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Galway athletes make their mark in cross country championships

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First three home in the Carnmore Turkey Trot, Mick Fogarty, Athlone, second, Matt Bidwell, GCH, winner, and Damien Larkin, Craughwell AC, third. Photo: John O'Connor.

IT was an excellent day for Galway athletes at the All-Ireland Uneven and Novice Cross Country Championships held in arctic conditions in Santry Demesne in Dublin on Sunday last, with three bronze medals being secured.

Jamie Fallon won a fine individual bronze medal in the U19 boys event for Craughwell AC. Running with the leading pack all the way, Fallon showed great composure to earn a well deserved medal as his rise through the ranks continues.

This result means he is selected for Ireland for the Celtic Games event to be held in January 2015. In the same U19 race, Fallon’s clubmate Damien O’Boyle had a strong run to take 24th place, Eoin Lyons GCH was a solid 34th, and Conor Gillen continued his comeback from injury to take 52nd place. In the U19 girls 4000m, Ciara Greene had an encopuraging run out-of-age to take 28th position.

A hugely talented Galway ladies team captured the bronze novice at county level – courtesy of GCH athletes Barbara Dunne, Alvy Carragher, Niamh Hennelly, and Catherine Thornton, a Spiddal native now running for Crusaders in Dublin.

Dunne had an incredible run in her first ever cross country race, coming home eighth and moving strongly through the field over the 4km circuit. She was followed in by Carragher 16th, Thornton in 21st, and Hennelly in 31st. GCH ladies also took club team bronze, with Helen Corbett the fourth club scorer.

In the highly competitive final event of the day, the Novice Men’s 6000m, John Greaney of GCH was first Galway runner home in 25th place. Craughwell’s Neil Greaney and Rob Hogan also had good runs to finish as 2nd and 4th Galway athletes home, with Neil taking 41st place in a time of 22:06 and Rob not far behind in 65th place in 22:27.

They were split by with Vincent McGuinness, Crusaders AC, third scorer for Galway in 44th while Keith Fallon and John Moroney, GCH, also counted as Galway team scorers.

At Juvenile level, there were numerous Galway athletes competing. Ava Mckeon of Ballinasloe was first Galway runner home at U 11 level, in 14th place. The GCH U11 team did well, finishing 13th, while Emma Moore in 19th was first of the GCH athletes home, just ahead of third Galway athlete Maebh Walsh of Corrib AC in 20th.

The Craughwell AC U11 girls’ team was placed 10th, led by a strong run from Caoimhe Connolly in 49th place, followed by Emily Miskella in 59th, Rebekah Flynn 62nd, Aoibhe Carr in 96th, Jade Moorhead in 124th and Saoirse Moore in 144th.

In the U11 boys 1500m, Craughwell AC’s Adam Stewart was the star of the show with a 13th place finish. Conor Harley of Ballinasloe and District was next for Galway in 24th place, and Shane Fitzpatrick 35th, while the Craughwell boys team were 12th overall.

At U13 girls level, Galway county were 13th, led home by Kara McCleane in 62nd, with the Craughwell’s girls team placed 16th, led home by Ailbhe Miskella in 86th place with Sarah Woods 134th, Mia Waters 145th and Aoife Kelly 155th.

In the U13 boys’ race, Craughwell’s team finished 7th and Sean Connaughton had a tremendous run to take 22nd place overall. Gavin Lee was next home in 54th place followed by Liam Leen 68th, Sean Cotter 69th, Sean Cannon 94th and Finbar McFadden 127th.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

CITY TRIBUNE

Young Mystics cast their spell over Limerick visitors

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The NUIG Mystics squad that defeated Limerick Sport Husklies in the Women's Divison 1 last Saturday. Back row, from left: Kyle Walsh (assistant coach), Courtney Cecere, Laoise Walsh, Ava McCleane, Olivia Sasse, Sara Messler, Maggie Byrne, and Paul O'Brien (head coach). Front: Meadhbh O'Brien, Hazel Finn, Kara McCleane, Laura Lopez Morera, Caoimhe O'Sullivan, and Aoife Ryan. Missing from photo: Aine McDonagh.

NUIG Mystics made it two wins from two with a five-point win over Limerick Sport Huskies on Saturday in the Women’s Division 1, but there was disappointment for Galway’s other three sides.

