No Christmas cheer for rugby clubs

A poor weekend for all Connacht rugby clubs in AIB League action.

Galwegians and Buccaneers suffered losses in division 1B to Young Munster and UCC, while Corinthians suffered a loss to division 2 pacesetters Lansdowne. In division 3 Connemara were the fourth of the local clubs failing to grab a league win, losing away to Sunday’s Well in Musgrave Park. However Connemara are back in action this weekend when they host Instonians at Monastery Field on Saturday (2.30pm ).

Galwegians were forced to accept a losing bonus point when going down to Young Musnter at Crowley Park by 16 - 9. Galwegians entered the match in third place after two well-earned victories on the trot, but they failed to make home advantage count, allowing Young Munster and leaders Old Belvedere to stretch the gap at the top.

The early signs were encouraging for the home side, rewarded with a fifth minute penalty from Dave Clarke. Despite their pack domination, especially in the set-piece, they were forced to defend as Munster’s left-wing Derek Corcoran almost made the breakthrough following a well-executed chip and chase.

Wegians did add a 25th mintue penalty from fullback Rob O’Beirn, but the lead was short-lived as Munster’s outhalf Alan Kingsley struck his first penalty when the hosts were penalised for pulling down a maul and he added a second on the stroke of half-time.

The second half was all Young Munster kept Wegians pinned deep inside their half for prolonged periods. Wegians did not help their cause with some poor line-kicking, but they defended with discipline and resolve, confining the visitors to two drop-goal attempts by Kingsley which were wide.

However, led by player/coach, scrumhalf Mike Prendergast, Munsters eventually broke through following sustained forward pressure with Corcoran dummying and skipping through for the game’s only try, which was converted for a 13-6 lead.

Wegians gave themselves hope when they strung together a rare passage of play, and an excellent driving maul forced the penalty which O’Beirn struck, reducing the margin to four points.However any hope of a late comeback was dashed when Kingsley added a third penalty.

Galwegians: R O’Beirn, T O’Halloran, A Esera, D Clarke, J Cleary, R Shaughnessy, K Campbell, J Naughton, C Muldoon, J Stephens, J Moran ( Derek Boyd 65 ), B McClearn, A Conboy, I Muldoon (capt. ), A Olive.

Leaders too strong for Corinthians

Corinthians were unable to contain division 2 table-toppers Lansdowne who were comfortable 34-5 winners in Saturday’s AIB League fixture.

Lansdowne were on the scoreboard within in the first minute when winger Aiden McCulliin touched down for the first of six tries.

Six minutes later Devin Toner got in for the second of six tries and before the break Kevin Lewis made it three to see the hosts leading by 19-0.

Rob Boucher and Dave Kearney put the game out of sight, but Corinthians’ pack gave a good account of itself, and was rewarded when flanker Liam Carpenter scored his side’s only try of the day. Lansdowne captain Jack O’Connell finished off his side’s tally at the death.

Corinthians: D Classens, S Mullally, C Begley, W Williams (K Dunne ), E Griffin, B Morey (B Sullivan ), M Dolan, D Buckley, A Walsh, D Small, P Cunningham (capt ), G Ward, S Conneely, A Cassanova (S Gerraty ), L Carpenter (D Phelan ).

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