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Talking Sport

Oughterard golfer proving a major hit on the fairways

Stephen Glennon

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Oughterard Golf Club's Devin Morley who was Ireland's top points scorer at the recent Boys Home Internationals in Wales.

Talking Sport with Stephen Glennon

In the clubhouse of Oughterard Golf Club, a number of photographs line the wall, including one of four-time major winner, Rory McIlroy. However, it is not the first photograph visitors are likely to see when they walk through the doors. That privilege falls to local hero Devin Morley.

A native of Glann, Morley, who won the Connacht U-15 Close at the age of just 13, has become the toast of Oughterard GC after he finished as Ireland’s leading points scorer – with a total of 4.5 from a possible six – at the Boys Home Internationals at Conwy in Wales recently.

As the only Galway and Connacht representative on the 11-man Irish team, it was quite an achievement for the 18-year-old whose star continues to rise. Given his performance, he is hopeful of being selected for Ireland’s six-man team for the European Championships in September.

In any event, Morley’s star is on the rise even if the teenager is taking it all in his stride. “To be honest, it didn’t feel any different to any other week. It was just another week against better players and you just had to perform a bit better. I knew going over there that I had nothing to lose and I could just go for it and get as many points as I could,” he begins.

“So, I won my first foursomes with Cathal Butler. Cathal – he is from Kinsale – and I had three out of three in the foursomes. We played very well together. We won our matches 3 & 2, 6 & 4 and 3 & 1. They were on every morning so you were always on a high going into the singles after them wins.”

Buoyed by the opening morning’s session against Scotland, the St. Paul’s Oughterard secondary school student, who sits his Leaving Cert. next year, felt confident going in against his singles opponent Andrew Thompson later that day.

“I had nothing to lose so I just went for it. It was a close enough game. There were a lot of birdies in the match. He is a good player from Scotland and he has done well in a lot of Scottish tournaments. I made a few birdies on the stretch and then he won 17 and we halved on 18 with pars. So, I halved that match.”

Unfortunately, after being 3-2 down after the morning session, Ireland were unable to claw back the deficit in the singles and, in the end, were overwhelmed by the Scottish who took the match day victory on a 10-5 scoreline. From Ireland’s tally though, Morley had plundered a point and a half.

“Then, the second day, we were playing England and going out against England I knew I had to get two points. I couldn’t lose to England,” he laughs. “So, when we went out on the morning, I said to Cathal on the first tee, we just have to rip these lads up. “He played really good golf and we won 6 & 4.

“Then going out in the evening, I was playing against Billy Spooner. He is a really good English player who has had a lot of good finishes in tournaments this year. I said to Dad going out though, I have to get two out of two against England. I am not losing to this lad.”

Morley was true to his word. He attacked every hole, playing the sort of golf Irish players are famed for at match-play events such as the Ryder Cup. “I went for everything; 20 foot putts were going in or I was picking the ball up. I birdied 16 to beat him; I held a little 25-footer off the green for a birdie,” he smiles.

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

 

Connacht Tribune

Connacht raise the roof again with magnificent late heroics

John McIntyre

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Claregalway's Dara Whelan, Conor Flaherty, Barry Callanan and Dylan Buckley with the Padraig Stephens Cup after their County U20 A Football Final victory over Salthill-Knocknacarra at Duggan Park on Saturday. Photo: Enda Noone.

Inside Track with John McIntyre

THE dramatic finale at the Sportsground on Saturday ought to have made the RTE Six One News sporting headlines, but there wasn’t a mention of Connacht’s extraordinary late heroics against Gloucester which keeps the province’s hopes of reaching the European Champions Cup quarter-finals alive.

Instead, the rugby spotlight was on Munster’s away defeat to champions Saracens. Later during the sports segment on the Six One News, Connacht’s never-say-die comeback was relegated to the last match of the Champions Cup wrap up. RTE, in their wisdom, believed that Munster’s 15-6 loss and Leinster’s routing of a makeshift Northampton on the same day were somehow more meritorious.

If Leinster or Munster had achieved what Connacht did in the latest round of European pool matches, can you imagine how gushing RTE’s coverage would have been? When a Tipperary man with a strong GAA background starts taking offence over Connacht not getting the coverage they are entitled to, it does give an insight into why rugby in the West feels hard done by in terms of national acclaim.

For all that, last Saturday was another thumping experience on College Road. With their European Championship knock-out ambitions on the line, it was victory or bust for Caolin Blade and company. But when Connacht trailed by 24-13 with less than six minutes remaining, it was impossible to see how they could salvage a result.

