Galwegians’ top-of-the-table position is at stake when they head to Athlone to face Buccaneers in their first local derby of this season’s Ulster Bank League division one contest.
Galwegians, with three wins from three, will not find it easy against a Buccaneers side at home, and although the Dubarry Park outfit is sitting in fifth place, they have only lost one of this year’s encounters.
Both sides eked out wins last week over Limerick opposition with discipline the biggest issue. While Galwegians high penalty count will continue to be a worry, Tony Dolan also had three players yellow carded last weekend and his side was forced to dig deep to overcome Shannon by 27- 17.
In Crowley Park it took a last-gasp drop-goal from Ciaran Gaffney for Galwegians to see off UL Bohemians at Crowley Park on Saturday, snatching the win in injury time to preserve their unbeaten record (13-10 ).
Wegians enjoyed a perfect start when left wing Matt Dever grabbed his fifth try in four games within the opening minutes, and Dave Clarke converted for a 7-0 lead.
However the home side coughed up four penalties in the opening 10 minutes and Bohs capitalised when captain Ed Kelly crossed from a rolling maul, with Airy converting to level the contest.
In a scrappy stop-start affair with both sides being penalised, Galwegians dominated territory, but failed to find any end-product. Clarke was wide with two penalties as it remained level at the break.
However Bohs, with the wind at their backs, lost fullback Mossy Lawler to the sin-bin, and Wegians soon regained the lead. A quickly-taken lineout from deep caught the visitors napping, and a trademark counterattack from John Cleary led to a penalty 25 metres out, with Clarke putting the Blues 10-7 in front.
However when Wegians lost hooker Jack Dinneen to the bin after repeated ruck offences, Airey kicked a penalty to draw level again.
The stop-start nature of the game continued, but with Airey’s kicking giving his side territorial advantage, Galwegians had their backs to the wall. The home side was let off when Airey was wide with a 30 metre penalty before Wegians staged a late attack. Initiatated by Caolin Blade who robbed the visitors of possession, and with the Bohs defence stretched, scrumhalf Barry Lee fed fellow replacement Ciaran Gaffney, who was in the pocket in front of the posts whose drop goal bobbled its way over the bar to seal a dramatic victory for the Blues.
Galwegians: J Cleary; J Harrimate, B Murphy, G O’Brien, M Dever; D Clarke, C Blade; J Naughton (capt ), J Dinneen, D McHugh; B McClearn, M Cummins; E Rooney, M Towey, A Ryan. Replacements: B Lee, C Gaffney, P Macreannor, C Dunne, J Pimm.