Galwegians Senior XV have a chance to claim silverware this season when they meet Cork Constitution in the final of the Bateman Cup in an action-packed afternoon at Crowley Park on Saturday (12.45pm ).
The two sides have already met twice in this year’s All Ireland League, and although the honours were divided, it was the Cork side that prevailed on the last day of the league that saw Galwegians relegated from the top flight.
It has been an erratic season for Galwegians, who started this season’s campaign brightly, but have failed to achieve their potential. And now they have a chance to redeem themselves after being relegated when they face the Irish aristocrats who have this year’s double in sight. Con, having won the Bateman Cup for the last three seasons, are also facing Clontarf in the league final.
However Galwegians should have no fear on Saturday - they overcame Con in the first match of the season, and could have taken the honours in Cork on the last day of the regular season. And with the chance of a first Bateman Cup trophy, motivation should not be an issue.
Galwegians have a day of planned events to coincide with this All Ireland cup final, led by president Dick O’Hanlon who will host a sell-out brunch at Glenina. It will be preceded by a ceremonial raising of the National Flag at 10.40am by United Nations veterans, and music from piper Anthony Byrne.
RTE 2 television is covering the game live at 12.45pm, and will include former Connacht captain Gavin Duffy and Donal Lenihan on the RTE panel.
Wegians edge cup final
Galwegians were victors over city rivals Corinthians in this year's U17 Connacht Cup final at the Sportsground on Sunday.
In a tight and often scrappy game, Galwegians prevailed by 8-7 after a scoreless opening half.
Galwegians' fullback Ewan Heapes and Corinthians outhalf Declan Gill both missed a penalty chance in a half that saw Corinthians lock Cian Huxford yellow carded after persistent team infringements. It took until the second half before the deadlock was broken when Heapes landed a penalty to make it 3-0.
On 49 minutes Galwegians found themselves a man down when Neil Mulcahy was yellow-carded for team infringements, but Corinthians could not make this advantage count as they struggled to break down the stubborn Wegians' defence. They had the chance to level on 60 minutes, but Gill's penalty hit the upright.
The game finally burst into life three minutes later when a well-worked move down the right side resulted in Breathnach gathering a well-judged kick to score the Galwegian try to give them an 8-0 lead. Corinthians responded with a 69th minute try and Gill added the conversion, but with only added time remaining, Galwegians held firm till the end.
Galwegians : Jonathan Joyce, Callum Palmer, Ronan Corless, James Butler, Jordan Fogerty, Ian Wynne 7, Neil Mulcahy, Daniel Johnson, Michael O’Donnell, Aditya Donovan, Julius Byrne, Aaron White Martyn, Cillian McCabe, Ruairi Breathnach, Ewan Heapes. Replacements, Conor O’Regan, Ethan Conroy, Conor Gillespie, Timothy Regan, Cathal McGuinness, Martin McGrath, Colm Tarpey, lan Hamill.
Corinthians: Colm Joyce, Ruairi Waldron Caulfield, Lorcan Roche, Cian Huxford, Aodhfinn Broderick, Jamie Kelliher, lan Tierney, Morgan O’Brien, Jack Whyte, Declan Gill, Tomas Forde, Macdara O’Duibhir, Harry O’Donghaile, Gary Collumb, Ciaran Weldon. Replacements, Liam Melia, Dara Nee, Jack Egan, Jack Nevin, Ben Lavelle, Liam Costello, Oisin O’ Flatharta, Ronan Ipek.