Club News

Connemara RFC News November 2016

November 21st, 2016

Connemara RFC
Our year started on a sad note with the death of Josephine McDonagh grandmother of our club captain, David McDonagh. She was a beautiful and popular lady who always relished her native Roundstone. She is preceded by her husband John and son James. She is survived by her daughter Mary, Chrissie, Ilene and her son John, as well as her, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. There was a huge crowd at her funeral mass as she was laid to rest at the Guirteen cemetery.

Tom Mannions birthday party at the Station House Hotel, Clifden, was attended by a large number of Connemara rugby personnel. Tom, a native of Clifden, runs a very successful civil engineering business in Cambridge near London and spends a lot of time here in Connemara . He is and has been a great supporter of the Connemara Rugby Club and we thank him for his support throughout the years!

GOLF AmAm
Twenty two teams took part in the annual golf tournament held at the Connemara Golf links. The weather was glorious and the course was in excellent condition. Sincere thanks to Pat O’Rourke and Dave Beecher, Don McLinch and Kathleen Kelly of the Golf club. Connemara president, Peter Keane, presented the prizes at the Station House Hotel after the tournament.

Franciscan Brothers R.I.P.
Connemara RFC sincerely sympathizes with the Franciscan Brothers over the recent death of the newly appointed superior general brother Michael Burke. Also Brother Oswald Crerand passed away very recently. The order came to Connemara Roundstone and Clifden around 1835 doing huge work on the behalf of the people in very trying and improvised times. May the deceased brother’s rest in peace.

AGM
Over twenty people turned up to the annual agm meeting held at the Station house hotel in Clifden. Secretary Kim O’Donoghue read out the minutes of a very successful year. Where a number of great achievements were recorded. President Peter Keane reflected on the year. Which was good but was also disappointing in some ways. For example there was very poor attendance at training. Great credit is due to u18’s who were cruelly beaten by a last minute penalty in the Connacht league final against Sligo. A knock on by Connemara was deemed deliberate much to a disagreement of the players and coach. Mr Keane praised the players, coaches Henry O’Toole Mark Foyle, Bernard Keane, and Jimmy O’Toole. The four of whom coached the Community School senior team who could have easily won the Connacht schools senior cup had they had more game time like the opposing team.

Main Sponsor
The Station House Hotel in Clifden is the Connemara RFC main sponsor and has been for the last five years. We owe many thanks to John Sweeney, James Sweeney and the rest of the Sweeney family for their continued support and enthusiasm for the club!

Congratulations!
Congratulations to Tiernan O’Halloran! Connemara people are bursting with pride at the performance of Tiernan O’Holloran in the Connacht pro 12 final over in Edinburgh and also at his recent appearance on the Irish team in South Africa. He was brilliant in all his games last season. We offer huge congratulations to him and his family.
Also, well done to his fellow player, Ronan Loughney, for his display at the Pro 12 games. Ronan is a half native of Connemara as his mother comes from Letterfrack.

Oisin Heffernan
Oisin Heffernan has returned home after a very successful season in Queensland Australia he was sent there by the IRFU to gain invaluable experience and was competing at a very high level of play. He played his part for Bonns University Queensland scoring a few tries along the way and making all of in Connemara very proud.

Pitch
Martin Little and his team has done an excellent job in reseeding and top dressing with sand maintaining our lovely pitch. A new top of the range cutting machine has been purchased and is in use and a new scrummage machine is on the way. They have also done excellent work on refurbishing the club house, painting the floors, walls and are currently about to tackle the kitchen. Thanks to Martin and his team we have one of the best pitches, without a doubt, in all of Connemara!

Rugby Wedding
Rugby wedding of the season in Connemara saw the nuptials of Connemara star Darren Little to Kate Hambleton in Barna Church. There was a magnificent reception after the services in the Westwood in Galway. The following evening was the Connemara Sands Hotel Ballyconnelly where the happy couple hosted many old friends’ neighbours and rugby personnel. Former head coach Gerry King and brothers Bernard, plus Paul Keaney were among dozens of Connemara players present.

Rose Green
Thanks to Rose Green and all her Grainne Mhaol girls whom with our youth section ran a very successful Sunday morning cake and coffee morning fundraiser at the Station House Hotel. A total of 1800.00 Was raised for the youth of both clubs. Great thanks for all the great cooks and volunteers who donated the lovely cakes, preserves and gave their time.

Youth AGM
The youth AGM was very well attended and great preparatory work is being done for the season.

