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Archive News

Madden’s brace adds to United’s jitters



Date Published: 27-Oct-2009

IT is a case of ‘as you were’ in the bottom half of the table as Galway United still have their Premier Division survival in their own hands, despite Friday night’s loss to league leaders and defending champions Bohemian FC in Terryland Park.

United competed well for 50 minutes, but two goals in the space of eight minutes early in the second half by teenage striker Paddy Madden settled the tie and kept Bohs on track for an 11th league title, and back-to-back titles for the first time in the club’s history.

That is of little interest to United fans, who were eagerly seeking a result from Richmond Park as Friday night’s tie in Terryland petered out in pedestrian fashion to its inevitable conclusion, and it provided the one high point on a night in which provincial rivals Sligo Rovers struggled past Waterford United to book their place in the FAI Cup final.

“It was a relief to hear Pats were beaten tonight to be honest, if you had offered me the chance to be three points ahead of them after tonight I would have taken it as they were playing a Derry side that was in a bad run of form,” United right back and Irish U-21 international, Seamus Conneely, said after the game.

United are still one place above the relegation play-off spots, and judging by Sporting Fingal’s demolition of Bray Wanderers in the weekend’s second FAI Cup semi-final, United don’t want to be dragged into the play-off spots.

Conneely reckons United need four points from their last two games to avoid that scenario, and his manager, Ian Foster, says that if United replicate their display of Friday night, that points total is achievable.

“What pleased me tonight is they kept doing the right thing kept trying to play, and the workrate. I’ve got no complaints tonight, they are a fantastic side and will be champions this season, I just hope we
can replicate that performance in the next two games,” he said.

As for the game itself, the visitors dominated from first whistle to last, but they struggled to convert that dominance into goals in the first half as a limited but dogged United side defended with their lives.

The pressure was bound to tell, however, and Madden made the difference with two close range shots early in the second half to keep Fenlon’s side on the summit of the table, much to the delight of the sizeable crowd who endured traffic chaos on the M6 exit at Ballinasloe on their way to the game, where it took an hour to get through the east Galway town – a sign of things to come when the motorway reaches Doughiska early in the new year.

Madden’s first came in the 52nd minute. Conneely blocked Conor Powell’s shot, and the ball ballooned up in the air and looked to be heading out for a corner. Jason Byrne had other ideas, however, and he volleyed the dropping ball back into the danger area where Madden met it from six yards to give Barry Ryan no chance.

The teenager struck again seven minutes later to make the points safe, firing home again from close range after he had inadvertently blocked Joseph Ndo’s goal-bound effort, and that, effectively, was that, as Bohs passed their way through the remaining 30 minutes or so without ever moving up through the gears.

United made one change to their side from midweek, and it was also forced on them by injury, with Dave Cooke coming into midfield in place of Alan Murphy. John Russell was again absent with an ankle injury, and Foster revealed afterwards that the midfielder is due to go for an MRI scan tomorrow (Wednesday), and there is a chance his season has ended.

Bohs were forced into a change just before kick-off, with Owen Heary, who was returning to the side after missing the mid-week win over St Patrick’s Athletic, crying off in the warm-up. That resulted in Pat Fenlon having to reshuffle a defence already missing Ken Oman and Jason McGuinness, with Gary Deegan coming into midfield and Glenn Cronin moving to right-back and Anto Murphy partnering Brian Shelley in the heart of defence.

It had been a typically wet West of Ireland day, which resulted in a very greasy surface, but that did not excuse the at-times woeful passing by both sides, with players as often finding an opponent as a team-mate.

That could be attributed to nerves, with Bohemians trying to hold off the title challenge of Shamrock Rovers, while United are battling for Premier Division survival. However, it was the visitors who dominated the early stages, with Ndo and Deegan both firing wide from good positions in the opening five minutes.

Yet for all their possession and territorial dominance, they failed to test Ryan, who only had to make one save in the opening half, comfortably gathering Paul Keegan’s 25 yard drive in the 32nd minute.

United weathered the early storm and started to string a couple of decent passing moves together, and they came within inches of opening the scoring with their first shot on the Bohs goal, Cooke’s shot from the edge of the box skimming the outside of Brian Murphy’s right-hand post.

Word filtered through that Shane Robinson had given Shamrock Rovers the lead in Oriel Park, and Byrne had the perfect opportunity to cancel that strike, but he blazed horribly wide from 15 yards. Former United player Deegan also went close in first-half injury time after being set up by Killian Brennan, but Ryan was quickly off his line to narrow the angle, and Deegan fired wide.

Madden missed the proverbial ‘sitter’ for the visitors five minutes after the restart, firing wide from 10 yards when played in by Deegan, but he made up for that miss just 60 seconds later, firing home after being picked out by Byrne.

By then the news had come through that Dundalk had equalised against Shamrock Rovers, and the visiting fans’ delight went up a notch in the 59th minute. Ndo hit a rasping shot that struck Madden, but the youngster reacted quickly, turning on the spot to fire home from close range.

Bohs were content to play a possession game for the remaining 30 minutes, although they did carve out a few decent chances to extend their lead, the best of which fell to substitute Glen Crowe, but Ryan saved his shot well.

As for United, one shot on target in the whole 90 minutes tells its own story. Foster is convinced better is to come against Shamrock Rovers on Friday night – given the fact that St Patrick’s Athletic, one place and three points below United, face Drogheda United on the same night, chances are there will need to be.

Galway in Days Gone By

The way we were – Protecting archives of our past



A photo of Galway city centre from the county council's archives

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

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Archive News

Galway have lot to ponder in poor show



Date Published: 23-Jan-2013




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.

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Archive News

Real Galway flavour to intermediate club hurling battle in Birr



Date Published: 23-Jan-2013


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