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Galway stay top of the table after overcoming slow start

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Galway's Noreen Coen races away from Offaly's Aisling Brennan and Deirdre Cashen in Pearse Stadium on Sunday. Photos: Enda Noone.

Galway 0-19

Offaly 1-10

On a day of shocks in the National Camogie League, Galway avoided a similar fate last Sunday as Aoife Callanan inspired the hosts to a six point victory over Offaly.

With Clare falling to Tipperary, and Wexford conceding an eight point lead to Dublin, this victory ensured the Tribeswomen maintained their 100% status and a firm grip at the top of Group 1.

A late start due to the hurling, Galway were guaranteed a challenging afternoon within two minutes of the commencement. Cailin Fitzgerald’s delivery led to a mix-up between Shauna Burke and Sarah Dervan before the ball spilled for Arlene Watkins to hit an early Offaly goal.

The Faithful County led 1-2 to 0-1 after nine minutes. Even though Niamh Kilkenny responded immediately with a Galway point, points for Fitzgerald and Tina Hannon had the Leinster side four clear before the maroon and white found their flow.

It’s been a trademark of this current Galway side to ease into games before putting their foot on the accelerator and the danger seemed to have been averted when they charged 0-6 to 1-2 ahead by 17 minutes. Noreen Coen took Ailish O’Reilly’s pass for her first point before Callanan opened her account.

Galway were dealt a blow with Niamh McGrath ruled out following an injury picked up two weeks ago against Dublin, but Callanan proved an able deputy with two further placed balls levelling affairs.  When Coen added her second point, the Tribeswomen looked set to take off.

But Offaly are a different proposition and have always tested the big teams. Despite the crowds dwindling in Salthill following the hurlers’ clash with Tipperary, Adrian Clancy’s team made supporters take a second think before abandoning their female players. Siobhan Flannery tapped over a free to restore parity before Michaela Morkan and Flannery put Offaly two ahead.

Callanan responded with her first from play but a Fitzgerald free cancelled that effort. But two late points for Coen and Callanan had Galway on equal terms at the break (0-9 to 1-6).

Galway’s destiny looked uncertain at this stage and the stop-start nature of the second half didn’t allow either team find a fluid rhythm. While camogie should be glad to share the stage in a double header, the incessant whistle blowing and substantial hold-ups for substitutions didn’t add to the appeal for supporters to stay late. Quite simply, women need to be allowed express themselves in their hurling, and camogie’s rule book needs to reflect this.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune

CITY TRIBUNE

City sides will fancy chances of advancing as champions face Corofin

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Bearna's James Kennedy hits the deck in Ballinasloe on Tuesday as Annaghdown's Frankie Burke and Darragh Meehan try to chase down possession. Photo: Joe O'Shaughnessy.

The battle for this year’s county Senior Gaelic football club title looks to be wide open after the quarter-final draw was made this week following the delayed conclusion of the group stages on Tuesday night.

Salthill/Knocknacarra, who finished second in group 2, have been handed a last eight tie with a Tuam Stars side that finished third in group 1; while St Michael’s, who topped Group 3, will face an Annaghdown side that nabbed the final quarter-final spot in dramatic fashion on Tuesday night.

They went into their game with Bearna knowing they needed to win by a minimum of 12points to pip Milltown to the final qualifying spot as the second best of the teams that finished third in the group stages.

They looked to be coming up just short until they were awarded a late free, which goalkeeper James Healy converted, to snatch that remaining quarter-final slot on socring difference form Milltown.

The 2020 champions, Moycullen, will take on Claregalway in the last eight; while the pick of the ties is undoubtedly the clash of defending champions, Mountbellew/Moylough, with a Corofin side that was denied the five-in-a-row by Moycullen two years ago.

At the other end of the equation, St James’ are in a relegation battle, and face a clash with An Spidéal in the preliminary play-offs. A win will secure their senior status for another year, but a defeat will see them join Oughterard, An Cheathru Rua, and the losers of the other preliminary play-off between Caherlistrane and Monivea/Abbey in a round robin league, with the bottom two sides in those play-offs dropping to the intermediate ranks next year.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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CITY TRIBUNE

Play-offs dress rehearsal facing Utd against Treaty

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Former Galway United player Enda Curran celebrates his recent hat-trick for Treaty United in their FAI Cup quarter-final win over UCD. The in-form Mervue native will be facing the Tribesmen in a First Division clash on Friday.

GALWAY United head to Limerick this Friday evening for what is looking like a dress rehearsal for the end-of-season play-offs as they take on Treaty United in the Markets Field (7.45pm).

This is United’s game-in-hand over league leaders, Cork City, and a win will see them close the gap on the Leesiders to four points with three games remaining, and while a win would give the slightest of hopes of a late challenge for league honours, it is more likely to serve as a further boost to confidence ahead of the protracted play-off series that kicks-off at the end of next month.

United need to win their final four games to have any hope of snatching the title, and given the goal difference between the sides, they also need to hope that City don’t pick up more than four points from their last three games, if they are to finish top of the pile.

United’s last three games after this weekend are at home to Athlone, away to Wexford, and home to Longford Town; while City are home to Wexford, away to Athlone, and home to Bray, the easier of the two run-ins, so for United it is all about building momentum ahead of the play-offs.

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

Late points from Burke and Wall grab draw for Corofin

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Tuam Stars' Paul Collins tries to halt Ronan Steede of Corofin in his tracks during Sunday's Senior Football Group 1 encounter at Tuam Stadium. Photo: Joe O'Shaughnessy.

Corofin 0-16

Tuam Stars 0-16

Eanna O’Reilly at Tuam Stadium

A late point from Corofin’s Ian Burke denied Tuam Stars a notable win over their close neighbours in an entertaining contest at Tuam Stadium on Sunday afternoon. In a closely fought contest, the Stars appeared to have done enough with two late points from Brian Mannion putting them ahead by 0-16 to 0-14 in the dying minutes of the second half.

In typically composed fashion however, Corofin refused to panic and used all of their experience to engineer two late scores, the first from Dylan Wall, before Burke held his nerve to convert a mark to give Corofin a share of the spoils.

The result means that both sides qualified for the quarter finals, after both finished the group stages with eight points. Corofin were drawn against defending champions Mountbellew/Moylough in a mouth-watering tie, while Tuam Stars will face Salthill/Knocknacara in another intriguing clash.

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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