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Larkin’s dramatic late strike results in replay

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Date Published: 12-Nov-2009

COLM Larkin was the toast of Tynagh/Abbey-Duniry on Sunday evening when his injury time goal dramatically saved his team from the ignominy of county final defeat at Duggan Park, Ballinasloe last Sunday.

With time up, the amalgamated side trailed their opponents by 1-15 to 0-15, and it looked like the opportunity of claiming the silverware on offer, and securing a place in the senior ranks for 2010, had agonisingly gone away from them.

However, when a long probing delivery was deflected, forcing a superb reaction save from Meelick-Eyrecourt ‘keeper Damien Howe, Larkin was first onto the loose ball to whip beyond a luckless Howe on 61 minutes.

Without a doubt, Tynagh/Abbey-Duniry had left it late, but, in truth, it was no more than they deserved. They had given of themselves wholly and contributed as much to this contest as their opponents, and another shot at the title was certainly just reward for their endeavours.

Indeed, they had held the upper hand for three-quarters of this clash, with Ronan Madden, Brian Cunningham and Michael Dervan tallying some excellent scores over the opening 45 minutes, while the evergreen Liam Hodgins was proving to be a general among men in the full-back berth.

So, by the 10th minute, it was Tynagh who led 0-4 to 0-1, with Dervan, Madden, Cunningham and Larkin clipping over some magnificent scores, while Dermot Dunne posted the sole reply for a lethargic Meelick-Eyrecourt outfit. ‘Ogie’ Moran’s men, though, finally found some rhythm thereafter. Kevin Moran struck over two very good scores – these sandwiching a 15th minute effort from centre-half forward Rory McGauran, following good work from Mark Ryan.

With the game tied at 0-4 apiece, Tynagh/Abbey-Duniry subsequently roused themselves again and between the 18th and 23rd minutes tallied three unanswered points through Cunningham (2) and Madden.

It seemed as if they would hold that three-point advantage entering the interval, but then Brendan Lucas hit a massive free from just inside his own half to leave just two between the sides at the half-time break.

Overall, though, it really was a lacklustre first half, with the quality of hurling paling significantly in comparison to the excitement, skill and verve of the minor championship final curtain-raiser.

Thankfully, the second period did offer a great deal more in entertainment value. Within 20 seconds of the restart, Madden fired over his third point of the afternoon, but to Eyrecourt’s credit, the men in blue and white responded immediately through similar efforts from Sean McCormack and Niall Lynch.

Again, Tynagh upped the ante. First, Cunningham fired over a free, after Moran was fouled, before Moran himself conjured up a score out of nothing on 40 minutes to re-establish his side’s three point lead, 0-10 to 0-7.

It was all going to plan for Tynagh/Abbey-Duniry, but then, as Meelick-Eyrecourt have a tendency to do, Moran’s charges pulled the spanner from the toolbox and threw it into the proverbial works. A strong, powerful run by centre-forward McGauran created the opening. He subsequently laid the sliotar off to full-forward Noel Kenny and the man – fondly known as ‘Scraper’ – drove his effort beyond Tynagh ‘keeper Kevin Devine for a 41st minute goal.

Although only tied level for the second time, this was the sort of contest that no quarter was asked or given as Tynagh/Abbey-Duniry duo Declan Donnelly and Cunningham traded points with McCormack and Lucas in the ensuing passages of play.

Into the final quarter, Meelick/Eyrecourt finally took the lead for the first time with three unanswered points between the 48th and 52nd minutes. These consisted of two Lucas efforts – one from play, the other from a placed ball – and a great score from ‘Scraper’ which nudged his side into a 1-12 to 0-12 lead.

Although two Cunningham frees and a Ger Burke effort sought to cut the deficit for Tynagh, each time these were cancelled out by some excellent Eyrecourt shooting from midfielder Martin Corcoran and Lucas (two frees).

In any event, with time up, it seemed as if Meelick-Eyrecourt had done enough to secure the title, but then came Larkin’s last gasp goal in injury-time to force this intermediate decider to a replay on Saturday.

That said, Lucas did have a free three minutes into injury time to steal the victory, but given it was hugging the stand touchline, it was always going to be a difficult one to execute. In the end, it tapered off wide of the target. All in all, a draw was the fair result … even both sides wide tally was the same, each clocking up seven.

However, Meelick-Eyrecourt may just feel that they let this one get away from them in the end. They seemed to have paced themselves sufficiently, hitting the front with 12 minutes to go, after which they raced into a three-point lead.

Over the hour, they had some enterprising performances, with Howe, Peter Stones, Ronan Larkin and centre-back Martin Larkin excellent in defence, while Dermot Dunne and Martin Corcoran had their moments in midfield. Up front, all six starting forwards scored, with Brendan Lucas and Noel Kenny scoring 0-6 and 1-1 respectively.

As for Tynagh/Abbey-Duniry – who had defeated their opponents by 0-15 to 0-11 in the group stages – they will be counting their lucky stars this week and one has to believe that the psychological advantage, after their late strike, has now to be with them entering the replay.

In defence, Hodgins, Karl Kavanagh and Padraig Shiel did well, while the hardworking Ger Burke held his own around the middle of the park. In attack, Madden and Cunningham posed real threats, although Colm Larkin and Michael Dervan also chipped in with some invaluable scores. Galway’s All-Ireland winning minor John Breheny – returning from injury – also made a notable contribution when introduced.

Meanwhile, the replay has been fixed for Duggan Park on Saturday (see fixtures), with the winners due out to face Mayo champions Ballyhaunis in the Connacht intermediate final in Athleague on Sunday (2pm).

