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Kennedy comes up trumps for Clarinbridge boys

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Clarinbridge 0-16

Kilnadeema/Leitrim 0-13

CLARINBRIDGE hurlers turned on the style in the second half in Salthill on Sunday to win a third county minor A title and the club’s first since 1998. The warriors of Kilnadeema/Leitrim left nothing out on the field in this hotly contested and enjoyable final replay but the ’Bridge’had too much quality in their ranks.

A third of the Clarinbridge starters featured on the Galway squad that won this year’s All-Ireland minor title but it was a lesser known player, Mark Kennedy, who really stole the show. Kennedy, who is just 15, showed maturity beyond his years and gave an exhibition of hurling, tormenting the Kilnadeema/Leitrim defence to finish with a haul of six points, five from play.

Kennedy was one of the few bright sparks for the winners in the opening half, when things weren’t going all Clarinbridge’s way; and he stepped it up again when it matter after the break with an energetic display that deservedly earned him the man-of-the-match accolade.

Of course, there were others among the winners’ ranks, who caught the eye, none more so than Patrick Foley, captain Evan Niland and Ian O’Brien and overall, as a team, Éanna Ryan’s charges looked to possess a marginally superior natural hurling ability and skilfulness throughout. Kilnadeema/Leitrim can be mighty proud of their efforts, too.

Though it’s no consolation, the East Galway outfit contributed handsomely to an entertaining spectacle, which was rich in quality and filled with superb scores from both sets of players. The outsiders certainly took the battle to the ’Bridge in the opening half. They didn’t give an inch, showed no shortage of hunger, commitment and work ethic and threw everything at the favourites right from the off, with Dylan Towolawi, Conor Molloy and Mikey Lynch particularly prominent.

The big problem for mentor John Flanagan and Co was their team’s dominance wasn’t reflected on the score board. Kilnadeema/Leitrim, for all their endeavour, needed to be more than one-point to the good at the break. That they hurled so well, and had managed to nullify some of Clarinbridge’s attacking threats in the first half hour, and yet were still only 0-9 to 0-8 in front, must have been deflating.

But Kilnadeema/Leitrim stubbornly refused to lie-down after half-time and despite Clarinbridge getting a foothold at puck-out time, and dominating the battle in the middle third of the field between the two half-backlines, they clung on thanks in the main to tenacious defending from the likes of Conor Bohan, Ciaran Connor and Mark Lawless.

The final quarter proved decisive, however. The dam didn’t burst but the relentless pressure from Clarinbridge told in the end as they outscored their opponents by four points to one in the last 15 minutes.

Full match report in this week’s Connacht Tribune.

CITY TRIBUNE

Dropped points leaves Utd losing touch with Cork City

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Galway United's Charlie Lyons tries to halt the progress of Wexford FC's Ger Shortt during Friday evening's Frst Division tie at Eamonn Deacy Park. Photo: Joe O'Shaughnessy.

Galway United 2

Wexford FC 2

IT might be just as well that Galway United have drawn UCD in the next round of the FAI Cup as it will give the Tribesmen a taste of what might come in the promotion play-off final later in the year.

UCD or Finn Harps will be the Premier Division side in that play-off, and United look set for that lottery of a route to promotion for a third straight year after these two dropped points on Friday night left them with a lot – maybe too much – to do to catch Cork City.

It was a belter of a game of football, but Wexford will have been the least disappointed of the two sides as they edged a shade closer to Treaty United in the battle for the final play-off spot.

United, on the other hand, fell to now be three points behind City, and with the Leesiders having a game in hand, and also a vastly superior goal difference (+41 as opposed to United’s +29), they have one hand on the league trophy, and the other reaching for the Brasso.

Stephen Walsh was scoring his 15th goal of the season on Friday night, while Rob Manley was making it four goals in five games since joining from Bray Wanderers, but it still wasn’t enough to claim the three points against a visiting side that got their reward for approaching the game in such a positive fashion.

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

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CITY TRIBUNE

Salthill serve up a strong finish to take derby spoils

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Bearna's Murcha Iarsach getting the better of Salthill/Knocknacarra's Cathal Sweeney during Saturday's Senior Football Championship clash at Pearse Stadium. Photos: Joe O'Shaughnessy.

Salthill/ Knocknacara 2-15

Bearna 0-12

Eanna O’Reilly at Pearse Stadium

A very strong fourth quarter from Salthill/Knocknacara saw them see off the challenge of a Bearna side who will have regrets about a game in which they created plenty of scoring chances, but lacked the efficiency of their opponents in front of the posts.

John O’Mahony’s Salthill side struggled to gain dominance of this contest for long spells before their greater accuracy in front of goal began to tell in the second half. An impressive fourth quarter performance put Bearna to the sword, but O’Mahony will know they have plenty to improve on going forward.

The manner in which Bearna opened up the Salthill defence on a couple of occasions in the first half was notable. Salthill were lucky not to concede two goals, when both Oisín Ó Garmaile and Pádraig Ó Diolúin hit the woodwork with shots in the first half. The city men could easily have been behind at half time, rather than going in with a four point lead.

Bearna’s shooting profligacy ultimately caught up with them and undermined an early second half comeback. Three consecutive points saw them reduce the deficit to the minimum, but a couple of scorable frees were also missed, at a time when the momentum was in their favour.

Ultimately, Daithí Ó Domhnallaín’s side were outscored by 1-8 to 0-6 in the second period. Salthill were far more economical, while their use of possession was also superior to Bearna’s throughout the match.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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CITY TRIBUNE

Galway United face tough task in Waterford on potentially defining weekend

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Division tie against Wexford FC at Eamonn Deacy Park. Photo: Joe O'Shaughnessy.

THIS could be a defining weekend in the chase for the First Division title, as Galway United make the long trek to take on a Waterford FC side that also faces league leaders, Cork City, on Monday, in the second of two homes Munster derbies this weekend for the Leesiders.

United need to get the job done themselves in the RSC this Friday (7.45pm) before worrying how City fare at home to Treaty United on the same night, and against Waterford on Monday – and anything other than a win will mean it won’t really matter how Cork get on.

“Waterford, they are a team challenging for the title, whether they can keep up or not I don’t know, but they are in there, they are a very good team as we have seen, and they beat [cup holders] Pats [St Patrick’s Athletic] in the cup, it is another massive match for us,” United manager, John Caulfield, said of this Friday’s opponents.

Truth be told, while Waterford may be third in the table, they are 12 points behind City and are not involved in the title race, but that won’t mean they will just roll over to have their bellies tickled on Friday, and while United have the edge in the head-to-head between the sides this season, they have been thrilling, hard-fought battles.

United’s first home game of the season saw Waterford race into a 2-0 lead by the break, only for goals from Stephen Walsh and the since-departed Jordan Adeyomo (gone to Longford) to rescue a point for United.

For more, read this week’s Galway City 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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