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Gold medals for McGuire and O’Boyle at National Juvenile finals

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GALWAY athletes competed in huge numbers in the National Juvenile Track and Field Championships last Saturday and Sunday in Tullamore – the first of two weekends of competition.

Evan McGuire of Galway City Harriers took top billing in the championships, winning gold in the Under 19 400 metre hurdles in 54.45 and taking second in the 400 metre flat in the same category, running PBs and a championship best in the hurdles in the process.

His clubmate Maebh Brannigan also took two medals, with a bronze in the U17 800m in 2.21 and 2nd in the U17 400m in 59.67. GCH sprinters were in the medals too, with Cillian Greene who took silver in the U16 Boys 100m, running 11.79, and James Mitchell, who won a bronze medal with a time of 11.58 in the U18 100m

Other GCH athletes who captured medals included Laoise Geraghty, silver in the U13 Girls 600m, and Sean Kilmartin, third in the U15 Boys 250m Hurdles. Samuel Samson ran twice, securing a bronze in the U17 300m Hurdles and just missing out in the 400m flat, with an agonizing fourth place. James Fleming took a bronze in the U18 Boys 110m Hurdles in a time of 16.94

Craughwell athletes secured a great medal haul, and their star female athlete Sineád Treacy broke the club’s senior long jump record of 5.32m in Tullamore with a fine leap of 5.39m on her 6th and final jump in the U17 event. Sinead’s jump carried her to the bronze medal in a high quality long jump field where the top six jumpers all broke 5m.

Her record-breaking day continued into the sprints where she broke her own club record of 12.62 which she set at the recent Galway Juvenile Track & Field in Dangan. Sineád recorded an impressive 12.56 to place 2nd in the semi-finals of the U17 100m and went on to to take bronze in the final in a time of 12.71.

She was matched with two medals by clubmate Damien O’Boyle who continued his best year ever with an eight-second victory in the U17 2000m Steeplechase in a time of 6.31.91. and, on the second day, took bronze in the U17 800m in a time of 2.01.79 – that makes it six National medals this year for Damien.

 Craughwell AC athletes had five podium finishes and eight more top-eight finishes last Sunday. The distance races proved to be the most lucrative for the club with a bronze medal in the U19 3000m for Neil Greaney in a time of 9.12.12. Nicholas Sheehan had another big performance in the U18 800m to take third. John Cormican ran an impressive 2.01.20 to take 5th place in the same race, an outdoor PB.

For more, read this weeks  Galway City Tribune.

CITY TRIBUNE

St Thomas’ rewrite modern-day record books with thrilling final replay triumph

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St Thomas’ Mark Caufield and Kieran Hanrahan of Loughrea in a race for possession during Sunday's Galway Senior Hurling Final replay at Pearse Stadium. Photos: Joe O'Shaughnessy.

St Thomas’ 1-15

Loughrea 0-17

John McIntyre at Pearse Stadium

THERE is no doubt about it anymore. St Thomas’ are the most successful team to have graced the hurling fields of Galway in over half a century.

True, they still have ground to make up on Sarsfields, Athenry and Portumna, in particular, on the All-Ireland stage, but the men from Peterswell and Kilchreest continue to rewrite modern-day records on the domestic scene.

Not since Turloughmore in 1965 has a team won five county senior hurling titles on the trot, and the fact that St Thomas’ were pushed to the limit to emulate that achievement only adds lustre to a remarkable sequence of big-day triumphs.

Sunday’s replay at Pearse Stadium had a lot to live up to from the drawn final the previous week, but the second helpings served up by St Thomas’ and Loughrea were every bit as appetising as first-time around. This was another classic when once again you couldn’t be sure about the outcome until the very end.

St Thomas’ have never been taken to the brink like this before in a Galway final. For them to be still champions after two epic contests not only underlines their quality, but also the team’s resilience and redoubtable spirit.

A gallant Loughrea threw everything at the title-holders for the second time in eight days. Playing some glorious hurling and totally committed, they still couldn’t shift Conor Cooney and his colleagues from their lofty perch.

Oh, they had chances to take Sunday’s replay to extra-time, and they will be haunted by late efforts from Neil Keary (twice) and Jamie Ryan which drifted wide of the posts. It was probably the only period over the two matches that Loughrea’s nerve failed them.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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CITY TRIBUNE

Treviso visit the Sportsground in what is a must-win clash for home side

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It is not the game you’d have picked out as being a potential season-defining one for Connacht, but defeat at home to Treviso this Saturday (3.15pm) would as good as end the domestic season for the western province with only three chocolates eaten from the Advent Calendar.

Connacht go into the game on the back of yet another game in which they flattered to deceive, a poor display against Munster undoing a lot of the good work of a run of three wins in four games that proceeded last weekend’s trip to Thomond Park.

Head coach, Peter Wilkins, says the players had a tough and hard-hitting review of that game on Monday, and that while they will take the lessons learned from their displays, it is in the past now, with all the focus now on tomorrow’s game.

“The players have been in a really positive headspace, it was a really constructive, but I would say also a confronting review [of the Munster game], and that is what the needed, players taking ownership of mistakes and decision making.

“It is one thing standing up in front of the group and saying ‘I own that’ but it is also about coming up with solutions, how you as an individual or a team can do better next time, they didn’t need picking up emotionally, but there was a fiery determination to do better next time,” he said.

Wilkins, who took over from Andy Friend as head coach ahead of the start of this season, admits that the performance and result against Munster “wasn’t good enough, I think the result and the scoreline reflects that”, but there is no sense of panic in, or pressure on, the squad.

“I don’t think there is an increasing pressure,” he said when asked if Connacht were now entering the realm of must-win games.

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.

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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

Thompson the hero as Salthill pull out all the stops in victory

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Salthill Knocknacarra's Lauren O’Donnell secures possession ahead of Chloe Johnston of O’Dwyer's during Sunday's All-Ireland Club Junior Ladies Football semi-final at the Prairie. Photos: Joe O'Shaughnessy.

Salthill/Knocknacarra 1-7

 O’Dwyer’s 1-6

DARREN KELLY IN THE PRAIRIE

SALTHILL/Knocknacarra’s tales of achievement across all four codes in the last 12 months reached another milestone last Sunday as their ladies football team qualified for the All-Ireland Junior Final.

Last December, the senior hurlers became Connacht champions before the camogie side marched on to a national decider in Croke Park last March.

John O’Mahony’s footballers were just one point short of Moycullen in October’s senior football final. But as the countdown to Christmas began with Friday’s Toy Show, the ladies footballers are 60 minutes away from the club’s biggest present since 2006.

The city side won’t grace Croke Park like their camogie counterparts but overcame torrential conditions to reach to win an All-Ireland semi-final and will face Cork’s Naomh Abán on Sunday week.

Lauren O’Donnell’s goal was the first half highlight as the sun and blue skies graced the occasion, next door to the county senior hurling final replay. But Mother Nature turned vicious upon Loughrea’s defeat in Pearse Stadium and with a half-hour later start, this semi-final felt the full force of the sudden change in weather.

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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