Galwegians suffered yet more heartache on the road when a late penalty from UL Bohs robbed them of what would have been a vital and hard-earned victory by 18-16 at the UL 4G pitch on Saturday.
Scoring chances were few and far between in the opening quarter, but the breakthrough came on 25 minutes when a clever kick from Bohs outhalf Robbie Bourke forced a line-out near the Wegians' 5m line, and flanker Noel Kinnane capitalised on a misfiring Wegians lineout to dive over from the base of a ruck for the opening try. Kiwi centre Rick McKenna tagged on the conversion for a 7-0 lead.
Wegians had plenty possession and territory, but were unable to make it count with some poor execution and decision-making, and it did not help when captain Brian Murphy and No 8 Eoghan Masterson were yellow carded and Bourke gave his side a 10-0 lead at half-time lead.
The hosts took advantage of their numerical superiority when Bohs' centre Harry Fleming spotted a gap and cut through to dot down near the right-hand corner, pushing the lead to 15-0.
Wegians gradually began to exert some control, opening their account on 49 minutes with a well-struck penalty from outhalf Morgan Codyre. And with Masterson also returning from the bin, Wegians took control. Halfbacks Conor Lowndes and Codyre were able to use the slight wind, and when Lowndes seized turnover ball to hack forward, this created another simple penalty in front of the posts which Codyre slotted. A minute later he added another when Murphy was the victim of a high tackle.
Wegians’ self-belief visibly rose and on 70 minutes they took the lead when the pack created the platform, and a powerful surge by lock Peter Claffey was finished when winger Ciaran Gaffney was sent clear and dived over for an excellent score out wide. Codyre nailed the conversion and put his side in front by the slenderest of margins.
However when the Blues were then penalised at the breakdown, James Lennon put Bohs back in front. Galwegians tried everything in the final minutes to get the win. Codyre was wide with a drop-goal attempt shortly before a last-gasp breakaway by Gaffney gave Wegians one final chance. His pass to centre Rory Parata was slapped down by a retreating defender which cost the hosts a yellow card. However Wegians spurned the opportunity to have a long-distance attempt at the posts, instead going up the line. Despite securing their lineout ball safely, their maul was dragged into touch and with that their chance was gone.
Next up for the Blues is an absolute must-win game against bottom of the table Dolphin on Saturday March 25 (kick-off 2.30pm ).
GALWEGIANS: Aidan Moynihan; Ciaran Gaffney, Rory Parata, Brian Murphy (capt ), Darragh Leader; Morgan Codyre, Conor Lowndes; Dom Robertson-McCoy, John Moloney, Martin Fox; Eoin Tarmey, Peter Claffey; Marc Kelly, Josh Pim, Eoghan Masterson. Replacements: Doron McHugh, Patrick Curran, Matt Towey, Eamonn Dowling, Dave Clarke.