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Galway senior camogie team pay heavy price for conceding soft goals

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Galway attacker Orlaith McGrath has first run on Kilkenny's Jacqui Frisby during Sunday's All-Ireland senior camogie semi-final at the Gaelic Grounds. Photo: Ryan Byrne/Inpho.

Kilkenny  4-12

Galway 3-7

FOUR goals conceded at inopportune times last Sunday proved fatal for the Galway senior camogie team as they surrendered their All-Ireland title to a maturing Kilkenny outfit who maintained their unbeaten season and booked a place in Croke Park.

Two majors for Michelle Quilty and Ann Dalton in the first half gave the Noresiders an early 2-5 to 0-3 lead and while Galway came back, Shelly Farrell and Denise Gaule registered green flags at critical periods after the break to ensure the Leinster side their success.

What will hurt Galway more was the nature of the goals conceded.  Two sides associated with tight defending saw their defences easily exposed as both attacks made an impact.

Niamh McGrath opened Galway’s account in the fifth minute but Kilkenny were already threatening with Gaule and Elaine Aylward overturning the deficit. It was the start of a 10 minute spell which saw Niall Williams’ charges pulling six clear. Katie Power and Gaule added two more but their goal on 12 minutes set the tone for Galway’s afternoon.

Michelle Quilty took possession down the right before creating space. Her speculative effort dropped down for a routine take for Susan Earner only for the Eyrecourt keeper to let the sliothar slip over the line to gift Kilkenny a goal, and it was 1-4 to 0-1 on the quarter-hour.

The McGrath sisters were Galway’s chief scorers with Niamh sending over a placed ball on 18 minutes after Orlaith was fouled. And Orlaith got on the scoreboard 30 seconds later to reduce the arrears.

Just when the Tribeswomen seemed to be settling, Kilkenny struck a second blow. Galway’s defence, limited in space from the pressing Noreside attack, led to Shauna Healy attempting a hand pass to Niamh Kilkenny.  2009 captain Dalton reacted, intercepting the sliothar, but the Galway defence allowed her run. The St. Lachtain’s midfielder sensed the opportunity, kept going and hit the net for a seven point advantage.

Galway were struggling, panicking maybe, and needed a lift and it came on 25 minutes. Collette Dormer made it 2-5 to 0-3 before Niamh Kilkenny took possession around the middle with seemingly no where to go.  Turning one defender she set off, did the same to another before cutting through a pair of black and amber backs.

Suddenly she was inside with goal in sight. A glorious run, she erred in trying to pick out a tightly marked Ann Marie Hayes but her efforts didn’t go unrewarded. The breaking ball came to Orlaith McGrath who hit the target and Galway only trailed 2-5 to 1-3 at half-time.

Already, Ward had introduced Aislinn Connolly and Ann Marie Starr and made a third change during the interval with Brenda Hanney coming on. All three would have an impact. Aisling Dunphy put six between them before Niamh McGrath set up Starr for a score on 33 minutes.

McGrath was involved again, this time with Connolly 60 seconds afterwards with the awaiting Hanney on the edge of the square. The Killimor woman’s first touch was too strong but her second off the ground got the better of keeper Emma Kavanagh.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

CITY TRIBUNE

Young Mystics cast their spell over Limerick visitors

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The NUIG Mystics squad that defeated Limerick Sport Husklies in the Women's Divison 1 last Saturday. Back row, from left: Kyle Walsh (assistant coach), Courtney Cecere, Laoise Walsh, Ava McCleane, Olivia Sasse, Sara Messler, Maggie Byrne, and Paul O'Brien (head coach). Front: Meadhbh O'Brien, Hazel Finn, Kara McCleane, Laura Lopez Morera, Caoimhe O'Sullivan, and Aoife Ryan. Missing from photo: Aine McDonagh.

NUIG Mystics made it two wins from two with a five-point win over Limerick Sport Huskies on Saturday in the Women’s Division 1, but there was disappointment for Galway’s other three sides.

Moycullen ran Tralee Warriors close on Sunday in the Men’s Super League but suffered another narrow defeat, having lost on the opening day to NUIG Maree. Maree’s hopes of making it back-to-back wins were ended with a poor fourth-quarter performance away to Neptune on Saturday, the Cork side running out convincing winners; while Titans also suffered a second defeat, going down at home to Dublin Lions.

