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.


“It’s hard to know” – the managerial merry-go-round keeps spinning

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: https://podcasters.spotify.com/pod/show/gaazone/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 dust has firmly settled on the 2022 All-Ireland races, with club championships now in full swing.

In the controversy over a proposed GAA pitch at Victoria Park in Belfast, some people seem to have assumed that the GAA is just another sporting organisation. It means a lot more to the cult.

A GAA-mad Sligo teenager is visiting every county ground in Ireland this week to fundraise for Temple Street Children’s Hospital. He could have seen Ephie Fitzgerald when he landed in Waterford as Aaron Maher Predergast from GAA Fan TV spoke on episode 53 of the GAA zone podcast talking about him.

Clara GAA Club has not reached an agreement to sell their old ground at Pairc Brid on the Ballycumber road. However, Waterford seemed to have agreed to keep Fitzgerald in place with Mr. Maher keeping the faith.

A Cork GAA club has hosted a Cúl Camp course for some 40 Ukrainian children staying in the area.

A Co. Limerick GAA pitch narrowly escaped an inferno after a stack of hay bales caught fire in the vicinity during last weekend’s heatwave. Waterford footballers could also catch fire in 2023.

The horrible last few weeks that have been for the Tipperary GAA family have been a stark one for many around the county, but one thing that has shone brightly from the passing of Dillon Quirke is the community values we are lucky to have in our organisation. Over the border in Waterford, community spirit is fully behind the footballers with Mr. Prendergast saying: “Yeah, I think the right decision is just to keep him I think personally because I think Shane Roynane obviously was the manager there last year and they had another manager the season before that as well so there has been a lot of instability there so probably do need just a bit of stability manager keep the same ideas. It’s hard to know really what the goal or the objective is but I suppose it is better to keep the same manager because it does probably increase the likelihood of improvement and results. Like even look at London like who kept Michael Maher throughout the Covid break and everything else”.

Most of the side is made from Connacht. That is in terms of the style of play for Limerick and Maher Prendergast said: “Yeah it will be tough for them obviously in division two, but I do think they should keep him to be fair though like I think you know like when Billy Lee took over, they were in division four. So, he has taken them from division four all the way to division two and brought through a lot of young players in there as well also, so I think they’re in good hands. I think he’s done a really good job, like, I think probably the ambition maybe with Limerick football now, is maybe they’re looking at what Clare has done, and do you know like they obviously beat Clare on penalties and gave Clare a good run for their money. Clare has been very good at staying up in division two. So, you just don’t know, like, I’d still give Limerick a good chance at staying up, but it is going to be tough for them.”

All-Ireland champions Galway have six players on the Electric Ireland GAA Minor Star Football Team.

Mayo, whom Galway beat in the final, has four members on the team.  Paddy Tally however isn’t rumored to be on any of the Mayo coaching tickets to bring these young lads through with Maher saying he could be looking elsewhere.

Rio Mortimer and Paul Gilmore of Claremorris have been named in defense while joint captains Diarmuid Duffy and Ronan Clarke are in attack. Prendergast has backed Tally to succeed elsewhere.

Inspired by the powerful midfield duo of Michael Gacquin and Senan Buckley who accounted for 0-24 between them, Clonguish Og produced a fine performance to defeat St Vincent’s.

Cork 0-11 Galway 0-13 – Tribeswoman stop the Rebellion

By Patrick Sharkey in Croke Park,

Katie Gilchrist’s stunning display enabled Galway to return to the Glen Dimplex All-Ireland senior hurling championship after she scored five points during her side’s demolition of Cork in the sweltering heat of Drumcondra. A lot of credit has to go to Laura.

Galway opened the scoring thanks to points from Laura Loughnane and Olwen Rabbitte.

Joanne Casey then responded with a Cork point. Joanne Casey then got another point for Cork. However, Galway came back to steal the show with points from Katie Gilchrist and Niamh McPeake. Joanne Casey however bit back and got another point for the Rebelettes.

Lauren Homan then got a point to put the Leesiders a point behind. Katie Gilchrist then got herself another point to put Galway a point ahead. Joanne Casey then came out and put Cork level from a freekick. Katie Gilchrist put Galway back in the lead before Joanne leveled it for Cork again.

Cliona O’Callaghan then however got a point for the Tribeswoman. Katie Gilchrist extended the lead for the Galway side as they got their lead extended by two points.

Katelyn Hickey then managed to extend the marron and white lead. However, Cliona O’Callaghan then got another point on the stroke of halftime to keep Galway in firm control. Katie Gilchrist got back on the score sheet at halftime with a point. Lauren Homan came back then to get a Cork point. The halftime score read Cork 0-7 Galway 0-10. The battle was certainly of senior quality and many players on both teams would be assets for their counties at the senior level. A better variety of scorers has proved key for the Galway Intermediate Camogs. However, Cork was well set up in defense with their full-back Niamh.

