Classifieds Advertise Archive Subscriptions Family Announcements Photos Digital Editions/Apps
Connect with us

Inside Track

Hurling’s force of nature sweep Tipperary men aside again

Published

on

The Kilkerrin Clonberne team which won the Tesco All-Ireland ladies football club sevens senior final in Naomh Mearnóg GAA Club, Portmarnock. Back row, left to right: Back Row: Michael Divillly, Caoimhe Boyle, Sarah Gormally, Nicola Ward, Claire Dunleavy, Louise Ward, Emma Flanagan, Lisa Walsh, Willie Ward. Front row: Eamon Mahony, Niamh Divilly, Olivia Divilly, Ailbhe Mahony, Aoife McStay, Lisa Murphy, Annie Boyle.

Inside Track with John McIntyre

THE All-Ireland hurling final replay at Croke Park on Saturday evening was a different kind of animal to the epic drawn encounter and it was largely played on Kilkenny’s terms.

Again, it produced another riveting contest, but the Cats rarely allowed Tipperary the kind of space they had thrived in three weeks previously in maintaining their modern-day dominance over the county’s arch rivals.

Records fell all over the place at GAA headquarters. It was Kilkenny’s tenth All-Ireland title in 16 years; their seventh in ninth seasons; Henry Shefflin became the first hurler to win ten senior medals; JJ Delaney and Tommy Walsh reach nine; while Brian Cody leads the Noresiders to a tenth All-Ireland triumph under his watch.

Saturday’s replay success also underlined why Kilkenny have been a law unto themselves over the past 15 years. This great team’s long established attributes of savage commitment, intensity, manic desire and unrelenting work ethic were all at the core of their latest victory over Tipperary. They took hooking and blocking to new levels of defiance and though it’s hard to credit given all that they have won, Kilkenny had a clear edge in hunger over Eamon O’Shea’s chastened troops too.

What makes Kilkenny’s latest championship achievement all the more phenomenal was that many neutrals thought that they were a spent force after last year’s quarter-final exit to Cork in Thurles. They looked a battle weary outfit that day; had earlier lost a replay to Dublin in the provincial campaign; while Cody had to take a break from sideline duties due to illness. Furthermore, Kilkenny hadn’t even played in Croke Park in 2013 and, putting all those things together, it was easy reach the conclusion that they, at least, faced a couple of years in transition.

Against that background, Kilkenny’s immediate renaissance this year is nothing short of amazing, but this team has never conformed to normal standards. In 2014, they have won everything: the Walsh Cup; the National League; the Leinster title; and now the county’s 35th All-Ireland championship. Their longer serving celebrated in Croke Park on Saturday evening as though they were just after winning their first Celtic Cross. This was one against the head.

Kilkenny were admittedly stretched at times in the opening half of Saturday’s replay, but they reached the interval only two points behind before going on to largely dominate the second-half with the switch of the previously subdued Colin Fennelly to full forward a key move. The Power brothers, Richie and John, also burst into life and it was their goals in the final quarter which sent Tipperary over the edge.

In fact, Kilkenny ought to have won by more. Opposition goalkeeper Darren Gleeson made a couple of critical interventions while Seamus Callanan’s second goal in the 69th minute was more the product of a lucky break than Tipperary cutting the Kilkenny defence apart as Lar Corbett had done in setting up Callanan’s opening goal seven minutes from the break. You could argue that Brendan Maher and company were the better team up to half time, but they were too goal hungry and spurned a couple of routine point-scoring opportunities in the vain pursuit of rattling the Kilkenny net.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

 

Connacht Tribune

Turlough’s thumping of title holders opens up the hurling championship

Published

on

St Thomas’ v Turloughmore Senior Hurling Championship game at Kenny Park, Athenry. Dara Whelan, Turloughmore and Victor Manso, St Thomas’

Inside Track with John McIntyre

TURLOUGHMORE blew the Galway senior hurling championship wide open with an unexpected thumping of title holders St Thomas’ at Kenny Park on Saturday. With questions to answer after fading badly in an earlier group tie against Clarinbridge, Franny Forde’s charges achieved a statement victory which must have sent shock waves throughout the county.

