- Result: Galwegians U20 10 - Bective Rangers 20
- Venue: Donnybrook on Sat Apr 29th 2017
A season that grew in momentum for this squad ended in a really respectable loss v's the home side in Donnybrook this afternoon. On reflection, one might realise that Bective learned a little more from our League encounter which we won narrowly with a penalty at the end.
Consequently, the home side chop tackled our big carriers very effectively and ran a tight defensive line, whilst also running very strong lines in the middle and committed to rucks.
Galwegians did carry very well and our pack worked tirelessly with strong carries and tackles all day. Our back line just didn't get the opportunity to do damage mainly due to a loss of key personnel through injury. A couple of unfortunate and definitely one questionable yellow cards did not help. As our President Billy Glynn said "We just did not get a bounce of the ball on the day".
The first score went to Bective on 2 mins by their hooker and converted by their 10. On 5 mins our own hooker Cian Hornibrook crossed the whitewash, after a tidy lioneout and a very well-worked maul. Outhalf Peadar O'Beirn missed the conversion from a difficult angle to leave the scoreboard at 7:5 to Bective. Wegians showeed to be growing into the game, and after convincing phase play, Eoghan Bermingham, playing at 8, crossed again on c 11 mins and we were ahead by 3 as we missed another very difficult conversion very narrowly.
The game hung in the balance with both sides trading tackles and tightly contested rucks until the 27th minute when we lost our full back, Rory Dempsey, to a yellow card for an untidy tackle. 2 mins later Bective scored a try to put them ahead after they converted- 12:10. On 39 mins Bective scored their last try to lead 17:10. We needed a score to put the pressure back on the home side. Bective employed a seriously strong maul and after we were penalised and lost ground , Wegians cleverly let Bective run their maul unopposed and took it down well. Smart stuff.
We lost our 9 Stephen Brown early in the game and if that wasn't bad enough, we lost our 10, Peadar O'Beirn, on the 50th minute. The team adapted and actually did well with the adjustments. However, our woes continued with the loss of our influential 6 Christy Reilly to a yellow card that most onlookers were frankly surprised with. However, it stood and we lost momentum particularly in our scrum. The unlucky streak continued as we lost our no. 8 Eoghan Bermingham to an injury in the 54th minute, also losing our openside flanker, Tiernan Surlis, to a blood injury with 5 minutes to go. All big players and yet, despite conceding another 3 points from a penalty from the yellow card, we hung in there - 20:10 to Bective. We corrected our scrum with Christy's return and took on Bective again to the very end. Wegians were unlucky not to score twice late in the game but really a fast pitch, a well drilled Bective who read us well plus too many injuries meant this gallant team went down - fighting.
Well done to all concerned for getting this show on the road. In particular, great credit to Johnny Mac who took on this team when the queue was very short! John Folan for taking on the project at Club level and to Collette and Liam Fallon (Thursday night curries!) for taking the role as manager and assistant. A special mention must go to Brian McClearn, our Firsts Head Coach, as he recruited Johnny initially. He really believes in this project for the long term as we build from within to the benefit of the Club. Brian coached the guys especially in the early days despite his heavy workload with the Firsts. Two players helped enormously by recruiting a number of their fellow teammates- Tiernan Surlis and Peadar O'Beirn really went for it early in the season when numbers were low. They also committed to the training sessions all year. Bribery and charm always works! Well done guys.
Hopefully this age grade will continue to bloom after a 5 year gap and next year build on what was a truly rounded season that finished with a squad of c 30 players from a standing start.