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Youthful Sarsfields seize the day by securing historic title

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Sarsfields Kate Gallagher puts the pressure on Mullagh’s Patricia Manning during Saturday's Senior Camogie Championship Final at Duggan Park, Ballinasloe. Photos: Enda Noone.

Sarsfields 1-13

Mullagh 1-8

TWENTY-seven years to the day that he captained his club to county senior hurling glory, Michael ‘Hopper’ McGrath oversaw an historic success last Saturday when Sarsfields were crowned  senior camogie champions for the first time ever.

In a contest equally as intense and entertaining as the first instalment six days earlier, it took a Siobhan McGrath goal six minutes from time to finally put distance between two evenly matched sides as her sister Orlaith got the honour of lifting the Catherine Donnellan Cup.

Throughout the field, Sarsfields fought for every ball including a rock solid defence who limited chances for their opponents while, at critical stages, the New Inn/Bullaun/ Woodford outfit picked off crucial points.

But likewise, Mullagh played their part battling back into contention after Patricia Manning’s 28th minute major and had another couple of goal chances gone their way, this replay could have had a different outcome.

Spectator interest had increased following the pulsating drawn game in Athenry and the throw-in had to be delayed nearly 10 minutes due to the huge crowd arriving.

Mullagh started brightly, with Aoife Donohue out on the left wing and they won a free in the second minute which the county player landed for the opening score.

However, Sarsfields responded within 60 seconds as Niamh McGrath found the target to level affairs before her side built a three-point lead.

While Donohue and McGrath have proved reliable from placed balls, early scores from play would give one side the initiative and Sarsfields seized it. Orlaith McGrath converted on eight minutes before Maria Cooney split the posts within a minute. When Niamh McGrath sent over a second free on 13 minutes, Sarsfields led 0-4 to 0-1.

Sarsfields looked to be spreading the ball much better than persisting with deliveries to Siobhan McGrath who would make her impact be felt. In contrast, Mullagh’s tactic was to try and supply Donohue and Collette Hardiman but often left themselves short on numbers as they pulled players back to try win the midfield exchanges.

A Donohue free on 15 minutes reduced the deficit but Sarsfields were enjoying the breaks.  Siobhan McGrath, scoreless in the drawn game, opened her account within 60 seconds before Orlaith McGrath won two frees which her sister Niamh converted to stretch their lead to 0-7 to 0-2.

Mullagh needed the rub of the green and they got their chance on 22 minutes. An attack involving Donohue led to Therese Manton being taken down for a penalty. Goalkeeper Caitriona Daly came the length of the field for the resulting shot but a player travelling a similar distance, full forward Cooney blocked it on the line.

A chance went abegging for Mullagh but they were starting to test the Sarsfields defence.  Beforehand, Niamh McGrath hit back with a free putting six between the teams before Mullagh countered only for Colette Glennon’s fierce effort to shave the wrong side of the post.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

CITY TRIBUNE

City sides will fancy chances of advancing as champions face Corofin

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Bearna's James Kennedy hits the deck in Ballinasloe on Tuesday as Annaghdown's Frankie Burke and Darragh Meehan try to chase down possession. Photo: Joe O'Shaughnessy.

The battle for this year’s county Senior Gaelic football club title looks to be wide open after the quarter-final draw was made this week following the delayed conclusion of the group stages on Tuesday night.

Salthill/Knocknacarra, who finished second in group 2, have been handed a last eight tie with a Tuam Stars side that finished third in group 1; while St Michael’s, who topped Group 3, will face an Annaghdown side that nabbed the final quarter-final spot in dramatic fashion on Tuesday night.

They went into their game with Bearna knowing they needed to win by a minimum of 12points to pip Milltown to the final qualifying spot as the second best of the teams that finished third in the group stages.

They looked to be coming up just short until they were awarded a late free, which goalkeeper James Healy converted, to snatch that remaining quarter-final slot on socring difference form Milltown.

The 2020 champions, Moycullen, will take on Claregalway in the last eight; while the pick of the ties is undoubtedly the clash of defending champions, Mountbellew/Moylough, with a Corofin side that was denied the five-in-a-row by Moycullen two years ago.

At the other end of the equation, St James’ are in a relegation battle, and face a clash with An Spidéal in the preliminary play-offs. A win will secure their senior status for another year, but a defeat will see them join Oughterard, An Cheathru Rua, and the losers of the other preliminary play-off between Caherlistrane and Monivea/Abbey in a round robin league, with the bottom two sides in those play-offs dropping to the intermediate ranks next year.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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CITY TRIBUNE

Play-offs dress rehearsal facing Utd against Treaty

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Former Galway United player Enda Curran celebrates his recent hat-trick for Treaty United in their FAI Cup quarter-final win over UCD. The in-form Mervue native will be facing the Tribesmen in a First Division clash on Friday.

GALWAY United head to Limerick this Friday evening for what is looking like a dress rehearsal for the end-of-season play-offs as they take on Treaty United in the Markets Field (7.45pm).

This is United’s game-in-hand over league leaders, Cork City, and a win will see them close the gap on the Leesiders to four points with three games remaining, and while a win would give the slightest of hopes of a late challenge for league honours, it is more likely to serve as a further boost to confidence ahead of the protracted play-off series that kicks-off at the end of next month.

United need to win their final four games to have any hope of snatching the title, and given the goal difference between the sides, they also need to hope that City don’t pick up more than four points from their last three games, if they are to finish top of the pile.

United’s last three games after this weekend are at home to Athlone, away to Wexford, and home to Longford Town; while City are home to Wexford, away to Athlone, and home to Bray, the easier of the two run-ins, so for United it is all about building momentum ahead of the play-offs.

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.

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Or purchase the Digital Edition for PC, Mac or Laptop from Pagesuite  HERE.

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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

Late points from Burke and Wall grab draw for Corofin

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Tuam Stars' Paul Collins tries to halt Ronan Steede of Corofin in his tracks during Sunday's Senior Football Group 1 encounter at Tuam Stadium. Photo: Joe O'Shaughnessy.

Corofin 0-16

Tuam Stars 0-16

Eanna O’Reilly at Tuam Stadium

A late point from Corofin’s Ian Burke denied Tuam Stars a notable win over their close neighbours in an entertaining contest at Tuam Stadium on Sunday afternoon. In a closely fought contest, the Stars appeared to have done enough with two late points from Brian Mannion putting them ahead by 0-16 to 0-14 in the dying minutes of the second half.

In typically composed fashion however, Corofin refused to panic and used all of their experience to engineer two late scores, the first from Dylan Wall, before Burke held his nerve to convert a mark to give Corofin a share of the spoils.

The result means that both sides qualified for the quarter finals, after both finished the group stages with eight points. Corofin were drawn against defending champions Mountbellew/Moylough in a mouth-watering tie, while Tuam Stars will face Salthill/Knocknacara in another intriguing clash.

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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