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Dublin: 11 °C Friday 22 March, 2019


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Afternoon all.

The GAA’s summer roadshow brings us action from Clones, Thurles, Mullingar and Tullamore today. All eyes will be on Semple Stadium at 4pm for the much anticipated Munster SHC clash between Clare and Waterford, but before them Monaghan open up the defence of their Ulster SFC against Down in Clones at 2pm.

Elsewhere in the Leinster SHC, Westmeath will be hoping to test Galway’s mettle in Cusack Park, while Offaly and Laois will battle it out for a semi-final spot in O’Connor Park. Both those games throw in at 3.30pm.

We’ll keep you right up to date across all four grounds. Stay tuned.

Down and Monaghan come into this afternoon’s game on very different form lines.

Down had a disastrous league campaign, losing seven out of seven games. It’s been 22 years since their last Ulster title, and they won’t be ending that wait anytime soon.

Much of their best players are not part of the squad, with Christy O’Connor estimating in the Sunday Times today that “at least 10, possibly 15, players didn’t make themselves available this season.” Marty Clarke, Conor Laverty and Caolon Mooney are among the household names that are absent. They haven’t won a league or championship game in 14 months. Add to that the fact that no U21 player from the last three years is on the current senior panel, and things don’t look too promising.

On the other hand, Monaghan have plundered two of the last three Ulster titles and haven’t lost a first-round game since 2011. Conor McManus remains one of the finest forwards in the country. The football championship could do with a good, tight game today, but that might be wishful thinking.

The teams:


1. Rory Beggan

2. Colin Walshe
3. Drew Wylie
4. Ryan Wylie

5. Dessie Mone
6. Vinny Corey
7. Karl O’Connell

24 Conor McCarthy
9. Kieran Hughes

10. Shane Carey
11. Dermot Malone
12. Ryan McAnespie

19 Kieran Duffy
14. Darren Hughes
15. Conor McManus

3 min – Monaghan 0-1 Down 0-1

Kieran Hughes’s curling effort puts Monaghan in front inside the opening minute. On his inter-county debut, Barry O’Hagan fists over the bar to level the game for Down.

5 mins – Monaghan 0-1 Down 0-2

Down have started quiet well here, Conor Maginn slots over from about 35 yards with a confident kick. O’Hagan and Harrison are two very direct players for Down and they’re running at Monaghan early on and creating chances.

Monaghan have won a free from about 60 yards out and Rory Beggan has trotted forward to take it. Beggan tries to steal a few yards but the linesman spots it.

Beggan’s free drops short. Down break away at pace and kick another wide. They might rue those early chances.

11 mins – Monaghan 0-2 Down 0-2

Kieran Hughes had a hint of a goal chance but he fired his shot over the bar after turning Gerard McGovern. We’re all square.

13 mins – Monaghan 0-2 Down 0-2

Chance! Monaghan look hungry for goals and for a second time they breach Down’s rearguard but Stephen Kane makes a good save from Dermot Malone.

16 mins – Monaghan 0-2 Down 0-4

Down wing-back Darragh O’Hanlon drills over two long distance frees in the space of a couple of minutes. He’s kicking frees with supreme confidence here.

18 mins – Monaghan 0-3 Down 0-4

Conor McManus touches the ball for the first time after 16 minutes. There were some rumours this morning that he’s carried a knock into this game. McManus curls over a free to open up his account.

19 mins – Monaghan 0-4 Down 0-4

Conor McManus slots over a free on the right hand side from a tricky angle. Cool as you like.

20 mins – Monaghan 0-5 Down 0-4

Monaghan are starting to run at Down and creating the overlap down the middle. Down haven’t won their last three kickouts. McManus plays in Shane Carey for a score.

23 mins – Monaghan 0-6 Down 0-5

The scores are flying over at either end now. Poland and McManus trade scores. Down are giving up a lot of frees inside scoring range for McManus. They’ll need to cut out the fouling in the danger zone.

24 mins – Monaghan 0-6 Down 0-5

Barry O’Hagan completely skews a Down free wide. He’ll be disappointed with that one.

Down have kicked five wides so far in this first-half.

27 mins – Monaghan 0-6 Down 0-6

Glorious score off the outside of the right boot by Conor Maginn for Down.

Westmeath are on the good stuff before today’s game against Galway.

A view of the Westmeath dressing room ahead of the game Source: Tommy Grealy/INPHO

30 mins – Monaghan 0-6 Down 0-6

Down’s ball retention in the Monaghan half has been excellent. Monaghan have been unable to turn them over so far. Dick Clerkin leaves the bench and begins limbering up off the sideline.

