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Schools basketball glory for Galway teams

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IT  was a remarkable day for schools basketball in Galway recently, with four schools making it to the 2nd Year All-Ireland semi-finals and finals across all grades.

The highlights were Calasanctius College winning the 2nd Year All-Ireland A title, beating rivals Castleisland Community College in the final after narrowly losing out last year in the 1st Year final. The other title came to Presentation College, Athenry in the 2nd Year All-Ireland C final, a first for the school.

In the 2nd Year B League, Coláiste Iognáid (The Jes) won their second bronze medal in two years, while Coláiste Éinde, Salthill went one step further before losing out by the narrowest of margins in the final against Sliabh Luachra, Rathmore.

 Presentation Athenry 55

Crescent Limerick          29

Presentation College, Athenry won their first All-Ireland basketball title last Friday when they defeated Crescent Comprehensive, Limerick in the Second Year Boys C Final, played in the University of Limerick, on a comprehensive score line of 55-27. In a good team performance, the star player was J.P. McLoughlin who ended up top scorer in both the semi-final and the final.

It was in the semi-final that the Pres really won the competition when they narrowly defeated the favourites Colaiste na Sceilge from Kerry 27-21. The Galway side took the initiative from the start as Niall Bree scored their first five points. In the second quarter, it was McLoughlin’s turn to score five points as he netted twice and had one free throw. A Joe Morris basket left the score at 12-5 at half time.

The second half was a close affair. Indeed, only two points separated the teams with over a minute left. The Athenry boys kept their heads and while McLoughlin and Bree were being well marshalled, it was Patrick Foley who stepped up and scored a basket and two free throws to win by six. Throughout the game, the lads under the baskets, Matthew Gardiner, Konrad Piotrowski, Stephen Callaghan and Peter Zabecki, rebounded extremely well against a physically strong Kerry outfit.

With the semi-final win behind them, the Athenry side were more confident going into the final, where they outscored their opponents in each quarter. The feature of the final was that nine players contributed to the scoring to win by double scores.

The panel and scorers were: Sean Coakley (2), Ben Concannon (8), Matthew Gardiner, Konrad Piotrowski (2), Niall Bree (15), Stephen Callaghan (4), Patrick Foley (16), Joe Morris (6), J.P. McLoughlin (25), Peter Zabecki (2), Conor Campbell (2), and Kevin Wilde.

Calasanctius College    34

St. Patrick’s         32

After suffering disappointment in last year’s final, Calasanctius College’s Second Year basketball team were always going to come back this year to gain revenge, and they did it against their oponents from the previous year.

In a thrilling match, it was Eoin Rockall who stood out for Calasanctius. Despite the Oranmore players being outsized by their Kerry opponents, a combination of excellent outside shooting, and many scores from an impressive fast break gave Calasanctius the narrowest of advantages in another All-Ireland A title for the school.

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

Connacht Tribune

Galway golfer takes top prize in German Boys Open

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CONNEMARA’S Luke O’Neill shot a final round 70 for a total of 11-under par to win the prestigious Allianz German Boys Open at Golf Club St Leon Rot over the weekend.

The Ballyconneely native, son of Connemara professional Hugh O’Neill, held off the challenge of Philipp Katich to win by a single shot. O’Neill held a two stroke lead going into the final day, after recording rounds of 69 and 66 over the opening two days before holding his nerve to claim victory. The Allianz Germany Boys Open is regarded as one of the top three boys golfing events in the world.

Katich, playing on his home course, pushed O’Neill all the way and moved to the top by the 12th hole, thanks to an excellent front nine performance, which included an eagle and two birdies.

Not panicked, O’Neill kept his composure and that ultimately proved to be the catalyst for his victory. The 13th and 14th proved disastrous for Katich. The German, who recently won French Boys Open, had a bogey on the 13th, before finding water on the 14th and eventually posting a triple bogey 7. O’Neill, meanwhile, birdied 14.

