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Injury-hit Galway United face massive challenge in home FAI Cup tie with Dundalk

Keith Kelly

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Galway United's Colm Horgan, who returns from suspension, and manager Tommy Dunne whose team face a big challenge against Dundalk in the FAI Cup tonight (Friday).

WHILE all the talk of a Galway double is revolving around the county’s senior and minor hurlers in their quest for All-Ireland glory next month, Galway United will be looking to complete a cup double of their own tonight when they host Dundalk in the last 16 of the FAI Cup.

Having already knocked the Louth club – and defending champions – out of the EA Sports Cup at the start of the month, Tommy Dunne’s side will be hoping to also end the interest of Stephen Kenny’s league leaders in this season’s FAI Cup when the sides meet in Eamonn Deacy Park (7.45pm).

However, United can expect a very different Dundalk side to the one they knocked out of the EA Sports Cup on penalties on the August Bank Holiday Monday: while that was largely a second string side, the Lilywhites will be expected to wheel out the big guns tonight.

United have no such luxury: an already small squad has been decimated by injuries, which meant three U-19 players started against Drogheda in the league on Monday night, with another five on a six-man substitutes bench that also included two goalkeepers.

“We had 10 players out between suspension and injury, and with all those fellas out, the young lads that came in did fantastically well. Jake Keegan did great up front on his own, and the support he got from Conor Melody and Antaine Ó Laoi was fantastic, as well as from Gary Shanahan.

“That said, we were led brilliantly by Sam [Oji] and Paul [Sinnott] at the back, they made sure we were hard to beat. I know Drogheda had chances, but it was a huge point for us,” Dunne said after Monday night’s draw.

While the transfer window has closed, the club is believed to be trying to sign an out-of-work player to bolster the squad, though that is with both eyes on Premier Division survival, rather than cup progression.

That said, a win against Dundalk tonight would be a massive confidence boost for United’s young squad, and it is not beyond the bounds of possibility. United’s home form in the league has been poor this season, with just three wins from 13 games, but it has been a very different story in cup competition.

United have played five cup games this season, all of them at Eamonn Deacy Park, and all ending in victory for Tommy Dunne’s side, and the hope has to be that, free from the pressures of the fight for league survival, they will thrive in a cup challenge against the best side in the country, and cause the shock of the round.

Dundalk ended United’s interest in the FAI Cup at the same stage in last year’s competition, but while they were by far the better side in Oriel Park in that game, Dundalk only scraped through 2-1. Padraic Cunningham’s 81st minute goal set up a grandstand finish, and such was United’s efforts that night that the home support applauded the visitors off the pitch after the final whistle.

For more, read this week’s Galway City Tribune.

 

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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