Tuesday, 15 May 2018


The 2018 hurling and football championships are up and running, and already expectations are high and excitement is rising following some very close encounters and narrow victories.

Leitrim travelled to Gaelic Park New York and were somewhat fortunate to come away with a one point victory over the home side after extra time.

Galway footballers beat hapless Mayo in Castlebar. Mayo were reduced to 14 men late in the first half but battled bravely before a goal from Johnny Heaney in injury time sent Galway to a semi-final date with Sligo, and consigned Mayo to the tradesmen’s entrance.

In Leinster, the Dublin hurlers led Kilkenny by 5 points with just 5 minutes to go and an upset looked on the cards. However, a late Liam Blanchfield goal sealed victory for the Cats.

The Munster Hurling Championship gets under way this weekend and history will be made with the competition being run off on a round-robin basis (chomórtas ciorclach) for the first time in 130 years.

Five teams, Limerick, Tipperary, Clare, Waterford and Cork, will play each other in four matches each, over the next five weeks. (The same round-robin system applies in Leinster) The top two teams will then contest the Munster final and continue on to the All Ireland semi-final and quarter-final respectively, while the third placed team will also be given another chance in the All Ireland quarter-final.

Next Sunday, Limerick play Tipperary in the Gaelic Grounds at 2 pm, while Cork take on Clare at Páirc Uí Chaoimh at 4pm – a veritable feast of great hurling!

Limerick footballers play Clare in the Gaelic Grounds next Saturday evening at 7pm with the winners meeting Kerry in the semi-final.

Tipperary play Waterford at Semple Stadium, also at 7pm and the winners here will play Cork.

*Congrats to Leinster on winning the European Rugby Cup. They may be put back in their box next Saturday when they play Munster in the Pro 14 semi-final!

*And well done to Kevin O’Brien who scored a century as the Ireland cricket team competed in their first ever 5-day Test Match against Pakistan in Malahide.


Abbeyfeale school truimph in All Ireland school sevens rugby!
Back (LtoR): John Moloney (Coach), Chloe Smith, Aoife Ryan, Sinead Leahy, Eilish Cotter (Vice-Captain), Aine Poff, Sadhbh O’Connor, Lenora Kelly
Front (LtoR): Larissa McCarthy, Jackie Murphy, Ava Roche, Diane O’Connor (Capt), Shona Hickey, Shauna O’Shea



Last Thursday saw girls from TY and 5th year in Colaiste Ide agus Iosef, Abbeyfeale travel to Terenure College, Dublin and defeat teams from all over Ireland to capture the All Ireland IRFU School Sevens cup in Women’s rugby. On the day there were over 20 teams from across Ireland competing in boys and girls section. The girls section had previous winners like Tullamore and Gorey in the same group as Abbeyfeale making the standard very high.
The Abbeyfeale girls had to play 3 rounds and come out on top with points to proceed to Final of the Cup. The CII girls were up against last year’s winners Gorey first where Eilish Cotter got them off to a good start by scoring on the left side but Gorey soon hit back with a try of their own and converted. CII’s Sinead Leahy took a pass from her teammate Diane O’Connor for her try to put them ahead at half time. The second half would have to be more tactical to gain the points so the CII girls made the passes left and right till eventually Sadhbh O’Connor made the break for the line to get the 3rd try of the game. The fight was on as the CII didn’t convert any meaning they needed to keep Gorey out till the final whistle which they did giving them the win with a score of 15 – 7.  With the points on the board, the next few games would be tough as they needed to continue to add the points up.
Eventually the final game would see them up against Kilkenny where they would get the 1st try but the CII girls would come back with tries from Eilish Cotter, Shauna O’Shea under the post and another where Shona Hickey popped over the line. The last try in the first half came from CII Eilish Cotter pass to Diane O’Connor. Kilkenny had only 1 try in the first half and would come back with a bang with 2 fast tries but then CII would denied them another by holding it up and securing themselves the win of 22 – 15. It looked good for the CII girls but had to wait for the final scores from other games to come in to see where they positioned on the table and as Orla Fullam-Smith from IRFU called out the points, the cheers went up from the CII team realising they were only 1 point behind the leaders Tullamore and in the Cup Final.
The sun continued to shine down as the Cup Final began and with pure determination the CII girls would lead the way as they blocked Tullamore at every chance, stole the ball in the lineouts there was no stopping them. In the first half the tries came from Diane O’Connor run, short by a couple of feet though so her teammate Eilish O’Connor finished it off, quickly followed by another try from Sinead Leahy.  With only 2 tries in the first half, the CII girls needed to keep their composure as Tullamore could easily come back very quickly. In the second half the CII girls kept the pressure on as it was again Eilish O’Connor who went in for her 2nd try. Tullamore were fighting hard and ended up giving away a penalty where CII’s Diane O’Connor took full advantage as she kicked it over their heads and ran like the wind to place it down. Tullamore were struggling to hold onto the ball as the CII girls would put in tough tackles and it would be Larissa McCarthy and Diane O’Connor passing skills to score the last try to make sure Tullamore didn’t have a chance to come back. As the final whistle blew, Colaiste Ide agus Iosef were the IRFU School Sevens Cup Champions 2018. IRFU Justin Deegan made the presentation to the captain Diane O’Connor of Colaiste Ide agus Iosef.
Well done to the Colaiste Ide agus Iosef girls on a spectacular performance of rugby with some remarkable leadership and teamwork, it shows anything is possible. Thanks to their coach John Moloney and also to the continued support of their principal Liam Murphy and Vice-principal Joan Collins. A massive thank you to the IRFU on organising the day, referees and Terenure College for hosting the event and providing the lunch.

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