Club News

Wonderful Hospitality From Our Northern Friends

January 31st, 2012

Rainey Visit

Connemara RFC got their usual great Northern Ireland welcome when they visited Rainey Old Boys at the weekend.  Connemara always look forward to their visits up North and this year Rainey President Martin Eastwood and Chairman William Paul and their committee and club staff did us proud.

The club house was bustling with people and good fun both before and after the game.
It was good to meet Dr. Piper who owns a holiday home in Dunloughan also the Burns Brothers who own a very successful estate agency locally.   It was founded by their father in 1935.

It was a wonderful trip and many thanks to our generous hosts.

We have invited them on their next trip South to play and enjoy golf at our wonderful Connemara Links.

All rugby players and supporters of the Ulster Bank League who come here are given special terms at our internationally acclaimed links which Tom Watson found enthralling.

Matt O’Sullivan

“Dunamara” Ladies Doing Well!

January 30th, 2012

The first round of the very first girls Connacht  Cup took place on 21st January 2012 in Westport. The cup is run on a blitz format for both u16’s and u18’s.
Connemara Blacks RFC and Dunmore are playing together  to ensure both clubs are represented. So under the name Dunamara the girls took to the field. It was a harsh windy day and the pitch was heavy, making sure that all notions of kicking or long passes would be punished.
Ballina u18’s were the first opponents of the day and they came to the game with both a large squad and experienced players. Although the Mayo ladies had 5 connacht players in the starting line up, the girls in black settled first. Wave after wave of attacks were held up in midfield by Daywyn O’Halloran at 13 and her Connacht centre partner Marian Donnllen at 12. The experience began to show and after a quick turnover 10 minutes into the first half Donnllen raced away through the Ballina defence before a super offload to O’Halloran who showed great turn of foot to get in for the try.
Ballina restarted with a kick deep into the Dunamara half. A quick follow up by the forwards gave them super field position, 15 minutes of hard work was rewarded with a push over try to level the match at half time.
The second half saw our girls playing into the gale with the opening exchanges cancelling each other out. It was an evenly matched affair all the way through until 5 minutes from time a super break from Dunmore no.1 Chelsea Joyce set up the winning try down the right wing and again it was the centre pairing that did the damage with O’Halloran beating four defenders to touch down.

FT score: Ballina 5  Dun/Connemara 10


The second and final game of the day for the u18s was against the hosts Westport. This was also a well contested match with little between the two teams. Westport played well and good work saw them get over try line only to be ruled as held up.
This seemed to wake the Galway girls as they took the match to the hosts they blasted over for two trys out wide through centre Donnllen and scrum half Emily Knightly. Westport struck back with a super try from their Connacht and club captain no.8 Emma Fabby. It wasn’t to be though for the home team as the 12,13 pair of Dun/Connemara crossed again with 2 minutes to go to seal the match with another brace of trys.

FT score: Westport 5 Dun/Connemara 20


The u16s were captained by Katlyn Wallace from Tully, Renvyle. Although a largely inexperienced team and playing in awful weather they showed their worth by winning well against the hosts by a try. It is surely only time before Wallace playing at 10 gets a starting position with the senior team. Also playing in this match was Roisín Heffernan and Branwen O’Halloran at 5 and 11. Well done ladies!

