Buccaneers and Sligo square up at Dubarry Park on Saturday with the Bank of Ireland Connacht Senior League title at stake in this winner takes all final round fixture which kicks off at 2.30 p.m.

This comes after the Midland’s Club got the better of Corinthians last weekend via a 10-24 scoreline. Ryan O’Meara got the scoring underway for Buccs after some strong forward play, while Ruaidhri Fallon and Cian McCann also touched down for The Pirates.

Last weekend’s other Connacht Senior League game saw Galwegians finish their campaign with a 20-12 victory over Ballina. An excellent performance from Darragh Kennedy inspired the Galway side.

The full-back put in an immense kicking performance, as well as crossing the line for a try of his own. Karl Waterman also crossed the line via an excellent intercept try, atoning for his earlier yellow card.

There were two games played in the Bank of Ireland Connacht Senior League last weekend, with Ballina hosting Buccaneers and Galwegians travelling to Sligo.

Up until these fixtures, both Sligo and Galwegians were undefeated in this year’s tournament.

Something had to give, and it was the team from Yeats County who got the better on the day via a scoreline of 16-7. They were worthy of their win, with Shane O’Hehir and Rob Holian both crossing the line for the home side.

The other game saw Buccaneers inspired by a quartet of tries from Saul O’Carroll in their 51-14 victory over Ballina.

In the Bank of Ireland Cawley Cup, Creggs bounced back from an opening day defeat to get the better of Dunmore.

An early red card left the County Galway side with a mountain to climb, and Creggs took full advantage, coming away with the 10-20 win.

There was also action in the Bank of Ireland Curley Cup, with Carrick On Shannon impressing on their way to a 41-17 victory against Sligo 2nd XV, and Loughrea getting the better of OLBC on a scoreline of 26-0.

Claremorris Colts got over the line against Ballina in their Curley Cup game this weekend. That game finished 31-26.

And although Galwegians came out the wrong side of the scoreline in the Connacht Senior League, their Curley Cup side did manage to get the better of Oughterard. That game finished 26-14.

This weekend’s Bank of Ireland Connacht Senior League sees Ballina welcome Buccaneers, while Sligo host Galwegians in a top of the table clash.

Mayo side, Ballina, go into this weekend’s fixture on the back of an opening game defeat against Sligo. Although they lost that game 26-45, they did show plenty of attacking prowess, touching down for four tries.

However, they will also be weary of a Buccaneers side who will be eager to bounce back after losing their first game of the season against Galwegians. The Midlands side led for much of that game against ‘Wegians and looked like they were on their way to victory, only for a late rally from the Galway side pushing them aside.

This game is also a repeat of last year’s Connacht Senior Cup final, which Buccaneers won on a scoreline of 25-5.

In the weekend’s other game, Sligo and Galwegians will both be aiming to add to the two wins they already have on the board.

Sligo were awarded a 20-0 victory over Corinthians on their first outing, while they overcame Ballina in their second game. Meanwhile, Galwegians showed excellent character to leave Athlone with a victory over Buccaneers in their opener, before coming out on top against local rivals, Corinthians, in their second game.

Whoever comes out on top will become the clear leader at the top of this year’s Connacht Senior League.

The Senior League is returning after a week off, in which Bank of Ireland Cawley Cup games were played. There is only one game in that tournament this week, with Dunmore and Creggs both looking to get their first win on the board.

The Bank of Ireland Connacht Senior League continued on Saturday afternoon with two local derbies. 

Ballina welcomed Sligo, while Corinthians travelled into Galway City to face Galwegians.

In a high scoring affair, Sligo proved to have too much for the young Ballina side, running out 45-26 victors. However, it wasn’t until the second half that Sligo’s strength in depth proved to be too much for the team from Mayo.

The sides went into the break with just three between them, with Sligo leading by 21-24. However, Ballina weren’t able to add to their tally until the closing stages as their counterparts raced into an unassailable 21-45 lead.

The weekend’s other Connacht Senior League game was a low scoring affair between two Galway sides, where it was Galwegians who made it two wins from two, running out 12-7 victors.

The home side built up a 12-0 lead, with Corinthians getting a late consolation try.

