Datapac League Div 2
IT Sligo 3-10 UUJ 0-10
League Div 3
GMIT Castlebar 1-1 IT Sligo (2) 5-9
At IT Sligo:
Datapac SHL Div 2C IT
Sligo 3-10 UUJ 0-10
IT Sligo senior
hurlers started their league campaign with a comprehensive victory over Northern
rivals UU Jordanstown despite firing 10 wides throughout the game. All but 2 of
the UUJ scores came from frees as Antrim and Ulster senior Michael McCambridge
punished some sloppy Sligo defending. In contrast only 2 of the Sligo scores
came from frees with Mayo star Keith Higgins pointing 2 points from placed balls
in the first half.
started brightest in a lacklustre 1st half with Higgins also adding 2 exquisite
points from play and full-forward Colm Crowley from Cork adding a well-taken
goal in the 10th minute following a long pass from half-back Tom
Regan. Kerry U-21 Pat Randles also added a point to finish off a well-worked
one-two with corner forward David Cullinan. This gave the Sligo seniors a
deserved 1-5 to 0-2 lead at the break with the UUJ scores coming from long-range
In the 2nd
half the game livened up with both teams contesting possession fiercely. Antrim
senior Brendan Herron and Kevin McGarry of Fermanagh dominated the midfield area
for UUJ throughout but the
introduction of current Galway minor Keith Haverty into the forwards and the
move of Pat Randles to midfield made this area more competitive. However some
soft frees gave UUJ two early points before Clarinbridge senior Peter Burke
pointed from half forward. Some poor defensive play from the otherwise effective
IT Sligo full back line gifted UUJ a
point from play on 13 minutes before Colm Crowley tapped in a superb pass from
Westmeath senior Daniel Carty to give the home team a 2-6 to 0-5 lead. UUJ
fought back with points from a free from McCambridge and former Antrim senior
Johnny Flynn before the battling David “Dinky” McDonagh pointed after a solo
run through the heart of the visitors defence. Dan Carty then lobbed over an
excellent point to restore IT Sligo’s 2 goal lead.
UUJ again upped
the stakes with a good point from play and another free to reduce the lead to
4pts. IT Sligo corner-back Mayo senior Stephen Coyne and Castlegar senior
Stephen Connell made some excellent interventions to stem the UUJ forwards.
However the last 15 minutes belonged to the home team as McDonagh again pointed
following a run from midfield and substitute John Kavanagh lobbed over following
a poor UUJ clearance. A huge clearance from towering fullback Brendan Murtagh
reached the hurl of fellow Westmeath man Dan Carty who thumped home a thunderous
goal to give IT Sligo 9 point win. IT Sligo play QUB in round 2 of the league in
Belfast on 27th October before completing the round robin section by
hosting rivals Athlone IT at Ballinode.
Team and Scorers:
Subs used: Keith
Haverty (Galway), John Kavanagh (Laois) 0-1, John Kelly (Galway), Liam
IT Sligo 4-14 Sligo-Leitrim 2-10:
At half-time in Saturday’s
knockairport.com Connacht Senior Hurling League first-round tie at Ballinode,
the scoreline was akin to that of an FA Cup fixture in which the minnows,
although plucky, take an uncomfortable pummelling.
But the Sligo-Leitrim selection, whose Sligo players were all Allianz Hurling Division Three victors last May, can hardly be regarded as minnows.
Because IT Sligo – who emerged worthwhile winners by 10 points – don’t compete in the elite realm, that of the Fitzgibbon Cup, they cannot be deemed behemoths of the Third Level Colleges scene.
But next month’s Ryan Cup hopefuls, semi-finalists in this season’s Higher Education Council Senior Hurling League Division Two, displayed too much ingenuity and cohesion for a Sligo-Leitrim side guided by Sligo manager Mickey Galvin and Kevin Glancy, his Leitrim counterpart.
That the students scored 18 times – 11 of these scores came in a one-sided first period – meant that the Brian McCann-managed team, whose coach is cordial Cork native Jimmy O’Brien, had the edge over opponents whose game only gelled during the second-half.
Outstanding displays from midfielder Gerry Farragher and full-forward Keith Higgins, who bagged 1-6 and 2-3 respectively, ensured that the hosts, despite allowing a much-improved Sligo-Leitrim to score 2-5 in the second-half, remained out of reach.
With centre-back Brendan Murtagh and Noel Qualter, the team’s No. 11, also commanding, IT Sligo had a grip on all the key sectors.
Although the more assured side throughout, the winners’ best work came in a first-half that ended 14 points in their favour (4-7 to 0-5).
IT Sligo corner-forward Colm Crowley’s fourth minute goal was the game’s opening score and by the 14th minute IT Sligo were leading by 10 points (2-4 to 0-0).
The home side’s second goal came from Keith Higgins’ scorching finish, while the irrepressible Gerry Farragher, whose lengthy delivery set up Crowley’s goal, landed two long-range points to add to the early points notched by the goalscorers.
Paul Severs, Sligo’s most accomplished hurler for well over a decade, opened Sligo-Leitrim’s account with a 17th minute free; the Tubbercurry legend converted three more points in the first period and finished the game with 1-6 to his credit.
Certainly aware of Severs’ ability, the breeze-assisted IT Sligo nonetheless continued to be ruthless.
Noel Qualter pointed well before Mayo native Keith Higgins, also a useful Gaelic footballer, lashed his second goal with a rasping 21st minute drive. The ‘assist’ for Higgins’ goal came from Michael Gilmartin, the only Sligo native in IT Sligo’s starting 15.
Brendan Murtagh’s huge pointed free – IT Sligo’s seventh point of the first-half – preceded the game’s fourth goal.
Gerry Farragher propelled a free low and hard past Micheál Gorman, the Sligo-Leitrim goalkeeper, in the second minute of first-half stoppage-time.
Keith Raymond replied with a pointed free for Sligo-Leitrim – who began with four Leitrim players – before Roscommon referee Michael Carroll signalled half-time.
Sligo-Leitrim’s interval team-talk borrowed elements of Mel Gibson’s ‘Braveheart’ speech, forwards Mick Shelly and Fabio Cretaro were introduced and the team that trailed by 14 points set about redeeming themselves.
Paul Severs popped over a brace of frees within five minutes of the re-start, but it was Fabio Cretaro’s deft goal – from the hard-working James Glancy’s ball into the students’ goalmouth – that revealed Sligo-Leitrim’s new-found spirit.
