The end of a successful 07-08 season which saw Connemara RFC’s 1st XV finish 5th on the table in the AIB League Division Three was marked with an end of season club night in EJ Kings on Friday 25th April. This also doubled up as a farewell party for Captain Gerard Burke who is emigrating to Canada shortly. Gerard has captained the Connemara Blacks senior team for the past two years and is a long time 1st XV player. He was presented with an award in recognition of his time with Connemara RFC. Everyone involved in Connemara RFC would like to wish Gerard, his wife Julie and their children the very best of luck for the future.
Connemara 29-Naas 25
Connemara end season in style and move up to a well deserved 5th place in division three of AIL.
How things can change in a few weeks, from worries of retaining senior status to a position just outside the top four playoff positions.
This postponed game gave Connemara an opportunity to show their true potential in a match that had no real bearing on the outcome of division three, as both teams were secure.
However, Connemara were well aware that a win would move them into 6th place and a bonus point would move them into 5th place. The question was how badly did Naas want to win this game.
Connemara started well despite a large number of changes to the team; Alan Keogh out with a hand injury, John O’Brien away with the Irish squad, Bernard Keaney, Paddy O Toole and Ollie DeLappe unable to make this game because of previous arrangements.
But as before, their replacements all stepped up to the mark and played in true Connemara style.
After some great build-up play, in the sixth minute Bennie Bester finished off a great move to score on the right. The try was converted by Troy Nathan 7-0 Connemara It looked like Connemara were on their way but Nass had other ideas and in the 15th minute Nass No.11 Fitzgerald went in on the left for a well worked try leaving score 7-5 to Connemara.
In the 23 minute Nass went ahead from a penalty scored by No.10 Aherne- 8-7 to Nass.
After some good play Kevin Ward, who was having a great game taking on the Naas defence went in for a great, 12-8 to Connemara. With the home side playing against a strong wind could we dare dream of the bonus point? Naas were not giving up and went in for a try just before half time, 13-12 to Naas.
The game was now set for a great second half and after 2 minutes Connemara were on the board with a penalty by Troy Nathan, 15-13 Connemara. At this stage Naas got on top and in the 5th minute went in for a try which was converted, 20-15 Naas. This was followed in the 10th minute with another Naas try from Melville.
The score now stood at 25-15 Naas. At this stage Connemara would settle for a win and in the 12th minute this was made possible with a wonderful try by Peter O’Toole and this time no one was going to take it off him. The try was converted by Troy, 25-22 Naas.
The game was on and you could sense Connemara smelt success. In the 19th minute Connemara robbed the ball from Naas in their own half and Troy Nathan ran the length of the pitch to finish his season and that of Connemara on a high. The try was converted leaving the score 29-25. The final stages were played out with both sides giving it their best but it was Connemara’s day and when the final whistle blew there was great celebrations which went on into the night.
A great season for Connemara and while the future is always hard to tell this season saw a lot of the younger players making their way into senior rugby and this can only be good.
The Connemara team to play Naas RFC at the Monastery Field, Clifden on 5th April ’08 is:
15. Alan Keogh
14. Bennie Bester
13. David Newman
12. Mark Foyle
11. Peter O’Toole
10. Troy Nathan
9. Sean Joyce
1. Kevin Ward
2. Tomás King
3. Emmet Ferron
4. Darragh Sweeney
5. Kevin Keogh
6. Martin Coyne
7. Aden Kelly
8. Gerard Burke (Capt)
Michael Cunningham, President Connacht Branch IRFU presents Peter Keane, Connemara RFC with volunteer award- 28th March 2008
As part of the IRFU Volunteer Recognition Programme, Peter Keane, long time volunteer with Connemara RFC was presented with a volunteer award at the Sportsground, Galway on Friday 28th March 2008.
Following a nomination by Connemara RFC Underage section, Peter was selected by the Connacht Branch IRFU to receive an award in recognition of his years of volunteering with Connemara RFC. Peter has worked tirelessly at senior committee level and also with the youth and mini rugby section of the club for many years and is still very active at both levels. He originally became involved with Connemara RFC back in 1977 and also played for the club for about 10 years. He has served the club well as a committee member since 1977 and has also served as PRO for many years. He is well known in many circles for promoting and encouraging involvement in Connemara Rugby. His roles in the club currently include: Mini Coach, Youth Chairperson, Youth Fundraising, Branch Delegate, Pitch Committee, Lotto Committee and Website Team. A love of rugby and community are without a doubt only two reasons for such dedicated involvement. At training, games and events Peter is known for his ability to relate to and encourage all players all the way from Mini Rugby right up to seniors. He has seen many mini players make their way through the ranks up to the senior team. The youth and mini sections are delighted that the nomination was successful and that Peter’s dedication has been recognised by Connemara RFC and Connacht Rugby.
Connemara RFC strives to support all of our volunteers. We recognise and value their contribution to the club at all levels. If you are interested in becoming involved in the youth or mini sections of Connemara RFC please email to firstname.lastname@example.org or contact the Underage Section of the club. Contact details are on www.connemararfc.ie