Galwegians delivered a decisive blow to opponents Ballymena in the fight for UBL League honours when they edged the home side by 25-17 on Saturday.
Galwegians, having lost the corresponding fixture in Glenina by a single point, produced a performance of real determination to grind out a bonus-point victory in a seven-try contest at Eaton Park.
Outhalf Aidan Moynihan gave them an early 3-0 lead with a well-taken drop goal, but Ballymena went in front when right wing Jordan Foster finished off a move for the first try of the game. However Wegians responded swiftly when centre Brian Murphy finished off a move in the corner to restore the three-point lead.
The hosts capitalised when Wegians lost prop Doron McHugh and hooker Ciaran Gavin with arm injuries and prop Dave Ryan crossed for his side’s second try, which outhalf Richie McMaster converted.
But befor the break Wegians centre Rory Parata beat the on-rushing defence, and after six phases, he finished off with an unconverted try for a 13-12 lead at the break.
When Wegians lost No 8 Matt Towey to the sinbin on 46 minutes, they produced some magnificent defence to protect their lead, but Ballymena regained the lead when winger Johnny Rosborough caught a speculative cross-kick by McMaster to give his side a 17-13 lead.
Barely five minutes later Wegians went back in front when a solid maul laid the platform, and fullback John Cleary finished off out wide, nudging his team 18-17 in front. With the momentum, Moynihan claimed the all-important bonus try, which he converted for a vital eight-point cushion.
GALWEGIANS XV: J Cleary; M Dever, B Murphy, R Parata, J Harrimate; A Moynihan, B Lee; J Naughton (capt ), C Gavin, D McHugh; M Cummins, A Ryan; P Hackett, J Pimm, M Towey. Replacements, C Blade, G O’Brien, E Tarmey, R Fitzgerald, K Kyne.