Dublin’s Finest Supporter Crowned

10 Aug

Vodafone ran a campaign to find Dublin’s Finest Supporter which involved Dublin GAA clubs nominating the person they thought made the greatest contribution to their clubs. From all the entries a list of five were put forward for a public vote. You can watch their five videos here: http://www.hill16.ie/thedubhub/dublins-finest-supporter.html



Dublin 0-22 Tyrone 0-15

7 Aug


Dublin have secured their spot in the All Ireland Semi Final’s thanks to a seven point victory over Tyrone in Croke Park. It was thought that this would be the Dub’s biggest test of their 2011 Championship but they showed they were more than equal to the test.

The game got off to a quick start with both four points being shared after the first five minutes as they traded blows in the early proceedings.

However, the Dubs then stuck over three unanswered points to put them on the front foot over Mickey Harte’s side.

Tyrone pulled a point back but Dublin were in firm control as they continued to build their lead with points from Diarmuid Connolly and Bernard Brogan giving them a four point lead with just twenty minutes gone.

Dublin would add a further four points in the half as the Red Hand county would add just three to their tally leaving the score at Dubin 0-11 Tyrone 0-6 at the half time break.

The Dubs continued their ascendancy in the second half as they bagged four unanswered points inside the first ten minutes of the second stanza.

Tyrone were rattled as they were nine points off the pace but they bravely fought on with three points of their own eating into their opponents lead.

Pat Gilroy’s men were not going to let this one slip however, and they added five more points to their score to give them an insurmountable lead over Tyrone.

The game finished 0-22 to 0-15 in the Dubs favour as they now advance to the All Ireland Semi Finals where they will take on another Ulster opponent in the form of Donegal.

Dub Hub panellists preview Dublin V Tyrone

7 Aug

By Paul Walsh
GAA Correspondent
Follow him on twitter @ walshpots

This Dubhub event came before argubaly the fiercest rivarly in the GAA in recent years . The show brought to Dublin fans by Vodafone and FM104 took place in the Baggot Inn and I got a chance to speak to Paul Curran, Cian Murphy and former Tyrone player Pascal Canavan before proceedings began.

Paul Walsh: Cian, when you look at the Tyrone team that went out against Donegal, compared to the team that has beaten Longford, Armagh and Roscommon, what has changed?

Cian Murphy: I think they have gone back to a system that suits them. Also having Sean Cavanagh in the middle of the field means he influences the game far more than in the full forwards. They have just worked and what they are doing rather than worried about what the opposition are doing.

PW: Paul just to talk about the Dublin midfield and Bastick and Fennell being selected against Sean Cavanagh who looked hot against Roscommon. Is this an area Dublin could be exposed as Bastick and Fennell are not know for their pace?

Paul Curran: They probably would not be the most mobile but the instructions would be clear for them, that they need to hold their positions. I think Cavanagh is a huge danger for us. He was outstanding last week and he loves Croke Park, he loves playing against the Dubs and more importantly he loves playing in midfield. Over the years Mickey Harte has tried him at right half forward, corner forward and centre forward and he has never really played as well as he his capable of playing. Now he is back in his favourite position, he loves the freedom there and the space. I think whoever picks him up has a huge task. I think whoever it is, whether it’s Bastick or Fennell or somebody else or there might even be two picking him, but if we can hold him it will go a long way to winning the match.

PW: Pascal what kind of advantage does it give Tyrone due to the fact they can bring players like Dooher, McMenamin and O’Neill from the bench?

Pascal Canavan: It’s an advantage because you go out with a Plan A but if that does not work it is always good to have a Plan B or C to fall back on. That’s the advantage of having a strong bench. You put your best 15 out but sometimes things don’t work out for all of them so it will make a huge difference to be able to bring them in.

PW: Do you think Mickey Harte has put out his strongest 15?

Pascal Canavan: I think so; I think it’s the strongest fifteen that’s available at the minute. Obviously the likes of Stephen O’Neill if he was fully fit and had played in all the games would be on from the start. But at the moment I think that is the strongest fifteen and with the likes of Mulligan and Penrose in there, I think that gives them a sharper edge up front.
PW: Cian, eleven Tyrone players scored against Roscommon, does that suggest that they have a better spread of scores than Dublin?

CM: Tyrone is all about complete football, so all of their players are comfortable taking a score.

PW: Paul since Dublin beat Tyrone last year, seventeen wides has become a mantra from their players and management. It has also been mentioned by the Tyrone camp in the run up to this game, the suggestion being that they kicked away the game last year. Do you think this is doing a disservice to the Dublin performance last year and could the Dublin management team use these comments as a way to inspire their players for this game?

