Galway’s three senior rugby clubs head into this weekend’s AIB League boosted by a successful round last Saturday.
Division one outfit Galwegians enjoyed a great away win in Ballymena, recording their second league success on the trot, while Corinthians, at home to Rainey Old Boys, notched their third to take pole position in division three. Connemara were the third local club to enjoy success, claiming the scalp of Suttonians at Monastery Road.
Next up for Galwegians is an attractive home fixture on Saturday at Crowley Park against high-riding Old Belvedere. The Dubliners, who finished eighth last season, are well on their way to improving their position, having won all three of their opening fixtures.
Coached by Phil Werahiko, Old Belvedere have accounted for UCD 30-14, Young Munster 9-13, and Dolphin 16-11. Old Belvedere are a well drilled outfit with talent throughout the XV, and boast speed out wide where former underage internationals Felix Jones and Dave Mongan, in addition to Leinster centre Eoin O’Malley, have been in scoring form.
Galwegians, however, are just four points behind, and with two wins on the trot, they are building momentum in their campaign. Last weekend’s victory over Ballymena, their first away to the Ulster side, will hopefully prove a turning point. With some added pace out wide this season, greater control in the half-back positions, and a well organised defence, Galwegians need to add to their league tally, making home advantage count.
Corinthians, with three wins from three, are sitting in the top position in division one - by virtue of a superior scoring difference over Portadown, who will visit Connemara on Saturday.
Corinthians are the only city side away this weekend when they visit the capital to face Old Wesley.
Wesley, since their opening day loss to Portadown, have bagged two wins on the trot - a 34-17 win over Banbridge and a 17-21 victory over Midleton. Currently in fifth place with 10 points, their 63 points tally (Corinthians have 58 ) indicates their ability to score, and this should ensure Corinthians’ defence is on its toes. Last weekend Corinthians enjoyed the services of Connacht outhalf Tim Donnelly, and he made his presence felt in their victory. More of the same on Saturday, and Corinthians have a real opportunity to consolidate their lead at the top.
On paper Connemara, who currently sit in eighth place, have the toughest fixture of the weekend’s action when they host Portadown - the team in second place on points difference.
Connemara will certainly be hoping the Ulster side’s drive to Monastery Road proves a mile or two too far as Portadown have bagged three wins - against Old Wesley, Sunday’s Well, and Barnhall.