Connemara bounce back to secure provincial glory


From this week's Galway City Tribune

From this week's Galway City Tribune

Connemara bounce back to secure provincial glory Connemara bounce back to secure provincial glory

Connemara 18

Dunmore 0

Kevin Egan at Dexcom Stadium 

THE defensive issues that saw Connemara ship 36 points in a thrilling league final against Creggs were nowhere to be seen in Sunday’s Connacht Junior Cup decider when the club succeeded in winning their sixth ever renewal of this famous competition.

The All Blacks faced down Dunmore – a rising power in the province and a team that has proved in this competition that their first round dismissal of reigning champions Westport was no fluke – and they simply squeezed the life out of the North Galway club, one defensive stand after another.

Many of those rugby supporters who would look at the final score might assume that a Dunmore club that was playing in their first ever final simply didn’t show up, and that they allowed the occasion to get to them.

That was far from the case. Michael Corless’ side were abrasive, energetic, committed and cohesive, and there were aspects of the game where they caused the favourites plenty of problems. However when it came to either picking the Connemara lock, or indeed battering down the door, they couldn’t find a way to break through.

Connemara, in contrast, took their points when they were on offer, and crossed the whitewash twice – first at the end of a sustained period of attacking a pressure, and then with a killer turnover try early in the second half, a score from Marty Conneely that turned a meaningful but not insurmountable 11-point lead into a 18-point Everest that Dunmore simply couldn’t scale.

The reason 11 points felt like a bridgeable gap was based on the quality of Dunmore’s play in the opening half. Despite Connemara choosing to play with the wind in the opening half in a bid to dampen the feistiness of the underdogs, the Dunmore players matched their supporters’ vim and vigour with a lively start.

Pictured: Dunmore’s Dean Slattery has his progress halted by Connemara during Sunday’s Connacht Junior Cup Final at Dexcom Stadium. Photo: Joe O’Shaughnessy.

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