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Orgilgo Bay tipped for hurdle glory and McCoy’s selected mount can take Plate

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GALWAY HOPEFUL: The Black Russian, trained by Carnmre's Fergus Hanley, has a choice of engagements at next week's summer festival.

IT’S a tip in itself. Champion trainer Willie Mullins is usually mob-handed when he plans an assault on National Hunt racing’s bigger prizes, but next Thursday he will rely on only one horse in the richest hurdle race in the country at Ballybrit.

Not only is strong ante post favourite Pique Sous the stable’s lone challenger for the €250,000 Guinness Galway Hurdle, but Mullins is also lining up the six-year-old grey for an audacious double attempt in the Betfred Ebor at York next month.

Winner of the Queen Alexandra Stakes at Royal Ascot in June, Pique Sous will be making his first appearance over jumps since being pulled up in last year’s Galway Hurdle when the heavy underfoot conditions conspired against Ruby Walsh’s mount.

Running off the same mark as 12 months ago, Pique Sous is already the hype horse for next Thursday’s highlight, but he will have to overcome a potentially numerically strong cross-channel raiding party, headed by top weight Purple Bay which romped home in the Summer Hurdle at Market Rasen last Saturday.

Apart from Purple Bay, trainer John Ferguson could also be represented by Parlour Games, Bordoni and Dubai Prince on his first ever visit to the Galway festival, while among other UK possibles are Alan King’s Mountbazon; the Seamus Mullins trained Fergal; Vulcanite, the second highest rated in the race; and Donald McCain’s in-form Gabrial The Great.

Though Pique Sous leads the strong home defence – at least in the minds of the bookmakers – punters will obviously be taking stock of other leading contenders such as Quick Jack which was last seen finishing third to Gilgamboa in the Boylesports.com Hurdle at Leopardstown back in January.

His trainer Tony Martin has never won the Galway Hurdle but the stable’s runners were in cracking form at last year’s festival chance. Furthermore, Quick Jack is currently set to carry only 9st 10lbs and could be a blot on the handicap.

Gordon Elliott’s Bayan, which was recently successful on the flat at Leopardstown and finished third in the Coral Cup at Cheltenham in March, also heads to Ballybrit with a strong profile, but the one we like best at longer odds is John McConnell’s Orgilgo Bay, assuming the four-year-old makes the final cut.

An honorable third in the Fred Winter Hurdle at the Cheltenham festival, Orgilgo Bay pulverised an admittedly modest field at Downpatrick earlier this month and though winning the Galway Hurdle is a big ask for a four-year-old, Perugino Diamond showed it could be done in 2000.

Top owner JP McManus saw his colours fill the first three places in last year’s Galway Plate with Carlingford Lough and Tony McCoy leading the way, and it’s clear from the original entries that the Limerick native is anxious for more glory in the €200,000 showpiece next Wednesday.

McManus, incredibly, is is responsible for 14 of the 59 entries, with Kid Cassidy, now trained by Christy Roche and second in the Grand Annual in Cheltenham in 2013, heading the weights. Naturally, racegoers will be keeping a close eye on which horse McCoy ends up riding, but it would be no surprise if he opts for It’s A Gimme, an impressive scorer in the Summer Plate at Market Rasen last Saturday.

The Dessie Hughes trained Art Of Logistics is another of the leading ante post fancies, but was unimpressive in justifying cramped odds of 2/9 in Punchestown in early June, while Charlie Byrnes has already indicated that his novice, Domination, a winner at Royal Ascot may skip the race as he is unhappy with the horse’s handicap mark.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

Connacht Tribune

Moycullen living dangerously but manage to shade verdict

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Annaghdown's Eoin Kerin is chased by Moycullen's Aidan Claffey, Daniel Cox and Eoghan Kelly during Sunday's senior football championship tie at Pearse Stadium. Photos: Joe O'Shaughnessy.

Moycullen 1-12

Annaghdown 1-11

Mike Rafferty at Pearse Stadium

WHEN champions are under pressure and the opportunity arises to take advantage of their plight, you have to take them and that in part tells the story from this senior football championship Group 3 contest at Pearse Stadium on Sunday

Having also edged out Claregalway by a single point margin in the first round, Moycullen looked to have some authority about them for a long spell in the opening half, but the concession of a goal just before the break left them just a point up at the interval.