Substitute Mick Shelly saw his well-struck shot saved by John Minnock, the IT Sligo goalkeeper, but the net-minder was soon beaten when Paul Severs smoothly swept the ball home. With 22 minutes left, the difference was six points (4-8 to 2-8).
IT Sligo’s excellent No. 14, Keith Higgins, answered almost immediately with his second point of the second-half, another polished score.
Further scores from Peter Burke, substitute David Cullinane and Gerry Farragher – whose successful sideline cut, was, under this competition’s experimental rule changes worth two points – lessened IT Sligo’s worries.
Leading by 12 points (4-14 to 2-8) following Farragher’s accuracy from a sideline ball, IT Sligo didn’t score for the 13 minutes that remained.
Severs and Leitrim’s Brian Carroll, a second-half substitute, each tacked on a point, bringing Sligo-Leitrim’s tally to 2-10. The losers, for whom Tubbercurry’s Mark Burke was an energetic force, threatened to score a third goal but were firmly deterred by Galway man Gerry Farragher, who had moved back to assist his defence.
Shelly, the Calry-St Joseph’s player, again caught sight of goal but he dragged a shot wide.
Player of the Match: Gerry Farragher (IT Sligo)
IT Sligo: John Minnock(Longford), Dan Clune (Westmeath), Tom Regan (Galway) (c), Stephen Connell (Galway), John Kelly (Galway), Brendan Murtagh (Westmeath) (0-1, 1f), Sean Melia (Roscommon), Gerry Farragher (Galway) (1-6, 2f, 1 ‘65’, 1-0f, 1 sideline), Pat Randles (Kerry), Peter Burke (Galway) (0-1), Noel Qualter (Galway) (0-1), David McDonagh (Galway), Michael Gilmartin (Sligo), Keith Higgins (Mayo) (2-3), Colm Crowley (Cork) (1-1)
Subs used: David Cullinane (Galway) (0-1), Stephen Coyne (Mayo), Owen Callanan (Galway), Joe Bannerton (Galway), Keith Haverty (Galway)
Sligo-Leitrim: Michaél Gorman (Sligo), Fiachra Coyne (Sligo), Fergus Hayes (Sligo), Jerome Quinn (Sligo), Ronan Haughey (Sligo), Vinny McDermott (Leitrim), James Glancy (Leitrim), James Keane (Leitrim), Liam Reidy (Sligo), Keith Raymond (Sligo) (0-1, 1f), Mark Burke (Sligo), Feargall Carroll (Leitrim), Paul Severs (Sligo) (1-8, 8f), Patrick Quinn (Sligo), Robert Martin (Sligo)
Subs used: Enda Gallagher (Sligo), Michael Shelly (Sligo), Fabio Cretaro (Sligo) (1-0), Brian Carroll (Leitrim) (0-1), Dara Severs (Sligo)
Referee: Michael Carroll (Roscommon).
copyright: Sligo Weekender
IT Sligo Hurlers
Let It Slip (Sligo Champion report)
IT Sligo senior hurlers surrendered an impressive first half lead of eight points (1-10 to 0-5) to lose by four in a well-contested Connacht SHL Round 2 game at Ballinode last Saturday. This result means that the Sligo students have to beat favourites NUIG next Saturday to have any chance of making the final.
IT Sligo started with all guns blazing with some excellent interplay between midfield duo Gerry Farragher and Pat Randles and the forwards. Gerry Farragher penalised the Galway indiscretions by duly converting four times from frees before the Tribesmen got on the scoresheet. This was to be a lightening point from the new young star of Galway hurling Niall Healy following a clearance from the IT fullback line. The students continued to get the upper hand winning “50-50” balls in all positions with Brendan Murtagh a collossis at centre-back and Keith Higgins a threat in the forwards. Pat Mullaney from Laois had an excellent spell in goal and his puck-outs utilised the stiff breeze effectively.
Indeed the students had their best spell after Gerry Farragher sent over a super point from play, with Farragher slicing over a sideline, worth 2 points, after 15minutes to give IT Sligo a 0-7 to 0-2 lead. Niall Healy provided the Galway point from a free. Three minutes later Westmeath county player Dan Carty followed up on a loose ball to fire it into the corner of Aidan Ryan’s net to give the students a deserved lead. Galway started to show more purpose after this setback and points from Conor Dervan and Niall Healy gave them some hope. However IT Sligo finished the half strongly with another point from midfield dynamo Gerry Farrgaher and a point free from the same player, before Dan Carty gave the students a seemingly match-winning 1-10 to 0-5 lead at the break with a 29th minute point from the left corner.
An invigorated and purposeful Galway side emerged after the break. They double-marked Farragher, withdrawing full-forward Dervan to midfield, and leaving the dangerous Healy and sub Donal Reilly in the full forward line. This had the immediate effect for galway with a succession of pointed frees from Niall Healy after some very soft frees were conceded by a less sharp IT Sligo defence. The IT Sligo team battled throughout the half but points from play from Sean Forde and Reilly brought the game to a two point affair midway through the half. IT Sligo registered some wides a result of decreasing confidence and the Galway side finally equlaised after 54 minutes when Niall Healy slotted over after skipping past his tiring marker. Adjustments to the IT Sligo backline had little effect and forwards Keith Higgins and Dan Carty were well-shackled by Ian Daniels and Ronan Reilly of Galway. Niall Healy from a close-in free to give the Tribesmen an unlikely lead with a minute to play and he followed this up with a well-taken goal on the run, though he appeared to take at least 6 steps before striking the ball past helpless keeper Pat Mullaney.
IT Sligo have performed well in this competition despite
this narrow defeat and will have gained invaluable experience before their Ryan
Cup 1st round game versus IT Tralee on February 9th.
IT Sligo: Pat Mullaney (Laois); Dan Clune (Westmeath), Tom Regan (Galway) capt., Stephen Connell (Galway); Stephen Coyne (Mayo), Brendan Murtagh (Westmeath), Sean Melia (Roscommon); Gerry Farragher (Galway) 0-9 (0-5 frees, 0-2 sideline), Pat Randles (Kerry); Peter Burke (Galway), Noel Qualter (Galway), David McDonagh (Galway); Dan Carty (Westmeath) 1-1, Keith Higgins (Mayo), Colm Crowley (Cork).
