Galwegians, semi-finalists last year, ensured they continued their advance in this year’s AIB Cup with a 14 - 3 win over division three outfit Nenagh Ormond.
This was anything but champagne cup fare on a bitter Sunday afternoon, but Galwegians, although rarely troubled by a side struggling in division three, ground out the necessary result at Crowley Park.
They will now face will host Ballynahinch at Crowley Park in the quarter-finals on February 14/15 in what will be a difficult assignment. Ballynahinch, the recently crowned Ulster Senior League champions and current leaders of division two, created the shock of the last round when they knocked out holders Shannon.
Buccaneers, who produced a strong second half against UL Bohemians last week, travel to Garryowen who scored a 15-9 win away to Bective Rangers, while in the AIB Junior Cup, Westport will have home advantage over Tullamore.
Galwegians cannot take Ballynahinch lightly, and certainly they will need to up their game from last Saturday.
As expected they dominated the opening half despite playing into the strong wind, and their superiority at the breakdown where Nenagh conceded penalties, ensured they were on the front foot. However Nenagh had their chances and Connacht’s John Hearty was called on to stop a possible try early on before the visitors opened the scoring with a penalty from John Lillis.
However they could not add to the score as Galwegians’ superior line-out and scrum kept them on the back foot. Instead fullback Rob O’Beirne, who had missed an earlier penalty, struck his side’s opening points on 34 minutes before centre Chris Brigl grabbed the game’s only try just before the break.
Two O’Beirne penalties in quick succession after the restart should have propelled Galwegians. Instead Nenagh proved a gritty outfit. Dominating for long periods, they were adept at keeping the ball in hand and could have scored following an intercept and breakaway but for a forward pass.
Galwegians: R O'Beirne (C O’Beirne, 53 ); J Cleary, C Brigl, C Rodgers (B Lee, 60 ), J Hearty; M Brandon, T Ellard; I Cullinane, I Muldoon (capt. ), D Boyd (R Dodd, 65 ); L Scahill, D Nolan; J Stephens (B McGovern, 60 ), C Muldoon (A O’Sullivan, 50 ), J Naughten.