Towards a century at the heart of Connacht rugby

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U13s finish year in style

Despite the dire forecast the U13 Blues team enjoyed dry and bright conditions for their final game of 2018 against Westport last Saturday.

The game opened with a try by no 10 John Graddich which he also converted. Next it was a try from a blistering run from winger Alex Brown which was ably converted again by the out half despite the blustery conditions. The Wegians defence was solid throughout the half, with Westport rarely breaking through the blues defensive line.

Hooker Mossy Fitzgerald, flankers Jamie Connolly and Eanna McMahon and number 8 John Gibbs were all very solid in defence. John Graddich crossed for another try at 15 minutes in and then it was the turn of the full back Paul Sharkey who crossed twice before the break after some lovely passing from the remainder of the back line, including centres Conor Gibbs, Michael Hussey and winger Donncha Ganly.. John Graddich finished his kicking duties after his 5thconversion in the first half, an excellent outcome considering the blustery conditions.

After the break and whilst adjusting to some changes to the backline, the Blues conceded a Westport try which was greeted with great celebrations by the visiting side. Normal service resumed however when scrum half Luca Danjou crossed for a try which was converted by his fellow Kinvaraman Charlee Conneely. Alex Brown showed his amazing turn of speed once again shortly after with another try. Paul Sharkey completed his hat trick with a third try which was converted by the now calibrated boot of Conneely.

The replacements showed their defensive abilities with strong tackles by both replacement wingers Brendan O’Gorman and Ryan Murphy denying Westport any gains on the outside. Colm Marnell, playing out of position as a prop due to injuries to the normal front rows, was finally able to show his speed from a standing start and crossed for a try after a direct run through several defenders . Kicking duties fell to replacement full back Shane Moriarty who ably converted .

Finally it was the turn of Luca Danjou who sniped over for another try which he converted himself. All in all a very strong performance from the Blues with a lovely display of fluid running rugby.

The U13s take a well-earned break from their final training session on Saturday before the big home derby of Blue vs Black on the 12th of January.

U13 Blacks fair better than All Blacks

The U13 Blacks team took to the field against Corinthians, ably captained by Luke Casserly, on Sunday last in Glenina. Kick off was brought forward to 3.15pm with concerns about the dying light in the second half, but the bright low winter’s sun and blue sky made for perfect rugby playing conditions. Young Casserly wisely chose to keep the blinding sun at their backs in the first half.

The first half kicked off and fast free flowing play ensued. The Blacks held excellent field position from the outset in no small part to some strong play in the front row by Evan Cunningham, Michael Dolan and Jack Kennedy. The second row saw a new partnership of Cillian O’Donovan and James Keane who were quick to clear out the rucks. Alex Bleahen impressed with his first start at wing forward and was balanced well by Jason Mullins on the open side. Ben O’Dwyer continued to make ground straight up the middle of play at No. 8 causing the Corinthians defence all kinds of problems.

The forwards created a strong platform for Charlie Valentine at scrum half who was able to unleash Darragh Counihan at outhalf and Sean Murphy at first centre. Captain Casserly was a rock of defence at second centre and the back three was made up of Michael Brosnan and Christopher Callinan on the wings. Stevie Parkinson was as always solid in defence and deadly in attack at full back.

The Blacks went in at half time three tries to one up including a stunning cross field kick from Counihan (a quickly taken penalty), which was collected with ease by Chris Callanan and dotted down in the corner.

The Corinthians squad nearly had the makings of an entire second team while the Blacks bench was smaller than usual due to some withdrawals. But the Blacks substitutions of Niall O’Donoghue, Louis O’Connor , Eanna Hillary and Colm Saughnessy ensured that the Blacks finished strongly with a late fourth try after fresh Corinthians legs from their genrous bench managed to score two tries in a third quarter purple patch for the away team. The Blacks fourth and winnnig try came from a powerful run from the halfway line by No.8 Ben O’Dwyer (Noel Mannion would have been proud of it).

U13 Blues head for Creggs on Sunday next eager for game time as an exciting Blues v Blacks match looms on the league calendar.

U13 side both in Connacht League action

U13 Blue v Buccaneers

Galwegians U13 Blue hosted Buccaneers in Crowley Park on Saturday. The torrential downpour during the warmup ceased just before kick-off but was replaced by a very strong wind. Galwegians Captain Senan Flynn elected to play into the wind for the first half and the weather conditions and a very physical Buccaneers side tested their defence in the first half.

The boys held most of the pressure up well apart from a single try for Buccs under the posts.  The team were hopeful of reversal of fortunes in the second half with the now fading wind on their side. It was not to be however as a few holes in the Wegians defence were found by a hard running Buccs side.

The Blues fought on however and some hard drives  by Colm Marnell  and others and finally after about 40 phases of play under the Buccs posts including hard work by Scrum half Luca Danjou efforts  were  rewarded by an eventual touchdown by John Gibbs. This was ably converted by John Graddich.

