The Mighty Quinlan
All Ireland Intermediate Hurling Club Final Robert Emmetts 1-14 Killimordaly 0-8 John Quinlan uses a hurl like a wand, what he does with it is magic, so was the sentiment of Mick O'Dea, Robert Emmetts' team manager after the club had won the All Ireland Intermediate Hurling Final in Croke Park. By T P Downey - 14/03/07
It is not everyone who can say they have played in an All Ireland Final, even fewer can lay claim to winning one.
This week the players of Robert Emmetts can proudly boast to both. Not only were they the first London based club to play in an All Ireland final in Croke Park, but they have made history by becoming the first club based outside the island of Ireland to win an All Ireland title.
This they achieved by beating Killimordaly of Galway by a score line of 1-14 to 0-8pts. The Galway and Connacht champions went into the game as favourites, but Robert Emmetts had already beaten the Leinster and Munster champions on their way to the final, so were in no way going to be intimidated.
Six of the Emmetts squad had been involved with the London team when they won the Nicky Rickard Cup in 2005, and O’Dea had been at the helm that day too, so there was no fear of playing on the big stage.
And this showed as John Quinlan scored the first point after only 13 seconds. Fergal Duane replied from a 65 after a minute and half for the Galway champions. Thirty seconds later and Jim Ryan had restored the lead for the exiles. And so, before our seats could even get warm we had a game on our hands.
In the early stages Killimordaly looked the better team. They were playing good, fast ball into their full forward line, and the smaller but faster Eanna Ryan was causing problems for Robert Emmetts full back Sean McLoughlin.
Clement Earls, with number 13 on his back but playing out around midfield, was probably the Westerners best player. He put over two frees in the 6th and 22nd minutes. Whilst Earls played further out the field, his marker Luke Mannix stayed back around the square and leant great support to the full back line, sweeping and tidying up very well.
More from this story in this week's issue of The Irish World
From Irish Post
Wednesday, March 14, 2007
LONDON'S Robert Emmetts became the first overseas club side in the history of the GAA to win an All-Ireland final on Sunday and boy did they do it in style!
The side managed by Corkman Mick O'Dea outplayed Galway's Killimordaly at Croke Park to lift the Intermediate Club Hurling Championship and send out a clear message that teams from this side of the Irish Sea can mix it with the best.
Amazingly Emmetts kept Killimordaly scoreless from play for the entire duration of the game - a superb achievement considering the potent attacking force the Connacht champions possess.
Afterwards a delighted O'Dea praised his team's discipline in defence and accuracy in attack. He said: "I told the lads before the game and at half-time that keeping them scoreless was one of the keys to victory and I'm over the moon that we did that. To win All-Irelands you need to have that killer instinct and the Emmetts players had that in abundance out there."
Corkman John Quinlan was a constant thorn in Killimordaly's side from start to finish picking up eight points while also setting up Jim Ryan for the only goal of the game after 20 minutes.
Emmetts played with a swagger while also fighting for every ball like their lives depended on it.
It was the second time in three years that O'Dea had led a London side to AllIreland glory. In 2005 London won the Nicky Rackard Cup with seven of that side lining-out for Emmetts on Sunday.
Fergus McMahon captained London three years ago and on Sunday he made the same journey up the steps to pick up the Intermediate Cup. A delighted McMahon said afterwards: "We knew we had to win the hard balls out there today and we did that. This is a huge result for us and London hurling. It's been two years of hard work to get here and we're ecstatic."
Emmetts held a homecoming reception last Monday night at the Crown Moran Hotel, Cricklewood cradling the latest piece of silverware to cross the Irish Sea.
From Irish Independent
Dubliner and Corkman lead London club to title
Monday March 12th 2007
Dejected Kilmordaly players watch the presentation after losing to Robert Emmetts in the All-Ireland intermediate hurling final at Croke Park yesterday. ,6 DAVID MAHER / SPORTSFILE
R Emmetts 1-14
All-Ireland IHC Final
LONDON club Robert Emmetts captured the All-Ireland intermediate hurling championship title with a deserved victory over Killimordaly at an overcast Croke Park yesterday.
Galway side Killimordaly battled bravely, but they always seemed to be a little out of their depth against Emmetts, for whom Dublin's Sean McLoughlin was excellent at full-back.
The teams traded three points each before Corkman John Quinlan put Emmetts in front from a free.
Killimordaly 'keeper Paul Kilkenny then produced an excellent double save to deny John Quinlan and then Jim Ryan. The sliotar fell eventually to Emmetts midfielder Tadgh O'Callaghan who slotted it over the bar.
