- Result: Galwegians Firsts 35 - UCC 20
- Venue: Mardyke on Sat Mar 24th 2012
- Competition: AIL Division 1B
Galwegians gave their survival prospects in Ulster Bank Division 1b an enormous boost when for the second game in succession they secured maximum points against student opposition. Three weeks ago did a demolition job on UCD in Crowley Park, and on Saturday it was the turn of the hapless UCC to suffer at the hands of the dominant Blues at the Mardyke.
The foundations for this win were once again laid in the Galwegians pack, and they set the tone early on. By the end of the first quarter the visitors were well on top, courtesy of two well-taken tries scored by centre Colin Conroy, his second coming on the back of a superb break by his in-form centre partner Brian Murphy. Out-half Tadhg Leader added one conversion and a penalty, with UCC’s Pat Parfrey responding with a penalty to leave 15-3 to Wegians.
Not surprisingly the students’ game plan was to run at every opportunity, and they showed their threat on occasion, underlying the need for the visitors to keep their defensive shape intact. But the Blues landed a killer blow in the 35th minute, when captain and lock forward Brian McClearn crossed for his third try of the season. Although Leader was wide with the conversion attempt, this left the Blues 20-3 to the good at the break.
Leader added his second penalty shortly after the restart to stretch their advantage to 23-3. However despite their supremacy on the scoreboard, the Blues were not entirely convincing in all aspects of their game, and they soon became complacent as they lost their focus. The students to their credit never gave up the chase, and they soon crossed the whitewash when winger Joe
Holland went over for their first try.
However Wegians failed to heed the warning signs, and minutes later UCC caught the Blues defence napping again when they scored a second try, with hooker Wayne Falvey claiming the touchdown on this occasion. This put the hosts right back into the game, with Parfrey converting one of the tries to reduce arrears to just 23-15.
However the Blues steadied the ship and regained control of the contest, and they made the game safe and bagged the crucial bonus point try on the hour mark. It came when blindside flanker Isaac O’Grady got on the end of a move to score, with Leader’s conversion making it double scores at 30-15.
This knocked the stuffing out of the student hosts, and on 70 minutes the Blues pressed home their advantage even further when promising winger Matthew Dever scored a fifth try. UCC had the last word with a late third try from Luke Duffy, but it was nothing more than a consolation score, as this result consigned the bottom-placed Cork students to relegation to Division 2 next season.
This vital bonus point win now puts Wegians a crucial five points clear of second from bottom UCD, and with a game in hand. Next up for the Blues is another away trip to Munster, when they make the shorter trip to Limerick this Saturday to face promotion-chasing UL Bohemians at Thomond Park, as they seek to avenge their shock League defeat at Crowley Park in early January.