The Galway Tribesmen Rugby League team earned a hard fought victory against the Dublin City Exiles last Saturday at South Park, The Claddagh. The match was billed as a tough, thrilling, encounter and it did not disappoint.
The Tribesmen kicked off to the Exiles in customary breezy conditions at South Park and very quickly had the Exiles defending in their own danger zone. However, strong defence by the Dublin team denied the Galway men any chance of scoring in the early stages.
Strong running by both sets of forwards and tenacious defence provided a precarious seesaw battle for the first quarter of the game and it was not until the 25th minute that Seosamh McDonagh broke the deadlock for the Tribesmen to register four points. McDonagh converted his own try to give the Tribesmen a six point lead. The big Tribesmen forwards, in particularly Terry Abayomi and Enda Stanford, continued to build a platform and it was not long before they registered another score through centre Paddy Finn.
The Galway men began to get a grip on the game and sustained pressure led to further scores from James 'Junior’ Kennedy and Rory Murphy. With the conversions added by McDonagh, the Tribesmen were ahead 22-0 and this is how the score remained until half time.
The second half commenced as the first half had ended, with all the pressure on the Exiles' line. Once again, McDonagh scored and converted his own try. After a near perfect defensive effort for close to 60 minutes by the Galway men, the Exiles mounted a serious fight back and started making huge inroads in the Tribesmen defence.
A superb individual effort by John Rhattigan gave the Exiles their first points of the game, and the Dublin men followed this with another brace of tries in quick succession, and before long the scores were 28-18 to the Tribesmen. The Galway side, however, recovered a bit of composure and some clever footwork from Ryan Guilfoyle allowed him to skip through the Exiles' defensive line. Myles Upton added another score not long afterwards and with the two points added the scores were now at 38-18.
The Exiles tried to extend their points haul in the closing stages with some good pressure on the Tribesmen goal line but were unable to add to their tally and the game ended 38-18 to the home team.
After back to back wins at home, the Tribesmen are on the road again next Saturday when they travel to Athboy RLFC in County Meath in an attempt to register a hat trick of consecutive victories.