Brave Kilcoo fall short against Corofin in All-Ireland final
History was made at Croke Park today — but not in the manner in which Kilcoo had planned.
History was made at Croke Park today — but not in the manner in which Kilcoo had planned.
It was business as usual for Mickey Harte at the Athletic Grounds, Armagh last night.
Tyrone manager Mickey Harte has every reason to relish the fact that his side will contest another Bank of Ireland Dr McKenna Cup final tonight.
It was perhaps the passionate post-match observation from dynamic wing-back Daryl Branagan that best encapsulated just what winning the Ulster Club football title for the first time last month really meant to the people of Kilcoo.
In a month during which diverse demands are being made on players, the Under-20 Development League has been unfurling out of the spotlight.
When Ballyhale Shamrocks just managed to ease Slaughtneil out of the recent All-Ireland Club Hurling Championship semi-final, they achieved what many perceived to be a rather hollow victory.
Kilcoo may have landed six Down titles on the bounce before Mickey Moran was/ parachuted into the manager's role, but since then the club has been transformed.
Kilcoo joint captain Conor Laverty is in the unique position of sharing in not one but two potential cup triumphs this weekend.
Monaghan goalkeeper Rory Beggan believes that Stephen Cluxton's decision to remain in the Dublin squad for another year at least will provide further inspiration for all goalkeepers.
Tyrone manager Mickey Harte has fired out a robust response to those who believe that excessive demands are currently being made on inter-county players.
Two minutes after 18-year-old Shealan Johnston fired over the last score of the game to seal Kilcoo's memorable victory over Ballyboden St Enda's in the All-Ireland Club semi-final, he found himself walking on air when the final whistle sounded.
Tyrone may have scored 6-47 in their three games to date, competition for starting places is still razor-sharp despite a high level of absenteeism and manager Mickey Harte clearly has his sights set on a twelfth McKenna Cup triumph under his watch, yet you won't discern the slightest element of complacency within the camp ahead of Saturday's final against Monaghan.
The redevelopment of Casement Park in Belfast has taken a firm step forward today with a site visit by two of the relevant Government Ministers.
Eight Down titles won over the course of an 11-year spell might suggest that Kilcoo are a team positively groaning under the weight of considerable experience, but that is not quite the case.
A ringing endorsement from Tyrone manager Mickey Harte has provided a timely fillip for Ardboe clubman Kyle Coney as he focuses strongly on securing a regular place in his county's starting line-up.
Ronan O'Neill could hardly have timed his return to the Tyrone football team any better.
It's not often that a full-back lands three points in a game at any level, but then when you are a precociously talented teenager you have the capacity to buck trends.
Antrim manager Darren Gleeson got a taste of what is to come when his side were pipped by Offaly in the final of the Kehoe Cup on Sunday.
Tyrone manager Mickey Harte lost no time in highlighting the problems that most county team bosses face at this time of the year in the immediate aftermath of his team's 2-16 to 1-10 Dr McKenna Cup semi-final win over Down at the Athletic Grounds, Armagh yesterday.
Ulster University suffered a double setback in yesterday's Electric Ireland Sigerson Cup tie against UCD when they not only lost the match in extra-time but had defender Michael McKernan hospitalised with serious injuries.
Oisin Kelly struck deep into stoppage time to secure the Kehoe Cup for Offaly at the expense of Antrim in Navan yesterday.
Tyrone booked their place in yet another Bank of Ireland Dr McKenna Cup final by virtue of this win over Down in yesterday's semi-final at the Athletic Grounds, Armagh but for a period in the second half they were made to look decidedly uneasy in the face of a spirited recovery by their opponents.
Only last month, new Derry chairman, Stephen Barker, addressed an Ulster Council meeting where he made an impassioned point about the glaringly obvious fixtures logjam ahead.
It will be a case of friendly foes meeting up again in one sense when Antrim confront Offaly in the Kehoe Cup hurling final tomorrow.
With the Bank of Ireland Dr McKenna Cup reaching the semi-final stage, we earmark the top 10 talents in Ulster that have emerged so far.
DR MCKENNA CUP SEMI-FINAL:
Former Monaghan ace Tommy Freeman may be inching towards 40 but he is still showing a sharp turn of a pace in the Magheracloone club's forward line - something for which manager James Kieran is extremely grateful as he contemplates today's All-Ireland intermediate semi-final against Louth and Leinster standard-bearers Mattock Rangers at Crossmaglen (1.30).
