By Gerry Thornley, Irish Times. Mon, Feb 12, 1996

ON A normal Sunday, the locals say, Creggs is a town in the middle of nowhere going no where. Eight miles’ beyond Roscommon. You could drive into it, see nothing but four dogs dozing on the sidewalks, and keep on driving. Even the pubs’ doors would remain closed until 9 pm. But this was no ordinary Sunday. The pride of the village were hosting the All Blacks.

The Connemara All Blacks came too, unbeaten in 11 matches this season and 92 matches and eight years of regular season combat at Connacht Junior League level. But Creggs, who beat them in a play off four seasons ago, themselves had put together a 10 game winning run since an opening day defeat, so this was the big one., Everything to play for, a Connacht Junior League title and an invitation to the All Ireland League.

Creggs had to win to force a play off. The All Blacks superior points differential (plus 220 to plus 131 being ignored by the Connacht Branch, who know a lucrative play off in the making when they see one). The All Blacks had to at least draw to deny Creggs another tilt at the title and the Connacht Branch that money spinning play off in the Sporting round in Galway Next door to the clubhouse, Bradleys pub put it simply. Do or die at the Green”.

The Green is virtually in the heart of the village, and by 2.30pm there wasn’t much sign of life. A photographer was putting on his, wellies and extricating his cameras from the car boot. The pubs were quiet. But gradually cars started and three mini busses few hundred visitors from Clifden. Come kick off there were over 1,000 present.

Creggs have a good set up, two,, pitches, the main one walled in with,” perimeter advertising, a sure sign of good legwork by the alickadoos. They have their own club house and their own dressing rooms, and they” don’t owe a penny. Their substitutes wore matching designer track suits. The All Blacks wore a job lot collection of bibs, and their two flankers both wore 6.

The All Blacks have comparatively little, although they’re working on it an IRFU grant and planning permission that will ensure dressing rooms are built for, next season. But they’ve spirit aplenty and, of course, a reputation.

Quite how you’d wonder. A well worn, thirty something team, of, hardy hoors with their own variant, on a Pontypool front row who’ve been packing down for a decade or”, more they play it off the cuff. A beefier, taller Creggs pack, average age 27, had three line out jumpers to the All Blacks none. For 20 minutes or more they owned the ball, through their locks, Barry, Kilcommins and Kevin O’Rourke.

Creggs’ Connacht Junior outside half, Ger Dowd, their one true veteran at 35, aimed unerringly for the, slopes toward the corners at the pavilion end and pinned back the All Blacks’ pack. Local knowledge goes a long way. Two early penalties out of three by Dowd gave them a 6-0 platform.

Hitting the rucks hard, recycling it in true 1990s fashion, they monopolised possession. John Malone, struck back for the Blacks’ with a 16th minute penalty, but Dowd, made it 9-3 after 29 minutes. The Blacks played damage limitation rugby till the break. In the teeming rain, the crowd were warming nicely.

Joe Healy, the All Blacks coach told his men to play it fast and loose. Within four minutes of the restart, they ran a couple of tap penalties towards half way, and the ball was popped to their 40 year old hooker Ciaran Canavan, one of those who, when the going gets tough…

The Man of the Match took the pop ball and, surprisingly, chipped ahead, but, more importantly,, chased ahead with gusto. Alongside him were the centres, P J Bourke and James Conroy. Creggs, a good but strictly orthodox side, were all over the place. Bourke intercepted a desperate fly hack to touch and passed inside for, who else, Canavan to crash over the line to make it 9-8. Game on.

Creggs always had an “out” in the kick to touch, and they won the line outs by 21-7 but the unorthodox was gradually wearing down the orthodox. Dowd’s right boot Creggs’ only recourse to points by now, missed with a third drop goal attempt. Desperation, crept into both their play and their supporters.

Bernard Keaney, the Blacks’ much coveted young flanker, was becoming, a tear away for Creggs, to handle, single handedly disrupting about three opponents in turn as handling errors crept into Creggs’ game.

The Blacks were spinning it wide” to their wings, Pat O’Toole and Pat O’Neill, in what was also becoming, a minor little reprise of Scotland versus France. Creggs were soon blowing hard and chances came the All Blacks’ way.

Henry O’Toole was just short, with a penalty from half way Malone was just wide with another ]Henry O’Toole just failed to cling on to Pat O’Toole’s high return pass inside with the line a begging, and then the latter chased his own kick ahead. The Creggs’ full back Kieron Dowd, winning himself a night’s supply of black porter, dived for the ball simultaneously. Padraig Gilmore, a good referee, awarded a 22 drop out, as well as one final touch line penalty for Malone, which was well off target.

Grimly and stubbornly, Creggs hung on to their 9-8 lead for dear life, and a final whistle that was greeted with every gamut of vocal emotion. You’d go a long way to seed better. “In 20 years of Creggs Connemara games, I haven’t seen better,” ventured one contented local.

“On the day we didn’t deserve to accepted Healy generously. Creggs laid a very solid foundation through their line out, and controlled the game well in the first half. A play off on the wider confines of the Sporting round will suit his team, all the more so given a reasonable day.

