Sarsfields Newsletter

November 8, 2018





The Weekly Online Newsletter of Sarsfields GAA Club



Aldridge Cup Semi-final: Sarsfields 0-11  Athy 0-7




Sarsfields qualified for their first final of 2008 after getting the better of a spirited Athy tram on Saturday night under lights in wind and rain lashed Athy in the Aldridge Cup semi-final.

With the aid of a strong breeze Sarsfields led by 5 to– 2 after 20 minutes four of them coming from the boot of Paddy Cambell and one from Declan McKenna. Paddy Cambell was outstanding in the first half; when he wasn’t scoring he was to be found helping out in defence. A point apiece from midfielders Morgan O’ Sullivan and Murt Dunne after a fifth Paddy Cambell point stretched Sarsfields lead to six points, 8 to 2 as half time approached.

            After the break Athy with the wind at their backs quickly set about reducing Sarsfields lead when Paddy Dunne pointed for Athy after three minutes. A couple of minutes later Sarsfields full forward John Walsh restored Sarsfields 6 point advantage. Shortly thereafter Paddy Cambell received an ankle injury and was replaced by Conor Walsh.  While Athy exerted pressure on the Sarsfields defence they were unable to further reduce the gap due to a combination of good Sarsfields defending and poor shooting by Athy. With 10 minutes remaining Athy pressure finally paid off and a point from Brian Cardiff and a second from Athy’s outstanding player Paddy Dunne reduced the deficit to 3 points 10- to 7. A brilliant save from Sarsfields goalkeeper Gavin Slicker came at the end of a period of sustained Athy pressure as the game headed for injury time. A good Sarsfields move out of defence ended with John Walsh sealing victory for Sarsfields  when he put four between the teams.

Despite the poor conditions both teams played passages of good football with the main difference between the teams was Sarsfields better use of the ball when they had the wind in the first half. The statistics speak for themselves: Sarsfields with the wind in the first half scored 8 points to Athy’s 5  in the second half.    




Athy: Stephen Davis, Joe Kinahan, Eddie  Delahunt, Brendan Curtis, Jason Kelly, David Dunne, Colm Cuddy (0-1), Paddy Dunne, Daniel O’ Keeffe, Derek Brophy, Brian Cardiff (0-1),  Davy Holligan Peter Dunne, Seanie Delaney, Keith Doyle. Subs: R Dunne for Jason Kelly (23)

Sarsfields: Gavin Slicker, Ciaran Carey, Robert Murphy, Conor Duffy, Joe O’ Malley, John Kavanagh, Liam Sex, Morgan O’ Sullivan (0-1), Murt Dunne (0-1), Conor Tiernan, Niall Fortune(0-1) Paddy Cambell (0-5) John Walsh (0-2) Declan McKenna (0-1)  Subs: Ht. Pauric Brennan for Declan McKenna Keith Harvey for Conor Tiernan. Enda Freaney for Morgan O’ Sullivan( 40mins)  Conor Walsh for Paddy Cambell (injured 44 mins.)Stevie Ussher for Conor Duffy (injured 53 mins)

Referee Declan Peppard.


Sarsfields unbeaten since Paul Doyle and his management team took over will now meet Confey in the Aldridge Cup final in Allenwood on Saturday at 3pm. The Kildare U 21 championship against Dublin has been postponed due to the involvement of St. Vincent’s in the All Ireland final on St. Patricks Day and Sigerson cup college games.

            Well done to the minors who remain unbeaten after drawing with our arch rivals Moorefield on Friday night. The U 14 team went one better and easily beat Moorefield by 3-12  to 1-4.  The U 16 A team got their league campaign off to a winning start when they comphresensively beat St. Laurence’s by 3-10 to 1-7 on Saturday





Work to begin on Clubhouse.


As soon as some necessary paperwork is signed and funds released work will begin on refurbishing the bar in the clubhouse. The work will include a glass frontage facing the pitch, a games room and patio area outside with smoking area.  A wooden floor will replace the present tiled area and a number of flat screen Televisions will be installed.



