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Table toppers Galwegians continue to set strong pace in Division 1b

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Galwegians Garry O’Brien has his progess halted against Malone in Saturday’s Division 1b tie at Crowley Park. Photo: Joe O’Shaughnessy

AT the outset of the All Ireland League campaign there was a genuine fear that at least a couple of Connacht’s four All Ireland League sides might be in for a difficult year but after a third of the season, those concerns seem unfounded.
Leading the way in Division 1b are Galwegians after a brilliant start to the season.
Also in that division, Corinthians and Buccaneers have not had flawless campaigns but both clubs are showing encouraging signs of improvement in recent weeks and look set for strong mid-table campaign.
That leaves Sligo in Division 2b and they are in the top four after their best ever start to an AIL season.
At Crowley Park last Saturday Galwegians recorded win number six from seven, beating an in-form Malone 34-25 and scoring six tries in the process.
Emerging young star Conor Lowndes notched two after starting on the wing, former Irish Under 20 Ciaran Gaffney got one on his first start, with Colin Conroy, Ja Naughton and Matt Dever also touching down.
This Saturday, Galwegians host Belfast Hareqluins who are currently bottom of the table and struggling for form. The competition for places combined with the fact that they have the league’s number one attack augurs well for the Sky Blues who extended their lead at the top of the table to seven points after Ballymena lost for a second time in a row, away to Garryowen.
Buccaneers are up to fourth after fighting back from a 13 point half time deficit at home to Dublin University to earn a share of the spoils. Young Connacht academy hooker Shane Delahunt got in on the scoring as did Gareth Halligan with Jacob Walsh getting the third try in the 20-20 draw. The Midlanders travel to Limerick to face ninth placed Ul Bohiman this weekend After a frustrating weekend in the city derby, Corinthain bounced back last weekend with a 26-15 home win over Belfast Harlequins and recorded their first four try bonus point of the season with tries from Joey Merrigan, Conor Murphy, Darin Classens and Eoghan Masterson.
The consistency of last season has deserted them of late but they are still picking up key results when the backs are to the wall. A difficult away tie with Dublin University is next on the cards before the three week recess.
For more, read this week’s Galway City Tribune.

CITY TRIBUNE

Renmore pay the penalty for failing to take chances

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The Salthill Devon side which began the defence of their Connacht Junior Cup crown with a comfortbale 3-0 win over St John's in Drom. Back row, from left: Alex Mamala, Rory Brennan, Darren Craven, Enda Cullen, Timmy Molloy, and Calyn Crowe. Front: Craig Harding, Michael Gallagher, Tommy McClean, Jamie Cullen, and Shane O’Rourke. Photos: Iain McDonald.

Soccer Wrap with Mike Rafferty

Renmore 1

Westport United 1

(Aet – Westport won 3-2 on pens)

“We left it behind” was the post-match reaction of Renmore player/manager Stuart Donoghue and in reality that is probably the polite version of his thought process after his side had kicked away their chance of advancing to the 4th Round of the Connacht Junior Cup.

Sure, they were lucky to secure a last-minute equaliser with a powerful Paddy Gannon header, but it was the least they deserved after dominating the majority of the game. However, the home side were a bit of a disaster in the penalty shoot-out, as two efforts were fired badly wide and another weak shot easily saved by Gary Cunningham in the Westport goal.

In fairness, it was the visiting custodian who was the difference between the sides throughout the game, making a series of saves to keep his side in the tie, as Renmore should have long been out of sight with all the chances they had.

In contrast, Westport – who last won the cup in 2012 – had just one shot on target for the duration. That came on 66 minutes when 18-years-old substitute Dylan O’Malley curled a sublime left-footed effort beyond David McDonagh, and such was the quality of the finish that he got a round of applause around the ground.

This Mayo side are not a patch on the great Westport sides who have challenged for provincial and local honours down through the years, but nothing lasts forever and a spell in the wilderness could be on the cards for Micky Feeney’s charges.

