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Controversial injury time spot kick wins day for Mervue Utd

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The Knocknacarra FC team which overcame Moyne Villa in the GFC Under 16 Championship at Cappagh Park. Front row, left to right: Paul Cotter, Gary Keane, Radof Bazadaggen, Ryan McDonagh and Derek Ryan. Back row: Keith Gleeson, Sean Joyce, Osas Aghabueze, Stephen Counihan, Adam Corbett and Alex Keleghan.

Corrib Rangers 1

Mervue United 2

EIGHT minutes into additional time Dara Ryan slotted home the match winning penalty as Mervue United reclaimed the top spot in the Premier Division at Laurel Park on Sunday morning.

That is the edited version of what summed up a chaotic few final minutes as a good sporting contest was decided by a controversial decision in the latter stages of a contest between the top two in the table.

The game was in the 95th minute when a Simon Walsh shot struck the hand of Gary Murray in the box. The defender’s hand was down by his side and while both players were in reasonable close proximity to one another – it certainly was a case of ball to hand.

To the surprise of most, referee Mark Lynch pointed to the spot and awarded Mervue United a penalty. Amid the turmoil, he issued red cards to Murray (second yellow) and goalkeeper Martin Rice for unsavoury comments directed at the match official.

In a competitive contest, it was the visitors who enjoyed the greater opportunities in the opening half, as the home side struggled to get out of the blocks. However, Rangers certainly offered the greater finishing threat on the resumption but they missed a number of chances to kill off the match.

Former Rangers player Barry Moran was in the midst of the early Mervue chances as a 10th minute shot was saved by Rice before a Jason Murphy goal line clearance also denied him a breakthrough. The visitors made it 1-0 on 21 minutes when an Alex Lee corner caused chaos in the home rearguard and after various rebounds, it appeared to enter the net off the body of Murray for an own goal that he could do little about.

Mike Tierney headed an Arron Finnerty cross wide, while at the other end Mervue custodian Peter Healy had a comfortable half, with just a Martin O’Connell shot extending him before the break.

While the home side offered a greater challenge on the resumption, they never extended Healy until he had to pick the ball out of the net on 74 minutes. David Goldbey provided the assist with a pass to Brian Connolly and he drilled the equaliser beyond the goalkeeper.

Mervue threatened a response as a Concannon strike from 25 yards got the better of Rice, but rebounded off a post on 81 minutes. That let off appeared to sting Rangers into a reply and a Ger Bane advance from the back, culminated in a shot that was saved by Healy before the goalkeeper excelled with a stop to deny Goldbey in a one on one situation on 84 minutes.

Three minutes from time, the striker had another chance to win it when his header drifted just wide of an open goal, after a Healy clearance dropped to him on the edge of the area. At the other end, Adam Lee and Simon Walsh reigned in unsuccessful shots on goal and the visitors continued to threaten as the game entered the surprisingly lengthy period of additional time.

Four successive Walsh corners were all dealt with by the home rearguard before the late penalty drama was all the talk of the ground nas Mervue escaped with a win that saw them return to the top of the table for the first time since the early weeks of the season.

Corrib Rangers: Rice, Preston-Kelly (Clarke h/t), Murray, Bane, Embulie, Murphy, Sibanda (Smith 85mins), Barbu, Goldbey (Yaho 97mins), Connolly, O’Connell.

Mervue United: Healy, Finnerty, Browne, McHugh (Adam Lee 83mins), Connolly, Deacy, Alex Lee (S Walsh h/t), McWalter, Tierney, Moran (Ryan 67mins), Concannon.

Referee: Mark Lynch.

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

CITY TRIBUNE

Young Mystics cast their spell over Limerick visitors

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The NUIG Mystics squad that defeated Limerick Sport Husklies in the Women's Divison 1 last Saturday. Back row, from left: Kyle Walsh (assistant coach), Courtney Cecere, Laoise Walsh, Ava McCleane, Olivia Sasse, Sara Messler, Maggie Byrne, and Paul O'Brien (head coach). Front: Meadhbh O'Brien, Hazel Finn, Kara McCleane, Laura Lopez Morera, Caoimhe O'Sullivan, and Aoife Ryan. Missing from photo: Aine McDonagh.

NUIG Mystics made it two wins from two with a five-point win over Limerick Sport Huskies on Saturday in the Women’s Division 1, but there was disappointment for Galway’s other three sides.