FT score: Westport 0 Dun/Connemara 7

John O’Halloran


"Dunamara" Ladies team

The Blacks Rumble Rainey

January 29th, 2012

Rainey Old Boys RFC 12 – 27 Connemara RFC

Connemara blew the All Ireland League Ulster Bank Division 2B table wide open as they recorded an impressive victory over Rainey Old Boys in Hatrick Park on Saturday last. Four points now separate fifth from second in table due to Connemara’s win. The result came as a major shock, heading into the game Rainey occupied second place, whilst Connemara were in sixth place.
Due to the wet conditions, onlookers expected expansive rugby to be at a premium, the truth however was the opposite, and Connemara opened the scoring with a flowing move after just four minutes.
Connemara fly half Sean Joyce’s pass inside was met by winger David McDonagh just inside the 22, the Roundstone man had picked a great line and had the power and pace to see him home to take the score to 5-0 Connemara. Joyce dually added the extra’s to take the score to 7-0 to Connemara.
Connemara’s score saw a response from Rainey and had it not been for a despairing tackle from Connemara full back Alan Keogh, Rainey would have scored through winger A. Campbell. Despite the increase in Rainey pressure, Connemara would strike next. Rainey’s front row were penalised for standing up in the scrum and Sean Joyce slotted the resultant penalty to make the score 10-0 to Connemara. Joyce, in contrast to his opposite number G. Martin was having a solid day with the boot. Martin missed an early penalty which on reflection he will feel was eminently kickable.
Rainey were intent on playing an expansive passing game, but it had failed to pay dividends as Connemara defended stoutly. Rainey did however erode the Connemara defensive line, in a try of pure strength rather than skill, after numerous pick and goes Rainey prop Neil O’Kane bludgeoned his way over the line, Martin added to conversion to take the score to 10-7 to Connemara. O’Kane’s score buoyed Rainey and with their tails up they put Connemara under increasing pressure. Both full backs found it difficult to field the ball in the damp conditions, and after Rainey full back R Paul’s grubber kick bounced awkwardly in front of his opposite number Alan Keogh, Keogh fumbled the ball behind him, and in an attempt to re gather the ball he inadvertently tripped Paul which lead to a yellow card from referee Kevin Beggs.
Rainey now had a man advantage, and the momentum swung the way of the Northerners. After another series of pick and goes from the Rainey pack, instrumental  Australian scrum half P. Sciascia’s brilliant reverse pass was met by lock P. Boyle who had merely to fall over the line to give Rainey the lead for the first time in the game, fly half G. Martin missed the conversion to leave the score 12-10 in favour of Rainey at half time.
Connemara started the second half with their full allocation of players, but Rainey still had the momentum. Rainey spent the first ten minutes of the second half camped in Connemara’s half, but Connemara’s defence was determined and dogged, flanker Barry Gibbons epitomised Connemara’s performance, his industry and determination was a joy to behold. Rainey continued to lay siege to Connemara’s line, but the Galway men held firm, eventually winning a penalty when Rainey didn’t release the ball. Rainey’s inability to score after all their possession and territory seemed to drain them both mentally and physically, and Connemara took full advantage.
Full back Alan Keogh on one of his marauding runs, attempted to grubber kick the ball behind his Rainey counterpart R. Paul.  Paul spilled the ball to the feet of Connemara centre Paddy Madden, Madden fly hacked the ball over the head of Paul, reminiscent of Brian O’Driscoll’s try against Wasps in The Heineken Cup, and collected the ball before running in for Connemara’s second try of the game, Joyce added the extra’s to take the score to 17-12 to Connemara.
Connemara showed the variety that exists in their game as after a rolling maul from the pack, fly half Sean Joyce slotted a brilliant drop goal to take the score to 20-12 to Connemara. Rainey occasionally threatened but looked jaded toward the end of the game, Connemara however looked fit and hungry for more. After a raking move full back Alan Keogh managed to acrobatically flick the ball through his legs to the on rushing Richard Bourke, Bourke showed great pace to finish for Connemara’s third try, Joyce added the conversion to make the score 27-12 to Connemara. A great win for the Blacks.
Connemara R.F.C. would like to offer a special thank you to all involved Rainey R.F.C.    Connemara fan’s, committee, and players alike received a wonderfully warm welcome prior to Saturday’s game, and Rainey’s hospitality after the game seemed to know no bound. We wish them well for the rest of the season, and we eagerly await our next meeting with Rainey.

John O’Sullivan



Connemara 77 – Carrick 3

January 25th, 2012

Connacht J1c League 22-01-2012

Connemara’s Junior side produced a sensational performance on Sunday last to beat Carrick 77-3. Connemara, who fielded a strong team, looked extremely impressive throughout, with Jack Vaughan and Derek Heanue in particular catching the eye. It was also encouraging to see Cleggan man Ian McDonagh play an entire eighty minutes, as he recovers from injury. The game also saw twenty Connemara players togged, an extremely impressive feat for the clubs second’s team considering emigration and the general depopulation of the area. The evergreen Gerry King gave a ten minute cameo toward the end of the game, 30 seasons after he made his Junior debut, and showed why for many years he was such a highly regarded player. Kudos must go to Carrick for their attitude and efforts.

John O’Sullivan




Connemara Host Mini Rugby Blitz

January 24th, 2012

It was a spectacular sight last Saturday at the Monastery Field Clifden, when over 160 children-boys and girls, took part in a series of mini rugby games. The children, many as young as 7 years of age with their parents and coaches, revelled in the very cold but dry conditions. All of the children Oughterard R.F.C., Barna R.F.C and Connemara R.F.C, and looked splendid in their colours, Barna(Red), Connemara(Black) and Oughterard (predominantly green).
There was a great feeling of well being after Connacht’s fine win over Harlequins the previous night. Irene King our overworked honorary secretary and her team of helpers were on hand with a generous supply of tea, coffee, soup and sandwiches and post-match treats for all the children. They deserve great credit for their help. Many thanks to all parent’s who supplied the sandwiches and special thanks to PJ Heffernan – Off the Square Restaurant for the generous supply of soup.

Matt O’Sullivan

Great Achievement for Clifden’s O’Halloran

January 18th, 2012

Connemara R.F.C. would like to offer its congratulations to Clifden native and former Connemara player Tiernan O’Halloran, who was selected along with five other ‘up and coming’ players to spend a week training with the provisional Ireland Six Nations Squad. Inclusion in the squad is another prestigious achievement for O’Halloran, who has made great strides with Connacht this season, including two Heineken Cup tries.

