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Roche and Kennedy keep St Bernard’s at the top

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Galway WFC defender Sophie Moloney comes away with the ball in her team's 1-1 draw with Wexford Youths WFC at Deacy Park on Sunday. Photo: Eirefoto.

ST Bernard’s maintained their Premier Division challenge on Sunday as the table toppers had to dig deep to overcome Mervue United by 2-0 at Fahy’s Field and along with Salthill Devon, they look to be the major contenders in the closing weeks of the season.

Chasing a first ever title, the Abbeyknockmoy outfit have put themselves in prime position with a series of impressive performances and a goal in each half was enough to see off a home side who made them battle every inch of the way.

The visitors gave an early indication of their intent as Jason Finn struck the butt of a post with an effort, before Craig Kennedy extracted a smart save from Peter Healy. St Bernard’s made a crucial breakthrough midway through the half  when Finn provided the cross and after taking a touch, Adrian Roche applied the far post finish for a 1-0 lead.

The resumption saw Mervue offer more of a threat in the last third of the park, but despite forcing a series of corners and set pieces, they seldom directly threatened goalkeeper Kevin Ruane, whose handing and control of his area was a real confidence booster as he maintained a clean sheet. Now, mind you, he knew little about Simon Walsh’s effort that crashed off the crossbar on 68 minutes in one of their few clear opportunities of the day.

The same player was just wide with a far post header in the closing stages and with the home side doing the majority of late pressing, the visitors were depending on some rapid counter attacking to secure a second breakthrough. Indeed, it was from such a route that they made it 2-0 on 89 minutes.

Substitute Shane King and Craig Kennedy combined with a series of passes down the right, before Kennedy displayed great composure in the box as he rounded Healy and side footed into an empty net to a chorus of massive cheering from the Bernard’s bench.

Meanwhile, in Drom there was an equally competitive encounter as Salthill Devon came from behind to defeat previous leaders Corrib Rangers by 2-1. The dismissal of four players in the closing quarter just added to the intrigue as the visitors lost three in a total lack of discipline.

It was Rangers who enjoyed supremacy in the opening half and they deserved more than David Goldbey’s stunning strike on 28 minutes, but the second half saw the home side take over and they levelled matters just past the hour mark as Oscar Sibanda made it 1-1. Eight minutes from time, Jose Garcia struck the winner for Devon as they maintained their distant challenge for league honours.

Maybe Athenry had their eye on Sunday’s Connacht Cup final as they were held to a scoreless draw by a committed and young Hibernians side. The home team enjoyed the best chances, but on a frustrating occasion they just struggled to hit the target.

Ciaran Duggan was on the mark twice for Corrib Celtic as they drew 2-2 with NUI Galway. Ian Kent and Sean Gavin scored for the students, who picked up a valuable point in their quest to avoid the drop to the First Division.

Indeed, three clubs are in the relegation mix as Colemanstown United, NUI Galway and Tuam Celtic all vie to avoid the drop. They all have to meet in head to head challenges and the outcome of these games will decide who stays up and who goes down.

Meanwhile in the title race, all roads lead to Abbey on Sunday morning as St Bernards host Salthill Devon at 11am.  While the home side have a little room for error, the visitors have none as they cannot afford to drop points as they chase the leaders. They trail Bernard’s by nine points, but have two games in hand.

Further to our story in the Connacht Tribune last week, Athenry and Corrib Rangers have appealed their loss of points for using suspended players in wins over Mervue United and St Bernard’s.

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

 

CITY TRIBUNE

Horgan in the history books

Keith Kelly

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DARYL HORGAN

DARYL Horgan became the first Galwegian to score a senior men’s international goal when grabbing the fourth goal for the Republic of Ireland in their 4-1 friendly win over Andorra last Thursday.

Horgan, introduced as a 66th minute substitute for Ronan Curtis, got on the end of Jason Knight’s 89th minute cross to stoop low and send a diving header into the back of the net to cap a brilliant 26-minute cameo for the winger in what was his 13th senior international appearance.

