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
Moment of truth for Galway U21s
Date Published: 01-May-2013
FOUR matches, four victories, one after extra-time, a Connacht title, four goals and 56 points scored, four goals and 30 points conceded, a heap of wides from their opponents, sinews strained, buckets of sweat and blood spilled.
It’s been one hell of a roller coaster campaign for the Galway U21 footballers but all that will be forgotten come 7pm on Saturday evening at the Gaelic Grounds, Limerick when they cross swords with Cork for the honour of being crowned Cadbury’s All-Ireland champions.
Six weeks ago as Galway set out on their 2013 U21 journey against Sligo in Tuam, the May Bank Holiday weekend final was always the target. They took each game as it came and now it has come down to this – 60 minutes of football to decide who the best U21 team in the land is.
And while there were times along the way when Alan Flynn’s charges looked like they’d fall off the wagon, against Mayo, against Roscommon and again against Kildare, Galway showed resilience and mental strength to time and again bounce back and defy the odds. Often down, never out. It is that perseverance that will stand to Galway in the heat of battle this weekend.
Cork has won an All-Ireland at this grade more times than any other county since the competition’s inception in the 1960s. The most recent of their 11 titles was won in 2009, and they’ve claimed a three-in-a-row of Munster titles with a defeat of Tipperary last month.
Interestingly, five players – Alan Cronin, Jamie Wall, John O’Rourke, Tom Clancy and Damien Cahalene, the son of former inter-county player Niall – that are expected to start this Saturday lined out in each of the last three Munster finals, so they have experience of playing in the pressure cauldrons.
Galway aren’t as experienced. True, a couple of players already have a All-Ireland medal from 2011 – a year Galway beat Cork in the semi-final – but there are a lot of young guns in the panel. Of the squad of 33, about 19 of them are young enough to play U21 next year as well, while eight or nine of the starting 15 will be eligible next year, although you wouldn’t think it given the levelheadedness they’ve displayed throughout the past six weeks.
Galway had plenty to spare over a hapless Sligo outfit in Tuam the first day out, winning by 16 points, which didn’t flatter them, but old rivals Mayo in the following game at the same venue was a different story. After a tense and tight hour of fare, Galway took the spoils after showing immense character to dig it out by two points in a dogfight, 0-9 to 0-7.
Fighting qualities were needed again in the Connacht final in Hyde Park against Roscommon – Galway were minutes from being knocked out of the championship when a heroic comeback, three points in as many minutes from Kilkerrin/Clonberne’s Shane Walsh, rescued extra-time, a period which Galway never looked like losing.
The Tribesmen took their chances when they presented themselves, a trait that also saw them knock-out Kieran McGeeney’s highly rated and much fancied Kildare outfit in a thriller at Tullamore a fortnight ago.
The Lilywhites were wasteful, true, but that’s their problem, and Galway just had too much natural footballing class to take their chances and emerge with a deserved five points, 2-10 to 2-5 victory, despite 19 wides from the vanquished.
For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.
GalwayÕs U-13 and U-16 sides both through to national finals
Date Published: 14-May-2013
It proved to be a very successful weekend for Galway Schoolboy soccer as two representative sides qualified for national finals at the end of the month.
It was drama all the way in Eamonn Deacy Park on Saturday afternoon as the U-13 side drew 1-1 with the Midlands League, but came through the dreaded penalty shootout to prevail by 5-4.
Meanwhile the U-16 side had to travel to Cork, where they emerged 2-1 winners following a very impressive performance. For the second game in succession, it was the goals of the Connolly brothers that proved crucial to both team’s success.
Andrew lines out with the U-16 side and he notched both their scores in terrific away win, while younger brother Aaron was on target for the U-13 side and also converted the winning spot kick.
Mervue United captured a third consecutive Connacht Youth Cup with an impressive 4-1 win over Castlebar Celtic in Milebush on Saturday.
SFAI U-13 INTER LEAGUE SEMI FINAL
Galway League 1
Midlands League 1
(AET-Galway won 5-4 on pens)
A low scoring contest might indicate few chances, but one has to credit two outstanding defences whose splendid covering and marshalling of the front men was a joy to watch.
Galway’s Oisin McDonagh and Adam Rooney never put a foot wrong in central defence, while full-backs Byron Lydon and Matthew Tierney were equally efficient in defence, and getting forward with regular forays.
Further afield, they matched the visitors in terms of intensity and creativity and in the second half in particular should have pulled away from a Midlands side that won the U-12 national title last year.
The visitors certainly offered the greater attacking threat in the opening half, but found home custodian Mark Greaney in top form. Galway’s best chance fell to Joshua Quinlivan, but he pulled an effort wide of the target.
For more, read this week’s Connacht Sentinel.