- Result: Galwegians Firsts 38 - Corinthians 8
- Venue: Crowley Park on Sun Sep 4th 2005
- Competition: Connacht Senior League
Galwegians opened the defence of their Connacht Senior League title in style and gave a winning start to their new Welsh coach Paul Young when they overcame city rivals Corinthians as expected in this season-opener in Glenina.
In a game played in glorious conditions on Sunday, both sides showed some obvious signs of early-season rustiness, but despite this and the fact that both line-ups were featuring a number of new players, it was nonetheless a very entertaining affair, and both coaches will have seen enough to take heart as they prepare for the start of their All-Ireland League campaigns in October. For Division 1 side Wegians, new coach Young will have been especially pleased with some of the individual performances on show, and also for the ruthless streak which his team showed in running in four second-half tries.
A young and gallant Corinthians team certainly put it up to Wegians in the first half, and despite trailing 15-3 at the break they were still very much in the game at half-time. Galwegians had run in two tries in the opening period from winger Barry Liddy, who was outstanding throughout and who put down a firm claim to the number 14 jersey for the season. Out-half John McDonagh added a conversion and a penalty to the home side’s tally, while Corinthians responded with a penalty from William Williams.
The visitors got right back into the game with an early second-half try from their exciting full-back and Connacht squad member Danny Riordan. But the home side responded with a second penalty from McDonagh soon afterwards, and when hooker Joey Merrigan finished off a maul by grounding the ball for a debut try against his former club, the game was effectively over as a contest by the hour mark.
The experience and superior fitness levels of Wegians then told in the final quarter as they made the game safe. Inspired by strong performances from Connacht squad members such as scrum-half Tom Tierney and new recruits lock Andrew Gallagher and centre John Hearty, they ran in three more late tries in the right corner. They came from Gallagher and two from captain Ambrose Conboy, with the pick of them the first of Conboy’s brace when he finished off a scintillating run from Barry Liddy.
Wegians’ next encounter sees them travel to Clifden on Saturday where they take on the Connemara All Blacks.