“I’ve got a sneaky feeling about Cork” – Fans make bold predictions for the weekend.

By Patrick Sharkey,

Episode 56: Westmeath aim to raid Orchard and send Saffrons packing The GAA Zone podcast

Welcome to the GAA Zone podcast on Anchor FM! In Episode 56, we fall deep into the thrilling world of Gaelic football. Join us as we focus on an upcoming clash that implies intense competition and captivating action. In this episode, titled "Westmeath Aim to Raid Orchard and Send Saffrons Packing," we look at an exciting match on the horizon. Our expert hosts analyse the strategies, key players, and historical context surrounding the clash between Westmeath and their formidable opponents, Armagh (known as the Orchard County) and Antrim (the Saffron). With fighting discussions and insightful analysis, we provide an in-depth understanding of the game, making this episode a must-listen for both die-hard fans and newcomers to Gaelic football. Tune in to discover. — Send in a voice message: https://podcasters.spotify.com/pod/show/gaazone/message

Calling all sports enthusiasts and Gaelic football fans! Prepare to immerse yourself in the exciting world of Gaelic football with the latest episode of the GAA Zone podcast. In this thrilling instalment, we delve into the upcoming clash between Westmeath and two formidable opponents, Armagh (the Orchard County) and Antrim (the Saffron). Connect us as we uncover the strategies, key players, and intense rivalries that make this match a must-watch. The GAA have reiterated to units their rules.

In this highly anticipated episode, we bring you expert analysis, engaging discussions, and captivating insights into the world of Gaelic football. The expert this time round is Aaron Maher Prendergast.

Whether you’re a die-hard fan or new to Gaelic football, this episode is packed with riveting content.  

Don’t miss out on the latest episodes of the GAA Zone podcast. Mr Maher Prendergast gives his backing to Louth as he says: “Yeah, it’s a hard one to know to be honest with you, because Louth obviously coming in on the back of a 21-point defeat to, to Dublin, Whereas Cork is obviously coming in, I suppose, with the ehm, obviously they got beat by Clare, but Cork, Cork have probably been waiting in the, the wings, for a walk, they obviously would have known, they would have been loud, the team they would have been playing. Ehm, so yeah like I think I think it’ll be a close one”.

Maher Prendergast added: “I’ve got a sneaky feeling about Cork but I think one thing we know about Cork is that they tend to raise their game when they play better teams but when they play the likes of Louth or know clearly their levels just seem to drop and I just don’t have much confidence that Cork can do that but to be honest with you I’d fancy I’d actually fancy Clare or sorry I’d fancy Louth to get the victory ehm so I think they’re at home as well aren’t they so I think they will be too strong for ehm for four. I think Mickey Harte will get the troops back on the side. Go and see how Cork is able to deal with Sam Mulroy or some of the other lads there. So yeah, I’d fancy Louth to win it.” Subscribe.  

Consolidate us on this audio journey as we explore the excitement, drama, and raw talent of Gaelic football. Aaron sees all that in the Armagh v Westmeath football clash saying: “Yeah I mean I don’t know if David Brady may be mentioned or maybe I suppose or maybe his plan was to actually mention the Westmeath hurlers and shock eh with Wexford and maybe that’s exactly what he was meant to say I don’t know but yeah I’d be very surprised to be honest with you to see you know sorry to wreck me cause any shocking and Armagh like they’re a division three side they barely won a game all year ehm won a couple of games in this mid-table threw a huge lead away versus Louth as well. Ehm they’ve been very poor all year Westmeath. They haven’t really kicked off the way we would have since eh Jack Cooney stepped away and Dessie Dolan came in. It just hasn’t been the same sort of Westmeath side so. Yeah, I just don’t see it. Like there’s a few things you could see cause a shock here or there like Sligo will come in good form against Kildare in fairness despite that kind of final off”.


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)

“The mood is focused and determined” -Burt and Setanta renew their rivalry in the senior final

By Patrick Sharkey,

Competitive inter-county GAA is now six months from the resumption, but 2023 is already certain to be a campaign like no other. However, all focus in Donegal turns eyes towards the senior hurling final.

