- Result: Galwegians Seconds 35 - Westport 15
- Venue: Sportsground on Sun Mar 30th 2014
Galwegians claimed their second Junior cup title in three years at the Sportsground on Sunday with a comprehensive 35-15 victory over Westport to add to their Connacht Junior 1B League title.
The Galwegians backline looked threatening early on but it was Westport who began to take control up front, and the Blues were not helping their case by conceding a plethora of early penalties as they struggled to compete at the breakdown. However Westport were unable to capitalise and out-half Matt Dempsey missed an early attempt at goal with a penalty. However he finally found his range to give the Bulls a 3-0 lead on the half-hour mark, after Wegians prop Paul Griffin was sent to the bin.
This seemed to kickstart a response from Wegians, and they put down a firm marker in the final ten minutes of the opening half. They launched an immediate riposte when talented full-back Ciaran Gaffney capitalised on some sloppy Westport defence and danced through the cover to score the game’s opening try. This was converted by another of Galwegians’ impressive youngsters Conor Lowndes. Shortly afterwards Westport scrumhalf Paul Jennings was sinbinned for illegal use of the boot, and Lowndes landed another penalty to give the Blues a 10-3 half-time lead.
Westport will have felt this was poor return for their early forward dominance, and things got worse when Wegians struck a killer blow in the first minute of the second-half, when they capitalised further on Jenning's absence with Lowndes pouncing for a second try, which the youngster converted again to stretch the margin to 17-3. The game looked like running away from the Mayomen, but they got right back into the game in the 55th minute when a superb break from Tobin after clean lineout ball saw him draw the cover before sending out-half Dempsey over tor an excellent try, which he converted to reduce arrears to 17-10.
However a feature of this game was that every time Westport scored, Wegians responded immediately. Almost straight from the restart, some indiscipline from the Bulls coughed up a simple penalty which Lowndes landed to stretch the margin to 20-10.
The Wegians backline was now getting well on top, and they had the class to expose the opposition. The game was effectively put out of Westport’s reach on the hour mark when a blindside break from Lowndes fed substitute winger Dave Butler, who finished impressively from near halfway. Lowndes landed another superb conversion, and shortly afterwards he added a third penalty to put Wegians out of sight at 30-10.
Credit Westport who never gave up the fight, and with two minutes remaining they got a deserved second try when centre Andrew McAleer cut through to touch down out wide and put some respectability on the scoreline. However yet again the Blues responded in kind, and they had the final say when centre Matt Dever intercepted a loose pass on halfway to dash home and score in the corner to put the icing on the cake. There was no denying the better team took home the spoils.
Westport: M Dempsey; E Joyce, D Corcoran, A McAleer, K Corcoran; S Tobin, P Jennings; J Dever, J O’Connor, P Kennedy; T Dever, E Dunning; D Keane, M Ryder, L Scahill.
Replacements: M Walsh for P Kennedy; C Dyra for O’Connor; C Hastings for Keane, D O’Toole for Joyce, M Brady for Ryder.
Galwegians: C Gaffney; R Burke, S Madden, M Dever, E O’Mahony; D Clarke, C Lowndes; C Kyne, C Gavin, P Griffin; C O’Malley, J Healy; M Towey, N Dillon, J Dinneen.
Replacements: D Deegan for Healy; D Butler for O’Mahony; D Symes for Madden; S Perkins for O'Malley; S McGrath for Clarke.
Ref J Cairns