Wegians win high-octane local derby

Galwegians remain one-point ahead of Garryowen at the top of the UBL division 1b after a hard-fought local derby win over Corinthians at Crowley Park.

The 21-13 victory ensures Wegians head to Malone this weekend knowing they cannot afford to slip up to the Ulster side if they want to maintain their title push.

Corinthians, too, will want their city rivals to win on this occasion. At the bottom of the table, they are one-point off fellow strugglers Malone, and a win for Galwegians could ease their relegation plight. Corinthians, however, have no respite as they also head to Ulster where they face Belfast Harlequins, who racked up a huge victory over Buccaneers last weekend. However, if Corinthians play like they did against Galwegians last weekend, they could spring a surprise.

They made the perfect start and stunned Galwegians when centre Cian Begley scored the opening try after five minutes, which outhalf Conor Murphy converted.

Wegians soon gained a foothold, and although outhalf Aidan Moynihan’s 30m penalty rebounded off the post, he followed up with a deft chip which Rory Parata secured before crossing for an excellent try. Moynihan levelled the game with his conversion. The hosts followed up with a second try from a penalty to touch with scrumhalf Barry Lee grounding in the right corner, but Corinthians, using the elements narrowed the gap with a 30th minute penalty. Wegians, having kept Corinthians out for the remainder of the half, added two penalties after the restart to stretch the lead to eight points.

Despite losing captain James Buckley to the sinbin, Corinthians worked their way back into the game with some superb line-breaks. And when Wegians winger Matt Dever was binned on 65 minutes, Murphy landed the resulting penalty to reduce arrears again to just five points.

Corinthians dominated the next 10 minutes, but the home defence held their line, and when indiscipline provided Galwegians with the upperhand, Moynihan tapped over the resulting penalty to make the game safe for Wegians, ensuring they won this season’s Glynn Cup and maintained their narrow lead in division 1B.

Galwegians: J Cleary; J Harrimate, B Murphy, R Parata, M Dever; A Moynihan, B Lee; J Naughton (cpt ), R Fitzgerald, D McHugh; M Cummins, B McClearn; P Hackett, J Pimm, A Ryan. Replacements: C Blade, C Conroy, C Gavin, K Kyne, M Towey.

Corinthians: D Panter, D Griffen, J Buckley (capt ), C Begley, C Ryan, C Murphy, M Murphy, M Byrne, J Merrigan, C Hansberry, G Warde, U Dillane, D Phelan, M Kelly, J Connolly. Replacements; A Glynn, A Bane, R Stanley, D Keogh, D Corcoran.

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