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IT Sun, Jun 17

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  • 13:20
    Is it just me or does this Sunday feel a little nostalgic for you all? The June weather is typically Irish and Offaly are trying to hit the big time again under the guidance of 90s hurling legend Ollie Baker. Then there’s the fact that the Irish soccer team are playing (terribly admittedly) at a major tournament and as if that wasn’t enough, the streets of Dublin will be heaving because 75,000 people are going to a big Mass at Croke Park. It’s all a bit 1990s, n’est pas?  Here’s hoping for some classic moments then.

    Offaly are in action at a double header at O’Moore Park in Portlaoise where first, the hurlers will be trying to reach the Leinster final. Galway stand in their way and with doubts over Joe Canning’s fitness this may be one that Ollie Baker’s men will fancy winning.

    The footballers will be less optimistic given that they play Kieran McGeeney’s Kildare team of terminators who are chomping at the bit to prove that they really are a Championship threat this year. Offaly, by contrast are without Niall McNamee and dropped down to Division Four earlier in the year. Those of a nervous disposition look away now because this should be a mauling.

    The day is bound to feel a little nostalgic too for Davy Fitzgerald as he returns to manage his native Clare against the side he had been in charge of for the previous three years, Waterford. His past experiences with Waterford might just be enough to give Clare the edge to reach the Munster final this year and if Clare participating in a final isn’t a sign that the 1990s are returning then I don’t know what is. 

    There is a final game in Ulster. It’s hurling. It’s Derry v Armagh and yes, it’s fair to say the nation will be waiting with bated breath on that result. I’m Ciaran Daly and this Sunday, we’re going back to the future. So, sit back, relax and let’s crank this baby up to 88mph.
  • 13:22
    Leinster Senior Hurling Championship
    Galway v Offaly (Portlaoise) – 2pm
    Ulster Senior Hurling Championship
    Armagh v Derry (Morgan Athletic Grounds, Armagh)  -3.30pm
    Munster Senior Hurling Championship
    Clare v Waterford (Semple Stadium) – 4pm
    Leinster Senior Football Championship
    Offaly v Kildare (Portlaoise) – 4pm
  • 13:23
    Oh and here’s yesterday’s results too.

    Ulster Senior Football Championship
    Donegal 2-13 Derry 0-9
    Leinster Senior Football Championship
    Carlow 1-9 Meath 2-22
  • 13:30
    So hands up who doubted Banty? Not me, I always knew Meath would hammer Carlow in the replay. Never doubted it for a second. Not once. Never……I swear.
  • 13:34
    Good win for Donegal too but Derry didn’t offer much did they? Donegal now play Tyrone in the Ulster semi-final. That’ll be good unless of course, you’re a Kerry purist who thinks that to hand-passing and football outside of Munster is nauseating.
  • 13:37
    Cyril Farrell proffers some telling insight – “Whoever wins the game is in the Munster final.” You know, I’d never thought of it like that before.  He's like a prophet
  • 13:42
    Any predictions then for today’s games then? If anyone predicts all of the right scores I will personally give them €1,000,000*

    *May not be true. 
  • 13:45
    In case you missed it in yesterday’s Irish Times here’s Gavin Cummiskey’s piece on Ollie Baker being a perfect fit for Offaly -
  • 13:51
    Given my penchant for puns Offaly are like manna from heaven. Feel free of offer your own Offaly bad puns.
  • 13:58
    Marty Morrissey is manning the commentator’s microphone in Portlaoise today. He was in Poland midweek. I know this because my friend met him in Gdansk stadium during the week. I tell you, Marty is our own international man of mystery.
  • 13:59
    We're off in Portlaoise!
  • 14:00
    Joe Canning fires wide. He’s finished. Not that I’m one to overreact.
  • 14:03
    The opening of this game has been electric! Absolutely electric. I can hardly contain myself. I can’t wait for Clare v Waterford already.  No scores.
  • 14:03
    Two Ulster teams have just been given Galway and Offaly jerseys haven’t they?
  • 14:05
    5 mins – GOALS!  Two goals in two minutes for Conor Cooney.  Galway 2-0 Offaly 0-0
  • 14:06
    6 mins – GOAL! Shane Dooley scores a goal immediately. Scratch what I said, this match has actually come alive. Brilliant. Galway 2-0 Offaly 1-0 

