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 2-10 Moville2-6 – Buncrana win their first home game of 2021!

By Patrick Sharkey,

Darrach O’Connor curled in the defining score as Buncrana dug deep to defeat Moville at the scarvey on Wednesday. However Moville had their own player with inter county experience in their ranks as Tony McClenaghan was back from facing the six in a row All Ireland champions Dublin in division one of the national football league at the semi-final stage. McClenaghan looked to be the real deal as he should a great ability to hold the Centre to allow Enda Faulkner and Declan Diver to attack forward.
The home side were expected to win easily but Moville didn’t read the script and they gave it their all. However the undoubted quality of Buncrana shone through with William McLaughlin playing a blinder to please the home crowd. Everything just started to fall into place for Buncrana with his towering presence, giving Moville a very hard task. Soon enough the alarm bells were ringing for Moville whenever McLaughlin was holding the Buncrana centre firm. William changed the way Moville played throughout the game as he limited the highly rated Ciaran Diver to only a point for the opposition. While the former All Ireland champion boxer may have ruled the skies he was surrounded by many hungry half backs and forwards which were giving it their all to help Buncrana.
It looked like Anthony Doogan’s men were going to cause an upset when the brilliant Christopher Hegarty scored a second half goal. However when Buncrana requested leadership, the captain Oisin O’Flaherty accepted the invitation as he got a point within the first five minutes but played his heart out for the rest of the game. Oisin O’Flaherty proved that he was the key to unlocking the true potential held by Buncrana. Oisin O’Flaherty played in a more attacking number 10 role and did bomb forward when needed most. Any time a lazy mistake was made by a Moville forward they were exposed by Oisin O’Flaherty. It seemed like every run made by O’Flaherty helped Buncrana regain possession.

Moville were still a point up heading into second half water break but Ben Bradley provided a goal to put Buncrana ahead.

Ciaran Diver had one more chance to force a Moville comeback but the free was just outside of his range and the ball drifted wide. However Moville fought to end with good leadership from the captain Malachy McDermott. McDermott was a safe pair of hands in the Moville midfield and whilst he may not have attacked he was never afraid to drop back to allow more defensive players to bomb forward. However once any of the Moville half backs gained possession he was the perfect support.
The sides met two years previously in the junior championship quarter final stage and Buncrana prevailed by 3-13 to 1-11. However there was one big difference from that Saturday evening in Malin as the experienced Odhran Doherty ‘x’ was kept quiet by Moville but he ran the show in the most recent encounter when he managed to score 0-7 and it would have been a draw without Doherty holding his own up top. Despite being on the other end of 35 years old Odhran was always winning the possession for the South Inishowen men where it mattered most. When need be the forward knew how to lay off his attacking midfielder Bruce Waldron as Buncrana pushed on.
The home side were weakened for the game with Caolan McGonagle missing out through inter-county duty, while John Campbell was not involved with the panel on Wednesday. However Moville had their star man fit and firing as one point is not a fair reflection of the work rate put in by Ciaran Diver.
That was far from ideal but they still kicked the opening score through a Darrach O’Connor point.

Buncrana Scorers:
Darach O’Connor 1-2, Odhran Doherty 0-7, Ben Bradley 2-0 and Aedan Stokes 0-1.

Moville Scorers:

Padhraic Skelly 0-1, Ciaran Diver 0-1, Michael Barr 0-3, Christopher Hegarty 2-1

Man of the Match:

Bruce Waldron and Ben Bradley certainly played their parts to help Buncrana win and Marcus Braksis and Eoghan Gillen looked impressive in the full back line for Moville but Darrach O’Connor was the best performing player on the pitch. The jigger scored a total of 1-2 but he done a lot more than that during the game

GAA Zone podcast episode 2 – Donegal Zone

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!

Here we have the second episode of the GAA Zone podcast for you all to listen to now.

Patrick Sharkey

GAA Zone editor

“No one could have ever predicted”-Gaelic Games and the coronavirus, two weeks on

Any State ban pertaining to the access to public parks could see the GAA do similar with its own property. (stock photo)Further games to be postponed. Photo
Credit;stock photo

tomorrow it will be two weeks since  GAA, LGFA, and camogie association decided to suspend all games and training until March 29th, however it has been extended and we talk to representatives from all three organizations to see if it has worked two weeks on.

