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17th Jun 2013

GAA Review: Barack Obama missed a tight affair at Brewster Park while Mayo romp home in Connacht


Barack Obama missed a tight affair at Brewster Park, Meath and Cork survive scares while Mayo romp home at Castlebar.

After a shaky few weeks, we were back on track with our predictions after getting four from four over the weekend, though the game at Brewster Park was in the melting pot right until the final whistle.

And getting the predictions right could well get you to Croke Park for the All-Ireland Final Final. Thanks to the generous folk at Eircom, if your own predictions prove on the money you can win yourself a pair of All-Ireland Final tickets through the win, lose or draw game on the Experience More website and you can also pit your wits against the lads in JOE Towers as well as fellow JOE readers in the JOE league by entering the code CTYVG.

Mayo leaving a trail of destruction in Connacht

First it was Galway, now Roscommon have been left in Mayo’s wake as James Horan’s men demonstrate the ruthless streak that has seen bookies shorten their odds on lifting Sam in September.

Connacht is now beginning to resemble the Munster championship with Mayo enjoying a 29-point aggregate victory over their two games, with Rossies manager John Evan’s looking shell-shocked post match.

Enda Varley and Seanie McDermott 16/6/2013

Enda Varley bursting through the Roscommon challenges. A common theme yesterday.

They are now just one game away from their first Connacht three-in-a-row in 63 years with Kevin McLaughlin finishing top-scorer on the day with six points and on this evidence will feature at the business end of the season.

CNN get their first taste of Ulster football

Cavan players left Brewster Park yesterday feeling like many male punters the morning after the night before. Yes they got what they set out for, but for a long time it wasn’t pretty and there is huge room for improvement.

We tentatively backed the visitors to win, which is what transpired when it looked like it would be a straight forward assignment during the first half. It took Fermanagh more than 20 minutes to register their first score and at times look desperately short of ideas in the final attacking third, in front of the onlooking CNN cameras.

Peter Canavan must have said something noteworthy to his troops and the second half was far more competitive, even if the football at times lacked the quality required to challenge for provincial honours. Martin Dunne and Eugene Keating were again to the fore when most required and they will now face Monaghan in the semi-final stage.

Nayim Reilly helps Meath to win in Garden County

In the space of about 40 seconds this game was turned on its head as Meath turned the screw on Wicklow on their own turf on Saturday night. Against the wind, Wicklow held their own against the Royals and looked to be heading into the half-time break at least on level terms when they were awarded a dubious penalty.

Seanie Furlong saw his effort saved by Paddy O’Rourke and then a long clearance by full-back Kevin O’Reilly was carried by the strong breeze, bounced in front of Wicklow keeper John Flynn and nestled in the net. Another point was quickly tacked on and unfortunately for the home supporters, that was pretty much that.

Graham Reilly and Eamonn Wallace were two of their most prominent performers while Wicklow must regroup for the qualifiers where they have been pitted away to Armagh.

Cork win but given a stern test

Not a lot was expected of the Clare challenge in Ennis yesterday and while they were beaten on a scoreline of 1-20 to 1-09 in the end, Conor Counihan’s side were given a difficult opening 35 minutes before pulling clear in the end.

Gary Brennan goaled early in the second half, but could not cope with Cork’s power and pace with Daniel Goulding and Brian Hurley catching the eye up front.

Gary Brennan dejected after the game 16/6/2013

Dejection for goalscorer Gary Brennan

Bigger tests lie ahead, staring with the Munster Final in Killarney where the Rebels will look to earn a first victory at the venue in 18 years.