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Galway champions complete the three- in-a-row

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Mountbellew Moylough’s Colm Mannion fends off the challenge of Corofin's Michael Lundy during Sunday’s Galway Senior Football final at Tuam Stadium. Photos: Joe O'Shaughnessy.

COROFIN 3-13

MOUNTBELLEW-MOYLOUGH 0-12

COROFIN, by their own high standards might have laboured a little through this year’s county championship, but just when they needed it most the title holders produced a devastating display of footballing power to record a first ever three-in-a-row of wins for the club.

History will provide its own testament to this success on Sunday with Corofin the first club in the county to record three county senior successes in a row since the magical Purcell and Stockwell Tuam Stars era of the 1950s.

Mountbellew were valiant and honest in their efforts and for the first 45 minutes of this county final played through idyllic sunshine before 4,500 spectators at Tuam Stadium they stayed in touch, but eventually the dam burst and then there was to be stopping of the Corofin tidal advance.

If one word summarised this Corofin performance, it was pace. Over recent years, their training stints have taken on a legendary status in terms of speed and intensity — last Sunday they replicated those many evening sessions on the biggest stage of all in Galway football.

The signs were ominous for the losers from the early minutes of the match . . . barely 12 seconds had elapsed when powerful midfielder Ronan Steede sped through the Mountbellew defence before pointing . . . all of Corofin’s first touches were true and their passes invariably hit the midriff of yellow jerseys.

Corofin in full flight, it must be acknowledged, are quite an exceptional force and they called on their entire repertoire of talents to deliver the almost complete performance. Mountbellew-Moylough battled and scraped admirably – their effort and commitment was unquestionable — but in the end they just had to succumb to a far superior force.

To beat Corofin, the opposition have to score heavily and in the case of Mountbellew last Sunday they probably needed to ‘hit the onion bag’ on at least a couple of occasions – in fairness to them, they twice came close in the first half to landing those critical scores.

Midway through the first half when Corofin goalkeeper  Thomas Healy slipped on a kick-out, Michael Daly picked up the ball and set up Eoin Finnerty for a goal chance – however Healy atoned for his earlier mishap by saving brilliantly.

Shortly after, Barry McHugh managed to elude the tight marking defensive blanket and as Healy advanced again he tried a delicate chip from 20 yards that clipped the top of the crossbar for a point. Twice Mountbellew had come within inches of landing major scores but alas the green flag wasn’t raised.

These are the ‘what might have beens’ for Mountbellew but at the other end Corofin were creating goal chances, at times by the minute it seemed. Ronan Steede, given far too much latitude by the Mountbellew midfield, again cut through their defence in the 19th minute before blasting a high velocity bullet past a helpless Brian Donnellan.  Three minutes later, as Corofin moved the ball quicker than the blink of an eye, Gary Sice and Jason Leonard set up Martin Farragher for a tap-in goal — and it could have been worse, much worse, for Mountbellew.

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

CITY TRIBUNE

O’Keeffe says season’s goal of winning promotion remains very much in United’s sights

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Conor O’Keeffe in action against Cobh Ramblers FC earlier this season. Photo: Joe O'Shaughnessy.

Galway United full-back Conor O’Keeffe insists there is no talk in the camp about the upcoming promotion play-offs, with all the focus each week being on the next game up for the side rather than the battle to join champions-elect Shelbourne in the top-flight next season.

A scoreless draw at home to Treaty United last weekend, coupled with a 2-0 win for Shelbourne away to Cork City, means the Dublin side has moved 10 points ahead of United at the top of the table with five games remaining.

Having lost just once all season – a defeat which was inflicted by United – the Tolka Park side are unlikely to let that 10-point lead slip, meaning that United’s hopes of promotion will rest with the play-offs.

O’Keeffe, who turns 28 on Sunday, says that promotion remains the goal of the squad, and that is the focus, not on the route that will be needed to secure that.

“We are taking things one game at a time, if you look beyond that, you forget to do that’s in front of you, so we are not even looking at the playoffs, you have to show up for each game.

“You have to take it just game by game, if you look farther ahead, you get a little carried away and you lose focus, and you just have to keep going.

“We just need to finish as high up the table as we can, anything can happen, it is a funny game at times, football, we have just got to believe – if you don’t believe there is no point, our goal is to get promoted and we still believe we can do that,” O’Keeffe says.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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CITY TRIBUNE

Favourites all advance with ease in the FAI Junior Cup

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Athenry's Seán O'Callaghan heads in his side's second goal despite the best efforts of Paddy Gannon and Shane Trill. Photo: Kennedy-Beirne/Eirefoto.

Soccer Wrap with Mike Rafferty

It might only have been the preliminary round of the FAI Junior Cup, but for certain teams with ambitions, it was hopefully the start of a long trail towards ultimate success, and the four fancied sides all advanced from their games with various degrees of comfort last weekend.

In the only all Premier Division clash, James Ryan secured the match winner as West United saw off St Bernard’s 1-0 in South Park. It was Ryan again who went closest to a second, but his effort on this occasion was thwarted by the woodwork. The victory sets them up for a First Round contest against Tuam Celtic on the last weekend of the month.

Hibernians were 3-2 winners over Dynamo Blues in Bohermore as Shane Hulgraine, Nathan Ward (striker) and an own goal were enough to see off the Tuam side for whom Alex Schmitt scored twice.

Scoreless at the break, Colga did all the damage against Bohemians on the resumption as they ran out 4-0 winners with Neil Greaney (3) and Colm McDonagh sharing the goals – Colga and Hibernians meet in the next round.

As to be expected Athenry were the most comfortable winners of the day as they defeated Renmore 6-0 with three goals coming in each-half. New central defender, Sean O’Callaghan, scored his first goals for the club as he notched a brace, while Adam Duffy, Declan Cullen, Colm O’Donovan and Garvan Broughall were also all on the mark as they set up a neighbourly contest with Corofin United.

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.

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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

Galway United nearly there but scope for improvement

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Galway United's Joe Gorman on the ball against Kieran Hanlon of Treaty United FC during Friday night's First Division tie at Eamonn Deacy Park. Photo: Joe O'Shaughnessy.

Galway United 0

Treaty United 0

A contest between two evenly-matched teams finished in stalemate on Friday night, nudging both sides closer to the play-offs, but leaving neither in doubt that major improvement is needed if they are to escape the doldrums of the First Division.

United shaded things in the first-half, with the visitors being the marginally better side for much of the second until they were reduced to 10 men with the dismissal of former United man, Marc Ludden.

Already providing a stubborn and frustrating resistance to their hosts, Treaty dug in even further following that 73rd minute red card, and with United struggling to find their mojo of late, the game petered out into that predictable scoreless draw.

The league takes another break this weekend with the quarter-finals of the FAI Cup taking centre stage, giving the United camp some additional time to find that spark that has been missing for the past three games following that stirring 3-1 win over Shelbourne in mid-August.

With free-scoring UCD up next for United, that additional time needs to be well spent for, while United are almost assured of the play-offs, they have serious work to do to if they are to take confidence and momentum into those play-offs, and the visit of the Students to the Dyke Road on Friday week will really test the home side.

John Caulfield made two changes to the team which beat Cabinteely the previous week, with Luke Dennison coming in for the suspended Conor Kearns in goals, while Stephen Walsh replaced Alex Murphy at left-back.

The game was preceded by a thunderous minute’s applause from both home and away fans for the late Sam Oji, a man who graced the jersey of both Galway United and of Treaty United’s predecessor, Limerick FC, who died suddenly last month from cancer at the age of just 35.

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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