Club News

Ballina U13 v Connemara U13 – 29th October 2011

October 30th, 2011

Some photo’s of our U13’s who had some great fun sliding around the pitch in Ballina.

Nenagh Ormond v Connemara 29th October 2011

October 29th, 2011

It was a case of all that could go wrong for Connemara did go wrong for Connemara in Nenagh on Saturday last. Looking in retrospect it’s clear that it would have been very difficult for Connemara to match the level of performance shown against Ards. But no one expected the margin of defeat to be so large, credit must go to Nenagh, who mercilessly punished Connemara’s mistakes.
Nenagh started the game in whirlwind fashion, registering a try after barely three minutes. Some neat back play saw Nenagh take advantage of an overlap and charge home for the games opener, and fly half Dan Fogarty dually added to extra’s to make it 7-0. There was a ferocious cross wind blowing throughout the game which made kicking conditions extremely difficult, nevertheless Connemara fly half Sean Joyce was extremely close with three first half efforts, as the kicks drifted inches wide one began to think it just wasn’t Connemara’s day. Connemara spent big periods of the first half on the Nenagh line but just couldn’t force their way over due to some resolute Nenagh defending. Connemara lacked their usual penetration on Saturday, this was polar opposite to Nenagh who exploited every opportunity. The first half finished 17-3 to Nenagh. Connemara started the second half much better and broke the line on various occasions through winger David McDonagh and full back Alan Keogh, unfortunately support arrived a second too late each time and the attacks petered out to nothing. Connemara consistently attacked Nenagh’s line, and were eventually rewarded when Sean Joyce crossed after a great run by Alan Keogh.
Just when Connemara were building some momentum Nenagh hit again. It was a feature of Nenagh’s game; soaking up pressure before hitting with devastating effect.
It was a game of many penalties and Nenagh out half Dan Fogarty had the game of his life, slotting 100% of his kicks, which were all given due to unusual Connemara ill-discipline. Despite Nenagh’s lead being unusable Connemara battled gallantly and were rewarded when winger David McDonagh crossed for a well deserved try.
Nenagh made sure of a bonus point late on when they crossed after some poor Connemara tackling to take the score to 40-15. Connemara left with nothing but they can take some positives from the game, Martin Flaherty & Bernard Keaney performed well in place of injured duo David McHugh and Richie Byrne. Connemara will also be pleased with their two tries, meaning they have scored at least two tries in every game this season, but it could have been much more on the day.

John O’Sullivan

 

Connemara Team:
1: Eugene Conroy
2: Alan Pryce
3: Emmet Ferrons
4: Kevin Keogh
5: Martin Faherty
6: Barry Gibbons
7: Bernard Keaney
8: Kevin Ward
9: David Keogh
10: Sean Joyce
11: Richard Bourke
12: Paddy Madden
13: Benny Bester
14: Jerome Harimate
15: Alan Keogh

Replacements:
James Mannion
Jack Vaughan
David McDonagh
Alex Lee

 

