Galwegians ended their three-game losing streak with a 31-19 bonus point win over Malahide RFC at Crowley Park on Saturday in the Energia AIL division 2B.
Having come close the previous week away to Blackrock, Wegians were in confident mood, but suffered a poor start when gifting their opponents two tries in the opening quarter.
Malahide's powerful scrum caused trouble early on, and they hit the front in the fourth minute, catching the home defence napping when winger Gary Robb dived over in the right corner. Wegians had a chance to level when the pack was pummelling the Malahide line, only for an accidental offside to undo what looked like a certain score.
And it got worse for Wegians when the visitors grabbed their second try when Malahide’s No 8 Brendan Guilfoyle helped himself to unguarded ball, and ran 60 yards upfield. Although hauled down in the 22, the visiting pack picked and jammed before prop Reece O’Connell grounded the ball over the line, and Adam Kennedy added the extras for a 12-0 lead.
Wegians, however, replied quickly, after charging down clearance kick from restart. From an attacking lineout, the Blues inched their way forward, with the returning Mikey O’Donnell grabbing his sixth try of the season, and outhalf Ewan Strang converting.
The visitors were denied a third try for a forward pass, and this proved a turning point. The home side gained momentum and Strang struck an excellent kick to narrow the margin to 12-10.
Returning prop Conor Kyne’s half-time introduction had a noticeable impact in the scrums, and on 50 minutes the Blues hit the front fafter impressive No 8 Kieran Downey threw a dummy, worked space for his outside numbers, before young fullback Conor O’Shaughnessy found the supporting prop Ryan Lomas who burst over the line to touch down, with Strang nudging his side 17-12 ahead.
The introduction of Ireland seThe Blues then struck a decisive blow in the 69th minute when replacement winger Hugh Lane chipped ahead before dribbling the ball over the line for a try, which Strang once again converted for 24-12 lead. Winger Sanz Sibande grabbed the bonus fourth try with Strang landing his fifth kick from six attempts, and although Sean Halligan crossed for the visitors, it did not prevent Galwegians from bagging a much-needed bonus point win to move up the table.
Next up for Galwegians is a home tie against Connacht neighbours Ballina on Saturday at Crowley Park, kick-off 2.30pm, which will also double up as a Connacht Senior Cup double-header.
Galwegians XV: Conor O’Shaughnessy, Sandile Sibande, Diarmuid Kilgallen, Daniel Faulkner, James Kenned, Ewan Stran, Rory Gaffney, Stephen Hyland, Christy Reilly, Ryan Lomas, Eoin Tarmey, Marty Cummins (c ), Josh Dunne, Michael O’Donnell, Kieran Downey. Subs: Andrew Paton, Conor Kyne, Paul Hackett, Eamonn Dowling, Hugh Lane.