Michael Barrett
The club sends its sincerest sympathy to Mr. Michael Barrett of the Sky Road in the loss of both his parents. His father Paddy pasted away last January and his mother Maisie more recently. Michael we always appreciate you generosity and wish every success after your sad loss.

Connemara Pre-Season
Connemara 44 – Skibereen 21
It was a very enjoyable preseason game at home. The visitors arrived very late the previous evening due to an hour long detour at Charlevile due to a road accident. This partly counts for the score line. As until the last 10 minutes the teams were level. But then the visitors tired and conceded three easy tries. Some cousins of the ODovovan brothers who won Silver at the Olympics rowing took part.

Connemara 26 – Taum 9
Taum lead 6 – 3 at half time in this Cawley Cup due to a very heavy and efficient scrummaging eight after one hour that the speeder Connemara back line took ovr and helped to win the game. The top 8 teams in Connacht take part in this tournament .

Connemara 44 – UCG 13
Connemara ran through the division B champions in the semi-final of the Cawley cup at Dangan it was great to see Jack Vaughan and John O’Brien in full flow. Henry O’Toole jr. filled in seamlessly at number10 along with his brother Michael at number 9 and his other brother Peter at number 11.
The final takes place in late December.

Connemara 32 – Monivea 5
This was a storming display by the home side who took over completely early in the game. After 90 seconds of play fullback John O’Brien made a mesmerising run from his own 22 to score under the post. Henry O’Toole converted it was all Connemara in this half and they led 27 – 0 at half time! Monivea improved in the second half but the home team defended well with some great tackles. After 6 minutes in the second half Henry O’Toole Jr scored a brilliant try in the corner. His kicking rate is very successful. This added to a second try for Henry made him man of the match, the game was called off early when one visiting players dislocated his shoulder. The army helicopter arrived for the injured player just after a great Monivea try. There was a long delay of 30 minutes while the helicopter landed and the player was cared for. So the two teams and officials decided that the game should be called and over.

Ballinasloe 6 – Connemara 3
You could not call this a proper rugby game in the Connacht league at Ballinasloe. The faster and lighter Connemara side got bogged down in the pitch as it was at a very poor standard. With very long grass and hideous line markings! All credit to the players on both sides who tried their best. It sad for players, coaches, official and spectators who look forward to these games to have to put up with this situation all other pitches in Connacht seem to have been in good condition despite the poor weather conditions. Definite the UCG and Connemara venues were excellent. Ballinasloes heavier pack dictated for most of the game Connemara’s pack were on the opponents try line and were penalized at the last second just as the referee called time. The players feel that they should been left to play on and score the winning try.

Connemara 65 – Galwegins 15
Connemara tried 9 brilliant tries on a brilliant surface in this home game last Sunday. The game was called off 15 minutes early as the visitors were down to 12 players due to a number of injuries.

Next Sunday take on UCG at Dangan at 2:30 and it is bound to be a great game.

U18
Connemara36 Castelbar 5
This was a very enjoyable game last Sunday with the score line does not do justice to a very good Castlebar display. The Visitors for the first 10 minutes and spent a lot of time inside the Connemara 22 however a few fast breaks for Connemara lead to a 19 nil score line after 20 minutes of play. Castlebar persevered and got a score just before half time. Connemara dominated early in the second half and scored a number of good tries . The visitors however despite good possession could not penetrate the Connemara line. Ian Staunton at number 3 got two tries and two converts and two penalties He and Paul Lee who scored two more tries and John F Conneely who scored one try had excellent games as Connacht u17 player Aaron O’Donoghue had a great game in the back row and scored a try and was superb as was his younger brother Braden O’Donoghue. Jack Folan at number 11 and all the Connemara players had a great game. Castle bar has some great material to work on and should improve with their finishing with more game time.
Referee Peter McCarthy handled the game very well informing the players at all times and this lead to a very completive and attractive rugby.

Coffee Morning – Grainne Mhaols & Connemara RFC Youth Rugby

June 17th, 2016

Coffee Morning Jun 2016

Join us in Station House Hotel for Fundraiser for our local Gals & Boys in a Coffee Morning to raise funds for the Grainne Mhaols & Connemara RFC Youth Rugby.
You are all very welcome to come it would mean a lot and please tell your friends and family to come and support.

Sunday, June 26 at 11:30 AM – 1 PM
Clifden Station House Hotel
Galway Road, Clifden

WE NEED YOUR HELP!!!
So if you can bake (x2 Cakes) or can give a helping hand (collect Prizes)
Or just support please text your name & number & what you can do to 087-2450577

More details in the attached pdf file.

