Galway Tribesmen Rugby League team returned to action at the weekend in the first of a mini All Ireland tournament for 2020, and delivered a winning start.
The Tribesmen fought hard to claim a 16-12 win over the visiting Barracudas at the Claddagh, and they now prepare for their next fixture, also at home, against Cork Bulls on August 15.
In damp and heavy conditions on Saturday, the visiting Barracadas took an early six-point lead, and although the home outfit had the visitors under pressure with some heavy hits, led by captain Matthew Towey and veteran campaigner Andrew Atonio, a series of handling errors gave the initiative back to the Barracudas. Some clever play by the visiting halfbacks created space for Sam Cullen to sneak in for their second try after 20 minutes, and with the conversion slotted, the Carlow men held a 12-0 lead.
However, Peter Ryan's introduction lifted the Galway men, and after sustained pressure near the Barracudas' line, Matthew Towey stretched over for their first points of the game, with Seosamh McDonagh adding he conversion.
The home side maintained the momentum after the break with Andrew Atonio crashing over from short range to add another four points, McDonagh adding the conversion to level the scores.
Despite strong running from debutants Oisin Foden and Ross Maxwell, Tribesmen were unable to add to their tally until they produced a strong surge. When Ryan and McDonagh created a gap, Daithi Joyce slid over for an unconverted try for a 16-12 lead.
Although Barracudas staged a strong rally in the closing stages, Tribesmen clung on to take a well-earned win.