Local clubs battle in first league derby for 16 years

For the first time in 16 years local Galway rivals Corinthians and Galwegians will meet in an All Ireland League fixture.

The much-anticipated local derby in the Ulster Bank League division 2A will take place under floodlights tomorrow evening at Crowley Park (7.30pm ). It is the club’s first league fixture under its new lights at home.

For the past 16 years the two clubs have played in different divisions - the Glenina outfit having competed for the most part in division one until taking the drop last season. Corinthians, having been relegated to division four after their last meeting, have made steady progress and currently sit in second place of the new-look division 2A.

As a result the Cloonacauneen outfit enter tomorrow evening’s match very much as favourites and with the momentum of three wins from their opening four matches. Although they lost narrowly in Derry last weekend, they still bagged two bonus points to see them jump into second place behind Banbridge. They have played some exciting rugby and are clearly in confident form, deserving their favourite’s tag.

In contrast Wegians have not found the drop to division 2 easy and they currently occupy 13th place - some 10 points behind tomorrow’s opponents. Galwegians lost two tight games they could have won, and they will not want to add another defeat so early in the season.

Clearly they have more potential than they have displayed, but after another defeat last weekend against Old Wesley, they must lick their wounds and focus on this much-anticipated local derby.

The last occasion the two clubs met in the AIL was December 1996 when Wegians, coached by Bart Fannin and Joe Healy, won a division 3 contest by 14-6. That year Wegians were promoted along with Buccanners into division two, and the following year were once again promoted into division one. The only other time the two sides met was in Cloonacauneen in March 1995 in a 9-9 draw, again in division three.

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