Galwegians in the AIL
|2015-2016||1A||M Brown||J Naughton|
|2014-2015||1B||1||M Brown||J Naughton|
|2013-2014||2A||1||C Brown||B McClearn|
|2012-2013||2A||6||C Rigney, G Duffy||C Conroy|
|2011-2012||1B||9||C Rigney, G Duffy||J Cleary|
|2010-2011||1B||7||E Molloy||J Cleary|
|2009-2010||1B||4||E Molloy, K Tierney||I Muldoon|
|2008-2009||1||9||E Molloy, K Tierney||I Muldoon|
|2007-2008||1||14||P Young||A Conboy|
|2006-2007||1||11||P Young||A Conboy|
|2005-2006||1||14||P Young, J Folan, F Daly||A Conboy|
|2004-2005||1||9||B Kelly, J Folan, F Daly, J Clarke||J Casserly|
|2003-2004||1||13||B Kelly||J Casserly|
|2002-2003||1||7||K Dineen||B Gavin|
|2001-2002||1||7||K Dineen||B Gavin|
|2000-2001||1||2||J Kingston, K Dineen||B Gavin|
|1999-2000||2||4||J Kingston||M Murphy|
|1998-1999||1||14||J Healy, G Hook||E Elwood|
|1997-1998||2||1||J Healy, B Fannin||B Gavin|
|1996-1997||3||2||J Healy, B Fannin||N Taylor|
|1995-1996||3||14||E O’Sullivan||K Dineen|
|1994-1995||3||8||W Quinn||T O’Regan|
|1993-1994||2||11||F Oliver, M Quaid||S Carty|
|1992-1993||2||8||W Gatland, J Healy||S Guerin|
|1991-1992||Playoffs||–||W Gatland, J Healy||B O’Donnell|
|1990-1991||Playoffs||–||W Gatland, J Healy||J Healy|
Compiled with help of John Folan, expanded from 2010-2011 Yearbook
Irish club changed forever in the 1990-91 season with the advent of the All Ireland League. It consisted of 2 divisions and Connacht was represented by Athlone and Corinthians. Galwegians were left to contesting the Connacht Senior League and trying to qualify for division 2 of the league by way of a round robin competition of the four provincial league winners. We drew with Blackrock College in the Sportsground, lost to Dungannon narrowly away and snatched defeat from the jaws of victory in the last minute against Dolphin in Cork.
One year on we successfully qualified from a round robin competition by beating Clontarf 9-8 at Castle Avenue and had achieved All Ireland League status. Current Wales coach Warren Gatland, assisted by Joe Healy oversaw and coached the team during this period. Our first season (1992-93) was an enormous challenge and we survived on the last day by beating Old Crescent in Limerick. This season was Gatland’s last of four seasons as club coach.
The following year, coached by former All Black Frank Oliver, we suffered relegation on the last day in Cork when defeated by Sunday’s Well. As the league had now expanded into 4 divisions we were now a division 3 club. We spent three seasons in division 3 coached by Billy Quinn (1994-95), Eddie O’Sullivan (1995-96) and Bart Fannin/Joe Healy (1996-97), a season in which we gained promotion to division 2.
The changing face of professionalism impacted on Galwegians at this time and the return of Eric Elwood to the sky blue colours raised the profile and expectations of the club. During the 1997-98 season in which we won Division 2, 4000 spectators thronged into Crowley Park for our crunch match with Buccaneers. We had a 100% record that season and were promoted to division 1.
Reality bit the following season 1998-99 when we were exposed to the highest level of club rugby. This was the era when all international players played AIL with their clubs and we just hadn’t the resources to compete with the Cork Cons, Shannons and Garryowens of this world. Relegation followed.
1999-00 saw the arrival of John Kingston as coach, a host of new players and promotion to division 1 again. We were much better prepared this time and reached the semi-finals of the division, losing to Dungannon at home. Kingston was succeeded by Kevin Dinneen in 2001-02 and we remained comfortably in division 1.
The following years saw some close relegation shaves and mid table finishes and saw the coaching reins change from Bernie Kelly to Paul Young and most recently Eamonn Molloy. At the end of Eamonn’s first season we finished 9th out of 16 teams. This coincided with the IRFU breaking up division 1 into two groups of 8 teams and as such we competed in division 1B. We finished comfortably mid table in 2009-10 and survived 2010-11 after having to win our last 4 games.
In 2011-12 we were not so fortunate, with a good chance of survival missed on the final day when results did not go our way and we were relegated to division 2.
The club has now almost come full circle. The early years of the AIL saw home grown players filling the jerseys and the season just gone has almost seen a return to that. We have been members of the AIL since 1992 and a first division club since 2000. Our tremendous Youth Academy is starting to bear fruit and supply the AIL team with players. This is the way forward and the future looks bright for our club.
Original article by Paul Casserly, from 2010-2011 Yearbook