And Ryan then smashed the sliotar past Kilkenny on 21 minutes to open up a six-point lead for the exiles.
Killimordaly free-taker Clement Earls responded with a free at the other end, but Emmetts hit back with two more points to lead by 1-8 to 0-4 at the interval.
Killimordaly, driven on by their full-forward Eanna Ryan, attempted to get back into the game after the break, but some bad wides midway through the half proved costly.
And with Emmetts midfielder Tadgh O'Callaghan adding to his tally with two more points the game petered out as Emmetts ran out comfortable nine-point winners in the end.
SCORERS - Robert Emmetts: J Quinlan 0-8 (5f), J Ryan 1-1, T O'Callaghan 0-3, O Kennedy, S Kelly 0-1 each. Killimordaly: C Earls 0-4 (4f), N Earls 0-3 (2f, 1 '65'), E Ryan 0-1 (1f).
ROBERT EMMETTS - C Buckley; L Mannix, S McLoughlin, C Ó Murchu; B Foley, F McMahon, J Dillon; T O'Callaghan, E Carey; O Kennedy J Ryan, B Keane; S Quinn, S Quinn, M Trayor. Subs: S Kelly for B Keane (37), P Jordan for S Quinn (56), P McArdle for M Trayor (60), B Hennebry for C Ó Murchu (60), A Maloney for L Mannix (60).
KILLIMORDALY - P Kilkenny; JP O'Halloran, I Creaven, J Daly; Conor Daly, S Hanlon, N Earls; P Madden, F Duane; T Madden, A Lawless, N Earls; C Earls, E Ryan, G Earls. Subs: M Corcoran for C Earls (38), S Spellman for Conor Daly (50), Cathal Daly for N Earls (52), J Whyte for S Hanlon (60).
REF - E Morris (Dublin)
From Hogan Stand
All-Ireland title goes to London club
12 March 2007
London club Robert Emmetts have written a special place for themselves in GAA history by winning the All-Ireland IHC club crown.
Emmetts deservedly took the All-Ireland intermediate club hurling championship by virtue of a superb 1-14 to 0-8 victory over Galway outfit Killimordaly at Croke Park on Sunday March 11.
It may have been a cloudy afternoon at GAA HQ, but the Exiles produced a dazzling display to brighten up the occasion and bring a rare national title across the Irish Sea.
Cork man John Quinlan contributed eight points to the winning tally, while Dublin’s Sean McLoughlin delivered an outstanding hour at full back.
The first six points of the match were shared and Emmets moved ahead with a Quinlan free before midfielder Tadgh O’Callaghan extended the advantage following an acrobatic double save from Killimordaly custodian Paul Kilkenny.
The keeper did superbly to deny first Quinlan and then Jim Ryan but was powerless to prevent the latter from drilling a shot to the net in the 21st minute as the Londoners took control.
Despite a pointed free from Clement Earls, the Connacht champions trailed by 1-8 to 0-4 at the interval.
The losers could only manage to double their overall tally upon the restart, while the more industrious London representatives tagged on six more points to prevail by nine.
ROBERT EMMETTS - C Buckley; L Mannix, S McLoughlin, C Ó Murchu; B Foley, F McMahon, J Dillon; T O’Callaghan 0-3, E Carey; O Kennedy 0-1, J Ryan 1-1, B Keane; S Quinn, J Quinlan 0-8 (5f), S Quinn, M Trayor. Subs: S Kelly 0-1 for B Keane (37), P Jordan for S Quinn (56), P McArdle for M Trayor (60), B Hennebry for C Ó Murchu (60), A Maloney for L Mannix (60).
KILLIMORDALY - P Kilkenny; JP O’Halloran, I Creaven, J Daly; Conor Daly, S Hanlon, N Earls; P Madden, F Duane; T Madden, A Lawless, N Earls 0-3 (2f, 1 ’65’); C Earls 0-4 (4f), E Ryan 0-1 (1f), G Earls. Subs: M Corcoran for C Earls (38), S Spellman for Conor Daly (50), Cathal Daly for N Earls (52), J Whyte for S Hanlon (60).
REF - E Morris (Dublin)
O’Dea urges belief in his charges
10 March 2007
Robert Emmet’s of London team-manager Mick O’Dea says there’s no reason why his charges can’t upset the books and beat Galway’s finest in tonight’s (Saturday) All-Ireland IHC club final.
O’Dea brings his exiles to Croke Park to face Connacht champions Kilimordaly but says the London side shouldn’t fear them.
