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CITY TRIBUNE

Connacht exit Champions Cup but chance to atone against Montpellier

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Connacht's Matt Healy takes a tumble against Toulouse during Saturday's European Champions Cup tie at the Sportsground. Photo: Joe O'Shaughnessy.

WHEN the fall is all that is left, the fall is all that matters. Connacht have nothing to play for in Montpellier on Sunday (Kick off 3:15pm, Irish time) and yet they can’t ignore the fact that this is European rugby’s elite competition, these are illustrious opponents and this is competitive rugby, where they are on the verge of a five-game losing streak for the first time in six years. So, it matters, it matters quite a bit in fact.

For that reason and the fact that the team are set for a long overdue three week break before returning to PRO14 action next month, you can expect a strong Connacht side to take to the field in the Altrad Stadium on Sunday against a Montpellier team also out of contention. This is an opportunity to put some things right, to reset, to address the issues in attack and to simply sit in a dressing room as a group and ask whether they can produce better than what they have mustered in the last eight weeks. The answer should be obvious.

It has been some start to 2020 for news and drama on the est of Ireland rugby scene – a record-breaking defeat in Dublin, the impending confirmation of Colby Fainga’a’s departure, the Sportsground funding news which seemed bad at first and then turned out to be good. Many outside of the province have looked on with dismay at the planned investment in Ireland’s fourth ranked province and the overall feeling that the current squad are sliding backwards.

The biggest success story of the year for the province is that €20 million worth of government investment into the new stadium via a the sports and tourism grant of €10 million and the additional matching investment via the 2040 Project Ireland plan. It was a bit of a whirlwind announcement on Friday, but it’s all coming together neatly with the final third of funding for the project to come from IRFU and other investors.

While it might have been viewed as a success story in the west, not everyone was happy elsewhere. In the Irish Times, Johnny Watterson used the announcement as an opportunity to shine the light on the disparity of funding with other less illustrious but equally as important sports and focused, particularly, on the low level of support of women’s projects.

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

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CITY TRIBUNE

Titans return to the national league for coming season

Keith Kelly

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The Titans team which was defeated by Moycullen in the National Cup semi-final in 2009. Back row, from left: Joe Bree (manager), John Finn (assistant coach), David O'Keefe, Conall MacMichael, Darren Callanan, Patrick O'Neill, Colin Turke, Paul Freeman, and Mike Lynch (coach). Front: Cian McKeown, Danny Finn, Rimyvdas Visockas, Derek Mulveen, Paulius Peldzius, and Jack Considine.

TITANS BC is returning to the national league for the upcoming 2020/21 season, one of four new teams that will compete in the Men’s Division 1 this year.

The city side will play in the Northern Conference of the league alongside fellow new sides, Drogheda Wolves and Malahide, along with Ulster University from Belfast; LYIT from Donegal; Sligo All-Stars; and Dublin Lions and Tolka Rovers from Dublin.

That looks to be the easier of the two conferences: Dublin Lions were relegated from the Super League at the end of last season, LYIT finished 5th in Division 1, Sligo finished 8th, Ulster University finished 9th, and Tolka Rovers finished 10th in a 12-team league competition that ran as a single league, rather than split into two conferences.

With four new teams for the coming season – Team Kerry are the 4th new side – Division 1 is returning to a split conference format, and all the heavy-hitters would appear to be in the Southern Conference.

Team Kerry will be joined by fellow Killarney side, St Paul’s, which finished second in the league last season, as well as Cork’s Fr Mathews and IT Carlow, who finished 3rd and 4th respectively.

Limerick Celtics and Limerick Eagles, who finished 6th and 7th, are also in the Southern Conference, as well as last season’s bottom two, WIT Waterford and Portlaoise Panthers.

Titans took a one-year hiatus from the league last season, having endured a torrid 2018/19 campaign when it finished with the worst record in the league, winning just two of its 23 league games to finish bottom of the Northern Conference.

Maree and Moycullen will once again represent Galway in the Men’s Super League, which is also being split into a two-conference format, with six teams in each conference. However, while Titans will be looking north for their main opposition, Maree and Moycullen will be looking in the opposite direction as both have been placed in the South Conference.

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

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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

Group hurling ties to be restricted to supporters of participating teams

John McIntyre

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Ronan Elwood of Liam Mellows, and Castlegar's Donal McGreal in action during the group stages of last year's senior county championship.

NO neutrals will be allowed to attend the opening round of the revamped Galway senior hurling championship which is scheduled to start in little more than a fortnight’s time.

A gathering of 500 – likely to also include the rival players and mentors – will be restricted to each group game, with the participating clubs set to be allocated around 200 tickets each for sale/distribution ahead of the fixture.

A mechanism has still to be sorted for this process, but matches will be restricted to Galway’s three county grounds: Pearse Stadium, Kenny Park, Athenry and Duggan Park, Ballinasloe, along with Loughrea. Killimor was the fifth venue in consideration for hosting senior games, but redevelopment work at the ground has ruled out that prospect.

The full round of 12 group ties will go ahead on the weekend ending July 26, but there will be no double headers. Instead, games at the same venues will be staged four hours apart to allow sanitisation of the various grounds.

Only people with tickets will gain entry to the games and there will be no cash taken at the turnstiles.

 

 

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CITY TRIBUNE

Street fight thugs from viral video outside Garda HQ avoid jail

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A still from the video of the brawl close to the Garda HQ in Renmore.

From this week’s Galway City Tribune – Two men and a woman who were involved in a ‘staged’ fistfight outside the new Garda HQ in Renmore were warned they will serve prison sentences if they don’t stay off social media for two years.

Suspended sentences were imposed on all three over the incident which was recorded on mobile phone and footage went viral on social media.

The altercation between John Maughan (27), formerly of Rinville Park, Oranmore, who now lives in Dublin, and Patrick Maughan (31), of 122 Laurel Park, Newcastle, was filmed on Patrick Maughan’s phone by his wife, Ellen Maughan (31), who is John Maughan’s sister.

The footage was uploaded that evening to YouTube, where it gained a lot of traction.

Galway District Court heard this week the trio were sitting in their cars when Gardaí arrived at the scene within a matter of minutes.

They were subsequently charged with affray at Dublin Road, Murrough, Renmore, on November 2, 2018, in that all three used or threatened to use violence towards each other, thereby putting other people present in fear for their own safety and the safety of others.

Both men were also charged with breaching the peace.

Garda Pat Casey told the sentence hearing the incident occurred at 2.30pm on the main road between GMIT and the Garda HQ.

He said the men’s cars met, whether by accident or design, at that location where they got out and had a fist fight in the middle of the road.

Judge Mary Fahy asked if the location chosen for the fight, right outside the new Garda HQ, was deliberate.

Garda Casey said the men claimed they met by accident, “but that was where they met”, he added.

“The inference is they did it deliberately outside the Station to make it even better on social media. They are an absolute disgrace to do that in public and to do it in front of their children,” Judge Fahy said.
This is a shortened preview version of this court report. To read the article in full, see this week’s Galway City Tribune. You can buy a digital edition HERE.

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