Moycullen ran Tralee Warriors close on Sunday in the Men’s Super League but suffered another narrow defeat, having lost on the opening day to NUIG Maree. Maree’s hopes of making it back-to-back wins were ended with a poor fourth-quarter performance away to Neptune on Saturday, the Cork side running out convincing winners; while Titans also suffered a second defeat, going down at home to Dublin Lions.

WOMEN’S DIVISION 1

 NUIG Mystics 65

 Limerick Sport

 Huskies 60

A strong final quarter which saw Irish underage international Hazel Finn rattle in nine points helped Mystics make it two wins from two against a visiting side that was overly reliant on Yuleska Ramirez Tejeda.

The US import returned a stunning 31-point haul for her side, to add to the 27 points she hit on the opening weekend’s 79-76 win over Portlaoise Panthers, but a better spread of a scoring threat for Mystics saw Paul O’Brien’s claim what was at time a scrappy win.

It is a very young Mystics squad this year – there were three 18-year-olds in their starting five on Saturday – but they are mature as players, none more so than Kara McCleane, who finished the game with 23 points.

She drained a three in the first quarter to help Mystics take a 16-11 lead, with McCleane hitting 10 of those points, but the visitors rallied in the second quarter, with Ramirez Tejeda (8) and Taylor Herd (6) helping them draw level at 29-apiece at the break.

Maggie Byrne began to dominate under the defensive boards for Mystics, and when she threw in a big 3-pointer, which was soon followed by one from Finn, Mystics moved into a 41-31 lead early in the third quarter, with the visitors’ first points of the quarter coming just before four of the 120 minutes had elapsed.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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CITY TRIBUNE

Shefflin named as surprise new Galway senior hurling manager for first intercounty role

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Henry Shefflin

Galway GAA are pinning their hopes on one of the greatest hurlers of all time proving that he’s fairly handy at management as well after unveiling Henry Shefflin as the new Galway senior hurling manager.

The shock appointment of Shefflin (42) was confirmed on Wednesday night, catching many people on the hop, including our sister paper, the Connacht Tribune, as it had been widely expected that Davy Fitzgerald was getting the job.

“Galway GAA is delighted to announce Henry Shefflin as the new Galway senior hurling manager,” read a statement posted on the Galway GAA website on Wednesday night.

“Henry’s achievements as a player are unrivalled. As a manager he has guided Ballyhale Shamrocks to All Ireland Club titles in 2019 and 2020. Henry will be joined by fellow Kilkenny man Richie O’Neill as a coach and his management team will be finalised in the coming weeks,” the statement read.

The appointment ends a seven-week period of speculation as to who would replace Limerick native Shane O’Neill who held the position for two years, before announcing at the start of September that he would not be seeking a third year in charge.

He had led Galway to the All-Ireland semi-final in 2020, only to lose to Limerick; before a nightmare 2021 in which Galway failed to win a game in the championship, losing lost to Dublin in the Leinster semi-final, and Waterford in the All-Ireland qualifiers.

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

Connacht need the win for two very different reasons

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Abraham Papali’i will be hoping to start against Ulster this Saturday, having come off the bench in last weekend's defeat to Munster. Photo: Joe O'Shaughnessy.

By JOHN FALLON

The switch of Connacht’s game against Ulster from the Sportsground to Aviva Stadium was, from the outset, met with not insignificant negativity by some fans and the business community, and with the anticipated attendance expected to be in the region of a disappointing 8,000 or so, some must be wondering if was worth moving the fixture at all.

Two things can alter that. There could still be a decent run on tickets which would make the venture financially worthwhile; and the other is a Connacht victory. A Connacht loss and the forfeiture of home advantage will come into the equation.

It could, equally, be argued that no matter where this game is a played, form so far in the URC suggests an Ulster victory. They are the only side with maximum points, four straight bonus point wins, and Connacht go into it with just one win in four.

Connacht coach Andy Friend says the players and management are not under any extra pressure to win Saturday’s clash.

“No, I don’t think so. I think we’ve got a lot of Connacht supporters who are going to be there. Family and friends are going to be there, so there’s always pressure to try and impress in front of them and to make sure you’re playing the best brand of rugby.

“But I don’t think moving the game to the Aviva has added pressure to us. Certainly, I don’t feel that, and I don’t think any of the players feel that.”

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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