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Galway primed to gain revenge on Roscommon in Connacht final

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IT is hard to credit that just less than a year ago Roscommon footballers sent Galway into temporary freefall with a resounding Connacht final victory at Pearse Stadium after being virtually written off in the run-up to the provincial decider.

Since then a lot has happened in both counties – most of it positive – but the build-up to Sunday’s Connacht final at Dr. Hyde Park (4pm) pretty much replicates what was happening last year.

Galway, after an invigorating Division 1 league campaign that brought them to a final showdown with All-Ireland champions Dublin, are red hot favourites at 4/9 to regain their Connacht title but the bookies’ odds won’t bother Kevin McStay’s charges one jot.

Roscommon also enjoyed a very productive Spring, winning promotion back to Division 1 after a one-year exile, before going on to take the Division 2 title thanks to a 4-16 to 4-12 ‘shoot-out’ victory over Cavan in Croke Park.

The Rossies are available at 9/4 with the bookies and those odds will be taken up by a fair quota of their die-hard fans, who will fancy their chances on home soil, of emulating last year’s success in Salthill.

Without doubt, Roscommon are settled and ready for this tie, with McStay not beating around the bush as regards team selection, his starting fifteen being announced at the weekend with 33 fit players out of a panel of 34.

Their only absentee is Ciarán Lennon – out with a broken thumb – as Roscommon make no changes from the side that defeated Leitrim by 0-24 to 0-10 at Carrick-on-Shannon a couple of weeks back.

Twelve different players scored in that defeat of Leitrim and a feature of Roscommon’s National League journey through Division 2 was their scoring exploits, with their only faux pas coming against Down early on in the campaign, when they only clocked up seven points.

That has very much been the exception with them. They put together some huge scores though in their other seven matches: 0-17 v. Cork; 0-15, Cavan; 2-19, Clare; 1-21, Louth; 1-17, Tipperary; 2-12, Meath and a quite remarkable 4-16 in the Division 2 decider against Cavan.

Galway on the other hand have enjoyed the considerable advantage of playing against higher quality and faster teams in Division 1 of the league with wins over Tyrone, Monaghan, Mayo, Kerry, Donegal and Kildare, as well as a credible draw against Dublin in Pearse Stadium, and an honourable four-point defeat (0-18 to 0-14) against the All-Ireland champions in the league decider.

Last year, Roscommon might have ended up close to the bottom of Division 1, but like Galway this year, they did have the advantage of playing their Spring football at the higher level – and it told last July in Salthill.

Full preview in this week’s Connacht Tribune.

Connacht Tribune

Clifden break new ground with a five-star final show

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Clifden's Gearoid King, who has Michael O'Toole in support, breaking out of defence against St Ronan's of Roscommon during Saturday's Connacht Club Junior Football Final at Hyde Park. Photos: Bernie O'Farrell.

Clifden 1-16

St Ronan’s 0-10

John McIntyre at Hyde Park

A lot can change in one year. Just ask the mould-breaking Clifden junior Gaelic footballers for confirmation.

In the space of 12 months, Galway’s most westerly Gaelic football bastion has gone from fighting relegation to being crowned Connacht champions.

It’s some turnaround in fortunes by any standards, and Clifden are not finished yet with an All-Ireland Club semi-final to look forward to in early January.

Having taken out highly-rated Islandeady of Mayo in the semi-final, suddenly the burden of favouritism for provincial glory fell on Clifden’s shoulders, but they made light of this new-found status at Hyde Park on Saturday.

Coming up against St Ronan’s of Roscommon – a club which was fighting for survival itself just five years ago – in the Connacht final, a progressive Clifden outfit carried too much firepower and quality for opponents who are based close to the Sligo border.

Having suffered defeat in the club’s two previous provincial final appearances – in 2006 and 2015 – Clifden were determined to make it third-time lucky and the fact their supporters rarely had cause for concern underlines how much they were in control.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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Connacht Tribune

An Spidéal raise their game after being hit by black card

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Kinvara full forward Joshua O’Connor is challenged by Liam Ó Fatharta and Eoin Ó Conghaile of An Spidéal during Saturday's County U19 B Football Final at Tuam Stadium. Photos: Iain McDonald.

An Spidéal 1-10

Kinvara 1-6

Eanna O’Reilly at Tuam Stadium

AN Spidéal claimed the county under 19 B football title on Saturday following an entertaining contest with North board winners Kinvara at Tuam Stadium.

The Connemara side were deserving winners on the day as they played the superior football for long spells. Nevertheless, they were well tested by a hard working Kinvara side, who produced a strong third quarter performance and took the lead in the 43rd minute.

An Spidéal weathered the storm however, to take control of the contest in the final quarter, scoring the final five points of the game to deservedly take the title.They displayed a greater ability to generate scores from play, which made all the difference in the end. An Spidéal’s tallied 1-6 from open play, while Kinvara were held to 0-3 by comparison.

Both sides deserve credit for serving up an entertaining spectacle in tricky conditions at Tuam Stadium. Kinvara played against the wind in the opening half but made a bright start when Oisín Ivers pointed from the right corner.

An Spidéal replied with their first score, which proved to be a major one. A strong run from Liam Ó Conghaile saw him break through Kinvara’s defence before firing a shot to the bottom corner past Shaun Philips.

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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Connacht Tribune

Cox leads way on a historic weekend for Maigh Cuilinn

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Maigh Cuilinn's Luke McLaughlin gets to the ball ahead of Claregalway's Ryan Flaherty during Saturday's County Minor A Football Final at Duggan Park. Photos: David Cunniffe.

Maigh Cuilinn 3-7

Claregalway 1-12

Ivan Smyth at Duggan Park

MAIGH Cuilinn survived a late Claregalway onslaught in extra time as they were crowned Minor A champions for the first time since 2013 at Duggan Park on Saturday.

The Gaeltacht side secured their third ever county title at this grade as they dethroned the holders in a rip roaring decider. With Maigh Cuilinn pegged back late on by an Éanna Monaghan free, the winners showed no shortage of resolve to engineer a one point lead by the sixth minute of extra time. Between added time at the end of both halves, they kept Claregalway scoreless for the final 17 minutes of the contest.

Maigh Cuilinn manager Martin Cooke, whose son Peter played a key role in the club’s first ever Connacht senior title the follwoing day, managed to accurately sum up the palpable tension at the end of normal time and in the 20 plus minutes that followed. “It’s an amazing day for Maigh Cuilinn. There’s a reason my hair is as grey as what it is and it isn’t about having four children in their 20s, it’s about managing football teams.”

Although the nerves of every supporter in Duggan Park were tested as Maigh Cuilinn held on desperately to a one point lead, Cooke was quick to hail the resolve shown by his side. “These guys are amazing. We have 35 guys on the panel. They give you everything. Every time their character is questioned, and they have to go to the well again they go there. They went there time and again today.”

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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