This Monday marks the start of the wind down to Christmas with one of the last big weekends of sporting action now in the rearview mirror. With plenty of hurling, camogie and soccer on offer, here’s what’s making the headlines on KCLR and Scoreline.ie this morning.
On the hurling front, Ballyhale Shamrocks will be starting off 2023 with a trip to Croke Park as the Kilkenny and Leinster senior club hurling champions overcame defending All-Ireland champions Ballygunner at GAA HQ yesterday.
In a tit-for-tat game, a second-half penalty from TJ Reid ultimately proved the difference with Shamrocks running out 1-16 to 0-16 winners, to set up a date with Dunloy Cuchullains who also had some silky skills on show from Keelan Molloy to help their cause against St. Thomas’ of Galway.
We caught up with Shamrocks manager Pat Hoban after the game – he’d been critical of his side’s performance in the Leinster final against Kilmacud two weeks ago, saying they had to prove themselves and others right yesterday. Hear the full interview in the latest Scoreline Extra podcast out now.
It takes a Village
While there are congratulations for Ballyhale, it’s a case of commiserations with James Stephens, the Kilkenny and Leinster intermediate club camogie champions beaten at the final hurdle on Saturday evening in Croke Park with Clonduff taking this year’s All-Ireland title, but it’s been a hell of a journey.
We’ll hear more on that game and recap the year on tonight’s Camán Caint podcast but Village manager John Scott told KCLR after the game that the better side won on the night. Again, you can hear his reaction on the latest Scoreline Extra.
On the bright side, Sophie O’Dwyer has ended the campaign as top scorer on the intermediate club camogie scene, I think she hit 1-4 or 1-5 alone at the weekend. Myshall’s Ciara Quirke and Caoimhe Jordan also find themselves among the top ten from this year’s championships.
Under 20s almost done
Mt Leinster Rangers got the better of Palatine in their rescheduled Stryve Under 20 A quarter-final yesterday. It finished 2-14 to 11 points. Bagenalstown Gaels take on Clonmore in the remaining quarter-final, that game set for tomorrow evening in Fenagh with a 7.30pm throw-in.
Nail-biter in Carlow
A team performance from start to finish is how SETU Carlow’s game against Limerick Celtics yesterday in the Men’s National League in a nail-biting 88-87 point finish, Conor Harkins finishing top of the scoring with 37 points.
SETU Carlow women host Limerick Celtics on January 2nd, SETU Waterford Vikings also bound for Carlow on the same date in the Men’s division 1.
Carlow Road Cycling club are end their 2022 on a high by claiming five medals at the Leinster Cyclocross Championship yesterday with three silver and two bronze at U12, U14 and U16 level.
From Mill Celtic to Messi
Two games went ahead yesterday in the KCLR Carlow Shield with Crettyard maintaining their 100% record in the competition this year with a 4-1 win over Parkville United, while Killeshin beat Mill Celtic 5-1, Crettyard and Killeshin now meeting in January’s semi-final stages. The other side of the draw sees defending champions New Oak Boys take on Vale Wanderers.
St. Fiacc’s, Dolmen Celtic and Vale Wanderers B are also into the last sixteen of the Douglas Jewellers Carlow Cup after wins yesterday while the Carlow & District League saw a handful of games postponed over weather conditions.
Last but by no means least, the bulk of the sporting headlines are dominated by Lionel Messi and Argentina’s World Cup win in what turned out to be one of the best finals in decades.
Argentina are champions. Messi is player of the tournament. Mbappé is this year’s golden boot winner with eight goals, more than anyone else in tournament history, including a hat-trick in the final. From panicked substitutions to two-goal comebacks, extra-time drama to a penalty shootout, the game really had it all. Read about it here.