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Dooner's weekend predictions - November 22nd



Champions St. Peter’s really set down a marker last weekend in their 9-1 demolition of St. John’s Athletic in Lecarrow.

  This Saturday Castlerea Celtic will be hoping to keep pace with the league leaders when they entertain Skyvalley Rovers. 

  In Division One, Cloonfad United will be hoping to stay top following their impressive win away to Dysart last time out.


Friday, November 22nd


RDFL Premier Division (8.15 pm)

Kilkerrin Utd v Moore United          

The hosts were held last weekend but should pick up all three points this Friday. Prediction: Kilkerrin United

Ballymoe FC v Ballinasloe Town      

The Town have hit a rich vein of form. Prediction: Ballinasloe Town


Saturday, November 23rd


RDFL Premier Division (8 pm)

Castlerea Celtic v Skyvalley Rovers  

Home win. Prediction: Castlerea Celtic         

Boyle Celtic v St. John’s Athletic     

Both sides are in need of a win but the hosts are slight favourites. Prediction: Boyle Celtic

Hanley Quarries Division Two

Ballymoe FC B v Cloonfad United B. 8 pm 

Away win. Prediction: Cloonfad United B


Sunday, November 24th


RDFL Premier Division

Moylough ’79 v Shiven Rovers. 2 pm          

Home win. Prediction: Moylough ‘79

Norio’s Takeaway Division One (2 pm unless stated)

Ballaghaderreen FC v CP Ajax. 11 am           

The hosts are serious title contenders. Prediction: Ballaghaderreen FC

Dysart FC v Castlerea Celtic B                     

The hosts will expect to bounce back from last weekend’s defeat to Cloonfad. Prediction: Dysart FC

Dunmore Town v Ahascragh United

Home win. Prediction: Dunmore Town

Cam Celtic v Cloonfad United           

Cloonfad leap-frogged Dysart last weekend and will be hoping to stay top. Prediction: Cloonfad United

Hanley Quarries Division Two (2 pm)

St. John’s Athletic B v Boyle Celtic B          

Away win. Prediction: Boyle Celtic B

Manor United v St. Cuan’s United   

The hosts will be hoping to go fourth. Prediction: Manor United

Roscommon Town B v Glen Celtic   

Glen Celtic look set for promotion even at this early stage. Prediction: Glen Celtic

Ballaghaderreen FC B v Ballinasloe Town B

The visitors are right in the promotion mix. Prediction: Ballinasloe Town B





Big day in Creggs this Saturday!



This Saturday (23rd) promises to be the biggest day in the history of Creggs Rugby Club with the official opening of new pitches and activities taking place right throughout the day.

  The official opening of the three new pitches (including the 4G pitch), new stand and terrace, new electronic scoreboard and new amenity walkway will take place as part of a full programme events from 10.30 am to 7 pm on the day.

  The day will begin with a Mini Blitz showcase for boys and girls at 10.30 am. Teams from Tuam and Claremorris will also be in attendance.

  At 12 Noon, several youth rugby games will take place on the four pitches and this will continue until 4 pm.

  The Creggs Development team will take on Loughrea Seconds for the annual PJ Forde Memorial Trophy at 2.30 pm.

  Also at 2.30 pm, there will be a third adult rugby match taking place on The Green involving Creggs’ extended Development squad and an Invitational XV.

  The official opening of Creggs Rugby Club’s new facilities will take place at 4.15 pm before the day concludes with the Connacht J1 League match between Creggs and Buccaneers at 5 pm.








Pearses’ beat Gaels to set up Corofin clash







AIB Connacht Club SFC Semi-Final

Pádraig Pearses 2-10

Tir Chonaill Gaels 0-8

Roscommon champions Pádraig Pearses are into the Connacht club senior final at their first attempt and after this very impressive win their have negotiated two potentially tricky hurdles to reach the decider. Now they must plan for a joust with the all-conquering Corofin side on Sunday week next.