GAA to reveal League fate amid expected cancellation
The gates are shut. photo credit; Irish examiner

GAA Zone Spoke to the Inishowen GAA chairman Gerrard Callaghan about their response to Covid 19 two weeks on. The Burt native said: “As you see on Facebook of each club, trying to keep people busy with old photos, skill challenges and advising everyone to be cautious about spreading the virus.”

Multiple GAA Clubs have been posting different coronavirus related information on their social media.

Diffrent training has been sorted. Photo Credit;
Sky Sports

The Covid 19 Wuhan Coronavirus pandemic has been unexpected by many. Callaghan said: “No one could ever have predicted such times.”. The Coronavirus now has over 1,000 cases in the Republic of Ireland. There are now big questions about when games will resume.  The Inishowen GAA representative claimed,: “No one can say, but it could be quite a long time, with a restricted program for what will be left of 2020”.The GAA has not announced the national league has been postponed. However, if a player wants to train individually using their club’s pitches, insurance will not cover them. Mr.Callaghan outlined that “All clubs were informed by Croke Park, nothing to do with us locally.”

Croke Park had it's say. Photo Credit; Tom Grealy

Many people involved with the GAA in the Inishowen are wondering about local club competitions.

Gerrard Callaghan had proposed that: We will probably have to (shorten), at least some of them may have to be played as a knockout”.

also applies to the LGFA. Photo Credit; RTE

Straight knockout has also been proposed for senior hurling and football inter-county championships. GAA Zone also caught up with the Donegal LGFA secretary Michelle McKenna.

Cork and Galway contested the 2019 final - and it was looking like the same would happen this year.LGFA is the governing body for
Ladies Gaelic Football. Photo Credit;Bryan Keane

McKenna says: “thank god all our measures are working well so far”.Training and matches have been canceled until further notice. The Ladies Gaelic Football Association has made all the national leagues Null and Void. Michelle McKenna talked from the Donegal camp saying ” the girls were really looking forward to their next few games, they had really done good against Cork and we were working hard and it was starting to come together for us, the group was growing in confidence, I was at the last few games and to see the girls improving at each game was down to their hard work at training and commitment to the group under manager Maxi Curran, they were really going to give the next few games a good run.

Gary Fahy of Galway lifts the Sam Maguire in 2001, the year when the GAA had to cope with the disruption caused by  the foot-and-mouth crisis. Photograph: Andrew Paton/InphoThe
2001 season was halted on a tempory basis due to the foot and mouth 
disease. Photo credit; Andrew Paton

But as things stand now we just have to accept the guidelines under Croke Park and hopefully, we all stick together as a county and country in fighting this virus and hopefully, we will be back to play championship football”. The LGFA has said it would make a decision on the championship in due course. Michelle McKenna took the role of Donegal LGFA secretary in early 2020. The Buncrana GAA Club woman said: “never expect anything like this, it’s a shock to everyone, we are lost without our football, meetings, planning, and all the traveling to games, etc it’s just such a big loss, but we have to remain positive that we will come back stronger than ever and we all survive this time of been apart and to maybe spend the time planning on what next and we will video conference in the next week or so and make plans on different scenarios in the county, depending on how long we are out, we are no different to other counties, we will have to pull together help our clubs all 37 of them in Donegal and we are there to support them and assist them at this very trying times that we are going through, our county and ulster coaches along with club coaches are sending out drills and challenges for girls to do at home, all they need is a ball and a wall.”

The GAA hasn't yet given up hope of completing the National Leagues. Photo by Sam Barnes/SportsfileCroke Park will give the go ahead when it
is ok. Photo credit;Sam Barnes

Video conference calls have become more popular during the covid-19 Wuhan coronavirus outbreak. Questions have been asked of different ladies’ football club championships in Donegal. The Donegal LGFA secretary has outlined: “We will decide what we do next when we have our conference video call, we will plan different ideas, few ideas coming in from clubs, at the minute we let things sit and we will chat as an executive at the county level and follow guidelines from Croke Park and ulster and come up then with a plan, hopefully by that time we are well over this ordeal, but for now our members, their families, and neighbors are the most important, getting them all through this virus now is our priority, sometimes our members might ring, only for a chat someone wants reassurance, some of our young members are frightened and parents contact us to ask for a distraction, Ciaran Murtagh from Ulster coaching been sending out stuff and Croke Park been sending out colorings, etc and different drills, etc.

