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Posts Tagged ‘ Jim McGuinness ’

GAA: Kerry Are Crowned 2014 All-Ireland Champions

the-sam-maguire-trophy-is-raised-2-390x285All-Ireland Senior Football Final

Kerry 2-9 Donegal 0-12

This was definitely not a classic All-Ireland final as it lacked the usual intensity, but Kerry came out on top in this dour battle with two key goals from Paul Geaney and Kieran Donaghy giving them victory.

The Kingdom started at a blistering pace with Geaney catching a high ball close to goal and finishing his beautiful low shot to the far corner of the Donegal net to give them a crucial early lead. Geaney was the key figure in the first half with two further points which kept them in front. Michael Murphy added some points to help Donegal back into the game and later levelled matters with a point from Karl Lacey. Donegal recovered from that early goal in the first half with some good points.

Kerry’s defence was benefitted by bringing back a sweeper to help protect the area in front of goal near the 21 metre line. This helped prevent any Donegal players tearing down the middle of their defence which had been a weak point for Kerry all year. The down side to this was that Kerry were conceding possession as the Donegal kick-out’s were going short. The second half seemed to be turning in Donegal’s favour with Michael Murphy putting the Ulster Champions ahead with his first point of the second half. Kerry responded with a point from Paul Murphy to level matters.

The game went into a bit of a lull after this as neither side scored for a long period of time and things got very quiet. Donegal goalkeeper Paul Durkin tried to pick out a fellow defender but he realised he had gifted Kieran Donaghy possession right in front of goal enabling Donaghy to bag a crucial goal. Durkin will certainly have nightmares about that for a long time. Donegal tried to recover with points from Paddy McBrearty and Neil McGee, but Kerry seemed to answer everything they had towards the end of the game. Donegal tried frantically towards the end to get an equaliser but their best efforts only managed to come off the outside of the near post as Kerry held out winners by 2-9 to 0-12.

All-Ireland Minor Football Final

Kerry 0-17 Donegal 1-10

Kerry started the better of the two sides in this minor game in Croke Park with Killian Spillane being the prominent forward for the Kerry youngster’s. The first half started brighter for the Kingdom with points from Spillane and Michael Burns giving them a comfortable lead. Stephen McBrearty was doing well as he kept his side in touch with two good first half points to keep Donegal within touching distance of the Kingdom.

The Kingdom stepped up a gear in the start of the second half with a flurry of points, which included a superb score from Liam Carey, giving them real breathing space as they opened a significant lead. Donegal seemed to be dead and buried at this point in the game, but a superb goal from Jamie Brennan from Bundoran brought renewed hope that Donegal might fight back. Donegal did get some points after this goal, but Kerry ensured victory with some late points to run out comfortable winners by 0-17 to 1-10.

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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

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: Big Guns To Battle In Provincial Deciders

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Ulster Senior Football Final

Monaghan v Donegal

Monaghan and Donegal are set again to meet in this year’s Ulster Final, a replay of last year’s provincial clash and this year’s division 2. Monaghan have been able to break Donegal’s stronghold in Ulster in the last two years and outside of Dublin and Mayo they have been the only side capable of stopping Jim McGuinness and his team. Monaghan will certainly needed to play with a fierce intensity as they did in last year’s Ulster final but it will be Donegal’s turn to be underdogs this time and this could suit them. Continue reading

GAA Round Up: Monaghan End 25 year Wait

Ulster Senior Football Final

Donegal 0-7 Monaghan 0-13

Monaghan have ended a a 25 year wait to recapture the Ulster Championship as they disposed of reigning All ireland champions Donegal at Clones.

Monaghan were really hungry for this victory and their fierceness in the tackles was immense. Donegal were somewhat shell-shocked at the pace and intensity their opponents brought to this game. Donegal’s first score only arrived five minutes before half time. Monaghan were so dominant in the first half yet they only led by 0-5 to 0-2 at the break. The Farney men pushed on in the second half and extended their lead to five points at one stage. Donegal were trying to revive their situation by attempting to break through the Monaghan cover. Monaghan went six points in front towards the end of the game when Tommy Freeman scored a simple point at the death. Monaghan march on to the All-Ireland Quarter final and can’t get too carried away with this victory. Donegal will now face Laois in the Qualifiers. Continue reading

Donegal And The Exiles Tipped To Advance

ldnUlster Senior Football Championship: Donegal v Down

Donegal come into this game as reigning All Ireland champions and winning the title again is within their grasp. Down are a team that can pull off a surprise with exceptional players like Benny Coulter and Mark Poland. Donegal still have an exceptional team of players and their consistence in the championship is quite remarkable. Jim McGuinness has brought a lot enthusiasm to his players and self belief. Down needed to start this game well to be in with a chance of winning come the final whistle. The key battle in this game will be about the likes of Benny Coulter and his fellow Down forwards getting on top against the Donegal defenders. Colin McFadden will need to inspire his team mates to come through this match. Continue reading

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