Setanta had a very calm and assuring presence in the Donegal championship all year. This was under the guidance of Ollie Bellew ‘Badger’ being in the management set up and he is not getting too ahead of himself saying: “I am confident that we have prepared well and that we have a good plan in place.”

Mr Bellew added: “The mood is focused and determined. We are not looking any further than our next training session on Thursday night.” However, Gary McGettigan’s charges have not looked that dominant thus far and face a free-scoring Burt team who will evaluate their defensive structures.

Declan Coulter was Setanta’s top scorer during their victorious match against Buncrana for the Donegal Senior hurling Championship semi-final on July 15. Bellew is impressed with the commitment levels shown by the likes of Declan Coulter saying: “You can have the best setups in the world but if you have not got the players who are committed and are prepared to do what it takes, it is irrelevant. These lads are very dedicated to the club and to hurling for Setanta that the rest does not matter. They look after themselves well and work like any intercounty hurling team when they come to training.”

Ollie added: “They’re inspirational people.” The Belfast native left pacified that Friday after the standstill game involving a Setanta GAA team on Donegal semi-final night. His adopted club of Setanta came out victorious in the showpiece of the GAA calendar, getting to their 30th final in style.

Bellew, who left crushed by the disappointment of missing a Lory Meagher cup success in 2021, made it clear he finished with inter-county management for now, after stepping down as Cavan boss in 2021. The former Cavan boss is content with what he must work for within East Donegal saying: “Our panel is incredibly talented. We’ve four 18-year-olds that are holding their own with the established players every night in training. We have hugely influential players on every single line, and it just depends on where the game plays out.”  Setanta has emerged as a surprise candidate for an Ulster.

Setanta unsurprisingly dominated PWC’s Team of the Year after Donegal gave Mayo a beating in the Nicky Rackard cup final in 2020. Setanta however will only focus on the starting XV put forward.

Ollie Bellew ‘Badger’ has sent a clear message about how they will lock their horns against Burt.

Donegal GAA has confirmed today, that the doubleheader will be live on Donegal GAATV costing €6 for both games. Mr Bellew does not worry about one Burt player shining through and catching the viewers’ attention.

They have more strings to their bow and do more work than promote and support football and hurling but the GAA remains very much at the essence of the two GAA clubs in the cross. However, they know how to deal with Burt as Bellew made it clear: “We’ve seen Burt already in the league.”

Ollie added: “They are well organised. Hugely energetic with young talent to add. If we focus our energy on one individual, we will be losing focus elsewhere. We will be working as a unit to keep them at bay and hopefully keep the scoreboard ticking in our favour” It has improved for Setanta.  

A round-up of the preview with the Belfast native focused on the split season. The former Cavan manager is in favour of it saying: “It is strange with all the traditional dates going with first and third Sunday in September and Paddy’s Day, but it is working quite well. A top inter County player could be flogged year in, year out and will fall out of love with the game. There is a freshness to it now.”

Badger added: “That’s my opinion anyway. I know in Setanta we do not see the county lads until Donegal’s season wraps up and that is only fair. So, when we do see them back, they are re-energised after a couple of weeks break.” It is moments like this that matter to Setanta’s hurling club.

A GAA club in Inishowen has appealed for the return of their championship ahead of this weekend’s Donegal GAA final. Burt Stalwart Paul Burns told their side of the story saying: “We are a noticeably young team with our lads still under the age of 20 years old and with experience Setanta has it is hard to know. We are the underdogs for sure but in a final, anything can happen.” The lucky trophy was named ‘Donegal Senior Hurling championship’ by the Donegal Gaelic Athletic Association in Convoy.