Connemara 55 – Ards 24

October 15th, 2011

Connemara produced a scintillating display of attacking rugby which matched the unseasonably hot October weather on Saturday. Connemara were instantly on the front foot and had a line out in an attacking position, sadly the ball was fumbled by a Connemara hand at the vital moment and the attack came to nothing. However, it didn’t take Connemara long to open their try scoring account, with winger Richard Bourke showing searing pace before crossing for his first of the season and Connemara’s first of the game. Sean Joyce converted the resulting conversion from an acute angle, it was a much improved day with the boot for the Clifden man. Connemara’s next try came soon after, no doubt to the delight of backs coach Cory Brown, Connemara produced an incisive backs move which saw South African centre Benny Bester dive over for his second try in as many games. Credit must go to an injury ravaged Ards side who fought gallantly and managed to score two first half tries through former Ulster centre Scott Young. High scoring games are a feature of Connemara’s games this season. It rained tries once more on Saturday afternoon with ten in total.
Even the forwards got in on the act, with second row David McHugh crossing after a barnstorming run, his first try of the league campaign. One would run out of superlatives to describe Connemara’s scrum which was once again utterly dominant. And it was a scrum that provided Connemara with the platform for their bonus point fourth try of the first half. Winger Richard Bourke received the ball no more than 10 yards from the line and showed good composure to finish for his second and Connemara’s fourth of the first half. A bonus point secured in the first half much to the delight of the home support. The second half started in much the same fashion with Connemara intent on laying siege to the Ards line. Ards remained resilient in defence and crossed for a try of their own after a good pick and go from their pack. It didn’t take Connemara long to respond with full back Alan Keogh capping another solid performance at full back with a fine try after a virtuoso run, not dissimilar to his try the previous week against Boyne. Not satisfied with five tries Connemara continued to press and were rewarded for their intensity when Paddy Madden barrelled over for a richly deserved try.
David Keogh completed the scoring when he crossed with the Ards defensive line in tatters. The final whistle blew to a great roar from the home contingent, seven tries and fantastic entertainment from Connemara. Connemara’s next two fixtures see them travel to Sligo in the cup on Saturday next and on to Nenagh Ormond in the league on Saturday fortnight.
Being asked to pick Saturday’s man of the match was an arduous task with the entire team playing very well. But in the end one would have to pomp for Kevin Keogh. Keogh excelled in all facets of his game, particularly in the air where he claimed the majority of ball of both sides restarts.

Connemara Team

1: Eugene Conroy
2: Alan Pryce
3: Emmet Ferrons
4: David McHugh
5: Kevin Keogh
6: Barry Gibbons
7: Richie Byrne
8: Kevin Ward
9: David Keogh
10: Sean Joyce
11: Richard Bourke
12 Paddy Madden
13 Benny Bester
14: David McDonagh
15: Alan Keogh

Replacements:
Jerome Harimate
Alex Lee
Jack Vaughan
James Mannion
Martin Faherty

We at Connemara R.F.C. would like to wish a speedy recovery to Ards hooker Conor Piper who was unfortunately injured during Saturday’s game.

John O’Sullivan

IRFU & Community Participation

October 14th, 2011

Connemara R.F.C. are very appreciative of the opportunity given by the IRFU to sell and keep proceeds of 1,000 tickets in their Grand Draw. So far we have sold approximately 800 at €10 each. A little bit of extra work from a few would have helped us reach the 1,000 mark. Many thanks to the Union for its foresight and to all our own sellers and purchasers. The generosity of all is appreciated.
Our first annual calendar will be launched at The Station House on November 5th, we hope that with the support of our members and patrons many calendars will be sold. There are currently 180 players of all ages, participating in Connemara rugby. The club is inclusive and was formed for all of Connemara and all who live here, as well as emigrants and friends of the clubs. In the last decade many Polish and other Eastern European people who live here support and greatly enhance our life experience.

Matt O’Sullivan

Monthly Meeting

October 14th, 2011

The monthly meeting of Connemara R.F.C took place on Wednesday evening the 12th October 2011 at the Station House. There was full attendance.
Many current issues re: the present and future of the club were discussed and all our players were encouraged to carry on their good work, both on the field of play and on the training ground. P.J. Heffernan has undertaken to get the lights reinstated and put into place, so as to be of help to the various coaches and players of our many teams and groups. There is an awful lot of activity on the pitch at the moment, and its condition will be continuously monitored. It was reported that the sales of the I.R.F.U. tickets were going well, as is the production of our 2012 calendar, which will be launched during the first week of November. We need all the help we can get re: sale of lotto, calendars and attendance at games. The club does not wish to be a heavy burden on any person in supporting our organisation, but sometimes a little pain is needed whether in training, playing, organising, sponsoring etc. We’re of “Our Country”, which is Connemara – Home of the Blacks.

Matt O’Sullivan

Sincere Thanks To All!

