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High flying Wegians maintain mastery over arch city rivals

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Galwegians Ross Fitzgerald is tackled by Corinthians Gary Warde as he passes the ball to Barry Lee during Friday night's Division 1b tie at Crowley Park. Photos: Joe O'Shaughnessy

Galwegians 21

Corinthians 13

EVEN after this eight point derby win, you won’t find a sky blue supporter talking about promotion or titles around Glenina in anything other than a whispered voice in the corner of the club bar at Crowley Park. All season we’ve waited for the unlikely challengers to fall off the pace and all season they have defied the odds and made pre-season predictions look foolish.

This Friday night derby win under the floodlights at Crowley Park wasn’t one of Galwegians’ spectacular wins, nor was it a major upset. It was in fact a case of getting the job done against a tricky opponent and making sure all the good work from a week previously at Eaton Park in Ballymena wasn’t undone. They controlled the first half, wavered slightly after half time but powered through at the finish.

The backdrop for this game was simple. Galwegians arrived for this third AIL derby between the sides in four years – after two decades without such a fixture before that – on a mission. They had won a high scoring duel in Ulster the previous week and nabbed a bonus point to move two clear at the top of the table with four rounds remaining, but their fiercest rivals were in town to stall momentum.

The visitors had a very different backdrop, a frustrating campaign has seen them fall off the good pace of last year and coming into this contest they were second bottom and very much in the mix for filling one of the two relegation places. This was one of the games Corinthians really needed to steal and on 65 minutes or so, they came awfully close to setting up a late smash and grab.

Ultimately, however, there was a clear difference between the sides, a sharpness that is evident in everything Galwegians do, a sense of timing and a willingness to push for the extra pass and straighten the line when drifting seems safer. They are a team brimming full of confidence at the moment and a third straight derby win in three years was the fruits of their labour here.

The act of highlighting all that serves to show where Corinthians are falling short. Endeavour and commitment were there in spades and they had a fair balance of possession and territory in the contest too but the line breaks, the big game changing gains simply didn’t materialise from about the tenth minute on.

The first try came from Corinthians after a high tempo start and multiple phases of attacks in the home 22 with Cian Begley scoring, but Galwegians were sparked into life and had a try back from Rory Parata not long after. The centre profiting from an unusual bounce at first but then showing tremendous footwork to score.

By the 20 minute mark the second try had been nabbed with the lively and accurate Barry Lee darting over from close range after some good work from the home forwards. By half time the lead was just 12-10 as Conor Murphy had kicked a late Corinthians penalty but despite the narrow margin, Galwegians were looking much more threatening.

For more, read this week’s Galway City Tribune

CITY TRIBUNE

O’Keeffe says season’s goal of winning promotion remains very much in United’s sights

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Conor O’Keeffe in action against Cobh Ramblers FC earlier this season. Photo: Joe O'Shaughnessy.

Galway United full-back Conor O’Keeffe insists there is no talk in the camp about the upcoming promotion play-offs, with all the focus each week being on the next game up for the side rather than the battle to join champions-elect Shelbourne in the top-flight next season.

A scoreless draw at home to Treaty United last weekend, coupled with a 2-0 win for Shelbourne away to Cork City, means the Dublin side has moved 10 points ahead of United at the top of the table with five games remaining.

Having lost just once all season – a defeat which was inflicted by United – the Tolka Park side are unlikely to let that 10-point lead slip, meaning that United’s hopes of promotion will rest with the play-offs.

O’Keeffe, who turns 28 on Sunday, says that promotion remains the goal of the squad, and that is the focus, not on the route that will be needed to secure that.

“We are taking things one game at a time, if you look beyond that, you forget to do that’s in front of you, so we are not even looking at the playoffs, you have to show up for each game.

“You have to take it just game by game, if you look farther ahead, you get a little carried away and you lose focus, and you just have to keep going.

“We just need to finish as high up the table as we can, anything can happen, it is a funny game at times, football, we have just got to believe – if you don’t believe there is no point, our goal is to get promoted and we still believe we can do that,” O’Keeffe says.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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CITY TRIBUNE

Favourites all advance with ease in the FAI Junior Cup

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Athenry's Seán O'Callaghan heads in his side's second goal despite the best efforts of Paddy Gannon and Shane Trill. Photo: Kennedy-Beirne/Eirefoto.

Soccer Wrap with Mike Rafferty

It might only have been the preliminary round of the FAI Junior Cup, but for certain teams with ambitions, it was hopefully the start of a long trail towards ultimate success, and the four fancied sides all advanced from their games with various degrees of comfort last weekend.

In the only all Premier Division clash, James Ryan secured the match winner as West United saw off St Bernard’s 1-0 in South Park. It was Ryan again who went closest to a second, but his effort on this occasion was thwarted by the woodwork. The victory sets them up for a First Round contest against Tuam Celtic on the last weekend of the month.

Hibernians were 3-2 winners over Dynamo Blues in Bohermore as Shane Hulgraine, Nathan Ward (striker) and an own goal were enough to see off the Tuam side for whom Alex Schmitt scored twice.

Scoreless at the break, Colga did all the damage against Bohemians on the resumption as they ran out 4-0 winners with Neil Greaney (3) and Colm McDonagh sharing the goals – Colga and Hibernians meet in the next round.

As to be expected Athenry were the most comfortable winners of the day as they defeated Renmore 6-0 with three goals coming in each-half. New central defender, Sean O’Callaghan, scored his first goals for the club as he notched a brace, while Adam Duffy, Declan Cullen, Colm O’Donovan and Garvan Broughall were also all on the mark as they set up a neighbourly contest with Corofin United.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App

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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 nearly there but scope for improvement

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Galway United's Joe Gorman on the ball against Kieran Hanlon of Treaty United FC during Friday night's First Division tie at Eamonn Deacy Park. Photo: Joe O'Shaughnessy.

Galway United 0

Treaty United 0

A contest between two evenly-matched teams finished in stalemate on Friday night, nudging both sides closer to the play-offs, but leaving neither in doubt that major improvement is needed if they are to escape the doldrums of the First Division.

United shaded things in the first-half, with the visitors being the marginally better side for much of the second until they were reduced to 10 men with the dismissal of former United man, Marc Ludden.

Already providing a stubborn and frustrating resistance to their hosts, Treaty dug in even further following that 73rd minute red card, and with United struggling to find their mojo of late, the game petered out into that predictable scoreless draw.

The league takes another break this weekend with the quarter-finals of the FAI Cup taking centre stage, giving the United camp some additional time to find that spark that has been missing for the past three games following that stirring 3-1 win over Shelbourne in mid-August.

With free-scoring UCD up next for United, that additional time needs to be well spent for, while United are almost assured of the play-offs, they have serious work to do to if they are to take confidence and momentum into those play-offs, and the visit of the Students to the Dyke Road on Friday week will really test the home side.

John Caulfield made two changes to the team which beat Cabinteely the previous week, with Luke Dennison coming in for the suspended Conor Kearns in goals, while Stephen Walsh replaced Alex Murphy at left-back.

The game was preceded by a thunderous minute’s applause from both home and away fans for the late Sam Oji, a man who graced the jersey of both Galway United and of Treaty United’s predecessor, Limerick FC, who died suddenly last month from cancer at the age of just 35.

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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