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Late scoring burst sees Seasiders advance to semi-finals

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Salthill-Knocknacarra’s John Maher tries to escape the clutches of Caherlistrane’s Shane O'Brien at Tuam Stadium on Sunday. Photo: Enda Noone.

Salthill-Knocknacarra 2-7

Caherlistrane 1-5

Alan Dooley at Tuam Stadium

Salthill-Knocknacarra ran out comfortable five point victors in the end on Sunday evening in Tuam Stadium, after blitzing Caherlistrane in the last 10 minutes of a dour quarter final. Marcus MacDonnacha’s goal was the key moment as Val Daly’s side powered over the finishing line with five unanswered scores.

Yet another blustery day with bursts of heavy rain in north Galway made for testing conditions, but that can only partially explain the dearth of quality in this contest. A defensive stalemate for large periods, neither side were overly impressive and it was more Salthill’s resilience and higher levels of fitness that won the day.

Caherlistrane had gotten themselves into a decent position when Oisín O’Brien flicked to the net and Cormac Bane pointed in the third quarter. Damningly, though, those two players were the only two to score on the day for Neil McHugh’s side, so that despite Cein D’Arcy’s excellent showing at midfield throughout, they had little or no chance of recovery once Salthill came with a charge.

Seán Armstrong, as always, played a key part in moving Salthill a step closer to their third county final in five years and was involved in all but three of their scores. Their other heroes, though, were working further back the field, as ‘keeper Evan Duffy, Ruaidhrí McTiernan, Conor Healy, and Gavin Duffy all helped to frustrate a Caherlistrane side who had scored 6-61 in their four games before Sunday.

After the first quarter here it was clear that this not going to be a shootout to enthral those in attendance. Playing against the prevailing wind, Salthill got off the mark on five minutes when Armstrong picked up a bloody nose after a tangle with Donal Feeney and Shane Kelly converted the free.

McTiernan and Duffy were sticking tightly to Bane and O’Brien at the other end, with Healy covering the hard yards to get back and help out his defense. Caherlistrane were utilising Brendan Murphy as a sweeper of their own, with Feeney also lying deep and this often left their forward unit heavily outnumbered whenever they tried to get forward.

Cein D’Arcy was doing most of their positive work from the off, immediately setting up a chance from the throw-in for Bane, but like much of their early efforts, his shot was weak and posed little threat. Caherlistrane’s early struggles were best summed up when Bane stood over an 11th minute free outside the scoring range and was pinged for taking too much time by referee Noel Dempsey.

Dempsey kept consistent, sensible control of the game throughout and he awarded Caherlistrane their first scoreable free when Duffy hit Bane with an illegal shoulder. Bane converted but was slightly wide and right on three other occasions from long range in the half, and Salthill-Knocknacarra almost hit them with a sucker punch soonafter.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

CITY TRIBUNE

City sides will fancy chances of advancing as champions face Corofin

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Bearna's James Kennedy hits the deck in Ballinasloe on Tuesday as Annaghdown's Frankie Burke and Darragh Meehan try to chase down possession. Photo: Joe O'Shaughnessy.

The battle for this year’s county Senior Gaelic football club title looks to be wide open after the quarter-final draw was made this week following the delayed conclusion of the group stages on Tuesday night.

Salthill/Knocknacarra, who finished second in group 2, have been handed a last eight tie with a Tuam Stars side that finished third in group 1; while St Michael’s, who topped Group 3, will face an Annaghdown side that nabbed the final quarter-final spot in dramatic fashion on Tuesday night.

They went into their game with Bearna knowing they needed to win by a minimum of 12points to pip Milltown to the final qualifying spot as the second best of the teams that finished third in the group stages.

They looked to be coming up just short until they were awarded a late free, which goalkeeper James Healy converted, to snatch that remaining quarter-final slot on socring difference form Milltown.

The 2020 champions, Moycullen, will take on Claregalway in the last eight; while the pick of the ties is undoubtedly the clash of defending champions, Mountbellew/Moylough, with a Corofin side that was denied the five-in-a-row by Moycullen two years ago.

At the other end of the equation, St James’ are in a relegation battle, and face a clash with An Spidéal in the preliminary play-offs. A win will secure their senior status for another year, but a defeat will see them join Oughterard, An Cheathru Rua, and the losers of the other preliminary play-off between Caherlistrane and Monivea/Abbey in a round robin league, with the bottom two sides in those play-offs dropping to the intermediate ranks next year.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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CITY TRIBUNE

Play-offs dress rehearsal facing Utd against Treaty

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Former Galway United player Enda Curran celebrates his recent hat-trick for Treaty United in their FAI Cup quarter-final win over UCD. The in-form Mervue native will be facing the Tribesmen in a First Division clash on Friday.

GALWAY United head to Limerick this Friday evening for what is looking like a dress rehearsal for the end-of-season play-offs as they take on Treaty United in the Markets Field (7.45pm).

This is United’s game-in-hand over league leaders, Cork City, and a win will see them close the gap on the Leesiders to four points with three games remaining, and while a win would give the slightest of hopes of a late challenge for league honours, it is more likely to serve as a further boost to confidence ahead of the protracted play-off series that kicks-off at the end of next month.

United need to win their final four games to have any hope of snatching the title, and given the goal difference between the sides, they also need to hope that City don’t pick up more than four points from their last three games, if they are to finish top of the pile.

United’s last three games after this weekend are at home to Athlone, away to Wexford, and home to Longford Town; while City are home to Wexford, away to Athlone, and home to Bray, the easier of the two run-ins, so for United it is all about building momentum ahead of the play-offs.

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.

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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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CITY TRIBUNE

Late points from Burke and Wall grab draw for Corofin

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Tuam Stars' Paul Collins tries to halt Ronan Steede of Corofin in his tracks during Sunday's Senior Football Group 1 encounter at Tuam Stadium. Photo: Joe O'Shaughnessy.

Corofin 0-16

Tuam Stars 0-16

Eanna O’Reilly at Tuam Stadium

A late point from Corofin’s Ian Burke denied Tuam Stars a notable win over their close neighbours in an entertaining contest at Tuam Stadium on Sunday afternoon. In a closely fought contest, the Stars appeared to have done enough with two late points from Brian Mannion putting them ahead by 0-16 to 0-14 in the dying minutes of the second half.

In typically composed fashion however, Corofin refused to panic and used all of their experience to engineer two late scores, the first from Dylan Wall, before Burke held his nerve to convert a mark to give Corofin a share of the spoils.

The result means that both sides qualified for the quarter finals, after both finished the group stages with eight points. Corofin were drawn against defending champions Mountbellew/Moylough in a mouth-watering tie, while Tuam Stars will face Salthill/Knocknacara in another intriguing clash.

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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