Weekend’s club championship round-up from around the Country:
The Northern Switchgear Antrim SFC is down to the last four after the weekend’s quarter-finals. Dunloy will now play Roger Casements Portglenone and Cargin will play Naomh Bríd for a place in the county final. Dunloy’s progress to the semi-finals is a talking point as they’re better known as a hurling power, but they’re now building on football success in recent year in the minor and U-21 grade.
Their 2-18 to 3-12 extra-time quarter-final win over Lámh Dhearg was a dramatic one. The teams were still level at half-time in extra-time, but Dunloy scored the last three points of the game to claim victory. St. Brigid’s finished strongly to beat O’Donovan Rossa by 0-13 to 0-10 in their quarter-final tie, an Aidan McAleese goal proved crucial for Casements in their 1-12 to 0-12 win over Creggan, while Tom Shivers hit an injury-time winner for defending champions Cargin in their 0-9 to 0-8 win over Aghagallon.
After the preliminary quarter-final matches over the weekend, the draw has now been made for the quarter-finals proper of the Armagh SFC. Defending champions Crossmaglen will play Armagh Harps, Killeavy will play Clann na Gael, Madden will play Ballymacnab, and Clann Eireann will play Silverbridge. The best match of the preliminary quarter-final round was Silverbridge’s 3-9 to 1-13 win over Granemore. The Harps looked set for a comfortable win when they led by 10 points at half-time thanks in no small part to two goals from Tiarnan Murphy and one from Gavin Burns. But Granemore came roaring back in the second half as a Pete Carr goal helped reduce the deficit to three points with 10 minutes to play. In the end, some dogged defending from Silverbridge was enough to see them cling on.
Reigning champions Palatine were knocked out of this year’s Michael Lyng Motors SFC after a 1-11 to 0-6 defeat to Éire Óg. It was their third defeat in a row, and they must now defeat Fenagh in the relegation final to preserve their senior status. Éire Óg’s win means they progress to the quarter-finals where they will play Mouth Leinster Rangers, with Bagenalstown Gaels facing Old Leighlin in the other quarter-final. Rathvilly and Tinryland go straight into the semi-finals after winning their respective groups.
The final eight teams in the Kiernan Service Station Cavan SFC are now known, but the quarter-final line-up is yet to be decided because the Castlerahan v Crosserlough match was postponed.
Before a ball had been kicked in the final round of group matches, Crosserlough, Gowna, Killygarry, and Kingscourt Stars were already guaranteed a place in the last eight. After the weekend’s five matches, Ramor United, Laragh United, Cavan Gaels, and Ballinagh have joined them. The only change to the top eight was Ballinagh pipping Lacken for eight place thanks to their 0-16 to 0-10 win over Lavey and Cavan Gaels’ 1-18 to 2-11 win over Lacken.
The two teams who have divided up the Clare SHC between them for the last eight years, reigning champions Ballyea and Sixmilebridge, have both been knocked out of this year’s championship. Scariff and Kilmaley’s draw at the weekend ensured they both progressed to the knock-out rounds at the expense of Ballyea, while Sixmilebridge’s involvement was ended two weeks ago by defeat to O’Callaghan’s Mills. The most recent winners of the Clare SHC now left in the competition are Newmarket-on-Fergus who won it in 2012, so the field is now wide open and every team still standing will feel they have a chance of going all the way.
After the final round of group matches in the Cork Premier Senior Football Championship, the quarter-final draw is now known. Nemo Rangers will play Clonakility, Castlehaven will play Ballincollig, and Duhallow will play the winners of St. Michael’s and Douglas who contest a play-off. St. Finbarr’s are straight through to the semi-finals where they will play the winner of Castlehaven and Ballincollig. At the other side of the draw the winners of Nemo Ranagers and Clonakility will play whatever team comes through from St. Michael’s, Douglas, and Duhallow. The relegation play-off will be contested by Mallow and Carrigaline.
Kevin Lynch’s are through to a fifth successive Derry SHC Final thanks to their 1-18 to 4-7 win over Banagher which saw them top Group B. They were made sweat by the concession of two late goals, but managed to hold on against a Banagher side that will regret some poor shooting. Their two-point win combined with Eoghan Rua’s 3-13 to 0-20 win over Lavey was enough to see Kevin Lynch’s through to the Final where they will once again play Slaughtneil who finished their Group A campaign with a comfortable 2-26 win over Swatragh. Slaughtneil are one win away from an incredible 11th title in a row.
After the final ground of group fixtures, defending champions Naomh Conaill, Aodh Ruadh Ballyshannon, St. Eunan’s, and Kilcar are through to the quarter-finals of the Michael Murphy Sports Donegal SFC. They finished in the top four positions in the table with the next eight teams now contesting the preliminary quarter-finals. Glenswilly play Glenfin, Gweedore will play Dungloe, MacCumhaills will play Four Masters, and Cloughaneely will play Ardara for a place in the last eight. The four teams in the relegation play-offs are St. Naul’s, St Michael’s, Milford, and Killybegs.