John O’Sullivan

Fantastic Semi-Final Win For The Young Blacks

January 16th, 2012

Connemara 67 – Tuam 0

Connemara’s under 15’s produced a scintillating display of attacking rugby to warm the brave souls who turned up at the Monastery Field in terribly cold and windy conditions on Sunday. Tuam provided opposition to the so far rampant Connemara, both teams were fighting for the right to play either Monivea or Westport in the upcoming Connacht final.  All 15 Connemara players looked extremely comfortable in possession and the 67-0 score-line was testament to this. Credit must go to the team coaches Nigel Murray and Henry O’Toole for the way the team conducted themselves both on and off the pitch. Such was the high level of performance from every player it would be unfair to pick out individuals. If this is the future of Connemara rugby, the future is bright.

John O’Sullivan

McDonagh Seals It Late For Blacks

January 16th, 2012

Connemara 16 – Wanderers 13

There were scenes of jubilation at the Monastery Field this past Saturday, as David McDonagh’s last gasp try continued Connemara’s 100 per cent home record at the expense of bottom of the league Wanderers. Connemara last played in early December, and it showed as many passes failed to meet their target. Whilst Connemara were profligate in possession Wanderers were efficient, and they dually took the lead in the first half. After some continued Wanderers pressure Connemara’s defense was breached and Wanderers went in for a deserved try. Wanderers added the extra’s to make it 7-0. The Dublin based side was extremely resilient in defense, belying their bottom place in league, and added another penalty after Connemara were penalised at the breakdown to make it 10-0. Connemara started the second half with renewed vigour, and outhalf Sean Joyce added a drop goal to bring the score back to 10-3. With Joyce’s score spurring them on the Blacks improved and had it not been for some terrific Wanderers defending would have scored more. However not all Wanderers efforts in defense were legal and they were punished for offences at breakdown, leading to Sean Joyce scoring two long range penalties which took the score to 10-9 in favor of Wanderers. Despite building up a head of steam, Connemara conceded a sloppy penalty for offside, Wanderers slotted their attempt to make the score 13-9 and set up a fascinating crescendo. The next few minutes were reminiscent of the Alamo, as Connemara laid siege to the Wanderers line. Kudos must go to Wanderers for their organisation, but Connemara’s pressure eventually told.
After receiving a neat pass from Alan Keogh, Roundstone native David McDonagh crashed through the Wanderers line for the most brilliant of tries. McDonagh seems to improve with every passing game, and his try capped another promising performance. Sean Joyce added to extras to take the score to 16-13. Connemara have now won four from four at home, but none of the other victories were close to Saturday in terms of drama.

John O’Sullivan

Kicking Off The New Year!

January 13th, 2012

Connemara RFC would like to wish a very happy and successful new year to all our members, supporters, sponsors, players, coaches, trainers, drivers, committee members, match photographers etc. Success can be had on and off the field, and we thank all of the people who help us in every way, Connemara local radio and its listeners, those who bought and buy lotto tickets, calendars, and played bingo. Our aim is to be of use to all of Connemara and to our many friends all over the world, particularly to our many players who had to emigrate and leave our shores.

Lydon Cup
Lydon Cup. The Presidents versus Captains challenge on St. Stephens Day for the Peter Lydon cup was a great success. The game itself had some very fast running rugby and many of our players who had to emigrate and returned home for Christmas took part. For example Gary Conroy, Conor O’Malley and Macdara Breathnach. Shane Young played his first game for the local team, and was extremely impressive. The Lydon family was represented by Mary Lydon, and our president Des Fogerty presented the trophy on her behalf.

Roundstone New Years Day

Many thanks to Johnnie Sheehan and the Roundstone Connemara R.F.C. supporters for a wonderful days festivities and competitions at the quay in the village on New Years Day. A huge number of competitors, male and a few females, took part in the first annual penalty shoot and drop goal competitions. The rugby posts were on a platform in the harbour, festooned in the Connemara colours. There were lots of magnificent efforts at scoring, but a slight cross wind made success difficult to achieve. Alan Pryce lead for a long time, but eventually was caught up with by five other competitors. In the shootout Roddy O’Connor was ultimately successful and some fine kicking. Patrick King, son of our secretary Irene King, had a magnificent win in the drop goal competition. One noticed the Vaughan family with friends, doing a great trade in providing burgers soup etc. And also thanks to our DJ Michael O’Malley who provided fine entertainment, also to the boat crew, the two Patrick McDonagh’s, who retrieved all wayward balls. Sincere thanks to all the helpers and players who took part. The organizers will be present for our lunch at the Station House before the All Ireland League game against Wanderers on Saturday week. Our president Des Fogerty attended the function. The final action of the day was a sad one, as Connacht were pipped at the post by Leinster. Mary McDonagh of the Shamrock Bar looked after our many visitors and sadly some of the supporters did not get time to visit Mary King or Nicholas Griffin at O’Dowds. The Shamrock, O’Dowds, Eldons, Kings & Vaughans are staunch supporters of our club and we thank them very much.

Thanks to our many Sponsors and Supporters

Sponsors Clifden Station House David Jameson Group Clifden SuperValu The Oil Company Clifden