Connacht Junior Cup ‘A’ Final
Creggs v Connemara on Sunday at The Sportsground in Galway at 3 pm
Creggs’ magnificent renaissance in Connacht Rugby can take another giant step when they face old rivals the Connemara All Blacks in the Connacht Cup final on Sunday in Galway. In their two league encounters this season the Connemara men prevailed and they will start out as favourites on Sunday but Creggs will travel knowing that they are well capable of landing the title for the first time in 26 years.
Connemara are a fine side who are very physical and who are very strong up front. Former Creggs players will remember Henry O’Toole from many battles between the two clubs in the past and on Sunday his son Henry junior will hope to inflict damage on Creggs from his position in midfield or indeed at full-back.
But Creggs will be aiming to disrupt the Connemara game and will hope to get the ball out to their impressive runners like the Dowd brothers, James Brandon, Eoghan Coyle, Mark Brandon, and Chris Duignan to name just a few. There are injury doubts over the participation of team captain Kevin Brandon and a decision on his participation will not be made until later in the week.
Creggs will have to come up with a game plan that will stretch Connemara. Creggs head coach Pat Cunningham will have much to mull over this week as he prepares to send his troops into battle. This is a very young Creggs team and they have improved with almost every outing this season.
There is no doubt that Creggs will be up against it on Sunday but it would be one of the greatest wins in the club’s history if the team were to land the Cup beating the ‘All Blacks’ in the process.
If Creggs can keep it tight early on and get an even share of possession at the line-outs and in the scrum, they have the attackers to engineer the scores that can win the match. It would be great to see the likes of Tom Fleming getting a cup winner’s medal having played for over a decade and a half for the team.
This final will revive memories of a golden age for Creggs Rugby which those of us who were around at the time will remember with great fondness. The great days of the likes of Kieran and Ger Dowd, Frank and Liam Brandon, Dinny Monaghan, Liam Callaghan and even the mighty Adrian Leddy to name just a few, can be repeated and Creggs can have new heroes to look up to.
The most overused cliché in sports is ‘on the day’ but if Creggs can turn in their best performance of the season they can upset the odds and bring home the cup. It promises to be an epic encounter.