In contrast, Renmore are enjoying a good campaign in Division One where the title already looks to be a shootout between themselves and Colga. They certainly carried this form into this cup game, and on a dreadful pitch they outplayed the visitors for the duration.

However, the opening half saw little productivity in the last third of the park, as Cunningham got to a Connolly through ball before Paul Sinnott in the only half-chance in the opening 45 minutes.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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CITY TRIBUNE

Galway HC heads to Dublin for EY2A league clash with Corinthians

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The Galway Hockey Club squad which will compete in this year’s Irish EY2 league for the first time in the club’s history. Back row, from left: Mary Rooney, Rachel Dillon, Sarah Johnson, Sinead Carey, Hannah Gormley, Rebekah Dillon, and Niall Rooney of sponsors, City Life. Middle row: Teagan Stanley, Laoise Medley, Rachel Kelly, Aoibhin McDonnell, Michelle De Toit, and Holly Comer. Front: Alyssa Manley (player/coach), Emer O’Connell, Rosie Doorley, Grace Walsh, and Elaine Carey (captain).

Galway Hockey Club will make history this weekend when it plays its first-ever game in the national league in the club’s 70-year history when its senior ladies travel to Dublin to take on Corinthians at Whitechurch Park in Rathfarnham (1.15pm) in the EY2A league.

Alyssa Manley’s squad will be competing in the second tier of the Irish hockey leagues in the five-team division, which got underway last weekend with Corinthians playing out a scoreless draw with Ards in Belfast; and Trinity College and UCC finishing scoreless in their meeting in Santry Avenue.

Manley, who will act as player/coach for the season, has named her 16-player squad for this weekend’s game, which will be captained by former UCD player, Elaine Carey. The side will play their first home game on Saturday week, December 4, when they host UCC in Dangan.

Manley brings bags of experience to the role, having competed in the 2016 Rio Olympics for the USA national team which was beaten 2-1 in the quarter-finals by Germany, having had group wins over Argentina, Australia, Japan and India, before a final group game defeat to a Britain side which went on to claim the gold medal.

Many of the team have been lining out for Connacht U-18 already this season, while Aoibhin McDonnell and goalkeeper have also recently been called for U-18 Irish trials, having had their experience on the Irish U-16 training squad cut short by Covid-19.

“Myself and the players are eager to get started with our long-awaited EY2 campaign,” Carey said this week.

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

Rewarding weekend for NUIG teams in Super League action

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Ava McCleane of NUIG Mystics in action against Phoenix Rockets last weekend.

THE two NUIG sides recorded impressive wins at the weekend, with both NUIG Maree in the Men’s Super League and NUIG Mystics in the Women’s Division 1 bouncing back from disappointing defeats the previous weekend in dominant style.

It was the other way around for Titans, who followed up their first win of the season the previous weekend with another heavy defeat on the road, but they did have to make the trip to Dublin missing both their head coach and two of their starting five, not the preparation you need for a visit to the conference leaders.

Moycullen were also due to travel to Dublin at the weekend but their basement clash with DCU Saints was called off due to Covid-19.

MEN’S SUPER LEAGUE

NUIG Maree   80

UCD Marian   64

NUIG Maree are starting to turn the Kingfisher into something of a fortress after this 16-point dismissal of UCD Marian made it four wins from four at their new home this season.

Smarting from a tough road defeat away to Belfast Star, Charlie Crowley’s side just edged a tight first quarter, enjoying little scoring bursts while restricting their visitors in the main to one-off baskets as they led 22-20 at the end of the first buzzer.

They effectively won the game in the second quarter, outscoring the visitors 25-15, thanks largely to the brilliance of Jeryn Lucas, who drained Maree’s first 10 points of the quarter to put the lid on the UCD fightback as Maree led 47-35 at the half.

Lovre Tvrdic then stepped up as Maree’s chief scorer in the third quarter, knocking down 11 points on his way to a 23-point haul, and with brilliant defence restricting Marian to just nine points in the quarter, a 62-44 lead was never going to be overturned.

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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