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Eager Abbey outfit complete the Cup and league double



Date Published: 02-Jun-2010

TWO opening-half goals by St. Bernard’s set them on the way to a comfortable victory in the Joe Ryan Cup final at Terryland Park on Saturday and, in the process, completed a First Division League and Cup double.

Early strikes by Eoghan Roche and Mathew Finn gave St. Bernard’s the perfect start in their bid to retain the cup and a late Jason Finn goal sealed the deal.

Despite both sides having completed their league programme some time ago, this was a competitive encounter. The Abbeyknockmoy side were by far the more threatening in the opening half and their advantage was based on the predatory instincts of the goal scoring duo, while Mervue couldn’t make a number of set pieces count in their best opportunities.

Certainly, Bernard’s were the more creative in the opening quarter and could have taken the lead on just six minutes, but Roche could not keep a Jason Finn cross on target from close range. However, the front man certainly finished in style when he made it 1-0 on 13 minutes.

Collecting a throw in on the left from Mathew Finn, he swivelled and drilled a 25 yard effort in to the far top corner as ‘keeper Roche was rendered helpless. Mervue responded to the challenge and St. Bernard’s goalkeeper Colm King brought off a smart save to keep out a Darvin Dowling shot. A terrific challenge by Daryl Finn then ended a threatening Dermot Ward run in the box before a swift counter attack at the other end produced a half chance for Kevin Ruane, but after rounding the advancing Roche he could not apply the finish from a tight angle.

However Bernard’s made it 2-0 on 23 minutes when Jason Finn delivered from the right and Mathew Finn was positioned ten yards out to drill in an effort that went in off the underside of the crossbar.

Just twice more they threatened in that opening half as Mark Finn steered a Ruane pass off target, while a Ruane free kick was tipped on to the crossbar by Roche at full stretch.

Meanwhile, set pieces always looked the most likely avenue of a Mervue fight back. King reacted well to an Alan Tormey header with a reactive tip over and from another Dowling delivery, Ger McGrath headed over. A close range Ward effort tested King and just before the break a Lubos Valcek free kick deflected off the defensive wall for a corner.

The resumption saw Mervue force the early pace and a combination of King and Mathew Finn denied Lloyd Concannon on 48 minutes, but from the resulting Dowling corner Tormey applied the low finish to make it 2-1.

A brilliant full length save by King denied Ward an equaliser on 54 minutes after the front man hammered in an effort from outside the box.

The highlight of the game came on 56 minutes when Darren Roche produced three cracking reflex saves in quick succession. A Kevin Ruane cross set up Eoghan Roche, but from six yards Roche spread himself to keep out the shot and from the rebound he got up to push away a Mathew Finn effort before then scrambling across the line to push away a loose ball as Bernard’s wondered how they didn’t make the opportunity count.

Substitute JP Keary had a ‘goal’ ruled out for offside just minutes after his introduction, before the winners lost their way a little and Mervue became the more threatening side the last quarter.

Another brilliant Colm King save maintained the status quo on 72 minutes when Dave Cummins set up McGrath, but once more the custodian performed his duty with a crucial stop.

Then when Cummins broke through, Bernard’s skipper Dwane Finn produced a marvellous challenge to help maintain their slender lead. A Dave O’Boyle effort looked goal bound until Adrian Roche was in the right place at the right time to deflect it away and following a Dowling free kick, Dave Walsh was just off target with a subtle lob.

However the missed chances were put in perspective when a smart counter attack produced the crucial third goal for Bernard’s on 86 minutes. A Carey pass released Eoghan Roche down the left and when his pace took him clear of the cover, his unselfish pullback from almost on the by line gave Jason Finn a simple tap in for a 3-1 advantage.

However the game did not have a happy conclusion for Mervue United goalkeeper Darren Roche as he injured an elbow in attempting to prevent the goal and he had to depart the fray to get medical attention and was replaced by Dave Walsh.


Galway in Days Gone By

The way we were – Protecting archives of our past



A photo of Galway city centre from the county council's archives

People’s living conditions less than 100 years ago were frightening. We have come a long way. We talk about water charges today, but back then the local District Councils were erecting pumps for local communities and the lovely town of Mountbellew, according to Council minutes, had open sewers,” says Galway County Council archivist Patria McWalter.

