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Galway blow Dubs away

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Date Published: {J}

Galway 3-14

Dublin 1-10

CIARAN TIERNEY AT SEMPLE STADIUM

Hail the men who have delivered a delightful double! A group of boys who have been no strangers to heartbreak and frustration in underage hurling finals really came of age in Thurles on Saturday night as Galway captured their tenth All-Ireland U-21 crown with a comprehensive victory over an outclassed Dublin side.

Six days after the minors enjoyed an equally comfortable victory over the same opponents at Croke Park, this year’s crop of U-21s could hardly have dreamed of putting together such a convincing all-round team performance that a 10 point margin almost flattered the Dubs in the end.

Perhaps Galway supporters have become disillusioned by so much underage promise failing to materialise into senior success for over two decades, but this was a performance to treasure in its own right for the maroon contingent in the 5,352 crowd.

They outfought their opponents from start to finish, winning aerial ball, battling to win ‘dirty’ or 50-50 balls, lodging wonderful long clearances out of defence, and taking their chances with a determination and conviction which put this year’s Galway seniors to shame.

Their battling qualities were epitomised by corner forward and man-of-the-match Davy Glennon when he moved back to help out his full-back line in the dying minutes. The game was well won, but a fired-up Galway never relented and the Dublin challenge was in tatters long before the end.

If we worried about where the goals would come from, they had banished those fears by having three on the scoreboard by half-time. Glennon and James Regan might not have been prominent against Limerick last month, but they were in blistering form here.

And young Tadhg Haran of Liam Mellows might not have been totally on-song with his free-taking, missing four in the first half, but his brave decision to go for a goal from his 10th minute penalty gave the entire team a lift. He had a fine haul of 1-3, including three inspirational scores from play, by the time he was hauled ashore 11 minutes into the second half.

If we worried that rival centre back Liam Rushe, candidate for Young Hurler of the Year, would have a field day then the towering Niall Burke had other ideas. He might not have found the target as regularly as in the semi-final, but Burke battled to keep Rushe out of the game.

If we wondered how the backs would cope, well, it was hard to find one among them who did not come up with an inspirational performance against a shell-shocked Dublin attack. The performances of Niall Donoghue at full-back, Ger O’Halloran in the corner, and Jason Grealish, in particular, were outstanding. These were dream performances in an All-Ireland final from a team who were humiliated on the same stage 12 months ago.

It was some night of redemption for the eight lads who were on the wrong side of a 25 point hammering by Tipperary last year and they settled well into the game, with two excellent early scores from Regan and Haran.

But Dublin were back in front in the third minute, when a long-range effort from corner forward Kevin O’Loughlin came back off the crossbar. Goalie Jamie Ryan batted it away from the danger zone, but Tomas Connolly was on hand to hit the rebound to the net. An O’Loughlin free then gave the Dubs a two point lead.

But the movement of the Galway lads was notable at this stage and captain Barry Daly, who began the game in the full-forward line, produced a storming run in from the left corner only to be hauled down by Dublin net-minder Ger McManus. Bravely, Haran drove the penalty low past the three men on the line, after McManus was yellow carded.

Daly caused havoc in the Dublin defence in that opening quarter and Regan finished off an excellent move involving Conor Cooney, Haran, and Glennon to put the Tribesmen 1-3 to 1-1 ahead at the end of the first quarter.

Clearly, the men in maroon had not been rattled by Dublin’s early goal, as Donoghue, Grealish, and Rory Foy produced a series of inspirational clearances.

O’Loughlin cut the gap to the minimum from a free on the left and then replied to a brilliantly struck Haran score from out near the sideline, but Dublin had to wait until the 23rd minute for their first point from play – a good score under pressure from full-forward Niall McMorrow to level the issue at 1-4 apiece.

 

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

Galway in Days Gone By

The way we were – Protecting archives of our past

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A photo of Galway city centre from the county council's archives

People’s living conditions less than 100 years ago were frightening. We have come a long way. We talk about water charges today, but back then the local District Councils were erecting pumps for local communities and the lovely town of Mountbellew, according to Council minutes, had open sewers,” says Galway County Council archivist Patria McWalter.

