More agony and frustration for Galwegians in the Ulster Bank League division 2A when they suffered another emphatic defeat, 40-18, this time at the hands of second-placed Highfield.
The home side was completely in command in Crowley Park, and full value for a 13-0 lead at half-time. However a collapse in the third quarter saw the game turned on its head as the Corkmen ran in five tries in 13 minutes.
Although missing leading players, in particular prop Jason East and centre Brian Murphy, the Blues played all the rugby in the opening half. With their scrum on top where the returning loose-head Conor Kyne put in a great shift, outhalf Morgan Codyre kicked two penalties on 17 and 25 minutes to put his side 6-0 to the good.
The visitors offerd little threat and the Blues deservedly stretched their lead with the opening try after 30 minutes from a penalty kick to the corner with impressive scrum-half Richie Fahy sniping over on the left. Codyre landed tehh sideline conversion to give his side a 13-point buffer approaching half-time. The second-half started ominously for the Blues when an unforced error from the restart handed the opposition an attacking scrum. Wegians lost prop Kyne who was confined to a 40 minute run-out on his return to action, while the visitors sprang USA international prop Paddy Ryan from the bench. This turned the game , giving Highfleld the upper hand at scrum-time.
The visitors made hard work of scoring their opening try, but it eventually came on 50 minutes when some further errors saw Wegians unable to escape from their own 22, and substitute Ryan barrelled over under the posts for his side’s first try which was converted by Chris Banon.
Three minutes later and disaster struck for Wegians when a pass from Codyre on halfway was intercepted by Highfield’s Fintan O’Sullivan, and the powerful lock raced home to score his side’s second try. Straight from the restart, Highfield scored again, waltzing through the midfield defence. Despite what looked like a forward pass, player-coach Timmy Ryan barged over the line, Bannon adding the extras for a 19-13 lead.
Within five minutes the rout was complete with another two tries from winger David O'Sullivan and prop Ryan to seal the bonus and put themselves out of sight.
It was a devastating 13 minutes of rugby which was harrowing for this young Wegians side, but they battled on gamely and grabbed a late consolation score when hooker John Moloney finished off a well-worked line-out move in the corner. However Highfield had the final say when referee Chris Busby awarded a penalty try.
This Saturday they face the same opposition, only away in Cork. Other results meant Wegians slipped to bottom of the League table to complete a miserable afternoon for the Blues.
Galwegians XV: D Codyre, D Carr, B Dixon, D Clarke, J Coen, M Codyre, R Fahey, C Kyne, J Moloney, M Fox, E Tarmey, M Cummins, C Torpey, P Hackett, M Towey. Subs: P Curran, R Mooney, J Winters, R Gaffney, E Dowling.