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Finnerty’s minors prove different class to Moycullen in divisional decider

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The Salthill/Knocknacarra minor football team which captured the West Board A title at Pearse Stadium on Saturday. Back row, left to right: Niall McTiernan, John Joe Burke, Ronan Murphy, Evan Murphy, Euan Heapes, John Maher, Davey Knight, Eoin MacFadden, David Patten, Paul Butler, James Hill, Sean Casserley, Eamon Conroy, Shane Kelly, Ronan Halloran, Oislin O'Connor, Anthony Finnerty (manager). Front row: Callum Heapes, Tom Morris, Niall King, Darragh Ward, Morgan Hanley, Eamon Kelly, Eoghan Deeley, Marcus MacDonnachadha, Fiachra O Griofa, Joe Tinney, Kevin Cahalan, Adam Fitzgerald, William Finnerty, Robert Finnerty, Ryan Hunt.

Salthill-Knocknacarra 5-17

Moycullen 1-5

MUCH expectation is attached to this group of Salthill-Knocknacarra footballers who cruised to an emphatic West Board Minor A success at Pearse Stadium on Saturday afternoon.

It proved to be a demoralising hour for Moycullen, who were blitzed by a particularly promising Salthill-Knocknacarra outfit. The only significant issue for Salthill-Knocknacarra is the fact that they must now tussle with a quality Mountbellew-Moylough side in the county decider having annihilated every team they’ve faced out west.

The match with Mountbellew-Moylough features a string of interesting subplots as Salthill-Knocknacarra senior boss Val Daly is also in charge of the North Board side. Daly has vast knowledge and faith in Salthill-Knocknacarra’s youngsters as four sampled senior championship action under his direction this summer.

Salthill-Knocknacarra’s minors are managed by Anthony Finnerty, who has put in serious work at underage level with the City club in the underage grades during the past decade. Titles are beginning to be accumulated, but the upcoming encounter with Mountbellew-Mountbellew will offer a greater insight into how good Salthill-Knocknacarra really are.

Dominant throughout the pitch, Salthill-Knocknacarra controlled the first half departing at the break armed with a deserved 1-9 to 0-4 advantage. It was a clinical and classy forward display from Salthill who scored ten of their dozen opening period attempts.

That high strike rate ensured Moycullen were being put under severe pressure to stay competitive in a contest that was dictated by Paul Butler’s energy. Repeatedly creating opportunities ,Butler’s willingness to work meant that a lively Salthill-Knocknacarra attack were being fed plenty of quality possession.

Not even the early departure of influential midfielder John Maher could disturb Salthill-Knocknacarra, who quickly seized the initiative. Even though Moycullen dropped men deep, their defence was still stretched initially as they fouled Salthill-Knocknacarra on three occasions in the scoring zone inside five minutes.

Those frees were expertly drilled over by Robert Finnerty and Evan Murphy (2) as Salthill-Knocknacarra’s intent was briskly signalled. There was a brief interuption when Sean Kelly, eager to involve himself, clipped a fine Moycullen point, but Salthill-Knocknacarra replied.

Five more points from Salthill-Knocknacarra gave them a commanding 0-8 to 0-1 lead by the 21st minute. In that brilliant burst, evidence of their swift movement and quick hands was available as Moycullen struggled.

Ronan Halloran and Shane Casserly landed points before a delightful 13th minute exchange culminated with a fisted Marcus MacDonnacha score. That was a demonstration of Salthill-Knocknacarra’s considerable prowess, but Moycullen improved slightly as the interval approached.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

CITY TRIBUNE

Dropped points leaves Utd losing touch with Cork City

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Galway United's Charlie Lyons tries to halt the progress of Wexford FC's Ger Shortt during Friday evening's Frst Division tie at Eamonn Deacy Park. Photo: Joe O'Shaughnessy.

