Wegians let lead slip

Galwegians outhalf Mitch Lam on the attack against Ballynahinch in  the Ulster Bank All-Ireland League division 1B game at Crowley Park. Photo:- Mike Shaughnessy

Galwegians outhalf Mitch Lam on the attack against Ballynahinch in the Ulster Bank All-Ireland League division 1B game at Crowley Park. Photo:- Mike Shaughnessy

Galwegians host old rivals Ballymena on Saturday (2.30pm ) in their second successive Ulster Bank League fixture against Ulster opposition at Crowley Park.

And, with just one win from six outings, Galwegians will need to be on their toes against Ballymena, who have already bagged three wins in division 1B this season.

Last Saturday Galwegians suffered another intensely frustrating defeat and left a potential bonus point win behind them in their 30-24 defeat to Ballynahinch at Crowley Park.

Some mesmerising early scores, led by a talented backline, created a 14-point first-half lead, but they capitulated in the second-half, ending up not only scoring four tries, but also conceding four.

Playing with the wind advantage, the Blues soon hit the front on nine minutes when a skip pass from outhalf Mitch Lam fed Cormac Brennan, who outwitted the defence for an excellent unconverted try on the left.

Although Hinch replied with a Johnny McPhillips penalty, the Blues scored a second try when Lam was again the provider and hooker John Moloney finished impressively, with Conor Lowndes converting for a 12-3 lead. A third followed when excellent forward play created another opportunity, and Brennan was sent clear to complete his brace and lead by 17-3.

However the game turned on two key moments. The first came in the 25th minute against the run of play when Wegians coughed up a penalty on the visitors’ 22, and from a quickly-tapped penalty, scrum-half Angus Lloyd raced up the blind side to score. With renewed confidence, Hinch took control and were rewarded when substitute Stewart Evans dotted down under the posts, with McPhillips adding the extras to reduce the gap to 17-15.

Then, just after the break, Wegians lost control in a rolling maul, and from the turnover Hinch resumed their dominance with prop Jonny Simpson posting their third try. Just five minutes later hooker Jonny Murphy cut through for the bonus fourth try and, with another penalty, the visitors led by 30-17.

Wegians tried gallantly to respond, but from one last attack, Connacht centre Rory Parata spotted a gap at the base of a ruck to grab a crucial bonus fourth try, which Lowndes converted.

Galwegians: Cormac Brennan; Ed O'Keeffe, Rory Parata, Dave Clarke, Conor Lowndes; Mitch Lam, Barry Lee; Patrick Curran, John Moloney, Jason East, Matthew Towey, Marc Kelly, Ronan Moore, Josh Pim, Jack Dinneen. Replacements: Doron McHugh, Tadhg Campbell, Paul Hackett, Matthew Byrne, Aidan Moynihan.

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