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Posts Tagged ‘ Crusaders ’

Raheny Women Suffer Defeat On Champions League Debut

wclRAHENY United suffered a disappointing loss to Hungarian outfit MTK Hungaria in their first game in the UEFA Women’s Champions League today at Seaview, Belfast.

The Bus Éireann Women’s National League champions twice bounced back from behind to equalise but ultimately lost due to a 68th minute winner from substitute Dóra Papp.  Continue reading

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Baraclough Requires Full Panel For League And Cup Joust

ian-baraclough-sligoCompetitive football returns to The Showgrounds on Monday night as Sligo Rovers take on Premiership side Glentoran in the first leg of their Setanta Cup quarter final.  Continue reading

2012 Irish Sport Review

kbKieran Behan defied the odds to become the second ever Irish gymnast to qualify for the Olympics despite expectations that he would never walk again.

Connacht recorded their first ever victory in the Heineken Cup with a 9-8 win over Harlequins, but still finished bottom of their group.

Ireland kicked off their Six Nations campaign with a 21-23 defeat to Wales which was followed by a 42-10 victory over Italy.

Irish rugby fans were left stranded in Paris following late cancellation of France vs Ireland in the Six Nations.

Galway native Richard Donovan broke his own world record in Sydney, Australia as he ran seven marathons in the space of four days, 22 hours and four minutes.

The rescheduled Six Nations game against France ended in a 17-17 draw. The remaining fixtures were a 32-14 win over Scotland and finally a disastrous St. Patrick’s Day for the national side as they were beaten 30-9 by England.

Cork landed their third Allianz Football League Division One title in a row with a 2-10 0-11 victory over Mayo.

Irish-born Aussie Rules hall of famer Jim Stynes passed away at the age of 45 after losing his battle with cancer.

Kilkenny hammered Galway 3-26 to 0-10 to land National Hurling League Division One title.

Crusaders won the Setanta Sports Cup following a 5-4 victory on penalties against Derry City. The game was level at 2-2 after extra-time.

Katie Taylor won her fourth consecutive Amateur World Championship, beating Russian opponent Sofya Ochigava who she would later face in an historic sporting occasion.

Leinster landed the Heinken Cup after a 42-14 win over Ulster at Twickenham.

The Republic of Ireland crashed out of the Euro 2012 group stages as they failed to pick up a single point and scored just one goal. They were beaten 3-1 by Croatia, 4-0 by Spain and 2-0 by Italy.

The Airtricity League Premier Division lost another club as Monaghan United drop out due to financial reasons.

Cork, Dublin, Donegal and Mayo won their respective provincial Gaelic football titles

Tipperary, Galway and Antrim won their respective provincial Hurling titles.

Katie Taylor won gold for Ireland at the London Olympics. She recorded impressive victories over Great Britain’s Natasha Jonas and Tajikistan’s Mavzuna Chorieva before meeting Ochigava in a tightly contested Final which saw the Bray native triumph by a score of 10-8.ktJohn-Joe Nevin picked up silver while Michael Conlan and Paddy Barnes won bronze in boxing at the London Olympics.

Cian O’Connor secured a bronze medal with his horse in the Individual Jumping event.

There was further success in London in the following weeks as the Irish Paralympic team returned home with a tally of 16 medals, their highest total since picking up 42 medals at the 1988 games in Seoul. They won 8 gold medals, 3 silver medals and 5 bronze medals.

jmcDonegal outshone Mayo to win their first All-Ireland title in 20 years. Jim McGuinness’ incredible year as Donegal manager did not go unnoticed abroad and he was handed a role as a performance consultant at Celtic just weeks later.

Kilkenny beat Galway in a replay of the All-Ireland Hurling Final to secure yet another title.

The Republic of Ireland avoided an embarrassing opening to their World Cup Qualifiers Group as they score two late goals to take three points away from Kazakhstan.

Drogheda United won the EA Sports Cup following a 3-1 victory over Shamrock Rovers in Tallaght Stadium.

Sligo Rovers won their first League of Ireland title since 1977 after beating fellow title contenders St. Patrick’s Athletic in a dramatic game as Mark Quigley’s 87th minute penalty proved to be the decisive goal.

Limerick were promoted to the top tier of Irish football for the first time in 19 years.

