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Soccer

Mervue Utd get back to winning ways to close gap at top of table

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Mervue United 2
Waterford United 1

Jason Byrne at Fahy’s Field

It wasn’t for the footballing purist, but Mervue United got back to winning ways against Waterford United at Fahy’s Field on Friday night in what could prove to be one of their most crucial wins of the campaign.

Johnny Glynn’s men have still lost just once, and after drawing their last two which they should have won, this three points keeps them well in touch at the top of the First division standings.

Goals in either half from youngster Ryan Manning and stalwart Paul Sinnott were enough to make it four wins from four against the men from the southeast, against which Mervue had a dire record until last year.

The home side hit the front after just five minutes on Friday night when a superb cross from Gary Shanahan – who made his first start – was met by the head of the rising Manning, who finished with aplomb.

The youngster looks well able for this level, despite being just 16 years of age, showing why many tip him to enjoy a prosperous career. His reading of passes and runs are added bonuses to his lethal finishing.

Five minutes later, though, the visitors should have levelled the game when Daragh Walsh was sent clean through with just Conor Gleeson to beat, but the big ’keeper saved well.

With Brian O’Donoghue not risked after suffering concussion against Salthill Devon the previous weekend, Gleeson had a point to prove and two minutes later he made another fine stop to deny Waterford winger Peter Higgins.

Mervue spurned a glorious opportunity to double their lead on 17 minutes when Manning used his pace on the left to find space, and his swinging cross was met by Noel Varley, but he headed wide with the goal at his mercy.

As the half hour-mark approached, Shanahan continued to cause Waterford problems and he provided supply again in the form of a decent cross which Jason Molloy collected, but his shot was deflected clear.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Sentinel.

Soccer

Lomboto’s late strike earns United share of the spoils

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Galway United 2
Athlone Town 2

GALWAY United had to twice come from behind against basement side Athlone Town on Monday night to snatch a draw that was, on balance, probably a little harsh on the visiting side.
Completely outplayed in the opening 45 minutes, United had an absolute howler from visiting goalkeeper, Aaron Myles, to thank for going into the break on level terms; and then needed an equaliser five minutes from time to claim a draw against a side that came into the game having lost all four games they had played this season.
Alan Murphy’s side already find themselves nine points behind the league leaders just four games into the season, and a major improvement is needed if they are to finish in the top half of the table and inside the play-off spots.
Their central midfield was way off the mark on Monday night – both Maurice Nugent and Sam Warde were hauled ashore before the final whistle – and having abandoned the 4-4-2 formation which delivered some decent results near the end of last season, they are struggling to get quality ball into the opposition box.
With Shane Duggan expected to return to central midfield after suspension for this Saturday’s trip to Cobh Ramblers, it might be time to go with some out-and-out wingers and get some cohesion in the side.
The first couple of half chances on Monday fell to the home side, but Mikey Place didn’t get any power behind his second minute effort; while Marc Ludden was well off target subsequently.
The visitors, who had the opening half’s best player in their ranks in the guise of Galway native, Ronan Manning, went close a couple of times themselves in the ninth minute, United surviving thanks to Cian Murphy getting a block on Adam Lennon’s shot; while Kevin Horgan pulled off a ‘worldie’ to deny Joel Coustrain from the subsequent corner.
By that stage, the visitors were starting to get on top, and they took a deserved lead in the 22nd minute when Manning’s corner from the left was met by Taner Dogan at the back post to head home as the United marking was, not for the first time this season, shambolic at a set-piece.
Tempers were starting to fray a little, with both sides having two players finding their way into the notebook of Dublin referee, Oliver Moran, before United were gifted an equaliser in the 41st minute.

Full report in this week’s Connacht Tribune

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CITY TRIBUNE

Doyle bags hat-trick in Galway WFC romp

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Paul Corcorcan

GALWAY WFC notched a second win in a row in the Women’s National League when they defeated Limerick 6-1 at the Markets Field on Sunday afternoon.

A McKenna Doyle hat trick and goals from Sadbh Doyle, Chloe Singleton and Aoife Thompson helped the Galway women to a resounding win. Five of the six goals for Galway were assisted by Lynsey McKey during what was a stellar performance by the experienced midfielder.

Galway WFC are back in action at Eamonn Deacy Park tomorrow (Saturday, kick off 3pm) when they welcome league leaders Peamount United.

See full match report in City Tribune Sport.

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CITY TRIBUNE

Cup offers United chance to boost morale

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HAVING insisted all year that Galway United’s First Division campaign has been about developing their young talents, manager Alan Murphy has admitted this Sunday’s first round FAI Cup tie against Leinster Senior League side, Collinstown at Whitehall Stadium (2pm) is about winning.

United have not recorded a competitive victory since mid-May, when they came from behind to see off Longford Town 2-1 in a First Division fixture at Eamonn Deacy Park. That win came courtesy of two Vinny Faherty goals.

Since then, they have lost eight of their twelve outings, with their four draws coming against Cabinteely, Bray Wanderers, Athlone Town, and the First Division’s bottom team, Wexford Youths, who have won just two First Division fixtures this season.

However, this weekend’s Cup game against a non-League of Ireland outfit could provide a much-needed morale boosting victory for his charges.

“It would,” acknowledged Murphy. “Even to be in the next round of the FAI Cup would be huge; it would be huge for this group of inexperienced players that I have really. I mean, every game is a brilliant chance for these guys to get another little bit of experience, and to experience a different challenge, and this weekend will provide exactly that.

“I have said, week in, week out, this is a development year and these players need experience but this weekend is probably a little bit more about winning than it has been all season because of the fact you will be out of the competition if you don’t win,” he said.

Se full preview in City Tribune Sport.

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