PC: I think you are bang on there; they have been a little bit uncomplimentary to Dublin. At the end of the day Dublin set up last year to beat Tyrone. In a way last years quarter final was Dublin’s All Ireland although they should have beaten Cork in the semi final but they left it behind them. Tyrone kicked a lot of wides because they were shooting from distance because they couldn’t break this Dublin team down. I think for them to be harping on about last year and 17 wides is a bit foolish. I mean that’s history it’s all about this game, its all about whether they can break Dublin down and win the match. Both teams will be looking for different things. Dublin have the upper hand because they won last year but this is a real 50-50 game. It’s a little bit like last year but with the roles reversed. Tyrone are coming through the back door with Dublin winning a Leinster title. Lat year we had Tyrone winning their province and Dublin coming through the back door after building up some confidence. The big worry from our point of view is that we haven’t played a game for four weeks and we have a couple of injuries which means a couple of changes. Although the team that was picked may not be one that starts, but my main worry is that they have not had enough game time.

PW: I know this question comes up a lot about this particular player but I have to ask it. Is it the right decision to start with Eoghan O’Gara?

PC: I think the team named will not be the team that starts so I think O’Gara wont start. There is a strong rumour around the county that Barry Cahill is going to start centre forward and Alan Brogan is going to push up to the full forwards with O’Gara on the bench. I can’t see how O’Gara is going to start anyway because he only got a cast off this week and he hasn’t played football in three weeks. It’s an unbelievable decision to pick him. I think it’s a dummy team, I don’t think he will start; I don’t think he will play any part in the game.

PW: Do you think both teams may be dummy teams?

PC: There is probably an argument for that. I mean this little fella Coney dropped for Tyrone has been playing very well. Owen Mulligan has replaced him, Owen Mulligan walked of the panel and all of the sudden he is back in the team. Whether that is going to be the case I don’t know. Mulligan does love playing against Dublin and loves playing in Croke Park and knows after been dropped and walking away, he has to perform in this game.

PW: Pascal, I was talking to Paul about Owen Mulligan coming in for Kyle Coney, do you think it is the right decision? What do you think Mickey Harte’s reason for this change would be?

Pascal Canavan: I think Kyle is very good and has a lot to offer and he still might have a lot to offer in this game. But with the sort of game it is and the sort of opposition it is, it maybe takes a more experienced player. When you have Mulligan there, he has performed very well against the dubs for a number of years so I think it’s a safer option. Owen Mulligan and Martin Penrose played very well against Dublin last year so it was probably an easier decision to make than you probably think or realise.

PW: So what’s your prediction for the game?

Pascal Canavan: Obviously I fancy Tyrone by maybe 1 or 2 points. It’s going to be very tight because both teams are defensive but I have a sneaky feeling for Tyrone?

Dublin fans can keep up to date on all things Dublin GAA including Cian Murphy’s blog, Match Day Live and Dublin’s Finest Supporter on the DubHub http://www.hill16.ie/thedubhub/

Scottish Secure Victory with Late Try

6 Aug

Scotland 10-6 Ireland

A devastating Joe Ansbro try in the final moments of the game secured a victory for Scotland over Ireland at Murrayfield.

In what was a thigh game throughout Ireland looked to be squeezing out the victory with a 6-3 lead as the final five minutes approached however, Ansbro’s late rally gave Andy Robinson’s side a 10-6 win.

The opening period of the game was indicative of the fact that both teams were at the beginning of their World cup prepartations as the ball rarely left the centre of the park for the first ten minutes.

Scotland did have the better territory during that period but poor finishing handed possession back to Ireland on a number of occasions.

Despite the number of changes in his starting line up Declan Kidney will have been pleased with his sides defensive efforts as they refused to give the Scots an inch.

It took a half an hour for the opening score to be registered as Jonathan Sexton knocked over a penalty to give his side a 3-0 lead.

Scotland tried to reply immediately with strong runs from Ross Rennie and Morrison made twenty yards but the Scots failed to capitilise on the field position as the half came to a close.

At half time Ireland held a slender 3-0 lead over the Scottish who will have been dissappointed with the scoreline.

Scotland got the second half off to a great start as they forced their way over the Irish line but supperb work from Denis Leamy and Niall Ronan ensured Ireland would hold onto their lead.

However, this only delayed Scotland’s first points as with fifty minutes gone in the tie Ireland where penalised for being in an offside poisition.

An alway’s deadly accurate Chris Paterson put over the penalty from a realtively easy position on the field to level the game at 3-3.

The game began to open up a bit more as the players started to feel the pace and on the hour Sexton knocked over his second penalty of the day to give Ireland a 6-3 lead.

Once more the game became somewhat stagnant as Ireland looked to close out the game by emptying their bench with fifteen minutes to go.

With ten minutes left on the clock Paterson had the chance to level the scores once more but he pushed his effort wide of the mark.

It was then Sexton’s turn to extend Ireland’s lead with five minutes left but his effort from long range fell just short of the mark.

