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Perfect time for Connacht to record first win in Scotstoun over defending champions

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Bundee Aki, who played a crucial role in Fionn Carr's try last Friday, retains his place as first centre for the game aganist Glasgow tonight. Photo: Joe O'Shaughnessy.

Connacht travel to Glasgow with a genuine confidence they can record their first ever win over the Warriors at Scotstoun Stadium.

Ordinarily this evening’s (7.35pm) away fixture against the better of the two Scottish clubs is one to be chalked down as a damage-limitation exercise, where a losing bonus point would be savoured like victory. But not now.

Glasgow may have won the league last season, and deservedly so, but they are shorn of 20 of their best players who are unavailable due to World Cup commitments.

An away win is eminently achievable. If not now, when?

Connacht blew the cobwebs away in recording their fifth first-day victory in six seasons last Friday and that 29-23 win over Dragons at College Road will certainly boost morale ahead of the trip to Scotland.

The Westerners are without internationals Robbie Henshaw and Nathan White and have a number of players with injuries to survive without including Ronan Loughney, Jake Heenan, Eoin McKeon, Api Pewhairangi, Niyi Adeolokun and Darragh Leader.

But, apart from Kieran Marmion, who drops to the bench having not been able to train all week due to picking up a minor hip injury against Dragons – John Cooney gets the nod at scrum-half – Pat Lam has named the same starting XV that did the business last weekend.

Captain John Muldoon will reach the incredible milestone of lining out for the 250th occasion for his province – a proud achievement for the Portumna native.

He’s joined in the back row by Eoghan Masterson and Nepia Fox-Matamua, who scored the first Connacht try of the season on his debut.

The New Zealander also pinched possession at the breakdown in a vital intervention late-on that led to Fionn Carr’s try, which sealed the win.

That third Connacht try was exquisite – fleet-footed centre Bundee Aki earned his wages with a sweet line break deep in his own half before running 40 yards and setting up Carr, who also showed lightening pace to make it over in the corner.

It was needed, too. Despite Connacht’s good start, in which they led 14-3 at the break, Dragons had dragged themselves back into contention with a James Thomas try. With minutes remaining, the visitors were just two points in arrears and in possession in drop-goal territory in Connacht’s half of the field.

Connacht, in fairness, deserved the win overall but that passage of play highlighted the fine margins of sport at this level.

Former Connacht forwards’ coach, Dan McFarland is now second in command at Glasgow and it was unsurprising that head coach Gregor Townsend highlighted the visitors’ scrums and line-outs as areas of strength. He emphasised how Glasgow are looking to bounce back from last week’s defeat to Scarlets in front of their own fans.

“Connacht are a very good side who have a strong set-piece and come into this game off the back of a win against the Dragons last weekend. Our two opening fixtures were always going to be tough and we know we’ll have to perform very well to win. Our supporters created a fantastic atmosphere last Saturday and we’re looking forward to playing in front of them once again,” said Townsend.

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

CITY TRIBUNE

Table-toppers Galway United face Treaty side featuring eight former United players

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Wilson Waweru scores the opener for Galway United in the 2-1 win against Treaty United when the sides met in Eamonn Deacy Park back in March, despite the best efforts of his former United team-mate, Marc Ludden.

Galway United manager John Caulfield says there won’t be too much video analysis needed ahead of tonight’s visit of Treaty United to Eamonn Deacy Park (7.45pm), saying that this game will be a “cup final” for the visitors given the fact that so many of the players on the Limerick club’s books are formerly of this parish.

Six of the starting XI that started in Treaty’s 2-1 win at home to Athlone Town last weekend are former United players – Galway natives Marc Ludden and Conor Melody, along with Conor Winn, Joe Gorman, Jack Lynch, and Stephen Christopher – while Joe Collins and city native Joe Collins, who were on the bench last Friday, are also former United players.