33 mins – Monaghan 0-7 Down 0-6

Monaghan are pretty fortunate to win a free for a foul on Kieran Hughes. McManus does the rest from the placed ball. That was Monaghan’s first score in 10 minutes. They lead once again.

34 mins – Monaghan 0-8 Down 0-6

Dermot Malone gives Monaghan a two point lead in this game for the first time. That’s his first championship point in two years.

Shane Carey turns away in disgust after he misses the target from right in front of the posts. There will be two minutes of additional time.

35+2 mins – Monaghan 0-9 Down 0-6

McManus strokes over another free to give Monaghan a three-point lead.

Half-time: Monaghan 0-9 Down 0-6

36 mins – Monaghan 0-9 Down 0-6

Donal O’Hare comes in for Down at the beginning of the second-half in place of Barry O’Hagan.

37 mins – Monaghan 0-9 Down 0-7

O’Hare announces his introduction by slotting over a close-range free.

37  mins – Monaghan 0-10 Down 0-7

Beggan takes the whole Down defence by surprise with an incredibly long kick out which found its way eventually to Ryan McAnespie who puts it over. Beggan nearly hit the Down 45 from that restart. The wind appears to have picked up a notch since the turnaround.

Peter Turley is black carded for Down for a cynical foul. McManus puts the free wide.

42 mins – Monaghan 0-12 Down 0-7

McManus strokes over a lovely curling effort from the left hand side. Moments later Karl O’Connell scores his fourth ever championship point. The Farney Army are taking control in Clones.

Monaghan have certainly upped things a gear since half-time. Down are struggling at midfield and all the 50/50 challenges seem to be going Monaghan’s way.

45 mins – Monaghan 0-13 Down 0-7

Monaghan move six points in front through Conor McCarthy. They’ve come flying out of the blocks in the second-half. A goal might have been on there for McCarthy with the amount of runners Monaghan have coming through on goal.

Down’s body language is lacking. Monaghan showed far more intent when they turned over an attack and broke away at speed to win another free in front of goal. Down’s heads are dropping. This game is slipping away from Eamonn Burns’s team.

Owen Duffy comes in for Ryan McAnespie on the Monaghan team.

51 mins – Monaghan 0-14 Down 0-7

McCarthy’s free puts seven between the teams.

Let’s take a quick check on the teams ahead of the midlands derby between Offaly and Laois at O’Connor Park in the Leinster SHC quarter-final. Both start as selected.


1. Enda Rowland

2. Dwane Palmer
3. Darren Maher
4. Cahir Healy

5. Leigh Bergin
6. Matthew Whelan
7. Ryan Mullaney

8. Patrick Purcell
9. Colm Stapleton

10. Charles Dwyer
11. Neil Foyle
12. Stephen Maher

13. John Lennon
14. Willie Hyland
15. PJ Scully


1 James Dempsey

2 Paddy Rigney
3 Dermot Shortt
4 Chris McDonald

5 Dermot Mooney
6 Sean Gardiner
7 David King

8 Sean Ryan
9 Pat Camon

10 Paddy Murphy
11 Joe Bergin
12 Shane Kinsella

13 Kevin Connolly
14 James Mulrooney
15 Shane Dooley

52 mins – Monaghan 0-15 Down 0-7

Beggan’s free from 50 metres is good and Monaghan lead by eight. Ryan McAnespie applies ice to his quad after he’s called ashore. Looks like an impact injury, most likely a dead leg.


58 mins – Monaghan 1-16 Down 0-7

GOAL! This is turning into a hammering. Kieran Hughes dispatches into the back of the net after a long delivery into the area.

We’re minutes away from throw-in at Cusack Park. Here’s how the two teams line up for the Leinster SHC quarter-final:

Galway team

1. Colm Callanan (Kinvara)

2. Johnny Coen (Loughrea)
3. John Hanbury (Rahoon Newcastle)
4. Fergal Moore (Turloughmore)

5. Padraig Mannion (Ahascragh-Fohenagh)
6. Daithí Burke  (Turloughmore)
7. Aidan Harte (Gort)

8. David Burke (c) (St Thomas)
9. Davy Glennon (Mullagh)

10. Shane Maloney (Tynagh-Abbey-Duniry)
11. Joseph Cooney (Sarsfields)
12. Joe Canning (Portumna)

13. Conor Whelan (Kinvara)
14. Cathal Mannion (Ahascragh/Fohenagh)
15. Jason Flynn (Tommy Larkins)


1. Paddy Maloney (Castletown Geoghegan)

2. Shane Power (Clonkill)
3. Tommy Doyle (Lough Lene Gaels)
4. Tommy Gallagher (Castlepollard)

5. Aaron Craig (St Oliver Plunkett’s)
6. Gary Greville (Raharney)
7. Aonghus Clarke (Castletown Geoghegan – Captain)

8. Cormac Boyle (Raharney)
9. Eoin Price (Clonkill)

10. Alan Devine (Castlepollard)
11. Derek McNicholas (Clonkill)
12. Robbie Greville (Raharney)

13. Liam Varley (Castletown Geoghegan)
14. Brendan Murtagh (Clonkill)
15. Niall O’Brien (Castletown Geoghegan)

61 mins – Monaghan 1-17 Down 0-7

Malachy O’Rourke will be pleased with this display. Despite a relatively quiet game from Conor McManus, they’ve scored freely today.