Connemara RFC News May 2016

May 7th, 2016

Connemara News:

Connemara RFC staged a wonderful late lunch recently in Lansdowne Road, in honour of a late, great friend, Ian Burns.

Ian, who was capped for Ireland, and his wife, Jackie, as well as colleague and friend, Billy O’Gorman, have had a holiday home overlooking the Atlantic in Ballyconneely.

All three, and their families and friends, were part of the local scene and enjoyed Connemara life.

Ian sadly passed away almost two years ago and is a huge loss to the whole area, where he was always welcome and at home.

After his death, a memorial service was held in Christchurch, Clifden, where Reverend Stan Evans was a great host. Many of his friends- locals and visitors alike- visited.

Martin Little, a long time friend with his wife, Lillian, organised a small committee to run a function at Lansdowne Road in his memory.

The main sponsor was Ballynahinch Castle Hotel, as well as other great sponsors from the area.

The function, the evening prior to the Ireland-Italy Six Nations game, raised some €21,000 from the 200 attendees. This will help the purchase and development of 11 acres of land adjoining Connemara Rugby Club.

A huge debt is owed to Jackie, her family, Billy and friends, as well as the huge work done by Toni Wall and to the Little family and many helpers.

Michael Cosgrave, former Connacht player, was a great MC for the event.

Connemara RFC are honoured to be associated with the Burns family and their friends.

Thank You:
A huge debt of gratitude to all supporters and sponsors, regarding Ian Burns’ memorial lunch at Lansdowne Road and all who bought tables and purchased our auction items.

We hope not to forget anybody who helped in any way, big or small.


Dermot Bray RIP:

Sad news today, 5th May 2016, upon the death of Dermot Bray, formerly of Ardbear, Clifden.

Dermot worked as a teacher in the Clifden community school from 1969 until his retirement. He was a keen basketball coach and had huge success in the field as well as being involved in FCA success. He was a great supporter of the school ethos of a “healthy mind and healthy mind” and will be sadly missed by his hundreds of students and Basketball players, who benefitted greatly from his tutelage. He was a keen supporter of Connemara RFC.

He will be sadly missed by his wife, Joan, and sons, Andrew, Adrian and Derek and daughters, Corina, Lavinia. May he rest in peace.


Connemara Rugby Lotto:

The Connemara rugby lotto jackpot is now in excess of €11,000. All funds go towards the development and support of underage and senior athletes alike.


Ladies Rugby:
Some 35 girls and ladies have expressed interest in playing rugby and the club is anxiously asking former players and coaches to work with the clubs burgeoning ladies rugby teams.

Two years, Connemara ladies joined up with Dunmore ladies and won the Connacht U18 league.

Some of our ladies are playing with other Connacht clubs, including Darwin O’Halloran who has played for Connacht ladies.


Connacht Caps:

Ian Heanue, Eugene Conroy and David McDonagh all represented the Connacht Junior interprovincial side against Ulster last weekend. David McDonagh, Connemara captain, scored the try of the game.


Congratulations:

Former Connemara player Mark Foyle and his wife, Regina, were delighted upon the birth of their son, Robert Michael, this week.

Mark, as well as being an outstanding player, is currently a Connemara RFC underage coach.


Connacht League Final:

Connemara U18’s suffered a heartbreaking league final defeat against Sligo in Castlebar last Sunday.

The young blacks were leading by a solitary point until the last play of the game, until a late Sligo score snatched a victory.


Friendly:

A soccer friendly between Mannions Bar XI and a Irish supporters club XI will take place on the rugby pitch on May 7th. This is the last game to be played on the pitch before it is reseeded, rolled and dressed. Specifically designated sand has been ordered and other improvements will be carried out. Pitch manager Martin Little has recruited a number of helpers, re this work. Recently, a agronomist has submitted advice for best practice for the renewal of the grounds

Connemara RFC News April 2016

April 29th, 2016

The U18.5 League Final – Sun 01 May 2016
The U18.5 League Final – Connemara RFC V’s Sligo RFC this Sunday 1st May 2016, in Castlebar. Kick off at 2PM.

Please come along and support the Connemara RFC team.

Directions to Castlebar RFC from Castlebar Town Centre
The address is Cloondeash, and it is off the main Castlebar-Ballinrobe road.
Leaving Castlebar, follow the signs for Ballinrobe.
About 2.5 miles from Castlebar, you will see a “Castlebar RFC” signpost on your left. Take the right turn here off the main road. 0.3mile later you will see another signpost, and you take another right turn. This road is very twisty and narrow. The clubhouse is 0.3 miles up this road.


Connemara front row Alan Pryce and his wife, Sinead, celebrated the christening of their son, Luke Michael, at St. Joseph’s Church, Clifden recently.

