Poor handling costs Galwegians

In a frustrating afternoon, Galwegians suffered a third successive defeat in the Energia AIL Division 2B League when they were well beaten by hosts Belfast Harlequins on Saturday.

Although the margin of defeat was decisive, it was more a case of missed opportunities and errors, while Harlequins showed more ruthlessness in taking their chances.

The Blues had started reasonably well, and although they lost prop Shane Ryan to an early injury and was replaced by the energetic Conor Kyne, they had a clear advantage in the set-piece. It ensured a host of early penalties, but for all the possession they were unable to make any inroads and never really threatened the opposition 22.

In contrast Quins were threatening with ball in hand, and opened the scoring on 17 minutes when scrum-half Conor McAuley spotted a gap to dart over with Paul Kerr converting before adding a penalty.

Wegians came close to reducing the margin twice before the break, first when flanker Lucas Culliton was stopped five metres short following a strong burst, and shortly afterwards when an excellent rolling maul was turned over just before the line.

It proved costly as Quins stretched their lead on half-time when lock Chris Bennison crashed over on the right to give the hosts a 15-0 lead.

Wegians started the second half with energy and trying to play on the front foot, but coughed up possession time and again with poor passing, while the hosts were not so wasteful. The game was effectively settled on 52 minutes when their captain and full-back Mark Glover saw a gap and finished strongly in the right-hand corner, and Kerr added the conversion for a 22-0 clear.

With Wegians unable to put any consistent attack together, Quins capitalised with a bonus point try after Wegians lock Eoin Tarmey was binned for stopping a quickly tapped penalty near the line. It got worse for the Blues when the impressive Glover finished off a sweeping counter-move on 73 minutes for a fifth try to complete the rout.

There was little consolation for Wegians despite a late try from Matt Towey as they now prepare for a crunch game against an improving Dungannon side at Crowley Park on February 15.

Galwegians XV:S Sibande, A Neary, T Downes, D Faulkner, J Kennedy, E Stranh, R Gaffney, S Ryan, C Reilly, R Lomas, E Tarmey, M Cummins (capt ), L Culliton, P Hackett, K Downey. Subs: A Paton, C Kyne, M Towey, D Hamill, M Parata.


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