Subs used: David Cullinan (Galway).
Galway: Aidan Ryan; Enda Tannion, Ian Daniels, Ronan Reilly; Paul Flynn, Kieran Flaherty, Niall Corcoran; Andy Coen, Alan Garvey; Sean Forde 0-1, Eamon Hyland, Michael Coughlan; Eanna Ryan, Cathal Dervan 0-2 frees, Niall Healy 1-10 (0-8 frees).
Subs used: Donal Reilly 0-1, Dermot Ryan.
Referee: Pat Maguire (Sligo).
A week after blitzing the Sligo-Leitrim selection in the opening round of the knockairport.com Connacht Senior Hurling League, IT Sligo were given a dose of their own medicine.
The Third Level students didn’t play that badly when losing by four points (1-14 to 1-10) to Galway’s Development team, but they paid an inevitable price for failing to score for the entire second-half and, more crucially, for showing an inability to nullify Niall Healy, Galway’s leading scorer.
The waspish corner-forward scored an amazing 1-12, his late second-half goal, a sharply-finished effort, coming a minute after his 12th point – seven of which were converted frees – had given his side the lead for the first time.
While Healy emerged as Galway’s match-winner, full-back Ian Daniels did an equally important job by keeping IT Sligo’s full-forward Keith Higgins, the gifted dual player, scoreless.
Although trailing by eight points at the interval (1-10 to 0-5) the Galway Senior team hopefuls, many of whom dream of becoming the next Joe Cooney or Tony Keady, turned things around spectacularly in the second period. With IT Sligo – and their talisman, midfielder Gerry Farragher – stagnant in the second-half, Galway methodically added scores.
All but one of the winners’ 10 second-half scores (1-9) involved Healy – Andy Coen hit a fine point with 11 minutes left – and it was a similar pattern in the first-half.
Healy supplied four of Galway’s first-half points, while full-forward Cathal Dervan, namesake of the sports journalist who took the McCarthy corner during the infamous Saipan saga, scored Galway’s other point of the opening half.
Galway were just about holding on during that first-half because IT Sligo, with Farragher once again their pivotal performer, dominated.
Four pointed frees from Farragher – a Galway native – gave IT Sligo an early lead (0-4 to 0-0) before Healy pointed for Galway in the 10th minute. Farragher’s answer was a brilliant left-wing point and then, for the second successive week, he glided over a sideline cut to bring his tally to seven points.
With bustling centre-back Brendan Murtagh clearing his lines effectively and wing-back Stephen Coyne also showing steel, IT Sligo had a platform to build on. Little did they know that corner-forward Dan Carty’s 19th minute goal – which gave them a nine-points lead – would be the pinnacle of their endeavours.
Farragher then shot yet another point, his ninth, while Carty’s 28th minute point turned out to be IT Sligo’s last score.
Even if Galway had needed Healy to keep them in contention, their attempts on goal suggested a second-half revival was possible.
IT Sligo’s net-minder Pat Mullaney, who showed himself to be a decent custodian, blocked Cathal Dervan’s goalbound shot – from a free – after three minutes.
Within minutes of Healy’s opening point, his team-mate Eanna Ryan clipped a shot that wafted across the face of the IT Sligo goalmouth.
Midway through the first-half Stephen Connell’s goalline clearance kept Galway from grabbing a goal when they most needed it.
In the last minute IT Sligo’s Noel Qualter was sin-binned but the game had already been lost. Farragher tried to drill a close-range free through a phalanx of Galway defenders but to no avail.
IT Sligo manager Brian McCann’s mood may have been irked by his beloved Liverpool losing to Manchester United and, just like the Jerzy Dudek error that gifted Wayne Rooney the winning goal at Anfield, IT Sligo’s second-half implosion at Ballinode will have equally perplexed the Antrim native.
Player of the Match: Niall Healy
IT Sligo: Pat Mullaney (Laois), Dan Clune (Westmeath), Tom Regan (Galway) (c), Stephen Connell (Galway), Stephen Coyne (Mayo), Brendan Murtagh (Westmeath), Sean Melia (Roscommon), Gerry Farragher (Galway) (0-9, 4f, 1 ‘65’, 1 sideline), Pat Randles (Kerry), Peter Burke (Galway), Noel Qualter (Galway), David McDonagh (Galway), Dan Carty (Westmeath) (1-1), Keith Higgins (Mayo), Colm Crowley
Subs used: David Cullinane (Galway)
Galway Development team: Aidan Ryan, Enda Tannion, Ian Daniels, Ronan Reilly, Niall Corcoran, Kieran Flaherty, Andy Coen (0-1), Paul Flynn, Alan Garvey, Sean Forde, Eamon Hyland, Michael Coughlin, Eanna Ryan, Cathal Dervan (0-1), Niall Healy (1-12, 7f)
Sub used: Donal Reilly
Referee: Pat Maguire (Sligo)
23rd January 2005
Although NUIG garnered the full complement of spoils, IT Sligo can reflect with real satisfaction as they hurled with admirable grit and determination in the gnawing Galway cold last Saturday afternoon.
Having comprehensively outwitted the Galway Development Squad and Sligo-Leitrim, NUIG experienced a far sterner examination from the diligent Sligo students.
NUIG moved the ball around with confidence and assurance in the opening stages. Indeed, the Galway Third Level outfit sauntered into a commanding nine-points lead in the first 20 minutes.
Prompted by full-back Damien O’Brien, NUIG thundered forward menacingly.
‘Beano’ Connolly fashioned a string of goal scoring opportunities in this period of Galwegian dominance. Eventually Galway rattled the Sligo net in the 14th minute when Kevin Hayes smashed a venomous effort past IT Sligo goalkeeper Pat Mullaney following a neat Connolly flick.
Seconds later Connolly’s weaving run culminated with a shot which Mullaney bravely saved, but the prodigious Finian Coone poked the rebound home.
IT Sligo midfielder Ger Farragher pointed two frees in the dying moments of the first-half, as NUIG departed at the interval with an eight point cushion.
The IT Sligo third quarter riposte, however, was most encouraging.
Tom Tierney’s influence increased and the former Galway underage star pinched a goal for IT Sligo four minutes after the restart.
While Sligo battled vigorously, NUIG captain O’Brien repeatedly thwarted the enthusiastic visitors. Coone continued to wreak havoc at the opposite end and his determination was rewarded with another splendid goal.
