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Little time for Donoghue to rest on laurels ahead of looming Walsh Cup campaign

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Clarinbridge's Micheal Donoghue who has been appointed the new Galway hurling team manager.

CLARINBRIDGE’S Micheál Donoghue says it is a “huge honour” for him to be appointed the new Galway senior hurling manager, but admits with such a short lead-in time to the Walsh Cup he will not have much time to stand on ceremony.

The Tribesmen face DCU in the competition at Duggan Park on Sunday, January 10 but with the Galway players due to fly out on their team holiday just after the Christmas, it leaves little time for Donoghue and his charges to prepare for their season opener.

“Hopefully in the next few days I can meet the players but with Christmas upon us and they are going on holidays for a week on the 27th or 28th, it is hard (to arrange),” says Donoghue, who captained the ‘Bridge to its first ever Galway SHC title in 2001 before managing the club to All-Ireland club honours in 2011.

“For me, it is just about setting up right structures now in relation to performance and behaviour and preparation. And just working really hard to achieve what we can achieve.

“Also, because there is such a short lead-in time, it is just focusing on the management team, meeting the players, getting our own views across and driving it on by working really hard.”

Taking over from Anthony Cunningham, Donoghue is joined by Turloughmore’s Francis Forde, who previously coached the Galway minors to All-Ireland success and later the Offaly seniors under Joe Dooley, as team trainer while Tom French has returned as strength and conditioning coach.

“There is some continuity with Tom staying on for the strength and conditioning work. I think that was important because there was a lot of good work done. He is highly regarded and he has a good insight into the lads.

“Each candidate would have been doing a bit of work behind the scenes and although there is a short lead-in time to the Walsh Cup – from today it is just 18 days – I have done a good bit of work. I am nearly there [in finalising the backroom team] and when I have completed it I will announce it,” he adds.

Donoghue, who was ratified for a three-year term at a special meeting of Galway GAA County Committee in Loughgeorge on Tuesday evening, brings a wealth of experience to the position.

Enjoying a distinguished career as a hurler with Clarinbridge and Galway – winning All-Ireland minor and U-21 titles, along with Railway Cup and National League senior medals – his transition into management has been seamless. Most recently, he was involved in the Tipperary senior set-up under Éamon O’Shea.

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

Connacht Tribune

Tynagh/Abbey-Duniry come through tense survival battle

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Tynagh/Abbey-Duniry's Padraig Robinson who was a big influence in their senior hurling relegation final victory over Ballinderreen at Duggan Park on Sunday.

Tynagh/Abbey-Duniry 0-12

Ballinderreen 0-11

Ivan Smyth at Duggan Park

BALLINDERREEN’S tally of 15 wides was the telling statistic after this senior hurling relegation final in Ballinasloe on Sunday, with the consequence that they will now be playing at intermediate level next year.

In contrast, Tynagh/Abbey-Duniry only sent five efforts adrift of the posts throughout the hour as their greater efficiency up front proved decisive. This was a typically nervy and tense relegation final, but it was enjoyable fare with the fine arts of the game – hooking, blocking and tackling – all executed to a high standard by both outfits.

The patrons entering Duggan Park before throw in knew this would most likely be a dogfight as Tynagh/Abbey-Duniry have averaged only13 points per game throughout the championship. For their part Ballinderreen have been notching just over 16 points per game with both sides’ scoring drying up in the mini relegation series between themselves and Mullagh.

Ballinderreen have suffered relegation despite winning more games in this year’s championship than Tynagh/Abbey-Duniry (two to one) although the East Galway side secured victory in their most important game of the year.

With the sides level six times throughout this physical encounter, any burst of scores from either side would prove vital. It was Tynagh/Abbey-Duniry who fired over four points without reply in a 10 minute spell either side of the final water break as they went from two points down to lead by the same margin. Padraig Robinson grabbed two of those, both from placed balls, as he took over free taking duties from the unusually inaccurate Shane Moloney.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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Connacht Tribune

Micheál Breathnach survive late drama to claim B crown

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Micheal Breathnach's Caoimhan De Burca getting his pass away against Darragh Healy and Keelan Wilson of Kilkerrin-Clonberne-Killererin during Saturday's County U19 B football final at the Priarie. Photos: Joe O'Shaughnessy.

