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City clubs anger as Salthill/Knocknacarra unveil plans for complex in Rahoon

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A turf war looks set to get underway between Salthill/ Knocknacarra and the surrounding GAA clubs following a decision by the Seasiders to build a €1.3 complex outside its ecclesiastical parish boundaries at Mincloon, Rahoon.

Salthill/Knocknacarra’s members endorsed a motion last Monday night to proceed with the purchase of over 10 acres of zoned recreational and amenity land at Mincloon “with a view to developing two full-sized GAA pitches, subject to approval of the proper authorities”, according to a statement issued by the club to Tribune Sport on Wednesday.

The statement stated that the proposed development was for the youth of the community, highlighting the club fields in excess of 50 teams a week between football, hurling, camogie and ladies football. “The need for playing pitches has never been greater,” declared the club.

However, the surrounding clubs – St Michael’s and Barna (football) and Rahoon/Newcastle (hurling) – have expressed their concerns over the venture, and have chastised Salthill/Knocknacarra for not having the “common courtesy” to inform them they were seeking to develop facilities in their areas.

Aside from that though, they all believe another club, particularly one as successful as Salthill/Knocknacarra, coming into their district will have huge ramifications in terms of it being a drain on their playing resources.

“At the end of the day, there is nothing wrong with what Salthill are doing – there is no law against it – but what you are talking about is down the line,” said Barna Chairman John Flaherty, who outlined many of their playing members hailed from the Mincloon area.

“Boleybeg [national] school is just up the road and it is in our parish. We use the west side of Rahoon and they go to Boleybeg school and they play for us. My view is that if this development comes along there, there are no kids going to come out all the way back to Barna if there is a pitch in Mincloon.

“No parent is going to bring their kids back to us. Let’s say you live in Rahoon and your children go to Boleybeg school, where are you going to go on Saturday morning. You are not going to come back to Barna if there is a pitch right beside you.”

With St Michael’s and Rahoon/Newcastle expressing similar concerns, the three clubs came together to pen a letter to Galway GAA CEO John Hynes seeking clarification in relation to Salthill/ Knocknacarra GAA’s proposed infringement on their catchment areas.

“We genuinely believe if this proposed development takes place it will have a detrimental impact on the recruitment and advancement of GAA players and members alike in relation to the club outlined and, indeed, in relation to the development of GAA in both City and County into the future,” the letter stated.

The clubs outlined Salthill/Knocknacarra GAA currently has the use of a facility in the parish of Barna – two playing pitches and changing rooms at Cappagh Park – as well as the use of other facilities at ‘The Prairie’ on Dr Mannix Road and ‘McGrath’s Field’  on Shangort Road.

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

Connacht Tribune

Aran Islands look to be hitting their stride at the perfect time

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Conal Ó hIarnáin had a fine game at midfield for Oileann Arainn in their win over Oranmore/Maree.

Oileáin Árann 0-18

Oranmore/Maree 1-9

Ivan Smyth at Pearse Stadium

Oranmore/Maree suffered defeat at the quarter final stage for the fourth year on the trot as they were simply outgunned by an Oileáin Árann side which has now reached its third semi-final in five years and appear to be peaking at the right time.

Nine players found the target for the winners compared to six for Oranmore/Maree, but it was the Islanders’ opening half display which was the key to this victory as they led by 0-10 to 0-3 at half time.

Oranmore/Maree were struggling to create chances as they kicked just two wides which coupled with their three first half points showed that they struggled to break through a physical Oileáin Árann outfit.

Sean Mulkerrin and Mark Ronaldson enjoyed an interesting duel as the Galway full-back was tasked with keeping the former Mayo forward quiet. The pair were both standout performers for their sides but aside from Ronaldson, Oranmore-Maree’s forwards struggled to make an impact on this game.

If you told Oileáin Árann that their top scorer in this year’s championship, Tyler Ó Flaithearta, would not register a score in this game, then they would have feared the worst. That’s what transpired although his teammates stood up to the plate as seven different players kicked scores in the opening half. With Ó Flaithearta kicking 1-19 and Ronaldson scoring 2-16 across the group stages, a shootout between the two was anticipated, but it never transpired.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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Connacht Tribune

Clarinbridge upset the odds to send Loughrea packing

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Clarinbridge's Mark Kennedy gets his pass away despite the best efforts of Loughrea's Neil Keary in their preliminary quarter-final clash in Athenry last Saturday. Photos: Joe O'Shaughnessy.

Clarinbridge 1-10

Loughrea 1-7

Niall Canavan at Kenny Park

Clarinbridge pulled off a big upset when knocking a Loughrea outfit many deemed challengers for a county senior title out of the championship race at a wet Kenny Park, Athenry, last Saturday.

Incessant rain throughout ensured this wasn’t a day for the hurling purists as both sets of players struggled to stay on their feet as weather conditions worsened during a game that had the potential to be the tie of the round.

That said, while it had little of the free-flowing hurling that supporters would have hoped for, it was certainly a compelling contest between two teams who battled valiantly throughout.

In the end, Clarinbridge deserved to win: they had a better scoring threat with Michael Daly, Mark Kennedy and Gavin Lee prominent on an afternoon when scores were hard earned. Evan Niland, too, worked extremely hard, while Shane Bannon, TJ Brennan and Patrick Foley also played leading roles.

Loughrea, though, will be bitterly disappointed to exit the championship after their heroics against Sarsfields a week previously. They continued to play a short passing game, and, in the conditions, a more direct approach may have yielded better dividends.

Too often, they laboured in attack where the tussle between Jamie Ryan and Clarinbridge’s Shane Bannon was intriguing. They also hit some early wides, including three in the opening stages, and in a game that wasn’t going to be a high scoring contest, they were to prove costly.

Yet, they fought bravely to the end with Paul Huban, Johnny Coen, Caimin Killeen and Ryan to the fore on an afternoon when the introductions of the Mahony cousins, Emmett and Brian, could possibly have happened sooner given their experience. It was needed in the energy-sapping conditions.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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Connacht Tribune

Favourites all advance in Junior Cup

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Athenry's Colm O'Donovan about to cross the ball against Tuam Celtic in last weekend's FAI Junior Cup match between the sides in Tuam Photo: Kennedy-Beirne, Eirefoto.

Soccer Wrap with Mike Rafferty

The potential for surprise is always a possibility in cup action, but while the weekend’s FAI Junior Cup’s six games saw some competitive contests, there was no outcome that could be considered as a shock.

Athenry had a real battle on their hands before they saw off Tuam Celtic by the odd goal in seven, while it was equally competitive as Gort United came from two down to level matters with Mervue United B, before the city side secured an additional time winner in a 5-4 success.

The meeting of two Premier Division sides saw Loughrea and Maree/Oranmore A go head-to-head and it was the visitors who ran out impressive winners here.

However, there was no joy for the Maree/Oranmore B side for despite taking the lead at home against Hibernians, it was the Premier Division outfit who turned on the power in the closing stages to pull away for victory. Elsewhere Salthill Devon and Mervue United also advanced in relevant comfort; while Ballinasloe Town also advanced with a win over Dunmore Town.

Tuam Celtic’s promotion to the Premier Division this season has seen them struggle on occasions, but they have proved that they have the ability to test the best on occasions and on Friday night under lights in Clonthue Road, they made visitors Athenry work very hard for a 4-3 win.

Last season’s beaten semi-finalists displayed all their quality in the opening quarter as goals by Adam Duffy and Cole Connolly, with a deflected effort, had them two up. The home side were struggling to get to the pace of the game in the early exchanges, but once they pulled one back through Mike Swinhoe, matters got more competitive.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App

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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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