Kerry All-Ireland winner at AFL trials in Florida but St Brendan’s still advance in style

David Shaw was an All-Ireland minor winner with Kerry last year.

Source: Donall Farmer/INPHO

THE REIGNING ALL-Ireland schools football kingpins were today without a Kerry All-Ireland minor winner due to Aussie Rules trials but that didn’t stop them from clinching a 15-point win in their Munster quarter-final tie.

Champions St Brendan’s (Killarney) were without attacker David Shaw – who is attending this week’s AFL Academy camp in Florida – but still managed to claim an impressive victory against PS Chorca Dhuibhne by 2-18 to 0-9 in Milltown.

With 2016 Kerry All-Ireland minor winners Dara Moynihan and Michael Potts in their ranks, the Killarney school advanced to a semi-final clash with St Flannan’s (Ennis).

Ahead by 0-9 to 0-8 at the interval, they dominated the second half of today’s tie to restrict their opponents to a single point and run out comfortable victors.

Corn UI Mhuiri
Full time
St Brendan's Killarney 2-18
Pobalscoil Chorcha Dhuibhne 0-09@Munsterpps pic.twitter.com/TpnV94Ow7F

— Dr. Crokes GAA (@DrCrokesGAA) January 18, 2017

Source: Dr. Crokes GAA/Twitter

At Fitzgerald Stadium, Tralee CBS won the all-Kerry clash against Intermediate School Killorglin by 2-10 to 1-10.

In front by 1-6 to 1-3 at the break, Jason Mortimer pounced for the vital second goal for Tralee CBS in the second half.

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Tralee CBS were captained by centre-back Kieran Dwyer, a 2016 All-Ireland minor winner with Kerry, while another All-Ireland minor winner Caolim Teehan was in action for IS Killorglin.

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Well done to our senior footballers who beat ISK 2-10 to 1-10 in Corn Ui Mhuiri quarter final today.We now play Criost Ri in semi on 4th feb

— CBS The Green – An Edmund Rice School (@thegreencbs) January 18, 2017

Source: CBS The Green/Twitter

Great to be at the @thegreencbs win in the 1/4 final today. Massive win. Congrats @osemarc2

— Jack Savage (@JackSavage95) January 18, 2017

Source: Jack Savage/Twitter

In Rathkeale, St Flannan’s ensured they will fly the flag for Clare at the semi-final stage for a second successive year as they defeated Mercy Mounthawk Tralee by 4-9 to 2-12.

A goalscoring spree in the first-half paved the way for the Ennis school to triumph with Gearoid Cahill (2), Sean Kennedy and Eoghan Thynne all raising green flags.

Congrats to our Senior Football team & management on a great 1/4 final win today over Trallee's Mercy Mounthawk …4-09 to 2-12

— St Flannan's College (@stflannans) January 18, 2017

Source: St Flannan’s College/Twitter

Bobby O’Regan did hit the net in the opening period for the Tralee school, who had Aidan O’Shea – son of Kerry legend Jack and manager of Munster junior champions Glenbeigh/Glencar – amongst their management team.

Mercy Mounthawk trailed 4-7 to 1-8 at the interval but O’Regan hit his second goal in the third quarter to help cut the deficit that the Tralee outfit faced. St Flannan’s only registered 0-2 in the second half but that proved sufficient as they held on for a three-point victory.

Corn Uí Mhuirí quarter-final results

St Brendan’s (Killarney) 2-18 PS Chorca Dhuibhne 0-9
Tralee CBS 2-10 IS Killorglin 1-10
St Flannan’s (Ennis) 4-9 Mercy Mounthawk 2-12

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Westmeath’s Moate CS and Wexford’s St Peter’s set up novel Leinster senior football final

Source: Cathal Noonan/INPHO

IT’LL BE WESTMEATH against Wexford in a novel pairing in this year’s final of the Top Oil Leinster PP senior A football championship.

Westmeath’s Moate CS saw off Good Counsel of Wexford by four points today, 1-9 to 0-8, in Stradbally to book their place in the decider.

A Robbie Forde goal helped Moate CS go ahead 1-3 to 0-3 at the interval and they held on in the second half to triumph.

Despite Good Counsel’s loss, there will be a Wexford representative in the final after St Peter’s saw off Wicklow Schools by 0-13 to 1-8 at St Patrick’s Park in Enniscorthy.

