Galwegians secured a second consecutive bonus point win at home when they ran out comfortable 36-12 winners over bottom-of-the-table Ballina in the Energia AIL Division 2B at Crowley Park on Saturday.
Fresh from their win over Malahide, Wegians came into this game in confident mood, and opened the scoring after five minutes. A solid set-piece was the platform before winger Hugh Lane found himself in space before sending Diarmuid Kilgallen through, giving Ewan Strang an easy conversion. By the 15th minute they doubled their lead with a second converted try - a midfield break by Mikey O’Donnell setting up Danny Faulkner to touch down, with Strang adding the extras.
Ballina, however, used their big pack at every opportunity, and after a period of sustained pressure and penalty scrums, Ballina got back into the game with their opening try in the 26th minute, when flanker Fergal Tully rounded off a series of pick and goes by crossing towards the left. Outhalf Dylan Prendergast added the extras to reduce the margin to 14-7.
However this was as good as it got for the visitors as the Blues took control, threatening out wide every time they won possession. Fullback Conor O’Shaughnessy cleverly ran through a gap before Strang sped down the left touchline to cross near the corner-flag for an unconverted try. The game was effectively ended on the stroke of half-time when a lineout maul was finished off by the impressive prop Ryan Lomas, giving his side a 24-7 advantage at the break.
Wegians coach Andrew Browne will have been impressed his side did not take their foot off the gas in the second half, Ronan Moore feeding impressive No 8 Kieran Downey for the fifth try. The sixth try again came from some slick backline play when Faulkner threw a delightful back door pass to winger Sanz Sibande, whose speed left the cover for dead as he dived under the posts for his fourth try of the AIL campaign.
While Ballina's only reward was a consolation try from sub forward Mar Walker, Galwegians' win has moved them mid table.
This game served as an AIL and Connacht Senior Cup double-header, and as a result Wegians next game is the Connacht Senior Cup semi-final at home to Sligo this Saturday/Across the city, Corinthians RFC had a similar result, overcoming Dungannon 37-14 at Corinthian Park. They now move up the division 2b table to third.
Galwegians XV : C O’Shaughnessy, S Sibande, D Kilgallen, D Faulkner, H Lane, E Strang, R Gaffney, S Hyland, C Reilly, R Lomas, E Tarmey, M Cummins (c ), J Dunne, M O’Donnell, K Downey. Subs: A Paton, C Kyne, R Moore, J Kennedy, S Browne.