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Posts Tagged ‘ Cillian O’Connor ’

GAA: Donegal Crush Dublin As Kerry Edge Thriller Against Mayo

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All-Ireland Senior Football Semi-Final

Donegal 3-14 Dublin 0-17

This was an interesting tactical battle as the 2012 Champions Donegal crushed Dublin in this All-Ireland Semi-Final. Ryan McHugh was the crucial individual who finished with two brilliantly taken opportunistic goals and also Colm McFadden added the third goal to put the game beyond the reigning All-Ireland Champions.

Dublin started the game brightly and established an early lead with long range points from Diarmuid Connolly and Paul Flynn, both influential figures in this part of the first half. Dublin were not going to be able to keep scoring long range points no matter how good they are made out to be, this was more evident as the game progressed. Dublin raced into a five point lead at one stage and it seemed a tall order for Donegal to come back, but they did as the game dragged on. Donegal never panicked and this coupled with good scores from McHugh and Michael Murphy kept them within touching distance. Dublin failed to deal with a high ball in that resulted in McHugh finishing his low shot to the Dublin net. Dublin were very comfortable up until McHugh struck and there confidence was rattled as Donegal began to impose themselves on the game. Continue reading

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GAA: Kerry And Mayo Play Out Entertaining Draw

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All-Ireland Senior Football Championship Semi-Final

Mayo 1-16 Kerry 1-16

Kerry and 14-man Mayo finished level on 1-16 each in an epic All-Ireland Football Championship semi-final at Croke Park.

The two teams must no battle again at the Gaelic Grounds in Limerick next week as Croke Park will be unavailable due to the Croke Park Classic, an American Football bout between University Of Central Florida and Penn State.

Mayo have been the more consistent performer in recent times as Kerry are a team rebuilding from the greats of the last decade, but still a formidable force in the Championship. Kerry will certainly be more relieved as they took their chances in the last few minutes of the game to send it to a replay and could have possibly snatched it from Mayo’s grasp.

The first half was slow paced and lacked any real intensity as it was point for point for the most part as Kerry edged in front with some good play from Paul Geaney and Michael Geaney and some strong midfield play from David Moran. Kerry’s ball handling skills let them down on occasions as Mayo will be very disappointed with some chances they missed, including a great chance by Cillian O’Connor who failed to find the net. Mayo were reduced to 14 men when Lee Keegan deliberately kicked Johnny Buckley approaching half time. Kerry were somewhat better in the first half as neither side showed any real intensity. Kerry led by 0-9 to 0-5 at half time. Continue reading

GAA: Mayo And Kerry Eye Final Berth

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All-Ireland Senior Football Semi-Final

Kerry v Mayo

This will be a very interesting tactical affair as neither of these two sides have met in the championship since 2011, with the Kingdom emerging on top for most of the recent battles between these two sides. Mayo have yet to show us why they have made it to this stage of the championship, playing rather poorly with plenty of room for improvement. Kerry have had some hiccups to their play and they have left their defence very exposed on occasions, for example in the All-Ireland quarter final they conceded two relatively easy goals to Galway while Clare also put two past them in the Munster Championship.

Looking at both sides in depth, I would have to ask the question, are these two sides ready to win an All-Ireland at the moment? This is certainly a question that has puzzled me for a while, Kerry haven’t won a title in five years while Mayo haven’t won one in almost sixty years. Kerry’s Defence has at times this year been a little too nice to the opposition and have conceded goals a little too easily for my liking. Kerry’s midfield has been relatively okay so far this year, but they haven’t been as dominant in this area in the last few years and this is possibly a reason for them being left exposed in defence. Kerry forwards have been the main highlight to their championship as they are improving with every going season, with the absence of Colm Cooper due to an ACL tear. James O’Donoghue has been the main star for the Kingdom in the past two seasons and Mayo will certainly need to keep a close eye on him. Kerry still have some experienced forwards like Paul Geaney and Michael Geaney to help take pressure off  O’Donoghue. Continue reading

All Ireland Preview: Who Can Topple The Boys In Blue?