Scotland had one last chance to get something from the game after Mick O’Driscoll infringed at the ruck giving the hosts prime field position.

With just three minutes left on the clock Scotland’s backline ran a training ground move to perfection as they handed Anasbro a clean run to the tryline to score the first try of the day. Paterson added the conversion to put his side infront for the first time in the match with the score at 10-6 to the home side.

Scotland then regained possession at the restart and held out for the narrow victory over the Irish

Trap Names 25 Man Squad

2 Aug

Ireland Manager Giovanni Trapattoni has today announced his 25 man squad for the upcoming friendly against Croatia in the Aviva Stadium.

The Italian has named a strong side for the friendly and has included James McCarthy who opted out of the final round of the Carling Nations Cup earlier this summer.

However, Trapattoni has left Celtic striker Anthony Stokes out of his squad as well as Kevin Kilbane and Liam Lawrence who have both been excused due to club commitments.

Speaking on the unveiling of his squad the Irish Supremo said: “I intend to use the game against Croatia at Aviva Stadium next week to have the confirmation of a few options ahead of our September matches against Slovakia and Russia. Liam Lawrence and Kevin Kilbane have been excused for club commitments while John O’Shea, Aiden McGeady, Paul Mc Shane and Kevin Foley have picked up injuries and will also be excused.”

NameClubDate of birthCaps Goals
Shay GivenAston Villa FC20/04/19761130
Keiren WestwoodSunderland AFC23/10/198470
David FordeMillwall FC20/10/197920
Seamus ColemanEverton FC08/10/198840
Stephen KellyFulham FC06/09/1983250
Stephen WardWolverhampton Wanderers FC20/08/198531
Richard DunneAston Villa FC21/09/1979657
Sean St. LedgerLeicester City FC28/12/1984182
Darren O’DeaCeltic FC04/02/198790
Damien DelaneyIpswich Town FC20/07/198150
Glenn WhelanStoke City FC13/01/1984292
Darron GibsonManchester Utd25/10/1987161
Keith AndrewsBlackburn Rovers FC13/09/1980202
Keith FaheyBirmingham City FC15/01/1983113
Andy KeoghWolverhampton Wanderers FC16/05/1986211
Damien DuffFulham FC02/03/1979878
Stephen HuntWolverhampton Wanderers FC01/08/198130 1
James McCarthyWigan Athletic FC12/11/199030
Keith TreacyPreston North End13/09/198850
Marc WilsonStoke City FC17/08/198710
Robbie KeaneTottenham Hotspur08/07/198010851
Kevin DoyleWolverhampton Wanderers FC18/09/1983419
Jon WaltersStoke City FC20/09/198310
Shane LongReading FC22/01/1987216
Simon CoxWest Bromwich Albion 28/04/198842

Saints Players Air Grievances

2 Aug

St Patrick Athletic’s players have been making headlines in the papers over the last few weeks for their heroic performances on the European stage but today they made headlines off the field.

In a statement released by the PFAI it was made clear that the players of the Inchicore club were unhappy with how the club have treated them during their Europa League campaign.

As the squad is mainly based around part time players a number of players have had to take time of work for trips to Kazakhstan and Ukraine. As a result of which a number of them have suffered loss of earnings.

The statement outlined that the players felt that they have not been rewarded sufficiently for their efforts.

As a result of their disatisfaction with how the club have treated them they will not attend any media events scheduled by the club.

The statement read:

Following a written proposal concerning loss of earnings and European bonuses on Monday 25 July 2011 we have not received a satisfactory response from the board of St Patrick’s Athletic Football Club. Despite numerous requests the club has refused to get into any meaningful discussions with the players and its representatives the PFAI. It is with great regret that we are left in the position where we feel we have to bring this issue into the public domain. Our efforts in the UEFA Europa League over the past six weeks have not been properly recognised by the club and we are deeply disappointed with the club’s lack of acknowledgement of our achievements based on our status as part-time players. We regret that due to the club’s actions we will not make ourselves available to partake in any media activities ahead of the game on Thursday. We will also take any further steps we deem necessary to ensure our efforts are recognised. The players and its representatives remain available to discuss this issue with the board.

Dub Hub Gives Fans an Insight into the Big Game

9 Jul

By Paul Walsh
GAA Correspondent
Follow him on twitter @walshpots

Another Friday night before a big Dublin game and another Dubhub event. This time on a balmy Friday evening the show brought to Dublin fans by Vodafone and FM104 moved to Smyth’s in Ranelagh. . This time the regular panellists Jason Sherlock, Paul Curran and Cian Murphy were joined by Wexford legend Mattie Forde.

I had a few words with the lads before they went out live on FM104 and as usual they were forthright with their opinions.
Paul Walsh: Paul was the decision to start Eamon Fennell ahead of Barry Cahill and Ross McConnell in place of Michael Dara McCauley the right one?

