Incentives remain for Connacht clubs in derby clash

Galwegians and Buccaneers renew rivalry on Saturday in a crucial fixture for both sides in this season’s Ulster Bank League division 1B.

Buccaneers, currently in fourth place, are one of six clubs which could still attain promotion to division 1A next season. They enjoyed a 12-6 victory over Galwegians earlier in the season and they will travel to Crowley Park on Saturday with huge incentive. They enjoyed an expected bonus-point win over bottom placed UCC last weekend, while Galwegians suffered at the hands of promotion-chasing Dungannon.

But with just two games remaining, Galwegians, currently in seventh place, desperately need another win to stay safe from relegation. After a bumpy start to the season, they came good last November, but they have suffered losses in their two previous games which has ensured a difficult end to their season once again.

In division 2A Corinthians complete their season with an away visit to Instonians, and it is hard to see the Galway outfit losing this fixture against a side second from bottom.

Last Saturday Galwegians lost 36 - 10 to Dungannon at Stevenson Park.

Dungannon led from start to finish, building a 22-3 cushion at half time, before grabbing another two tries and the bonus point to consolidate second place in the league.

Dominant from the start, an early Michael Lawton penalty put them in front before left-wing Stuart McCloskey showed great pace to finish in the corner for the game’s opening try.

Although Wegians tried to get into the game, they were unable to make any impression or sustain any continuity and, ominously, their forwards were unable to gain any dominance over their opposition.

They were able to keep the hosts at bay until the half hour mark, but two quick tries before half-time effectively put paid to this contest. Centre Paul McKenzie set up Ireland u-21 captain Paddy Jackson for try number two, which Lawton converted for a 15- lead. And moments later fullback Conor Gaston made a break from inside his own 22 to score a great individual try. Lawton’s extras ensured the hosts were out of sight at 22-0.

Galwegians finally got on the scoreboard in the 45th minute when Tadhg Leader landed a penalty. But the rampant hosts bagged their bonus fourth try from Lawton.

Wegians did manage to score a consolation try late on when Dermot Murphy emerged with the ball over the line, with Leader adding the conversion. But Dungannon had the final say when their dominant scrum led to a penalty try in the final minute.

Galwegians XV: T Leader; M Dever, C Conroy, B Murphy; R Burke; D Clarke, D Moore; J Naughton, D Murphy, J Stephens;E Tarmey, B McClearn; I O’Grady, I Muldoon,E McKeon. Subs: J East, C O’Connell, R Fitzgerald, G O’Brien, R Shaughnessy.


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