October 14th, 2011

Sincere thanks to all our supporters who have continuously bought lotto tickets, and more recently the IRFU rugby tickets at €10 each. These ticket sale have been a great help to the club as we’re fielding and coaching teams from under 10’s right up to Senior level. We also have a number of talented young ladies doing our club proud. Many thanks to our calendar sponsors and models, who allowed themselves to be photographed to grace our 2012 edition. This calendar will be launched at the Station House on the evening of November 7th. Great thanks are also due to our many coaches and parents who are giving so much of their free time. St. Thomas wrote about the importance of a healthy mind in a healthy body, an axiom always pursued by our own Christian brothers.

Matt O’Sullivan.

Connemara 2nds 6 – Carrick 3

October 14th, 2011

Connemara 6-3 Carrick

Two penalties for Connemara, scored by Alan McCann in the first half, were enough to see off Carrick on Shannon on Sunday. The home team also had a successful penalty in the first half.
Connemara arrived at the host venue with just a full team as a car load of players took a few wrong turns and visited three pitches before their arrival at the game-four minutes before full time, so after an early Connemara injury, coach Gerry King reluctantly took to the field.
Good news for Connemara was the return of Bernard Keaney, who had a fine game at outhalf. Shane Austin also made a successful return to rugby at number 7. Alan McCann, Shane Austin, Gerard Casey, C. King and Scott Vallely were among a number of players who done the club proud.

Under 15’s

Nigel Murray’s under 15’s side travelled to Creggs on Sunday and easily won their friendly fixture. Nigel was accompanied by trojan supporter P.J. Heffernan.

Matt O’Sullivan

Get Behind the Blacks!

October 10th, 2011

Get Behind the Blacks!

On my way home from the Boyne game on Saturday last, I mused about a multitude of things, and in one of my more philosophical moments I contrasted the commitment of the Connemara players to that of top Premier League footballers (a certain C. Tevez springs to mind). It occurred to me that the entire team was driven in a convoy of cars by their fellow players, crossing the entire country to represent their club, far removed from the private jets of the prima donna average Premier League footballer. Then comes, training, Connemara train twice a week in often horrible weather conditions, quite unlike Premier League players with their high class indoor facilities, sheltered from the weather, the Premier League players seemed sheltered from reality and walk around with an almost God like arrogance. The Connemara players are modest men, who work jobs and have families; they’re ‘real people’. The Connemara men make great sacrifices to represent the club, which they do so passionately. Time away from work in this economic climate is a measure of how committed the Connemara men are, unlike the Premier League footballers who decide it’s against their interests to play in a game in a wonderful sporting arena’s despite being paid lavish amounts of money for their services, The Connemara men play for gratis, but play like they’re the lavishly paid ones. So when you’re at home on a Saturday afternoon and need some entertainment, I urge you to turn off your television and detach yourself from the world of the mercenary driven Premier League and head to the Monastery Field where you will be highly entertained by a team of REAL SPORTSMEN. By embracing Connemara R.F.C. you’re embracing your community and in these times of economic harshness communities must pull together and fight for the common goal. So I know where I will be on Saturday next….do you…?