Tierney knifed through to claim two late IT Sligo points, but NUIG also registered vital scores late on.
Killian Neylon’s opportunist goal was converted with aplomb as NUIG somehow bagged a fourth major.
The Galway University are aiming high in 2005, and with some justification, but Sligo’s honest endeavour was a salient feature of a game that was scarcely affected by the near arctic Corribside conditions.
With promising players such as Farragher, Tierney and the indefatigable Keith Higgins, who strained every sinew, IT Sligo’s hurling journey may reach a prosperous destination in the coming years.
NUIG: P Dullaghan, J Lynch, D O’Brien, L Geraghty, D Clancy, T Og
Regan, P O’Flynn, T O’Donovan, J Lee, D Kelly (0-1), C Lafferty, J Dunphy, B Connolly, K Hayes (1-3, 1f), F Coone (2-3)
Subs used: K Neylon (1-0), D Shannon, R Whyte
IT Sligo: P Mullaney, D Clune, B Murtagh, S Connell, S Coyne, N Qualter, S Melia, G Farragher (0-2, 2f), P Randles, P Burke, T Tierney (1-2), D McDonagh, D Cullinane, K Higgins, C Crowley
Subs used: M Gilmartin, J Kelly, J Bannerton
Connacht Senior Hurling League:
The IT Sligo senior hurlers completed their first Connacht league campaign in a spirited encounter with Fitzgibbon Cup contenders NUIG in Dangan last Saturday. The final score did not accurately reflect the quality of hurling and excellent defending of a plucky IT Sligo team who aim to be contenders for the Ryan Cup next month. In fact if it were not for some wayward striking and 6 scorable wides the NUIG half-time lead of 2-4 to 0-2 could have been much reduced. However the Galway college team, littered with senior and U-21 county stars, were the dominant force in the first 15 minutes. The IT Sligo full-back line struggled to cope with the speedy skills of Galway minor Finian Coone who notched 1-3 in the first period, the NUIG half-back line led by Galway senior star Tony Og Regan fielded some excellently. Some excellent last-ditch saves from IT Sligo keeper Pat Mullaney and towering full-back Brendan Murtagh kept the visitors in the game. However the usually accurate Gerry Farragher spurned a number of chances from frees and play in the difficult conditions before sending over two frees towards the end of the half. Clareman Tomas O’Donovan was sin-binned in the first half for over-aggressive play.
The IT Sligo full-forward line struggled throughout and failed to capitalise on a succession opportunities created by some well-structured passing moves and excellent tackling by the half-backs and by midfield duo Farragher and Kerryman Pat Randles in the first half. Indeed Mayo star Keith Higgins was well-shackled by NUIG captain Damian O’Brien. IT Sligo half–back Stephen Coyne had an excellent game throughout on former Kilkenny U-21 James Dunphy who was eventually substituted scoreless. In fact the NUIG half-forward line scored only a solitary point throughout the game. Some fearless tackling and blocking by half forwards David McDonagh, Peter Burke and Galway U-21 Tom Tierney resulted in an increased share of the play for IT Sligo in the second period. Tierney latched onto an excellent Sean Melia cross-ball to lash the sliothar into the NUIG net after 5 minutes of the second period had elapsed. This spurned the Sligo team into some purposeful play until both O’Donovan for NUIG and IT Sligo captain Farragher were sin-binned following an altercation. The Sligo lads defended valiantly for the next ten minutes exchanging points with NUIG with Tierney finishing an excellent move and Kevin Hayes replying for NUIG. The return of Farragher added further impetus and IT Sligo reduced the deficit to four points with ten minutes remaining, 2-5 to 1-4. However IT Sligo, having earlier introduced Sligo senior hurler Michael Gilmartin to the game mid-way through the half, with 8 minutes to play decided to give four more substitutes an opportunity. This followed a goal on the counter from NUIG sub Clare U-21 player Killian Neylon, who rounded his marker and keeper and flicked the sliothar into an empty net.
IT Sligo then launched a series of unconverted attacks, two of which involved some last-ditch defending from NUIG net minder Paul Dullaghan, with Mickey Gilmartin coming closest to a goal with a scorching drive well-saved by the Galway U-21 keeper. Other chances were wasted as IT Sligo went for goals when points were on offer, and NUIG capitalised on this profligacy adding 1-2 in the last 5 minutes of the game.
All in all the IT Sligo team showed excellent qualities and in most departments matched their more illustrious opponents. However target practice is likely to be the dominant feature of training sessions prior to Wednesday fortnight’s encounter with IT Tralee in the Datapac Ryan Cup 1st Round.
IT Sligo: Pat Mullaney (Laois); Dan Clune (Westmeath), Brendan Murtagh (Westmeath), Stephen Connell (Galway); Stephen Coyne (Mayo), Noel Qualter (Galway), Sean Melia (Roscommon); Gerry Farragher (Galway) 0-2frees, Pat Randles (Kerry); Peter Burke (Galway), Tom Tierney (Galway) 1-2, David McDonagh (Galway);David Cullinan (Galway), Keith Higgins (Mayo), Colm Crowley (Cork).
Subs used: Michael Gilmartin (Sligo), John Kelly (Galway),
Owen Callanan (Galway), Matt Murphy (Westmeath), Joe Bannerton (Galway).
NUI Galway: Paul Dullaghan (Galway); John Lynch (Galway), Danien O’Brien (Tipperary), Liam Geraghty (Galway); Dara Clancy (Clare), Tony Og Regan (Galway), Padraig O’Flynn (Galway); John Lee (Galway), Tomas O’Donovan (Clare); Damien Kelly (Galway) 0-1, Cathal Lafferty (Clare), James Dunphy (Kilkenny); Brian Connolly (Galway), Kevin Hayes (Galway) 1-3 (0-1f), Finian Coone (Galway) 2-3
Subs used: Killian Neylon (Clare) 1-0, Dara Shannon (Clare), Roderick Whyte (Galway).
Referee: Tomas Holian (Galway)
The IT Sligo second hurling team play Athlone IT this afternoon (Wednesday) at the IT pitch 2pm to decide who meets UU Coleraine/Magee in the quarter-finals of the Datapac Higher Education Division 3 League.
