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United blow two-goal lead against basement visitors

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Galway United's Stephen Walsh tussling for possession with Longford Town's Kaleem Simon during Friday night's Premier Division tie at Eamonn Deacy Park. Photo: Joe O'Shaughnessy.

Galway United 2

Longford Town 2

Mike Rafferty  at Eamonn Deacy Park

JUST two minutes into Friday night’s Airtricity League contest at Eamonn Deacy Park, Vinny Faherty lit an early fuse as the home side made a perfect start, but well before the final whistle the spark was long gone as a draw proved an acceptable outcome.

Though Enda Curran added a second before the break to give Galway United a two goal advantage, it was a flattering position and credit the visitors who responded well on the resumption.

Matters certainly did not get any better for the home side thereafter as Longford switched to a more attacking formation and were rewarded by a brace of goals that was contributed to by some poor defending.

Obviously, complacency was a factor in this display as it followed their most impressive 2-2 draw with title contenders Cork City two weeks previously, and it looks like the mental challenge of facing lowly opposition did not provide the required stimulation.

On a night when United were without the injured Stephen Folan and Kevin Devaney, they added to the casualty list as Padraig Cunningham is set for another stint on the sidelines.

The young striker was just working his way back to full fitness following a knee injury last season, but two minutes following his introduction, a collision sent him to the ground and it was quickly apparent that he was in trouble and was replaced by Ruairi Keating. It is a cruel blow to the Headford native, who is undergoing tests on his knee this week.

Manager Tommy Dunne made two changes to the starting eleven that saw off Wexford Youths the previous week, with Killian Cantwell replacing the injured Folan at the back, while Enda Curran was given the nod instead of Cunningham.

Faherty notched the first goal in six of United’s games to date and he quickly brought his seasonal tally to eight with the opener within two minutes. A Curran delivery from the left found him in space at the edge of the box and his lob over the advancing Paul Skinner gave them an early 1-0 advantage.

That early highlight should have been a sign of better things to come against a visiting side who had not won since the opening day of the season and who had also not scored an away goal since. Unlike in previous games, the early strike did not get the juices flowing as the action never matched the pace or tempo of the Cork game and chances were certainly at a premium.

Longford had one opportunity to level matters, but leading scorer David O’Sullivan scooped a Kevin O’Connor corner over the bar from ten yards. That was the highlight of the visitors’ opening half forays – but then the home side were not a lot better.

However, on 31 minutes, Curran had a shot following a Faherty knock down deflected out for a corner and the set piece was to provide the home side’s second breakthrough. Ryan Connolly’s right wing delivery made it all the way to the far post, where Curran was lurking to tap into an empty net for a 2-0 interval advantage.

For more, read this week’s Galway City Tribune.

CITY TRIBUNE

Horgan in the history books

Keith Kelly

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DARYL HORGAN

DARYL Horgan became the first Galwegian to score a senior men’s international goal when grabbing the fourth goal for the Republic of Ireland in their 4-1 friendly win over Andorra last Thursday.

Horgan, introduced as a 66th minute substitute for Ronan Curtis, got on the end of Jason Knight’s 89th minute cross to stoop low and send a diving header into the back of the net to cap a brilliant 26-minute cameo for the winger in what was his 13th senior international appearance.

The Knocknacarra native had just five minutes earlier sent in the cross from which Knight made it 3-1 to sighs of relief in the Irish camp – they had fallen 1-0 behind after 52 minutes, before a brace of goals from Troy Parrott in the 58th and 61st minutes put the Boys in Green in front and spared Stephen Kenny’s side the embarrassment of losing to a ski resort.

Horgan is one of seven Galwegians to win a senior men’s international cap – David Forde (24 caps), Alan Lee (10), Aaron Connolly (6), Greg Cunningham (4), Ryan Manning (4), and the late Eamonn ‘Chick’ Deacy (4) are the others – but he is the first to find the back of the opposition net.

He was joined from the bench last Thursday by Manning, and both players also started on the bench in Budapest on Tuesday night in the scoreless draw with Hungary, with both again being introduced in the second-half, Horgan in the 56th minute to win his 14th cap, followed by Manning in the 85th minute to win his fourth cap.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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CITY TRIBUNE

Galway WFC bring an end to their away woes in Cork

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Chloe Moloney who was one of Galway WFC's goal scorers in their away win over Cork WFC at Turners Cross on Saturday.

Cork City WFC 0

Galway WFC  2

By Mike Rafferty

AFTER firing blanks in their three previous away games, Galway WFC got back to winning ways when aided by two opening half goals and a first clean sheet of the season, they were worthy winners of this Women’s National League contest at Turners Cross on Saturday.

Two early headed goals by Chloe Moloney and Aoife Thompson gave them a cushion that was seldom threatened as the home side were outmaneuvered as new Galway WFC manager Stephen Lally picked up the first win of his reign.

As in previous games, the visitors were without some of their more established names, but the performances of Ruth Fahy, Lucia Lobato and Thompson helped turn an impressive performance into a worthy win. Cork goalkeeper Abby McCarthy was by far the busier of the two custodians and some good shot stopping in the early exchanges kept her side in the game.

However, there was little she could do when Galway WFC took the lead on 21 minutes, Chloe Moloney attacking a Shauna Brennan corner in a crowded box and powerfully heading home for a 1-0 advantage.

Just three minutes later, they added a second and again Brennan was at the heart of it when seeing off a challenge on the right flank, before delivering a deep cross that was powered into the bottom corner by the flying Thompson with a diving header.

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

Connacht soar in final game to clip the wings of Ospreys

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Connacht’s Ben O’Donnell, who has Ultan Dillane in support, is tackled by Rhys Webb of the Ospreys during Friday's Rainbow Cup tie at the Sportsground. Photo: Joe O'Shaughnessy.

Connacht 26

Ospreys 19

Rob Murphy at the Sportsground

THE Connacht team finished Friday’s final game of the season with a flurry of fierce and well timed tackles as they held off the Ospreys and secured the win. While they did that, the Fields of Athenry bellowed from the Clan Terrace creating a surreal, almost absurd atmosphere at a near empty Sportsground. The roar that followed from the handful of souls in the stands was an appropriate end to a strange season like no other.

The singing and the shouting had come from the non selected players who had all gathered in a corner of the terrace for the game, making sure that there was no doubt for those out on the field that the game and the result meant something. Overall of course, this result is just a mark on the ledger, a soon to be forgotten triumph in a season that included far too many defeats at their Galway venue.

If all that wasn’t strange enough, all the scoring happened in the first half. Connacht notched four tries, the Ospreys managed three yet it was the second half that proved to be the most compelling and captivating as the visitors from Wales came up against a brick wall. Connacht’s tackling was superb while their maul defence proved to be critical. The visitors had arrived needing and expecting to get a bonus point win to stay in contention for a place in the Rainbow Cup final, but would leave shell shocked.

The Rainbow Cup as a competition has predictably turned out to be a disaster for the PRO14 organisers. While there has been some misfortune with late season postponements because of Covid and the South African sides have been limited on travel, the format of a straight league with teams playing six fixtures was never going to inspire enthusiasm or create a fair and balanced tournament. As it stands, Benetton might get to the final without having to play any of the top six sides.

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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