Date Published: 21-Apr-2011
Hurling in the county may be at something of a low ebb following the tame conclusion to Galway’s Allianz NHL campaign, but the focus switches to the club scene this weekend as there are eight senior hurling championship games down for decision on Saturday and Sunday.
The Tribesmen’s annihilation by Tipperary and the disjointed one point defeat to Waterford last weekend have marooned expectations for the coming summer and yet the presence of two of the last three All-Ireland club champions should ensure plenty of interest in the local tussles this year.
Last year’s semi-finalists – champions Clarinbridge, former champions Portumna, Tynagh/Abbey-Duniry, and Loughrea – will hold their fire until the second weekend and some clubs will already be targeting their opening games as ‘must win’ fixtures with tougher tests to come.
That’s certainly the case in respect of newly promoted Padraig Pearses and 2010 relegation candidates Athenry, who meet at Ballinasloe on Sunday afternoon. Defeat for either side would be a huge blow ahead of tough assignments against Portumna, Mullagh, and Tommie Larkins, each of whom won their groups last year.
Mullagh face Larkins in what has the makings of a competitive tie at Loughrea on Sunday, part of a double bill which also features St Thomas’ and Sarsfields. There is another double header in Athenry on Sunday evening, where Mellows will be expected to account for Ardrahan and Kiltormer have a host of injury worries ahead of their showdown with Carnmore.
Fans of the game will hope to see the emergence of a new and youthful force to enliven the scene this year, despite the novelty of Clarinbridge’s first county championship success in nine years last November.
But local bookmakers John Mulholland are not expecting any major surprises over the coming weeks and months, as they have installed Portumna as unbackable 4/7 favourites to regain the title after Loughrea (16/1 this year) ended their glorious domestic run in last year’s semi-final replay.
The bookies do not see any genuine challengers to the Shannonsiders at this stage, as Clarinbridge at 10/1 are second favourites, followed by Gort and an exciting young St. Thomas’ side at 14/1. Pearses, at 150/1, will be fighting hard just to stay up as the bookies do not give them a prayer of being in contention in the Autumn.
Mullagh v Tommie Larkins (Loughrea, 4pm)
A Mullagh team who expect to get to the knock-out stages of the championship every year will have to plan without long-term injury victims Johnny Rafftery (knee) and Derek Hardiman (ankle), both of whom underwent surgery during the winter months. Neither is expected back for the group stages, while manager Padraig Donohue has added three youngsters to his panel who might not be quite ready to start at senior level just yet.
Larkins’ youthful side reached the county quarter-finals last year, losing to the eventual All-Ireland champions, and will feel they made good progress in 2010 given that they topped their group and picked up the League title. Last year’s captain Alan Garvey emigrated to Australia while county minor Jason Flynn is a new addition to the panel. They might fancy springing a surprise here.
Craughwell v Gort
County star Adrian Cullinane is waiting on the results of a scan after picking up a knee injury against Waterford last Sunday, while his Craughwell team-mate Aiden Ryan has emigrated to London. Both young Thomas Ryan and the long-serving Hugh Whiriskey have retired, while injuries to Shane Dolan (shoulder), Dermot Ryan (ankle), and Mark Horan (head) have hindered Craughwell’s preparations for what looks an evenly-matched tie.
Gort have been unable to call on the services of county panellist Richie Cummins (ankle) since last year and Gerry Quinn is another key forward who will have to miss this one due to injury. Mattie Murphy’s men were a mixed bag in a mediocre group last year, winning two and losing two, but will expect to capitalise on Craughwell’s lengthier injury woes.
For more, read this week’s Galway City Tribune.
Judge adjourns Connemara assault case
Date Published: 08-May-2013
A date will be set next October for the trial of a 52-year old Connemara man, who is charged with assaulting traditional Irish musician Noel Hill five years ago.
Michael Folan from Teach Mór, Lettermullen, is charged with intentionally or recklessly causing serious harm to Noel Hill at Tí Padraig Mairtín Beag in Leitir Mór, on St Stephen’s Day, 2008.
The matter had been listed for trial on several occasions before Galway Circuit Criminal Court in the intervening period.
It was referred to the High Court in Dublin last year for judicial review after Michael Folan said he wanted his trial heard ‘as Gaeilge’and that a bi-lingual jury be made available to hear the case.
At Galway Circuit Criminal Court, Judge Rory McCabe adjourned the case for mention to October when it’s expected a date will be set for trial.
Bank of Ireland Galway Shopping Centre branch to close
Date Published: 10-May-2013
Bank of Ireland’s branch at Galway Shopping Centre on the Headford Road is to close in July.
The branch is to merge into the BOI outlet at Galway Industrial Estate in Mervue.
Galway Bay fm news reports the 14 staff impacted are to be offered redeployment and there will be no job losses.
Galway RNLI rescues three people stranded on Hare Island
Date Published: 13-May-2013
Galway RNLI Lifeboat has come to the rescue of three students who got stranded on Hare Island after getting caught in the tide off Ballyloughan Beach.
The two girls and boy, in their late teens had gone for a walk and were spotted waving from the island by a local resident who contacted the emergency Services and Galway Lifeboat.
Conditions at the time (4pm) were very changeable with heavy showers.
Three members of the Lifeboat shore crew were working in the vicinity of the station at the time and launched the boat in six minutes.
The three students were picked up safely and brought back to the Lifeboat Station at Galway Docks where they were warmed up and given tea and did not require medical attention.