Mayobridge, Downpatrick, and Ballyholland are through to the quarter-finals of the Morgan Fuels Down GAA SFC after Round 3 wins over the weekend. Mayobridge defeated Warrenpoint by 1-11 to 0-10 in a game that never really caught fire, with the crucial goal coming from captain Shane McNamee. Ballyholland’s convincing 3-8 to 0-6 win over Longstone gives them a lot of momentum going into the quarter-finals with the goals coming from Billy Campbell, Jack Murtagh, and Seamus Loughran. Downpatrick held off a late surge from Castlewellan to run out 1-13 to 3-4 victors in their Round 3 match. The last spot in the final eight will be filled by the winners of tonight’s match between Loughinisland and Carryduff.
Ballymun Kickhams set up a mouth-watering Go Ahead Dublin SFC Quarter-final with reigning champions Kilmacud Crokes thanks to a 1-12 to 0-11 win over Ballinteer St John’s in the final ground of the group phase. The other quarter-finals will see Ballybdoen St. Enda’s play Castleknock, Raheny play St. Vincent’s, and St. Judes play Cuala. Perhaps the stand-out result of the final round of group matches was the one-point win St. Vincent’s enjoyed over Na Fianna, with defender Shane O’Leary scoring a last-gasp point to eliminate last year’s defeated finalists.
Enniskillen Gaels started the defence of their Fermanagh SFC title with a hard-fought 2-10 to 0-12 victory over Ederney. Two goals in a five-minute burst midway through the first-half gave the champions early momentum, but Ederney battle back to draw level at half-time on a scoreline of 2-3 to 0-9. The Gaels showed a much sharper cutting edge in the second-half to eventually run out four-point victors. Meanwhile, last year’s beaten county finalists, Erne Gaels, enjoyed an impressive 3-13 to 0-9 win over Belnaleck, and Derrygonnelly Harps defeated Roslea Shamrocks by 2-17 to 2-11.
Reigning Bon Secours Galway SFC champions, Maigh Cuilinn, made it four wins from four to stay top of Group 1 after a 2-16 to 3-7 win over Leitir Mór. Corofin also made it four wins from four to tighten their grip on Group 2 courtesy of a convincing 2-18 to 0-4 win over Caherlistrane. Things are tighter in Group 3. Mountbellew/Moylough are still top on five points, but Claregalway are now just at point behind them after their win saw them leapfrog St. Michael’s (still on three points) into second place.
Dingle won a first Kerry Club SFC title since 2015 thanks to a 1-9 to 0-11 win over Kenmare. The win means that Dingle will represent Kerry in the Munster SFC if a divisional outfit wins the upcoming Kerry County Championship.
A Dylan Geaney goal helped Dingle into a 1-4 to 0-2 lead, but a Kenmare team inspired by Sean O’Shea and Stephen O’Brien then hit the front for the first time in the 45th minute, 0-10 to 1-6. It was Dingle who summoned the better final quarter, though, and it was Geaney again who landed the winner after claiming a mark.
After the final round of group matches in the 2023 Kildare SFC, reigning champions Naas, Celbridge, Raheens, Athy, Johnstownbridge, and Clane have qualified for the quarter-finals. The two remaining places in the last eight will be decided by the two preliminary quarter-finals that will be played this Sunday, with Clogherinkoe facing off against Moorefield, and Sarsfields up against Eadestown.
The winners of the Clogherinkoe v Moorefield match will play Naas in the quarter-finals, while the winners of the Sarsfields v Eadestown match will play Celbridge. It’s Raheens v Athy and Johnstownbridge v Clane in the other two quarter-finals.
After a dramatic final day of the St. Canices Senior Hurling League, Glenmore and Dicksboro remain top of their respect groups thanks to wins over Bennettsbridge and Tullaroan and will now contest the League Final in a fortnight’s time. They are also both assured of a quarter-final spot in the championship, as are O’Loughlin Gaels and James Stephens who finished second in their respective groups and advance to the Shield Final. Reigning All-Ireland champions, Ballyhale Shamrocks, finished second from bottom in Group A and so must now play Danesfort in a relegation semi-final, with Erins Own and Mullinavat contesting the other relegation semi-final. Graigue Ballycallan and Clara get direct passage to Round 1 of the championship.