  After giving Clann na nGael a fright in last year’s championship, Pearses were wary of the challenge they might face from Tir Chonaill Gaels but they coped very well. Pat Flanagan’s men got away to a good start and never looked back, winning comfortably in the end.

  A big crowd travelled to London to support the new Roscommon champions and points from Paul Carey, Davy Murray and Lorcan Daly got them up and running.

  Indeed, it took the home side almost 20 minutes to get their first score (from Liam Gavagan) but Pearses were always in control. The Roscommon side got their first three-pointer just before the half-time break when Hubert Darcy raced through for a fine goal, and at half-time Pearses led by seven.

  On the resumption, a Conor Payne point made it an eight-point gap before the home side enjoyed their best period of the game with points from Liam Gavagan, Eoin Mageean and Brian Mullins.

  But Pearses sealed the win with a fine goal shortly after that. A brilliant pass from Ronan Daly was seized by Conor Payne and he made no mistake from close range. Further points from Ronan Daly and Paul Carey kept Pearses ticking over and they freewheeled to the finish. Best for an impressive Woodmount side were Davy Murray, Mark Richardson, Hubert Darcy, Ronan Daly and Conor Payne.

  Looking ahead, and the next challenge for the Roscommon champions could not be any tougher as they prepare to face a Corofin side who are going for three All-Ireland titles in a row.

  However, Pearses will be going into the game as underdogs and that will suit them fine. Already they have taken to the Connacht club championship like a duck to water. They will relish the challenge of Tuam Stadium on Sunday week.

Pádraig Pearses: P Whelan, S Carty, A Butler, M Richardson, G Downey, D Murray (0-1), R Daly (0-3), N Carty, C Daly (0-1), P Carey (0-2), L Daly (0-1), N Daly, E Kelly, H Darcy (1-1), C Payne (1-1). Subs: T Dolan for Whelan, J Kelly for Richardson, A Feehily for Carey, S Fahy for L Daly, S Downey for N Daly, T Butler for E Kelly, M Feehily for Payne.

Tir Chonaill Gaels: G McEvoy, M McWilliams, P Butler, D O’Donnell, M McCoy, M Moynihan, A McGarvey, A McDermott (0-1), B Mullin, K Rafferty (0-1), A Askin, A Murtagh, B McGarvey, L Gavaghan (0-5), L Gallagher Subs: G Magee for O’Donnell, P O’Connor for McCoy, R Kearney for Rafferty, E Mageean (0-1) for Askin, K Clarke for Murtagh, B Friel for McGarvey.

Referee: James Molloy




Tired Tulsk crash out to Galway champions







AIB Connacht Club IFC Semi-Final

Oughterard 2-16

Tulsk Lord Edwards 1-8




Tulsk’s Connacht adventure came to a rather abrupt end as Galway champions Oughterard finished strongly to blow them away during a dominant final quarter at Dr. Hyde Park last Saturday afternoon.

  The Roscommon champions gave every bit as good as they got for the first three quarters of this semi-final but a Cian Monaghan-inspired Oughterard finished strongly, scoring 1-7 without reply, to set up a provincial decider against The Neale this weekend.

  Tulsk stood strong against the wind in the first half and came into the contest after Cian Monaghan’s 15th minute goal and points from Matthew Tierney (0-3), Niall Lee, Patrick Walsh, and Ronan Mullen had given the visitors a six-point lead (1-6 to 0-3).

  Callum Fahey latched on to David Coyne’s intelligent pass for a well-taken 27th minute goal to spark a Tulsk revival, and at half-time Gerry Lohan’s charges wouldn’t have been too disconsolate as they trailed by three (1-7 to 1-4), and with wind assistance to come in the second half.

  Indeed, Tulsk gave the Galway side plenty to worry about in that third quarter, and points from Callum Fahey and Thomas O’Rourke and then Fahey and Carleton reduced the deficit to the bare minimum.

