Weekend’s club championship round-up from around the Country:
Loughiel made it two wins from two in the Bathshack Antrim SHC thanks to a hard-fought 1-17 to 0-19 victory over Ballycastle. They were holding on for dear life in the closing minutes though, as Ballycastle came with a late charge that saw them reduce a four point deficit to the minimum in injury-time. In the final reckoning, Shan McGrath’s excellent goal was the match-winner for Loughiel.
St. John’s edged another terrific battle against Clooney Gaels, winning by 2-21 to 3-17. They too weathered a late storm as they saw a half-time seven-point advantage cut to the minimum late on by a resolute Gaels outfit.
On Saturday, reigning champions Dunloy proved much too strong for O’Donovan Rossa as they powered to a 0-31 to 1-17 victory while on Friday Cushendall enjoyed an even more comfortable win over Naomh Éanna, winning out by 6-16 to 1-11.
Reigning champions, Crossmaglen, were held to a 1-13 to 0-16 draw by Clan na Gael in the first round of the Armagh SFC. The decisive score came late on when Shane McPartlan fisted the ball to the net to give the Lurgan side a share of the spoils.
Another late goal by Vinny Brady gave Pearse Og a 1-11 to 0-11 win over Annaghmore. Ciaron O’Hanlon’s goal proved decisive in Killeavy’s 1-13 to 0-10 win over neighbours Dromintee. Granemore battle to a hard-fought 2-11 to 1-12 win over Grange, Armagh Harps were impressive 0-17 to 1-6 winners over Shane O’Neill’s, and Sarsfields defeated Mullaghbawn by 0-15 to 1-10.
Joe Dillon scored a late goal for Kingscourt Stars to help them to a dramatic win over Cavan Gaels on a scoreline of 1-14 to 2-10 in the Cavan SFC.
The other stand-out result of the weekend was Crosserlough’s 2-13 to 0-13 win over Ramor United with their goals coming from impressive duo James Smith and Paddy Lynch.
Reigning champions Gowna defeated Lacken by 1-18 to 3-8 on Friday, while there were also Round 1 victories over the weekend for Ballinagh, Laragh, and Killygarry.
Reigning Clare SFC champions, Éire Óg are through to the Clare SFC quarter-finals after a convincing 1-13 to 0-8 win over 2018 and 2019 champions, St. Joseph’s, Milltown in Group 2. Kilmurry-Ibrickane are also through to the quarter-finals thanks to a comfortable 3-11 to 0-7 win over Corofin in Group 1.
Group 3 has been blown wide open after first-round losers Lissycasey and Kildysart had surprise wins over Ennistymon and Cratloe to leave all four teams on two points going into the final round.
Clondegad and Doonbeg played out a draw in the other Group two match while St. Breckan’s had a comfortable win over St. Joseph’s Doora-Barefield in Group 1.
Reigning champions Nemo Rangers are through to the Cork Premier SFC quarter-finals with a match to spare after a two-point win over Éire Óg. The match was also notable for the return after a 14-week injury lay-off of Luke Connolly.
Last year’s beaten finalists, St. Finbarr’s, enjoyed a convincing seven-point win over St. Michael’s to also book their place in the knock-out rounds.
Things are less clear-cut in Group A after Carbery Rangers and Clonakilty played out a six-points apiece draw. That result leaves Clonakilty and Castlehaven, who play one another in round 3, level on three points. Carbery Rangers are on two points after successive draws but will be fancied to beat Valley Rovers in Round 3.
Lavey produced a surprise in the Leadon Timber Frame Derry SHC by defeating Kevin Lynch’s, beaten finalists for the last four years by 2-20 to 2-17. Eoghan Rua were also victorious yesterday, defeating Banagher by 1-16 to 1-14.
Naomh Conaill, St. Eunan’s, Glenswilly, Kilcar, Aodh Ruadh Ballyshannon, An Clochán Liath, and Glenfin all got off to winning starts in the first round of the Donegal SFC.
Reigning champions Naomh Conaill looked impressive in their 3-12 to 1-5 win over Killybegs, with first-half goals from Charles McGuinness and Eunan Doherty proving decisive.
2021 champions and last year’s beaten finalists, St. Eunan’s, were given a good game by St. Naul’s but eventually won by seven points in the end, 1-14 to 1-7.
Naomh Conaill and St. Eunan’s now meet this Sunday in what’s a repeat of last year’s Final and the first real heavyweight clash of this year’s championship.
Liatroim suffered their first defeat of the Morgan Fuels Down GAA Senior Hurling Championship when they were beaten 2-15 to 0-14 by Portaferry who now join them on four points each after three matches. Also on four points are Ballygalget who had a convincing 7-16 to 2-8 win over Newry Shamrocks. Reigning champions Ballycran made it three wins from three to go top of the table thanks to a 6-19 to 0-13 win over Bredagh.
Reigning Go Ahead Dublin SHC champions, Kilmacud Crokes, recovered from a two-point half-time deficit to eventually defeat Whitehall Colmcilles by 2-25 to 2-16 in their Group 1 encounter at Parnell Park. Second-half goals by Dara Purcell and Alex Considine and the accurate free-taking of Oisin O’Rorke proved decisive for the Stillorgan outfit.
