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St Thomas’ survive stern test from gritty Beagh

Stephen Glennon

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St. Thomas’ 0-19

Beagh   0-17

St Thomas’ may have been highly fancied to advance unchecked to the quarter-finals of the Galway senior hurling championship but they were made sweat it out all the way by a Beagh outfit that just never knew when to quit in this entertaining preliminary quarter-final in Athenry on Sunday.

Really and truly, St. Thomas could have been out the gate and heading back to the clubhouse in Castledaly by the three-quarter mark, having come from behind at half-time to outshoot Beagh by seven points to three in the 15 minutes proceeding the change of ends. They had all the momentum.

John Burke’s men, without the injured Conor Cooney (calf) and suspended Sean Skehill, continued to hold the upperhand right up to the final stages – leading 0-19 to 0-14 with six minutes remaining – only for Beagh to mount a gritty comeback by hitting three points without reply heading into added time.

The impish Padraig Landers, who spent most of the afternoon under the thumb of his man-marker Eanna Burke, hit two of those points with a converted free from Rory Gantley sandwiched in between to make it 0-19 to 0-17.

With minutes of added time still to be played, Beagh pushed for the goal that would snatch the victory and when Brendan Gantley’s men were awarded a free just over 20 metres from the Thomas’ goal following a foul on Landers, it set up the possibility of an outrageous finish to the contest.

Unfortunately for Beagh, Kevin Keehan went high with his effort and it was parried well clear of the goalmouth by Thomas’ custodian Patrick Skehill. The final whistle sounded, a small ruck ensued, order was restored, and the Peterswell/Kilchreest boys marched on to the last eight.

St. Thomas’ were worthy winners. They had dominated under the puckout in both halves and created a greater number of scoring chances but it was their indiscipline in the tackle that saw Beagh rewarded with a plethora of needless frees and Rory Gantley duly obliged by converting nine of them.

Then again, there is no better team than Beagh to turn the screw on opponents. The first prerequisite to defeating them is to out-work them; the second is keep frees to a minimum; while the third is to be able to adapt your structures, because Beagh, invariably, will ask the questions and probe for weaknesses.

To this end, manager Burke and St. Thomas’ had their work done and while some were bemused with seeing Eanna Burke and Shane Cooney in the corner back positions, James Regan back in defence, and centre-half back Darragh Burke at centre-forward, Thomas’ won this contest because they had their team set-up to do so.

That said, it wasn’t easy. Beagh, as you expect, were well organised and after 18 minutes looked to have Thomas’ in trouble as they led by double scores, 0-8 to 0-4. Points from John Moylan, Rory Gantley (free) and Jamie Diviney saw Beagh race quickly out of the blocks.

A brace of Gerald Murray frees did get St. Thomas’ off the mark and these were supplemented by efforts from lively duo David Sherry and Colin Fallon as Thomas’ secured the lead for the first time in the fixture on 10 minutes.

As noted though, the concession of frees hurt St. Thomas’ and of the five unanswered points Beagh tallied subsequently, four of those were placed balls converted by Gantley – the other was a neat effort from Jamie Diviney.

Full coverage in this week’s Connacht Tribune

CITY TRIBUNE

Horgan in the history books

Keith Kelly

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DARYL HORGAN

DARYL Horgan became the first Galwegian to score a senior men’s international goal when grabbing the fourth goal for the Republic of Ireland in their 4-1 friendly win over Andorra last Thursday.

Horgan, introduced as a 66th minute substitute for Ronan Curtis, got on the end of Jason Knight’s 89th minute cross to stoop low and send a diving header into the back of the net to cap a brilliant 26-minute cameo for the winger in what was his 13th senior international appearance.

The Knocknacarra native had just five minutes earlier sent in the cross from which Knight made it 3-1 to sighs of relief in the Irish camp – they had fallen 1-0 behind after 52 minutes, before a brace of goals from Troy Parrott in the 58th and 61st minutes put the Boys in Green in front and spared Stephen Kenny’s side the embarrassment of losing to a ski resort.

