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Posts Tagged ‘ James O’Donoghue ’

All-Ireland Final: Sam Set To Return To The Hills

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All-Ireland Senior Football Final

Kerry v Donegal

Donegal have been a dominant force in Ulster in the last few years are aiming for their second title in three years, while Kerry hope to end a five year spell without claiming Sam Maguire. Kerry with their history of success in the championship means they are a hard side to write off, but Donegal’s impressive display against Dublin and other teams during the championship certainly gives them the favourites tag.

Looking at both teams in depth, we’ll start with the defence of both sides. Donegal’s defence has been fairly rock solid all year as they have limited the score ability of the opposition with their tight knit defence. Kerry on the other hand have been quite poor in defence so far this season conceding some easy goals from players making long direct runs towards goal. Kerry will need to improve immensely and can’t afford to concede these goals in the final. Donegal have been impressive so far and their defence has been quite impressive with the McGee brothers Eamon and Niall from Gweedore being key players in their defence. Continue reading

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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

GAA: Final Four Aim For All Ireland Glory

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All-Ireland Football Semi-Final

Donegal v Dublin

This will be another rip roaring game of football, but tactics and how these sides approach the game will determine the flow as Donegal are designed to pounce on the opposition mistakes. Monaghan did this well for the opening quarter of their encounter with Dublin before fatigue and other factors allowed Dublin to breach the Monaghan defence and it started raining scores for the Dubs in Croke Park. This will certainly not happen this weekend. Donegal will go out to impose themselves physically and mentally in this game as Armagh did to Cavan earlier in the Championship.

The defence for both sides will be a key area Firstly looking at the Dubs, they will use their backline as their platform for their attack as they can’t afford to kick the ball long down field as Donegal will shut down that avenue very quickly, it may take a very long time for Dublin to breach the Donegal rearguard, but they will get chances. Monaghan’s defence held out for 25 Minutes, Donegal could well hold out for about 60 Minutes, but putting a figure on it, is very hard. Donegal will play ultra-defensively but they will need to push up on the Dublin kickouts, a thing that Laois did well against them in the Leinster Championship. They can’t afford to gift Dublin possession; otherwise it will be a matter of how long before Dublin breach through their defence. Stephen Cluxton’s kickouts could be a good indicator of whether Donegal are going to throw caution to the wind or set-up a real tough blanket defence. Donegal need to push up on Dublin, a thing Mayo (the last team to beat the Dubs in Croke Park) have been quite good at recent years. Continue reading

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

GAA: Mayo Hold Off Cork As Monaghan Scrape Past Lilywhites

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All-Ireland Quarter Finals

Mayo 1-19 Cork 2-15

Mayo held off a resilient Cork side to secure a semi final date with Kerry following a narrow one point win at Croke Park.

The first half started at a slow pace with Mayo wasting a lot of opportunities, as Cork began to settle down more quickly. Cork took the lead with some excellent scores from Brian Hurley in the opening part of the first half. Mayo took longer to find their shooting boots, but when they did get going they got right back into the game. The game was point for point for most of the rest of the first half with a tense atmosphere developing between both sides.

The second half saw Mayo exert some control over the game and they looked like pulling away as they built up some a big lead with great points from Alan Dillon and Andy Moran. Mayo stepped off the gas which allowed the rebels back into the game and the reliable Donnacha O’Connor notched up 1-3 for his side with a superbly well taken goal to reel back the westerners. Mayo remained composed and their patience paid off when Aidan O’Shea rounded the Cork goalie Ken O’Halloran to give Mayo a much needed boost. It was to be tense once more as straight after this Brian Hurley cut through the Mayo cover to blast his shot to the Mayo net to keep the rebels within the game. Mayo seemed a little nerve wrecked after conceding this goal, but they stuck to their task and added some late points to ensure their victory despite some late pressure from Cork. 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

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