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Healy heartache

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Nial Healy

GALWAY sharpshooter Niall Healy, who is sidelined for the rest of the year with a cruciate injury, believes his team-mates will have to be “wired to the moon” if they are to turn over Kilkenny in their Leinster semi-final at O’Connor Park, Tullamore on Sunday. That was the intense approach Galway adopted when conquering Kilkenny 2-21 to 2-11 in the 2012 Leinster decider – a game they had incredibly led 2-12 to 0-4 after a flawless first half. “That day against Kilkenny, they were wired to the moon going out,” says Healy. “I think they just have to get back to the same attitude as that. They just need to be wired up going out on Sunday, if they can. Whatever lads did two years ago, they have to get up to the same level. That is what they are going to need to do to beat Kilkenny.” Indeed, Galway have proven that they do have displays like that in their arsenal but the problem for the Tribesmen is that they have been unable to do produce these performances on a consistent basis. That has been the conundrum haunting Galway hurling since their last All-Ireland win in 1988. Healy, despite being to the forefront of Galway hurling for over a decade, is equally as perplexed by the mystery. “I don’t know. I suppose, there are guys on the panel who have had a lot of setbacks over the last few years and maybe that does be playing on the mind going out. It is hard to put your finger on it.” In any event, it’s doubtful any other inter-county hurler has been through the proverbial wringer as much as Galway’s 2004 minor captain when it comes to injuries over the last three years. In the darkest hours, the 29-year-old must wonder what he did to alienate the sporting gods. With hand and bicep injuries seriously disrupting his seasons in 2012 and ‘13 respectively, he could be forgiven for thinking the worst was behind him. However, a cruciate tear in a club game last month has cut short his playing year for club and county once again, much to the Craughwell man’s frustration. “It is very frustrating,” admits the former All-Ireland U-21 winner (2005). “If it happened in November, it mightn’t be too bad but it is just the time of the year. There is nothing better than going down to Kenny Park, training away on summer evenings, and it is very frustrating now not to be able to do that. “Things were going well for me but, I suppose, you can’t be feeling too sorry for yourself either. There are people worse off than me. I just have to get this operation done [with Ray Moran in Dublin] in two weeks’ time and then focus on getting ready for next year again.” For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

Connacht Tribune

Galway youths come up short against Cork again

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The Galway League team which was defeated by the Cork League in the FAI Youth Inter-League Cup Final at Eamonn Deacy Park on Sunday. Front row, from left, Ethan McCauley, Scott Dillon, Ben Costelloe, Khumalo Gusi and Conor Daly. Back row, Brian Tolan, Conor Keady, Max Hawksley, Charlie Quinn, Piotrik Szymanski and Eddie Silke. Photos: Iain MacDonald.

Galway League 1

 Cork League 3

Mike Rafferty at Eamonn Deacy Park

THE Galway League’s ambition to follow in the footsteps of the 2010 and 2014 FAI Youth Inter-League winning sides ended in disappointment at Eamonn Deacy Park on Sunday – two late goals sealed their fate as the visitors claimed the title in impressive fashion.

It was the second year in succession that the teams met in the final at the Dyke Road venue and, unfortunatley, the outcome was the same on both occasions. Matters looked good from a home point of view when a cultured Ethan McCauley shot gave them an interval advantage, but Cork responded with the equaliser just two minutes after the restart.

And for the majority of the second half, the Rebels were the better side. With home custodian Max Hawksley continuing to excel with a number of smart saves, the contest remained alive before Harvey Skeiters converted two close range opportunities in the closing minutes to complete his hat trick and, in the process, picked up the Man of the Match reward as well as his winners’ medal.

The pace of the game was pedestrian from the outset, but both sides displayed an ability to get forward with the rival wingers certainly making an impression. Ben Costello did his bit down the left and delivered a number of crosses into the box, while Ethan McCauley had more liberty in his role as he displayed a skill set that matched his impressive talent. On the right, Khumalo Gusi was always willing to take on his man and made a number of insertions through the Cork defence. However, despite all that, chances were few and far between.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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Superb Slevin stars again as Galway stay unbeaten

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Galway's Lynsey Noone on the attack against Mary Kate Lynch of Meath during Monday's Ladies National Football League Division 1 tie at Páirc Tailteann in Navan. Photos: Piaras Ó Mídheach/Sportsfile.

Galway 0-9

Meath 0-9

Ivan Smyth at Páirc Tailteann

AOIFE O’Rourke’s 59th minute free helped Galway earn a share of the spoils in a thrilling NFL Division 1 encounter at Pairc Tailteann on Monday.

In truth, this was a game Galway were edging for the most part but when Meath kicked three scores in a row to push themselves 0-9 to 0-8 as the clock ticked towards the 57th minute, the Tribeswomen appeared to be heading for their first defeat of the year.

Although Meath are trying to build after a turnover of players from last year, Galway went toe to toe with the reigning All-Ireland champions without the Leonard cousins – Tracey and Roisin, who were not part of the matchday panel.

That sense was only magnified when Galway initially tried to carve out an opportunity for the equaliser but with Meath placing all 15 players behind the ball, the otherwise impressive Aoife Molloy was overturned by Aoife Minogue. The Meath midfielder strode forward and with Eimile Gavin the last line of defence, the corner back needed to halt Minogue.

Gavin did just that and managed to force the turnover which proved vital to the end result. Galway countered quickly and with Meath’s cohort out of position as they sought to provide support for Minogue, Louise Ward gathered possession before embarking on a trademark surge from deep as she won the free which O’Rourke converted.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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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.

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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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Galway gear up for visit of Cork in an attractive National League fixture

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Galway's Daithí Burke and Jack Grealish give chase to Shane Kingston of Cork during last year's All-Ireland Championship quarter-final in Thurles. The teams renew rivalry in the National League at Pearse Stadium on Sunday.

GALWAY manager Henry Shefflin is braced for a steep rise in class when the Tribesmen host Cork in the second round of the National Hurling League at Pearse Stadium on Sunday (2pm).

Both teams made a winning start to the competition last weekend, but it was the Rebels’ fightback from an eight-point interval deficit against All-Ireland champions Limerick which grabbed the headlines.

Without an All-Ireland title since 2005 – the longest famine in the county’s history – Cork are desperate to end their championship agony, with last Saturday’s 2-17 to 0-22 victory over Limerick at Páirc Ui Chaoimh providing renewed optimism under new manager Par Ryan in front of a big crowd of nearly 20,000.

Second-half goals from Ronan O’Flynn – a superb effort – and Declan Dalton helped turned the game around, with Ciarán Joyce an inspirational figure at centre-back. Unfortunately for Cork, the impressive O’Flynn dislocated an ankle and will miss the rest of the league, joining a casualty list which also includes Mark Coleman, Alan Connolly and Darragh Fitzgibbon.

Galway were quite poor in the opening quarter against Wexford, with the ease in which opposition goalkeeper Mark Fanning could pick out his teammates from puck-outs. highlighting an initial laboured effort from the Tribesmen, who can thank the home team for leaving their shooting boots at home.

Against that backdrop, Wexford were unable to inflict the necessary damage on Galway, retiring only on level terms at half-time. With wind advantage to come, together with the introduction of three subs, it was always likely that the Tribesmen would pick up the pace.

Evan Niland’s free-taking was again important – a reality underlined by Wexford’s woes in the same department – while Brian Concannon’s introduction added penetration and aggression to the attack.

Shefflin knows, however, that Cork constitute a far more exacting challenge and will also have a score to settle after spurning a heap of first-half goal chances against Galway in last year’s All-Ireland quarter-final defeat in Thurles.

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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