Inside Track with John McIntyre
IT’S hard to credit that a team might only lose one game in a 38-match league campaign and still not end up as champions, but that’s the agonising fate potentially ahead of Liverpool with only two rounds of the English Premiership remaining.
Under the passionate Jurgen Klopp, Liverpool have been a model of consistency since last Autumn, suffering only a lone defeat in their 36 league games to date, while their current points total of 91 would have been enough to win every title in the Premiership era bar last season.
And yet, their long-suffering supporters – aching for a first league title in almost three decades – know the Reds’ destiny is out of their own hands. Champions Manchester City may have suffered four league defeats, but have less draws on their results card than Liverpool.
It’s enough to give Pep Guardiola’s squad a one-point advantage as the Premiership reaches a climax. Manchester City face a home tie against in-form Leicester before rounding off their campaign against a Brighton team which looks as though it’s about to avoid the relegation noose after their battling weekend draw against Newcastle.
In fact, the Magpies are next up in an away fixture for Liverpool, with the Anfield men concluding their programme with a home tie against Wolves, the team which knocked them out of the FA Cup and has defied pre-season predictions by doing so well – currently seventh in the table – on their return to the top flight of cross-channel football.
Early last week, the maths were the same . . . Liverpool trailing Manchester City by a point, but the title holders faced two difficult games in five days. First up was the eagerly-awaited derby clash with Manchester Utd followed by a visit to Turf Moor where Burnley tend to prove obdurate opponents.
Liverpool fans would have been entitled to feel there was some prospect of Manchester City slipping up in one of those fixtures, but Sergio Aquero and company got the job done on each occasion as the club closes in on a fourth Premiership title. Win their last two games, it doesn’t matter what Liverpool do.
For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.
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Galway to complete vaccine roll-out by end of the summer
On the first anniversary of Covid-19’s deadly arrival into Ireland, the head of the Saolta hospital group has predicted that all who want the vaccine will have received it by the end of the summer.
Tony Canavan, CEO of the seven public hospitals, told the Connacht Tribune that the HSE was planning to set up satellite centres from the main vaccination hub at the Galway Racecourse to vaccinate people on the islands and in the most rural parts of the county.
While locations have not yet been signed up, the HSE was looking at larger buildings with good access that could be used temporarily to carry out the vaccination programme over a short period.
“We do want to reach out to rural parts of the region instead of drawing in people from the likes of Clifden and over from the islands. The plan is to set up satellites from the main centre, sending out small teams out to the likes of Connemara,” he explained.
“Ideally we’d run it as close as possible to the same time that the main centres are operating once that is set up. Communication is key – if people know we’re coming, it will put people’s minds at rest.”
Get all the latest Covid-19 coverage in this week’s Connacht Tribune, on sale in shops now – or download the digital edition from www.connachttribune.ie
Galway meteorologist enjoying new-found fame in the sun!
Growing up in Galway where four seasons in a day is considered a soft one, Linda Hughes always had a keen interest in the weather.
But unlike most Irish people, instead of just obsessing about it, she actually went and pursued it as a career.
The latest meteorologist to appear on RTE’s weather forecasts hails from Porridgtown, Oughterard, and brings with her an impressive background in marine forecasting.
She spent six years in Aerospace and Marine International in Aberdeen, Scotland, which provides forecasts for the oil and gas industry.
The 33-year-old was a route analyst responsible for planning routes for global shipping companies. She joined the company after studying experimental physics in NUIG and doing a masters in applied meteorology in Redding in the UK.
“My job was to keep crews safe and not lose cargo by picking the best route to get them to their destination as quickly as possibly but avoiding hurricanes, severe storms,” she explains.
“It was a very interesting job, I really enjoyed it but it was very stressful as you were dealing with bad weather all the time because there’s always bad weather in some part of the world.”
Read the full interview with Linda Hughes in this week’s Connacht Tribune, on sale in shops now – or download the digital edition from www.connachttribune.ie
Great-great-grandmother home after Covid, a stroke, heart failure and brain surgery
Her family are understandably calling her their miracle mum – because an 81 year old great-great-grandmother from Galway has bounced back from Covid-19, a stroke, heart failure and brain surgery since Christmas…to return hale and hearty, to her own home.
But Mary Quinn’s family will never forget the trauma of the last three months, as the Woodford woman fought back against all of the odds from a series of catastrophic set-backs.
The drama began when Mary was found with a bleed on her brain on December 16. She was admitted to Portiuncula Hospital, and transferred to Beaumont a day later where she underwent an emergency procedure – only to then suffer a stroke.
To compound the crisis, while in Beaumont, she contracted pneumonia, suffered heart failure and developed COPD, or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease – the inflammatory lung disease that causes obstructed airflow from the lungs.
“Christmas without mom; things did not look good,” said her daughter Catherine Shiel.
But the worst was still to come – because before Mary was discharged, she contracted Covid-19.
Read Mary’s full, heart-warming story in this week’s Connacht Tribune, on sale in shops now – or download the digital edition from www.connachttribune.ie