Moycullen ran Tralee Warriors close on Sunday in the Men’s Super League but suffered another narrow defeat, having lost on the opening day to NUIG Maree. Maree’s hopes of making it back-to-back wins were ended with a poor fourth-quarter performance away to Neptune on Saturday, the Cork side running out convincing winners; while Titans also suffered a second defeat, going down at home to Dublin Lions.

WOMEN’S DIVISION 1

 NUIG Mystics 65

 Limerick Sport

 Huskies 60

A strong final quarter which saw Irish underage international Hazel Finn rattle in nine points helped Mystics make it two wins from two against a visiting side that was overly reliant on Yuleska Ramirez Tejeda.

The US import returned a stunning 31-point haul for her side, to add to the 27 points she hit on the opening weekend’s 79-76 win over Portlaoise Panthers, but a better spread of a scoring threat for Mystics saw Paul O’Brien’s claim what was at time a scrappy win.

It is a very young Mystics squad this year – there were three 18-year-olds in their starting five on Saturday – but they are mature as players, none more so than Kara McCleane, who finished the game with 23 points.

She drained a three in the first quarter to help Mystics take a 16-11 lead, with McCleane hitting 10 of those points, but the visitors rallied in the second quarter, with Ramirez Tejeda (8) and Taylor Herd (6) helping them draw level at 29-apiece at the break.

Maggie Byrne began to dominate under the defensive boards for Mystics, and when she threw in a big 3-pointer, which was soon followed by one from Finn, Mystics moved into a 41-31 lead early in the third quarter, with the visitors’ first points of the quarter coming just before four of the 120 minutes had elapsed.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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CITY TRIBUNE

Shefflin named as surprise new Galway senior hurling manager for first intercounty role

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Henry Shefflin

Galway GAA are pinning their hopes on one of the greatest hurlers of all time proving that he’s fairly handy at management as well after unveiling Henry Shefflin as the new Galway senior hurling manager.

The shock appointment of Shefflin (42) was confirmed on Wednesday night, catching many people on the hop, including our sister paper, the Connacht Tribune, as it had been widely expected that Davy Fitzgerald was getting the job.

“Galway GAA is delighted to announce Henry Shefflin as the new Galway senior hurling manager,” read a statement posted on the Galway GAA website on Wednesday night.

“Henry’s achievements as a player are unrivalled. As a manager he has guided Ballyhale Shamrocks to All Ireland Club titles in 2019 and 2020. Henry will be joined by fellow Kilkenny man Richie O’Neill as a coach and his management team will be finalised in the coming weeks,” the statement read.

The appointment ends a seven-week period of speculation as to who would replace Limerick native Shane O’Neill who held the position for two years, before announcing at the start of September that he would not be seeking a third year in charge.

He had led Galway to the All-Ireland semi-final in 2020, only to lose to Limerick; before a nightmare 2021 in which Galway failed to win a game in the championship, losing lost to Dublin in the Leinster semi-final, and Waterford in the All-Ireland qualifiers.

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 need the win for two very different reasons

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Abraham Papali’i will be hoping to start against Ulster this Saturday, having come off the bench in last weekend's defeat to Munster. Photo: Joe O'Shaughnessy.

By JOHN FALLON

The switch of Connacht’s game against Ulster from the Sportsground to Aviva Stadium was, from the outset, met with not insignificant negativity by some fans and the business community, and with the anticipated attendance expected to be in the region of a disappointing 8,000 or so, some must be wondering if was worth moving the fixture at all.

Two things can alter that. There could still be a decent run on tickets which would make the venture financially worthwhile; and the other is a Connacht victory. A Connacht loss and the forfeiture of home advantage will come into the equation.

It could, equally, be argued that no matter where this game is a played, form so far in the URC suggests an Ulster victory. They are the only side with maximum points, four straight bonus point wins, and Connacht go into it with just one win in four.

Connacht coach Andy Friend says the players and management are not under any extra pressure to win Saturday’s clash.

“No, I don’t think so. I think we’ve got a lot of Connacht supporters who are going to be there. Family and friends are going to be there, so there’s always pressure to try and impress in front of them and to make sure you’re playing the best brand of rugby.

“But I don’t think moving the game to the Aviva has added pressure to us. Certainly, I don’t feel that, and I don’t think any of the players feel that.”

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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