The Knocknacarra native had just five minutes earlier sent in the cross from which Knight made it 3-1 to sighs of relief in the Irish camp – they had fallen 1-0 behind after 52 minutes, before a brace of goals from Troy Parrott in the 58th and 61st minutes put the Boys in Green in front and spared Stephen Kenny’s side the embarrassment of losing to a ski resort.

Horgan is one of seven Galwegians to win a senior men’s international cap – David Forde (24 caps), Alan Lee (10), Aaron Connolly (6), Greg Cunningham (4), Ryan Manning (4), and the late Eamonn ‘Chick’ Deacy (4) are the others – but he is the first to find the back of the opposition net.

He was joined from the bench last Thursday by Manning, and both players also started on the bench in Budapest on Tuesday night in the scoreless draw with Hungary, with both again being introduced in the second-half, Horgan in the 56th minute to win his 14th cap, followed by Manning in the 85th minute to win his fourth cap.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App

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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 WFC bring an end to their away woes in Cork

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Chloe Moloney who was one of Galway WFC's goal scorers in their away win over Cork WFC at Turners Cross on Saturday.

Cork City WFC 0

Galway WFC  2

By Mike Rafferty

AFTER firing blanks in their three previous away games, Galway WFC got back to winning ways when aided by two opening half goals and a first clean sheet of the season, they were worthy winners of this Women’s National League contest at Turners Cross on Saturday.

Two early headed goals by Chloe Moloney and Aoife Thompson gave them a cushion that was seldom threatened as the home side were outmaneuvered as new Galway WFC manager Stephen Lally picked up the first win of his reign.

As in previous games, the visitors were without some of their more established names, but the performances of Ruth Fahy, Lucia Lobato and Thompson helped turn an impressive performance into a worthy win. Cork goalkeeper Abby McCarthy was by far the busier of the two custodians and some good shot stopping in the early exchanges kept her side in the game.

However, there was little she could do when Galway WFC took the lead on 21 minutes, Chloe Moloney attacking a Shauna Brennan corner in a crowded box and powerfully heading home for a 1-0 advantage.

Just three minutes later, they added a second and again Brennan was at the heart of it when seeing off a challenge on the right flank, before delivering a deep cross that was powered into the bottom corner by the flying Thompson with a diving header.

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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CITY TRIBUNE

Connacht soar in final game to clip the wings of Ospreys

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Connacht’s Ben O’Donnell, who has Ultan Dillane in support, is tackled by Rhys Webb of the Ospreys during Friday's Rainbow Cup tie at the Sportsground. Photo: Joe O'Shaughnessy.

Connacht 26

Ospreys 19

Rob Murphy at the Sportsground

THE Connacht team finished Friday’s final game of the season with a flurry of fierce and well timed tackles as they held off the Ospreys and secured the win. While they did that, the Fields of Athenry bellowed from the Clan Terrace creating a surreal, almost absurd atmosphere at a near empty Sportsground. The roar that followed from the handful of souls in the stands was an appropriate end to a strange season like no other.

The singing and the shouting had come from the non selected players who had all gathered in a corner of the terrace for the game, making sure that there was no doubt for those out on the field that the game and the result meant something. Overall of course, this result is just a mark on the ledger, a soon to be forgotten triumph in a season that included far too many defeats at their Galway venue.

If all that wasn’t strange enough, all the scoring happened in the first half. Connacht notched four tries, the Ospreys managed three yet it was the second half that proved to be the most compelling and captivating as the visitors from Wales came up against a brick wall. Connacht’s tackling was superb while their maul defence proved to be critical. The visitors had arrived needing and expecting to get a bonus point win to stay in contention for a place in the Rainbow Cup final, but would leave shell shocked.

The Rainbow Cup as a competition has predictably turned out to be a disaster for the PRO14 organisers. While there has been some misfortune with late season postponements because of Covid and the South African sides have been limited on travel, the format of a straight league with teams playing six fixtures was never going to inspire enthusiasm or create a fair and balanced tournament. As it stands, Benetton might get to the final without having to play any of the top six sides.

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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