- Result: Galwegians Firsts 20 - Co Carlow 18
- Venue: Oak Park on Sat Nov 5th 2005
- Competition: AIL Division 1
Galwegians finally secured their first victory in this season’s All Ireland League after a dogged battle against fellow strugglers County Carlow at Oakpark on Saturday.
While the game was played in bright sunshine throughout, the heavy overnight rain made the conditions under foot more than difficult for both sides.
Carlow opened the scoring in the third minute with a penalty goal from outhalf Greg Jacob. Galwegians struck back quickly however and after some excellent forward play particularly with their driving mauls, tighthead prop Ross Davies scored a pushover try which fullback Brendon Bartley converted.
While Galwegians had the better of the forward exchanges, both sides were prone to numerous handling errors in a game, which was very scrappy as a result. A misplaced kick by Brendon Bartley gave Carlow the next scoring opportunity where an excellent backline movement resulted in left winger Ross Jackson scoring in the corner. Jacob was wide with the conversion to leave the score at 8-7 in the home side’s favour.
Greg Jacob then stretched Carlow’s lead with another penalty.
Galwegians then upped the pace considerably and struck two hammer blows in quick succession before halftime. The first was a fine try in the left corner by Barry Liddy after a succession of quick phases. The second was a piece of individual brilliance from scrum half Tom Tierney who spotted a gap in the Carlow defence, kicked ahead from just outside the Carlow 22 and gathered his own kick to touch down for an excellent score. This left the halftime score at 17-11 in favour of Galwegians.
The second half proved to be a very tight affair. Galwegians could only manage a penalty from Brendon Bartley despite having a numerical advantage when Carlow prop Liam O’Byrne was sin binned for a professional foul.
On O’Byrne’s return, Carlow continued to press forward. Their pressure was rewarded in the last minute with a try from fullback Raul which was converted by Jacob. It was too little too late however as referee Simon McDowell blew the final whistle immediately after the conversion.
So a first victory for Galwegians but they will have to significantly improve their performance if they are to pull away from the relegation zone. For Carlow, a bonus point was scant reward for their effort but one feels they will be scrapping again this season to avoid relegation.