Date Published: 13-Apr-2011
THE odds were always loaded against Galway footballers avoiding relegation after losing their opening five National League matches in Division One and while that disappointing reality finally came to pass last Sunday, there is a far more upbeat mood around the county about the team’s championship prospects now compared to only a month ago.
The local outlook began to change when a reshuffled Galway outfit pushed All-Ireland champions Cork hard at Pearse Stadium in March. Tomas Ó Flatharta’s outfit may still have lost the match, but the home team showed no shortage of heart and commitment in producing their most invigorating performance of the campaign so far.
Still, few observers anticipated that the men in maroon would get a result in their next outing away to Armagh in the Athletic Grounds and when they fell four points behind early on, it appeared that a sixth consecutive league defeat was on the cards. By the end of the match, however, Galway won pulling away with wing back Gary Sice delivering a magnificent display, highlighted by three rousing points from play.
There were other factors too in Galway’s unexpected triumph. The return of Padraic Joyce after injury brought extra guile to the attack; Finian Hanley was giving the midfield sector a fresh vibrancy; while Paul Conroy picked off four points from his new full forward base. With the under-rated Cormac Bane grabbing a vital goal, the men in maroon had given themselves an outside chance of avoiding dropping to Division Two ahead of last Sunday’s final round of matches.
Yet, it was always going to be a big ask as not alone did Galway need to beat table toppers Dublin, they were also dependent on results elsewhere falling in their favour. Frankly, when they trailed Pat Gilroy’s unbeaten visitors by 2-8 to 0-6 early in the second-half at Pearse Stadium, it didn’t matter what happened to the two other teams in the relegation mix, Monaghan or Armagh, as the Tribesmen looked doomed to defeat.
Even though Dublin had lost their early goal scorer Alan Brogan to a straight red card after an off-the-ball incident involving Johnny Duane, they led by seven points at the interval against a Galway team which was paying a hefty price for unforced errors and carrying the ball into trouble. Brogan’s goal owed its origins to a stray Eoin Concannon handpass out the field, while Joe Bergin turning over possession near his own posts led directly to Dublin’s second green flag from Pat Burke.
When Bernard Brogan increased their advantage early in the second-half, the Dubs were in cruise control against opponents who were struggling to establish any fluency. The introduction of the fit-again Gareth Bradshaw, however, helped to engineer an unlikely Galway revival with goalkeeper Adrian Faherty, whose kick outs didn’t always find their intended target, making a crucial stop from Brogan to prevent his team from facing an insurmountable deficit. Initially, points from Bane (free), Conroy and Bradshaw gave Galway momentum but, crucially, Dublin custodian Michael Savage denied Conroy a goal midway through the half.
But Galway had their tails up now. Further points followed from Joyce, Conroy and Sice, and when substitute Kevin Brady raised his team’s eighth consecutive white flag without reply seven minutes from time, they were level. Though almost predictably, Dublin regained the lead with a Dean Kelly effort, Galway rallied again and after Bane had equalised, they almost snatched it only for Sice’s effort to just fall short.
While demotion to Division Two is a setback, it’s hardly a disastrous scenario, especially in the context of the Tribemen’s strong finish to the campaign. Galway’s new-look defensive unit of Alan Burke, the promising Colin Forde, Johnny Duane, Gary O’Donnell, Greg Higgins and Sice is still a work in progress but further up the field, the change of scenery for Hanley and Conroy has helped to reinvigorate the team in recent weeks.
During Galway’s troubled start to the league, it must have been tempting for Padraic Joyce, then struggling with a back injury, to walk away from the squad, but the Killererin man has never been an individual for panic decisions and his return to front-line action must have boosted morale too. With better news about Michael Meehan’s ankle injury and Sean Armstrong on the recovery trail as well, Galway are suddenly potential championship dark horses this summer.
For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.
Galway ‘Park and Ride’ could become permanent
Date Published: 07-May-2013
A park ‘n’ ride scheme from Carnmore into Galway city could become a permanent service if there is public demand.
That’s according to the Chief Executive of Galway Chamber of Commerce, Michael Coyle.
The pilot scheme will begin at 7.20 next Monday morning, May 13th.
Motorists will be able to park cars at the airport carpark in Carnmore and avail of a bus transfer to Forster Street in the city.
Buses will depart every 20 minutes at peak times and every 30 minutes at offpeak times throughout the day, at a cost of 2 euro per journey.
Tuam awaits UK hay import as overnight rainfall adds to fodder crisis
Date Published: 09-May-2013
Tuam is now awaiting a third import of hay from the UK as overnight rainfall has increased pressure on farmers struggling to source fodder.
A total of ten loads are expected at Connacht Gold stores throughout the West with a load expected at the Airglooney outlet this evening or tomorrow.
Farmers throughout the county have been struggling to cope with the animal feed shortage and a below than normal grass growth due to unseasonal weather conditions.
Overnight rainfall in the Galway area has also added to the problem making ground conditions in many areas are quite poor.
Joe Waldron, Agricultual Advisor with Connacht Gold says farmers in short supply can contact the Airglooney outlet on 093 – 24101.
Transport Minister urges end to Bus Eireann strike action
Date Published: 12-May-2013
The Transport Minister is urging drivers at Bus Éireann to engage in talks with management, in an effort to bring their strike action to an end.
There were no Bus Éireann services operating out of Galway today as a result of nationwide strike action by staff affiliated with the national bus and rail union.
Up to 20 Bus Éireann drivers are continuing to picket outside the bus depot at the docks in the city this evening.
Drivers from other unions have decided not to cross the picket line and go into work today – causing the disruption to be even worse.
Bus drivers are protesting against five million euro worth of cuts to their overtime and premium pay – cuts which Bus Eireann says are vital to ensure the future viability of the company.
The majority of services nationwide are disrupted, and the union say strike action will continue until management are willing to go back into negotiations.
However, it’s not expected to affect school services next week.
Galway bay fm news understands that around 70 percent, or over 100 Galway bus Eireann drivers are affiliated with the NBRU.