The 1980s was a period of success for the rugby players of Creggs in east Galway with regular Connacht League and Cup final appearances and a haul of ten trophies in total.
The maroon and white’s finest hour, however, arrived at the decade’s end as they plundered all before them at Connacht Junior level.
Fresh from a string of near-misses from 1981 to 1986, during which the club lost out in three league finals and one cup final, Creggs ended an eight-year barren spell by claiming league honours in 1987. The breakthrough was made and the years that followed brought unprecedented success to the club.
‘Creggs was great in ‘88’. By now the talented local side was sweeping all before them and the streets of the east Galway village were paved with silver. Narrow, hard-fought victories over Ballinrobe, Loughrea, and Athlone brought a treble of Connacht Junior League, Cup, and the Ard Na Cregg Cup and the ‘maroon and white’ were just getting started.
Six titles were to arrive in the following four years but the highlight of this era of dominance was undoubtedly the completion of the ‘double-double’ in 1989.
The Rank Xerox Connacht Junior League was wrapped up with the narrowest of victories (11-10) over Our Lady’s Boys Club at the Sportsground. OLBC were left to rue a late unsuccessful drop at goal by Pat Elwood in what was a tense finale.
The Connacht Junior Cup Final was also a nerve-wracking affair. The clash with Monivea was a game strictly for the purists, with the only score coming from the boot of none other than Frank Brandon. Creggs were once again hanging on in the end but stood firm to complete their remarkable back-to-back doubles.
Long-serving members of Creggs Rugby will know only too well that opportunities to win doubles are few and far between. Even Connacht Junior Cup wins have been harder to come by in recent years with the last success arriving thirty years ago in 1993.
It’s no wonder then that double winners from ’89 shed tears of joy following Creggs’ recent league final win over Connemara. They’ll travel west again this Sunday, quietly confident that the Class of 2023 will seize the chance to make history with both hands, and drive Creggs Rugby Club across the line once more.