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Leitir Móir advance after tight struggle in Salthill

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Caltra's Brian Laffey comes under pressure from Leitir Moir's Padraic Bairead during Sunday's senior football championship encounter at Pearse Stadium. Photos: Enda Noone.

Leitir Móir 1-12

Caltra 0-13

A 62nd minute free from Daithí Mac Donnacha put the seal on a two-point victory for Naomh Anna, Leitir Móir over Caltra. It was a tidy and decent game of football, and there was very little difference in terms of quality between the sides, but the old adage that goals win you Gaelic football matches proved true in Pearse Stadium on Sunday evening last.

The game’s sole goal arrived courtesy of Mac Donnacha in the 33rd minute, and it was the crucial score of the game. Caltra had two goal opportunities fall away in the final 10 minutes, and as much as Meehan’s excellent conversion rate kept them chipping away at the deficit, they couldn’t bulge the back of the Leitir Móir net.

Of the 1-25 registered between both teams, 0-17 of that total was scored from placed balls – Leitir Móir 0-8 and Caltra 0-9. Mac Donnacha, Ferdia Breathnach and Cormac Ó Conghaile shared the responsibilities for Leitir Móir, while Brian Laffey hit two and Meehan seven from placed balls. The large number of frees awarded tells us something about how the game was refereed though.

Some of Shane Hehir’s calls seemed harsh on occasions for both sides, and any backchat from the players saw frees being moved forward or the decision overturned. As Tyrone will know this week, talking back to the officials is never beneficial, and a scoreable free 20 yards out from goal given to Caltra in the 37th minute was overturned in favour of a hop ball because of that.

A score for Caltra would have helped stem the momentum Naomh Anna, Leitir Móir had built up by that stage. The winners’ greater physicality around the middle third began to tell in the third quarter as Antoine Toto Ó Gríofa, Eamonn Ó Loinsigh, Padraic Bairéad and Ferdia Breathnach used their size to good effect.  Another factor which aided Leitir Móir’s chances of victory was the absence of Cathal and Padraig Mannion from Caltra’s starting 15.

The duo have the pressing matter of an All-Ireland hurling final to prepare for on Sunday week, but it was heartening all the same to see them on the sideline acting as water carriers for the Caltra team. Both of them are excellent footballers also. Cathal scored 0-4 and Padraig 0-2 against Kilkerrin/Clonberne in the opening round of the championship back in May.

Without them, most of the scoring burden for Caltra fell on the lofty shoulders of one Michael Meehan. He scored 0-9 of Caltra’s final tally, and although Meehan may have lost a yard of pace, his enduring class remains, and a point after four minutes from play perfectly demonstrated just that.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

 

 

Connacht Tribune

Cappataggle pull off mighty win despite early loss of Mannion

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Cappataggle's Paul Claffey tussling for possession with Stephen Barrett of Liam Mellows during Sunday's Senior A championship encounter at Kenny Park. Photos: Joe O'Shaughnessy.

Cappataggle 0-19

Liam Mellows 0-17

CAPPATAGGLE may have watching out for magpies or stocking up on rabbit’s feet all summer in advance of the 2021 Galway senior hurling championship, but when it came down to the big moments in this absorbing SHC first-round fixture, it was their character rather than any lucky charm that got them through it.

Reduced to 14 men following the dismissal of Jarlath Mannion after just two minutes, Cappataggle spent most of their time thereafter chasing a result. However, despite their numerical disadvantage, Tony Nevin’s men never gave up, even if at times, they clung to Liam Mellows like a tired boxer out on their feet.

Four times they came from behind in the second half to tie up the game, the last of which was injury-time when the outstanding Liam Collins belied his young years to show composure to fire over a free to level up the contest at 0-17 apiece.

Collins was again central to the action less than a minute later when he brilliantly snapped a Paul Claffey delivery under pressure and set up substitute James Egan for the lead score three minutes into time added on. It was only Cappy’s second time to lead in the contest, having nudged ahead by a point in the frantic opening minutes of this fixture.