Ryan Cup 1st Round - 9th February 2005
IT Sligo senior hurlers reached the quarter-finals of the Ryan Cup by the narrowest of margins last Wednesday afternoon, played in desperately poor conditions, both underfoot and weather, at Tubber, Co. Clare. It was a hard-fought, nail-biting contest with both teams guilty of a series of wides with accuracy almost impossible in a swirling rain-soaked wind. The long grass and poor weather slowed up the game favouring tough-tackling backs and limiting open play.
Despite this Gerry Farragher, in a man-of-the-match performance, made light of the testing conditions with a pointed free against the wind after 2 minutes of play following an infringement after some excellent work from IT Sligo forwards Keith Higgins and Peter Burke. IT Sligo went 2 points up when the elusive Higgins beat his marker and lobbed over a point on the turn from the right corner. However this lead was countered by points from Tralee’s best player, former Cork minor Richard O’Connell, as he beat his marker ran diagonally and threw over a wind-assisted point from the right wing. Liam Murphy equalised for the Munster college when he pointed from a close-in free in the 9th minute. IT Tralee failed to capitalise fully on a period of possession dominance that followed, and were guilty of a series of wides. Some relentless defending from IT Sligo half-backs Stephen Coyne of Mayo and Sean Melia of Roscommon limited IT Tralee chances until disaster seemed to strike the Sligo college. Firstly Gerry Farragher was the recipient of some very reckless striking and had to be replaced with a wrist injury after 15 minutes of play, and this was followed by the withdrawal of Sean Melia after a similarly reckless challenge. This loss saw the Kerry college gain an upper hand and a point from the energetic O’Connell gave them the lead for the first time. However Mayo dual-star Keith Higgins equalised from a free on 19 minutes before Murphy pointed twice from frees in the latter stages of the half, to give the Munster college a 0-5 to 0-3 half-time lead.
At half-time a re-arranged Sligo back-line gained full control of the game with defenders Stephen Coyne, Noel Qualter and Brendan Murtagh in particular snuffing out any IT Tralee attacks and setting up ball for the IT Sligo forwards. In fact it took only 2 minutes of play for the hard-working David “Dinky” McDonagh to send over an excellent point from the right wing. A number of frees and chances were spurned by IT Sligo with Tralee IT full-back Kerry senior Eamon Fitzgerald, and former Limerick minor Eoin Benson solidly marshalling the IT Tralee backs. However the return of Galway senior panellist Gerry Farragher to the fray was the turning point of the game. He was thrown in at full-forward by the IT Sligo mentors after 8minutes of the second period and a minute later he gathered the ball, beat two Tralee defenders and slotted the sliothar over the bar from 40m out to level the game at five points each. A minute later he accepted a pass from Pat Randles, a Kerry native on the IT Sligo team, and Farragher skilfully stroked the ball over the crossbar. However the IT Sligo team were guilty of a succession of wides and short striking, landing the ball on top of the competent Tralee IT keeper on a number of occasions when they really should have finished off the faltering IT Tralee challenge. Dan Carty spurned three point chances, sending the sliothar narrowly wide of the post increasingly difficult conditions, and Peter Burke had a goal chance well- saved.
It was an impressive point from half-back Stephen Coyne after 19 minutes of play that was to eventually clinch the game for IT Sligo. He beat his marker for pace to gather a Tralee IT puck-out, and on the run launched a colossal strike over the bar from 60m out despite the attentions of IT Tralee forward Richard O’Connell. This point gave the Sligo college a two point cushion which was to remain until the 27th minute when Murphy pointed from free to set-up a nervous last few minutes. Indeed referee Michael O’Connell played a full 6 minutes of injury time as IT Tralee desperately seeked an equalising or winning score. Pat Mullaney, the solid Laois keeper, had to make a rare second half clearance and substitutes Owen Callanan and John Kelly typified a very determined IT Sligo performance with some fine tackling and relieving clearances. Lar Kinsella, Keith Higgins and Peter Burke amongst others battled for every ball in the forwards. However the final whistle sounded to give a relieved IT Sligo a deserved win against well-organised and determined opposition
IT Sligo senior hurlers now turn their attentions to Ryan Cup favourites St. Pat’s who they meet in the quarter-finals next Friday afternoon at 3.15pm at Ballinode, hoping that home advantage, better conditions, and the return of Galway U-21 player Tom Tierney will send the team into the Fitzgibbon/Ryan Cup finals weekend. This weekend is hosted by Limerick IT and takes place on the 5th and 6th March.
IT Sligo: Pat Mullaney (Laois); Tom Regan (Galway), Brendan Murtagh (Westmeath), Stephen Connell (Galway); Stephen Coyne (Mayo) 0-1, Noel Qualter (Galway), Sean Melia (Roscommon); Gerry Farragher (Galway) 0-3, 1free, Pat Randles (Kerry); Peter Burke (Galway), Lar Kinsella (Wexford), David McDonagh (Galway) 0-1; Dan Carty (Westmeath), Keith Higgins (Mayo) 0-2, 1 free, Colm Crowley (Cork).
Subs used: John Kelly (Galway) for Farragher , Owen Callanan (Galway), Gerry Farragher (Galway).
Ryan Cup Quarter-final - Feb 18th 2005
A determined IT Sligo senior hurling team defeated Ryan Cup favourites and Division 2 league winners St. Pat’s by two points in a gritty and well-contested nail-biter staged at a blustery Ballinode last Friday. St. Pat’s, who contained prominent players such as rising Kilkenny star Richie Power, Laois senior Damien Walsh and Kilkenny U-21 captain David Herrity, where always in a pulsating and physical contest with the lead changing hands at least four times during an exciting 60 minutes of top-class hurling. IT Sligo where well-served by the talents of Galway senior Gerry Farragher, who notched 1-4, Mayo dual-star Keith Higgins, and full-back Brendan Murtagh, a powerhouse with the Westmeath county team. New Laois ‘keeper Pat Mullaney marshalled his IT Sligo back-line with aplomb as the Dublin student teachers had a number of wind-assisted first half attacking chances denied by some stubborn IT Sligo defending.