They were joined by Sinead’s twin sister, Sorcha, and husband, JP Casey, whose son, Jack Matthias, was also baptised at the same ceremony.

Canon James Ronayne did the church honours.

Afterwards, the two families and frowns had a get together at Connemara Sands Hotel.


Girls & Ladies Rugby

All girls and ladies interested in playing rugby in Connemara should get in touch immediately with club coaches or committee members.

The future of ladies rugby is very exciting.


Wedding:

Connemara committee and club me members wish our club member Darren Little and his future bride, Kate Hambleton, best wishes in their upcoming marriage in June. Darren plays full back and wing for the club and is son of Martin and Lilian Little of Ballyconneely. The wedding will take place in Barna.


AGM:

The annual general meeting of Connemara RFC will take place at the Station House Hotel, Clifden on Wednesday, June 1st at 20:00.

It is hoped that a large number of players and members will attend, as well as future members.

The club is looking forward to a new and exciting season with many aspirations. Ladies are particularly invited; at present, there are only three ladies members on our committee.


Tiernan Returns:

It is a huge boost to rugby followers of Connemara that Tiernan O’Halloran has returned from injury and will play for Connacht tonight against Treviso. Connemara’s other Irish U20 international, Oisin Heffernan, has had a strong season and has been included in Leinster match day 23’s.


Emmett Ferrons:

Congratulations to former club captain Emmett Ferrons on his impressive season with St Mary’s, where the prop started all games as the Dubliners ran away with the AIL 1A league title.


Lansdowne Road Fundraiser:

Report next week.


Connemara RFC News May 2015

May 6th, 2015

 

Sympathies: 

All at Connemara RFC were saddened at the recent and unexpected death of two of their great players; Joe O’Toole of Roundstone and Gerard Nee of Recess. Both were great and respected members of the club, having represented it proudly, with great ability and success.

Mass at Roundstone was attended by a large numbers at the funeral of Joe O’Toole; with members of the club providing a guard of honour outside the church.

The club extends sincere sympathies to his family and partner, Anne Gorham.

Gerard Nee, like Joe, was in his 50’s when he passed away. He was an outstanding player, both at club and schools and club level. His funeral mass was held at Letterfrack Church and burial took place at Ballinakill cemetery. There was a guard of honour provided, also, by his former team-mates and current Connemara RFC committee.

The club extends sincere sympathies to his brothers, Dermot and Maurice, and his extended family.

The unexpected death of Peter Cosgrove, a 26 year old player and coach at Ballinrobe RFC and a native of Cong, Co.Mayo, was greeted with great sadness by the Connemara players, who knew him very well.

Connemara RFC have extended since sympathy to his family and members of Ballinrobe RFC.

Round Robin Draw Results: 

1st: Matthew O’Sullivan, Lackagh, Co.Galway

2nd: John Sheridan, Roundstone

3rd: Michael Hunter, President of Instonians RFC, Belfast

4th: Josie Conneelly, Mannin, Ballyconneely

5th: Nicky Phelan, Dundalk RFC

Pitch Renewal: 

Martin Little, chairman of the Connemara RFC pitch committee, is at present, with the help of Bernard Keaney & others, preparing the pitch for the upcoming Sevens tournament and next season’s fixtures. Already, the grounds have been closed and weed killer has been put in place; the land has also been rolled. Soon, the pitch will be reseeded and a certain amount of drainage renewal is to be undertaken at the corner of the pitch, next to the entrance.

Special sand, as recommended by the agrarian experts, is on it’s way.

The pitch was in excellent shape last year and was playable at all times, despite the heavy fixture list, training sessions and inclement weather conditions.

Replay: 

The reply of the Connacht J2A League final will take place in Galway on Sunday. The first final, against Corinthians, ended 11-11 and the replayed fixture will take place next Sunday.

Like the first fixture, we hope the game is attended as well by Connemara’s travelling support.

John O’Sullivan/Matt O’Sullivan

Connemara 18-12 Monivea

January 22nd, 2015

 

Connemara triumphed 18-12 over Monivea on Sunday last in what was dubbed by many a winner takes all clash at the top of the Connacht J1A League.

Monivea, who started the game ahead of Connemara by a solitary point, had no answer to a defensively robust Connemara effort and with Shane Sweeney in accurate form from the kicking tee the Blacks secured what surely was a pivotal victory in the context of their season.

