Dublin GAA announces 16 a-side club games

By Patrick Sharkey,

Dublin GAA chiefs have announced their plans to have a 16-a-side club championship and leagues.

The decision was made after extensive discussions between team management and the county board.

Former Dublin football manager, Jim Gavin, spoke to reporters about the decision, saying that it was a necessary step in the evolution of the sport. “As coaches, we’re always looking for ways to improve our players and our crew. We believe that adding an added player to each side will give our players more space and more opportunities to showcase their skills. It will in addition create new challenges and opportunities for us as coaches to develop new strategies and tactics.” The new tactics mean an extra midfielder but it is believed is nothing to do with the Kilmacud Crokes and Watty Grahams Glen Maghera controversy in which photographic evidence suggested 16 men on the pitch for Kilmacud.

The push is not without its challenges, however. The teams will need to adjust to the new format.

The message has already generated buzz among fans, with many excited to see how the new format will play out on the field. Some have even speculated that other counties may follow Dublin’s lead.

The first 16-a-side game in a Dublin GAA competition is set to take place in just a few weeks, and fans are eagerly anticipating the start of the new season. With the impressive track record of Dublin clubs in provincial and All-Ireland competitions and the added excitement of a new format, it’s sure to be an exciting season for Dublin GAA competitions. The changes impact both football and hurling.


Donegal 0-9 Mayo 1-17 -Donegal relinquishes grip on League survival against Mayo

By Patrick Sharkey in Ballyboffey,

A goal and three points from forward Ryan O’Donoghue, and some crucial saves from keeper Colm Reape, helped Mayo to an 11-point victory over Donegal at MacCumhail Park in this Allianz National Football League Division One clash, with the away side winning by 1-17 to 0-9. Donegal did give a good account of themselves in midfield with Jason McGee who ran his legs off, punched holes in the defense, and gave support to his inside forwards. Mr. McGee ran so fast, the Mayo forwards saw him as a goal threat.

After 12 minutes, Donegal trailed by four points to two, but two unanswered points put the Northerners behind by four points to six by the 21st minute. Two Aidan O’Shea frees, and a point each from Jack Carney, and Colm Reape put Mayo in control, and they never really looked back after.

However, things could have been different only for Mayo Keeper Colm Reape, who produced a stunning save from Ciaran Thompson 26 minutes after the latter had been put through on goal.

Following that lucky escape for the away side, they finished the half strongly by adding four more.

The Ulster side was ruthless but did not have their team reduced to 14 players around the 17th-minute mark when Shaun Patton was not shown a straight red card after an over-exuberant challenge. Mayo was one point up at that stage leading by 0-05 to 0-04 and was in complete control of the contest. Ciaran Thompson was one Donegal player that the Mayo player couldn’t control as the Naomh Conail man got 1-3 but more importantly, he was a key player. Mr. Thompson showed an ability to bomb forward as an attacking threat. Thompson was always ready to expose any Mayo forwards who did anything wrong. Ciaran had every individual battle that he had on the field but was only given 50 minutes. As a towering midfielder, Paddy Carr aimed to make everything fall into place.

Mayo then built up a 17-point cushion on fifty-eight minutes when Aidan O’Shea pointed, before a Donegal late rally reduced the deficit back to just seven points, with Oisin Gallen scoring a point and Jamie Brennan firing over the bar as well along with a Micheal Langan free. However, this experience would stand to the young Mark Curran as he showed that he was the quickest and best tackler on the pitch. Curran was given the role of marking Mayo’s most potent forward Ryan O’Donoghue.

However, a point from Paul Towey in stoppage time sealed the two points for Mayo and their fourth win on the bounce. A crucial reason for their success would be the firepower of James Carr up top.

Tyrone’s eight-point win over Monaghan on Sunday means that the Red Hand County is straight into survival spots, with Monaghan and Mayo, who meet this Sunday in Castlebar, with Mayo qualifying for the final.