It wasn’t until five minutes into the second half that a score was able to be recorded with Lauren Homan getting herself a point. Niamh McPeake then however responded for Galway with a point before Katie Gilchrist slotted it over the bar again. Rachel O’Shea then responded for Cork, however with a point to bring it back down to a three-point deficit with 43 minutes gone.

Joanne Casey then responded with a point from a free kick for Cork in the 50th minute.

Mullagh star Katie Manning got sent off in the 52nd minute due to a challenge on Niamh McPeake.

Joanne Casey was unable to convert her free kick in with 58 minutes gone and it all looked doom and gloom on Leeside. A yellow card was handed out to the Cork captain then.

Katie Gilchrist then got a point for Galway before she got subbed off with a minute of ordinary time left. Who else but Joanne Casey was going to get Cork the point to reduce the scoring deficit down to two points with a minute left? The full-time score read Cork 0-11 Galway 0-13. For the Rebelettes, it was a case of ever so far ever so close but they can be proud as they had a solid defense built around the fullback Niamh O Sullivan.

Cork Scorers: Joanne Casey (0-4, 0-3f), Lauren Homan (0-3), Rachel O’Shea (0-1)
Galway Scorers: Laura Loughnane (0-1), Olwen Rabbitte (0-1), Katie Gilchrist (0-2f, 0-3), Niamh McPeake (0-12), Cliona O’Callaghan (0-2), Katelyn Hickey (0-1)

Kerry 4-10 Mayo 0-13 – Kerry ladies look ahead to All Ireland final

By Patrick Sharkey at Croke Park.

Kerry finished this semi-final with a flourish to secure an All-Ireland final against Donegal or Meath.

The game started with Danielle O Leary’s shot at goal easily being saved by the Mayo goalkeeper.

Shauna Howley then go the first score for Mayo in the fourth minute from a free kick but then Aishling O’Connell responded with a goal and a point before Emma Costello got a point. Louise Ní Muircheartaigh got her first Kerry point. Sinéad Walsh then respomded for Mayo. Síofra O’Shea then however kept Kerry on their toes with a goal. Niamh Carmody then got a Kerry point before Mayo got two thanks to Lisa Cafferky and Shauna Howley. Shauna Howly then came out on top and got her first point from open play. Louise Ní Muircheartaigh then got the point again for Kerry. Niamh Carmody then got a wide for Kerry in the 23rd minute. Síofra O’Shea then got herself another goal.
The halftime score was Kerry 3-6 Mayo 0-9. It was clear to see that Kerry was going for the goals.

Mayo got the first score of the second half within the first three minutes when Aoife Geraghty scored the point. Tara Needham however did not have the same luck afterward when she hit it wide.

It could not be rectified when another wide followed. Tara Needham then got her first score with a point two minutes later.

Cáit Lynch however then got herself a point for Kerry on the stroke of halftime. Fion McHale responded for Mayo though a point keeping them within touching distance of Kerry.

Danielle O’Leary got a piece of the action getting her first point in the 27th minute for Kerry putting them seven points ahead. Louise Ní Muircheartaigh then responded with a point for Kerry they weren’t going to be too far ahead. Louise Ní Muircheartaigh then got a point, but Aoife Geraghty had an answer for Mayo with a point. Tara Needham then failed to convert a free kick opportunity for Mayo. Louise Ní Muircheartaigh took full advantage when she managed to get her fourth point with 10 minutes left. Kayleigh Cronin then got a point for Kerry to put them seven points up. Paris McCarthy then got a goal to put Kerry 10 points up with 18 minutes to go. Tamara O’Connor then missed out on a chance for Mayo to salvage something with a wide with 10 minutes to go. Tara Needman then came to the rescue for Mayo when she narrowed the deficit down to nine points until Hawkeye ruled it out. Sinéad Cafferky was then the Mayo player who ended up delivering it and bringing it down to nine points. With seven minutes left Kerry showed weakness when Loraine Scanlon had her shot go wide. The substitute Erica McGlynn didn’t have any luck either getting a wide with five minutes left. Louise Ní Muircheartaigh then got punished for overcarrying the ball. The crossbar was no friend of Tara Needham as she tried to get a point for Mayo with two minutes to go.

Kerry: C Butler; J O’Sullivan, K Cronin, E Lynch; A O’Connell (1-01), E Costello (0-01), C Murphy; L Scanlon, C Lynch (0-01); N Carmody (0-01), S O’Shea (2-00), A Galvin; P McCarthy (1-00), D O’Leary (0-01), L Ní Mhuircheartaigh (0-05).

Subs: A Dillane for O’Sullivan (30), E McGlynn for McCarthy (45), N Ni Chonchuir for O’Leary (52), N Broderick for Murphy (54), C Evans for Carmody (56).