The winners built up an early advantage as they went ahead 0-9 to 0-3 at the break and despite a Wicklow Schools fightback in the second half, St Peter’s held on to succeed.

The final of the 2016/17@TopOil @gaaleinster Schools' Senior A Football
Moate Community School v St Peter's
Saturday Jan 28
Venue/Time TBC pic.twitter.com/E57WabABAX

— Leinster GAA (@gaaleinster) January 18, 2017

Source: Leinster GAA/Twitter

It’s a landmark feat for Moate CS as they will contest a final for a historic first time and end a 36-year gap since the Westmeath town last had a representative in the decider.

For St Peter’s Wexford, it will be their first final appearance since 1996 with the school’s only previous title win occurring in 1992.

First Moate school team since the victorious Carmelite side of 81 to reach the final.

Click Here: Canterbury Bulldogs Jersey— Midlands103Sport (@MidlandsSport) January 18, 2017

Source: Midlands103Sport/Twitter

Congrats to Moate Community school- great win today in semi final v Good Counsel

— Dessie Dolan (@dessiedolan) January 18, 2017

Source: Dessie Dolan/Twitter

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‘No pressure’ on Cora Staunton, but Mayo hopeful she’ll be back for a 23rd season

MAYO LADIES FOOTBALL manager Frank Browne is hopeful that Cora Staunton will re-commit to the panel for 2017, her 23rd consecutive inter-county season.

The four-time All-Ireland senior medalist is currently on an extended break from the Mayo team along with fellow stalwarts Martha Carter and goalkeeper Yvonne Byrne.

The Mayo panel reconvened for training at the beginning of this month with the first round of the National League coming up on 29 January against Galway.

Browne told The42 that he would love to see Staunton and co back in Mayo jerseys but insisted that there is no pressure on them to return to the panel.

“They’ve just finished playing their club seasons since the beginning of December so we haven’t been putting them under any pressure,” he said.

“We’re giving them the time to make up their minds, they’ve spent a lot of time in the jersey and don’t owe anything to Mayo football. They’re going to have a rest and decide what’s right for them.”

With Cora, everyone is wondering what she’s going to do and it’s our job to support her when she makes her decision. We’re giving her loads of time. As with Martha and as with Yvonne, it’s a huge commitment and these girls have been doing it for a lot of years, they know what it takes and what it doesn’t take.

“They know the sacrifices that have to be made so it’s our job to give them time and space to make the right decision.”

Browne added that he has had conversations with the three players and said they are training on their own at the moment.

“The type of people and the type of athletes that they are, they’re always looking after themselves, they’re always in good shape.”

“The conversation I have with all three of them is ‘guys we’d really love to have you back but no matter what your decision is, you owe absolutely nothing to the jersey, you’ve been brilliant servants and brilliant representatives of not just of Mayo Ladies football but of Ladies football in general.’

“Whatever their decision is, both on a personal level and as part of Mayo football, we support them 100% because they’ve given absolutely everything to the cause.”

A Sinéad Aherne free in the dying moments of last year’s semi-final brought Mayo’s All-Ireland campaign to an end after a thrilling encounter.

Browne admits that it was a tough defeat to process, but says they’re looking forward to a new challenge in 2017.

“In one way it was a brilliant game, it was a massive advertisement for Ladies football and one of the best games of the year in any of the codes.

“We’ve learnt (from it) and it was very raw for a couple of weeks I have to say but it’s a new year, a new season and it’s all ahead of us now so we’re getting back on the wagon and getting going hard at it again.”

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We’ll Leave It There So: Muldoon to stay at Connacht, Xabi Alonso set to retire and all today’s sport

Munster’s Conor Murray addresses a press conference in Limerick.

Source: Tommy Dickson/INPHO

Home

  • Conor Murray insists that Munster followed all the necessary protocols after he sustained a neck injury in a Champions Cup game at the weekend.
  • Connacht hero John Muldoon has signed a new contract with the province that will see him stay on for a 15th season.
  • Robbie Keane has been linked with a move to the Championship in England.
  • Irish Olympian Adam Nolan has announced his retirement from boxing with a view to enjoying a few years of playing hurling.
  • Dr Eanna Falvey has been appointed the head of the Lions medical team for their upcoming tour of New Zealand.
  • Mayo’s Cora Staunton has yet to make a decision on her inter-county future but management are hopeful that she will be back for a 23rd season.

