Date Published: 16-Aug-2012
CORNER forward Tara Rutledge has been ruled out of Galway’s hugely anticipated All-Ireland senior camogie semi-final against Cork at Nowlan Park, Kilkenny on Saturday (2.15pm).
Hampered by a recent knee injury, Rutledge failed a fitness test this week and this has cleared the way for the experienced and former All Star Veronica Curtin to return to the Galway attack.
Aside from Rutledge, manager Tony Ward confirmed that there are no other injury problems to report as Galway aim to record a third consecutive victory at the penultimate stage of the championship.
Indeed, the last semi-final meeting between the two counties back in 2010 proved an absolutely cracking affair with two second-half goals earning Galway a reprieve, before they eventually scraped through the replay by the narrowest of margins.
That result ended Cork’s bid to reach a ninth consecutive All-Ireland final and they haven’t returned to GAA headquarters since.
In any event, an indifferent league campaign from the Tribeswomen suggested another barren summer lay in store, but the manner of the superb 13 point win over Wexford last month has not only heightened expectations ahead of this crucial fixture, but led many to believe that Galway’s time as perennial bridesmaids is nearing an end.
Reaching the last four would represent a satisfactory campaign for most inter-county camogie sides, but for Galway manager Tony Ward and his Cork counterpart Paudie Murray, a place in September’s final is the very least of their targets.
Cork, despite winning five All Ireland titles since 2002, have failed to progress beyond the semis in the last two years, a surprising scenario given the strength-in-depth of their squad. That said, there appears to be a renewed vigour surrounding the Rebelettes this year and their league final triumph over Wexford is testament of this.
From a Galway perspective, the big question is whether or not they can replicate their remarkable high-octane performance against Wexford, when the All Ireland champions were humbled by a driven and, in some instances, possessed Galway outfit. A stunned atmosphere hung over Kenny Park, Athenry as the home side headed for dressing room with a 3-9 to 0-4 interval lead.
An attack which struggled to find their rhythm in Galway’s two prior championship outings, incredibly, had racked up 3-5 by the 20th minute with Orla Kilkenny, Aislinn Connolly and Martina Conroy thriving amid a supposedly impenetrable Wexford rearguard.
The visitors’ forward division, laden with talent and ability, was rendered ineffective, managing just four points from play over the hour and, to this end, credit must be afforded to the phenomenal work-rate of Lorraine Ryan, Therese Maher and Regina Glynn.
Safe in the knowledge that Wexford were far from their best on that occasion, players and management alike were cautious not to get carried away by the win. Crucially though, it was a victory which ensured a five week lay-off for the Westerners as they advanced to the semis without having to negotiate a potentially treacherous quarter-final clash.
Speaking to Tribune Sport, manager Tony Ward was not concerned with his side’s lengthy lay-off in championship action, a period which allowed both management and players take stock.
“We had played four championship games on the trot so it was good to get the break. Players returned to the clubs and played a couple of games. Overall, preparations have gone very well and the mood in the camp is excellent”.
For more of this preview see this week’s Tribune
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
Galway have lot to ponder in poor show
Date Published: 23-Jan-2013
FRANK FARRAGHER IN ENNISCRONE
GALWAY’S first serious examination of the 2013 season rather disturbingly ended with a rating well below the 40% pass mark at the idyllic, if rather Siberian, seaside setting of Enniscrone on Sunday last.
The defeat cost Galway a place in the FBD League Final against Leitrim and also put a fair dent on their confidence shield for the bigger tests that lie ahead in February.
There was no fluke element in this success by an understrength Sligo side and by the time Leitrim referee, Frank Flynn, sounded the final whistle, there wasn’t a perished soul in the crowd of about 500 who could question the justice of the outcome.
It is only pre-season and last Sunday’s blast of dry polar winds did remind everyone that this is far from summer football, but make no mistake about it, the match did lay down some very worrying markers for Galway following a couple of victories over below par third level college teams.
Galway did start the game quite positively, leading by four points at the end of a first quarter when they missed as much more, but when Sligo stepped up the tempo of the game in the 10 minutes before half-time, the maroon resistance crumbled with frightening rapidity.
Some of the statistics of the match make for grim perusal. Over the course of the hour, Galway only scored two points from play and they went through a 52 minute period of the match, without raising a white flag – admittedly a late rally did bring them close to a draw but that would have been very rough justice on Sligo.
Sligo were backable at 9/4 coming into this match, the odds being stretched with the ‘missing list’ on Kevin Walsh’s team sheet – Adrian Marren, Stephen Coen, Tony Taylor, Ross Donovan, David Kelly, David Maye, Johnny Davey and Eamon O’Hara, were all marked absent for a variety of reasons.
Walsh has his Sligo side well schooled in the high intensity, close quarters type of football, and the harder Galway tried to go through the short game channels, the more the home side bottled them up.
Galway badly needed to find some variety in their attacking strategy and maybe there is a lot to be said for the traditional Meath style of giving long, quick ball to a full forward line with a big target man on the edge of the square – given Paul Conroy’s prowess close to goal last season, maybe it is time to ‘settle’ on a few basics.
Defensively, Galway were reasonably solid with Gary Sice at centre back probably their best player – he was one of the few men in maroon to deliver decent long ball deep into the attacking zone – while Finian Hanley, Conor Costello and Gary O’Donnell also kept things tight.
For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.
Real Galway flavour to intermediate club hurling battle in Birr
Date Published: 23-Jan-2013