The GAA are set to scrap the league

So if the championship happens it does and if it doesn’t we will all survive and come back next year but am been very positive we will be playing championship this year.

GAA: Could we see a return to the  format when Kildare last won Leinster
Kildare V Carlow in the 2019 championship. Photo Credit; Leinster 

please God, and Donegal ladies will win the All Ireland”. The Donegal senior ladies will be aiming for four Ulster championships in a row.

Other Sports have the same treatment. Photo Credit; Seb Daly

Questions have been asked if the GAA and its insurance policy will also apply to ladies.

Joe Canning believes county teams will need three weeks to get up to speed
Training on club grounds will not be covered by insurance. Photo Credit;

The former Fine Gael local election candidate made it clear that: ” insurance will not cover anyone on clubs grounds as all activity is canceled that why all clubs had to close their gates”.

There have been calls from former Donegal footballer Darrach O’Conner to have pitches open.

GAA Zone was speaking to the chairperson of the Derry camogie board Dympna Dougan.about Covid-19.

Dougan said: “Well there is nothing happening so there is nothing to say.” On the 29th of March, the government in the Republic of Ireland banned all mass gatherings but the GAA, LGFA and camogie association decided to ban all games and training on an all Island basis. However, while football and hurling games and training were postponed last week, the schools were still open and classes were running as normal in Northern Ireland. The Derry camogie chairperson said, “It’s hard to get your head around that there were no matches or training going ahead but the schools were still going on”.

That was changed as the British government announced that all schools closed last Friday until further notice. Many camogie players would need to be made aware of the insurance policies if they use the pitches for individual practice. The Maghera woman claimed: “I don’t know what the insurance situation is, to be honest, but I know all the pitches and the gym in our own club are shut down.” GAA Zone would advise that camogie players do not use their local club’s pitches or gym facilities as insurance may not cover you. A lof Gaels are wondering when the games and training sessions will be back up and running?


Dympra Dougan expressed it saying: “Some people are saying a month but others are saying the schools won’t be back until September or October. If it goes on this long there might not be any championships this year at all”.

The Camogie Association are expected to make their decision if the championship is going ahead in due course. A lot of people involved with camogie in Derry are curious about how club competitions would be laid out.

Dympra Dougan gave a perspective that: “In a lot of counties seasons would be shortened but we (Derry camogie board) could find it difficult depending on the time we have to work with but we don’t know how many more weeks it is going to be”. It is all up in the air but many club competitions were set to begin on the first weekend of April, however, it is expected to get started later. Feel free to leave your comments in the comments section below.


Patrick Sharkey

GAA Zone Founder
If a GAA team was a Disney character...The GAA might 
only have one option for the National league.

McGonagle seeks Monaghan win

Gaa Zone caught up with Donegal senior footballer Caolan McGonagle ahead of the game against Monaghan in BallyShannon. McGonagle looked ahead to the game saying “A tough game in tough conditions but like any other game, we aim to win”. Donegal is seeking their second win of the Allianz league division one football campaign. Donegal looks to be on the brink of relegation due to their poor form. The Buncrana man says “We just focus on the next game and winning that”. Donegal will have three more games.

The big news was that Paddy McBrearty came off the bench to play for the Donegal footballers last weekend. Mc Gonagle talked about his importance saying “A big lift to the team everyone knows how much paddy Is able to produce”. Paddy McBrearty has a medal collection of one All-Ireland Senior football title and five Ulster senior football titles. There is quite obviously room for improvement for the Donegal footballers with three points from five games. The midfielder/ half-forward said, “We’ve been playing well we just need to go and win the game”.

Monaghan is coming into the game on the back of a won against Mayo last weekend in Clones. Like most teams, Monaghan has their stand-out players. Caolan talked about it.

Mr.McGonagle believed “They (Monaghan)have loads of good players, Conor McManus stands out”. Conor McManus is expected to line out as a full forward for Monaghan on Sunday when the blue and white army head to BallyShannon. The last meeting between the senior footballers of Donegal and Monaghan was a doctor McKenna cup game.

Patrick Sharkey

Editor of GAA Zone