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GAA: Donegal And Dublin Lift Provincial Titles

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Ulster Senior Football Final

Donegal 0-15 Monaghan 1-9

Donegal are kings of Ulster following a three point win over Monaghan in the Ulster Senior Football Final this afternoon.

Monaghan will be disappointed with their display as they lacked penetration and resorted to kicking hopeless long balls into their forwards whom were completely outnumbered by Donegal defenders.

Donegal showed more enterprise in attack as both sides set up to play quite defensively. Donegal got going quicker and some good scores helped them establish an early lead. Monaghan found it rather difficult to break down Donegal’s defence. Monaghan only managed to get three scores in the opening half as they were reliant on frees and their lack of threat up front allowed Jim McGuinness’ men to lead by two points at the break.

Both sides improved in the second half, with Donegal pressing ahead with further scores from Colm McFadden, Odhran McNiallais and Paddy McBrearty. Monaghan fought back and punished a lapse of concentration in the Donegal defence when Chris McGuinness slotted his shot into the far corner for a well taken goal. Monaghan tried to build on this momentum, but it didn’t happen for them as Donegal soaked up the pressure and waited for the opportunity to re-establish their lead with some good scores and a superb long range point from Michael Murphy. Donegal continue their march on to the All-Ireland Quarter finals.

Leinster Senior Football Final

Dublin 3-20 Meath 1-10

Dublin ran out easy winners in this year’s Leinster final in what was easily one of the most one sided finals of all time.

Dublin’s first half display from Bernard Brogan proved the crucial factor in the win as they put the icing on the cake with two further goals from Kevin McManamon and Eoghan O’Gara, giving them an easy victory.

The boys in blue raced out of the traps while the royals lacked both quality and urgency in their play.  Meath best plays of the first half came from Michael Newman and Andrew Tormay as they tried to stop the pressure from the Dubs. The referee at one stage should have allowed Meath to develop an attack and advantage should have been played which would have resulted in a goal for the royal county, a free for the royals was decided instead. Bernard Brogan was lucky when he got the opening goal of the game without much difficulty as it was merely a tap-in, even though he could have allowed his brother Alan to finish to the net.

The second half was a similar affair as Dublin refused to let up and gave nothing to the royals. Dublin put the game well beyond doubt when McManamon and O’Gara converted their goal chances. Meath did get a mere consolation goal from the very strong Michael Newman with a good finish, but despite this Meath never really showed up as the Dubs stuck to their task well.

Dublin march on amid a cloud of controversy as Meath manager Mick O’Dowd claims one of his players was a victim of a bite in the second half.

All Ireland Football Qualifiers 3B

Clare 0-12 Kildare 0-13

Kildare performed a smash and grab win in Ennis to advance in the Championship at the expense of Clare.

Both sides traded early scores but it was Clare that showed more enterprise when Shane McGrath gave them some breathing space in the first half, enabling them to build up a three point lead at the break. Kildare never really got going in the first half and were reliant on Alan Smith to keep them in touch.

The second half was a chance for Clare to pull away as they built up a six point lead on the visitors with some good play by Gary Brennan. Kildare soon found a new lease of life in the latter stages of the second half with Smith being the main provider of their scores and they turned the screw with a crucial seventh point from Eoin O’Flaherty to give them the victory by a single point. Clare tried desperately to get an equaliser but failed to get the required score as Kildare march on. The banner will remain proud of this year’s performance in the championship.

Roscommon 1-12 Armagh 1-17

A strong performance from Armagh saw them advance to the final twelve of this year’s Championship as they overcame Roscommon at Dr. Hyde Park.

The orchard county were strong in defenceand& this was evident through their work ethic. Roscommon didn’t really have any answer to this display.

Armagh were composed in the first half and their ability to turn possession over and into scoring opportunities is what was most impressive of their performance.  Roscommon lacked any real penetration in the first half and were not at the same intensity as Armagh. Tony Kernan and Andy Mallon were the busy players for Armagh in the first half as they led by 0-8 to 0-4 at the break.

The second half was played at a much slower pace and both sides found it easier to penetrate each other’s defence as tiredness crept in. Armagh will be thankful they have a forward of the calibre of Jamie Clarke who had a great second half.  Armagh closed out the game when a high ball in was flicked over the goalie and to the net for a good goal from Stefan Forker. Roscommon did have a fortuitous goal in the last few minutes when the goalkeeper saved the initial shot as this was followed up by Ciaran Murtagh to make the scoreline look more respectable. Armagh played very well in the second half but also leaked more scores; this is something that they will need to tidy up before their next game.

Image courtesy of GAA.ie

 

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