Clough/Ballacolla and Abbeyleix/St Lazarians are through to the Laois SHC semi-finals after quarter-final wins over Castletown and Rosenallis respectively. Reigning champions Clough-Ballacolla survived an almighty scare in their match when they were taken to extra-time after Castletown scored a goal in the final minute of normal time. It then looked like Castletown would go on to win it from there as they forged ahead in extra-time, but Clough-Ballacolla broke their hearts when Robbie Phelan scored a goal in the last minute of extra-time. The other quarter-final was more straight-forward, as Abbeyleix/St Lazarian’s ran out convincing 3-26 to 0-16 winners over Rosenallis. Clough-Ballacolla will now place Camross in the semi-finals, while Abbeyleix/St. Lazarian’s will play Rathdowney Errill.
Fenagh St. Caillins proved far too strong for Leitrim Gaels in the Connacht Gold Leitrim SFC Quarter-Final, running out 1-22 to 2-3 victors over Leitrim Gaels. The scale of the 16-point win was unexpected given that it was the Gaels who won when these teams met in the opening round of the championship, but Fenagh were in no way flattered by their margin of victory. The Gaels simply had no answer to the scoring power of Ryan and Riordan O’Rourke who hit a combined tally of 13 points from, with Ryan also chipping in with three frees. The weekend’s other schedule quarter-final between Ballinamore Sean O’Heslins and Glencar Manorhamilton was postponed due to torrential rain, and will now be played this Sunday.
Kilmallock are through to the Bon Secours Hospital Limerick SHC semi-final after a dramatic 2-22 to 2-20 win over Patrickswell. It was ‘The Well’ who had the better of the first half as a goals from Oisin O’Reilly and Cian Lynch helped them into a 2-11 to 1-11 half-time lead. Graeme Mulcahy’s 55th minute goal was crucial, but Patrickswell will rue not snatching a draw late on as Diarmaid Byrnes’ penalty went over instead of under the bar. Na Piarsaigh defeated Ahane by 1-21 to 1-13 and are now favourites to join Kilmallock in the semi-finals with one round to play in Group 1 due to their healthy scoring difference. In Group 2, Mungret St Pauls defeated Monaleen by 1-25 to 0-15 to seal their place in the quarter-finals. Ballybrown defeated Garryspillane by 3-22 to 4-14 and are level on points with Mungret, but need at least a draw to be sure of progression to the quarter-finals themselves when they play Mungret in two weeks’ time.
Clonguish made it back to back Longford SHC titles with a win over Longford Slashers. You can read our match report HERE.
Geraldines sealed their place in the quarter-finals of the Anchor Tours Louth SFC thanks to a well-deserved 0-14 to 1-8 win over St. Fechin’s. They recovered from the concession of an early Seán McEneaney goal to score six of the next seven points, and never looked back thereafter. St Joseph’s also sealed their place in the quarter-finals despite losing to already qualified St. Patrick’s by 1-6 to 0-8. The result also meant that last year’s finalists, Newtown Blues, won’t contest the knock-out rounds.
History was made in the Mayo SHC at the weekend as the amalgamated team, St. Ciaran’s, contested their first ever match in the competition. Made up of hurlers from Moytura, Ballina Stephenites, Caiseal Gaels, Gaeltacht Iorrais, Westport, Ballyvary and Claremorris, they gave a great account of themselves before eventually losing a thrilling contest to Castlebar Mitchels by 3-11 to 0-16. In the end, the hat-trick of goals scored by Mitchels’ attacker Abdullah Abbasi proved to be the difference between the two teams. Meanwhile, reigning champions Tooreen proved too strong for Ballyhaunis, winning by 3-19 to 1-10.
Defending champions Ratoath had to dig deep to defeat Dunshaughlin by 1-9 to 1-8 in the Meath SFC Quarter-Final. It looked like the underdogs were about to pull of a famous victory when they led by two points in injury-time, but then Ratoath struck for a last-gasp goal to break their hearts and seal a semi-final joust with Wolfe Tones who defeated Simonstown by 2-11 to 1-5 in their quarter-final. Summerhill and Donaghmore/Ashbourne will contest the other semi-final after quarter-final wins over Trim and St. Colmcilles respectively.
In a very tight Group 1 of the Monaghan SFC, both Latton O’Rahillys and Corduff extended their unbeaten runs to three matches. Corduff drew with Aughnamullen by 0-14 to 2-8, while Latton O’Rahillys defeated Truagh by 0-18 to 1-7. That means Latton sit pretty on the top of the Group with six points from three matches, Aughnamullen are second with five points from four matches, and Corduff are third with four points from three matches. Reigning champions Ballybay Pearses are out of the running with just one point from three matches while Truagh are pointless after three matches.
In Group 2, Inniskeen made it four wins from four with an impressive 1-13 to 1-10 win over Clontibret O’Neill’s that sees them take an unassailable lead at the top of the table with a game to spare. Scotstown’s 2-14 to 0-11 win over Donaghmoyne means both they and Clontibret have four points from three games while Donaghmoyne and Magheracloone are pointless.
Ferbane and Tullamore are through to the final of the Tullamore Court Hotel Senior Football Championship Final after wins over Rhode and Edenderry respectively.
