Talking Points

O'Neills Official Blog

  1. 2019 All Ireland Club Senior Football Championship Semi Finals

    2019 All Ireland Club Senior Football Championship Semi Finals

    All Ireland club semi finals. Fail to prepare, prepare to fail and all of that. You can watch all the video you want. Flipcharts, clip boards, GPS units. Food every night after training. Hydration, physio. A Guest speaker or two. Challenge matches and inhouse games. But when the ball is thrown in, well to paraphrase General Patton, no plan survives contact with the enemy.  It is the strongest and most resilient that will survive. As Patton also said. Accept the challenges, so that you may feel the exhilaration of victory. It’s a great place to win and a cruel place to lose.


    Two All Irelands, eight Munsters; 77 All Ireland medals won with Kerry; 13 Kerry senior football championships; 5 Kerry senior club champions, 2 joint All Ireland winning captains of Kerry in 2014 with Fionn Fitzgerald and Kieran O'Leary. And one Gooch Cooper. There’s no doubt the Gooch can still pull strings with the club. If the Mull

  2. 2019 Club Football Finals - Junior & Intermediate

    2019 Club Football Finals - Junior & Intermediate

    The walk into Croke park, the cavernous spaces behind the stands. That’s where you see the famous players stepping off the bus on All Ireland day isn’t it. Off the bus. Into the dressing room. Heroes, just for one day. Strapped. Rubs. Pull on the club jersey, a quick glance at the badge. Familiar since you started playing all those years ago. Bit of ballwork in the warm up room to kill the nerves and butterflies in your gut. Last few words. Passion. Pressure. Some tears maybe, then it’s out the door, a turn, down the tunnel and there you are. Croke Park. All Ireland club final day. The noise. Glare. The green of the pitch and the height of the stands. Towering. What dreams are made of.


    A free deep into stoppage time brings Kilcummin to Croker edging home by the barest minimum against Two Mile House. They become the 11th club from the Kingdom coming to Croke Park for a junior final since 2002 and here is a sy

  3. Club Championships | The Heart of Hurling

    Club Championships | The Heart of Hurling

    Winter spent on a hurling field. A gym. On the wall. On the bus. In the alley. Off the beer. Dry January? No big deal if you’ve a match on the horizon. You have to brace yourself. A crisp night will add a sting to any sliotar. Drive them over the bar til’ you find one that suits. Christmas? Where did that go. There’s plenty of Christmases when you’re finished. The familiar craic on the bus. Maybe a box set on the DVD player. Love/Hate anyone? Laden with water. Fruit. A few bars. The craic is good. The lads are on form. And the hurling? The hurling’s why we’re here. You might get a crack at an All-Ireland semi every few years if you’re lucky. Could be a one off. All that work. All that time. All that effort. For one hours hurling. You wouldn’t have it any other way.


    Ballygunner. Seventeen years ago, the club’s only previous All-Ireland semi-final ended in a

  4. Club Hurling Finals | History favours Cork & Kilkenny Teams

    Club Hurling Finals | History favours Cork & Kilkenny Teams

    There’s a sound the sliotar makes hitting the wall in the warm up room in Croke Park. A cross between a click and a wet slap. As the balls are driven off the wall, occasionally they come into rhythm with one another, then out of sync. The sound fills the room, echoes until another puc takes over. Right side. Left side. Driving the butterflies and nerves off the blank wall. The Sliotar seam leaves a black mark like a sharpie stroke on the white wall. Poc. Poc. Poc. Get the eye in. the touch in. Before you step back into the changing room and a different noise overtakes you. A smell of liniment and Rub. The taste of a sports drink. The feel of ash and sliotar on palm. A table laden with water, fruit and juices. Pulling on the club jersey. Same as so many times before. But this time its different. Croke Park.


    Kilkenny playing Monaghan in a hurling All Ireland final. Sure that’s only going to end one way, on paper anyway. Just

  5. Seven Slow Burners for the National League

    Seven Slow Burners for the National League

    With the furore over three handpasses (and one and two bandpasses at times) the actual focus of the last month has been less on teams and more on reportage of the progress and prospects of individual counties. With a mixture of new and returning management teams, and county panels affected in the opening stages by Sigerson and club commitments, there’s an opportunity for a few teams to steal a march. Still at this stage of the year as the league starts, for most diehard fans the county jersey still gets the blood racing after a winter of doing little. Lets look at a few prospects.



