Kieran O'Connor

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Kieran O'Connor
Personal information
Irish name Ciarán Ó Conchubhair
Sport Gaelic football
Position Left wing-back
Born (1979-05-31) 31 May 1979 (age 39)
Aghada, County Cork
Height 5 ft 10 in (1.78 m)
Occupation Mechanical fitter
Club(s)
Years Club
1997-present
Aghada
Club titles
Cork titles 0
Inter-county(ies)
Years County Apps (scores)
2004-2011
Cork 25 (0-2)
Inter-county titles
Munster titles 3
All-Irelands 1
NFL 2
All Stars 0

Kieran O'Connor (born 31 May 1979 in Aghada, County Cork) is an Irish sportsperson. He plays Gaelic football with his local club Aghada and was a member of the Cork senior inter-county team from 2004 until his retirement in 2011.

Playing career[edit]

Club[edit]

O'Connor plays his club football with his local club in Aghada.

Inter-county[edit]

In 2004 O'Connor made his debut with the Cork senior football team. He came on as a substitute in a humiliating 0-18 to 0-12 defeat by Fermanagh in the All-Ireland qualifiers.

By 2005 the Cork footballers had regrouped and reached the Munster final for the first time in three years. Once again Kerry, the reigning All-Ireland champions, provided the opposition. The game was a close affair, however, Cork were narrowly defeated by just 1-11 to 0-11. O'Connor came on as a substitute in that game as he still had not established himself on the starting fifteen. This did not mean the end of Cork’s All-Ireland ambitions. After winning their next two games ‘the Rebels’ qualified for an All-Ireland semi-final meeting with Kerry. In an embarrassing game of football for Cork, O'Connor's side were trounced by thirteen points on a score line of 1-19 to 0-9.

Bu 2006 O'Connor had established himself as the left corner-back on the team. Cork reached the Munster final that year with Kerry lining out against them. That game ended in a 0-10 apiece draw. The replay saw a much fresher Cork team surprisingly defeat Kerry by 1-12 to 0-9. James Masters proved the hero of the day, as he scored 1-7.[1] O'Connor had secured a Munster winners’ medal in the senior grade. The quirks of the championship saw Cork face Kerry again in the subsequent All-Ireland semi-final for the third time in five seasons. In a similar pattern to previous encounters Cork failed to beat Kerry at Croke Park. A 0-16 to 0-10 resulted in Cork being knocked out of the championship.[2]

In 2007 Cork were out to atone for their defeats by Kerry the previous year. Both sides met in the provincial decider for the third year in succession. Cork gave a good account of themselves, however, Kerry could not be beaten and O'Connor's side went down on a 1-15 to 1-13 score line.[3] Cork later did well in the subsequent All-Ireland series and finally qualified for the All-Ireland final after an eight-year absence. In a cruel twist Kerry were the opponents. While the first half was played on an even keel, 'the Kingdom' ran riot in the second half and a rout ensued. Goalkeeper Alan Quirke came in for much criticism after conceding some easy goals. At the full-time whistle Cork were trounced by 3-13 to 1-9.[4]

In 2008 Cork gained a modicum of revenge on Kerry when the sides met again in that year’s Munster final. Kerry were cruising by eight points at the interval, however, Cork stormed back in the second-half. Kerry could only muster three points as Cork secured a remarkable 1-16 to 1-11 victory.[5] It was O'Connor's second Munster winners' medal and his first as captain. Both sides met again in the All-Ireland semi-final, however, after a thrilling draw and a replay Kerry were the team that advanced to the championship decider.

In 2009 Cork were regarded as a team that were earmarked as potential All-Ireland contenders. After a defeat of Kerry in a replay of the Munster semi-final, Cork subsequently faced Limerick in the Munster final. Cork were the red-hot favourites going into the game, however, Limerick put Cork to the pin of their collars. After a slow start 'the Rebels' settled and eventually secured a narrow 2-6 to 0-11 victory.[6] It was O'Connor's third Munster title. A subsequent defeat of Donegal set up an All-Ireland semi-final showdown with reigning champions Tyrone.

Inter-provincial[edit]

O'Connor has also lined out with Munster in the inter-provincial series of games, however, he has enjoyed little success. He first lined out with his province in 2005, however, Munster were trounced by Ulster in the semi-final.

In 2006 when Munster were drawn to play Connacht in the semi-final O'Connor was included in the panel once again. That was an exciting game that featured a period of extra-time. In the end victory went to the westerners by 1-15 to 2-10.

O'Connor was included on the Munster panel again in 2007. That year Munster reached the Railway Cup final against Ulster, however, the northern province emerged victorious by 1-12 to 1-8.[7]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Masters conducts orchestra". Irish Examiner. 2006-07-17. Archived from the original on 2007-02-05. Retrieved 2009-04-05.
  2. ^ "Kerry hit top gear right on cue". Irish Examiner. 2006-08-21. Archived from the original on 2012-07-01. Retrieved 2009-04-04.
  3. ^ "Kingdom take the wind out of Cork sails". Irish Examiner. 2007-07-02. Archived from the original on 2012-07-01. Retrieved 2009-04-04.
  4. ^ "O'Shea guides Kerry to glory". Irish Examiner. 2007-09-16. Archived from the original on 2012-07-08. Retrieved 2009-04-04.
  5. ^ "Cork 1-16 Kerry 1-11". RTÉ Sport. 2007-07-06. Retrieved 2009-07-06.[permanent dead link]
  6. ^ "Cork 2-06 Limerick 0-11". RTÉ Sport. 2009-07-05. Archived from the original on 2009-07-08. Retrieved 2009-07-06.
  7. ^ "Railway Cup Football". Munster GAA. Retrieved 2009-08-03.