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Annaghdown get job done at the second time of asking

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The Annaghdown team which captured the Minor B county title in Moycullen on Sunday. Back row, from left: Patrick McLoughlin, Nigel Kerr, Eoin Curry, Conor Maloney, Isaac Hand, Darren Groake, Stephen Potter, Patrick Flaherty, DJ Whelan, Ryan Forde, Pierce Glynn and John Curry. Front: Pete Lynch, Enda Callanan, Stephen Burke, Mike Naughton, Michael Devaney, Darragh Fahy, Cathal Small, Adam Quirke, Aaron Hardiman, Tomás Griffin and Egan Naughton. Insert: Nathan Fallon. Photos: Seamus Finnerty.

Annaghdown  2-11

Oughterard  1-7

Annaghdown made no mistake at the second attempt when they convincingly won this replayed County Minor ‘B’ Football Championship final at Baile Dóite, Moycullen last Sunday against a gallant Oughterard side that played very well at times before fading in the final stages.

The winners seemed to have the title wrapped up at the break after going in with a 2-5 to 0-2 lead but a great fight-back by Oughterard, combined possibly with an assumption by the leaders that they could not be caught, contributed to a stirring rally by the youthful Os.

They went from that nine-point deficit at the beginning of the second half to a position where with 10 minutes remaining they were only two points adrift, 2-6 to 1-7, and back in contention in a big way. However they could not maintain that momentum and Annaghdown reasserted themselves to seal the title.

Apart from their uncertain period at the start of the second-half, the winners were the better side overall but the final scoreline does not do justice to a very spirited and hard working Oughterard team that was impressive at times but with inconsistent spells also.

It was a big test of character for Annaghdown when they saw their big lead dwindling as the second half wore on but they regained their composure at that stage and held their opponents scoreless for the rest of the game while they themselves reeled off five points to settle the issue.

Oughterard who had to line out without midfielder Jack Geoghegan who had been red-carded in the drawn match were good at times but were blowing hot and cold all through. They got two points in the opening six minutes of the match but failed to raise a flag for the rest of the half while they managed 1-5 in the 20 minutes after the break but were unable to score again.

In fairness to them they never stopped trying from start to finish, showing plenty of endeavour and no little skill. They were unlucky also to be meeting a very mobile, well organised Annaghdown outfit.

Oughterard did well in the early stages and grabbed a 0-2 to 0-1 lead through scores by Eric Lee and James McMahon whose points sandwiched a neat effort by Annaghdown’s Peter Lynch but they were prevented from building a bigger lead by the fiercely determined Corrib-side defence where Mike Naughton and the outstanding Pierce Glynn were particularly effective.

Annaghdown gradually took over with team captain Michael Devanney and Enda Callanan breaking even with opposite numbers James McMahon and Fred Kenny at midfield. The real nightmare from an Oughterard point of view was the running from deep of speedy centre-forward Ryan Forde who split the Oughterard defence time and again earning several frees for his team and a number of yellow cards for his opponents.

It was by no means a one-man forward line and all six starting attackers scored for the winners. Peter Lynch, Adam Quirke especially and Conor Maloney constantly threatened danger in the half line as did corner men Darragh Fahy and Eoin Curry although Eoin’s free-taking was, by his high standards, erratic but it was he who killed off the Os challenge late on by driving over two crucial 45s.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

CITY TRIBUNE

O’Keeffe says season’s goal of winning promotion remains very much in United’s sights

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Conor O’Keeffe in action against Cobh Ramblers FC earlier this season. Photo: Joe O'Shaughnessy.

Galway United full-back Conor O’Keeffe insists there is no talk in the camp about the upcoming promotion play-offs, with all the focus each week being on the next game up for the side rather than the battle to join champions-elect Shelbourne in the top-flight next season.

A scoreless draw at home to Treaty United last weekend, coupled with a 2-0 win for Shelbourne away to Cork City, means the Dublin side has moved 10 points ahead of United at the top of the table with five games remaining.

