- Result: Galwegians Firsts 34 - Old Crescent 0
- Venue: Crowley Park on Sat Dec 7th 2013
- Competition: AIL Division 2A
Galwegians preserved their 100% home record with they notched up a fourth successive bonus point win at Crowley Park against Old Crescent on Saturday.
This game was played under lights as Wegians were celebrating their 50th anniversary at Glenina. Playing in an unusual dark green strip to avoid a colour clash, the hosts made a comfortable start with two early Ross Shaughnessy penalties putting them 6-0 in front in the first 10 minutes. They then signalled their intent to celebrate the anniversary in style when they bagged their first try in the twelfth minute. It came from a trademark burst by full-back John Cleary who ran from inside his half, breaking three tackles before finding centre Jerome Harrimate on his shoulder who diver over near the posts to give Shaughnessy an easy conversion for a 13-0 lead.
The hosts continued to dominate proceedings, both upfront and looking more threatening in the backline. it was no surprise when they scored a second try before the end of the first quarter , and not for the first time this season it came from a penalty try. After strong pressure near the visitors’ line had forced an offside, a powerful 5-metre scrum from the home pack sent the visitors reeling backwards. And when it was pulled down by the Crescent front-row, ref Jonny Erskine wasted no time in gong under the posts to award the score. Another simple Shaughnessy conversion made it 20-0 and Wegians were already out of sight.
There was no respite for the luckless visitors, and just on the half-hour mark they conceded try number three. It followed an excellent chip and chase by winger Ronan Moore who was desperately unlucky to knock on with the line at his mercy. However it mattered little, as from the resulting 5-metre put-in, Wegians hooker Conor Muldoon made a strike against the head, giving no. 8 Dan McCabe the chance to barrel his way over the line near the left-hand corner. An excellent conversion from an in-form Shaughnessy made it 27-0, and at this stage a bonus point looked a formality for an utterly dominant Wegians side. However they failed to add to their tally before half-time, spurning some clear-cut opportunities in the process.
The second-half was an altogether different proposition. Although the visitors were reduced to 13 men at one stage, having incurred the wrath of referee Erskine on more than one occasion, the visitors then turned up in the second-half, putting in a decent performance in an attempt to salvage some pride. Their scrum began to settle and they finally began to benefit from refereeing decisions, albeit too late to impact the result. They started to run everything, but met another solid wall of Galwegian defence who were intent on holding firm.
Having made a few substitutions, Wegians rarely got out of their own half and were showing little sign of getting the bonus point. But on 70 minutes it duly arrived courtesy of another piece of magic from ace marksman Cleary. Substitute scrum-half Caolin Blade deserves a lot of credit for creating the opportunity, making a blind-side break when his scrum was under serious pressure. The zippy Monivea man then fed the onrushing Cleary on halfway, who cut inside his man and raced home unopposed to seal the deal and dive over under the posts.
Job done, Wegians held out for a second shut-out in three games, and in their last three Ulster Bank League games they have racked up 105 points, conceding just three. This win sees them move back into fourth place, and if the Blues keep the momentum and win their game in hand away to Banbridge on January 4th, they will go top of the League with every chance of sealing promotion to Division 1b.