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.
Judge adjourns Connemara assault case
Date Published: 08-May-2013
A date will be set next October for the trial of a 52-year old Connemara man, who is charged with assaulting traditional Irish musician Noel Hill five years ago.
Michael Folan from Teach Mór, Lettermullen, is charged with intentionally or recklessly causing serious harm to Noel Hill at Tí Padraig Mairtín Beag in Leitir Mór, on St Stephen’s Day, 2008.
The matter had been listed for trial on several occasions before Galway Circuit Criminal Court in the intervening period.
It was referred to the High Court in Dublin last year for judicial review after Michael Folan said he wanted his trial heard ‘as Gaeilge’and that a bi-lingual jury be made available to hear the case.
At Galway Circuit Criminal Court, Judge Rory McCabe adjourned the case for mention to October when it’s expected a date will be set for trial.
Bank of Ireland Galway Shopping Centre branch to close
Date Published: 10-May-2013
Bank of Ireland’s branch at Galway Shopping Centre on the Headford Road is to close in July.
The branch is to merge into the BOI outlet at Galway Industrial Estate in Mervue.
Galway Bay fm news reports the 14 staff impacted are to be offered redeployment and there will be no job losses.
Galway RNLI rescues three people stranded on Hare Island
Date Published: 13-May-2013
Galway RNLI Lifeboat has come to the rescue of three students who got stranded on Hare Island after getting caught in the tide off Ballyloughan Beach.
The two girls and boy, in their late teens had gone for a walk and were spotted waving from the island by a local resident who contacted the emergency Services and Galway Lifeboat.
Conditions at the time (4pm) were very changeable with heavy showers.
Three members of the Lifeboat shore crew were working in the vicinity of the station at the time and launched the boat in six minutes.
The three students were picked up safely and brought back to the Lifeboat Station at Galway Docks where they were warmed up and given tea and did not require medical attention.