The dates, venues and kick-off times have all been confirmed for the 2019 Top Oil Connacht Schools Senior A and Junior A semi-finals.
 
The games will be played across three days next week in three different venues, with six schools in all represented in the knock-out stages.
 
The first Senior A semi-final takes place on Tuesday 26th February when reigning champions Garbally College will play host to Sligo Grammar (k/o 4.00pm). The victors will play the winners of the other last four tie which will be contested by CBS Roscommon and Colaiste Iognaid on Thursday 28th February at CBS Roscommon (k/o 12.30pm)
 
In the Junior A Cup, Crowley Park in Galway will play host to the first semi-final between Colaiste Iognaid and St Muiredachs on Wednesday 27th February (k/o 12.00pm). The following day it’s the meeting of Garbally College and Marist College in the other semi-final with Garbally enjoying home advantage (k/o 3.30pm).
 
Both finals will be held at The Sportsground on Wednesday 13th March as part of a triple header with the final of the Senior Development Cup final.
 
TOP OIL CONNACHT SCHOOLS SENIOR A CUP SEMI-FINALS
Tuesday 26th February 2019
1600: Garbally College v Sligo Grammar @ Garbally College
Thursday 28th February 2019
1230: CBS Roscommon v Colaiste Iognaid @ Creggs RFC
 
TOP OIL CONNACHT SCHOOLS JUNIOR A CUP SEMI-FINALS
Wednesday 27th February 2019
1200: Colaiste Iognaid v St Muiredachs @ Crowley Park
Thursday 28th February 2019
1530: Garbally College v Marist College @ Garbally College

The Sportsground played host to its first two finals of 2019 this afternoon when the U14B and U14C Schools Development League finals were contested.
 
The opening game saw Clifden Community School face off against Gort Community School in the U14C decider. The sides were scoreless at the break but the game opened up in the second half as Clifden eventually pulled away for a 26-5 victory.
 
Ronan Mannion, Damian Manning, Sean Connelly and Sebastian Smith were the try scorers for the Connemara side while the sole Gort score came from a Gabriel Castor effort.
 
The U14B final was the next to be decider, and while the opening contest avoided the infamous Sportsground rain, the schools of St. Muredachs and Athlone CC weren’t so lucky. In the end it was the Ballina side that won out 19-5 with Ronan Gallagher and Luca Duggan among the try scorers.
 
Well done to both teams and a thanks also to our two referees, Craig Reardon and Martin McDonald.
 




The Sportsground will play host to its first two finals of 2019 tomorrow for a Schools U14 Development League double-header.
 
First up at 11.45am Gort CS take on Clifden CS in the C Final, and that’ll be followed by the B Final between Athlone CC and St Muredach’s College at 1.15pm.
 
Entry is free to all who wish to come along and get their midweek rugby fix! Best of luck to all four teams.

The induction of Mikey Kerin into the Association of Referees Connacht Branch (ARCB) has been named as the second winner of the Portwest / Connacht Rugby Moment of the Season Award
 
Mikey is a regular visitor to the inclusion rugby mornings in Corinthians RFC every Saturday. While he is a keen player himself, in the past few years he has turned his attention to becoming the man in the middle.
 
To the surprise of Mikey in early December, he received a visit from the ARCB Vice President Jason Craughwell who announced to the attendees of Mikey’s membership to the ARCB in light of his good work.
 
There Mikey was presented with his official ARCB referee jersey, his own book with red and yellow cards, and the all-important whistle. He was then able to put it to good use when he refereed the tag rugby game amongst the inclusion rugby players that morning.
 

That moment has since been chosen by the selection committee as their favourite Club & Community moment of the past few months, after it was initially nominated for the award last week.
 
As a result Corinthians, which hosts the inclusion rugby mornings, will receive €200 worth of rugby equipment with thanks to Portwest.
 
The events of that morning will now become the second nominee for the overall Rugby Moment of the Season Award, which will be named at the Connacht Rugby Awards Ball in April. The first nominee is Beibhinn Parsons’ Ireland debut at the age of just 16 (an Irish record), while the third nominee will be chosen in March.

12 Senior and Junior teams will contest this year’s Girls Schools 10s Leagues, with the opening game to take place tomorrow morning
 
Ardscoil Mhuire Ballinasloe, who were winners of the IRFU’s X7 Girls Schools tournament last November, will take on Gallen CS with kick-off at 10.30am.
 