Away

Xabi Alonso in action for Bayern Munich.

Source: Matthias Schrader

  • Nick Kyrgios was booed off court as he crashed out of the Australian Open in the second round today.
  • Double European champion Xabi Alonso is set to retire at the end of the season when his Bayern Munich contract expires.
  • Reading have signed defender Tiago Ilori from Liverpool for a reported fee of £3.75 million.
  • Lionel Messi’s representatives claim quotes attributed to him regarding his future at Barcelona are false.
  • Toulouse centre Yann David has been named in the France 32-man training squad for the Six Nations, eight years after his last call-up.

The Best Thing We Shared

Conor McGregor has really put himself out there in the latest episode of his acting career.

On The Record

Mick McCarthy is under pressure at Ipswich Town.

Source: Dan Sheridan/INPHO

Mick McCarthy says he will accept whatever decision Ipswich Town make on his future at the club.

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If the club want to sack me, so be it, and if the fans are that sick of me then that makes life difficult for me at every game. When we win it’s OK, and when we lose it’s ‘I’m getting sacked in the morning’.

Where We Were Today

Michael Murphy swaps the GAA ball for the rugby ball in AIB’s The Toughest Trade.

Source: Donall Farmer/INPHO

Fintan O’Toole spoke to Michael Murphy at the launch of the Toughest Trade while Ryan Bailey caught up with Cork’s Ashling Thompson at Red Bull’s headquarters.

The Fixture List

  • In GAA, Wexford face Dublin in the Walsh Cup. Throw-in at the Shelmaliers GAA grounds is at 7.30pm. Meanwhile, IT Sligo take on NUIG in the Connacht Centre of Excellence at 7pm.
  • The Africa Cup of Nations continues tomorrow, with Algeria v Tunisia and Senegal v Zimbabwe.
  • The Australian Open also continues tomorrow.
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Showbiz, Baby!

Siena coach Jimmy Patsos shaking hands with the air after getting snubbed.

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Horgan and Kearney the scoring stars as Cork stay unbeaten in Munster with win over Waterford

Daniel Kearney hit 0-5 for the Rebels tonight.

Source: Tommy Dickson/INPHO

Cork 0-25
Waterford 1-19

Denis Hurley reports from Mallow

LATE POINTS FROM subs Darragh Fitzgibbon, Shane Kingston and Alan Cadogan made it three wins from three for Cork in the Co-Op Superstores.ie Munster Hurling League as they saw off Waterford in Mallow tonight.

In an even game, the lead changed hands seven times in the second half alone. However, after sub Billy Nolan put the visitors 1-18 to 0-20 in front in the 65th minute, they would score only once more.

The fans that gathered in Mallow for tonight’s game

Source: Tommy Dickson/INPHO

Patrick Horgan levelled for Cork with his 13th point before Daniel Kearney put them ahead with his fifth before the three replacements got in on the act, with Waterford’s sole response coming from Tom Devine.

It all means that the Rebels, who have a bye this coming weekend before their final game against Clare, are almost assured of a place in the final on the final weekend of January and they will take heart from the fact that they gave Waterford a head-start and still won.

Eamonn Murphy’s seventh-minute goal, when he pulled to the net from Devine’s handpass, made it 1-2 to 0-0 for the Déise and though Horgan got Cork off the mark straight after that, Waterford had three more points from Colm Roche and the Bennett brothers, Shane and Stephen, who would contribute 14 points between them.

0-9 for Stephen Bennett tonight for Waterford

Source: Tommy Dickson/INPHO

A spree of Horgan frees got Cork back into contention, though, and by half-time they trailed by just one point, 1-10 to 0-12.

Robbie O’Flynn levelled on the resumption and though Murphy put Waterford ahead again, Cork responded with four in a row, two each from Horgan and Kearney.

From there to the end it was nip and tuck, but Cork had the stronger finish.

Cork’s Chris O’Leary battles with Waterford’s Eoin Madigan

Source: Tommy Dickson/INPHO

Scorers for Cork: Patrick Horgan 0-13 (0-9 frees), Daniel Kearney 0-5, Robbie O’Flynn 0-2, Dean Brosnan, Luke Meade, Darragh Fitzgibbon, Shane Kingston, Alan Cadogan 0-1 each.

