- Result: Galwegians Women 35 - St Marys 19
- Venue: St Marys on Sun Oct 6th 2013
- Competition: AIL Womens League
Galwegians found form on the third time of asking this season with a healthy 35-19 win against St. Mary’s on Sunday. Wegians had suffered two devastating defeats before this third round encounter: an agonisingly close loss to Blackrock, and a bruising contest against high flyers Old Belvedere during which they failed to register a score. With only four rounds left, it was make or break time for the Galway outfit and George Naoupu’s charges did not disappoint.
Captain Ruth O’Reilly had earlier in the week identified a bonus-point win as the only acceptable outcome of this contest against a team which they had never lost. Her request was duly acknowledged only three minutes in when outhalf Claire Raftery touched down under the posts. She was followed two minutes later by the outstanding Mairead Coyne, who claimed the first of her three scores on the five minute mark. Raftery converted both to establish a comfortable lead after an early flurry.
Despite a St. Mary’s try after twelve minutes, the first half belonged to Galwegians after another Coyne score. The full-back, in fine form after her exploits with the Galway intercounty football team this summer, broke through the line to touch down under the posts and set up an easy conversion for Raftery. The score remained 5-21 for the remainder of the half, which ended with Galwegian forward Kate O’Flynn carded just before the break.
The second half brought a more ferocious mode of play from the home side, lead by forwards Paula Fitzpatrick, Anne Marie O’Donovan, and Lyndsey O’Neill, which saw St. Mary’s camp out within the Wegians 22 for a number of periods in the second half. It eventually paid off with flanker O’Neill crossing over for one of two very late St. Mary’s converted tries but not before Coyne ran riot once again, intercepting a floating backs pass from inside her own half; Raftery duly converted. However, the final word went to centre Lisa McDonagh whose return from injury was marked gloriously with a 66 minute try, set up exquisitely by lock Katherine McDonagh.
The bonus point win was not the only aspect of the match which was celebrated. Two more debuts were handed to Ann Marie Keane, in the front row, and Marion Doolan, on the wing. The novices proved to be anything but, with Keane convincing at scrum time, and Doolan seamlessly slotting into the backline, their efforts boding well for the weeks ahead.