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It’s seven up for Athenry in one-sided Junior Cup final

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Athenry FC captain Jamie O'Driscoll celebrates with his team-mates Ryan Shaughnessy, Alan O'Donovan, Antoine Ó Conghaile, Gary O'Donnell, Darragh Murphy, Cathal Fahy and Gary Delaney, and young fans, having been presented with the Connacht Junior Cup following their victory over Ballinasloe Town in Lecarrow on Sunday. Photo: Eirefoto.

Athenry FC 7

Ballinasloe Town 0

Mike Rafferty in Lecarrow

ATHENRY claimed a fifth Connacht Junior Cup crown in the last decade in Lecarrow on Sunday with an emphatic win over a Ballinasloe Town side who lost their way badly the latter stages.

Four goals in the closing ten minutes certainly brought a one-sided look to proceedings but the Roscommon League side did not help themselves either, with the dismissal of two players in a lack of discipline iate on.

Memories of the defeat against Mervue United in last year’s final were fresh in the minds of Athenry and they were the better side for the majority of this contest. An early goal gave them a reward for an industrious start and the second on the stroke of half time was really the point of no return for the Town.

“Conceding saps energy” said Ballinasloe manager Enda Concannon afterwards and to confirm the fact his side then spent the second half chasing shadows as Athenry pressed all the right buttons as they pulled away in embarrassing fashion.

However, it could have been so different if the home side had converted a terrific early chance, as just three minutes had elapsed when Mark Duffy set up Liam Lynch in the box, but the normally deadly striker dragged his effort across the face of goal and wide of the far post.

As it transpired it was to prove a crucial miss, as thereafter, Lynch and Duffy were kept under a tight reign by Declan Cullen and Paddy Quinn and their best opportunity of the game was gone.

Athenry had applied just light pressure before they made the breakthrough on 13 minutes. The set piece deliveries of Dan Cunningham were a thorn in the Town side for the duration and it was his corner that set up Gary Forde to finish at the far post for a 1-0 lead.

They continued to threaten as Cathal Fahy escaped behind the cover, but ‘keeper Aidan Fallon saved  before the custodian was in the right place to also keep out an athletic bicycle kick by Conor Cannon.

The promptings of Daragh Concannon and David Nee in central midfield helped maintain some Ballinasloe consistency in the opening half and they went close to an equaliser on 23 minutes, when a back peddling TJ Forde had to tip over a stinging cross shot by Shane Tracey. Inexplicably, the match officials awarded a goal kick – in an error that was not their last of the day.

A Lynch cross then caused some panic in the Athenry rearguard, but following a goalmouth scramble, Shane Duffy lashed over from ten yards. As the half developed, it was Athenry who had more of a cutting edge about them.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

 

CITY TRIBUNE

Referee shortage sees local games called off

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The Salthill Devon side that beat Corrib Celtic 4-1 in Drom last Friday night. Back row from left: Jackson Da Silva, Andrew Connolly, Cillian Doyle, Shane O’Rourke, Calum Crowe, and Arek Mamala. Front: Matthew Barrett, Darren Darcy, Matthew Murray, Michael Gallagher and Vinny Faherty. Photos: Iain McDonald.

Soccer Wrap with Mike Rafferty

It is not often that Mervue United have to wait until the third series of games in the Premier Division to get their first win, but after earlier losses to Maree/Oranmore and Athenry they finally secured their first success on the all-weather at Fahy’s Field on Sunday morning.

A 2-1 win over St Bernard’s moved them off the foot of the table, but in a close contest it was an outcome that could have gone either way. Mayo native Eoin Prendergast took both his goals well, although they were of the simple variety as deliveries over the top exposed the visitors cover and the former Conn Rangers striker was left with simple tap-in’s as they led by two at the break.

In contrast the St Bernard’s reply was a cracking effort as Matty Finn crossed from the right and the inrushing Paddy Mullins headed powerfully past Rob Carr to pull one back.

The visitors had plenty of opportunities to get back on level terms, but it was an occasion when their finishing let them down. Twice Dillon Murphy threatened a breakthrough, but his opening effort few across the face of goal; before failing to connect with a Keith Forde delivery.

Brian Moran had an effort that was easily gathered by Rob Carr, before Matty Finn was well off target with a late chance. All the opportunities were not at the one end, as Mervue threatened when Robert Carroll headed over following a Eli Sheedy corner; while Prendergast missed a great chance to complete his hat-trick, but fired over from in front of goal after a neat knockdown by Stephen Larkin set him up.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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CITY TRIBUNE

Lyons’ spectacular bicycle kick carries day for United

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Mikie Rowe of Galway United and Cork City's Cian Coleman in a race for possession during Friday night's First Division tie at Eamonn Deacy Park.

Galway United  2

Cork City 1

By Mike Rafferty at Eamonn Deacy Park

THERE is no doubt that the Galway United players will have had more of a pep in their step at training this week as their come-from-behind victory over Cork City at Eamonn Deacy Park on Friday night finally ended their five match winless streak and. hopefully, in the process installed a bit of confidence in their own ability.

No doubt the fact that the visitors would have clinched the Airtricity First Division title if they were to win was a further incentive for the home side to raise their game to a level that had gone missing in recent outings.

However, United did fall behind for the fourth game in succession, before two goals in a three minute spell by Wilson Waweru and Charlie Lyons rescued the situation and moved them to within seven points of the league leaders. United do enjoy a game in hand and while they are free this weekend, their next outing away against Treaty United will bring them level on games played with Cork City.

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

Connacht thrashed by Ulster but internationals return for tough South African trip

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Connacht's Caolin Blade who scored their only try in Saturday's heavy URC defeat to Ulster at the Kingspan Stadium.

By JOHN FALLON

ANDY Friend says Connacht need to pick up the pieces quickly from an opening night hammering (36-10) to Ulster after going down by five tries to one in Belfast.

Ulster dominated the opening half and were good value for their 14-3 lead as Connacht had to defend for long periods of a half littered with mistakes by both sides.

Centres Luke Marshall and Stuart McCloskey were dominant and the two combined for the opening score after 27 minutes, before 21-year old hooker Tom Stewart crowned his first start by punishing poor defending when he looped around a lineout to score three minutes from the break.

Connacht finished the half with a boost when Conor Fitzgerald landed a penalty from 35 metres to cut the gap to 11 points but they fell apart after the restart, coughing up six penalties in ten minutes.

Scrum-half Nathan Doak extended the lead with a 45th minute penalty and then he touched down for a try six minutes later when Stewart was stopped just short.

Doak’s third conversion made it 24-3 as both sides emptied their benches and Ulster secured the bonus point when full-back Stewart Moore got over after Connacht No.8 Paul Boyle was binned for offiside.

Replacement scrum-half Caolin Blade got over for a consolation try ten minutes from time after former Leinster out-half David Hawkshaw also impressed after coming on, but other than the performance of another ex-Leinster player, flanker Josh Murphy, there were few other consolations as Ulster finished on a high with replacement prop Callum Reid getting the touchdown and Doak converting from the right.

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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