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Narrow win for Portumna in game of shadow-boxing

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Conor Cooney hit nine points for St Thomas' as he showed he is almost back to his best.

Portumna 3-15

St Thomas’ 0-23

There may have been an element of shadow boxing in this meaningless Group C fixture on Sunday but, in saying that, both of these serious title contenders had periods when they sought to lay down a marker in advance of the business end of the championship.

With these former All-Ireland club champions having already qualified for the quarter-finals, both fielded weakened teams. Favourites Portumna didn’t line out with Leo Smith, Ollie Canning or Damien Hayes; while four of the Burkes – Darragh, David, Eanna and Kenneth – began this tie on the bench for St Thomas’.

Indeed, by the time the Burkes began to make their way onto the field for the Kilchreest/Peterswell outfit, Portumna had already built up a sizeable first-half lead that had, at one stage, extended to nine points.

It was typical Portumna really, hitting their shell-shocked opponents for 2-8 in the opening 21 minutes. To the fore was Galway star Joe Canning with the two goals on five and 21 minutes respectively, with the first coming after Ivan Canning and Richie Murray had exchanged early points.

It was a glorious move in the lead-in to Canning’s opening goal, initiated by a Joe Keane puck-out and incorporating fine work from Kevin Hayes and Paddy Dolphin. The score ignited the title favourites as Ronan O’Meara, Joe Canning (2) and Ciaran Comerford hit a succession of points in the ensuing minutes.

All the intensity and pace came from Portumna in this period which more resembled a shooting drill at training rather than a SHC championship encounter. St Thomas’, who by now fearing their attitude was perhaps a little too laid-back coming into the game, stirred somewhat.

Bernard Burke, Conor Cooney (2) and Richie Murray subsequently exchanged points with the two Cannings – Joe and Ivan – but Portumna had not finished laying down their markers just yet and when Conor Cooney had his pocket picked by Martin Dolphin, it set up Canning for his second goal.

In fairness to Thomas’, they responded to this mini-crisis of falling nine points behind in some fashion – they would go 11 points arrears in the second half! – and by the end of the game they were looking to pinch the win. However, a wides tally of 13 to Portumna’s six proved detrimental to a positive outcome.

That said, they finished the first half the stronger, outscoring Portumna four points to two; Conor Cooney leading the charge with three points – two frees and a sideline ball – while Anthony Kelly also scratched his name on the scoresheet in this time.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

 

CITY TRIBUNE

Dropped points leaves Utd losing touch with Cork City

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Galway United's Charlie Lyons tries to halt the progress of Wexford FC's Ger Shortt during Friday evening's Frst Division tie at Eamonn Deacy Park. Photo: Joe O'Shaughnessy.

Galway United 2

Wexford FC 2

IT might be just as well that Galway United have drawn UCD in the next round of the FAI Cup as it will give the Tribesmen a taste of what might come in the promotion play-off final later in the year.

UCD or Finn Harps will be the Premier Division side in that play-off, and United look set for that lottery of a route to promotion for a third straight year after these two dropped points on Friday night left them with a lot – maybe too much – to do to catch Cork City.

It was a belter of a game of football, but Wexford will have been the least disappointed of the two sides as they edged a shade closer to Treaty United in the battle for the final play-off spot.

United, on the other hand, fell to now be three points behind City, and with the Leesiders having a game in hand, and also a vastly superior goal difference (+41 as opposed to United’s +29), they have one hand on the league trophy, and the other reaching for the Brasso.

Stephen Walsh was scoring his 15th goal of the season on Friday night, while Rob Manley was making it four goals in five games since joining from Bray Wanderers, but it still wasn’t enough to claim the three points against a visiting side that got their reward for approaching the game in such a positive fashion.

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

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CITY TRIBUNE

Salthill serve up a strong finish to take derby spoils

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Bearna's Murcha Iarsach getting the better of Salthill/Knocknacarra's Cathal Sweeney during Saturday's Senior Football Championship clash at Pearse Stadium. Photos: Joe O'Shaughnessy.

Salthill/ Knocknacara 2-15

Bearna 0-12

Eanna O’Reilly at Pearse Stadium

A very strong fourth quarter from Salthill/Knocknacara saw them see off the challenge of a Bearna side who will have regrets about a game in which they created plenty of scoring chances, but lacked the efficiency of their opponents in front of the posts.

John O’Mahony’s Salthill side struggled to gain dominance of this contest for long spells before their greater accuracy in front of goal began to tell in the second half. An impressive fourth quarter performance put Bearna to the sword, but O’Mahony will know they have plenty to improve on going forward.

The manner in which Bearna opened up the Salthill defence on a couple of occasions in the first half was notable. Salthill were lucky not to concede two goals, when both Oisín Ó Garmaile and Pádraig Ó Diolúin hit the woodwork with shots in the first half. The city men could easily have been behind at half time, rather than going in with a four point lead.

Bearna’s shooting profligacy ultimately caught up with them and undermined an early second half comeback. Three consecutive points saw them reduce the deficit to the minimum, but a couple of scorable frees were also missed, at a time when the momentum was in their favour.

Ultimately, Daithí Ó Domhnallaín’s side were outscored by 1-8 to 0-6 in the second period. Salthill were far more economical, while their use of possession was also superior to Bearna’s throughout the match.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App

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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.

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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

Galway United face tough task in Waterford on potentially defining weekend

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Division tie against Wexford FC at Eamonn Deacy Park. Photo: Joe O'Shaughnessy.

THIS could be a defining weekend in the chase for the First Division title, as Galway United make the long trek to take on a Waterford FC side that also faces league leaders, Cork City, on Monday, in the second of two homes Munster derbies this weekend for the Leesiders.

United need to get the job done themselves in the RSC this Friday (7.45pm) before worrying how City fare at home to Treaty United on the same night, and against Waterford on Monday – and anything other than a win will mean it won’t really matter how Cork get on.

“Waterford, they are a team challenging for the title, whether they can keep up or not I don’t know, but they are in there, they are a very good team as we have seen, and they beat [cup holders] Pats [St Patrick’s Athletic] in the cup, it is another massive match for us,” United manager, John Caulfield, said of this Friday’s opponents.

Truth be told, while Waterford may be third in the table, they are 12 points behind City and are not involved in the title race, but that won’t mean they will just roll over to have their bellies tickled on Friday, and while United have the edge in the head-to-head between the sides this season, they have been thrilling, hard-fought battles.

United’s first home game of the season saw Waterford race into a 2-0 lead by the break, only for goals from Stephen Walsh and the since-departed Jordan Adeyomo (gone to Longford) to rescue a point for United.

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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