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Flynn leads demolition as Galway put Offaly to the sword

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Galway 6-23

Offaly 1-12

YOU could sense the local trepidation in Tullamore on Sunday ahead of the opening round of the Division 1B National Hurling League campaign. Offaly supporters were resigned to being well beaten by Galway, but were hoping it wouldn’t turn ugly. They didn’t get what they wished for.

Instead, it was another distressing day for Offaly hurling as their team of largely novices was simply wiped out by Galway on a bitterly cold day in front of a small crowd at O’Connor Park. Leaking a half dozen goals and falling to a 26-point thrashing sums up the Faithful county’s woes at present.

It made for sad viewing. Offaly’s decline in recent seasons has been alarming and on Sunday’s evidence, their predicament is now at a modern-day low. Their priority will be avoiding relegation to the backwoods of Division Two and new manager, Kevin Ryan, may have his work cut out to avoid that indignity.

Anything other than a clear-cut Galway win would have been a surprise, but even their camp must have been taken aback by the poverty of the home team’s challenge. The Offaly defence, in particular, was out of its depth and naive, while their attack possessed little or no thrust.

In those circumstances, Galway were always going to make hay. They went about their business in a professional manner and when they led by 4-9 to 1-8 at the break having faced the strong wind, the prospect of an embarrassing defeat for Offaly was already a reality.

Mind you, not everything the Tribesmen attempted to do was perfect. The defence conceded a few needless frees; they weren’t direct enough out the field at times and also lost possession in the tackle, but it seems churlish to be quibbling with a team which was utterly dominant.

David Burke and his St Thomas’ clubmate Conor Cooney were late additions to the Galway line up and their promotion only added to the sense of gloom among the local faithful about what lay ahead. As it transpired, the pair were in excellent form – Burke notching a goal and a point in a typically classy midfield display, while the lively Cooney hit five points from play.

It was also a very productive day for Jason Flynn, who had 2-10 to his credit, including 2-2 from play, before he was replaced in the 60th minute. The Galway full forward took his two goals excellently and there was a welcome bounce in his step after a subdued campaign in the maroon jersey in 2016.

Conor Whelan, who showed a lot more variety in his game compared to the previous weekend against Kilkenny in the Walsh Cup, was also influential, rifling home a brace of goals in a match which again showed full back John Hanbury in a good light and highlighted the value of Gearoid McInerney’s physicality in the half-back line.

Yet, the reality is that this league tie was of little value to Galway. Their players could almost do what they liked and was miles removed from the type of intensity they will experience against the sport’s elite teams. None of this is their fault, but they have to keep a sense of perspective.

Full report in this week’s Connacht Tribune.

CITY TRIBUNE

Annaghdown pull it off in a gripping finale to group tie

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Bearna's Cathal Folan tries to shake off the attentions of Annaghdown's Conor Moloney during Tuesday's Senior Football Group 2 tie at Duggan Park. Photos: Joe O'Shaughnessy.

Annaghdown 1-17

Bearna 0-8

Ivan Smyth at Duggan Park

Well, that was dramatic. Annaghdown squeezed through to the quarter finals of the seniotrchampionship in the most nailbiting 12 point win one will witness at Duggan Park on Tuesday night.

Annaghdown entered this game needing to win by 12 points or more if they were to reach the quarter finals at the expense of Milltown. With Annaghdown leading by 11 points and the clock ticking into the second and final minute of injury time, the winners engineered a free which goalkeeper James Healy fired over from 50m out to break Milltown hearts.

The men in maroon and white can now look forward to a quarter final with St. Michael’s, one which both sides will feel is winnable. Realistically their fate shouldn’t have been decided with the final kick of the game. Annaghdown led by the required margin at half time, 1-12 to 0-3, as a hammering appeared much more of a realistic option than a tense finale. However, Bearna certainly played the role of spoilers to a tee in the final half as they retained possession far better than in the opening half.

Annaghdown’s level also dropped but despite Frankie Burke seeing a penalty saved by James Keane, Galway’s sub goalkeeper in this year’s championship, they had managed to move 14 points in front after 55 minutes. Bearna’s resistance appeared to have broken but in a campaign which has seen them take successive heavy defeats, the city side hit back with points from Donal and Ryan Folan.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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Connacht Tribune

Stalemate as Sarsfields and Turlough serve up final epic

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Leon Connaire of Sarsfields secures possession against Turloughmore's Matthew Tarpey during the County U20 A Hurling Final at Duggan Park last Wednesday. Photos: Joe O'Shaughnessy.

Sarsfields 0-23

Turloughmore 2-17

Eanna O’Reilly at Duggan Park

THE Under 20 hurlers of Sarsfields and Turloughmore couldn’t be separated in Ballinasloe last Wednesday evening after a titanic contest saw the sides finish level. Those in attendance certainly got their money’s worth from this final, as a high scoring thriller played out between two outstanding teams.

With 40 minutes played, Sarsfields were certainly the team in the driving seat as they held a six point lead after largely dominating the game. During the next five minutes however, Turlough hit 1-3 to come roaring back into the contest. The final quarter played out as a cliff hanger, with both sides edging ahead at different stages.

When Cillian Whelan sent over an injury time point for Turlough, it looked as though they had snatched the victory. However, there was one more twist in the story, with Sarsfields sub Jordan McMahon popping up to take a point at the death to force the final to a replay.

Any neutrals in the crowd at Duggan Park would hardly be objecting to another 60 minutes of fare between these teams, such was the quality on display. That replay is down for decision on Wednesday, October 5 (Duggan Park, 7:30pm) and will be eagerly anticipated.

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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Connacht Tribune

Monivea-Abbey in trouble after latest narrow defeat

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St Michael's Gavin Summerville breaking away from Philip Muldowney of Monivea-Abbey during Saturday's Senior Football Group 3 contest at Tuam Stadium. Photos: David Cunniffe.

St. Michael’s 0-11

Monivea/Abbey 0-9

Ivan Smyth at Tuam Stadium

ST. Michael’s outscored Monivea/Abbey seven points to two in the second half at Tuam Stadium on Saturday as they secured top spot n Group 3.

This defeat ensures Monivea/ Abbey finished bottom as they now face a battle to avoid relegation. The second half summed up Monivea/Abbey’s championship campaign to date with no shortage of battling spirit or physicality, but they struggled to engineer chances as St. Michael’s were able to play on the counter attack once they took the lead in the third quarter.

This defeat meant Monivea/Abbey lost their fourth game of the championship, with each of those defeats coming by a single score. After a first half in which Monivea/Abbey appeared to rattle Colm Tummon’s side with their front-foot pressure, Garvan McDaid’s charges kicked just two second half points, both from frees.

With Cillian McDaid looking sharp in the opening half, the GAA/GPA All Star nominee was starved of possession in the final period. His marker Shane Connaughton was the game’s outstanding player as the centre back enjoyed an absorbing duel with McDaid while he was central to much of St. Michael’s’ positive attacking play.

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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