PLANS for the relaunch of the Connacht Senior League this September have been temporarily shelved due to a lack of sufficient interest amongst clubs, but two of the main driving forces behind the plans insist the league will kick-off next year after a 14 year absence.
The Administrator of the Connacht FA, Art Friel, admitted to Tribune Sport this week that too few clubs had given a firm commitment to take part in initial plans to relaunch the league this year, and as a result it would definitely not be going ahead as planned.
“No, it definitely won’t be going ahead this year – to be perfectly honest, there was not sufficient interest from clubs. We are looking at launching it next year, but a lot will depend on the interest of League of Ireland sides in particular in taking part,” he said.
It is believed that Sligo Rovers, Athlone Town and Longford Town had all been approached about joining the league for the planned September kick-off, but it is believed the fact that the CSL would not be running in conjunction with the Airtricity League of Ireland made involvement less attractive to those clubs.
However, spokespersons for both Mervue United and Salthill Devon said this week that the delay in the proposed CSL would not impact on plans to have a unified Galway side playing in the League of Ireland next season.
“The Connacht Senior League was always being planned for March, the September date was never realistic, and Mervue United fully expect to take a full part in the league when it is launched,” a spokesperson for Mervue United said.
In relation to plans for a single Galway side, the spokesperson said that proposal was still very much alive, saying that discussions have been ongoing, and that a lot of progress has been made on the proposal.
“The steering committee is meeting next week, but all sides have come a long way and it is still very much the plan to have a single Galway side in the League of Ireland next season,” the spokesperson said.
A spokesperson for Salthill Devon also said the belief was the new CSL would be launched in March, which would not only suit the League of Ireland sides, but also any potential Mayo clubs interested in getting involved, as the junior game there is also played on a ‘summer season’ format.
“As far as we are concerned, the CSL is on track, although there is some uncertainty over when it will start. We understand it will kick-off in March, and when it does transpire, we want to play in it,” the spokesperson said.
The spokesperson added that Salthill Devon continued to support the plans for a single Galway side to play in the League of Ireland, saying the plan “was all about developing football in Galway”.
For more, read this week’s Galway City Tribune.
Lomboto’s late strike earns United share of the spoils
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
Doyle bags hat-trick in Galway WFC romp
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.
Cup offers United chance to boost morale
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.