Wegians seal first away win

Galwegians secured their first away Ulster Bank League victory of the season when they outscored City of Derry by three tries to two on Saturday.

The 21-13 victory was Galwegians’ third on the trot, helping them to close the gap on the league leaders.

Although the prospects of a first away win looked remote when the home side went into a 13 - 0 lead after 15 minutes, Galwegians found their feet and dominated proceedings thereafter.

The home side started with fire and scored an opening try just four minutes after the start when Derry fullback Peter Henderson collected loose ball in his own half and beat three men before feeding his centre Chris Barber to power in for the opening try.

Minutes later Henderson kicked a penalty after a Barber break brought play into the Wegian 22 and, with the pressure unrelenting, a solid home scrum 15 metres out allowed scrumhalf Andrew Semple to feed outhalf Richard McCarter who dummied and strolled in for a second unconverted try, giving them a 13-0 lead.

Galwegians, however, finally found some structure and began playing more direct rugby, made the tackles count and put real pressure on in the scrum. They were rewarded when Tadgh Leader slotted a 28th minute penalty, and although Derry missed a penalty attempt shortly after, the momentum was with Wegians.

Galwegians opted to kick a penalty to touch and the pack did the rest, mauling over the line with Conor Muldoon claiming the plaudits and, when Derry scrumhalf Semple was sent to the bin, Leader converted the resulting 30m penalty to close the gap to 13-11 at the break.

Wegians continued to hold the initiative and on 44 minutes a blindside move set fullback John Cleary slashing through the defence before sending winger and captain Colin Conroy over in the corner.

It gave Galwegians the lead for the first time in the contest, 16 - 13, but the yellow carding of Leader on 50 minutes for tackling a man without the ball as the Derry player chased a hack through looked like it might swing the game back in favour of the home side.

However an increased work rate and some intelligent use of the ball from Wegians kept them in control and when centre Dave Clarke sent his centre partner Brian Murphy through a gap in the Derry defence, Conroy was set free to score his second and Wegians’ third in the corner to secure a valuable away victory before the Christmas break.

Galwegians: J Cleary, C Conroy, B Murphy, D Clarke, B Lee, T Leader, C O’Rourke, J Naughton, C Muldoon, J East, A Ryan, B McClearn, R Fitzgerald, I Muldoon, E Rooney.


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