Talking Points

Veterans shine in Dublin and Tipp, Mayo forward stars and Cork goalkeeper heroics

A look back at the weekend club GAA action.

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1. Roanmore take major step in Waterford

It was only a semi-final, and the main event awaits next Sunday against opponents of considerable stature, but yesterday was a landmark day for Roanmore in Walsh Park. A first Waterford senior hurling last four appearance since 2000 created a sense of anticipation beforehand and they seized that rare chance to secure a passage to a first final since 1990.

No wonder then that their supporters were in raptures during the final quarter as Roanmore outscored Dungarvan by 0-6 to 0-1, each point celebrated as they inched closer to that final spot. Now next Sunday they will return to that same venue as they try to bring down an all-conquering Ballygunner team.

peter-queally Tommy Dickson / INPHO Roanmore manager Peter Queally. Tommy Dickson / INPHO / INPHO

2. A big name exits in Galway

Yesterday’s afternoon’s group game in Pearse Stadium pitted two modern Galway club hurling heavyweights against each other. St Thomas have won the last three titles, Liam Mellows have suffered losses in two of those finals to them, while previously triumphing in the 2017 decider. When they met in the 2019 final, St Thomas only had two points to spare but this latest encounter was more clearcut.

By the close Liam Mellows were 12 points adrift and coupled with their earlier defeat to Cappataggle, they are now out of the reckoning before the group stages have concluded. It’s a big early casualty in the 2021 Galway title race for a club that have been crowned recent champions and been so accustomed to final appearances.

3. Veterans shine in Dublin football and Tipperay hurling

One turned 40 this year, the other hits that milestone next year. But despite their veteran attacking status, both Mossy Quinn and Eoin Kelly made their marks in Dublin football and Tipperary hurling respectively over the weekend. St Vincent’s lost out to Kilmacud Crokes yet Quinn contributed substantially with his 1-4 tally from his team’s total of 2-7. They remain in contention for a knockout stage berth before their last group game against Castleknock.

Then Kelly shot 0-12, eight from frees, for Mullinahone as they cruised to success by 13 points against Toomevara on Saturday afternoon, a result that propelled them into the quarter-finals as a top seed. Two long-serving figures still weighing in with key scores as their 2021 campaigns are prolonged.

4. Goalkeeping heroics in Cork

A couple of rungs below the senior level on the club ladder, came a noteworthy goalkeeping feat in Cork at the weekend. Mikey O’Connell was between the posts when Cork won the Munster minor final against Limerick in August, subsequently missing the All-Ireland semi-final loss to Tyrone through injury.

He played in goal for his club St Michael’s in a premier minor football semi-final on Saturday and made his mark in a penalty shootout win over Nemo Rangers. O’Connell saved three penalties to fufil his primary responsibility before then switching roles to score the spot kick that proved the winner. An impressive way to help your club reach a county final.

5. Conroy on song in Mayo

A return to club matters for Mayo’s county men after the dejection in Croke Park a fortnight before. The football championships commenced with group games at the weekend, the TG4 cameras present to see the Breaffy affirm their status as a leading contender with plenty to spare over The Neale.

12 points separated the teams at the end but The Neale’s leading light caught the eye with a dazzling attacking showing. After a consistently strong season in Mayo colours, Tommy Conroy spearheaded his team’s offensive challenge as he shot nine points, six from play. He was the TG4 choice as man-of-the-match and that’s the sort of scoring burst his team will need in the coming weeks.

  • What was your favourite part of the weekend’s club championship action? Let us know in the comments section.

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