- Result: Galwegians Firsts 33 - Buccaneers 36
- Venue: Dubarry Park on Sat Sep 8th 2018
- Competition: AIL Division 1A
Galwegians were cruelly denied in the last minute against Buccs to lose out on the Connacht Senior League for another season. Having led for so long during this game, they were reeled in by a late Buccs comeback which saw them claim the spoils with a last-gasp penalty try,
The Blues made an early statement and took the lead within two minutes, when last year’s Connacht Senior Club Player of the Year Brian Murphy sauntered home with Dave Clarke converting for a 7-0 lead. Buccs were soon back on level terms when they scored their opening try through Evan Galvin converted by Michael Hanley.
However Wegians soon took control again and at the end of the first quarter they regained the lead. Although initially held up at the posts, the ball was moved to the opposite flank where Sean O’Sullivan finished off for an unconverted 22nd minute try. Then just after the half-hour mark they nabbed their third try following a penalty on the home ten metre line, and the ball was moved neatly via Rory Gaffney and James Kennedy to send Murphy in for his second try. Clarke’s conversion gave Galwegians a deserved 19-7 halftime lead.
With the wind at their backs, the hosts soon went about getting back into the game and an early penalty saw them reduce the gap to 19-10. However the Blues then took firm control on 50 minutes when Murphy again caused havoc and linked tremendously well with lock Eoin Tarmey who crossed for an excellent try. Clarke converted again to put the Blues sixteen points to the good.
However Wegians were getting on the wrong side of the ref and when no. 8 Michael O’Donnell was sin-binned, the hosts got back into the game with a second try to reduce the gap to 26-15.
Buccs then grabbed the initiative and hooker John Sutton claimed a third try which was converted. Then when Wegians’s sub forward Shane Ryan was also binned, the pressure was mounting and the hosts went in front on 72 minutes when Martin Staunton crossed for a bonus fourth try, Hanley’s conversion giving his side a 3-point lead for the first time.
Wegians showed superb character that man of the match Murphy conjured up a try out of nowhere to restore his side’s lead, with Clarke converting to give his side a four-point margin heading into the last minute. Unfortunately it wasn’t to be as indiscipline once again cost the Blues, coughing up a needless penalty to put them under the cosh.
Then in the final act of play, the referee Jason Cairns awarded a penalty try to the hosts when Conor McMahon was judged to be impeded, giving the hosts the spoils.