City clubs to go head-to-head in Division 2A of All-Ireland LeagueSeptember 25, 2012 - 7:00am
For the first time since the late 1990s, Galwegians and Corinthians will compete in the same division of the Ulster Bank League this season, which gets underway this coming weekend.
The November 9 meeting on a Friday night under the new lights at Crowley Park promises to be one of the club games of the season in the province, but there is a bigger picture to all this.
This derby comes in the wrong division for both clubs, and losing focus on the bigger picture could prove costly. Galwegians suffered relegation from Division 1B in heartbreaking fashion at the end of last season, while Corinthians just missed out on promotion, so both understandably have promotion aspirations.
For Galwegians coach Colm Rigney (in his second year), a huge task awaits. In fact, dealing with the completely different landscape that awaits in the 16 team division will be a challenge. The 10-team Division 1B has home-and-away match-ups and room for mistakes. Division 2B is 15 games with very little breathing space.
The Sky Blues start away on Saturday to Terenure College (2.30pm), who have been making good ground in the Leinster Senior League Cup in the past month and seem ready to pounce. Full Connacht contracted players cannot play in this league, although Development and Academy contracted players can. This will hamper ‘Wegians slightly but doesn’t have to be a huge issue as it was mostly Development players who came in last season.
Corinthians of course are used to that situation and under new coach Phil Pretorious they are shaping up well ahead of their opening game, at homer to DLSP on Saturday (2.30pm). While Galwegians finished joint top of the Connacht Senior League, winning four games out of five, their rivals probably gained more from the experience with half the wins, with Saturday’s 20-18 win over at Galwegians being the stand out result.
For more, read this week's Connacht Sentinel.