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Galway Utd fail to fire and pay the penalty in shoot-out

Keith Kelly

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Galway United's Paul Sinnott and St. Patrick Athletic's Killian Brennan.

Galway United 0

St Patrick’s Athletic 0

After extra-time St Pat’s win 4-3 on penalties

A bit of a farcical end to a disappointing night, and the disappointment wasn’t just confined to the final outcome, as Galway United’s dreams of a first piece of major silverware in almost 19 years were shot down in a shoot-out.

After 120 minutes of action failed to produce a single goal, the destination of this year’s EA Sports Cup went down to the lottery of penalties, and visiting ’keeper Conor O’Malley saved the efforts of both Jake Keegan and Andy O’Connell to ensure the cup travelled back with St Patrick’s Athletic to Dublin.

It was the third final United had lost in its history, and the second in a penalty shoot-out: the club also suffered spot-kick sadness against Dundalk in the 1981 League Cup final. Mind you, the victors seemed intent to give United another crack at success – the cup belonged to Pats when O’Malley’s saved O’Connell’s effort, but midfielder Greg Bolger started walking forward to take a 6th penalty for the visitors.

There were no celebrations from the Pats players either, and it required referee Sean Grant to intercept Bolger to confirm the shoot-out was over and that Pats had, in fact won.

O’Malley was named as the sponsor’s man-of-the-match, a selection which smacked a little of laziness for while he pulled off some good saves, and was the shoot-out hero for the visitors, Conor Winn was more than a match at the other end.

The big ’keeper made a couple of top-drawer saves, the pick of which was in the 77th minute when he threw himself to his right to claw away James Chamber’s 30-yard dipping effort, a save which saw both benches get to their feet to applaud.

However, it was two centre-backs who really caught the eye, with United’s Kilian Cantwell and Kenny Brown of St Patrick’s Athletic the stand-out players. Brown won every aerial challenge in the Pat’s penalty area, though you have to question United’s persistence in lumping the ball forward when Brown was so dominant in the air.

Down the other end of the pitch, Cantwell had less of an aerial threat to deal with, but he was excellent on the ground, making a number of crucial blocks, while his distribution was decent as well.

For United’s players, disappointment at failure to win the cup will be matched with regret at not playing anywhere near their potential. The same starting XI that had romped to a 4-0 lead over Longford Town after 70 minutes just two weeks ago seemed to let the occasion get to them. They needed to get stuck into the visitors from the start, lay down a marker that this was their turf and there would be no welcome for their opponents, but that never materialised, and the hope has to be that they can pick themselves up for the league run-in, which sees them hovering precariously just outside the relegation play-off spot.

It is rare to get a classic in a final: more often than not, the game turns into a battle, and that was the case on Saturday night, especially in the first-half, which was a largely forgettable 45 minutes of action as both sides struggled to get a passing game going, despite the excellent condition Noel Connolly and his crew had the pitch in.

The first chance of note fell to United in the fourth minute when Enda Curran got on the end of Jason Molloy’s corner, but Aaron Greene blocked his goal-bound effort. Cantwell hooked the ball off the toe of the raiding Morgan Langley in the 17th minute as the American got a sight of goal; while Winn gathered Greg Bolger’s effort midway through the half at the second attempt.

Cantwell timed his tackle to perfection again on the half-hour mark to once again dispossess Langley – such was the job he did on St Pat’s lone frontman, Langley was replaced by a far-from-fit Christy Fagan just after the hour mark.

For more, read this week’s Galway City Tribune.

CITY TRIBUNE

Horgan in the history books

Keith Kelly

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DARYL HORGAN

DARYL Horgan became the first Galwegian to score a senior men’s international goal when grabbing the fourth goal for the Republic of Ireland in their 4-1 friendly win over Andorra last Thursday.

Horgan, introduced as a 66th minute substitute for Ronan Curtis, got on the end of Jason Knight’s 89th minute cross to stoop low and send a diving header into the back of the net to cap a brilliant 26-minute cameo for the winger in what was his 13th senior international appearance.

