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Craughwell hang on as city rivals count cost of late miss

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Craughwell's Jamie Ryan is chased by Liam Mellows John Kenny during Saturday's senior hurling quarter-final at Kenny Park. Photo: Joe O'Shaughnessy.

Craughwell 0-21

Liam Mellows 2-14

WATCHING Jack Hastings and Enda Fallon trying to console him after the final whistle, it was hard not to feel sympathy for Tadhg Haran.

He’d scored 0-11 for Liam Mellows, and the last minute free he was presented with would have seen him finish level for the day with the 0-12 that Niall Healy shot for Craughwell. Slightly to the right of the posts at the scoreboard end of Kenny Park, just outside the ’21, Haran would normally put such a free over 99 times out of a 100. But on Saturday, he missed the chance to draw the quarter-final for Mellows.

Haran is a fine hurler, and you’d hope he comes back better for the experience. But that’s pressure, and that’s how cruel sport can be at times. He got all seven of Mellows’ second half points to go with two early goals from Stephen Barrett, and an excellent point he’d scored from play drew the teams level 0-19 to 2-13 in the 58th minute.

That was the seventh time the teams were locked on the scoreboard in the half. Craughwell had been 2-17 to 2-10 winners when the clubs met in Group A of the Senior Championship on May 10, but it is never easy to beat a team twice in the same year.

Mellows put seven goals past Carnmore two weekends previous, and after coming out for the second period 0-10 to 0-7 in arrears, it was clear that they’d need to rattle the net a couple of times to make a county semi-final at their opponent’s expense. Craughwell had bossed the first half, but were rocked in the first five minutes upon the resumption by Barrett’s goals.

Barrett scythed his way through the Craughwell cover for the first, batting the sliotar under the legs of the advancing Aidan Ryan. For the second three minutes later in the 34th minute, Aonghus Callanan, Cathal Reilly and Adrian Morrissey were all involved in the move which ended with Barrett rounding Ryan and scoring. It put Mellows in front for the first time in the match, 2-7 to 0-12.

Aidan Ryan was booked for a slap of the hurl on Barrett for that goal, but 10 minutes later he redeemed himself. Callanan, quiet all game up to then, found himself bearing down on the Craughwell goal, but Ryan brilliantly dived to his left to keep out the effort from the Mellows captain. Incidentally, Haran was completely free on his own at the edge of the square to Callanan’s left.

Those are the small margins that sporting contests are often decided on though. After Haran had drawn the sides level for the final occasion, Niall Callanan and Jamie Ryan put Craughwell two ahead, and Ryan’s point was to be the clincher. The Craughwell wing-forward shot three overall, and it was Craughwell’s greater scoring spread in the forwards that was a deciding factor in the result.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

CITY TRIBUNE

Tribe Talk gives local hurling supporters plenty to listen to

Stephen Glennon

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Founders of the Tribes Talk podcast, a show on Galway hurling, are Patrick Earley (left) and David Connors (right).

ONE of the podcasts that became a regular feature of every Galway hurling enthusiast’s season last year was Tribe Talk – The Galway Hurling Podcast, which was founded by local journalists Patrick Earley and David Connors.

Airing for the first time in July 2020, the podcast, also available on YouTube and, later in the year, on Spotify, proved a major success, often receiving well in excess of 2,000 hits per episode between their listenership and viewership figures.

Earley, a freelance contributor to The Connacht Tribune and other publications, says the podcast was something he and Tuam Herald reporter David Connors had discussed doing for some time.

Given their strong hurling backgrounds – Earley is a versatile exponent with the Beagh senior team while former St. Thomas’ underage player Connors was a selector with Athenry intermediates last year – their focus was always going to be on the small ball.

“We kicked it off with an interview with Damien Hayes and we previewed all the first round games in the senior and intermediate championships,” begins Earley. “The response was very good and it (success) was instant enough. Pretty much every episode was clearing the thousand mark on YouTube and has been ever since.”

Earley says that they really enjoyed working on the episodes, some of which ran up to two hours, and they received great help from their regular contributors and guests, most notably from the affable Kevin ‘Chunky’ Hayes, a former Galway player and All-Ireland club winner with Portumna.

“Chunky is kind of the third member of the team in many ways, because he was with us for an awful lot of episodes,” says Earley. “His knowledge of the club scene is fantastic, especially when you are doing the club coverage. You need to have someone that has a knowledge of it, an understanding of it and follows it.

 

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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CITY TRIBUNE

It’s win or bust for Connacht in crunch tie with Munster

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Connacht out half Jack Carty whose varied kicking game is admired by Munster Head Coach Johann van Graan.

IT might only be early March but the PRO14 season is coming to a conclusion. The early finish is now set in stone and Connacht have just three fixtures remaining. To make the final of the competition, they have to make up a nine point deficit on Conference B leaders Munster who they face in Thomond Park on Friday (7:35). Unlikely as that might be as a target, meeting the side they are chasing in the run-in at least keeps things interesting.

Even if Connacht were on top of the table, they would be outsiders coming into a fixture at a venue that has proved to be a mood killer for four decades now. Just one win in 36 years and oh what a win that was. Bundee Aki’s try after Robbie Henshaw’s brilliant break saw Connacht win there in their title winning season of 2016.

The memories of that night will linger long after all the players have retired. The sight of Aki pounding his chest after that score, the roars from the thousands of Connacht fans in the stadium at full time, the emotion in Eoghan Masterson’s voice during the post game interviews. It was an amazing night at a venue where Connacht had suffered some of their heaviest defeats in the years before that.

The stakes don’t seem as high this weekend and the drama might not end up being as visceral, but the size of the task is arguably as big if not bigger. Sure Munster have numerous players away on international duty, but they have rotated squads for this fixture plenty times in that past and will still field a strong side on Friday.

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

McCormack and Rowe both forced off in preseason friendly with Sligo Rovers

Keith Kelly

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Padraig Cunningham talks with assistant referee, Allen Lynch, about his decision to disallow his 10th minute goal as the pair walk to the dressing rooms at half-time of Wednesday's 1-1- draw with Sligo Rovers.

Galway United continued their preseason campaign with a tough workout against Sligo Rovers in Eamonn Deacy Park on Wednesday afternoon, but things did not go entirely to plan, with a couple of players forced off through injury.

Conor McCormack picked up an arm injury just midway through the first-half while Mikie Rowe hobbled off five minutes into the second-half of a game that finished 1-1 at a bitterly cold afternoon just across from the banks of the Corrib.

Neither injury is thought to be of the serious variety – McCormack picked up a gash to his arm after Jordan Gibson’s accidentally stepped on the United midfielder after fouling him; while Rowe felt a slight strain to his calf and, after getting a bang on his ankle, he went down for attention before being substituted.

“It was just one of those ones,” United manager, John Caulfield, said about the McCormack incident after the game.

“The fella stood on his hand, so we took him off. It was stinging him for a bit, but he thinks he is okay, he felt he could go back on but we couldn’t make that change. For that first 30 minutes he was typical middle of the park busy, cutting out the danger, he did well,” said the United manager of a player who led the side out for the game, and is likely to be named as captain for the season in the next week or so.

“Mikie Rowe, he was doing well, but he felt the calf a bit and he got a kick on the ankle so you know, just a precaution, you take him off. He got a game against Finn Harps, and 50 minutes today, so we’re happy,” Caulfield said of Rowe.

Caulfield started the game with a 3-man defence of Maurice Nugent, Gary Boylan and Stephen Walsh, who were flanked by Conor O’Keeffe and David Hurley operating as two wing backs.

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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