U13 Black v Sligo

Galwegians u13 Black were on the road this week against Sligo on Sunday.

Playing against a strong wind off the Atlantic as usual in Strandhill the Black team had a solid first half conceding just 12 points against a physical Sligo side.  Cillian o Donovan touched down for a  well deserved try for Galwegians leaving it 5: 12 at the break.

With a half gale at their back Galwegians opened up on their hosts with a display of real skill with some lovely running rugby.  Try’s from Ben o Dwyer (2)  Daragh Counihan (1) and Caleb Fleetwood (1)  which were all ably converted by the boot of young Counihan resulted in an outstanding victory of 33 points to 12 for the Blacks.

It’s a break from games for both teams now for a week   with the next fixtures against Creggs for Blues and a local derby against Corinthians for the Blacks on the 17thof November

Featured Squad: U13s Double Duty Day

U13 had a busy day of rugby on Saturday Oct 20th with the Blues kicking off in Corinthians park at 12 o’clock

The Blues took a little while to find their feet but eventually produced a lovely try after a strong carry by John Graddich. This was ably converted by Calum Ellwood. After a period of solid defence from the Blues against a threatening Corinthians attack, Conor Gibbs dotted down a hard fought try which was also converted by the boot of young Elwood.

Corinthians came back strongly at this stage and ex Galwegians player Darragh Kearney broke through to score a lovely Corinthians try, despite the best efforts of the Wegians defence. After the restart John Graddich showed a clean pair of heels to dot down for his second try of the day. The Blues defence worked hard for the remainder of the game and resisted some strong Corinthians pressure. Some strong tackles by the forwards including John Gibbs and Eanna McMahon helped keep Corinthians to just a single try in the second half and a well-deserved victory for the U13 Blues.

The coaching team had to quickly make their way to Glenina for the second fixture of the day which saw U13 Blacks face a strong Ballina side.

Ballina got off to a good start with a try after 5 minutes, however the Blacks stepped up and equalised through the lightning pace of Dara Counihan immediately after the restart. A further try from fellow Clarenbridgeman Ben O’Dwyer followed, which was converted by the accurate boot of Counihan. Dara then completed his hat trick of tries by the end of the half, created through some hard running and impressive passing play with centres Stevie Parkinson and Sean Murphy.

After the restart Ballina made good use of possession to dot down two tries. The Blacks forward put in a hard shift due to the lack of substitutes and the front row of Michael Dolan, Dean Smith and Evan Cunningham as well as James Keane and Jack Kennedy were solid throughout the 60 minutes. Some great steals from Jason Mullins and Rory Gavin gave the Blacks some possession again, and Stevie Parkinson dotted down for a try shortly after moving into scrumhalf to replace the steadfast Charlie Valentine.

An impressive cross field kick from a penalty in a nicely choreographed move saw Sean Murphy get over the whitewash for the 6th Wegians try. Ballina crossed for a 5th try shortly afterwards, which was responded to by a further Ben O’Dwyer try assisted by centre Luke Casserly. Full back Alex Bleahen, his replacement Christopher Callanan and wingers Cillian O’Donovan, Eanna Hillary and Sean Clarke contributed to a solid Blacks defence for the remainder of the game.

So a great day’s rugby for the U13’s with two solid wins over strong sides.

Special General Meeting Wednesday October 24th 8pm

Special General Meeting: Wed Oct 24th 8pm

A reminder that the Special General Meeting will take place this Wed Oct 24th in the Clubhouse, Crowley Park, at 8pm, see motion below.

All club members are strongly encouraged to attend this hugely important event.

Motion To Be Proposed At Special General Meeting

“We, the Members of Galwegians Rugby Football Club, authorise the Trustees, the Board of Directors, and Committee of the Club to complete the sale of Crowley Park for €9.25 Million and, as soon as practicable thereafter, enter into a contract to purchase, subject to obtaining appropriate planning permission for new playing and all ancillary facilities, lands approved by the Board of Directors at Oranswell, Bushypark, Co Galway for the Club’s use into the future.”

Video Of Proposed Option G3 Oranswell, Bushypark

There was an excellent turn-out for our Information Night on Monday Oct 15th.

Members were given presentations by Niall Beatty of the Development Sub-Committee and Chris McGrath of Tiger Property, who was engaged by Mr. Neil Armstrong in recent months to source potential new sites for the club.

A robust Q&A session followed during which Gus McCarthy from MKOS consultants and John Kelly from PJ Tobins Engineers answered various queries.

A short video of the proposed option at Oranswell, Bushypark is available on Vimeo.

Chairman Frank Kinneen in profile

Club Involvement

My grandfather was the first ever captain of Galwegians in 1922 and was captain for five years, which I think was the longest serving captain of the club.

I played under 18’s with Wegians in 1977. I then left to work in Dublin before returning to the club until around 1984.

Before being elected Chairman at this year’s AGM, I had previously served as Club Chairman from 1996 to 1999 when professional rugby evolved.