Usually, Connemara are known for playing a free-flowing fluid brand  of Rugby. However, with injuries to key members of their exciting back-line, Eoghan Boruke & Michael O’Toole, the Blacks had to change tact and tweak their game-plan slightly. Impressively, against a Monivea team who have been extremely strong this season and are coached by Otago bound Kiwi, Cory Brown, Connemara adapted and carried out their slightly more conservative game plan to perfection.

Instead of spreading the ball wide to their elusive back-line, as they invariably do, Connemara soaked up heavy Monivea pressure-and, when they managed to turn over possession, played a tactically astute kicking game with Shane Sweeney and David McDonagh coming to the fore in this regard.

In terms of possession and territory, the visitors were in the ascendancy, but, roared on by a vociferous home crowd, the Blacks held firm and were extremely efficient with the ball when presented with opportunities.

The Blacks looked menacing upon venturing deep into Monivea territory and the East Galway side had to resort to nefarious means to stop Connemara, with Jack Vaughan  prominent in the ball carrying stakes. Monivea’s ill discipline at the breakdown was picked upon by the referee and Shane Sweeney was at hand to punish them with six accurately struck penalties.

Monivea’s response, three penalties and a drop goal, proved insufficient in the face of a Black defensive wall.

Despite the win, Connemara are only two points ahead of Monivea in the table and will most likely need to win their two remaining fixtures, away to both Galwegians & Ballina, to seal the title.

Connemara Team:

1: Eugene Conroy

2: Alan Pryce

3: Kevin Barry

4: Martin Faherty

5: Niall Staunton

6: T.J. Berry

7: Barry Gibbons

8: Kevin Keogh

9: Dermott Clancy

10: Shane Sweeney

11: Peter O’Toole

12: David McDonagh

13: Ian Heanue

14: Eoghan Kilkenny

15: Jack Vaughan

Replacements: Colin Reilly, David McHugh, Derek Heanue, Conor O’Malley, Brian O’Toole, Conor Clarke

Ballinasloe RFC 13 Connemara RFC 15

January 16th, 2015

This was a good win for Connemara away from home in very windy conditions. Missing 1st choice scrum half Michael O’Toole through injury meant cause for concern but Eoin Bourke his replacement slotted in seamlessly. Ballinasloe were first on the scoreboard in the opening minutes after Connemara were penalised for offside, Kealin O’Neill slotting over for 3 points.The game ebbed & flowed for the next 16 minutes when Connemara upped their game and against the wind played for terrirtory by kicking two penalties to touch. They profited from this game plan when full-back Jack Vaughen crossed the line for the games first try, unfortunately Shane Sweeney missed the conversion. With their pride dented Ballinasloe rallied and a well worked move from the pack resulted in Jamie Kelly sneaking in for a well earned try with no extras. Shane missed a penalty after twenty minutes with the blustery conditions not helping his effort. Ballinasloe scored their second try of the match with a wonderfully worked move, after winning a clean lineout out half Kealin O’Neill cleverly kicked to the right hand touchline, the ball was gathered by Darragh Burke who touched down for 5 points with no conversion added. With the score now 13-5 to the home side Connemara were never going to lie down and after some intricate passing across the back line Eoin Kilkenny sauntered through a slack defence to score his team’s second try with Shane adding the conversion to leave the travelling side a point behind going into the break but aided by a strong wind in the second half.

As per the first half Ballinasloe came out with all guns blazing and they stopped the visitors gaining any sort of rhythm. As one Ballinasloe said ” Connemara’s possession and swagger against a defensively defiant Ballinasloe” was the theme for the second half. With the minimal score between the two sides the win was there for the taking.Playing with a strong breeze Shane Sweeney came close with two penalties (54″ & 63″) before he got all his calculations right in the 67″  and calmly put his next attempt straight between the uprights. Wth Connemara now having a one score advantage Ballinasloe regathered and although having a man in the sin bin they attacked the visitors line. After a marauding maul in the 77″ the home side crossed the Connemara line but the referee deemed the ball was held up. With their confidence high now Ballinasloe kept up the pressure and were awarded a kickable penalty in the final few seconds of the game but unfortunately for their kicker the wind or lack of it put him off and Connemara escaped with the points. Another plus was to see the Heanue brothers back in full flow after weeks out with injuries.

These two sides will have the opportunity to entertain us all over again at the same venue when they meet three weeks hence. This time it will be in what is undoubtedly the tie of the first round of the Heineken Connacht Junior Cup. Another cracker should be in store.

BALLINASLOE: A.Mannion, D.Burke, C.Johnston, R.Cullinan, Cian Loughrey, K.O’Neill, J.Kelly, J.J.Carey, A.O’Hara, T.Dolan, N.Staunton, H.Reynolds, A.Loughrey, K.Headd(capt), J.Hayes. Replacements: G.Donnellan, M.Harrigan, K.Gavin, D.Freeman, R.Keller.

