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Ryder ready to step up his Galway training operation

John McIntyre

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Ballybrit bound: Lawrencetown-based trainer Shane Ryder with two of his Galway festival hopefuls, Mysticaltou and Lisa's Legacy.

AS the field hurtled down the hill in the Supreme Novices Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival last March, most Irish eyes were on the favourite Min from the Willie Mullins yard, but one Galway trainer was only focused on the fortunes of an English contender.

Shane Ryder from Lawrencetown near Ballinasloe had a particular reason for tracking the fate of eventual sixth, Mister Miyagi, as he was an integral part of the horse’s early racing education, having trained him when finishing second on his debut to the high class Rock On the Moor in a bumper at Punchestown in October of 2014.

Ryder had been sent the horse to train for a half share by his neighbour John Bleahan, who himself has bred and trained some good horses in the past, and though Mister Miyagi didn’t win on his four Point-to-Point runs, falling twice, he was beaten by a couple of good ones in the other two.

“Mister Miyagi came up against stiff competition in Point-to-Points, but we always liked him and his bumper run confirmed that as he’s turned out to be a right horse. We were then made a nice offer for him and he ended up in Dan Skelton’s yard. He’s now won five times, including a good quality novice in Cheltenham last April.”

The 38-year-old explains that Bleahan has been ‘good to him’ over the years as he reaches the final stages of completing a course on the Curragh to qualify for a full trainers’ licence. Ryder currently has about ten horses under his care but now hopes to expand the operation.

Coming from a farming background, Ryder’s original interest in horses was cultivated from ‘tricking about’ with a few ponies on his father Stephen’s farm. Shane and his twin brother, also Stephen, were quickly bitten by the racing bug and both went on to forge careers in the sport

“Local businessman John Pardy was friendly with my father and he had a horse Bonnyhector which was trained by John Hayden on the Curragh. Any summer we could we would spend up there. We loved it and Stephen went on to become a conditional jockey.”

Over the years Stephen rode a good few winners and now is a work rider for David Wachman in the mornings and trains a couple of his own, including Hurricane Jojo which has won handicaps both over jumps and on the level.

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

CITY TRIBUNE

Connacht easily quench the Dragons’ fire in mis-match

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Connacht out half Conor Fitzgerald who was in excellent form in their big PRO14 win over the Dragons at Rodney Parade on Friday night.

Dragons 14

Connacht 38

Rob Murphy at Rodney Parade

AS the Connacht bus departed Rodney Parade on Friday night through the narrow streets of Newport, the mood must have been upbeat and cautiously optimistic. A first win in Wales for two full seasons, a second successive bonus point victory in this competition and a real sense that a new shape is emerging around the edges of a squad that is in need of some depth and development this season.

The need for progress on last year is self explanatory. Connacht are in the Champions Cup this winter, six games where your front line players are getting battered every week. There won’t be any squad rotation opportunities like the Challenge Cup provides, so while Bundee Aki and Jack Carty are away in Japan, others can and need to step up and on Friday in the rain in Wales, Conor Fitzgerald at out half answered. The 22-year-old was superb.

This five-try demolition of the Dragons will have eased some early season concerns and boosted confidence. Ten points from their opening three rounds was probably the minimal target for an ambitious group largely unaffected by the world cup. This weekend’s break should be savoured too because once they return to action against the Cheetahs at the Sportsground in a week’s time, it’s 13 weeks of full on rugby including six Champions Cup games and four inter-provincials.

The Dragons aren’t a very good rugby team, they have always struggled in this competition to be honest but under new coach Dean Ryan, there had been some hope this year that improvements might be around the corner. The big win in Parma against Zebre two weeks ago underlined as much, but here in front of a paltry and disillusioned home crowd, the hosts served up a dreadful effort from the 20-minute mark onwards.

They’ll only look to themselves for answers and probably won’t realise that a large reason for their frailties was nothing to do with them, it was all down to Connacht’s power and prowess. At the midway point of the first half, the hosts led 7-0 thanks to a try from centre Tyler Morgan who cut through the cover to score under the posts after a lineout and maul. It was a fourth visit to the Connacht 22, so they had to score.

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

MacDara and West Coast United stop the rot with timely wins

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Corrib Rangers wall of David Goldbey, Brian Harlow, Paul Smith, Evan Browne and Stephen Gilmore line up to face a St. Bernard's free kick late in the game. Paddy Mullin's accurate kick beat the wall and the goalkeeper for St. Bernard's only goal. EIREFOTO

By Mike Rafferty

UNLIKE Cois Fharraige, the opening weeks of the First Division season has proved to be difficult for the other two Connemara teams as MacDara and West Coast United have struggled in the lower regions of the table.

However, there are mitigating circumstances as the region has a strong GAA background and a large number of players combine football, hurling and soccer, but when there is an overlap something has to suffer and, as a result, the top teams have been badly hit in the event of a clash of fixtures.

Gradually, the players are returning to the soccer fields and weekend results indicate as much as MacDara and West Coast United both registered their first wins of the campaign with impressive away successes over Renmore and Dynamo Blues.

Carraroe based MacDara defeated Renmore by 3-2 having come from behind on two occasions, as they inflicted a first defeat on the city side. The sides were level at the break as Paddy Gannon and Oisin Mac Donnacha (pen) exchanged the goals, before a Rory Glynn goal put the home side ahead on the resumption. The introduction of Eamon Ó Loinsigh proved crucial to the MacDara success as he levelled matters with a free kick, before snatching the winner when set up by fellow substitute Tom Ó Curráoin.

West Coast United made the long journey to Tuam to face Dynamo Blues and also emerged 3-2 winners. Noel Varley had an eventful day, for after having had an earlier penalty saved by Dara Forkan, the midfielder then notched the late winner.

Theo Joyce and Shane Lydon got the earlier goals for the Letterfrack based side as they, like MacDara returned to somewhat full strength. Christian Ryan and Enna Donnellan were on the mark for a home side who have just picked up one win from their opening five games.

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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

Galway teenager Connolly earns his first two senior international caps

Keith Kelly

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Galway's Aaron Connolly whose two senior caps for the Republic of Ireland have crowned a momentous ten days for the young striker.

FORGET Roy of the Rovers, we’ve got Aaron of the Albion as the dream year for Castlegar native Aaron Connolly continued in the past week when he won his first senior international caps for the Republic of Ireland.

Connolly (19) was called up to the senior squad for the Euro 2020 qualifiers with Georgia last Saturday, and Switzerland on Tuesday, on the back of some brilliant displays for both Brighton & Hove Albion in the English Premier League, and the Irish U-21 squad.

He was named on the bench for the Georgia game in Tbilisi, and was introduced as a 79th minute substitute for his senior international debut.

The former Maree/Oranmore and Mervue United player immediately injected some urgency and attacking threat into an Irish side that gave an insipid display – despite being on the pitch for just 11 minutes or so, he was arguably one of the better players in a green jersey on the night.

He twice went close to breaking the deadlock, being denied by Georgia ’keeper, George Loria, in the 90th minute; and then finding the side-netting with a shot from the left two minutes later as the Irish side were held to a scoreless draw.

He did enough in those 11 minutes to back the argument that he should have started the game – Ireland were made to look a second-rate side by a Georgian outfit that on Tuesday night needed an 84th minute goal to beat group minnows, Gibraltar, 3-2.

At least McCarthy saw sense on Tuesday night by handing Connolly a starting berth against Switzerland, though such was his impact against Georgia that to do anything else would have bordered on ludicrous by the Irish management.

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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