Scorers for Waterford: Shane Bennett 0-9 (0-8 frees), Stephen Bennett 0-5, Eamonn Murphy 1-1, Billy O’Keeffe, Tom Devine, Billy Nolan, Colm Roche 0-1 each.

Cork

1. Anthony Nash (Kanturk)

2. Jack Sheehan (Erin’s Own)
3. Colm Spillane (Castlelyons)
4. Seán O’Donoghue (Inniscarra)

5. Chris O’Leary (Valley Rovers)
6. Lorcan McLoughlin (Kanturk)
7. Christopher Joyce (Na Piarsaigh)

8. Cormac Murphy (Mallow)
9. Daniel Kearney (Sarsfields)

10. Dean Brosnan (Glen Rovers)
11. Luke Meade (Newcestown)
12. Michael O’Halloran (Blackrock)

13. Michael Cahalane (Bandon)
14. Patrick Horgan (Glen Rovers)
15. Robbie O’Flynn (Erin’s Own)

Subs

22. Darragh Fitzgibbon (Charleville) for O’Halloran (half-time)
25. Conor Lehane (Midleton) for Cahalane (half-time)
20. Mark Coleman (Blarney) for Murphy (49)
23. Shane Kingston (Douglas) for O’Flynn (59)
24. Alan Cadogan (Douglas) for Brosnan (62)

Waterford

1. Ian O’Regan (Mount Sion)

2. Ian Kenny (Ballygunner)
17. Shane Roche (Shamrocks)
4. Charlie Chester (Roanmore)

18. Darragh Lyons (Dungarvan)
5. Séamus Keating (Ardmore)
7. Callum Lyons (Ballyduff Lower)

8. Mikey Kearney (Ballyduff Upper)
9. Eoin Madigan (Roanmore)

10. Billy O’Keeffe (Ballygunner)
11. Stephen Bennett (Ballysaggart)
12. Eamonn Murphy (Dunhill)

13. Colm Roche (Shamrocks)
14. Tom Devine (Modeligo)
15. Shane Bennett (Ballysaggart)

Subs

22. Mark O’Brien (Ferrybank) for Madigan (49)
24. Conor Gleeson (Fourmilewater) for Chester (49)
20. Billy Nolan (Roanmore) for Kearney (55)
21. Andy Molumby (Cappoquin) for Shane Bennett (58)
19. Jack Lyons (Ballyduff Lower) for Murphy (67)

Referee: Fergal Horgan (Tipperary)

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Limerick recover from mauling by Cork with late Nash goal key to success over Clare

Barry Nash raised the second green flag for Limerick tonight.

Source: Cathal Noonan/INPHO

Limerick 2-15
Clare 0-19

Eoin Brennan reports from Sixmilebridge

A STRONG FINISH ensured that Limerick bounced back fully from Sunday’s humiliating reverse to Cork to snatch the latest derby spoils against Clare, in front of a healthy attendance of 1,719 in O’Garney Park Sixmilebridge tonight in the Co-Op Superstores Munster Hurling League.

Having trailed for the majority, the visitors hit the front in dramatic style in the 63rd minute when Richie McCarthy’s long delivery over the top of Clare’s last line was finished to the net by Barry Nash to take a minimum lead.

And with the bit between their teeth, Limerick would outscore the home side by 0-3 to 0-2 for the remainder to see out their second win in three games.

Up to that point, it was an experimental Clare who did the pace-setting, thanks in the first half to John Conlon in particular who fired four points to put his wind-assisted side 0-9 to 0-4 in front by the 20th minute.

Good scoring tonight by Clare hurler John Conlon.

Source: Cathal Noonan/INPHO

However, with Diarmaid Byrnes in accurate form from long range, Limerick would inch back into the contest, with a Graeme Mulcahy goal after a defensive error actually levelling up the tie by the 34th minute.

A David Reidy free did edge Clare 0-12 to 1-08 in front by the midway point and while Cian Lynch gained parity for a second time in the 44th minute, the hosts thanks to three Reidy frees would re-establish a three point cushion entering the final quarter.

After successive goal efforts from Conlon and the lively Aaron Cunningham were repelled by Nickie Quaid, a relieved Limerick would receive the perfect boost when Nash was on hand to put them in front at 2-12 to 0-17 with just seven minutes remaining.

Cunningham would level once more but three-in-a-row from Paul Browne, Lynch and Byrnes would cement a much needed boost for John Kiely’s side.

0-5 for Limerick tonight for Diarmaid Byrnes.

