Dispirited Wegians need to regain form

Galwegians suffered their third successive defeat in the Ulster Bank League division 1b when they were comprehensively outgunned by Ulster side Belfast Harlequins by 39 - 15 at Crowley Park on Saturday.

Having lost their opening two games, Wegians were desperate to kick-start their season, but instead coughed up six tries before losing 15 - 39. A poor start did not help. Quins’ debutant scrumhalf Ian Porter broke from the base of a scrum on the 22m line and cut through the defensive cover for the opening try, which fullback Micheal Heaney converted.

Wegians responded well and, although outhalf Tadhg Leader was narrowly wide with a long-range penalty, they were level within five minutes. A box kick by scrumhalf Dave Moore forced an attacking lineout from which flanker Isaac O’Grady crossed for a try, which Leader converted.

Playing with the breeze, Quins dominated the second quarter, winning a series of penalties in the set-piece. Heaney missed two long-range penalty attempts, but in the 30th minute Heaney struck a penalty after Wegians’ centre Brian Murphy was sin-binned for deliberate offside. Wegians looked to have held out, but in the final play of the half Quins’ outhalf Stuart Olding made a break before finding centre Michael Allen who dived over in the right-hand corner for his side’s second try.

Galwegians, however, reduced the deficit with an early second-half penalty, and continued to dominate territory and possession. However they failed to make either count on the scoreboard. The game’s turning point came in the 50th minute when Quins’ flanker Andrew Gillespie finished off finish off a well-worked move near the left-hand corner for try number three, and a 20-10 lead.

Wegians never recovered, and with the penalty count continuing to mount, Quinns were awarded a penalty try after another strong scrum. They then added a fifth when some porous defence allowed right wing Rory Blake-Knox to score on the right.

A dispirited-looking Wegians could only muster a late consolation try from Leader before the visitors strolled in for a sixth on another miserable day for the city side.

Galwegians: J Cleary; R Moore, C Conroy, B Murphy, P Finn; T Leader, D Moore; J East, D Murphy, J Stephens; O Tarmey, B McClearn; I O’Grady, I Muldoon, E McKeon. Subs, J Naughton, L Scahill, C Muldoon, B Lee, G O'Brien.

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