  Oughterard always looked to have that extra gear however, and the impressive Enda Tierney’s well-struck free from the ground steadied the ship before Niall Lee’s point provided some badly-needed breathing space.

  A warning sign of what was coming over the horizon for Tulsk arrived in the 40th minute: Oughterard cut through the Roscommon club’s defences with a free-flowing move but Paul Walsh’s attempt at a point came back off the upright.

By this stage, Enda Tierney and PJ McGauley had begun to grab a stranglehold of midfield and the visitors stormed to victory in the closing stages.

  Points from Matthew Tierney, Niall Lee, and ‘Man of the Match’ Monaghan, put them six points ahead before Patrick Walsh was quickest to react to another effort off the upright to grab an opportunist’s goal.

  By this stage the legs had gone and the Tulsk resistance had wilted, and there was still time for Monaghan to take his total to 1-3 with a superb point off his left, while the impressive Niall Lee and Enda Tierney rubbed salt into Tulsk wounds with points late on.

  This appeared to be a game too far for the Roscommon intermediate champions, who had asked serious questions of Oughterard for 45 minutes of this entertaining encounter. The Galway side, led impressively by Cian Monaghan and Enda Tierney, dominated the final quarter, however, to seal their place in this weekend’s showpiece against The Neale.

Oughterard: Jordan Waller; Ciaran Hanley, Eddie O’Sullivan, Liam Moran; Cian Monaghan (1-3), Ryan Monaghan, Ronan Molloy (0-1); Enda Tierney (0-2, 1 free), PJ McGauley; Brian Lambert, Paul Walsh (0-1), Eric Lee; Niall Lee (0-4, 1 free), Matthew Tierney (0-4, 2 frees), Patrick Walsh (1-1).

Subs: Cian Harte for B Lambert (35 mins), Conrad Clancy for Patrick Walsh (55 mins), Philip Gibbons for C Hanley (55 mins), Donal Gibbons for C Monaghan (58 mins), Thomas Finnerty for N Lee (58 mins), Joey Fox for Paul Walsh (60 mins).


Tulsk Lord Edwards: Regan Fahey; Gerry Galvin, Evan Flynn, Stephen Lennon; Fergal Moylan, Darragh O’Rourke, Ryan Galvin (0-1); Tadhg O’Rourke, David Coyne; Liam Cribbin, Thomas O’Rourke (0-2, one free), Cathal O’Rourke (0-1); Padraig Scott (0-1), Callum Fahey (1-2), Timmy Fitzmaurice.

Subs: David Carleton (0-1) for T Fitzmaurice (21 mins), Robbie Kelly for L Cribbin (half-time), Daniel Connolly for F Moylan (44 mins), Niall McNamara for G Galvin (50 mins), Ian Jones for D Coyne (52 mins), Richie Feeney for C O’Rourke (52 mins).


Referee: Liam Devenney (Mayo)


Seamus Duke on sport - November 15th




Club scene dominates the airwaves

I was away at the weekend but travelling back on Sunday it was very interesting to hear the GAA club championships dominate the RTÉ Radio Sunday Sport programme. It is probably the only Sunday in the whole year that GAA club activity is centre stage. There were matches going on in football, hurling, ladies football, and camogie all over the country and I have to say their coverage was excellent .

  Even our own Frankie Dolan was featured as an analyst on the game between Corofin and Ballintubber in the Connacht Club SFC semi-final.

  Here in Roscommon, only Pádraig Pearses remain in the championships as all our other teams have been knocked out. Ballinameeen and Tulsk were well beaten on Saturday, but when both clubs get over the disappointment they will look back on 2019 with great satisfaction.

  St. Dominic’s will also take great encouragement from their camogie season and they were very competitive against a strong Raharney side in the All-Ireland semi-final last Sunday.

Time to end penalties for clubs

Last Sunday saw the Leinster quarter-final game between Portlaoise and St. Patrick’s of Wicklow town decided on penalties, and while the sides complied with the regulations, there was widespread opposition to the idea from both camps.