"We’re up against it again now, Kilimordaly, but my argument - for what it’s worth - is how much better can they be than Clooney Quinn, and we beat them," said O’Dea.
"They win the Galway championship, and there’s really no one then in Connacht to challenge them, then they beat the boys from Belfast Gortnamona. How better than us can they be?"
From The Examiner
10 March 2007
By Diarmuid O’Flynn
Robert Emmet’s of London contest today’s All-Ireland intermediate club hurling final.
THEY haven’t got a pitch, they haven’t got a club house, dammit they haven’t even got a shed they can call their own, no meeting-place of any description.
What they do have is their name, their colours, their jersey — make no mistake about it, Robert Emmett’s are a legitimate, full-fledged GAA club, as worthy of their place in Croke Park this Sunday as any team in Ireland. And there’s the rub; Robert Emmett’s, even though they are very much an Irish club, are not a club based in Ireland.
Tomorrow, as they face Galway and Connacht champions Killimordaly in the intermediate club hurling final, the London champions will attempt to become the first British-based club to win an All-Ireland title. It’s a most worthy ambition.
Like any exile club, Robert Emmett’s is a mixture of all sorts, with all four provinces represented on the playing panel. Originally with a strong Antrim connection, a connection that remains to this day in the persons of Seán Quinn, Kevin McMullen, Seán Kelly and Mark Traynor, they are now backboned by Corkmen, and north Corkmen in particular.
Goalkeeper Colm Buckley (Banteer), Luke Mannix (Fermoy), Tadhg O’Callaghan, Brian Foley and John Quinlan (all Charleville), along with Jim Ryan (Fr. O’Neills) and John Dillon (Effin), whose father hurled with Ballyhea. Most experienced of them all, however, is the man who prowls the line, manager Mick O’Dea.
“I left Liscarroll in 1984, when I was 18,” he explains; “Joined the Robert Emmett’s, played with them ‘til 2000, when I took over as manager from Rogie Maher, who went home to Doon. There was a strong north Cork connection with them even then, the Hanley brothers and Philly and Davy Ryan from Ballyhea, Tony Fehin from Churchtown, Larry Dowling, that’s how I fell in with them, and that’s how it happens here.”
That’s how it happens in London, that’s how it happens in New York, in Boston, in Chicago, in all the foreign fields where clubs like Robert Emmett’s gave exiled Irishmen an outlet, an occasion to meet, to continue their love affair with hurling and gaelic football. That they existed at all is tribute to those who, out of nothing, formed these clubs; that they survive is tribute to those like O’Dea, who continue contributing even after their own playing days are over.
This isn’t the Liscarroll-man’s first trip to Croke Park on All-Ireland final day. Two years ago, with several of the current Robert Emmett’s side on board, he led London to a surprise win over Louth in the Nicky Rackard Cup final. What odds a repeat? Poor, say the bookies; good, says Mick.
“We’ve beaten the Leinster champions, the Munster champions, and I’m sure they underestimated us as well. But if you take time to look into the backgrounds of the boys, you’ll see why we’re in this final. There’s quality all the way through the team.”
When Clooney-Quin overcame highly-rated Bishopstown of Cork in the Munster final they were hotly tipped to go all the way. Robert Emmett’s were waiting for them, however, and denied them with a late, late Tadhg O’Callaghan goal, just as they denied Leinster champions Ardclough of Kildare in injury-time en route to this date.
As Mick points out, these lads have pedigree, and they have character. They are London senior county champions, campaigning now at intermediate level nationally, though they are not unique in that respect.
“A lot of weaker counties field their senior champions in the intermediate All-Ireland championship – the Kildare team we beat were senior champions, Westmeath do it. There wouldn’t be any point in us meeting the likes Ballyhale Shamrocks, they’d beat the life out of us.”
“For a London team just to get to Croke Park was fantastic, but to win then – ah sure now, it was unreal.
“Those lads would have all started in Ireland, played hurling all their lives, dreamed about going to Croke Park, but probably thought it would never happen. We’re so lucky, but you know, there’s about nine of that London team that won the Nicky Rackard on the Emmett’s team, so those fellas are going back to play a second All-Ireland final in Croke Park. Those lads are very privileged, but our club has worked hard. We train four times a week (Wormwood Scrubs Prison — don’t ask), we beat the Leinster champions, the Munster champions – by God if ever a team earned their way, we have.
“We’re up against it again now, Killimordaly, but my argument – for what it’s worth – is how much better can they be than Clooney-Quin, and we beat them? They win the Galway championship, and there’s really no-one then in Connacht to challenge them, then they beat the boys from Belfast, Gortnamona. How much better than us can they be?”