However as early as the 2nd minute Gerry Farragher and Keith Higgins were both fouled following a bruising series of tackles but the resulting free was unconverted by the winded Farragher. Liam Walsh pointed from a free to give St. Pats an early 5th minute lead before Keith Higgins latched onto an early pass from Lar Kinsella on 8 minutes, turned his marker skilfully and dispatched the sliothar into the top corner of the Pat’s net. This boosted the Sligo students into some much more enterprising play and two minutes later a devastating move gave IT Sligo a five point lead. Keith Higgins caught a long pass from midfielder Pat Randles, beat his man for pace on the right wing and sent in a soaring pass to Sligo senior Michael Gilmartin who caught the ball and swiftly struck it into the bottom corner of the Pat’s net, leaving the static St. Pat’s full-back line, all former Kilkenny under-age representatives, rooted to the spot.
However St. Pat’s shook off this setback and in 10 minutes of well-contested action scored two points as Richie Power notched a point from play and from a close-in free. Burly St. Pat’s centre-forward Damien Walsh also lobbed over a breeze-assisted point from about 40m out in the 17th minute as the Sligo half-backs and midfield struggled to gain possession. Ger Farragher was sent back to help out his beleaguered defence but to no avail when the lanky Kilkenny native Eoin Morrissey burst through to sweep the sliothar into Pat Mullaney’s goal. This gave the student teachers the lead, 1-4 to 2-0, and it was extended with frees from the mercurial talent of Richie Power and another pointed effort from Damien Walsh. However in the last ten minutes of the half the under-pressure Sligo team were relieved with some good spells of possession, rewarded when Gerry Farragher swung over an excellent point from some 50m out on the ring wing despite the constant resistance offered by the stiff breeze and some resilient St. Pat’s defending. Mayo county back Stephen Coyne was dispatched to mark Kilkenny senior Richie Power to good effect, however St. Pat’s added points from a long-range free and from play from Dublin senior star David Henry, to give them a deserved 1-8 to 2-1 half-time lead.
A revived IT Sligo team emerged in the second half. The strong wind advantage aided some excellent tackling and passing from the likes of centre-forward Lar Kinsella, and Tom Tierney and Pat Randles in the crucial midfield zone. This turned the tide in favour of the Yeat’s County students and their pressure was converted into points when Gerry Farragher stepped up to a smash a seventh minute free past a hapless Donal O’Brien’s goal. He followed this up with a majestic point resulting from some determined play by Lar Kinsella and an excellent pass from Kerry senior Pat Randles to equalise the match. Power then converted a colossal free into the breeze a minute later to retake the lead for the Drumcondra college. Eleven minutes into the half the rangy Clarinbridge half-forward Peter Burke received a pass from Farragher and sent the ball over the bar from a tight angle to level the game once again at 3-3 to 1-9. From the puck-out Burke again gathered the ball and following some close attention from Damien Walsh appeared to retaliate, fouling the Pat’s player. Referee James McGrath from Westmeath gave the unfortunate Burke his marching orders, though it was unclear if this was a straight red. This left the home team with 14 men for the remaining 20 minutes of play but a re-arranged IT Sligo forward line battled on. Brendan Murtagh gave the IT Sligo hurlers the lead when he sent over a huge point from his own 21m line to further inspire the comeback. This was followed up by an excellent point from Farragher as he combined with sub Colm Crowley before Power once again pointed from a free, his fifth of the game. However the multi-talented Gerry Farragher launched a ’65 over the bar to give the now-tiring fourteen man IT Sligo team some breathing space and ultimately a deserved two point win, 3-6 to 1-10. IT Sligo found it difficult to get scores against a superbly organised and equally-determined St. Pat’s team, with an expertly marshalled half-back line of Kilkenny U-21 Ronan Maher, Wexford under-age star Mick Heffernan and Dublin senior Liam Walsh. Tom Tierney and Keith Higgins spurned a number of chances before the whistle sounded to the delight of the IT Sligo support.
The IT Sligo hurlers now travel to Limerick IT, this
year’s Fitzgibbon Cup/Ryan Cup weekend hosts, where they will play either QUB
or Tipp Institute in the Ryan Cup semi-final next Friday week. The might of Mary
Immaculate, coached by Eamonn Cregan, and Carlow IT are likely to reach the
weekend on the other side of the draw, to provide probably the strongest line-up
in recent Ryan Cup history. This will pose a difficult task for the Jimmy
O’Brien and Brian McCann managed team, as they try to emulate the college’s
previous Ryan Cup hurling title of 1999.
IT Sligo: Pat Mullaney (Laois); Tom Regan (Galway),
Brendan Murtagh (Westmeath) 0-1free,
Dan Clune (Westmeath); Stephen Coyne (Mayo), Noel Qualter (Galway), Sean Melia
(Roscommon); Tom Tierney (Galway), Pat Randles (Kerry); Peter Burke
(Galway) 0-1, Lar Kinsella (Wexford),
David McDonagh (Galway); Keith Higgins (Mayo) 1-0, Gerry Farragher (Galway) 1-4, (1-1frees), Michael
Gilmartin (Sligo) 1-0.
Subs used: Stephen Connell (Galway), Colm Crowley (Cork).
Saturday the IT Sligo senior hurling team blitzed Tipperary Institute and Carlow
IT to land their 2nd ever Ryan Cup title (the last in 1999) in what
must be considered their finest achievement. The Ryan Cup final stages were held
with the prestigious Fitzgibbon Cup tournament hosted by Limerick IT last
weekend (4th/5th March 2005).
the hosts went on to win the Fitzgibbon, the Sligo IT hurlers saved their best
hurling of the year for the Ryan, defeating 2003 winners Tipperary Institute 3-9
to 0-8 in the semi-final, with Corkman Colm Crowley top-scoring with 2-1. Gerry
Farragher also starred and in difficult wet and windy conditions made light of
the soggy pitch at Na Piarsaigh to contribute 1-3 to the Sligo total. Dual star
Keith Higgins was ruled out with a viral complaint and Peter Burke was suspended
but their replacements deputised emphatically with Crowley goaling after 9
minutes and Dermot Dunne, who pointed in the 28th minute giving the
IT Sligo team a 1-3 to 0-4 half-time lead.
extended their lead when Gerry Farragher, after 2 minutes of the restart, with
the aid of the breeze blasted a sideline into the Tipperary net. Tough-tackling
centre-forward Lar Kinsella added an excellent point before Tipperary to add to
their total from the nippy former Tipperary U-21 Eoin Short. Apart from Short
the Tipperary Institute forwards where by a mean and determined IT Sligo
backline where Brendan Murtagh, giant centre-back Noel Qualter and Castlegar
corner-back Stephen Connell excelled.