Horgan is one of seven Galwegians to win a senior men’s international cap – David Forde (24 caps), Alan Lee (10), Aaron Connolly (6), Greg Cunningham (4), Ryan Manning (4), and the late Eamonn ‘Chick’ Deacy (4) are the others – but he is the first to find the back of the opposition net.

He was joined from the bench last Thursday by Manning, and both players also started on the bench in Budapest on Tuesday night in the scoreless draw with Hungary, with both again being introduced in the second-half, Horgan in the 56th minute to win his 14th cap, followed by Manning in the 85th minute to win his fourth cap.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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CITY TRIBUNE

Galway WFC bring an end to their away woes in Cork

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Chloe Moloney who was one of Galway WFC's goal scorers in their away win over Cork WFC at Turners Cross on Saturday.

Cork City WFC 0

Galway WFC  2

By Mike Rafferty

AFTER firing blanks in their three previous away games, Galway WFC got back to winning ways when aided by two opening half goals and a first clean sheet of the season, they were worthy winners of this Women’s National League contest at Turners Cross on Saturday.

Two early headed goals by Chloe Moloney and Aoife Thompson gave them a cushion that was seldom threatened as the home side were outmaneuvered as new Galway WFC manager Stephen Lally picked up the first win of his reign.

As in previous games, the visitors were without some of their more established names, but the performances of Ruth Fahy, Lucia Lobato and Thompson helped turn an impressive performance into a worthy win. Cork goalkeeper Abby McCarthy was by far the busier of the two custodians and some good shot stopping in the early exchanges kept her side in the game.

However, there was little she could do when Galway WFC took the lead on 21 minutes, Chloe Moloney attacking a Shauna Brennan corner in a crowded box and powerfully heading home for a 1-0 advantage.

Just three minutes later, they added a second and again Brennan was at the heart of it when seeing off a challenge on the right flank, before delivering a deep cross that was powered into the bottom corner by the flying Thompson with a diving header.

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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CITY TRIBUNE

Connacht soar in final game to clip the wings of Ospreys

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Connacht’s Ben O’Donnell, who has Ultan Dillane in support, is tackled by Rhys Webb of the Ospreys during Friday's Rainbow Cup tie at the Sportsground. Photo: Joe O'Shaughnessy.

Connacht 26

Ospreys 19

Rob Murphy at the Sportsground

THE Connacht team finished Friday’s final game of the season with a flurry of fierce and well timed tackles as they held off the Ospreys and secured the win. While they did that, the Fields of Athenry bellowed from the Clan Terrace creating a surreal, almost absurd atmosphere at a near empty Sportsground. The roar that followed from the handful of souls in the stands was an appropriate end to a strange season like no other.

The singing and the shouting had come from the non selected players who had all gathered in a corner of the terrace for the game, making sure that there was no doubt for those out on the field that the game and the result meant something. Overall of course, this result is just a mark on the ledger, a soon to be forgotten triumph in a season that included far too many defeats at their Galway venue.

If all that wasn’t strange enough, all the scoring happened in the first half. Connacht notched four tries, the Ospreys managed three yet it was the second half that proved to be the most compelling and captivating as the visitors from Wales came up against a brick wall. Connacht’s tackling was superb while their maul defence proved to be critical. The visitors had arrived needing and expecting to get a bonus point win to stay in contention for a place in the Rainbow Cup final, but would leave shell shocked.

The Rainbow Cup as a competition has predictably turned out to be a disaster for the PRO14 organisers. While there has been some misfortune with late season postponements because of Covid and the South African sides have been limited on travel, the format of a straight league with teams playing six fixtures was never going to inspire enthusiasm or create a fair and balanced tournament. As it stands, Benetton might get to the final without having to play any of the top six sides.

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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