Mayo: A Tarpey; É Ronayne, R Flynn, D Caldwell; T O’Connor, F McHale, K Sullivan; S Cafferky (0-02), A Geraghty (0-02); S Howley (0-04, 2f), S Walsh, S Mulvihill (0-01); L Cafferky (0-01), C Whyte (0-01), T Needham (0-02).

Subs: C Nyland for Mulvihill (30), L Wallace for Sullivan (47), S McCarney for Whyte (52), J Mortimer for McHale (56), S El Massry for Ronayne (56).

Referee: Jonathan Murphy (Carlow).

Player of the match: Kerry would have to thank Julie O’Sullivan and Louise Ní Mhuireachtaigh for showing leadership on either side of the pitch and the same could be said for the Mayo pair of Danielle Caldwell and Lisa Cafferky but the player of the match has to be Kayleigh Cronin. Cronin didn’t score anything but she pulled her socks up as she was given the tough task of marking the inside forwards for Mayo. Kayleigh clearly listened to her instructions to read the breaking ball. The Dr.Crokes club woman won every single individual battle that came her way. The Strength and Conditioning (S&C) coach dominated every single ball that entered the airspace of the Kerry half. Cronin sent alarm bells ringing for the Mayo corner forwards. Kayleigh changed the game. The Dr.Crokes club woman often found herself in a ring of scavenging half-backs and half-forwards who failed to take the ball off her. The S&C coach built her game around possession. The Kingdom has nothing to worry about with Cronin at the back. The number three means nothing to Kayleigh as she did the job that had to be done, no matter where it was on the pitch. The Dr.Crokes woman began the game on the right terms she got a few simple touches to get herself into the game. The 25-year-old is very different from the rest of the team in her unique role. The S&C coach adapted to the team shape when the Munster side had to take their game up a gear. Cronin turned the game into a game of chess when both teams tried to suss out each move. Kayleigh could also kick the ball off the ground the furthest. The kick-outs were a key factor of the game.

“We got our tactics right” – Kildare wonders what could have been once more

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: https://podcasters.spotify.com/pod/show/gaazone/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 GAA will allow an additional water carrier and permit water bottles to be placed around the pitch for Sunday’s All-Ireland senior hurling final. With temperatures in Croke Park anticipated to reach at least 25 degrees by 3.30pm throw-in, the Central Competitions Control Committee is taking extra measures to ensure player safety. In hurling, teams can have three water/hurley carriers, but that number will increase to four for the Kilkenny-Limerick clash. However, players must come into the perimeter of the field to take water as the carriers can only enter the field of play to replace a hurley. The counties will also be given the green light to make water bottles to be accessible in areas other than each goal mouth, the manager’s boxes, and the carriers’ areas so that players can readily hydrate. The GAA did away with water breaks in January of this year following the easing of restrictions. While they didn’t forbid their return in the future, the intervals had been used by teams to pass on tactical advice to players. In the wake of the removal of the breaks, teams were reminded that selectors, backroom team members, or players not on the match-day panel could double up as carriers. Extra details have been revealed for the big screen event taking place.

The weather could be a real factor, with temperatures of up to 30 degrees expected. This is a novelty in the championship this year because the split season started earlier with temperatures averaging at around 11oc on the first day of Kildare’s Leinster championship with their midfielder Kevin Feely talking about it on episode 48 of the GAA Zone podcast saying: “O yeah, the Louth game was very good yeah”.

A doctor has been hailed a lifesaver after a medical emergency at her local GAA club. Kildare nearly needed a similar kind of miracle when Westmeath held them on the ropes but Mr.Feely said: “That was a strange game. It was played at a very low-intensity kind of. From both sides it was quite passive. I don’t know whether it was nerves on both sides or the first game of the year in Croke Park”.

Westmeath footballer Luke Loughlin has bravely shared the story of his 10-year battle with addiction. Perhaps the bravest thing in Leinster football since Kildare played attacking football against Dublin.

Glen Emmets v Lannléire is the Division 3A title decider in Louth. It will probably be more competitive than the Leinster final when Feely said: “We had a lot of guys playing their first Leinster final in that situation, making defensive mistakes that were unusual for them that they never normally would make. You would probably put that down to nerves more so than anything else”.

Up for the Match is back! One match Kildare was up for was the Mayo game and Kevin talked about it saying: “Obviously it was a huge improvement in the performance in that game. We got our tactics right; we got our team right and our system right. We played with a lot more freedom obviously.”

Kerry defender Gavin White seems unlikely to play in the All-Ireland football final as he awaits the results of a scan on his knee. None of the Kildare players will be -playing either as they came up short.

In Louth, all the momentum appears to be with the Ardee men now as they bid to deliver back-to-back Cardinal O’Donnell Cup titles to Páirc Mhuire. The athletic therapist named players on the Kildare panel that helps their momentum saying:” I would say Ryan Houlihan and our cornerbacks”.