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Doyle’s double secures first Irish U-15 FAI Soccer title for Salerno girls

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Doyle’s double secures first Irish title for Salerno girls

Timing is everything and Sadhbh Doyle obviously has the art perfected as her match-winner a minute from time gave Salerno Secondary School the U-15 FAI Schools’ Girls All-Ireland title in Athlone on Thursday afternoon.

It was a first-ever national crown for the Salthill school and coming from behind at the break, they provided the perfected second half response, with a pair of stunning Doyle goals.

The Barna native has been blazing a trail up the road to Drom from a very young age, and like many of her colleagues plays with Salthill Devon. It was the third game in succession in which the striker got a crucial goal, as she notched an additional time winner as Salerno defeated Sacred Heart from Westport 2-1 in the Connacht Final.

They also left it late in the recent All-Ireland semi-final as they came from behind to record a 3-2 victory over Abbey Community School, Waterford. After Alison Blaney got their opener, two goals in the closing eight minutes by Doyle and Ciara Wall rescued what seemed a lost cause.

In this contest, matters looked ominous for them as they played second fiddle to the Portlaoise side for long spells, who took a deserved lead into the break courtesy of a goal from Emma Lawlor.

The pattern was similar on the resumption, as the Leinster side continued to look the more threatening outfit, but were struggling to get any latitude from an outstanding Salerno defence. Behind them goalkeeper Maria Burke was inspired, as her handling and shot stopping was of the highest order.

While Salerno were backboned by players from Salthill Devon, more than half the Portlaoise side play their club fare with the very successful Emo Celtic. As well as providing the majority of the side, many were part of the School’s First Year’s team that won the All Ireland the previous week with a 7-2 success over Roscommon.

Star of that side was Lawlor, who notched five in the decider and from the off she posed a huge threat and it took two very smart Burke saves to deny her in the early minutes.

However, she opened the Portlaoise account with a terrific goal on 12 minutes. Cutting in from the left flank, she saw off two challengers, before making it 1-0 with a smart low finish beyond Burke.

For the duration the game, both sides had their moments as the game ebbed and flowed. After Portlaoise’s impressive start, it was then the turn of Salerno to take over as Meadhbh Corcoran and Catherine Timon got them moving in midfield.

A weakly-hit Doyle shot was comfortably gathered by Aimee Keane, before Ciara Wall struck the side netting after the ball broke to her in the box. Just before the break, a smart move down the left involving Megan Mulleady and Corcoran released Doyle, but her delivery across the face of goal, just got the better of the inrushing Wall.

The Salerno defence excelled in the opening half, and they surpassed it on the resumption as right full Dearbhail Comerford completely blocked out the threat of Lawlor, while wide on the left nothing got past Rebecca Downes, as she won every ball down her side.

At the heart of the defence, captain Rachel Hohan and Sarah Dunleavy were magnificent as they kept a rampant Laois side at bay. Wide players Ciara Wall and Megan Mulleady dropped deep to offer support when the occasion arose, while at the same time got forward to support Blaney and Doyle who were working overtime as they lived on scraps at the other end.

As the defence and Burke kept Salerno in the contest, they got their reward when the game took a sudden turn on 47 minutes, as Doyle gained possession just outside the box and after bursting through a number of players she made it 1-1 with a low shot just inside the far post.

Scoil Chriost Ri responded and a cracking shot by Gillian Keenan came crashing back off the crossbar. It was a backs-to-the-wall situation for Salerno and just when it looked like extra time was beckoning, they struck for a dramatic winner on 59 minutes.

Again Doyle was the instigator and finisher as she played a smashing 1-2 with Wall on the edge of the box and in a replica of her earlier goal, she made it 2-1 with another confident finish.

The day was won –coach Gerry Heaney was drowned by players and students and after all had settled down, Honan made it up the steps of Lissywollen Stadium to collect the Cup from FAI Schools official Alex Harkin.

CITY TRIBUNE

Connacht swing into action against Cardiff in expanded league structure

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Injured scrum half Caolin Blade who will miss Connacht's opening game in the new United Rugby Championship away to Cardiff on Friday night.

By Rob Murphy

RUGBY is back this weekend as Connacht make their debut in a brand new expanded competition. The United Rugby Championship has replaced the old PRO14 with the top four South African sides joining the teams from Ireland Scotland, Wales and Italy in a  new look 16 team tournament.

Over the next seven months, Andy Friend’s men will play 18 games as they look to secure one of the eight play off places up for grabs.

