Date Published: 14-Aug-2012
It was a dogfight and it wasn’t pretty but SD Galway once again got one over on their old rivals Mervue United at Deacy Park on Friday night.
Coming into the game with just one win all season (a 2-1 victory at Fahy’s Field), Tony Mannion’s men were hoping to give their neighbours another sucker punch and they applied just that, despite finishing the game with 10 men.
Goals in either half from Brian Gaffney and Brian Geraghty were just enough to edge it, as Nicky Curran became the latest on a long list of those who have been sent off in this fixture.
It began only as it could have, with both sides fighting valiantly to gain a foothold and force a precious lead. The hosts were draped in their change white strip and it was the visitors who wore maroon.
Mannion’s new signing Jakob Tomanica was the first to test Conor Gleeson with a stern drive but it failed to trouble the impressive youngster who has snatched the ‘keeper’s jersey off Ronan Forde.
Three minutes later the hosts attacked the Dyke Road end again and Ronan Conlon crossed towards Tomanica, but Noel Varley slid in to crucially intercept.
Midway through the half, a Conlon corner was flicked on by Geraghty to full-back Eugene Greaney who saw his drive sail inches over the bar. At this stage Mervue had found rhythm, illustrated by Marc Ludden’s long throw to Tom King, and as he raced up the right flank, his cross was too soon for the oncoming Stephen Walsh.
As the battle continued, SD Galway found the breakthrough two minutes before the interval. After launching a swift counter-attack, Mervue’s defence frantically scrambled to get back when Tomanica played Gaffney in – and the winger drove low through Gleeson’s legs at the near post.
The second half started in the same scrappy nature as the first, until 10 minutes in when United drew level. The ball was teed up for Gary Kelly 30 yards from goal and his belter was superbly palmed over by James Keane.
From the resulting corner whipped in by Jason Molloy, Varley flicked on to veteran centre-half Damien O’Rourke, who produced the most poetic of back-heels to square the contest.
In a mark of intent to go on and win the game, Johnny Glynn introduced Dan Cunningham – who recently returned to Fahy’s Field from Dundalk – and Cian McBrien, who had his fair share of League of Ireland experience at Galway United.
But within five minutes of the tactical double-change SD Galway hit the front again when Harty played Geraghty in, and he showed great composure under pressure to poke the ball into the top corner to Gleeson’s left.
Within a minute however the celebrations of the home support were tarnished when Nicky Curran got a second yellow against his old club for leaning in late on Varley. The game wasn’t nasty with five yellows overall, but this gave United a huge incentive.
Walsh was pushed up to aid Pat Hoban and Molloy, and almost won a penalty when he was tumbled in the box by Harty but the cries were waved away by Wexford referee Sean Grant.
Five minutes later Molloy finally found the space that eluded him all evening on the left side and he fed Hoban. The Loughrea youngster’s shot was deflected as far as Walsh at the back post who flung himself at it but it bounced awkwardly and wide.
The pressure continued but SD showed excellent composed defending to keep Mervue at bay. With four minutes left, Molloy whipped in a free-kick from the left which was headed goalwards by Cunningham, but an approaching Hoban failed to get a touch and again Mervue had to watch the ball bounce wide.
Mervue’s pressure became constant in the final minutes but late drama which occurs so often in this fixture was averted. As a result the gap has narrowed to four points between the teams at the foot of the first division table, with one more showdown to come at Fahy’s Field.
The way we were – Protecting archives of our past
People’s living conditions less than 100 years ago were frightening. We have come a long way. We talk about water charges today, but back then the local District Councils were erecting pumps for local communities and the lovely town of Mountbellew, according to Council minutes, had open sewers,” says Galway County Council archivist Patria McWalter.
Patria believes we “need to take pride in our history, and we should take the same pride in our historical records as we do in our built heritage”. When you see the wealth of material in her care, this belief makes sense.
She is in charge of caring for the rich collection of administrative records owned by Galway County Council and says “these records are as much part of our history as the Rock of Cashel is. They document our lives and our ancestors’ lives. And nobody can plan for the future unless you learn from the past, what worked and what didn’t”.
Archivists and librarians are often unfairly regarded as being dry, academic types, but that’s certainly not true of Patria. Her enthusiasm is infectious as she turns the pages of several minute books from Galway’s Rural District Councils, all of them at least 100 years old.
Part of her role involved cataloguing all the records of the Councils – Ballinasloe, Clifden, Galway, Gort, Loughrea, Mountbellew, Portumna and Tuam. These records mostly consisted of minutes of various meetings.
When she was cataloguing them she realised their worth to local historians and researchers, so she decided to compile a guide to their content. The result is For the Record: The Archives of Galway’s Rural District Councils, which will be a valuable asset to anybody with an interest in history.
Many representatives on these Councils were local personalities and several were arrested during the political upheaval of the era, she explains.
And, ushering in a new era in history, women were allowed to sit on these Rural District Councils – at the time they were not allowed to sit on County Councils.
All of this information is included in Patria’s introductory essay to the attractively produced A4 size guide, which gives a glimpse into how these Rural Councils operated and the way political thinking changed in Ireland during a short 26-year period. In the early 1900s, these Councils supported Home Rule, but by 1920, they were calling for full independence and refusing to recognise the British administration.
“I love the tone,” says Patria of the minutes from meetings. “The language was very emotive.”
That was certainly true of the Gort Rural District Council. At a meeting in 1907, following riots in Dublin at the premiere of JM Synge’s play, The Playboy of the Western World the councillors’ response was vehement. They recorded their decision to “protest most emphatically against the libellous comedy, The Playboy of the Western World, that was belched forth during the past week in the Abbey Theatre, Dublin, under the fostering care of Lady Gregory and Mr Yeats. We congratulate the good people of Dublin in howling down the gross buffoonery and immoral suggestions that are scattered throughout this scandalous performance.
For more from the archives see this week’s Tribunes here
Real Galway flavour to intermediate club hurling battle in Birr
Date Published: 23-Jan-2013
Athenry fail to take chances as they bow out of Junior Cup
Date Published: 29-Jan-2013
Athenry FC 1
Kilbarrack United 2
(After extra time)
For the second year in succession Athenry were done in extra time in the FAI Junior Cup as last season’s beaten finalist’s came from behind to snatch an excellent game in Moanbawn on Sunday afternoon.
On a heavy pitch that was only playable following extensive groundwork by club officials all morning, the home side were by far the better side in the opening half, but failed to take advantage of a number of opportunities that came their way.
An Alan O’Donovan penalty gave them a merited advantage just after the restart, but thereafter were on the back foot as Kilbarrack took over, but for all their pressing, the home rearguard were dealing comfortably with their forays.
However they were struck a body blow just six minutes from time, as big striker Keith Kirwan was left all alone at the far post to head the equaliser and from that point on the Dubliners were the better side.
They started off the extra time in the ascendancy and enjoying all the momentum before striking for a good winning goal on 104 minutes. A strong bench allowed them to make some necessary changes and it was not a facility that was available to Athenry manager Gabriel Glavin.
With Gary Forde and Gary Delaney out through suspension following their sending off against OLBC in the previous round, and Seamie Crowe injured, it left their bench rather threadbare with just a number of young squad players available.
Playing with the aid of the slight incline and any wind advantage going, the home side had a Connor Cannon effort on target in the opening minute, while John Meleady was just over with a flick at the other end.
Meleady then tested Andrew Walsh who saved comfortably, before the goalkeeper pulled off a brilliant double save on 14 minutes.
Firstly he went full length to push away a Meleady shot and was then back on his feet to parry David Jackson’s close-range rebound.
For more, read this week’s Connacht Sentinel.