Galwegians entertain UL Bohemians in an early season table-toppng clash in the Ulster Bank League division 1B fixture at Crowley park on Saturday (2.30pm ).
Matt Brown’s charges are currently top of the league after two rounds - two points clear of the chasing pack due to two try bonus points. But in UL Bohs they face one of only three teams unbeaten to date.
While Wegians have shown their potency in attack, they have also leaked 42 points in two matches, and Brown will be demanding an improved defensive display from the team.
Last weekend they saw off Shannon by 29-25, surviving a late scare from the home side, who were first off the mark with an early Tadhg Bennett penalty.
The Blues eventually began to assert themselves and were rewarded when last season’s division 2a Player of the Year Jerome Harrimate scored the opening try, which was converted by Clarke for a 7-3 lead.
The turning point came on the half-hour mark when Matt Dever intercepted a loose pass and galloped home from inside his own half to score his second try of the UBL campaign. Clarke again added the extras to put the Blues 14-3 clear.
Although Bennett added a second penalty just before the break, Harrimate claimed his second try of the game after the restart to give the visitors a 19-6 lead. Dominating the third quarter, centre Brian Murphy scored try number four, with Clarke converting for a 26-6 lead.
When Wegians were reduced to 14 men for the second time in the contest, Shannon took advantage. A 68th minute try by Ciaran Cunnane and a Bennett conversion pegged it back to 26-13 before a Clarke penalty in the 72nd minute once again gave the visitors a 16-point cushion.
However Shannon never gave up, claimed a second try in the 77th minute following a blockdown, and with Galwegians receiving another two late yellow cards, Conor Cunnane scored a third try for Shannon in stoppage time with Bennett reducing the margin to just four points.
GALWEGIANS: J Cleary; J Harrimate, B.Murphy, G.O’Brien, M Dever; D Clarke, C Blade; D McHugh, R Fitzgerald, J East; B McClearn, M Cummins; A Ryan, P Hackett, J Dinneen. Replacements, D Symes, B Lee, M Towey, R Moore, J Naughton.