Patria believes we “need to take pride in our history, and we should take the same pride in our historical records as we do in our built heritage”. When you see the wealth of material in her care, this belief makes sense.

She is in charge of caring for the rich collection of administrative records owned by Galway County Council and says “these records are as much part of our history as the Rock of Cashel is. They document our lives and our ancestors’ lives. And nobody can plan for the future unless you learn from the past, what worked and what didn’t”.

Archivists and librarians are often unfairly regarded as being dry, academic types, but that’s certainly not true of Patria. Her enthusiasm is infectious as she turns the pages of several minute books from Galway’s Rural District Councils, all of them at least 100 years old.

Part of her role involved cataloguing all the records of the Councils – Ballinasloe, Clifden, Galway, Gort, Loughrea, Mountbellew, Portumna and Tuam. These records mostly consisted of minutes of various meetings.

When she was cataloguing them she realised their worth to local historians and researchers, so she decided to compile a guide to their content. The result is For the Record: The Archives of Galway’s Rural District Councils, which will be a valuable asset to anybody with an interest in history.

Many representatives on these Councils were local personalities and several were arrested during the political upheaval of the era, she explains.

And, ushering in a new era in history, women were allowed to sit on these Rural District Councils – at the time they were not allowed to sit on County Councils.

All of this information is included in Patria’s introductory essay to the attractively produced A4 size guide, which gives a glimpse into how these Rural Councils operated and the way political thinking changed in Ireland during a short 26-year period. In the early 1900s, these Councils supported Home Rule, but by 1920, they were calling for full independence and refusing to recognise the British administration.

“I love the tone,” says Patria of the minutes from meetings. “The language was very emotive.”

That was certainly true of the Gort Rural District Council. At a meeting in 1907, following riots in Dublin at the premiere of JM Synge’s play, The Playboy of the Western World the councillors’ response was vehement. They recorded their decision to “protest most emphatically against the libellous comedy, The Playboy of the Western World, that was belched forth during the past week in the Abbey Theatre, Dublin, under the fostering care of Lady Gregory and Mr Yeats. We congratulate the good people of Dublin in howling down the gross buffoonery and immoral suggestions that are scattered throughout this scandalous performance.

 

For more from the archives see this week’s Tribunes here

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Real Galway flavour to intermediate club hurling battle in Birr

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Date Published: 23-Jan-2013

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Athenry fail to take chances as they bow out of Junior Cup

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Date Published: 29-Jan-2013

Athenry FC 1

Kilbarrack United 2

(After extra time)

For the second year in succession Athenry were done in extra time in the FAI Junior Cup as last season’s beaten finalist’s came from behind to snatch an excellent game in Moanbawn on Sunday afternoon.

On a heavy pitch that was only playable following extensive groundwork by club officials all morning, the home side were by far the better side in the opening half, but failed to take advantage of a number of opportunities that came their way.

An Alan O’Donovan penalty gave them a merited advantage just after the restart, but thereafter were on the back foot as Kilbarrack took over, but for all their pressing, the home rearguard were dealing comfortably with their forays.

However they were struck a body blow just six minutes from time, as big striker Keith Kirwan was left all alone at the far post to head the equaliser and from that point on the Dubliners were the better side.

They started off the extra time in the ascendancy and enjoying all the momentum before striking for a good winning goal on 104 minutes. A strong bench allowed them to make some necessary changes and it was not a facility that was available to Athenry manager Gabriel Glavin.

With Gary Forde and Gary Delaney out through suspension following their sending off against OLBC in the previous round, and Seamie Crowe injured, it left their bench rather threadbare with just a number of young squad players available.

Playing with the aid of the slight incline and any wind advantage going, the home side had a Connor Cannon effort on target in the opening minute, while John Meleady was just over with a flick at the other end.

Meleady then tested Andrew Walsh who saved comfortably, before the goalkeeper pulled off a brilliant double save on 14 minutes.

Firstly he went full length to push away a Meleady shot and was then back on his feet to parry David Jackson’s close-range rebound.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Sentinel.

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