Towards a century at the heart of Connacht rugby

Firsts 13 – UCD 19


Match Result

  • Result: Galwegians Firsts 13 - UCD 19
  • Venue: Crowley Park on Sun Jan 23rd 2005
  • Competition: AIL Division 1

Match Report

Galwegians suffered a disappointing defeat at home to the students from UCD on a crisp January afternoon in Crowley Park in this AIB All-Ireland League Division 1 clash on Sunday. The visitors deserved their victory overall as they made the most of their chances, in contrast to Wegians who will feel that this was a game for the taking, but which got away from them in the end.

The visitors led 8-3 at the break. Both sides scored first-half penalties, Eoghan Hickey getting the visitors off the mark first after 20 minutes, before Wegians responded through John Cleary who was unlucky not to get on the end of a cross-kick from Tom Allen which could easily have resulted in the game’s opening try.

But the opening five-pointer went to the visitors on the half-hour when winger Stephen Grissing came in off his opposite wing in a well-worked backline move to score on the left. Hickey failed to add the conversion, but Wegians were lucky to survive only five points behind at the interval having come under sustained pressure before half-time.

Galwegians came out much stronger in the second-half, with Connacht prop Dan McFarland joining his colleague Peter Bracken in the front-row, and they applied serious pressure on the opposition scrum. The home side had chances to score but failed to make the most of their opportunities, and they had to wait until the 60th minute to score through a penalty by John Cleary to reduce arrears to 8-6. However the students effectively sealed the game in the next five minute period when they racked up eight unanswered points.

First of all, Hickey cancelled out Cleary’s penalty almost straight from the restart, and the killer score came barely three minutes later when another slick backline move saw full-back Ross McCarron cross on the left for his side’s second try. This put them ten points clear, and Wegians rallied but had to wait until the 78th minute before they scored their only try through centre Stuart Meagher who finished off a period of pressure in some style. John Cleary added an excellent conversion to reduce the margin to just three points, and set up a grandstand finale.

However it never came to pass, as the students closed out the game on the offensive, and with the last kick of the game another Hickey penalty left the final score 19-13, so Wegians had to be content with a solitary bonus point for their efforts.


1. Denis O’Brien, 2. Henry Bourke, 3. Peter Bracken, 4. John Casserly (c), 5. Brian McClearn, 6. Ambrose Conboy, 7. Ivan Muldoon, 8. Scott Donald, 9. James Heaslip, 10. Tom Allen, 11. John Cleary, 12. John Culkin, 13. Stuart Meagher, 14. Barry Liddy, 15. Patrick Noble. Subs: Marnus Uijs for McClearn, Dan McFarland for O’Brien, John McDonagh for Barry Liddy, Dave Rogers for Culkin.

Match Notes

Galwegians Scorers: Try: Stuart Meagher; Penalties: John Cleary (2); Conversion: John Cleary. UCD Scorers: Tries: Stephen Grissing, Ross McCarron; Penalties: Eoghan Hickey (3). UCD squad: Brian Hall, Conor Geoghegan, Jason Moran, Simon Crawford, Arthur Houlihan, Neil Coughlan, Kevin Croke, Conor Davis, Daragh Geraghty, Eoghan Hickey, Michael Fanning, Michael Hastings, Ken Kennedy, Stephen Grissing, Ross McCarron. Subs used: Christian Warner, Killian Willis for Geraghty, Kennedy.

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