With the inclement weather ruling out all the local league and cup action, just three fixtures survived over the weekend, with Colmanstown and Mervue United both advancing in the Connacht Junior Cup; while the Galway Youth side continued their successful FAI Inter League campaign when making it three wins from three in their group campaign with a success over Limerick at Deacy Park.
In the Connacht Junior Cup, Colmanstown ‘keeper Alan Finn was the hero as he saved two West United efforts in the penalty shoot-out after the sides finished 4-4. Mervue United did all their best work in the closing half hour as they knocked home six without reply to see off visitors Brazukas.
West United 4
3-0 on pens)
In a game switched from a flooded South Park to West Park, Colmanstown goalkeeper Alan Finn proved to be the difference between the sides as the visitors advanced from this Connacht Junior Cup tie after a penalty shootout.
The custodian saved the efforts of Mark Murphy and Caue Hess, while the penalty of Emmett Shaw struck a post. In contrast, Richie Lally, Ronan Geraghty and Tom Flannery all slotted home their efforts to secure the Colmanstown passage.
It was a contest in which the visitors took the lead on four occasions, as Flannery notched a hat-trick, with Ray Moran getting the fourth. To the credit of West, they responded on each occasion to level matters, as Aaron Connolly headed in a Tony Ward corner for the opener, before Hess notched a brace, scoring each side of a smashing Mark Murphy free-kick.
Mervue United 7
The final outcome might flatter Mervue United as it took them an hour to warm up against the lower division Roscommon League side at Fahy’s Field on Sunday afternoon. The contest was scoreless at the break, after the visitors enjoyed the advantage of the elements in the opening half, but Mervue quickly turned the game their way on the resumption as Keith McHugh headed home an Alan O’Donovan corner nine minutes into the second-half.
The visitors reacted well as they levelled matters within minutes, before Mervue responded to the set-back by emptying the bench and from there to the finish the home side took over, as they rattled home six goals in the closing stages.
Brian Meaney, Barry Moran and Alan O’Donovan all scored twice in the closing half hour as the home side set up a home fourth round tie against Swinford.
For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.
Lomboto’s late strike earns United share of the spoils
Galway United 2
Athlone Town 2
GALWAY United had to twice come from behind against basement side Athlone Town on Monday night to snatch a draw that was, on balance, probably a little harsh on the visiting side.
Completely outplayed in the opening 45 minutes, United had an absolute howler from visiting goalkeeper, Aaron Myles, to thank for going into the break on level terms; and then needed an equaliser five minutes from time to claim a draw against a side that came into the game having lost all four games they had played this season.
Alan Murphy’s side already find themselves nine points behind the league leaders just four games into the season, and a major improvement is needed if they are to finish in the top half of the table and inside the play-off spots.
Their central midfield was way off the mark on Monday night – both Maurice Nugent and Sam Warde were hauled ashore before the final whistle – and having abandoned the 4-4-2 formation which delivered some decent results near the end of last season, they are struggling to get quality ball into the opposition box.
With Shane Duggan expected to return to central midfield after suspension for this Saturday’s trip to Cobh Ramblers, it might be time to go with some out-and-out wingers and get some cohesion in the side.
The first couple of half chances on Monday fell to the home side, but Mikey Place didn’t get any power behind his second minute effort; while Marc Ludden was well off target subsequently.
The visitors, who had the opening half’s best player in their ranks in the guise of Galway native, Ronan Manning, went close a couple of times themselves in the ninth minute, United surviving thanks to Cian Murphy getting a block on Adam Lennon’s shot; while Kevin Horgan pulled off a ‘worldie’ to deny Joel Coustrain from the subsequent corner.
By that stage, the visitors were starting to get on top, and they took a deserved lead in the 22nd minute when Manning’s corner from the left was met by Taner Dogan at the back post to head home as the United marking was, not for the first time this season, shambolic at a set-piece.
Tempers were starting to fray a little, with both sides having two players finding their way into the notebook of Dublin referee, Oliver Moran, before United were gifted an equaliser in the 41st minute.
Full report in this week’s Connacht Tribune
Doyle bags hat-trick in Galway WFC romp
GALWAY WFC notched a second win in a row in the Women’s National League when they defeated Limerick 6-1 at the Markets Field on Sunday afternoon.
A McKenna Doyle hat trick and goals from Sadbh Doyle, Chloe Singleton and Aoife Thompson helped the Galway women to a resounding win. Five of the six goals for Galway were assisted by Lynsey McKey during what was a stellar performance by the experienced midfielder.
Galway WFC are back in action at Eamonn Deacy Park tomorrow (Saturday, kick off 3pm) when they welcome league leaders Peamount United.
See full match report in City Tribune Sport.
Cup offers United chance to boost morale
HAVING insisted all year that Galway United’s First Division campaign has been about developing their young talents, manager Alan Murphy has admitted this Sunday’s first round FAI Cup tie against Leinster Senior League side, Collinstown at Whitehall Stadium (2pm) is about winning.
United have not recorded a competitive victory since mid-May, when they came from behind to see off Longford Town 2-1 in a First Division fixture at Eamonn Deacy Park. That win came courtesy of two Vinny Faherty goals.
Since then, they have lost eight of their twelve outings, with their four draws coming against Cabinteely, Bray Wanderers, Athlone Town, and the First Division’s bottom team, Wexford Youths, who have won just two First Division fixtures this season.
However, this weekend’s Cup game against a non-League of Ireland outfit could provide a much-needed morale boosting victory for his charges.
“It would,” acknowledged Murphy. “Even to be in the next round of the FAI Cup would be huge; it would be huge for this group of inexperienced players that I have really. I mean, every game is a brilliant chance for these guys to get another little bit of experience, and to experience a different challenge, and this weekend will provide exactly that.
“I have said, week in, week out, this is a development year and these players need experience but this weekend is probably a little bit more about winning than it has been all season because of the fact you will be out of the competition if you don’t win,” he said.
Se full preview in City Tribune Sport.