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Connacht get few breaks in tough assignment

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Newcastle 29

Connacht 5

There’s a story to be told here and it’s not directly related to the outcome. For sure, a 29-5 loss should be no great surprise, a Newcastle team back to close to full strength administering revenge on a Connacht side that were heavily depleted after another spree of knocks, bumps and bruises.

Yet that can’t be the only tale that permeates from a blustery Kingston Park on Sunday. This result, the first half and yet another example of sub standard officiating from leading officials might be nothing more than a tiny footnote in Connacht’s season but it is worth starting the report at half time to at least ensure that the mood at that very moment isn’t completely lost from the memory banks.

The sides were locked at five points apiece as Ben Whitehouse blew for halftime. With the wind at their backs Newcastle had offered little or nothing to indicate they were going to have enough to win this game, Connacht were the dominant force. A west of Ireland team jam packed full of emerging players but shorn of some of the key components of this hugely successful start to the season.

It was hair raising stuff from the get go. Where Connacht of old would feel their way into a contest after making this many changes and missing that many experienced leaders, the Connacht of new arrived with a familiar ‘why not have a go’ attitude. So in the manner of what was on show at Thomond Park, the Liberty Stadium or Krasnoyarsk before, the westerners served up more ball in hand, heads up, expansive rugby from the first phase and it barely let up until half time.

Now there were mistakes too. A lack of direct runners was a key omission, some ponderous phases when they reached the edge of the 22 and a couple of other misfires in the 22 including a lineout and maul that was well read by the home pack and a bad defensive mix up, with more than a hint of blocking,  that allowed the twinkle toed Marcus Watson to dance through a gap on the ten metre line and sprint home for a soft try.

All untidy and frustrating for sure but they were just a handful of negatives from a half that was brim full of positives for the young Connacht side. Eoghan Masterson seemed to have scored a perfectly legitimate try in the opening minutes after a barnstorming break but Whitehouse felt he had been held and executed a double movement and his seemingly lifeless assistant referees showed no interest in helping.

The evidence was far from compelling on first view and the lack of a TMO meant there was no second glimpse. Connacht were denied but not deterred. Caolin Blade was getting good front foot ball and using it well, any Newcastle attacks were foiled by strong counter rucking and turnovers, Eoghan Masterson and Rory Parata had two stand out ones along the way.

Full match report in this week’s Connacht Tribune.

 

 

CITY TRIBUNE

United make short work of Wexford FC in mis-match

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Galway United’s top scorer Stephen Walsh who twice hit the target in Friday's First Division win over Wexford FC.

Wexford FC 0

Galway United 4

WE’RE not yet at the half-way point in the season, but Galway United are playing like a side that will lift the First Division title come October. John Caulfield’s team made it six wins on the spin in Ferrycarrig Park last Friday.

Such was United’s dominance from the first whistle, the only thing Wexford were in with a shout of winning was the half-time raffle, and even then, the winner had Galway loyalties with the prize being won by the grandmother of Wexford native but United midfielder, Mikie Rowe.

United made one change to the side which trounced Cobh Ramblers the previous week, Gary Boylan coming in to start in a new formation which saw him play in the hole just between frontman, Stephen Walsh, and the attacking midfield trio of Wilson Waweru, Dave Hurley, and Ed McCarthy.

It was United’s second successive away game, and just like that trip to Cobh, this game was as good as over by half-time with the Tribesmen once again taking a 3-0 lead into the dressing room.

For more, read this week’s Connacht 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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CITY TRIBUNE

O’Brien and McGowan make para-rowing history

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Steven McGowan and Katie O'Brien pictured in Italy with club coaches, Mike Gaffney and Conor Moloney.

Two members of Galway Rowing Club made history last weekend when they formed Ireland’s first competitive para-rowing crew as they attended a training camp in Italy, before competing in a para-rowing regatta.

Katie O’Brien from Clarinbridge was joined by clubmate, Roscommon native Steven McGowan, as they took what they hope is another step towards qualifying for the 2024 Paralympics in Paris.

The pair competed in the PR2 (back and arms) category in their first international para-rowing regatta in Gavirate in northern Italy, which was made possible by Galway Rowing Club’s move to actively support Rowing Ireland’s Paralympic rowing programme for the 2024 Paris Olympics.

O’Brien is a renowned oarswoman, and has competed on her own in the 1X in para-rowing, but there are no single seat boats in the Paralympics, so she and McGowan have joined forces in a new partnership.

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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CITY TRIBUNE

United seeking seventh win on the trot in home tie with Athlone Town

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Galway United’s Conor McCormack in action against Kurtis Byrne of Athlone Town last season. The teams clash in the First Division at Eamonn Deacy Park on Friday evening.

JOHN Caulfield is preaching a message of patience ahead of his side’s home game with Athlone Town on Friday (7.45pm), a game which could see his side match the club record of seven consecutive wins.

That run was set in 2006, when United finished third in the First Division under Tony Cousins, and this Friday they ‘only’ need to beat the division’s basement side, and a side without a win this season, to match that run of a magnificent seven wins.

It is that kind of talk, however, that Caulfield is keen to stamp out, pointing out that, under new interim manager Dermot Lennon, the Midlands side have improved in recent weeks, and have only been beaten by a single goal in their last three games.

Longford Town edged the Midlands El Classico last weekend by the odd goal in three; Cork City won on a matching 2-1 score in the previous week, their winner coming with the last kick of the game; while Waterford scraped to a 1-0 win at home to De Town the week before that again.

“We have to show patience, we have to be strong from the start and impose our game, but we have to be patient,” the United manager told Tribune Sport this week.

“We need to keep our composure, keep to our game plan, keep our patience, and I would say that to the crowd as well, they need to be patient as Athlone will come and sit in and look to hit us on the counter-attack, and it will be up to us to break them down,” he said.

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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