Galwegians head to Limerick to face struggling UL Bohs on Saturday, but will not be taking anything for granted after suffering their third successive loss last weekend.
Although Wegians still cling to the top of the Ulster Bank League division 1B table, their previous nine-point lead has been reduced to a solitary point over Ballymena, and just two clear of third-placed Garryowen. If Matt Brown’s squad wants to rekindle its promotion ambitions, it will need to return to its earlier season performances.
Last weekend Galwegians suffered their second loss at home in the Ulster Bank League when stung by a fired-up Shannon at Crowley Park.
Having lost to Trinity the week before, Wegians were hit 3-18 by a determined Shannon who took an early lead with a Tadhg Bennett penalty.
Although Wegians levelled with a 30m penalty from fullback John Cleary, they increasingly found themselves pinged at the breakdown by referee Will O’Connor who binned prop Doran McHugh after 15 minutes. Shannon soon restored the three-point lead as Wegians struggled to find any rhythm.
Centre Brian Murphy looked set to score, but was pulled for a forward pass, before the home side failed to capitalise when the visitors lost two men to the sinbin. Despite a series of five metre scrums Galwegians were unable to add to their score.
It was a huge let-off for the visitors who then stole a lineout near the Wegians 22, and with numbers out wide, left-wing David O’Donovan was sent over for the opening try of the game, giving them an 11-3 lead at the break.
The Blues came out fighting in the second half, but wasted an immediate opportunity when a 5m lineout was again coughed up, while Cleary missed a 30m penalty shortly afterwards.
Shannon, hungrier and more determined, dictated play while the home side's performance was nothing like the types of displays that put them in pole position in division 1B. With too many basic errors, missed tackles, and poor execution, Wegians could not gain a foothold, while Shannon belying their lowly league position, went on to produce a stoppage time try from fullback Stephen Fitzgerald which Ronan McKenna converted.
Galwegians: J Cleary; C Conroy, B Murphy, G O’Brien, J Harrimate; R Shaughnessy, B Lee; J Naughton (capt. ), J Dinneen, D.McHugh; B McClearn, M Cummins; A Browne, P Hackett, A Ryan. Replacements: C Blade, A Moynihan, P Finn, C Gavin, K Kyne.