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Loss of Nihill knocks the stuffing out of Moycullen



Date Published: 07-Jan-2011

OFFENSIVE inadequacies were once again the root of Moycullen’s problems as they fell to a disappointing 79-45 defeat to Southern Conference leaders, UL Eagles, in the Nivea Men’s Basketball SuperLeague in Kingfisher, NUIG, on Saturday.

The momentum built from a battling performance away to Killester pre-Christmas was lost over the holiday period and, despite another solid performance at the defensive end, the team couldn’t find a way to score consistently and were never in with a chance of winning the game.

They now face a long trip to Cork this weekend to face a Demons side buoyed by two wins over the New Year period.

On Sunday, the team began well, defending aggressively and forcing Limerick into forced shots and a couple of 24-second violations. However, they couldn’t capitalise at the other end and half way through the quarter the score was more akin to a soccer scoreline, 2-2 off a pair of free throws each.

At that point, Matt Hall came off the bench for Limerick and immediately knocked down two threes off quick-ball reversal to open a seven point lead. A further Stephen King score was cancelled out by Mason Ambler and Limerick led 14-7 after the first.

The second quarter was more open as Limerick began to find the seams in the Moycullen defence while Moycullen produced their most fluid offensive of the game. Scores from the three Cunninghams and three inside baskets from Mason Ambler kept Moycullen in the hunt but yet another three from the same spot by Hall and a run of 10 consecutive points off free throws and second attempts from Cameron Mitchell saw Limerick edge further ahead at the half, 35-22.

More worryingly from Moycullen, leading scorer, Cian Nihill, who had just returned from an ankle injury, went down with a recurrence of the same problem after less than 5 minutes of court time.

Despite trailing by just 13 at the half, Nihill’s injury knocked the stuffing out of the Moycullen team as he was seen as the answer to many of their scoring woes. They still upped their defensive effort again to begin the quarter and frustrated their Limerick rivals. However, a miserly return of a pair of baskets from James Loughnane and Dylan Cunningham and a buzzer beating 3-point prayer from Mike Dowd was the sum total of their offensive output from the quarter. When Cameron Mitchell crashed home a dunk off a missed shot, Limerick found their rhythm again and doubled the half time margin, stretching their lead to 55-29.

The last quarter was a formality and, with Eagles dropping their guard slightly at the defensive end, Moycullen matched them basket for basket for much of the quarter. For Moycullen, James O’Brien and Gerald Lyons got some valuable Superleague minutes under their belt with O’Brien getting to the foul line and knocking down a pair of free throws, and Mason Ambler battled to the end, with a trio of inside baskets. Limerick spread their scoring with Ciaran White and Hall contributing off the bench and Stephen King picking up 6 points to push his way into double figures.

The final scoreline of 79- 45 probably doesn’t do justice to their defensive efforts but was a more than fair reflection of their offensive productivity.

The path to respectability at Superleague level is proving a difficult one to follow for the west of Ireland club. In fairness to them, playing without three players of the quality of Nihill, Garnett Griffin and Mindaugus Kurcenkovas is a handicap even the more established clubs would struggle to deal with and they will just have to hope that the injuries clear up as soon as possible.


Galway in Days Gone By

The way we were – Protecting archives of our past



A photo of Galway city centre from the county council's archives

People’s living conditions less than 100 years ago were frightening. We have come a long way. We talk about water charges today, but back then the local District Councils were erecting pumps for local communities and the lovely town of Mountbellew, according to Council minutes, had open sewers,” says Galway County Council archivist Patria McWalter.

Patria believes we “need to take pride in our history, and we should take the same pride in our historical records as we do in our built heritage”. When you see the wealth of material in her care, this belief makes sense.

She is in charge of caring for the rich collection of administrative records owned by Galway County Council and says “these records are as much part of our history as the Rock of Cashel is. They document our lives and our ancestors’ lives. And nobody can plan for the future unless you learn from the past, what worked and what didn’t”.

Archivists and librarians are often unfairly regarded as being dry, academic types, but that’s certainly not true of Patria. Her enthusiasm is infectious as she turns the pages of several minute books from Galway’s Rural District Councils, all of them at least 100 years old.

Part of her role involved cataloguing all the records of the Councils – Ballinasloe, Clifden, Galway, Gort, Loughrea, Mountbellew, Portumna and Tuam. These records mostly consisted of minutes of various meetings.

When she was cataloguing them she realised their worth to local historians and researchers, so she decided to compile a guide to their content. The result is For the Record: The Archives of Galway’s Rural District Councils, which will be a valuable asset to anybody with an interest in history.

Many representatives on these Councils were local personalities and several were arrested during the political upheaval of the era, she explains.

And, ushering in a new era in history, women were allowed to sit on these Rural District Councils – at the time they were not allowed to sit on County Councils.

All of this information is included in Patria’s introductory essay to the attractively produced A4 size guide, which gives a glimpse into how these Rural Councils operated and the way political thinking changed in Ireland during a short 26-year period. In the early 1900s, these Councils supported Home Rule, but by 1920, they were calling for full independence and refusing to recognise the British administration.

“I love the tone,” says Patria of the minutes from meetings. “The language was very emotive.”

That was certainly true of the Gort Rural District Council. At a meeting in 1907, following riots in Dublin at the premiere of JM Synge’s play, The Playboy of the Western World the councillors’ response was vehement. They recorded their decision to “protest most emphatically against the libellous comedy, The Playboy of the Western World, that was belched forth during the past week in the Abbey Theatre, Dublin, under the fostering care of Lady Gregory and Mr Yeats. We congratulate the good people of Dublin in howling down the gross buffoonery and immoral suggestions that are scattered throughout this scandalous performance.


For more from the archives see this week’s Tribunes here

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Archive News

Real Galway flavour to intermediate club hurling battle in Birr



Date Published: 23-Jan-2013


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Archive News

Athenry fail to take chances as they bow out of Junior Cup



Date Published: 29-Jan-2013

Athenry FC 1

Kilbarrack United 2

(After extra time)

For the second year in succession Athenry were done in extra time in the FAI Junior Cup as last season’s beaten finalist’s came from behind to snatch an excellent game in Moanbawn on Sunday afternoon.

On a heavy pitch that was only playable following extensive groundwork by club officials all morning, the home side were by far the better side in the opening half, but failed to take advantage of a number of opportunities that came their way.

An Alan O’Donovan penalty gave them a merited advantage just after the restart, but thereafter were on the back foot as Kilbarrack took over, but for all their pressing, the home rearguard were dealing comfortably with their forays.

However they were struck a body blow just six minutes from time, as big striker Keith Kirwan was left all alone at the far post to head the equaliser and from that point on the Dubliners were the better side.

They started off the extra time in the ascendancy and enjoying all the momentum before striking for a good winning goal on 104 minutes. A strong bench allowed them to make some necessary changes and it was not a facility that was available to Athenry manager Gabriel Glavin.

With Gary Forde and Gary Delaney out through suspension following their sending off against OLBC in the previous round, and Seamie Crowe injured, it left their bench rather threadbare with just a number of young squad players available.

Playing with the aid of the slight incline and any wind advantage going, the home side had a Connor Cannon effort on target in the opening minute, while John Meleady was just over with a flick at the other end.

Meleady then tested Andrew Walsh who saved comfortably, before the goalkeeper pulled off a brilliant double save on 14 minutes.

Firstly he went full length to push away a Meleady shot and was then back on his feet to parry David Jackson’s close-range rebound.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Sentinel.

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