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Galway men justify all the hype with champion show in Croke Park

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Corofin's Michael Lundy celebrates scoring against Slaughneil during Tuesday's All-Ireland Club football final at Croke Park. Photo: Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile.

COROFIN marched to victory on St Patrick’s Day, the green and yellow comfortably overcoming the challenge of Slaughtneil to claim the club’s second All-Ireland senior football title. The Derry men had threatened to rain on Corofin’s parade early on but they flattered to deceive.

Once the Galway and Connacht champions got a foothold, they steamrolled their opponents – midfield dominance, a mean defence, and lightning pace in attack helped Corofin to a 10-points victory, 1-14 to 0-7.

It wasn’t the complete performance. It didn’t need to be. Corofin were good enough without hitting the heady heights they’re capable of. Slaughtneil didn’t perform either – they weren’t let play.

After 10 minutes, Mickey Moran’s men looked capable of causing an upset. Corofin looked out of sorts, nervy and a little bit rattled.

The unthinkable appeared possible as the red-hot favourites made uncharacteristic mistakes: Up front Michael Lundy and Ian Burke dropped shots short into the keeper’s hands; Ronan Steede gave possession away cheaply with a wayward free; Greg Higgins was, perhaps, fortunate not to concede a penalty with a last-ditch tackle.

But for all the jitters, Slaughtneil failed to capitalised, hit three wides in that opening ten minutes and led by just two points to one.

Gary Sice got Corofin’s first score of the day, and boy was it needed. It was vital, not least because he had no right to get it. The Galway men had squandered possession in the build up to it, and the chance looked gone but Sice pilfered corner-back, Francis McEldowney, and popped it over. A huge sigh of relief.

Then came the Michael Lundy show. The 25-years-old speed merchant hit three points, one after another, in just two minutes.

The first came after patient, neat inter-play; the second can be traced to a fine catch from Steede from the kick-out; and the third white came when Lundy was first to react after Daithi Burke’s goal-bound effort was stopped by Anton McMullan.

Lundy’s treble was critical – like the alcoholic having a first drink the morning after the night before, it steadied Corofin.  Now it was 4-2 in Corofin’s favour, a different ball-game. They pushed on.

Midway through the half, veteran Kieran Fitzgerald, solid throughout, cut out a Slaughtneil move and turned defence into attack. He fed Gary Delaney, whose Garryowen-type effort was plucked from the sky by Sice; he linked up with Martin Farragher who buried it.

It wasn’t so much a turning point but a point of no return for Slaughtneil. Corofin pushed on, and landed four of the five points scored before the break, leaving it 1-8 to 0-3. To lose an eight-point advantage wouldn’t just be careless, it would be criminal. Corofin are around the block too long to let that happen.

They won the second half by six points to four, always looked superior to Slaughtneil and capable of hitting a higher gear and cutting loose if necessary.

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

CITY TRIBUNE

Bragging rights go to NUIG Maree on opening weekend

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NUIG Maree's Eoin Rockall jumps to shoot as Grant Olsson of Moycullen tries to block in the Super League meeting between the sides in NUIG last Saturday. Photo: Ed Shiel.

NUIG Maree made it four straight wins over local rivals Moycullen in the Men’s Super League to get their 2021/22 campaign off to a winning start in the Kingfisher Gym last Saturday.

A tense game between two nervous-looking sides went the way of Charlie Crowley’s charges, though both sides will know there is plenty of scope for improvement in the weeks ahead.

NUIOG Mystics also made a winning start to their season, blowing away the challenge of the Marble City Hawks down in Kilkenny, and with a side featuring seven players who featured for Maree in the Women’s Super League two season ago, in addition to two string US imports, Paul O’Brien’s side could be dark horses for league honours this season.

Titans mase a welcome return to the national league on Saturday but their trip to league newcomers, Drogheda Wolves, ended in defeat, though jack Considine’s already young squad was hit by a raft of injuries ahead of the game, though taking a long-term view, the club is handing a lot of young players valuable league experience, which can only benefit Titans in the years ahead.