  In my radio work on Monday there were repeated calls to stop this latest practice which is nowhere to be seen in the rule book. Whatever about a quarter-final, it is very unfair to decide a championship as happened recently between Oran and Tulsk.

‘Pool heading for first Premier League title

The biggest game of the Premier League season so far was very revealing. It showed Liverpool as by far the best team in the division this year and although Manchester City are still a good side, Jurgen Klopp’s men have improved at least another 20% since last season. They are lethal going forward and players like Van Dijk and Fabinho have really stiffened up their defence.

  In contrast, City look very weak at the back and they are certainly missing their retired captain Vincent Kompany.

  Even with only a quarter of the season gone the title looks like it is bound for Anfield for the first time in 31 years. I know it’s early to be making that statement but I simply cannot see Liverpool losing three or four times before the end of the season.

  Leicester City look the best team apart from Liverpool so far this season while Manchester United have improved somewhat in recent weeks but are not in the same league as Liverpool in terms of quality.

Dunne’s star has fallen since 2017

In 2017 Paul Dunne looked like he would be Ireland’s next golfing superstar. He had just won the British Masters, shooting a 61 in the final round, and he held off a top-class field to do so.

  This Friday, after two disastrous years, he heads for the European Tour qualifying school in Spain where 25 players out of 156 will get their cards for 2020. The Wicklow man has had a serious dip in form and he has missed 12 cuts out of his last 14 tournaments. It just goes to show how quickly things can change at the top level in golf.

  Many years ago I read a marvellous book called ‘A Good Walk Spoiled’ by John Feinstein. It’s about professional golf and it’s one of the best sports books I ever read. Paul Dunne will recognise many of the characters in that book this week.

Pearses can cause provincial shock!

Pádraig Pearses have done really well in their first ever senior club championship. They have faced tricky matches against Tourlestrane and Tir Conaill Gaels and came through with flying colours. They will be underdogs against Corofin in the final and that will suit them fine.

  I was talking a to a number of people who were at the matches between Corofin and Ballintubber last Sunday and while the All-Ireland champions won comfortably enough in the end, there was nothing on view to really scare Pearses.

  There is a feeling that Corofin are not the force that they were last year. We all remember what they did to Clann na nGael last year, but if Pearses can bring their best form into the provincial final on Sunday week there no doubt that Tuam could be the venue for a shock. It’s all to play for.

Connacht welcome Montpellier this Sunday

The rugby season will step a notch when the Champions Cup starts again this coming weekend. It’s hard to drum up any real interest in the competition at this stage after the World Cup but when it gets going people will begin to forget. Life goes on.

  Connacht are back in the biggest European competition and their campaign starts in Galway next Sunday with the visit of crack French outfit Montpellier. It is sure to draw a huge crowd to The Sportsground and I know several Rossies who will be heading west on Sunday to see the big game. Connacht will be a match for anyone on their home patch. It would be super to start with a win.

Clifford is set to be a true great

I wonder are we in the era of one of the true legends of Gaelic football with David Clifford on the scene. The young man from Fossa was talked about for years in his native county before he appeared in minor football and of course we all remember him scoring a sensational 4-4 in an All-Ireland minor final.

  Now at just 19 he has two years of inter-county senior fare behind him and his star continues to burn brighter and brighter. He now has Munster titles and All-Stars to his name and I listened to the commentary last Sunday as he led East Kerry to a first county title in 20 years. It’s hard to believe that he is still so young. If he stays fit and interested he could be spoken about in the same breath as the greatest who have ever played the game. He is that good.

Boys in Green face Danish showdown

The Republic of Ireland face their biggest game in a few years on Monday next when they take on Denmark in a must-win game in the Euro 2020 qualifiers.

  As we all know, Ireland have suffered of late with poor quality teams but at home on Monday night they will give it a lash and they have a chance in a one-off game.

