Date Published: 15-Jun-2011
IF anyone thought that the Kilkenny hurlers were in serious decline after their admittedly untypical National League final capitulation to Dublin in Croke Park in early May, they were quickly brought back to their senses by the Cats’ routine demolition of flattering Wexford in the Leinster championship semi-final last Saturday evening.
There had been extenuating circumstances for Kilkenny’s defeat in that League showdown, most notably an injury crisis which saw them shorn the services of central figures such as Henry Shefflin, Richie Power and the under-rated Michael Fennelly. All three lined out in Wexford Park and, unlike their clash against Dublin when Eoin Larkin was sent off in the opening-half, they had 15 players on the field for the entire 70 minutes.
Still, it had looked a reasonable opportunity for Wexford to end their modern-day torment against their traditional arch rivals. Playing at home after a strong finish to the league campaign which saw them avoid demotion to Division Two, Colm Bonnar’s men were expected to really test Kilkenny, especially after their U-21s had turned over the Noresiders at the same venue earlier in the week.
Undoubtedly, they tried hard and with full forward Garrett Sinnott escaping JJ Delaney’s clutches to fire over three early points, hopes were raised that Wexford were about to give Kilkenny a serious testing. Gradually, however, it became clear that they weren’t up to it. Richie Hogan, who was particularly lively, fired home a fine goal as Brian Cody’s squad began putting daylight between the teams.
They were already eight points clear near half-time when Wexford were thrown a lifeline. Stephen Banville won a dubious enough close range free which corner forward Jim Berry drove low to the net. Now, only 1-13 to 1-8 behind and the big home crowd on their feet as the teams retired to the dressing rooms, Wexford must have thought that they were back in the contest.
They even managed to cut the margin to four points early in the second-half after an excellent effort from PJ Nolan, but they were to get no closer as Kilkenny upped the ante from there to the finish. Wing forward Michael Rice, in particular, was proving a real handful while Fennelly’s strong running from midfield was also putting Wexford under pressure. Hogan saw a second goal chance crack off the post, but Kilkenny still coasted home and had 11 points to spare at the finish.
Cody, however, will have some concern about his full back line and new goalkeeper Dave Herity had to justify his promotion with a couple of excellent reflex saves. The return of Power and Shefflin, though not that prominent in open play, added guile to their attack while debutant Paul Murphy did his chances of an extended run in the black and amber jersey no harm with a purposeful display in the half-back line. In the end, Kilkenny were in cruise control and Wexford had returned to reality.
The following afternoon in Thurles, Waterford had to rely on a deflected goal from John Mullane to squeeze past revitalised Limerick in a Munster semi-final which produced a cracking second-half. The Treaty men paid the penalty for hitting some bad wides at key moments of the match, while the failure to adequately clear their lines after saving Eoin Kelly’s late free also came back to haunt
Despite Donal O’Grady’s prominence around midfield, Limerick’s poor shooting was undermining a really spirited performance. They looked in trouble when trailing by six points approaching half-time, but an excellent goal from raiding wing back Wayne McNamara helped to provide the scoreboard with a more accurate reflection of the exchanges. Waterford still led by three at the break, but it was clear that they now had a real battle on their hands.
And that view was reinforced when towering teenager Kevin Downes picked off the first of his two second-half goals. Though the Limerick half backs were beginning to dominate, they were guilty of some loose marking too with impressive Waterford wing forward Paudie O’Mahony exploiting the space to register some neat points from play. A Shane Walsh green flag also helped to steady the Munster champions, but they were soon to fall behind again.
Downes’ second goal gave Limerick fresh impetus down the home stretch and when substitute David Breen and Moran fired over rousing points, the Division Two league winners appeared on the brink off causing a big surprise, but Mullane saved Waterford’s bacon and, in the process, set up a Munster final date with either Tipperary or Clare. It was tough luck on Limerick, but they are certain to build on this performance in the upcoming qualifiers.
For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.
Galway ‘Park and Ride’ could become permanent
Date Published: 07-May-2013
A park ‘n’ ride scheme from Carnmore into Galway city could become a permanent service if there is public demand.
That’s according to the Chief Executive of Galway Chamber of Commerce, Michael Coyle.
The pilot scheme will begin at 7.20 next Monday morning, May 13th.
Motorists will be able to park cars at the airport carpark in Carnmore and avail of a bus transfer to Forster Street in the city.
Buses will depart every 20 minutes at peak times and every 30 minutes at offpeak times throughout the day, at a cost of 2 euro per journey.
Tuam awaits UK hay import as overnight rainfall adds to fodder crisis
Date Published: 09-May-2013
Tuam is now awaiting a third import of hay from the UK as overnight rainfall has increased pressure on farmers struggling to source fodder.
A total of ten loads are expected at Connacht Gold stores throughout the West with a load expected at the Airglooney outlet this evening or tomorrow.
Farmers throughout the county have been struggling to cope with the animal feed shortage and a below than normal grass growth due to unseasonal weather conditions.
Overnight rainfall in the Galway area has also added to the problem making ground conditions in many areas are quite poor.
Joe Waldron, Agricultual Advisor with Connacht Gold says farmers in short supply can contact the Airglooney outlet on 093 – 24101.
Transport Minister urges end to Bus Eireann strike action
Date Published: 12-May-2013
The Transport Minister is urging drivers at Bus Éireann to engage in talks with management, in an effort to bring their strike action to an end.
There were no Bus Éireann services operating out of Galway today as a result of nationwide strike action by staff affiliated with the national bus and rail union.
Up to 20 Bus Éireann drivers are continuing to picket outside the bus depot at the docks in the city this evening.
Drivers from other unions have decided not to cross the picket line and go into work today – causing the disruption to be even worse.
Bus drivers are protesting against five million euro worth of cuts to their overtime and premium pay – cuts which Bus Eireann says are vital to ensure the future viability of the company.
The majority of services nationwide are disrupted, and the union say strike action will continue until management are willing to go back into negotiations.
However, it’s not expected to affect school services next week.
Galway bay fm news understands that around 70 percent, or over 100 Galway bus Eireann drivers are affiliated with the NBRU.