We look over the big moments of the GAA weekend and sum up the action.
To Der’ is to do
Derry seem to have clicked into another gear for 2023. The wisdom of Rory Gallagher returning The Glen contingent to his starting team so soon after their club run was questioned, but their form can’t be denied.
There was an element of fortune to Ethan Doherty’s goal after 40 seconds but a 2-15 to 1-7 win against Meath can’t be put down to that alone. Colm O’Rourke’s charges had no response and the manner of the defeat was undoubtedly a blow after two fine wins beforehand.
Gallagher will be delighted with his three and six after young Eoin McEvoy and Padraig McGrogan respectively impressed. SS
May’ day for Kerry
Kevin McStay made an emotional and moving plea to support one of his former soldiers, Ger Brady, after Mayo’s win over Kerry. A crowd of 15,726 proved once again that we live in GAA country, and no doubt many amid and beyond those people will row in behind Brady.
As for the game, Jordan Flynn starred with 0-4 as he continues to embrace a leadership role, while the trouble caused by James Carr’s pace and power suggests he may be favoured ahead of Cillian O’Connor in the short term. Aidan O’Shea was impressive in the square, directly setting up several scores and having a hand in a couple more.
The second-half impact of David Clifford (0-3) served only to highlight Kerry’s reliance on the reigning Footballer of the Year. SS
An exciting opening round of the camogie league
Just 24 hours after Tipperary had taken the scalp of champions Galway, Clare ended an exciting opening round of the Camogie League’s Division 1A with a two-point victory over All-Ireland champions Kilkenny at Cusack Park.
The 2-7 to 0-11 victory for the Banner and Tipp’s 4-9 to 1-9 win over Galway means that the stakes are already escalating for a whole multitude of teams in the coming weeks, especially with the competition’s new format which will see each team playing the opposition, leading to five games before the top two reach the final.
Other notable results saw Cork beating Dublin 3-17 to 0-5, while Waterford had a comprehensive 4-22 to 1-9 win over Offaly. DOF
Credit to all for Dillon Quirke occasion
There was a fantastic turn-out of 4628 at Semple Stadium for the Dillon Quirke Foundation game, and credit to both Tipperary and Kilkenny for putting their weight behind this event.
Mark Kehoe has not look to be massively in favour during the early months of Liam Cahill’s reign but impressed during a first half where the Cats were mauling Tipp. The Kilsheelan-Kilcash man, operating in the half-forward line at that stage, hit five points in a row for his county — four coming from long distance on his right hand side, which would seem to be his less natural.
Gearoid Dunne is one of the big hopes of Kilkenny hurling and his hat-trick will provide plenty of optimism for Derek Lyng. Not only will the latter soon welcome back the Shamrocks trio of TJ Reid, Eoin Cody and Adrian Mullen, but the the well-regarded Dunne now looks a real option for this season. SS
After losing Ben McCormack to a second yellow card, 14-man Kildare outscored Clare by eight points to one to secure a priceless two league points in Ennis against Clare. After a slow start to their Division 2 campaign, this was an important win for Glenn Ryan’s crew. SS
New Transgender laws for the LGFA
Transgender girls between the ages of 12 and 15 will be permitted to play ladies’ football subject to approval by a new Transgender Application Committee.
A child will have to confirm a qualified medical practitioner that they have begun transitioning from male to female and intend to live their life as a female.
The Transgender Application Committee will consist of five voluntary members, including medical and legal experts.
A transgender player over 16 can participate in women’s football only after supplying medical records demonstrating their testosterone levels in the previous 12 months were less or equal to 10 nanomoles per litre (nmlol/L).
The new policy will apply to club and county ladies’ football. DOF
Waterford men impress in college hurling weekend.
Waterford boss Davy Fitzgerald will be impressed to see impressive displays from some of his Waterford panel members over the final weekend of college GAA action.
In the Fitzgibbon Cup final, Michael Kiely put in a man-of-the-match performance, scoring 4-1 as the University of Limerick retained their trophy by defeating the University of Galway 4-19 to 1-13.
The Abbeyside man is suspended for The Déise’s next league clash against Antrim in Fraher Field after being sent off against Laois the previous game.
In the Ryan Cup, a player who was recently dropped off the Waterford panel, Aaron Ryan, spearheaded MIC Thurles to glory. The Fourmilewater sharpshooter scored nine points against Trinity in the semi-final on Saturday, and put in a man-of-the-match display against TUD scoring seven points in a 0-17 to 0-10 win.
Dessie Hutchinson was also a notable player for the Thurles campus, with his weekend highlights scoring three points in 90 seconds in the semi-final. DOF
Jack is back but Mannion’s return delayed
Jack McCaffrey showed few signs of any cobwebs with the flying wing-back returning in Dublin’s dramatic Division 2 victory over Cork at Páirc Uí Chaoimh today.
McCaffrey hadn’t played a competitive outing for the Dubs in 1,087 days before his second-half introduction and the former Footballer of the Year displayed all of his old energy and enthusiasm with a crucial late point to help see them home.
“Jack’s been a great addition to the squad, not just for what he can do outside (on the pitch) but just his mere presence around the place,” manager Dessie Farrell said.
“He’s a very bubbly character and he’s always in good form, the eternal optimist. It’s great to have him back.”
Veteran defender James McCarthy also made a big impact for the Leinster kingpins having been parachuted into the fray in the second half for his first outing of the year, but Paul Mannion may struggle to feature in their League campaign.
“His ankle still wasn’t right so he took some time out to rehab but we expect him, he’s been rehabbing with the group, so we don’t expect to see him for another couple of weeks,” Farrell said.
No stopping Screeney and Co as they make history
It hasn’t been a bad fortnight for Offaly hurling with Leinster Colleges ‘A’ and ‘B’ titles heading back to the midlands.
No Faithful side had lifted the Corn Uí Dhuill in 37 years before Offaly Schools gunned down the famed St Kieran’s College, Kilkenny two weeks ago and several of those players then found themselves on opposite sides over the weekend.
History was made as St Brendan’s Community School, Birr and Coláiste Naomh Cormac duked it out in the ‘B’ decider, an all-Offaly affair, but it was the latter who walked away victorious in O’Connor Park yesterday, 1-12 to 0-10.
The likes of Adam Screeney (last year’s minor Hurler of the Year) and his Kilcormac/Killoughey clubmates James Mahon and Brecon Kavanagh can do no wrong these days and they added another title (the Dr Staunton Cup) to a growing list.
A sizeable CNC Kilcormac crew became the first to win ‘A’ and B’ medals in the same season as a golden generation aims to put Offaly back on the national hurling map.
It has been well-flagged locally that K/K could dominate Offaly hurling over the next decade or so and all signs suggest that you will be hearing a lot more of these names for a long time to come.
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