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Galway women on brink of history after pulling off surprise semi-final win

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The NUIG ladies soccer team which defeated Maynooth in the Premier Division Cup semi-final. Back row, left to right: Chelsi Curran, Emma Horgan, Laura O'Carroll, Kate Mulgannon, Rosa Shine, Louise Creaven, Paula McGrory, Sinead Dilworth, Jennifer Byrne, Ella McMackin, Kara Shue, Jillian Zitoli, John Hynes. Front row: Kate Gribbon, Maebh Coleman, Shauna Fox, Aoife Walsh, Ciara Lynagh, Lisa Casserly, Tori D'Acuento, Eimear Foley, Bridget Westerman

THE NUIG ladies soccer team is making the headlines following their victory over Maynooth in the Premier Division Cup semi-final. This is the first time in the history of the University that the ladies team has reached this stage, the pinacle of women’s college soccer.

Maynooth got the lucky toss of the coin for this game, with NUIG having to make the two hour journey to county Kildare. This did appear to take its toll on the away team, with the starting 11 starting quite sluggish.

The first 45 minutes were a tight affair overall, with both sides having chances yet nothing too clear-cut. Galway’s Ciara Lynagh and Maebh Coleman dominated central midfield in the opening half, with both working hard in helping out the defence.

Galway created a few chances down the right, with full back Aoife Walsh linking up well with winger Eimear Foley. Maynooth’s main threat Amber Barrett, one of the league’s top scorers, was well marshalled at the back by Laura O’Carroll and Rosa Shine throughout the first half.

For the opening five minutes of the second half, NUIG dropped their concentration levels and this was all it took for Barrett to swoop in and score the opening goal of the game.

With a deficit to overturn, it would have been easy for heads to drop on the Galway side, the clear underdogs for this game. However this is a team brimming with confidence and self belief, and the 1-0 scoreline seemed to spur them on to play even more probing football.

Erasmus student Kara Shue used her fantastic pace to beat the Maynooth defence and score the equaliser, much to the delight of managers John Hynes and Padraic de Burca.

Striker Lisa Casserly then struck a wonderful free kick only moments later, which was well saved by the home keeper, who could do nothing about the follow up from Paula McGrory however.

In an incredible ten-minute turnaround, Lisa Casserly put the NUI Galway side 3-1 up with a neat finish to a cross from another international student Ella McMackin.

Tori D’Acunto put the game to bed in the dying minutes with a superb strike to make it a total of four goals for NUIG. Shauna Fox and Bridget Westermann kept the defence tight throughout this half to ensure a 4-1 win for the travelling team.

Biggest congratulations must go to captain Jennifer Byrne who was terrific throughout, and goalkeeper Louise Creaven who undoubtedly kept the Galway side in the game with a handful of top class saves.

The Premier Division Cup Final will take place the end of February, where NUIG will take on the winners of Carlow IT/UUJ. The venue has yet to be decided.

It represents a fine achievement for both the sports club and indeed the college. The team will now be hoping to go one step further and become Irish cup champions.

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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Or purchase the Digital Edition for PC, Mac or Laptop from Pagesuite  HERE.

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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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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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