Collins wasn’t finished yet, either. Deep into injury-time, Liam Mellows’ Adrian Morrissey was pulled for over-carrying and the teenager rattled over the free to add the full-stop to what was a remarkable feat by his side.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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Athenry let winning hand slip as Reilly goal saves Pearses

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Former Galway minor Dean Reilly who scored a late equalising goal against Athenry in the Senior B hurling championship clash at Duggan Park on Saturday.

Athenry 1-16

Pádraig Pearses 1-16

Ivan Smyth at Duggan Park

A goal in the third minute of injury time from Dean Reilly salvaged Pádraig Pearses a draw in a game that Athenry should have killed off before the corner forward’s late heroics.

When Conor Burke struck an inspirational score in the 58th minute, Kieran Coffey’s side led by six points and seemed destined to pick up a valuable two points to take them to the summit of Group One.

Up until this point Pádraig Pearses were reliant on Emmet Ward frees as the sharpshooter converted 11 placed balls throughout the course of this game. Aside from the first 10 minutes of the second half, the Ballymacward side were hanging on and trying to keep tabs on a youthful Athenry outfit.

Pádraig Pearses showed admirable determination in the closing stages, however, as a well worked Tomas Flannery score and two Ward frees slashed Athenry’s lead to three points in injury time. Athenry saw two efforts drift wide of the posts during this period and they were punished to the extreme.

In the 63rd minute, a precise Fergal Flannery puckout found Jimmy Gelston in space on the Athenry 45 metre line. The substitute cut inside and drew the last defender before handpassing to Dean Reilly who coolly finished to the bottom corner of the net.

To concede a goal in injury time and squander a winning position will no doubt frustrate Athenry, but Coffey and his management team will ponder how Gelston was able to cut inside the defence and offload possession without meeting a forceful challenge. To further rub salt in the Athenry wounds, talented forward Cian Burke limped off before half time with his fitness now a concern ahead of their final two group games.

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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Connacht Tribune

Ballinderreen blast out of the traps in first round win

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Ballinderreen's Hugh Moylan puts in a strong challenge on Portumna's Owen Treacy during Sunday's Senior B championship clash at Kenny Park. Photos: Joe O'Shaughnessy.

Ballinderreen 4-15

Portumna 1-19

A savvy first half performance, in which Ballinderreen blitzed Portumna for four goals, laid the foundation for Ray Hayes’ charges to secure a merited opening round victory in Group 3 of the county senior ‘B’ hurling championship at Kenny Park, Athenry on Sunday.

To the fore was Niall Coen, who tallied a hat-trick against their shell-shocked opponents, while Roy Lane also proved a handful in the inside line, netting Ballinderreen’s fourth and finishing with a personal tally of 1-6.

In many respects, Ballinderreen did to Portumna in that opening period what the former All-Ireland senior club champions did to many a team in their best years. And they looked good doing it.

After just two minutes, Coen had the ball in the Portumna net, having seized on a delivery from Kieran Ryan. Ballinderreen hit their second just before the water break when a long ball in from Evan Morgan found Lane and he rifled his effort beyond Ivan Canning from an acute angle to give his side a 2-3 to 0-4 lead.

In this time, Portumna sought to gain a measure of momentum with points from Ronan O’Meara, Joe Canning, who sadly was forced off injured early in the second period, and Neil Connelly (2). However, each time Ballinderreen responded – Luke Prendergast striking over two points and Lane adding a free.

Quite simply, Ballinderreen were buzzing and upon the resumption of play Coen seized on another long delivery – this time from Padraig Lafferty – and hit Portumna for the third goal to make it 3-3 to 0-4.

Over the ensuing 10 minutes, both sides traded points. O’Meara (2), Jack Canning and Joe Canning (free) were on target for Jimmy Heverin’s outfit while Kevin Lane, Roy Lane and Morgan pointed for Ballinderreen.

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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