  • 14:07
    Imagine both sides refused to take points and only went for goal. After a pedestrian opening minutes this has been brilliant.
  • 14:08
    8 mins - The no-points hope has been dashed. It’s Galway 2-1 Offaly 1-1
  • 14:10
    9 mins – GOAL! Yes another. Cyril Donnellan’s shot should’ve been saved and cleared really but David Burke follows up for a scrappy Galway goal. Galway 3-1 Offaly 1-1
  • 14:10
    11 mins – Shane Dooley keeps his cooley to point from a free. Galway 3-1 Offaly 1-2
  • 14:12
    12 mins - Dooley again for Offaly. Galway 3-1 Offally 1-3
  • 14:13
    The Offaly defence looks even worse than Ireland’s against Spain. Yes, it’s that bad.
  • 14:15
    Iarla Tannian is a fun name to say.
  • 14:15
    15 mins – Galway 3-1 Offaly 1-5.
  • 14:17
    16 mins – Joe Bergin with another point before Niall Burke hits one in return for Galway. Ridiculously open hurling. This is great. Galway 3-2 Offaly 1-6
  • 14:19
    19 mins - Iarla Tannian scores to make it 3-4 to 1-6 in Galway's favour. He’s been strong in midfield.
  • 14:20
    Ollie Baker remonstrating with the linesman because he thinks Offaly’s wides were points.
  • 14:21
    21 mins That one was definitely wide from Shane Dooley. Galway 3-5 Offaly 1-6
  • 14:22
    23 mins - Dooley scores for Offaly. I will be writing this a lot it seems. Galway 3-5 Offaly 1-7
  • 14:24
    The game’s pace has been relentless after three minutes of dullness at the start. Fantastic spectacle. Some really questionable defending makes for an entertaining game.
  • 14:25
    25 mins - Tannian scores another. Galway 3-6 Offaly 1-7. All Galway’s scores have been from play. Impressive.
  • 14:27

    27 mins - Cyril Donnellan has been running everything for Galway. It’s now Galway 3-8 Offaly 1-7 thanks to a Joe Canning free.

