No respite for Galway rugby clubs

It was a poor weekend for Galway rugby clubs with all three recording losses in the AIB League.

In division 1B Galwegians’ faint hopes of promotion were finally ended as they suffered a comprehensive 31 - 3 defeat away to league leaders Old Belvedere in Dublin.

Wegians’ victory in the corresponding fixture at Glenina last November was Belvedere’s only league defeat to date this season, but on Saturday the Dubliners cemented their position at the top with a bonus-point win.

Wegians started brightly, taking an early lead through Rob O’Beirn penalty. Although under pressure, they managed to hold that lead for more than 20 minutes as they frustrated their opponents.

However with Galwegians missing the bulk and experience of backrow duo Ambrose Conboy and Ati Olive, the bigger home pack took advantage with flanker Richie Leyden crossing for a 25th minute try converted by outhalf Andy Dunne.

There was no let-up for the Blues as the home side led 17-3 at half-time, and it was more of the same in the second half as former Connacht half-backs Andy Dunne and Chris Keane directed affairs for the home side,.

With just three league games remaining, this defeat effectively consigns Wegians to the mid-table. Their next league outing is home to Ballymena on Saturday week ,March 6.

In division 2 Corinthians had no answer to high-flying Bruff who got off to a great start with an early score by their winger Stephen Foster, which was converted by Phil Moloney. Moloney then added a penalty before the break to lead at the break by 10 - 0, but any hopes of a Corinthian revival were dashed as the home side’s pack dominated. Bruff finished with a flourish, scoring two tries to win by 27 - 0.

Next up for Corinthians is a home fixture against Thomond on Saturday March 6 and they will need to put some more points on the board, having dropped into 12th place and edging closer to the relegation zone.

Connemara lost to Middleton 26 - 12 in division three, and they too are in similar position. However with two home matches against sides currently below them, Co Carlow and Naas, wins at Monastery Fields should ensure their survival.

Also in division 1B, Buccaneers claimed a 15 - 10 win over fellow strugglers Dungannon, but they are still at the bottom of the league table, facing relegation. They have appointed a new coach, former Connacht prop David Henshaw, who replaces Neal Culliton and Tony O'Brien.

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