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Harte named at centre back as Galway aim for home win against the Cats

Stephen Glennon

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Castlegar's Dean Higgins who has retained his position in the Galway attack for Sunday's National League test against All-Ireland champions Kilkenny at Pearse Stadium.

GORT captain Greg Lally has been named at centre-half back in the Galway team to face All-Ireland champions Kilkenny at Pearse Stadium on Sunday (2pm) – a NHL tie considered by boss Anthony Cunningham as hugely significant in their bid to secure a place in the quarter-finals of the competition.

Lally, who was exceptional in Gort’s county championship run and again in their All-Ireland club semi-final joust against Ballyhale, comes into a reshuffled pack which sees David Collins move to wing-back, Iarla Tannian relocated to midfield, where he won an All-Star, and Andy Smith beefing up the half-forward line. Tynagh/Abbey-Duniry’s Padraig Breheny loses out on this occasion.

Cunningham says it is imperative Galway win their home games in the chase for a quarter-final berth and a fixture against the All-Ireland champions is no exception. “It is of huge significance and we would hope there will be a big Galway support there,” says the St. Thomas’ man.

“There is a good spirit there now and definitely there were a lot of positives from the Clare match and, indeed the match the last day, so we would be expecting a big, vocal support in Pearse Stadium, particularly against Kilkenny.”

Defender Fergal Moore, who missed the opening games against Clare and Tipperary due to a hamstring injury, is fit again but the management has kept faith in the full-back line of Johnny Coen, John Hanbury and Padraig Mannion.

For the most part, the trio were solid against Tipperary but they can ill afford the couple of lapses of concentration they had in the 2-18 to 0-20 defeat to Éamon O’Shea’s men. They must offer goalkeeper Colm Callanan more protection in this regard.

Midfielder Joseph Cooney, who has posted 1-3 from Galway’s opening two games, continues to be the in-form player. While his move to the inside line last day out might have given management pause for thought, it is recognised that his presence in the centre of the park in the early stages of this fixture will be crucial. It will be interesting to see both Cooney and Tannian working together in this sector.

Ardrahan’s Jonathan Glynn is growing into the centre-half forward role game by game but the notable lack of another physical presence on the flanks has been an issue. Both Breheny and Higgins are pacy stickmen but against a forceful team like the Cats, Galway had to add a warrior like Smith to their attack.

In the inside line, James Regan, Jason Flynn and Cathal Mannion have done enough in recent games to retain their positions and a substantial return will be required from them if the Tribesmen are going to do damage.

To date, the Cork and Dublin inside lines have posted 1-4 and seven points from play respectively against the Cats. That’s the target for Galway’s inside line. Also, when Galway score goals, they win games. Two against Clare; none against Tipperary.

Unfortunately, Joe Canning, Niall Burke and Conor Cooney all continue to be ruled out through injury. “It is unlikely Joe Canning will be back,” says Cunningham. “Of the rest of them – Conor Cooney, Niall Burke – it will be mid-March, so another couple of weeks.”

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

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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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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