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Galway still not up to Mayo’s standard

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MAYO 3-14

GALWAY 0-16

TENTATIVE hopes that youthful exuberance could undermine steely experience proved to be unfounded at McHale Park on Sunday as Mayo powered their way to a four-in-a-row of Connacht titles a little bit handier than either camp might have anticipated.

Almost from start to finish, Mayo operated in a comfort zone that Galway just couldn’t penetrate – the match was not without its moments of opportunity for Alan Mulholland’s side but invariably when the chances presented themselves they were spurned.

It was a stuttering and at times flat Connacht final with Galway never getting quite close enough to last year’s beaten All-Ireland finalists to put any scent of sulphur in the air – once Mayo went 1-6 to 0-2 ahead by the 23rd minute, their advantage was never less than four points.

Galway might take some statistical consolation from the fact that in the end it was a game decided on a 17 scores to 16 breakdown, and that the defeat was a 10 point improvement on the mauling they suffered over a year ago in Pearse Stadium, but they are just crumbs of solace as the qualifiers loom.

The tale of McHale Park on July’s second Sunday was primarily that of chances taken and chances missed. Mayo’s strike force were far more composed in front of goal with the cold edge of big match experience ensuring that opportunities were turned into scores.

Galway found themselves in trouble at both ends of the pitch with their defence finding it difficult to cope with the sheer physical power of Aidan O’Shea on the ‘40’ as well as the pace and trickery of the likes of Cillian O’Connor, Kevin McLoughlin and Lee Keegan.

Against good teams – and Mayo will be there again this year in the top two or three – chances, when they present themselves, must be converted into scores but the Galway forwards weren’t nearly settled enough to hit the target with regularity.

Although Mayo led by 1-9 to 0-5 at the interval, that scoring difference could have been wiped out had Danny Cummins, Eddie Hoare and Gareth Bradshaw made better use of gilt edged opportunities.

Full report in this week’s Connacht Tribune

CITY TRIBUNE

Killeen’s stunning equaliser no more than Loughrea deserved in final thriller

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Loughrea's Johnny Coen clearing his lines against Damien McGlynn of St Thomas’ during Sunday's Galway Senior Hurling Final at Pearse Stadium. Photos: Joe O'Shaughnessy.

St Thomas’ 1-17

Loughrea 0-20

John McIntyre at Pearse Stadium

ST Thomas’ proud record of having never being beaten in a Galway senior hurling final is still standing . . . but only just after Sunday’s pulsating showdown at Pearse Stadium.

For this was the closest the champions have come to tasting defeat on Galway club hurling’s biggest occasion, notwithstanding the fact that it was Loughrea who had to craft a superb equaliser from Tiernan Killeen in the dying moments to force a replay.

Make no mistake, St Thomas’ had to stretch every sinew to survive a ferocious challenge from a Loughrea team which carried the fight to the title holders from the off, and probably played most of the hurling on the day.

Tommy Kelly’s charges began in explosive fashion. Star forward Martin McManus assembled a hat-trick of terrific points in little more than two minutes, and they remained hugely competitive in a compelling encounter for the time of year.

Highly skillful, Loughrea’s largely young team built on the positive impression they had created in turning the tables on Clarinbridge in the county semi-final. They had St Thomas’ at full stretch at times, particularly in the opening quarter and looked primed for an unexpected triumph when forging into a four-point lead with barely eight minutes remaining.

No team had asked such serious questions of St Thomas’ in their six previous county finals appearance, and it is a tribute to their overall quality and big-day temperament that they are still standing after arguably the best Galway decider of the past decade.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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CITY TRIBUNE

Penalty heartbreak for Tribes

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The Tribes squad which was beaten in the final of the U-19 Irish Cup last week. Back row, from left: Fiona Mooney, Una Ni Riain (manager), Lily Crudden, Lydia Mc Nicholas, Sarah Bradley, Kate Wallace, Alice Corcoran, Aisling Walsh (captain), Goran Sablic (head coach), and Rachel Corcoran. Front: Niamh Connery, Aoife Bundschu, Oliwia Smialek, Iona McDonnell, and Laura Casserly.

Tribes Water Polo Club contested the U19 Irish Cup final last weekend, but suffered defeat in the cruelest way, losing 5-4 on penalties to Cathal Brugha from Belfast after the game had finished 9-9.

The Tribes squad was a mixture of youth and experience, with many of the club’s U-17 cup winners from last year as well as senior players Aishling Walsh, Olivia Smialek, and Sarah Bradley making them a formidable outfit for the tournament.

The weekend began on Friday with a win over North Dublin 16-4, in a game that Tribes girls very much dominated. The second game against Diamonds WPC from Belfast was a much different affair, having stayed with Diamonds for much of the game, eventually Diamonds took command and won the game 13-6.

The third game of the group to decide progress to the semi-final was against an inexperienced Clontarf team, with Tribes winning 22-15, as scores from Sarah Bradley, Alice Corcoran, Iona McDonnell, Lydia McNicholas, and Laura Casserly saw Tribes ease into the semi-final against St Vincent’s.

The semi-final early on Sunday morning was very much dominated by Tribes. Alice Corcoran got the opening and second goal, and Laura Casserly added a third to leave the score 3-1 at the end of the first quarter.

Tribes were using their swimming and their wings to great effect, and further goals from Aoife Bundschu left it 4-2 to Tribes at the half time break. In the third quarter Tribes pushed on adding three more goals from Bundschu and McNicholas who were tormenting the St Vincent’s defence, leaving the score 7-4 at the end of the third quarter.

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

Fatigued Moycullen labour in fending off Strokestown

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Moycullen's Owen Ó Gallagher is about to land one of his three first-half points despite the best efforts of Strokestown's Sean Mullooly during Sunday's Connacht Club Senior Football semi-final at Tuam Stadium. Photos: Seán Lydon.

Moycullen 2-8

Strokestown 0-7

(After extra-time)

Pádraic Ó Ciardha at Tuam Stadium

WHAT a difference a week makes. Just seven days after hitting Westport for 3-18 in a scintillating performance that saw the whole country sit up and take notice, Moycullen stumbled their way into a Connacht final after labouring past Strokestown in last weekend’s semi-final.

A brilliant individual display from Seán Kelly, who grabbed the crucial goal at the beginning of extra-time, was eventually enough to see Moycullen over the line and while there’s no doubt that the Galway side deserved to come out on top, this performance will have to be improved upon if Moycullen’s journey is to continue past Christmas.

Don Connellan’s side went 25 minutes of the second half without a score, racking up wide after wide as they failed to make their dominance count. A free from Dessie Conneely did finally put them 0-7 to 0-5 clear heading into injury-time but Strokestown rallied well and, inspired by former Roscommon footballer Cathal Compton, forced extra-time.

Kelly’s goal, adding to a point from his brother Paul, finally put Moycullen clear and Ger Davoren added a second goal late on to ensure the shattered Moycullen players could at least trudge off at the end with smiles on their faces. Strokestown put in an impressive defensive effort throughout, getting men back to deny Moycullen space to run into but, like their opponents, they also laboured in attack, eventually being held scoreless in extra-time.

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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