Thursday 19 September 2019

Galway boost as Cooney marks return with quick-fire goal

Cooney returned in recent days and made his mark with a quick-fire goal from full-forward. Photo by Brendan Moran/Sportsfile
Cooney returned in recent days and made his mark with a quick-fire goal from full-forward. Photo by Brendan Moran/Sportsfile
Colm Keys

Colm Keys

Galway hurling received a significant lift yesterday with Joseph Cooney marking his return to club action in impressive style for Sarsfields against Kilnadeema-Leitrim.

Cooney, who had spent the winter in Australia and was originally thought to be staying there for a number of months yet, returned in recent days and made his mark with a quick-fire goal from full-forward.

Sarsfields won by the game by 1-22 to 3-13 with Cooney playing a pivotal role from the edge of the square.

Conor Cooney has also shaken off an ankle injury that he sustained in St Thomas' opening round Galway championship match to feature against Tommy Larkins, a match they won by 2-15 to 1-8.

A challenge game between Cavan and Meath to mark the official opening of St Matthews Park, the home ground of Denn GFC, scheduled for this evening, has been cancelled due to an outbreak of mumps in the area.

A statement from the club outlined that the decision had been taken due to health and safety reasons.

Meanwhile, former Longford footballer Shane Mulligan has backed the idea of a second-tier football championship.

Mulligan was to the forefront of Mullinalaghta's Leinster club title win over Kilmacud Crokes last December, a provincial final that provided the starkest possible contrast between resources.

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But the Longford club, with a membership that is just a fraction of that of Crokes, upset the odds to strike a blow for the underdog.

Mulligan pointed out that Mullinalaghta had to work their way to that position over many years, first winning senior status in the county before contesting a county final and then completing three in a row.

"I know there are mixed feelings on it if you talk to players from weaker counties but having been through the mill with Longford for 10 years and we would have been one of the smaller counties, one of the weaker counties, some of my best memories would have been some of the most competitive championship games between teams of the same standard.

"We had some great battles with Wexford and Offaly and teams like that. I don't know if there's much to be gained by going out and getting beaten by Dublin by a large score - I think that takes a lot out of it. It's a debate or conversation that can be had and I know there are pros and cons and it's very hard to get everyone singing off the same hymn sheet.

"Taking it back to the club, I would have played a lot of intermediate when our club wasn't strong enough to compete at senior but as the underage came through, we progressed to senior, developed and became competitive in Longford and then in Leinster. I think that's probably where it needs to be at, things have to progress and you need to be at your own level.

"I don't know whether it's helpful to be going out and getting beaten by top teams. It's hard to fill that gulf."

Representatives from teams in the third and fourth divisions of the league were in Croke Park last week for discussions on what format a second-tier competition might take.

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