Date Published: 27-Oct-2009
CORRIB Rangers slipped to their first defeat of the season when exiting the Umbro FAI Junior Cup at Westside on Saturday afternoon as Athenry secured an injury time equaliser and then went on to fire home three more in extra time against a home side that finished the contest with nine players.
All is fair in love and war and in dreadful conditions this was a full blooded affair as two highly rated sides went head to head. There was no shirking responsibility from the opening whistle and, with Rangers enjoying the advantage of the elements, they dictated matters as the visitors lined out in a 4-
5-1 formation in order to combat the pressure.
Straight from the kick-off, Barry Moran wasn’t far off target as he let fly from half way and on three minutes Mark Joyce flashed a header off the crossbar. The start set the trend as the home side kept pouring forward and visiting custodian Adrian Cronin was kept busy with some routine and smart saves.
In front of him Stephen Rabbitte, Ronan Kinneen and the Byrne brothers, Emmett and Packie, worked hard to keep Moran and Joyce at bay, but O’Brien, Smyth and Connell were providing Rangers with a platform to maintain their dominance from midfield.
On 14 minutes, a Moran free kick brought a save from Cronin, with Joyce and Connell failing to hit the target with the resulting rebounds. The former Galway United striker was a constant threat from set pieces and twice later tested the custodian from outside the box.
Now while the vast majority of the action was going one way, Athenry had their fleeting moments in attack and could have broken the deadlock on a number of occasions, but Cathal Fahy and Jonathan Mernagh spurned the opportunities presented. They also lost midfielder Paddy Quinn through injury on the half hour mark and he was replaced by Conor Cannon.
The visitors had a huge letoff on 35 minutes when Martin Connell drilled in a cross from the left and Emmett Byrne stooped low to head clear and he knew little of where the ball went as it crashed off the underside of the crossbar.
However, Rangers made a deserved breakthrough five minutes later. Connell played a one-two with Moran at least thirty five yards out and even Cronin couldn’t make it to the top corner to keep out a stunning strike as the home side made it 1-0. In the closing minutes of the half, Ger Bane was off target with a header, while Cathal Fahy did likewise at the other end.
On the resumption it was the turn of Athenry to take over and very quickly home goalkeeper John Egan displayed the same ability that Cronin did when the shoe was on the other foot. Two smashing early saves thwarted Fahy and Mernagh, before Conor Cannon curled an effort off target.
It was now the turn of the Rangers rearguard to batten the hatches. In fairness to them, they certainly kept the visitors at bay after the early anxiety and Athenry looked much less of a threat in attack
than the home side did in the first half.
Because of the conditions it was difficult to keep the ball in play from set pieces as a series of deliveries just drifted over the end line. As the game entered the closing stages, Athenry by now long playing with just three at the back began to display some of the urgency that they started the half with.
They were helped by the second yellow card gathered by Gary Murray as he dragged down Mernagh on the edge of the box on 79 minutes. In the closing minutes Gary Forde, Mernagh and Crowe all tested Egan, before the visitors rescued the game with the equaliser on 91 minutes. A Crowe short corner short to Fahy was returned and on this occasion the international midfielder picked out Stephen Rabbitte in a crowded area. With a flying volley the right full cracked an effort beyond Egan to tie up matters at 1-1.
Extra time, then, and just like in the opening half Rangers started with wind advantage, but it was Athenry who seized the initiative from the off and two minutes in, Jamie O’Driscoll slipped substitute Brian Mannion through and he powered a left footed effort beyond Egan to make it 2-1. In their next attack Mernagh raced through and while it appeared that the challenge of Egan was good just inside
the box, the match official pointed to the spot and Rabbitte gleefully slammed home his second of the day for a two goal advantage.
Rangers’ Shane Flaherty obviously said too much to referee Tony Geasley about the incident and he was red carded to reduce the home side to nine players. Athenry made it 4-1 on 96 minutes when Mernagh raced clear before rounding the custodian and firing into an empty net and in the process gave the visitors a passage into the next round.
CORRIB RANGERS: Egan, M O’Connor, Flaherty, Murray, Bane, O’Brien, B O’Halloran jun, Smyth, Joyce, Moran, Connell. Reserves: Small for O’Halloran (77mins), J O’Connor for Smyth (82mins), B O’Halloran for Connell (100mins).