Sunday afternoon, we’ll know; in the meantime, the Robert Emmett’s fairytale continues.
From Setanta Sports
London club in Croker All-Ireland final
Croke Park, Dublin beckons for the first ever London-based hurling club to contest an All-Ireland club final on Sunday March 11th.
Two weeks after the England rugby team's historic clash with Ireland in the RBS Six Nations championship, the hurlers of the Robert Emmett's GAA Club will be attempting to create their own piece of history on the same hallowed turf by becoming the first London GAA club ever to win an All-Ireland title in 110 years.
Until Robert Emmett's notable achievement following their recent semi-final victory over Co Clare champions Clooney-Quin in Limerick on February 11th, the best any previous London clubs had achieved were just four quarter-final victories.
However, having had to travel to Ireland in order to account for both the Leinster and Munster champions, Robert Emmett's are now firmly focussed in their bid to win a coveted All-Ireland club intermediate hurling title.
As part of a 'double-header', which will be preceded by the All-Ireland club junior hurling final, the London champions will face Connacht champions Killimordaly in the main event.
The Galway champions, who accounted for Belfast club Gortnamona in their semi-final, therefore stand between the Robert Emmett's hurlers and sporting immortalisation in London GAA.
Members of the Robert Emmett's team are drawn from all the four provinces of Ireland: Captain Fergus McMahon from Killdalkey Co Meath and Dubliner Sean McLoughlin represent Leinster.
Galway's Brian Keane is the lone Connacht representative. Antrim men Sean Quinn, Kevin McMullen, Sean Kelly and Mark Traynor make up a strong Ulster representation on the team while three counties from Munster are represented by Cillian O'Murchu (Waterford), John Dillon and Eoin O'Connell (Limerick), Eddie Carey (Tipperary).
And finally, Cork, which has the greatest representation, in goalkeeper Colm Buckley, Luke Mannix, Brian Foley, Tadhg O'Callaghan, Jim Ryan, and John Quinlan.
Robert Emmett's are also managed by Cork man Mick O'Dea. A long-serving member of the Robert Emmett's club, the Liscarroll native will be leading out his second team at Croke Park in two years following London's Nicky Rackard Cup success in August 2005.
Robert Emmett's GAA Club have also recently clinched a lucrative sponsorship deal with a well-known Irish hotel chain - The Moran Group.
Galway champs play it cool
By John Collins - The Irish World
With less than a week to go before the biggest day in his club’s history, Killimordaly Chairman John Daly remains very focused on the task ahead of his parish team as they head east to the bright lights of the city and the challenge of facing Robert Emmetts in Croke Park.
Having lifted the Galway crown by defeating Kiltormer and then the Connaught Championship by defeating Roscommon outfit Athleague, the Galway men then faced Ulster champs Gort na Mona from Belfast in the semi-final and ran out two-point winners on the day.
The club’s whistle stop tour of the country now takes them to Croke Park and an opponent from London that many would consider to be the surprise package of the Championship. However, that’s not the way that Daly and the rest of the Killimordaly club view things as they get ready for the big day.
“We are well aware of their capabilities” said Daly on Monday, referring to the Robert Emmetts.
“They have survived the very hard part of the draw and we know that they have very efficient and capable players throughout the team.
“We would be very foolish to think that they could get to an All Ireland Final if they didn’t have these players. We are aware that they are a scoring team and as well as that Mick O’Dea their manager has a great record in Croke Park.”
With regard to his own side, typically Daly is keen to play down their chances and focuses on the inexperience in the squad and also the age profile of many of their players and said: “Going back over a year ago we certainly didn’t think that we would be playing in a an All Ireland Intermediate Club Final on March 11th .
“Firstly, because we were a developing team, and are quite a young and inexperienced team, we are delighted with the progress we have made already.
“As the year went on though, these young players started to improve and they prepared well for matches but we will see the next day in Croke Park as it will be a daunting experience.
“We have trained hard for it and prepared well for it and we are very confident that they will do themselves justice.
“There are four or five under 21s to start with and a number of players in the mid-twenties bracket. We have three or four very experienced players too, the likes of Noel Earls and JP Halloran and they add experience to the team having played at senior level in the past.”
With preparing for an All Ireland final being something that most people only ever get one chance to do, Daly was keen to emphasise that his club are keeping things as uncomplicated as possible and went on to say: “This is a completely new experience for all our players. We have been keeping it very simple. At the end of the day, it is about a hurling match in a field in Dublin.