A pragmatic Gloucester already had the four-try bonus point in the bag. They may have trailed 10-7 at the break having faced the elements, but  tries from Mark Atkinson (two) and captain Lewis Ludlow turned the game on its head. Connacht were remaining competitive but the breaks were going the way of a team they had never previously beaten.

The home fans in the crowd of 6,800 were understandably resigned to the worst. The yellow carding of Ludlow for a deliberate knock on meant Gloucester were reduced to 14 for the closing minutes, but nobody at the Sportsground thought much of it. Connacht were 11 points behind with time running out. They needed a miracle.

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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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Connacht Tribune

Being backed into a corner could help to ignite the Galway hurlers

John McIntyre

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Galway full back Daithí Burke giving Wexford's Paul Morris no quarter during Sunday's Leinster hurling championship clash at Pearse Stadium. Photo: Joe O'Shaughnessy.

Inside Track with John McIntyre

MICHEÁL Donoghue faces the biggest challenge of his management career so far after Galway’s latest subdued display of 2019 at Pearse Stadium last Sunday. A lot of the same personnel are still there from the team’s magnificent All-Ireland triumph of two years, but the form of a number of influential players has nose-dived since last September’s championship loss to Limerick.

After a late collapse against Waterford in the National League quarter-final, Galway had some questions to answer ahead of their Leinster campaign and not withstanding their significant injury problems over the past few months, the Tribesmen’s stock has continued to decline judging by this month’s displays against both Carlow and Wexford.

Though it’s far from a full-blown crisis and we must keep a sense of perspective, there’s no point being wise after the event. On the evidence of what have seen to date this summer, Galway are dicing with an unexpected premature exit from the championship unless the squad can rediscover the hunger, intensity and quality which characterised many of their performances in 2017.

The continued absence of Joe Canning – and it is a mighty blow – can’t explain everything. Sure, Daithí Burke, Joseph Cooney, Jonathan Glynn, Adrian Tuohey and John Hanbury, an important introduction against Wexford, remain short of competitive action, but as a package, Galway should still be better than this.

Failing to find the net against either Carlow or Wexford, together with the lack of fluency and sharpness, has some local alarm bells ringing, leaving the team management with plenty to ponder on ahead of Sunday week’s big collision with Kilkenny. Lose that and Galway’s season will hang on getting a result at Parnell Park – an unforgiving venue at the best of times.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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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

St Thomas’ man behind the scenes typifies why club is going so strong

Stephen Glennon

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The St. Thomas' management celebrate after their county SHC final victory over Liam Mellows. Left to right: Kenneth Larkin, Claude Geoghegan, Kevin Lally and TJ Ryan.

Talking Sport with Stephen Glennon

WHAT was meant to be a few minutes of soundbite ahead of St. Thomas’ All-Ireland senior club hurling semi-final clash against Cushendall on Saturday has metamorphosed into a full-scale Talking Sport interview. Simply, because, Claude Geoghegan is an interesting guy.

For the past decade, Geoghegan has been the man behind the scenes and in his own inimitable way he has contributed just as much to St. Thomas’s success story as anybody else in Kilchreest and Peterswell. Perhaps, even more so.

As club secretary, he presided over St. Thomas’ historic county and All-Ireland club victories in the 2012/2013 season while, in the past three years, he has served as selector under managers John Burke and Kevin Lally, winning a county senior crown with each in 2016 and 2018 respectively. It is a proud record.

“I have held a few positions alright over the best part of a decade now — four or five years as secretary — and this is my third year involved now with the senior team. It is a way of life, I suppose, more than anything else,” begins the 31-year-old.

“When you are from a rural locality, it is what you are brought up with. It is what you know. If I wasn’t involved in the club in some capacity, I would feel I had a bit too much spare time on my hands. I would feel a bit odd without it, being honest.”

A history teacher at Presentation College, Athenry, Geoghegan explains his family are steeped in GAA tradition. His father Seamus hurled with the club before managing the intermediate team, as it was back then, while his older brother James has also done his duty as club secretary.

“Also, when the club amalgamated in 1968, my father was on the U14 team that won the county championship that year. We actually haven’t won the ‘A’ championship at U14 since. We have won plenty, but not that.”

Indeed, three SHC county titles in the last seven years would suggest that St. Thomas’ is a very special club but Geoghegan argues they are no different to any of the other clubs around. “Every other club is putting in the time that we are putting in. We are not special in any way in comparison to anyone else but we are incredibly fortunate to have a special group of players who have come together at one time.”

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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