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Galway are braced for tough camogie test as Tipp roll into town

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Ardahan's Aoife Callanan who has been ruled out of Galway's Camogie clash with Tipperary

SEVEN weeks from their disappointing league final performance, Galway’s senior camogie team begin their All-Ireland championship quest on Saturday when they host Tipperary at Kenny Park (5.15pm).

The Tribeswomen find themselves in an unusual position. Strong favourites against the Premier county but facing dangerous opponents who have made strong strides since their league encounter last February.

Galway came out 3-7 to 0-5 winners that day after a dominant second quarter, but Tipperary responded with three victories pushing them into the league semi-finals before they ran eventual winners Kilkenny to extra-time.

Cait Devane is Tipperary’s key player but the gradual introduction of younger players is starting to pay off.

The Fryday sisters (Ereena and Sarah) grow in influence while Jenny Grace has taken the role of scorer-in-chief. Indeed, she contributed 11 points against the Noresiders and sliced a late penalty just over the bar that could have made an interesting finish.

“I think Tipperary are going really well and the rumours that are out there is that they are performing very well in challenge games,” said Galway manager Ollie Bergin during the week.

“So we know we’ll have to be at our very best to beat Tipp and we’re not treating them lightly in any shape or form.”

But despite their poor 2-7 to 0-7 reversal to Kilkenny in the league final, Galway’s league grading was positive and they struck back in the Gael Linn Interprovincial series taking their first title since 2008.

With seven wins from eight competitive eague games, Galway are going in as one of the championship favourites and this side will be looking to emulate the class of 2013. “I think our preparations have gone very well,” added Bergin.

The panel has been boosted by the inclusion of Killimor pair Susan Keane and Denise Starr while Galway minors Roisin Black, Ava Lynskey and Carrie Dolan have also been added. Bergin used the league campaign to give game time to his whole squad and his selection will eagerly anticipated when announced later in the week.

“We wanted to create that competitive spirit within the panel,” stated the Kinvara man.

Aoife Donohue (1-1) and Aoife Callanan (2-1) were Tipperary’s tormenters in the league game but the latter is missing.

Callanan’s medial ligament injury could rule her out of the group campaign and Therese Manton (cruciate) is a long-term absentee.

However, the rest of the squad is available. And Galway will have a strong deck.

In all, Galway should carry the day but expect the margin to be much reduced. A strong effort will boost Galway’s focus and mental strength, but Tipperary will need to apply a stern examination of Galway’s credentials to maintain their improving standards.

“We’re always looking for a performance as well,” concluded Bergin.

“We want the right attitude on the field. If we don’t have that, then cracks will appear later on in the year. We always want the right attitude and the performance is key. And if we have the right attitude and performance, the result will take care of itself.”

For a longer version of this preview see this week’ digital edition of the Galway City Tribune here.

CITY TRIBUNE

Galway Youths advance to Interleague knockout stages

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Galway’s Piotrik Symonski celebrates his goal with Gussi Khumula in the 4-0 win over the Clare League. Photos: Joe O'Shaughnessy.

Galway League 4

Clare League 0

Local Soccer Wrap with Mike Rafferty

 Three up at the break, the home side were always in command of this FAI Youth Inter-League group game in Eamonn Deacy Park on Saturday night as the victory allowed them to advance to the knockout stages of the competition.

Having previously defeated the Limerick League in an away contest and with Clare having drawn with the Treaty outfit, the tag of favourites rested comfortably with the home side.

For the duration they were the better side as Oisin Coyne, Ethan McCauley and Ryan Mill bossed the midfield exchanges with their silky touches, while Evan Moran and Gussi Khumula provided plenty of attacking options from the wide positions.

The home side made the perfect start when impressive striker Piotrik Symonski beat three players in a strong run before finishing with the calmness of someone who knew what he was doing. Evan Moran then added two more before the break, before substitute Charlie Quinn sealed the outcome with the fourth on the resumption.