“Fair enough that field happens to be Croke Park and that brings its own challenges but for the forty players that will play next Sunday in Croke Park, it’s a hurling match and we can’t lose sight of that.
“Simple and reasonable things are the basis of what we are doing and we don’t believe in clogging people’s minds with stuff that maybe the aren’t ready for yet.”
Any suggestions of complacency or expectation though were dismissed immediately by Daly when I asked him about the homecoming planned for his players when they return from Dublin and he told me: “We are treating this Robert Emmetts team with far too much respect to be looking too far ahead of ourselves.
“We have an important game in Croke Park and win lose of draw we will welcome home our team.”
Robert Emmetts qualified for the All-Ireland Club (IHC) semi-final after a deserved three-point victory over Ulster champions Carey Faughs at Ruislip.
In a tough competitive encounter in which defences were always on top, the London champions stood up well to a late onslaught from the Ulster champions before becoming only the third British-based hurling club to progress to an All-Ireland club semi-final place.
On a heavy greasy pitch in very cold conditions, both teams struggled to settle down into any kind of early rhythm. Robert Emmetts lined out without midfielder Billy Henerbery and opted to start Sean Quinn who partnered Pat Jordan. The visitors also made one positional switch when midfielder Paudie McShane changed places with midfielder James McAuley. Carey also had first use of the elements as they defended the pavilion end.
However, the most significant development in the opening quarter was the performance of the Robert Emmetts half-back line which never allowed Carey any opportunities to settle and pick off scores. Centre-back Bryan Foley had another outstanding game, which proved to be the platform on which Robert Emmetts built this thoroughly, deserved victory.
The visitors fared no better at midfield where both Fergus McMahon and Teu O’hAilpin both played very effective supporting roles for Jordan and Quinn and denied Carey some very valuable possession in the opening quarter. It was, therefore, no great surprise when Robert Emmetts held a slender one-point lead on 20 minutes after John McGaughan opened the scoring with a point in the third minute and doubled his tally six minutes later from the first of his two successful frees.
Despite playing with the advantage of the wind, all Carey had to show for their efforts was a Martin McAuley point after six minutes. Although Paul McShane levelled the scores in the 21st minute panic began to set in for the visitors.
Four minutes before the interval Carey appeared to have made a significant breakthrough when they were awarded a 21-yard free for a foul on John McVeigh. Free-taker Martin McAuley made no secret of his intentions as he stepped up to send a rasping shot low to the left-hand corner of the net and give the visitors a flattering three-point lead.
Robert Emmetts responded well to this unexpected set-back and just on the stroke of half-time were awarded a free for a foul on Fergus McMahon. John McGaughan’s free left just two points between the sides with the score Carey 1-2 Robert Emmetts 0-3.
On the resumption Robert Emmetts decided to switch full forward Gary Fenton to midfield where he partnered Fergus McMahon. As in the opening half both sides were once again having difficulties mastering the conditions and there was no further scoring until Gary Fenton left just a point between the sides 12 minutes after the re-start. Within a minute Emmetts captain Colm Buckley had levelled the scores.
However, just at the end of the third quarter in a rare Carey attack, Martin McAuley put the visitors back into the lead with a point from free. That proved to their only score of the half as the London champions began to take command.
The first of their four unanswered points came in rather controversial circumstances following a collision on goalkeeper Bosco McAuley when Colm Buckley steered the rebound over the bar. Within a minute another fine long-range effort from Gary Fenton sailed all the way over the bar to put Robert Emmetts into the lead for the first time since the 21st minute.
It was still anybody’s game with less than 10 minutes remaining but following a kick on grounded defender Danny Murphy, Carey’s Paul McShane was dismissed by referee Eamon Morris. Five minutes from time another inspirational long-range point from Fergus McMahon moved the London champions closer to victory which was finally sealed by a Sean Quinn point just at the end of normal time.
While the game was anything but a hurling spectacle that should take nothing away from Robert Emmetts achievement who had many fine performances on the day apart from Bryan Foley, including fellow defender and man-of-the-match Danny Murphy. Pat Jordan Gary Fenton, Fergus McMahon and Teu O’hAilpin all won valuable possession for Emmetts while John McGaughan and Colm Buckley always threatened in attack.
Carey’s best performers were centre-back Mick Hegarty alongside Nathan Hunter while Martin McAuley and Paul McShane were the best of a very poor attack.
The London champions now look forward to a semi-final date in the New Year with the Leinster champions when they become the first British based hurling side since Desmonds in 1993 to bid for a place in an All-Ireland club final.
