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Hurlers get the job done to book Leinster final meeting with Kilkenny

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Galway's Joseph Cooney smashes through the Offaly defence in last Sunday's Leinster semi-final. Photos: Joe O'Shaughnessy.

Galway 2-19

Offaly 2-9

Galway may have advanced to a second consecutive Leinster senior hurling final with a 10-point victory over Offaly in horrendous weather conditions at O’Moore Park in Portlaoise on Sunday, but it was far from a case of swinging out of lampposts and ‘Singing in the Rain’ for Micheál Donoghue and his charges.

It was interesting to listen to the post-match chatter in the stands after this one – Galway had not played well . . . need to improve . . . so on, so on. There was a grain in truth in all of it, but it is important to realise that what transpired in this contest will have little or no correlation with what will happen against provincial and All-Ireland champions Kilkenny at Croke Park on July 3.

For one, you would hope the game won’t be played in the sort of deluge more appropriate to the rainforests of South America; while Croke Park is an amphitheatre that asks different questions and can affect players in a myriad of ways.

Of course, the mentality of the Galway players will also have to be a whole lot different. In Kilkenny, they face their nemesis – the side that denied them that elusive All-Ireland senior title in 2012 and September of last year. It sets the scene.

As for this one, this was a tough slog for the Tribesmen. In the opening three minutes, they were hit for 1-2 and although Offaly were reduced to 14 men on 27 minutes following the sending off of captain Colin Egan, Galway still trailed 1-7 to 1-6 at half-time.

Galway, too, had their woes in this respect as St Thomas’ Conor Cooney – who had a fabulous game up to this – received a straight red from Cork referee Colm Lyons for what seemed an innocuous challenge with 11 minutes remaining. It left a sour taste in Galway mouths.

At any rate, Galway got the job done and, in truth, you always felt they would have too much for their rivals. Physically, the victors were strong, particularly in the forward line where Niall Burke and Cooney, both of whom had come off the bench and impressed in the win over Westmeath, were introduced into the attack.

Indeed, overall, Galway had a solid look about them but if there was one area that raised concerns, it was the manner in which the full-back line coughed up two cheap goals. The first of those arrived in no less than 15 seconds when Egan supplied Joe Bergin, and the big full-forward netted with aplomb.

From a Galway perspective, it was slack marking but for the underdogs, it was the ideal fillip to bolster their challenge. Already pumped up for this Leinster semi-final, they drove on to hit the next two points through Shane Dooley and wing-back Dermot Mooney. Offaly were rocking.

By the time Offaly found the net with their second goal on 57 minutes, though, the game, for all intents and purposes, had gone from them but it was still just reward for a plucky display. What it did do was again highlight Galway’s slackness in the final third.

On this occasion, Fergal Moore got blocked down after receiving a short puck-out, and when the ball was recycled by Offaly substitute Emmett Nolan, he found Bergin who was fouled for a penalty. Dooley made no mistake with the placed ball. Although the margin was back to six, 2-15 to 2-9, this was Offaly’s last score of the fixture.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

CITY TRIBUNE

United make short work of Wexford FC in mis-match

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Galway United’s top scorer Stephen Walsh who twice hit the target in Friday's First Division win over Wexford FC.

Wexford FC 0

Galway United 4

WE’RE not yet at the half-way point in the season, but Galway United are playing like a side that will lift the First Division title come October. John Caulfield’s team made it six wins on the spin in Ferrycarrig Park last Friday.

Such was United’s dominance from the first whistle, the only thing Wexford were in with a shout of winning was the half-time raffle, and even then, the winner had Galway loyalties with the prize being won by the grandmother of Wexford native but United midfielder, Mikie Rowe.

United made one change to the side which trounced Cobh Ramblers the previous week, Gary Boylan coming in to start in a new formation which saw him play in the hole just between frontman, Stephen Walsh, and the attacking midfield trio of Wilson Waweru, Dave Hurley, and Ed McCarthy.

It was United’s second successive away game, and just like that trip to Cobh, this game was as good as over by half-time with the Tribesmen once again taking a 3-0 lead into the dressing room.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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CITY TRIBUNE

O’Brien and McGowan make para-rowing history

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Steven McGowan and Katie O'Brien pictured in Italy with club coaches, Mike Gaffney and Conor Moloney.

Two members of Galway Rowing Club made history last weekend when they formed Ireland’s first competitive para-rowing crew as they attended a training camp in Italy, before competing in a para-rowing regatta.

Katie O’Brien from Clarinbridge was joined by clubmate, Roscommon native Steven McGowan, as they took what they hope is another step towards qualifying for the 2024 Paralympics in Paris.

The pair competed in the PR2 (back and arms) category in their first international para-rowing regatta in Gavirate in northern Italy, which was made possible by Galway Rowing Club’s move to actively support Rowing Ireland’s Paralympic rowing programme for the 2024 Paris Olympics.

O’Brien is a renowned oarswoman, and has competed on her own in the 1X in para-rowing, but there are no single seat boats in the Paralympics, so she and McGowan have joined forces in a new partnership.

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.

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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

United seeking seventh win on the trot in home tie with Athlone Town

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Galway United’s Conor McCormack in action against Kurtis Byrne of Athlone Town last season. The teams clash in the First Division at Eamonn Deacy Park on Friday evening.

JOHN Caulfield is preaching a message of patience ahead of his side’s home game with Athlone Town on Friday (7.45pm), a game which could see his side match the club record of seven consecutive wins.

That run was set in 2006, when United finished third in the First Division under Tony Cousins, and this Friday they ‘only’ need to beat the division’s basement side, and a side without a win this season, to match that run of a magnificent seven wins.

It is that kind of talk, however, that Caulfield is keen to stamp out, pointing out that, under new interim manager Dermot Lennon, the Midlands side have improved in recent weeks, and have only been beaten by a single goal in their last three games.

Longford Town edged the Midlands El Classico last weekend by the odd goal in three; Cork City won on a matching 2-1 score in the previous week, their winner coming with the last kick of the game; while Waterford scraped to a 1-0 win at home to De Town the week before that again.

“We have to show patience, we have to be strong from the start and impose our game, but we have to be patient,” the United manager told Tribune Sport this week.

“We need to keep our composure, keep to our game plan, keep our patience, and I would say that to the crowd as well, they need to be patient as Athlone will come and sit in and look to hit us on the counter-attack, and it will be up to us to break them down,” he said.

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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