CONNEMARA: J.Vaughan, E.Kilkenny, I.Heanue, D.McDonagh(capt), P.O’Toole, S.Sweeney, E.Burke, E.Conroy, A.Pryle, K.Barry, M.Faherty, N.Staunton, T.J.Berry, K.Keogh, B.Gibbons. Replacements: C.Reilly, D.Heanue, D.McHugh, B.O’Toole, D.Clancy.

REFEREE: D.Connolly (Connacht Branch)

 

Connemara RFC Table Top Clash

Connemara RFC J1 Team take on Monivea RFC in a vitally important winner takes all table topping match at the Monastery Field Clifden next Sunday K.O. 2.30. The result of this match will highly influence the Connacht represntative in the Round Robin stages for qualification to the AIL league.

We are asking for the people of Connemara & suporters of Connemara Rfc to show their appreciation & support for the lads by turning up next Sunday and being that “EXTRA MAN” in what could be another momentous occassion in Connemara RFC’s history.

Good luck to Eddie , Gerry , Joe , Gerard & the lads from the rest of us at Connemara RFC.

Following this massive fixture Connemara have two remaining league games against Galwegians & Ballina and a junior cup tie against Ballinasloe all of which are away from home so it is going to be a hectic few weekends for the team.

 

Under 18’s & J2 Teams

Last Sunday’s other  rugby games proved to be amixed bag for the club. Our Under 18’s were sadly beaten 36-10 by a very big, strong & well drilled Galwegian side at Glenina in the semi-final of the Connacht League. Connemara players and coaches can be very proud as they had a number of excellent wins during their league campaign Corinthians at home & Sligo away among others.

Our seconds continued their impressive form against Portmna at the Monastery Field on Sunday last. Playing with the aid of a strong wind in the first half Paul Keaney’s side ran up a 19-3 lead at half time. The visiting side though would not entertain backing out meekly and came back with a storming second half using the wind intelligently. With some incisive running and passing instigated by their number 10 they managed to ruffle Connemara’s feathers but a resilient Connemara team regrouped and finished the game with a final score Connemara 29 Portumna 22.

 

A Huge Thanks

Connemara RFC offer sincere thanks to Sinead & Sorcha O’Sullivan, the twin daughters of our club president Matt, who recently ran the New York City Marathon. The twins decided long ago that they would like to do some fundraising for the club whilst their dad was President.Through a lot of hard work and with a lot of generosity from friends both near and far they raised a colossal €3,000 which they kindly donated to the Connemara Rugby Pitch Development Fund. The committee appreciate this wonderful achievment by the girls who also managed to beat their previous best times for running a marathon. Well done Sinead & Sorcha!!!

 

Connemara RFC Weekly Lotto

Our rugby jackpot has now reached a massive €10,750 , a nice win to beat those post Christmas blues. Tickets cost €2 each and are available in Kings Bar & Lowrys Shop Roundstone – Veldons Letterfrack – Olivers Bar & Restaurant Cleggan – Malones Butcher’s, Topaz & Sweeney Oil Service Stations – Off The Restaurant  plus numerous bars in Clifden. Our draw is held every Sunday night (see poster for venue) with attendence prizes on offer including our “Find The Joker Jackpot” which stands at €575. So what easier way could you support your club and also be in with a chance of winning a few €€€€€€€€

We can also be found in Lidl’s porch on the 1st Friday of every month for those of you that don’t know already. We wouldlike to thank Jamie and all involved in Lidl for their continued support.

 

Pitch Hoardings

If you wish to advertise your business in the form of a pitch side hoarding at the Monastery Field Home of Connemara RFC we have a limited number of spaces available after the upcoming erection of some new hoardings.The initial cost of making,supplying and fitting of each hoarding is €123 plus VAT. The hoardings measure 6 foot (L) x 2 foot (H) which incurs an annual payment of €150 to the club, down from €300 last year. If you wish to avail of this offer please contact any player, coach or committee member and you will be put in cotact with the appropriate person in charge.

 

Sponsors

As we are faced with continuous costs of running our club we importantly need some more generous sponsors. Travel expenses, insurence costs & the other general costs of keeping each team from minis through to our Seniors on the road are rapidly eating away at any money we have raised from memberships, grants and fundraisng etc. so we ask if there is any business’s, companies or individuals out there that have “A love of Connemara RFC” we would greatly appreciate your generosity. No matter how large or small all sponsors & donations would be greatly accepted.