It was a winner-takes-all clash between western counties and keen rivals but turned out to be more of a damp squib. Donegal’s grim run of form continued as they were handed a heavy defeat by a far superior Mayo team in Sunday’s Allianz National Football League Division One meeting in Ballybofey.
In the end, Mayo finished the stronger to book a League final spot with a team to be decided next.

With the rain teeming down in Donegal all afternoon, the conditions weren’t conducive to flow.

Mayo scorers: Ryan O’Donoghue 1-3 (1f), Aidan O’Shea 0-4 (2 marks, 1f), Mattie Ruane 0-3, Jordan Flynn 0-2, Paddy Durcan 0-2, Colm Reape 0-1 (‘45), Jack Carney, Paul Towey 0-1 each

Donegal: Shaun Patton; Mark Curran, Caolan Ward, Caolan McColgan; Daire O’Baoill, Brendan McCole, Eoin Ban Gallagher; Jason McGee, Caolan McGonigle; Michael Lagan, Conor O’Donnell, Ciaran Thompson; Peadar Mogan, Hugh McFadden, Jamie Brennan.

Subs: Oisin Gallen for Mogan (h-t), Rory O’Donnell for Thompson (51), Joel Bradley Walsh for Brennan (59), Kane Barrett for Gallen (61).

Mayo: Colm Reape; Jack Coyne, David McBrien, Sam Callinan; Stephen Coen, Conor Loftus, Paddy Durcan; Matthew Ruane, Diarmuid O’Connor; Fionn McDonagh, Jack Carney, Jordan Flynn; Aidan O’Shea, James Carr, Ryan O’Donoghue.

Subs: Tommy Conroy for Carr (45), Kevin McLaughlin for McDonagh (51), Padraig O’Hora and Donncha McHugh for Coyne and Callinan (59), Bob Tuohy and Paul Towey for Ruane and O’Donoghue (68),

Referee: Sean Hurson (Tyrone).

Donegal 0-5 Meath 1-7 – Second half helps Meath seal the win.

By Patrick Sharkey,

A wide in the first minute made it hard for Meath. Donegal opened the scoring in the fourth minute through Susan White. Niamh O Sullivan then responded three minutes later with the opening point for the Royal ladies.

It went 10 minutes without any scores before Katie Long got a Donegal point. Aoife McColgan then made a big save for Donegal against a Byrne shot through on goal. Galloghy however then got herself a Meath point in the 23rd minute. Susan White then got her second point of the game. Stacey Grimes then got a point at the stroke of halftime for the royal to level it. The halftime score read Donegal 0-3 Meath 0-3. It was a low-scoring first half but if Susan White gets enough of the ball there is no doubt Donegal can trouble Meath a lot.

Meath began the second half on the front foot with Stacey Grimes and Niamh O Sullivan getting a point each.

It took until the midway point of the second half for Donegal to get going with a point from Ciara McGarvey.

Meath, however, was having none of it and Mary Kate Lynch got a 45th-minute goal to help the Royal pull.

Susan White however got back in gear in the 49th minute as she managed to get a point to help Donegal.

Meabh Byrne however showed her magic in the Meath shirt as she then managed to get a point to widen the gap between the Royal and the hills to four points. Meath made good use of their substitutes with Alva Leahy getting a point. The full-time score read Donegal 0-5 Meath 1-7. Meath proved all the doubters wrong today.

Donegal: Aoife McColgan, Katie Dowds (0-1), Evelyn McGinley, Emer Gallagher, Amy Boyle Carr, Jodie McFadden, Tara Hegarty, Shelly Twohig, Roisin Rodgers, Saskia Boyle, Kate Long (0-1), Louise Ryan, Susan White (0-3), Shannon McGroddy, Ciara McGarvey (0-1)Subs: Nicole McLaughlin for Jodie McFadden (43) Subs: Nicole McLaughlin, Ava Walsh, Niamh Carr, Connie Walsh, Shauna Higgins, Cait Gillespie.

