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Late Ward penalty rescues a point for Oscar Traynor side

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Davis Mbata of Galway Hibs and Corofin United goalkeeper Conan Clarke in an aerial duel in their game in Bohermore on Sunday. Photo: Joe O'Shaughnessy.

Clare League  2

Galway League  2

A late Keith Ward penalty rescued a merited point for Galway as they came from behind twice to share the spoils with the Clare League in their season opener of the Oscar Traynor Cup in Doora on Saturday evening.

It was an impressive start for the Tribesmen against a side who were beaten finalists last season, and if the finishing was a little sharper, the outcome could have been even more rewarding.

Backboned by players from Mervue United and St Bernard’s, they made a solid start and certainly offered the greater attacking threat in the early stages.

Only a superb save by Clare custodian John Mulready denied Barry Moran, while the energetic and impressive Jason Finn was just wide of the target. The woodwork was also to deny the Abbeyknockmoy native as Galway enjoyed a good early spell.

Clare had their moments too, as Eoin Hayes went close with a header, but with the elements getting nasty, the opportunities began to dry up.

A handball allowed the home side the opportunity to take the lead on 32 minutes and David McCarthy despatched the resulting penalty past Andrew Walsh to make it 1-0.

The response of the visitors was impressive, as just two minutes later, Ward delivered a ball into the box that wasn’t dealt with and substitute Oscar Sibanda applied the close range finish to tie up matters at 1-1.

The Corrib Rangers winger had earlier replaced the injured Jason Finn, while Clare also had their woes as goalkeeper Mulready collected a hand injury and had to be replaced by Darren Whelan after the break.

While Galway appeared to be the better side in the second half, chances were rare at either end, as defences dominated.

However, the Clare League took the lead for the second time on 72 minutes when a Hayes corner was knocked down by Pat Purcell and Paddy O’Malley was first to respond as he finished from close range to make it 2-1.

As time appeared to slide away on them, matters were getting difficult for Galway, but when Keith Ward was upended by Darren Murphy after he drove into the box on 87 minutes, the awarding of a penalty gave the visitors a lifeline. Ward duly picked himself up to slot home the spot kick that levelled matters at 2-2 and gave Galway some meaningful reward for their endeavours.

Afterwards manager Gareth Gorman was lamenting the chances that got away.

“We should have won it as we had plenty of opportunities in the opening half in particular. However, after going behind in the second-half, we were delighted to get an equaliser, as I felt we really deserved something from the game. We certainly had loads of possession, but apart from early on, defences dominated as chances were few and far between,” he said.

Galway League: A Walsh; D Finn, T Walsh Elwood, Woods; J Finn (inj, Sibanda 14), Keane, Ryan, Ward, Moran (Fahy 74), S Walsh.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Sentinel.

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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