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Man with the nice touches leads Connacht to history

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Connacht head coach Pat Lam celebrates following his side's victory in the Guinness PRO12 Final at Murrayfield. Photo by Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile

A little over an hour before the PRO 12 final in Edinburgh, both squads were out on the field going through their warm-up drills.

Connacht head coach Pat Lam, probably tied-up with pre-match media duties, was one of the last from either camp to emerge onto the Murrayfield grass.

As he walked out from the tunnel, the Samoan went straight over to the Leinster half of the pitch.

Before engaging in a brief chat with his Leinster counterpart, Leo Cullen, on the half-way line, Lam first made a bee-line for Ica Nacewa. He shook the New Zealander’s hand and exchanged a few words.

Only they know what exactly was said but it’s probably safe to assume Lam was sympathising with the Leinster full-back, who had been ruled out of the final after sustaining an arm injury against Ulster in the semi-final. It was a nice touch.

Fast-forward to the Sportsground for Sunday’s homecoming, after an incredible historic victory. Lam was the last of the Connacht squad to leave the ground. Long after most of the madding-crowd had departed for home or town, to continue the celebrations, Lam lingered on.

For over an hour, he stayed out on the field and signed autographs and posed for selfies with the hundreds of children who lined-up to meet their newest hero. Everyone who wanted a signature or photograph was obliged. It was another nice touch.

These aren’t isolated incidents. And this wasn’t just for ‘show’.

Remember this is a guy, who, in the early hours of the morning of one of the biggest games in his Connacht coaching career, against Glasgow, was out walking the prom in Salthill for charity.

It was four o’clock on the morning of a crunch tie that would determine whether his side enjoyed home advantage in the league semi-finals, and yet instead of getting some shut-eye, Lam was out supporting suicide charity, Pieta House, and its Darkness into Light event. Again, it was a nice touch . . . and a measure of the man.

In 2009, former Ireland coach Declan Kidney was interviewed on live TV after Ireland captured its first Six Nations Grand Slam in donkeys’ years.

The Munster man was credited with masterminding the success but, humble and modest, Kidney instead dedicated the win to the underage coaches and ‘unsung heroes’ of the game in the clubs across the country. He said he was just happy to get a ticket to the game!

Lam was not unlike Kidney in his unassuming post-match interviews. He spoke of how it was a “privilege” to be part of this success, almost as if he’d nothing to do with it.

He credited his coaching and management team and all the backroom staff.  He heaped praise on the players; never before has he been involved with a group that works as hard as they do, he said.

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

 

 

CITY TRIBUNE

United make short work of Wexford FC in mis-match

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Galway United’s top scorer Stephen Walsh who twice hit the target in Friday's First Division win over Wexford FC.

Wexford FC 0

Galway United 4

WE’RE not yet at the half-way point in the season, but Galway United are playing like a side that will lift the First Division title come October. John Caulfield’s team made it six wins on the spin in Ferrycarrig Park last Friday.

Such was United’s dominance from the first whistle, the only thing Wexford were in with a shout of winning was the half-time raffle, and even then, the winner had Galway loyalties with the prize being won by the grandmother of Wexford native but United midfielder, Mikie Rowe.

United made one change to the side which trounced Cobh Ramblers the previous week, Gary Boylan coming in to start in a new formation which saw him play in the hole just between frontman, Stephen Walsh, and the attacking midfield trio of Wilson Waweru, Dave Hurley, and Ed McCarthy.

It was United’s second successive away game, and just like that trip to Cobh, this game was as good as over by half-time with the Tribesmen once again taking a 3-0 lead into the dressing room.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App

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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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CITY TRIBUNE

O’Brien and McGowan make para-rowing history

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Steven McGowan and Katie O'Brien pictured in Italy with club coaches, Mike Gaffney and Conor Moloney.

Two members of Galway Rowing Club made history last weekend when they formed Ireland’s first competitive para-rowing crew as they attended a training camp in Italy, before competing in a para-rowing regatta.

Katie O’Brien from Clarinbridge was joined by clubmate, Roscommon native Steven McGowan, as they took what they hope is another step towards qualifying for the 2024 Paralympics in Paris.

The pair competed in the PR2 (back and arms) category in their first international para-rowing regatta in Gavirate in northern Italy, which was made possible by Galway Rowing Club’s move to actively support Rowing Ireland’s Paralympic rowing programme for the 2024 Paris Olympics.

O’Brien is a renowned oarswoman, and has competed on her own in the 1X in para-rowing, but there are no single seat boats in the Paralympics, so she and McGowan have joined forces in a new partnership.

For more, read this week’s Galway City 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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CITY TRIBUNE

United seeking seventh win on the trot in home tie with Athlone Town

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Galway United’s Conor McCormack in action against Kurtis Byrne of Athlone Town last season. The teams clash in the First Division at Eamonn Deacy Park on Friday evening.

JOHN Caulfield is preaching a message of patience ahead of his side’s home game with Athlone Town on Friday (7.45pm), a game which could see his side match the club record of seven consecutive wins.

That run was set in 2006, when United finished third in the First Division under Tony Cousins, and this Friday they ‘only’ need to beat the division’s basement side, and a side without a win this season, to match that run of a magnificent seven wins.

It is that kind of talk, however, that Caulfield is keen to stamp out, pointing out that, under new interim manager Dermot Lennon, the Midlands side have improved in recent weeks, and have only been beaten by a single goal in their last three games.

Longford Town edged the Midlands El Classico last weekend by the odd goal in three; Cork City won on a matching 2-1 score in the previous week, their winner coming with the last kick of the game; while Waterford scraped to a 1-0 win at home to De Town the week before that again.

“We have to show patience, we have to be strong from the start and impose our game, but we have to be patient,” the United manager told Tribune Sport this week.

“We need to keep our composure, keep to our game plan, keep our patience, and I would say that to the crowd as well, they need to be patient as Athlone will come and sit in and look to hit us on the counter-attack, and it will be up to us to break them down,” he said.

For more, read this week’s Galway City 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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