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Healy heartache

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Nial Healy

GALWAY sharpshooter Niall Healy, who is sidelined for the rest of the year with a cruciate injury, believes his team-mates will have to be “wired to the moon” if they are to turn over Kilkenny in their Leinster semi-final at O’Connor Park, Tullamore on Sunday. That was the intense approach Galway adopted when conquering Kilkenny 2-21 to 2-11 in the 2012 Leinster decider – a game they had incredibly led 2-12 to 0-4 after a flawless first half. “That day against Kilkenny, they were wired to the moon going out,” says Healy. “I think they just have to get back to the same attitude as that. They just need to be wired up going out on Sunday, if they can. Whatever lads did two years ago, they have to get up to the same level. That is what they are going to need to do to beat Kilkenny.” Indeed, Galway have proven that they do have displays like that in their arsenal but the problem for the Tribesmen is that they have been unable to do produce these performances on a consistent basis. That has been the conundrum haunting Galway hurling since their last All-Ireland win in 1988. Healy, despite being to the forefront of Galway hurling for over a decade, is equally as perplexed by the mystery. “I don’t know. I suppose, there are guys on the panel who have had a lot of setbacks over the last few years and maybe that does be playing on the mind going out. It is hard to put your finger on it.” In any event, it’s doubtful any other inter-county hurler has been through the proverbial wringer as much as Galway’s 2004 minor captain when it comes to injuries over the last three years. In the darkest hours, the 29-year-old must wonder what he did to alienate the sporting gods. With hand and bicep injuries seriously disrupting his seasons in 2012 and ‘13 respectively, he could be forgiven for thinking the worst was behind him. However, a cruciate tear in a club game last month has cut short his playing year for club and county once again, much to the Craughwell man’s frustration. “It is very frustrating,” admits the former All-Ireland U-21 winner (2005). “If it happened in November, it mightn’t be too bad but it is just the time of the year. There is nothing better than going down to Kenny Park, training away on summer evenings, and it is very frustrating now not to be able to do that. “Things were going well for me but, I suppose, you can’t be feeling too sorry for yourself either. There are people worse off than me. I just have to get this operation done [with Ray Moran in Dublin] in two weeks’ time and then focus on getting ready for next year again.” For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

Connacht Tribune

Galway minors continue to lay waste to all opponents

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Galway's Aaron Niland is chased by Cillian O'Callaghan of Cork during Saturday's All-Ireland Minor Hurling semi-final at Semple Stadium. Photo: Stephen Marken/Sportsfile.

Galway 3-18

Cork 1-10

NEW setting; new opposition; new challenge. It made no difference to the Galway minor hurlers as they chalked up a remarkable sixth consecutive double digits championship victory at Semple Stadium on Saturday.

The final scoreline in Thurles may have been a little harsh on Cork, but there was no doubting Galway’s overall superiority in setting up only a second-ever All-Ireland showdown against Clare at the same venue on Sunday week.

Having claimed an historic Leinster title the previous weekend, Galway took a while to get going against the Rebels and also endured their first period in a match in which they were heavily outscored, but still the boys in maroon roll on.

Beating a decent Cork outfit by 14 points sums up how formidable Galway are. No team has managed to lay a glove on them so far, and though Clare might ask them questions other challengers haven’t, they are going to have to find significant improvement on their semi-final win over 14-man Kilkenny to pull off a final upset.

Galway just aren’t winning their matches; they are overpowering the teams which have stood in their way. Their level of consistency is admirable for young players starting off on the inter-county journey, while the team’s temperament appears to be bombproof, no matter what is thrown at them.

Having romped through Leinster, Galway should have been a bit rattled by being only level (0-4 each) after 20 minutes and being a little fortunate not to have been behind; or when Cork stormed out of the blocks at the start of the second half by hitting 1-4 to just a solitary point in reply, but there was never any trace of panic in their ranks.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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CITY TRIBUNE

United wary of the threat from Treaty

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Galway United’s goal scorer Stephen Walsh gets to grips with Wexford’s Hugh Douglas during Friday's First Division tie at Eamonn Deacy Park. Photos: Joe O'Shaughnessy,

GALWAY United need to guard against any kind of complacency when they make the short hop down the M18 this Friday to take on Treaty United at the Markets Field (7.45pm).

The game is a meeting of the two form teams in the division, and as in previous meetings between the sides, will have an additional edge given the number of former United players in the home side’s ranks, and the pair of Limerick lads playing for United.

There might have been just the eight meetings between the sides since Treaty became the latest iteration to represent Limerick in the League of Ireland in 2021, and while United have yet to lose to the men in the candy-cane strips, there has never been more than a goal in four of their eight wins.

The most recent of those was back in February, when Rob Slevin scored the only goal of the game in Eamonn Deacy Park after a tough battle against a side who made a slow start to the season, before finally finding their groove in the past month.

Having taken just three points from their first six games before finally getting a win against Longford Town, they reverted to type with just one point from their next three games, but are now on a run of four wins on the spin, scoring 12 goals and conceding just one.

Their most recent win was a 3-0 victory away to Longford Town last Saturday, and they could have won by double that against the only side to have beaten United this season. That in itself is a warning.

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

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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

Devon crowned Women’s Connacht Cup champions

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Luke Byrnes (centre) ceebrates with Paddy Gannon (left) and Sam Omokua afetr scoring his second goal aganist St Bernard's. Photos: Joe O'Shaughnessy.

Soccer Wrap with Mike Rafferty

While the Salthill Devon men’s team might have lost their grip on the Connacht Junior Cup that they held for two seasons, the club’s women’s side have picked up the mantle and on Sunday last in Headford were crowned provincial champions with a 4-3 win over Manulla.

Following midweek wins for Maree/Oranmore and Knocknacarra, the stage is now almost set for the semi-finals of the Michael Byrne Cup with Salthill Devon meeting St Bernard’s on Sunday in an outstanding quarter-final, with the winners advancing to a semi-final against Maree/Oranmore, while Colga will face Knocknacarra in the other last four contest.

Just one league issue remains to be decided, with the Championship runners-up position up for grabs, as Dynamo Blues have to win their two remaining games in order to overtake Colemanstown United who have finished their programme.

WOMEN’S CONNACHT CUP FINAL

Salthill Devon  4

Manulla 3

Ellerose O’Flaherty scored twice as Salthill Devon were crowned provincial champions with a win over a Mayo side who were losing in the final for the second year in succession.

Backboned by a number of players who previously had League of Ireland experience with Galway WFC, Devon suffered an early set back when Jess Nolan put Manulla ahead, before O’Flaherty levelled matters with a cracking finish on 20 minutes, which was quickly followed by a long-range free-kick from Aoife Walsh.

For more, read this week’s Galway City 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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