It would be a shock if Burt won on Saturday. However, Mr Burns is confident saying: “All these young lads are pushing us on now there are too many to name. “However, Burt had the upper hand on Setanta in their last collision in a county final in 2018, coming out on top. However, the community in Burt is not taking days like this for granted anymore. Burt has more than one talented hurler and every player represented their local club with distinction at the underage level. The locally grown talent is something that the Burt faithful are proud to have addressed. The hurling history and tradition of Burt is one that is larger than life. Burt has built this current side from well-run Féile Na nGael sides.

The Donegal club hurling championships finals will happen in O’Donnell Park this weekend with junior, intermediate, and senior players all togged out for the occasion. Setanta will have all the big names and Paul named the players in the green and black that Burt will keep an eye on.

The Grand Canal Hotel, the Official Partner of Donegal GAA, has launched its championship.

The more experienced Burt players have denied the Setanta panel more medals in the past and all the players are out to win. The goalkeeper knows the hunger that Setanta poses saying: “Setanta has an effective team with likes of Danny Cullen, Decky Coulter, Gerry Gilmore, Bernard Lafferty, and Josh Mc Gee.” Both teams are the Kilkenny and Tipperary of Donegal hurling and have suffered.

However, Burt has allowed their youth development to guide them to a safe return to the final. The Donegal legend their impact saying: “We a lot of history of being in hurling finals and the last time we were in a final was 2018, it has been too long for us.”

Paul Burns added: “Time and effort has been put into this team over the last two to three years so hopefully we can give the management, club, and the people of your parish something to shout about again!” This is the result of resolute members of their coaching team helping young players.

Burt however have not suffered from Withdrawal symptoms after an unexpected absence from the top level for the last four years due to the junior team acting as a steppingstone for the first team with Mr. Burns saying: “The Junior has been massive for us because in the last two year there been about 20 lads who have come through to seniors from our underage set up and it gave the young lads a chance to get a game time at a senior level instead of being thrown in at the deep end plus we got back a few older heads to help them develop at that level. Also, it helps at training when you are getting big numbers at training it makes it a whole lot better and brings a bit of craic to it as well.” In Paul Burn’s mind, the junior hurlers of yesterday have become the best senior hurlers today. Burns thinks that the Burt management team is really reaping the awards from all their youth.

“I have great faith” – Carn and Seán MacCumhaills hurlers lock horns in the intermediate final

By Patrick Sharkey,

The warm-up game to the Donegal senior hurling championship final will be at
2pm on Saturday in O’Donnell park in Letterkenny as Carn and Seán MacCumhails go head-to-head.

Current Donegal hurler Gavin Browne has called on the GAA to push the club
season back out to autumn.

Donegal star Gavin Browne who produced one of the greatest ever performances
by a losing player in a Nicky Rackard Cup semi-final has spoken for the first
time since the forgotten county suffered their heart-breaking loss to Tyrone. However,
that has not changed the focus.

MacCumhails have flourished this year. Mr. Browne ahead of representing Seán
MacCumhails on Saturday said: “I think it will be a tight game, but I have
great faith in our lads if we turn up with right attitude on the day, we will
be hard to beat! But Carn isn’t going be an easy game and in a one-off game anything
can happen.” There is hard evidence to prove both teams are not going to
slip. This is the result of diligent volunteers with the people running these
clubs seeing their hard working coming to fruition. Both clubs have done very
well with their underage structure. All attention will be on the big businesses. 

Donegal GAA have confirmed yesterday that tickets are on sale for the game.
However Gavin insisted the road to this stage wasn’t clear cut as he claims:
“Yeah unfortunately we are in a transition stage at the minute with older
lads taking step back and waiting for younger lads to commit! Yes, senior
championship is where we want to be, but we must build to that!”

The defender added: “Hopefully won’t be long.” It has been a fun year
for Donegal GAA.