Source: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

Scorers for Limerick: Diarmaid Byrnes 0-5 (0-3f); Sean Tobin 0-3 (0-3f); Graeme Mulcahy, Barry Nash 1-0 each; John Fitzgibbon, Cian Lynch 0-2 each; Gearoid Hegarty, Tom Morrissey, Paul Browne 0-1 each

Scorers for Clare: David Reidy 0-5 (0-3f); John Conlon 0-4; Aaron Cunningham 0-3; Shane Golden 0-2; David Fitzgerald, Cathal O’Connell, Jason McCarthy, Cathal Malone, Ben O’Gorman 0-1 each

Limerick

1. Nickie Quaid (Effin)

4. Mike Casey (Na Piarsaigh)
3. Richie McCarthy (Blackrock)
2. Stephen Cahill (Tournafulla)

5. Diarmaid Byrnes (Patrickswell)
6. Declan Hannon (Adare)
7. Gavin O’Mahony (Kilmallock)

8. John Fitzgibbon (Adare)
9. James Ryan (Garryspillane)

12. Andrew La Touche Cosgrave (Monaleen)
11. Cian Lynch (Patrickswell)
10. Gearoid Hegarty (St Patrick’s)

13. Graeme Mulcahy (Kilmallock)
14. Barry Nash (Liberties)
15. Seanie Tobin (Murroe/Boher)

Subs

24. Kyle Hayes (Kildimo/Pallaskenry) for Hegarty (30, inj)
22. David Dempsey (Na Piarsaigh) for Tobin (50)
25. Tom Morrissey (Ahane) for La Touche Cosgrave (50)
21. Paul Browne (Bruff) for Ryan (52)
17. Seamus Hickey (Murroe/Boher) for Fitzgibbon (63, inj)

Clare

1. Donal Tuohy (Crusheen)

2. Shane McNamara (Clooney-Quin)
3. Cian Dillon (Crusheen – captain)
4. Seadna Morey (Sixmilebridge)

5. David Fitzgerald (Inagh-Kilnamona)
6. Colm Galvin (Clonlara)
7. Jamie Shanahan (Sixmilebridge)

8. David Reidy (Éire Óg Inis)
9. Shane Golden (Sixmilebridge)

10. John Conlon (Clonlara)
11. Cathal Malone (Sixmilebridge)
12. Peter Duggan (Clooney-Quin)

13. Cathal O’Connell (Clonlara)
14. Aron Shanagher (Wolfe Tones)
15. Aaron Cunningham (Wolfe Tones)

Subs

21. Jason McCarthy (Inagh-Kilnamona) for Shanagher (HT)
19. Ben O’Gorman (Wolfe Tones) for Fitzgerald (61)
24. Kevin Hehir (Inagh-Kilnamona) for Reidy (67)
20. Bobby Duggan (Clarecastle) for P. Duggan (69)

Referee: Cathal McAllister (Cork)

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23-point win puts Tyrone into Dr McKenna Cup last four with Derry, Monaghan and Fermanagh

Ronan McHugh celebrates netting for Tyrone tonight.

Source: Presseye/Andrew Paton/INPHO

DERRY, MONAGHAN AND Tyrone all bagged the top table spots in the Dr McKenna Cup tonight to advance to the semi-finals next Sunday while Fermanagh joined them as the best runner-up.

Dr McKenna Cup semi-finals – Sunday Jan 22nd
Derry v Monaghan, Athletic Grounds
Tyrone v Fermanagh, Clones#GAA

— The42.ie GAA (@The42GAA) January 18, 2017

Source: The42.ie GAA/Twitter

In Group A, there was floodlight failure in Owenbeg but Derry shone brightest in the end with a 2-20 to 0-6 success over Queens University. Enda Lynn and Neil Forester struck the goals for the Oak Leaf county in the first half.

It enabled them to edge out Armagh – winners over Down by 1-15 to 2-8 – on scoring difference and claim top spot.

Armagh’s Stephen Sheridan and Down’s Jonathan Flynn rise to battle for possession.

Source: Presseye/William Cherry/INPHO

In Group B, Monaghan clinched a third successive win with a 1-13 to 0-10 victory against St Mary’s. Dermot Malone hit the only goal of the game.

Fermanagh’s 0-19 to 0-5 success over Antrim featured excellent point-scoring displays from Aidan Breen and Tomás Corrigan. It was a victory that proved enough for them to be the best runner-up in the competition.

