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Match Reports 2007

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)

Report from The Irish Post (March 14th, 2007)

O'Dea urges belief in his charges*
10 March 2007

Robert Emmets 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?"

Intermediate Club All-Ireland Hurling Final Preview 2007
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 Emmetts 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 Emmetts, 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 Emmetts 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 Emmetts, played with them until 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 Emmetts 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 Emmetts fairytale continues.

From Setanta Sports and Hogan Stand
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.