Those results left both Galwegians and Sligo with two wins on the board.

Buccaneers has earned one point in their sole outing so far, while both Ballina and Corinthians have one point on the board, with the latter having played a game more.

There are no Connacht Senior League fixtures next week, with Ballina welcoming Buccaneers and Sligo hosting Galwegians, the week after.

Full fixtures and the group table is available here.

Connacht Rugby are deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Don Crowley, a stalwart of rugby in Connacht and former President of Galwegians RFC, Connacht Rugby and the IRFU.
 
Born in Galway City and educated at The Bish, Crowley enjoyed success in his playing days, as a winner of the Connacht Schools Senior Cup and both the Connacht Junior League and Senior League with Galwegians and UCG respectively.
 
During a distinguished administrative career he served as Galwegians RFC President for 1976/77, Honour Secretary of the Connacht Branch from 1981 to 1989, and was elected Connacht Rugby President for the 1993/94 season.
 
With the IRFU he was first elected as a delegate to the IRFU Committee in 1987/88 and sat on a range of various sub-committees. In 2002/03 he was elected to the highest office in Irish Rugby by becoming President of the IRFU.
 
Connacht Rugby wishes to express our heartfelt sympathies to the friends and family of Don Crowley, and to everyone at Galwegians RFC who knew and worked with him.

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.

 

Galwegians RFC – Head Coach/Director Of Men’s Rugby

Galwegians Rugby Football Club are based in Galway city in Galway, Ireland and play in Division 2B of the Men’s All-Ireland League. Galwegians field over 16 men’s teams including Senior, Junior, Thirds, and underage sides at all levels from U20 to U7.

Galwegians RFC are seeking to employ a Head Coach/DOR who will oversee all of the Senior Men’s Rugby in the Club for the season 2022/23.

The applicant would be responsible for the playing structure of the club (primarily for Senior men’s rugby sides in the club) and will be responsible for the direction and management of rugby, thereby ensuring the continuous pathway of the existing players and the youth membership.

The applicant’s primary responsibility will be for the recruitment, retention, development and management of all men’s players (senior players) and coaches in the club.

The role is a full time/part time position with the successful applicant expected to achieve a number targets on and off the field.

The Applicant should:

  • Have a Level 4 IRFU Coaching accreditation (or be working towards achieving the accreditation).
  • Be highly organised.
  • Be innovative.
  • Have good communication skills – players/coaching staff/committee.
  • Committed to working towards the club’s goals.

A full Job description can be obtained by contacting [email protected]

Galway city clubs Galway Corinthians RFC and Galwegians have joined forces to stream their upcoming Connacht Senior League game on Friday evening (Kick Off-8pm).
 
Technically, the responsibility will be taken on by Rugby Smarts and the game will be broadcast on the respective clubs Facebook pages with John Mulligan and James Heaslip on commentary duty.
 
Apart from it being a local Derby, the game also has an added bite as both teams have already tasted defeat in their opening games of the returning competition. On week one, Corinthians were beaten 32-26 by Ballina while the following week saw Galwegians beaten 42-10 by Sligo making this Friday’s game a must win for both sides.
 
The new formatting of the league sees the team on top qualifying directly for the Connacht Senior Cup final and also having the honour of representing the province in the Bateman Cup, the competition traditionally held for the four Provincial Cup winners but this year featuring the Connacht Senior League Champions.
 
While it may be difficult for either Corinthians or Galwegians to get that top spot following their opening day defeats, there is still a lot to play for in the league with positions playing an important part in the following Senior Cup with positions post league determining the Cup quarter and semi-final places.
 
Both teams will also see this as important in their preparation for the Energia All-Ireland League which gets underway next month.
 
With all rugby called off last season because of the pandemic, this game will also be the first time that the clubs have met in competitive action at senior level since their meetings at the beginning of the 19/20 season. The teams met in the space of a few weeks. First in the Connacht Senior League and then in the Energia League with Corinthians winning both games.
 
President of Galway Corinthians RFC Kieran Faherty is looking forward not only to Corinthians first home game of the season but also to the renewal of one of the most historic local rivalries in rugby.
 
“You know, there is some sort of normality on the way, when you have the opportunity of hosting this great Galway rugby rivalry.
 