Another German, Felix Krammer, entered the conversation for victory as he sensationally struck a seven-iron shot for a hole-in-one at the par-3 13th.

Read full report in this week’s Tribune Sport.

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Connacht Tribune

Galway duo Mulkerrins and Heffernan bid for world glory

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GALWAY ace Martin Mulkerrins will lead the Irish team at the 2018 World Handball Championships which are starting this week in Minnesota.

And the current national senior champion is joined on the Irish team by fellow Galwegian, Niamh Heffernan from Claregalway, in a total playing party of 13.

Moycullen’s Mulkerrins will be competing in the Men’s Open event while Heffernan should be a strong contender for the Girls 17U World title.

Multi-talented Heffernan, who also plays camogie at County level, previously took home gold medals from Calgary, Canada in 2015. A rising star of the game, it’s little wonder that she qualified for Team Ireland.

Another Galway member is Frances Curran, Michael Breathnach’s, who is traveling Stateside as Team Ireland Liaison Officer.

According to Mulkerrins, this year’s Men’s Open singles field at the World Handball Championships is so strong that it will be a case of kill or be killed!

Now aged 25, he took gold at the 2009, 2012 and 2015 Worlds as a juvenile, and captured his maiden All-Ireland senior singles title back in March. This time around he will be competing against the USA professional players in his bid for the World glory.

The blue riband Open Singles draw is stacked with quality and, says Mulkerrins, the player who can marry consistency with aggressive shot-making will be the one crowned champion.

“I would consider myself an offensive player, I would go for the kill if it’s a 50-50 call. “I think especially in tournaments like this, with a round of 32 and an extremely tough round of 16, you don’t want to be in that court any longer than you have to.

“With the speed of the American courts and their ball, I don’t think too many players will be adopting a defensive style. I see it as a tournament where we are going to see a lot of low, hard power play and players looking to finish games quickly,” he said.

See full coverage in Tribune Sport.

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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

Hanniffy out as Galway take on the Dubs in quarter-final

Stephen Glennon

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GALWAY’S senior camogie team will be looking to bounce back from their final round group defeat to Kilkenny when they face Dublin in a tricky All-Ireland quarter-final assignment at Pairc Uí Chaoimh, Cork on Saturday evening (7:15pm).
Following victories over Clare, Waterford and Limerick, Galway had looked to seize the automatic semi-final berth against Kilkenny last day out and for three quarters of that contest they were certainly in a good place to achieve this.
Indeed, they had the Cats in all sorts of bother early on with Ailish O’Reilly, in particular, looking dangerous up front. However, with Kilkenny using sweeper Anne Dalton to good effect and Galway struggling to by-pass this defensive mechanism, the National League champions swung the tie in their favour to take the win on a 1-17 to 0-13 scoreline.
While the margin of defeat will have frustrated manager Cathal Murray, there were still enough positives in the performance to give rise for optimism ahead of this weekend’s knockout game against Dublin. “There was plenty of positives but we were just disappointed with the last 20 minutes to be honest with you,” says Murray.
“We kind of threw in the towel a small bit but we now have to look for a response against Dublin, who won’t be bad. So, all round, we need to improve. There is not just one area really but we do need to get a performance to get ourselves back on the road again. Dublin, though, will be no pushovers.”
Unfortunately, Galway have been hit with a setback with the news that Oranmore/Maree full-forward and goal threat Niamh Hanniffy looks set to miss the rest of the campaign with a knee-ligament injury. “Niamh is a massive loss to us,” confirms Murray. “It is disappointing in fairness.
“We also have a few more injured at the moment. Sarah Dervan, Becky Hennelly and Caitriona Cormican are all carrying knocks. Look, they will probably be okay but, at the moment (early in the week), they are unable to train.”
Injuries aside, it is unlikely Galway will digress too far from the side which did lose to Kilkenny. Sarah Healy will start between the posts with captain Dervan, Tara Kenny, Lorraine Ryan and Heather Cooney backboning the Tribeswomen’s defence.

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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