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Own goal proves fatal for Galway’s hopes

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Galway defender Liam Silke gets the better of Mayo's Jason Doherty during Sunday's Connacht senior football semi-final at Pearse Stadium. Photos: Enda Noone

MAYO 1-15

GALWAY 2-8

NO dishonour for Galway but no argument either as to the relative strengths of the two traditional powerhouses in Connacht football with Mayo staying on course for a five-in-a-row of provincial titles thanks to a solid if unspectacular display.

Mayo held a clear edge in the key areas of strength, craft plus experience and while Galway kicked at the door on a few occasions they seldom looked like breaking it down – overall a semi-final day in Salthill where the formbook and league status held very true.

What was a giant chasm two years ago between the two counties has now closed considerably, but the gap still clearly remains as Mayo chase the great dream of a first All-Ireland title in 64 years, while Galway strive to move from a fringe team to one that can seriously challenge for honours.

Whatever chance Galway had of staying competitive in this match on Sunday, dissipated during a four minute spell after half-time when they conceded 1-3 without reply, including one of the most bizarre own-goals ever witnessed at the Pearse Stadium venue.

Two minutes into the half when Galway seemed to have dealt with a threatening run from Aidan O’Shea – and the ball spilled into an apron of maroon jerseys – there seemed little by way of clear and present danger.

However keeper Maghnus Breathnach – instead of quite simply picking up the loose ball – pulled first time, with ‘the O’Neill’s’ cannoning off the body of the unfortunate Finian Hanley into an empty net.

The goal came in the midst of three Mayo points and suddenly a game that had been competitive was effectively done and dusted – there was no way, in the aftermath of that setback, that Galway were ever going to pull back a six point lead.

It would though be unfair to say that this incident decided the match. Undoubtedly it made things a lot easier for Mayo but right from the opening exchanges to the closing minutes, the Connacht champions looked that little bit stronger than Galway in most of the key positions.

Mayo possess a hard core of quality defenders that helped restrict Galway to just three points from play; they out-fought and out-muscled the home side around the midfield sector, while up front, the pretty awesome power of Aidan O’Shea and the radar accuracy of Cillian O’Connor from placed balls, presented a continuous threat.

Full report in this week’s Connacht Tribune.

CITY TRIBUNE

Renmore pay the penalty for failing to take chances

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The Salthill Devon side which began the defence of their Connacht Junior Cup crown with a comfortbale 3-0 win over St John's in Drom. Back row, from left: Alex Mamala, Rory Brennan, Darren Craven, Enda Cullen, Timmy Molloy, and Calyn Crowe. Front: Craig Harding, Michael Gallagher, Tommy McClean, Jamie Cullen, and Shane O’Rourke. Photos: Iain McDonald.

Soccer Wrap with Mike Rafferty

Renmore 1

Westport United 1

(Aet – Westport won 3-2 on pens)

“We left it behind” was the post-match reaction of Renmore player/manager Stuart Donoghue and in reality that is probably the polite version of his thought process after his side had kicked away their chance of advancing to the 4th Round of the Connacht Junior Cup.

Sure, they were lucky to secure a last-minute equaliser with a powerful Paddy Gannon header, but it was the least they deserved after dominating the majority of the game. However, the home side were a bit of a disaster in the penalty shoot-out, as two efforts were fired badly wide and another weak shot easily saved by Gary Cunningham in the Westport goal.

In fairness, it was the visiting custodian who was the difference between the sides throughout the game, making a series of saves to keep his side in the tie, as Renmore should have long been out of sight with all the chances they had.

In contrast, Westport – who last won the cup in 2012 – had just one shot on target for the duration. That came on 66 minutes when 18-years-old substitute Dylan O’Malley curled a sublime left-footed effort beyond David McDonagh, and such was the quality of the finish that he got a round of applause around the ground.

This Mayo side are not a patch on the great Westport sides who have challenged for provincial and local honours down through the years, but nothing lasts forever and a spell in the wilderness could be on the cards for Micky Feeney’s charges.

In contrast, Renmore are enjoying a good campaign in Division One where the title already looks to be a shootout between themselves and Colga. They certainly carried this form into this cup game, and on a dreadful pitch they outplayed the visitors for the duration.

