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Defending All-Ireland camogie champions face tough test against Kilkenny

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After surviving a test of character in their quarter-final against Clare, Galway’s camogie side face the ultimate challenge this Sunday when they meet an undefeated Kilkenny in the All-Ireland semi-final Gaelic Grounds in Limerick (4pm).

The Noresiders are league champions, on 10 wins out of 10, and with their minor and senior hurlers plus their intermediate camogie team already going to Croke Park, there’s a positive feeling in the Marble County.

In a repeat of last year’s All-Ireland final, Kilkenny will be looking for revenge and stated their intent in February when they outplayed Galway 2-11 to 0-8 in the league.

Kilkenny added wins over Derry, Clare, Limerick and Wexford to take league honours and took that form into the championship dispensing of Offaly, Tipperary, Clare and Derry.

With 12-66 scored in four games, Kilkenny can count on Denise Gaule, Aoife Neary and Leanne Fennelly for scores while the full-back line of Mairead Power, Kate McDonald and Jacqui Frisby has only conceded one goal in the Summer.

Kilkenny are the form team while Galway’s has been slightly erratic but their 2-10 to 0-14 win over Clare in the All-Ireland quarter-final will give confidence. Goals from Emma Kilkelly and Aislinn Connolly proved turning points a fortnight ago while Niamh McGrath’s seven points were important but Tony Ward’s charges will know they need to improve.

Galway’s defence have been reliable and restricted Clare to just one point from play over 100 minutes and they will need to be equally tight. Molly Dunne and Niamh Kilkenny announced their arrival in Championship 2014 with two sterling performances and gaining control around the middle will be critical.

It’s in attack where the maroon and white need a significant boost. Despite the referee’s constant whistling the last day, Galway still only managed three points from play. McGrath has performed strongly this year and the return of Ann Marie Hayes to full forward looked to reap dividends but the All-Ireland champions will need others to step-up.

Kilkelly and Orlaith McGrath are likely starters and it’ll be interesting if Ann Marie Starr gets the nod after her productive cameo appearance. Otherwise, Rebecca Hennelly, Ailish O’Reilly, Brenda Hanney, Aislinn Connolly and Noreen Coen should ensure plenty of competition for the final spots.

Quite simply, Galway need a performance. The quarter-final showed signs that the Tribeswomen are back on track but they will need to be at their desired level to keep their ambitions intact.

No doubt, it’s in Galway and should it come, this will be intriguing afternoon and their win against Clare will stand to them against a Kilkenny side inactive for five weeks.  If it doesn’t, then their reign as Queens of camogie will end around 5.30pm on Sunday.

CITY TRIBUNE

City sides will fancy chances of advancing as champions face Corofin

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Bearna's James Kennedy hits the deck in Ballinasloe on Tuesday as Annaghdown's Frankie Burke and Darragh Meehan try to chase down possession. Photo: Joe O'Shaughnessy.

The battle for this year’s county Senior Gaelic football club title looks to be wide open after the quarter-final draw was made this week following the delayed conclusion of the group stages on Tuesday night.

Salthill/Knocknacarra, who finished second in group 2, have been handed a last eight tie with a Tuam Stars side that finished third in group 1; while St Michael’s, who topped Group 3, will face an Annaghdown side that nabbed the final quarter-final spot in dramatic fashion on Tuesday night.

They went into their game with Bearna knowing they needed to win by a minimum of 12points to pip Milltown to the final qualifying spot as the second best of the teams that finished third in the group stages.

They looked to be coming up just short until they were awarded a late free, which goalkeeper James Healy converted, to snatch that remaining quarter-final slot on socring difference form Milltown.

The 2020 champions, Moycullen, will take on Claregalway in the last eight; while the pick of the ties is undoubtedly the clash of defending champions, Mountbellew/Moylough, with a Corofin side that was denied the five-in-a-row by Moycullen two years ago.

At the other end of the equation, St James’ are in a relegation battle, and face a clash with An Spidéal in the preliminary play-offs. A win will secure their senior status for another year, but a defeat will see them join Oughterard, An Cheathru Rua, and the losers of the other preliminary play-off between Caherlistrane and Monivea/Abbey in a round robin league, with the bottom two sides in those play-offs dropping to the intermediate ranks next year.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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CITY TRIBUNE

Play-offs dress rehearsal facing Utd against Treaty

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Former Galway United player Enda Curran celebrates his recent hat-trick for Treaty United in their FAI Cup quarter-final win over UCD. The in-form Mervue native will be facing the Tribesmen in a First Division clash on Friday.

GALWAY United head to Limerick this Friday evening for what is looking like a dress rehearsal for the end-of-season play-offs as they take on Treaty United in the Markets Field (7.45pm).

This is United’s game-in-hand over league leaders, Cork City, and a win will see them close the gap on the Leesiders to four points with three games remaining, and while a win would give the slightest of hopes of a late challenge for league honours, it is more likely to serve as a further boost to confidence ahead of the protracted play-off series that kicks-off at the end of next month.

United need to win their final four games to have any hope of snatching the title, and given the goal difference between the sides, they also need to hope that City don’t pick up more than four points from their last three games, if they are to finish top of the pile.

United’s last three games after this weekend are at home to Athlone, away to Wexford, and home to Longford Town; while City are home to Wexford, away to Athlone, and home to Bray, the easier of the two run-ins, so for United it is all about building momentum ahead of the play-offs.

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

Late points from Burke and Wall grab draw for Corofin

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Tuam Stars' Paul Collins tries to halt Ronan Steede of Corofin in his tracks during Sunday's Senior Football Group 1 encounter at Tuam Stadium. Photo: Joe O'Shaughnessy.

Corofin 0-16

Tuam Stars 0-16

Eanna O’Reilly at Tuam Stadium

A late point from Corofin’s Ian Burke denied Tuam Stars a notable win over their close neighbours in an entertaining contest at Tuam Stadium on Sunday afternoon. In a closely fought contest, the Stars appeared to have done enough with two late points from Brian Mannion putting them ahead by 0-16 to 0-14 in the dying minutes of the second half.

In typically composed fashion however, Corofin refused to panic and used all of their experience to engineer two late scores, the first from Dylan Wall, before Burke held his nerve to convert a mark to give Corofin a share of the spoils.

The result means that both sides qualified for the quarter finals, after both finished the group stages with eight points. Corofin were drawn against defending champions Mountbellew/Moylough in a mouth-watering tie, while Tuam Stars will face Salthill/Knocknacara in another intriguing clash.

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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