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Late Shanahan strike sees Mervue United maintain solid home form

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Mervue United 2    Salthill Devon 1

Mike Rafferty at Fahy’s Field

 Mervue United made it five wins from eight home games when a second half brace by Gary Shanahan gave them merited victory over a Devon side that seldom looked like making a breakthrough at Fahy’s Field on Saturday evening.

As matters stand, it was the last League of Ireland meeting of the sides at the east-side venue, but despite the occasion, an official attendance of just 245 patrons witnessed an encounter that never could be classed as riveting.

On a pristine surface, the opening half offered little but honest endeavour, but in fairness the second half was a much more lively affair, with three goals and a sending off.

Home manager Johnny Glynn made six changes to a side that had lost for the second time in succession the previous week and the occasion saw league debuts for former Ballina Town duo, central defender Ross Kenny and striker Michael Duffy.

Kenny belied his tender years with an assured performance at the back alongside Paul Sinnott, while Duffy looked raw but enthusiastic in a front running role. However, the Mayo man made a telling contribution when setting up the Shanahan for the winner on 85 minutes.

Devon were deprived of the services of Alex Byrne, Brian Geraghty and Timmy Molloy, but for all their neat patterns of play, they lacked a cutting edge as returning home custodian Conor O’Malley had a very comfortable evening.

That said, at the other end Ronan Forde wasn’t exactly overworked either, but he did make the first save of the game on nine minutes when getting down to keep out a Noel Varley shot. Another comfortable stop denied Duffy shortly afterwards, before a solid challenge by Colm Horgan thwarted the striker as he chased a through ball.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Sentinel.  

CITY TRIBUNE

Connacht striving for greater consistency in home league tie with the Ospreys

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Connacht prop Denis Buckley who believes they still have areas to improve on from the Zebre rout for Saturday's visit of the Ospreys.

CONNACHT are looking to build some momentum again in the next few weeks off the back of a free-scoring win in Zebre last Sunday. Their quest for consistency might well prove to be the story of the season, if they can find it in the coming few weeks then you can reasonably expect them to win the two upcoming home games and put themselves firmly into second place in their conference heading into the European break. Anything less than that, just won’t cut it.

First up on this run is this Saturday’s clash with the Ospreys at the Sportsground (7:30pm). Much like the Scarlets game two weeks ago, the visitors are without a whole host of frontline Welsh internationals and struggling for form. They scrapped over the line at home to Benetton last weekend for a third win in seven outings but can count Zebre among their four defeats. A must win then for Connacht. Yes, we’ve been here before.

Conditions will be a challenge again. Parma last weekend offered a rare and welcome respite from the wind and rain facing them most nights. Connacht seem to like the hard ground and dry nights but they’re all too aware that they need to adapt better when running rugby isn’t as easy to produce such as was the case in the defeat to the Scarlets. After the game in Italy last week, Andy Friend acknowledged as much.

“It was a beautiful day in Parma, you could see the excitement with that so it certainly helps. We live in Galway so we have to be the team that functions well. We got to be the team that functions whether the weather is good, bad or indifferent. So it’s nice in this game but against the Ospreys we have to be ready for something different and we have to be the team that fronts up and plays a brand of football that still wins.”

For more, read this week’s Galway City Tribune.

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Curran, Melody and Molloy all leave Utd as Caulfield confirms two new signings

Keith Kelly

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Enda Curran, pictured after scoring a goal for Galway United against Wexford in the season just finished, has left the club. Photo: Joe O'Shaughnessy.

The comings and goings have continued at Galway United in the past week, with the club busy re-signing players fork last season, adding some new faces, as well as confirming the departure of players who were part of the 2020 squad.

Having already said goodbye to the sextet of Conor Barry, Joe Collins, Vinny Faherty, Jack Lynch, Timo Partheons, and Josh Smith, the club this week confirmed the departure of three more players: Enda Curran (89 appearances, 20 goals), Conor Melody (108 appearances, five goals), and Timmy Molloy (16 appearances, no goals).

Curran was signed for United as an 18-years-old by Sean Connor ahead of the 2011 season and made his debut in the opening game of that campaign, coming on as a substitute for the injured Neal Keane in the 43rd of a 3-0 defeat at home to St Patrick’s Athletic.

He made a total of 13 appearances for United that season, and he was back with the Tribesmen for United’s return to the national league in the 2014 season, when he made eight appearances, scoring his first goal for United in the first of those games, coming off the bench to score in the 5-0 win at home to Shamrock Rovers B in July.

His most productive season for United was the following year’s campaign, when he scored 12 goals in 25 appearances in the Premier Division for United (he made 29 league and cup appearance in total that season), including his one and only hat-trick for the club, coming in the 5-0 win away to Bray Wanderers in April.

The following month, he had the distinction of scoring two penalties in a single game, in the 5-3 win over Bohemians.

That haul of a dozen goals saw him finish as the club’s joint top-scorer in the league that season alongside Jake Keegan, though the US striker finished as overall top scorer on 16 goals thanks to 2 goals in the FAI Cup, and two in the League Cup.

For more, read this week’s Galway City 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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Galway’s improved conversion rate central to toppling champs

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Galway’s Jason Flynn follows the flight of the ball against Tipperary's Padraic Maher during Saturday's All-Ireland hurling quarter-final at the Gaelic Grounds. Photo: Joe O'Shaughnessy.

By Patrick Earley

MATCHES between Galway and Tipperary don’t get any easier to watch do they? Back and forth throughout, there wasn’t a moment where you could be confident of a Galway win until Johnny Murphy eventually sounded the final whistle.

Even that was stressful. Surely, after Joe Canning had pointed the final free of the game that should have been it? Murphy had played well over the indicated time of three minutes and Galway had cleared Tipp’s final venture forward before Evan Niland won that free but still, Tipp got one more chance and it took Daithi Burke to come up with a massive win in the Galway danger area for Murphy to decide that he’d seen enough.

That feeling at the final whistle was as sweet as in 2015 and ’17. Galway had faced adversity but had shown the courage and composure to weather the storm and come up with the big plays when they needed to edge ahead come full-time.

Make no mistake about it, this wasn’t a vintage Galway display. In terms of overall quality and individual performances, it was probably down a notch or two from the Leinster final display.

Conditions had a fair bit to do with that, for though the day itself was favourable, underfoot conditions were soft making life tricky for both sides.

Two Galway slips led to Tipperary goals – that’s not something you can plan for but that’s what transpired and after responding superbly to the concession of the first goal to Seamus Callanan, Patrick ‘Bonner’ Maher’s second came at a time where Tipp were in the ascendency and rocked Galway.

Leading by two at the first water break and four points by the 23rd minute, it seemed inconceivable that Galway would trail by four at the break but such is the nature of Galway vs Tipperary games, momentum changes and the Premier County capitalised to devastating affect in the final 10 minutes of the half.

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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