Please contact Matt O Sullivan(0872300898) or Rory O’Toole (0872203178) for more information.

 

Coaches

All of our coaches from minis, under age through to the Junior” A”  deserve huge appreciation for the continuous work and dedication to the club.Without being asked these coaches are giving up their valuable time, twice a week to train the players and again at weekends to attend home matches or travel to away games. As they do this for the love of Connemara RFC we ask all parents & supporters to show them the utmost respect & appreciation whether it be on training nights or at weekend matches and to any parents out there who would like to get involved in any way please have a word with any of our coaches, they’re always looking for a bit of help. There are many ways you as a parent can get involved, we need volunteers to help with training, helping on match days or simply by driving the players to away matches. We look forward to hearing from you????

 

Ireland V England 6 Nations

We are running a “Time of First Try Scored Competition” for the Ireland V England 6 Nations match.It will be run as a Scratch Card Comp., each ticket will cost €2 with a generous cash prize for the winner. Basically it works like this, you buy a ticket, scratch it to reveal a time and if the your time is that of the first try scored by EITHER team you are the winner. Come an collect your cash, it’s as easier as that.Tickets will be available from Monday 19th January from any committee member and from some local business’s. We would like to thank you for your continued support and we assure you that this money will be spent prudently.

 

Best of Luck

Connemara RFC would like to wish John Varley every success in his new venture of re opening Veldons Bar & Restaurant Letterfrack. Throughout the years in his role with Carlton Hotels John has been a huge supporter and very forthcoming with sponsoship for our club. I ask of all people who read this to give John your support and call into Veldon’s for a pint or a coffee if your driving and we look forward to John’s continued support of Connemara RFC.

 

And Finally

Matt has asked me to mention an upcoming huge day in the history of the club ( well in his eyes anyway, sorry Matt). On March 6th this year  Connemara Rfc stalwart & Ex. Captain Mr. Alan Pryce has promised to marry another Connemara RFC stalwart & Assistent Club Secretary Ms. Sinead O Sullivan at St. Joseph’s Church Clifden with the reception will take place in Renvyle House Hotel. It has all the makings of a wonderful night with guests fron Connemara RFC & Clifden RNLI ( of which Sinead & Alan are both active members) helping to party the night away.

I’m sure I can speak for all at Connemara RFC in wishing Sinead & Alan happiness and prosperity in the future.  Hurrah!!!!

 

Monivea 13-17 Connemara.

October 20th, 2014

Connemara moved three points clear at the top of the Connacht J1A League this weekend, thanks to a hard fought win over the team with whom they shared top spot going into the weekend, Monivea.

Jack Vaughan’s well worked try and four accurate Shane Sweeney penalties were enough for the Blacks’ to seal a win against, going on the form of the early season, one of their rivals for top spot in the League.

More impressive was the Blacks’ resolve, given they slipped behind early on, virtue of a Monivea try from a rolling maul. Often, young sides can capitulate under duress, but the Blacks reacted with an authority belying the teams age and experience.

After the concession of the early try, Connemara rallied and, soon, through three Shane Sweeney penalties, were ahead, 9-7.

A striking feature of Eddie Walsh’s side is the team’s ability, regardless of position, to play an expansive brand of Rugby. With Connemara’s forwards in bally carrying mood, especially Kevin Barry, Kevin Keogh and Eugene Conroy, the back-line were given the platform to win the game.

It was this route that brought Connemara their only and, in the context of the game, winning try. Patient and probing carries from the Connemara forwards saw the Blacks deep in Monivea’s territory. Eventually, the ball would reach the rapid winger Conor Clarke who combined excellently with full back Jack Vaughan to send Vaughan cantering in for a try of consummate class.

Against a stiff breeze, Shane Sweeney pulled his conversion wide, but Connemara were enthused by their 14-7 lead.

As expected, Monivea threw down the gauntlet and began to bludgeon Connemara looking for a retaliatory try. The Blacks defense, as has become customary this season, was air tight and the home side were restricted to two long range penalties to take the score to 14-13 to Connemara.

With only a point differential, Monivea upped their tempo but were still met with stubborn Connemara resistance.

Monivea’s inability to breach the Blacks defence was compounded when, after a swift counter move, the Blacks were awarded a penalty late on. Shane Sweeney, once again, bisected the posts with an accurate kick, stretching the lead to 17-13.

The last few minutes saw a Monivea onslaught, but the Blacks weren’t to be denied a seminal victory, infront of a vociferous traveling support.

