Connemara RFC is the Bank of Ireland Cawley Cup champions for 2022. 

They defeated Westport on a scoreline of 39-19 in a cold Crowley Park on late Sunday afternoon. The game got off to a blistering start, with O’Toole brothers Michael and Henry both going over in the same corner to give the Clifden side an early commanding lead.

It was a lead that they would not give up for the entirety of the game, with David O’Reilly adding another try for Connemara before Westport even got on the board.

Leading up to half-time, some sustained pressure from Westport saw Poland international, Kacper Palamarczuk, grasp the opportunity to go through a gap in Connemara’s defence. This left the score 19-7  at the break.

Shortly after half-time, Westport gathered in their droves to push on again, with a heap of bodies ensuring the ball touched down over the line in the Galway City end.

However, that was as good as it good for the Mayo team, with Michael O’Toole adding another, before his brother Henry scored the try of the game, breaking from his own 22 outpacing several members of the Westport defence to touch down under the posts.

Connemara played out the rest of the game with relative ease, running out 39-19 victors, with captain Ian Staunton lifting the Cawley Cup trophy soon after.

In the Bank of Ireland Curley Cup final, University of Galway Rugby outscored Corinthians 2nd XV by seven tries to two, coming out 41-10 victors in Ballyhaunis.

In a well organised team display, College flyhallf Sean O’Grady capitalised on several loose passes from Corinthians, providing a strong counter-attacking platform for the side. A mention must also go to Peter Magliocco, who seemed to be getting on the end of every attack, eventually crossing the whitewash three times.

Lock Tireoin McCabe lifted the Bank of Ireland Cawley Cup as captain for the side.

A late try from Brian Ruane helped Tuam RFC overcome Buccaneers 2nd XV to become Bank of Ireland Cawley Plate champions for 2022, with a final scoreline of 19-22. Eoin Sweeney was brilliant throughout and picked up a brace of tries, as well as the Man of the Match, for the victors.

Corrib RFC overcame Ballinasloe by the minimum of margins in the Bank of Ireland Curley Plate final in Tuam, with the game ending 21-20.

Corrib won out in a contest between two very evenly matched sides, bringing the Curley Plate back to Headford for 2022.

In another close game, Oughterard RFC overcame OLBC in the Bank of Ireland Curley Bowl.

Both sides crossed the whitewash twice, but Oughterard edged it, finishing 20-12 victors in the end. Darragh O’Halloran won man of the match for the side, putting in an excellent performance in both attack and defence.

Loughrea RFC hosted the latest end of season blitz at their headquarters last Sunday. 11 teams from 6 clubs met for an afternoon of U16, 7-aside action where the emphasis was on sportsmanship and enjoyment rather than challenging for honours.

 

One of the organisers, Connacht Rugby’s Galway Development Officer Craig Hansberry, said:

“It’s a fantastic day out for these young athletes, these participation blitzes are a great way for players to get one last run out before the end of the season. Most of these players aren’t involved in playoffs, or have already been knocked out of cups so to be still playing rugby at the end of April is a bonus.”

 

Teams from Westport RFC, Claremorris Colts RFC, Galwegians RFC, Sligo RFC, Ballinasloe RFC and hosts Loughrea RFC played 10-minute matches over two pitches in glorious sunshine at the Ballygasty venue and fine weather, coupled with the lack of pressure of silverware meant for some scintillating action.

 

Hansberry added:

“From a developmental perspective is brilliant to see these players trying new things, chip kicks, off-loads, skip passes, these are the slightly riskier plays that may not be encouraged during the competitive season, so to see these players enjoying themselves, taking chances, developing new skills, that’s what these blitzes are all about.”

 

Games started with a round of rock-paper-scissors to determine who kicked off, an event that drew some of the biggest cheers of the day, and that the tone for an afternoon of silky skills, good humour and plenty of comradery as the Youths rugby season draws to a close.

 

Ballinasloe defeated Buccaneers by the narrowest of margins yesterday, 22-21, to win the U18.5 Boys Cup Final. Here’s some of the best pics.
 

More silverware is up for grabs on Sunday when 10 teams compete in 5 league finals across the province, ranging from the U15 Boys to the Women’s League.
 
First up at 12pm are the Division 2 finals at U15 and U17 level. Corrib will play host to the U15 Division 2 decider between near neighbours Monivea and Dunmore, while at the same time in Ballina there’s a meeting of Westport and Sligo in the U17 Division 2 final.
 
One hour later at 1pm to more deciders will kick-off in Ballinrobe and Ballyhaunis. Ballinrobe will play host to the Connacht Women’s League final as Westport take on NUIG, while Ballinasloe and Galwegians will face off in the U17 Division 1 final in Ballyhaunis.
 
The last of the deciders gets going at 1.30 in the U15 Division 1 final as Galwegians take on Buccaneers, with Ballinasloe acting as the venue.
 
Best of luck to all 8 clubs, and we’ll have the results for you on the Connacht Club & Community Facebook page on Sunday evening.

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