Having lost just once all season – a defeat which was inflicted by United – the Tolka Park side are unlikely to let that 10-point lead slip, meaning that United’s hopes of promotion will rest with the play-offs.

O’Keeffe, who turns 28 on Sunday, says that promotion remains the goal of the squad, and that is the focus, not on the route that will be needed to secure that.

“We are taking things one game at a time, if you look beyond that, you forget to do that’s in front of you, so we are not even looking at the playoffs, you have to show up for each game.

“You have to take it just game by game, if you look farther ahead, you get a little carried away and you lose focus, and you just have to keep going.

“We just need to finish as high up the table as we can, anything can happen, it is a funny game at times, football, we have just got to believe – if you don’t believe there is no point, our goal is to get promoted and we still believe we can do that,” O’Keeffe says.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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CITY TRIBUNE

Favourites all advance with ease in the FAI Junior Cup

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Athenry's Seán O'Callaghan heads in his side's second goal despite the best efforts of Paddy Gannon and Shane Trill. Photo: Kennedy-Beirne/Eirefoto.

Soccer Wrap with Mike Rafferty

It might only have been the preliminary round of the FAI Junior Cup, but for certain teams with ambitions, it was hopefully the start of a long trail towards ultimate success, and the four fancied sides all advanced from their games with various degrees of comfort last weekend.

In the only all Premier Division clash, James Ryan secured the match winner as West United saw off St Bernard’s 1-0 in South Park. It was Ryan again who went closest to a second, but his effort on this occasion was thwarted by the woodwork. The victory sets them up for a First Round contest against Tuam Celtic on the last weekend of the month.

Hibernians were 3-2 winners over Dynamo Blues in Bohermore as Shane Hulgraine, Nathan Ward (striker) and an own goal were enough to see off the Tuam side for whom Alex Schmitt scored twice.

Scoreless at the break, Colga did all the damage against Bohemians on the resumption as they ran out 4-0 winners with Neil Greaney (3) and Colm McDonagh sharing the goals – Colga and Hibernians meet in the next round.

As to be expected Athenry were the most comfortable winners of the day as they defeated Renmore 6-0 with three goals coming in each-half. New central defender, Sean O’Callaghan, scored his first goals for the club as he notched a brace, while Adam Duffy, Declan Cullen, Colm O’Donovan and Garvan Broughall were also all on the mark as they set up a neighbourly contest with Corofin United.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App

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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

Galway United nearly there but scope for improvement

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Galway United's Joe Gorman on the ball against Kieran Hanlon of Treaty United FC during Friday night's First Division tie at Eamonn Deacy Park. Photo: Joe O'Shaughnessy.

Galway United 0

Treaty United 0

A contest between two evenly-matched teams finished in stalemate on Friday night, nudging both sides closer to the play-offs, but leaving neither in doubt that major improvement is needed if they are to escape the doldrums of the First Division.

United shaded things in the first-half, with the visitors being the marginally better side for much of the second until they were reduced to 10 men with the dismissal of former United man, Marc Ludden.

Already providing a stubborn and frustrating resistance to their hosts, Treaty dug in even further following that 73rd minute red card, and with United struggling to find their mojo of late, the game petered out into that predictable scoreless draw.

The league takes another break this weekend with the quarter-finals of the FAI Cup taking centre stage, giving the United camp some additional time to find that spark that has been missing for the past three games following that stirring 3-1 win over Shelbourne in mid-August.

With free-scoring UCD up next for United, that additional time needs to be well spent for, while United are almost assured of the play-offs, they have serious work to do to if they are to take confidence and momentum into those play-offs, and the visit of the Students to the Dyke Road on Friday week will really test the home side.

John Caulfield made two changes to the team which beat Cabinteely the previous week, with Luke Dennison coming in for the suspended Conor Kearns in goals, while Stephen Walsh replaced Alex Murphy at left-back.

The game was preceded by a thunderous minute’s applause from both home and away fans for the late Sam Oji, a man who graced the jersey of both Galway United and of Treaty United’s predecessor, Limerick FC, who died suddenly last month from cancer at the age of just 35.

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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