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Cunningham wants players to bottle the hurt

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Galway manager Anthony Cunningham who expects his team to 'fight like lions' against Tipperary in Saturday's All-Ireland hurling qualifier in Thurles.

GALWAY boss Anthony Cunningham wants his players to bottle the hurt from their Leinster SHC semi-final replay loss to Kilkenny and unleash it on Tipperary when they face the Premier County in the All-Ireland senior hurling qualifiers at Semple Stadium, Thurles on Saturday (7pm).

Following their 3-19 to 1-17 defeat to Brian Cody’s Cats, it is back to the drawing board for Cunningham and his selectors, Eugene Cloonan and Damien Curley,and the St. Thomas’ native doesn’t rule out changes to the starting fifteen for this weekend’s encounter.

“When you are playing week after week, that is why you carry a panel. That is why you play loads of players during the league. There are loads of guys who are fit to be playing and to come into the team. So, we would be happy with that definitely. We have given huge experience to a lot of players.”

At any rate, a ‘do or die’ clash against Tipperary in the wake of the Kilkenny defeat is a daunting task for the Westerners and this is not lost on Cunningham. “Tipperary could have been playing in a Munster final bar a couple of minutes against Limerick. They were very, very close and they are a top-class team.

“So, it is going to be some battle there [in Thurles] on Saturday evening. We have huge respect for Tipperary but we also have huge confidence in our own ability. I think we showed a lot of snippets there of very good hurling during that match [against Kilkenny],” insisted the Galway manager.

Indeed, Cunningham believes the best way to purge last weekend’s defeat is to return to championship action as soon as possible and not be left to ponder on it for two or three weeks. “We are sharp now and you can’t beat sharpness and pace really and the competitive nature of matches.

“We have two great battles under our belt with Kilkenny. It is a huge challenge [to face Tipperary in Semple Stadium] but we are going to be well up for it and we are going to be there fighting like lions the next day.”

“Look it, any time you are still in the championship, it is brilliant. We are going to regroup during the week and get back to Thurles on Saturday evening. We are fighting [to stay in the championship], the same as Tipperary, so it is going to be a brilliant match. No doubt about that.”

That said, Galway will need to improve and, in the case of their offensive lines, quite dramatically. With a scoring return from their three championship games against Laois and Kilkenny (draw and replay) of just 60% – in contrast to a return of 72% over the last two games for Kilkenny – Galway have work to do.

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

CITY TRIBUNE

Galway Youths advance to Interleague knockout stages

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Galway’s Piotrik Symonski celebrates his goal with Gussi Khumula in the 4-0 win over the Clare League. Photos: Joe O'Shaughnessy.

Galway League 4

Clare League 0

Local Soccer Wrap with Mike Rafferty

 Three up at the break, the home side were always in command of this FAI Youth Inter-League group game in Eamonn Deacy Park on Saturday night as the victory allowed them to advance to the knockout stages of the competition.

Having previously defeated the Limerick League in an away contest and with Clare having drawn with the Treaty outfit, the tag of favourites rested comfortably with the home side.

For the duration they were the better side as Oisin Coyne, Ethan McCauley and Ryan Mill bossed the midfield exchanges with their silky touches, while Evan Moran and Gussi Khumula provided plenty of attacking options from the wide positions.

The home side made the perfect start when impressive striker Piotrik Symonski beat three players in a strong run before finishing with the calmness of someone who knew what he was doing. Evan Moran then added two more before the break, before substitute Charlie Quinn sealed the outcome with the fourth on the resumption.

Galway League: Babonos, Nylain, Tolin, Keady, Diana, Coyne, Khumula, McCauley, Symonski, Mill, Moran.

Clare League: Kilker, McCillick, Fitzpatrick, Kantecht, McNamara, Byrne, O’Halloran, Hanrahan, Hassett, McDonagh, Wallace.

Referee: Gary Small.

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

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CITY TRIBUNE

Greenfields shuttle their way into last four of Irish Trophy

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The Corinthians U-14 squad pictured after their thrilling game against Creggs last weekend. From left: Georgia Farrell, Emma Leica, Ivy Delport, Molly Howard, Ella Rose Starr, Siun Lyons, Eimear O'Neill, Laura Barry, Lauren Johnston Lynch, Katelyn Flanagan, Izzy McWeeney, and Aoife Denby.

Greenfields 2

Randalstown 2

Greenfields won 3-1 on penalty shuttles

Greenfields Hockey Club are through to the semi-finals of this season’s Irish Hockey Trophy after a penalty shootout win over Randalstown of Antrim in their quarter-final meeting in Dangan last Saturday.

The visitors started on the front foot, and had the experienced Greenfields defence of Tara Melvin, Suran Tierney, Ailish Walsh and Anna Boyce under pressure in the first quarter, dominating possession and territory in the first five minutes and forcing Greenfields to soak up a lot of pressure.

The Greenfields defence held firm, however, and were well marshalled by goalkeeper Deirdre Corcoran, and it was the home team though who were first to score on the counter-attack. A flowing move from the back resulted in possession in midfield with Ruth Clifford who passed right to Izzy Howard and her through ball found right winger Zara O’Toole.

O’Toole showed blistering pace down the right sideline and her weighted pass to Charlotte Elliot beat the last Randalstown defender and Elliott slotted the ball home superbly beyond the advancing Randalsdown’s goalkeeper Trish Neil for the only score of the quarter.

The second quarter was an equally tight contest with both teams enjoying some good goal scoring chances. Alexandra Graham for Randalstown in midfield was proving a real handful, dictating play and she set up a number of chances for Randalstown, but the Greenfields defence dealt with anything that came their way, bolstered by the experienced Corcoran.

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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CITY TRIBUNE

Connacht set to mix and match for Challenge Cup encounter with Newcastle

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Connacht flanker Cian Prendergast leading this attack against Benetton during Saturday's United Rugby Championship tie at the Sportsground. Photo: Joe O'Shaughnessy.

IN a way, it is hard to know what to make of Connacht’s bonus-point win over Treviso last weekend, a result that keeps them in the hunt for a top-eight finish in the URC and qualification for both the league play-offs, and possibly the European Champions Cup.

No-one in their right mind wants to lose a game, but it leaves the province with decision to make as they take a break from regular league action this weekend to take on Newcastle Falcons on Saturday in the European Challenge Cup in the Sportsground (5.30pm).

Connacht’s Jekyll & Hyde start to the season – four wins in nine games and just three bonus points – means they have work to do to make the upper echelons of their own league, but achieving that is very much in reach, as they are ‘just’ three points off the pace at the half-way stage in the league.

It also means that they can’t go full-tilt at Europe, and they are clearly accepting that themselves: although the squad for Saturday won’t be announced until lunch-time the day before, Connacht have already confirmed that Finlay Bealham, Dave Heffernan, and Cian Prendergast will be absent as part of an IRFU protocol requiring all international players to sit out two games from the block of nine following the resumption of club action after the November internationals.

“There is healthy competition for selection, we have a few internationals away on holidays as well, so it does open it up to the squad, and it opens up to a squad that has been training well and has been training hard,” scrum-coach Colm Tucker said this week.

“You have to manage guys through the season, it is something last year that towards the end of the season, guys were a bit banged up, so we are very focused on that this year in terms of managing loads on players, so I think you will see some familiar faces out there mixed with some new faces, which is very positive for us,” he said.

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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