Gavin McGilly's impressive coaching and managerial credentials ensure that he is already at full throttle in 2020 before some of his peers are out of the starting blocks.
When Donegal manager Declan Bonner indicated in advance of the Bank of Ireland Dr McKenna Cup game against Derry on Wednesday night that he might not be able to field a team in the semi-finals if they were victorious, his prediction was treated with more than a degree of scepticism.
Donegal have withdrawn from the semi-finals of the Bank of Ireland Dr McKenna Cup because of their inability to field what a county board spokesman described as a "worthy team" to face Monaghan in Sunday's scheduled fixture at Brewster Park, Enniskillen.
Tyrone's love-affair with the Dr McKenna Cup is still thriving now that they have arrived in the semi-finals yet again having got the better of Armagh at the Athletic Grounds last night by 3-18 to 3-15.
It's not often that a team is presented with the opportunity to capture two trophies within a week in the month of January, but then anything is possible in the current early-season fixtures explosion within the GAA.
Kilcoo joint captain Conor Laverty believes his team are at concert pitch for the forthcoming All-Ireland Club Football Championship final against reigning champions Corofin.
There are McKenna Cup games, and then there are different shades of McKenna Cup games.
An hour after Sunday's epic All-Ireland Club hurling semi-final victory over Slaughtneil in Newry, Ballyhale manager Henry Shefflin was still posing for selfies and signing hurls and Kilkenny jerseys proferred from all angles outside the dressing rooms.
Tyrone's current All-Star full-forward Cathal McShane's links with a move to Australian Rules are not as strong as originally suggested.
Everything comes to those who wait. Kilcoo may have had to reveal what can only be described as inordinate patience before they won their first Ulster Club title but now suddenly the world is their oyster.
A remarkable campaign ended with a humbling defeat in Parnell Park as the hurlers of St Enda's lost their All-Ireland Club IHC semi-final by 15 points to Kilkenny side Tullaroan.
Tyrone began life without Cathal McShane, their joint-top scorer in last year's All-Ireland Championship who is set to move to Australia, with a routine 1-16 to 0-13 win over last year's Ulster finalists Cavan in their first outing of the Bank of Ireland Dr McKenna Cup.
Slaughtneil fell agonisingly short of dethroning one of the biggest clubs in the game in Newry as Ballyhale just managed to find a way out of the puzzle and battle that they were presented with.
Eoghan Rua, Coleraine were denied a place in the All-Ireland junior hurling final by a James Bergin-inspired Conahy Shamrocks.
On February 9, 2019, Ruairí Óg Cushendall lost their All-Ireland club senior hurling semi-final to Galway club St Thomas' in Parnell Park, Dublin.
A guard of honour will be held at the funeral today of a Co Fermanagh grandmother hit by a pick-up truck on New Year's Eve.
He may have had to digest some rather uncomfortable facts recently in relation to the composition of his squad but Tyrone boss Mickey Harte is far from reaching for the panic button.
St Enda's, Glengormley and Eoghan Rua, Coleraine could be forgiven for thinking that they have been projected to the cutting edge of All-Ireland Club hurling.
After they finally achieved what they had been striving for for over a decade, the Kilcoo sights were reset.
ALL-IRELAND SENIOR CLUB FOOTBALL CHAMPIONSHIP
Antrim football manager Lenny Harbinson is preparing to assess a raft of new faces when his side take on Fermanagh in the Bank of Ireland Dr McKenna Cup at Ahoghill on Sunday (2.00pm).
Slaughtneil have won seven Derry hurling championship titles on the trot and collected three Ulster crowns in the last four years but they have yet to make it into the All-Ireland club hurling final.
When St Enda's, Glengormley line out against Kilkenny and Leinster champions Tullaroan in tomorrow's All-Ireland club hurling intermediate championship semi-final at Parnell Park, Dublin (1.30pm), goalkeeper Martin Curran is hoping he won't suffer a repetition of the "nerve-wrecking experience" he endured against Tyrone champions Eoghan Ruadh in the recent Ulster final.
Food, Drink and Hospitality
House and Home
Film and TV