Then for a time on the resumption, Annaghdown stepped it up a few gears and took the lead for the first time in the game, but inexplicably just seemed to take the foot off the gas and let Moycullen back into it. It was their time, but they let the opportunity slip.

Annaghdown made four second half changes were made to freshen matters up, but there was no instant reward. Gradually, Moycullen responded to the challenge presented and a Neil Mulcahy goal was a reward for them hanging in there and when Conor Bohan got their last point of the game on 55 minutes, they had opened up a four point gap.

In a nervous closing ten minutes, they needed it all as the North Galway side scored the last three points of the game and despite forcing the pace, came up just short. For the duration, this was like a chess match. It was typical of the modern game where possession and the hand pass are good and kicking is a lost art.

Both sides had their fair share of turnovers, but at times the game cried out for a long delivery to the inside line where specialists like Dessie Conneely and Frankie Burke might have thrived on a supply in the vast space available.

While Annaghadown had their chance, Moycullen looked a more poised outfit and while they maybe dropped off the pace for a spell, they displayed a calmness and control in their recovery. Overall, it was a merited win, but they must be concerned at only scoring 1-3 (0-2 frees) in the second half.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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Ballinasloe’s Parsons is viral sensation after her scorching run against Italians

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Ireland's Beibhinn Parsons is challenged by Italian full back Vittoria Ostuni Minuzzi during the World Cup qualifying tournament clash in Parma on Sunday.

SHE’S the teenager with pace to burn who almost single-handedly has revived Ireland women’s World Cup qualifying hopes.

Having suffered a shock loss to the minnows of Spain the previous weekend, Ireland had no margin for error in the second round of the qualifying tournament in Parma on Sunday.

But the women in green are back on track thanks in no small part to the stunning exploits of their Galway winger Beibhinn Parsons.

The Ballinasloe bullet, who had scored Ireland’s try in that shock 8-7 defeat to Spain, inspired the visitors to a critical success over the Italians (15-7).

Still only 19, Parsons crossed for another try – her seventh in 13 matches for Ireland – when finishing off scrum-half Sara Barratin’s pass in the left corner in the 28th minute.

But it was her electrifying run in the build-up to Ireland’s match-clinching try from fellow wing, Amee-Leigh Murphy Crowe, which has become a viral sensation.

Parsons collected the ball inside own half on the hour mark and, in a remarkable exhibition of pace and deft footwork, she left a trail of would-be Italian tacklers in her wake.

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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Connacht Tribune

Lively Gort turn on the style in thrashing Tynagh/Abbey

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Tynagh/Abbey-Duniry's Shane Moloney is chased by Gort's Greg Lally and Aidan Harte during the clubs' Senior B championship clash at Duggan Park on Monday. Photos: Joe O'Shaughnessy.

Gort 1-29

Tynagh/Abbey Duniry 1-13

Darren Kelly at Duggan Park

GORT gave a telling indication of their senior hurling championship intentions on Monday evening as a faultless opening quarter delivered a match winning margin in their delayed opener against Tynagh/Abbey-Duniry.

Ten different scorers were to the fore as they amassed 18 white flags in 30 minutes before Albert Mullins’ goal ensured the result was only going one way.

Matt Murphy’s charges certainly had their work put in on the training ground. Not just was their forwards’ mobility difficult to manage, their defenders also showed a willingness to mix roles and positions, often following their man rather than minding their zone.

Tynagh/Abbey-Duniry played their part in a thrilling feast under lights but were quite simply outplayed. Already down Paul Killeen and the injured Padraig Breheny, the east Galway outfit were still only five behind on 26 minutes before a Gort blitz settled the tie by half-time.

It’s dangerous to predict title credentials for a club playing in Senior B, but if Gort can reproduce this form next Monday against Padraig Pearses, the Senior A heavyweights will take notice.

Despite the absence of key personnel, Tynagh/Abbey-Duniry have welcomed additions and new recruit Conor Jordan got off the mark after 55 seconds. Darren O’Donoghue equalised in the second minute and the pace continued with Thomas Gordon restoring the green and blue’s advantage.

Tynagh/Abbey-Duniry were three-point winners the last time these sides met in 2019, but this 0-2 to 0-1 lead was as good as it got. Aiden Helebert levelled for Gort before Jack Grealish midway out on the left put them ahead in the fourth minute.

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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