Given the small nature of the league, a crossover of players is always to be expected, but eight players out of a match-day squad of 20 is some quotient, and Caulfield says he knows exactly what to expect form the visitors on Friday night.

“We don’t have to talk about Treaty as we know most of their team are [ex] Galway lads and it is their cup final; they have shown in the two games so far that have pushed us right to the end, the 2-1 win at home and the 3-2 win down there.

“We know they are really looking forward to the game and we know that if we are not on our game, they’ll claim the result, so we have worked hard this week on how we are going to play, how we are going to create chances,” he says.

While there away form has been close to unblemished – eight wins from nine games – United struggled somewhat to get the job done on their own patch, with their first four games seeing draws with Waterford and Wexford and single-goal wins over Treaty United (2-1) and Cobh Ramblers (1-0).

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

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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

Gallant Galway minor hurlers just come up in All-Ireland semi-final thriller

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Galway wing forward Orin Burke coming under pressure from Tipperary’s Cathal English and Joe Egan during Sunday's All-Ireland Minor Hurling semi-final at the Gaelic Grounds. Photos: Joe O'Shaughnessy.

Tipperary 3-24

Galway 3-20

FOR the first time in six years Galway won’t have a minor hurling team in the All-Ireland final, but that is almost inconsequential in the context of what we saw in this epic semi-final at the Gaelic Grounds on Sunday.

In a contender for hurling match of the year, Galway went toe-to-toe with Tipperary in a compelling struggle for supremacy which saw two high-quality teams provide an exhibition of the sport’s finer arts.

In the end, the better balanced and physically stronger Munster champions just about got the job done in a thrilling climax as Tipperary snatched victory from the jaws of defeat by scoring a goal and two points in stoppage time.

But these young Galway players were carried out on their shield. Led by their twin assassins up front – the gifted Aaron Niland, who scored a staggering 2-11, and Rory Burke – the boys in maroon couldn’t have done much more. It was just that Tipperary possessed more game-breakers and a greater spread of scorers.

Only five Galway players featured on the scoreboard compared to 10 for Tipperary, including substitute Senan Butler, who finally sealed the deal for the blue and gold with a goal from point-blank range in the 64th minute after taking a pass from outstanding full-forward Tom Delaney.

In a semi-final in which the teams were level nine times, Galway can’t quibble too much with the outcome. They enjoyed a free count of 15 to 5 in their favour, while they were also rescued on several occasions by goalkeeper Donagh Fahy who made a series of great saves.

For more, read this week’s Galway CityTribune.

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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CITY TRIBUNE

Galway rower breaks world record twice on her way to landmark triumph in Poland

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Galway's Katie O'Brien displays her gold medal after smashing the world record in winning the single scull (PR2 1X) at the World Cup Regatta in Poznan, Poland over the weekend.

GALWAY has a new world champion after Katie O’Brien smashed her way into the record books at the Rowing World Cup held in Poznan in Poland last weekend.

The Clarinbridge woman set not one, but two world records at the championships on her way to capturing the single scull (PR2 1X) event, improving on the bronze medal she won in the same category at the 2019 World Championships in Linz in Austria.

Her semi-final performance last weekend saw her smash a world record that was set in 2018 when she came home in a time of 9mins 32.09 seconds, shaving more than 40 seconds off the previous time of 10mins 13.63 seconds.

That new record didn’t not last long, however, as O’Brien smashed it again in the final, coming home in a time of 9mins 14.65 seconds on her way to the gold medal and the world title.

She just missed out on a second medal at the championships when finishing fourth in the final of the PR2 Mix2X alongside crew partner Steven McGowan against a world-class field with crews from France, the Netherlands, and the bronze medalists from the 2016 Olympics, Poland.

There is no single sculls event for O’Brien to compete in at the Paralympics, so she recently joined forces with fellow Galway Rowing Club member, Steven McGowan, with a target of the 2024 Paris Olympics in mind, and they continue to build towards that dream after another impressive performance last weekend.

For more, read this week’s Galway City 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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