Towards a century at the heart of Connacht rugby

Category: Match Reports

U16 Bowl Final match story (AI)

AI-generated “match story”

In a thrilling encounter between Tuam and Galwegians, it was the Galwegians U16s who emerged victorious. The match was a showcase of skill, strategy, and sheer determination from both sides.

The first half saw Galwegians take an early lead with 14 points to Tuam’s 8. Dara Collins and Bren O’Byrne were the try scorers for Galwegians in the first half. Each try was expertly converted by Conor O’Reilly, demonstrating his precision under pressure.

As the second half commenced, Tuam made a remarkable comeback, scoring a try to take the lead at 15 – 14. The tension was palpable as both teams battled for dominance on the field.

However, Galwegians were not to be outdone. After a series of carries by the forwards, Barry Gavin crashed through the defence to score a crucial try, swinging the momentum back in favor of the Galwegians. Once again, Conor O’Reilly showcased his impeccable skills, converting the try to secure the lead for Galwegians.

The final whistle blew, marking the end of an intense and closely fought match, with Galwegians clinching the victory. This match was particularly significant as it marked the first trophy win for the Galwegians team.

This victory is a testament to the team’s hard work, dedication, and resilience of the whole squad and their coaches Gary, Tim, Jake & Byron. It is hoped that this win will serve as a catalyst, spurring the team on to new heights next season. The future certainly looks bright for this bunch of Galwegians.

Roy Keane was also asked to give his thoughts on the game

Look, it was a proper game of rugby between Tuam and Galwegians. No messing about. Galwegians were on the front foot right from the off, going into the break 14-8 up. Dara Collins and Bren O’Byrne, they put the points on the board, didn’t they? And Conor O’Reilly, cool as you like with the conversions. But let’s be clear, he was just doing his job.

Second half, Tuam showed some fight, didn’t they? Got their noses in front at 15-14. But this Galwegians side, they’ve got character. Barry Gavin, he’s not one to shy away from a challenge. Gets the try that puts Galwegians back in the lead. O’Reilly, again, spot on with the conversion.

So, the final whistle goes, and it’s Galwegians who are celebrating. First trophy win for them. You can’t underestimate what that means to a club. It’s a big moment.

But look, it’s all about what happens next, isn’t it? They’ve got to use this as a springboard. Can’t rest on their laurels. They’ve got to push on, aim higher next season. That’s the challenge for them now.

U13s in hard fought weekend of rugby

Busy Saturday for Galwegians u13 Last weekend. Blacks kicked off in the first round off the cup in Ballinasloe.

Ballinasloe, who were a relative unknown quantity as they were playing in tje B league, got off to a good start after showing they were not going to be a pushover with a few turnovers and eventually a try following a kick chase. They failed to convert.

The Blacks upped the tempo and out half Dara Counihan set up a nice try after a cross field kick ably received by winger Sean Murphy which Counihan also converted.

Jack Kennedy then crossed the whitewash to make it 12: 5 to Wegians at the break.

Ballinasloe came back strongly after the break and edged closer to Wegians after a try 10:12.

However, a strong last quarter from the Galwegian Blacks including a try from no 8 Ben O’Dwyer which was converted by Dara Counihan left it 10:19 to Wegians at the final whistle.

The Blacks now face local rivals Corinthians on the 9th March in the next round.

The coaching team had to quickly relocate to Castlepark after the Ballinasloe fixture and the blues were facing Buccaneers in their first round match at 3.30pm.

The Blues were very light on numbers for the game with only three substitutes on the bench and 6 players missing.

The Blues put in a very solid performance in the first half with Colm Marnell powering through the Buccaneers defence for a try after several attempts to make it 7 points to Wegians following a John Graddich conversion.

Despite Buccaneers abrasive playing style and a strong wind in their favour it was 7: 5 to wegians at the break.

The light numbers took their toll in the second half, with the forwards putting in a big shift to resist the Buccaneers attacks and Buccs eventually breaking through for a converted try.

The Blues pushed hard in attack and were unlucky with the bounce of the ball following several kicks deep into Buccs half. Despite the gallant effort from the Blues with astounding performances from the entire team, the clock eventually ran out with a final score of 7:12 for Buccs.

The Blues now face Tuam or Ballina in the Plate on the 30th match.

U13s test themselves in Munster

The U13 Blue team travelled to Old crescent on Sunday last with almost a full squad for the first time in a while.

The game kicked off in damp conditions on the main pitch in Old Crescent with a large crowd watching from the clubhouse. A big physical Crescent side gave the blues some trouble at the breakdown initially but the boys found their feet and once the ball hit the wings the pace of full back Paul Sharkey delivered a first try under the posts. This was converted by Callum Elwood back once again in the familiar role of no. 10.

A further period of pressure by Galwegians after the restart with the pack including John Gibbs, Mathew Harty, Sam Guillfoyle, Senan Flynn and Colm Marnell making big gains up the centre. A final big carry by Colm Marnell right under the crescent posts was finished by Conor Gibbs and once again converted by Callum Ellwood.

An extended period of pressure by Crescent despite a solid wegians defence with big tackles by Mossy Fitzgerald, Jamie Connolly and Eanna Mac Mahon eventually resulted in a Crescent try.

After the first of the half time periods and some changes to the wegians side including Will Mahon in the pack and a blood substitution for scrum half Luka Danjou through the introduction of Michael Hussey on the wing and replacement scrum half Padraig Conole moving to no 9 from the wing, Wegians held out an extended period of Crescent pressure with some accurate clearance kicks by the no 10.

One of these was capitalised on by Hussey after a great chase and tackle which resulted in a turnover and an eventual try by Alex Brown who was excelling in the centre. This was converted despite being close to the touchline by young Ellwood.

The Blues including replacement full back Charlie Conneely kept crescent scoreless for the remainder of the third.

With the introduction of Ryan Murphy and Brendan O Gorman on the wing, Cian O Shaughnessy in no 5 along with the reinstatement of Danjou and Sharkey after the final break Galwegians gave a fine display of attacking and defensive rugby despite the strong pressure from the crescent side and only conceded one un converted try in the final third.

A great result against a strong side and a great experience for the entire squad in the run up to the cup first round in late February . Many thanks to our kind hosts who will travel to Glenina to play the Black team in March.

The U13 Black team are up next against Monivea next Sat 9th Feb in the eagerly anticipated final fixture of the U13 League.

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

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