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Dempsey goal proves vital as Salthill get the job done

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Salthill-Knocknacarra's Marcus MacDonnacha is challenged by Killanin's Jack O'Toole and Alan Kelly during the West Board U-21 A football final in Moycullen. Photos: Enda Noone.

Salthill/Knocknacarra 2-9

Killanin 1-7

Patrick Flaherty in Moycullen

SALTHILL/Knocknacarrra will contest their first U21 A County football final since 2013 after they saw off Killanin by five points in the West Board decider played in Moycullen on Saturday night.

In a game where both sides had barren spells, going almost a third of the game without scoring, a 52th minute goal from substitute Rory Dempsey proved to be crucial as the city side booked their place in the county final.

It was Killanin who started the brighter in the opening five minutes, taking the lead curtesy of a fine free from Enda Kelly, but the Connemara men would fail to raise a white flag again for the next 17 minutes as Salthill hit them for 1-3 without a reply.

Salthill hit the equaliser through a point from Paul Butler, and the young forward was again to the fore soon after when following a long run from midfield, some neat link up play with Robert Finnerty led to Butler palming the ball past Callum Ciaponi in the Killanin net on 10 minutes for the first goal of the game.

Further scores from Finnerty and Shane Garvey put Salthill into a commanding five point lead, before Killanin finally got back on the scoresheet, as midfielder Gary Heffernan made a darting run forward, losing his marker in the process, and slotting home a fine effort from the left wing.

The sides traded scores soon after before Killanin keeper Ciaponi was tested to his limits, making a crucial block to deny Rob Finnerty, while a minute later Butler had a great chance to add a second goal to his tally, when left with just the keeper to beat, but his effort went across goal and wide.

As a half time approached, Finnerty won a long ball from midfield, before laying it off to Shane Kelly who duly slotted home a delightful effort from the right wing, to leave Salthill five points up at the break,1-5 to 0-3.

Roles were reversed in the second half, when following an early score from the boot of Shane Garvey, Salthill would go 20 minutes without a score, allowing the Connemara outfit to go through a purple patch which saw them hit 1-4 without reply.

Following another score from the boot of Enda Kelly, Killanin had a great chance to get a much needed goal on 34 minutes, when Gary Heffernan intercepted the ball from defender Fiachra O’Griofa, but his effort went agonisingly wide.

Killanin then thought they had that much need goal when Kelly kicked a long range free towards the opposition posts, with his shot seemingly lobbing David Sheedy in the Salthill net, only for the referee Padraig Mac Donnacha to blow for a foul in the square and disallowing the goal.

But wave after wave of pressure would eventually pay off on 44 minutes when following a free from Heffernan, a scramble in the square ensued, with Matthew Lawrence getting the final touch, as he fisted home a vital goal to leave just two points between the sides.

Further frees from Kelly and Ruairi Greene left the teams’ level with just ten minutes to go but that was as good as it got for Killannin as Mark Kinnevey’s side failed to score for the remainder of the tie.

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

CITY TRIBUNE

Bragging rights go to NUIG Maree on opening weekend

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NUIG Maree's Eoin Rockall jumps to shoot as Grant Olsson of Moycullen tries to block in the Super League meeting between the sides in NUIG last Saturday. Photo: Ed Shiel.

NUIG Maree made it four straight wins over local rivals Moycullen in the Men’s Super League to get their 2021/22 campaign off to a winning start in the Kingfisher Gym last Saturday.

A tense game between two nervous-looking sides went the way of Charlie Crowley’s charges, though both sides will know there is plenty of scope for improvement in the weeks ahead.

NUIOG Mystics also made a winning start to their season, blowing away the challenge of the Marble City Hawks down in Kilkenny, and with a side featuring seven players who featured for Maree in the Women’s Super League two season ago, in addition to two string US imports, Paul O’Brien’s side could be dark horses for league honours this season.

Titans mase a welcome return to the national league on Saturday but their trip to league newcomers, Drogheda Wolves, ended in defeat, though jack Considine’s already young squad was hit by a raft of injuries ahead of the game, though taking a long-term view, the club is handing a lot of young players valuable league experience, which can only benefit Titans in the years ahead.