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With the long road to Croker having kick off in earnest, we’ll now take a look at the teams likely to raise Sam Maguire come September.

In Munster, the odds are firmly stacked in Cork and Kerry’s favour. Whoever can emerge from the traditional rivalry will be among the key contenders. It would be hard to see any other side from Munster upsetting this balance, claiming provincial glory outside of this two heavyweights of the game. Home advantage for either side could be a crucial factor on how they progress through the championship. Continue reading

Derry Beat Dublin As Mayo End Cork’s Unbeaten Run

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Derry 1-16 Dublin 0-13

Derry started this game well and raced in to an early lead, but Dublin tried to remain in touch with the oakleafers and edged in front mid way through the first half. Derry assumed control for the remainder of the half and pulled away from Dublin, when Mark Lynch found the back of the net to separate the two sides to leave Derry in front by 1-10 to 0-9 points at the break.  Dublin responded by attempting to close the gap with several missed goal opportunities, but it was Derry who never let the lead slip and finished the game strong with points coming from Mark Lynch making sure they collected the two points. beating the All-Ireland Champions on their home patch in the process.

Mayo 4-12 Cork 2-14

Mayo overcame the unbeaten Rebels in what was a high scoring thriller in Castlebar. Cork started this game with a blistering pace, racing into an early lead, it took Mayo a while to settle things down and once they opened their account they got back into this game. Mayo soon took control and surged into the lead with a goal from Jason Doherty giving them a 1-9 to 0-6 advantage.

Mayo and Cork opened the second half by exchanging points, but it was Mayo that stepped up a gear when goals from Alan Freeman and Jason Gibbons gave them a comprehensive lead, that they did not look like losing in the second half. Cork to their credit failed to lie down and John O’Rourke pulled a goal back for the Rebels. The game was over when Mayo got the fourth goal of the afternoon courtesy of Cillian O’Connor. A late goal by Brian Hurley put some respectability on the scoreboard for Cork, as Mayo end Cork’s unbeaten run.

Kildare 0-15 Kerry 2-15

Kerry were the visitors to Newbridge as both sides searched for valuable points. Kildare went ahead early as Kerry failed to settle in to the game, despite having better opportunities in the opening minutes. Kerry eventually got into the game and took control of the midfield with David Moran proving influential. Kildare’s defence were struggling to cope with the Kerry forwards, and a fortuitous goal by Paul Geaney gave Kerry a deserving lead at half time. Kerry had several opportunities to extend their lead but had to settle for a half time scoreline of 1-10 to 0-9.

Kerry pushed ahead in the second half and when James O’Donoghue got Kerry’s second goal it seemed an uphill battle for the Lilywhites. Kildare closed the gap to six points, but never really troubled the Kingdom in front of goal and at times lacked pace and the ability to penetrate the opposition defence.

Tyrone 2-23 Westmeath 1-12

Tyrone put their poor performance last weekend behind them as they hammered Westmeath. The first half was an even affair as they both traded points leaving Tyrone in front at half time by a single point.

The second half would be their key focal point and they didn’t wish for a repeat of what happened last weekend against the Kingdom.  Tyrone started mounting up the points and although Westmeath got a goal from Ray Connellan, Tyrone never panicked and stuck at the task at hand. Tyrone soon found the net themselves as Ronan O’Neill and Sean Cavanagh put daylight between the teams as Tyrone made up for last weekend’s disappointment.

Image courtesy of GAA.ie

Dublin Claim 24th All-Ireland Title While Mayo Minors Impress

Dublin v Mayo - GAA Football All-Ireland Senior Championship Final

Like that , it was all over.

140 minutes that would forever shape the history and destiny of Mayo GAA culminated in minor success and senior failure as the men from out west were swallowed up by a sea of blue that brought Sam Maguire back to Dublin after a one year absence.