  • 14:28
    28 mins - Damien Hayes scores his second point of the game. Galway 3-9 Offaly 1-7
  • 14:29
    29 mins – Offaly needed that. Shane Dooley scores a free. Seven points between them
  • 14:30
    30 mins – Another one for Shane Dooley. No doubt that he’s the main threat to Galway.
  • 14:33
    Sub for Galway by the way - Paul Gordan on for Niall Donoghue who had been shown a yellow card a few minutes ago.
  • 14:33
    34 mins - Joe Canning with his second point of the game. It’s Galway 3-10 Offaly 1-10
  • 14:34
    35 mins - GOAL! It’s Galway’s fourth. Nice turn by David Burke and equally good pass to Damien Hayes who had an easy finish. Galway 4-10 Offaly 1-10
  • 14:35
    35 mins – Joe Canning with another point, this time from play. It’s 4-11 to 1-10 for Galway
  • 14:37
    HT – Galway 4-11 Offaly 1-10
  • 14:38
    Only two of Galway’s points were from the dead ball. That’s impressive!
  • 14:40
    Phew! What a half of hurling. Apart from the first few minutes the pace of the game has been frantic. After conceding goals ridiculously early Offaly were making a decent comeback only to be crushed by their leaky defence conceding even more goals. More of the same in the second half please.
  • 14:41
    The first two goals were particularly soft. If Ollie Baker is worth his crust (let the puns never end) then he’ll be getting that Offaly defence sorted during the break.
  • 14:43
    There were 26 scores in 35 minutes of hurling. Hardly any time to catch your breath.
  • 14:45
    A replay of the goals are on. Conor Cooney’s first goal was him just walking through the Offaly defence, selling a dummy and smashing it home. Too easy from an Offaly perspective.
  • 14:47
    If Conor Cooney’s first goal was bad from an Offaly point of view the third Galway goal was simple terrible.
  • 14:47
    Galway’s fourth was superb attacking hurling in fairness.
  • 14:50
    Canning has been quiet. It has been Cyril Donnellan pulling the strings for Galway. Offaly are relying on Shane Dooley for everything.
  • 14:53
    Michael Lyster tells us his tie is red, not maroon. Impartiality at RTE has been  restored.
  • 14:54
    We’re back!
  • 14:55
    Damien Hayes gets Galway going in the second half – Galway 4-12 Offaly 1-10
  • 14:56
    What? There was a chance for goal for Galway and they didn’t score. I’m confused. That didn’t happen in the first half.
  • 14:57
    38 mins - Joe Canning scores his fourth point of the game. 4-13 Offaly 1-10
  • 14:58
    Gervis Offaly look "marooned" out there, I wonder can Galway go "gal the way"? Twill be Offaly difficult.
  • 14:59
    You’re going to fit in just fine around here Gervis. Bravo!
  • 15:00
    Offaly looking a little toothless in the second half. This could be a hammering but you never know. Unless, we get to about 60 minutes and they’re getting a hammering. Then we’ll know I suppose.
  • 15:02
    Offaly really aren’t helping themselves. They could’ve cleared easily there but silly mistakes gifted Galway possession.
  • 15:02
    It’s now Galway 4-15 Offaly 1-10
  • 15:04
    The second half = Joe Canning shooting practice. 4-16 to 1-10
  • 15:05
    47 mins - Shane Dooley finally gets Offaly up and running in the second half. Sean Ryan on for Offaly.
  • 15:07
    Kevin Hynes yellow card for a cynical foul. Shane Dooley had to go for goal but hit the post. Luck is not on Offaly’s side.
  • 15:09
    Jonathan Glynn on now for Galway.
  • 15:09
    Bit of a damp squib this really after some real fireworks in the first half.
  • 15:11
    Even Shane Dooley is hitting wides now. Deflated isn’t the word.
  • 15:13
    Conor Cooney off for Galway. James Regan on. Conor Hernon on for Conor Mahon for Offaly. Not that it matters but at least we know Conor is a very popular name in GAA circles.
  • 15:15
    57 mins - Two excellent saves in a two minutes from Offaly’s goalkeeper James Dempsey. It’s 4-18 to 1-12 in Galway’s favour.
  • 15:16
    57 mins – GOAL – Derek Molloy scores an absolute cracker. Top corner from distance. It was a lob. It’s Galway 4-18 Offaly 2-12. Still 12 points between the teams though.
  • 15:18
    Make the gap 11 points. Dooley is back on the scoresheet.  Galway 4-18 Offaly 2-13
  • 15:19
    Newly introduced Tadhg Haran scores a point immediately for Galway. This game is over and has been for some time.
  • 15:20
    61 mins – Just the 10 points now for Joe Canning and he actually hasn’t been involved much. Galway 4-20 Offaly 2-14
  • 15:22
    63 mins – GOAL! Shane Dooley catches the Galway defence sleeping to score from a free. It’s Galway 4-20 Offaly 3-14
  • 15:26
    68 mins - Game stops for Joe Canning to put his boots back on. He may as well leave them off.  Nothing else of note will be happening in the last few minutes. Galway 4-22 Offaly 3-14
  • 15:28
    69 mins –GOAL! David Burke gives Davy Glennon the easiest of chances which he doesn’t miss.  Galway 5-23 Offaly 3-14
  • 15:30
    FT – Galway 5-23 Offaly 3-15
  • 15:31
    A thrilling first half and a dour second half. Galway had 14 points to spare in the end.
  • 15:34

    The faithful county needed saving out there. They needed a David HasslehOFFALY. And there we have it – the most tenuous pun ever written.