However, the opening half saw little productivity in the last third of the park, as Cunningham got to a Connolly through ball before Paul Sinnott in the only half-chance in the opening 45 minutes.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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Galway HC heads to Dublin for EY2A league clash with Corinthians

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The Galway Hockey Club squad which will compete in this year’s Irish EY2 league for the first time in the club’s history. Back row, from left: Mary Rooney, Rachel Dillon, Sarah Johnson, Sinead Carey, Hannah Gormley, Rebekah Dillon, and Niall Rooney of sponsors, City Life. Middle row: Teagan Stanley, Laoise Medley, Rachel Kelly, Aoibhin McDonnell, Michelle De Toit, and Holly Comer. Front: Alyssa Manley (player/coach), Emer O’Connell, Rosie Doorley, Grace Walsh, and Elaine Carey (captain).

Galway Hockey Club will make history this weekend when it plays its first-ever game in the national league in the club’s 70-year history when its senior ladies travel to Dublin to take on Corinthians at Whitechurch Park in Rathfarnham (1.15pm) in the EY2A league.

Alyssa Manley’s squad will be competing in the second tier of the Irish hockey leagues in the five-team division, which got underway last weekend with Corinthians playing out a scoreless draw with Ards in Belfast; and Trinity College and UCC finishing scoreless in their meeting in Santry Avenue.

Manley, who will act as player/coach for the season, has named her 16-player squad for this weekend’s game, which will be captained by former UCD player, Elaine Carey. The side will play their first home game on Saturday week, December 4, when they host UCC in Dangan.

Manley brings bags of experience to the role, having competed in the 2016 Rio Olympics for the USA national team which was beaten 2-1 in the quarter-finals by Germany, having had group wins over Argentina, Australia, Japan and India, before a final group game defeat to a Britain side which went on to claim the gold medal.

Many of the team have been lining out for Connacht U-18 already this season, while Aoibhin McDonnell and goalkeeper have also recently been called for U-18 Irish trials, having had their experience on the Irish U-16 training squad cut short by Covid-19.

“Myself and the players are eager to get started with our long-awaited EY2 campaign,” Carey said this week.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App

Download the Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App to access to Galway’s best-selling newspaper.

Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

Or purchase the Digital Edition for PC, Mac or Laptop from Pagesuite  HERE.

Get the Connacht Tribune Live app
The Connacht Tribune Live app is the home of everything that is happening in Galway City and county. It’s completely FREE and features all the latest news, sport and information on what’s on in your area. Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

 

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CITY TRIBUNE

Rewarding weekend for NUIG teams in Super League action

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Ava McCleane of NUIG Mystics in action against Phoenix Rockets last weekend.

THE two NUIG sides recorded impressive wins at the weekend, with both NUIG Maree in the Men’s Super League and NUIG Mystics in the Women’s Division 1 bouncing back from disappointing defeats the previous weekend in dominant style.

It was the other way around for Titans, who followed up their first win of the season the previous weekend with another heavy defeat on the road, but they did have to make the trip to Dublin missing both their head coach and two of their starting five, not the preparation you need for a visit to the conference leaders.

Moycullen were also due to travel to Dublin at the weekend but their basement clash with DCU Saints was called off due to Covid-19.

MEN’S SUPER LEAGUE

NUIG Maree   80

UCD Marian   64

NUIG Maree are starting to turn the Kingfisher into something of a fortress after this 16-point dismissal of UCD Marian made it four wins from four at their new home this season.

Smarting from a tough road defeat away to Belfast Star, Charlie Crowley’s side just edged a tight first quarter, enjoying little scoring bursts while restricting their visitors in the main to one-off baskets as they led 22-20 at the end of the first buzzer.

They effectively won the game in the second quarter, outscoring the visitors 25-15, thanks largely to the brilliance of Jeryn Lucas, who drained Maree’s first 10 points of the quarter to put the lid on the UCD fightback as Maree led 47-35 at the half.

Lovre Tvrdic then stepped up as Maree’s chief scorer in the third quarter, knocking down 11 points on his way to a 23-point haul, and with brilliant defence restricting Marian to just nine points in the quarter, a 62-44 lead was never going to be overturned.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App

Download the Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App to access to Galway’s best-selling newspaper.

Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

Or purchase the Digital Edition for PC, Mac or Laptop from Pagesuite  HERE.

Get the Connacht Tribune Live app
The Connacht Tribune Live app is the home of everything that is happening in Galway City and county. It’s completely FREE and features all the latest news, sport and information on what’s on in your area. Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

 

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