Classifieds Advertise Archive Subscriptions Family Announcements Photos Digital Editions/Apps
Connect with us

Inside Track

Galway’s young guns put awful Dubs to the sword

Published

on

Inside Track with John McIntyre

It was virtually impossible to visualise what transpired at Pearse Stadium last Sunday. Galway hurlers were as good as Dublin were bad, making for a shockingly one-sided opening round National League encounter as the youthful home team made light of heavy underfoot conditions in thrashing the Leinster champions.

Galway can be hard to read at the best of times and though they would have drawn some encouragement from overcoming Munster in Ballinasloe the previous weekend, general expectations were that there wouldn’t be much in it in this repeat of last year’s provincial final. The Tribesmen were marginal favourites to carry the day, but instead the encounter turned into a rout.

The temptation is to pick holes in the result and urge caution into getting too carried away by an admittedly vibrant Galway performance, but it still has to be acknowledged that over the team’s entire league and championship campaigns in 2013, they didn’t produce a single display comparable to this dynamic effort against the Dubs. That alone is something to build on even if the amount of time and space afforded the Galway players bordered on the ridiculous at times.

The hands of Anthony Cunningham, Eugene Cloonan and Damien Curley may have been forced somewhat by the absence of the Portumna contingent and injuries to the likes of Cyril Donnellan and Niall Burke, but they deserve credit for investing heavily in a youth policy for Sunday’s Division One opener. By the end of the match, six newcomers had been bloodied as the management opted not to play safe.

There had been a lot of gloom around in the wake of Galway’s heavy Walsh Cup defeat to Kilkenny, but they were unrecognisable last Sunday compared to the outfit which limped out of Freshford. There was real bite and energy to their performance with newcomers, Cathal Mannion and Jason Flynn, enjoying dream league debuts with each player landing four points from play.   

Padraig Brehony may be a little more experienced, but the former star minor had his best outing at this level with a high-energy midfield showing which the Tynagh man capped off with two excellent points. New full back Ronan Burke proved his worth too even if not coming under the expected kind of pressure as Dublin proved a major disappointment in fumbling their way to an alarming 13-point defeat.

All over the field, Galway were simply too smart, too skilful and too driven for their opponents who went 21 minutes without a score in the opening half and, overall, were a throwback to the bad old days of Dublin teams lacking in finesse, method and craft. Manager Anthony Daly cut a dejected figure on the sideline and privately he must have been stunned that his team which contained so many frontline performers were so off the pace.

In contrast, this was something of a restorative day for Galway hurling and though, naturally, the pressure will be on them to back up this encouraging display in the weeks ahead, at least Cunningham and his mentors have suddenly a solid platform to build on. We will know more after this Sunday’s away test against Waterford, but the Tribesmen should be making the journey to Walsh Park with a real spring in their step.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

Connacht Tribune

Joyce is right – Galway better off to target league glory than muddle on

Published

on

Galway’s Matthew Tierney on the ball against Mayo’s Conor Loftus during Saturday's National Football League tie at MacHale Park. Photo: Joe O'Shaughnessy.

Inside Track with John McIntyre

YOU could sympathise with Padraic Joyce’s frustration after Saturday evening’s rip-roaring National Football League clash at MacHale Park. Better game management in the closing minutes would have seen Galway over the line and dealt an early season blow to the new Kevin McStay led Mayo management.

In shades of their league tie against Monaghan in June of 2021 when Galway ended up being relegated after holding a winning hand, they were almost home, albeit clinging to a slender one-point advantage. Mayo were pressing desperately in trying to salvage a draw, but their hopes appeared dashed when Ryan O’Donoghue’s free from the left sideline dropped short.

Referee Joe McQuillan was about to blow the final whistle as Cathal Sweeney emerged with the ball only for the Salthill/Knocknacarra man to cough up possession by attempting a risky kick pass to a teammate. The delivery was over-hit, and the lively Donoghue pounced to bravely drive over the equaliser to send the Mayo fans in the big crowd of almost 14,000 into raptures.

