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Ballinasloe Town bid to retain Connacht Junior Cup

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Ballinasloe Town bid to retain Connacht Junior Cup

BALLINASLOE Town have a good record in Connacht Junior Cup finals and on Sunday in Milebush Park (3pm), they will be attempting to achieve a third success when they take on surprise packets Castlebar Celtic.

The East Galway side are defending a title they won in such dramatic fashion last year when a Liam Lynch goal deep in additional time gave them a 2-1 victory over Westport United.

The Roscommon League side picked up their first provincial crown in 2004 with a 2-1 victory over Manulla and in recent years have been a permanent fixture in the closing stages of the competition. Indeed, this is the fifth season in succession in which they have got to the last four or better.

As well as winning the Connacht Junior Cup in 2013, they secured a hat trick of domestic trophies, including the Premier League title for the third year in succession, but for a number of reasons, the success story of Ballinasloe Town has not been as rich this season.

Just two weeks ago, Dysart took their league title as Enda Concannon’s charges paid for a poor start to the season and finished as runners up. They made an early exit from the FAI Junior Cup, but have progressed to the Roscommon Cup final having seen off Ballaghadereen by 3-1 last Sunday.

Their path to the Connacht Junior Cup final saw them overcome Cartron United (4-0), Strand Celtic (2-0), Ballyheane (4-3 on pens), Moore United (5-1) and Corrib Celtic (3-2) with the last victory a particular test of their character.

One up early on, they found themselves reduced to ten men when central defender Mike Lynch was red carded for a last man challenge that resulted in the concession of a penalty. Matters were certainly going the way of Corrib Celtic as they led by 2-1 as the game entered the closing minutes. However late goals by Mark Duffy and Daragh Concannon allowed Ballinasloe to escape as they displayed a tremendous never say die spirit.

With the long serving Lynch out for Sunday due to an automatic suspension, the likelihood is that Des Hope will reposition from left full to central defence – just like he did that day in Annaghadown.

From an injury point of view, Gary Egan is carrying a knock and was left out of their side for the cup win at the weekend, while it is the same situation with Kenneth Kenny, who is also hopeful of taking a place in the starting eleven.

Full preview in this week’s Connacht Tribune

Connacht Tribune

Loughrea are still on track for a fast return to top flight

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The Loughrea FC squad which defeated Mervue United B in the Championship at Fahy's Field on Sunday. Back row, left to right: Keith Bane, Manager, Kieran Bane, Alan McGrath, Thomas Hoban, Christian Dunham, Stephen McCormack, Michael Lynch, Aaron Crowe, Caimin Keena, David Kelly and Alfie Davies. Front row: Bruno Henrique, Marcus Vasconcelos, Jamie Daniels, Jefferson Querioz, Daire Crowe and Michael Hosty, Kitman.

By Mike Rafferty                      

RELEGATED from the top flight at the end of last season, Loughrea are making a serious effort to go straight back up and they maintained their advantage at the top of the Championship with a hard earned 2-0 away win over Mervue United B in Fahy’s Field on Sunday.

Though the City side might be stuck in the relegation zone with just one win, they certainly made this contest competitive and it was only after a scoreless opening half that Loughrea struck twice to win. 17-year-old Daire Crowe, along with his twin brother Aaron, who plays at left full, is one of the next generation youngsters making an impression with the side and it was striker Daire who opened their account with a fine finish.

A Mikie Lynch assist help set up the second for Thomas Hoban. Striker Bruno Henriques is into double figures in the scoring stakes for the season and Marcus Vasconcelos, who was denied by a post in the opening half, were a constant threat. Substitutes Alfie Davies and Kieran Bane made a big contribution on their introduction, while Christian Dunham was another of the younger brigade who played a significant part in this success. This Saturday, Loughrea host neighbours Craughwell United as they look to maintain their top spot in the table.

University of Galway maintained their second position following a 3-1 win over Colemanstown United in Dangan. Stephen Gilmore struck a hat trick for the students, while Jason Finn got the visitors’ lone reply. They now lie two points behind Loughrea, but enjoy a game in hand.

After slipping up against Loughrea the previous week, third placed Dynamo Blues got back to winning ways with a comfortable 3-1 home victory over Knocknacarra. Pete Finnerty struck for a hat trick for the Tuam side, while Eamonn O’Donnell got the lone reply for the City outfit.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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Connacht Tribune

Galway make statement by putting Dublin to the sword

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Galway’s Kate Geraghty is challenged by Dublin’s Caoimhe O’Connor during Sunday's Ladies Football National League tie at Tuam Stadium. Photo: Joe O'Shaughnessy.

Galway 1-13

Dublin 0-7

Ivan Smyth at Tuam Stadium

STATEMENT made! Galway flexed their muscles as they produced a terrific second half display to move top of the Ladies Football National League Division One table. After the game, the Galway camp stuck to the script in repeatedly emphasising that this was only the second game of the year, but it cannot be denied that the reigning Connacht champions are moving along nicely.

Galway led by two points at half time after an entertaining opening 30 minutes before they simply blew Dublin away with a ferocious second half display. With Louise Ward and Olivia Divilly sprung from the bench at half time, their impact was immediately apparent. Throw in Tracey Leonard’s introduction after 50 minutes and it becomes much easier to comprehend Galway’s rampant second half.

Leonard kicked two classy points, one off either foot, while Divilly was given the licence to roam around Tuam Stadium. Divilly slotted two frees as herself and the rest of the Kilkerrin/Clonberne contingent ensured Galway played at a much higher tempo. Dublin simply had no answer to the relentless pressure they faced in and out of possession.

With Nicola Ward and Megan Glynn both late call ups to the Galway starting 15, the winners were able to give more minutes to key personnel. Despite the pair’s first starts of the year, Galway looked set for a battle to the finish to maintain their winning start to the season.

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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Connacht Tribune

Galway set to mix it up for league clash with Wexford

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Galway’s Adrian Tuohey in action against Wexford’s Rory O’Connor during last year's National League encounter at Pearse Stadium. The teams renew rivalry in Wexford Park on Saturday evening.

THERE’S a local perception that Galway hurlers should nearly always be beating Wexford, but statistics – at least, in terms of championship clashes – beg to differ.

Prior to the Leinster final of 2017 which Galway won comfortably on a 0-29 to 1-17 scoreline, the Tribesmen had only recorded a solitary victory over Wexford in the counties’ previous eight summer tussles, with anothern one of those games ending in a draw.

There have been four championship battles between the counties since, with Galway coming out on top in both 2018 (1-23 to 0-17) and 2020 (1-27 to 0-17), but there was a costly draw at Pearse Stadium (0-16 to 0-16) in 2019; while last year’s round-robin tie also ended in stalemate (1-19 to 1-19) at Wexford Park. It leaves Galway’s overall championship record against Wexford as won four, lost six and drawn three.

None of this will carry much relevance ahead of the counties’ National League opening round clash in Wexford Park on Saturday (5pm) – a match which also doubles-up as the Walsh Cup final – but it does show that regardless of their contrasting reputations, Galway can rarely afford to take victory over Wexford for granted.

Much focus will centre on the personnel Henry Shefflin and his mentors send into battle for their first meaningful test of 2023 – a fixture which is reportedly set to attract a crowd of around 14,000, such is the lure of the new floodlights at Wexford Park.

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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