  Ireland simply lack the quality of player that they need to be a top-class side so they will have to play out of their skins if they hope to win this match, but anything is possible.

  The signs are, however, that there are a few good young players on the way into the squad. Stephen Kenny has been doing good work with the U-21 team and that is always good news.

  I can’t figure out why there is a friendly game tonight (Thursday) against New Zealand with such a big game coming up a few days later. It’s all to do with money I suspect.

Gaels celebrate 60 years this Friday

This Friday night the Roscommon Gaels GAA club celebrates 60 years in existence and the town club have contributed richly to the GAA in Roscommon over the years. I have been present for most of that time and have many fond memories of playing underage football for the club.

  For decades the town side were the number one team in the county in the underage ranks. Sadly that situation has changed in recent years but I am aware of a lot of hard work going on in the club, particularly over the past decade and hopefully that will bear fruit soon.

  The purchase and development of the new grounds at Lisnamult over the past decade has been a big success and it will ensure the future of the club for the coming generations.

  On Friday night the club will be recalling the past 60 years and remembering all those people who worked so hard for the club over the years and who are no longer with us. Great players, officials, and mentors, great characters, friends and relations too.





The Lead Story: Kiwis and Danish on the menu for Ireland





As friendlies go, a home fixture in November against New Zealand is right up (or down) there with Oman. It’s understandable from Mick McCarthy’s point of view of course as he looks to tweak his side ahead of the must-win Euro qualifier against Denmark on Monday night…but I can’t imagine tickets will be hard to come by for tonight’s fixture!

  Ireland’s final Euro 2020 qualifier seems to be arriving at the wrong time for the Boys in Green who have lost exciting prospect Aaron Connelly to injury, while at the time of going to print there are also doubts over goalkeeper Darren Randolph.

  McCarthy and Co. will be hoping to avoid a repeat of the last time these two had a November rendezvous in Dublin, when Denmark hammered Ireland 5-1 en route to a World Cup 2018 play-off win two years ago.

  The Danes have a number of impressive players of course, not least Leicester City goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel and Spurs playmaker Christian Eriksen. Irish fans will be hoping Eriksen’s sulky early season form continues into Monday’s showdown as they look to seal qualification for next summer’s European Championships.

  While there’s currently a dearth of exciting attacking options in the senior team, Ireland are more often than not a difficult proposition for visiting sides in front of their passionate home support. That’s good because the Boys in Green will need all the help they can get if they are to secure the three points on Monday.

  Speaking of passionate home support, there was an interesting moment during the recent Unite the Union (?) Champions Cup Final between Dundalk and Linfield at Oriel Park, a game Dundalk won 6-0 to wrap up a 7-1 aggregate win.

  Announcing the Man of the Match award at the end of the night, the Dundalk public announcer clearly couldn’t stomach the official title of the competition…

  PA: “And the Unite the Nation…I mean Union, Man of the Match is…”

  An honest mistake I’m sure!


The Sporing Brief - November 15th




Winter League

We begin our weekly round-up in Athlone where weekend competitions are reverting to 15 holes for the winter period and the Men’s Winter League is now well underway. Further information on the club website.

  The men’s AGM took place last Monday evening and Ray Fagan was appointed Captain for 2020.

  Meanwhile, Assumpta Galvin is set to take the Lady Captain’s role for 2020. Nominations were made at the Ladies’ AGM last night.

  On the course, Frank Daly won this year’s Plumbers Singles Matchplay when he overcame Michael Cunniffe in the final.

  The Ladies Christmas Hamper was won by Linda Corbett with 37 points while the Nora Costello Memorial was won by Yvonne Walsh with 30. The recent AWGS outing was won by Tom Meagher with 24 points.

  Padraic O’Connell continued his good run of form in Boyle when he became the first man into the final of this year’s King Harmon Cup. He beat Gerry Carty in the semi-final and will face the winner of the second semi-final between Sean Heslin and Michael McHale which takes place this week.