Finally in Group C, Tyrone thumped a youthful Donegal by 23 points with goals from Ronan McHugh and Cahir McCullagh helping to clinch a 2-23 to 0-6 victory.

And coupled with UUJ’s four-point win over Cavan by 0-19 to 0-15, it ensured Mickey Harte’s charges advance to the last four.

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Peter Harte was in action for Tyrone tonight against Donegal’s Christian Bonner.

Source: Presseye/Andrew Paton/INPHO

In hurling tonight in the Walsh Cup, there were victories for the students of UCD, IT Carlow and NUI Galway.

Dr McKenna Cup Results

Derry 2-20 Queens University 0-6
Armagh 1-15 Down 2-8
Monaghan 1-13 St Mary’s 0-10
Fermanagh 0-19 Antrim 0-5
UUJ 0-19 Cavan 0-15
Tyrone 2-23 Donegal 0-6

Walsh Cup Results

Carlow 1-18 UCD 3-15
Meath 4-18 IT Carlow 4-19
NUI Galway 1-24 Dublin IT 0-18

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French adventure – Michael Murphy swapping life with Donegal for Clermont

HE’S NOT FROM a rugby hotbed, he’s not really sure what position he’s best suited to play and given he studied German in school, he’ll need to try to break the language barrier as well.

Still there’s no masking Michael Murphy’s enthusiasm for his next sporting project, heading to the Massif Central in France to try out the life of a professional rugby player with Top 14 outfit Clermont Auvergne.

It’s part of ‘The Toughest Trade’ – the brainchild of GAA football championship sponsors AIB – which has seen in recent years Kilkenny’s Jackie Tyrell try baseball, Armagh’s Aaron Kernan experience soccer, Tipperary’s Brendan Maher sample cricket and Mayo’s Aidan O’Shea get a glimpse of American Football.

Murphy jumped at the chance when it was offered to him. Last week Welsh rugby great Shane Williams was immersed in Gaelic football life with Murphy’s home club Glenswilly.

“I met him (Shane Williams) the first day when he was up and I barely laid eyes on him for the week,” says Murphy.

“He seemed to be quite busy and that’s generally all I know. The lads got on very well with him in the club, they had a very good word on him.

“The brief meeting that I had with him too is that he’s a lovely fella. As I say, I heard he scored four points.

“We were training that night, not too far away with Donegal and it was a bad one, going through the full elements.”

Thank you @GaaGlenswilly for an incredible week and a fantastic experience. The show is going to be brilliant! @AIB_GAA: #TheToughestTrade pic.twitter.com/KJMMHH0H0C

— Shane Williams (@ShaneWilliams11) January 13, 2017

Source: Shane Williams/Twitter

A trip to France is a novelty at this time of year for Murphy compared to the usual grind and hardship of pre-season training with Donegal.

“Once I heard the rugby thing, it definitely was something that would have interested me. The time of year, everything just works out perfectly to go and give it a rattle.

“It’s a game I haven’t played too much of. It wasn’t huge where I was growing up back at home in Letterkenny. It was always a game I would have followed, would have watched.”

His time in college in DCU allowed him to have more of a front-row view of rugby.

Here at the carton house to see the lions training and met the main man #unreal pic.twitter.com/1MvZ3fwOg3

— Aidan Walsh (@Aidan9Walsh) May 21, 2013

Source: Aidan Walsh/Twitter

“It’s just a game I do enjoy watching. When I was up here in college over the four years too, got to a good few of the Leinster games, couple of the Ireland games, various things like that.

“It probably would have been one of the sports I would have liked to have played if it had have been a wee bit more prominent back home. Yes, I would sit down and watch soccer, I’d be a Liverpool fan but after that it’d be rugby. I just enjoy watching it, I enjoy the physical nature of it.

“I’d be watching more European stuff rather than watching the weekly French rugby. I would know a bit about Clermont, you would have seen them in the Heineken Cup. I know a few of the Claremont players, Fofana, Parra, and Rougerie is still knocking about too. It would be good to possibly meet them and rub shoulders with them.”

What position he will have to get to grips with remains to be seen.

“Not a clue, hopefully somewhere not in the front row anyway!”, laughs Murphy.

“I don’t think I would have enough mastery of the oval ball to play fly-half! You would think somewhere along the backs, I would think anyway.