Farragher added another point after 10 minutes before TI grabbed two successive
converted frees from former Tipp minor Patrick McCormick. The blustery, showery
conditions hindered the IT Sligo scoring with a succession of wides occurring
before Col Crowley flicked a goal following a quick pass from Lar Kinsella, who
gathered a huge puck-out from the impressive keeper Pat Mullaney. Strong running
Galway U-21 star Tom Tierney then added an excellent point to give IT Sligo a
3-6 to 0-7 lead. TI added only one further point from a free during an excellent
final 10 minutes for the IT Sligo hurlers with further points from play from
Michael Gilmartin of Calry, Colm Crowley and Tom Tierney.
team and scorers: Pat Mullaney (Laois); Tom Regan (Galway), Brendan Murtagh
(Westmeath), Stephen Connell (Galway); Stephen Coyne (Mayo), Noel Qualter
(galway), Sean Melia (Roscommon); Tom Tierney (Galway) 0-2, Pat Randles (Kerry); Dermot Dunne (Galway) 0-1,
Lar Kinsella 0-1, David McDonagh (Galway); Colm Crowley (Cork) 2-1,
Gerry Farragher (Galway) 1-3, 0-2 frees,
Michael Gilmartin (Sligo) 0-1.
used: John Kelly (Galway), Keith Haverty (Galway).
second semi-final played after the TI/ IT Sligo game produced a storming finish
from Carlow IT who rescued an 8 point deficit to overcome the challenge of
favourites Mary Immaculate College Limerick after extra time 3-9 to 0-16.
final was played in much more benign conditions on a dry and sandy LIT pitch
with only a stiff breeze causing any difficulties. IT Sligo blitzed a confident
Carlow IT with early scores from Ger Farragher, who ended up with a whopping
1-9, and Colm Crowley with his third goal of the weekend. IT Sligo were faster
to the ball and tougher in the tackle than their Leinster opponents who included
players from Offaly, Kilkenny and Wexford in their ranks. Indeed Niall Kennedy
pulled one back for IT Carlow, further points were added to the Sligo college by
the illustrious Tom Tierney and Michael Gilmartin, and Ger Farragher in the
first quarter. The Sligo county player finished off an excellent move initiated
by the hard work of Kerry senior Pat Randles who dominated at midfield
throughout. IT Carlow then pulled back 0-2 before the turning point occurred in
the twentieth minute with the score at 1-4 to 0-3. IT Carlow were awarded a
penalty after a last ditch tackle by Brendan Murtagh was deemed illegal. This
was brilliantly saved by Laois senior Pat Mullaney. The resulting puck-out
reached the hurl of Mickey Gilmartin who was fouled and a 20m free was awarded.
Ger Farragher stepped up to send the ball into the top of the net to give IT
Sligo a deserved 2-4 to 0-3 lead. A confident IT Sligo dominated the rest of the
half adding well-worked scores from Farragher, displaying touch and interplay of
the highest quality against a despairing IT Carlow.
Franks, an Offaly senior, was joined by his brother, former All Star, David
Franks in the second half, but to no avail, as IT Sligo continued to dominate
with some excellent free-flowing hurling on a fast pitch. Indeed Farragher
starred with six superb points from play, one colossal effort from at least 100m
out. Brendan Murtagh added two excellent frees from his own half to add to the
Carlow IT woes. The final whistle was greeted with elation by the IT Sligo panel
and supporters who witnessed a fine performance by a confident and spirited
team and scorers: Pat Mullaney (Laois); Tom Regan (Galway), Brendan Murtagh
(Westmeath) 0-2 frees, Stephen
Connell (Galway); Stephen Coyne (Mayo), Noel Qualter (galway), Sean Melia
(Roscommon); Tom Tierney (Galway) 0-1,
Pat Randles (Kerry); Dermot Dunne (Galway) , Lar Kinsella , David McDonagh
(Galway); Colm Crowley (Cork) 1-0,
Gerry Farragher (Galway) 1-9, 1-1 frees,
Michael Gilmartin (Sligo) 0-1.
used: John Kelly (Galway), Dan Clune (Westmeath), Keith Haverty (Galway).
IT SLIGO 2-13
CARLOW IT 0-5
A VIRTUOSO performance from Galway star Gerry Farragher brought the Ryan Cup to IT Sligo for the first time when they outclassed Carlow IT in Limerick yesterday. His tally of 1-9 included a monster effort from 120 yards as his side showed far greater touch and shape.
SCORERS - IT Sligo: G Farragher 1-9, M Gilmartin 1-1, B Murtagh 0-2, T Tierney 0-1. Carlow IT: N Kennedy 0-4, T Drennan 0-1.
IT Sligo: P Mullaney; T Regan (capt), B Murtagh, S Connell; S Coyne, N Qualter, S Melia; T Tierney, P Randles; D Dunne, L Kinsella, D McDonagh; C Crowley, G Farragher, M Gilmartin. Subs: J Kelly for T Tierney, D Clune for N Quazlter, K Haverty for M Gilmartin.
Carlow IT: P Kinsella; M Doyle, M Kinsella, J Butler; D Shaw, M Anglin, R Young; C Cronin, A Middleton; E Franks, T Drennan, N Kennedy; R Cummins, J Whelan, J Brady. Subs: D Moran for J Brady, K Franks for C Cronin, B Graydon for J Butler, D Franks for J Whelan, R Hynes for M Anglin.
Referee: D Kirwan (Cork)
© Copyright and Terms & Conditions - Sunday Independent.
GAA: Hurlers follow Sigerson trend and bring Ryan
Cup to IT Sligo
Ryan Cup Final
IT Sligo 2-13, Carlow IT 0-5
Rarely does a national hurling trophy come to Sligo in any grade of competition – although last year’s Allianz Hurling League Division Three title for Sligo represented a breakthrough – but last Saturday wrote a new chapter in the history of the noble sport in north Connacht.
After a momentous Ryan Cup campaign that landed the scalps of traditional powerhouses like St Patrick’s College (Drumcondra) and Tipperary Institute, Sligo town’s Institute of Technology landed Higher Education’s second most coveted Senior hurling crown by brushing aside the challenge of Carlow IT in Limerick.
And following on the Senior Gaelic footballers’ successful defence of the Sigerson Cup the previous weekend, IT Sligo has established itself not only as one of the bastions of Gaelic Games at Third Level, but also one of a handful that can compete at the highest grade in both codes.