Robert Emmetts: M Kearney, D Murphy, G O’Mahony, R Grimes, A Moloney, B Foley, P Campbell, P Jordan, S Quinn (0-1), F McMahon (0-1), T O’hAilpin, J McGaughan (0-3) (0-2)f, C McGaughey, G Fenton (0-2), C Buckley (0-2).
Carey Faughs: B McAuley, S Gillan, A McCormick, J Butler, N Hunter, M Hegarty, P Devlin, C McAuley, J McAuley, C McGaughan, J McVeigh, J Gilean, M McAuley (1-2) (1-2)f, P McShane (0-1), L O’Reilly. Subs: G McAuley for O’Reilly, M Butler for J McVeigh.
HURLERS RETURN TO WINNING WAYS
16 June 2005
Our Hurlers returned to winning ways when they were easy winners over Kilburn Gaels by 1-15 to 1-5 in the Championship last Saturday.
Emmett's raced into a 0-10 to no score lead mainly courtesy of the freetaking prowess of John McGaughan who included a couple of frees from 70 plus yards in his armoury.
It was a full 27 minutes before Kilburn mustered a score and it took a further ten minutes of second half play before 'keeper Colm O'Meara came fifty yards upfield to strike their second score from a free.
Overall this win puts our hurlers back on track for a safe-path to the semi-finals. Unfortunately the temporary loss of Bryan Foley over the summer following this game will leave a big gap to fill for the manager and selectors.
Emmett's Scorers: J McGaughan 0-11 (0-9 frees), K McMullan 1-0, S McGarry 0-2, J Dillon 0-1, G Fenton 0-1
HURLING UPDATE - RESULTS
09 June 2005
Our Hurlers have yet to scale the heights of last year yet, losing out to St Gabriels in the League and Fr Murphys in their opening Championship encounter (see "Results" for scorelines).
LEAGUE WIN FOR HURLERS
04 April 2005
Our Hurlers enjoyed a comfortable win over Granuaile by 1-20 to 2-9 in their opening League game at Oxhey Park on Staurday last.
HURLERS FAIL IN ALL-IRELAND FINAL BID
16 February 2005
Our Hurlers fell at the penultimate stage of the All-Ireland Intermediate Club Championship losing their semi-final clash with Carrickshock of Kilkenny on Sunday last by 2-12 to 0-5 at Bennettsbridge.
If anything the strength of the wind blowing down the pitch destroyed the game as a meaningless contest and spoiled our fighting chances of an upset allowing Carrickshock to enjoy total first-half dominance as our backs found it impossible to clear their lines.
With Kilkenny senior Richie Power as their lynchpin Carrickshock had raced to a 0-4 to no score lead within four minutes and this lead had been extended to 2-4 on 15 minutes thanks to goals from Michael Rohan and Jamie Power. By the interval the fierce breeze had helped 'shock to 6 more points while we'd barely been able to get beyond the halfway line under the wind-assisted torrent.
In the second-half our pride was restored thanks to three frees from John McGaughan and a point apiece from Colum Buckley and Fergus McMahon but the first-half lead our opponents had racked up was always going to be insurmountable. To illustrate how the wind played havoc 'shock only added two more points in the whole 30 minutes of the half compared to 14 scores in the first.
How much closer the game would have been had we won the toss and enjoyed a half-time lead is pure speculation but the fact that we won the second-half by 0-5 to 0-2 despite being somewhat demoralised in the first-half points to the fact that an upset could well have been possible ? As it was we had to endure a bit of a mauling at the hands of what is, undoubtedly, an extremely talented Carrickshock side who will be firm favourites for Intermediate honours and will be a real force in the Kilkenny senior ranks next year.
Over the hour Brian Foley, Pat Jordan and Fergus McMahon stood tall but it was the panel that had brought us this far so praise goes to all the lads who delivered throughout the year.
Overall all players and supporters of the Blue and Gold will look back with great pride on a season that saw us lift our first ever London Senior title and win an All-Ireland quarter final against Carey Faugh's of Antrim back in November.
It was a great year and hearty congratulations to the panel and mentors for their achievements.
BIGGEST WEEKEND IN OUR HURLING HISTORY
10 February 2005
Our Hurlers are fit and rearing to go for this Sunday's All Ireland IHC semi-final against Carrickshock (Kilkenny) in Bennettsbridge - throw-in at 1pm.
All former Emmett's players and supporters now returned to Ireland are urged to come along and support the Blue and Gold - especially in Black and Amber land !! Sure most of you have made plans to be there already anyhow !