  The Men’s Winter League is underway in Boyle. Liam Mullaney claimed top spot in week one while Gary Carty was top of the leaderboard in week two.

  The Ladies’ AGM takes place this Sunday (17th) while the Club AGM takes place on Sunday, December 1st.

  Meanwhile, Lorcan Daly became the youngest Men’s Captain in a number of years when he was elected to the role at last Sunday’s AGM. Brendan Gaffney will take up the role of President. Further information is available on the club’s website.

  Good news in Carrick, where Finan Farrell and Zach Brennan have been selected for the U-16 and U-14 GUI regional coaching panels.

  On the course, Elizabeth Muldowney won the November Alliance with 21 points, four points ahead of her nearest challengers.

  The SuperValu Hamper Competition was won by Gary Hartigan with 43 points, while Sean Mulvey finished runner-up with 42. David McDermott took the Gross prize with 38 while Frank Duffy was third with 41.

  The Men’s AGM will take place on Saturday at 5 pm in the clubhouse. Members are asked to attend.



Artistic Athlone!

Members of Athlone Gymnastics Club impressed in the Women’s Artistic Gymnastics Competition last weekend in the National Indoor Arena in Dublin under Director of Gymnastics, Elisha, Manager Imelda, and the coaches Aoife, Eimear, Lauren and Saoirse.

  This year the club is running two two-day camps, open to members and non-members. Boys and girls from age six up are welcome. See website for details.



Kings unbeaten

Last year’s Lonleitros Basketball League double winners Castlerea Kings have started the defence of their league title with two impressive wins this season.

  The Kings opened their campaign with a 78-69 win over league leaders Donegal Town before earning a comfortable 69-27 victory over Boyle last weekend.

  Next up is a home game against bottom club Ballinamore Blazers this Saturday.



League action

The Hannon’s Hotel Roscommon Darts League remains wide open following the third round of matches last weekend.

  Flanagan’s beat Sideline Bar 6-3 while An Bothar Rua were 7-2 winners at The Holly Tree.

  The match between Cosy Bar and Molly’s was a much tighter affair with the latter coming out on top 5-4. Matty Connolly was in fine form with 130 and 119 check-outs.

  Dalton’s also enjoyed a narrow 5-4 win over The Hollywood in Fuerty. Seamus Naughton took out a 109 finish and was a winner in both his singles and doubles matches.

  The action continues this Friday with the following fixtures: Molly’s v Dalton’s; Sideline Bar v Cosy Bar; An Bothar Rua v Flanagan’s; McDermott’s v The Holly Tree. Hollywood have a bye.


Creggs RFC: New Connacht Ambassador appointed




Connacht Rugby recently announced the Player/Club Ambassador Programme for the 2019/2020 season. Creggs RFC welcomes Stephen Fitzgerald, who joins Creggs’ and Connacht’s own Denis Buckley as our Connacht Player/Club Ambassadors.

  This is the third year of the Player Ambassador Programme and its aim is to build on relationships that exist between the playing squad and grassroots rugby in the province.

  Clare native Fitzgerald plays primarily as a full-back, but can also play on the wing. Fitzgerald made his debut for Connacht against Ulster in 2018. He also represents Shannon in the All-Ireland League. He has been capped at U-20 level for Ireland.

  Connacht Rugby extended Denis Buckley’s contract earlier this year, which sees him remain at his home province until at least the end of the 2020-21 season.

  The Roscommon native has made well over 160 appearances for Connacht since making his debut as an Academy player in 2011.

Dooner's weekend predictions - November 15th




There were good wins for both Castlerea Celtic and Ballinasloe Town last weekend in the FAI Junior Cup while Moylough ’79 enjoyed a very impressive victory over Boyle Celtic in the Premier Division.

  This weekend sees a ‘battle of the saints’ in Lecarrow as St. John’s take on league leaders St. Peter’s while Boyle will be hoping to recover as they travel to Castlerea to take on the Hoops.