Galway League: Babonos, Nylain, Tolin, Keady, Diana, Coyne, Khumula, McCauley, Symonski, Mill, Moran.

Clare League: Kilker, McCillick, Fitzpatrick, Kantecht, McNamara, Byrne, O’Halloran, Hanrahan, Hassett, McDonagh, Wallace.

Referee: Gary Small.

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.

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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

Greenfields shuttle their way into last four of Irish Trophy

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The Corinthians U-14 squad pictured after their thrilling game against Creggs last weekend. From left: Georgia Farrell, Emma Leica, Ivy Delport, Molly Howard, Ella Rose Starr, Siun Lyons, Eimear O'Neill, Laura Barry, Lauren Johnston Lynch, Katelyn Flanagan, Izzy McWeeney, and Aoife Denby.

Greenfields 2

Randalstown 2

Greenfields won 3-1 on penalty shuttles

Greenfields Hockey Club are through to the semi-finals of this season’s Irish Hockey Trophy after a penalty shootout win over Randalstown of Antrim in their quarter-final meeting in Dangan last Saturday.

The visitors started on the front foot, and had the experienced Greenfields defence of Tara Melvin, Suran Tierney, Ailish Walsh and Anna Boyce under pressure in the first quarter, dominating possession and territory in the first five minutes and forcing Greenfields to soak up a lot of pressure.

The Greenfields defence held firm, however, and were well marshalled by goalkeeper Deirdre Corcoran, and it was the home team though who were first to score on the counter-attack. A flowing move from the back resulted in possession in midfield with Ruth Clifford who passed right to Izzy Howard and her through ball found right winger Zara O’Toole.

O’Toole showed blistering pace down the right sideline and her weighted pass to Charlotte Elliot beat the last Randalstown defender and Elliott slotted the ball home superbly beyond the advancing Randalsdown’s goalkeeper Trish Neil for the only score of the quarter.

The second quarter was an equally tight contest with both teams enjoying some good goal scoring chances. Alexandra Graham for Randalstown in midfield was proving a real handful, dictating play and she set up a number of chances for Randalstown, but the Greenfields defence dealt with anything that came their way, bolstered by the experienced Corcoran.

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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CITY TRIBUNE

Connacht set to mix and match for Challenge Cup encounter with Newcastle

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Connacht flanker Cian Prendergast leading this attack against Benetton during Saturday's United Rugby Championship tie at the Sportsground. Photo: Joe O'Shaughnessy.

IN a way, it is hard to know what to make of Connacht’s bonus-point win over Treviso last weekend, a result that keeps them in the hunt for a top-eight finish in the URC and qualification for both the league play-offs, and possibly the European Champions Cup.

No-one in their right mind wants to lose a game, but it leaves the province with decision to make as they take a break from regular league action this weekend to take on Newcastle Falcons on Saturday in the European Challenge Cup in the Sportsground (5.30pm).

Connacht’s Jekyll & Hyde start to the season – four wins in nine games and just three bonus points – means they have work to do to make the upper echelons of their own league, but achieving that is very much in reach, as they are ‘just’ three points off the pace at the half-way stage in the league.

It also means that they can’t go full-tilt at Europe, and they are clearly accepting that themselves: although the squad for Saturday won’t be announced until lunch-time the day before, Connacht have already confirmed that Finlay Bealham, Dave Heffernan, and Cian Prendergast will be absent as part of an IRFU protocol requiring all international players to sit out two games from the block of nine following the resumption of club action after the November internationals.

“There is healthy competition for selection, we have a few internationals away on holidays as well, so it does open it up to the squad, and it opens up to a squad that has been training well and has been training hard,” scrum-coach Colm Tucker said this week.

“You have to manage guys through the season, it is something last year that towards the end of the season, guys were a bit banged up, so we are very focused on that this year in terms of managing loads on players, so I think you will see some familiar faces out there mixed with some new faces, which is very positive for us,” he said.

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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