“Obviously the challenge of being able to hold and kick an oval ball is going to be something to get used to. The challenge is set out there and I will go for it and try to nail it anyway.”

Sacré Bleu! @murphm95 will have to watch out because those @ASMOfficiel lads will be flying in from all angles for #TheToughest Trade 🇫🇷💪🏽 pic.twitter.com/RvTqPIiFBR

— AIB_GAA (@AIB_GAA) January 18, 2017

Source: AIB_GAA/Twitter

He’s not concerned about the prospect of incurring injury or that the experience will hinder his upcoming season with Donegal.

“Obviously it’s something that’s going to be thrown at us, the possibility of getting injured. Come here, you could just as easily get injured at a training session back home.

“I certainly won’t be going into it like that. I will be going into it to try and get as much out of the week as possible, whatever is in store for me, to get into it, learn as much, and really challenge myself.

“I’ll be back in sufficient time for the first national league game. I have done a hell of a lot of training so far this year and being away for five or six days isn’t going to affect things too much. I’ll be back with 10 days to go before the start of the national league.

“I don’t know the actual whole itinerary but what I’m expecting is to be going over with the first team and to figure out what they’re at on a week to week basis.”

French adventure – Michael Murphy swapping life with Donegal for Clermont
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  • Taking the Donegal sidestep to Clermont Auvergne
  • Trading an O’Neill’s football for a Gilbert oval ball
  • A dual star – swapping Gaelic football for rugby
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Adjusting to a sport with a defined tackle will be a notable difference.

“I did a bit in Australia the time with the compromise rules. I don’t know if it’s a similar tackle, it’s probably a lot more technical than that tackle was.

“That tackle was just you get the player down in any way possible. I’m sure there could be a couple of crossovers there but, again, that’s the bit of the apprehension I have with it.

“It looks physical but I’d say it’s a hell of a lot more technical. Anything in and around a ruck is going to be one of the main challenges over the course of the week.”

The mention of Australia links in Murphy’s previous brief foray into professional sport. The Donegal captain was a prime target as a youngster for Australian Rules clubs, with Geelong at the head of that pack chasing his signature.

But Murphy reckoned homesickness would have affected him too greatly and he turned it down. Five years ago he captained Donegal to Sam Maguire glory and is enthused about the prospect of leading a Donegal squad in 2017 that is infused with youth after being stripped of experienced figures over the winter.

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A stint playing rugby with Clermont Auvergne in late January is a pleasant warm-up for the year ahead.

Source: The42 GAA/SoundCloud

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Late Midleton CBS goal knocks out Harty Cup champs Ardscoil Rís to set up all-Cork clash

A LATE GOAL delivered a Dr Harty Cup quarter-final replay success for Midleton CBS this afternoon and knocked defending champions Ardscoil Rís out of this year’s Munster colleges hurling race.

The East Cork school claimed a dramatic 2-11 to 0-15 win in the game in Bansha as they got the job done at the second attempt after being pegged back late on in last week’s drawn tie that went to extra-time.

Lisgoold player Liam O’Shea was the hero for Midleton CBS, who finished with 14 men, as he rifled a penalty to the net in injury-time to seal a two-point victory.

The decision to go for goal rather than score a levelling point was rewarded and propels Midleton CBS into a semi-final tie against another Cork school, St Colman’s (Fermoy) on Saturday 28 January.

The result ends Ardscoil Rís run of consecutive appearances at the semi-final stage of the Dr Harty Cup, a victory today would have put them in the last four for the 10th year in a row. They had three members of the 2016 Limerick All-Ireland minor final team – Jerome Boylan, Darragh Carroll and Brian Ryan – in action today.

Limerick minor hurler Brian Ryan

Source: Donall Farmer/INPHO

Ardscoil Rís were in front narrowly by 0-6 to 0-5 at the interval but then Midleton CBS received an early second-half boost when Carrigtwohill’s Liam Gosnell found the net.

Midleton CBS were in front 1-11 to 0-9 during the final quarter but then Ardscoil Rís took control and they looked poised for a semi-final spot until Midleton pounced for that late crucial goal.

Dr Harty Cup Semi-Final Fixtures

Our Lady’s Templemore v Nenagh CBS
Midleton CBS v St Colman’s (Fermoy)

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Former Kilkenny All-Ireland winner and ex-Limerick senior commit to Kildare hurlers for 2017

John Mulhall and David Reidy are the new additions to the Lilywhites.