All Ireland Senior Football Final

Dublin 2-12 Mayo 1-14

The Sam Maguire has returned to Dublin for the second time in three years after a one point victory over Mayo saw the boys in blue prevail in yesterday’s All Ireland Final.

Dublin’s ability to convert opportunities proved crucial in the second half as they edged out the westerners in this game  with an excellent brace from Bernard Brogan the main difference between both sides. Continue reading

All Ireland SFC Preview: Dublin To Edge Tight Encounter

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A turbulent summer comes to an end this Sunday when two titans clash at headquarters in the All Ireland Final. Their journey to the final has seen them outlast 31 other teams enroute to Croke Park amid a season complimented by numerous historical incidents, ranging from London’s journey to the Connacht Final and Croke Park to the controversial introduction of hawk eye.

But now the dust has settled and only two teams remain, who will take home the illustrious Sam Maguire?

All Ireland SFC Final Preview

Dublin v Mayo

Mayo have failed to win an All Ireland since 1951 and have been coming up short in every final since. However, Mayo have been improving a lot in the last few years and I would expect that they will win All-Ireland between now and 2016, but i don’t think it will happen for them on Sunday in Croke Park.

Dublin have been impressive to date , particularly in the high scoring thriller with the Kingdom which saw them emerge victorious by seven points to claim their place in the All Ireland Final. Mayo need to prevent the Dubs from running riot in Croke Park to stand a chance of ending a 52 year silence in the west.  Mayo will need to punish every mistake their opponents make and need to be ruthless when the opportunity arises. I Still fancy Dublin to score more easily than the westerners because their forwards are more suited to the occasion of winning an All Ireland. The Mayo defence will be given a real test from the direct running style of the Dubs. Dublin should edge this game on the scoreboard.  This game will be fast paced, hard hitting and very physical. Mayo need to show the hunger, desire and passion that they have failed to show in the last number of years, but importantly they need to show something unique to win an All Ireland. Mayo need to be careful in their defence as Dublin will score goals especially with Bernard Brogan back to his best. Possession will be crucial in this game, but Mayo need to convert some simple chances like they failed to do in their previous games, like score a 21 yard free right in front of the post. Dublin will be rock solid when it comes to converting frees and this is one advantage that they have over Mayo.

Mayo have already names their starting fifteen for the final , fielding a team that shows no changes from their semi final victory over Tyrone. Crucially for Mayo manager James Horan he has been able to name top scorer Cillian O’Connor in his starting ranks as the forward has overcome injury.

Dublin manager Jim Gavin has yet to name his team.

Mayo team :  R Hennelly; T Cunniffe, G Cafferkey, C Barrett; L Keegan, D Vaughan, C Boyle; A O’Shea, S O’Shea; K McLoughlin, K Higgins, A Dillon; C O’Connor, A Freeman, A Moran (Capt).

Verdict:  Dublin

*Read Danny Morrissey on three key battles which could define Sunday’s final here.*

All-Ireland MFC Final Preview

Mayo v Tyrone

This game will be extremely interesting because you have two very different brands of football being played here. Tyrone will try control the pace of the game and try to keep up with Mayo for most of the game and then turn the game in their favour. I think Mayo will emerge from this game as winners as they have been putting up big scores and have been scoring goals more at will than their northern counterparts. Tyrone have plenty of ability to prevent Mayo from scoring a lot and pulling away in this game. Mayo have shown more promise than previous years with most of their forwards scoring goals. Mayo will need to find the back of the net on Sunday to claim a minor title, something which they haven’t achieved since 1985. Tyrone will keep the game as tight as possible by deploying a structured defensive system , commonly referred to as a blanket defence.  Mayo’s young guns should come through this showdown as they have shown more resolve this year than in previous attempts. This curtain raiser may not set the tone for the senior final but one thing is for sure, the future of Mayo GAA is destined for success.

Verdict:  Mayo

Image courtesy of Inpho.ie

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