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Sleepless night but Rogers still emerged a cup winner

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Derek Rogers who captained the last Galway United side to appear in - and win - a domestic cup decider, the League Cup final of 1996/97. Photo: Joe O'Shaughnessy.

IT is just three months short of 19 years since Galway United last appeared in a domestic cup final, and just like back in League Cup final of the 1996/97 season, United go into Saturday’s decider against St Patrick’s Athletic as underdogs.

Back then, a United side plying their trade in the First Division met Cork City over two legs in the League Cup final, and Dennis Clarke’s side stunned their more venerated opponents to claim the cup with a 4-2 aggregate win.

Derek Rogers captained the side to cup success that year in the last of his 11 seasons at the club, and says that while winning the FAI Cup with United in 1991 was a highlight, “to be the captain of a team that wins a national trophy, it’s not every player that has that privilege”.

United’s preparations for that final almost two decades ago were hardly ideal: having won the first leg 3-1 on December 17 in Terryland Park with goals from Mark Herrick, Ronan Killeen and Jumbo Brennan, the players drove down to Cork the day before the second leg in their own cars in fairly treacherous freezing conditions, and stayed overnight in a hotel in the heart of the city. On New Year’s Eve.

“Yeah, there wasn’t much of ringing in the New Year. I didn’t have a great night’s sleep either, but it had nothing to do with parties going on around us – I was sharing a room with Stephen Lally and he talked all night!” Rogers jokes.

Not every member of the squad travelled down 24 hours in advance, as Ronan and Conor Killeen buried their grandfather on New Year’s Eve, and travelled to Turner’s Cross on the day of the game.

It was also a second trip to Cork in the space of 10 days – United had travelled to St Coleman’s Park on December 21 for a league game, just four days after the first leg of the final. It was little surprise that they lost 4-1.

“We were complete underdogs, no-one gave us a chance in the final, but the first leg was a very special night in Terryland Park. It was a week before Christmas, the place was packed, and there was no way they were going to beat us.

“I think it caught them by surprise, the atmosphere, the support we had and the style of football we played and Cork weren’t expecting that. From the first whistle I had no doubt that we would win.

“On the day of the second leg, the pitch was covered in ice. If that was today, the game would never go ahead, but I was praying they would play it as I thought it gave us a great chance. It would be a real lottery with players slipping and the ball skidding all over the place, which wouldn’t suit a side chasing a two goal deficit,” says Rogers, who now works at NUI Galway as well as providing analysis on United’s matches for Galway Bay FM.

City got back into the tie with a goal from Damien O’Connell after just 12 minutes, but United soaked up the pressure for the rest of the half before getting on top for the second 45 minutes, and when Fergal Coleman restored their two-goal aggregate lead with an equaliser in the 68th minute, the heart was pulled out of the Cork challenge.

Back then, the early stages of the League Cup was run on a regional pool basis, with United grouped with Athlone Town, UCG and Limerick. They started with a 2-0 defeat at home to Athlone Town, but qualified from the group with wins at home to UCG (2-0) and away to Limerick (2-1) to set-up a quarter-final meeting with a Derry City side that went on to win the league.

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

Connacht Tribune

Tuam men put late gloss on a hard earned win in Clonbur

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Tuam Stars' Cormac McWalter whose haul of 1-2 was vital in their Senior Football Championship win over Naomh Anna Leitir Móir in Clonbur on Saturday.

Tuam Stars 2-14

 Naomh Anna Leitir Móir 0-12 

Mike Rafferty in Clonbur

The outcome of this senior football championship contest in Clonbur looks decisive, but reality tells a different story as it was only in the latter stages that Tuam Stars pulled away to win with a shade of comfort.

For the majority of the opening half, it was the Connemara side who were the real drivers of the game, but despite that they still found themselves two points in arrears at the break. A Cormac McWalter goal on 29 minutes was to change the course of proceedings and, in reality, put Tuam in the driving seat for the rest of the match.

For a side that dominated the second half,  it was only in the closing quarter that Tuam Stars pulled away as a 1-5 tally without reply in a seven-minute spell turned what had been a close contest into a comfortable victory by the end. However, once they went ahead, the Stars stuck to their task and never gave Leitir Móir an opportunity to get back into it.

The performance of Naomh Anna saw contrasting productions. An impressve opening half when they were full of running and support play turned in the opposite direction on the resumption. It was almost as if they did not believe in themselves.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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Connacht Tribune

Kelly and McHugh land the key scores for title holders

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Colm Mannion of Mountbellew-Moylough comes under pressure from Annghdown's Ryan Ford and Jonathon Creaven during Sunday's Senior Football Championship tie at Tuam Stadium. Photos: Hany Marzouk.

Mountbellew/Moylough 2-13

Annaghdown 0-13

BARRY McHugh fired over seven points as Mountbellew/Moylough started the defence of their senior football championship title off with a deserved win.

Patrick Kelly’s goals in either half also proved decisive as Mountbellew/Moylogh overcame a stiff Annaghdown challenge to emerge with a six point triumph. Despite Michael Daly not featuring for last year’s champions, this was an ideal start to Mountbellew/Moylough’s campaign as they came through some rocky periods before their greater quality up front and ‘know how’ got the job done.

Annaghdown gave their opponent’s plenty to worry about in the first and third quarters but they went off the boil before half time, failing to score from play for the final 15 minutes of the opening period. They then went 13 minutes without a score in the concluding quarter as Mountbellew/Moylough were able to kick three of the final four points to seal an opening round triumph.

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.

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Or purchase the Digital Edition for PC, Mac or Laptop from Pagesuite  HERE.

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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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Connacht Tribune

Caherlistrane show plenty of grit to reel in Monivea-Abbey

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Jamie Burke of Monivea-Abbey secures possession ahead of Caherlistrane's Rory Glynn during Sunday's Senior Football Championship clash at Tuam Stadium. Photos: Hany Marzouk.

Caherlistrane 1-10

Monivea-Abbey 0-10

ALAN Morris’ 37th minute proved vital as Caherlistrane started their campaign with a gritty win over Monivea-Abbey at Tuam Stadium on Sunday afternoon.

Although all goals are valuable, this one proved to be a game changer with Monivea-Abbey enjoying their largest lead of the contest, four points, before Morris struck. Garvan McDaid’s side led 0-8 to 0-4 and looked to be in control against an off-colour Caherlistrane outfit.

Despite enjoying a numerical advantage when Monivea-Abbey’s Jamie Burke was black carded as he hauled down Oisín O’Brien after a short kickout malfunctioned, Caherlistrane could not shake free of their stubborn opponents as they only outscored Monivea-Abbey 0-3 to 0-2 while playing against 14 men.

This meant the sides were deadlocked at 1-7 to 0-10, but Caherlistrane kicked the final three points of the contest as Ronan Conneely’s 57th minute effort was followed by scores from substitute Joe Monaghan and Morris. Although Caherlistrane manager Frank Doherty will certainly be looking for improvements this weekend as they face Claregalway, this was a huge win for Caherlistrane as they have flirted with relegation in recent years.

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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