Mayo’s second last point was also avoidable. Again, Galway had possession with Peter Cooke, who had just landed a mighty long-range free. Instead, however, of trying to force his way up the field, the Maigh Cuilinn player turned back towards his own posts, came under pressure, and ended up giving the ball away cheaply.  Galway players should remember that when under the cosh, the sideline is your friend.

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.

 

Continue Reading

Connacht Tribune

Galway under a little pressure to stop Mayo’s early-season gallop

Published

on

Hall of Fame award winner Tommy Joe Gilmore with his daughter Olivia, his son Brian and daughter in-law Karen Monks at the Metronic Galway Sports Stars banquet in the Galway Bay Hotel on Friday night. Photo: Iain McDonald.

Inside Track with John McIntyre

We won’t even have reached the end of January and the paths of Connacht’s great footballing rivals will have already crossed twice, with the prospect of more clashes between Galway and Mayo before the end of the inter-county season in late July.

The early 2023 bragging rights have gone to Mayo manager Kevin McStay after their defeat of the Tribesmen in the semi-final of the FBD League – a competition they went on to win last weekend with a comfortable 0-13 to 0-9 victory over Roscommon in the Connacht Air Dome.

Though both teams were in understandably experimental mode, Mayo managed to secure this pre-season competition for the first time in a decade with late points from Cillian O’Connor and Conor Loftus sealing the deal. In the overall scheme of things, the FBD league doesn’t count for much but delivering some silverware so early into his tenure won’t do McStay’s management any harm.

Naturally, Mayo will be anxious to keep the momentum going in Saturday evening’s televised National League clash at MacHale Park, especially given that they narrowly failed to Galway in last year’s provincial championship. A first-half Johnny Heaney goal and some quality free-taking from Shane Walsh just about saw the Tribesmen through in the face of a late siege by the home team.

Galway boss Padraic Joyce kept a sense of perspective after that early season loss to Mayo a couple of weeks ago, but he was blunt enough in assessing the merits or otherwise of some of the players being trialled. Joyce is experienced in the post now and knows what he is looking for. And having led Galway to league promotion, the Connacht title and the All-Ireland final last year, he has earned that leverage to call it as he sees it.

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.

Continue Reading

Connacht Tribune

Early reality check might prove a good thing for Galway footballers

Published

on

Galway’s Johnny Heaney secures possession against Mayo’s Jack Coyne during Saturday's Connacht FBD League semi-final in Bekan. Photo: Joe O'Shaughnessy.

Inside Track with John McIntyre

IF the Galway footballers and team management needed any reminding that their substantial progress in 2022 offers no guarantees for the season ahead, they would have got in spades in Bekan on Saturday evening. Losing a FBD League semi-final to arch-rivals Mayo is no big deal in itself, but does underline the reality that the Tribesmen can’t take for granted building on last year’s achievements. And that may be no bad thing in the long run.

Naturally, Padraic Joyce would have preferred if Galway had got over the line at the weekend, especially in the context of preventing Mayo building up early season momentum under new manager Kevin McStay. In the end, he was probably grateful his team were only three points adrift after a difficult second quarter.

When Mayo went 2-10 to 0-5 ahead early in the second-half, it appeared Galway might suffer a hiding. Their goals came from Jordan Carr and Paul Towey, with Matthew Ruane and Jordan Flynn dominant around midfield. Mayo were also performing with the greater energy.

Gradually, however, Galway got to the pitch of the battle, thanks in no small way to the telling contribution of substitute Tomo Culhane, a player who didn’t make the match-day squad for last year’s All-Ireland final. The Salthill/Knocknacarra clubman scored 2-2 after coming on to revive the Tribesmen’s challenge

With Matthew Tierney also finding the opposition net, Galway were belatedly building up a head off steam. Mayo, however, just did enough to hold on with Towey, Aiden Orme and Bryan Walsh picking off some invaluable points, although it took Rory Byrne’s late save from Nathan Grainger to keep their noses in front.

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.

 

 

Continue Reading

Local Ads

Local Ads

Advertisement
Advertisement

Facebook

Advertisement

Trending