The Bank of Ireland Celtic Challenge continued this week with Cavan and Longford playing out an entertaining draw in Group F.
Meanwhile, in Group G there was a strong win for Galway while Sligo had to fight tooth and nail for their first win of the competition against Donegal.
Here is our round-up of the action from this week’s games.
Last Gasp Effort Gives Cavan A Share Of The Spoils With Longford
Longford 2 – 10
Cavan 2 – 10
Cavan got off to a good start with a point from play coming from James Smith, followed by a goal from Colin McCauley in the first few minutes of the game. It took Longford a while to settle into the game, getting their first few points through Adam Murray.
As the scores started to come in the crowd got behind their teams and spurred them on. Both teams traded points. Longford’s Dean Wykes scored a great point from play, followed by Cormac Smith and another from James Smith for Cavan. Longford’s first goal came from a spirited run from Adam Murray, followed by a fine point from play from Donal Sheahan. Just before halftime came Longford’s second goal through Michael Mulcahy.
Longford came out strong again in the second half scoring a lovely point from play through Michael Mulcahy. The Longford backs were defending like trojans, but Cavan were scoring some great points from play also. Three more points came from Longford’s Adam Murray followed by two more from Cavan. The pressure that Cavan where putting on the fine Longford full-back line paid off with a goal coming from James Smith.
The Cavan lads showed great fight and spirit in the second half. The Longford keeper Daniel Gallagher made some great saves, while his opposite number Shea Denning also had a great game. With two minutes to go, Longford lead by two but Cavan were rallying and got a point from play, leaving Longford one point up in the last minute of the game.
It wasn’t to be Longford’s day in the end with the final score from Cavan making it a draw game which was probably a fair result. The amount of work, desire and passion played by both teams must be commended. The skills displayed on the field from both squads from catching to striking, hooking and blocking was fanatics to see and is what the competition is all about.
Well done to Longford’s Iarlaith Dolan and Odhran Keating Cavan who received the best and fairest awards.
Report by: Carol Murray
Referee: Owen Ganly
Longford: Michael Mulcahy (1-1), Jack Linnane, Shane Courtney, Diarmuid O Donnell, Adam Halpin, Iarlaith Dolan, Pearse Mc Nally, Ali Iqbal, Donal Sheahan(0-2); Dean Wykes (0-1), Christopher Faherty, Adam Murray (1-6), Liam Browne, John Murray, Adam Connaughton, Jim Crossan, Stephen Murray, Zach Tunstead, Liam Kenny, Daniel Gallagher.
Cavan: Shea Denning, Dwayne Mulvey, Jamie Masterson, Jack Dunne, Tadhg Larkin, Odhran Keating (0-1), Sean McMahon, Ross O Gorman, Brian O Rourke(0-3), Colin McCauley (1-0), Cillian Boyle, James Smith (1-5), Conor Bannon, Cormac Smith (0-1), Dylan Greenan, Josh McKiernan, Cormac Clarke, Colm Brady, Michael Wall, Gavin Fitzpatrick, Ryan Galligan, Declan Mernagh, Andrew McDermott, Fionn Keating, Gary Tully, Aaron Crowe, Daniel Harten, Jack Kelly, Piaras McManus, Conor Smith.
Sligo Shine In Scarden
Sligo got their first win in the Celtic Challenge on a beautiful Summer’s evening against Donegal on Wednesday.
Both sides had met in the final last year with Sligo coming out victorious. Donegal hoped to reverse that result but sadly for them, it wasn’t to be.
Sligo were first off the mark with a point from Thomas Cawley but apart from one other point from play, Donegal dominated the scoring for the first fifteen minutes as they added points, including two from Conor Gartland and one each from Paul O’Donnell and Russel Forde. Donegal had exerted a lot of pressure on the Sligo defence but they held firm.
Sligo, however, got a goal through Cawley and after this, they pulled off a top-class performance scoring a second goal by Fionn Connolly and a third from Cawley saw Sligo lead at the break by 3-6 to 0-7.
Sligo started the second half with gusto. Thomas Cawley got the first point. This was followed by a goal from the hard working Brian Byrne followed by an outstanding point from play from Byrne. Another point by Liam O’Kelly Lynch and Sligo were cruising. Donegal to their credit battled on and were rewarded with a goal from Paul O’Donnell. Sligo were forced to change their goalkeeper after Ronan Lang picked up an injury and was replaced by Eoin Kerrigan. Both sides gave it all in the latter stages of the game. Donegal got a second goal but could not reduce the deficit.
Sligo put in a real team effort in this game with all six forwards finding themselves on the scoresheet. The backs were terrific led by a very solid Shane Molloy. Ciaran O’Reilly was superb at midfield. Donegal had great performances from Liam Doherty in defence, free-taker Conor Gartland, Paul O’Donnell, Russel Forde and Calvin Aidoo among others.
Fionn Connolly received the Best and Fairest Award, a decision which must have been difficult for the referee as a number of players were in contention while Liam Doherty picked up the award for Donegal.