Missing stars rob League of status






By Eugene McGee
Monday March 03 2008

IT is unfortunate that the top teams in the National Football League
seldom seem to have anything like a full selection of players on duty
for what should be the second most important competition in Gaelic

All sorts of problems seem to crop up as is borne out by the fact that
the current All-Ireland champions Kerry only had two of their starting
attack who played in the 2007 All-Ireland final when they played Derry

With Dublin it was the same story with only about 10 players from last
year’s championship side normally available for the League games. Tyrone
had the same problems as they once again found themselves destroyed by
injury absentees in the early rounds of the League campaign and it was
much the same with a lot of the leading counties.

It may well be that this outbreak of ‘GAA flu’ only seems to afflict the
leading counties who really don’t need the National League as a means of
improving their championship team, of course. Certainly there is far
greater commitment among the bottom 16 counties in the NFL than in the
top echelons and the overall League competition is much the worse for

So when Dublin went to Breffni Park on Saturday night the crowd was less
than half of that which saw Cavan play Monaghan in the same venue two
weeks earlier when the latter were practically at full strength. Clearly
the absentees from Dublin do not impress their own followers who would
not have numbered 2,000 for this important game on Saturday.


Most of the Dublin absentees were legitimate enough as these things go
but certainly the Cavan-Dublin encounter was very much a low-key affair
by contrast to even the most modest championship clash. Obviously the
NFL has very serious problems and the followers of the various counties
certainly get a raw deal.

Dublin will be quite happy with how they got on in Breffni Park. They
won well after being in trouble for half the game and several so-called
new players continued to make good impressions, such as Eamonn Fennell,
Bernard Brogan and Brendan McManamon. The recent history of Dublin
selectors actually using new players in the subsequent championship is
fairly pathetic despite trying out many newcomers in the League, so we
will have to wait and see if any of these latest novices get the nod
come July, August and September.

There is certainly a strong argument for new blood in the Dublin defence
because that sector of the team has declined somewhat instead of getting
better over the past year or two.

Paddy Christie has never been adequately replaced at full-back and the
perennial problem as regards who is to play in the crucial centre
half-back role always seems a moveable feast. Yet that is one position
that needs solidarity and continuity and unless the selectors make a
firm decision to play Bryan Cullen at No 6 the uncertainty about the
defence’s pivotal role will still be in doubt.

An interesting angle about Saturday’s game was the playing of Mark
Vaughan as a wing- forward where he made arguably Dublin’s most
important contribution to their 1-9 to 0-7 win over Cavan. Usually in
the corner-forward position, it could well be that his physical strength
and his ball carrying ability could see Vaughan in a new role for the
championship where his long kicking could be an extra bonus.

The Cavan players could not be faulted for commitment and hard work on
Saturday night but were sadly lacking in ideas when it came to
manufacturing scores. Seanie Johnston was the only real scoring threat
and the playing of regular defender or midfielder Sean Brady at
full-forward indicated a note of desperation in the Breffni ranks.

Jason Reilly, for so long the big goal-scoring threat for Cavan, was
taken off on Saturday while the decision to switch former All Star
Dermot Brady from midfield to full-forward indicated still further

Only three of the original Dublin forwards scored, Vaughan, Bernard
Brogan and McManamon, and surprisingly there were no scores from Alan
Brogan, Cullen or Jason Sherlock which indicates that at least the Cavan
defenders were earning their keep whatever about their forwards.

Dublin nowadays usually amble along in League games whether they win or
lose the games, which is a bit disconcerting for the dyed-in-the-wool
Dub fans who travel everywhere.

But things might just be a bit different for the next game when Monaghan
will travel to Parnell Park on March 15. This will be an ultra-
competitive game that might just kick-start the season of REAL
competitive games from the Dublin point of view.

Monaghan will definitely be keen so it all depends on the Dubs if we
want a really good competitive game.

Determined Derry raise doubt about Kingdom power
All-Ireland champions seldom get much thanks from a Derry football team
and so it was in Killarney yesterday when the red and white wearers took
no prisoners, especially those playing in the Kerry forward-line.

That ‘persuasiveness’ of the Derry backs eventually paid the ultimate
price when a flying boot on the ground by defender Francis McEldowney
well into injury-time in the first half saw the Slaughtneil player
receive marching orders with a red card.

Derry’s aggressive approach within the rules mainly set the tone for
this game because they were masters in general in the first half, yet
they only led by 0-6 to 0-5. Lest any Derry person thinks that Paddy
Bradley is not the main man in their side, suffice to state that he
scored four brilliant points from play in conditions that did not suit
forwards, although he was luckily assisted by the strong wind in that

The quality of the football rapidly deteriorated after half-time when
the game often looked more like a second-class rugby game than a contest
between two of the top six teams in the country.