Patria believes we “need to take pride in our history, and we should take the same pride in our historical records as we do in our built heritage”. When you see the wealth of material in her care, this belief makes sense.

She is in charge of caring for the rich collection of administrative records owned by Galway County Council and says “these records are as much part of our history as the Rock of Cashel is. They document our lives and our ancestors’ lives. And nobody can plan for the future unless you learn from the past, what worked and what didn’t”.

Archivists and librarians are often unfairly regarded as being dry, academic types, but that’s certainly not true of Patria. Her enthusiasm is infectious as she turns the pages of several minute books from Galway’s Rural District Councils, all of them at least 100 years old.

Part of her role involved cataloguing all the records of the Councils – Ballinasloe, Clifden, Galway, Gort, Loughrea, Mountbellew, Portumna and Tuam. These records mostly consisted of minutes of various meetings.

When she was cataloguing them she realised their worth to local historians and researchers, so she decided to compile a guide to their content. The result is For the Record: The Archives of Galway’s Rural District Councils, which will be a valuable asset to anybody with an interest in history.

Many representatives on these Councils were local personalities and several were arrested during the political upheaval of the era, she explains.

And, ushering in a new era in history, women were allowed to sit on these Rural District Councils – at the time they were not allowed to sit on County Councils.

All of this information is included in Patria’s introductory essay to the attractively produced A4 size guide, which gives a glimpse into how these Rural Councils operated and the way political thinking changed in Ireland during a short 26-year period. In the early 1900s, these Councils supported Home Rule, but by 1920, they were calling for full independence and refusing to recognise the British administration.

“I love the tone,” says Patria of the minutes from meetings. “The language was very emotive.”

That was certainly true of the Gort Rural District Council. At a meeting in 1907, following riots in Dublin at the premiere of JM Synge’s play, The Playboy of the Western World the councillors’ response was vehement. They recorded their decision to “protest most emphatically against the libellous comedy, The Playboy of the Western World, that was belched forth during the past week in the Abbey Theatre, Dublin, under the fostering care of Lady Gregory and Mr Yeats. We congratulate the good people of Dublin in howling down the gross buffoonery and immoral suggestions that are scattered throughout this scandalous performance.


For more from the archives see this week’s Tribunes here

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Archive News

Real Galway flavour to intermediate club hurling battle in Birr



Date Published: 23-Jan-2013


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Archive News

Athenry fail to take chances as they bow out of Junior Cup



Date Published: 29-Jan-2013

Athenry FC 1

Kilbarrack United 2

(After extra time)

For the second year in succession Athenry were done in extra time in the FAI Junior Cup as last season’s beaten finalist’s came from behind to snatch an excellent game in Moanbawn on Sunday afternoon.

On a heavy pitch that was only playable following extensive groundwork by club officials all morning, the home side were by far the better side in the opening half, but failed to take advantage of a number of opportunities that came their way.

An Alan O’Donovan penalty gave them a merited advantage just after the restart, but thereafter were on the back foot as Kilbarrack took over, but for all their pressing, the home rearguard were dealing comfortably with their forays.

However they were struck a body blow just six minutes from time, as big striker Keith Kirwan was left all alone at the far post to head the equaliser and from that point on the Dubliners were the better side.

They started off the extra time in the ascendancy and enjoying all the momentum before striking for a good winning goal on 104 minutes. A strong bench allowed them to make some necessary changes and it was not a facility that was available to Athenry manager Gabriel Glavin.

With Gary Forde and Gary Delaney out through suspension following their sending off against OLBC in the previous round, and Seamie Crowe injured, it left their bench rather threadbare with just a number of young squad players available.

Playing with the aid of the slight incline and any wind advantage going, the home side had a Connor Cannon effort on target in the opening minute, while John Meleady was just over with a flick at the other end.

Meleady then tested Andrew Walsh who saved comfortably, before the goalkeeper pulled off a brilliant double save on 14 minutes.

Firstly he went full length to push away a Meleady shot and was then back on his feet to parry David Jackson’s close-range rebound.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Sentinel.

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