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Late Kelly strike sees Mervue progress



Date Published: {J}

Mervue United 3

Oranmore 2

Mike Rafferty

Eight minutes from time Shane Kelly struck home a stunning winner as Mervue United advanced to the national open draw and hence the last 64 of the Umbro FAI Junior Cup as a result of this victory over Oranmore in Fahy’s Field on Sunday.

It was a close and competitive contest between two teams who have improved as the season has advanced. The home side were always in the driving seat as they led twice, but to the credit of the visitors they pegged them back on each occasion and it was only Kelly’s cracking late strike that separated them at the finish.

The opening quarter started off with a bang as three early goals set the tone. It was Mervue who broke the deadlock on six minutes when Tommy Walsh powered home a free kick from the edge of the area, but it was a lead that didn’t last long as Liam Rockall got a flick to a Lonan O’Farrell corner to tie up matters at 1-1.

Continuing the early trend it was Mervue who again regained the lead on 16 minutes. Derek McWalter and Dermot Ward provided the assists from down the right and Colie Kelly applied the finish from 20 yards for a 2-1 advantage.

Having been beaten twice in those early exchanges Oranmore goalkeeper Robert Forde didn’t have a shot to save for the rest of the half. However Kelly and Eamon Feeney spurned good opportunities from close range while good cover from Sean O’Brien and Willie Enubele prevented any further damage before the break.

In contrast Oranmore were not getting the same amount of close chances, with an Eric Lavine header easily covered by Dave Curran, while Alan Barrett displayed some neat footwork in the box before eventually firing wide.

The home side should certainly have put some distance between the sides following a very impressive start to the second half. In the opening minute, Stephen Cunningham set up Feeney, but in a smart stop Forde pushed his effort around a post.

On 48 minutes, a fine ball winning challenge by Arron Finnerty released Cunningham, who in turn put Kelly through on goal, but the normally deadly finisher flashed his shot past the far post in a poor conclusion. Cunningham then tested Forde at his near post, before the home side lost their way for a spell.

Oranmore rode the storm and levelled matters in the 55th minute when Lonan O’Farrell slotted home a spot kick awarded for some infringement in a crowded area following a corner.

It was the beginning of a good spell for the visitors, as a Barrett header tested Curran, before O’Farrell brought Curran to his knees at the neat post. On 67 minutes O’Farrell and David Eignor set up Lavine, but his close range effort was batted away by the custodian.

For some reason, however, the visitors lost their way after this and never threatened thereafter. At the other end Kelly twice went close in a minute, while Cunningham also threatened. Then without warning Mervue struck for the winner.

A Shane Kelly corner was well punched away by Forde at his near post with the ball going out close to the sideline, where it was again picked up by Kelly. On this occasion the left full let fly and there was no stopping his angled drive as it ended up in the far top corner for a 3-2 lead and subsequent winner.

An injury time corner did provide an opportunity for the visitors to rescue something, but despite the penalty area holding 21 players, the set piece came to nothing as Mervue United held on and will now host Tipperary side St Michael’s in the fifth round.

Mervue United: Curran, Finnerty, S Kelly, Connolly (inj, Larkin 31), Walsh, Nolan, Feeney (Chawla 36), McWalter, C Kelly, Cunningham (Coyne 86), Ward.

Oranmore: Forde, Devlin (inj, Kelly 90), Crowe, Enubele, O’Brien, Rockall (inj, Leke h-t), O’Neill, Eignor (Laverty 73), Lavine, Barrett, O’Farrell.

Referee: Vincent Carew.

Galway in Days Gone By

The way we were – Protecting archives of our past



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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Archive News

Real Galway flavour to intermediate club hurling battle in Birr



Date Published: 23-Jan-2013


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Archive News

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



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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