Luke Plunkett’s early goal proved to be the difference as Tullamore claimed their 29th Offaly senior football title following a 1-5 to 0-6 final victory over Ferbane at a wintry O’Connor Park. The rain-drenched affair was no classic, but the entrainment value will matter little to a Tullamore side appearing in their fourth successive Offaly SFC final – victorious in 2021 but losing in 2020 and 2022.
Tullamore’s 14th minute goal was created by Cormac Egan’s electric run through the heart of the Ferbane defence, his neat offload providing Plunkett with the opportunity to tuck the ball low to the back of the net, 1-1 to 0-1. That goal remained something of a buffer between the sides for the rest of the encounter. Tullamore led 1-2 to 0-3 at the break and Ferbane were unable to reel in their opponents during a gritty second half.
Tullamore advance now to the Leinster senior club football championship, where they will have a home fixture against the eventual Meath champions – either Ratoath or Summerhill.
Ratoath beat Wolfe Tones 0-7 to 0-6 in their Meath SFC semi-final in Navan on Sunday despite not scoring for the entire second half. Ratoath led 0-7 to 0-3 at half-time and were able to limit the damage after the break to advance to another decider. Summerhill were 0-10 to 0-8 winners over Donaghmore Ashbourne on Saturday at Páirc Tailteann. The 2023 Meath SFC decider will be a repeat of last year’s final, which Ratoath won.
Meanwhile, the draw for the semi-finals of the Dublin senior football championship has pitted Raheny against reigning champions Kilmacud Crokes, while St Jude’s will face their southside neighbours Ballyboden. Crokes, who are also the current All-Ireland club champions, beat Ballymun Kickhams 0-14 to 0-10 in Parnell Park on Saturday, while also on the same bill Ballyboden were 1-19 to 0-11 winners over Castleknock.
Raheny had a 0-14 to 1-8 victory over St Vincent’s at Parnell Park on Sunday, with goalkeeper Rob Hennelly playing a central role for the winners. The Mayo man kicked four frees while Brian Fenton also hit a point for Raheny.
St Jude’s were 2-11 to 2-10 winners over Cuala during an epic contest in what was the curtain raiser at the Donnycarney venue on Sunday. Con O’Callaghan netted a first-half goal to help Cuala go in at the break leading 1-7 to 1-5, but his Dublin colleague Tom Lahiff scored a crucial goal for St Jude’s in the second half. Darragh Rooney finished the game as top scorer with 1-7, while O’Callaghan was Cuala’s chief score-getter with 1-4.
Elsewhere, Antrim SFC holders Cargin are back in the final after beating Naomh Bríd 2-6 to 0-6 in Dunsilly on Sunday. The reigning champions were actually two points adrift at the interval, but second-half goals by Conhuir Johnston and Kevin O’Boyle helped turn the momentum. Cargin will meet Dunloy in that decider on October 8th. Dunloy, more renowned as a hurling club, beat Portglenone on Friday, 2-8 to 0-10, and will be appearing in their first Antrim SFC decider in 82 years. They could yet achieve a hurling and football double this year.
There were two draws at the quarter-final stages of the Cavan SFC over the weekend – Ramor United and Laragh (1-12 to 3-6) will have to meet again, as will Killygarry and Gowna (0-17 to 2-11) But Kingscourt advanced to the semi-finals with a 1-10 to 0-9 win over Cavan Gaels on Saturday, while Crosserlough were 3-15 to 0-5 winners over Ballinagh on Sunday. The semi-final draw took place on Sunday evening: Kingscourt v Ramor or Laragh, and Crosserlough v Killygarry or Gowna.
In Leitrim this year’s county senior football final will be a repeat of last year’s decider between Mohill and 2022 winners St Mary’s. St Mary’s were 0-12 to 1-6 winners over Ballinamore on Sunday, while Mohill were 2-13 to 0-13 victors over Fenagh after extra-time. That semi-final finished 0-11 apiece at the end of normal time, but goals by Eanna Madden and Keith Beirne in the extra periods earned Mohill a fourth consecutive appearance in the Leitrim SFC final.
The Carlow SFC decider will see Éire Óg face Tinryland. Éire Óg beat Rathvilly 4-3 in a nail-biting penalty shoot-out after the sides could not be separated following extra-time in Dr Cullen Park on Sunday. Tinryland’s semi-final win over Bagenalstown Gaels was a less dramatic 0-8 to 0-3 victory.
In Cork, Castlehaven were 0-14 to 1-8 winners over Ballincollig in their SFC quarter-final clash in Enniskeane on Sunday. They will now meet St Finbarr’s in a semi-final.
Meanwhile, the draw for the Donegal SFC quarter-final will see: Kilcar v reigning champions Naomh Conaill, Ardara v Gaoth Dobhair, Aodh Ruadh v St Eunan’s and Glenswilly v Seán MacCumhaill’s.
In Clare, there were senior hurling championship quarter-final wins over the weekend for Scariff, Feakle, Crusheen, and Clonlara.
In Sunday’s two games, Crusheen beat Newmarket 3-7 to 1-7 while John Conlon delivered a Man of the Match display as Clonara got the better of Éire Óg, 1-14 to 0-14.
Finally, goalkeeper Enda Rowland scored a goal straight from a puckout as Abbeyleix advanced to their first Laois SHC final since 1949. Abbeyleix beat Rathdowney Errill 3-20 to 3-18 after extra-time. Camross will be their opponents in that decider, after overcoming Clough-Ballacolla 2-1 in a penalty shootout.