Towards a century at the heart of Connacht rugby

Firsts 26 – Trinity 23


Match Result

  • Result: Galwegians Firsts 26 - Dublin University 23
  • Venue: College Park on Sat Jan 21st 2006
  • Competition: AIL Division 1

Match Report

Galwegians won a vital relegation battle on Saturday when they edged out hosts Trinity College in a tense and dramatic finale, but 13-man Galwegians held on somehow for a vital five point haul, with a bonus point to boot.

A larger Wegians pack looked like they could dominate early on, and they took the lead when captain Ambrose Conboy scored the game's first try, which was converted by Brendon Bartley for a 7-0 lead. However the students then got back into game, and after a penalty from out-half Jonny Watt, they then scored their first try through their centre Barry Kinsella for a deserved 8-7 lead, with their lively backline posing problems for the Blues.

However in the second quarter Wegians gained the upper hand when they put some crucial points on the scoreboard. They regained the lead when out-half Peter Durkan dummied and ran through to score in the corner, with the reliable Bartley adding his second conversion for a 14-8 lead. Then sub winger Peter Phelan, who had came on in place of the injured centre Brian Murphy, scored his side's third try to open up what looked like a decisive lead for the visitors. However Trinity got back into the game before half-time with a second try, this time from lock Martin Garvey, to leave the score 19-13 at the break.

In the second-half the students were much the better side and they regained the lead on 50 minutes with a third try, this time scored by centre Brian Hastings, with out-half Watt's conversion putting them one point in front. Then a second Watt penalty soon after stretched their advantage to 23-19. This became a real test of Galwegians' resolve as they entered the final quarter, but for the second week running they came up trumps and dug deep when they needed to. And once again it was captain Ambrose Conboy who got the clinching score when he finished what was essentially the visitors' only attack of the second-half to score his second try of the game. Brendon Bartley added a crucial conversion for a 3-point lead.

This heralded an onslaught by the students in the dying minutes where they piled on the pressure and laid siege to the Galwegians line. When awarded a penalty they kicked for the corner in search of the victory. At one stage it looked like they might have scored the winner but the Ulster referee ruled they were held up. And despite Galwegians finishing with thirteen men, with forwards Denis O'Brien and Liam Casserly ending the game in the sin-bin, they hung on valiantly to secure the most crucial of victories. This win put Wegians eight points clear of Trinity who currently sit second-last in the table in the relegation zone.


Denis O’Brien, John Burke, Ross Davies, Derek Boyd, Liam Scahill, Andrew Gallagher, Liam Casserly, Ambrose Conboy (c), Tom Ellard, Peter Durkan, John Culkin, Killian Finnane, Brian Murphy, Hugh Murphy, Brendon Bartley. Subs: Tom Tierney (40 min), Peter Phelan (25 min).

Match Notes

Galwegians Scorers: Tries: Ambrose Conboy (2), Peter Durkan, Peter Phelan; Conversions: Brendon Bartley (3). Trinity squad: D Crotty; P Howard, B Kinsella, B Hastings, S Hanratty; J Watt, J Burns; N Conlon, M Crockett, P Doran-Jones (K O'Neill 60), M Garvey, M Warburton, P McFeely (D O'Reilly 56), H Hogan, D Hayes. Referee: D Wilkinson (Ulster).

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