63 mins – Monaghan 1-17 Down 0-8

McManus curls over another free. Moments later Donal O’Hare scores Down’s second point of the half. Dick Clerkin, the GAA’s longest serving inter-county player, is introduced for the hosts. He replaces Vinny Corey.

64 mins – Monaghan 1-18 Down 0-9

Daniel McKenna pops over Monaghan’s latest score.


67 mins – Monaghan 2-18 Down 0-9

Owen Duffy hits the net after Monaghan scythed through Down’s defence yet again.

68 mins – Monaghan 2-20 Down 0-9

Beggan lands over another free and from the next kick out McKenna splits the posts. The final whistle can’t come quick enough for Down.

70 mins – Monaghan 2-21 Down 0-9

McManus makes a nice run around the outside of Karl O’Connell and finds the range confidently. There’s no sign of a let up from the home side.

74 mins – Monaghan 2-22 Down 0-9

Clerkin pops one over off the left with the goal at his mercy.

As the teams line up behind the band in Thurles, here are the latest scores for you in the Leinster SHC quarter-finals:

Offaly 1-7 Laois 0-7 (26 mins)

Galway 0-7 Westmeath 0-3 (16 mins)


4 mins – Waterford 1-1 Clare 0-0

GOAL! Maurice Shanahan rolls one into the net after a long direct delivery into the area by De Burca.

8 mins – Waterford 1-1 Clare 0-2

We’ve had a blistering start to this game. Conor Cleary responds with a fine point for Clare. Austin Gleeson is playing up top with Maurice Shanahan, allowing Waterford a more direct attacking route.

Half-time: Offaly 1-10 Laois 1-10

33 mins – Westmeath 0-5 Galway 0-15

We’re into the final couple of minutes of normal time in the first half.

12 mins – Waterford 1-1 Clare 0-3

Conor McGrath splits the posts with a free to bring Clare to within one.

13 mins – Waterford 1-1 Clare 0-4

Wonderful long distance score from Colm Galvin. Six wides for Waterford already, three for Clare.

15 mins – Waterford 1-2 Clare 0-5

Podge Collins clips one over from the wing. Draw match.

Half-time: Westmeath 0-5 Galway 0-17

20 mins – Waterford 1-3 Clare 0-5

Austin Gleeson lands an outrageous score from the left sideline.

22 mins – Waterford 1-4 Clare 0-6

Tony Kelly and Shanahan trade scores. There won’t be much between these teams today.

26 mins – Waterford 1-6 Clare 0-7

Shanahan is causing some serious problems for Pat O’Connor in the Clare full-back line. He wins and converts a free to give the Deise a two point lead.

40 mins – Offaly 2-13 Laois 1-10

Joe Bergin’s goal puts Offaly in control as Kevin Connolly adds the afters. All of Offaly’s forwards are now on the board.

32 mins – Waterford 1-7 Clare 0-8

We’ve seen very little of John Conlon so far but he pops up with his first point of the day. At the other end Gleeson lands over his second point. He’s been very economical so far.

Eight wides for Waterford and 10 for Clare. Conor McGrath and Tony Kelly have three each for the Banner.

44 mins – Offaly 2-14 Laois 1-11

Shane Dooley and Maher swap scores.

34 mins – Waterford 1-8 Clare 0-8

Shane Bennett is a tremendous talent. He gives Waterford a three point lead. It’s hard to believe he’s only 19.

Westmeath 0-7 Galway 0-18

37 mins – Westmeath’s Shane Power has been sent off early in the second-half. Huge blow.

35+2 mins – Waterford 1-9 Clare 0-8

Darragh Fives runs straight at the Clare defence and wins free intelligently. Pauric Mahony clips it over from close-range. Waterford lead by four.

Half-time: Waterford 1-9 Clare 0-8

50 mins – Offaly 3-16 Laois 1-13

Shane Dooley buries a penalty to hand the Faithful a six point lead.

40 mins – Westmeath 0-10 Galway 2-19

Joseph Cooney finds the net as Galway stretch their lead.