This is the first time the Girls Schools 10s competition is being played off in a league format instead of a blitz. The Senior League features five schools with the top two teams after five rounds contesting the final in early April. The Junior League contains two pools of four and three teams with each pool winner facing off in a decider on the same day as the Seniors.
 


Connacht Women’s Development Officer Wendy Hickey says the move to a league format will ensure the girls get more regular games which will further help their development.
 
“It was a fantastic 2018 for girls rugby in Connacht, between the U18 Interpro success and the increasing number of players at many levels. This new format caters for those rising numbers and will mean every team will get a guaranteed number of competitive games. I wish all 12 teams the best of luck in the months ahead.”
 
Full details of the fixtures can be found on the Club & Community fixture page HERE.

There’s been some memorable rugby moments happening at grassroots level across the province so far this season.
 
After two weeks of entries, we’re delighted to share the four nominees for the winner of the second Connacht Rugby / Portwest Ireland Rugby Moment of the Season award, covering mid-November to mid-January.
 

 

 

 

The winner will go on as the second nominee for the overall Rugby Moment of the Season award which will be unveiled at the Connacht Rugby 2018/19 Awards Ball in April. Before Christmas the first nominee for the honour went to Ballinasloe RFC and Beibhinn Parsons after the then 16-year-old become the youngest ever Irish senior international, male or female.
 
The winner will be announced on the Connacht Rugby social media channels this coming Monday.

The inaugural Spirit of Rugby conference took place in Aviva Stadium last Sunday with over 200 club members engaging with a panel of experts on the theme of ‘Let Them Play’ – focusing on ensuring a fun and safe environment as our young players take their first steps in the game.
 
Ireland head coach Joe Schmidt opened the conference with some of his own experiences as a teacher and how he tries to focus on people not players.
 

 
Attendees also heard from IRFU Director of Medical Dr Rod McLoughlin, who delivered a talk on ‘Putting Player Physical Welfare at the Centre of Age-Grade Rugby’.
 
Senior Clinical Psychologist Dr. Paul Gaffney spoke about the ‘Role of the Coach in creating Player-Centred Environment’.
 


Dr. Anne Marie Waldron, who is a Clinical Director with the HSE’s Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services, delivered a module on ‘How to ensure Rugby positively contributes to your Player’s Emotional Being’
 
The keynote address was delivered by ‘Changing The Game’ Project Founder John O’Sullivan whose topic was ‘How Adults can contribute to Creating and Maintaining Player-Centred Environment in Age-Grade Rugby’.

Connacht Rugby are happy to announce a new quarterly publication which is being made available to everyone involved with rugby at grassroots level across the province.
 
This E-Newsletter provides volunteers, club members, committee members and more with an update across many levels of Connacht Rugby, from the Pro Team to Club & Community, Operations and the Board.
 
It is crucial to us that the grassroots members of Connacht Rugby are kept aware of what is happening across the organisation, so this publication will give you a flavour of the work being done.
 
You can download the first E-Newsletter by clicking HERE.

There was a double success for Garbally College yesterday as they overcame Marist College in the Senior and Junior School League finals in Tuam.
 
Here’s the reaction of head coaches Kevin Tierney and Ronan Flanagan 👇
 

Nominations are now open for the second Connacht Rugby/Portwest Ireland Rugby Moment of the Season Award.
 
The competition encourages all 26 rugby clubs to share, on their social media platforms, the special moments that are taking place day in day out at grounds across the five counties of Connacht. Here’s all you need to know…
 
How:
Clubs are being encouraged to upload the moment as a post on their Facebook or Twitter accounts detailing what made the moment so special with some text and photos or a video. In the post they must tag @PortwestIreland and @GrassrootsToGreenShirts on Facebook or @PortwestIreland and @ConnachtRugby on Twitter to formally enter the competition..
 
The selection committee will be looking for moments that best encapsulates the spirit and ethos of rugby. Successful entries may not necessarily be impressive wins or tries, but the other moments in your club that showcases the great work done at grassroots level.
 

When:
The competition is being run over three two-week windows during the season, with the first back in November, the second starting today, and a final window in March. The second winning moment will be chosen by a selection committee from Connacht Rugby and Portwest on the week of 21st January.
 
What:
The winner of each competition will be awarded €200 worth of rugby equipment thanks of Portwest, and will be go on as a nominee for the overall Rugby Moment of the Season award which will be announced at the Connacht Awards Ball next April. The overall winner will be chosen by a public vote in the lead-up to the night, with the winner receiving the award and a further €500 worth of rugby equipment.
 
CLICK HERE FOR FURTHER DETAILS AND FULL TERMS AND CONDITIONS
 

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