The spadework for last weekend’s defeat of Carlow IT was done before the break, as the winners were inspired by a virtuoso performance from Gerry Farragher.
With a personal tally of 1-9, including a monster effort from 120 yards, the Galway Senior star tormented the Carlow defence with a flawless display of skill and speed.
Yet despite his individual dominance, this was by no means a one-man show. A miserly defence in which Westmeath’s Brendan Murtagh, Galwayman Noel Qualter and Mayo’s Stephen Coyne excelled, closed off every effort by the opposition to pull themselves back into contention.
Tom Tierney and Pat Randles provided the horsepower to make the runs from the middle and Sligo’s own Michael Gilmartin bagged the crucial opening goal that sent his side on their way to success.
Most impressive of all, however, was the spirit and shape maintained by the team right throughout the hour.
Despite starting off into the teeth of an Arctic gale, they continuously used the width of the pitch for the diagonal ball to open up the spaces and the support was always on hand when they moved forward.
And maintaining the momentum right up to the final whistle, they held Carlow to just a single point from play.
Right from the start, the Leinstermen struggled to gain enough possession around the middle to make use of the first-half breeze and Niall Kennedy’s free (in reply to Farragher’s opening strike) was their only reward.
But their troubles really began when Farragher’s run opened their defence and Gilmartin was on hand to scramble home the goal from close-range.
Tom Drennan hit back with a first-time strike after collecting his own puckout before Sligo lifted a gear for Dermot Dunne, Gilmartin and Farragher to pick off three tasty points, the last coming at the end of four pinpoint passes from deep inside their own half. Kennedy did pull back a free, but Carlow spurned their best chance when Eoghan Franks’ penalty was stopped on the line.
They were doubly punished when Farragher made no mistake at the other end after Colm Crowley was fouled inside the area and he converted a free from a tight angle to leave his eight points ahead at the break (2-5 to 0-3).
Carlow showed more fire on the re-start and two Kennedy frees edged them closer as Sligo shot five wides in possession.
But once the Connacht men adjusted deliveries that no longer hung in the air for their front men, they stepped up the pressure to provide an exhibition of marksmanship.
A mazy Farragher run past three challenges had them back in the groove, Murtagh whacked over a 105-yards free and leading scorer Farragher pushed the boat out further from a free and from play.
The highlight of the hour came as Farragher opened his shoulders from well inside his own ‘45’ before adding two nonchalant strikes from halfway and the procession ended with another huge Murtagh free.
IT Sligo: Pat Mullaney (Laois), Tom Regan (Galway) (c), Brendan Murtagh (Westmeath) (0-2), Stephen Connell (Galway), Stephen Coyne (Mayo), Noel Qualter (Galway), Seán Melia (Roscommon), Tom Tierney (Galway (0-1), Pat Randles (Kerry), Dermot Dunne (Galway), Lar Kinsella (Wexford), David McDonagh (Galway), Colm Crowley (Cork), Gerry Farragher (Galway) (1-9), Michael Gilmartin (Sligo) (1-1)
Subs used: John Kelly (Galway), Daniel Clune (Westmeath), Keith Haverty (Galway)
Carlow IT: Patrick Kinsella (Kilkenny), Mick Doyle (Kilkenny), Mick Kinsella (Wexford), John Butler (Tipperary), Des Shaw (Carlow), Mark Anglim (Wexford), Ross Young (Laois), Conor Cronin (Cork), Alan Middleton (Offaly), Eoghan Franks (Offaly), Tom Drennan (Laois) (0-1), Niall Kennedy (Kilkenny) (0-4), Ray Cummins (Laois), James Whelan (Kilkenny), Joe Brady (Offaly)
Subs used: Denis Moran (Wicklow), Kenny Franks (Offaly), Brian Graydon (Tipperary), David Franks (Offaly), Ronan Hynes (Galway)
Referee: D Kirwan (Cork)
Copyright: Sligo Weekender 2005.
Ireland Fresher Hurling Semi-Final (Division 2)
IT Sligo followed up the Ryan Cup hurling senior title of two weeks ago to reach a first ever All Ireland Freshers hurling final following a superb win against the Munster hurling stronghold of UL. Two solo goals by the dominant Tom Tierney, one in each half gave the IT Sligo hurlers the edge in a game where the lead exchanged hands half a dozen times. The game was played in a sunny Portumna last Friday 18th in excellent conditions.
Pat Mullaney was excellent in goal, pulling two superb
second half saves to limit UL to points from frees, seven from placed balls, and
long-range efforts. The midfield sector was controlled by the constant running
and tackling of Dermot Dunne from Meelick/Eyrecourt and Tournafulla’s Liam
O’Sullivan. Indeed the two centre-field players dominated the early scoring,
sharing the first three points and ending up with 5 points in total. At the back
the tenacious Johnny Keane and John Kelly worked hard throughout but the frees
conceded kept UL in the game, with the normally reliant Tierney wayward with
frees at the other end. Tierney’s second half goal after 10 minutes regained a
lead that had been pegged back by the Limerick university with IT Sligo
conceding three successive points from play at the end of the first period to
give UL a narrow 0-7 to 1-3 lead at half-time. After the goal it was nip and
tuck with IT Sligo needlessly conceding frees and then responding with some
excellent scores from Dunne, Tom Tierney from a tight angle, and Laois man John
Kavanagh from the right wing. A late converted free from Tierney and some super
last-ditch saves by Laois senior goalie Pat Mullaney gave the IT Sligo freshers
a deserved win with a final clash against either Mary Immaculate Limerick or WIT
fixed for 6th April.
Man of the Match: Tom Tierney (Galway)
IT Sligo: Pat Mullaney (Laois); David Hickey (Sligo), Andrew McGoldrick (Galway), Ronan Greene (Wexford) ;Johnny Keane (Galway), John Kelly (Galway), William Hassey (Wexford); Dermot Dunne (Galway) 0-4, Liam O’Sullivan (Limerick) 0-1; John Kavanagh (Laois) 0-1, Tom Tierney (Galway) 2-2 (0-1 free), Morgan Lanigan (Tipperary); Keith Haverty (Galway), Michael Connolly (Roscommon), Joe Bannerton (Galway). Subs used: Peter Manley (Offaly), Tomas Staunton (Mayo), Darren Burns (Cork).