Friday, November 15th

RDFL Premier Division (8.15 pm)

Shiven Rovers v Ballymoe FC

There are signs of life in Ballymoe following two decent results recently.

Prediction: Draw

Ballinasloe Town v Moore United

The Town were composed last weekend against MCR and will be favourites for this one.

Prediction: Ballinasloe Town

Hanley Quarries Division Two (8.15 pm)

Glen Celtic v Manor United

The hosts should be comfortable winners.

Prediction: Glen Celtic

Moore United B v Skyvalley Rovers B

Away win.

Prediction: Skyvalley Rovers B

Saturday, November 16th

RDFL Premier Division

Kilkerrin United v Skyvalley Rovers. 8 pm

The hosts can remain in contention at the top end of the table.

Prediction: Kilkerrin United

Hanley Quarries Division Two (8 pm)

Boyle Celtic B v Ballaghaderreen FC B

The visitors to win narrowly.

Prediction: Ballaghaderreen FC

Cloonfad United B v Ballinasloe Town B

Away win.

Prediction: Ballinasloe Town B

Sunday, November 17th

RDFL Premier Division (2 pm)

St. John’s Athletic v St. Peter’s FC

The hosts have impressed this season at times but the Athlone side look to be on another level at the moment.

Prediction: St. Peter’s FC

Castlerea Celtic v Boyle Celtic

The Hoops can’t afford any slip-ups if they want to reel St. Peter’s in.

Prediction: Castlerea Celtic

Norio’s Takeaway Division One (2 pm)

Ahascragh United v Ballaghaderreen FC

Away win.

Prediction: Ballaghaderreen FC

Dysart FC v Cloonfad United

‘Game of the Weekend’ across the three divisions. A Cloonfad win would make things very interesting but Dysart will take some stopping.

Prediction: Draw

Cam Celtic v Dunmore Town

Home win.

Prediction: Cam Celtic

CP Ajax v Roscommon United

The difficult games come thick and fast for United, who could count themselves slightly unfortunate last weekend.

Prediction: Draw

Hanley Quarries Division Two (2 pm)

St. Cuan’s United v Ballymoe FC B

This could go either way.

Prediction: Draw


Pearses come good to set up London trip






AIB Connacht Club SFC Quarter-Final


Pádraig Pearses 3-7


Tourlestrane 0-6



When the highlights reel for 2019 is shown it’s doubtful if this clash will feature, but that won’t bother Pádraig Pearses as they have negotiated what looked like a tricky assignment against Tourlestrane at Markievicz Park with considerable ease. Now they can prepare for a Connacht club semi-final against Tir Conaill Gaels in London on Sunday next with confidence after this morale-boosting victory.

  On local radio after the game the Tourlestrane joint manager Eamon O’Hara blasted the performance of referee Jerome Henry and accused him of costing his side the game.

  However while a couple of decisions, including a controversial 38th minute penalty, went the way of the Roscommon side, a distinct lack of ambition cost Tourlestrane dearly.

  Pádraig Pearses manager Pat Flanagan agreed that the penalty award was a turning point but said there was more to come from his charges.

  “This is all a learning phase for us. I said it to our lads before we went out that we wanted to back up our county final win and there is an awful lot more in this team if they push themselves. What happened three weeks ago is history and it’s all about making new history now.

  “We have only a week to prepare for the semi-final. We are flying out on Saturday so it’s only a five-day preparation. We will take nothing for granted over in London. They won the championship there last year too and they gave Clann na nGael a hard game in the championship (last year) so we know what we are facing into,” he said.

  Niall Daly was once again a colossus last Sunday. Paul Carey was magnificent too and showed his class in the second half in particular. Shane Carty, Mark Richardson, Davy Murray and Niall Carty were also very prominent as Pearses turned the screw in that second period.

