- Result: Galwegians Firsts 10 - Malahide 17
- Venue: Malahide RFC on Sat Feb 29th 2020
- Competition: AIL Division 2B
Galwegians secured a hard earned point away to the in-form League leaders Malahide in AIL Division 2B on Saturday.
With 'Hide in a rich vein of form, the Blues weren't given much chance by the pundits. However they made an excellent start and took a deserved lead through a 10th minute try when lock Luc Culliton finished off a maul near the corner. The extremely breezy conditions made a conversion nigh on impossible, so the Blues led 5-0. This rattled the hosts whose strong pack were being matched every inch of the way by the Blues engine room, which was magnificently led from the front by captain Marty Cummins.
However the North Dubliners did eventually find a way back into the game with their first try on 26 minutes from Eoin Crowley, which was converted by Shane O'Brien to put them in front. Wegians were on top for the remainder of the first half and had a chance to regain the lead when they were on the home side's line for a few phases, but were unable to finish it off, leaving 'Hide 7-5 to the good at the half-time break.
The Blues started the second half poorly by slipping off tackles and the hosts scored an early unconverted try through Rory Kavanagh to stretch their advantage. However the visitors responded well with an excellent try from a lineout maul on 50 minutes, with Kieran 'Dint' Downey getting the touchdown. This reduced the margin to 12-10. However with the hour almost up, the good work was undone when a mistake by Wegians at the base of the scrum saw them cough up possession in their 22. Malahide took full advantage when they scored a third try a few phases later through Daniel Hayes.
This set up a tense final quarter, with conditions deteriorating rapidly as Storm Jorge arrived in full force. The Blues showed some great defence to prevent the hosts from scoring a fourth bonus try. In truth Wegians played the better rugby in the final quarter and played it mostly in the opposition half. Unfortunately with the atrocious conditions, they were unable to get the platform to score another try.
This meant they ended up with a well deserved losing bonus point, although the hosts were mightily relieved to come away with a win in a game of inches. So this point could prove vital as the Blues nudge their way slightly further away from the danger zone at the bottom of the table, where they hold onto seventh place, ten points clear of the playoff spot.