Galwegians grab surivival win, but no luck for others

Galwegians saved their best performance of the season till last, and in producing a stunning seven-try display they ensured survival in the Ulster Bank League division 2a for next season.

It was a super result for Galwegians in what was a mixed campaign for Connacht clubs. Corinthians found themselves relegated from division 2A, as did Buccaneers from division 1A, but Sligo produced a superb season to win claim the division 2C title and now join Corinthians next season in 2B. The north Connacht side was the clear winner over Armagh and Thomond, with superb attacking and defensive statistics and seven try bonus points.

In the round robin for junior clubs Ballina are representing Connacht for a second season. Winning the Connacht League, and junior and Cawley cups this season, Ballina have already grabbed solid 45-26 win over Bandon, but now face two touch fixtures away to Instonians and Ashbourne in their bid to follow Sligo into the Ulster Bank League.

Saturday's opponents at Crowley Park had been in contention for a promotion play-off, but on the day Galwegians took them apart, led at the break by 24-5, and finished 50-15 winners.

Playing with the strong breeze, Wegians scored two early tries to put down a firm marker. The first, in the fourth minute, was initiated by veteran full-back John Cleary who made a break from deep, before scrumhalf Richie Fahey sent Bryan Dixon clear. Although the left-wing was held up in the corner, lock Matt Towey barged over moments later, and outhalf Morgan Codyre converted.

It was even better for Wegians when Cashel failed to deal with a speculative Garryowen, and Fahey took advantage to snipe through for a second try, with Codyre again adding the extras.

However, Cashel's pack began to assert itself, and was rewarded when lock Richard Moran dived over from a ruck for an unconverted try. The Tipperary men continued to pressurise, but from a superb Cleary clearance kick, the Blues pilfered the line-out and forced an offside, with Codyre adding the three points for a 17-5 lead.

Wegians' Ciaran Wilson had to be on his toes to stop Cashel flanker Tommy Anglim, but from turnover ball, Wegians struck a decisive blow coming up to half-time. From an attacking 5m scrum centre Brian Murphy took a great ball from Fahey to dive under the posts for a third converted try.

On 47 minutes the visitors narrowed the gap when Anglim cut a gap and scored to reduce the margin to 24-10, but any hopes of a comeback were dashed when Wegians bagged the vital fourth bonus point try. Props Jason East and Conor Kyne were particularly prominent in the build-up before talented No 8 Michael O’Donnell fed Codyre, who scythed through the cover and converted for a decisive 21-point lead,

Cashel, who needed just a single point to ensure their play-off spot, gave themselves faint hope when Lyons touched down, but he again missed the target, leaving his side with a 16-point deficit to make up.

Instead the home side cut loose. Cleary broke six tackles and sold two dummies to add to the scoresheet, Conor Kyne darted over near the posts for try number six, and replacement Hugh Lane scampered home for the seventh before Codyre brought his personal haul to 20 points.

Galwegians XV: John Cleary, Hugh Lane, Rory Gaffney, Brian Murphy, Dave Clarke, Bryan Dixon, Morgan Codyre, Richie Fahey, Conor Kyne, John Moloney, Jason East, Matt Towey,Anthony Ryan (cpt ), Ciaran Wilson, Paul Hackett, Michael O’Donnell. Subs:Martin Fox, Pa Curran, Jack Winters, Eamon Dowling, Hugh Lane.

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