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Moycullen finish in a blaze of glory



Date Published: 18-Dec-2009

MOYCULLEN basketballers made it three wins in a row on Saturday in Leitir Mór when they recovered from a poor start and, inspired by the magnificent defence on the ball of James Loughnane, they slowly closed the gap, eventually taking the lead early in the fourth quarter and easing to a comfortable victory.

It’s a sign of a team that is coming of age at the Superleague level that, despite a poor shooting performance (partly attributed to the unusual ‘home’ venue), they were able to dominate defensively and shut down a dangerous Hoops team. They halved the output of 6’ 8’, 350 lb Carlton Aaron from the first game with their ball pressure on the Hoops guards a significant factor.

Moycullen now have a chance to measure their progress against league leaders, UL Eagles on Saturday in UL. Having lost the first encounter by 15 in Galway, they will hope to be much closer and maybe even sneak a surprise win. With three victories in a row behind them, confidence is high and it would be a great way to go into the short Christmas break.

Saturday’s game saw Moycullen mirror their poor start in Cork against Demons as they slipped to a 10-0 deficit.

In fairness, Hoops came out gunning with Gary Grace (2) and Joey Haastrup connecting on early three pointers. Cian Nihill got his team’s first score and Dylan Cunningham connected on a three as Moycullen looked to dig themselves out of the early hole.

However, Hoops confidence was up and Aaron connected on his first score and Kamil Janiszewski knocked down another three for the visitors. Five points from James Loughnane narrowed the gap but the deficit was 21-14 at the quarter’s end.

The second quarter saw Moycullen up the defensive pressure. Loughnane and Mike Dowd did a tremendous job of pressuring the Hoops guards and they forced a number of turnovers and eight second violations. Meanwhile, Cian Nihill and Mindaugus were containing Phil Taylor and Haastrup well while Nate Fritsch fought manfully against Aaron.

However, the defence was not rewarded at the other end as the team struggled to make a decent percentage of their open shots.

Arguably, they had too much time in a lot of instances and were thinking a little too much about the options. Whatever the reason,

despite an impressive defensive show, they still trailed by five at the half, 34-29.

The third quarter was again a frustrating one for the home team. Their defence was again superb, with Loughnane in particular like a wasp in front of the Hoops guards. Nihill and Fritsch continued to chip away on the scoring front with Fritsch finally finding his range from the three point line.

However, Haastrup slipped in for two easy baskets on missed rotations and Aaron, while well guarded, still managed eight points in the quarter.

When Phil Taylor finally escaped the excellent defence of Cian Nihill to connect on seven points to end the quarter, it looked like, despite their superb defensive efforts, Moycullen were going to come up short again as they trailed by five, 53-48.

However, the fourth quarter saw the pieces eventually fall into place. The defensive pressure broke Hoops and Moycullen converted on the break as the impressive Dylan Cunningham and James Loughnane combined for seven points. Cian Nihill nailed a three and when Mindaugus levelled the game at 60-60 with his first score, there was only going to be one outcome.

Hoops could only manage a further four points while Moycullen tagged on another 12. Nate Fritsch showed his worth to the team as, despite a poor return from the three point line, he kept his concentration, never dropped his head, and went six from six from the free throw line to ice the game. In the end, the winning margin of eight points, 72-64 did little to flatter the home team.

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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