Galwegians is the only Connacht club at home in this weekend’s All Ireland League action when hosting Clontarf at Glenina on Saturday 2.30pm.
It is a tough assignment facing a side that competed in division 1A last season, but Galwegians will be buoyed having pipped UL Bohemians by 14 - 13 in last weekend’s opener in Limerick.
The opening weekend of the All Ireland League proved a successful one for Connacht’s two division 1B clubs, with Buccaneers also securing the points against last year’s division 2 champions Lansdowne by 22 - 16.
In division 2 Corinthians were unable to make home advantage count against Ballynahinch, losing to last year’s division 1B side by 40-16, while Connemara, who are away to Banbridge on Saturday, also lost their opener at Monastery Road by 37 - 21.
In Limerick last weekend Galwegians took an early lead against the run of play when fullback and captain John Cleary notched a penalty. The home side continued to dominate, but the Wegian defence and discipline held firm until former Galwegians and Connacht centre Martin McPhail sold a simple dummy and sauntered over near the post for the game’s opening try which outhalf Stuart O’Flanagan converted.
O’Flanagan should have added a penalty after the restart, and instead Wegians started to exert control, especially in the scrum. Although Dave Clarke missed an ambitious penalty Cleary launched a counter-attack from deep to set up field position from which Ross Shaughnessy fed debutant Colin Conroy who crossed for a try, leaving the margin 8-7. Bohs replied with a penalty to retake the lead, and in a thrilling finale the lead changed three more times with Wegians closing out the game in impressive style.
Galwegians XV: J Cleary (capt. ); L Bibo, C Conroy, D Clarke, D Fanning; R Shaughnessy, R Dillon; R Loughney, C Muldoon, J Stephens; D Nolan, B McClearn; D O’Hara (sub N McCarthy ), I Muldoon, I Cullinane.
Corinthians v Ballynahinch
Corinthians travel south to Clonakilty for Saturday’s division 2 contest hoping to open their account after a disappointing loss to Ballynahinch.
The home side started well and held the visitors to 16 - 16 at the break with winger James Buckley and prop Denis Buckley scoring tries, and outhalf Shane Mulally converting both.
However the second half was all Ballynahinch with flanker Jimmy Donaldson, fullback D’Arcy, and substitute Kieran McCall crossing for a comfortable win.
Corinthians: D Classen, J Buckley, E Griffen, W Williams, K Dolan, S Mullay, H Griffin, D Buckley, J Merrigan, T Tolan, G Ward, P Cunnningham (capt ), S Conneeley, L Carpenter, R Connellan.