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NY College Team Compete in Div3 Higher Education Championship   02/21/2018




On Wednesday 14th February the New York College team 2018 packed up their boots and gear to head to Ireland to compete in the Division 3 Higher Education All Ireland Championships for the first time in History. The management team was composed of manager Barry Walsh, with right hand men Eamon Devlin and Owen McSweeney as selectors – not to be forgetting the experienced Roger Slattery as tour manager and Mick Burke as team coach.

The competition is known as the 'Corn MacLeinn Cup' and was held in Trinity College Dublin this year. The players landed on Thursday morning and played a challenge game against DIT to try and shake off the jetlag. Despite a slow start, New York started to find their feet with the likes James Breen and Ryan Kerley bursting through the defense. The tiredness started to sink in near the end of the game, and the heavy ground didn’t help matter. New York were defeated on a scoreline of 3.7 to 4.14.


Friday came around against last year’s champs Ulster University, Magee from Derry City in St Vincent’s GAA grounds. The semi final saw New York off to a fantastic start with Jimmy Linanne in midfield winning the break, playing it off to joint captain Shane Slattery before Danny Fox tapped it over the bar. Just as New York were getting to grips with the game an unlucky break saw Magee go 1.1 up in a matter of a few minutes. Sheagh McLaughlin found the net against the best efforts of keeper, Fiachra McDonagh. The league campaign and two extra championship matches started to stand to Magee. 

However 15minutes into the game, New York started to spark – Eddie Hogan was starting to cause a lot of problem in the edge of the square. Ryan O’Neill launched a high ball in from 40 yards out, the keeper lost sight of it before Hogan collected it. The full forward was fouled and The joint captain ended winning a penalty. It was corner forward Shane Rafferty who stepped up to take the shot, despite his best effort nerves took over and Magee’s Killain Butler saved. The save reinvigorated Magee as Tony Devine caught the kickout for the mark, carried it on 30 yards to then soar it over the bar. Just before the half Magee conceded a few fouls, and New Haven’s Joe McCormack made no mistake from his left boot. The last shot at the half was from Hogan but only to be denied by a diving block by Magee number 3 Michael Maguire. New York 0.4 Magee 1.3



The second half saw Magee booting the high ball in, slip past our defense – to then passed into the bottom corner past McDonagh.  After that New York started to click, Donnacha O’Dwyer intercepted a pass from his center half back line, played the ball to Conor Mathers before Jack Spillane. New York then went on to get 5 unanswered points with Keelin Walsh playing immense stuff at wing-half back. With 10 minutes to go it was New York 0.9 to Magee’s 2.5 – the two point gap just seemed to stretch, as the extra match practice seemed to come into play. Magee’s James Toye set up a score for Conor McErlain before seeing out the game on a scoreline of New York 0.10 to 2017 All Ireland champions Magee 2.8. Magee would play Hope University, Liverpool – whereas New York would face the Royal College of Surgeons in the Shield Final. 


Our last game of the competition saw us back to St Vincent’s the next day against last year’s beaten finalists Royal College of Surgeons. The Surgeons got off to a flying start, finding their shooting boots that they lacked the day before against Hope University. 10minutes in and New York were 0.4 to 0.1 – things looked to have changed when Eddie Hogan won his second penalty of the day. This time Joe McCormack stepped up to tie up the scores. Unfortunately, the luck of the draw fell against New York again, as we missed our second penalty of the competition. After the kick out New York started to win a lot of breaking ball with Shane Slattery, leading from example working tirelessly in the middle of the park. Tiaran Mathers marker seemed to drift up the field and this backfired for Surgeons as the number 4 seemed to be getting a lot of ball before laying it off to the forward line. At the same time half time came at the right time as New York needed to regroup. Surgeons 1.10 New York 0.4


After a firm talking to at half time from the management New York started stand up, and whilst working hard a few efforts just fell short into the keeper’s hands. Despite a soft goal from the Surgeons giving them a 13 point gap of 2.11 to New York’s 0.4 – the men in Blue and Red took charge. The older lads who had been out in the British Championships before, there experience took over. Donnacha O’Dwyer, Eddie Hogan, Conor Rafferty and Jimmy Linanne were in overdrive. New York’s wing half back Keelin Walsh and Tiarnan Mathers were feeding off eachother well, as both backs seen themselves at the full forward line. Once Walsh got a goal, Mathers followed – before Danny Fox knocked over a few scores. The score was set as 2.11 to 2.5.

Shane Smith was thrown in full forward after 15minutes in and the Exiles tails were up, a high ball was played in with the Surgeons taking care of it – however Smith had other ideas chasing the full back out to the 45 yard line before dispossessing him. Smith then laid it off to Walsh, before carrying it into the box and then being fouled just before the kick. At this stage New York had their third penalty of the competition and it was joint captain Shane Slattery that stepped up to take it. Slattery went for sheer power in this shot, giving the keeper no chance – the score stood at New York 3.6 to 2.13.  With 10minutes to go New York weren’t looking at stopping with a great ball played in by Shane Rafferty, Shane Smith buried it in past the tight area and Eddie Hogan’s point bringing the sides to just 2 points, 4.7 to 2.13.

With a matter of 5minutes left of normal time, the Surgeons kicked a long ball in caught the New York lads sleeping, they kicked it low and hard, and despite Fiachra McDonagh’s best efforts – evening getting a hand to it – the drifted into the bottom right corner. The game never really looked over as the ball traveled back and forth from one half to the other, both teams taking some fine scores. In the end the goal just came at the wrong time for New York – despite their never say die attitude. The game finished 4.10 to 3.17.




In the end up the Surgeons last goal just caught New York, in which undoubtedly going to be one of the best comebacks coming from 13 to 2points. The lads fought back valiantly, playing with real passion and heart, Tiaran Mathers from Shannon Gaels awarded as the man of match. If the weekend shows anything it was that New York belongs and can compete in this division.   Donna O’Dwyer summed up the weekend, “As a player it never once felt like we were out matched on the field. We honestly felt more confident once we finally went out on the pitch. We were unlucky to get the results we did, a few breaks of the ball our way and we would have had a crack at Hope Liverpool in the final. Overall it was a great experience for our first year in the Corn na Macleinn Cup and one to build on for the New York team coming back next year”.








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