Towards a century at the heart of Connacht rugby

Firsts 11 – UL Bohs 13


Match Result

  • Result: Galwegians Firsts 11 - UL Bohemians 13
  • Venue: Crowley Park on Sat Jan 28th 2006
  • Competition: AIL Division 1

Match Report

Galwegians suffered a bitterly disappointing last-gasp defeat at home to UL Bohemians on Saturday in Crowley Park, and therefore missed the chance of what would surely have guaranteed their safety in the AIL top-flight for another year. Instead they will have to wait a while longer in search of the vital fourth victory, but they know they only have themselves to blame for not bagging all four points on this occasion.

Fielding his strongest side on paper this season, coach Paul Young had grounds for optimism going into this game on the back of two wins in succession, especially with Connacht's current out-half, in-form David Slemen lining out at full-back for his first club start of the season. But ironically Slemen had a nightmare day with the boot, landing only two kicks from five which ultimately cost his side victory.

Newly promoted UL Bohemians have had an impressive season to date, and they got off to a good start with a penalty from full-back Ben Martin after 3 minutes. However Wegians, playing with a slight breeze in the first-half, soon gained the upper hand, and they had a glorious chance to equalise soon after but the normally reliable Slemen ominously missed a relatively straightforward penalty. But they did take the lead on 13 minutes when another Connacht player, no. 8 Mike Swift finished off a move with a try, but unfortunately Slemen was again off target with the conversion attempt. The Blues should have added to their tally with their larger pack dominating the opposition, but all they could muster was a solitary penalty from Slemen who finally found his range just before half-time.

In the second-half the home side again upped the ante, and they should have scored a second try after a period of concerted pressure in the second quarter, but some gritty Bohs defence and a lack of concentration saw them miss a crucial score. However when Slemen added a second penalty to give Wegians an 11-3 lead on the hour mark, it looked like it would be enough. However to their credit the visitors worked their way back into contention, and they got the vital breakthrough on 68 minutes when lock forward Kenny Barry finished off a well-worked maul and touched down on the right, with full-back Martin adding an excellent conversion to leave a single point between the sides.

This bolstered the visitor's confidence and eroded that of the home team, who suddenly found themselves under enormous pressure. Bohs seemed to miss their opportunity when they kicked three penalties for touch late on, with the home defence somehow holding their line. But it was at a cost as crucially Mike Swift was sin-binned, and deep in stoppage time out-half Feral Lawlor slotted a neat drop-goal to put them in front again at 13-11. However Wegians still had a chance to snatch victory when awarded another penalty on the 10 metre line, but Slemen completed a miserable day and fluffed his effort short and wide, so it was the visitors who went home with the spoils. This was definitely one that got away for Wegians.


Denis O’Brien, John Burke, Ross Davies, Derek Boyd, Liam Scahill, Ambrose Conboy (c), Steve Miller, Mike Swift, Tom Tierney, Peter Durkan, Brendon Bartley, Killian Finnane, John Hearty, Hugh Murphy, David Slemen. Subs: Dan McFarland (40 min), Ross Davies (71 min), John Culkin (7 min), Liam Casserly (67 min).

Match Notes

Galwegians Scorers: Try: Mike Swift (try); Penalties: David Slemen (2)

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