Lucan Sarsfields ensured top-spot in Group 1 thanks to a third win on the trot, defeating Cuala by 1-23 to 1-21 with the goal a cracking finish by Paul Crummey.
In Group 2, Ballyboden also made it three wins from three courtesy of a convincing 5-20 to 1-11 win over Faughs while Na Fianna also had a good day at the office, beating St Oliver Plunkett’s Eoghan Ruadh by 4-13 to 0-9
Five-in-row Galway SHC champions, St Thomas’, enjoyed a convincing 3-31 to 2-10 win over Portumna in Group 2 of the Brooks Galway SHC. Last year’s beaten finalists, Loughrea, also had a comfortable weekend, beating Cappataggle by 1-24 to 0-13 in Group 3.
That result seems all the more notable because Capataggle pushed Loughrea to extra-time when they met in the Division 1 League Final in June.
Killimordaly also made it two wins from two thanks to a hard-fought 2-15 to 0-19 win over Clarinbridge in Group 1, in what was arguably the best match of the weekend.
In Group 4, Craughwell kept their hopes alive with a gutsy 0-22 to 1-19 draw with table toppers Ardrahan.
Kenmare Shamrocks broke Templenoe hearts with an injury-time Shane O’Sullivan goal that sealed a 2-7 to 1-12 win in the Kerry SFC Club Championship. The Geaneys, Paul, Conor and Dylan were to the fore for Dingle, hitting a combined 1-11, in their 2-14 to 3-6 win over Rathmore.
Dr. Crokes proved much too strong for Kerins O’Rahillys as their 2-11 to 0-5 win moved them top of their group, with Cian McMahon’s early goal setting the tone. Spa also had a comfortable afternoon, defeating Na Gaeil by 3-14 to 0-10.
Defending Kildare SFC champions got their 2023 campaign off to a winning start with a 1-16 to 2-9 win over Maynooth. A Paul McDermott goal after four minutes set them on their way, and not even the heroics of Neil Flynn who scored 2-5 for Maynooth ever looked likely to stop the reigning champions.
An injury-time Jason Philips goal helped Moorefield to a 1-8 to 1-6 win over Kilcock while Celbridge proved too strong for Clogherinkoe, winning in the end by 0-14 to 1-7.
Defending Laois SHC champions, Clough-Ballacolla, secured their place in this year’s quarter-final, where they will play Castletown, courtesy of a 2-28 to 0-22 win over Rosenallis.
That looks like a daunting task for Castletown who were well-beaten at the weekend by Abbeyleix on a scoreline of 2-20 to 2-10. Abbeyleix march on to a quarter-final showdown with Rosenallis.
Borris-Kilcotton got their first win of the campaign – a 2-23 to 2-19 win over Camross – but must still face into a relegation play-off against the Harps having already lost to Castletown and Abbeyleix.
Rathdowney-Errill and Camross advance directly to the quarter-finals having topped their respective groups.
There were wins over the weekend in the Connacht Gold Leitrim SFC for reigning champions St. Mary’s Kiltoghert, Fenagh St. Caillins, and Mohill.
The final round of group games now takes place this weekend and there’s a lot on the line. League champions Fenagh St. Caillins could miss out on the knock-out rounds if they fail to beat Ballinamore Sean O’Heslins and Aughnasheelin and Glencar Manorhamilton win both their games against St. Patrick’s Dromahair and Leitrim Gaels.
Another game to look out for this weekend is a repeat of last year’s county final as Mohill host St. Mary’s Kiltoghert with a win for either enough to secure a semi-final spot.
Leitrim Gaels can also secure an automatic semi-final spot if they defeat Glencar Manorhamilton, while a number of clubs are in the running for progression to the quarter-finals.
Reigning Limerick SFC champions, Newcastle West, are still on course for a historic three-in-a-row after a routine 1-12 to 0-5 win over Claughaun in Round 3. Adare are viewed as their most likely challengers and enjoyed a 0-16 to 0-10 win over Galtee Gaels. Kildimo Pallaskenry also look set for the knock-out rounds after a fine six-point win over St. Kieran’s. There were also Round 3 victories for Fr. Caseys, Monaleen, and Ballysteen.
Group 4 of the Mayo SFC is already looking like it’ll be ferociously fought after the two first round matches saw Knockmore draw with Castlebar Mitchels and Aghamore draw with Ballyhaunis.
In Group 1, Ballina Stephenites battled to a hard-fought one-point win over Breaffy while Mayo Gaels were six-point winners over Balla.
Reigning champions Westport made a clear statement of intent in Group 2, as they roared to 3-20 to 0-6 win over Charlestown. Ballaghaderreen were the other winners in the group, defeating Claremorris by 0-13 to 0-11.
In Group 3, Belmullet beat Garrymore by 1-7 to 1-6 courtesy of an injury-time winner, while Ballintubber beat The Neale by 1-12 to 0-5.
After Round 4 of the Meath SHC, Trim, Ratoath, Kildalkey, Kiltale, and Blackhall Gaels have all progressed to the knock-out stages with one round of the group stage left to play.
