Galwegians returned to winning ways at the weekend, but now face a tough assignment away to promotion-chasing Belfast Harlequins.
Currently level on points with leaders Ballynahinch, Harlequins have lost just three games to date in the Ulster Bank League’s division 1b, and they will test Galwegians’ character on Saturday in Belfast.
The Galway outfit will need to convert all opportunities if they are to claim a fourth victory this season and continue to distance themselves from the relegation zone. Last weekend they won a vital clash by 10 - 5 against visitors Bruff at Crowley Park which put them five points clear of Bruff who remain second from bottom in the table.
Both sides went into the game with much at stake - just two points seperated the sides. Wegians set out their stall early with domination at scrum time. Although outhalf Tadhg Leader missed two penalties, the Blues eventually made their dominance pay on 25 minutes when a well-worked lineout maul saw flanker Ivan Muldoon score his fifth try of the season.
The visitors, having spurned earlier opportunities, drew level on 50 minutes, with No 8 Paddy Clery finishing off a forward drive out wide.
Wegians regained the initiative and the winning score came in the 68th minute when Leader burst down the wing, leaving the defensive cover in his tracks to score an excellent try. Having injured his ankle in the act of scoring, captain John Cleary took over the kicking duties but he too failed to land the conversion midway between the touchline and posts.
Galwegians XV: J Cleary; B Lee, C Conroy, B Murphy; P Finn; T Leader, D Moore; J East, D Murphy, J Stephens; D O’Hara, B McClearn; TJ Anderson, I Muldoon, E McKeon. Subs: E Tarmey, P Griffin, C Muldoon, M Dever, R Shaughnessy.
Corinthians to take their chance at home
Corinthians have a perfect opportunity to return to mid table when they host relegation-threatened Clonakility at Cloonacauneen in Saturday’s Ulster Bank League division 2b.
Corinthians dropped two places last weekend with a 14 - 0 loss away to Terenure, but they should be able to account for this weekend’s visitors to move up from their current ninth place into a mid-table position.
With four wins from their nine outings, Corinthians have stuttered recently, but they will be favourites to account for the County Cork side that has only mustered a single win this season.
Last weekend both Corinthians and Terenure served up a dour affair in this first match since the Christmas break. Right winger Brian Dickson had an opportunity midway through the half, but for a try-saving tackle by Terenure fullback Conor Gildea, while Corinthians winger Darren Classens pulled off a similar save at the other end. Scoreless at half time, the home side made the breakthrough after Corinthians were penalised and, from a penalty to touch, scrumhalf Mark O Neill side-stepped the Corinthian back row for their first try, which McAllister converted.
Corinthians created their opportunities, but failed to capitalise before centre Andy Wallace grabbed a second for Terenure.
Corinthians: F Bealham (J Burton ), K O’Byrne, D Small (T Tolan ), P Cunningham, G Ward, A Casanova, S Geraghty, L Bertini, N Murphy, C Murphy, B Dickson, O Daly, F Gormley, D Classens, D Palmer.