Michael Glynn in Bloemfontein
CONNACHT may have lacked the precision and quality of the previous week but dug deep into their reservoir of determination and bravery to tough out a second victory of their South African adventure in lung-burning conditions in Bloemfontein on Saturday.
Always in front, it nevertheless took a supreme effort late on to seal a third Guinness Pro14 win in a row in a game in which the sweltering heat and the thin air of the High Veld had them running on empty from a long way out and left the outcome insecure right up to the sound of the siren. They became only the third team, after Munster and Glasgow, to win both legs of the South African challenge.
The fact that they protected their lead to the final whistle reflects extremely favourably on their determination and cussedness in such alien conditions in the magnificent, but near-empty, Toyota Stadium, yet it has to be recognised also that the Cheetahs left at least three tries behind them over the course of the 80 minutes through bouts of deplorable handling and a succession of knock-ons that marred some exhilarating off-loading and attacking by them.
A measure of Connacht’s obduracy is that they traded on little over 40% each of possession and territorial gains and significantly trailed the home side in terms of metres made (387m against 697m) and carries (23 against 43) over the course of the 80 minutes. And, proportionately, those figures were even more weighted against them in the second half.
What was absolutely imperative then was that Connacht displayed the utmost discipline, which they did by conceding only six penalties for the second week in succession, and defended stoutly in the face of some lightning-quick moves, forcing the Cheetahs into many, but not all, of their handling aberrations.
For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.
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Galway’s newest garden centre has arrived at McD’s in Galway Crystal
For over 10 years people have been flocking to McD’s Garden Centre in Loughrea to get the very best range for garden, home and much much more.
This weekend McD’s are proud to announce the opening of a brand new Garden Centre in Galway City located in the iconic Galway Crystal Building.
Nicely located with good parking and serviced by the 404 Newcastle to Oranmore bus, McD’s Garden Centre at Galway Crystal is a must visit location if you need anything from plants, shrubs, pots, garden furniture and more. They have a dedicated solar garden lights section, gorgeous array of water features and garden ornaments and practically everything you need for your garden.
Visit their Facebook today where they are running competitions and keep track of other promotions too. You can visit their website online at www.McDs.ie
UHG nurse battles for her life in ICU
UHG remains braced to rapidly respond to any rise in Covid-19 patients as a result of a second surge – but the plight of one of their own colleagues this week showed just how precarious this pandemic can be.
Because while senior management at the Saolta Group vowed to stay ‘vigilant and alert’, a staff nurse at UHG was battling for her life in the hospital’s own ICU.
Leona Paula Leoncio, a 36-year-old mother of two boys, tested positive for Covid-19 last week, and was moved to ICU on Monday where she was intubated and ventilated.
The staff nurse, who had no underlying health conditions, is now battling for life in ICU at UHG, according to the Philippine Consulate in Dublin, which has urged people to pray for her.
Ms Leoncio moved to Ireland in 2017, with her husband and two children, to work in the country’s health system.
“We might have different faiths and beliefs but can I ask of you . . . to take a pause and say a prayer of healing and strength for her and her family,” said Chuck Giner, her nursing colleague at UHG, in a posting relayed on the Philippine Consulate’s social media.
See full story in this week’s Connacht Tribune – along with all of the latest news on the Covid-19 pandemic. We’re on sale in all newsagents and supermarkets, and you can also order the Tribune with your home delivery; buy a digital edition here, or avail of the new An Post service to deliver to your door at no extra cost to the cover price.
Gort boy reunites Tipp star with broken hurl from famous point
Tipperary All-Star hurler Brendan Maher has revealed that a young lad in Gort has found his long-lost hurl – the one he used to score one of the points of the last sporting year.
The broken hurl, the one that broke the hearts of St Thomas’ fans back in January, was used to fire over a point in Borris-Illeigh’s All-Ireland semi-final victory over the Galway club at the Gaelic Grounds.
Maher revealed last week that he tried to retrieve the hurl after the match to keep as a memento, but couldn’t find it. He subsequently got a letter from twelve year old Liam Linnane from Gort, who had found it.
“After I scored the point I got kind of carried away and I threw it over my shoulder into the open stand in the Gaelic Grounds. After the match, I thought I would really like to have that hurley but we could not find it and the club even contacted the Gaelic Grounds afterwards to see if it was found.
“Several weeks had passed and I’d given up on it when I got a letter from a young fella in Gort and I read down through it. He said he was twelve years old and that he was at the game where I scored the point with the broken hurley and that he had the hurley.”
See full story in this week’s Connacht Tribune – on sale in all newsagents and supermarkets, and you can also order the Tribune with your home delivery; buy a digital edition here, or avail of the new An Post service to deliver to your door at no extra cost to the cover price.