  • 15:35
    Gervis Galway at times like their sponsors, tasty and tempting.
  • 15:40
    Amazing that a game with eight goals and 38 points still managed to be something of a non-event.
  • 15:45
    Wexford has the X-Factor and maybe a new corner forward. Dermot O’Leary tweeted this below:

    @radioleary Very proud to become an ambassador for Wexford last night. Our family home. Sorry I couldn't make but my dad did me proud. #yellowbellies
  • 15:46
    Davy Fitzgerald insists that being the Waterford manager for the past three years isn’t a factor. Who is he trying to fool?
  • 15:47
    You’d swear Davy Fitz was at a funeral during that interview on RTE
  • 15:47
    Mullane, Kelly and Walsh – the holy trinity of Waterford hurling
  • 15:50
    Predictions for Clare and Waterford?
  • 15:55
    John Mullane is one of the country’s best hurlers on his day. This is a fact.
  • 15:56
    Meanwhile Kildare are gearing up to make a bad day worse for Offaly fans in Portlaoise.
  • 15:58
    Podge Collins starts for Clare instead of Sean who failed a fitness test.
  • 15:59
    All in all, he’s just another ‘Brick’ In the Walsh!
  • 16:02
    1 min – McGrath points for Clare. 0-1 to no score.
  • 16:05
    Nicky O’Connell makes it 0-2 to no score before Philip Mahony gets one back only for another Clare point. Yes, you've guessed it, it's frenetic.  Clare 0-3 Waterford 0-1
  • 16:08
    7 mins – Clare lead 0-4 to 0-1. Nicky O’Connell easily over.
  • 16:10
    Kildare are being beaten by 0-3 to 0-1 after nearly 10 minutes. What do I know?
  • 16:11
    9 mins - John Mullane does what John Mullane does. Clare 0-4 Waterford 0-2
  • 16:13
    9 mins - John Mullane does what John Mullane does. Clare 0-4 Waterford 0-2
  • 16:14
    12 mins – GOAL – Penalty. Eoin Kelly scores and celebrates accordingly. It’s Waterford 1-3 Clare 0-4
  • 16:15
    In retrospect Eoin Kelly looked like he got a sly foul in on Cian Dillon before the ball came into the square. Harsh call methinks.
  • 16:17
    It should’ve been a free out. No doubt.
  • 16:17
    16 mins – Waterford 1-5 Clare 0-4. Shanahan with two points in quick succession.
  • 16:19
    18 mins - Just the goal between the teams now. The ref is winning it for Waterford then.
  • 16:22
    18 mins –GOAL! Scrappy goal for Waterford. Long ball in not dealt with well by Kelly in the Clare goal and Shane Walsh capitalises. Waterford 2-5 Clare 0-5
  • 16:24
    22 mins - GOAL – John Conlon buries the ball into the top corner. Game on! It’s Waterford 2-5 Clare 1-6
  • 16:27
    25 mins - Pa Kelly produces a great save to deny Gavin O’Brien a goal. Clare clear the danger. It’s Waterford 2-6 Clare 1-6
  • 16:28
    Kildare are leading 0-6 to 0-3. They’ve stepped it up as one wise pundit predicted.
  • 16:29
    28 mins – Nicky O’Connell point makes it Waterford 2-7 Clare 1-7
  • 16:30
    I’m not a sensationalist (I am) but all I’m saying is that if the referee had gotten the penalty decision right we’d be even at Semple Stadium. If Clare lose by three points I predict a riot!
  • 16:32
    30 mins - Prendergast blasts over the bar. I did just want to rhyme blast with gast there. I failed. It was clumsy. It’s Waterford 2-8 Clare 1-7
  • 16:33
    33 mins - Kildare 0-7 Offaly 0-3
  • 16:34
    Offaly haven’t scored for 23 minutes in Portlaoise. Not a good day to be an Offaly fan.
  • 16:37
    It’s hectic and it’s tight at Semple Stadium as we head for half-time but am I wrong to say Waterford deserve their four point lead, penalty or no penalty?
