Date Published: 05-May-2011
HURLING has been waiting over a decade for its next revolution after the sport’s traditional powers were seriously marginalised during the mid to late nineties. In the interim, the old order has been restored as Kilkenny, Cork and Tipperary have dominated the All-Ireland championship, sharing every title between them since 1998, but perhaps there is a new force about to shake things up this summer.
Already Dublin have created a huge stir by their relentless progress through the National League, culminating in their stunning final defeat of an admittedly injury-hit Kilkenny outfit at Croke Park last Sunday. They simply ran the Cats off their feet as the men in black and amber suffered their heaviest defeat under the marathon reign of Brian Cody. 12 points was the margin in the end as the Dubs’ potent brand of pace, power and teamwork propelled them to a first national title since 1939.
All over the field, the winners’ intensity, work ethic, savage tackling and quality hurling had Kilkenny players on the rack. Not even the concession of a relatively soft Eddie Brennan goal – incredibly, one of the team’s only two scores from play – knocked Anthony Daly’s men off their stride as they went on to establish a significant interval advantage of 0-10 to 1-2.
Wayward free-taking continued to undermine an undisciplined Kilkenny and though Michael Rice and TJ Reid shot early second-half points, they struggled to get any serious momentum going, with several of their team left toiling by Dublin’s strong running, especially from wing back Peter Kelly, midfielder Liam Rushe and excellent centre half forward Ryan O’Dwyer, in particular.
The manner in which Dublin closed out the match in the final ten minutes with a string of unanswered points was equally impressive. Conal Keaney thumped one over from way out the field against the wind, while corner forward Paul Ryan crowned a cracking performance with a glorious effort from off the hurley after twisting and turning his way into space.
Frankly, Kilkenny couldn’t keep up with their opponents and a bad day for them was made worse by the dismissal of Eoin Larkin in the 25th minute. Referee Michael Wadding had no choice and it’s almost certain that the book will also be thrown at defender John Dalton for his involvement in a nasty incident in the dying seconds of the opening-half. The Waterford referee had controversially blown the half-time whistle just before Conor McCormack had rattled the net, only for Dalton’s frustration to boil over moments later as he floored the Dublin scorer.
Another Kilkenny player, Richie Hogan, could also face disciplinary action after an elbow into the head of Joey Boland, ensuring that the vanquished have been labelled as ‘sore losers’ in the wake of Sunday’s league final defeat. It wasn’t just that they struggled with Dublin’s mobility, but many of their longer serving players clearly (and understandably) don’t have the hunger of old. Sure, the hoped-for return of John Tennyson, Henry Shefflin, Richie Power, Michael Fennelly and Tommy Walsh will lift them for the championship, while the squad’s pride has taken a mauling – but what have they got left in the locker?
The mood in Dublin will, in contrast, be much more positive ahead of the Leinster title race and the fact that they coped comfortably with the pressure and hype associated with a league final shows that they are mentally stronger too. Daly has done a fantastic job with them and many observers are now rating Dublin as the biggest threat to Tipperary over the months ahead. Sure, they have a classic banana skin fixture against Offaly at Croke Park coming up, but one anticipates that they will be well grounded for that one, never mind the surge of confidence the Dubs will have got from mauling the Cats.
Finally, it would be remiss not to pay tribute to Galway native Niall Corcoran for his role in Dublin’s resurgence. The Meelick/Eyrecourt man threw in his lot with them after failing to make the cut down here under Ger Loughnane and he hasn’t looked back since. Corcoran typified Dublin’s industry last Sunday with his accurate hand-passing a feature of his game as he repeatedly cleaned up at corner back. Definitely one who got away!
For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.
Judge adjourns Connemara assault case
Date Published: 08-May-2013
A date will be set next October for the trial of a 52-year old Connemara man, who is charged with assaulting traditional Irish musician Noel Hill five years ago.
Michael Folan from Teach Mór, Lettermullen, is charged with intentionally or recklessly causing serious harm to Noel Hill at Tí Padraig Mairtín Beag in Leitir Mór, on St Stephen’s Day, 2008.
The matter had been listed for trial on several occasions before Galway Circuit Criminal Court in the intervening period.
It was referred to the High Court in Dublin last year for judicial review after Michael Folan said he wanted his trial heard ‘as Gaeilge’and that a bi-lingual jury be made available to hear the case.
At Galway Circuit Criminal Court, Judge Rory McCabe adjourned the case for mention to October when it’s expected a date will be set for trial.
Bank of Ireland Galway Shopping Centre branch to close
Date Published: 10-May-2013
Bank of Ireland’s branch at Galway Shopping Centre on the Headford Road is to close in July.
The branch is to merge into the BOI outlet at Galway Industrial Estate in Mervue.
Galway Bay fm news reports the 14 staff impacted are to be offered redeployment and there will be no job losses.
Galway RNLI rescues three people stranded on Hare Island
Date Published: 13-May-2013
Galway RNLI Lifeboat has come to the rescue of three students who got stranded on Hare Island after getting caught in the tide off Ballyloughan Beach.
The two girls and boy, in their late teens had gone for a walk and were spotted waving from the island by a local resident who contacted the emergency Services and Galway Lifeboat.
Conditions at the time (4pm) were very changeable with heavy showers.
Three members of the Lifeboat shore crew were working in the vicinity of the station at the time and launched the boat in six minutes.
The three students were picked up safely and brought back to the Lifeboat Station at Galway Docks where they were warmed up and given tea and did not require medical attention.