- Result: Galwegians Firsts 25 - Connemara 16
- Venue: Crowley Park on Sat Sep 10th 2005
- Competition: Connacht Senior League
Galwegians stuttered to an unconvincing League win against Connemara in Crowley Park on Saturday evening. While this was technically home fixture for Connemara, it was switched to Glenina, but the All Blacks started as if they were the side on home soil, as they completely dominated a new-look Wegians side who did not seem to be showing the opposition the respect they deserved.
An early Alan King penalty set the Blacks on their way, and then on 15 minutes a ponderous Wegians defence was caught ball-watching as Noel King raced in to touch down on the right, with Alan King converting for a 10-0 lead. Wegians were making little impression, failing to establish any patterns or phases. Then on the half-hour mark a superb long-range drop-goal from Connemara winger Vinny Heffernan gave them a deserved 13-0 lead.
The vital breakthrough and turning point in Galwegians’ fortunes came just afterwards when out-half John Culkin charged down a kick on half-way, gathered and then fed his supporting centre John Hearty who had enough pace to finish in the right-hand corner for his side’s opening try. However the Blacks still had time for another Heffernan drop-goal which gave them a most unflattering 16-5 half-time lead.
Galwegians’ new coach Paul Young obviously had stern words with his side during the break, for they emerged showing much more urgency in the second-half. They could have, and indeed should have, scored three tries within the opening five minutes, and when a straight-forward penalty from the normally reliable John Cleary rebounded off a post, it looked like it might be one of those days for the Blues.
However their pressure finally paid off just on the hour mark when scrum-half John McDonagh feed his half-back partner Culkin who crossed on the left for a second unconverted try. Then minutes later a well-worked line-out move saw hooker John Burke scamper down the blind side and over in the right –hand corner to reduce the arrears to just a point.
Although Cleary missed the difficult conversion, he soon added his first penalty to put Wegians in front for the first time in the match against a visibly tiring Connemara. Then in the dying minutes the game was made safe when centre Hugh Murphy was sent over on the left for a fourth bonus try, with Cleary converting to give Wegians a flattering nine-point winning margin.