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Gort girls do it again

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The Gort Community School basketball team which won the U16 C League title in the National Basketball Arena, Tallaght. Back row, left to right: Anne McLoughlin, Ass. Coach, Olivia Daniels, Ass. coach, Emma Fennessy, Ciara Helebert, Hannah Keenan, Olga Burke, Edel Nolan, Sarah Dolan, Kate Tarpey, Pat Bourke, Coach, Front row: Jacqui Bergin, Roisin Clancy, Rebecca Smyth, Nicola Quirke, Lisa Della Chiesa, Aine Murphy.

GORT Community School’s U16 C Girls basketball team made history last week when they capped off a perfect year to win their second All-Ireland Schools final on a scoreline of 45-39.

Their victory over Coláiste Chroí Naofa of Cork completed the League and Cup All-Ireland double in 2015 for this talented Gort Community School squad.

With prior experience of playing in the National Arena, Tallaght behind them, Gort opened the match with intensity to establish an early lead. Their tactical game plan saw some excellent points being put on the board with Lisa Della Chiesa, who was awarded Most Valuable Player on the day,  being both the creator and convertor of a number of effectively worked fast breaks.

Edel Nolan, Ciara Helebert and Olga Burke also secured some fine baskets during the opening half through some excellent team play and cuts to the basket. Despite Gort’s dominance at this stage, Coláiste Chroí Naofa’s long and accurate shooting range kept them in contention at all times.

A well finished basket from Áine Murphy just before the half time buzzer gave the Gort girls a five point advantage, but the game was far from over. The second half saw an increase in the Cork side’s momentum.

Following a quick start off the block, it wasn’t long before their tactics began to cause problems.  Aisling O’Leary’s effective attack through the heart of Gort’s defence time and again allowed her to gain a constant route to the basket to tally point after point.

This dominant patch from Cork initiated a change in Gort’s defensive structure to thwart the threat of Coláiste Chroí Naofa’s main play maker. Kate Tarpey, Ciara Helebert and Hannah Keenan helped Gort to regain their composure in defence and to maintain a five point lead heading into the last eight minutes.

In what was a pulsating final quarter, Gort showed true resilience in defence.  At this stage Gort’s captain Olga Burke dug deep to lead the way and despite trying to shrug off an injury, she still managed to secure four points for her team at a truly pivotal stage.

These points were then answered by Coláiste Chroí Naofa’s Myra O’Sullivan who hit two impressive three pointers to bring it to a three point game in the closing minutes.

This time, however, it was Áine Murphy of Gort Community School who replied with an important basket to show her side were never going to give up the fight.

At the final whistle, the scoreline was 45-39.  The historic day belonged to the Gort Community School girls and to their dedicated coaches Pat Bourke, Olivia Daniels and Anne McLoughlin.

“We do a lot of training”, said MVP Della Chiesa. “Every Saturday we train and we were training and playing matches during the mid-term as well. It’s a big help. This is unreal. Hopefully, next year we’ll be back as well.”

Gort CS top scorers: O Burke 18, L Della Chiesa 14, A Murphy 8.

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.

Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App

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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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