Galwegians retained the Connacht Senior League crown with an emphatic 38-11 win over city rivals Corinthians at Cloonacauneen on Saturday.
Running in five tries, Galwegians were on the offensive from the kick-off and were rewarded when early forward pressure allowed flanker Eoin Tarmey to dive over for the game’s opening try, which outhalf Ross Shaughnessy converted.
Despite playing against the wind, Corinthians opened their account with a 15th minute penalty from Philip Maher, but Shaughnessy restored Wegians’ seven-point lead with a similar effort.
Although dominating matters, Wegians struggled to add to their score, and were instead punished for not rolling away, allowing Maher to stroke over a second penalty on 30 minutes.
However the visitors finally made the breakthrough in the 35th minute when wing Colin Conroy, came off his wing and sliced through the cover before feeding left-wing Matt Dever who dived over for an excellent try. Shaughnessy landed a superb touchline conversion to give the Blues a 17-6 half-time lead.
Corinthians, with the wind, returned from the break with all guns blazing. And with Wegians down to 14 players, the hosts won a series of close-in penalties as they laid seige on the line. However Galwegians held out, turned the ball over, and when Corinthians had a player sin-binned,Wegians took immediate advantage.
Dever showed great pace to race through from the 22 to grab his second try, which Shaughnessy converted, and when prop Jason East punctured the home defence setting up centre Gary O’Brien for the fourth try, Galwegians led by 31-6.
Brian Murphy added a fifth try with Shaughnessy landing his sixth conversion, before Corinthian flanker Arron Broderick got in for a try at the death.
GALWEGIANS: JP Jefferys; C Conroy, B Murphy, G O’Brien, M Dever; R Shaughnessy, M Connolly; J East, R Fitzgerald, D McHugh; A Ryan, B McClearn; E Tarmey, P Hackett, MCummins. Replacements: M Towey, J Naughton, S Madden, R Moore, C Dunne.
Galwegian RFC Youth Academy kicks off on Saturday (September 6 ) at 10am.
Although several squads have been pre-season training for some weeks, Saturday sees the return of the mini rugby players, ranging from six years to 12.
The club’s underage section has continued to flourish with some 470 registered players last season. As always the mini rugby emphasis is on providing a fun and safe environment for boys and girls to learn the game, while the club boasts at least one squad for each age group from 13 to 18. Galwegians is hoping to build on last season’s success, winning the u-15 Connacht Cup, and runners-up in the All Ireland u-17 competition. New members are welcome.