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Galway women come together to form new National League side

Keith Kelly

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WHILE talks are continuing on plans to have a single Galway side playing in the Airtricity League of Ireland next season, the women of the city and county have got a jump on their male counterparts with the launch of the new Galway Women’s FC, which will play in the women’s national league in the coming season.

The manager of the Republic of Ireland’s senior women’s side, Sue Ronan, was on hand in the city last Thursday to launch the new side, which will join Castlebar Celtic, Cork Women FC, DLR Waves, Peamount United, Raheny United, Shamrock Rovers and Wexford Youths in the Bus Éireann Women’s National League for the 2013/14 season, which kicks-off on Sunday August 25.

“It is great to have another senior women’s team in the country, and particularly one in Galway as it both gives the league a better spread, and also offers another outlet for players to gain experience and progress to the international set-up,” said Ronan.

Galway WFC will play their home games in Eamonn Deacy Park, and Chairman of the Galway FA, Joe Keating, said it was one of the easiest decision ever made by the association.

“We are delighted to make Eamonn Deacy Park available to the new team, it was a ‘no brainer’ for us. Galway has a good history in the women’s game, a Galway side under Stephen Lally and George Guest won the national title in the 2006/07 season and went on to represent Ireland in Europe.

“If all the girls from Galway who are playing elsewhere come back, the club will certainly be a force to be reckoned with,” he said. Galway WFC will be managed by former Galway United player, Nigel Keady.

Secretary of the new club, Kieran O’Mahony, said a lot of work had gone on behind the scenes to get the club off the ground, and he paid tribute to the likes of NUIG, GMIT, Renmore FC, Corrib Rangers and Salthill Devon for their support for the venture.

“Getting Eamonn Deacy Park for our home games was a huge boost to us, and we want to thank the Galway FA for that. The committee first met last October under the chairmanship of Stephen Moran, and it is his drive and initiative that has got us to this launch tonight,” said O’Mahony, who also paid tribute to the work done behind the scene by Kenny Farrell and Padraic De Burca.

Speaking exclusively to Tribune Sport at the launch on Thursday night, Fran Gavin, the Director of the Bus Éireann Women’s National League, said an invitation had been sent out to enter a Galway side in the initial league back in 2011, but that it was felt locally that the time wasn’t right to make that commitment.

“They said at the time that while there was plenty of talent locally, the players were still quite young, and they wanted time to develop them, but they would come back to us when they felt the time was right.

“True to their word, here they are tonight to launch the new side and enter the league, and we’re delighted to have them,” he said, adding that the Galway side “creates a proper platform for players in the area to develop”.

Speaking exclusively to Tribune Sport after the launch, Gavin admitted that the ideal scenario would be for Galway WFC and the proposed new Airtricity League ‘Galway FC’ side would combine to form an all-inclusive club for the city and county.

“That would make it much easier to market, and it would make sense, yes, to have the two sides under the umbrella of one club. If you want to develop a true community club, then catering for all sections is crucial, and the women’s game would be a big part of that.

“It is probably something for the future, but it is a template followed by clubs throughout Europe, and Shamrock Rovers  have a similar structure here in Ireland,” he said.

Season tickets cost €50, and are available – along with sponsorship information – from Kieran O’Mahony on 087 2562184; Stephen Moran on 087 8389750; or Padraic De Burca on 086 6089511.

 

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Connacht Tribune

Galway golfer takes top prize in German Boys Open

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CONNEMARA’S Luke O’Neill shot a final round 70 for a total of 11-under par to win the prestigious Allianz German Boys Open at Golf Club St Leon Rot over the weekend.

The Ballyconneely native, son of Connemara professional Hugh O’Neill, held off the challenge of Philipp Katich to win by a single shot. O’Neill held a two stroke lead going into the final day, after recording rounds of 69 and 66 over the opening two days before holding his nerve to claim victory. The Allianz Germany Boys Open is regarded as one of the top three boys golfing events in the world.

Katich, playing on his home course, pushed O’Neill all the way and moved to the top by the 12th hole, thanks to an excellent front nine performance, which included an eagle and two birdies.

