Galwegians can take a break from Ulster Bank League action for the Christmas break with improved confidence after racking up their third win on the trot.
After a dismal start to the season, Galwegians have moved off the bottom of the division 1B table to eighth place and, although still third from bottom, they are now within striking distance of the mid table. Both UCD and UL Bohs are just one point ahead, and this will provide the Galway outfit with a huge incentive when they entertain UL Bohs on January 7 in their first match of 2012. In between Galwegians will face local rivals Corinthians in the Connacht Senior Cup semi-final on December 17 at Crowley Park.
Last weekend they were clearly dominant over bottom-of-the-table UCC, claiming their second bonus-point win in this 41-18 result. However they were forced to overcome a 15 - 3 deficit after a poor start when the students grabbed two tries and a penalty within 15 minutes.
The lively students ran the ball at every opportunity and, although Wegians’ outhalf Matthew Jarvis replied to Cormac O’Flynn’s opening penalty, the visitors took their chances. The bigger Wegian pack had created opportunities, but it was the students who crossed the whitewash first when Will Ryan raced in from the 10 metre line. Minutes later the home side gifted UCC winger Oscar O’Suilleabhain a chance to hack the ball clear and race home unopposed for a second try, which O’Flynn converted for a 15 -3 lead.
However the home side responded well. Centre Tagdh Leader galvanised the attack when catching a Jarvis garryowen and, after three phases, John Cleary crossed in left corner, with Jarvis adding the extras. The hosts then took the lead when another break by Cleary set up Barry Lee, and Jarvis’ well struck conversion edged Galwegians in front 17-15.
The home side continued to dominate with their pack forcing a penalty try for a 24-15 lead at the break.
Although O’Flynn narrowed the gap immediately after the restart with a penalty, Wegians gained the bonus fourth try in the 53rd minute when captain Ivan Muldoon claimed the touchdown from an unstoppable rolling maul. Jarvis, who did not miss a kick all day, again converted and added a late penalty before a Cleary break was finished by debutant substitute Calum O’Connell.
Galwegians XV: J Cleary; C Conroy, B Murphy, T Leader; B Lee; M Jarvis, D Moore; J Naughton, D Murphy, J Stephens; E Tarmey, B McClearn; I O’Grady, I Muldoon, E McKeon. Subs: J East, C Muldoon, C O’Connell, P Finn, R Shaughnessy.