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Tuam cut loose in setting up big clash with champs

Francis Farragher

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Caherlistrane's Shane O'Brien eyes up his options as Tuam Stars Cian McNamara prepares to challenge during the clubs' senior football championship tie at Pearse Stadium on Saturday evening. Photos: Enda Noone.

TUAM STARS 4-11

CAHERLISTRANE 1-6

THIS time last year Caherlistrane upset the odds by defeating Tuam in the senior championship in Corofin, and for the first 20 minutes of this preliminary quarter-final in Salthill on Saturday evening, a repeat act looked a distinct possibility.

Caherlistrane had charged into the action like young bulls on their first run, winning a lot of the 50-50 battles for possession and carving open the Stars defence on a few occasions.

When Martin Burke hammered home an eighth minute goal after taking a pass from Eric Monahan, Tuam looked like a side in trouble and at the end of the first quarter they trailed by 1-2 to 0-1.

Tuam’s early resistance was built around the performance of Gary O’Donnell at centre back, who as well as breaking up several Caherlistrane moves, also counter-attacked with great purpose.

In that opening 20 minutes of the match, Tuam badly needed scores to keep them in touch but during this period none of their forwards raised a white flag.

O’Donnell tacked on Tuam’s second point in the 16th minute following on from an earlier score by midfielder Cian McNamara before the game was to change course quite dramatically.

Caherlistrane ‘keeper Rory Conlon had saved brilliantly from Gavan Connell earlier on, but in the 20th minute, O’Donnell joined a Tuam attack in full flight to bullet home a goal from 13 metres.

Even after that, Caherlistrane bounced back with two points from Eric Monahan and Cormac Bane, before the Stars replied to level the match at 1-4 apiece with scores from Conor Doherty and a Gavan Connell free.

Just as the half was about to expire, the match swung inexorably the way of Tuam. Again O’Donnell was at the heart of the move, turning over a ball in midfield before lively forward Mikey Mannion passed to James Murphy who found the net from close range.

That put Tuam into a rather unexpected 2-4 to 1-4 interval lead but as the skies grew a bit more sullen over Galway Bay, the scale of the second half Caherlistrane collapse could not have been anticipated.

After an early Gavan Connell point put them four up, the Stars put together the best move of the match in the 39th minute with Conor Doherty, Noel Henry and Donal Marley combining to set up Jamie Murphy for his second goal strike.

At the interval, Tuam had introduced Cormac McWalter into their attack and the young forward added to Caherlistrane’s woes with a series of incisive runs culminating in a 50th minute goal strike after taking a pass from Mikey Mannion.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

CITY TRIBUNE

Galway’s senior panel strongly support the split-season formula

John McIntyre

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Galway camogie captain Sarah Dervan who strongly favours a split-season between inter-county and club.

OVER 90% of the Galway senior camogie panel have voted in favour of a split-season between inter-county and club.

And the Tribeswomen will be standing firm with the other 11 senior counties in boycotting the upcoming National League if the Camogie Association doesn’t perform a U-turn on its controversial fixtures calendar.

The plan to run off the club championships between the National League and All-Ireland inter-county campaigns has sparked an outcry among the sport’s elite.

In response to widespread protests, the Camogie Association is currently carrying out a survey among its clubs and members before deciding on a final fixtures template.

Galway camogie captain Sarah Dervan has already nailed her colours to the mast in supporting the split-season formula.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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CITY TRIBUNE

Connacht turn to South Africa for team’s new forwards coach

John McIntyre

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South African Dewald Senekai who will be Connacht's new Forwards Coach next season.

A 40 year-old South African is on his way to the Sportsground as Forwards Coach for the start of next season.

With Nigel Carolan and Jimmy Duffy departing the Connacht coaching staff at the end of the current campaign, the province has moved quickly to fill the void.

Already Connacht had moved Peter Wilkins (new Defence Coach), Colm Tucker and Mossy Lawler up through their own coaching ranks, but the need for an outside appointment remained paramount.

Dewald Senekal arrives with extensive coaching experience, most recently serving as Forwards Coach for Stade Francais in the Top 14 after taking over from Paul O’Connell in the role.

From 2017 to 2019 ,he was Joint Head Coach of Grenoble, leading them to promotion from Pro D2 to the Top 14 in his first season.

Senekai began his coaching career in 2015 as Forwards Coach of Bayonne where he finished a long playing career. He also lined out for French sides Toulon and Agen, and South African outfits, the Cheetahs and Lions.

Head Coach Andy Friend is delighted that the South African has signed up with Connacht. “Following an extensive recruitment process, we are thrilled that Dewald is joining the Connacht coaching team.

“He is an extremely impressive individual who will add a lot to the set-up, as well as providing a fresh pair of eyes and new ideas. I know the players will really enjoy working with him and the coaches likewise.

“Our coaching team is now complete with Dewald joining Pete, Mossy, Cullie and myself for the next two years, and we feel very optimistic about what we can achieve both as a group and in the club.”

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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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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CITY TRIBUNE

Resurgent Connacht relishing battle with vulnerable Leinster

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Connacht winger Alex Wootton who has recovered from injury and is available for Saturday's Rainbow Cup clash against Leinster at the Sportsground.

By Rob Murphy

TAKE a breath of the fresh air that surrounds the Connacht rugby team right now and you’ll get the unmistakable impression that they are relishing the Rainbow Cup competition.

Leinster arrive in Galway on Saturday evening for round two of the six game end of season tournament, licking their wounds after another Champions Cup semi final heartbreaker, while the westerners are looking for a second straight inter-provincial win.

Now let’s not oversell this. The Rainbow Cup has not gone to plan by any means, with the South African sides pulling out of the hastily arranged tournament at the last minute turning it into a six game rehash of the usual fixture, but for Andy Friend and his management team it has been a case of perfect timing for a group that really were looking for a reset button before breaking up for the summer after a long 12 months.

Two weeks on from the victory over Ulster in Ravenhill, the shouts and chirping from the pitch on College Road in Galway are no doubt that bit louder as they bellow across Bohermore and Lough Atalia. A win can do a lot for the mood of a group of athletes. The defeat to Leicester in the Challenge Cup is a distant memory and the next few weeks are about building confidence and developing new patterns. Friend is enjoying the process.

“We are pushing hard in the last few weeks and that’s a compliment to our coaching staff as well as the players. We are in the middle of three inter-pros and that’s how we are looking at it. Yes it’s the Rainbow Cup as well but first and foremost they are games with a lot to play for anyways.” noted Friend.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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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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