A down-sized version of Larry Cooney's preview in this week's Irish Post Newspaper is published below. Many thanks to Larry and The Post for their ongoing courtesy in letting us reproduce articles on the Club website.
" All-Ireland IHC Semi-Final Preview ".
" Robert Emmett's hurlers travel to Ireland to face Carrickshock of Kilkenny in this Sunday's All-Ireland Club IHC semi-final.
The London champions will be the first British based team to be involved in an All-Ireland club semi in 11 years and will require a top performance if they are to overcome the Leinster champions.
Although they have not been in action since their quarter-final win over Carey Faugh's in early December, manager Mick O'Dea assures all London hurling followers that his side will be in the best possible shape ahead of the game against their opponents from Kilkenny. The Antrim champions lacked attacking ideas which will certainly not be the case with Carrickshock who have recorded a number of impressive victories on their way to Sunday's semi-final.
It was a case of third time lucky for them in last year’s Kilkenny county final after they defeated Mooncoin. Carrickshock were appearing in their third consecutive intermediate hurling decider after losing narrowly in the two previous finals to St. Martins and Erins Own.
Among their stars are Kilkenny teenage hurling sensation Richie Power and county panellists John Tennyson and Michael Rice and the real surprise is why Carrickshock have not been already promoted to the senior ranks. Carrickshock also easily accounted for the Wexford champions, St. Patricks, in the Leinster final last November. Robert Emmetts are, therefore, facing one of the favourites to lift the inaugural All-Ireland Club (IHC) title.
Besides their county panellists, Carrickshock also have above-average club players in Pat Cleary, James Moran, Pat Farrell, James Power and Seanie Gibbons. The outcome of Sunday’s game could also depend on how well both sides have prepared since their last competitive activity over two months ago.
Comprising of one of the smallest squads in London hurling, Mick O’Dea has moulded an effective unit of talented hurlers that are now beginning to play with a reasonable level of consistency. The London champions will certainly be required to raise their game well above the standard of play that they showed against Carey in the last round if they hope to compete with the Leinster champions.
Robert Emmetts preparation for Sunday’s game got underway just before Christmas and in conjunction with the London county panel, they have been undergoing a tough fitness programme at Harrow Leisure Centre. In a recent work-out with the county panellists the London champions looked quite sharp and should not be lacking fitness.
The Robert Emmetts game-plan is not likely to deviate too much from that which has brought them their most successful year in their 56-year history.
Assuming they have no fitness or injury worries their tactics will rely once again on a strong spine to the team. Hopefully, centre-back Brian Foley, who excelled in the county final and last round, will be well supported by full-back Gavin O’Mahony behind him. Pat Jordan and Billy Henerbery or Fergus McMahon look like being their midfield partnership. In attack Teu O’hAilpin and Gary Fenton complete a very effective spine. Fenton should be back to full fitness after a recent head injury.
O’Dea said: “Our game-plan is purely and simply to feed these key players and the scores will follow. Under every puck-out I expect to see either Teu O'hAilpin or Fergus McMahon who are both exceptional ball winners and the very least each attack will bring is a free which John McGaughan should convert.”
However, while the Robert Emmetts defence has been exceptional in conceding only six goals in eight games, the display of their half-back line was the key to their county final and All-Ireland club quarterfinal success. The Robert Emmetts attack has performed well throughout their campaign and, hopefully, John McGaughan can provide the scores by maximising all the freetaking opportunities that come his way.
The London champions couldn’t have a tougher assignment to begin their season and, even though they are capable of producing a top performance, it looks like being a tough mission. "
Mark Kearney, Dan Murphy, Gavin O’Mahony, Ritchie Grimes, Alan Moloney, Brian Foley, Philip Campbell, Pat Jordan, Billy Henerbery, Fergus McMahon, Teu O’hAilpin, John McGaughan, Ciaran McGaughey, Gary Fenton, Colum Buckley (captain), Darren McGaughey, Chris McGovern, Eoin O’Connell, Sean Quinn, Brendan Doyle and Paul Flood.
CONGRATULATIONS TO OUR LONDON ALL-STARS
22 December 2004
Our Hurlers picked up no less than 6 of the 15 awards available in last weekend's Irish World sponsored London All-Stars.
Robert Emmett's London All-stars 2004 :
Bryan Foley (Centre-Back), Pat Jordan (Centrefield), John McGaughan (Right half-forward), Teu O'hAilpin (Centre-forward), Gary Fenton (Full-forward), Colum Buckley (Left corner-forward).