Maree  70

Moycullen 68

Super League basketball fans got a scintillating return to action Saturday night in NUI Galway as Moycullen and Maree played out a nail biter, with Maree scraping by as winners 70 to 68. writes Cian Nihill.

After an enthralling back and forth encounter, the local derby and season opener came down to the final minutes when six straight Grant Olsson points for Moycullen had the nominal visitors trailing by one with 24 seconds left and possession.

It would be Olsson again who took on the responsibility and, having dragged his side to within touching distance of the win, had to endure the heartache of seeing his 3-point attempt narrowly miss.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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CITY TRIBUNE

Hibs get off the mark with derby win over Rangers

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Mervue United goalkeeper Daire Geraghty gets his clearance away despite the challenge of Loughrea's Kieran Bane in Mervue's 5-2 league win over their visitors in Fahy's Field last weekend. Photo: Iain McDonald.

Soccer Wrap with Mike Rafferty

Recent seasons have proved to be somewhat of a struggle for Hibernians, but despite regular positioning in the lower regions of the Premier Division, they have always survived and in the current campaign with four teams to be relegated from the 12-team league, matters look like they will be very competitive for a number of teams to avoid the drop.

Just about six weeks into the new season, just four points separate the nine teams outside the top three and indeed just one point separates the bottom seven sides.

The action is competitive and indeed three of those lower positioned teams fashioned a first league win of the campaign over the weekend, with Hibernians the most impressive with a 5-0 success over Corrib Rangers.

Dean Cullinane, Shane Walsh, Jason McPhilbin, Jason McDonagh (pen) and Alex Murphy with his first senior goal all found the range for the Bohermore side on Sunday morning.

Maree/Oranmore were also convincing winners with a 3-0 away success over Tuam Celtic as Luke Smyth, Andrew Connolly and Pricewell Diala all found the range for the visitors.

Kerill Hardiman and Ryan Noone got the goals as Colemanstown United also fashioned a first win with a 2-1 success over a Corrib Celtic side for whom Shane Concannon got their lone reply.

Even at this early stage of the season, the challenge for Premier Division title looks to lie between three sides as Mervue United, Athenry and Salthill Devon appear to be the likely contenders.

Mervue United were making it five wins on the trot as they maintained their top position with a 5-2 win over Loughrea at Fahy’s Field. As ever, leading scorer Enda Curran found the range with a brace, as Jonathan Hannifin, Hakeem Ryan and Aaron Molloy also hit the target in a convincing success. Kieran Bane was on the mark with both goals for the visitors.

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

Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App

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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

Aki returns for daunting trip to Thomond Park

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Connacht’s Matthew Burke braces for a tackle from Aaron Wainright of the Dragons in last weekend's game in the Sportsground.

BY JOHN FALLON

The return of Bundee Aki will give Connacht a badly needed boost after their collapse against Dragons last weekend as they face into two crucial derby clashes against Munster this Saturday in Thomond Park (7.35pm)and then against Ulster in Aviva Stadium on Saturday week, October 23 (5.15pm)

Aki is set to become the first British and Irish Lion to play for Connacht in the professional era and Peter Wilkins, who has moved to a more senior role as well as taking charge of attack, said that Aki is gunning for action.

“The way we are playing gives him that little bit more freedom to express himself, and also for him to feed off the opportunity of other attackers around him. I think the way we are playing will suit him. He’s enjoying training and the details that goes into that. It’s enormously exciting for him and it’s great for us.

“Bundee’s specific role over the past few weeks was to get up to speed with the way we are trying to play in attack and defence. Obviously, there are way more changes to the way we are attacking so it has been him getting up to speed with that.

“There have been different avenues to that, there has been work off-field, one-on-one meetings with us as coaches, obviously he has had catch-ups with the players, with the leadership groups and he has been able to be on the grass at training in the past few weeks, observing, and then training with the group. So he has had a really nice layer of introductions to what we are trying to do.

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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