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Galway must raise their game for tough away test against Waterford

Stephen Glennon

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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.

Connacht Tribune

Utd finish in a blaze of glory to take badly needed win

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Galway United’s Killian Brouder gets to the ball ahead of Athlone Town's Shane Barnes during Friday's First Division clash at Eamonn Deacy Park. Photo: Joe O'Shaughnessy.

Galway United 2

Athlone Town 1

Mike Rafferty at Eamonn Decay Park

GALWAY United have gone behind in seven of their 11 League of Ireland games so far this season, but at Eamonn Deacy Park on Friday night, they came from behind to win for the first time and as ever they left it late.

Trailing to a Shane Barnes goal from the 24th minute, United levelled matters courtesy of a Ruairi Keating penalty, before the Mayo native came to the rescue again with an additional time winner as the home side got exactly what they deserved.

As has become a feature of Galway United games this season, they were an enigma in the opening half before producing probably their best half of football on the resumption. In the first 45 minutes, there was neither shape nor style to their game as they ballooned long balls and hoped striker Wilson Waweru could work miracles.

It is difficult to know if it was the introduction of three fresh faces at the break that rejuvenated the home side on the resumption or the tactical changes from manager John Caulfield, but it became a half they dominated and the only agony for the hundred or so supporters was wondering could the home side could strike for a winner.

No doub, the fans offered support and the place erupted when Keating got on the end of a McCormack corner and the ball somehow made it over the line despite the efforts of Micheal Schlingerman and a covering defender for a dramatic late winner.

Caulfield had some harsh words to say after a heavy defeat against Shelbourne in their last game and obviously not helped by suspension (Stephen Walsh) and injury (Carlton Ubaezuonu), it gave an opportunity for 16-year-old Alex Murphy to play his first game for Galway United.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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Galway and Mannion play catch up to reel in Rebels

John McIntyre

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Galway's Cathal Mannion who was a big influence in their National Hurling League victory over Cork at Pairc Ui Chaoimh on Sunday.

Galway 3-25

Cork 2-23

John McIntyre at Pairc Uí Chaoimh

WE’VE known for the past few years that this group of Galway hurlers are as talented a team as there is around, but one All-Ireland and one National League title sells their overall quality short in terms of silverware.

Sure, in the often heartbreaking history of Galway hurling, the county’s current generation of elite players have achieved what only four Tribesmen teams have done in the past, but the nagging feeling is that they should be winning more.

Perhaps, that balance sheet is about to take a turn for the better on the basis of Galway’s last two performances in the league. In both those contests against strong opposition, they were in trouble after falling well behind. Their opponents were dictating the terms of engagement and looking in control.

Yet, by the finish of those matches against Waterford and Cork respectively, Galway had not alone found ways to retrieve the situation, but were also utterly dominant and have now set up a likely league final with Kilkenny as the counties’ paths are virtually certain to cross in the upcoming Leinster championship.

Though their comeback win over Waterford at Pearse Stadium the previous weekend was laudable, they had less time to reel in the Rebels at Pairc Uí Chaoimh last Sunday. In the space of 30 minutes, however, they managed to turn the game completely on its head in outscoring Cork by 3-13 to 0-10.

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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Donohue the driving force as Galway survive epic contest

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Galway's Aoife Donohue comes under pressure from Cork's Ellen Murphy during Sunday's National Camogie League semi-final at Nowlan Park. Photos: INPHO/Bryan Keane.

Galway 1-19

Kilkenny 1-17

(AET)

Eanna O’Reilly at Nowlan Park

THE Galway senior camogie team came through an epic extra-time battle with Cork to book their place in the National League final  after outlasting the Rebels at Nowlan Park on Sunday. On a scorching hot day in Kilkenny, Cathal Murray’s side showed tremendous resolve to edge out a battling Cork team, who matched the Tribeswomen score for score for most of the 83-minute contest.

A victory of this nature will surely stand to Murray’s charges in the long term, with Galway’s hunger, athleticism and fitness all thoroughly tested on Sunday evening. The character of the Galway players also shone through, particularly in the second period of extra-time, when they closed out the game while down to 14 players.

The amount of energy expended in Nowlan Park may not have been ideal with Sunday’s league final in mind, but in terms of squad morale and confidence, this victory was invaluable.

The exchanges were intense from the throw in. Cork’s Katrina Mackey opened the scoring inside the 20 seconds, before Carrie Dolan equalised with her first pointed free. The Clarinbridge forward was very sharp and landed a fine point two minutes later, after a good pass from Siobhán McGrath. Dolan soon put Galway 0-3 to 0-1 ahead, after pointing a free which she drew herself.

Cork replied with a point from Linda Collins before Galway were dealt an early injury blow. Orlaith McGrath was forced off with a dislocated shoulder and replaced by Catherine Finnerty. The Mountbellew forward soon got involved in the action, intercepting a loose ball in the Cork defence, before passing inside to Siobhán McGrath, who finished to the net. Cork replied with Orla Cronin pointing her first free of the afternoon.

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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