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Galway hurlers suffer earliest championship exit in 45 years

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Just when the hurling season is really kicking into life, Galway will be unwilling bystanders after being the victims of an astonishing Tipperary fightback in Saturday evening’s thrilling All-Ireland Qualifier in Thurles, losing on a 3-25 to 4-13 scoreline.

Six points clear in the 51st minute and with the home team on the ropes, Galway were unable to kick on as the match subsequently underwent a stunning transformation which saw them heavily outscored by 2-10 to 0-1 from there to the finish.

The legacy of their stirring duels with Kilkenny clearly impacted on a tiring Galway in the final quarter as Tipperary, under fierce pressure after losing their last four championship matches, managed to rescue their season in their hour of greatest need.

Team manager Anthony Cunningham, whose three year term is now over, didn’t try to hide his disappointment after the game. He admitted that Galway were done no favours by the draw, while having to play three big games in a fortnight drained them.

“It’s very hard to take. It was a tremendous game and we looked to be really motoring when going six points ahead. We threw everything at this fixture and there are a lot of tired bodies in there.

“You wouldn’t have seen that finish when we went ahead, but Tipperary got some very good scores and deserved to win. They finished the stronger team. Going to Thurles to play them was the toughest draw we could get . . . it’s very disappointing.”

Cunningham emphasised, however, that there were still more positives compared to when Galway exited last year’s championship to Clare at the same venue.

“Five or six new players have been blooded and I can’t fault our guys. They gave everything and just ran out of steam.”

The Galway boss was then asked about his future plans. “We love what we are doing, but that’s for another day,” he replied.

CITY TRIBUNE

Table toppers Galway Utd are expecting nothing easy against Athlone

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Galway United’s Stephen Walsh who is set to make his 275th appearance for the club when they host Athlone Town in the First Division on Friday night.

WHEN Declan Toland blew the full-time whistle in Eamonn Deacy Park back on October 7 last season, the Athlone Town bench erupted in celebration as the Midlands side had finally won a league game at the Dyke Road venue after a 25 year wait since their previous success, back in February 1997, Thomas Oluwa’s late goal sealing a 2-1 win.

Then, after Frantz Pierrot gave them a 35th minute lead in the first league meeting between the sides at Lissywollen back in March, you began to wonder had United’s Midlands bogey managed to stretch the 25 miles from Longford down to the one-stand ground off the side of the N6 Athlone bypass.

Two goals from David Hurley, and another from Stephen Walsh, saw order restored as United claimed a 3-1 win that night, but those two most recent meetings with the league’s oldest club will serve as a warning that United need to be switched on from the start when they welcome the Town to Eamonn Deacy Park this Friday (7.45pm).

Athlone managed just seven wins in 32 league games last season, but they are a much improved side this campaign and are just about in the play-off spots with six wins from 15 so far in 2023. What is even more impressive is that they have managed that despite what appears to be incredible managerial turmoil at the club.

Dermot Lennon and Gordon Brett started the 2023 season as joint managers, before Lennon stepped down in April. Portuguese coach Dario Castelo then apparently took the reins; then Brett stepped back in, before stepping down again; with Emelio Williams taking over as caretaker manager last weekend for the game away to Cobh Ramblers, in which just one Irish-born player featured for Athlone in the 2-2 draw.

“Seemingly in the last couple of weeks, because they weren’t playing their foreign players, the manager lost their job. Maybe that is the route they are going down, and they have said that they are going to bring six [players] in at the break and be totally professional for the second half of the season,” United manager, John Caulfield, said ahead of this Friday’s game.

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

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CITY TRIBUNE

Conroy and Sweeney star as Galway edge out 14-man Tyrone in dour affair

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Galway’s Dylan McHugh in full stride against Tyrone’s Conn Kilpatrick during Saturday's All-Ireland Football Championship Group 2 clash at Pearse Stadium. Photo: Joe O'Shaughnessy.

Galway 0-16

Tyrone 0-13

By Pádraic Ó Ciardha at Pearse Stadium

BETWEEN the torrential downpour that soaked Salthill before throw-in and the fact that visitors were a man down for most of the match, this opening round clash between Galway and Tyrone in the All-Ireland SFC never threatened to be a classic but Pádraic Joyce’s side did enough to keep their opponents at arm’s length throughout and picked up an important victory.

The Tribesmen didn’t trail at any stage in this one and while they’ll probably need to be a bit more clinical and a bit more ruthless if they’re going to go all the way this year, it’s still a good sign that Galway managed to clear what was a tricky hurdle last weekend without hitting their stride.

Galway looked to have the perfect opportunity to pull away towards the end of the first half when Tyrone were reduced to 13-men after Franks Burns saw red and Niall Morgan was black-carded. The Ulster side were forced to put Peter Harte back in goal for the ten minutes that Morgan was off the field but, despite their two man advantage, Galway only managed a single point during that spell.

Just three points separated the sides at the break, Galway leading 0-7 to 0-4, and Tyrone made the most of Galway wastefulness after the restart to reduce the gap to just a single point with around 30 minutes remaining. Galway, to their credit, were always able to produce a score when needed, however, and points from the likes of Matthew Tierney, Cillian McDaid and Damien Comer ensured that the home side always had their noses in front as Tyrone kept the pressure on.

On a day when few players hit the heights they’re capable of, it was a pair at either end of their intercounty careers who did the most to keep Galway moving in the right direction. Having missed the Connacht final with a knock, Paul Conroy came back into the starting line-up and gave the performance of a true leader. The St James’ man kicked two points, including a sweet effort with his left at an important stage in the second half, and his overall contribution was invaluable as he continually made the right choice on the ball.

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

Involvement of former Galway management with Dublin add intrigue to fixture

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The former Galway senior hurling management team of Franny Forde, Micheál Donoghue and Noel Larkin who are now over Dublin.

YOU couldn’t make it up. The three men who masterminded Galway’s All-Ireland triumph six years ago are now working willingly behind enemy lines.

What’s more Micheál Donoghue, Noel Larkin and Franny Forde are involved with the county which helped to bring about an end to their own tenure with the Tribesmen in 2019.

Throw in the fact that two Kilkenny men – Henry Shefflin and Richie O’Neill – are at the helm in Galway, it underlines that the flow of inter-county managerial traffic has no borders these days.

It will be a curious sight to see Donoghue, Larkin and Forde trying to engineer their native county’s downfall in a match at Croke Park on Sunday (2pm) in which both teams must get a result from.

It gives insider trading a new meaning, but leaving aside divided loyalties, we are beginning to see a stirring in Dublin hurling again with lots of new faces stepping up to this level. Eoghan O’Donnell, Paddy Smith, the supremely accurate Donál Burke, Cian Boland and Danny Sutcliffe are still going strong, but there is a freshness to Dublin this year.

With seasoned operators like Eamonn Dillon and Liam Rushe unavailable, Donoghue has spread his net far and wide in trying to unearth new talent. The results have been mixed but Dublin have improved since drawing their opening championship tie with Antrim.

Wins followed against Westmeath and a wasteful Wexford before losing out to Kilkenny (0-27 to 0-21) against Kilkenny at Nowlan Park last Sunday. It was an encouraging display, however, considering they had to field without Ronan Hayes, whose campaign has been restricted due to a hamstring injury.

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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