    It’s a case of follow me up to Division 3 for Carlow after blowing fresh through 2018, so they should approach the season with a fair bit of optimism. In Turlough O’Brien they have one of the divisions most experienced managers, and a very able support

  6. Camogie: AIB All Ireland Club Semi Finals | Senior & Intermediate

    Camogie: AIB All Ireland Club Semi Finals | Senior & Intermediate


    Slaughtneil camogie. Going for three-in-a row and why not. Forged in the shadow of An Carn. The spine features the formidable trio that is the Ní Chasaide sisters, Aoife, Éilis and Bronagh, playing in the image of their late dad, the indomitable Thomas. Add in stylish defender, gaeilgeoir and co-captain Gráinne Ní Cathain, and rock solid sweeper Louise Dougan, they are an impressive outfit. And that’s before considering the attacking merits of Shannon Graham and former Offaly All Star camogie nominee Tina Hannon. Ni neart go cur le chéile, There is no strength without unity - the legend across the club jersey rings true. This is one united and unified group, and a hard one to break. The drive for three goes on.



    Ardrahan, they just love being written off and surprising folk? Why? Why is it a surprise? They have top class players. Galway senior and

  7. 2019 Club Semi Finals: Intermediate Football

    2019 Club Semi Finals: Intermediate Football

    Lightning strikes twice did they say? Two Mile House, four years apart. Winning Kildare and Leinster that is. 2014 and 2018. A Junior and now an Intermediate championship. But first there’s the challenge of Kilcummin. There’s stories and character round this team you wouldn’t believe! A man with a Kerry father called Caomhán Doolan, playing a provincial final and racing off for an exam still in his playing gear; an Old Timer and All Star in Peter Kelly and the inspiring words and resolute determination of Adam Burke. And what about the bizarre theatre of Didier Cordonnier, was he or wasn’t he sent off because of his name? All roads from Two Mile House lead to the Gaelic Grounds. Kilcummin await.

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  8. 2019 Club Semi Finals - Intermediate Hurling

    2019 Club Semi Finals - Intermediate Hurling

    St Galls. Runners up in this competition the year they won their historic football All Ireland. Always a dual club. Any club from the Glens will tell you the Milltown men always give it everything. Antrim senior finalists in 2014. Ten All Ireland campaigns in fifteen years. Sevens specialists in football too. Men like CJ and Kieran McGourty, Aodhan Gallagher, Karl Stewart and of course Sean and Conor ‘Je Suis Burkey’ Burke. Led by the indomitable Mickey Culbert, St Galls stalwart. Goals from CJ and Sean McAreavey steered a course to their second Ulster Intermediate hurling championship. In Ulster it was a late late Tómas Ó’Ciaran free that kept them in the match against Derry’s Swatragh before CJ McGourty - who else? - finished the argument with an extra time goal. Can they emulate their county compatriots O’Donovan Rossa who won the title in 2015? Bragging rights in Belfast up for grabs.


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  9. 2019 Club Semi Finals: Junior Hurling

    2019 Club Semi Finals: Junior Hurling

    Cloughduv is one of the oldest Hurling Clubs in Cork. With the first recorded match in the parish dating back to the time Cusack and the lads met up to set up the GAA Cloughduv had already been going around twenty years! One of their early successes was in winning the wonderfully named County Senior Beamish Shield. Winning the championship in 2018 meant the winter just got shorter and better for Cloughduv, after this superb victory in the Munster including nine points from Brian Verling. On their maiden voyage in this championship, the Cork and Munster champions...


    So hand me down my hurley

    And Jersey Green and Gold

    The cry has come

    Come on Cloughduv

    Think of the days of old.


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  10. 2019 Club Semi Finals: Junior Football

    2019 Club Semi Finals: Junior Football

    Easkey GAA. The Sea Blues. Coast home in Connacht? Certainly not in the cliffhanger final where Ryan McKenna’s late equaliser got them over the line. Just. Clonbur scores 1-8 to reel in an eleven point deficit when Easkey looked to be on the crest of a wave. Managed by club legend and Sligo Stalwart Dessie Sloyan, veteran of memorable Sligo campaigns in the 000s, Easkey went about winning the hard way and looked to be on the rocks. But for a place with two reef breaks, rocks only add to the excitement. We’re talking surfing of course, and Easkey, is one of Ireland’s most popular surfing destinations in Ireland. When waves break over rocks, they are known as reef breaks. Easkey has two reef breaks - one to the left, just by the river mouth and another to the right, east of the castle. Making waves is nothing to these guys. Everybody’s got a feeling, Surfin’ all the way?    


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