- Result: Galwegians Firsts 25 - Buccaneers 13
- Venue: Dubarry Park on Sat Aug 30th 2008
- Competition: Connacht Senior League
Galwegians got their season and Connacht Senior League campaign off to an impressive start with a convincing 25-13 win away to rivals Buccaneers at Athlone on Saturday.
However it did not look too promising in the initial stages as the home side dominated the opening exchanges, and they took advantage of some sloppy Wegians defence to forge an early lead. First their no. 8 Adrian Hanley took advantage of some indecision in the Wegians backline to score off a 5 metre scrum, and a conversion and penalty from Alan Gaughan stretched their advantage to 10-0 after only 15 minutes.
Both sides were featuring unsettled sides with some new & younger squad members getting a run out on each side, but Wegians eventually settled down and got back into the game. Their opening score came from a well deserved try from evergreen flanker Ivan Muldoon who is certain to play another key role in the season ahead. 10-5 down at the break, Wegians had the advantage of a strong breeze in the second-half and they certainly made it pay. Debutant Kevin Higgins playing at outside centre then crossed for a well-taken try, which was converted by U-20 full-back Robert O’Beirn to puthte Blues in front for the first time.
Wegians then managed to close out the deal impressively. O’Byrne added two penalties to his tally and they managed a third try when their other centre Chris Briegl, a summer signing from Ballymena, crossed the whitewash, with O’Beirn adding the two-pointer to leave the final score 25-13 to the Blues.
This leaves the Blues clear favourites to reclaim the title from defending champions Buccaneers, and their next encounter is a home fixture against Division 3 side Connemara on Saturday Sept. 6th at Crowley Park (3pm kick-off).