“The last minutes were pretty rough,” admitted the Creggs coach Frank Brandon, who had died a “thousand deaths in that time. “But until then I thought we were in control”.

Skinning the All Blacks’ scalp was no big deal, he maintained, and he’d have reservations about joining the AIL, but it didn’t look like that. Creggs, no less than the Blacks, want it badly.

So, all good things come to an end and the Blacks’ 92 game run, endeth. They meet again next Sunday at the Sports ground in the play a off. The attendant Connacht Branch secretary, Bobby McGann reckons there’ll be 2,000 at it, and he looked happier than anyone.

Meantime, you couldn’t swing a dog in the clubhouse or the five, pubs. The pride of the village had done their stuff and the All Blacks were good naturedly, licking their wounds. A power failure dimmed no one’s mood. It ain’t over yet.

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Athleague Camogie Club are delighted to announce our new
“A Hurl For Every Girl Campaign” Supported by Local Farmers & Industry.
Athleague Camogie Club has gone from strength to strength in the recent past with successes from underage to Senior County titles. With the support of our main sponsor Ward and Burke Construction coming on board in 2018, this has certainly supported and helped progress the promotion of our game in the Athleague Camogie catchment area.
Being part of any team, especially camogie and allied sports like GAA & Rugby, builds a good work ethic, collaboration, cooperation and learning to be part of a team. Team membership also builds resilience in players when learning to deal with success as well as failure. All these skills are crucial qualities for young people moving forward into the professional working world.
In the catchment area for Athleague Camogie Club there are 161 girls attending national school in the Creggs, Fuerty, Athleague and Ballymurray schools. We are lucky to have a great relationship with other clubs within our area, and as we don’t have our own pitch, these clubs kindly facilitate us with use of their grounds, namely Athleague Pitch, Tremane Pitch, Mulhern Park and Creggs RFC. Camogie is a minority sport in the parish. However, camogie is a noble Gaelic sport which enhances skills of resilience and courage. Those who participate as part of a team contribute positively in the workplace.
A new initiative has been launched by the club’s main sponsor Ward and Burke Construction to supply each of these primary school girls with a hurl and sliotar. Other local businesses have come on board to support this initiative including Aurivo, Kepak and Local Dairy Farmers. Senior club members will deliver the hurls and sliotars to the younger players during the next few weeks with further information on how to join our club.
For the past 4 years Michael Ward of Ward & Burke Construction has been the main sponsor for our club. His support and advice have allowed us to undertake initiatives like this “Hurl For Every Girl” campaign. A strong believer in gender equality, his company actively recruits, promotes, and encourages women to see past old stereotypes and realise their true potential in a predominantly male employment sector of construction. Michael, a former formidable sportsman himself truly believes in how invaluable playing a team sport is for young people, and for young girls in particular. Along with building character and resilience, it gives focus and direction at times in life when it is needed most, lifelong friendships are forged, and opportunities are opened up.

Aurivo are global leaders in food and dairy nutrition, bringing clean, green products from sustainable Irish farms to the world market. They offer fantastic career opportunities and are always looking for strong, enthusiastic, and ambitious people to join their teams. Having a sports background gives girls an edge on their competition in the career marketplace, as they understand teamwork, commitment, hard work and ambition
Kepak work with over 15,000 Quality Assured beef, lamb, and pork producers nationwide. We are extremely lucky to have a Kepak facility in our catchment area that is committed to supporting employment in Athleague and further afield. They also support local initiatives and sports teams in a loyal and practical way. Kepak too are always looking to recruit enthusiastic people to join their company, indeed many of their senior management have worked their way up the career ladder by training and working in all sectors of the business from operations and sales to procurement and product development.
These companies offer graduate programmes, and this is where Athleague Camogie Club comes in…… We want to encourage girls to look to these companies as career options, to promote rural Ireland and our community. We want them to see the bigger picture, these jobs are not just for males, young women’s potential within these organisations is limitless.
Our Local Dairy Farmers have joined us on this initiative to help promote rural jobs, to encourage girls to see farming as a real and viable option for them and to encourage growth and sustainability of the family farm. As we are a rural community it is vital for our survival and prosperity that young women can stay in their local area if they wish to, and that they are supported in their endeavours to promote women in farming as a career option. Keeping our community vibrant helps everyone not just our sports clubs.
#clubisfamily #athleaguecamogie #ahurlforeverygirl #WeAreAthleague Roscommon Camogie We Are Athleague Connacht Camogie Camogie Athleague Hurling Club Tremane Hurling Club Fuerty GAA Creggs Rfc Creggs Gaa Athleague/Tremane Hurling Club St. Ciaráns Ladies Gaelic Football Club Roscommon Bound
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6 days ago  ·  

Creggs RFC Give it a try fo girls aged 8 to 14 continues next monday at 7pm in Creggs.

Why not turn up and learn a new game and make new friends in a fun environment. New players welcome anytime during the 8 week program.

See below link to register
irfu.sportsmanager.ie/sportlomo/registration/event-registration/index/2347
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6 days ago  ·  

Club Lotto