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Rahoon/Salthill’s storming finish snatches Co. B title

Bernie Ni Fhlatharta

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Date Published: 09-May-2013

 EIGHT unanswered points – four from sharpshooter Conor O’Shea – in the closing 20 minutes saw Rahoon/Salthill overturn a seven-point deficit to claim the U-21 ‘B’ county title in dramatic fashion at Kenny Park, Athenry on Monday.

It was nailbiting stuff in the finish, with O’Shea only grabbing the equaliser, following good work from Colin Hanbury and substitute Brian Hyland, in the 58th minute before Andy Dunne registered the winner a minute into injury-time.

For a brave Cois Fharraige, they had one final opportunity to make amends for coughing up their seven-point advantage but full-forward and man of the match Cillín Ó Heochaidh could not steer what was a difficult long range free between the posts.

Ó Heochaidh was inconsolable afterwards but the truth was he had played a hero’s role in scoring 1-8, 1-4 from play, with the sharpshooter netting the game’s only goal on 36minutes, following a cracking long range delivery from Breandán Ó Conghaile. Ó Heochaidh then shot his side’s last score of the game two minutes later.

With the Connemara outfit 1-12 to 0-8 to the good and looking to be comfortably in control – they had another half-chance of a goal through Pádraig Eoin Ó Curraoin just moments later – it was hard to imagine a way back for Rahoon/Salthill. However, instead of being a godsend, the goal, ultimately, proved to be a curse.

For one, Cois Fharraige’s focus shifted off their performance onto the scoreline – and the result – and, consequently, their work-rate and intensity dropped. In addition, as the game progressed and Rahoon/Salthill began to rally, they also began to lose their composure and shape.

That said, it takes a good team to be able to change things around and Rahoon/Salthill – under the management of Sean Heffernan, Conor Quinlan, former Galway senior manager Conor Hayes and current Tipperary boss Eamon O’Shea – certainly showed they are all that.

Credit to the management team, though, they did make some astute changes. Centre-half back Gavin Hayes added power when parachuted into the heart of the attack while corner forward Colin Hanbury flourished in the freedom he was allowed in the middle third.

Into the bargain, they bravely withdrew forwards Éamon Brannigan and Eoin Kennedy, two players who showed prominently in the first half and both of whom had found the target with some superb points in that period.

It proved the collective is greater than the individual and when Rahoon/Salthill got into their stride they started to ask questions of their opponents.

By the three-quarter mark, O’Shea (two frees),Dunne and midfielder Michael Collins had tallied points in a productive five-minute spell to leave just a goal, 1-12 to 0-12, between them entering the final quarter and it was all to play for.

With the scores drying up for Cois Fharraige, they tried to stay the course. In contrast, O’Shea and Dunne had finally come into their own and they were able to conjure up the vital four scores – two each – in the final 10 minutes to snatch the victory.

Coincidentally, Dunne’s late winner secured his side the lead for the one and only time in the final. It also underlined what a spirited Cois Fharraige had brought to the contest, at least for 40 minutes.

Ó Heochaidh had led the charge in the opening half with five points, two from play, while Pádraig Eoin Ó Curraoin, Cathal Ó Cualáin and centre-half back Maidhc Ó Conghaile (free) also contributed in establishing a 0-8 to 0-7 interval lead.

As for Rahoon/Salthill, they kept in touch with some great scores from midfielder John Hanbury (play and free), Kennedy, O’Shea, Brannigan and Dunne (play and free) although they could have been on level terms or ahead had they also converted a fraction of their eight first half wides. Seven of those were tallied in the opening quarter.

Two of the most notable feats in a competitive opening spell were the heroics of the opposing goalkeepers. In the 17th minute, Cois Fharraige custodian Caoimhín Ó Conghaile pulled off a spectacular save from raiding Rahoon/Salthill midfielder Hanbury and he would surpass that with an even better stop from O’Shea just 12 seconds into the latter period. When Cois Fharraige took the lead, it seemed that save was a turning point.

The victors’ No. 1, Joseph McNamara also showed he was no slouch between the posts when producing a brave save of his own to deny the lively Ó Heochaidh on the 18thminute.McNamara, however, could do little to stop the same striker’s effort on 36minutes.

That goal rounded off a sensational spell for Cois Fharraigewho hit an unanswered 1-3 in the opening six minutes of the second half. The points came from the sticks of SeánÓ Curraoin and Ó Heochaidh, play and free, and established a solid 1-11 to 0-7 advantage.

Although Ó Heochaidh and Collins traded points subsequently, that was as good as it got for Cois Fharraige as Rahoon/Salthill registered those eight points in the closing 20 minutes to take the title back to the City.

Despite a high free count of 38 – 22 in the first half – this was an entertaining decider. And one of a sound standard.

After a difficult 40minutes, the Rahoon/Salthill rearguard finally got to grips with Cois Fharraige and, certainly, the deeper role afforded Colin Hanbury was key to turning defence into attack.

