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It’s Kerry now for footballers after taming Tipperary

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Galway's Michael Martin comes under pressure from Tipperary's Peter Acheson during the All-Ireland football qualifier in Tullamore on Saturday evening. Photos: Enda Noone.

Galway 4-17

Tipperary 4-12

GALWAY’S midsummer safari through the Midlands landed its prey early on but the final kill didn’t happen before Tipperary inflicted a number of unexpected late wounds on them at Tullamore on Saturday evening, in a match that asked as many questions as it answered.

The scoreline could well have been from a hurling match of times past and as the goal tally mounted through the second half, the contest frequently had that back garden feel to it, although Galway can say, with some justification, that the outcome of this tie was decided early in the second half.

In a match of 37 scores that delivered a cumulative total of 53 points, there was a tinge of the bizarre to the second half shenanigans as Tipperary – after finding themselves 14 points in arrears shortly after the interval – then proceeded to fire in goals for fun in the final quarter.

Galway secured their primary aim of winning an All-Ireland quarter-final slot against Kerry in Croke Park on Sunday and when they moved the ball at pace, especially in attack, there was a refreshing dash and vitality to their play. When they were good they were very good.

This week, as the championship swirls with increasing velocity towards its September climax, there is no time for Galway to bask in any glory halo – before they left the O’Connor Park dressingrooms, the very clear focus was already on a clash with old rivals Kerry.

The positive spin for Galway is undoubtedly their attacking play but the concession of 4-12 against a lively, if slightly naive Tipperary side, has to be a massive concern given the weekend task that lies ahead.

As the match ticked into its second quarter, there was little indication of the scoring rampage that was to follow. Tipp had edged the early midfield exchanges leading by 0-6 to 0-4, an advantage that should have been greater had their forwards been a little cooler in front of goal – at that juncture, the game had all the signs of a long, tight and hard slog.

It was by no means a vintage first quarter – too often, both sets of players had lost possession rather cheaply with a notable lack of compactness in holding onto the ball in the tackle, while easy chances were spurned by both sides.

Tipperary had played with the first half breeze and apart from their eight wides in that period they looked like going in at the break in a reasonably strong position of at least parity when their season crash-landed unexpectedly.

A fast moving Galway attack in the 32nd minute ended with Michael Martin and Paul Conroy setting up Fiontán Ó Curraoin for a goal strike that went under the legs of advancing Tipp goalkeeper, Paul Fitzgerald.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

Connacht Tribune

Collins comes to Cappy’s rescue in absorbing clash

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Tommy Larkins' Keith Dervan is chased by Liam Collins of Cappataggle during Sunday's Senior A clash in Loughrea. Photo: Joe O'Shaughnessy.

Tommy Larkins 1-18

Cappataggle 0-21

 By Mike Rafferty in Loughrea

RONAN Murphy provided the inspiration as Tommy Larkins got the outcome they required as their second place finish to Senior A Group 2 winners Loughrea sees them advance to the quarter-final draw of the hurling championship.

For Cappataggle, there was huge disappointment of not getting the required win that would have seen them advance directly to the knock out stages, but they have the compensation of a place in the preliminary draw.

This was a titanic battle. The hurling was fast and direct at times, but much to the annoyance of some in attendance the short puck out was used productively at both ends as the sides tried the short passing game from the back.

Without a doubt Tommy Larkins laid down the quickest foundations and only for some erratic shooting would have been more that five points ahead at the break. They probably never got an opportunity to build on the Jason Flynn goal that arrived on 29 minutes, but once the sides came out for the restart it was all Cappataggle as they tore into the opposition and had made enough ground to take the lead at the end of the third quarter.

From there to the end, it was nip and tuck as Ronan Murphy and Cian Duggan at one end and Liam Collins and Niall Collins at the other, struck over some wonderful scores to edge matters one way and then the other. Indeed, it took a late pointed free by Collins to secure the draw for Cappataggle and they were lucky to leave with even a point as Murphy, in a rare error, fluffed his lines when putting a late free wide to leave matter finishing on level terms.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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Connacht Tribune

A remarkable rally sees St Thomas’ reel in the ’Bridge

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Clarinbridge's Conor Lee tries to shake off the attentions of St Thomas' Victor Manso during Saturday's Senior A Group tie at Kenny Park. Photos: David Cunniffe.

St. Thomas’ 4-20

Clarinbridge 4-17

DARREN KELLY AT KENNY PARK

NOTHING at ‘stake’ but pride and last year’s two senior hurling championship finalists had plenty of that on Saturday as St. Thomas and Clarinbridge served up a thriller in their final group game.

Both teams were already guaranteed places in the knockout stages but for the winners, a path straight through to the quarter-finals proper was the reward and they played like that meant everything.

Obviously, neither side wanted to show weakness ahead of a potential showdown later in the year. The contest even had a half-time scuffle that resulted in yellow cards for St. Thomas’ duo John Headd and Conor Cooney.

Despite all that and the changing weather, the hurling was the only item for discussion afterwards. Three first half Clarinbridge goals gave them a 3-10 to 0-11 interval lead.  Four green flags for St. Thomas in the second period reminded the county that they still are the team to beat.

And that was the talking point before throw-in following their 22-match unbeaten streak ending with a heavy defeat to Turloughmore two weeks previously. And it wasn’t looking any better for St. Thomas’ when TJ Brennan struck a second minute goal for Clarinbridge.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App

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Or purchase the Digital Edition for PC, Mac or Laptop from Pagesuite  HERE.

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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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Connacht Tribune

Sarsfields shade the verdict again in their spiritual home

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Turloughmore's Mikey Morris is chased by Ian Fox and Mark O'Regan of Sarsfields during Saturday's Senior A encounter at Duggan Park.

Sarsfields 0-18

Turloughmore 0-17

SARSFIELDS don’t lose too many tight matches at their spiritual home of Duggan Park and that trend continued in this slow-burning Senior A hurling championship clash on Saturday.

For three-quarters of the game, however, a close outcome appeared remote as the 2015 champions dictated the terms of engagement and continued to enjoy a healthy lead against wasteful opponents.

Turloughmore bore the gait of a team which still hadn’t come back down to earth after their unexpected trimming of St Thomas’ in the previous round. They lacked cohesion and urgency.

Their approach justified pre-match fears that, with both teams already through to the knock-out stages, this attractive fixture was compromised to some extent.

That backdrop had seemingly less impact on Sarsfields who tend to give their performance regardless of the circumstances. Up until the final quarter, they were relatively untroubled and heading for a comfortable victory.

But just when their supporters were on the brink of giving up on them, Turloughmore finally began to get motoring and despite assembling a crippling total of 17 wides, they had Sarsfields hanging on at the finish. They even had a chance to equalise in injury time only for Tom Quirke’s effort on the turn drifting wide.

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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