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Champs overcome early match wobbles

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Date Published: 12-Nov-2009

COROFIN had their usual early rendezvous with danger before then slipping quite seamlessly into the victory comfort zone in this reasonably entertaining Connacht senior club championship semi-final at Tuam Stadium on Sunday.

The game did produce some decent segments of open football but this was a far cry from the intensity and passion of Corofin’s hard earned county final victory over Mountbellew – the Leitrim champions did play some ‘nice’ football early on, but lacked the staying power to maintain the challenge.

It was a benign November Sunday with a low sun and light breeze giving decent conditions, even if there was plenty of give in the ground, but this was never going to be a fixture to pull in the crowds and barely 900 souls ventured from their winter hearths to view the proceedings.

In fairness to the 200 or so travelling supporters from Glencar-Manorhamilton, who positioned themselves in the centre portion of the old stand, they added a fair dollop of atmosphere to the occasion – Leitrim are nothing if not passionate and committed.

Corofin are an entirely different breed though – calm and settled even as early tempests swirl around, and there were many times during the first quarter when a less assured side might have been tempted to press the panic button.

Glencar-Manorhamilton had looked very solid in defence, with midfielders Darren Sweeney and Aaron Hickey lording it in the air, while their forwards notched five quality points in the first 15 minutes as Corofin struggled at times to stay in touch.

Kieran Comer pointed three early frees for them although Glencar will feel that at least two of those awards by referee Declan Hunt were slightly fortuitous, but by the time the interval whistle sounded, Corofin had stealthily crept into a 0-8 to 0-5 lead.

As well as Comer’s frees, Joe Canney, Alan Burke, Ronan Steede, Ciaran McGrath and Aidan Donnellan also found the target to bypass Manorhamilton’s early point burst from James Glancy (2), David Poniard, Brian McDonald and Gerry Hickey.

There was one more dying kick in Glencar-Manorhamilton which came in the opening eight minutes of the second half when two points from James Glancy reduced the deficit to one – at 0-8 to 0-7 – but as the midway juncture of the second half approached, the crucial incident of the game arrived.

The score was no great surprise as Corofin had gradually began to prise open the Manorhamilton defence and often with the longer, more direct ball. Alan Burke’s 43rd minute point effort achieved elevation rather than distance, ironically the mis-hit shot was to have a very positive spin-off for Corofin – the ball broke to Eddie Steede and after his shot was parried by keeper Shane Sweeney, Kieran Comer was on hand to finish the rebound to the net.

There was no way back for Glencar-Manorhamilton after that score and even if their admirably spirited supporters still cheered their side to the death, Corofin were far too efficient and clinical to leave any recovery roadway open.

Michael Farragher, Ciaran McGrath and sub Shane Monaghan added on points, before Farragher finished an Alan Burke cross to the net in injury time, to give Corofin a somewhat flattering 10 point winning margin.

The 2-13 to 0-9 final statistic was more than a tad harsh on a Glencar-Manorhamilton side that produced some excellent passages of play at the beginning of both halves, but as a lot of club sides in Galway discovered this year, it takes a very sustained effort to overcome Corofin.

Gerry Keane’s side are seldom spectacular, they might be short a couple of physically powerful players, but to a man they are comfortable on the ball. They’re all ‘handy’ footballers and they work hard too.

Keeper Shane Sweeney, Adrian O’Flynn, Patrick Gilmartin, Darren Sweeney and James Glancy all fought the good fight for the Leitrim champions but over the hour, despite their enthusiastic spurts, they fell a good measure short of matching Corofin’s overall team balance.

David Morris as usual kicked out prodigiously for Corofin but had little to do from play, again a tribute to his defenders, with Damien Burke, Cathal Silke and Tony Goggins giving very little away.

Greg Higgins and Aidan Donnellan started slowly in midfield but got a decent break after the first quarter while all six starting forwards of Michael Farragher, Ciarán McGrath, Ronan Steede, Kieran Comer, Joe Canney and Alan Burke never stopped looking for work.Significantly too, all of them scored from play.

There have been spicier days in Tuam Stadium but one of the biggest quandaries which faced the press box contingent in the closing minutes was in trying to pick a man-of-the-match.

In the end, Ciarán McGrath got the nod but it could have been any one of about a half dozen Corofin players – that probably says it all about their team display.

One final caveat to this match, on the leeway that close-in freetakers are being allowed by referees in terms of stealing yardage when kicking frees from the hand.

On more than one occasion last Sunday, frees from relatively difficult angles were transformed into pretty straight pots at goal, with four to five yards being clipped off the angle as the freetaker ‘pinched’ a few paces in the run-up.

Out the field it matters little, but within the scoring zone, on a tight day, this could be the difference between victory and defeat.

Corofin: D. Morris; G. Delaney, D. Burke, C. Silke; D. Keane, T. Goggins, G. Sice; G. Higgins, A. Donnellan 0-1; M. Farragher 1-2, C. McGrath 0-2, R. Steede 0-2; K. Comer 1-3, 0-3 frees, J. Canney 0-1, A. Burke 0-1. Subs.: S. Monaghan 0-1 for Delaney (43), J. Burke for Steede (53).

Glencar/Manorhamilton: S. Sweeney; J. O’Brien, A. O’Flynn, P. Maguire; J. Gilmartin, P. Gilmartin, D. Poniard 0-1; D. Sweeney, A. Hickey 0-1; D. Kelly, C. Ryan, B. McDonald 0-1; A. Croal, G. Hickey 0-1, J. Glancy 0-5 (4 frees). Subs.: T. McDonald for Poniard (34), A. McDonald for O’Brien (38), F. McGourty for B. McDonald (45), A. Sweeney for Ryan (49), S. Kerrigan for Croal (54). Referee: Declan Hunt (Roscommon).

Galway in Days Gone By

The way we were – Protecting archives of our past

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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

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Date Published: 23-Jan-2013

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

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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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