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Galway must raise their game for tough away test against Waterford

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Daithi Burke who could feature at the heart of the Galway defence for Sunday's National League quarter-final against Waterford in Walsh Park.

GALWAY manager Anthony Cunningham says little heed should be paid to the manner of the defeat to Dublin last weekend, insisting the Tribesmen’s focus has always been on the National Hurling League quarter-finals, which sees them pitted against Waterford at Walsh Park on Sunday (4pm).

The 0-26 to 2-14 loss to the Dubs at Parnell Park saw Galway finished fourth on the league table and, as a consequence, they must now travel to take on a rejuvenated Waterford outfit that finished top of the Division 1B pile after going unbeaten through their early Spring campaign.

However, despite the Westerners, who had already qualified for the knockout stages ahead of the final round of league games, coming into Sunday’s fixture on the back of a defeat, Cunningham is unperturbed. “I suppose, it was a difficult game for us really, knowing we were through,” he says.

“So, obviously the last 20 minutes was always going to be tough if the game was in the balance. Dublin had something to fight for – they were fighting for their lives – where we were through. We would have been disappointed with our finish though.”

While dissatisfied with Galway’s second half showing against the Dubs, who they will face in their Leinster championship opener later in the Summer, he still maintains it was a great workout ahead of the quarter-finals, particularly in giving game time to a number of players, including the solid Paul Killeen.

At any rate, it will be interesting to see what team selection Cunningham will announce later on in the week. Goalkeeper Colm Callanan and backs Johnny Coen, David Collins and Greg Lally will be favoured to backbone a defensive effort which could also see the return of centre-back Daithí Burke after his All-Ireland club football exertions with Corofin.

Iarla Tannian and Andy Smith look the likely midfield pairing although, arguably, Joseph Cooney’s best hurling in the league has been around the middle of the park. However, he will most likely be deployed to the half-forward line, joining Jonathan Glynn and, possibly, Joe Canning.

Canning, in truth, could play in any offensive position but even against Dublin you could see the distress he caused in the opposition cover when he set up camp on the D. His goal was a bullet. Jason Flynn and Cathal Mannion have been other scoring threats in the current league campaign.

As for Waterford, they have been impressive in the manner in which they went about their Division 1B crusade – not only in going undefeated in their five games but securing results in their three most difficult ties away to Limerick (0-22 to 2-16), Offaly (2-18 to 1-14) and Wexford (0-22 to 0-16).

Indeed, what manager Derek McGrath has achieved in rebuilding a new-look squad in effectively six months is quite remarkable. Stephen Molumphy, Seamus Prendergast and Shane Walsh have retired while a number of other players such as Liam Lawlor, Richie Foley and Jamie Nagle were let go.

The significant change of personnel has not had a detrimental effect however; if anything it has re-energised the Waterford squad. They still have their experienced campaigners in goalkeeper Stephen O’Keeffe, Kevin Moran and Michael ‘Brick’ Walsh but the likes of Austin Gleeson, Tadgh de Burca and Colin Dunford have added fresh impetus.

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

CITY TRIBUNE

Dropped points leaves Utd losing touch with Cork City

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Galway United's Charlie Lyons tries to halt the progress of Wexford FC's Ger Shortt during Friday evening's Frst Division tie at Eamonn Deacy Park. Photo: Joe O'Shaughnessy.

Galway United 2

Wexford FC 2

IT might be just as well that Galway United have drawn UCD in the next round of the FAI Cup as it will give the Tribesmen a taste of what might come in the promotion play-off final later in the year.

UCD or Finn Harps will be the Premier Division side in that play-off, and United look set for that lottery of a route to promotion for a third straight year after these two dropped points on Friday night left them with a lot – maybe too much – to do to catch Cork City.

It was a belter of a game of football, but Wexford will have been the least disappointed of the two sides as they edged a shade closer to Treaty United in the battle for the final play-off spot.

United, on the other hand, fell to now be three points behind City, and with the Leesiders having a game in hand, and also a vastly superior goal difference (+41 as opposed to United’s +29), they have one hand on the league trophy, and the other reaching for the Brasso.

Stephen Walsh was scoring his 15th goal of the season on Friday night, while Rob Manley was making it four goals in five games since joining from Bray Wanderers, but it still wasn’t enough to claim the three points against a visiting side that got their reward for approaching the game in such a positive fashion.

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

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CITY TRIBUNE

Salthill serve up a strong finish to take derby spoils

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Bearna's Murcha Iarsach getting the better of Salthill/Knocknacarra's Cathal Sweeney during Saturday's Senior Football Championship clash at Pearse Stadium. Photos: Joe O'Shaughnessy.

Salthill/ Knocknacara 2-15

Bearna 0-12

Eanna O’Reilly at Pearse Stadium

A very strong fourth quarter from Salthill/Knocknacara saw them see off the challenge of a Bearna side who will have regrets about a game in which they created plenty of scoring chances, but lacked the efficiency of their opponents in front of the posts.

John O’Mahony’s Salthill side struggled to gain dominance of this contest for long spells before their greater accuracy in front of goal began to tell in the second half. An impressive fourth quarter performance put Bearna to the sword, but O’Mahony will know they have plenty to improve on going forward.

The manner in which Bearna opened up the Salthill defence on a couple of occasions in the first half was notable. Salthill were lucky not to concede two goals, when both Oisín Ó Garmaile and Pádraig Ó Diolúin hit the woodwork with shots in the first half. The city men could easily have been behind at half time, rather than going in with a four point lead.

Bearna’s shooting profligacy ultimately caught up with them and undermined an early second half comeback. Three consecutive points saw them reduce the deficit to the minimum, but a couple of scorable frees were also missed, at a time when the momentum was in their favour.

Ultimately, Daithí Ó Domhnallaín’s side were outscored by 1-8 to 0-6 in the second period. Salthill were far more economical, while their use of possession was also superior to Bearna’s throughout the match.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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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

Galway United face tough task in Waterford on potentially defining weekend

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Division tie against Wexford FC at Eamonn Deacy Park. Photo: Joe O'Shaughnessy.

THIS could be a defining weekend in the chase for the First Division title, as Galway United make the long trek to take on a Waterford FC side that also faces league leaders, Cork City, on Monday, in the second of two homes Munster derbies this weekend for the Leesiders.

United need to get the job done themselves in the RSC this Friday (7.45pm) before worrying how City fare at home to Treaty United on the same night, and against Waterford on Monday – and anything other than a win will mean it won’t really matter how Cork get on.

“Waterford, they are a team challenging for the title, whether they can keep up or not I don’t know, but they are in there, they are a very good team as we have seen, and they beat [cup holders] Pats [St Patrick’s Athletic] in the cup, it is another massive match for us,” United manager, John Caulfield, said of this Friday’s opponents.

Truth be told, while Waterford may be third in the table, they are 12 points behind City and are not involved in the title race, but that won’t mean they will just roll over to have their bellies tickled on Friday, and while United have the edge in the head-to-head between the sides this season, they have been thrilling, hard-fought battles.

United’s first home game of the season saw Waterford race into a 2-0 lead by the break, only for goals from Stephen Walsh and the since-departed Jordan Adeyomo (gone to Longford) to rescue a point for United.

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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