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Weekend ties leave way clear for Michael Byrne Cup semis

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The Corrib Rangers team which defeated Loughrea in the Michael Byrne Cup at Westside. Front row, left to right: Mark Coyne, Johnny O'Brien, Daniel Burke, Brian Connolly and Paddy Rocke. Back row: Kevin Fitzpatrick, Paul Finan, Conor Sweeney, Dave Goldby, Cian O'Connell and Martin Connell

By  Mike Rafferty

SALTHILL Devon, Athenry, Corrib Rangers and East United will contest the Michael Byrne Cup semi finals after all registered quarter-final wins in various degrees of comfort over the weekend.

Westside probably produced the most compelling fixture as Corrib Rangers and Loughrea met for the second weekend in succession and while the outcome was the same, the contest was a much closer affair as the City side maintained their dominance over the visitors as they prevailed by 3-2.

Indeed, the match-winner came with just a minute to spare as the home side secured their second deflected goal of the day to see off a visiting side who led by 2-1 at the break.

With a proven attacking ability, Loughrea have plenty of firepower and they took the lead when Danial Tully set up Darren Creaven for the opener. The equaliser came courtesy of a Brian Connolly shot that found the net with the aid of a deflection.

The visitors restored their advantage before the break when Gary Madden rose highest in the box to get on the end of a Pat Nagle free kick and powered a header past Conor Sweeney.

Corrib Rangers turned the game around in the second half and they levelled matters just past the hour mark when David Goldbey went down softly in the box and John O’Brien duly despatched the resulting penalty past Chris O’Shea to make it 2-2.

With O’Brien and Connolly very much to the fore, the home side poured forward thereafter, but were repelled on numerous occasions by the excellence of ‘keeper O’Shea as he made a series of terrific saves. Loughrea too had their moments in attack, with Creaven extending Sweeney at the expense of a corner.

Rangers eventually made the pressure tell when Connolly’s misdirected effort from almost on the end line got a touch off a defender to loop over O’Shea and give the home side a dramatic 3-2 win.

Athenry were always in command as they defeated an understrength Corrib Celtic by 3-1 in Annaghadown. The visitors were two up at the break as Alan O’Donovan controlled a Gary Forde pass on the edge of the box before firing the opener past James Healy.

Indeed the goalkeeper was proving to be a serious threat to an Atheny win, as a series of top class saves kept the contest alive with the visitors were proving to be the stronger side on the day.

Joey Byrne set up Forde for the second before the break and while Corrib Celtic pulled one back when Enda Callanan got on the end of a Cian Forde delivery, Athenry always had more firepower and Colm O’Donovan made the game safe with the third just past the hour mark.

Salthill Devon looked to be in trouble when they were reduced to ten men against Renmore, with the game in the balance at 1-1. However, two late Martin Coady goals were enough to see them through by 3-1 eventually. A Brian Conlon goal gave the home side the lead at Drom, before a Colie Ridge free kick levelled matters for the First Division leaders.

It’s holiday time and Gary Mullin’s NUI Galway side were really feeling the effects as they just had eleven players for their contest with East United at Dangan. However, when they were reduced to ten due to injury, it proved to be their downfall  as East United took over in eventually running out 3-0 winners.  Mike Mongan (two) and Emmanuel Saah were on the mark with the late goals for the visitors.

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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