Galway United 2

Wexford FC 2

IT might be just as well that Galway United have drawn UCD in the next round of the FAI Cup as it will give the Tribesmen a taste of what might come in the promotion play-off final later in the year.

UCD or Finn Harps will be the Premier Division side in that play-off, and United look set for that lottery of a route to promotion for a third straight year after these two dropped points on Friday night left them with a lot – maybe too much – to do to catch Cork City.

It was a belter of a game of football, but Wexford will have been the least disappointed of the two sides as they edged a shade closer to Treaty United in the battle for the final play-off spot.

United, on the other hand, fell to now be three points behind City, and with the Leesiders having a game in hand, and also a vastly superior goal difference (+41 as opposed to United’s +29), they have one hand on the league trophy, and the other reaching for the Brasso.

Stephen Walsh was scoring his 15th goal of the season on Friday night, while Rob Manley was making it four goals in five games since joining from Bray Wanderers, but it still wasn’t enough to claim the three points against a visiting side that got their reward for approaching the game in such a positive fashion.

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

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CITY TRIBUNE

Salthill serve up a strong finish to take derby spoils

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Bearna's Murcha Iarsach getting the better of Salthill/Knocknacarra's Cathal Sweeney during Saturday's Senior Football Championship clash at Pearse Stadium. Photos: Joe O'Shaughnessy.

Salthill/ Knocknacara 2-15

Bearna 0-12

Eanna O’Reilly at Pearse Stadium

A very strong fourth quarter from Salthill/Knocknacara saw them see off the challenge of a Bearna side who will have regrets about a game in which they created plenty of scoring chances, but lacked the efficiency of their opponents in front of the posts.

John O’Mahony’s Salthill side struggled to gain dominance of this contest for long spells before their greater accuracy in front of goal began to tell in the second half. An impressive fourth quarter performance put Bearna to the sword, but O’Mahony will know they have plenty to improve on going forward.

The manner in which Bearna opened up the Salthill defence on a couple of occasions in the first half was notable. Salthill were lucky not to concede two goals, when both Oisín Ó Garmaile and Pádraig Ó Diolúin hit the woodwork with shots in the first half. The city men could easily have been behind at half time, rather than going in with a four point lead.

Bearna’s shooting profligacy ultimately caught up with them and undermined an early second half comeback. Three consecutive points saw them reduce the deficit to the minimum, but a couple of scorable frees were also missed, at a time when the momentum was in their favour.

Ultimately, Daithí Ó Domhnallaín’s side were outscored by 1-8 to 0-6 in the second period. Salthill were far more economical, while their use of possession was also superior to Bearna’s throughout the match.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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CITY TRIBUNE

Galway United face tough task in Waterford on potentially defining weekend

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Division tie against Wexford FC at Eamonn Deacy Park. Photo: Joe O'Shaughnessy.

THIS could be a defining weekend in the chase for the First Division title, as Galway United make the long trek to take on a Waterford FC side that also faces league leaders, Cork City, on Monday, in the second of two homes Munster derbies this weekend for the Leesiders.

United need to get the job done themselves in the RSC this Friday (7.45pm) before worrying how City fare at home to Treaty United on the same night, and against Waterford on Monday – and anything other than a win will mean it won’t really matter how Cork get on.

“Waterford, they are a team challenging for the title, whether they can keep up or not I don’t know, but they are in there, they are a very good team as we have seen, and they beat [cup holders] Pats [St Patrick’s Athletic] in the cup, it is another massive match for us,” United manager, John Caulfield, said of this Friday’s opponents.

Truth be told, while Waterford may be third in the table, they are 12 points behind City and are not involved in the title race, but that won’t mean they will just roll over to have their bellies tickled on Friday, and while United have the edge in the head-to-head between the sides this season, they have been thrilling, hard-fought battles.

United’s first home game of the season saw Waterford race into a 2-0 lead by the break, only for goals from Stephen Walsh and the since-departed Jordan Adeyomo (gone to Longford) to rescue a point for United.

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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