- Result: Galwegians Firsts 22 - Seapoint 26
- Venue: Crowley Park on Sat Feb 23rd 2013
- Competition: AIL Division 2A
- Match photos
- Match video
Galwegians’ faint hopes of promotion to Division 1B were dealt a fatal blow when they suffered their first home League defeat of the season to an inspired Seapoint team on Saturday. Unbeaten since October, Wegians came into this game knowing that a bonus point victory was needed to keep pressure on the leaders. However it was the visitors who showed the greater hunger and desire, and they took a surprise early lead when prop Kevin Moes scored the opening try, which was converted by out-half Peter Lydon for a 7-0 lead.
Wegians had their chances to open their account but full-back Tadhg Leader and out-half Dave Clarke were both off target with penalty efforts. And the Dubliners took full advantage by extending their lead with a well-taken drop-goal by Lydon midway through the half. This finally sparked Wegians into action, and following some concerted pressure in the visitors 22, a penalty kick to the corner was rewarded when they mauled their way over from the lineout, with Ivan Muldoon claiming the touchdown. Clarke’s conversion hit the post but went over the bar to reduce arrears to three points.
With their tails up, five minutes later the Blues hit the front for the first time, when turnover ball engineered by Brian McClearn gave scrum-half Barry Lee the chance to break on the blind, and captain Colin Conroy took a scoring pass to dive over in the corner for a second try, and a 12-10 half-time lead.
At this stage a bonus point win was very much back on, but the visitors failed to read the script. In an accomplished performance which belied their lowly league standing, they took the game to Wegians straight from the restart, and their quick recycling game was paying dividends. It created two early penalty opportunities for Lydon which the out-half duly landed to give them a 16-12 lead, and referee Declan Noonan binned McClearn on 46 minutes for persistent infringing, giving them a major uphill task.
However the Wegians set-piece was very much on top and their seven-man pack coped adequately for the ten minute period, spending most of it in the opposition half. Then when back to fifteen men, they camped on the opposition line, and having sucked in sufficient numbers, the ball was spun wide to centre John Cleary who broke through two tackles to score a third try near the posts. Clarke’s conversion gave them a three point cushion.
However Seapoint were undaunted and hit right back. Another Lydon penalty restored parity, and with the game entering the last few minutes the Blues went in search of the vital fourth try. They had an opportunity when awarded a penalty 10 metres in front of the posts, but opted to kick the penalty to try secure four points rather than risk taking a scrum. With the benefit of hindsight it proved to be the wrong decision, as the visitors seized their opportunity to go on the offence from the restart. Following an excellent passage of patient continuity play, they were rewarded in the 76th minute when an overlap was created for centre Gary Foley who dived over on the left for the winning try, which Lydon converted for good measure for a four-point margin.
Wegians still had their chances to snatch it when awarded two penalties late on, but their lacklustre performance was summed up when they managed to botch clean lineout ball by knocking on, and the visitors deservedly held out for an impressive victory. This effectively ends any remaining hopes of promotion for the Blues, who while remaining in fifth place, are now frustratingly consigned to mid-table mediocrity for the remainder of the season, and with much time to reflect on missed opportunities both in this game and the earlier part of the season.