The Republic of Ireland suffered one of its heaviest ever defeats as Germany hammered them 6-1 at the Aviva Stadium. The Boys in Green respond with a 4-1 win away to the Faroe Islands days later.

dcfcDerry City were crowned as the FAI Ford Cup Champions following a 3-2 win over St. Patrick’s Athletic after extra-time.

Gaelic football loses one of its all-time greats as Kerry hero Paidi O’Se passes away aged 57.

By Alan Finn

Church Seems Doomed as Change is Refused

A leader can be made of one of two metals; steel or iron. With steel comes people who are strong and fierce yet know when to yield under pressure. Iron, then, is the opposite, fierce and unyielding it will break before it will bow. Some might recognise this particular description from the Song of Ice and Fire series, referring to the two kingly Baratheon brothers. But equally is it applicable to the Catholic Church and in particular, the Church in Ireland whose leaders, it would seem, are made of iron rather than steel.

The Pope’s envoy to Ireland, Papal Nuncio Archbishop Charles Brown, has stated that the Church needs to be authentically Catholic if it is to have any future in this country. A rather disappointing announcement for many looking forward to change within the Church to reflect its position in the modern world. Against those who mentioned its consistently dipping numbers, due in no small part to the scandals which have rocked the institution to its very foundations, not to mention its decreasing relevance in a modern society moving ever towards complete secularism, Brown pointed to the thousands who had attended the recent Eucharistic Congress, and those who consistently made the pilgrimage to the summit of Croagh Patrick.

But the truth is that those numbers are and will be dropping every year as the older generation, who were raised with a nationalist narrative cementing Catholicism as a core part of being Irish, passes on, to be replaced by a younger generations who see the abuse scandals and trials and wonder why we bothered with the Church in the first place. And the rules and regulations simply don’t appeal to a generation of people taught to look after themselves rather than others, taught that their own desires and wants should rule their lives, rather than the laws of an all-powerful God. Does the Church hierarchy really think to win these people back by sticking with, in some people’s views, outdated practices? The Church is sticking to its guns on the important issues, admirable in some cases, in a world where opinions and views (particularly in politics) change on a whim, not so much in others. In a world where more and more people are in support of gay marriage, contraception, sex outside of marriage and even the concept of female priests, amongst many other things, why then would they remain involved with a religion which expressly forbids them to do or approve of these things?

So if the Catholic Church seems intent on maintaining its traditional stance then it would appear it is entering the final stage of its existence, one which has spanned over 2000 years. And on the face of it, to be honest, this doesn’t seem like an overly negative thing. Some might argue that the moral fabric of Ireland will completely unravel but the Church is a hoarse voice in a noisy world, and dismissed more often than not anyway. These days, it’s not the Catholic Church holding our society together. And any organisation which proclaims to be God’s representative and voice here on earth while consistently covering up such horrific abuse deserves an ignominious end. All priests shouldn’t be tarred with the same brush but the trust is gone and as with any relationship, regaining that trust is nigh on impossible.

It’s not like religion has had a negative impact on our world just in recent years. Over the centuries, religion, of all kinds, has done great damage to mankind. Imagine the millions who wouldn’t have suffered death at the hands of religious fervour, whether at the feet of the Inquisition across Europe or the Crusaders who bore the splayed red cross on their surcoat as they hacked their way through the Holy Land, to scientific endeavour and the years and centuries it was set back; decried as evil or heretical for daring to challenge the Church’s oft skewed view of things. Ironic, really, when the message of Jesus was one of love, compassion and tolerance. Even today in a supposedly civilised world, countless argue and fight over their differing interpretations, ideas and beliefs, politicians in America are often judged solely on what church they belong to, while Muslim extremists carry out acts of terrorism persuaded by what they have been told awaits them in their afterlife. There’s nothing wrong with having faith or believing in God, I do myself. It’s when groups of people with similar beliefs band together that the trouble begins. Yes religion does bring about good; bringing people together in a beneficial community, urging people to act kindly to one another and live their lives out as best they can but when you visit the Vatican and see with your own eyes the splendour and wealth of the place while other countries across the world see thousands dying for the lack of a few morsels of food and running water you realise something is very, very wrong, and that things haven’t really changed.

