MOUNTBELLEW/ MOYLOUGH 0-7
THE strangest of county finals that came within seconds of producing the shock of the decade in Galway club football as Corofin had to rely on a last-gasp point to hold onto their senior title.
For the neutral at Pearse Stadium on Sunday, this was mighty tough going, with more often than not, both sides having nearly all of their players behind the ball as the scoring zones were protected in much the same way as a lioness would look after her cubs.
The tie though was laced with intrigue, suspense and tactical nuances, as a well tutored Mountbellew/Moylough side prioritised the safeguarding of possession, even if that meant repeated bouts of sideways and backwards ball movement.
Corofin’s response to this tactic was also decidedly cautious. In contrast to their semi-final victory over Annaghdown, they were reluctant to ‘push up’ on their opponents, content to let them have the ball in their own half of the pitch.
The result of all this was a stalemate that regularly drifted into sheer boredom, but the sub-plot of the possibility of a monumental shock being on the cards still gripped the attention of the close-on 5,000 crowd.
Fifty-two seconds over the allotted three minutes of injury-time to be played had elapsed when, Corofin to their credit, showed enormous composure to mount a last desperate attack that resulted in captain, Micheál Lundy, punching over the levelling point.
The Mountbellew/Moylough camp might have felt that referee James Molloy could have sounded the final whistle ‘on the button’ of the three minutes but it’s within the official’s remit to allow for any slowdowns or stoppages as he sees fit during the added-on time.
It was though a case of ‘oh so close’ for Michael Donnellan’s Mountbellew/Moylough side as they put a carefully planned strategy in place to negative the Corofin threat based on two essential principles.
The first was in the retention of possession as an absolute priority with the ball never to be given away cheaply: the second was in getting all available personnel behind the ball whenever Corofin were in possession.
And yet it nearly all went pear-shaped for Mountbellew in the opening seconds of the game when a long ball from Ronan Steede found Michael Farragher all alone in a one-to-one with keeper Damien Boyle but his low shot went inches wide of the post.
For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.
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Man in his 70s killed in South Galway crash
A man in his 70s has died following a crash in South Galway on Tuesday afternoon.
Gardaí are currently at the scene of the two-car crash, which occurred at around 3.35pm on the N18 at Kiltartan.
The driver and sole occupant of one of the vehicles, a man in his 70s, was pronounced dead at the scene. His body was taken to University Hospital Galway where a post-mortem examination will be conducted at a later date.
The driver and sole occupant of the other vehicle involved, a man in his 30s, was taken to University Hospital Galway for treatment of his injuries which are believed to be non-life threatening.
The road is currently closed and will be closed overnight awaiting an examination by Garda Forensic Collision Investigators have been requested.
Gardaí have appealed for any witnesses or road users with dash cam footage to contact them.
Schools and colleges in Galway advised to close for Storm Barra
Schools in Galway have begun informing parents that they will not open tomorrow, following advice from the Department of Education.
The Dept said this evening that schools, colleges and universities in areas where a Status Orange or Red warning apply for Storm Barra should not open.
A spokesperson said: “Met Éireann has advised that there is a strong possibility that the status of parts of these counties currently in Status Orange are likely to change and escalate to Status Red.
“Due to the significant nature of Storm Barra, as forecast by Met Éireann and to give sufficient notice to institutions of further and higher education, the department is advising that all universities, colleges and further education facilities covered by the Red Alert and Orange warning from Met Éireann should not open tomorrow, 7 December.
“All schools and third level institutions should keep up-to-date with the current weather warnings which are carried on all national and local news bulletins and in particular any change in the status warning for their area.”
Galway Gardaí: ‘Stay at home during Storm Barra’
Gardaí in Galway have warned people to stay home tomorrow (Tuesday) as Met Éireann forecasted a ‘risk to life’ ahead of Storm Barra’s expected landfall tomorrow morning.
At a meeting of the City Joint Policing Committee (JPC), Council Chief Executive Brendan McGrath said the City Council was preparing for the ‘high probability’ of coastal flooding.
A combination of tomorrow’s high tides with the forecast high winds and heavy rainfall would likely lead to a flooding event, he said.
Chief Superintendent Tom Curley said the best advice available was to stay at home but refused to comment on school closures – advising that was a matter for the Department of Education.
Mr McGrath said a number of meetings between local and national agencies had already taken place, with more set to run throughout the day as preparations got underway for this winter’s first severe weather event.
“High tide is at 6.45am tomorrow morning and at 7.20pm tomorrow evening. There is currently a Red Marine Warning in place for the sea area that includes Galway and an Orange Storm Warning for Storm Barra for 6am Tuesday morning to 6am on Wednesday morning,” said Mr McGrath, adding that it was possible this storm warning could be raised to Red later today.
With high tide at 5.45 metres and a forecast storm surge of 1.05m, the risk of flooding was significant. In addition, winds were currently forecast to be South-West to West, said Mr McGrath, conducive to a flooding event in the city.
“It is potentially problematic . . . the hope would be that the storm surge doesn’t happen at the same time as high tide,” he added.
The flood protection barrier had been installed at Spanish Arch over the weekend and storm gullies had been cleaned. Sandbags were to be distributed throughout the day, said Mr McGrath.
Council staff would be on duty throughout the weather event and Gardaí would be operating rolling road closures from early morning. Carparks in Salthill were closed today, while tow trucks were on standby to remove any vehicles not moved by their owners before the high-risk period.
Chief Supt Curley said it was imperative people stayed home where possible.
The best way to say safe was to “leave the bicycle or the car in the driveway” from early tomorrow morning, and to stay indoors until the worst of the storm had passed.
Met Éireann has warned of potential for flooding in the West, with Storm Barra bringing “severe or damaging gusts” of up to 130km/h.
A Status Orange wind warning has been issued for Galway, Clare, Limerick, Kerry and Cork from 6am Tuesday to 6am Wednesday, with southerly winds, later becoming northwesterly, with mean speeds of 65 to 80km/h and gusts of up to 130km/h possibly higher in coastal areas.
“High waves, high tides, heavy rain and storm surge will lead to wave overtopping and a significant possibility of coastal flooding. Disruption to power and travel are likely,” Met Éireann said.