Ferbane’s victory over the reigning champions was dramatic, as they finally got the job done after extra-time on a scoreline of 0-20 to 1-14. In the final reckoning it was the big impact of Ferbane’s that proved decisive, as the eight players they brought on all made a strong contribution. Rhode will have regrets too though, most particularly the extra-time penalty they failed to convert that could have swung the tie their way.
Tullamore broke Edenderry with a late charge that saw them win by 1-13 to 1-12. The 2021 champions looked in trouble when they trailed by two points with five minutes to play, but they cranked up the pressure and forced the concession of three frees which Harry Plunkett converted to seal the win.
Four Roads and Athleague will contest the Kepak Roscommon SHC Final after semi-final wins over Tremane and Oran respectively. It wasn’t a straightforward progression for Athleague, though, who had to dig deep to eventually defeat underdogs Oran after extra-time by 3-21 to 1-20. Oran looked like they might produce an upset when Joe Henry scored an injury-time goal that edged them a point ahead, but Athleague forced the game into extra-time when Ben McGahon landed a 50 metre free. They capitalised on that escape by dominating extra-time as they hit seven points without reply to seal their place in the final. It was more straightforward for Four Roads who enjoyed a dominant 3-17 to 0-12 win over Tremane.
Naomh Eoin are through to the Sligo SHC Final after a 2-18 to 1-10 semi-final win over Calry St. Joseph’s. That victory sets up a County Final with reigning champions Easkey, the fifth time in a row the two teams will have contested the showpiece. Easkey have won the last three finals in a row, with Naomh Eoin’s only senior championship coming in the 2019.
Thurles Sarsfields and Clonoulty-Rossmore are through to the FBD Insurance Tipperary SHC Quarter-finals after wins over Nenagh and Mullinahone respectively. A Billy McCarthy goal looked like paving a smooth passage for Sarsfields when it pushed them 1-17 to 0-14 ahead, but Nenagh produced a stirring comeback as a Sean O’Farrell goal got them back into the match. They’d reduced the deficit to a single point with six minutes remaining, but Eoin Purcell proved to be a super-sub for Sarsfields as he hit three late points to help them to a 1-27 to 1-23 win. Clonoulty-Rossmore laid the foundation for their win over Mullinahone in the first six minutes when they scored six points and created a buffer on the scoreboard their opponents never looked like closing fully. The West-Tipp team would go on to win by 1-23 to 1-20.
The Tyrone SFC begins on Thursday, September 21 when reigning champions Errigal Ciaran start their defence of the O’Neill Cup against Killyclogher. The Tyrone SFC is one of the few remaining senior club championships in the country, and promises to be ferociously competitive this year as it usually is. The Round 1 draw in full is as follows:
Errigal Ciaran v Killyclogher
Loughmacrory v Trillick
Moortown v Donaghmore
Omagh v Ardboe
Greencastle v Coalisland
Edendork v Carrickmore
Eglish v Dungannon
Galbally v Dromore
Ballygunner defeated De La Salle to win a historic 10th Waterford SHC title in a row on Sunday. You can read our match-report HERE.
The Westmeath SFC semi-finals take place this weekend. On Saturday Tyrrellspass and St. Loman’s go head to head, while, on Sunday, Caulry will strive to reach their first even senior final when they play Coralstown/Kinnegad.
After three rounds of the Dominic Smith Electrical & Home Entertainment SFC, just two teams have won all three of their matches. Castletown are the only team in Group A with a perfect record, and made it three wins from three at the weekend with a convincing 1-18 to 1-11 victory over St. Anne’s Rathangan. In Group B, Kilanerin defeated Gusserane-O’Rahilly’s 2-14 to 0-12 and Shelmaliers defeated St. Jame’s 3-13 to 1-7 to also make it a hat-trick of championship wins.
Arklow Geraldines-Ballymoney continued their impressive run in the group phase of the Boom & Platform Hire Wicklow SFC by beating Bray Emmets by 1-13 to 1-8 to make it four wins from four and tighten their grip at the top of Group 2. Below them the pack has really clustered thanks to Naomh Teagain’s 2-12 to 1-13 win over 2021 champions Blessington. Both of those teams are now on four points, Bray Emmets are on three points, Avondale are on two points and An Tochar are on one point. Both Avondale an An Tochar have a match in hand after their match on Saturday afternoon as abandoned due to a serious injury to Avondale footballer Conor Byrne.
In Group 1, Tinahely’s 2-12 to 0-12 win over Baltinglass extended their unbeaten run to four matches to sit top of the table with seven points. Reigning champions St. Patrick’s are back in the hunt thanks to a 1-11 to 0-9 win over Rathnew than moves them level on five points after four matches with Rathnew. Eire Og Greystones are still in the hunt too on four points after a 2-16 to 0-12 win over Dunlavin.