  The first half was as poor a thirty minutes of football that this reporter has seen in many a long day however. It was a stalemate as both teams kept 15 players behind the ball and scoring chances were few and far between. Tourlestrane had marginally the better of the exchanges early on and they kicked two long-range points in the opening ten minutes from Cathal Henry and Adrian McIntyre.

  If they had converted an excellent goal chance in the seventh minute when James Leonard’s shot crashed off the underside of the crossbar it might have been a different story but Pearses regrouped after that.

  Pearses’ first score was a goal after eleven minutes. It was crafted between Davy Murray and Niall Carty before Carty blasted home. Paul Carey was next to score, with a pointed free in the 17th minute. Three minutes later Conor Daly was shown a black card by referee Henry after a hand trip. But in the 24th minute Pearses were three ahead after another pointed free from Carey after a foul on Murray.

  The only other score of a truly forgettable half was from the boot of Tourlestrane’s Liam Gaughan who pointed a 40-metre free in the 28th minute. The score at half-time was Pearses 1-2 Tourlestrane 0-3.

  It looked like the second half was going to follow the same pattern as the first until the 38th minute when Pearses were awarded a penalty out of the blue. Tom Butler (on as a sub for Conor Daly) seemed to have a lash at the ball in the large square. Referee Jerome Henry adjudged that there was a Tourlestrane foot-block and it was a spot-kick. The Sligo players were furious but Hubert Darcy made no mistake and Tourlestrane were now in trouble. They were six points down four minutes later when Darcy pointed a free.

  The Sligo side were given hope in the 43rd minute when referee Henry sent off Lorcan Daly for a second yellow card offence. Over the next seven minutes Tourlestrane enjoyed their best spell, scoring three points without reply from Cathal Henry (2) and James Leonard to narrow the gap to three with ten minutes left.

  But Pearses always looked dangerous and young Paul Carey assumed centre stage over the next twelve minutes of play. He kicked two mighty points from play in the 51st and 54th minutes respectively and with two minutes left he converted a free from 30 metres before adding another free just on full-time.

  Then, a minute into injury-time, Carey won the ball 25 metres out, evaded the attentions of defenders and goalkeeper and poked the ball home for a superb individual goal. It put the icing on the cake and sealed a ten-point win for Pat Flanagan’s men.

  The Roscommon champions now face a trip to London to face Tir Chonaill Gaels this Sunday and Ronan Daly knows Pearses face a stern test.

  “The big challenge for us was could we back up our county championship win and we have done that. It’s only one step along the way; we have a really big semi-final in London and we will be taking nothing for granted. We will go from here now and prepare as best we can,” he told People Sport last Sunday.

  So far, so good for Pádraig Pearses and if they play to their potential this Sunday they can reach the provincial final which would be a huge achievement in their first ever Connacht campaign.


Pádraig Pearses: Paul Whelan; Shane Carty, Anthony Butler, Mark Richardson; Gavin Downey, David Murray, Ronan Daly; Niall Daly, Conor Daly; Paul Carey (1-6, 3 frees), Lorcan Daly, Niall Carty (1-0); Emmett Kelly, Hubert Darcy (1-1, 1 free), Conor Payne.

Subs used: Tom Butler for C Daly (22 b/c), Alan Duffy for Payne (45), Aaron Fehily for Downey (59), James Kelly for Carey (61), Shane Mulvey for S Carty (62).


Tourlestrane: Adam Broe; Cian Surlis, John Francis Carr, Barry Walsh; Oisin Kennedy, Adrian McIntyre (0-1), James Leonard (0-1); Stephen Henry, Cathal Henry (0-3, 1 free); Kenny Gavigan, John Kelly, Alan Dunne; Gary Gaughan, Noel Gaughan, Liam Gaughan (0-1, 1 free).

Subs used: Conor Marren for Dunne (35), Pat Harte for Kennedy (40), Brian Egan for L Gaughan (53), Rian Kennedy for N Gaughan (58), Eoin Walsh for Kelly (61).


Referee: Jerome Henry (Mayo)



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