- Result: Galwegians Firsts 23 - Greystones 15
- Venue: Dr Hickey Park on Sat Dec 8th 2007
- Competition: AIL Division 1
Galwegians ended a 3-game losing streak when they bagged four points from their first-ever trip to Dr. Hickey Park on Saturday. But at times they made hard of work of dismantling their plucky opponents Greystones who certainly dominated the opening exchanges.
After both sides had early try-scoring oportunities, it was Greystones who took the lead on 13 minutes when a line-out maul brought play up to the Wegians line, and when they spun it wide, inside centre Aaron Hicks crashed over under the posts for the game's opening try, out-half James Power converting for 7-0. The home side continued to dominate against a lacklustre Wegians, and their pressure was rewarded on the half-hour when their big no. 8 and captain John O'Beirne barged over in the right-hand corner for a second try, which Power failed narrowly to convert.
12-0 down, Wegians needed to respond quickly. And within three minutes they did just that when Irish U-20 lock Andrew Browne finished off a move in the right-hand corner following some good work by young back-row duo Liam Casserly and Ian Cullinane. And Australian winger Liam Bibo, making his first full start for Wegians, landed a magnificent touchline conversion into the teeth of the strong breeze to reduce arrears to 12-7. This is how it stayed at half-time, although Wegians had to survive a late scare as the home side laid siege to their line following a line-out turnover, but the Blues defence held firm.
The game was won and lost in the third quarter. Wegians coach Paul Young must have said the right things during the break, as Wegians re-emerged a different side. They started to use the wind to good effect, and a 47th minute penalty by Bibo from the 22m. line reduced arrears to 12-10. Then two minutes later a loose midfield pass from the home side was intercepted, and Wegians out-half Cormac O'Beirne fed winger John Cleary who made the most of his opportunity to beat his opposite number to cross the line for his third try in four games. The Wellpark man's pace even allowed him round the cover and make it under the posts to give Bibo a simple conversion to stretch the lead to 17-12.
Three minutes later Bibo landed another penalty as the referee was constantly pinging the home side at this stage, although he resisted producing any yellow cards. Wegians looked very comfortable entering into the final quarter, but a poor clearance kick by O'Beirne from just outside his 22 went out on the full, putting his side under pressure by conceding a scrum. And Stones capitalised by gaining a penalty which Power struck over the bar to reduce the gap to just five points. The home side gained impetus from this, and they had a couple of opportunities to score again before Wegians closed out the game sensibly in the last few minutes. The final act of the game saw Bibo strike his fifth successful kick at goal from six attempts to cruelly deny the hosts a losing bonus point, and ensure that the Blues left with the four points secured.