Congratulations to all the lads on their awards from all at the Club.
Indeed it could well be argued that there could possibly have been more recipients from the Club - particularly from the backs - but that's awards for you ! Sure the recipients know that without the rest of the starting 15 and subs they'd not have got that far anyway.
O'DEA'S MEN READY FOR ULSTER BATTLE
25 November 2004
By John Collins (The Irish World) - 25/11/04
" Robert Emmett's take a huge step in to the unknown at Ruislip on Sunday when they take on Carey Faugh's in the All-Ireland Intermediate Club quarter final.
The decision earlier this year by Croke Park to re-grade London hurling to Intermediate status has provided a great opportunity for a London club to make a massive impression on a national competition and certainly Emmett's are doing all they can to try and make sure that it is them who grasp that opportunity.
Key to the whole emergence of the Emmett's as a force has been the return to the club of current manager, Mick O'Dea, who first arrived in London back in 1984 but, after a shortn stint at home in Cork at the start of this decade, decided to return once more to London in 2002.
Upon his return the Emmett's approached him about becoming manager and their former stalwart jumped at the opportunity and since then he has no regrets.
With preparations for the game against Carey Faugh's well under way, O'Dea is delighted to have finally landed the senior crown and even happier with the approach of his players to the task at hand and the way they have applied themselves in training.
"Things have been magnificent, absolutely magnificent since the final. It is what we set out for three years ago when I took over and for it all to come together was great. We have been flying at training since, with 19 or 20 out two nights a week plus either Saturday or Sunday mornings and we can't wait to play " he told me last weekend.
Having reached the final of the London Championship in 2002 only to lose to Sean Treacy's and then to completely under-perform last year and fail to make the semi-finals, what has been the catalyst for the turn around in how things have gone this year for the Emmett's ?
" I thought we had some fantastic players last year but, for whatever reason, it didn't go for us. We had some great individuals but as a unit we just didn't seem to gel at all " he went on.
" We ended up getting atotal of eight players this year and they made a big difference with two of them being especially important. John McGaugahn came in from Cushendun and has given us a consistent free-taker, which is something we haven't had in a long time, and then Teu O'hAilpin also came in who on his day is unstoppable ".
But this Emmett's team is far more than just a couple of talented individuals though ?
" Absolutely, we are lucky we have no passengers and we also have some good players in reserve. Players like Phil Campbell, Ciaran McGaughey and mark Kearney all came to us from the old Brian Boru's club. Campbell isn't the most stylish of hurlers and is under-rated by many but he does his job. He mightn't catch everything but he will stop his man catching it. Our full back too, Gavin O'Mahoney, is also a completely under-rated player. "
" The potential of Fergus McMahon has yet to be seen in London. Going to America didn't help as he missed so much and he has only had two games for us, the semi and the final, and then of course there is Brian Foley. The man has all the attributes of a well honed athlete, is a fantastic hurler and he seems to really enjoy his hurling ".
So what about their opponents on Sunday, Carey Faugh's ? They have won the inaugural Ulster Intermediate Club Hurling crown - their first Provincial crown since 1906 - by beating Eoghan Rua of Derry 0-7 to 0-6. However, what is significant is that they weren't Antrim Intermediate champions having been beaten by Cushendall reserves in the championship. With club's second teams not being allowed to progress, Carey Faugh's were given the chance to represent their county in the Provincial tournament.
With several very young players in their ranks, including tow of the Antrim minor team who won the Ulster Championship this year, Cathal McAuley and Martin Butler, as well as a number of other relatively inexperienced players like Colum McBride, Sean McLaughlin and Fintan McCarry, the Antim team will not be lacking in energy.
Alongside them there are a number of older campaigners like Martin McAuley, Joe Butler, John McVeigh and Mick hegarty all of who add that vital ingredient of experience to the Faugh's pack.
Does O'Dea have any concerns about his player's ability to handle the big game situation ?
" Not at all. We have people like Colum Buckley, Teu O'hAilpin and Fergus McMahon who have all played county hurling and then players like Foley who have played top class club football and probably at a higher level than most of the Antrim players. Two of our lads, John McGaughan and Dan Murphy are from Cushendun in Antrim and played agaisnt Carey Faugh's last year in the senior league and Cushendun beat them comfortably and they think we have a fantastic chance ".
So all in all O'Dea feels that his team are in with more than a puncher's chance in this game.
" We have a fantastic chance " he said. " If we do fail it won't be because of our training or attitude. It is hard to win a county title, but to get to a whisker of an All-Ireland semi-final is massive. We will be doing our best. "