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Nicholson’s timely strike sees Milltown carry day

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Milltown's Cathal Blake gets the ball away against Salthill/Knocknacarra during Saturday's senior football championship quarter-final at Tuam Stadium. Photos: Enda Noone.

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Salthill/Knocknacarra 0-15

MILLTOWN had to dig deep into their reserves of character and resolve to see off the challenge of Salthill-Knocknacarra at Tuam Stadium on Saturday evening, eventually ending up one point winners as Fergal Nicholson’s first half goal proved invaluable in this tightly fought senior football championship quarter final.

Nicholson’s strike came on the stroke of half time after the city side had reeled off four points on the trot, and a determined start to the second half meant that Milltown had turned a slight deficit into a five point advantage. Damien Brennan and Mark Hehir were key components in this surge, with Hehir providing the key pass to raiding defender Ciaran Blake to set up the goal.

Salthill-Knocknacarra rallied, though, and were back within one with under ten minutes to play as Seán Armstrong‘s influence grew once pulled out to centre half forward. Milltown calmly reeled off a couple of points to seemingly halt the charge, but again Salthill crafted two scores in a minute to leave them only a single point behind.

Despite being without star forward James Kavanagh, Milltown showed their depth of talent as substitute Tommy Wynne set up fellow replacement Seán Hehir for a vital score with a little over a minute to play, and although Salthill-Knocknacarra clawed one back deep into stoppage time, they just couldn’t force a leveller, and Milltown advance to face the holders Corofin in the last four.

One player who deserved this win more than anyone was the Milltown captain and full back Darren Mullahy. From early on, Salthill’s main attacking ploy was to find Seán Armstrong with long, raking deliveries. He had Mullahy in trouble in the opening quarter but the Milltown man stuck his guns, holding him to a solitary score from play, scored in the second minute.

Aside from his defensive duties, Mullahy burst forward into the opposition territory on at least three or four occasions, always taking the shortest, most direct route to goal. His 53rd minute foray led to fellow defender John Martin grabbing a vital score, and if Milltown are to dethrone the champions, then Mullahy will have to be in similarly inspiring form.

After the frantic finale of the opening game, this tie began at a more sedate pace, with the sides trading four scores in the opening ten minutes as Salthill peppered their full forward line with high balls. Armstrong kicked the first point and Seamie Crowe added their second, but two Mike Martin points levelled it up.

Crowe then kicked a free badly wide which seemed to knock his confidence – four further chances were missed – and he was withdrawn at half time with no obvious injury worries. Milltown then hit a purple patch and added three points in quick succession as Martin (free), Damien Brennan, and Seán Glynn all raised white flags.

Brian Conlon’s pace was obviously a worry for Milltown, and the Salthill corner forward almost goalled on 24 minutes but his well hit shot flew over the bar. Seán Armstrong then kicked two frees to level matters at 0-5 apiece, with midfielder Barry Kelly a central figure in most of the Seasider’s best work.

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.

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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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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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