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Galway athletes sweep the boards at schools Track & Field championships

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The Connacht Schools Track and Field finals held at a blustery Athlone IT Track last week saw almost 800 athletes compete, and produced some excellent medal winning performances from Galway athletes.

In the girls Minor (U-14) age group there were notable efforts from Aoife Walsh of Presentation Athenry who beat her fellow Galwegian Aine Quinn from St. Raphael’s Loughrea to the High Jump title, while Dearbhla Walsh of Seamount Kinvara showed her versatility, and speed, when picking up a bronze medal in the 200m, followed later by another bronze in the 1500m. Another speed merchant was Sally Ann O’Malley from Salerno who was just pipped for the gold in the 100m.

 In the Minor boys’ events, Galway athletes fared a little better, recording a number of gold-medal winning performances. Among the winners was Sean Kilmartin of St. Joseph’s College, who took 100m gold from Cillian Dolan of Pres. Athenry, with Will Smith of Clifden CS in third place.

Smith then followed up with a first place finish in the Long Jump, while Kilmartin anchored his St. Joseph’s team to second place in the relay. Other gold medals went to Conor Seoige of Carraroe CS in the Shot Putt, and Gerry Keary of St. Raphael’s in the High Jump, while Liam Boyle from HRC Mountbellew took third place in the 1500m.

In the Junior (U-15) girls competition, it was a successful day for Galway athletes. In the 100m, Michelle Duggan of Presentation Athenry showed a clean pair of heals to her competitors to win gold from Nicole King of St. Enda’s in second place. She then anchored her team to win the Gold in the relay. Her fellow Athenry athletes were not to be outdone however, as Shannon Lee took first place in the 800m ahead of her schoolmate Niamh Keane in third place.

Sinead Minihan of Taylor’s Hill took first place in the Long Jump, while Clare Keenan of Presentation Galway came second in the discus. However, star of the day was Sarah Ni Domhnaill of Coláiste na Coirbe as she recorded a brace of gold medals, winning the 200m and the 800m before winning a third medal as part of the bronze medal finishing relay squad.

St. Mary’s, Galway had the outstanding Junior Boys’ team, winning the Junior Shield. They had medal winning performers in Peter Francis, who took gold from his teammate Rory Owens in the Triple Jump, Seán O’Reilly, first in the javelin, and Dylan Tierney who took the silver medal in both the Discus and the Hammer.

Andre Ferreira won bronze in the 80m Hurdles while the relay team took second place, behind HRC Mountbellew. Other Galway medallists on the day included Oisin Doyle of Calasanctious Oranmore, silver in the 1500m, Conor Keady Taball, bronze in the Long Jump, Joe Tannion of Coláiste Iognáid, bronze in the 1500, and St. Joseph’s John Maher who finished third in the 800m.

Some real class was evident in the Intermediate (U-17) girls competition in the form of Dunmore CS student Laura Ann Costello, and Presentation Athenry’s Alannah Lally. Laura Ann showed a clean pair of heals to all-comers when taking the100m and 200m titles, while Lally ran sublimely to capture the 800m and 300m titles.

That was not the end of the gold medal haul however, as Maebh Brannigan from Coláiste Iognáid took first place in the 1500m, Tara McNally from Loughrea VS followed up on her third in the 100m with gold in the 80m Hurdles, and Sinead Treacy of St. Raphael’s took the premier ribbon for the Long Jump, adding to her silver medal in the 200m.

Other medallists included Elizabeth Maher of Salerno who won silver in the 800m, Megan Davoran of St. Enda’s who took silver in the 300m Hurdles, Shauna Naughton of Dunmore CS, silver in the Mile, Shauna Hynes of Mercy Tuam who won bronze in the Long Jump and Jessica Okeke, St. Enda’s, Nadine Connolly HRC Mountbellew, and Katie Donogue of Loughrea VS who all won silver medals in the Shot Putt, the Discus and the Javelin respectively.

Not to be outdone by the girls, the Inter boys also figured prominently. Calasanctious Oranmore featured with gold medal winning performances from Nicholas Sheehan in the 400 and 800m, Jamie Spelman in the 3000m, and Damien O’Boyle in the 1500m Steeplechase, following which he went on to win silver in the 1500m. The same school also impressively won the 4X100m relay and had a further medallist in Ayo Adeke, who finished second in the Triple Jump.

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

Connacht Tribune

Galway golfer takes top prize in German Boys Open

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CONNEMARA’S Luke O’Neill shot a final round 70 for a total of 11-under par to win the prestigious Allianz German Boys Open at Golf Club St Leon Rot over the weekend.

