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CITY TRIBUNE

Nothing other than victory over Toulouse will keep Connacht’s Euro hopes alive

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Connacht out half Jack Carty who is set to return to the team for Saturday's European Champions Cup tie against Toulouse at the Sportsground.

IT really is familiar territory – a poor performance in the league right before a crucial must-win clash in Europe. Down through the years, Connacht have tended to buck the trend in these fixtures and surprise teams with their ability to change gears. They’ll be looking for history to repeat itself on Saturday as French champions Toulouse arrive in Galway for the round five Champions Cup clash (3:15).

If the four-time European winners know their history, they would do well not to read too much into recent poor Connacht performances. Spending too much time dissecting the defeats in Ulster and Leinster from recent weeks could be a fool’s errand as the home team that takes to the field on Saturday will be a much-changed outfit from what we saw in those one sided defeats in Belfast and Dublin.

Injuries and enforced rest periods for the two World Cup squad members meant Connacht’s squad was stretched to breaking point over Christmas and boy did it break, conceding 13 tries in two away games and being fortunate that both opponents eased off somewhat during the second half of the one-sided drubbings. However, the number of players returning to action this weekend will lift the spirits of all involved.

Ahead of Saturday’s clash, Connacht are regarded as outsiders but by no means no hopers. From the side that lost to Leinster, there could conceivably be up to eight changes with key players returning. Jack Carty, Bundee Aki and Matt Healy will all strengthen the backline options, Dave Heffernan, Finlay Bealham, Ultan Dillane, Jarrad Butler and Colby Fainga’a are all set to bolster the pack.

That said, the majority of the 23 who are in action on Saturday will have been involved during both Christmas defeats and their confidence and self-belief must have been stretched to the limit in recent days. Head coach Andy Friend thinks it’s the kind of test of character that they should relish.

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

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.

 

CITY TRIBUNE

Missing man may be in Galway City

Enda Cunningham

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Gardaí in Cork believe that a man missing from Midleton since last week may be in Galway City. are renewing their appeal for assistance in locating 53-year-old French man Christophe Goutte, is missing from his home in O’Brien Terrace, Midleton since Wednesday 15th January.

From enquiries to date it is understood that Christophe took a bus from Cork Bus Station that Wednesday and disembarked at 5.35pm in Galway City. He is living in Ireland for a number of years.

Christophe was last seen leaving work in Carrigtowhill, Co. Cork at approximately 11am on Wednesday 15th.

He is described as being 5″ 8′ in height, of stocky build with brown short hair and white skin with a sallow complexion. When last seen he was wearing a black coat, black pants, a black woollen hat and a brown pair of boots, he was carrying a dark coloured overall bag.

Gardaí are particularly appealing to those in the Galway city or surrounding areas to report any recent sightings of Christophe.

Anyone with information on his whereabouts is asked to contact Cobh Garda Station on 021 – 4908530, the Garda Confidential Line on 1800 666 111, or any Garda Station

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CITY TRIBUNE

City Council planning €2.5m bailout for Galway 2020

Dara Bradley

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Galway City Council looks set to bail out Galway 2020 – with an additional grant of €2.5 million to cover the European Capital of Culture programming costs.

The local authority has already allocated €6 million for the project, which officially launches on Saturday, February 8, with an event in South Park, Claddagh.

But city councillors will be asked to approve a further €1.25 million in both 2021 and 2022, at a special meeting next Monday.

The city’s ratepayers may ultimately have to cover the extra costs. A 3% higher commercial rate, introduced in the build-up to this year, and retained in 2020 with agreement of business representatives, may be maintained into 2021 and 2022 if management City Hall has its way.

As well as having to find €2.5 million extra for Galway 2020, Chief Executive of the City Council, Brendan McGrath, will ask councillors to sanction a grant of €80,000 to Druid Theatre for a production it is planning for March of this year, which was not part of the original Galway 2020 programme.
This is a preview only. To read the rest of this article, see this week’s Galway City Tribune. Buy a digital edition of this week’s paper here.

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CITY TRIBUNE

Holders Rangers advance but Mervue Utd crash out

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Geoffrey Power scored twice for Connacht Junior Cup defending champions, Corrib Rangers, in their 4-2 win over MCR of Sligo.  

Soccer Wrap with Mike Rafferty

The returning Geoffrey Power was to the forefront for Corrib Rangers as the Connacht Junior Cup holders got the defence of their title off to a winning start in Drom on Sunday afternoon with a victory over Sligo visitors, MCR.

Salthill Devon, West United, Maree/Oranmore, East United and Hibernians also all advanced with different degrees of comfort, but there was a big shock as Mervue United suffered a three-goal hammering away against Manulla; while Knocknacarra, Renmore and Merlin Woods/Medtronic also all exited the competition in competitive games.

CONNACHT JUNIOR CUP

Corrib Rangers 4

MCR 2

The break-up of Brendan O’Connor’s Connacht Junior Cup winning side happened probably somewhat faster than the manager might have expected, but the return of Geoffrey Power at the weekend was a huge bonus as the striker contributed two goals as well as lifting a side that just seven months ago won the most coveted trophy in the province.

In a game switched to Drom because their own grounds at Westside are closed, the home side made the perfect start when Power got on the end of a long ball from Sean Keogh and drilled low shot into the corner.

However, the advantage was rather short-lived as a Keith Nibbs header levelled matters; before another set piece goal gave Rangers a 2-1 interval advantage as Stephen Gilmore got on the end of a Mark Wynne free kick to head home.

The Sligo visitors were displaying plenty of ability and they levelled matters for the second time when Ciaran Harvey applied the finish on this occasion with another header to tie up matters at 2-2 on the hour mark.

In a contest in which numerous opportunities were created at both ends, it was Rangers who regained the advantage when Paul Smith linked up with Keogh before slotting home to make it 3-2.

Rangers goalkeeper Shane Richardson continued to play his part with some smashing saves, and as the game entered the final minute, it was Power who again applied the finish that sealed the win and will also act as a confidence booster for a side struggling somewhat in the Premier League.

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

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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