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Dervan and Coone goals steer Mullagh to success

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Athenry's Ian O'Shea is about to be challenged by Mullagh's Cathal Dervan during the clubs' Senior B championship tie at Duggan Park on Sunday evening. Photo: Joe Kease.

Mullagh 2-18

Athenry 0-15

TWO crucial first half goals set Mullagh up for an opening day victory in the Senior B Hurling Championship at Duggan Park, Ballinasloe on Sunday.

Green flags for Cathal Dervan and Finian Coone tilted this tie in favour of the east Galway side before seven unanswered second half points ensured sufficient distance between the teams in the end.

Athenry will have many regrets, especially from the first half when they dominated for most of the period. But seven wides didn’t allow them transfer their possession onto the scoreboard and Mullagh took full advantage of their opportunities.

The winners struggled to settle in the opening exchanges as Athenry were dominating the middle third. Cian Burke got the opening point on three minutes before Ronan Hardiman landed his first free 60 seconds later for an Athenry two point advantage.

But Dessie O’Brien’s team finally managed a scoring chance when Paddy Hardiman set up Donal Reilly in the fifth minute. Reilly looked to have spurned a goal when his effort went across the posts and wide, but referee Michael Haverty had spotted an infringement in the square resulting in a Mullagh penalty. Cathal Dervan sent John Grealish the wrong way to ensure the three-pointer.

Despite this, Athenry looked unfazed and continued to impress with Michael Mullins and Ronan Hardiman contributing two points to make it 0-4 to 1-0.  Dervan responded with a Mullagh free but Burke and Patrick Hannon cancelled that out stretching Athenry’s advantage. Hardiman, however, added two more placed balls by 19 minutes as Mullagh trailed by 0-8 to 1-3.

Athenry were in control but their two point cushion looked little reward for their efforts with Dervan and Coone scoring for Mullagh. And their failure to punish their opponents more severely proved costly as the game’s defining score arrived on 22 minutes.

Not just the finish but the nature of this goal was critical. A long Craig Finnerty clearance looked to have over carried and destined for the left and wide . . . but Coone was proving a nuisance at full forward chasing everything for Mullagh and didn’t relent. A slight touch kept the sliothar in play before and he managed to steer the ball over the line for a second Mullagh goal.

Mullagh were now in front and they finished the half strongly as Coone added two points to his account as they went in 2-5 to 0-8 ahead. It was a blow to Athenry but the break came at the right time and they resumed their task upon the restart.

Despite playing into the wind, Hardiman opened the second half’s scoring but Coone responded for Mullagh. Mark Hannon put his name on Athenry’s tally on 34 minutes before Francis Hardiman did likewise for Mullagh. And when Ronan Hardiman and Damien Fahy from the right converted for the maroon and white, the deficit was now just 2-7 to 0-12.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

 

Connacht Tribune

Utd finish in a blaze of glory to take badly needed win

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Galway United’s Killian Brouder gets to the ball ahead of Athlone Town's Shane Barnes during Friday's First Division clash at Eamonn Deacy Park. Photo: Joe O'Shaughnessy.

Galway United 2

Athlone Town 1

Mike Rafferty at Eamonn Decay Park

GALWAY United have gone behind in seven of their 11 League of Ireland games so far this season, but at Eamonn Deacy Park on Friday night, they came from behind to win for the first time and as ever they left it late.

Trailing to a Shane Barnes goal from the 24th minute, United levelled matters courtesy of a Ruairi Keating penalty, before the Mayo native came to the rescue again with an additional time winner as the home side got exactly what they deserved.

As has become a feature of Galway United games this season, they were an enigma in the opening half before producing probably their best half of football on the resumption. In the first 45 minutes, there was neither shape nor style to their game as they ballooned long balls and hoped striker Wilson Waweru could work miracles.

It is difficult to know if it was the introduction of three fresh faces at the break that rejuvenated the home side on the resumption or the tactical changes from manager John Caulfield, but it became a half they dominated and the only agony for the hundred or so supporters was wondering could the home side could strike for a winner.