The Knocknacarra native had just five minutes earlier sent in the cross from which Knight made it 3-1 to sighs of relief in the Irish camp – they had fallen 1-0 behind after 52 minutes, before a brace of goals from Troy Parrott in the 58th and 61st minutes put the Boys in Green in front and spared Stephen Kenny’s side the embarrassment of losing to a ski resort.

Horgan is one of seven Galwegians to win a senior men’s international cap – David Forde (24 caps), Alan Lee (10), Aaron Connolly (6), Greg Cunningham (4), Ryan Manning (4), and the late Eamonn ‘Chick’ Deacy (4) are the others – but he is the first to find the back of the opposition net.

He was joined from the bench last Thursday by Manning, and both players also started on the bench in Budapest on Tuesday night in the scoreless draw with Hungary, with both again being introduced in the second-half, Horgan in the 56th minute to win his 14th cap, followed by Manning in the 85th minute to win his fourth cap.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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CITY TRIBUNE

Galway WFC bring an end to their away woes in Cork

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Chloe Moloney who was one of Galway WFC's goal scorers in their away win over Cork WFC at Turners Cross on Saturday.

Cork City WFC 0

Galway WFC  2

By Mike Rafferty

AFTER firing blanks in their three previous away games, Galway WFC got back to winning ways when aided by two opening half goals and a first clean sheet of the season, they were worthy winners of this Women’s National League contest at Turners Cross on Saturday.

Two early headed goals by Chloe Moloney and Aoife Thompson gave them a cushion that was seldom threatened as the home side were outmaneuvered as new Galway WFC manager Stephen Lally picked up the first win of his reign.

As in previous games, the visitors were without some of their more established names, but the performances of Ruth Fahy, Lucia Lobato and Thompson helped turn an impressive performance into a worthy win. Cork goalkeeper Abby McCarthy was by far the busier of the two custodians and some good shot stopping in the early exchanges kept her side in the game.

However, there was little she could do when Galway WFC took the lead on 21 minutes, Chloe Moloney attacking a Shauna Brennan corner in a crowded box and powerfully heading home for a 1-0 advantage.

Just three minutes later, they added a second and again Brennan was at the heart of it when seeing off a challenge on the right flank, before delivering a deep cross that was powered into the bottom corner by the flying Thompson with a diving header.

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 soar in final game to clip the wings of Ospreys

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Connacht’s Ben O’Donnell, who has Ultan Dillane in support, is tackled by Rhys Webb of the Ospreys during Friday's Rainbow Cup tie at the Sportsground. Photo: Joe O'Shaughnessy.

Connacht 26

Ospreys 19

Rob Murphy at the Sportsground

THE Connacht team finished Friday’s final game of the season with a flurry of fierce and well timed tackles as they held off the Ospreys and secured the win. While they did that, the Fields of Athenry bellowed from the Clan Terrace creating a surreal, almost absurd atmosphere at a near empty Sportsground. The roar that followed from the handful of souls in the stands was an appropriate end to a strange season like no other.

The singing and the shouting had come from the non selected players who had all gathered in a corner of the terrace for the game, making sure that there was no doubt for those out on the field that the game and the result meant something. Overall of course, this result is just a mark on the ledger, a soon to be forgotten triumph in a season that included far too many defeats at their Galway venue.

If all that wasn’t strange enough, all the scoring happened in the first half. Connacht notched four tries, the Ospreys managed three yet it was the second half that proved to be the most compelling and captivating as the visitors from Wales came up against a brick wall. Connacht’s tackling was superb while their maul defence proved to be critical. The visitors had arrived needing and expecting to get a bonus point win to stay in contention for a place in the Rainbow Cup final, but would leave shell shocked.

The Rainbow Cup as a competition has predictably turned out to be a disaster for the PRO14 organisers. While there has been some misfortune with late season postponements because of Covid and the South African sides have been limited on travel, the format of a straight league with teams playing six fixtures was never going to inspire enthusiasm or create a fair and balanced tournament. As it stands, Benetton might get to the final without having to play any of the top six sides.

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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