Meath: M McGuirk, A Sheridan, MK Lynch, K Newe, N Gallogly (0-1), S Ennis, A Clearly, M O Shaughnessy, A Minogue, M Thynne, M Byrne(0-1), C Smyth, O Callan, S Grimes (0-2), N O Sullivan (0-2)Subs: Shelly Melia, Rachel Casserly, Alva Leahy

Buncrana 0-11 Naomh Columba 3-13 – Three goal Glen outclass Buncrana

By Patrick Sharkey in O’Donnell Park,

Naomh Columba were always one step ahead of Buncrana. They led 1-6 to 0-4 at half-time and for almost every Buncrana score in the second half they responded instantly.

The game started with a Ryan McNern point in the fourth minute for Naomh Columba.

The Donegal star Aaron Doherty then came to the rescue for Naomh Columba scoring two points before the 10-minute mark to put the South Westerners three points ahead.

Oisin Crawford however got the first score for Buncrana with a point in the 11th minute.

Despite too many steps in the build-up, Naomh Columba got a goal from Christopher.

Aaron Doherty then got his third point of the game for Naomh Columba with a point.

Christopher Byrne then added to his tally with a quick point for Naomh Columba. With 23 minutes gone, Paul O’Hare missed his first shot of the game for the Glencolmbcille side.

It took Buncrana 26 minutes to get their second point of the game with a well-taken point from Jigger before Doherty scored for the Glen. Buncrana only took a minute to get their next score with Oisin Crawford getting his second point of the game. Ryan McElhinney then got his first point of the game with a well-taken point for Buncrana to bring the deficit back down to five points. The half-time score read Buncrana 0-4 Naomh Columba 1-6. Naomh Columba would be content with the performance they put in but would be wary that three of the four Buncrana points in the first half came in the last five minutes. One man who has been key to have got the Buncrana men back in was Ryan Hegarty.

Naomh Columba however entered the second half on the right foot with a point from Christopher Byrne to put the side six points ahead. Oisin O Flaherty then had his shot go wide. William McLaughlin put things right for Buncrana then got their first score of the second half with his point. Fionn Gallagher then however got a point for the green and yellow to put them five points ahead again. Kevin Mc Nern then got his first point of the game for Naomh Columba. Darrach O Connor then got a point for Buncrana before Molloy canceled it. Naomh Columba then got a goal from Byrne and Campbell got a Buncrana red card. However, the experience was key for Buncrana off the bench with Adrian McColgan getting himself a point. Ryan McElhinney then got himself his second point of the game for Buncrana to reduce the deficit by eight points. However, it was reduced by seven when Darrach O Connor then got a point for Buncrana that was deflected from the Naomh Columba full-back Barry Carr. Aaron Doherty got his fifth point of the game to make sure it is an eight-point deficit again. However, the best was yet to come for Aaron as the forward then got a goal less than a minute later for Naomh Columba before McColgan got a late Buncrana point. Doherty then got his second point from a free. The full-time score read: Buncrana 0-11 Naomh Columba 3-13. Despite a late Buncrana surge in the first half Naomh Columba managed to get the job done in Letterkenny. All the credit will go to the Naomh Columba forwards but one man who kept many of the Buncrana shots at bay, and keeping a clean sheet was the goalkeeper Padraig.

Naomh Columba: Padraig Byrne, Pauric Ward, Philip Doherty, Barry Carr, Eric Carr, Philip McNern, Pauric Hegarty, Fionn Gallagher(0-1), Declan McGuire, Paul O’Hare, Aaron Doherty (1-4, 0-2f), Kevin McNern (0-1), Ryan Gillespie, Christopher Byrne (2-2), Ryan McNern (0-1) Subs Used: Lanty Molloy (0-1) for Ryan McNern, Oisin McGinley for Barry Carr, Pauric Cunningham for Paul O Hare, Steven Jones for Philip Doherty

Buncrana: Harry Doherty (0-1), Aedan Stokes, Conor Grant, Stephen Doherty, Oisin O Flaherty, William McLaughlin(0-1), Oisin Crawford(0-2), Peter McLaughlin, Caolan McGonagle, Adrian Doherty, Darrach O Connor (0-3), Ryan McElhinney(0-2), John Campbell, Ben Bradley, Ryan Hegarty Subs used Kevin Tracey for Sean Doherty, Adrian McColgan(0-2) for Oisin O Flaherty, Micheal Bernard McLaughlin for Adrian Doherty