The combination of wind assistance and and an extra player was just
about enough for Kerry to snatch a one-point victory.

As had been expected beforehand, the absence of four of last year’s six
All-Ireland starting forwards on this one day was a huge handicap for
the champions and I wonder if any other county team would have been
capable of beating a team of Derry’s standard under that circumstance?

That said, the notion that Kerry have an inexhaustible supply of top
class forwards was not borne out in Killarney.

A scoreline of 0-10 to 0-9 to the Kingdom of which one player, Bryan
Sheehan, got six, indicates that even Kerry have not a bottomless pool
of talent. In general the Kerry attack was frustrated by determined
Derry opponents who often hit hard and asked questions later. But they
paid a high price for that high-wire exercise because the loss of
McEldowney certainly cost Derry the game — if only because Derry were
deprived of enough possession to allow Bradley’s brilliance to shine
through in the second half.

Once again the refereeing in this game was extremely erratic and the
annual circus by which most referees overindulge in issuing yellow cards
at the start of the playing season is gone beyond a joke.

Hopefully, some of these clever GAA statisticians will carry out an
exercise to find out the difference in yellow cards handed out in
February and March as opposed to July and August as an average per
match. It should be informative.










Delaney calls for drastic changes in fixtures debate



By Colm Keys
Tuesday February 26 2008

LEINSTER Council secretary Michael Delaney believes that the changes
passed at special congress last month to improve the balance between
club and inter-county fixtures did not go far enough.

In his report to this weekend’s convention in Wexford, where Liam
O’Neill will be replaced as chairman by Seamus Howlin, Delaney hopes
that debate can be generated on a range of other proposals which he puts

These include the reduction of the national football leagues by ‘at
least’ two rounds, the abolition of the interprovincial competitions and
the junior and intermediate football championships at inter-county level
and summer midweek evening dates of the U-21 championships.

He also asks that ‘the participation of third level colleges in
provincial inter-county competitions be seriously evaluated and that the
association examine the impact of live TV coverage of inter-county games
has on the timing of and attendance at club games.

In a more dramatic departure he suggests that the time is right to
explore the establishment of more 11 and 13-a-side competitions.

Delaney harbours concerns about how the GAA’s new sponsorship
partnership model will impact on provinces and counties in the years

The association will soon announce six sponsors in a new multi-partner
arrangement for the hurling and football championships.

‘Up to now most of the preparatory work for this new model has, out of
necessity, been carried out behind the scenes and, as I write this, much
second-guessing and some anxiety is evident within our organisation and
in the media.

 ‘In the absence of full information even progressive people are wary of
change. We are all aware that this new sponsorship model will have
implications for counties, provincial councils and for the national

‘The obvious questions centre on revenue and revenue flow at the various
levels. Centrally it means a significant increase in sponsorship
revenue. In the provinces and counties certain local revenue sources
will be compromised and in some cases will have to cease in order to
implement the sponsorship and fulfil the contractual obligations. This
local sacrifice will have to be recognised,’ Delaney warns.

‘Many of these local and provincial arrangements are of long standing
and have developed into multi-support packages, backed up by strong,
close relationships between the relevant GAA bodies and the business
people concerned,’ he points out.

‘Although the model has been developed and the sponsors secured at
central level, much of the implementation of the sponsorship will be
done by the counties and the provinces. It is essential therefore, in
the interest of securing full support at all levels within the GAA, that
fair and adequate, and even generous, compensation flows to the
provinces and counties to recognise their input and support.’

On the state of hurling Delaney believes that the most recent changes to
the structures of the championships are already ‘a lame duck’.

But he suggests that the prospect of an open draw remains remote because
of ‘the vested interests of the two larger provinces, the sacrosanct
status of the Munster championship and the relative lack of clout of the
hurling outposts.

‘Provincial officers steer well clear of the topic and as long as they
do so, no national committee will dare even discuss the matter. I
obviously understand this very well and would not even suggest that we
entertain an examination of such a format for the McCarthy Cup. That,
however, still leaves a major problem of hurling standards.

In targeting underage competitions as the only place to bring
improvement Delaney suggests radical steps with the dispensation of the
minor and U-21 championships at provincial level and the introduction of
an open draw where each county is guaranteed four games.