Four of those teams – Trim, Ratoath, Kildalkey, and Kiltale – are in Group A where the top four teams are already set in stone, but there’s still a lot to play for in Group B with only table-toppers Blackhall Gaels assured of progression to the knock-out rounds.
Reigning champions Trim are the only side to have won their four group games and still look like the team to beat.
Corduff recorded their first every Monaghan SFC victory by beating Truagh by 1-13 to 0-11. The crucial score of the match came on 43 minutes when Feargal Hanratty’s goal gave the winners a six-point cushion.
Aughnamullen produced the surprise of the championship so fear when they beat Ballybay by 3-10 to 1-7.
Conor McManus converted an injury-time penalty to help Clontibret to a 2-9 to 0-13 win over Donaghmoyne. Inniskeen were 0-15 to 1-7 winners over Magheracloone
With one round remaining, five of the qualifiers from the two-group Offaly SHC are already known.
In Group 1, Kilcormac-Killoughey, St. Rynagh’s, and Birr are through while defending champions Shinrone and Ballinamere have qualified from Group 2.
The top team from each group will go directly to the semi-finals with the second and third placed teams contesting the quarter-finals.
After a hard-fought win over St. Rynagh’s, Kilcormac-Killoughey are in pole position to top Group 1 with a draw in their final game against Birr sufficient to ensure they do.
In Group 2, the winners of the Ballinamere v Shinrone match in the final round will decide who progresses straight to the semi-final.
Reigning Roscommon SFC champions, Strokestown, were knocked out of this year’s competition after a heavy 1-19 to 1-7 defeat to Oran.
That result combined with Clann na nGael’s victory over Tulsk Lord Edwards means Strokestown cannot progress to the quarter-final.
Strokestown led at half-time but were completely overpowered by a very impressive Oran in the second-half, with the key score a Charlie Carty goal that gave them an irresistible momentum.
Elsewhere in the Roscommon SFC, Boyle revived their quarter-final hopes with a two-point win over St. Faithleachs, Western Gaels edged out Roscommon Gaels, and Padraig Pearses and St. Brigid’s recorded big wins over Michael Glaveys and St. Dominic’s.
Tourlestrane are gunning for an eight consecutive Sligo Senior Football Championship and got their campaign off to a winning start against Tubbercurry. It was a hard-fought encounter though, with the champions only clinching the 1-10 to 1-7 win courtesy of a late goal.
Elsewhere, St. Mary’s defeated St. Farnan’s by 1-10 to 0-6, Coolera-Strandhill edged out Shamrock Gaels by 1-10 to 0-12, and Calry-St Joseph’s beat Curry by 3-10 to 0-8.
Rockwell Rovers produced an upset in the Tipperary SFC by knocking out one of the pre-competition favourites, Moyle Rovers, on a scoreline of 1-11 to 0-12 in round 2 of Group 4. Another fancied side, Loughmore-Castleiney, are back in the hunt though after defeating Ardfinnan by 0-11 to 0-6.
Reigning champions Clonmel Commercials had a big win over Éire Óg Annacarthy, while last year’s beaten finalists, Upperchurch-Drombane, secured their quarter-final berth with a 1-6 to 0-4 win over Killenaule.
There were wins in the Tipperary SFC also for Ballina, JK Brackens, Cahir, and Drom-Inch.
The draw for the Waterford SHC Quarter-Finals is now complete after last weekend’s preliminary quarter-finals. Victories for Clonea, Mount Sion, Dungarvan, and Abbeyside saw them win through to join the four group winners in the last eight. The quarter-final draw will see De La Salle play Clonea, Ballygunner play Dungarvan, Roanmore play Mount Sion, and Fourmilewater will play Abbeyside. The SHC relegation play-offs will see Lismore play Passage and Tallow play Dunhill.
Raharney have gone top of the standings in the Westmeath SHC thanks to a convincing win 2-21 to 2-7 win over Lough Lene Gaels. Elsewhere, reigning champions Castletown Geoghegan defeated Castlepollard by 1-24 to 1-12 and Clonkill had a big 8-17 to 1-5 win over Fr. Daltons.
Naomh Eanna defeated Oylegate-Glenbrien in the Wexford SHC Final on Sunday. You can read a report of the match HERE.
Reigning Wicklow SFC champions, St Patrick’s, are back in the 2023 race after hard-fought 4-8 to 0-16 win over Baltinglass. All four goals came at crucial stages in the game with the green flags raised by Tommy Kelly (two), Ronan Murray, and Ciarán McGettigan.
League champions Rathnew are also back in the reckoning after a 1-11 to 2-7 win over Éire Óg Greystones, with Jody Merrigan clipping the winner with less than a minute to go.
Tinahely have virtually assured themselves of a place in the quarter-finals thanks to a 1-12 to 1-10 win over Dunlavin. After three straight defeats in a row, Dunlavin’s vista isn’t so rosy.
Elsewhere, An Tóchar defeated Kiltegan by 3-8 to 0-17, Arklow Geraldines-Ballymoney defeat Blessington by 0-14 to 0-9, and Bray Emmets defeated Avondale by 3-7 to 0-8.