  • 16:38
    36 mins - Clever free from Clare. It’s Waterford 2-8 Clare 1-8.
  • 16:38
    John Conlon scores right on the half-time whistle. Waterford 2-8 Clare 1-9
  • 16:39
    HT - Waterford 2-8 Clare 1-9
  • 16:41
    Meanwhile in Portlaoise – the inevitable Kildare resurgence arrived after the initial Offaly dominance. It’s Kildare 0-8 Offaly 0-3. Half-time
  • 16:44
    The short passing game Clare deploy is being lambasted by the lads in the RTE studio. It’s just like the football really.
  • 16:47
    Fair enough point - the umpires would’ve seen that Eoin Kelly fouled Cian Dillon for the Waterford penalty. They said nothing. They truly are Switzerland during war time. Never going to get involved.
  • 16:49
    Clare’s goal gets better every time you see it. John Conlon buries it. Superb! Mind you, being from Ulster I’m amazed by anyone who can even strike a ball with a hurl.
  • 16:54
    In the second half surely, it’s a case of ‘He who Clares, wins.’ I’m sorry. Even I know how bad that is.
  • 16:59
    38 mins - Clancy gets Clare’s first score of the second half. It’s Waterford 2-10 Clare 1-10.
  • 17:01
    Now, I know all of you have been waiting on this so I’ll not deny you any longer. In Ulster, the Derry hurlers are beating Armagh. It’s Derry 4-12 Armagh 0-16
  • 17:01
    40 mins - Waterford 2-10 Clare 1-11. This is shaping up very nicely
  • 17:03
    39 mins -  Offaly 0-4 Kildare 0-10. Ollie Lyons responds immediately for Kildare
  • 17:04
    Poor attendance at Semple Stadium – 12,296. Those that have gone can feel suitably smug. Great game here.
  • 17:06
    44 mins – It’s Waterford 2-10 Clare 1-12 now. One point between them. Oh yes. We’re owed a tense finish.
  • 17:06
    Liam Markham is on for McInerney
  • 17:07
    46 mins – We’re level. Routine Clare free. Clare 1-13 Waterford 2-10. The momentum is with Clare at the minute. Commentator’s curse anyone?
  • 17:09
    Offaly goalkeeper Alan Mulhall is keeping Offaly in the game on his own. Just. Kildare still lead though. It’s Kildare 0-12 Offaly 0-5
  • 17:10
    49 mins – Clare lead. Clare 1-14 Waterford 2-10
  • 17:12
    50 mins -A Maurice Shanahan free draws us level again. They needed that. It was 13 minutes without a score for Waterford.
  • 17:13
    51 mins - Shanahan liked that so much he did it again. Waterford lead. 2-12 to 1-14
  • 17:14
    Conor McGrath with a miss that even I could have scored….well, maybe that a child could’ve scored is a better way to phrase it.
  • 17:14
    Fergal Lynch on for Clare now.
  • 17:15
    54 mins - Ever since I said Clare had the momentum Waterford have kicked on. They now lead by two points. Waterford 2-13 Clare 1-14
  • 17:17
    55 mins - John Mullane, he’s the man, if he can’t do it, no one…….how should I end it? Will? Waterford 2-14 Clare 1-14
  • 17:18
    Richie Foley puts Waterford four in front. What happened with all this ‘Clare are the younger side, they should have the legs,’ nonsense.
  • 17:20
    58 mins - Nicky O’Connell scores a big free for Clare. They needed it. There’s a goal between them. Waterford 2-15 Clare 1-15
  • 17:22
    FT – Armagh 1-17 Derry 4-15
  • 17:24
    62 mins - McGrath makes it Waterford 2-16 Clare 1-17
  • 17:24
    Only Munster hurling to worry about now. Kildare are hammering Offaly 0-17 to 0-6
  • 17:26
    64 mins – Waterford 2-16 Clare 1-18. That’s a one point difference for those who find maths challenging.
  • 17:27
    66 mins - Second big miss from Nicky O’Connell. Will it be important?
  • 17:28