“We weren’t kind of sure” – Faithful put faith in Liam Kearns

By Patrick Sharkey,

Episode 54: David Dempsey The GAA Zone podcast

On episode 54 of the GAA Zone podcast, the GAA Zone editor Patrick Sharkey spoke to the Offaly and Bally Common senior footballer David Dempsey. — Send in a voice message:
  1. Episode 54: David Dempsey
  2. Episode 53: Managerial Merry Go Round
  3. Episode 52: Antrim hurling 2022
  4. Episode 51: Andy McEntee
  5. Episode 50: The future of GAA Media!

The Kerry football championship can be a complicated model to get a handle on from the outside.

Jack Cooney has stepped down as Westmeath football manager to take up a role as the GAA’s National Player Development Lead. Westmeath will be unable to get him replaced by the highly rated Liam Kearns as he has taken the helm at the Offaly senior footballers with David Dempsey, the Offaly and Bally Common footballer being excited about it on the GAA Zone Podcast saying: “Yeah originally, we weren’t kind of sure as players after John Maughan had resigned as such. At first was probably going to be Tomás Ó Sé and then Tomás himself had to opt out due to work”.

Cooney who served four years as manager of his native county after being appointed in the autumn of 2018, said the area of player development was one in which he held an academic interest and that he was eager to work in the area on a full-time basis. It is a similar story to Mr. Ó Sé who is the new Kerry U20 coach and Mr. Dempsey was asked whether the Kerry side should be excited saying: “Yeah absolutely. Look he’s won a host of personal accolades like players of the year and all-stars”.

There have been further moves in the post-GAA intercounty season managerial merry-go-round.

Pairc Ui Chaoimh will host a rugby fixture in November when Munster host world champions South Africa. Offaly will hope to return to that venue in division two in 2024 with Dempsey saying: “I suppose so, there is no point saying otherwise, we’re after last season getting up to division two”.

The GAA’s Central Council has given the go-ahead for Munster to take on a South Africa select XV.  

Rather than Thomond Park in Limerick, Munster will take on the world champions on November 10.  

Mount Sion recorded another big win in the Waterford championship, destroying Lismore to qualify.  

In the modern era, technology is a part and parcel of sport at the highest level. David would want to play in a Croke Park with Hawkeye working saying: “Look we’ve been knocking on the door the last few years kind of against counties that are at our level, and we seem to just be falling short, you know in 2019, Meath up there, we let the game slip, we were up two points, or three points kind of”.

 Who are the main influencers inside and outside the largest cultural and sporting organisation in Ireland? David Dempsey believes: “Look I’m not going to lie. I’d be a complete fan of it. Originally when the Tailteann cup was promoted at first, I was, and I thought it was kind of going to turn into something like the Tommy Murphy cup from years gone by. But after seeing what they did promotion-wise and the crowds that were still attending games I found it fantastic. I think every single player wants to be playing as many games as they can with their county. This year for the likes of Offaly we played Wexford obviously we didn’t get the result in the Leinster championship.”

Derry’s Owenbeg will be the host venue for the bulk of next year’s GAA World Games which sees Gaelic players from overseas traveling to Ireland to take part in the competition. For New York, it is their O’Byrne cup, but Offaly is focused on winning the real O’Byrne cup according to the Bally common man who said: “I suppose it depends like some management teams take it seriously and really go for it with their first 15 and some then like to be a little bit more experimental and try out new tactics, try new players, give the guys a chance. It entirely depends on what Liam Kearn’s plans are, you know, he could withhold some of the key players, give other guys a chance, and then we hit the ground running for the league, or straight away from the get-go, he might want to, get a bounce, and start winning games immediately and go very strong. I think it was 2019 as well. We actually got to an O’Byrne cup final against Longford and we actually lost by a point that day look it set Longford up for a good league campaign so look it is something players would have interest in”.