Date Published: 27-Apr-2011
The report card on Connacht’s season will wait for another two weeks but this game told us a lot about where the province stands after year one of the Eric Elwood era. Ulster’s class and experience told in the final 10 minutes here, but a ferocious display from the visiting pack at Ravenhill will have given the Westerners hope.
Overall, the report card will probably show that Elwood’s men are progressing in areas where they had been stuck in neutral for years. That’s good, they have jumped one place on last year in the table and the average tries for and against have both improved considerably. A bucket load of hard earned bonus points and a competitive edge in every game all adds up to hope.
Yet this game also showed the negatives, the lack of depth in key positions, the significant loss that some of the leaving stars will be, especially Hagen at tighthead. In the backline, Connacht haven’t moved forward enough, and Troy Nathan’s selection at 12 continues to baffle most observers as while he’s as committed and honest as you could hope for, he struggles to impose himself in the role.
Yet overall there is a feeling that Connacht are ‘fronting-up’ and the confidence in the camp is higher than ever before. They were hammered on their last two visits to Belfast but on this occasion they were the better team for an hour. The missing link seems to be that bit more depth in the squad and that comes down to resources.
Ulster exploded out of the blocks and struck first with a great try from Rory Best. After a good drive from Jerry Cronin, Humphreys passed back inside to set Adam D’Arcy away. The full back drew the cover and supplied Cave who did likewise to allow Rory Best score under the posts. Humphreys added the extras.
The response from Connacht was hugely encouraging as they didn’t let such a simple blow set them back. They answered by winning the restart and setting up an attack that led to a well struck drop goal from Ian Keatley.
Thoughts from the home side that an easy afternoon was in store were dissipating although they were almost in for a second try only for Humphreys’ kick through to be charged down by Mike McCarthy. Fionn Carr almost broke clear when he collected the rebound only for Darren Cave to make a vital and probably try saving tackle as the Connacht winger had an open field to attack.
Dan McFarland will be especially pleased with counter-rucking of the Connacht pack throughout the first half and one such example resulted in a penalty which Keatley was unable to convert from long range.
The Connacht pack were well on top in the first half, the excellent Johnny O’Connor and man-of-the-match McCarthy led the way while the return of John Muldoon was having an impact. Their hard work created another half chance which ended with Nathan’s cross-kick to Eoin Griffin which was asking a little much of the winger.
Niva Ta’auso picked up an eye injury soon after and while he was down injured Ulster crafted a score out of nothing in a virtual length-of-the-field move. The 42 time South African capped Ruan Pienaar took a quick tap from a penalty in Ulster’s 22 and his break led to Humphreys skinning Cronin just over half way with the pass releasing D’Arcy to run in with Humphreys converting.
For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.
Galway ‘Park and Ride’ could become permanent
Date Published: 07-May-2013
A park ‘n’ ride scheme from Carnmore into Galway city could become a permanent service if there is public demand.
That’s according to the Chief Executive of Galway Chamber of Commerce, Michael Coyle.
The pilot scheme will begin at 7.20 next Monday morning, May 13th.
Motorists will be able to park cars at the airport carpark in Carnmore and avail of a bus transfer to Forster Street in the city.
Buses will depart every 20 minutes at peak times and every 30 minutes at offpeak times throughout the day, at a cost of 2 euro per journey.
Tuam awaits UK hay import as overnight rainfall adds to fodder crisis
Date Published: 09-May-2013
Tuam is now awaiting a third import of hay from the UK as overnight rainfall has increased pressure on farmers struggling to source fodder.
A total of ten loads are expected at Connacht Gold stores throughout the West with a load expected at the Airglooney outlet this evening or tomorrow.
Farmers throughout the county have been struggling to cope with the animal feed shortage and a below than normal grass growth due to unseasonal weather conditions.
Overnight rainfall in the Galway area has also added to the problem making ground conditions in many areas are quite poor.
Joe Waldron, Agricultual Advisor with Connacht Gold says farmers in short supply can contact the Airglooney outlet on 093 – 24101.
Transport Minister urges end to Bus Eireann strike action
Date Published: 12-May-2013
The Transport Minister is urging drivers at Bus Éireann to engage in talks with management, in an effort to bring their strike action to an end.
There were no Bus Éireann services operating out of Galway today as a result of nationwide strike action by staff affiliated with the national bus and rail union.
Up to 20 Bus Éireann drivers are continuing to picket outside the bus depot at the docks in the city this evening.
Drivers from other unions have decided not to cross the picket line and go into work today – causing the disruption to be even worse.
Bus drivers are protesting against five million euro worth of cuts to their overtime and premium pay – cuts which Bus Eireann says are vital to ensure the future viability of the company.
The majority of services nationwide are disrupted, and the union say strike action will continue until management are willing to go back into negotiations.
However, it’s not expected to affect school services next week.
Galway bay fm news understands that around 70 percent, or over 100 Galway bus Eireann drivers are affiliated with the NBRU.