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Heartbreaking loss for Kilkerrin/Clonberne ladies

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Mourneabbey 2-11

Kilkerrin/Clonberne 2-10

MOURNEABBEY made their Cork inter-county experience count last Sunday as they denied Kilkerrin/Clonberne an All-Ireland football final place in an eventful contest.

Thirteen wides by the Galway champions was also a telling statistic as Kilkerrin/Clonberne’s year ended in heartbreaking fashion.  Four goals and four yellow cards entertained and angered supporters but with the O’Sullivan sisters, including Cork’s All-Ireland winning captain Ciara, to the fore, Mourneabbey took their chances in holding out for victory.

What will haunt Kilkerrin/Clonberne over the winter is that this semi-final was very winnable. They matched, and at many times surpassed, the hosts in breaking ball down, creating chances, fighting for possession, etc. But the difference was that Mourneabbey were more economical with their opportunities.

Against the slight breeze, Kilkerrin/Clonberne began promising when Lisa Gannon finished a move involving Nicola Ward, Olivia Divilly and Ailish Morrissey after just 41 seconds for the opening point.  O’Sullivan equalised for Mourneabbey but already Kilkerrin/Clonberne were running up a worrying tally of missed scores. An Annette Clarke free on six minutes put Michael Divilly’s team 0-2 to 0-1 ahead, but they received a big lift 60 seconds later when O’Sullivan was sin-binned for a hefty challenge on Louise Ward.

Kilkerrin/Clonberne needed to stamp their authority but didn’t manage a point until just before O’Sullivan’s re-introduction. A Doireann O’Sullivan free levelled for the Munster side but when Clarke and Gannon added to their accounts by 19 minutes, Kilkerrin/Clonberne only had a 0-4 to 0-2 advantage.

It was poor return for all their possession as Mourneabbey had shown their danger and punished the visitors on 20 minutes. A long delivery allowed Eimear Harrington space before, soccer-style, she placed her kick to the far corner for the first goal.

In fairness to Kilkerrin/Clonberne, they stuck to the task. Nicola Ward was opening up space from centre back, Louise Ward and Clarke were on top in midfield, Gannon was spreading play effectively while Olivia Divilly and Ailish Morrissey were causing trouble down the right flank.

Morrissey set up Divilly for the equalising point but the misses continued with seven first half wides.  Mourneabbey only had two as sisters Doireann (2) and Brid O’Sullivan stretched the margin to three before Morrissey pulled back a point after being set up by Divilly, Gannon and Clarke.

Despite trailing 1-5 to 0-6, Kilkerrin/Clonberne were in a good position and made an immediate impact within 13 seconds of the restart. The midfield won possession before Clarke sent Louise Ward on the attack. The Galway player opened space, doing a one-two with Gannon, and finished to the net to put her side ahead.

Full report in this week’s Connacht Tribune.

CITY TRIBUNE

Good luck England ! – as the poster and I screamed ….

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Mark Gardiner

Mark Gardiner, our man in Japan for the Rugby World Cup

Excitement has been building all week and even though Hiroshima isn’t a host city we are still getting a fair share of rugby fans passing through.  Since last Saturday I’ve noticed some Irish fans coming into the pub, people who have arrived to take in some of the sights of Japan and then head off to take in the some of the pool matches.

There’s been some from Wexford, Mayo, Roscommon, Kerry, Laois, Dublin and Donegal but none from Cork yet!  All of those fans will now be making their way to Yokohama which is situated right next to Tokyo and around 4 hours on the bullet train from Hiroshima.  I’m giving the first two games a miss and will wait for Ireland to move closer to my adopted home city.

The Russia game will be held in Kobe, just one hour away, so I’ll be going to that with my son Tom on the eve of his 10th birthday.  More accustomed to going to baseball games together hopefully he’ll see a try fest and enjoy a very different sporting atmosphere.

Earlier in the week, my Guinness rep walked in looking proud as punch to present me with five big Guinness posters for the rugby. As I unrolled one I couldn’t believe my eyes!  [See poster below.]   He couldn’t understand so I told him it was like having a Kirin beer poster with “good luck Korea” on it. He got the message pretty lively!