    Clare fans won’t want to hear me say this given what happened the last time I did but Clare are in the ascendency again. Impossible to know how this is going to finish though.
  • 17:29
    Words Clare people like to hear together. Waterford and wide.
  • 17:29
    68 mins - Waterford sub Martin O’Neill makes it Waterford 2-17 Clare 1-18
  • 17:31
    69 mins – O’Keeffe may just have saved Waterford’s bacon. Super save from McGrath. A goal would’ve put Clare one in front. As it is, Waterford lead by two.
  • 17:32
    Three minutes to be added on, one of which has gone. God but it’s exciting.
  • 17:33
    Clare should’ve had a goal. No, Waterford should’ve had a goal. None of them get a goal. This is superb!
  • 17:34
    Free-in. Pa Kelly will surely take this on. 20 metres out. Oooooh!
  • 17:35
    Blocked on the line. Ref blows the whistle. Waterford win! I hope people with heart issues can relax now.
  • 17:35
    Davy Fitz  will be in bits after that
  • 17:37
    FT - Waterford 2-17 Clare 1-18
  • 17:37
    FT - Kildare 0-19 Offaly 0-6
  • 17:40
    Waterford manager Michael Ryan very diplomatically paying tribute to ‘two fantastic teams.’
  • 17:42
    Mind you, diplomacy was certainly needed after the way certain Waterford players celebrated right in front of their former manager Davy Fitzgerald.
  • 17:45
    John Mullane didn’t need to celebrate like that really. Being a good winner is as important as not being a bad loser surely?
  • 17:51
    Davy Fitz the diplomat. He praised John Mullane despite his incendiary celebrations. He also declined to comment on the penalty decision in the first half. Inside, you know he’s raging.
  • 18:06
    drumgath Ulster hurling. The child the GAA doesn't mention
  • 18:07
    Well, that was quite the finish wasn’t it? Waterford held firm and Davy Fitzgerald’s glorious return to the Clare fold failed to materialise. Alas, on his first attempt Fitzgerald hasn’t been able to take Clare back to future just yet. Yet Waterford remain evergreen as they march on to another Munster final with two points to spare. Can Clare point to the penalty that should not have been or to the missed opportunities in the latter stages of the second half? Possibly but it’s in the past now and the only thing they can look forward to now is the qualifiers.

    The Galway and Offaly game didn’t really supply the same spectacle despite eight goals and 38 points. The promise of the first half gave way to the reality of the second and now Galway have a match with Kilkenny or the Dubs (it could happen!) to decide who will be crowned Leinster champions. 

    Kildare will certainly feel that they can be rightfully considered contenders for the Leinster crown in footballing terms. As expected they hammered an Offaly team who actually led after 10 minutes. Offaly then failed to score for the remainder of the half and Kildare dominated the second. The scary thing is Kildare weren’t at full strength.

    In Ulster Derry hurlers beat Armagh on their own patch – a match so irrelevant it makes Ireland v Italy tomorrow look like the World Cup final.

    That’s your lot for this week then. The nostalgia at the start of the day was just that. Clare will not win in Munster again this year and Waterford have reached another final. Offaly have a lot of work to do across both codes after Galway and Kildare handed out hammerings in hurling and football respectively. We may not have gone back to the future but do come back to the blog – same time, same place next week.