Having come up narrowly short in the 2020 decider against St Thomas’ in front of empty terraces in Athenry, Turlough looked like a team primed to exploit significant under-age success, but they had a blow-out in last year’s preliminary quarter-final when surrendering a 10-point lead to rank outsiders Kilnadeema/Leitrim.

That left the team with questions to answer heading into 2022, and that disappointing 0-24 to 0-17 loss to Clarinbridge in August appeared to confirm that Turloughmore were missing the level of substance and belief in their ranks which potential champions require. But all bets are off after last Saturday’s demolition job of St Thomas’.

Carrying the day by a scarcely believable 2-23 to 0-14 against an admittedly out-of-sorts champions must do wonders for the squad’s confidence, and with Seán Loftus continuing to hurl up a storm in the group stages – seven points of his 1-12 total came from play – Turloughmore are now serious contenders for title glory.

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.

Continue Reading

Connacht Tribune

McStay getting Mayo post means Galway must be wary about 2023

Published

on

Mountbellew-Moylough's Leo Donnellan and Mikey Culhane of Salthill Knocknacarra battling for possession during Sunday's Senior Football Champiomship tie at Tuam Stadium. Photo: Joe O'Shaughnessy.

Inside Track with John McIntyre

Those of us who were thinking that a protracted period of dominance in the province lay ahead of the Galway footballers are probably revising that opinion in the light of Kevin McStay taking over the unluckiest team of all-time. When it comes to bad breaks, Mayo are in a league of their own.

Losing six All-Ireland finals – including the 2016 replay against Dublin – over the past decade has been gut wrenching for both players and supporters. There is only so much big-day misery a county can take, but Mayo remain the eternal optimists; their spirits unbroken. Football is their lifeblood, the pulse of everyday life up there.

Yet, even their most optimistic fans must have thought that the All-Ireland dream is finally over for Leer Keegan, Rob Hennelly, the O’Connors, Kevin McLaughlin and Aidan O’Shea after a tame quarter-final exit to Kerry this summer. Coming on the back of last year’s demoralising final defeat to Tyrone, the general presumption was that Mayo faced a significant period of transition.

It was no surprise when James Horan stood down as manager in the wake of the Kerry loss, with four candidates interested in filling the vacancy – McStay being joined in the race by Ray Dempsey, Mike Solan and Declan Shaw who all put together strong backroom teams with the likes of Armagh’s Oisín McConville and Sligo’s Eamon O’Hara seemingly willing to throw in their lot with Mayo.

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.

 

Continue Reading

Connacht Tribune

Donoghue and Kelly join the list of outsiders hoping to work the oracle

Published

on

Ardrahan team manager Syl Dolan supported by his grandchildren Jack, Shay, Leo and PJ against Portumna in the county hurling championship in Gort last Saturday.

Inside Track with John McIntyre

Why is it that a majority of hurling counties regularly shun homegrown local managerial talent in favour of high-profile outsiders? Sure, such a scenario remains an anathema to the traditional powers of Kilkenny, Cork and Tipperary, but most of the rest regularly have their heads turned by non-natives.

The reality is that no county in nearly 25 years has lifted the McCarthy Cup with someone from beyond their borders in charge. Of course, Offaly are the one team which has benefited from having an outside influence, with Diarmuid Healy, Eamon Cregan and Galway’s own Michael Bond between them leading the Midlanders to All-Ireland glory on four different occasions.

But still the fad persists. Look at what’s ahead of us in 2023. A Galway man (Micheál Donoghue) taking over Dublin; another Galway man (Johnny Kelly) about to be installed as Offaly boss; a Tipperary man (Darragh Egan) in charge of Wexford; another Tipperary man (Darren Gleeson) still occupying the Antrim role; a Clare man (Davy Fitzgerald) back with Waterford, and the prospect of a Waterford man (Derek McGrath) filling the vacancy in Laois.

It has caught most Galway hurling observers by surprise that Donoghue is throwing in his lot with Dublin for a three-year term, especially as it’s only the Autumn of 2019 that he pulled the plug on his management of Galway, citing family reasons and a difficult working relationship with some local GAA officials.

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.

 

Continue Reading

Local Ads

Local Ads

Advertisement
Advertisement

Facebook

Advertisement

Trending