Micheál Breathnach 0-13

Kilkerrin-Clonberne-Killererin 2-5

Pádraic Ó Ciardha at The Prairie

A last-gasp save from Micheál Breathnach goalkeeper Evan Ó Márta bailed out his side and saw them crowned U19 B county football champions last Saturday.

While the Connemara side had a number of fine performers over the course of the final, few contributions were as vital and as obvious as Ó Márta’s as he stopped Kilkerrin-Clonberne-Killererin from snatching victory from the jaws of defeat.

The potential comeback looked highly unlikely as late as four minutes into added-time. By that stage, KCK had already been reduced to 13 players and were five points down.

Full-forward Seán Donohue gave them hope when he converted a penalty in the 65th minute and he then came within inches of sealing an improbable win. With KCK having won possession from the kickout, David Dunleavy and Cathal Fallon combined to create the chance for Donohue but ‘keeper Evan Ó Márta was out in a flash and deflected the ball wide, the last act before the final whistle blew.

Had KCK managed to claim victory, it would have been very much against the run of play. While they dominated possession for much of the first half, KCK failed to turn that into scores and Micheál Breathnach were much the better side after the break.

The impressive Maidhc Mac Gearailt kicked five of his side’s six points in that second half but the performances of Tomás Ó Curraoin, Séamus de Búrca and Ruraí Ó Curraoin around the middle of the field were instrumental in getting their side on top.

While KCK showed their quality in spells, their shooting let them down and meant they didn’t make the most of their possession. They managed just 1-3 from 13 shots in the first half and didn’t fare much better in the second half, kicking 1-2 from ten efforts – a 30% conversion rate overall.

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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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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Connacht Tribune

Leitir Móir men pull clear after some early troubles

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Naomh Anna Leitir Móir Evan Ó Flatharta secures possession ahead of Dromahair's Caillin McLoughlin during the Connacht Club intermediate football quarter-final in Ballinamore on Saturday. Photo: Willie Donnellan.

Naomh Anna Leitir Móir 2-13

St. Patrick’s, Dromahair 0-5

Darren Kelly in Ballinamore

NAOMH Anna Leitir Móir weathered an initial stern challenge from their opponents in this Connacht Intermediate football quarter-final last Saturday before taking control and beating Leitrim’s St. Patrick’s, Dromahair by a comfortable margin.

The sides were level 0-4 to 1-1 at the first water break, but Ciarán Óg Ó Flatharta’s team didn’t concede from play again over the remaining 45 minutes.

The Galway champions had a three-hour trek to Sean O’Heslin’s GAA Grounds, but arrived as heavy favourites against a Dromahair outfit determined to pick up a first ever provincial win.

And St. Patrick’s took it to Naomh Anna in the early stages, going ahead after just 58 seconds when Jamie Conlon’s long ball was won by Gary Fowley who claimed the mark.

Leitir Móir were still settling though they did equalise by the fourth minute. Ciaran Bairéad and Aonghus O Fatharta were instigators for Maitias Eoin Bairéad to weave a gap through enemy lines and raise a white flag. Indeed, Naomh Anna were creating opportunities and Ó Fatharta had a shot blcoked 60 seconds later.

Dromahair had the stiff breeze behind them and went back into the lead on seven minutes when Martin Feeney finished off a one-two with Michael Clancy. And another Conlon delivery straight after was taken by James Clancy who made it 0-3 to 0-1.

Leitir Móir were gradually moving through the gears and Evan Ó Fatharta nearly unlocked St. Patrick’s only for the interception of defender Kyle Harte.

The west Galway team’s patience eventually paid off on 14 minutes. Admittedly, referee Cormac Reape earned the ire of Dromahair supporters with some decisions, but Naomh Anna refused to get distracted.

A quick Dylan Seoige free towards Warren Seoige worked its way to Ó Fatharta who finished to the net to put Naomh Anna in front. James Clancy replied with an equaliser leaving them 0-4 to 1-1 at the water break.

Dromahair came out of the blocks but failed to make the necessary gains while Naomh Anna Leitir Móir were pacing themselves and ready to increase the tempo.

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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