Not panicked, O’Neill kept his composure and that ultimately proved to be the catalyst for his victory. The 13th and 14th proved disastrous for Katich. The German, who recently won French Boys Open, had a bogey on the 13th, before finding water on the 14th and eventually posting a triple bogey 7. O’Neill, meanwhile, birdied 14.

Another German, Felix Krammer, entered the conversation for victory as he sensationally struck a seven-iron shot for a hole-in-one at the par-3 13th.

Read full report in this week’s Tribune Sport.

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Connacht Tribune

Galway duo Mulkerrins and Heffernan bid for world glory

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GALWAY ace Martin Mulkerrins will lead the Irish team at the 2018 World Handball Championships which are starting this week in Minnesota.

And the current national senior champion is joined on the Irish team by fellow Galwegian, Niamh Heffernan from Claregalway, in a total playing party of 13.

Moycullen’s Mulkerrins will be competing in the Men’s Open event while Heffernan should be a strong contender for the Girls 17U World title.

Multi-talented Heffernan, who also plays camogie at County level, previously took home gold medals from Calgary, Canada in 2015. A rising star of the game, it’s little wonder that she qualified for Team Ireland.

Another Galway member is Frances Curran, Michael Breathnach’s, who is traveling Stateside as Team Ireland Liaison Officer.

According to Mulkerrins, this year’s Men’s Open singles field at the World Handball Championships is so strong that it will be a case of kill or be killed!

Now aged 25, he took gold at the 2009, 2012 and 2015 Worlds as a juvenile, and captured his maiden All-Ireland senior singles title back in March. This time around he will be competing against the USA professional players in his bid for the World glory.

The blue riband Open Singles draw is stacked with quality and, says Mulkerrins, the player who can marry consistency with aggressive shot-making will be the one crowned champion.

“I would consider myself an offensive player, I would go for the kill if it’s a 50-50 call. “I think especially in tournaments like this, with a round of 32 and an extremely tough round of 16, you don’t want to be in that court any longer than you have to.

“With the speed of the American courts and their ball, I don’t think too many players will be adopting a defensive style. I see it as a tournament where we are going to see a lot of low, hard power play and players looking to finish games quickly,” he said.

See full coverage in Tribune Sport.

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CITY TRIBUNE

Hanniffy out as Galway take on the Dubs in quarter-final

Stephen Glennon

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GALWAY’S senior camogie team will be looking to bounce back from their final round group defeat to Kilkenny when they face Dublin in a tricky All-Ireland quarter-final assignment at Pairc Uí Chaoimh, Cork on Saturday evening (7:15pm).
Following victories over Clare, Waterford and Limerick, Galway had looked to seize the automatic semi-final berth against Kilkenny last day out and for three quarters of that contest they were certainly in a good place to achieve this.
Indeed, they had the Cats in all sorts of bother early on with Ailish O’Reilly, in particular, looking dangerous up front. However, with Kilkenny using sweeper Anne Dalton to good effect and Galway struggling to by-pass this defensive mechanism, the National League champions swung the tie in their favour to take the win on a 1-17 to 0-13 scoreline.
While the margin of defeat will have frustrated manager Cathal Murray, there were still enough positives in the performance to give rise for optimism ahead of this weekend’s knockout game against Dublin. “There was plenty of positives but we were just disappointed with the last 20 minutes to be honest with you,” says Murray.
“We kind of threw in the towel a small bit but we now have to look for a response against Dublin, who won’t be bad. So, all round, we need to improve. There is not just one area really but we do need to get a performance to get ourselves back on the road again. Dublin, though, will be no pushovers.”
Unfortunately, Galway have been hit with a setback with the news that Oranmore/Maree full-forward and goal threat Niamh Hanniffy looks set to miss the rest of the campaign with a knee-ligament injury. “Niamh is a massive loss to us,” confirms Murray. “It is disappointing in fairness.
“We also have a few more injured at the moment. Sarah Dervan, Becky Hennelly and Caitriona Cormican are all carrying knocks. Look, they will probably be okay but, at the moment (early in the week), they are unable to train.”
Injuries aside, it is unlikely Galway will digress too far from the side which did lose to Kilkenny. Sarah Healy will start between the posts with captain Dervan, Tara Kenny, Lorraine Ryan and Heather Cooney backboning the Tribeswomen’s defence.

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

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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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