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Chicks with camogie sticks

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Lorraine Ryan

NINE months since that historic day in Croke Park last September, Galway’s time to defend their All-Ireland titles begins this weekend with the senior and intermediate camogie sides commencing their championship campaigns.

All eyes will be on Kenny Park, Athenry ON Saturday (2.30pm) when Tony Ward’s charges go in search of back-to-back titles against the then four-in-a-row chasing Wexford side they dethroned last year.

The maroon and white squad is very settled from last year excluding Therese Maher’s retirement, but the home side are missing a few players with Clodagh McGrath out with a long-term injury and Maria Cooney, Siobhan Coen and Maria Breheny all exam-tied.

Who’ll fill the iconic number six jersey is generating much debate. Lorraine Ryan, Shauna Healy, Heather Cooney and Aislinn Connolly have all filled that position during the spring while one also can’t rule out former holders Sarah Dervan or Ann Marie Hayes slotting in at centre back either.

Indeed, Connolly’s return along with the improvement of some of last year’s All-Ireland winning intermediates gives Ward confidence ahead of this season.

“Aislinn Connolly is back into the fold from the 2012 team,” said the Galway manager.  “The likes of Rebecca Hennelly, Tara Kenny, Aoife Callanan and Aoife Donohue have stepped up, while Eva Concannon is playing well as is Shauna Healy and Paula Kenny.”

The Tribeswomen should be a side with plenty of experience nonetheless. All-Star Susan Earner will be in goal while Dervan, Ryan and Heather Cooney will take up defensive positions with Therese Manton and Sinead Cahalan also in contention.

Niamh Kilkenny will be expected around midfield with Molly Dunne and Hennelly battling to partner her. Niamh McGrath returns to the attack that should include Emma Kilkelly, Ailish O’Reilly and possibly Hayes with Emer Haverty, Brenda Hanney, Connolly, Donohue and Orla Kilkenny also contending for a starting place.

After six consecutive group victories over Wexford, Galway will be favourites but the Slaneysiders have shown plenty of promise recently including a 2-12 to 1-10 Leinster final victory over league champions Kilkenny.

Ursula Jacob (1-8) and captain Kate Kelly were superb that day both scoring and assisting for the two majors; Katriona Parrock and Brid Gordon contributed points; and in defence Noeleen Lambert, Karen Atkinson, Deirdre Codd and Mary Leacy showed that the hunger is back in the South East.

For more, read this week’s Galway City Tribune.

Connacht Tribune

Moycullen living dangerously but manage to shade verdict

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Annaghdown's Eoin Kerin is chased by Moycullen's Aidan Claffey, Daniel Cox and Eoghan Kelly during Sunday's senior football championship tie at Pearse Stadium. Photos: Joe O'Shaughnessy.

Moycullen 1-12

Annaghdown 1-11

Mike Rafferty at Pearse Stadium

WHEN champions are under pressure and the opportunity arises to take advantage of their plight, you have to take them and that in part tells the story from this senior football championship Group 3 contest at Pearse Stadium on Sunday

Having also edged out Claregalway by a single point margin in the first round, Moycullen looked to have some authority about them for a long spell in the opening half, but the concession of a goal just before the break left them just a point up at the interval.

Then for a time on the resumption, Annaghdown stepped it up a few gears and took the lead for the first time in the game, but inexplicably just seemed to take the foot off the gas and let Moycullen back into it. It was their time, but they let the opportunity slip.

Annaghdown made four second half changes were made to freshen matters up, but there was no instant reward. Gradually, Moycullen responded to the challenge presented and a Neil Mulcahy goal was a reward for them hanging in there and when Conor Bohan got their last point of the game on 55 minutes, they had opened up a four point gap.

In a nervous closing ten minutes, they needed it all as the North Galway side scored the last three points of the game and despite forcing the pace, came up just short. For the duration, this was like a chess match. It was typical of the modern game where possession and the hand pass are good and kicking is a lost art.

Both sides had their fair share of turnovers, but at times the game cried out for a long delivery to the inside line where specialists like Dessie Conneely and Frankie Burke might have thrived on a supply in the vast space available.

While Annaghadown had their chance, Moycullen looked a more poised outfit and while they maybe dropped off the pace for a spell, they displayed a calmness and control in their recovery. Overall, it was a merited win, but they must be concerned at only scoring 1-3 (0-2 frees) in the second half.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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Connacht Tribune

Ballinasloe’s Parsons is viral sensation after her scorching run against Italians

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Ireland's Beibhinn Parsons is challenged by Italian full back Vittoria Ostuni Minuzzi during the World Cup qualifying tournament clash in Parma on Sunday.

SHE’S the teenager with pace to burn who almost single-handedly has revived Ireland women’s World Cup qualifying hopes.

Having suffered a shock loss to the minnows of Spain the previous weekend, Ireland had no margin for error in the second round of the qualifying tournament in Parma on Sunday.

But the women in green are back on track thanks in no small part to the stunning exploits of their Galway winger Beibhinn Parsons.

The Ballinasloe bullet, who had scored Ireland’s try in that shock 8-7 defeat to Spain, inspired the visitors to a critical success over the Italians (15-7).

Still only 19, Parsons crossed for another try – her seventh in 13 matches for Ireland – when finishing off scrum-half Sara Barratin’s pass in the left corner in the 28th minute.

But it was her electrifying run in the build-up to Ireland’s match-clinching try from fellow wing, Amee-Leigh Murphy Crowe, which has become a viral sensation.

Parsons collected the ball inside own half on the hour mark and, in a remarkable exhibition of pace and deft footwork, she left a trail of would-be Italian tacklers in her wake.

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.

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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

Lively Gort turn on the style in thrashing Tynagh/Abbey

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Tynagh/Abbey-Duniry's Shane Moloney is chased by Gort's Greg Lally and Aidan Harte during the clubs' Senior B championship clash at Duggan Park on Monday. Photos: Joe O'Shaughnessy.

Gort 1-29

Tynagh/Abbey Duniry 1-13

Darren Kelly at Duggan Park

GORT gave a telling indication of their senior hurling championship intentions on Monday evening as a faultless opening quarter delivered a match winning margin in their delayed opener against Tynagh/Abbey-Duniry.

Ten different scorers were to the fore as they amassed 18 white flags in 30 minutes before Albert Mullins’ goal ensured the result was only going one way.

Matt Murphy’s charges certainly had their work put in on the training ground. Not just was their forwards’ mobility difficult to manage, their defenders also showed a willingness to mix roles and positions, often following their man rather than minding their zone.

Tynagh/Abbey-Duniry played their part in a thrilling feast under lights but were quite simply outplayed. Already down Paul Killeen and the injured Padraig Breheny, the east Galway outfit were still only five behind on 26 minutes before a Gort blitz settled the tie by half-time.

It’s dangerous to predict title credentials for a club playing in Senior B, but if Gort can reproduce this form next Monday against Padraig Pearses, the Senior A heavyweights will take notice.

Despite the absence of key personnel, Tynagh/Abbey-Duniry have welcomed additions and new recruit Conor Jordan got off the mark after 55 seconds. Darren O’Donoghue equalised in the second minute and the pace continued with Thomas Gordon restoring the green and blue’s advantage.

Tynagh/Abbey-Duniry were three-point winners the last time these sides met in 2019, but this 0-2 to 0-1 lead was as good as it got. Aiden Helebert levelled for Gort before Jack Grealish midway out on the left put them ahead in the fourth minute.

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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