Galwegians make it two wins in a row with victory over strong Cashel team

Galwegians secured an impressive win away to a strong Cashel side to make it two wins on the bounce in the Ulster Bank League Division 2a.

This game was always going to be test of ‘Wegians’ promotion prospects, as the Tipperarymen are a hard nut to crack at home, having lost only once at Spafield last year. And having lost their first away league fixture, albeit against promotion favourites Ballymena, the Blues knew they could ill-afford to lose another game on their travels.

The wet and blustery conditions would have suited the visitors and their strong forward unit, but they met an impressive home pack who were giving as good as they got in the earlier exchanges. However ‘Wegians gradually began to exert their influence, and indeed it was the forwards who created the breakthrough on 26 minutes. A trademark ‘Wegians rolling maul off a lineout saw them work their way up to the line, with their two props combining as Ja Naughton fed Doran McHugh who dived over for the opening try. Out-half Ross Shaughnessy converted, but just before the break the hosts opened their account with a penalty from winger Darragh O’Brien to leave it 7-3 at half time.

Cashel started the second half with a slight breeze advantage, and a second penalty from O’Brien on 45 minutes reduced the gap to a single point. However the game began to open up more, and it was the Blues who seized the initiative. A good break by centre Jerome Harrimate on 50 minutes set up an attacking line-out, and a clean take and quick ball to the backs saw full-back John Cleary enter the line and score his side’s second try near the corner on his first AIL start of the season to give the Blues a 12-6 cushion.

However they had to wait till the 72nd minute to make the game safe with their third try, and it came following an explosive burst by centre Brian Murphy who found a gap through the opposition centre, and the Shrule native could not be caught as he raced home to touch down under the posts. Cleary converted to make it 19-6.

‘Wegians had a chance to secure a vital bonus point fourth try late on when a penalty scrum under the posts was shunting forward towards the Cashel try line. However referee Richard Kerr bizarrely ordered ‘Wegians No 8 Dan McCabe to play the ball early, and the Kerryman was turned over and Cashel cleared their lines. ‘Wegians saw two late sin-binnings for locks Brian McClearn and Anthony Ryan, and this let the visitors back into the game. In the 75th minute they scored a consolation try when O’Brien finished off a break by back-row John Ed O’Connor. And although the conversion was missed, O’Brien was given the chance to redeem himself in the last minute with a penalty, which he duly landed to secure a losing bonus point and a finishing scoreline of 19-14.

So ‘Wegians came home with a deserved four points which they would certainly have settled for at the start of the game, but felt slightly disappointed not to have gained a bonus point in the process. This makes it two wins out of three for the Blues who are up to seventh place in the League. Next Saturday November 2 they have an important home fixture against Queen’s University who currently lie in third place, just a solitary point ahead of ‘Wegians.

Galwegians XV:

1.Jarlath Naughton

2. Conor Muldoon

3. Doran McHugh

4. David Nolan

5. Brian McClearn (captain )

6. Eoin Rooney

7. Eddie Earl

8. Dan McCabe

9. Barry Lee

10. Ross Shaughnessy

11. Ronan Moore

12. Brian Murphy

13. Jerome Harimate

14. Colin Conroy

15. John Cleary

Subs:

16. Caolin Blade

17. David Clarke

18. Ross Fitzgerald

19. Anthony Ryan

20. Jason East

 

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