Source: INPHO

FORMER KILKENNY ALL-Ireland winner John Mulhall has returned to inter-county hurling and will play for Kildare in the 2017 National League and Christy Ring Cup competitions.

It is expected that an ex-Tipperary hurler will also join Joe Quaid’s Lilywhite revolution in the coming days, while David Reidy – a member of the Limerick senior panel last year – has also signed transfer forms and confirmed his involvement with Kildare for the year ahead.

David Reidy (left) in action in the Munster SHL last year for Limerick

Source: Cathal Noonan/INPHO

But it is the transfer of the colourful Mulhall that will attract headlines for an out-of-the-blue move.

The mercurial St Martin’s man made quite a name for himself for his laid-back manner and unique approach to the game, but there was no doubting his talent and ability to pick points from the wing.

Having won a Leinster minor medal, Mulhall won his first All-Ireland title in 2008 at U21 level.

Kilkenny’s John Mulhall up against Tipp’s Brendan Maher in the 2008 All-Ireland U21 hurling final

Source: Lorraine O’Sullivan/INPHO

He made his first appearance for the Kilkenny team during the 2009 Walsh Cup and was a regular impact substitute for Brian Cody over the next two seasons.

Three years later he came on as a substitute for the Cats in their 2011 All-Ireland final 2-17 to 1-16 win over Tipperary.

But Mulhall failed to make the 2012 championship panel and moved on from his Kilkenny senior career with that All-Ireland winners’ medal and two Leinster SH medals.

John Mulhall in action in the 2010 All-Ireland senior hurling final against Tipperary

Source: Lorraine O’Sullivan/INPHO

For the past two years, the 27-year-old has been teaching business and maths in Greenhills College in Dublin. Before that he managed to see part of the world, travelling to Australia, New Zealand and South America.

Now, however, he has answered Quaid’s call to join Kildare. Under official GAA guidelines, introduced in 2006, up to five players from MacCarthy Cup teams are allowed to switch to a county competing in the Christy Ring or Nicky Rackard competitions.

Kildare hurling boss Joe Quaid

Source: Presseye/John McIwaine/INPHO

Upon taking the Kildare job last year, Quaid pledged to stick with native hurlers only. They responded well, winning the Kehoe Cup and only missing out on a Christy Ring Cup final appearance by two points.

This year Quaid invited 67 players to try out for the team but only 24 accepted the invitation. After consultation with the players the Kildare manager relented and looked to bring in outside talent.

Quaid explains: “We lost Gerry Keegan, one of the best players in Leinster, who is gone travelling and we are down one or two other big players as well.

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Gerry Keegan captained Kildare to the All-Ireland U21B hurling title

Source: Donall Farmer/INPHO

“We scoured the county but didn’t get the interest we wanted. So after listening to the players – and they want to win things – we have decided to bring in five outside players.

“All five have already trained with us and there are four transfer forms gone to Croke Park, but hopefully we have one more player left to introduce – but that declaration will be in his own time.

“Those lads have already given the place a lift.

“John is the most laid-back man in the country. He turned up for his first training session wearing a Christmas jumper and a pair of shorts that you would be afraid to wear on a beach and he went home with a big tub of protein powder.

“The lads already love him. He is a serious hurler and he wants to hurl, he has bags of ability in him and we welcome him.”

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Kildare were beaten by a point by Meath last weekend in the Walsh Cup, but one of those outside players Limerick’s David Reidy (from the Dromin-Athlacca club) did impress.

Last March, Reidy won a Fitzgibbon Cup medal with Mary Immaculate College as he hit 0-3 in their final win over UL.

New Kildare recruit David Reidy

Source: James Crombie/INPHO

“Three years ago David was on the list of the top young hurlers in the country to look out for,” Quaid adds.

“He didn’t make the Limerick squad this year but he is going to be a huge asset to us. His brother Mike, is living in Kildare already and he was on the Limerick senior squad too.

“He will be travelling up and down to West Limerick for work but will make a huge commitment for the year ahead. Dinny Stapleton from the Sean Treacy’s club in Tipperary is also with us.”

It is expected that another Tipperary player, this time one with senior championship experience will also join the panel this weekend but out of courtesy to the player, Quaid said he would not yet discuss his inclusion as it had not been fully cemented.

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