2013-04-09Soccer Round Up with Mike Rafferty
PLYING their trade in the lower leagues, Ramblers don’t get too many days in the limelight but a weekend cup semi final victory is a big cause for celebration as they came from behind to see off Maree Oranmore B by 2-1 in Leitrim on Saturday.
For some, the Fourth Division Cup might not be of any major significance but the final between Ramblers and Salthill Devon B provides an opportunity for an end of season trophy for the winners.
The home side did not make mattes easy for themselves as they trailed to a Dave Fitzgerald goal at the break, but from a Colm Flynn run and cross, Tom Tierney headed the equaliser on the resumption.
With time running out it was leading scorer Tierney who clinched their final spot, with a cracking shot from outside the area, for what proved to be the winner.
In the decider, they will meet Salthill Devon B who are a mixed crew of youthful warriors and ageing veterans who certainly know how to play. They defeated NUI Galway by 4-2 on penalties after their contest finished level at 2-2 following extra time.
A second minute goal set up by Eric Browne and finished by Stephen Cunningham gave Premier Division leaders Mervue United the perfect start away to East United and, by the finish, it was still enough to carry them to a 1-0 victory. Chances were aplenty in a good contest, but the win maintains the leader’s clear advantage at the summit.
With second placed Corrib Rangers not in action, there was an opportunity for Athenry to close the gap, but against a committed NUI Galway, matters finished scoreless. Conor Cannon and Paddy Quinn both struck the woodwork for the home side, while it took a smart stop by Andrew Walsh to deny Stephen Kirk in what was the students’ best chance.
A frantic five minute spell just before the break provided all the highlights as OLBC defeated St Bernard’s by 2-1 in Abbeyknockmoy. An Adrian Roche finish put the home side ahead before Ronan Caldwell set up Jimmy Jennings for the equaliser.
On the stroke of half time, Caldwell was upended in the box and Barry Molyneux slotted the spot kick past Denis Farragher for what turned out to be the matchwinner.
Colmanstown provided the result of the weekend in League action, when a good opening half saw them open up a two goal advantage, before holding on for a 2-1 away win over second placed Maree Oranmore.
Jason Finn opened their account with a long range effort, while Conor Jackson provided the assist as Tom Flannery executed the perfect finish for the second. In probably their best performance of the season, Colmanstown played well throughout, with just Mike Fahy notching a late consolation goal for the home side.
First Division leaders Tuam Celtic also fell to defeat when they went down 2-1 away to fellow promotion chasers Corrib Celtic. The hosts left it late as Mike O’Malley snatched the winner in additional time. Earlier Shane Concannon and Declan McHugh exchanged opening half goals.
For more, read this week’s Galway City Tribune.
Lomboto’s late strike earns United share of the spoils
Galway United 2
Athlone Town 2
GALWAY United had to twice come from behind against basement side Athlone Town on Monday night to snatch a draw that was, on balance, probably a little harsh on the visiting side.
Completely outplayed in the opening 45 minutes, United had an absolute howler from visiting goalkeeper, Aaron Myles, to thank for going into the break on level terms; and then needed an equaliser five minutes from time to claim a draw against a side that came into the game having lost all four games they had played this season.
Alan Murphy’s side already find themselves nine points behind the league leaders just four games into the season, and a major improvement is needed if they are to finish in the top half of the table and inside the play-off spots.
Their central midfield was way off the mark on Monday night – both Maurice Nugent and Sam Warde were hauled ashore before the final whistle – and having abandoned the 4-4-2 formation which delivered some decent results near the end of last season, they are struggling to get quality ball into the opposition box.
With Shane Duggan expected to return to central midfield after suspension for this Saturday’s trip to Cobh Ramblers, it might be time to go with some out-and-out wingers and get some cohesion in the side.
The first couple of half chances on Monday fell to the home side, but Mikey Place didn’t get any power behind his second minute effort; while Marc Ludden was well off target subsequently.
The visitors, who had the opening half’s best player in their ranks in the guise of Galway native, Ronan Manning, went close a couple of times themselves in the ninth minute, United surviving thanks to Cian Murphy getting a block on Adam Lennon’s shot; while Kevin Horgan pulled off a ‘worldie’ to deny Joel Coustrain from the subsequent corner.
By that stage, the visitors were starting to get on top, and they took a deserved lead in the 22nd minute when Manning’s corner from the left was met by Taner Dogan at the back post to head home as the United marking was, not for the first time this season, shambolic at a set-piece.
Tempers were starting to fray a little, with both sides having two players finding their way into the notebook of Dublin referee, Oliver Moran, before United were gifted an equaliser in the 41st minute.
Full report in this week’s Connacht Tribune
Doyle bags hat-trick in Galway WFC romp
GALWAY WFC notched a second win in a row in the Women’s National League when they defeated Limerick 6-1 at the Markets Field on Sunday afternoon.
A McKenna Doyle hat trick and goals from Sadbh Doyle, Chloe Singleton and Aoife Thompson helped the Galway women to a resounding win. Five of the six goals for Galway were assisted by Lynsey McKey during what was a stellar performance by the experienced midfielder.
Galway WFC are back in action at Eamonn Deacy Park tomorrow (Saturday, kick off 3pm) when they welcome league leaders Peamount United.
See full match report in City Tribune Sport.
Cup offers United chance to boost morale
HAVING insisted all year that Galway United’s First Division campaign has been about developing their young talents, manager Alan Murphy has admitted this Sunday’s first round FAI Cup tie against Leinster Senior League side, Collinstown at Whitehall Stadium (2pm) is about winning.
United have not recorded a competitive victory since mid-May, when they came from behind to see off Longford Town 2-1 in a First Division fixture at Eamonn Deacy Park. That win came courtesy of two Vinny Faherty goals.
Since then, they have lost eight of their twelve outings, with their four draws coming against Cabinteely, Bray Wanderers, Athlone Town, and the First Division’s bottom team, Wexford Youths, who have won just two First Division fixtures this season.
However, this weekend’s Cup game against a non-League of Ireland outfit could provide a much-needed morale boosting victory for his charges.
“It would,” acknowledged Murphy. “Even to be in the next round of the FAI Cup would be huge; it would be huge for this group of inexperienced players that I have really. I mean, every game is a brilliant chance for these guys to get another little bit of experience, and to experience a different challenge, and this weekend will provide exactly that.
“I have said, week in, week out, this is a development year and these players need experience but this weekend is probably a little bit more about winning than it has been all season because of the fact you will be out of the competition if you don’t win,” he said.
Se full preview in City Tribune Sport.