Galwegians settle for bonus points in seven-try thriller

Galwegians will be targeting visitors Old Belvedere for a crucial Ulster Bank League division 1A fixture in Crowley Park on Saturday (2.30pm ).

The 2011 champions are just one place and six points above Wegians on the division 1A table, and with just three fixtures remaining this season, Galwegians need to put more space between themselves and the two teams in the relegation spot, Terenure, and Ballynahinch.

Last weekend Wegians will rue letting their opponents Lansdowne back into this game at several stages, but the two bonus points they bagged in this 30-24 loss could prove extremely vital come the season's end.

Galwegians had looked like taking the spoils in this seven-try thriller on the Aviva's 3g artificial back pitch, but they fell to a late rally by their hosts.

The Blues hit the front in the fifth minute when a skip pass from centre Api Phewhairangi fed winger John Cleary, who evaded two tackles to claim his sixth try in as many games. The lead was short-lived as the hosts hit the front within minutes when scrumhalf Adam Griggs took a quickly-taken penalty inside the 22, supplying outhalf and captain Scott Deasy who darted over before adding the extras for a 7-5 lead.

Wegians regained the lead when backrow Marc Kelly finished near the right-hand corner for a second unconverted try, but Deasy levelled matters with a close-range penalty. Phewhairangi showed great footwork to evade four tacklers to cross for Galwegians' third, with Aidan Moynihan adding the extras, but the hosts replied again when, on the stroke of half time, Deasy touched and converted his second try.

A stunning breakaway try by Cleary put Wegians in front again in the second half, before Deasy added a second penalty. In the see-saw nature of this contest, the visitors took the lead for a fourth time with a penalty try after Lansdowne collapsed a maul near the line.

Despite losing a man to the bin, the hosts refused to lie down, and the lead changed hands for an astonishing seventh time when No 8 Ross Deacon finished off from close-range to dive over near the posts, with Deasy again converting for a three-point lead. While Moynihan sent a penalty effort wide, Deasy had the final say in the last minute to complete a 25-point personal haul and a vital win.

Galwegians: C Gaffney; J Cleary; A Phewhairangi, B Murphy, A Leavy; A Moynihan, B Lee; J East, P Curran, D McHugh; M Cummins, D Nolan; M Kelly, J Pim, A Ryan. Subs, J Naughton, P O’Donnell, M Towey, E O’Keeffe, C Brennan.


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