Wegians drop in danger zone

alwegians suffered another defeat in the Ulster Bank League division 1B, losing to Connacht rivals Buccaneers by 25-14.

While Brett Wilkinson's squad could celebrate extending their lead at the top of the table, Galwegians plummeted deeper into the relegation zone.

While Buccaneers were deserving winners, Galwegians, despite looking strong for much of the contest, were undone in the second half, failing to grab a consolation bonus point.

The visitors to Crowley Park started brightly with a seventh minute penalty from Alan Gaughan after good work from Rory Moloney and Stephen McVeigh, but Wegians countered with a superb breakaway try. A deep Aidan Moynihan clearance which Brian Murphy fielded was the platform, Ed O’Keeffe continued the counter and it was finished off by Morgan Codyre, with Moynihan converting.

And it got better for the Galway side when Moynihan claimed a second try from a counterattack, stepping inside the cover to dot down, and converting for a 14-3 lead.

Buccaneers, however, continued to take the game to the hosts. Ireland Sevens player Shane Layden was prominent for Wilkinson's men, and it took a try saving tackle from centre Alan McMahon to stop him. However Buccs were rewarded for their dominance when hooker John Sutton touched down from a determined maul for a 27th-minute, with Gaughan converting to narrow the gap to 14-10.

Before the break Buccs struck again - wing Jordan Conroy gathering Gaughan's crossfield kick to stretch over for an unconverted try, leaving the visitors 15-14 ahead.

The home side took control after the break, but had nothing to show for it after a knock-on close to the line and missed penalty attempt from Moynihan. Although Buccs lost Layden to the sin-bin, they added to their tally courtesy of the influential Gaughan. From a penalty to touch, Buccs once again drove to the line, and although held up, scrumhalf Frankie Hopkins sent Gaughan through on the blind despite Jack Dineen’s despairing tackle.

At 20-14 Galwegians spurned a kick at goal to send a penalty to touch. However Buccs held their line intact, and then had the last say. Layden set up field position with another foray up field, and from a series of phase play Conroy took advantage of the stretched cover to touch down in the left corner to grab his 10th of the AIL season, and ensure a bonus-point win for the league leaders.

GALWEGIANS: MCodyre; M Byrne, A McMahon, B Murphy (c ), E O’Keeffe; A Moynihan, B Lee; D Robertson-McCoy, J Moloney, J East; A Ryan, M Kelly; P Hackett, J Pim, E Masterson. Replacements: E Tarmey for Ryan 22m, D Clarke for McMahon 42m, J Dineen for Robertson-McCoy 50m, C Lowndes for Lee 58m, D Robertson-McCoy for East 66m, P Curran for Moloney 76m.

BUCCANEERS: C Boland; E O’Reilly, S Layden, S O’Leary, J Conroy; A Gaughan, F Hopkins; M Staunton, J Sutton, S Meunargia; R Byrne, S Meagher; S McVeigh, R Moloney and K Kiripati (c ). Replacements: R O’Connor for O’Reilly h/t, E Galvin for Kiripati 52m, K Kiripati for McVeigh 63m, A Hayman for Layden,70m, R Grenham for Staunton 76m, E Maher for Sutton 76m.


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