ATHENRY: Cronin, Rabbitte, Kinneen, P Byrne, E Byrne, O’Driscoll, Fahy, Crowe, Forde, Mernagh, Quinn. Reserves: Cannon for Quinn (inj-29mins), Hynes for Fahy (100mins).
REFEREE: Tony Geasley.
The way we were – Protecting archives of our past
People’s living conditions less than 100 years ago were frightening. We have come a long way. We talk about water charges today, but back then the local District Councils were erecting pumps for local communities and the lovely town of Mountbellew, according to Council minutes, had open sewers,” says Galway County Council archivist Patria McWalter.
Patria believes we “need to take pride in our history, and we should take the same pride in our historical records as we do in our built heritage”. When you see the wealth of material in her care, this belief makes sense.
She is in charge of caring for the rich collection of administrative records owned by Galway County Council and says “these records are as much part of our history as the Rock of Cashel is. They document our lives and our ancestors’ lives. And nobody can plan for the future unless you learn from the past, what worked and what didn’t”.
Archivists and librarians are often unfairly regarded as being dry, academic types, but that’s certainly not true of Patria. Her enthusiasm is infectious as she turns the pages of several minute books from Galway’s Rural District Councils, all of them at least 100 years old.
Part of her role involved cataloguing all the records of the Councils – Ballinasloe, Clifden, Galway, Gort, Loughrea, Mountbellew, Portumna and Tuam. These records mostly consisted of minutes of various meetings.
When she was cataloguing them she realised their worth to local historians and researchers, so she decided to compile a guide to their content. The result is For the Record: The Archives of Galway’s Rural District Councils, which will be a valuable asset to anybody with an interest in history.
Many representatives on these Councils were local personalities and several were arrested during the political upheaval of the era, she explains.
And, ushering in a new era in history, women were allowed to sit on these Rural District Councils – at the time they were not allowed to sit on County Councils.
All of this information is included in Patria’s introductory essay to the attractively produced A4 size guide, which gives a glimpse into how these Rural Councils operated and the way political thinking changed in Ireland during a short 26-year period. In the early 1900s, these Councils supported Home Rule, but by 1920, they were calling for full independence and refusing to recognise the British administration.
“I love the tone,” says Patria of the minutes from meetings. “The language was very emotive.”
That was certainly true of the Gort Rural District Council. At a meeting in 1907, following riots in Dublin at the premiere of JM Synge’s play, The Playboy of the Western World the councillors’ response was vehement. They recorded their decision to “protest most emphatically against the libellous comedy, The Playboy of the Western World, that was belched forth during the past week in the Abbey Theatre, Dublin, under the fostering care of Lady Gregory and Mr Yeats. We congratulate the good people of Dublin in howling down the gross buffoonery and immoral suggestions that are scattered throughout this scandalous performance.
For more from the archives see this week’s Tribunes here
First local bragging rights of the new season go to Mervue Utd
Date Published: 18-Mar-2013
Mervue United 2
Salthill Devon 1
Jason Byrne at Fahy’s Field
Mervue United have earned the early bragging rights in the latest instalment of a derby clash with their old rivals Salthill Devon thanks to first half goals from Tom King and youngster Ryan Manning at Fahy’s Field on Friday night.
Old teammates were re-united on the field as the likes Jason Molloy, Tom King, Gary Curran, Paul Sinnott and new Devon signing Derek O’Brien were among the names who used to wear the maroon of dormant Galway United.
Mervue came out of the blocks strongly and Curran unleashed the first meaningful shot after six minutes which failed to trouble Ronan Forde and glanced wide.
Two minutes later, former Mervue striker Enda Curran fired Devon’s first effort from distance but steered well clear of the target.
Almost immediately at the other end, Mervue thought they had taken the lead when King was released into the box and his shot squirmed under Forde towards goal, but Devon skipper Eugene Greaney was at hand to clear off the line.
Three minutes later, an almost identical move was executed by Mervue as Brendan Lavelle played King in, who this time opted to dink over the advancing Forde for a marvellous finish to give Mervue a deserved 1-0 lead.
Mervue immediately searched for another as Manning picked out Varley, and with his cross he searched for Lavelle but William Enubele cleared just as Lavelle was about to head it.
From the resulting corner, Manning whipped it in to Varley, whose shot was well blocked by Colm Horgan.
