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Corofin footballers in a league of their own

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Corofin 0-11

St. James’ 0-7

STEPHEN Rochford’s three years in charge of Corofin have been an unmitigated success, and their total dominance of Galway club football again in 2015 was confirmed when another League and Championship double was secured in Tuam Stadium last weekend.

Rochford’s troops signed off on his last competitive game at the helm with a hard-earned four point victory over St. James’ in the refixed Division One final. The Crossmolina native departs the club having created a lasting legacy and some wonderful memories, and he deserves the best of well wishes in his new adventure with Mayo.

But back to last Sunday. This match was due to be played in Loughgeorge on December 4, but Storm Desmond put paid to that, leaving Corofin to seal the league title on the final Sunday before Christmas for the second year running. Although it took  St. James’ until the second half to get going, they put it up to Corofin after half-time.

Corofin led 0-7 to 0-2 at the break after playing into the ‘Town End’ goal with the breeze. St. James’ lacked direction in the first half, but the fact that they last played a senior championship game against Killererin on June 21 was obviously a mitigating factor.

They were a different team in the second period, and Paul Conroy had cut the deficit to 0-8 to 0-6 by the 49th minute with his third free. From the resultant kickout, Tom Healy fluffed his lines, kicking the ball straight to Dave O’Connell, who fed Eoin McHugh. Healy quickly redeemed himself to get down smartly to McHugh’s effort and deflect the ball out for a ’45.

It was James’ best shot of causing an upset, but momentum was still with them as they held a one-man advantage. Some of Shane Hehir’s refereeing decisions annoyed both sets of players and supporters, but Kieran McGrath can have little complaints with his sending off just before Conroy’s 49th minute free.

McGrath first pushed Conroy to the floor, after reacting to a hard tackle from the St. James’ midfielder, after which McGrath had actually been awarded a free. The Corofin number five was yellow carded, and from the resulting hop ball, he was too high around the neck of Mark Kelly with a challenge, which duly led to him receiving his marching orders.

As his been Corofin’s trademark under Rochford, they didn’t panic, and Conor Cunningham was brought on for forward Paddy Madden. Cunningham filled the wing-back slot vacated by McGrath, and perhaps Corofin’s best player of the Rochford era, Gary Sice, came into his own in the final 10 minutes.

Full match report in this week’s Connacht Tribune

CITY TRIBUNE

Galway minors continue to turn season around with latest win over Derry

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Galway players Seán Dunne, Fionn O'Connor and Adam Colleran celebrating their All-Ireland Minor Football semi-final win over Derry at Parnell Park on Saturday. Photo: Ray McManus /Sportsfile.

THE results may not have gone Galway’s way in the Connacht minor football championship, but team manager Alan Glynn never lost faith in his young squad.

And his belief in them has certainly been justified following deserved victories over Dublin and Derry in the All-Ireland series, setting Galway up for a unique third championship collision with Mayo in the one year.

The more games Galway are playing, the better they are getting, and Glynn is in no doubt that their extended championship run will do wonders for the development of his players.

But after losing three times in Connacht – twice to Mayo – how did Glynn, and his backroom team of Tim Rabbitt and Michéal Antaine Ó Loidéain, manage to turn their season around?

“We did speak in the dressing-room after that game [Connacht final] and we said, ‘look that’s the Connacht championship done with, that’s one competition finished and we’re now into a new All-Ireland competition.’

“There were eight teams left and we took that look to things. At the end of the day, we had lost three games in Connacht, and I suppose if you were to dwell on that, we could get bogged down and we could get negative. We just said, ‘We’ve finished second in Connacht. Not what we wanted but it’s where we were and we’re now into the last eight.’

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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CITY TRIBUNE

Aki captains Ireland, scores a try but tourists’ first match ends in heavy defeat

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Ireland captain Bundee Aki touches down for a first-half try against the Maori All Blacks on Wednesday, but the game ended in a disappointing loss for the tourists.

IT should have been a night to savour for Bundee Aki who was honoured with the Irish captaincy for the first game of their daunting tour to New Zealand.

Leading an inexperienced tourist selection, Aki could hardly have wished for a better start after powering over for Ireland’s first try against the Maori All Blacks.

But it was nearly all downhill for the men in green subsequently on Wednesday. Ireland were repeatedly carved open and trailed by 32-10 at the break.

On a night when fellow Connacht player, flanker Cian Prendergast, also started and prop Finlay Bealham was a second-half substitute, Ireland never really fired despite not conceding another score on the resumption.

But all the tourists could add to their tally was a converted Gavin Coombes’ try in a disappointing opening to their five-match tour.

Ahead of the game, Aki said it was a “huge privilege” to captain Ireland against the Maori All Blacks after initially suspecting head coach Andy Farrell was joking about giving him the responsibility.

New Zealand-born Aki led a youthful side containing five uncapped players on Wednesday night as the Irish kicked-off their summer tour of his homeland.

For more, read this week’s Galway City 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.

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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

Galway have more than a prayer of toppling Limerick

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Galway’s Tom Monaghan breaking away from Limerick’s Kyle Hayes during their National League encounter at the Gaelic Grounds last February The teams clash again in Sunday's All-Ireland semi-final.

THEY are unbeaten in the championship since the All-Ireland semi-final of 2019; are chasing a fourth Liam McCarthy Cup in five years; and when it comes to brute force and physicality, they have no peers in the game.

This is the Limerick team that Galway must upset the odds against in Sunday’s All-Ireland hurling semi-final at Croke Park (3.30pm). And though few give them a realistic chance of doing so, the Tribesmen are at least capable of giving the champions a searching test.

Galway will also draw encouragement from their last semi-final battle with Limerick in 2020 at an empty Croke Park. The teams were level in injury time only for the Shannonsiders to salvage a result with Tom Morrissey catching fire late on.

It was a contest with no goals (0-27 to 0-24) and benefiting from a flying start, Galway really carried the fight to Limerick despite suffering the loss of Cathal Mannion through injury in the opening-half. It was an occasion which also stood out for Joe Canning’s remarkable feat of converting four sideline cuts – a record number for one championship game.

The team’s long-time ace marksman is no longer involved, but apart from the also retired Aidan Harte and long-term injury victim Shane Cooney, Galway will again be relying on the bulk of those players from that semi-final of two years in their quest to turn the tables.

Naturally, it will be one less if, as anticipated, Gearóid McInerney fails to recover from the knee injury which forced him to hobble off before half-time in their quarter-final victory over Cork in Thurles last Saturday week.

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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