Connemara Return To The Top of The Table with 20-7 Win Over Ballinasloe

October 13th, 2014

Connemara returned to the summit of the Connacht J1A League with a hard fought win over a physically robust and well organized Ballinasloe side on Sunday last.

The game, which was played in glorious and unseasonal October sun-shine, was quite an even contest but Connemara’s win was built on a rock solid defense and that extra bit of magic when close to the try line.

The Blacks had made two changes from their last outing, the 40-5 demolition of Boys Club, with two former captains, Alan Pryce and Kevin Keogh, returning to the pack. Pryce’s return at hooker saw Barry Gibbons move to the back-row and Keogh’s return saw captain David McDonagh move to his regular position, inside centre. For so many of the Connemara player’s to be so versatile is a major fillip for the Blacks’ coach, Eddie Walsh.

Indeed, to accommodate Kevin Keogh’s return, David McHugh, who has been outstanding so far this season moved to the second row to partner Martin Faherty and, Eoghan Bourke, usually an inside centre, moved across one to number thirteen to replace the unavailable Ian Heanue.

Ballinasloe, coached by the former Irish player Noel Mannion, started the game in the ascendancy. Clad in all yellow, Ballinasloe, who have started their own season so impressively, made early forays into Connemara territory with their massive pack attempting to bludgeon Connemara.

Connemara, though, remained characteristically stubborn in defence, and, despite the lions’ share of territory and possession the east Galway side had no answer to Connemara’s resistance.

As the first half progressed, Connemara grew into the contest and, after a patient series of pressure, the Blacks struck first blood.

Scrum half Michael O’Toole, an extremely consistent performer for Connemara over the past season and a half, can claim major credit for the game’s opening try. O’Toole’s incisive inside pass changed the point of attack for the Blacks and back row Barry Gibbon’s intelligent line exploited a chasm in the Ballinasloe defense and the former  Shannon man skipped in for the game’s opening try. Shane  Sweeney’s conversion was a mere formality and the Blacks were delighted with their seven point lead, despite spending most of the opening period on the back foot.

Ballinasloe, to their immense credit, never floundered after the concession of a try and upped the ante soon after. Wave after wave of the visitors pressure, saw Connemara infringe once too often at the break down and prop Eugene Conroy was deemed the guilty party and was sent to the sin bin for ten minutes.

With a man advantage, Ballinasloe turned the screw and, eventually, their pressure paid dividends as a strong eight man push from their scrum saw the referee award a penalty try. The conversion, like Connemara’s, was straight in-front of the posts, and their ten, K.Head, made no mistake in levelling the game up at 7-7.

The half time whistle sounded with the score at the interval 7-7.

Riled by the breach of the defense at the end of the first half, Connemara started the second half in bloodthirsty fashion, which was personified by David McHugh.

McHugh, a Connacht underage representative, claimed Connemara’s next try as his barnstorming run couldn’t be contained by the Ballinasloe rearguard. Swatting away several attempted tackles, McHugh stretched and touched down to restore Connemara’s lead. Once again, Shane Sweeney found the conversion elementary and the Blacks found themselves deservedly 14-7 up.

The game was extremely physical and the excursion caught up with Ballinasloe late on with two of their players limping off injured. From then, their game lost the direction it had in the first half and the new found fractious nature of the game suited Connemara.

Connemara’s next score had its genesis in a massive carry from Kevin Keogh. Picking the ball from the back of a retreating scrum, Keogh evaded the attention of two would be tacklers , one of which he bounced out of his way, and gained over thirty metres. With Ballinasloe on the rack and the Blacks primed to go wide, one of the visitors back rows infringed at the breakdown and gave Shane Sweeney a penalty attempt. Accurately, Sweeney bisected the posts to stretch the lead to 17-7 Connemara.

From there on in, the Blacks were in the driver’s seat and, on the stroke of full time, Sweeney added some gloss to the scoreline with another successful penalty, taking the final score to 20-7 to the Blacks.

Connemara Team:

1: Eugene Conroy

2: Alan Pryce

3: Kevin Barry

4: Martin Faherty

5: David McHugh

6: T.J. Berry

7: Barry Gibbons

8: Kevin Keogh

9: Michael O’Toole

10: Shane Sweeney

11: Conor Clarke

12: David McDonagh

13: Eoghan Bourke

14: Peter O’Toole

15: Jack Vaughan

Seconds XI Make Good Start To Their Campaign

October 12th, 2014

Well done to Paul Keaney’s side on their strong start to their season, which has included two victories, one in the League over Westport and another in a challenge game against Oughterard.

Today, the 12th of October, the Seconds will look to continue to their good form with a victory away to Gort.


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