For some reason, the big story here is how much beer rugby fans drink.  They’re very wary about bars, restaurants and stadiums running out so there have been numerous articles in papers telling landlords to order twice the norm.  I had the local newspaper calling me yesterday almost begging me to tell them that I’d ordered way more beer than I normally would.

Tonight we have the opening game at 19:45 local time so hoping to get a good crowd into the pub for that.  I will try and post some photos in the next few days. A big win for Japan is probably vital in order to catapult the tournament into the mainstream consciousness so hopefully, they won’t disappoint.

If anyone reading this plans to come out, there is a great forum on Facebook “Irish Rugby World Cup Japan Forum” or you can contact me on the Molly Malone’s Hiroshima Facebook page. Fingers crossed for Sunday.

Follow Mark Gardiners World Cup Diary here and on the Galway App.

Mark Gardiner is a former Galway resident now resident in Hiroshima, Japan where he owns and operates Molly Malones Bar.

Read his weekly unique insight into the 2019 Rugby World Cup here and on the Galway App. 

Galway App Links

Apple – https://tinyurl.com/yy8b6uq7
Android – https://tinyurl.com/y5pcyunp

 

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CITY TRIBUNE

Galway push the champions all the way but come up just short

Dara Bradley

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Sinéad Goldrick fires hme Dublin's first goal despite the best efforts of Galway's Sarah Lynch. Photo: Piaras Ó Mídheach/Sportsfile.

Dublin 2-3

Galway 0-4

The numbers from the TG4 All-Ireland ladies football championship final tell their own tale: a record attendance of 56,114 at Croke Park on Sunday witnessed two teams going hammer and tongs for 60 minutes; it finished just fives scores to four, but there was only clear one winner, and crucially Dublin scored the game’s two majors to claim the Brendan Martin Cup for a history-making three-in-a-row.

The Dubs deserved to carry the day, but by gum they were pushed all the way by a Galway outfit whose challenge just fell short, lacking one key ingredient – precision and more depth up front.

Perhaps still scarred from shipping four goals to the same opposition in last year’s All-Ireland semi-final, Galway tightened up their defence for the 2019 decider, which kept them right in contention for most of the hour.

Dublin weren’t afraid to pack their defence with bodies, either, and that, coupled with a driving, misty rain that turned the ball into a wet bar of soap, meant that there were just two first-half scores, and a barren spell of 23 opening minutes.

Not exactly box office stuff but there was still intrigue aplenty and no shortage of tension, in what was a somewhat bizarre opening half.

Manager Tim Rabbitt tactically got it almost spot-on in trying to contain the reigning champions, who were unbackable favourites to retain their crown with insulting bookies’ odds giving the Westerners no hope.

The way they were set-up and the individual match-ups worked – Sinéad Burke and Nicola Ward did mighty jobs containing Sinéad Aherne and Carla Rowe, respectively – and Galway achieved their aim of not allowing the game to turn into a free-scoring shoot-out, which Dublin would inevitably have won.

For more, read this week’s Galway City Tribune.

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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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Galway Utd aiming to match best finishing run of results

Keith Kelly

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The addition of Stephen Christopher has coincided with a turnaround in fortunes for Galway United. Photo: Joe O'Shaughnessy.

Galway United wrap-up their season with a relatively short trek along the M6 to take on Athlone Town on Saturday (7.45pm), looking to make it seven points from a possible 9 against their closest geographical neighbours.

Alan Murphy’s side go into the game in flying form, wining three league games on the bounce, and five of their last six games, and they will be red-hot favourites to finish a somewhat disappointing season on a high.

A win on Saturday night will see United finish with four straight wins in the league for only the second time in the club’s history, to go with a similar run at the end of the 1987/88 Premier Division season. They did also finish the 2014 season with four wins on the bounce, but all four were in the play-offs.

While he will give them the height of respect, Athlone Town should hold no fear for Murphy and his United players. United knocked them out of the EA Sports Cup with a 2-1 win after extra-time in Athlone back in March; and were 4-0 winners at the same venue in the league in April.

The Midlands side did snatch a point from the league meeting between the sides at Eamonn Deacy Park in June, a harsh penalty awarded against Cian Murphy allowing Dean Williams equalise in the 65th minute after Wilson Waweru had given United a 30thminute lead.

For more, read this week’s Galway City Tribune.

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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