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Hurling heartbreak for Galway

Mike Glynn

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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

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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