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Cortoon make their class pay against injury-hit rivals

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Cortoon Shamrocks 2-11

Mícheál Breathnach 1-5

A dominant second half performance was enough for Cortoon Shamrocks to book their place in the semi-finals of this year’s Galway senior football championship, but they’ll have to improve significantly if they want to go a step further and reach the final.

Paul Bradley’s side ran out nine point winners in the end, but they were made to struggle for large parts against an understrength Mícheál Breathnach side which fielded without essentially the spine of their team.

Their three intercounty players, Seán Denvir, Peadar Óg Ó Gríofa and Fiontán Ó Curraoin, were all missing through injury and they were joined in absentia by the likes of Diarmaid Malone, Tommy Conneely and Pádraig Mac Giolla Bhríde, all of whom would have been strong contenders to start the game.

With that in mind, Mícheál Breathnach deserve praise for stifling Cortoon for so long. The North Galway side had the vast majority of possession but they found it extremely difficult, in the first half in particular, to break down the massed ranks of defenders. The shut-out could only last so long, however, and when Cortoon were finally able to edge ahead midway through the second half, their opponents had no answer.

Cortoon were playing into a stiff breeze in the first half and between the elements and the stout opposition they faced, they were often content to work the ball across the field patiently until a scoring chance arrived. The opening score arrived in the seventh minute thanks to a precise effort from Cathal Mulryan from a narrow angle, giving the first signal of what was to be a sterling performance from the forward.

Mícheál Breathnach weren’t behind for long and defender Barry Ó Conghaile got their first score of the afternoon from the left-wing. They were soon ahead as well when Ó Conghaile and Cian Ó Gríofa combined to set-up Pete Ó Cionnaith, the corner-forward shooting successfully on the turn, 40m from goal.

The Mícheál Breathnach rearguard came perilously close to being breached in the tenth minute when a slick move involving Cathal Mulryan, Adrian Varley and Shane Gleeson saw Joseph Donnellan breakthrough, but his shot across goal cannoned off the underside of the crossbar. Cortoon did get some change out of the move, however, as Martin Boyle was on hand to eventually slot over the rebound.

Cortoon’s patient approach was again on display in the 16th minute when a move, which went back and across their opponents’ 45m line multiple times and must have involved two dozen passes, ended with Donnellan again breaking through the lines and putting his side a point ahead, 0-3 to 0-2. A Joe Conroy point levelled the scores in the 20th minute before Cortoon once more came within inches of a goal.

Full coverage in this week’s Connacht Tribune

CITY TRIBUNE

Sporting stars and coaches offer ideas on how to make it

Stephen Glennon

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Carnmore's Paul Kilgannon who interviewed successful coaches and sports stars for his latest book: Be The Best You Can Be In Sport: A Book for Irish Youth.

WITH contributions from 50 sports stars and coaches, Paul Kilgannon’s second book, ‘Be The Best You Can Be In Sport: A Book for Irish Youth’ offers a succinct blueprint for any youth looking to excel in their chosen sport – and, indeed, for those coaching aspiring athletes.

In recent years, Kilgannon’s reputation has grown, particularly since he released his first book, ‘The CARVER Framework’, which focused on the development of the child and young player through a coaching model which the Carnmore native formulated.

While that book was a great success, his latest offering, released just before the Christmas, looks set to surpass it given the amounts of plaudits it has received locally and nationally, with the likes of The Irish Examiner and The Irish Times referencing it among their sports books of 2020.

Then again, one only has to look at those who contributed to the book to see why. They include Henry Shefflin and Eamonn O’Shea (hurling), Kieran Donaghy and Johnny Cooper (Gaelic football), Stuart Lancaster and Andy Friend (rugby) and Mick McCarthy and Kevin Doyle (soccer).

There are also contributions from a number of Galway coaches and sports stars, among them Corofin footballers Gary Sice and Liam Silke, sports psychologist Tony Óg Regan, physio David Hanly and expert game analyst Dave Morris.

One area Kilgannon was also conscious to promote was young females in sport and some of the role models who lent their experience are ladies footballers Rena Buckley and Valerie Mulcahy (Cork) and Sinead Aherne (Dublin), former Republic of Ireland international Claire Scanlan, Ireland rugby player Lindsay Peat and athletics star Nadia Power.

“That (having the female perspective) was something that was really important,” says Kilgannon. “I tied in early with the 20×20 group and they got me a few (interviewees). I struggled with female coaches, though. I didn’t get one or two of them over the line, and there is not a huge body of them there or, at least, that I’m aware of.”

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

Daithí Burke who is likely to be Galway’s only All Star between hurling and football in 2020.

John McIntyre

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Daithí Burke who is likely to be Galway's only All Star between hurling and football in 2020.

NINE Galway players between hurling and football are in line for All-Stars awards in 2020, but the county may have to settle for just one honour.
Aidan Harte, Daithí Burke and Padraic Mannion are all nominated in defence for the hurling team, with Joe Canning, Conor Whelan, Brian Concannon and Cathal Mannion shortlisted for recognition up front.
Galway’s two nominations for the football team – which is set to be dominated by six-in-a-row champions Dublin – are team captain Shane Walsh and the long-serving Paul Conroy.
The anticipation is that only Daithí Burke will make the final cut – a scenario which would see the Turloughmore man win a fifth All-Star award, emulating the feat of Galway greats Joe Cooney, Pete Finnerty and Joe Canning.

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CITY TRIBUNE

Connacht aiming to close the deal this time in refixed clash

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Connacht’s Alex Wootton breaking the tackle of Munster’s Chris Farrell at the Sportsground in their previous outing. The Westerners host the Ospreys in a re-arranged PRO14 tie on Sunday.

RUGBY returns to the Sportsground on Sunday as Connacht take on the Ospreys in a re-arranged PRO14 clash that will kick off at 3pm. Two rounds of European action have been postponed, the Six Nations is on the horizon and players are just keen to be playing rugby, so rarely has a simple league clash against a Welsh region brought so much enthusiasm within the competing squads.

Connacht will be looking to maintain their position among the top three in their conference over the next couple of months. A place in the March 27 final seems beyond them after the narrow defeat to Munster last time out, but securing their place in the Champions Cup for a third successive season would be a major achievement. Head coach Andy Friend underlined the mood in the camp this week.

“We were disappointed to see the European games postponed but I’m pleased we have a fixture to slot in here. This is good for us. It was also good to have one week away from the Sportsground. There’s always a lot going on but just not to have to come in to the office for a few days was good for everyone. People bounced back in this morning and there’s a spring in their step.”

This tie fell by the wayside in November and once the European competitions were postponed two weeks ago, both parties jumped at the chance of bringing the fixture forward to keep momentum going with the Ospreys having won five of their last six games in all competitions and Connacht coming off some high octane if ultimately disappointing run of results during the same period – the one exception being the famous win in the RDS against Leinster.

The main feature in Connacht’s defeats has been indecision and critical errors in the closing minutes of games. Against Racing 92, Bristol, Ulster and Munster, Connacht had late chances to either win games or at least secure some much needed bonus points and on each occasion, the westerners failed to keep their composure and execute. Friend spoke about the impact of those mistakes this week.

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.

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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