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It’s double success for NUI Galway in intervarsity Cups

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NUI Galway Rugby has for the first time won both women’s and men’s intervarsity rugby competitions this year, while the NUIG Rugby Academy have won the first trophy for the university at underage level.

The men’s team are current holders of the Irish Universities’ Rugby Union (IURU) Maughan Scally Cup, and the women’s squad won their Intervarsity honours, the IURU Kay Bowen Cup, in UCD in November. The NUIG women’s team did not concede a single try during, and remained unbeaten throughout the entire competition, while the men’s team held UCC scoreless in the final of the Irish Junior Intervarsities, which they also hosted in Dangan.

Established in 2011, the NUIG Rugby Youth Academy also continues to go from strength to strength. The Youth Academy U-13s squad and coaches celebrated success last season, as the first side to win an underage rugby trophy for the university.

With many graduates from last season’s successful U-13s, the NUIG U-14 squad remains unbeaten this season. The U-15s finished 3rd in their league.

In recent seasons, NUIG Rugby has grown participation in rugby on campus significantly, and now fields four adult rugby teams, including a second men’s squad and an U-20 team that participates in the South West Conference of the highly competitive Munster U-20 league, as part of an amalgamated team with Corinthians RFC.

The U-20 side also played in the Conroy Cup U-20 intervarsity competition this year, for the first time since 2005, and advanced to the play-off stages.

Connacht Tribune

Strong third quarter proves the key to Galway’s victory

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Galway’s Niamh Hanniffy on the ball against Clare’s Sinead Conlon during Saturday's All-Ireland senior camogie championship group tie at Kenny Park. Photos: Joe O'Shaughnessy.

Galway 2-12

Clare 2-6

Eanna O’Reilly at Kenny Park

THE Galway senior camogie team made it two wins from two in their championship campaign, overcoming a hard-working Clare side on a hot afternoon in Kenny Park last Saturday.

A strong third quarter performance from Cathal Murray’s side, during which they outscored their opponents by 2-3 to 0-1, saw Galway take control of the contest. Although they conceded two late goals to the visitors, the Tribeswomen finished strongly with the last three points of the game to record a comfortable win.

Clare brought impressive physicality and work rate in the first half, and it was clear that the home side weren’t going to have it all their own way. The visitors tackled hard and closed down space for the Tribeswomen, particularly in the opening half, forcing Galway to roll up their sleeves and dig in. Aoife Donohue opened the scoring in the fourth minute, after a good attacking move involving the McGrath sisters.

The next ten minutes were quite scrappy, with both sides trying to take a foothold in a congested middle third. Chloe Morey pointed two frees for the Banner to put them ahead in the 13th minute, but Galway replied immediately at the other end. Some good work from Siobhán McGrath saw her win possession under pressure and play a pass to Catherine Finnerty, who pointed impressively.

Siobhán McGrath edged Galway ahead with a pointed free, before Morey equalised with her third to leave the sides at 0-3 apiece at the water break. Clare were competing very well but spurned some good point scoring opportunities in the first quarter. They went ahead however, with a good point from Morey, before Niamh McGrath pointed a free from the right wing to equalise. Niamh Kilkenny then got a terrific score, after making a great block on Clare’s Róisín McMahon, to put the home side in front by the minimum at half time.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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Connacht Tribune

Tribesmen only come to life when game done and dusted

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Galway's Jason Flynn shoots to the net for his first goal in the closing stages of Saturday's All-Ireland hurling qualifier in Thurles. Photo: Harry Murphy/Sportsfile.

Waterford 1-30

Galway 3-20

IN a way, it might have been better if Galway hadn’t tantalisingly teased us about how things could have worked out so differently during their unexpected final quarter resurgence in this spell-binding All-Ireland hurling qualifier at Semple Stadium, Thurles on Sunday.

Nobody wants to see their team beaten out the gate, but if that had been the Tribesmen’s fate – and for three quarters of the game it looked the only outcome – the result would have been more palatable to digest on the basis that the men in maroon just ran into a vastly superior force on the day.

Instead, Galway belatedly showed what they had in their locker in astonishingly reducing a yawning 16-point deficit to just three points by the 70th minute. They had all the momentum as 14-man Waterford were clinging on for dear life.

Nearly seven minutes of injury-time remained on the clock and the 4,400 sundrenched attendance stood on the brink of witnessing the greatest comeback in the history of inter-county hurling.

But typical of the inconsistency which continues to scourge Galway at the top level, their grandstand finish stalled and, significantly, Waterford somehow found the necessary reserves of stamina and character to land four of the last five scores.

On the balance of play, any outcome other than a Waterford victory would have been a travesty. They hurled Galway off the park for 55 minutes with their searing pace and support lines of running leaving their opponents chasing shadows.

A measure of Waterford’s dominance in the opening half, for instance, was that their half-back line of Calum Lyons, Shane Bennett and Kieran Bennett scored more from play than the entire Galway forward sector.

All over the field, Waterford’s hard running saw them carve open their opponents at will. Galway had no answers and not even their most die-hard supporter could argue against the merits of the Deise’s interval lead of a dozen points, 1-18 to 0-9.

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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Connacht Tribune

Galway a beaten docket long before the end at Croke Park

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Galway's Johnny Heaney comes under pressure from Oisín Mullen of Mayo during Sunday's Connacht Football Final at Croke Park. Photo: Harry Murphy/Sportsfile.

By Pádraic Ó Ciardha

THERE are games where the margin on the scoreboard doesn’t reflect the true gap between the sides and last Sunday’s Connacht Football Final certainly felt like one of them. With 66 minutes on the clock, Galway trailed Mayo by just two points, a kick of the ball between them, but in reality, the Tribesmen looked a beaten docket long before then. On the scale of six point defeats, this one was a whopper.

In last year’s Connacht Final in Pearse Stadium, Galway recovered from a poor first half display to come within a point of Mayo. This year, Pádraic Joyce’s side threw away a strong position at half-time, five points to the good, with a capitulation as bad as any seen from the county in recent or not so recent memory. The post-mortem will be a long and difficult one for both players and management as they must wait until next spring for the chance to put things right.

In truth, that five point cushion at half-time papered over a lot of cracks in Galway’s first half performance. By their own manager’s account, Galway only reached 30 or 40 per cent of their potential in that first period. The problem was that those levels plummeted in the second half.

For their part, James Horan said after the game that there was no panic in the Mayo dressing room at half-time and, on reflection, their contentment was justified. Mayo had the majority of possession during the first half and were it not for some awful shooting, could have been much closer, or even level, at half-time.

Even Galway’s goals came thanks to, in large parts, Mayo switching off, although Shane Walsh still deserves huge credit for his role in both. For Walsh’s goal in the 19th minute, Lee Keegan literally stood still as the Galway captain blazed past him to pick up the rebound from Paul Conroy’s shot before blasting past Rob Hennelly in goal.

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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