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O’Brien leads the way as Moycullen take U20 Cup

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The Moycullen U20 basketball squad which won the National Cup after defeating Belfast Star in the National Basketball Arena, Tallaght on Saturday. Back row, left to right: Salva Camps, assistant coach, Conor Egan, Sean Candon, Joseph Tummon, Stephen O'Brien, Dara O'Sullivan, Kyle Cunningham, Nollaig Cunningham, coach. Front row: Darragh Mulkerrins, Rory Gilson, captain, Connor Curran, Eoghan Kelly, Sean Kell, Rory Heffernan, Jack Costelloe. The team is sponsored by McAnns Supervalu, Moycullen.

Moycullen 70

Belfast Star 60

MOYCULLEN basketballers avenged their defeat to Belfast Star in the under 18 cup final two years ago, emerging victorious at the end of this year’s National U20 Cup final by ten points

In a game which took until the second half to come to life, Stephen O’Brien was Moycullen’s key player, with his long range shooting proving vital in the Galway side’s win.

Poor shot selection and plenty of missed chances, both from long and short range, were the theme of the opening quarter as both sides adjusted to the cup final stage. Belfast Star captain Conor Quinn was the most energetic, regularly attacking at speed and causing problems for Moycullen, who held the lead at the end of a cagey first quarter 17-13.

Moycullen’s inability to make shots in the first quarter was not evident in the second. Two well taken three-point shots from Stephen O’Brien signified that whatever Belfast could do in terms of attacking basketball, the Galway team could match.

Belfast continued the theme of pacey attacking, John Largey getting them off the mark with two points and a free throw. This was Belfast’s only free throw attempt in the whole first half, reflecting Moycullen’s ability to defend efficiently. Half-time arrived, with Moycullen leading on a score of 35-31.

O’Brien was by now beginning to cause serious problems for the Belfast defence. He weaved his way into a scoring position and scored a close range shot to open the third quarter. Liam Pettigrew and John Largey kept the scoreboard moving on Belfast’s behalf, but O’Brien again showed his dominance when scoring a lay up following a steal on Sean Joe Rooney.

Conor Quinn and the impressive Rory Gilson exchanged scores for both sides as the game took on a rhythm of one team scoring, followed by the other. Moycullen kept the Belfast at bay for the remainder, finishing the third quarter with a 50-47 lead.

That rhythm found its way into the final quarter, but Moycullen always held the advantage. O’Brien landed yet another three-pointer to open up a five point lead for the Galway side as the tension rose. Rory Gilson scored a lay up off a fast defensive break after severe Belfast pressure, which turned out to be the final nail in Belfast’s coffin. Moycullen comfortably prevailed in the end.

“There’s good steel in these boys,” said Moycullen Coach Nollaig Cunningham. “We knew Star were good. The lads have played against them in schools and club. It was always going to be a tough game. The pressure defence tired them out, so we could knock down the shots in the end. That’s how it works.”

Moycullen scorers: R Gilson 17, S O’Brien 15, K Cunningham 14, S Candon 9, J Tummon 9. MVP: Stephen O’Brien.

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

CITY TRIBUNE

City sides will fancy chances of advancing as champions face Corofin

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Bearna's James Kennedy hits the deck in Ballinasloe on Tuesday as Annaghdown's Frankie Burke and Darragh Meehan try to chase down possession. Photo: Joe O'Shaughnessy.

The battle for this year’s county Senior Gaelic football club title looks to be wide open after the quarter-final draw was made this week following the delayed conclusion of the group stages on Tuesday night.

Salthill/Knocknacarra, who finished second in group 2, have been handed a last eight tie with a Tuam Stars side that finished third in group 1; while St Michael’s, who topped Group 3, will face an Annaghdown side that nabbed the final quarter-final spot in dramatic fashion on Tuesday night.

They went into their game with Bearna knowing they needed to win by a minimum of 12points to pip Milltown to the final qualifying spot as the second best of the teams that finished third in the group stages.

They looked to be coming up just short until they were awarded a late free, which goalkeeper James Healy converted, to snatch that remaining quarter-final slot on socring difference form Milltown.

The 2020 champions, Moycullen, will take on Claregalway in the last eight; while the pick of the ties is undoubtedly the clash of defending champions, Mountbellew/Moylough, with a Corofin side that was denied the five-in-a-row by Moycullen two years ago.

At the other end of the equation, St James’ are in a relegation battle, and face a clash with An Spidéal in the preliminary play-offs. A win will secure their senior status for another year, but a defeat will see them join Oughterard, An Cheathru Rua, and the losers of the other preliminary play-off between Caherlistrane and Monivea/Abbey in a round robin league, with the bottom two sides in those play-offs dropping to the intermediate ranks next year.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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CITY TRIBUNE

Play-offs dress rehearsal facing Utd against Treaty

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Former Galway United player Enda Curran celebrates his recent hat-trick for Treaty United in their FAI Cup quarter-final win over UCD. The in-form Mervue native will be facing the Tribesmen in a First Division clash on Friday.

GALWAY United head to Limerick this Friday evening for what is looking like a dress rehearsal for the end-of-season play-offs as they take on Treaty United in the Markets Field (7.45pm).

This is United’s game-in-hand over league leaders, Cork City, and a win will see them close the gap on the Leesiders to four points with three games remaining, and while a win would give the slightest of hopes of a late challenge for league honours, it is more likely to serve as a further boost to confidence ahead of the protracted play-off series that kicks-off at the end of next month.

United need to win their final four games to have any hope of snatching the title, and given the goal difference between the sides, they also need to hope that City don’t pick up more than four points from their last three games, if they are to finish top of the pile.

United’s last three games after this weekend are at home to Athlone, away to Wexford, and home to Longford Town; while City are home to Wexford, away to Athlone, and home to Bray, the easier of the two run-ins, so for United it is all about building momentum ahead of the play-offs.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App

Download the Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App to access to Galway’s best-selling newspaper.

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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

Late points from Burke and Wall grab draw for Corofin

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Tuam Stars' Paul Collins tries to halt Ronan Steede of Corofin in his tracks during Sunday's Senior Football Group 1 encounter at Tuam Stadium. Photo: Joe O'Shaughnessy.

Corofin 0-16

Tuam Stars 0-16

Eanna O’Reilly at Tuam Stadium

A late point from Corofin’s Ian Burke denied Tuam Stars a notable win over their close neighbours in an entertaining contest at Tuam Stadium on Sunday afternoon. In a closely fought contest, the Stars appeared to have done enough with two late points from Brian Mannion putting them ahead by 0-16 to 0-14 in the dying minutes of the second half.

In typically composed fashion however, Corofin refused to panic and used all of their experience to engineer two late scores, the first from Dylan Wall, before Burke held his nerve to convert a mark to give Corofin a share of the spoils.

The result means that both sides qualified for the quarter finals, after both finished the group stages with eight points. Corofin were drawn against defending champions Mountbellew/Moylough in a mouth-watering tie, while Tuam Stars will face Salthill/Knocknacara in another intriguing clash.

For more, read this week’s Connacht 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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