A second goal was coming, and it arrived on 18 minutes when King played a neat exchange with Paul Sinnott and he squared for Manning, who shot first-time to bag his first League of Ireland goal.
Following this it looked as if Mervue could further stretch their lead by half-time, but Devon kept their heads up and as a result of their hard work they eventually began to find their feet.
As the interval drew closer O’Brien – who had been eventually signed by Devon just hours before the kick-off – collected a long hopeful ball from Forde and cut inside but blazed over with the goal at his mercy.
Five minutes later, Enda Curran won a loose ball and his pace proved too much for Michael McSweeney but his shot was well saved by Gleeson.
On the break Mervue pelted forward and Lavelle saw another effort blocked by the omnipresent Greaney who was a rock at the back. Lavelle collected again and squared for Manning, but this time he mishit his shot and Forde caught easily.
On the stroke of half-time the teenager had another go at bagging his second but his free-kick sailed well over into the astroturf cages at Fahy’s Field.
A crowd of almost 300 people made their way to the east side of the city to witness the encounter, and perhaps a mixture of the heavy rain in the hour before kick-off along with the racing at Cheltenham earlier in the day affected the attendance.
The second-half failed to prove as entertaining as the first as Devon kept fighting hard to claw back into the contest and prevent a third goal which would have ended their chances of getting points on the board.
For more, read this week’s Connacht Sentinel.
Festival whets the appetite for new food experiences
Date Published: 21-Mar-2013
I know it’s hard to believe, but there are well-grounded, consistent reports in recent weeks that Fianna Fáil nationally has been receiving a large number of new applications for membership of the party.
When I heard it first, I thought to myself – sounds like new recruits to join the crew of the Titanic. Now, I’m beginning to wonder if they knew something that the rest of us didn’t.
For, FF showed a bounce in two recent opinion polls. And then George Lee did his walkout from Fine Gael, leaving FG and Enda Kenny to watch anxiously in the coming months as further polls come in, and the Kenny leadership comes under renewed pressure.
Fine Gael is still well ahead in the polls, but you write off FF at your peril. The old Fianna Fáil ‘faith’ still runs deep even among many of those who are now angry at the way the country was allowed to run on to the economic rocks under FF stewardship.
On the face of it, it sounds like FF shouldn’t be an even vaguely attractive prospect for new members . . . you can be damn sure that FF unpopularity was one of the main reasons that Galway West TD Noel Grealish (formerly of the PDs and now Independent) wouldn’t touch joining the FF Parliamentary Party with a barge pole and has been flexing his political muscle in recent months as an Independent.
That’s despite FF Ministers Eamon Ó Cuív and Noel Dempsey courting Grealish for months to join FF, with even speculation of a junior ministry ‘sweetener’ at some stage when Brian Cowen eventually carries out that long-threatened reshuffle.
Wonder if Grealish would reconsider now? For there’s no denying that in recent weeks in FF there has been a sneaking dawning feeling that, if they could just hold off the General Election until 2012, then maybe – just maybe! – at least their bedrock support might have come back by then and the massacre of FF TDs might not be quite as bloody as has been predicted for the past year.
Why, some FFrs believe they might even have enough TDs left to cosy-up to the Labour Party. That’s provided of course they can hold out to 2012 and their government partners, the Greens, don’t tear themselves apart in the meantime with their habit of washing dirty linen in public.
People like Grealish would have been hoping that some of the FF voters might go for the ‘first cousin’ in the shape of a former PD like himself – well weren’t the PDs just a family row in FF? The big test for angry or wavering FF supporters on election day in a place like Galway West would be just how many of them would vote Fine Gael? I have always been of the belief that ‘the hand would wither’ before they could give ‘the blueshirts’ a vote.
Meanwhile, in the past few weeks, the pressure has transferred to Fine Gael. They are the ones who now have to worry about any slippage in support, they have convince us that they could run the economy better . . . and against this shaky new background, they also have to worry about ‘upping their game’ in key areas like Galway West.
One of the most recent opinion polls showed the highest regional level of support for Fine Gael as being in Connacht-Ulster, which was traditionally the area which Fianna Fáil could count on as heartland. That has to be ‘the Enda Kenny factor’ coming through in constituencies close to his Mayo base, where FG had a huge 53% of the first preferences in 2007.
For more, read page 12 of this week’s Connacht Tribune.