No doub, the fans offered support and the place erupted when Keating got on the end of a McCormack corner and the ball somehow made it over the line despite the efforts of Micheal Schlingerman and a covering defender for a dramatic late winner.

Caulfield had some harsh words to say after a heavy defeat against Shelbourne in their last game and obviously not helped by suspension (Stephen Walsh) and injury (Carlton Ubaezuonu), it gave an opportunity for 16-year-old Alex Murphy to play his first game for Galway United.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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Galway and Mannion play catch up to reel in Rebels

John McIntyre

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Galway's Cathal Mannion who was a big influence in their National Hurling League victory over Cork at Pairc Ui Chaoimh on Sunday.

Galway 3-25

Cork 2-23

John McIntyre at Pairc Uí Chaoimh

WE’VE known for the past few years that this group of Galway hurlers are as talented a team as there is around, but one All-Ireland and one National League title sells their overall quality short in terms of silverware.

Sure, in the often heartbreaking history of Galway hurling, the county’s current generation of elite players have achieved what only four Tribesmen teams have done in the past, but the nagging feeling is that they should be winning more.

Perhaps, that balance sheet is about to take a turn for the better on the basis of Galway’s last two performances in the league. In both those contests against strong opposition, they were in trouble after falling well behind. Their opponents were dictating the terms of engagement and looking in control.

Yet, by the finish of those matches against Waterford and Cork respectively, Galway had not alone found ways to retrieve the situation, but were also utterly dominant and have now set up a likely league final with Kilkenny as the counties’ paths are virtually certain to cross in the upcoming Leinster championship.

Though their comeback win over Waterford at Pearse Stadium the previous weekend was laudable, they had less time to reel in the Rebels at Pairc Uí Chaoimh last Sunday. In the space of 30 minutes, however, they managed to turn the game completely on its head in outscoring Cork by 3-13 to 0-10.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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Download the Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App to access to Galway’s best-selling newspaper.

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Or purchase the Digital Edition for PC, Mac or Laptop from Pagesuite  HERE.

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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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Donohue the driving force as Galway survive epic contest

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Galway's Aoife Donohue comes under pressure from Cork's Ellen Murphy during Sunday's National Camogie League semi-final at Nowlan Park. Photos: INPHO/Bryan Keane.

Galway 1-19

Kilkenny 1-17

(AET)

Eanna O’Reilly at Nowlan Park

THE Galway senior camogie team came through an epic extra-time battle with Cork to book their place in the National League final  after outlasting the Rebels at Nowlan Park on Sunday. On a scorching hot day in Kilkenny, Cathal Murray’s side showed tremendous resolve to edge out a battling Cork team, who matched the Tribeswomen score for score for most of the 83-minute contest.

A victory of this nature will surely stand to Murray’s charges in the long term, with Galway’s hunger, athleticism and fitness all thoroughly tested on Sunday evening. The character of the Galway players also shone through, particularly in the second period of extra-time, when they closed out the game while down to 14 players.

The amount of energy expended in Nowlan Park may not have been ideal with Sunday’s league final in mind, but in terms of squad morale and confidence, this victory was invaluable.

The exchanges were intense from the throw in. Cork’s Katrina Mackey opened the scoring inside the 20 seconds, before Carrie Dolan equalised with her first pointed free. The Clarinbridge forward was very sharp and landed a fine point two minutes later, after a good pass from Siobhán McGrath. Dolan soon put Galway 0-3 to 0-1 ahead, after pointing a free which she drew herself.

Cork replied with a point from Linda Collins before Galway were dealt an early injury blow. Orlaith McGrath was forced off with a dislocated shoulder and replaced by Catherine Finnerty. The Mountbellew forward soon got involved in the action, intercepting a loose ball in the Cork defence, before passing inside to Siobhán McGrath, who finished to the net. Cork replied with Orla Cronin pointing her first free of the afternoon.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App

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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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