- Result: Galwegians Firsts 26 - Terenure 14
- Venue: Crowley Park on Sat Apr 11th 2009
- Competition: AIL Division 1
Galwegians winger John Cleary bagged all 4 tries as the home side cruised to a bonus point victory over an already doomed Terenure College at Crowley Park on Easter Saturday.
In their penultimate League game of the season and their last home outing, <BR>Wegians were clearly on top from early on, and with a strong breeze behind them they threatened right from the word go, laying siege to the defenders line. Only some sloppy errors prevented them from putting some early points on the board, and they had to wait until the 18th minute before they finally managed a breakthrough.
It came from some excellent work from outstanding lock Dave Nolan, who was a towering presence throughout. Following a clean lineout steal, the former Irish U-20 star followed up a clearance kick with a tackle and then a turnover on Nure’s centre John Bollard. And then another promising product of ‘Wegians Youth Academy, out-half Ross Shaughnessy, launched an inch-perfect cross-kick which allowed top-scorer Cleary touch down right at the corner flag for the opening five-pointer. Full-back Rob O’Beirn was unlucky with the difficult conversion, and he was then off-target with a long-range penalty effort shortly afterwards.
However the Blues did not have to wait long to extend their lead, as two minutes later their decision to kick a close-range penalty to the corner paid dividends. Hooker Conor Muldoon again found Nolan who was a class apart in the line-outs, and following quick ball from the impressive Barry Lee, who was starting at scrum-half for the first time in the AIL, Shaughnessy found the ever-willing Cleary with a sweet reverse pass and the Mervue flyer scythed through the visiting defence at pace and showing deft footwork to score under the posts for his second try. O’Beirn added the extras to stretch the advantage to 12-0, and this was how it remained at the break as the home side took their foot off the gas sllghtly.
However any thoughts of a Terenure revival were soon quashed as ’Wegians went about their business to make the game safe early on. The home pack were utterly dominant in all aspects, and when awarded a penalty 10 metres out in the 45tth minute, the quick-thinking Cleary tapped and went himself to ghost through the bemused home defence and secure his hat-trick. It was all Wegians as they continued to make light of the stiff breeze against them in the second-half, and they secured the bonus point following an excellent passage of play just on the hour mark. Following some patient play and good forwards & backs interchange, hooker Muldoon made an incisive break down the right, and who else but Cleary was on hand, this time coming off his opposite wing to cut through for his and ‘Wegians’ fourth try.
In fairness Nure responded well, and they managed to produce a late rally and deservedly got on the scoreboard in the final quarter. First it was lock Brian Moroney who finished off a sustained period of pressure in the 63rd minute, and then on 70 minutes centre John Bollard cut through for a second converted try to give the visitors the faintest of hopes, with Wegians having emptied the bench at this stage. But any prospect of a dramatic late turnaround were snuffed out as the Blues battened down the hatches to see it out and secure what was only their second bonus pointer of the season.
Wegians are now safely ensconced in mid-table in ninth place in the League, going into the final round of games next Saturday where they conclude their campaign away to play-off contenders Garryowen.