John O’Sullivan

Boyne v Connemara- 8th October 2011

October 8th, 2011

Connemara V’s Boyne

Connemara entered Saturday’s game against Boyne knowing that going away to a newly promoted side out of Leinster would be a difficult task, particularly as this was Boyne’s first home game at this level. Boyne’s start to the game seemed to confirm these thoughts. Boyne scored almost immediately after a rolling maul left them over the line, a historic moment for the Meath/Louth club, their first home AIL try.
Boyne’s narrow pitch which slanted in the middle almost to create a bowl, was obviously more suited to the home side, and they fully exploited their advantage. Boyne’s backs deserved kudos for some very synchronised moves, one of which put Boyne away for another try, a truly rip roaring start for the AIL new boys. But Connemara weren’t without threat either, with Sean Joyce adding three first half penalties. As good as Boyne’s back play was Connemara’s scrum was utterly dominant. Front row trio of Emmet Ferron, Alan Pryce and Eugene Conroy absolutely destroyed Boyne’s scrum. Connemara’s scrummaging effort was not weakened by the introduction to the front row of dual status prop Alex Lee, Connemara won several scrums against the head, and the scrum has been perhaps the most pleasing on field improvement since the arrival of Peter Bracken. Despite Connemara’s dominance in the pack Boyne entered half time 17-9 up.
The old sporting adage says it’s a game of two halves, and nowhere was that more evident than at Shamrock Lodge on Saturday. Connemara raised the tempo of their game in the second half and were rewarded with two tries. Firstly, centre Benny Bester crossed after a well rehearsed backs move saw Sean Joyce’s perfectly timed pass release the South African centre for a well deserved team try. With the confidence gained from scoring such a good try Connemara laid siege to the Boyne, and it eventually paid dividends. Full back Alan Keogh then scored after a virtuoso run, which gave Connemara the lead for the first time in the game.
Unfortunately Connemara’s lead didn’t last long, despite being down to 14 men(Boyne had a man sin binned after consistent infringements at the breakdown) Boyne stuck again with another good team try. As good as both teams played it was apparent that the wind was a major influence on the game. Connemara out half Sean Joyce found the extremely windy conditions difficult and dually missed three penalties and a conversion; it was cruel luck for the Clifden man as his general play was excellent throughout the game.  It was a nail biting finale, but Boyne were tactically sound in the remaining few minutes and held out for a 27-22 victory. As it always is in sport, the small margins separated the two sides, on another day Sean Joyce would have slotted all 11 points and Connemara would have won. But it shows how well the players have done this season that the Connemara fans were somewhat disappointed with an away losing bonus point. A gallant showing from the Connemara men who will no doubt be looking for a win over Ards at the Monastery Field on Saturday next. Unfortunately despite the great welcome we received from the Boyne support and club, the P.A. announcer and his ridiculously loud music and announcements were out of taste and totally distracting from a Connemara point of view, and I wouldn’t be alone in thinking that it provided Boyne with an unfair advantage.

John O’Sullivan

Connemara Team

1:Eugene Conroy
2: Alan Pryce
3: Emmet Ferrons
4: David McHugh
5: David Keogh
6: Barry Gibbons
7: Richie Byrne
8: Kevin Ward
9: David Keogh
10: Sean Joyce
11: Jack Vaughan
12: Paddy Madden
13: Benny Bester
14: David McDonagh
15: Alan Keogh

Replacements

Alex Lee
Jerome Harimate
James Mannion
Jack Vaughan
Richard Bourke

 

 

 

A Win for Connemara Juniors

October 3rd, 2011

Connemara 5-0 Portumna

Watching the pre match warm up at the Monastery Field on Sunday, one would have expected a very big and strong Portumna outfit to easily take this game in the Connacht Junior League. However from the starting whistle, Connemara took control and except for some over the limit solo efforts when a quick pass would have worked, we had nothing to show for our dominance until well into the game. Darren Little missed two easy penalties and Dermott Clancy missed one from under the posts. Regular kicker Shane Sweeney was under medical orders not to kick, because of a quad injury. He played well at out half, as did the Clancy brothers Dermot and Kevin, full back Alan McCann and centre Cathal King. All who played worked hard, but hopefully we’ll get time to practice, especially our line kicking, which was poor and gave Portumna many chances. The only score came after about twenty minutes when after some good ball handling Cathal King scored about then yards in from the touchline. The difficult conversion was missed.
Last week Connemara failed to field a team against Ballyhaunis away, which was a pity, as the home team was awarded five points by the Connacht Branch. Coach Gerry King has been playing and coaching for about twenty five years, giving huge service to the club. Gerry would love if some younger people would take up coaching and give him a hand. Organising training and coaching sessions, games and transport, constant phone calls, emails and texts each week, takes up lots of time and is an immense undertaking after so many years. So come on young aspiring coaches, ladies or boys and the vastly experienced will teach you how to get on board with an exciting and forward looking club.

John O’Sullivan


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