Donegal won the Nicky Rackard Cup in 2020 under Browne’s guidance, which
would have promoted them to the Cristy Ring Cup for year, yet Donegal is
wondering what could have been if it was not a short season due to Covid. The
Stranorlar man however is looking for promotion this weekend saying: ” I
couldn’t be giving away anything but there are men in our team that are up
there with the best if they come prepared and right attitude so hopefully
Saturday is the day for us.” Seán MacCumhaills defeated Dungloe in the semi-final.
This weekend. Seán MacCumhaills would need to replicate an outpouring of the
heart and determination they show against Dungloe to stand a chance against Carn.
Richie Ryan was Donegal’s top-scorer during their unsuccessful match against Tyrone
for the Nicky Rackard cup semi-final on May 14. Donegal lost to Tyrone 1-23 to 1-19
in Páirc Colmcille on Saturday, July 14 but Seán MacCumhaills done Carn a
favour by knocking out Dungloe which featured Ryan.

Seán MacCumhaills take over and will be the East Donegal representative on

It comes down to how big of an impact the split season has had for Seán MacCumhaills.

This weekend will see the commencement of the Grand Canal Hotel County
Senior & Intermediate Hurling Championships. Gavin Browne has not been a
fan of this season saying: “The club scene this season been very rushed. It does
not give lads time if they pull anything or pick up any injuries!”

Mr.Browne has made an impassioned plea on what Carn players his team should
keep an eye on. Browne said: “To be honest Carn have 3 danger men in Luke white
and the two Doherty brothers, but they have fit hurlers around that will be
well up for it so as far as we are concerned, they have 15 danger men. It is in
our hands to preform just.” Speculation has begun on the match ups. For Carn it
would be a case of putting the fastest forward on Gavin.

Pádraig Doherty was delighted, two weekends ago after a win involving a Carn
GAA side.


The intermediate final beckons and Mr.Doherty says: “We have every
chance however we need to perform to give us that chance. If we perform to our ability,
we will have an opportunity to win however sometimes that does not always
happen in finals. If we don’t perform the game could be over very
quickly.” His native of Carn came out victorious in the showpiece of the
GAA calendar, getting to their second final in the last four years in style.

They have a more strings to their bow and do more work than promote and
support football and hurling. The primary school teacher believes the intermediate championship has been of benefit to them saying: “There’s an enormous difference between the top teams and the bottom teams in Donegalhowever teams like ourselves need to be playing against them to improve.” 

Pádraig Doherty added: “Having the three levels of junior, inter and senior allows for there to be a clear pathway and something for everyone to aim for at the start of the year.” The
Donegal senior hurling manager’s position may well need to get clarity before
too long. However, all the talk about Donegal hurling has been about club games. 

One of the consequences of the split season is it has gifted the GAA a
summer special jobs fair. Mr. Doherty did not mention anything about that and
said: “The aim at the start of every season is to improve. Progress this
year is getting to an intermediate final. Every game you play you want to win,
and it is the same this week. If your performances allow you to win games that
have a trophy at the end of it, brilliant.” Carn will hope that if they
fail to win on Saturday, they will not have a demise. Those on the GAA media
beat have bemoaned this season as the worst yet for access to players during
the championship. The Donegal hurling championship has been an exception with
no signs of celebrity culture. Whoever wins it on Saturday will be sure to gain
their medals with an entertaining victory. This game will also be a huge chance
for Carn. What once captured the minds of the GAA public and the laptops of journalists
in late autumn and early winter is now filling the space where Championship
coverage used to be. Departing inter-county managers appear determined to put
on a show.



Carn have star power to give them a safe return to the senior championship.
Pádraig has named out players to keep an eye on saying: “You’re probably
saying Luke White at present. He has played at that higher level growing up.
Like James, Cormac, and Danny Monagle are all skilful players too. Cathal Doherty
and Cian Doherty all well able to hurl to a high standard as well”. No doubt
these players will make the plea to put Carn on the map again.

The national schoolteacher is not a happy man when he comes up against the
top stars of the opposing team. The former Burt hurler, when asked about the best
player Seán MacCumhails, he said: “Gavin Browne. Lee Henderson will punish us
from frees as well if we give them any opportunities and Jamie De Ward will
punish any mistakes we make in defence.”