‘I honestly believe that counties can only improve at minor and U-21
level if they are competing more regularly against teams of
traditionally higher standard,’ he said.




GAA Quotes



“The Kildare U 21 team has the commitment of Glenn Ryan, the discipline of Mick Monahan and the flair of Pauric Brennan” Tommy Callaghan in the Leinster Leader after Kildare had demolished Meath in the Leinster U21 championship.


“Lock the gates and make the shaggers stay and watch!” A shout from Meath football fans at the All Ireland semi-final of 2001, as their team toyed with Kerry, while Kingdom fans fled the terraces in droves.


‘Wrap up those sandwiches and put them in the deep freeze for the replay’ A cry heard from the terraces at the 1996 Munster hurling final. Tipperary had led by nine points at half time but Limerick came back, with the scores level with 4 minutes to go.

”Ye can put out the cigarettes now lads. This is the championship!” Meath football mentor in a senior football club, just before the lads took the field.


 It was prehaps the most generous, the most liberal decision ever taken by any sporting or business body because we have out of the generosity of our harts put our finest asset at the disposal of our keenest rivals.’
Sean Kelly – after Rule 42 was scrapped in march 2005 allowing soccer and rugby to be played in Croke Park.


‘We’re one of the great sporting nations and we’d really only be opening it up for our own patrons. I remember American football being played in Croke Park and I can guarantee you it hasn’t caught on in Wexford. If a neightbours’ house went on fire  you’d a spare room you wouldn’t leave him out in the cold.’
Wexford’s Sean Quirke argues the case for the dropping of rule 42.


‘Keep your eye on the ball, even when it’s in the referee’s pocket’  Christy Ring’s advice to aspiring hurlers.



Association urged to learn from Rebel strike

THE GAA must learn from the recent Cork dispute to ensure there is never
a repetition ‘anywhere else,’ said outgoing Leinster Council Chairman –
and presidential candidate – Liam O’Neill at the annual convention in
Wexford at the weekend.

In welcoming addresses to delegates from the 12 counties, both the Mayor
of Wexford and the County Chairman also alluded to the dispute and its
implications for the membership at large.

While Mayor George Lawlor didn’t specifically mention the strike, he
commented that players and others had their profile ‘greatly enhanced’
through their involvement in the GAA. He added: ‘some people who seem to
be shouting the loudest seem to be abandoning the fact that were it not
for the GAA they would not be in the economic circumstances they find
themselves at the current time.

‘Also, in relation to power bases in the GAA, it has to be said that the
day when a club secretary or chairman or county board delegate decide
they want to go on strike, I think that’s the time you will see who are
the powerhouse and who are the engine room within this organisation.”

The view of Wexford chairman Ger Doyle was that the way the peace deal
was brokered ‘left a lot to be desired.’ As an amateur organisation the
GAA should have dealt with it themselves, he said, saying they had
‘plenty’ of people at provincial and national level who could have been
brought in – as opposed to involving the LRC chief Kieran Mulvey. He
also expressed concerns about the knock-on effects.

‘I don’t think that the solution they came to will be of benefit to any
county, and I think that the decision that was taken last week to award
points to other counties was a disaster. I think it’s going to open a
can of worms for every club and county that’s in it. There were plenty
of opportunities to play the two rounds and the games should have been

O’Neill, one of the three candidates in the Presidential election, was
more concerned about the ethical issue of ‘who controls’ the
Association, posing the question: ‘is it the players, is it the
managers, is it the county officials, is it the clubs.”

He said: ‘I don’t think we should be confrontational about it. We need
to look for the answers there in a collaborative way. All of us are
contributors to the organisation. The organisation would not work if any
one of us withdrew our services. The glue that binds us all together is
amateurism and the fact that we all give our time freely.

‘It was pointed out to me, during that whole debate that the GAA is one
of the few organisations where the stockbroker can mix with somebody of
humble employment – because we are all giving our time for nothing. We
share that. While we are involved with the GAA it doesn’t matter what
you do in your daily life, whether you are a high flyer or somebody of
humble status in society. We are all regarded equally. What we have to
do is guard that. Anything that would infringe on that and cause
jealousy between the various sections has to be resisted.”

Stressing that he was not anti-player, he said ‘all’ players mattered –
and mattered equally at all levels. And the same applied in regard to
clubs and counties, irrespective of size.