WOMEN’S DIVISION 1

 NUIG Mystics 65

 Limerick Sport

 Huskies 60

A strong final quarter which saw Irish underage international Hazel Finn rattle in nine points helped Mystics make it two wins from two against a visiting side that was overly reliant on Yuleska Ramirez Tejeda.

The US import returned a stunning 31-point haul for her side, to add to the 27 points she hit on the opening weekend’s 79-76 win over Portlaoise Panthers, but a better spread of a scoring threat for Mystics saw Paul O’Brien’s claim what was at time a scrappy win.

It is a very young Mystics squad this year – there were three 18-year-olds in their starting five on Saturday – but they are mature as players, none more so than Kara McCleane, who finished the game with 23 points.

She drained a three in the first quarter to help Mystics take a 16-11 lead, with McCleane hitting 10 of those points, but the visitors rallied in the second quarter, with Ramirez Tejeda (8) and Taylor Herd (6) helping them draw level at 29-apiece at the break.

Maggie Byrne began to dominate under the defensive boards for Mystics, and when she threw in a big 3-pointer, which was soon followed by one from Finn, Mystics moved into a 41-31 lead early in the third quarter, with the visitors’ first points of the quarter coming just before four of the 120 minutes had elapsed.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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CITY TRIBUNE

Shefflin named as surprise new Galway senior hurling manager for first intercounty role

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Henry Shefflin

Galway GAA are pinning their hopes on one of the greatest hurlers of all time proving that he’s fairly handy at management as well after unveiling Henry Shefflin as the new Galway senior hurling manager.

The shock appointment of Shefflin (42) was confirmed on Wednesday night, catching many people on the hop, including our sister paper, the Connacht Tribune, as it had been widely expected that Davy Fitzgerald was getting the job.

“Galway GAA is delighted to announce Henry Shefflin as the new Galway senior hurling manager,” read a statement posted on the Galway GAA website on Wednesday night.

“Henry’s achievements as a player are unrivalled. As a manager he has guided Ballyhale Shamrocks to All Ireland Club titles in 2019 and 2020. Henry will be joined by fellow Kilkenny man Richie O’Neill as a coach and his management team will be finalised in the coming weeks,” the statement read.

The appointment ends a seven-week period of speculation as to who would replace Limerick native Shane O’Neill who held the position for two years, before announcing at the start of September that he would not be seeking a third year in charge.

He had led Galway to the All-Ireland semi-final in 2020, only to lose to Limerick; before a nightmare 2021 in which Galway failed to win a game in the championship, losing lost to Dublin in the Leinster semi-final, and Waterford in the All-Ireland qualifiers.

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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CITY TRIBUNE

Connacht need the win for two very different reasons

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Abraham Papali’i will be hoping to start against Ulster this Saturday, having come off the bench in last weekend's defeat to Munster. Photo: Joe O'Shaughnessy.

By JOHN FALLON

The switch of Connacht’s game against Ulster from the Sportsground to Aviva Stadium was, from the outset, met with not insignificant negativity by some fans and the business community, and with the anticipated attendance expected to be in the region of a disappointing 8,000 or so, some must be wondering if was worth moving the fixture at all.

Two things can alter that. There could still be a decent run on tickets which would make the venture financially worthwhile; and the other is a Connacht victory. A Connacht loss and the forfeiture of home advantage will come into the equation.

It could, equally, be argued that no matter where this game is a played, form so far in the URC suggests an Ulster victory. They are the only side with maximum points, four straight bonus point wins, and Connacht go into it with just one win in four.

Connacht coach Andy Friend says the players and management are not under any extra pressure to win Saturday’s clash.

“No, I don’t think so. I think we’ve got a lot of Connacht supporters who are going to be there. Family and friends are going to be there, so there’s always pressure to try and impress in front of them and to make sure you’re playing the best brand of rugby.

“But I don’t think moving the game to the Aviva has added pressure to us. Certainly, I don’t feel that, and I don’t think any of the players feel that.”

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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