“A first-half at Semple Stadium largely characterised by dreadful shooting from both sides. That won’t worry Waterford though, they look sharper and slicker. They’ve also crucially bagged the only goal of the game, Maurice Shanahan availing of a Clare defensive error.”

-Our man Fintan O’Toole at Semple Stadium

62 mins – Offaly 3-21 Laois 1-14

Liam Langton and Sean Cleary nail points for Offaly.

Both the Leinster SHC quarter-finals are going as expected with Offaly and Galway leading. Offaly showing the benefit of having three Leinster qualifier games behind them.

36 mins – Waterford 1-10 Clare 0-8

Pauric Mahony gives Waterford a great start to the second half with a point.

38 mins – Waterford 1-12 Clare 0-8

Gleeson drives forward down the middle channel and takes his point. Fantastic point. That’s six points without reply from the Deise.

39 mins – Waterford 1-13 Clare 0-9

Clare’s McGrath pops over his first point of the second half, but every pot shot Waterford are having is sailing over the bar. Mahony sticks over his third since half-time.

Full-time: Offaly 3-22 Laois 2-14

Offaly book their place in the last four of the Leinster SHC. After that defeat to Westmeath earlier this year, Offaly must be credited with turning things around.

45 mins – Waterford 1-14 Clare 0-11

Another score from Mahony for Waterford. Meanwhile Dan Shanahan and Donal Og Cusack are clashing on the sideline.

48 mins – Waterford 1-15 Clare 0-12

David Fitzgerald pumps his fist as he scores for Clare. They’re still in this but Waterford are looking more dangerous up front.

Full-time: Westmeath 0-19 Galway 3-27

Minimal fuss by Galway. They face Offaly in the semi-final.

David McInerney is wearing 26 on the Clare bench despite not being listed as a sub. Will Davy Fitzgerald take a risk and spring him into action?

52 mins – Waterford 1-15 Clare 0-14

Clare are enjoying a little purple patch here. Shane O’Donnell drives at De Burca and wins a close-range free. McInerney looks like he’s about to be introduced for the Banner. Cathal O’Connell converts the free.

David McInerney announces his return to the Clare team having a skelp off Austin Gleeson, who returns the compliment. Tom Devine is in for Waterford. He’ll look to hit Clare on the counter with his pace.

56 mins – Waterford 1-16 Clare 0-14

Gleeson fires a delightful sideline cut over the bar, giving Waterford a five-point lead once again. Tempers are starting to rise as the game continues to heat up. Plenty of time still for Clare to rescue this.

Aaron Shanagher comes in for Clare.

59 mins – Waterford 1-17 Clare 0-15

Kevin Moran lifts the roof off Semple Stadium after catching McInerney in possession and rifling over the bar. Colin Ryan cancels that out immediately at the far end. Davy Fitz is getting increasingly agitated on the sideline.

Clare are pumping ball into the full-forward line, but Waterford have plenty of bodies minding the house.

Ten minutes left and Waterford lead by five.

62 mins – Waterford 1-18 Clare 0-15

Everything Moran touches turns to goal. Shanahan is a wonderful target man and he grabs a long delivery in the air before finding Moran, who slots over.

Waterford are looking rock solid in defence as O’Donnell and Shanagher probe for a score, but to no avail.

Brian O’Halloran comes in for Pauric Mahony. Meanwhile, Gleeson looks in distress on the ground.

Aaron Cunningham comes on for Colm Galvin. Dan Shanahan gets the crowd going as we enter the last five minutes of normal time. Time is against Clare, they trail by six.

67 mins – Waterford 1-20 Clare 0-15

Gleeson is producing one of the great displays in Semple Stadium. He scores from distance and moments later Shanahan bombs one over from the sideline.

70 mins – Waterford 1-20 Clare 0-17

Shanahan comes off to a rapturous reception from the Deise crowd. O’Connell brings Clare to within six again but we’re into stoppage time now.

70+2 mins – Waterford 1-21 Clare 0-17

Barron puts the icing on the cake for Waterford. Shanahan’s goal in the first few minutes set Waterford on their way and they haven’t looked back since.


Full-time: Waterford 1-21 Clare 0-17

Waterford are through to the Munster SHC final! It was comfortable in the end for the Deise.

Waterford are into the Munster final and the last six in Ireland. That’s all we have for you today, thanks for joining us.

All of today’s results:

Munster SHC quarter-final
Waterford 1-21 Clare 0-17

Leinster SHC quarter-finals
Westmeath 0-19 Galway 3-27
Offaly 3-22 Laois 2-14

Ulster SFC quarter-final
Monaghan 2-22 Down 0-9

About the author:

Kevin O'Brien