This will bring down the curtain on the latest stage of the evolution of
Donegal hurling. Standing in the way of Carn, is a side from the hurling
heartlands of East Donegal who have fielded hurling temes on a more consistent
basis over the last 20 years. Carn have a rich history.


“It was exciting” – Wexford hurlers reflect on a season like no other

By Patrick Sharkey,

Episode 56: Westmeath aim to raid Orchard and send Saffrons packing The GAA Zone podcast

Welcome to the GAA Zone podcast on Anchor FM! In Episode 56, we fall deep into the thrilling world of Gaelic football. Join us as we focus on an upcoming clash that implies intense competition and captivating action. In this episode, titled "Westmeath Aim to Raid Orchard and Send Saffrons Packing," we look at an exciting match on the horizon. Our expert hosts analyse the strategies, key players, and historical context surrounding the clash between Westmeath and their formidable opponents, Armagh (known as the Orchard County) and Antrim (the Saffron). With fighting discussions and insightful analysis, we provide an in-depth understanding of the game, making this episode a must-listen for both die-hard fans and newcomers to Gaelic football. Tune in to discover. — Send in a voice message: https://podcasters.spotify.com/pod/show/gaazone/message
  1. Episode 56: Westmeath aim to raid Orchard and send Saffrons packing
  2. Episode 55: Wyane McNamara
  3. Episode 54: David Dempsey
  4. Episode 53: Managerial Merry Go Round
  5. Episode 52: Antrim hurling 2022

GAA fans were left scratching their heads during the All-Ireland semi-final as a Shane Walsh point was inexplicably chalked off after the umpires consulted Hawkeye. With just minutes left in a very labored and low-scoring first half, Galway was 0-03 to 0-04 down and Shane Walsh had a free.

Galway are All-Ireland Minor champions for the first time in 15 years! Episode 46 of the GAA Zone podcast focused however on the first championship game for the senior hurlers who drew to Wexford and according to former Wexford hurler Richie Kehoe: “It was exciting alright but to be honest with you we didn’t hurl for 50 minutes of that game or even more. Galway was still looking all over the winners there being four points up after 66 minutes or something like that. Then it was all the excitement over Cooney taking the free and then the throw-in ball. I think Chinner gets a point from play and then he adds on another four frees. You know suddenly, we were looking like we were dead and buried. We ended up getting a draw and probably on the balance of play I say”.
Hawkeye will not be in use for the Dublin vs Kerry All-Ireland football semi-final after the GAA said the technology will be reviewed following an error. The last time a Dublin side wouldn’t have had use of Hawkeye in an important game would have been when the senior hurlers beat Wexford in the second round of the Leinster championship round-robin when Richie Kehoe said: “It was much the same. Wexford probably only hurled for 15 minutes in both of those games and like Dublin looked all over the winners again. I think they were six or seven points up after maybe 50 minutes. Donal Burke was absolutely on fire on placed balls and frees. Dublin was playing a short passing game as they be running through the middle at ease. They were finding their scores a little bit easier than ourselves.”

Galway saved their best for last as a magnificent display propelled them to the All-Ireland Under-17 football championship title at Dr. Hyde Park in Roscommon. The Wexford hurlers can relate to the Galway minor hurlers having had their biggest championship win in Laois with Mr. Kehoe saying: “Well it was needed. No disrespect to Laois but they were down several of their top players that day”. but it was a confidence builder for us. Plenty of lads got on the scoresheet. It was 6-21 to 0-12 points that day or something like that. Plenty of lads got game time. It was what we needed. You know it was what we needed to build the confidence a little bit to put in a performance which they did. Laois gave it all for maybe 20 minutes in that game and after that, we completely blew them out of the water”.

The All-Ireland senior football semi-final is part of a double-header of action, Kilkenny facing New York in the opening game in the All-Ireland junior decider. Kilkenny will be looking to cause an upset.
Watch Dublin vs Kerry in the All-Ireland SFC semi-final live on Sky Sports Arena from 3pm Sunday.
This is a separate Dublin side from the one that celebrated a sixth All-Ireland title in a row in 2020.