The Ballyconneely native, son of Connemara professional Hugh O’Neill, held off the challenge of Philipp Katich to win by a single shot. O’Neill held a two stroke lead going into the final day, after recording rounds of 69 and 66 over the opening two days before holding his nerve to claim victory. The Allianz Germany Boys Open is regarded as one of the top three boys golfing events in the world.

Katich, playing on his home course, pushed O’Neill all the way and moved to the top by the 12th hole, thanks to an excellent front nine performance, which included an eagle and two birdies.

Not panicked, O’Neill kept his composure and that ultimately proved to be the catalyst for his victory. The 13th and 14th proved disastrous for Katich. The German, who recently won French Boys Open, had a bogey on the 13th, before finding water on the 14th and eventually posting a triple bogey 7. O’Neill, meanwhile, birdied 14.

Another German, Felix Krammer, entered the conversation for victory as he sensationally struck a seven-iron shot for a hole-in-one at the par-3 13th.

Read full report in this week’s Tribune Sport.

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Connacht Tribune

Galway duo Mulkerrins and Heffernan bid for world glory

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GALWAY ace Martin Mulkerrins will lead the Irish team at the 2018 World Handball Championships which are starting this week in Minnesota.

And the current national senior champion is joined on the Irish team by fellow Galwegian, Niamh Heffernan from Claregalway, in a total playing party of 13.

Moycullen’s Mulkerrins will be competing in the Men’s Open event while Heffernan should be a strong contender for the Girls 17U World title.

Multi-talented Heffernan, who also plays camogie at County level, previously took home gold medals from Calgary, Canada in 2015. A rising star of the game, it’s little wonder that she qualified for Team Ireland.

Another Galway member is Frances Curran, Michael Breathnach’s, who is traveling Stateside as Team Ireland Liaison Officer.

According to Mulkerrins, this year’s Men’s Open singles field at the World Handball Championships is so strong that it will be a case of kill or be killed!

Now aged 25, he took gold at the 2009, 2012 and 2015 Worlds as a juvenile, and captured his maiden All-Ireland senior singles title back in March. This time around he will be competing against the USA professional players in his bid for the World glory.

The blue riband Open Singles draw is stacked with quality and, says Mulkerrins, the player who can marry consistency with aggressive shot-making will be the one crowned champion.

“I would consider myself an offensive player, I would go for the kill if it’s a 50-50 call. “I think especially in tournaments like this, with a round of 32 and an extremely tough round of 16, you don’t want to be in that court any longer than you have to.

“With the speed of the American courts and their ball, I don’t think too many players will be adopting a defensive style. I see it as a tournament where we are going to see a lot of low, hard power play and players looking to finish games quickly,” he said.

See full coverage in Tribune Sport.

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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

Hanniffy out as Galway take on the Dubs in quarter-final

Stephen Glennon

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GALWAY’S senior camogie team will be looking to bounce back from their final round group defeat to Kilkenny when they face Dublin in a tricky All-Ireland quarter-final assignment at Pairc Uí Chaoimh, Cork on Saturday evening (7:15pm).
Following victories over Clare, Waterford and Limerick, Galway had looked to seize the automatic semi-final berth against Kilkenny last day out and for three quarters of that contest they were certainly in a good place to achieve this.
Indeed, they had the Cats in all sorts of bother early on with Ailish O’Reilly, in particular, looking dangerous up front. However, with Kilkenny using sweeper Anne Dalton to good effect and Galway struggling to by-pass this defensive mechanism, the National League champions swung the tie in their favour to take the win on a 1-17 to 0-13 scoreline.
While the margin of defeat will have frustrated manager Cathal Murray, there were still enough positives in the performance to give rise for optimism ahead of this weekend’s knockout game against Dublin. “There was plenty of positives but we were just disappointed with the last 20 minutes to be honest with you,” says Murray.
“We kind of threw in the towel a small bit but we now have to look for a response against Dublin, who won’t be bad. So, all round, we need to improve. There is not just one area really but we do need to get a performance to get ourselves back on the road again. Dublin, though, will be no pushovers.”
Unfortunately, Galway have been hit with a setback with the news that Oranmore/Maree full-forward and goal threat Niamh Hanniffy looks set to miss the rest of the campaign with a knee-ligament injury. “Niamh is a massive loss to us,” confirms Murray. “It is disappointing in fairness.
“We also have a few more injured at the moment. Sarah Dervan, Becky Hennelly and Caitriona Cormican are all carrying knocks. Look, they will probably be okay but, at the moment (early in the week), they are unable to train.”
Injuries aside, it is unlikely Galway will digress too far from the side which did lose to Kilkenny. Sarah Healy will start between the posts with captain Dervan, Tara Kenny, Lorraine Ryan and Heather Cooney backboning the Tribeswomen’s defence.

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

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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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