Towards a century at the heart of Connacht rugby

Firsts 22 – UCC 24


Match Result

  • Result: Galwegians Firsts 22 - UCC 24
  • Venue: Mardyke on Sat Apr 8th 2017
  • Competition: AIL Division 1B

Match Report

Déjà vu for Galwegians in a game that pretty much summed up their season. More than a match for their opponents and competitive throughout, Galwegians contrived to throw away a winning position in the second-half to yet again come up second best.

In what was another must-win game for the Blues, they started well and took a deserved lead after 10 minutes when a rolling maul off a lineout saw Jason East ground the ball over the line for the game’s opening try, which was unconverted.

Wegians were well worth their lead as they dominated the opening quarter. However, there were ominous signs that the visitors were getting back into the game and the glorious weather conditions certainly suited their typical student free-flowing running game. The pressure eventually told and the hosts drew level with their opening try just before the half-hour mark when Kevin O’Keeffe crossed out wide for an unconverted try.

The Blues responded well, and regained the initiative when full-back Aidan Moynihan finished a move shortly afterwards to put the visitors back in front. A well-struck conversion by out-half Morgan Codyre gave them a seven-point cushion. However, instead of closing out the opening half with this buffer, disaster struck on the stroke of half-time when a clearance kick was charged down near their line by College out-half Charlie O’Regan who dived on the ball to score what proved to be a crucial five-pointer. This gave the Blues a slender 12-10 lead at the break.

Despite the set-back, Wegians re-grouped and straight from the second-half restart they scored with their very first attack when Codyre finished a move running under the posts for his side’s third try. He tagged on the simple conversion and suddenly the Blues were 19-10 to the good.

Unfortunately for Wegians, instead of pulling clear of their opponents, the pattern of this topsy-turvy game continued and the pendulum swung back. The hosts did not have to wait too long to haul themselves back into contention, with strong carries from Ben Mitchell and James Kiernan seeing the latter score a well-taken try. This time O’Keeffe found his range to convert and once more make it a two-point game.

The students then found their mojo and they started to pile on the pressure. They took the lead before the hour mark when they forced a 5 metre scrum, and back-row Daire Feeney powered over for the all-important bonus fourth try. O’Keeffe converted and suddenly the hosts were in front for the first time in the contest.

There was still plenty of time for Wegians to re-group, and shortly after the hour-mark Codyre steadied nerves with a penalty from in front of the posts to reduce the gap to 24-22. Despite dominating for several minutes, Wegians were unable to add to this tally. Codyre had two chances to snatch the lead with late penalties, but both were difficult kicks and just eluded him, ensuring that the hosts were able to emerge with their lead unscathed. Try as they might, time ran out for a devastated Wegians who succumbed to their thirteenth defeat of the season, with just one victory on the road.

An inability to see out games has been a constant challenge for Galwegians all season, and this time it may just prove extremely costly as they have plummeted to bottom of the table for the first time, courtesy of a win for Dolphin at the weekend. Their final game is at home to Naas this Saturday at Crowley Park (2.30pm kick-off), where nothing less than a win is required if the Blues are to have any chance of survival from automatic relegation to Division 2a.


Aidan Moynihan; Ciaran Gaffney, Dave Clarke, Brian Murphy (capt), Alan McMahon; Morgan Codyre, Conor Lowndes; Patrick Curran, John Moloney, Jason East; Anthony Ryan, Peter Claffey; Marc Kelly, Josh Pim, Paul Hackett. Replacements: Ja Naughton, Doron McHugh, Eoin Tarmey, Barry Lee, Eamon Dowling.

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