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Sarsfields finish strongly to edge out wasteful St. Thomas’ in a lively affair



Date Published: {J}

Sarsfields 1-18

St. Thomas’ 0-18

Alan Dooley

in Loughrea

A GAME that for long periods appeared destined to end in stalemate in Loughrea on Sunday afternoon was eventually won by a Sarsfields side that held their nerve at the finish to edge out St. Thomas’ in Group C of the Cooper Senior hurling championship.

Kerrill Wade was the undoubted star for Sarsfields in a livley joust between two very evenly matched sides, ending with 1-11 to his name, with his final two points breaking the deadlock for the last time in the closing minutes as St. Thomas’ were left to rue some poor shooting at the death.

Indeed, it was probably Sarsfields efficiency in front of the posts in the second half – they managed just a single wide from 13 attempts at the posts – which just gave them the right to shade a contest which was level on no less than seven occasions.

It was a different story in the opening 20 minutes, though, as Sarsfields struggled to shake off the cobwebs and cope with the cross-field breeze, shooting eight astray, yet still they managed to be on level terms at 1-2 to 0-5 in the main thanks to Wade’s lethal shot to the net on 12 minutes after good work from Noel Kelly in the left corner.

St. Thomas’ scores had come from a brace each from Conor Cooney (one free) and James Regan with Kenneth Burke also finding the range from his midfield station. Cooney and Regan were St. Thomas’ biggest threats in that opening spell but the switch of Kevin Hynes back to centre half back somewhat diluted their effectiveness.

A quartet of Wade points (three frees) for Sarsfields in quick succession opened up the first meaningful gap of the contest by the 27th minute, but this was whittled away in injury time as Regan and a subdued Richie Murray closed the gap to two with classy points.

Kenneth Burke narrowed the deficit further on the resumption before Hynes posted arguably the score of the day for Sarsfields after a lung-bursting run from defence went unhindered and he expertly split the posts.

St. Thomas’ were beginning to assert themselves, though, and they notched four points in four minutes through Anthony Kelly (2), Regan, and a Cooney free to take the lead, although they did in the same period waste their only viable goal chance of the day which in the end proved critical.

Sarsfields continued the tit-for-tat nature of events with three points of their own to nudge ahead as Joseph Cooney landed a magical score from distance before a Wade free and Neil Morrissey point made it 1-10 to 0-12 in Gerry Fahy’s side’s favour.

A nasty looking knee injury to Sarsfields midfielder Kieran Kelly on 44 minutes interrupted their rhythm and St. Thomas’ were back on the offensive with Cooney again on target from a placed ball before Kenneth Burke’s third of the game was cancelled out by a fine effort by Liam Michael Kelly.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

Galway in Days Gone By

The way we were – Protecting archives of our past



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



Date Published: 23-Jan-2013


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Archive News

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



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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