Meelick-Eyrecourt: D. Howe; J. Flynn, P. Stones, M. McCormack; R. Larkin, M. Larkin, M. Ryan; D. Dunne (0-1), M. Corcoran (0-1); S. McCormack (0-2), R. McGauran (0-1), N. Lynch (0-1); B. Lucas (0-6, 0-4 frees), N. Kenny (1-1), K. Moran (0-2). Subs: A. Dunne for Flynn (24 mins.); T. Moran for K. Moran (47 mins.); M. Dunne for D. Dunne (56 mins.).

Tynagh/Abbey-Duniry: K. Devine; N. Finnerty, L. Hodgins, P. Gordon; M. Gordon, K. Kavanagh, P. Shiel; A. Burke, G. Burke (0-1); R. Madden (0-3), J. Shiel, C. Larkin (1-1); B. Cunningham (0-7, 0-5 frees), D. Donnelly (0-1), M. Dervan (0-2). Subs: J. Breheny for A. Burke (H/T); K. Broderick for J. Shiel (H/T); D. Power for Dervan (51 mins.); K. Moloney for M. Gordon (54 mins.); P. McHugo for N. Finnerty (54 mins.).

Referee: T. Fox.

Galway in Days Gone By

The way we were – Protecting archives of our past

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A photo of Galway city centre from the county council's archives

People’s living conditions less than 100 years ago were frightening. We have come a long way. We talk about water charges today, but back then the local District Councils were erecting pumps for local communities and the lovely town of Mountbellew, according to Council minutes, had open sewers,” says Galway County Council archivist Patria McWalter.

Patria believes we “need to take pride in our history, and we should take the same pride in our historical records as we do in our built heritage”. When you see the wealth of material in her care, this belief makes sense.

She is in charge of caring for the rich collection of administrative records owned by Galway County Council and says “these records are as much part of our history as the Rock of Cashel is. They document our lives and our ancestors’ lives. And nobody can plan for the future unless you learn from the past, what worked and what didn’t”.

Archivists and librarians are often unfairly regarded as being dry, academic types, but that’s certainly not true of Patria. Her enthusiasm is infectious as she turns the pages of several minute books from Galway’s Rural District Councils, all of them at least 100 years old.

Part of her role involved cataloguing all the records of the Councils – Ballinasloe, Clifden, Galway, Gort, Loughrea, Mountbellew, Portumna and Tuam. These records mostly consisted of minutes of various meetings.

When she was cataloguing them she realised their worth to local historians and researchers, so she decided to compile a guide to their content. The result is For the Record: The Archives of Galway’s Rural District Councils, which will be a valuable asset to anybody with an interest in history.

Many representatives on these Councils were local personalities and several were arrested during the political upheaval of the era, she explains.

And, ushering in a new era in history, women were allowed to sit on these Rural District Councils – at the time they were not allowed to sit on County Councils.

All of this information is included in Patria’s introductory essay to the attractively produced A4 size guide, which gives a glimpse into how these Rural Councils operated and the way political thinking changed in Ireland during a short 26-year period. In the early 1900s, these Councils supported Home Rule, but by 1920, they were calling for full independence and refusing to recognise the British administration.

“I love the tone,” says Patria of the minutes from meetings. “The language was very emotive.”

That was certainly true of the Gort Rural District Council. At a meeting in 1907, following riots in Dublin at the premiere of JM Synge’s play, The Playboy of the Western World the councillors’ response was vehement. They recorded their decision to “protest most emphatically against the libellous comedy, The Playboy of the Western World, that was belched forth during the past week in the Abbey Theatre, Dublin, under the fostering care of Lady Gregory and Mr Yeats. We congratulate the good people of Dublin in howling down the gross buffoonery and immoral suggestions that are scattered throughout this scandalous performance.

 

For more from the archives see this week’s Tribunes here

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Real Galway flavour to intermediate club hurling battle in Birr

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Date Published: 23-Jan-2013

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Athenry fail to take chances as they bow out of Junior Cup

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Date Published: 29-Jan-2013

Athenry FC 1

Kilbarrack United 2

(After extra time)

For the second year in succession Athenry were done in extra time in the FAI Junior Cup as last season’s beaten finalist’s came from behind to snatch an excellent game in Moanbawn on Sunday afternoon.

On a heavy pitch that was only playable following extensive groundwork by club officials all morning, the home side were by far the better side in the opening half, but failed to take advantage of a number of opportunities that came their way.

An Alan O’Donovan penalty gave them a merited advantage just after the restart, but thereafter were on the back foot as Kilbarrack took over, but for all their pressing, the home rearguard were dealing comfortably with their forays.

However they were struck a body blow just six minutes from time, as big striker Keith Kirwan was left all alone at the far post to head the equaliser and from that point on the Dubliners were the better side.

They started off the extra time in the ascendancy and enjoying all the momentum before striking for a good winning goal on 104 minutes. A strong bench allowed them to make some necessary changes and it was not a facility that was available to Athenry manager Gabriel Glavin.

With Gary Forde and Gary Delaney out through suspension following their sending off against OLBC in the previous round, and Seamie Crowe injured, it left their bench rather threadbare with just a number of young squad players available.

Playing with the aid of the slight incline and any wind advantage going, the home side had a Connor Cannon effort on target in the opening minute, while John Meleady was just over with a flick at the other end.

Meleady then tested Andrew Walsh who saved comfortably, before the goalkeeper pulled off a brilliant double save on 14 minutes.

Firstly he went full length to push away a Meleady shot and was then back on his feet to parry David Jackson’s close-range rebound.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Sentinel.

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