Boyle deserved more from cup run
Last Sunday was a fantastic day out in Sligo at the FAI Junior Cup semi-final. All that was missing was the most important thing – a win for Boyle Celtic – and they deserved to win the match too. They were the better footballing side and they were far fitter too.
In extra-time, it was Evergreen who were hanging on with many of their players down suffering from cramp. The Kilkenny side were lucky that their goalkeeper and player/manager, Patrick Holden, was not sent off for handball outside the area in the second half, but that’s football. Some days you get the decisions and some days you don’t and referee Paul Duddy did a good job overall.
I thought that the Boyle Celtc back four were outstanding all through. Evergreen were confined to just one or two chances throughout the game and Seanie Purcell and company were very comfortable and in control. In fact, Mikey Drennan, who came into this game with a big reputation, didn’t get a kick until he went to midfield in the second half. It was a pity that Boyle did concede that vital goal and it proved a fatal blow in the end.
Everyone knows that the penalty shootout is a lottery and you need luck to survive it. Boyle had won in two penalty shootouts on their way to the last four and this was their turn to be on the receiving end. After getting to the last four of a competition that starts out with 800 teams, it was a heartbreaker.
What a support Boyle had. The official attendance was 2,475 and there were at least 2,000 of those there to support Boyle on the day. They didn’t let down the fans either. They were so comfortable at this level and it is a real pity that they didn’t get to the final. I know that they would have acquitted themselves well but it was not to be.
I have to say that I really enjoyed my trips to Carrick-on-Suir and to The Showgrounds and it would be great to see Boyle back at that stage of the competition again. It was a fairytale run surely but I suppose all good things have to come to an end. But Boyle went down fighting and that’s all anyone could have asked for. Thanks to all at the club for their co-operation over the past few weeks.
Kerry are back after Dubs win
I only got to watch the Dublin/Kerry league final on Monday and what a great game it was. Both sides gave it everything and Kerry were the deserved winners. I was never a subscriber to the chorus that we have been listening over the past few years in the national GAA media that Dublin were too strong and that they were unbeatable. I never felt that way about this Dublin team. Yes, they have won four All-Irelands in recent years but two were by one point, one was after a replay, another was by two points and the remaining one by four.
Kerry were never going to be gone away for long and they have some marvellous young players on the way up which is ominous for everyone else. I would not be writing off this Dublin team either. I still think that they will win the All-Ireland title in 2017 but their reign is coming to an end. Kerry will be back – and of that you can have no doubt.
Well done also to Paddy Neilan who got great praise nationally for his refereeing performance. On The Sunday Game they reckoned that he did very well and got most of the big calls right. Even Joe Brolly praised him so well done!
In the Division Two final, Galway won a very dour game. They have plenty of footballers but Kevin Walsh is playing a very conservative brand of football and the he should let his players off the leash at some stage. Galway will win nothing big playing the way they are at the moment. That having being said, they will be a huge threat once again in Connacht and they will have every chance of beating Mayo when the sides meet in Galway in June. They are a coming force for sure and they have some great young players.
Keeping a lid on things this summer
There has been much debate about football and the county senior team over the past few weeks and as the team get ready to prepare for the championship one of the faults with Roscommon GAA people is that when we win a few games in a row we think we are going to win the All-Ireland and then if we lose a few games in a row we want to sack the manager and get rid of the players. It is madness and we will have to learn to have a bit more patience going forward. I would be guilty of that myself over the years and it is hard to keep a lid on expectations.
Another aspect is that there is such a passion for gaelic games and football in particular in Roscommon and almost everyone has an opinion and there is never any consensus.
There is also a problem that every little row that happens in Roscommon seems to be highlighted in the national media. I can never understand why that happens. There are plenty of rows that go on in Dublin and Kerry and in every other county but they don’t end up in the national media. I fail to see what the national media’s fascination is with Roscommon football but it seems to be getting worse as the years go by.
Ladies and men join forces for camps
Members of the Roscommon men’s senior football team and the Roscommon Ladies football team will run a number of Easter camps over the coming couple of weeks and this to my knowledge is a unique situation in the GAA nationwide.
It is the first time that the ladies and men’s teams in any county have come together in this fashion and many other counties will be following suit as it looks like the camps are set to be a huge success. It is this kind of initiative that is very good for the image of the GAA in the county and well done to both teams and the County Board too for their enterprise in this regard.
Although the ladies and men’s games are run by different organisations, it is co-operation like this that will help the GAA plan for the future. The camps are open to girls and boys aged from 6-13 years of age during the Easter school holidays.
The first camps will run from April 12th until the 14th and the second set of camps will run from April 18th to the 20th of April. The camps run from 10 am until 2 pm daily, however on the first day participants are asked to be there at 9.30 am for registration. The cost of the camp is only €50 per child.
Sergio finally lands a major
What a great sporting day Sunday was. I was home from Sligo in time to watch the US Masters and once again we saw a classic sporting contest and one of the best finishes to the Masters that I can recall as Justin Rose and Sergio Garcia battled it out for the green jacket. When the two men pulled away from the field it became matchplay and the standard of golf was fantastic as they slugged it out, hole for hole, shot for shot.
But what was also exemplary was the standard to sportsmanship. Both players acknowledged each other’s good play all through and it was a pleasure to watch it. I know that most of the crowd, and I presume the TV viewers too, wanted Sergio to win, but Rose is a perfect gentleman and I had the honour of meeting him at the JP McManus Pro-Am in 2011 in Limerick and he could not have been nicer.
However, Sergio is over 20 years trying to win a major and after so many near misses I‘d say he thought is chance was gone. But he stuck to his guns on Sunday and refused to give in as he has done so many times in the past, Few in sport will begrudge him his win.
It was fantastic sporting drama and the sporting highlight of the year so far.
From the Internet
‘Kilkenny side Evergreen FC reached the final of the Aviva sponsored FAI Junior Cup final for the first time in 33 years after they overcame Boyle Celtic on penalties on Sunday at the Showgrounds in Sligo.
Packie Holden’s side will meet holders Sheriff YC in the May 13th decider at the Aviva Stadium after they came from behind to make it 1-1 and force extra-time before prevailing 4-2 in the shootout.
A penalty from Danny Browne eight minutes before the break gave the Roscommon outfit an interval lead but Mikey Drennan equalised on 68 minutes in an action-packed tie played in front of 2,475 fans.
Both goal scorers missed their spot-kicks in the shootout which followed but Evergreen held their nerve, with captain Neil Andrews slotting home the decisive penalty.’ (Courtesy of the 42.ie)