GAA round-up: Ballyboden grind out win in Louth
TWO of the fancied sides in the Leinster club football championship, Ballyboden St Enda’s and Portlaoise, brushed with disaster before finally claiming their place in the provincial semi-finals.
Dublin champions Ballyboden were pressed all the way by Louth title holders, St Patrick’s in Drogheda even though Colm Basquel scored a first-half goal for the visitors.
Inspired by former All Star Paddy Keenan the Louth title holders stayed in contention throughout. Had the referee allowed a goal Keenan scored direct from a free – he ruled that the free had to be taken away – it might have been a different outcome.
In the end two late Conal Keaney points secured a four-point win for Ballyboden who will meet St Loman’s in the provincial semi-final. The Westmeath title holders travelled to Aughrim and comfortably overcame the challenge of Rathnew.
Perennial title contenders Portlaoise also had a close escape at home against Sarsfields who actually hit three more scores than the Laois champions. However, goals win games and Portlaoise’s brace saw them through by a single point.
Longford champions Emmet Og Killoe enhanced their growing reputation in this competition when they dumped out Meath title holders Navan O’Mahonys.
Portlaoise and Killoe will now meet for the second time in four seasons in the provincial semi-final.
Meanwhile, defending All-Ireland and provincial title holders Corofin from Galway powered their way into their second consecutive Connacht final when they hammered Sligo side St Mary’s.
The other semi-final was a much closer affair but three first-half goals for Castlebar Mitchels paved the way for their four-point win over Roscommon side Clann na nGael.
The final between Corofin – who are managed by the soon to be Mayo senior boss Stephen Rochford – and Castlebar is a repeat of the 2013 provincial semi-final in which the Mayo side scored a shock win. They subsequently went on to contest the All-Ireland club final against St Vincent’s the following March.
Waterford hurling champions Ballygunner eased away from Cork’s Glen Rovers in the second half of their Munster semi-final despite Patrick Horgan's best efforts for the visitors.
Ballygunner had seven points to spare at the finish as they reached their first final since 2009.
Newly crowned Dublin champions Cuala fashioned arguably the most impressive win of the day when they hammered Offaly champions Coolderry by 14 points in Tullamore to reach the semi-final.
Offaly senior player Brian Carroll was red carded as the visitors ran amok.
Cuala will have home advantage in next Sunday’s semi-final against Kilkenny’s Clara. Clonkill (Westmeath) and Wexford’s Oulart The Ballagh meet in the other semi-final.
Meanwhile, both the Kerry club football and the Galway hurling decider ended all square.
There was controversy in Killarney where Jamie O’Sullivan hit the equalising point for Killarney Legion in the fourth minute of injury time.
Referee Seamus Mulvihill received a Garda escort of the pitch after he played four minutes of added-on time instead of the two minutes that were indicated.
South Kerry, who trailed by three points at the break 0-4 to 0-7, had hauled themselves back into contention in the second half thanks primarily to the efforts of Kerry player Bryan Sheehan.
The Divisional side looked to have sealed the win when substitute Greg Gibson put them in front in the 62nd minute but the referee played on and Killarney Legion, bidding for their first title since 1946, earned a replay which is due to take place next Saturday.
The final score was 0-9 each.
Following discussions between the officers of the Munster Council and the Kerry GAA it has been decided to change the date of the replay which was originally scheduled for next Saturday. The game will now be played on the weekend of November 22. This will allow the players from the South Kerry squad who also feature on the St Mary's Cahirciveen Intermediate team to play in the Munster club championship next weekend.
There is no such fixture jam in Galway as the winners of the hurling title automatically represent Connacht in the All-Ireland club series. But Sarsfields and Craughwell will also have to meet again in the county decider.
Neil Morrissey’s late free earned Sarsfields a draw.
The sides were level on six occasions during a keenly contested decider but Craughwell took the lead for the first time in the 55th minute before Sarsfields – who led 0-8 to 0-3 at the break – earned a reprieve through Morrissey’s free.
Connacht club SFC semi-finals:
Castlebar Mitchels (Mayo) 3-8; Clann na nGael (Roscommon) 0-13
Corofin (Galway) 4-14; St Mary's (Sligo) 2-6
Leinster club SFC quarter-finals:
Portlaoise (Laois) 2-5 Sarsfields (Kildare) 0-10
Emmet Og, Killoe (Longford) 0-11 Navan O'Mahonys (Meath) 1-6
St Loman’s (Westmeath) 2-10; Rathnew (Wicklow) 1-6
Ballyboden St Enda's (Dublin) 1-8 St Patrick's (Louth) 0-7
Leinster club SHC quarter-final:
Cuala (Dublin) 1-23; Coolderry (Offaly) 0-12
Munster club SHC semi-final:
Ballygunner (Waterford) 0-19 Glen Rovers (Cork) 1-9