Sligo contest their first Connacht Senior Cup in two decades when they meet Galwegians on Sunday at the Sportsground.

Senior rugby newcomers Sligo rejoined the All-Ireland fray last year having swept all interprovincial contenders aside for entry into Div 2B. And while they struggled early, they found their footing six weeks in and have rarely stumbled since.

By Connacht Cup standards, Sligo has had the tougher run in first of all having played two games to get there (Galwegians opposite them on Sunday played none), one of which a high-scoring semi-final bonanza which threw up 65points, Sligo winners over Buccaneers by nine, 37-28, in Sligo.

Galwegians on the other hand, coasting through the first round courtesy of a bye, coasting through the second round courtesy of a walkover (v Corinthians) and will meet Sligo on Sunday, at 1pm at Connacht HQ.

Galwegians are smarting from an unceremonious relegation from Division 1B ranks, courtesy of an away loss to Ballynahinch, 29-20. Galwegians would have needed little more than a losing bonus point to guarantee inclusion in the All-Ireland Frist Division but wound up nine points adrift of the northerners and at the mercy of other results.

Bizarrely and entriely against the odds, Div 1B stragglers Bruff and University College Dublin confounded the bookies and both lodged wins, in the ensuing shuffle both floated while Galwegians sank.

Six minutes in Galwegians was staring down a 14point deficit. Ten minutes down the track that gap had widened further by seven, and needed to post more than 21 points with 65minutes to play. They managed 20 to Ballynahinch’s 26 but conceded a final penalty which availed The Hinch an opportunity to push beyond a seven-point margin.

Galwegians has had much to celebrate this season (and last) as its 2010/11 Under17s tested their mettle against the country’s best – and won.

The new crop of 17s, Under19s and 21s all contested finals this year and the juniors not only knocked over a near-rampant Monivea near season’s end but carried form through to a Heineken Junior Cup final victory over Loughrea.

Sunday’s lunchtime fixture precedes the afternoon’s Heineken Cup semi-final showdown between Clermont-Auvergne and reigning champions local boys Leinster.


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