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St. MaryÕs live up to hot favouritesÕ tag

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Date Published: {J}

St. Mary’s College 4

Marist College 1

Keith Kelly at

Terryland Park

ST. Mary’s College, Galway proved beyond doubt that they are kingpins in senior schools soccer in Connacht on Tuesday night when they captured their fifth FAI Connacht Senior Schools Cup title in 10 years by overcoming a game, but limited, Marist Athlone side in Terryland Park.

The city school went into the game as hot favourites, and had already hammered their opponents 5-0 in the group stages of the competition, but whether it was nerves, or a case of underestimating the Midlands side, they struggled early on to stamp their authority on the final.

 

Once they found their groove, however, they looked a class above their opponents, and three goals in the space of 13 minutes early in the second half put an end to the Marist fairytale, and they now meet Coláiste Mhuire of Cobh in the national semi-final in Limerick next week.

The game was just four minutes old when St Mary’s carved out the first chance of the game, Shane Maughan showing the Marist defence a clean pair of heels to race through on goal, but his powerful shot smashed off the crossbar with Marist ‘keeper Eoin Carberry beaten.

Robert Benson created the first opening of the game for the visitors, rolling a free-kick to Niall Boland, but the winger’s 25-yard effort fizzed wide of the near post in the 18th minute. James Casserly was inches away from getting on the end of Shane Keogh’s free at the other end nine minutes later, while Glynn went on a lung-bursting run down the left in the 33rd minute before squaring to Fiach O’Barra on the edge of the box, but his rasping shot flew the wrong side of the post.

Mary’s thought they had taken the lead nine minutes before the break when O’Barra tapped home after Carberry spilled Keogh’s shot, but the strike was ruled out by an offside flag. Ward’s pace was causing the visitors plenty of problems, and he capitalised on a slip by Cian McCormack to get on the end of Ronan Burke’s booming kick-out to have a clear run on goal, but Carberry brilliantly smothered his hesitant effort.

The game was played in a tough but fair manner, with no players from either side complaining about tackles, but referee Pat Barry took a different view, and harshly booked Barry McEntee for a foul in the 38th minute when a ticking-off would have sufficed.

Barry also booked Glynn on the stroke of half-time – again, a foul was committed, but the punishment seemed a little harsh, and unfortunately for the youngster, the booking would come back to haunt him when he was shown a second yellow, followed by red, in the second half.

Marist were first to threaten in the second half, but Burke gathered Alan Coffey’s shot in the 47th minute and then pulled off a great double save, parrying Benson’s blistering 30 yard free before diving bravely at the feet of Coffey in the 52nd minute, and within seconds Mary’s had gone down the other end and opened the scoring.

For more, read page 45 of this week’s City Tribune.

Galway in Days Gone By

The way we were – Protecting archives of our past

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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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Galway have lot to ponder in poor show

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Date Published: 23-Jan-2013

SLIGO 0-9

GALWAY 1-4

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.

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Real Galway flavour to intermediate club hurling battle in Birr

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Date Published: 23-Jan-2013

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