Galwegians claimed their second junior cup title in three years at the Sportsground on Sunday with a comprehensive 35-15 victory over Westport, adding to their Connacht Junior 1B League title.
Westport, who took control up front, enjoyed the better start, and were on the front foot, particularly at the breakdown where Galwegians were forced to concede a host of penalties. However Westport were unable to capitalise with outhalf Matt Dempsey missing an early penalty before finding his range after 30 minutes when Wegian prop Paul Griffin was sent to the bin.
However Westport failed to take advantage of their numerical superiority and it was Wegians who launched an immediate riposte when fullback Ciaran Gaffney capitalised on some sloppy Westport defence to score the game’s opening try, which Conor Lowndes converted. And when Westport scrumhalf Paul Jennings was sinbinned for illegal use of the boot, Lowndes extended the lead to 10-3 at half time.
Wegians struck a killer blow immediately after the resumption when Lowndes pounced for a second try, and converted.
The Mayomen responded well when a superb break from Tobin drew the cover and Dempsey crossed for an excellent try, which he converted to reduce arrears to 17-10.
However almost immediately Lowndes landed a penalty before Wegians put the game out of reach when Lowndes fed substitute winger Dave Butler, who finished impressively from near halfway. Lowndes landed another superb conversion, and shortly afterwards he added a third penalty to put Wegians out of sight at 30-10.
Westport never gave up the fight,and, with two minutes remaining, they were rewarded with a second try when centre Andrew McAleer cut through to touch down out wide, but yet again the Blues responded when centre Matt Dever intercepted a loose pass on halfway and scored in the corner to seal a memorable season for the Galway club.
Galwegians: C Gaffney; R Burke, S Madden, M Dever, E O’Mahony; D Clarke, E Lowndes; C Kyne, C Gavin, P Griffin; C O’Malley, J Healy; M Towey, N Dillon, J Dinneen. Replacements: D Deegan for Healy; D Butler for O’Mahoney; D Symes for Madden; S Perkins for Dillon; S McGrath for C Kyne.
Westport: M Dempsey; E Joyce, D Corcoran, A McAleer, K Corcoran; S Tobin, P Jennings; J Dever, J O’Connor, P Kennedy; T Dever, E Dunning; D Keane, M Ryder, L Scahill. Replacements: M Walsh for P Kennedy; C Dyra for O’Connor; C Hastings for Keane, D O’Toole for Joyce, M Brady for Ryder.