- Result: Galwegians Firsts 26 - UCD 13
- Venue: UCD Bowl on Sat Nov 26th 2011
- Competition: AIL Division 1B
Galwegians made it two wins on the bounce in the Ulster League Division 1b courtesy of a magnificent performance away to the students of UCD in the Belfield Bowl on Saturday.
The old adage of forwards win games and backs decide by how much was very apt in this contest. The Wegians pack utterly dominated the exchanges upfront against their lighter opposition, and which allowed the Blues backline to finally show the true talent at their disposal for the first time this season.
Although playing against the breeze in the first half, Wegians took the game to their hosts from early on, and they opened the scoring after 10 minutes when a well-worked backline move saw winger and converted scrum-half Barry Lee score his try of the season. Out-half and Connacht squad member Matt Jarvis converted to put the Blues 7-0 the good. The students did manage to open their account through a penalty by out-half Niall Earls, but it was still the visitors who were very much in the ascendancy, as the pack outmuscled their opponents and half-backs Dave Moore and Jarvis controlled proceedings.
It was no surprise when Wegians deservedly extended their lead shortly before the break, when another good backline move saw the promising ex-Blackrock College centre Kyle Tonetti score a try on his Galwegians debut. Jarvis was wide with the conversion, and right on the stroke of half-time the students were given a chink of light when Earls struck his second penalty to reduce arrears to 12-6.
However Wegians wasted little time in making the most of the elements in the second-half. A thundering hit by centre Brian Murphy soon after the re-start led to turnover ball, and following a good charge upfield by scrum-half Moore, winger Lee was once again the beneficiary, crossing the whitewash for his second try. Jarvis converted to put Wegians 19-6 in front and now firmly in control.
Credit the students who responded well and immediately went on the offensive to try get back into the game. Although camped on the Wegians line for a prolonged period, some excellent defence and one superb tackle by back-row Eoin McKeon lifted the siege for the visitors.
It seemed only a matter of time before the Blues would secure a bonus point, and it duly arrived before the hour mark when another excellent hit by the outstanding Murphy turned defence into attack. And this time the Shrule native finished off the move himself in style to score the clinching fourth try. Jarvis converted to put them 26-6 to the good and seemingly out of sight.
Wegians then took their foot off the gas somewhat, and College came back into it and gave themselves a late chance of securing something when full-back Michael Twomey got over near the corner for a try on 70 minutes, with Earls converting to make it 26-13. Wegians had a chance to extend their lead again soon after, only for the students to turn over ball near their own line and sweep upfield with a breakaway move which almost led to a second score.
This cost the recently introduced sub Tadhg Leader a yellow card, but the fourteen men were able to keep their defensive line intact and prevent any chance of a late upset, ensuring a well-deserved first away win in this year’s Division 1b campaign.
So after a dreadful start to the season when they were pointless from their first four outings, the Blues have finally discovered their form. Confidence should be high when they entertain another student outfit, bottom of the table UCC next Saturday at Crowley Park (December 3rd 2.30pm).