Wegians must make home advantage count

Galwegians open their AIB League home campaign on Saturday when they host Ulster outfit Dungannon at Crowley Park (2.30pm ).

Having lost their opening match to UL Bohs last weekend, Galwegians need to get points on the board if they are to realise their ambitions to finish in the top eight.

Dungannon, who also lost their first match, travel to Galway with a decent record, but having suffered a 10 - 27 loss at home to St Mary’s, they will be smarting. They have heavily recruited over the close season with 14 new players in their ranks after finishing just one place above Galwegians last season.

This is a real opportunity for Galwegians to open their AIL account, and these chances must be taken if they are to propel themselves up the division one table.

Corinthians face the long trip to Ards this weekend, but do so with a renewed confidence having overcome a fancied Nenagh Ormond in their opening fixture. They will be without Joe Merrigan who is included in the Connacht squad for the first time since Edinburgh hosted Connacht in March.

Ards lost to Midleton by 24 - 3 last week, and Corinthians should have enough fire power to add to their division three points.

The toughest challenge in this week’s league fixtures falls to Connemara who must travel to Barnhall.

These two sides due locked horns in the first round of the AIB Cup game in Clifden recently, and it was the visitors who edged this contest by 17 - 14.

UL BOHEMIANS 14

GALWEGIANS 6

Galwegians were unable to open their division one account with a win, losing to Bohemians at Annacotty on Saturday.

Galwegians, with just one Connacht-contracted player, prop John Lyne, looked confident early on, particularly with their pack securing first-phase possession. However outhalf Matt Brandon missed an 18th minute penalty, and although Wegians, with the benefit of the wind, created number of chances, Bohs defence kept them out.

Instead the opening points were grabbed by the home side when they struck for the first of two tries in the 38th minute.

Captain Martin McPhail set up the move with an attack down the right wing, and when Galwegians were forced into touch from his kick ahead, Bohs took advantage with a quick line-out. James O’Neill finished off when he crossed the whitewash and outhalf Fergal Lawlor added the extras.

Galwegians did reduce the deficit before the break when Brandon was on target with a penalty, and although facing into the elements, Wegians were still in contention.

However when scrumhalf Chris Delooze caught the defence napping with a quick penalty, he added a second try on 60 minutes to seal Galwegians’ fate.

Wegians did pile on the pressure late in the half, but despite a 70th-minute penalty from Brandon, they could not break through the home side’s defence.

CORINTHIANS 10

NENAGH ORMOND 3

Corinthians got off to a great start against a fancied Nenagh Ormond in their division three encounter at Cloonacauneen.

Despite enjoying the elements, Corinthians were contained for long periods by the visitors who boasted the highly-rated former Munster and Shannon player, Colm McMahon,and Fijian No 8 Moses Volavola.

However the deadlock was broken on 20 minutes after Corinthians centre Wayne Williams breached the Nenagh Ormond defence only to knock the ball forward in a tackle. From the resulting Nenagh scrum, Corinthians’ pressure paid off when the scrum wheeled and the flanker Aurelian Casanova picked up the loose ball to barge his way over with outhalf Kenny Diffenthal converting.

Corinthians forwards continued to apply the pressure with captain Pat Cunningham leading by example, along with his second row partner Shane McInerney and prop Dave Small. With Rory Connellan and Joe Merrigan making a welcome return to Corinthians, the pressure paid off. When Nenagh Ormond infringed at a ruck, Kenny Diffenthal struck the resulting penalty to give Corinthians a 10 – 0 lead at half-time.

With the wind now behind them Nenagh upped the ante, with former Galwegians and Shannon outhalf Dave Delaney, pulling the strings. Yet Corinthians absorbed all that was thrown at them until Delaney reduced the arrears to 10-3 on 60 minutes.

Corinthians, boosted by substitute and Connacht outhalf Tim Donnelly, played to the conditions, surviving a tough second half to secure a well deserved victory.

Corinthians: J Buckley (R Ferguson 40 ), D Murphy, B Taylor, W Williams, D Classens, K Diffenthal (T Donnelly 40 ), M Roche, D Lillis, J Merrigan, D Small, P Cunningham (capt ), S McInerney, A Casanova, S Gerrity, R Connellan.

 

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