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Frustrating Galway let a winning hand slip

Francis Farragher

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Gary O'Donnell had an excellent game in the half-back line for Galway.

Down    1-17

Galway 1-16

The Galway supporter leaving Páirc Esler shortly after 3.30pm on Sunday who grumpily remarked that “wasn’t it one right sickener” probably summed up the spur of the moment reaction to a match that was quite simply thrown away.

Down only led in this match for the opening couple of minutes and in the final segment of time added on – for the intervening period, Galway seemed destined to record their third league win on the trot of their Division 2 National League Spring campaign.

In fairness, the frustration felt by the small band of travelling supporters in the crowd of about 4,000 related far more to the result than the performance. Over the course of the match, Galway put together some excellent passages of flowing football and really should have been ‘out the gate’ by half-time.

It was a bitter lesson for Kevin Walsh’s lively young team on the necessity of putting a team away after extended dominant periods of play, but in the final analysism a series of small mistakes – many of them from players who had otherwise played well – cost Galway this match.

Afterwards Walsh expressed the hope that, in the longer term context, Galway might end up learning more from the hurt of this defeat than from a victory – and in the greater context of the season, a one point defeat in an away March league match is not the end of the world.

When the hurt of this defeat eases and Galway re-focus for the home tie with Cavan on Sunday in Pearse Stadium, the learning process will be all about the next exam and Walsh needs no reminding that a return to winning ways will be the best antidote to the Newry defeat.

Galway led this match at the interval by 1-10 to 0-7  and would not have been flattered at the break had they gone in with 3-13 on the board given the succession of clear-cut chances that they created through a series of super-fast attacking moves and off-loads to players moving at full throttle.

Their fifth minute goal captured the best of what Galway were about last Sunday. Fiontán Ó Curraoin fetched majestically in the middle of the field and his long ball found Danny Cummins whose deft pass set up Patrick Sweeney for a cracking goal.

Michael Martin (4, 2 frees), Cummins (3, 1 free), Adrian Varley, Sean Denvir and Garreth Bradshaw delivered the points that capitalised on a real power display of midfield mastery from Ó Curraoin as at different times, Down looked like being completely over-ran.

But despite the fluency of that first-half display, occasional darker moments were emerging too for Galway at either end of the pitch. Donal O’Hare was giving a lot of bother in the left corner of the Down attack and on at least two occasions, the home side came within a whisker of finding the net.

It took one super fingertip touch from Enda Tierney on the half-hour mark to deny Down a certain goal and reinforcements will be needed in the Galway full-back line over the coming weeks, although they should be on the way, as a couple of Corofin defenders and Johnny Duane come back into the reckoning.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

Connacht Tribune

A Moycullen win would add badly needed spice to football’s big day

John McIntyre

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Conor Reddington of Annaghdown and Tuam Stars' Adam Carton in action during the North Board Minor B football final at Tuam Stadium on Saturday. Photo: Joe O'Shaughnessy.

Inside Track with John McIntyre

BEFORE a ball was kicked in this year’s Galway senior championship, the smart money would have been on champions Corofin, Tuam Stars, Salthill/Knocknacarra and Mountbellew/Moylough making it to the semi-finals if they managed to keep out of each other’s way on the road to the penultimate stage off the title race.

Unfortunately, for a Salthill team which, in any event, didn’t scale their expected heights this year, they came up against the champions in the quarter-finals where the Seasiders’ challenge was dismissed in convincing fashion. It was business as usual for Corofin who remain odds on to claim a record-breaking eighth consecutive title.

With Tuam Stars edging out Bearna after extra-time, a Paul Kelly goal helping Moycullen get the better of St James’, and Mountbellew/Moylough powering home against 14-man Killannin, it means that three of last year’s semi-finalists are back seeking a place in the Galway decider this weekend. Mountbellew/Moylough are the odd ones out having fallen to Corofin in the 2019 quarter-finals.

Val Daly’s troops will need the performance of the lives to overturn club’s football’s dominant power, especially as they continue to field without county player John Daly – a son of their manager. Of course, they are not without a chance and if the likes of Michael Daly, Matthew Barrett, Eoin Finnerty, Eoin Ryan and Barry McHugh hit the ground running, they could give Corofin a searching time.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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Greens see red on gold rush

Dara Bradley

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Opposition is intensifying to the prospect of a licence being awarded to Canadian gold prospectors planning to explore the heart of Connemara.

Environmental campaigners have warned of the dangers of awarding a prospecting licence to Toronto-based MOAG to mine for gold and silver in land around Roundstone, Ballyconneely and Ballynahinch.

They claim the exploration could devastate water supplies, tourism, wildlife – and also led to tensions in the local community.

Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment, Richard Bruton has indicated he intends to grant a prospecting licence to the company to explore for the valuable minerals in townlands in Ballynahinch Barony.

The licence allows the holder to explore for mineral deposits, and does not authorise mining of any materials that are found – that requires further licensing.

And Minister Bruton’s Department insists that the activities permitted under this licence are “non-invasive” and “of minimal environmental impact”.

However, campaigners have warned of the dangers mining can have on Connemara, and have urged the public to object before July 6.

See full story in this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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Controversial Ballinasloe landfill prepares for closure

Declan Tierney

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The Galway dump that forced householders to close their windows during the hottest of summers will take in waste for the last time during the middle of this year.

The pong the emanated from the landfill site in Kilconnell will be no more as it will cease accepting waste by the end of June next year.

Ballinasloe area councillors were told how Galway County Council took over the running of the landfill site following the liquidation of the former operators Greenstar.

The Council agreed to accept 300,000 tons of municipal waste over a three-year period and this will come to an end by the middle of next year, after which the dump will be capped and closed the following year.

Director of Services Jim Cullen informed a meeting of Ballinasloe Municipal Council that following the closure of the dump, there would be long term care of the site to ensure that there would be no adverse environmental issues.

When Galway County Council took over the running of the landfill site, an allocation of €300,000 was provided by the Department of the Environment for local projects.

Of this, €120,000 has been given to the area engineer to spend at his discretion and the remaining €180,000 has been dispersed equally among the six Ballinasloe councillors – resulting in each getting €30,000 to spend on projects in their area.

It is expected that a further €300,000 will be allocated to organisations within a certain radius of the landfill site and a committee made up of Cllr Aidan Donohue (FG), Cllr Dermot Connolly (SF) and Cllr Timmy Broderick (Ind) to decide how this fund will be dispersed.

For years, the dump in Kilconnell caused annoyance for local residents because of the smells emanating from the site and many householders say that it is still a major problem.

Cllr Michael Finnerty warned about the possibility of a run-off of leachate – a liquid that drains from landfill sites that can cause pollution – from the site into the future.

He said that he attended a meeting in Ballinasloe in which residents expressed concern about a leachate run-off from the old dump in Poolboy which has been closed down for years.

He was assured by Mr Cullen that the situation in Poolboy was being continually monitored by the Environmental Protection Agency but he would investigate these claims.

With regard to the closure of the dump in Kilconnell, Cllr Aidan Donohue said that he was not convinced about the ongoing maintenance of the site into the future.

He said when the landfill site in New Inn was closed many years ago, the Council just walked away and left the site in an unacceptable state.

The Fine Gael councillor was referring to suggestions that the Kilconnell site might have future potential and may be an asset but he cited what happened in New Inn when he said that it was just abandoned.

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