IT was more taxing than a week ago at the same venue in Thurles – but not by much – as a second convincing win for Galway has already stamped them as the team to beat in this year’s revamped minor hurling championship.
Seeking a third All-Ireland title in four years at this level, the young Tribesmen endorsed the good impression that they had made against Limerick the previous Sunday by also putting Kilkenny to the sword in their second quarter-final round-robin outing.
In sustaining a great few weeks for the county on the hurling fields, Galway made light of just having a few days to focus on the challenge posed by the defeated Leinster finalists with a strong start and finish to the opening half central to a comfortable seven-point triumph.
Not alone is Jeffrey Lynskey’s squad talented, but they also look mature beyond their years. They obviously had parked their emotions after the big victory over Limerick and were back on ground zero in time to face the Cats.
Kilkenny had qualified for the provincial final unbeaten but, incredibly, lost to Dublin in the decider despite registering a whopping seven goals – falling by 6-19 to 7-12. That scoreline, taken at face value, suggesting they had a formidable attack but a porous backline.
That theory didn’t really stack up at Semple Stadium. The Kilkenny backs weren’t quite so bad, while their forwards weren’t so good against a Galway team which is blessed with some serious talent and eye-catching physicality for players U17 and younger.
The champions were in their comfort zone and in command, ahead by 0-6 to 0-1 after 15 minutes, when Kilkenny struck for two goals in their best spell of the match, but Galway’s response was both emphatic and decisive, rattling over seven unanswered points to put clear delight between the teams.
Kilkenny tried hard in the third quarter to overhaul an interval deficit of 1-14 to 2-3, but they could never punch sufficient holes in the Galway cover where Shane Jennings, Shane Quirke and Seán Neary were all imposing figures.
There was an air of inevitably about the outcome over the closing 20 minutes and though a couple of Galway players began to understandably suffer the effects of fatigue, the range of reserves introduced ensured the boys in maroon remained in command.
Overall, Galway again look a well-balanced outfit. The tireless Jason Donoghue was a bundle of energy around midfield where he was ably assisted by Oisín Flannery of St Thomas’, while up front Donal O’Shea proved a flawless free-taker, with corner forward Dean Reilly producing a man of the match display.
For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.
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Galway to complete vaccine roll-out by end of the summer
On the first anniversary of Covid-19’s deadly arrival into Ireland, the head of the Saolta hospital group has predicted that all who want the vaccine will have received it by the end of the summer.
Tony Canavan, CEO of the seven public hospitals, told the Connacht Tribune that the HSE was planning to set up satellite centres from the main vaccination hub at the Galway Racecourse to vaccinate people on the islands and in the most rural parts of the county.
While locations have not yet been signed up, the HSE was looking at larger buildings with good access that could be used temporarily to carry out the vaccination programme over a short period.
“We do want to reach out to rural parts of the region instead of drawing in people from the likes of Clifden and over from the islands. The plan is to set up satellites from the main centre, sending out small teams out to the likes of Connemara,” he explained.
“Ideally we’d run it as close as possible to the same time that the main centres are operating once that is set up. Communication is key – if people know we’re coming, it will put people’s minds at rest.”
Get all the latest Covid-19 coverage in this week’s Connacht Tribune, on sale in shops now – or download the digital edition from www.connachttribune.ie
Galway meteorologist enjoying new-found fame in the sun!
Growing up in Galway where four seasons in a day is considered a soft one, Linda Hughes always had a keen interest in the weather.
But unlike most Irish people, instead of just obsessing about it, she actually went and pursued it as a career.
The latest meteorologist to appear on RTE’s weather forecasts hails from Porridgtown, Oughterard, and brings with her an impressive background in marine forecasting.
She spent six years in Aerospace and Marine International in Aberdeen, Scotland, which provides forecasts for the oil and gas industry.
The 33-year-old was a route analyst responsible for planning routes for global shipping companies. She joined the company after studying experimental physics in NUIG and doing a masters in applied meteorology in Redding in the UK.
“My job was to keep crews safe and not lose cargo by picking the best route to get them to their destination as quickly as possibly but avoiding hurricanes, severe storms,” she explains.
“It was a very interesting job, I really enjoyed it but it was very stressful as you were dealing with bad weather all the time because there’s always bad weather in some part of the world.”
Read the full interview with Linda Hughes in this week’s Connacht Tribune, on sale in shops now – or download the digital edition from www.connachttribune.ie
Great-great-grandmother home after Covid, a stroke, heart failure and brain surgery
Her family are understandably calling her their miracle mum – because an 81 year old great-great-grandmother from Galway has bounced back from Covid-19, a stroke, heart failure and brain surgery since Christmas…to return hale and hearty, to her own home.
But Mary Quinn’s family will never forget the trauma of the last three months, as the Woodford woman fought back against all of the odds from a series of catastrophic set-backs.
The drama began when Mary was found with a bleed on her brain on December 16. She was admitted to Portiuncula Hospital, and transferred to Beaumont a day later where she underwent an emergency procedure – only to then suffer a stroke.
To compound the crisis, while in Beaumont, she contracted pneumonia, suffered heart failure and developed COPD, or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease – the inflammatory lung disease that causes obstructed airflow from the lungs.
“Christmas without mom; things did not look good,” said her daughter Catherine Shiel.
But the worst was still to come – because before Mary was discharged, she contracted Covid-19.
Read Mary’s full, heart-warming story in this week’s Connacht Tribune, on sale in shops now – or download the digital edition from www.connachttribune.ie