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Connacht Tribune

Cup dream over as Connacht suffer mauling from the Bears

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Connacht’s Alex Wooton has his progress halted by Bristol Bears during Sunday's European Champions Cup tie at the Sportsground. Photos: Joe O'Shaughnessy.

Connacht 18

Bristol 27

Rob Murphy at the Sportsground

ANY review of Sunday evening’s Champions Cup game at the Sportsground must take time to consider the Pat Lam factor, his Bristol side’s powerful pack and their all too familiar commitment to a wild and high risk attacking strategy but before we get to that, let’s put the focus on a Connacht side who were soundly beaten and saw their quarter final hopes firmly ended.

This was a big night for Andy Friend’s men. All week they downplayed the significance of Lam’s return to Galway. It was just another high quality Champions Cup fixture they said, getting caught up in the side stories would cost them. That was logical and no doubt they didn’t get distracted in the end but they can’t avoid the reality that, to the outside rugby world at least, this was not a good look.

Here was their old coach, back in town. The godfather figure of Connacht rugby, the man who arrived in the west of Ireland with his bright new ideas six years ago and delivered the unthinkable, a trophy after an unforgettable final in Edinburgh and a homecoming that brought a large chunk of the province to the streets of Galway.

This was a day to look sharp. No one is suggesting that Connacht haven’t moved on from those days, or at least built on that legacy – they have. They’ve reached the Champions Cup twice since and they’ve secured planning for a new stadium and continue to produce players for the international squad, yet still though. They wanted to show their best side for this one.

Again, leave aside the Pat Lam factor for a moment, this was Connacht up against a typical big spending English Premiership side. Their powerful packs seem to always cause Connacht trouble. In ten seasons of European action now, Connacht have won six and lost 19 of their 25 fixtures against English opponents. Their wins have all been at home, mostly been by a hair’s breadth and against the run of play.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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Connacht Tribune

Singer/songwriter reveals his Future Business Model

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Derek Ellard...new single from upcoming EP.

Groove Tube with Cian O’Connell

Derek Ellard is a talented Galway-based songwriter, producer and multi-instrumentalist; he boasts a comprehensive catalogue of live performances around the city, including support slots for the likes of Gavin James, Wallis Bird, the Frank and Walters, and Hudson Taylor.

With his primary focus though, folk-rock outfit Derek Ellard & the Future Business Model, he is forging an outlet that allows him to explore every avenue of his creative work.

And this Friday, February 10, the group is set to release Three Sheets to the Wind, their sixth single to date and the first of five tracks on a forthcoming, self-titled EP.

The song recalls some of Derek’s formative years growing up in Tipperary. It is laden with imagery and bright melodies – for those that have not previously listened, the single sets a perfect example of the range of emotions that litter Derek’s work.

“I wouldn’t say I had a strange relationship with my brother, but he was this professional rugby player who had everything together, and I kind of wasn’t,” he explains.

“We had a connection through being bold really… Two mischievous fellas and that was what we bonded over. When we look back, we remember it fondly and what inspired me to write the song was my brother telling me how, when he was younger and playing rugby for the senior team at sixteen or seventeen, he would sneak out and get absolutely bladdered with the team. He’d be sauced going into school and stuff… That was the first verse.

“We grew up in this room together with orange walls, but Dad had mixed up the paints. One side was gloss and the other was matte – it was a strange room and I included that as well.

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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Connacht Tribune

Comer’s injury makes it a grey day all-round for out-of-sorts Galway

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Galway's Damian Comer clutches his knee in agony against Roscommon’s Conor Daly after suffering a bad injury in Sunday's National League clash at Pearse Stadium. Photo: Joe O'Shaughnessy.

Inside Track with John McIntyre

It was one of those grim days that the Galway footballers would prefer to forget. Apart from the serious knee injury sustained by Damien Comer in the opening quarter, the home team allowed a winning hand to slip late on in a dour encounter against Roscommon at Pearse Stadium.

Naturally, Comer’s injury dominated the post-match headlines. The Annaghdown man was central to Galway’s major progress in 2022, with his physicality alone giving the team a hard edge up front. To see him being stretchered off in Salthill and in obvious distress represents an incalculable blow to the Tribesmen.

Comer’s season being prematurely over only adds to Galway’s early-season woes. Heading into 2023, the team management knew they would be planning without two of their defensive pillars – Kieran Molloy (injury) and Liam Silke (work) – while the departure of utility forward Finnian Ó Laoí (travel) was also a setback.

To compound matters, Patrick Kelly is struggling to shake off a back injury, while Rob Finnerty faces at least another month on the sidelines after suffering ankle ligament damage in Galway’s opening Division One encounter against Mayo in MacHale Park. Throw in the fact that Shane Walsh is currently travelling, Padraic Joyce will be down at least six of last year’s All-Ireland final team when squaring up to Tyrone at Tuam Stadium on Sunday week.

This background will automatically test the in-depth strength of the squad in the weeks ahead, and with only one point on the board from their opening two league matches, the spectre of a relegation battle looms. Given the unavailability of so many players, Galway’s priority will now surely surround staying in the top-flight of league football.

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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Galway in Days Gone By

Galway In Days Gone By

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Student musicians who took part in the Dominican College, Taylor's Hill production of My Fair Lady in January 1998.

1923

Influenza cure

Of the ills to which human flesh is heir, those which result from the periodical influenza epidemic are, perhaps, the most devastating.

The toll of human life in the great epidemic of 1918-’19 was unparalleled in the more recent history of the world. It is calculated that in the twelve months the epidemic claimed more victims than fell in the four-and-a-half years of the European war.

In Ireland the disease was no respecter of persons, the flower of the race falling an easy prey to the germ. Indeed, it is rather a remarkable fact that it was amongst the young manhood and womanhood of the country that the ravages of the disease were greatest.

This week the welcome news has been published that the bacteriologists at the Rockefeller Institute, New York, have isolated the influenza germ, and that the cure of the disease is in sight.

The discovery of the germ itself is of inestimable importance for the welfare of humanity and augurs the possibly of influenza being made a preventable disease like smallpox in, it is to be hoped, the not far distant future.

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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