4 to 0-2 ahead after 11 minutes.

Graham Reilly, on as a blood substitute, scored their goal and Newman added two points though Dublin recovered to level terms by half-time at 1-7 apiece.

Robbie McDaid scored their goal, palming in from close range, while Ballyboden club mate Ryan Basquel impressed in attack with 0-4 overall.

The tension increased in the second-half and the sides were level five times in total with Dublin edging ahead and Meath hauling them back each time.

McHugh thought he'd struck the winner for Dublin in the 74th minute when he fisted over by Donal Keogan won a free for Meath that Newman converted, prompting the penalty drama.

Meanwhile, Westmeath cruised through to back to back finals after overcoming Midlands neighbours Longford by 2-10 to 0-4.

Gerry Cooney's side had home advantage at The Downs club grounds and registered 1-5 in both halves of the game to progress.

The Lakes County led from the seventh minute when Sean Flanagan netted until full-time, holding Longford scoreless from play in the process.

Sam Duncan played a key role in the buildup and St Loman's man Flanagan applied the finish.

Barry McKeon's early free conversion was Longford's only score of the opening half as they trailed 1-5 to 0-1 at the interval.

Ronan O'Toole, Kieran Martin and Egan were all on the mark again with points before the break for Westmeath.

Longford had the wind advantage in the second-half and added three more points, all from frees as Robbie Smyth and Darren Gallagher converted.

James Dolan, back in the Westmeath half-back line after missing the 2018 Championship, grabbed a third-quarter point.

O'Toole helped to stretch Westmeath's lead before Callum McCormack killed the contest with a cracking second goal, opening up a 2-7 to 0-3 advantage for the hosts.

Egan and McCormack added late points as Westmeath strode to a surprisingly comfortable 12-point win.

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