So despite the fact that the Catholic Church and the Irish people have been inexorably entwined since the days of St. Patrick, few tears will be shed at its almost inevitable passing or at the very least its limping into complete insignificance. The benefits will outweigh the negatives, justice will be served and let us hope instead, that people will rely on a personal faith to help them through their lives, rather than some buildings and some pious men in hats and cloaks who lecture the world on how to live and forget to abide by it themselves.

Sligo Rovers To Fight All The Way As Final Looms

Sligo Rovers face Crusaders in the second leg of the Setanta Cup semi-final in The Showgrounds on Monday night, kick-off 8pm.

The Bit o’ Red trail by two goals after the first leg in Seaview with Ian Baraclough’s men hoping to reach the final for the first time.

Danny North ensured Rovers will go into the game on a positive note as he struck against Cork City for a 1-0 win in the Airtricity Premier Division last Friday.

Baraclough said: “Cork is a tough place to go. It is a long trip and the fans down there can really get behind the team if things start well and it can make it difficult for the opposition. We had a lot of possession but maybe we didn’t turn that into enough chances. Cork worked hard but we moved the ball very well, kept patient and eventually we got the goal I felt we deserved. I was very pleased because it was one of our better performances this year.”
Ahead of the second leg against Crues, Baraclough is keen for Rovers to start well but also feels it is vital that his side do not panic in search of the goals they need.

“Obviously it is important we don’t concede the first goal. I feel we’re capable of scoring two goals in any game at any time and if it comes in the last 10 minutes or whenever then so be it. We have to keep patient and go about our business. The players were frustrated after the first leg and we didn’t show the true Sligo side and there is a lot of determination to do it in this game.

“I think it is important for the supporters to keep with us but as I’ve said before the fans here are quite knowledgeable and they know the way we play. There is an understanding of what we try to do and we’ll do all we can to get to the final.”

Jason McGuinness is a doubt for the game with a shoulder problem. McGuinness’ condition has improved since he picked up the injury last week and he will be assessed before the game.
There are no other injury or suspension issues.

Hoops Hoping To Overturn Three Goal Deficit To Reach Final

Shamrock Rovers travel to the Brandywell tomorrow night to take on Derry City in the Setanta Sports Cup semi-final, second leg.

The Hoops trail Derry City by three goals to nil after capitulating in Tallaght last week. The Hoops will have to overturn this deficit to reach this year’s Setanta Sports Cup final, where a possible date with Crusaders looks most likely as the Seaview men lead Sligo Rovers 2-0 after the first leg.

 Rovers will be without Kerrea Gilbert (hamstring), Ciaran Kilduff (broken metatarsal) and Stephen O’Donnell (knee cartilage). Killian Brennan (calf) and Gary O’Neill (ankle) will face late fitness tests. Reyaad Pieterse is suspended.

Derry will be looking to finish off Rovers whose form as of late has been very inconsistent. Following the shock 5-1 defeat at the hand of arch rivals St Patricks Athletic, Rovers put six past Dundalk before losing to the Candystripes and then having to claw back a two goal deficit to earn a draw with Bray Wanderers on Friday.

Speaking ahead of the game, Hoops boss, Stephen Kenny said: “We’ll be making some changes in the team, including for Reyaad Pieterse who is suspended. Kerrea Gilbert has resumed some light training, but isn’t expected to make tomorrow’s game. We’ll also give fitness tests to Killian Brennan who has a calf injury and Gary O’Neill who hurt his ankle in Friday night’s game against Bray.”

Millien In Contention But Ndo A Doubt For Setanta Semi Final

Sligo Rovers take on Crusaders in the first leg of the Setanta Cup semi-final at Seaview on Monday night.

Rovers qualified for the last four by beating Glentoran 3-1 on aggregate in the quarter-finals.

Joseph Ndo is a doubt for the game after picking up a foot injury in the 1-1 draw with Derry City last Friday in the Airtricity Premier Division. He will be assessed before the game.

Pascal Millien comes into contention for Ian Baraclough’s squad for the first time.

Baraclough said: “It is a big game for the club as all semi-finals are. I want to come away from the first leg with a strong position even though we’re away from home.

“We’re not going to sit back and defend but we certainly have to be on our mettle because they’ll be similar to Derry last Friday night I think. They’ll play a direct game where there’ll be in our faces and we have to be able to deal with it.”

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