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.
Judge adjourns Connemara assault case
Date Published: 08-May-2013
A date will be set next October for the trial of a 52-year old Connemara man, who is charged with assaulting traditional Irish musician Noel Hill five years ago.
Michael Folan from Teach Mór, Lettermullen, is charged with intentionally or recklessly causing serious harm to Noel Hill at Tí Padraig Mairtín Beag in Leitir Mór, on St Stephen’s Day, 2008.
The matter had been listed for trial on several occasions before Galway Circuit Criminal Court in the intervening period.
It was referred to the High Court in Dublin last year for judicial review after Michael Folan said he wanted his trial heard ‘as Gaeilge’and that a bi-lingual jury be made available to hear the case.
At Galway Circuit Criminal Court, Judge Rory McCabe adjourned the case for mention to October when it’s expected a date will be set for trial.
Bank of Ireland Galway Shopping Centre branch to close
Date Published: 10-May-2013
Bank of Ireland’s branch at Galway Shopping Centre on the Headford Road is to close in July.
The branch is to merge into the BOI outlet at Galway Industrial Estate in Mervue.
Galway Bay fm news reports the 14 staff impacted are to be offered redeployment and there will be no job losses.
Galway RNLI rescues three people stranded on Hare Island
Date Published: 13-May-2013
Galway RNLI Lifeboat has come to the rescue of three students who got stranded on Hare Island after getting caught in the tide off Ballyloughan Beach.
The two girls and boy, in their late teens had gone for a walk and were spotted waving from the island by a local resident who contacted the emergency Services and Galway Lifeboat.
Conditions at the time (4pm) were very changeable with heavy showers.
Three members of the Lifeboat shore crew were working in the vicinity of the station at the time and launched the boat in six minutes.
The three students were picked up safely and brought back to the Lifeboat Station at Galway Docks where they were warmed up and given tea and did not require medical attention.