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Great chance for United to claim cup glory in home final against St. Pat’s

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Galway United players are gearing up for Saturday's EA Sports Cup final.

PREMIER Division survival is the priority for Galway United this season, but the not insignificant carrot of being crowned cup winners is being dangled in front of the squad on Saturday when they face St Patrick’s Athletic in the EA Sports Cup final (6.05pm) in Eamonn Deacy Park.

It is an honour that only three previous United squads have enjoyed: the League Cup winning sides of 1986 under Tony Mannion and 1997 under Dennis Clarke book-ending the 1991 FAI Cup winners, managed by Joey Malone.

Tommy Dunne’s young and largely local squad are now just 90 minutes away from writing their names into United’s history books in Eamonn Deacy Park, and while the United manager says he will urge his players to treat the game as any other, he will also encourage them to enjoy the occasion.

“Cup finals are great occasions, and I hope the players enjoy it and obviously that they come home with a winners medal. You have to be careful in that finals can pass you by. I’ve played in a few where you felt ‘oh my God, it’s over before it started’, so from a playing point of view, you have to be focussed from the very start.

“It’s important that they go out and play the game and not the occasion. I will be telling them to get out and do what you need to do, be professional about it and try and leave aside the occasion in as much as you can, but also enjoy playing in a final,” he said.

The two league meetings between the sides this season have both gone the way of Saturday’s visitors, with Liam Buckley’s side running out 4-1 winners in Eamonn Deacy Park in May in what was the best footballing display given by any visiting side this season; followed by a 3-1 win in Richmond Park in July.

However, the Inchicore outfit come into Saturday’s decider on a wretched run of form, suffering five defeats on the bounce in the league and FAI Cup before hammering Crumlin United 4-0 in the Leinster Senior Cup last week.

Speaking after his side’s 3-1 defeat at the hands of a resurgent Limerick in their most recent league outing, Buckley admitted that the confidence of his players was at rock bottom, a strange admission for a manager to make and one that will surely have been picked-up on by his opposite number.

On the same night Pats were being humbled by Limerick, United were wiping the floor with Longford Town, racing into a 4-0 lead after 70 minutes, but the one downside from that is the two week break from that game to Saturday’s decider.

“It is a pity the final is not the week after that win, it would have nice to carry through our momentum and that might be stifled a bit, but we have lads coming back from injury and it gives them an extra week’s training,” said United defender, Colm Horgan.

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

CITY TRIBUNE

Dropped points leaves Utd losing touch with Cork City

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Galway United's Charlie Lyons tries to halt the progress of Wexford FC's Ger Shortt during Friday evening's Frst Division tie at Eamonn Deacy Park. Photo: Joe O'Shaughnessy.

Galway United 2

Wexford FC 2

IT might be just as well that Galway United have drawn UCD in the next round of the FAI Cup as it will give the Tribesmen a taste of what might come in the promotion play-off final later in the year.

UCD or Finn Harps will be the Premier Division side in that play-off, and United look set for that lottery of a route to promotion for a third straight year after these two dropped points on Friday night left them with a lot – maybe too much – to do to catch Cork City.

It was a belter of a game of football, but Wexford will have been the least disappointed of the two sides as they edged a shade closer to Treaty United in the battle for the final play-off spot.

United, on the other hand, fell to now be three points behind City, and with the Leesiders having a game in hand, and also a vastly superior goal difference (+41 as opposed to United’s +29), they have one hand on the league trophy, and the other reaching for the Brasso.

Stephen Walsh was scoring his 15th goal of the season on Friday night, while Rob Manley was making it four goals in five games since joining from Bray Wanderers, but it still wasn’t enough to claim the three points against a visiting side that got their reward for approaching the game in such a positive fashion.

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

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CITY TRIBUNE

Salthill serve up a strong finish to take derby spoils

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Bearna's Murcha Iarsach getting the better of Salthill/Knocknacarra's Cathal Sweeney during Saturday's Senior Football Championship clash at Pearse Stadium. Photos: Joe O'Shaughnessy.

Salthill/ Knocknacara 2-15

Bearna 0-12

Eanna O’Reilly at Pearse Stadium

A very strong fourth quarter from Salthill/Knocknacara saw them see off the challenge of a Bearna side who will have regrets about a game in which they created plenty of scoring chances, but lacked the efficiency of their opponents in front of the posts.

John O’Mahony’s Salthill side struggled to gain dominance of this contest for long spells before their greater accuracy in front of goal began to tell in the second half. An impressive fourth quarter performance put Bearna to the sword, but O’Mahony will know they have plenty to improve on going forward.

The manner in which Bearna opened up the Salthill defence on a couple of occasions in the first half was notable. Salthill were lucky not to concede two goals, when both Oisín Ó Garmaile and Pádraig Ó Diolúin hit the woodwork with shots in the first half. The city men could easily have been behind at half time, rather than going in with a four point lead.

Bearna’s shooting profligacy ultimately caught up with them and undermined an early second half comeback. Three consecutive points saw them reduce the deficit to the minimum, but a couple of scorable frees were also missed, at a time when the momentum was in their favour.

Ultimately, Daithí Ó Domhnallaín’s side were outscored by 1-8 to 0-6 in the second period. Salthill were far more economical, while their use of possession was also superior to Bearna’s throughout the match.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App

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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 United face tough task in Waterford on potentially defining weekend

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Division tie against Wexford FC at Eamonn Deacy Park. Photo: Joe O'Shaughnessy.

THIS could be a defining weekend in the chase for the First Division title, as Galway United make the long trek to take on a Waterford FC side that also faces league leaders, Cork City, on Monday, in the second of two homes Munster derbies this weekend for the Leesiders.

United need to get the job done themselves in the RSC this Friday (7.45pm) before worrying how City fare at home to Treaty United on the same night, and against Waterford on Monday – and anything other than a win will mean it won’t really matter how Cork get on.

“Waterford, they are a team challenging for the title, whether they can keep up or not I don’t know, but they are in there, they are a very good team as we have seen, and they beat [cup holders] Pats [St Patrick’s Athletic] in the cup, it is another massive match for us,” United manager, John Caulfield, said of this Friday’s opponents.

Truth be told, while Waterford may be third in the table, they are 12 points behind City and are not involved in the title race, but that won’t mean they will just roll over to have their bellies tickled on Friday, and while United have the edge in the head-to-head between the sides this season, they have been thrilling, hard-fought battles.

United’s first home game of the season saw Waterford race into a 2-0 lead by the break, only for goals from Stephen Walsh and the since-departed Jordan Adeyomo (gone to Longford) to rescue a point for United.

For more, read this week’s Galway City 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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