Paul Curran: We will have to wait and see. I think there are three or four midfielders going for the two positions, which is a good thing in a way, but in another way we don’t seem to have a settled midfield. I don’t know where Barry Cahill is gone; he seems to have gone backwards in a very short space of time. He started the league final and played very well but he only came on for a couple of minutes in the last match and here he is overlooked. Maybe he is picking Fennell because of the type of game he wants to play. He is big and he is strong and direct, we will just have to wait and see.

PW: When Fennell came on in the last game, Cluxton aimed his kicks at him; do you think the plan might be to go down the centre?

PC: I think that’s probably one of the things he is looking at. I think the longer we go in the championship, teams will have our kick outs sorted. They will try and identify Cluxton’s kick outs and counteract. So, maybe we are looking to be more direct from the kick outs

PW: Matty do you think Jason Ryan will see midfield as an area that Wexford might be able to dominate?

Mattie Forde: Maybe not dominate but they will certainly target it, but the midfield is not just about the middle four it’s about the middle twelve. It’s not only about how much ball is won but it’s about what you do with it.

PW: Jason do you think it was a risk to stick with Eoghan O’Gara after his sending off against Kildare and question marks over his discipline?

Jason Sherlock: Well obviously Eoghan’s big strength is his physicality but I suppose everyone was a bit surprised when he stayed on the pitch after getting a yellow card. I think everyone felt it could happen. Obviously Pat has a lot of time for him, Pat has said he is going very well in training so I don’t see it as a surprise that he is starting. You could ask does he help the full forward line, its evident Diarmuid struggled the last day and Bernard hasn’t been as hot. In the league they were playing beside Mossy Quinn so maybe it suited them better playing beside him. Eoghan had a great year last year, he missed an awful lot of football through suspension and it could be a game when it all clicks for him on Sunday.

PW: When you look at the Wexford forwards with their team scoring 7-54 in three games, what kind of threat are they going to pose to Dublin and how will the Dubs contain them?

JS: They will pose a massive threat and to be fair to them they have had a great season so far. You would think that this is a step up. I think the style that Wexford play bringing a man outfield in Colm Morris will suit Dublin because it means they will have an extra defender there. So it’s going to be a big challenge for Wexford. But, when you look at Ciaran Lyng and Ben Brosnan they certainly have the firepower if they get the ball.

PW: No Leinster title since 1945, what would it mean Mattie for Wexford to win on Sunday?

MF: I think it would mean everything, obviously so long since a Leinster title so it would be massive. Hurling has taken over in Wexford as the number one sport in the last couple of years. There will be a small enough Wexford crowd on Sunday to what you would
get for a Leinster hurling final with Wexford in it, but it would mean absolutely everything. To be fair there is a loyal group of Wexford people that have supported the footballers over a long number of years, it would mean everything to them also to win a Leinster final on Sunday.

PW: Paul I just wanted to ask you about the disputed free against Kildare. It could be argued that Dublin has not got the breaks in recent years, how important do you think luck is for Dublin to be successful in the championship?

PC: I think a bit of luck is important, but I think you make your own luck. I have to say I was right in line with the free and Brogan was getting pulled. When they were kicking the ball in, I turned around to my 8-year-old and said “that’s a free”. He gave the free and when I watched it at home whatever way the camera angle was it didn’t look much. It was definitely a free he was pulling out of him and I thought it was a very brave decision from Cormac Reilly. A lot of referees with the score tied and the clock ticking down would have let it go and blown up and everyone is happy. It was a correct decision; you need those decisions to win especially the big matches.

PW: I just wanted to talk about something Jason Ryan said this week. He said that Bernard Brogan got a lot of soft frees against Kildare and he hoped that his players would get the same amount of soft frees. He also said he hoped that there would be consistency by the referee in awarding frees to both Wexford and Dublin. Do you think Bernard Brogan in particular and Dublin in general get a lot of soft frees or was Jason Ryan doing a “Mouriniho” and trying to put pressure on the referee?

MF: There could have been some semblance of that without a shadow of a doubt. Just because Bernard Brogan is footballer of the year does not mean he gets soft frees, I think everything he gets he earns. There could have been a small bit of gamesmanship it what was said. The referee is going to have a bearing on this game especially if the game is tight.

PW: Prediction for the game?

MF: The heart says Wexford but the head definitely says Dublin. The formbook all points in that direction.

PC: Just to comment on Jason Ryan I think he is learning out of the Alex Ferguson school of management. He is looking for a few breaks for his team on Sunday. I think as Matty says the referees in general are very fair. Against Kildare he made a good decision and one that most referees would not make.

Dublin fans can keep up to date on all things Dublin GAA including Cian Murphy’s blog, Match Day Live and Dublin’s Finest Supporter on the DubHub http://www.hill16.ie/thedubhub/