A 91st minute try from Brian Murphy ensured a 26-22 first home win for Galwegians in the Ulster Bank League division 2A over Blackrock College on Saturday.
The visitors started brightly, but struggled in the set-piece where Wegians were awarded two early penalties. Outhalf Morgan Codyre narrowly missed his first effort, but he split the posts on 13 minutes to give the Blues an early lead. They added a try five minutes later when lock Marty Cummins claimed a lineout 10 metres out and finished off a driving maul to lead 8-0.
Blackrock outhalf Peter Quirke slotted an easy penalty after a sloppy restart from the home side, but Rock continued to struggle in the scrum. Two further penalties led to a sin-binning for their replacement prop Dylan Hanney, but Wegians failed to take advantage and could only muster a second Codyre penalty to restore an 8-point lead at the break.
Wegians, however, struck a killer blow within a minute of the restart after veteran centre Brian Murphy charged down a clearance kick, and with some swift handling, he finished in the left corner for a second unconverted try. The Blues looked comfortable in the third quarter, with their dominance in the scrum continuing. Although centre Dave Clarke was held up short of the line, Codyre added another three-pointer for a 19-3 lead on 55 minutes.
However the game turned on its head when Rock centre Stephen Lawton intercepted a loose pass on halfway and raced home to touch down under the posts. Quirke converted to reduce the margin to 19-10. This galvanised the visitors, and minutes later substitute lock Eoin Fanning barged over near the left corner for his side’s second try to close the gap to just four points.
With just minutes remaining Quirke missed the difficult conversion, but it was suddenly very much game on when Rock winger Mark Prendergast made a dazzling break from half way for an excellent individual try, and Quirke's conversion putting them ahead for the first time.
However, there was time for a final twist after referee Oisin Quinn played a lengthy period of stoppage time. From two successive penalties, Murphy crashed over with Codyre converting to secure a valuable win.
GALWEGIANS: D Codyre; R Dempsey, B Murphy, D Clarke, D Carr; M Codyre, R Gaffney; P Curran, J Moloney, J East; M Cummins, E Tarmey; A Ryan (capt ), P Hackett, J Winters, Replacements: C Reilly, M Fox, K Wilson, R Fahy, H Lane.
Galwegians Womens XV made it a double over Blackrock when they won impressively by 22-12 at Crowley Park in the Womens AIL on Sunday.
On a windy day, the Blue Belles enjoyed the elements in the first half as Ciara O'Connor and Edel McMahon crossed for first-half tries, converted by Nicole Fowley. Rock scored one in reply to leave it 12-5 at the break.
Blackrock, with the wind in the second half, came up against a determined Wegian defence. Every time they got some momentum, Wegians turned over the ball. FFowley scored a third try for Wegians, while Blackrock added one of their own to leave it 17-12 entering the final quarter.
However, Wegians finished strongly with another try from Denise Redmond, giving them a valuable bonus point and their first win of the season.