“Corinthians RFC looks forward to welcoming our historic rivals and neighbours Galwegians on Friday.
 
“We hear a lot about great sporting communities and rugby has ours too. Heroes from both clubs who provide a great sporting experience for girls and boys across the city and beyond.
 
“At a time when the professional ship seems to be sailing further away from the amateur clubs we still are “Pulling like dogs” in our small boats and continuing to produce a rich harvest that regularly represents province and country.”

 
Mr Faherty pointed to the coaching that exists in Corinthians at underage level that has reaped rewards this season already. “Corinthians alone had thirteen players between boys and girls selected on Connacht teams this weekend. We also had Rhiann Heary who was capped by Connacht at Senior interprovincial level against Leinster on Saturday last. Rhiann is the first Corinthian to be capped at women’s senior level for some time and it was a wonderful honour for the club to have a senior interprovincial player representing the province.”
 
“I also cannot forget the history that was made with the appointment of Yvonne Comer to the IRFU committee. Yvonne’s appointment is testament to the work that is being done in the women’s game in Corinthians and we all wish her well in her tenure.”
 
“I would also like to take this opportunity when I have it to congratulate Cathal Forde and Eoin De Buitlear who were recently capped for the Ireland U20s. They are another great example of the work done underage at the club.”

 
The Corinthians president is expecting a real local derby this Friday.
 
“Friday night’s game will showcase some exciting new young talent from both clubs in what will hopefully be an exciting old fashioned full blooded local Derby battle and all who are there or watching on stream will be given a true Corinthian hospitality.”
 
It was a sentiment echoed by his opposite number Carl Blake who will be in his first official role as president following the Galwegians AGM on Wednesday evening last.
 
“After a very long wait, we are delighted to return to rugby and can’t wait to renew our acquaintances with our greatest rivals of all in Corinthians.
 
“As the incoming President of Galwegians, there is no more fitting game to start a term of office than this! And quite frankly 2 years has been far too long a gap to go without a Wegians – Corinthians derby.
 
“However as we know that’s no fault of anyone’s, it was the cruel hand we were dealt for the last 18 months. But all the more reason to relish a derby game.

 
Mr Blake concluded with the hope that once again the Corinthians and Galwegians rivalry will show what is great in the game in Connacht.
 
“There is a very rich history between our two clubs, and I have no doubt that Friday’s game will add to that and help promote the club game in our city and province.”
 
While the game will certainly be a tough encounter on the field, off the field, both clubs have agreed to share the costs of the streaming and the sponsorship that has been provided means that neither club had to foot the cost of the event on their own.
 
Streaming details and links will be available and publicised through the club’s social media channels ahead of the game and regardless of the result; one thing that will cheers everyone up will be the return of Senior club rugby to the city.

Everyone at Connacht Rugby was saddened to hear of the death of Connacht Rugby Hall of Famer Brendan Guerin.
 
A former Irish international and player for Connacht and Galwegians, Brendan gave a lifetime of volunteerism to rugby and made a profound difference to all facets of the game that he was involved in.
 
Originally a native of Co. Waterford, Brendan won a Leinster Schools Senior Cup medal with Castleknock before joining Galwegians in 1955. A second-row, he was an integral part of the legendary five-in-a-row League & Cup-winning team from 1956-60. He won his solitary cap for Ireland against Scotland in 1956, and went on to represent Connacht for many years.
 
He later became a Connacht selector and a sub-selector for the Irish team back when Connacht had no representative on the selection committee.
 
A true clubman, Brendan then served many years on the Galwegians committee and was Galwegians President in 1973-74.
 
Both his sons Enda and Shane were Galwegians club captains and each went on to play for Connacht.
 
In 2009 Brendan received the Connacht Rugby Hall of Fame Award.
 
Our condolences goes to Brendan’s family, friends and everyone at Galwegians RFC.

A special interpro half-time minis rugby took place at The Sportsground last Friday with 6 clubs in all taking part.
 
Kids from Galwegians, Gort, Galway Bay, Oughterard, Corinthians and Tuam played in front of a sell-out crowd during the break in Connacht’s Guinness PRO14 loss to Leinster.
 
Check out some of the best pics below!

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