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City clubs in upbeat mood for new AIL campaign

Stephen Glennon

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Pictured at the Corinthians RFC season launch and the announcement of Busker Brownes as the Senior team sponsor, were from left, Adrian Pilkington, Fitness Coach, James Buckley, Senior team captain, Davy Keogh, Busker Brownes, Pat Cunningham, Head Coach, Seán Duignan, Assistant Coach and Roy Gibson, Vice President, Corinthians RFC.

FOR Galway City’s AIL clubs, Galwegians and Corinthians, it’s ‘come the day, come the hour’ as they kick off their Ulster Bank Division 1B League campaigns against Dublin University and Ballymena respectively this Saturday (both 2:30pm).

Newly promoted Galwegians, managed by Barney Moran and under the tuition of head coach Matt Browne and assistant coach John Muldoon, host Dublin University – a side which will look to avoid the fate they had to endure on the opening day of last season when they were hammered 25-7 at home by Corinthians.

Moran says his outfit has been preparing well under Brown, who took over from his namesake Corey Brown this season, and Connacht captain Muldoon. “In fairness, John (Muldoon) was there last year with Corey Brown,” says Moran.

“Corey is not around this season due to other commitments and we got in Matt Brown. He has fitted in very well and he is building on what John and Corey worked on last year. So, certainly they are working very closely together and things have been going well.”

Heading into Saturday’s fixture against Dublin University – and, indeed, the season ahead – Moran is optimistic. “We are going well at the minute. Training has been going well. Hopefully, we can have a good season and build on last year’s.

“Definitely, I can’t see why we can’t be optimistic, especially after what we achieved last year (topped the Division 2A table). If we build on last year and work hard – or harder than last year – we can’t see why we won’t be pushing,” said the manager.

Captained this year by Jarlath Naughton, among the new faces to join the Galwegians set-up this year are former Dunmore captain Martin Cummins – who played underage at the club – and Ballyhaunis full-back John Pierre Jefferies.  However, they have lost players, including Eoin Rooney, Dan McCabe and Dave Nolan.

Meanwhile, Corinthians – under Head Coach Pat Cunningham, who was assistant to Phil Pretorius last season – travel to Ballymena to a face a side that makes its return to Division 1B after being demoted from this tier at the end of their 2012/13 campaign.

Captained by outside centre James Buckley, Corinthians have added a host of new faces to their squad including New Zealand out-half Nathan Langsford, centre Charlie Ryan, winger Darren Griffin, loosehead prop Jamie Dever, dead-ball kicker Phillip Maher and Headford native Alan Bane.

“Preparations have been very good, excellent actually,” states Head Coach Cunningham, who will be looking to improve on Corinthians fourth place finish last term. “We have a very good squad, having added a few players to it this season.”

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

CITY TRIBUNE

Tribe Talk gives local hurling supporters plenty to listen to

Stephen Glennon

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Founders of the Tribes Talk podcast, a show on Galway hurling, are Patrick Earley (left) and David Connors (right).

ONE of the podcasts that became a regular feature of every Galway hurling enthusiast’s season last year was Tribe Talk – The Galway Hurling Podcast, which was founded by local journalists Patrick Earley and David Connors.

Airing for the first time in July 2020, the podcast, also available on YouTube and, later in the year, on Spotify, proved a major success, often receiving well in excess of 2,000 hits per episode between their listenership and viewership figures.

Earley, a freelance contributor to The Connacht Tribune and other publications, says the podcast was something he and Tuam Herald reporter David Connors had discussed doing for some time.

Given their strong hurling backgrounds – Earley is a versatile exponent with the Beagh senior team while former St. Thomas’ underage player Connors was a selector with Athenry intermediates last year – their focus was always going to be on the small ball.

“We kicked it off with an interview with Damien Hayes and we previewed all the first round games in the senior and intermediate championships,” begins Earley. “The response was very good and it (success) was instant enough. Pretty much every episode was clearing the thousand mark on YouTube and has been ever since.”

Earley says that they really enjoyed working on the episodes, some of which ran up to two hours, and they received great help from their regular contributors and guests, most notably from the affable Kevin ‘Chunky’ Hayes, a former Galway player and All-Ireland club winner with Portumna.

“Chunky is kind of the third member of the team in many ways, because he was with us for an awful lot of episodes,” says Earley. “His knowledge of the club scene is fantastic, especially when you are doing the club coverage. You need to have someone that has a knowledge of it, an understanding of it and follows it.

 

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App

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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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CITY TRIBUNE

It’s win or bust for Connacht in crunch tie with Munster

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Connacht out half Jack Carty whose varied kicking game is admired by Munster Head Coach Johann van Graan.

IT might only be early March but the PRO14 season is coming to a conclusion. The early finish is now set in stone and Connacht have just three fixtures remaining. To make the final of the competition, they have to make up a nine point deficit on Conference B leaders Munster who they face in Thomond Park on Friday (7:35). Unlikely as that might be as a target, meeting the side they are chasing in the run-in at least keeps things interesting.

Even if Connacht were on top of the table, they would be outsiders coming into a fixture at a venue that has proved to be a mood killer for four decades now. Just one win in 36 years and oh what a win that was. Bundee Aki’s try after Robbie Henshaw’s brilliant break saw Connacht win there in their title winning season of 2016.

The memories of that night will linger long after all the players have retired. The sight of Aki pounding his chest after that score, the roars from the thousands of Connacht fans in the stadium at full time, the emotion in Eoghan Masterson’s voice during the post game interviews. It was an amazing night at a venue where Connacht had suffered some of their heaviest defeats in the years before that.

The stakes don’t seem as high this weekend and the drama might not end up being as visceral, but the size of the task is arguably as big if not bigger. Sure Munster have numerous players away on international duty, but they have rotated squads for this fixture plenty times in that past and will still field a strong side on Friday.

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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CITY TRIBUNE

McCormack and Rowe both forced off in preseason friendly with Sligo Rovers

Keith Kelly

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Padraig Cunningham talks with assistant referee, Allen Lynch, about his decision to disallow his 10th minute goal as the pair walk to the dressing rooms at half-time of Wednesday's 1-1- draw with Sligo Rovers.

Galway United continued their preseason campaign with a tough workout against Sligo Rovers in Eamonn Deacy Park on Wednesday afternoon, but things did not go entirely to plan, with a couple of players forced off through injury.

Conor McCormack picked up an arm injury just midway through the first-half while Mikie Rowe hobbled off five minutes into the second-half of a game that finished 1-1 at a bitterly cold afternoon just across from the banks of the Corrib.

Neither injury is thought to be of the serious variety – McCormack picked up a gash to his arm after Jordan Gibson’s accidentally stepped on the United midfielder after fouling him; while Rowe felt a slight strain to his calf and, after getting a bang on his ankle, he went down for attention before being substituted.

“It was just one of those ones,” United manager, John Caulfield, said about the McCormack incident after the game.

“The fella stood on his hand, so we took him off. It was stinging him for a bit, but he thinks he is okay, he felt he could go back on but we couldn’t make that change. For that first 30 minutes he was typical middle of the park busy, cutting out the danger, he did well,” said the United manager of a player who led the side out for the game, and is likely to be named as captain for the season in the next week or so.

“Mikie Rowe, he was doing well, but he felt the calf a bit and he got a kick on the ankle so you know, just a precaution, you take him off. He got a game against Finn Harps, and 50 minutes today, so we’re happy,” Caulfield said of Rowe.

Caulfield started the game with a 3-man defence of Maurice Nugent, Gary Boylan and Stephen Walsh, who were flanked by Conor O’Keeffe and David Hurley operating as two wing backs.

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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