Galwegians opened their Ulster Bank League division 2A account with a three-try victory over Bective Rangers at Crowley Park on Saturday.
Wegians enjoyed a great start off when, after six minutes, fullback Darragh Leader bamboozled the cover to score under the posts, with outhalf Dave Clarke adding the extras for a 7-0 lead.
However Wegians struggled to impose their will on the determined visitors who worked their way back into the game. Bective outhalf Barry Lynn landed a 20th minute penalty to reduce arrears, and in a tense, error-ridden half, he added a second just before half time when Wegians flanker Jonathan Gardiner was penalised for tackling a lineout jumper in the air.
Leader attempted to restore the four-point lead with a long-range penalty against the breeze on the stroke of half time, but it landed just short of the posts, giving the Blues a lead by the narrowest of margins.
Wegians started the second half at a gallop and forced a yellow card infringement from openside flanker Dave Daly. Leader slotted the ensuing penalty to restore a four-point margin.
Although Wegians piled on the pressure, Bective held firm until their superiority in the scrum was rewarded with a penalty try on 55 minutes, which Leader converted for a 17-6 lead. Two minutes later, following a turnover in loose play, scrumhalf Barry Lee’s super pass set Ronan Moore away on the 10 metre line and the winger scorched over in the corner for a 22 - 6 lead.
Wegians seemed to score try number four when Rooney touched down after a series short drives, but referee Barry O’Connell was unsighted. Instead Bective broke out of defence and scored a try through veteran Lynn with the last play of the game.
Galwegians XV: D Leader, R Moore, J Cleary, G O’Brien, D Butler, D Clarke, B Lee, J Naughton, C Muldoon (capt ), J East, A Ryan, B McClearn, J Gardiner, I Muldoon, E Rooney, Subs: C O’Rourke, R Burke, R Fitzgerald, M Duncan, P Griffin.