Collins and John Hanbury proved a solid Rahoon/Salthill midfield pairing while, up front, O’Shea and Dunne, despite a shaky start, certainly had an eye for the target. Gavin Hayes and substitute Hyland also offered the attack more direction when deployed there.

Cois Fharraige were best served by the gutsy Tadgh Ó Caoimh, Maidhc Ó Conghaile and Cillín Ó Heochaidh, although, for nearly three quarters of the fixture, each and every Cois Fharraige player looked comfortable in their position. The loss of forwards Cathal Ó Cualáin and Stiofán Ó Fatharta through injury certainly didn’t help their cause late on.

Galway in Days Gone By

The way we were – Protecting archives of our past

Judy Murphy

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A photo of Galway city centre from the county council's archives

People’s living conditions less than 100 years ago were frightening. We have come a long way. We talk about water charges today, but back then the local District Councils were erecting pumps for local communities and the lovely town of Mountbellew, according to Council minutes, had open sewers,” says Galway County Council archivist Patria McWalter.

Patria believes we “need to take pride in our history, and we should take the same pride in our historical records as we do in our built heritage”. When you see the wealth of material in her care, this belief makes sense.

She is in charge of caring for the rich collection of administrative records owned by Galway County Council and says “these records are as much part of our history as the Rock of Cashel is. They document our lives and our ancestors’ lives. And nobody can plan for the future unless you learn from the past, what worked and what didn’t”.

Archivists and librarians are often unfairly regarded as being dry, academic types, but that’s certainly not true of Patria. Her enthusiasm is infectious as she turns the pages of several minute books from Galway’s Rural District Councils, all of them at least 100 years old.

Part of her role involved cataloguing all the records of the Councils – Ballinasloe, Clifden, Galway, Gort, Loughrea, Mountbellew, Portumna and Tuam. These records mostly consisted of minutes of various meetings.

When she was cataloguing them she realised their worth to local historians and researchers, so she decided to compile a guide to their content. The result is For the Record: The Archives of Galway’s Rural District Councils, which will be a valuable asset to anybody with an interest in history.

Many representatives on these Councils were local personalities and several were arrested during the political upheaval of the era, she explains.

And, ushering in a new era in history, women were allowed to sit on these Rural District Councils – at the time they were not allowed to sit on County Councils.

All of this information is included in Patria’s introductory essay to the attractively produced A4 size guide, which gives a glimpse into how these Rural Councils operated and the way political thinking changed in Ireland during a short 26-year period. In the early 1900s, these Councils supported Home Rule, but by 1920, they were calling for full independence and refusing to recognise the British administration.

“I love the tone,” says Patria of the minutes from meetings. “The language was very emotive.”

That was certainly true of the Gort Rural District Council. At a meeting in 1907, following riots in Dublin at the premiere of JM Synge’s play, The Playboy of the Western World the councillors’ response was vehement. They recorded their decision to “protest most emphatically against the libellous comedy, The Playboy of the Western World, that was belched forth during the past week in the Abbey Theatre, Dublin, under the fostering care of Lady Gregory and Mr Yeats. We congratulate the good people of Dublin in howling down the gross buffoonery and immoral suggestions that are scattered throughout this scandalous performance.

 

For more from the archives see this week’s Tribunes here

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Archive News

Real Galway flavour to intermediate club hurling battle in Birr

Bernie Ni Fhlatharta

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Date Published: 23-Jan-2013

images/files/images/x3_Courthouse.jpg

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Archive News

Athenry fail to take chances as they bow out of Junior Cup

Bernie Ni Fhlatharta

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Date Published: 29-Jan-2013

Athenry FC 1

Kilbarrack United 2

(After extra time)

For the second year in succession Athenry were done in extra time in the FAI Junior Cup as last season’s beaten finalist’s came from behind to snatch an excellent game in Moanbawn on Sunday afternoon.

On a heavy pitch that was only playable following extensive groundwork by club officials all morning, the home side were by far the better side in the opening half, but failed to take advantage of a number of opportunities that came their way.

An Alan O’Donovan penalty gave them a merited advantage just after the restart, but thereafter were on the back foot as Kilbarrack took over, but for all their pressing, the home rearguard were dealing comfortably with their forays.

However they were struck a body blow just six minutes from time, as big striker Keith Kirwan was left all alone at the far post to head the equaliser and from that point on the Dubliners were the better side.

They started off the extra time in the ascendancy and enjoying all the momentum before striking for a good winning goal on 104 minutes. A strong bench allowed them to make some necessary changes and it was not a facility that was available to Athenry manager Gabriel Glavin.

With Gary Forde and Gary Delaney out through suspension following their sending off against OLBC in the previous round, and Seamie Crowe injured, it left their bench rather threadbare with just a number of young squad players available.

Playing with the aid of the slight incline and any wind advantage going, the home side had a Connor Cannon effort on target in the opening minute, while John Meleady was just over with a flick at the other end.

Meleady then tested Andrew Walsh who saved comfortably, before the goalkeeper pulled off a brilliant double save on 14 minutes.

Firstly he went full length to push away a Meleady shot and was then back on his feet to parry David Jackson’s close-range rebound.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Sentinel.

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