Classifieds Advertise Archive Subscriptions Family Announcements Photos Digital Editions/Apps
Connect with us

Sports

Kelly and Mall Dini come up trumps at big festival

Published

on

Winning trainer Pat Kelly from Craughwell, owner Philip Reynolds and stable lass Kim Scott show their delight after Mall Dini landed the Pertemps Final at the Cheltenham Festival last Thursday. Photos: Healy Racing.

PAT Kelly would hardly get a job in public relations, but his lone challenger at the Cheltenham National Hunt festival certainly showcased the training talents of the Craughwell-based handler.

Kelly could always train horses as underlined by the Guinness Galway Hurdle triumphs of Natalie’s Fancy (1992) and No Tag (1995), but his yard had fallen on relative lean times until he purchased Mall Dini from Tom Costello Jnr a couple of years ago.

Having won a bumper in Cork in March of 2015, Mall Dini subsequently landed a maiden hurdle in Thurles last December. The six-year-old was then stepped up in class and managed a succession of decent placed efforts on Grade One tracks at Leopardstown, Punchestown and Fairyhouse.

Having qualified for the Pertemps Network Final at Cheltenham, Mall Dini attracted some each way support for this hugely competitive handicap run over three miles. It was only Kelly’s third ever runner at the festival and he was hoping for better luck this time.

In 1990, Art Trail suffered a fatal leg injury coming down the hill in the Supreme Novices Hurdle, while four years later Take The Town unshipped a certain Willie Mullins in the National Hunt Chase.

The lightly raced Mall Dini was somewhat unexposed as the field faced the starter in the Cotswolds last Thursday. Carrying the colours of Philip Reynolds, son of former Taoiseach Albert, the 14/1 chance also had a proven festival pilot on his back.

Since 2006, Davy Russell has never returned from the sport’s flagship meeting without a winner and having steered Diamond King to victory in the Coral Cup 24 hours earlier, the Youghal native would not be lacking in confidence on Kelly’s stable star.

It was a rough enough race . . . eventual third If In Doubt met no shortage of trouble up the long home straight. In contrast, Mall Dini had made eye-catching headway approaching the second last and arrived at the final obstacle closing in on the leaders.

Though the horse jumped left at that flight and then hung up the hill, the Galway challenger still had the stamina to lead in the final 150 yards, coming home three quarters of a length in front of Arpege D’Alene from the Paul Nicholls yard.

It was no surprise a stewards’ inquiry was called, but after relatively quick deliberations Mall Dini was confirmed the winner as Kelly became the second Craughwell trainer – following in the footsteps of Paul Gilligan and Berties Dream in 2010 – to experience glory at the biggest National Hunt meeting of them all.

It was the classic small-man operation success. Kelly says he has only seven horses and two staff, but his ability to get the best out of his string was underlined by winning jockey Russell’s post race comments. “All credit goes to Pat Kelly; he’s a genius and had the horse spot on. We felt he would enjoy the drier ground.”

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

Connacht Tribune

Galway minors continue to lay waste to all opponents

Published

on

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.

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.

 

Continue Reading

CITY TRIBUNE

United wary of the threat from Treaty

Published

on

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.

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.

 

 

Continue Reading

CITY TRIBUNE

Devon crowned Women’s Connacht Cup champions

Published

on

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.

 

Continue Reading

Trending