GAA round-up: Clare shock Kerry in McGrath Cup

Kerry's Jamie O'Sullivan is put under pressure by Eoin Cleary, left, and Cathal O'Connor of Clare
Kerry's Jamie O'Sullivan is put under pressure by Eoin Cleary, left, and Cathal O'Connor of Clare

Kerry’s post All-Ireland hangover continued in front of their own supporters in Fitzgerald Stadium when they endured a rare home defeat against one of the Munster minnows, losing by three points to Clare.

All-Ireland champions Dublin remain on course to retain the O’Byrne Cup after securing their place in the last four of the pre-season tournament.

Fielding six of their All-Ireland winning team, the Dubs controlled the game against DCU on the scoreboard once Con O’Callaghan found the net in the first half.

The students did hit a late consolation goal but Jim Gavin’s side’s still had four points to spare at the final whistle.

There were surprises galore in the other three groups in the competition. 

Longford’s four-point home win over Wicklow in Group B together with Westmeath’s shock one-point loss to NUI Maynooth enabled Denis Connerton’s side to leapfrog past their neighbours and secure a last-four spot on scoring difference.

Longford will now host Dublin in the semi-final on January 17. Meanwhile, in the second semi-final next Sunday Louth will have home advantage against Meath after both counties defied the odds to make the knock-out phase of the series.

Louth hammered DIT and this result proved sufficient to give the Wee County a semi-final slot even though Kildare beat Offaly in the other group match.

Meanwhile, two late goals from Meath’s Mickey Newman and Graham Reilly ended Laois’ one hundred percent record in the series and the win was sufficient to secure the Royals a place in the semi-final on scoring difference.

In the McKenna Cup more than 5,000 fans turned up in Owenbeg to see the much-anticipated local derby between Derry and Tyrone.

There was no shortage of drama as Derry raced into a 2-4 to 0-1 lead. 

But the introduction of All Star Mattie Donnelly and a goal from Patrick Quinn revived the visitors. Despite a third Derry goal Tyrone were two points ahead at the business end of the contest when Derry shocked them with a Mark Craig goal to lead 4-5 to 1-13.

However, the defending title holders were not to be denied and three late points with just a solitary reply from Derry meant Tyrone stayed on course to win the tournament for a fifth year in a row.

But there was no shortage of shock results elsewhere with Donegal going down to St Mary’s in Letterkenny while Down’s former All-Ireland winning boss, Pete McGrath made a triumphant return to Newry and guided Fermanagh to a six-point win over the home side.

This leaves Fermanagh within touching distance of a place in the last four.

Monaghan’s woes in the competition continued as they lost at home for a second week in a row – this time to Armagh.

In the Connacht FBD League, Mayo and Roscommon will meet in what is effectively a semi-final next weekend after they both won while Galway all but secured a place in the final by accounting for Leitrim.

Galway hurlers began life under new boss Micheal Donoghue with a hard earned win over DCU in the Walsh Cup in Ballinasloe.

Two matches, Waterford v Cork in football and Waterford v Limerick in hurling were called off on Saturday night due to unplayable conditions.

Kerry club Templenoe advanced to the semi-final of the All-Ireland junior football championship when they defeated John Mitchels in the quarter-final in Birmingham (2-8; 0-6). They now face Curraha from Meath in the semi-final in two weeks' time.


FBD SFL Round 2
Roscommon 0-12; NUIG 0-8
Mayo 1-16; IT Sligo 0-8
Sligo 0-12; GMIT 1-10
Galway1-8; Leitrim 1-5
O’Byrne Cup Round 3
Wexford 3-20; Carlow 1-12
Dublin 1-16; DCU 1-12
Kildare 0-13; Offaly 0-11
Louth 3-18; DIT 1-8
Meath 2-16; Laois 0-14
UCD 2-13; Carlow 1-7
Longford 1-9 Wicklow 1-5
NUI Maynooth 0-10; Westmeath 0-9
McGrath Cup Round 2
Clare 0-12; Kerry 0-9
McKenna Cup Round 2
Tyrone 1-16; Derry 4-6
St Marys 2-6; Donegal 0-8
Fermanagh 0-14; Down 0-8
Armagh 0-16; Monaghan 2-9
Walsh Cup Round 2
IT Carlow 2-15; Carlow 0-14.
Wexford 3-18; Meath 2-7
Dublin 3-25; Antrim 1-17
Laois 1-19 UCD 0-17
Galway 1-16; DCU 0-17
Munster SHL Round 2
Cork 1-20; Kerry 0-18