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In an incredible finish, massive underdogs Cratloe – who had trailed by 0-3 to 0-10 at half-time – edged into a 0-12 to 0-11 lead thanks to a David McInerney free. With their talisman Colm Cooper having been sent off on a second yellow card minutes earlier, the Kerry kingpins looked to be in big trouble, but they refused to panic as first Daithi Casey equalised and then Johnny Buckley landed a late winner to break Cratloe hearts.The first-time Clare champions got off to a flying start with early points from Enda Boyce and captain Sean Chaplin. But they failed to score again until just before the short whistle as Crokes reeled off 10 unanswered points to take a commanding lead into the break.
After Kieran O’Leary and Brian Looney had brought Crokes level, Casey gave them the lead for the first time. Colm Cooper added two more points to extend their advantage. By the time Alan O’Sullivan kicked their 10th point, the Killarney men already looked to be out of sight, despite registering eight wides compared to Cratloe’s two.
But Colm Collins’ charges refused to give up the ghost and gradually clawed their way back into contention after the restart, with Clare hurling stars Cathal McInerney, Conor McGrath and Podge Collins playing key roles. A succession of scores from McInerney, McGrath and Fergal Lynch had narrowed the gap before Cooper was given his marching orders with 10 minutes remaining.
The scores were level with the 60 minutes up, but the 14 men dug deep and Buckley’s point 30 seconds from the end completed the three-in-a-row.
The Derry champions showed their quality and experience to battle back and lead by 1-6 to 1-2 at the break. Glenswilly scored an unanswered 1-2 within three minutes of the restart to retake the lead, but with midfielder James Conway producing a man of the match performance and Colin Devlin and Dermot McGuckin kicking fine scores, Martin McKinless’ men weren’t to be denied.
Making their first Ulster final appearance, the Glen got off to a dream start when Donegal captain Murphy cut in from the right before lobbing Ballinderry goalkeeper Michael Conlan for a first-minute goal. Murphy followed up with a ’45 as the favourites struggled to settle.
Devlin eventually opened their account in the 11th minute and further scores from Conway and McGuckin closed the gap before Caolan Kelly pointed to leave Glenswilly two clear. But the Shamrocks scored 1-2 without reply in the final 10 minutes to leave themselves in a strong position at the interval.
Wing back Michael McIver netted his second goal in as many games in the 26th minute after Ryan Bell’s initial effort had been blocked. Conleith Gilligan also got in on the scoring act as the 2002 All-Ireland champions finished the half strongly.
Whatever Glenswilly manager Gary McDaid said to his players in the dressing-room certainly had the desired effect as they restarted with a goal from Caolan Kelly and points from Murphy and Darren McGinley to regain the lead.
But they would only manage one point in the final 20 minutes as Aaron Devlin, Darren Conway and former county star Enda Muldoon all came off the bench to score for Ballinderry. Glenswilly’s brave challenge was finally ended when Conway and Gilligan landed late insurance points for the men from the shores of Lough Neagh.
In Leinster it will be St Vincents of Dublin and Portlaoise of Laois who will contest the final. A depleted Vincents team beat St Lomans of Westmeath and Summerhill of Meath to reach the final while Portlaoise came out of the tough side of the draw with good wins over longford slashers and moorefield of kildare. Should be a very tight final but I feel maybe St. Vincents will come out on top in this one. They are backboned with Dublin stars, Ger Brennan and Diarmuid Connolly.
The Connacht final was contested today between Castlebar of Mayo and current all Ireland champions St. Bridigs of Roscommon. There was a bit of an upset as Castlebar came out on top in the end after extra time in what was a thrilling affair.
Here is A report on the final.
The club provincial season is coming to an end and there is a few mouth watering tie to come in the next few weeks!
In Ulster, there was a shock in the last round as Kilcoo of down had beaten Crossmaglen after extra time in a replay after a titanic battle between two of ulsters heavyweights. After putting so much into the two games Kilcoo themselves were knocked out by another ulster heavyweight in Ballinderry! On the other side Glenswilly of Donegal beat St. Galls of Antrim to set up the decider with Ballinderry. Should be a tight battle but I fancy Ballinderrys experience in Ulster should see them through.
In Munster Dr. Crokes of Kerry breezed through to the Munster final with comprehensive victories over Loughmore-Castleiney of Tipperary and Castlehaven of Cork. While Cratole of Clare won there first ever county championship on Saturday and had to play Ballinacourty of Waterford the following day and sensationally beat them to reach there first Munster title again Dr. Crokes. Dr Crokes, lead by the best player ever to play the game Colm Cooper should have way to much in this Final.
In my next blog I will cover the Leinster and Connaught championships.
All-Ireland champions Dublin dominate the 2013 football All Stars with six awards following a year that saw them claim league and All-Ireland honours.Stephen Cluxton, Rory O’Carroll, Cian O’Sullivan, Michael Darragh Macauley, Paul Flynn and Bernard Brogan make up the six players, with MacCauley named Footballer of the Year. Team-mate Jack McCaffrey scooped the Young Footballer of the Year accolade.
Mayo, who again suffered All-Ireland final heartache, occupy four places on the team. Colm Boyle, Lee Keegan and the versatille Keith Higgins were selected in defence While Aidan O’Shea was selected at midfield.
A successful season for Monaghan that saw them reclaim the Ulster championship after a wait of 25 years is rewarded with both Colin Walshe and Conor McManus making the selection.
Kerry were represented with Colm Cooper and new comer James O Donoughe, while the inclusion of Sean Cavanagh from Tyrone completes the team.
All-Ireland champions Clare dominate the 2013 hurling All Stars with eight awards following their final replay against Cork.
David McInerney, Brendan Bugler, Pat Donnellan, Colm Galvin, Conor Ryan, Tony Kelly, Padraic Collins and Conor McGrath have all been selected in the 15 to round off a memorable year for the Banner County.
Beaten finalists Cork and the team they defeated in the semi-final, Dublin, each earn three spots on the team. Limerick’s Richie McCarthy completes the Team.
Clare All Star Tony Kelly had much cause to celebrate as he was named Young Hurler of the Year and Hurler of the Year.
Here is a link to the irish mangers interview on there 22 point vicory over australia in what I thought was a poor and none exciting victory for the irish, hopefully the second test will be a bit more entertaining.
here is a link to the club round up from around the country!