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Below par Moycullen disappoint



Date Published: 28-Jan-2010

MOYCULLEN basketballers produced one of their flattest performances of the season on Saturday night, failing to ever get a real foothold in the game and dropping to a disappointing 13 point defeat to Northern Conference title challengers, Belfast Star, at home.

It was a particularly disheartening result considering Moycullen had taken their opponents to overtime in the teams’ first encounter in Belfast. On this occasion, Moycullen just couldn’t get their defence up to the pace required and conceded way too many points to lay-ups, both in transition and on set plays.

In fairness to Star, they have improved a lot from the first encounter and the result was as much a reflection of Star’s progress as Moycullen’s poor play. Stephen Dawson was a particular thorn in the home team’s side as his aggressive drives split the Moycullen defence at will while American, Kevin Ratzsch outmuscled and outhustled a variety of Moycullen markers.

Coach Enda Byrt was at a loss to explain such a muted defensive display given the battling performance shown in the previous encounter with Northern Conference leaders, Killester, and the highly competitive training sessions in between.

Both teams opened tentatively with the first score taking close to two minutes to arrive. Scottie Summersgill provided it with a drive through the middle of the Moycullen zone. James Loughnane responded for Moycullen but Stephen Dawson was already up to speed, hitting the next two scores.

Moycullen came out with a little more intensity in the second quarter and Cian Nihill narrowed the gap with the first two scores.

Ratzsch responded for Star but another pair of Garnett Griffin baskets narrowed the gap again. Just as the team’s efforts finally gave some encouragement to the muted home support and the atmosphere began to build, Moycullen’s intensity mysteriously dropped again and Star stretched the lead with easy scores from Summersgill, McGratten and Ratzsch.

A ten point lead was no more than Star deserved but Moycullen did manage to find some fire in the closing minute and baskets from the ever impressive Nihill and a strangely subdued Nate Fritzsch narrowed the half time deficit to four, 38-34.

Needing a good start in the third quarter, Moycullen got the opposite. Dawson got away on the break and converted a pair of lay-ups and a three from Summersgill stretched the lead to double figures. Moycullen were at sixes and sevens defensively but managed to hang in with scores from Griffin and Nihill (a three).

Frustrated with the lack of intensity on court, Coach Byrt replaced all five players and this had the desired effect with a pair of Mindaugus Kurcenkovas baskets and a superb score from Nollaig Cunningham narrowing the gap to seven at quarter’s end, 50-57.

Moycullen carried the momentum from the third quarter into the fourth, but, unfortunately, Star were now playing with total confidence as well. This made for a thrilling display of offence as Nate Fritsch came to life and shared 11 points with young James Loughnane only for Ratzsch and Michael McKillop to respond for the visitors.

Moycullen must now regroup with a week off before a likely refixed game against Cup and League holders, Blue Demons the following weekend. Coach Byrt’s challenge will be both technical and psychological as he deals with the more glaring defensive flaws and the puzzling lack of intensity from a team which has always given its all regardless of the difficulty of the challenge involved.

For a more complete match report see page 50 of this week’s Connacht Tribune


Galway in Days Gone By

The way we were – Protecting archives of our past



A photo of Galway city centre from the county council's archives

People’s living conditions less than 100 years ago were frightening. We have come a long way. We talk about water charges today, but back then the local District Councils were erecting pumps for local communities and the lovely town of Mountbellew, according to Council minutes, had open sewers,” says Galway County Council archivist Patria McWalter.

Patria believes we “need to take pride in our history, and we should take the same pride in our historical records as we do in our built heritage”. When you see the wealth of material in her care, this belief makes sense.

She is in charge of caring for the rich collection of administrative records owned by Galway County Council and says “these records are as much part of our history as the Rock of Cashel is. They document our lives and our ancestors’ lives. And nobody can plan for the future unless you learn from the past, what worked and what didn’t”.

Archivists and librarians are often unfairly regarded as being dry, academic types, but that’s certainly not true of Patria. Her enthusiasm is infectious as she turns the pages of several minute books from Galway’s Rural District Councils, all of them at least 100 years old.

Part of her role involved cataloguing all the records of the Councils – Ballinasloe, Clifden, Galway, Gort, Loughrea, Mountbellew, Portumna and Tuam. These records mostly consisted of minutes of various meetings.

When she was cataloguing them she realised their worth to local historians and researchers, so she decided to compile a guide to their content. The result is For the Record: The Archives of Galway’s Rural District Councils, which will be a valuable asset to anybody with an interest in history.

Many representatives on these Councils were local personalities and several were arrested during the political upheaval of the era, she explains.

And, ushering in a new era in history, women were allowed to sit on these Rural District Councils – at the time they were not allowed to sit on County Councils.

All of this information is included in Patria’s introductory essay to the attractively produced A4 size guide, which gives a glimpse into how these Rural Councils operated and the way political thinking changed in Ireland during a short 26-year period. In the early 1900s, these Councils supported Home Rule, but by 1920, they were calling for full independence and refusing to recognise the British administration.

“I love the tone,” says Patria of the minutes from meetings. “The language was very emotive.”

That was certainly true of the Gort Rural District Council. At a meeting in 1907, following riots in Dublin at the premiere of JM Synge’s play, The Playboy of the Western World the councillors’ response was vehement. They recorded their decision to “protest most emphatically against the libellous comedy, The Playboy of the Western World, that was belched forth during the past week in the Abbey Theatre, Dublin, under the fostering care of Lady Gregory and Mr Yeats. We congratulate the good people of Dublin in howling down the gross buffoonery and immoral suggestions that are scattered throughout this scandalous performance.


For more from the archives see this week’s Tribunes here

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Archive News

Real Galway flavour to intermediate club hurling battle in Birr



Date Published: 23-Jan-2013


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Archive News

Athenry fail to take chances as they bow out of Junior Cup



Date Published: 29-Jan-2013

Athenry FC 1

Kilbarrack United 2

(After extra time)

For the second year in succession Athenry were done in extra time in the FAI Junior Cup as last season’s beaten finalist’s came from behind to snatch an excellent game in Moanbawn on Sunday afternoon.

On a heavy pitch that was only playable following extensive groundwork by club officials all morning, the home side were by far the better side in the opening half, but failed to take advantage of a number of opportunities that came their way.

An Alan O’Donovan penalty gave them a merited advantage just after the restart, but thereafter were on the back foot as Kilbarrack took over, but for all their pressing, the home rearguard were dealing comfortably with their forays.

However they were struck a body blow just six minutes from time, as big striker Keith Kirwan was left all alone at the far post to head the equaliser and from that point on the Dubliners were the better side.

They started off the extra time in the ascendancy and enjoying all the momentum before striking for a good winning goal on 104 minutes. A strong bench allowed them to make some necessary changes and it was not a facility that was available to Athenry manager Gabriel Glavin.

With Gary Forde and Gary Delaney out through suspension following their sending off against OLBC in the previous round, and Seamie Crowe injured, it left their bench rather threadbare with just a number of young squad players available.

Playing with the aid of the slight incline and any wind advantage going, the home side had a Connor Cannon effort on target in the opening minute, while John Meleady was just over with a flick at the other end.

Meleady then tested Andrew Walsh who saved comfortably, before the goalkeeper pulled off a brilliant double save on 14 minutes.

Firstly he went full length to push away a Meleady shot and was then back on his feet to parry David Jackson’s close-range rebound.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Sentinel.

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