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Ohlstrom the Knocknacarra hero in Connacht Junior Cup

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Eric Ohlstrom was the Knocknacarra hero as his second goal of the day was enough to give his side a 4-3 extra-time win over MD Town and in the process set up a home tie against Castlebar Celtic in the last 16 of the Connacht Junior Cup.

In the Western Hygiene Supplies Premier Division, NUI Galway eventually fashioned a comfortable away win over St Patricks and in the process they moved into second position behind runaway leaders Mervue United.

However, it was another weekend of limited action, as a huge amount of games once more fell by the wayside due to the inclement weather.

Knocknacarra     4

MD Town            3

(After extra-time)

A game that never really set the pulses racing came to life in extra time as the outcome firstly looked to be going the way of the visitors, before two goals in a three-minute spell turned matters in favour of the home side at Cappagh Park on Sunday afternoon.

If Knocknacarra offered the greater attacking threat in the opening half, they could certainly regret a number of missed opportunities, as it was MD Town who held on to enjoy an interval advantage.

That breakthrough arrived on just four minutes as a rapid counter attack released Conor McLoughlin, but after he was denied by the advancing goalkeeper Cian Costello, Callum Manhire was following up to side foot home from the edge of the box for a 1-0 advantage.

Knocknacarra should have taken the lead moments earlier as a great break by Aengus MacDonnacha wasn’t rewarded, for after linking with Eric Ohlstrom, he meekly fired a close range effort at the advancing James Kilgariff.

Albert Conroy later released Keith O’Shaughnessy in the box, but his angled effort went past the far post from close range. On 19 minutes, the prolific striker was denied by a brilliant one-handed save by Kilgariff, as John Culkeen eventually cleared the danger with a big boot.

MD Town –a combination of Miltown and Dunmore – offered a more limited attacking threat and Costello did well to claw a near post McLoughlin corner away from under the crossbar. Packie Manhire also made the goalkeeper work to make another smart save on 33 minutes.

The visitors could have been out of sight but for two glaring misses in the opening minutes of the second half. Firstly, Brendan McGrath headed a Callum Manhire cross past the far post, when he should at least have hit the target. Then when McGrath released McLoughlan through the middle, Costello advanced to thwart the effort on the edge of the box.

Very quickly, Knocknacarra responded with a smashing goal. Exciting left-full Dean Lydon started the move before setting up MacDonnacha and his lay-off was drilled low into the bottom corner by Ohlstrom to tie up matters at 1-1. Lydon was again the instigator as they made it 2-1 on 58 minutes, when O’Shaughnessy applied the finish after rounding Kilgariff at close quarters.

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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