- Result: Galwegians Firsts 13 - Cashel 9
- Venue: Crowley Park on Sun Dec 18th 2005
- Competition: AIL Cup
Galwegians earned a place in the quarter-finals of the inaugural AIB All-Ireland Cup, but only after they got a real fright from Munster junior club side Cashel who came very close to upsetting the odds at a wind and rainswept Glenina on Sunday afternoon.
This game had the potential to be a real banana-skin for Wegians, and so it proved as the Tipperary side threw everything at them and indeed dominated the match for long periods. The home side opened the scoring after 3 minutes through a Brendon Bartley penalty in front of the posts. However the visitors soon got into their stride and they were on level terms almost immediately when a long-range penalty from scrum-half Olliver McGlinchy scraped over via the crossbar. Inspired by a vociferous travelling support, Cashel dominated the next twenty minutes, with their out-half Trevor Breen using the wind to good effect and pinning the corners. They were also winning the penalty count, with the referee regularly blowing against the home pack both in the set-piece and loose. However McGlinchy was wide with two further kickable penalty attempts, before he found his range on 15 minutes to put the visitors in front 6-3.
However Wegians eventually began to settle down, and when out-half Peter Durkan found a good touch on 26 minutes, it set up an attack, and hooker John Burke got on the end of a driving maul to score the opening try for an 8-6 lead. Indeed the Wegians pack then began to take control of proceedings and should have added another try before the break, but they failed to take advantage of a similar opportunity when they really should have scored.
In the second-half conditions abated considerably, so the home side had little advantage in terms of the elements. This spurred on the visitors, and McGlinchy had another two long-range penalty efforts which fell just short. However they threatened the home line on a few occasions, with flanker Edmond Leamy, younger brother of Irish international Denis, very much to the fore. They did manage to take the lead on 65 minutes when McGlinchy landed an excellent penalty from the 10 metre line, and so a grandstand finish was set up with a shock very much on the cards. However once again Wegians used their experience and dug deep when they needed to, and the pack finally got some coherency into their play, working an excellent rolling maul right up to the visitors line. But when awarded a penalty 5 metres out, sub hooker Joey Merrigan found his target, and another maul was finished off this time by another sub, prop Ross Davies, for what proved to be the winning try. Wegians then closed out the game in the opposite half to avoid any last-minute scares and earn their place in the quarter-final.