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Soccer

Galway League make it three wins from three in Inter-League pool

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Galway League 2

Limerick League 1

Already guarantee qualification from their group following wins over Clare and the Combined Counties, all the Tribesmen required from this contest was a point to secure top spot. They achieved the ultimate goal of victory, even if it was achieved in a rather laboured manner.

Without question Galway were worthy of their win, but the game produced a game of contrasting fortunes for the home side, in a contest played in very testing conditions.

Against a Limerick team who had nothing to play for after a poor campaign, the home side pretty much dominated the opening half, but a two-goal margin was a slender reward for a side who created so many chances.

However, the game took a different course from the hour mark as the visitors pulled one back and from there to the finish traded on equal terms with the home side.

All the highlights of the game were provided by the respective goalkeepers, with Stephen O’Connell enjoying the proverbial blinder for the visitors; but when called into action in the closing stages, Galway net minder Kevin Horgan produced two brilliant saves to maintain the home side’s slender margin, when under pressure late on.

Striker Padraig Cunningham has a fair record as a goal scorer, but his ratio of goals to chances created could certainly be improved upon. A glaring miss from six yards on nine minutes did little for a smart Antoine O’Laoi delivery early on, before the front man made it 1-0 after 17 minutes, when he latched on to a Peter Walsh pass to lob the advancing O’Connell for a 1-0 lead.

Cunningham was central to the home side’s best chances for the remainder of the half and on three occasions he was frustrated by smart O’Connell saves. The custodian also produced two excellent stops to thwart Ryan Manning and O’Laoi.

The home side eventually made it 2-0 on 44 minutes, when Andrew Connolly headed in an O’Laoi corner from close range and they continued to set the pace in the early second half exchanges, as smart O’Connell saves denied Walsh and Cunningham.

Limerick pulled one back on 61 minutes the run of play when Wesley O’Sullivan headed home a Jamie Bromwell free kick from out wide to reduce the arrears to 2-1. The goal kicked some life into the visitors and for the first time in the game, the home defence were under pressure.

Some sloppy distribution by the back four didn’t help their cause, as they put themselves under undue pressure at times. Horgan was now seeing some direct action and after keeping out an O’Sullivan drive, he produced a superb save when going full length to tip a Bromwell free-kick on to the crossbar.

Chances were going a-begging at the other end as Cunningham lobbed wide of an open goal, before the striker, Walsh and O’Laoi were denied by smart O’Connell saves. Deep in injury time, another Horgan dive pushed away a Bromwell snap shot for a fruitless corner, as Galway help on for a merited win and secured their place in the last eight at the knockout stage.

Soccer

Lomboto’s late strike earns United share of the spoils

Keith Kelly

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Galway United 2
Athlone Town 2

GALWAY United had to twice come from behind against basement side Athlone Town on Monday night to snatch a draw that was, on balance, probably a little harsh on the visiting side.
Completely outplayed in the opening 45 minutes, United had an absolute howler from visiting goalkeeper, Aaron Myles, to thank for going into the break on level terms; and then needed an equaliser five minutes from time to claim a draw against a side that came into the game having lost all four games they had played this season.
Alan Murphy’s side already find themselves nine points behind the league leaders just four games into the season, and a major improvement is needed if they are to finish in the top half of the table and inside the play-off spots.
Their central midfield was way off the mark on Monday night – both Maurice Nugent and Sam Warde were hauled ashore before the final whistle – and having abandoned the 4-4-2 formation which delivered some decent results near the end of last season, they are struggling to get quality ball into the opposition box.
With Shane Duggan expected to return to central midfield after suspension for this Saturday’s trip to Cobh Ramblers, it might be time to go with some out-and-out wingers and get some cohesion in the side.
The first couple of half chances on Monday fell to the home side, but Mikey Place didn’t get any power behind his second minute effort; while Marc Ludden was well off target subsequently.
The visitors, who had the opening half’s best player in their ranks in the guise of Galway native, Ronan Manning, went close a couple of times themselves in the ninth minute, United surviving thanks to Cian Murphy getting a block on Adam Lennon’s shot; while Kevin Horgan pulled off a ‘worldie’ to deny Joel Coustrain from the subsequent corner.
By that stage, the visitors were starting to get on top, and they took a deserved lead in the 22nd minute when Manning’s corner from the left was met by Taner Dogan at the back post to head home as the United marking was, not for the first time this season, shambolic at a set-piece.
Tempers were starting to fray a little, with both sides having two players finding their way into the notebook of Dublin referee, Oliver Moran, before United were gifted an equaliser in the 41st minute.

Full report in this week’s Connacht Tribune

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CITY TRIBUNE

Doyle bags hat-trick in Galway WFC romp

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Paul Corcorcan

GALWAY WFC notched a second win in a row in the Women’s National League when they defeated Limerick 6-1 at the Markets Field on Sunday afternoon.

A McKenna Doyle hat trick and goals from Sadbh Doyle, Chloe Singleton and Aoife Thompson helped the Galway women to a resounding win. Five of the six goals for Galway were assisted by Lynsey McKey during what was a stellar performance by the experienced midfielder.

Galway WFC are back in action at Eamonn Deacy Park tomorrow (Saturday, kick off 3pm) when they welcome league leaders Peamount United.

See full match report in City Tribune Sport.

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CITY TRIBUNE

Cup offers United chance to boost morale

Stephen Glennon

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HAVING insisted all year that Galway United’s First Division campaign has been about developing their young talents, manager Alan Murphy has admitted this Sunday’s first round FAI Cup tie against Leinster Senior League side, Collinstown at Whitehall Stadium (2pm) is about winning.

United have not recorded a competitive victory since mid-May, when they came from behind to see off Longford Town 2-1 in a First Division fixture at Eamonn Deacy Park. That win came courtesy of two Vinny Faherty goals.

Since then, they have lost eight of their twelve outings, with their four draws coming against Cabinteely, Bray Wanderers, Athlone Town, and the First Division’s bottom team, Wexford Youths, who have won just two First Division fixtures this season.

However, this weekend’s Cup game against a non-League of Ireland outfit could provide a much-needed morale boosting victory for his charges.

“It would,” acknowledged Murphy. “Even to be in the next round of the FAI Cup would be huge; it would be huge for this group of inexperienced players that I have really. I mean, every game is a brilliant chance for these guys to get another little bit of experience, and to experience a different challenge, and this weekend will provide exactly that.

“I have said, week in, week out, this is a development year and these players need experience but this weekend is probably a little bit more about winning than it has been all season because of the fact you will be out of the competition if you don’t win,” he said.

Se full preview in City Tribune Sport.

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