‘We have to keep that in mind as we look to our own roles in the
organisation. Far from taking from one another, if this organisation
continues the growth it has experienced over the last number of years,
we need to strengthen each other. And we need to feed off each other’s
strengths. We need to give more back-up to our officials, be they at
county level or club level.

‘We have difficulties at the moment. We have had damage done to the
relationships. Rather than dwell on them and the difficulties which were
experienced publicly by Cork, I think we should look calmly at what
happened. It’s up to each one of us in our own counties to put in place
the structure that will ensure that, that won’t happen anywhere else

‘If that means sitting down and talking with people in advance of
decisions, then we should do that.”

Seamus Howlin from Wexford took over as Leinster Chairman and former
Longford chairman Martin Scally was elected vice-chairman, defeating
John Horan from Dublin by a single vote, 48/47. Pat Toner (Louth) and
Paddy Kelly (Meath) were also nominated but withdrew. Officers: Chairman
– S. Howlin (Wexford); Vice-Chairman – M. Scally (Longford); Treasurer –
S. McCarthy (Kildare); PRO – T. Farrell (Westmeath).


A Travellers Tale: Flying Blind


I was flying from Shanghai to Zhengzhou. By the time we took off, there had been a 45-minute delay and everybody on board was slightly annoyed.  Unexpectedly, we stopped at Nanjing on the way. The flight attendant explained that there would be another 45-minute delay, and if we wanted to get off the aircraft, we could re-board in thirty minutes.

Everybody got off the plane except one gentleman who was blind. I noticed him as I walked by and could tell he had flown before because his guide dog lay quietly underneath the seats in front of him throughout the entire flight. I could also tell he had flown this very flight before because the pilot approached him and, calling him by name, said, ‘Lee, we’re in Nanjing for almost an hour. Would you like to get off and stretch your legs?’

Lee replied, ‘No thanks, but maybe my dog would like to stretch his legs. Would you take him for me please?’

Now picture this. All the people in the gate area came to a completely quiet standstill when they looked up and saw the pilot walk off the plane with a guide dog! The pilot was even wearing sunglasses that day. People scattered not only trying to change planes but also trying to change airlines!


Free Plane Ride

A Cavan farmer and his wife went to a fair. The farmer was fascinated by the  1930’s airplanes and asked a pilot how much a ride would cost.

‘€100 for 3 minutes,’ replied the pilot.
‘That’s too much,’ said the farmer.

The pilot thought for a second and then said, ‘I’ll make you a deal. If you and your wife ride for 3 minutes without uttering a sound, the ride will be free. But if you make a sound, you’ll have to pay €100.’

The farmer and his wife agreed and went for a wild ride. After they landed, the pilot said to the farmer, ‘I want to congratulate you for not making a sound. You are a brave man.’

‘Maybe so,’ said the farmer, ‘But I gotta tell ya, I almost screamed when my wife fell out.’

Dead Hand

Six  Irishmen were playing poker in Monaghan’s Pub in Dungarvan when Sean O’Toole loses €700 on a single hand, clutches his chest and drops dead at the table.

Showing respect for their fallen brother, the other five continue playing standing up. Michael Lennon looks around and asks, ‘Oh, lads, someone’s got to tell Sean’s wife. Who will it be?’

They draw straws.
Paddy Murphy picks the short one. They tell him to be discreet and gentle and not to make a bad situation any worse.’ Discreet? I’m the most discreet Irishmen you’ll ever meet. Discretion is my middle name. Leave it to me.’ announces Paddy.

He goes over to O’Toole’s house and knocks on the door. 
Brenda O’Toole answers and says: “don’t tell me that Sean has lost money again, I’ll kill him”. “Sure there’s no need for that says but I’m afraid that   Sean has just lost €700 and is afraid to come home.’ Paddy declares:

‘Tell him to drop dead!’ snarls Brenda.’ I’ll go tell him.’ says Paddy

 Contributors Required


If anyone would like to contribute to this Newsletter please send info to Articles, news, anecdotes etc would be very welcome. If you know anyone who would like to be added to the e-mail mailing list for the Newsletter then please ask them to forward their e-mail addresses to the above.

Please note as part of Sarsfields online privacy policy your E-mail address will not be given to any third parties. Sarsfields online privacy policy can be read in full on the Sarsfields website at