Date Published: 05-May-2011
AT least one record is going to be broken following Sunday’s Connacht Junior Cup (3.30pm) decider in Lecarrow as both Athenry and Ballinasloe Town are unbeaten in four final appearances between them down the years. The defending champions have won the title on three occasions, while Ballinasloe were winners in their only decider in 2004.
Indeed Athenry are appearing in their fourth final in five seasons, while Ballinasloe were the first team from the Roscommon League to win the Connacht Cup when goals from Jason Twohig and Vinny Doherty saw off Manulla by 2-1 in a historic victory in Milebush.
Both clubs have a successful record in their respective leagues in recent years with Town just denied a five-in-a-row by Shiven Rovers last season, while West United’s success in Galway two seasons ago denied Athenry a hat trick of titles.
Athenry completed a Premier League and Connacht Cup double last season, while Ballinasloe annexed the Challenge Cup and the Divisional Cup. Both are also in contention for domestic League and Cup honours again this season.
Both sides have played through five rounds of the cup to date with Ballinasloe scoring an average of almost four goals per game with Liam Lynch (6) and Peter Keighery (4) sharing half the goals between them. Indeed, former Longford Town striker Lynch has been pretty prolific throughout as he has scored in the last four rounds.
Easy wins in the early rounds over Clew Bay (8-1), Quayside Celtic (3-0) and Iorras Aonthaithe (2-0) were followed up by two very different and difficult games. In the last eight, top Sligo side Carbury were despatched by 3-2 following extra time as Mark Duffy (2) and Lynch were on the mark.
Ballinasloe followed this up with an equally impressive 3-2 semi final win over Hibernians. While the home side took an early lead courtesy of a Peter Keighery penalty, they found themselves in arrears at the break as Liam Hrehorow and Keith Ward had the City side in the driving seat.
However, Ballinasloe responded well on the resumption as a Robbie Brookes volley levelled matters and Lynch headed home a Glen Cambell delivery for a late and merited winner.
Ballymote Celtic (4-0), Mervue United (1-0) and Salthill D
evon (5-1) were dismissed in the opening three rounds by Athenry before had to rely on a late Declan Cullen winner as they came from behind to defeat Boyle Celtic by 2-1.
In was equally difficult in the semi final, as goals by Emmett Byrne and Seamie Crowe eventually got them past neighbours Oranmore by 2-1. Indeed it took a late penalty save by Kieran Kilkelly to guarantee their passage.
The lack of a mainstream striker probably explains while Alan O’Donovan, Benny Lawless, Declan Cullen and Simon Murray have shared ten of their goals between them.
The success of Athenry down the years has been built on a seasoned and experience selection that almost picks itself. Goalkeeper Kilkelly and the back four of Stephen Rabbitte, Paddy Quinn, Emmett Byrne and Ronan Kinneen have being playing together for years.
Further afield O’Donovan, O’Driscoll, Delaney and Forde will probably be the midfield quartet, while if free from injury Junior International Seamie Crowe seem sure to start, maybe playing just off the front man.
Benny Lawless, Simon Murray, Brian Mannion, Mark Moran and Declan Cullen are all competing for a starting position upf ront and it is a task that only manager Gabriel Glavin can solve.
Glavin has a long association with the club. As assistant to Timmy Holian he was very much part of their early success and his progress to the top position last season has been pretty seamless. He see’s the contest as a toss up: “Both are teams used to success and while we have confidence in our ability, it is all down to what happens on the day.”
For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.
Galway ‘Park and Ride’ could become permanent
Date Published: 07-May-2013
A park ‘n’ ride scheme from Carnmore into Galway city could become a permanent service if there is public demand.
That’s according to the Chief Executive of Galway Chamber of Commerce, Michael Coyle.
The pilot scheme will begin at 7.20 next Monday morning, May 13th.
Motorists will be able to park cars at the airport carpark in Carnmore and avail of a bus transfer to Forster Street in the city.
Buses will depart every 20 minutes at peak times and every 30 minutes at offpeak times throughout the day, at a cost of 2 euro per journey.
Tuam awaits UK hay import as overnight rainfall adds to fodder crisis
Date Published: 09-May-2013
Tuam is now awaiting a third import of hay from the UK as overnight rainfall has increased pressure on farmers struggling to source fodder.
A total of ten loads are expected at Connacht Gold stores throughout the West with a load expected at the Airglooney outlet this evening or tomorrow.
Farmers throughout the county have been struggling to cope with the animal feed shortage and a below than normal grass growth due to unseasonal weather conditions.
Overnight rainfall in the Galway area has also added to the problem making ground conditions in many areas are quite poor.
Joe Waldron, Agricultual Advisor with Connacht Gold says farmers in short supply can contact the Airglooney outlet on 093 – 24101.
Transport Minister urges end to Bus Eireann strike action
Date Published: 12-May-2013
The Transport Minister is urging drivers at Bus Éireann to engage in talks with management, in an effort to bring their strike action to an end.
There were no Bus Éireann services operating out of Galway today as a result of nationwide strike action by staff affiliated with the national bus and rail union.
Up to 20 Bus Éireann drivers are continuing to picket outside the bus depot at the docks in the city this evening.
Drivers from other unions have decided not to cross the picket line and go into work today – causing the disruption to be even worse.
Bus drivers are protesting against five million euro worth of cuts to their overtime and premium pay – cuts which Bus Eireann says are vital to ensure the future viability of the company.
The majority of services nationwide are disrupted, and the union say strike action will continue until management are willing to go back into negotiations.
However, it’s not expected to affect school services next week.
Galway bay fm news understands that around 70 percent, or over 100 Galway bus Eireann drivers are affiliated with the NBRU.