Report By: Frances Hanley
Referee: James Judge
Sligo Team: Ronan Lang (Tourlestrane), Senan O’Rourke (Naomh Eoin), Paul Gallagher (Naomh Eoin), Keelan Davey (Naomh Eoin); Ethan Scully (Naomh Eoin), Shane Molloy (Easkey), Harry O’Donnell (Easkey); Ciaran O’Reilly (Ben Bulben Gaels)(0-2), Fionn Connolly (Easkey) (1-1); Brian Byrne (Tourlestrane) (1-1), Fionn Moylan (Easkey) (1-1), Liam O’Kelly Lynch (Naomh Eoin) (0-1); Anthony Fidgeon (Naomh Eoin) (0-1), Thomas Cawley (Easkey) (2-4(1(65″)-1f), Nathan Mc Ardle (Ben Bulben Gaels) (0-1), Stephen Mahon (Naomh Eoin).
Replacements: Evan Ballantyne (Ben Bulben Gaels), Eoin Kerrigan (Ben Bulben Gaels), Eoin Kerrigan (Ben Bulben Gaels), Cormac Heneghan (Naomh Eoin), Colm Ryan (Ben Bulben Gaels).
Donegal Team: Matthew Noonan (St. Eunan’s); Kevin Curran (Burt), Liam Doherty (Buncrana), Mark Curran (St. Eunan’s); Mark Mulholland (St. Eunan’s), Oran Duffy (Dungloe), Paraic Curran (Burt); Paul O’Donnell (St. Eunan’s)(1-1), Peter Campbell (Burt); Peter Grant (Buncrana), Ronan Kelly (St. Eunan’s), Russel Forde (St. Eunan’s) (0-1); Sean O’Donnell (Dungloe), Tommie Lee Scully (Setanta), Yarin Mc Neill (Dungloe),
Replacements: Aidan Breathnach (Gaoth Dobhair), Calvin Aidoo (St. Eunan’s), Caolan O’Neill (Buncrana) Ciaran Curran (Burt), Conor Gartland (Burt) (0-8(7f), Darius Mc Colgan (Burt), David Carey (Buncrana), Dean Harvey (Setanta), Frank Duffy (Four Masters), Gavin Forde (St. Eunans) (1-0).
Galway Record Strong Win Over Mayo
Galway dominated this one-sided encounter from start to finish with slicker passing and deadly accuracy in front of goal. Leading 3-10 to 0-4 at half time after some wonderful free-flowing hurling the Tribesmen never looked back and were out the gap a long way from the finish.
In the opening half Galway full-forward, Padraic Ó Conghaile was majestic. His sublime skills, power and ability to win his own ball on the edge of the square caused Mayo all sorts of problems. He rifled home two brilliant individual goals during this period after some great teamwork further out the field.
Paul Kearns, Kevin Walsh, Phelim O’Reilly, Gary Cummins and Rory McDonnell all landed points for Galway during the opening exchanges with Mayo struggling to cope in most lines of the field. To their credit, the visitors never wilted and points from Paddy Dozio, Aaron Ketterick and a brilliant score from Ruairí Haran kept hopes alive entering the second half. Mayo goalkeeper Niall Fleming was also outstanding during the opening period pulling off some wonderful saves to keep Mayo in contention.
The second half produced some lovely hurling with both sides improving as the game developed. Galway once again powered out of the blocks with points from Eamon Trayers, Kevin Walsh and Austin Delaney before Padraic Ó’Conghaile landed his third and best goal midway through the second.
Mayo rallied late with four pointed frees from Dozio but they couldn’t contain a rampant Galway forward line that had options and potential match winners in every line. After the game, Padraic Ó’Conghaile accepted the ‘Best and Fairest’ award for Galway with Jason Monroe receiving the same accolade for Mayo. Monroe played outstanding for the visitors and was deserving of the award.
Presenting the award to Monroe referee Aaron Clogher said he epitomised all that is good about the Celtic Challenge and his commitment to play for his county only a few hours after his grandfather sadly passed away was a credit to his family, club and county.
Galway: Jamie Doyle, Oisin O’Toole, Gavin Summerville; Tom Collins, Paul Ronan, Bryan Horgan; Jason McDonagh, Ryan Duffy (0-1); Kevin Walsh (1-02), Oisin Dillon (0-2), Eamon Enright (0-3); Phelim O’Reilly, Reece Ryan (0-1); Padraic Ó Conghaile (3-01), Gary Cummins (0-2), Jack Molloy; Evan Duffy, Thomas Halliday, Eamon Trayers (0-2), Aaron Barrett, Paul Kearns (0-4), Rory McDonnell (0-2), Austin Delaney (0-2), Conor Corcoran.
Mayo: Niall Fleming, Jason Monroe, Tom Rushe, Jack Deegan, Ruairí Haran (0-1), Danny Hill, Evan Heraty, John Kennedy, Paddy Dozio (0-6), Declan Henry, Mark Gibbons, Aaron Ketterick (0-1), Oisin Farrell, Tom Fahy, Conal Hession.