Maree  70

Moycullen 68

Super League basketball fans got a scintillating return to action Saturday night in NUI Galway as Moycullen and Maree played out a nail biter, with Maree scraping by as winners 70 to 68. writes Cian Nihill.

After an enthralling back and forth encounter, the local derby and season opener came down to the final minutes when six straight Grant Olsson points for Moycullen had the nominal visitors trailing by one with 24 seconds left and possession.

It would be Olsson again who took on the responsibility and, having dragged his side to within touching distance of the win, had to endure the heartache of seeing his 3-point attempt narrowly miss.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App

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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

Hibs get off the mark with derby win over Rangers

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Mervue United goalkeeper Daire Geraghty gets his clearance away despite the challenge of Loughrea's Kieran Bane in Mervue's 5-2 league win over their visitors in Fahy's Field last weekend. Photo: Iain McDonald.

Soccer Wrap with Mike Rafferty

Recent seasons have proved to be somewhat of a struggle for Hibernians, but despite regular positioning in the lower regions of the Premier Division, they have always survived and in the current campaign with four teams to be relegated from the 12-team league, matters look like they will be very competitive for a number of teams to avoid the drop.

Just about six weeks into the new season, just four points separate the nine teams outside the top three and indeed just one point separates the bottom seven sides.

The action is competitive and indeed three of those lower positioned teams fashioned a first league win of the campaign over the weekend, with Hibernians the most impressive with a 5-0 success over Corrib Rangers.

Dean Cullinane, Shane Walsh, Jason McPhilbin, Jason McDonagh (pen) and Alex Murphy with his first senior goal all found the range for the Bohermore side on Sunday morning.

Maree/Oranmore were also convincing winners with a 3-0 away success over Tuam Celtic as Luke Smyth, Andrew Connolly and Pricewell Diala all found the range for the visitors.

Kerill Hardiman and Ryan Noone got the goals as Colemanstown United also fashioned a first win with a 2-1 success over a Corrib Celtic side for whom Shane Concannon got their lone reply.

Even at this early stage of the season, the challenge for Premier Division title looks to lie between three sides as Mervue United, Athenry and Salthill Devon appear to be the likely contenders.

Mervue United were making it five wins on the trot as they maintained their top position with a 5-2 win over Loughrea at Fahy’s Field. As ever, leading scorer Enda Curran found the range with a brace, as Jonathan Hannifin, Hakeem Ryan and Aaron Molloy also hit the target in a convincing success. Kieran Bane was on the mark with both goals for the visitors.

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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CITY TRIBUNE

Aki returns for daunting trip to Thomond Park

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Connacht’s Matthew Burke braces for a tackle from Aaron Wainright of the Dragons in last weekend's game in the Sportsground.

BY JOHN FALLON

The return of Bundee Aki will give Connacht a badly needed boost after their collapse against Dragons last weekend as they face into two crucial derby clashes against Munster this Saturday in Thomond Park (7.35pm)and then against Ulster in Aviva Stadium on Saturday week, October 23 (5.15pm)

Aki is set to become the first British and Irish Lion to play for Connacht in the professional era and Peter Wilkins, who has moved to a more senior role as well as taking charge of attack, said that Aki is gunning for action.

“The way we are playing gives him that little bit more freedom to express himself, and also for him to feed off the opportunity of other attackers around him. I think the way we are playing will suit him. He’s enjoying training and the details that goes into that. It’s enormously exciting for him and it’s great for us.

“Bundee’s specific role over the past few weeks was to get up to speed with the way we are trying to play in attack and defence. Obviously, there are way more changes to the way we are attacking so it has been him getting up to speed with that.

“There have been different avenues to that, there has been work off-field, one-on-one meetings with us as coaches, obviously he has had catch-ups with the players, with the leadership groups and he has been able to be on the grass at training in the past few weeks, observing, and then training with the group. So he has had a really nice layer of introductions to what we are trying to do.

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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