On Friday Connacht will begin their campaign in Wales where they’ll take on Cardiff at the Arms Park (7:35) for an important opening day fixture. With a number of difficult inter-provincials tussles on the horizon, a good start is badly needed.

On Wednesday, Connacht Rugby announced that they were moving their October 23 fixture with Ulster to the Aviva Stadium to mark the lifting of restrictions throughout the country for crowds at live events. The stand alone fixture will be a huge opportunity for the organisation to showcase the provincial team to a wide audience and they are hoping that Connacht fans will travel east in big numbers to watch their side play in the national stadium.

It will be the second time in a little over a year that Connacht have played at the venue having faced the same opponents there last August at a time when crowds weren’t permitted, You have to go back to 1986 for the previous appearance at the Dublin 4 venue. Forgoing home advantage for a league fixture looks like a risk worth taking as the novel event should generate a lot of interest among rugby fans who have waited over 18 months to watch their side play live.

While there is scope for a full house in Wales this Friday, Connacht’s opening home fixture against the Bulls the following Friday and their clash with the Dragons in Galway and Munster in Limerick later in the month will all fall under the current fifty percent capacity restrictions in the Republic of Ireland, so this is why that the Ulster fixture in Dublin will be a watershed moment for the campaign.

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.

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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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CITY TRIBUNE

Moran’s late fortuitous goal leaves Salthill men stunned

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Monivea-Abbey's Caelom Mulry gets to the ball ahead of Tom Considine of Salthill/Knocknacarra during Saturday's senior football championship tie at Kenny Park. Photos: Joe O'Shaughnessy.

Monivea-Abbey 1-10

Salthill-Knocknacarra 0-10

Gerard Mulreaney at Kenny Park

THEY say that fortune favours the brave, and that was certainly evident at a very wet Kenny Park, Athenry on Saturday afternoon

A brave performance from Monivea-Abbey, full of heart, grit and determination, saw them produce the shock of the weekend when they upset Salthill-Knocknacarra in a dramatic ending to this senior championship game.

Three points down at the second water break, Monivea-Abbey came storming back in the last quarter, scoring a goal and two points without reply to take the victory and give themselves an outside chance of reaching the quarter finals.

Both sides came into this must-win encounter on the back of opening round defeats, Monivea-Abbey losing to Oughterard while Salthill-Knocknacarra surprisingly came unstuck in their opener to Caherlistrane.

Salthill-Knocknacarra were first off the mark in the second minute when Robert Finnerty found Tomo Culhane who popped his effort over the bar.

Culhane then missed a golden opportunity to score the opening goal just a minute later. He was played in by the industrious John Maher, but the teeneger ended up rushing his shot, and the ball went agonisingly wide.

Monivea-Abbey, who were missing both Cillian McDaid and Cathal Cooley due to injury, hit back when Lee Kenny was fouled by William Finnerty and Brian Moran scored the resulting free kick.

Another goal chance went abegging for Salthill/Knocknacarra on nine minutes when centre-forward Evan Murphy ran in unopposed along the end line, but his shot was straight at Denis Farragher in the Monivea-Abbey goal.

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

Butler hopes fans will back move to switch home game

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Jarrad Butler looks on as Caolin Blade looks to break through the Ulster ranks in the PRO14 meeting between the sides in the Sportsground back in December. Photo: Joe O'Shaughnessy.

By JOHN FALLON

Connacht skipper Jarrad Butler said the players are looking forward to taking on Ulster at the Aviva Stadium next month when they hope to attract the biggest crowd to attend a rugby match in Ireland in over a year and a half.

With crowd restrictions due to be lifted by the Government just prior to the derby clash against Ulster on Saturday, 23 October, Connacht hope that a crowd of around 30,000 can be achieved for the fixture in the United Rugby Championship.

At present Connacht are restricted to crowds of around 3,000 at the Sportsground and even if all restrictions are lifted, the capacity of the stadium on College Road is limited to just over 8,000.

Coach Andy Friend and club captain Butler have given the decision their full backing, with Connacht consulting with their supporters’ club before deciding to switch the match to Dublin.

Connacht beat Ulster 26-20 behind closed doors there in August last year when competitive rugby restarted in the pandemic, and Butler said players were excited about going back there.

“It is different. We had success at the Aviva against Ulster last year and that was without fans. I think there is an excitement to go back there and, hopefully, be able to play there in front of a lot more Connacht fans than would probably be at the Sportsground.

“The Aviva is one of the best in the country and I think everyone is excited to get the opportunity to play there. The positives definitely outweigh the negatives playing there.

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.

 

Continue Reading

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