Galwegians host Ballynahinch in cup semi-final

Galwegians host Ballynahinch in the semi-final of the All Ireland Bateman Cup at Crowley Park on Saturday (2pm ).

It is the second time in a week these two sides will meet, having played in the Ulster Bank League clash last weekend in Ballymacarn Park when the home side grabbed a 33-16 victory over the Galway city side.

That victory gave the Ulster side a lifeline as they prop up the division 1A table, and Galwegians, who won the home fixture by a similar margin, will be determined to make amends on Saturday.

It was a close enough affair until the second half when Galwegian indiscipline proved costly.

Hinch took a 9-6 lead at the break, with Galwegians' two penalties coming from the boot of Shane O'Leary, who missed an opportunity to level just before the break. However when Wegians' captain Ja Naughton was yellow-carded soon after the restart, the home side was able to capitalise. From the kick-off Hinch kept possession through the pack until Robin Harte broke down the right wing, passed back inside after beating two tacklers, and McIlroy dotted down for the County Down outfit’s first score, with Quinn adding the easy extras on 48 minutes.

With the pressure telling on 14-man Wegians, they were penalised again for collapsing a maul and Quinn added the three points. Galwegians regrouped and started to regain control, and after a period of excellent play, flanker Marc Kelly was rewarded with a try, O’Leary missing the extras, to narrow the gap to 19-11.

However the home side finished with a flourish when Sam Windsor's kick was gathered by Irish Sevens star Aaron Cairns, who stepped inside to beat the last defender, increasing the lead to 26-11. When Wegians were penalised, Conor Joyce broke from a rolling maul to crash over the line, with Quinn adding two more points.

Galwegians rewarded with a consolation try from John Cleary, but they will need to do more this weekend if they want to advance to the All Ireland Cup final.

Galwegians: J Naughton (cpt ), J Dineen, J East, M Cummins, D Nolan, M Kelly, P Hackett, A Ryan, B Lee, S O'Leary, E O’Keefe, B Murphy, C Brennan, J Cleary, C Gaffney. Replacements, J Anaya, D McHugh, M Towey, A Moynihan, A Phewhairangi.


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