Playing Highlights

We won the Connacht Senior league in 84/85 season and won the Connacht Senior Cup in 1986 beating Athlone (before Buccaneers!). Played with the thirds and seconds before and after 88/89.

I was Club Captain in 88/89 following a family tradition, and we were pipped in the ’89 Senior Cup Final by UCG. We also lost narrowly in the Junior Cup final in 1992 to Monivea.

Best Players Played With

I was lucky to have played with a lot of great players including Paud Finn, Billy Quinn, Joe Healy, Eric Elwood and our current Pres Mike Tarpey.

Best Opponents

Athlone players such as the Henshaw brothers Dave & Tony ( father of you know who!) and Tommy Conlon were all difficult players.

Career outside Galwegians

After a career in retail and wholesale, I remain very involved in the wine trade as an importer and distributer.

Aspirations for the Club

We have a big two months ahead of us. The future of the club is now at a very interesting crossroads. We need to move and clear our debt and thankfully there is a great financial offer for Glenina at this time. This will afford us the opportunity to move to new grounds and offer state of the art facilities to future generations of Galwegians.

I cannot stress the how important this is. We need to move and move very soon, otherwise we will not have a club in five years’ time.

Galwegians Development Update 2

As we approach the final stages of the process, around finding a suitable alternative site for Galwegians, the Sub Development Committee are now considering two final sites, one on the East side of Galway city and one site on the West side of Galway city.

All relevant costings and site investigations are currently being undertaken on both sites.

As a result, we would like to confirm the following two events:

  • Information Evening
    • Date: October 15th
    • Venue: Connacht Hotel
    • Time: 8pm
  • EGM / Vote
    • Date: October 24th
    • Venue: Crowley Park
    • Time: 8pm

Again, we would like to take this opportunity to thank our members for their patience and support throughout this process.

Niall Beatty, Director of Planning & Development

Changes to Membership Procedures

Galwegians RFC membership procedures have been updated to reflect GDPR regulations, and from member inputs at the club AGM last May.

For the coming season, all memberships will now have to be paid online. A link to the membership tariffs is available on the Membership section on our website. This page also contains a link to the payment system.

All new adult members (not previously members of Galwegians RFC) requesting admission to join the club after August 1st 2018 will have their request considered by the Board of Management, and will be subject to ratification by the Board at the next available Board meeting. Once their application is approved, the new member will obtain full membership, and voting rights at any club EGM or AGM.

The Board of Management will also begin to enforce a clause from the club constitution to close membership to any new members for a fixed period prior to any EGM or AGM.

All new and existing members are requested by the Board of Management to review the Galwegians RFC Code of Conduct.

Life Members are again being asked by the Board of Management to consider paying the equivalent of an ordinary sub to help the club deal with our current financial plight.

Galwegians Development Update

The Development Sub Committee, now consisting of Chairman, Frank Kinneen, President, Michael Tarpey, Past President John Gaffney, Immediate Past President Declan O’Connor, Secretary Noel Lowndes, Barry Gavin and I have been busy throughout the summer.

Liaising with Neil Armstrong’s team, site identification and a “nine” stage robust assessment of each side has taken us to all four corners of the city and county.

Many of the 29 sites identified did not pass planning and engineer screening and any of the sites that got to stage 3, “planning screening”, were independently assessed by Gus McCarthy on behalf of Galwegians while working with Neil Armstrong’s team.

At this stage as we prepare for an Information Event & an EGM the number of sites through this system leaves us with four remaining options, ironically two on the west side of the city and two on the east side of the city.

The process will involve a final recommendation from the Development Sub Committee to the Board of Directors and once we have agreement from our Board of Directors dates will be finalised for our Information Event and EGM.

We would like to thank our members for their patience and support throughout this process and assure you no stone will be left unturned to secure the new home for Galwegians RFC.

Niall Beatty, Director of Planning & Development, Galwegians RFC.

President Mick Tarpey in profile

Goals for the Season

For the year ahead I would love to see the club move forward together and agree on a new home once and for all, and to finally eradicate our debt . We can all then concentrate on promoting rugby, and increasing the club membership both on and off the field and playing rugby at a more competitive level.

Playing Career

I joined Galwegians in 1982 because Seamus McEvoy, a former President, was an uncle and introduced me to the club.

  • Played with the club in 2nd row from 1982 to 1985 winning Connacht Senior Cup in 1983
  • Received an Ireland B cap against Scotland in November 1984.
  • Played with St Mary’s in Dublin from 1985 to 1988 winning Leinster Senior cup in 1987
  • Played with Connacht from 1984 to 1988
  • Retired in 1988 due to Back injury

Playing Highlights

  • Most memorable moment was beating the arch rivals Corinthians in Senior Cup
  • Best player I played against was Donal Lenihan
  • Best player I played with was Paul Dean

Outside rugby I am the Managing Director of O’Leary Insurances Galway Ltd, and am married with 3 children.

Mick Tarpey (right) being congratulated by outgoing President Declan O’Connor (left) at the club AGM in June 2018.

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