St Bernard’s are doomed after latest league loss to Athenry

This acrobatic effort from Athenry FC's Ryan Shaughnessy whistled past Galway Hibernians goalkeeper Padraig Lally's post when the teams drew 2-2 in the Galway Premier League at Moanbaun on Sunday morning. Athenry's Conor Cannon is in the background. EIREFOTO
This acrobatic effort from Athenry FC's Ryan Shaughnessy whistled past Galway Hibernians goalkeeper Padraig Lally's post when the teams drew 2-2 in the Galway Premier League at Moanbaun on Sunday morning. Athenry's Conor Cannon is in the background. EIREFOTO

IT is just two years since three underdogs from different sports created history for themselves with remarkable achievements as Connacht won Pro12 Rugby honours, while in the Premiership, Leicester confounded all the big money teams with an amazing title success.

Closer to home, 2016 was also the year that St Bernard’s won a first ever Premier Division title, but like their fellow title winners, recent times have not been as kind.

The euphoria that marked the successful morning out in Abbeyknockmoy as St Bernard’s defeated Mervue United to clinch the title now appears to be almost a distant memory. A season of disappointment has the side in the relegation zone and at this stage with just two games left, the escape hatch is almost closed.

With Renmore certain to go back to First Division football, just above them lie St Bernard’s and with just games left against champions Athenry and Loughrea, matters are out of their own hands. Salthill Devon are the only other side to remain in the lower region of the table that can possibly go down, but with four games left and two points ahead of their rivals, they have matters very much in their own hands to save themselves.

Throughout the league campaign, St Bernard’s form has been sluggish. Although they started off with four points from their opening two games, they never built on that. At one stage five losses in succession was recorded, although the side hit a purple patch at the end of March with back-to-back wins over Renmore and West United.

However, that turned out to be the highlight of St Bernard’s campaign as six defeats in succession followed, with the more brutal aspect being against sides battling in the lower half of the table like themselves. As a result, defeats against Maree / Oranmore, Salthill Devon, Hibernians (twice) and Corrib Celtic certainly did not help the cause, while Sunday’s loss to a last minute goal against Mervue United just typified the type of outcomes they have endured all season.

For more, read this week’s Galway City Tribune.