Classifieds Advertise Archive Subscriptions Family Announcements Photos Digital Editions/Apps
Connect with us

Sports

Connacht produce another storming display

Published

on

Connacht winger Niyi Adeolokun kicks ahead in the move which led to Kieran Marmion's first half try in Saturday's Guinness Pro 12 encounter at the Sportsground. Photo: Joe O'Shaughnessy.

Connacht 7

Leinster 6

IF there were any doubters left, they were well and truly stumped late in the evening on Easter Saturday as the sold out Sportsground bounced to the ‘we are top of the league’ chant with more gusto than ever before. The roar that greeted the final whistle was almost primeval, with relief and ecstasy all rolled into one.

How did they dig that out? Logic was firmly against them as Leinster packed down with their first choice pack for a scrum just five short metres from the Connacht line and the home side prepared to repel the advance.

Yet when the front rows in that final scrum dropped for a second time only for referee Nigel Owens to holler at Eoin Reddan to “use it” owing to the fact that the ball was available to play at the feet of Jamie Heaslip, the odds shifted heavily in Connacht’s favour. All day, the Leinster backs had failed to even give a mild indication that they could unlock the Connacht defence, these last few seconds would be played out on Connacht terms.

Think of what stood in front of Ian Madigan as he received the ball from Reddan with his team trailing by a point and just 50 seconds on the clock. A wall. He shifted possession on to Ben Te’o who met the first wave, led by Robbie Henshaw, the most expensive property in Irish rugby this season and the right man for such a siege. Bang, back you go.

Wave number two met the same response and by the time Dominic Ryan attempted to dig the ball out of the ruck, Bundee Aki was now in the mix. He was the second anchor of the defence in this last ditch stand and he used his unmatchable energy and power to dislodge possession and send it back on his side.

That brings us to the last 30 seconds, a half minute that encapsulates the character and the composure this Connacht team now has in spades. Having turned Leinster over two metres from the try line, the first inclination must have been to hoof the ball clear without a seconds thought.

Well for most teams, that would have made sense but with Caolin Blade marshalling the phases, a quick call was made. Let’s kill the last 30 seconds here, they seemed to say. Such a logical approach but with so much at stake, their ability to make the right decision at just the right time is one of the many elements that sets this Connacht team apart.

No element of this tale can be underestimated. The result, the manner in how it was achieved and the magnitude of what it does to change the perceived wisdom that has enveloped this competition from the very outset. This one was significant and it could well propel Connacht towards a top two finish and a home semi final.

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

 

Connacht Tribune

Agony for St Thomas’ as mighty effort goes unrewarded

Published

on

St Thomas' Conor Cooney and John Headd give chase to Ballyhale Shamrocks' TJ Reid during Sunday's All-Ireland Club Senior Hurling Semi-Final at Semple Stadium. Photos: Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile.

Ballyhale Shamrocks 2-15

St Thomas’ 0-20

John McIntyre in Thurles

THIS harrowing All-Ireland Club hurling semi-final defeat in Thurles on Sunday will traumatise and torment St Thomas’ for weeks to come. It was that gut-wrenching – that undeserved.

On an afternoon when St Thomas’ did Galway hurling proud, we are all struggling to come to terms with how they lost a match that they had largely dictated the terms of engagement of, and had Ballyhale Shamrocks in all sorts of distress.

Producing arguably their best-ever team display – characterised by unrelenting commitment and the slick transfer of possession – St Thomas’ stood on the brink of a famous victory over the most decorated club in the over 50-year history of the championship.

Protecting a 15-match winning run outside their county borders, Ballyhale were staring down the barrel of a surprise defeat, having played second fiddle to an inspired St Thomas’s outfit for significant tracts of a gripping and high-quality encounter.

But the reigning All-Ireland champions have mastered the art of pulling games out of the fire – notably their Leinster semi-final escape against St Rynagh’s – and there was always the chance of late drama at Semple Stadium.

St Thomas’ had done so many things right on the day: making great starts to both halves; carrying the battle to Ballyhale; picking off a series of wonderfully-crafted points; and looking the more accomplished stickmen. And somehow . . . it still wasn’t enough.

On a couple of occasions in the second-half, they went four points clear and with the scoring rate of both teams starting to drop, it appeared a healthy advantage in the circumstances. By the 57th minute, St Thomas’s were still 0-18 to 0-15 ahead.

You could sense the rising hope of their supporters in the stand, but they too were left visibly shocked after the influential TJ Reid bailed Ballyhale out of trouble with two bullets from placed balls in the dying embers of the match.

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.

 

 

Continue Reading

Connacht Tribune

St Brendan’s best comes up short in low-scoring struggle

Published

on

St Brendan's Ava Trayers is chased by Nicole Shelly of Mullinahone during Sunday's All-Ireland Club Ladies Football Junior Semi-Final in Callan. Photos: Michael P Ryan/Sportsfile.

Mullinahone 1-6

St. Brendan’s 0-6

Eanna O’Reilly in Callan

A gallant effort from St. Brendan’s ladies football team came up just short on Sunday in the All-Ireland Club Junior semi-final in Callan.

Tipperary and Munster champions Mullinahone proved to be a step too far for John Kilroy’s side in a game where St. Brendan’s never managed to lead on the scoreboard.

Nevertheless, this was an evenly contested semi-final and St. Brendan’s brought a huge effort and highly impressive work rate on the day. Very little separated the sides throughout the game, with Lorraine O’Shea’s first half goal keeping Mullinahone’s noses in front.

Although they got back to within a point on a couple of occasions, St. Brendan’s never managed to equalise the contest. Mullinahone did just enough to keep the Connacht champions at bay in a low scoring, hard fought struggle.

Mullinahone opened the scoring with a point from Kilkenny camogie star Denise Gaule, who was a huge presence for the Tipp side on the day. St. Brendan’s equalised with the next attack, which saw Liadan Greally kick a point from the right corner.

Lorraine O’Shea soon kicked an impressive score to put Mullinahone back in front, after a neat passing exchange with Aoibhe O’Shea. The O’Shea’s combined again shortly after, with Aoibhe putting Lorraine through on goal, before the latter fired to the bottom corner of the net past Sinéad Kelly.

With St. Brendan’s in need of scores, full forward Michelle Delaney stepped up to the plate and kicked three consecutive points. Delaney followed up a converted free with two points from play as she linked up effectively with Becca Conway on two occasions. A pointed free from Lorraine O’Shea saw Mullinahone take a 1-3 to 0-4 lead into the half time interval.

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.

 

 

Continue Reading

Connacht Tribune

Galway Sports Stars award winners to be revealed next week

Published

on

Galway senior camogie captain Sarah Dervan, lifts the O'Duffy Cup after their All-Ireland final triumph over Cork at Croke Park last September.

By John McIntyre

GALWAY’S vibrancy as a sporting county will be underlined next week when the Medtronic Galway Sports Stars award winners of 2021 will be announced.

With the lifting of Covid hospitality restrictions, the Galway Sports Stars banquet will now go ahead in the Galway Bay Hotel on Saturday night, February 19.

After the historic achievement Olympic Games’ achievement of rowers Fiona Murtagh and Aifric Keogh, together with the Galway camogie team regaining the All-Ireland title, there will be no shortage of star talent to be honoured

There will also be a Hall of Fame recipient, somebody who has gone into sporting folklore. Who is that person? Find out in next week’s Connacht Tribune.

Continue Reading

Local Ads

Local Ads

Advertisement
Advertisement

Facebook

Advertisement

Trending