- Result: Galwegians Firsts 18 - Dolphin 27
- Venue: Musgrave Park on Sat Oct 1st 2016
- Competition: AIL Division 1B
Galwegians suffered a most frustrating defeat last weekend when on their travels in AIL Division 1b, this time going down in disappointing fashion to a Dolphin side who got their first League win of the campaign. It was a game that promised so much for so long for the Blues, only to be sent home empty-handed with nothing to show for their efforts.
The hosts came into this game rooted to the bottom of the table with no points from their first two games. But playing with the wind advantage in the first-half, they made the brighter opening and raced into a 9-0 lead at the end of the first quarter. All their points came from the boot of their veteran out-half and assistant coach Barry Keeshan.
Keeshan’s accuracy with the boot served as a warning to the Blues that any indiscipline would not go unpunished. However the Blues soon steadied the ship and they played their best rugby in the second quarter. They got the first try of the game shortly afterwards when winger Alan McMahon cut through for an opportunist try in the left corner.
Wegians’ out-half Mitch Lam was off target with the difficult conversion, but the Blues hit the front for the first time on the half-hour mark. It came following another excellent try when a superb backline move was finished off by their other winger Adam Leavy. Lam made no mistake with this conversion, and he also tagged on a penalty on the stroke of half-time to put Wegians 15-9 deservedly in front at the break.
The hosts got back into the game when they scored their first try soon after the re-start, lock David O’Mahony getting on the end of it to charge over for an unconverted try. This left the Blues in front by a single point, but a penalty by Lam soon afterwards stretched their advantage to 18-14.
At this point with their four-point lead, a very threatening backline and having the slight benefit of the elements, Wegians looked well poised to kick on and secure their first away victory of the campaign. However the home pack were on top and that gave them the platform to get back into the contest.
The match was held up due to a lengthy stoppage following an injury to a Dolphin player after 50 minutes. Following the restart Lam was off target with another penalty attempt which would have given his side the relative comfort of a seven-point cushion. However the break in play certainly seemed to disrupt the visitors more, as the remainder of the game turned into something of a horror show for the Blues.
The Dolphin pack started to turn the screw and they regained the lead before the hour mark when flanker Karl Keogh struck for his side’s second try, with Keeshan adding the extras. He then tagged on another penalty shortly afterwards as Wegians’ indiscipine was now being ruthlessly exposed. Despite their best attempts, the stunned visitors were unable to regain any control, with Keeshan applying the final insult with the last kick of the game, when his fifth successfully penalty denied Wegians the consolation of even a losing bonus point.
Wegians head coach Brian McClearn and his assistant Lam have much to ponder about as their next home game is a big one. This Saturday (Oct. 8th) at Crowley Park they host the early pace-setters UL Bohs, who have won all three games to date with maximum points. So a big step-up in performance will be required, and the Blues will be hoping they can repeat their previous home performance from two weeks ago when they overcame another student outfit from Munster in the shape of UCC.