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Gaelic football Minors eager for a double-header

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Galway's Ryan Forde in action against Sligo's Mark O'Dowd in last year's drawn Connacht final. Photo: Joe O'Shaughnessy

Galway minor football manager Stephen Joyce says his young charges are eager to join their senior county men for Connacht final day at Pearse Stadium on Sunday, July 10.

Although reigning Connacht minor champions Galway still do not know who they will be facing in next Wednesday’s Connacht semi-final – with Sligo and Roscommon to contest their provincial quarter-final at Markievicz Park this Saturday – Joyce said the opportunity to qualify both Galway teams for the July 10 showpiece is a huge incentive.

“You would be looking forward to a big day like that on the July 10th,” said Joyce of the prospect of both minor and seniors featuring on the day. “So, it is an incentive and hopefully that will give us an extra boost for the game next week.”

Who they play remains to be seen. Sligo will fancy their chances – especially after their two top nurseries, Summerhill College and St Attracta’s, Tubbercurry, contested the Connacht Post Primary Schools ‘A’ final earlier this year – but Roscommon have also featured strongly in the minor grade over the last decade or so.

Joyce tipped Sligo on both the basis of their Connacht final meeting last year – when Sligo took the young Tribesmen to a replay – and their clash in their Connacht Minor League in April, which Sligo won 1-12 to 0-8.

“We needed to draw the last game with Sligo to win it (Connacht Minor League). They beat us in the final group game. So, I think they could be our opponents again next week.

“They also took us to a replay in the Connacht (minor championship) final last year while, obviously, colleges football is strong in Sligo at the minute given they had the two teams in the Connacht colleges final. If you go on the colleges side of it, Sligo should be the strongest county in Connacht.”

However, after winning their first Connacht minor crown since 2007, Galway will not let go of their provincial title without a fight, regardless of the opposition.

They do have injury concerns, however. One of Galway’s three survivors from last year’s starting 15, Mountbellew/Moylough’s John Daly, is out with a cruciate while Cian Darcy (glandular fever), Lee Kenny (hamstring) and Darragh Silke (concussion) are all extremely doubtful.

“Unfortunately, the four of them will probably be out,” noted Joyce. “That said, things have been going well enough. We would be positive. John Daly is out but Finnian Ó Laoi and Ryan Forde are there from last year while a lot of the other players would have been on the panel in 2016. In fact, I would say most of them would have been.

“I suppose, last year, we were totally focused on Mayo and we knew where we were going. It is a bit different this year – not knowing – and it is a new challenge. At minor level, you don’t know how lads will react to that. We have been going well and prepared well and we are hopeful we will get the performance and that the result will follow. That is the hope anyway.”

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

CITY TRIBUNE

Referee shortage sees local games called off

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The Salthill Devon side that beat Corrib Celtic 4-1 in Drom last Friday night. Back row from left: Jackson Da Silva, Andrew Connolly, Cillian Doyle, Shane O’Rourke, Calum Crowe, and Arek Mamala. Front: Matthew Barrett, Darren Darcy, Matthew Murray, Michael Gallagher and Vinny Faherty. Photos: Iain McDonald.

Soccer Wrap with Mike Rafferty

It is not often that Mervue United have to wait until the third series of games in the Premier Division to get their first win, but after earlier losses to Maree/Oranmore and Athenry they finally secured their first success on the all-weather at Fahy’s Field on Sunday morning.

A 2-1 win over St Bernard’s moved them off the foot of the table, but in a close contest it was an outcome that could have gone either way. Mayo native Eoin Prendergast took both his goals well, although they were of the simple variety as deliveries over the top exposed the visitors cover and the former Conn Rangers striker was left with simple tap-in’s as they led by two at the break.

In contrast the St Bernard’s reply was a cracking effort as Matty Finn crossed from the right and the inrushing Paddy Mullins headed powerfully past Rob Carr to pull one back.

The visitors had plenty of opportunities to get back on level terms, but it was an occasion when their finishing let them down. Twice Dillon Murphy threatened a breakthrough, but his opening effort few across the face of goal; before failing to connect with a Keith Forde delivery.

Brian Moran had an effort that was easily gathered by Rob Carr, before Matty Finn was well off target with a late chance. All the opportunities were not at the one end, as Mervue threatened when Robert Carroll headed over following a Eli Sheedy corner; while Prendergast missed a great chance to complete his hat-trick, but fired over from in front of goal after a neat knockdown by Stephen Larkin set him up.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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CITY TRIBUNE

Lyons’ spectacular bicycle kick carries day for United

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Mikie Rowe of Galway United and Cork City's Cian Coleman in a race for possession during Friday night's First Division tie at Eamonn Deacy Park.

Galway United  2

Cork City 1

By Mike Rafferty at Eamonn Deacy Park

THERE is no doubt that the Galway United players will have had more of a pep in their step at training this week as their come-from-behind victory over Cork City at Eamonn Deacy Park on Friday night finally ended their five match winless streak and. hopefully, in the process installed a bit of confidence in their own ability.

No doubt the fact that the visitors would have clinched the Airtricity First Division title if they were to win was a further incentive for the home side to raise their game to a level that had gone missing in recent outings.

However, United did fall behind for the fourth game in succession, before two goals in a three minute spell by Wilson Waweru and Charlie Lyons rescued the situation and moved them to within seven points of the league leaders. United do enjoy a game in hand and while they are free this weekend, their next outing away against Treaty United will bring them level on games played with Cork City.

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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CITY TRIBUNE

Connacht thrashed by Ulster but internationals return for tough South African trip

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Connacht's Caolin Blade who scored their only try in Saturday's heavy URC defeat to Ulster at the Kingspan Stadium.

By JOHN FALLON

ANDY Friend says Connacht need to pick up the pieces quickly from an opening night hammering (36-10) to Ulster after going down by five tries to one in Belfast.

Ulster dominated the opening half and were good value for their 14-3 lead as Connacht had to defend for long periods of a half littered with mistakes by both sides.

Centres Luke Marshall and Stuart McCloskey were dominant and the two combined for the opening score after 27 minutes, before 21-year old hooker Tom Stewart crowned his first start by punishing poor defending when he looped around a lineout to score three minutes from the break.

Connacht finished the half with a boost when Conor Fitzgerald landed a penalty from 35 metres to cut the gap to 11 points but they fell apart after the restart, coughing up six penalties in ten minutes.

Scrum-half Nathan Doak extended the lead with a 45th minute penalty and then he touched down for a try six minutes later when Stewart was stopped just short.

Doak’s third conversion made it 24-3 as both sides emptied their benches and Ulster secured the bonus point when full-back Stewart Moore got over after Connacht No.8 Paul Boyle was binned for offiside.

Replacement scrum-half Caolin Blade got over for a consolation try ten minutes from time after former Leinster out-half David Hawkshaw also impressed after coming on, but other than the performance of another ex-Leinster player, flanker Josh Murphy, there were few other consolations as Ulster finished on a high with replacement prop Callum Reid getting the touchdown and Doak converting from the right.

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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