Date Published: 02-May-2012
STEPHEN GLENNON AT DUGGAN PARK
Castlegar – inspired by man of the match Ger Farragher – produced a stunning late rally to secure, what was in many respects, an unlikely draw against a smart Kiltormer side in this senior hurling championship first round opener at Duggan Park, Ballinasloe on Saturday.
The city outfit looked to be heading for the back door route via Round 2 after falling six-points into arrears by the 38th minute but then – as if a light switch had been flicked – they began to hurl with a far greater degree of abundance for the remainder of the game.
Maybe, having found themselves in the quagmire of relegation last year, their late rally was a rage against such a similar fate again. Whatever the reason, their hurling in the second period was far crisper than the first, when their first touch was non-existent and they looked something less than ordinary.
The notable exception, of course, was Farragher, who tallied all of Castlegar’s first half total as his side trailed 0-5 to 0-8 to a Kiltormer side that should, well and truly, have been further ahead by this stage of the contest.
Quite simply, they hurled a good game in this period, being ably led by the honest David Hayes in the centre-half back berth while Keith Kilkenny and Patrick Cormican carried a potent threat up front.
In any event, the sides were tied at 0-3 after a nervous 18 minutes, with Kilkenny (free and play) and Hayes – a long range effort – tallying for Brian Whelehan’s outfit and Farragher responding for Castlegar.
Each side had their goal chances too in this period, with Kiltormer duo Conor Ryan and Enda Fenton denied by some fine goalkeeping by John Connor in the opening minutes before Emmett Goode denied Cashel full-forward Enda Concannon on 12 minutes.
As championship openers go, it certainly did not lack for excitement; however, the format of the new structure – where the winner goes through to the group stages while the loser must seek entry through the back door – definitely was causing uneasiness among two sets of jittery players.
It was almost as if both sides were afraid to make a mistake – and that’s real championship hurling – although the bumpy nature of the Duggan Park sward also played havoc with the players throughout the match.
That said, Kiltormer’s hurling was far sharper than their counterparts and by the end of the half they had edged into a three-point advantage as Kilkenny – a free and three excellent efforts from play – and Cormican registered the necessary scores for their side.
Early in the second period, Castlegar centre forward Mairtín Cullinane, now operating at full, became the first player aside from Farragher to find the target but any hopes, for the moment, of a revival looked to be put on hold when Kilkenny steered a teasing ball across the face of the Cashel goal and Ryan was on hand to flick the ball beyond Connor.
Fenton and Kilkenny (free) added points minutes later – sandwiching a Farragher effort – and by the 38th minute Kiltormer led 1-10 to 0-7 . . . and this advantage they continued to hold at the outset of the final quarter. It seemed this contest was done and dusted.
For more, read this week’s Connacht 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