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In-tune Galway head for Harps

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Galway FC central defender Alex Byrne will have extra defensive duties tonight due to the absence of both Martin Conneely and Marc Ludden.

Galway FC may have to swop the team bus for an ambulance this weekend with Tommy Dunne’s squad hit by a number of injuries ahead of tonight’s tip to Donegal for the clash with Finn Harps (8pm).

Ryan Manning has missed the last couple of games with a wrist injury, and he is joined on the sideline tonight by Martin Conneely (Achilles), Derek O’Brien (ankle) and Marc Ludden (ankle), leaving Dunne with a major defensive headache for tonight’s tie.

Conneely had been playing through the pain barrier for the past month or so, but he finally succumbed to injury to miss last week’s comfortable win over Shamrock Rovers B, and while he returned to training this week, the injury flared up again, forcing him to sit this one out.

O’Brien also had a relapse with an ankle injury he picked up against Waterford United a fortnight ago; while Ludden took a bang to his ankle which continued to be tender all week, marking him a likely absentee for tonight.

The absence of Conneely and Ludden – couple with the departure of Marty Owens for a scholarship in America – means Dunne will have to do a serious juggling job with his squad for tonight’s trip to Ballybofey against a Finn Harps side that has lost just once in their last nine League and Cup games.

“With Martin out, Stephen [Walsh] will probably play centre-back as well. I thought he did quite well against Shamrock Rovers, he is as hard as nails but there were a couple of small things that he needs to work on, but in saying that, it was his first time in a while playing in that position.

“Marc Ludden is a real doubt, and if he is missing as well, we’ll have to do a bit of juggling. We might move Paul Sinnott back into defence, though I wouldn’t like to lose him out of midfield. Aaron McDonagh also gives us an option – he can play left-back, and he did well in a practice game we had on Tuesday night, so we’ll just see how it goes,” Dunne told City Sport yesterday.

While he has a defensive headache due to absentees, Dunne is faced with a different kind of problem at the other end of the pitch – who to leave out! Vinny Faherty and Jake Keegan both scored twice in the win over Shamrock Rovers, while Enda Curran impressed in the 20 minutes he saw at the end of the game and capped his debut with a goal.

Judging by the pre-match comments of Finn Harps manager Ollie Horgan, his side may as well not turn up tonight given the ‘riches’ Galway FC possess in the attacking third of the pitch, a side he suggests is a step-up in class for the Finn Park men.

“Galway are the best attacking side in the league with a wealth of options in Vinny Faherty, Jason Molloy, Gary Shanahan, Ryan Manning, Jake Keegan as well as Enda Curran who signed from Derry City recently. Ryan Connolly is one of the best midfield players in the league so we will have our work cut out,” Horgan said.

For more, read this week’s Galway City 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.

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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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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