- Result: Galwegians Firsts 10 - UL Bohemians 16
- Venue: Annacotty on Sat Mar 31st 2012
- Competition: AIL Division 1B
Galwegians came away with a losing bonus point for the second time this season against UL Bohs after their Ulster Bank League Division 1b game in Annacotty on Saturday. However Colm Rigney’s will once again feel that they should have come away with a vital win against the Limerick students in their battle to avoid the drop.
Playing with a slight wind advantage, Wegians took an early lead courtesy of an 8th minute penalty from out-half Tadhg Leader. The Blues continued to dominate the opening quarter, but Leader was just wide of the target on the 15th minute with a second effort at the posts from near halfway. Despite their territory and possession, the visitors could find no way through a well-marshalled Bohs defence, and one sensed that their inability to put points on the board would prove costly.
Indeed the hosts drew level when they took advantage of a rare sortie into opposition territory just after the half-hour mark, when Wegians were penalised on their own 22, Bohs out-half Ed Torrie landing the penalty. This seemed to finally inject some urgency into Wegians play, and they went on to score almost straight from the restart. It came following a good blindside break by Leader who found winger Matt Dever in space, and the promising youngster dived over in the left-hand corner for the game’s opening try. An excellent conversion by Leader struck the woodwork but crucially bounced over the crossbar, giving the Blues a deserved 10-3 half-time lead.
Unfortunately the lead did not last very long, as the hosts were level two minutes into the second-half. Having been curiously omitted from the starting XV, Bohs Irish U-21 star JJ Hanrahan had been brought on just before the break. And he soon made his mark when he seized on some confusion in the Wegians defence to race through the middle on a swerving run and score near the posts, with his conversion levelling the contest.
With the momentum now going their way, Hanrahan should have given his side the lead five minutes later but he scuffed an easy penalty opportunity. However just before the hour mark he did manage to put his side in front for the first time with a difficult penalty, albeit after Wegians were very harshly penalised at a scrum on their 10 m. line by ref Dave Keane.
Despite being on the backfoot for most of the second-half, Wegians did have their chances nonetheless. A barnstorming break by no. 8 Eoin McKeon forced a 5 metre scrum soon after, and when awarded a penalty from the first set-piece, captain Brian McClearn spurned the opportunity to kick at goal and opted for a second scrum. But the chance was wasted when the second scrum failed to yield any dividends.
Bohs took advantage some 5 minutes later when Hanrahan stretched his personal haul to 13 points with a second successful penalty. Yet the Blues still threatened, with two strong breaks by full-back Darragh Leader, who was a late call-up at full-back, and centre Brian Murphy. However they could not find any way through the home defence, and so they had to be content with a losing bonus point.
Next up for the Blues in Division 1b is a crucial game in hand away to high-riding Dungannon on Easter Saturday. This will give Wegians a chance to move further clear of the danger zone, with second-from-bottom Bruff currently lying only two points behind them.