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Hurling heartbreak for Galway

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Kilkenny ……1-22
Galway …… 1-18
More hurling heartbreak for Galway as their dreams of bridging a 27-year gap in the All-Ireland Senior Hurling Final died a brutal death at Croke Park as Kilkenny produced a second-half tour de force.

And adding to the agony was the fact that the underdogs from the West had put themselves in prime position to end the long drought since their last triumph in 1988, building up the hopes of their supporters when deservedly leading by 0-14 to 1-8 at half time.

They had hurled with precision and passion to completely knock Kilkenny out of their stride in that opening period with Joe Canning’s 0-7 haul being superbly supplemented by four epic points from Jason Flynn.

The massive Galway presence in the 80,000 crowd were beginning to contemplate the county capturing the Liam McCarthy Cup for only the fifth time in their history so assured and tactically astute had their display been.

But it was all to implode dramatically on the resumption as Kilkenny rediscovered the intensity and accuracy that are their trademarks, but which had been little in evidence prior to the break, to put a stranglehold on the game straight from the restart.

The champions had eliminated the deficit inside seven minutes and, worryingly for Galway at the far end, they were seeing very little possession up front as Kilkenny shut off the supply routes that had flourished before the interval.

With space at a premium, Galway increasingly lost their composure and shape in face of the pressure and had the demeanour of a beaten team for much of the final quarter, only two long-range points from substitute Dermot Collins and a late Joe Canning goal from a free lifting the second-half gloom.

The Galway supporters, who had turned Croke Park into a sea of maroon and outnumbered their Kilkenny counterparts by about three to one, were crestfallen after three weeks of such high expectancy since the semi-final success. In stark contrast, this was Kilkenny’s eighth title in the past ten years.

But there was no shame in the Galway performance. It took a masterful second-half display to overturn them and the fact of the matter is that they had Kilkenny rattled for much of the first half in which their dominance was not fully reflected in the three-point interval margin.

In a half that often lacked continuity, they exploited the flanks to great effect on the back of goalkeeper Colm Callanan’s brilliantly-executed strategic puck-outs.

Canning and Flynn delivered a procession of wonderful points to give them a significant first-half advantage, although they were decidedly fortunate to retire to the dressing-room with a full complement of players after Johnny Coen escaped with a benign yellow card for a neck-high tackle on full-forward Walter Walsh as he bore down on goal.

Although the full-back line occasionally looked vulnerable, they scrambled well and it took an unfortunate slip by full-back John Hanbury in the 12th minute to allow Kilkenny carve the opening for TJ Reid to score the only goal of the half.

Otherwise, Galway had enjoyed the majority of the productive moments in that first period and were less than flattered by their half-time advantage, but it was all to change utterly on the turnaround as Kilkenny shook off the shackles to reveal much of their customary wizardry.

The outcome was that Canning and Flynn were starved of the ball they had thrived on earlier and there was little opportunity in attack to turn things around, though matters were not helped by bad wides from Canning and sub Conor Cooney, while Conor Whelan shot weakly when presented with Galway’s best goal opportunity ten minutes from time.

Truth to tell, it was one-way traffic to the finish as Kilkenny outscored Galway by 0-14 to 1-4 in that decisive second spell, Canning’s goal coming at the death.
Scorers for Kilkenny: TJ Reid (1-7, 0-5 frees, 0-2 65s); R Hogan, E Larkin, G Aylward, C Fennelly, M Fennelly, W Walsh (0-2 each); J Coen (own point), C Fogarty, P Walsh (0-1 each).

Scorers for Galway: J Canning (1-8, 1-5 frees); J Flynn (0-4, 3 frees); C Whelan, D Collins (0-2 each); C Donnellan, David Burke (0-1 each).

Subs for Kilkenny: R Power for R Hogan (60); J Power for G Aylward (62); G Lally for C Donnellan (64);

Subs for Galway: D Collins for A Harte (24); F Moore for A Smith (blood, 43-45); G Lally for A Smith (blood, 51-52); C Cooney for A Smith (56); S Maloney for J Flynn (65);

KILKENNY: E Murphy; P Murphy, J Holden, S Prendergast; P Walsh, K Joyce, C Buckley; M Fennelly, C Fogarty; C Fennelly, R Hogan, TJ Reid; G Aylward, W Walsh, E Larkin.

GALWAY: C Callanan; P Mannion, J Hanbury, J Coen; I Tannian, Daithi Burke, A Harte; A Smith, David Burke; J Flynn, C Donnellan, J Glynn; C Whelan, J Canning, C Mannion.
Referee: J Owens (Wexford)

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.

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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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