Towards a century at the heart of Connacht rugby

Firsts 36 – Sligo 10


Match Result

  • Result: Galwegians Firsts 36 - Sligo 10
  • Venue: Sportsground on Sun Apr 29th 2012
  • Competition: Connacht Senior Cup

Match Report

After their huge disappointment of relegation to AIL Division 2 last weekend, Galwegians Senior XV at least finished their season on a high when they regained the Connacht Senior Cup for the first time in four years with a comprehensive win over Sligo.

This was a strange game for both sides who had just completed a long hard season, and this original fixture should have been played over the Christmas period, only to suffer due to the complete indifference of both other clubs and the competition organisers. However they both took to the field at the Sportsground on Sunday, and although Wegians were clear favourites and put out a fairly strong team, while also including several of their Connacht Junior Cup and U-21 champions, Division 2b newcomers Sligo were clearly up for it.

The underdogs took the game to Wegians in the opening half, and indeed the game remained scoreless until the 24th minute when out-half Tadhg Leader put the Blues in front with a penalty. This seemed to settle Wegians, as three minutes later they scored the first try of the game when one of their players of the season, centre Brian Murphy continued his rich vein of scoring by crossing the whitewash for the third successive game.

Sligo were still giving it a right go, but the game was effectively sealed as a contest when Wegians landed a double sucker punch with two tries just before half-time. Stalwart prop Ja Naughton went over for their second try on 39 minutes which was converted by Leader. And if that wasn’t bad enough for the Strandhill outfit, an injury-time try from winger Ronan Moore added insult to injury, with another Leader conversion giving the city side a somewhat flattering 22-0 lead.

Credit to Sligo who refused to give up, and they got the score they had been threatening for a long time when their sub Mick O’Shea crossed for a well deserved try on 45 minutes. This gave the north-westerners heart, and their forwards were getting stuck into a Wegians pack which by this stage had no less than six front-rowers in their unit. However they were unable to make any serious inroads, and the Blues used their experience and guile to close the game out safely and keep their opponents at bay.

The final ten minutes however did feature a late flurry of scores. Murphy went over for his second try of the game on 70 minutes, before Sligo out-half and ex-Galwegian Mark Butler crossed for a consolation score for Sligo. But the Blues had the last laugh when scrum-half Ross Shaughnessy their fifth try right at the death, with Leader adding the extras to leave the final score 36-10 for Wegians.

Captain Brian McClearn completed a sweet personal double as he lifted the Senior Cup trophy four years after doing the same in the Connacht Junior Cup Final.


15 Darragh Leader; Ronan Moore, 13 Brian Murphy, 12 Tadhg Leader; 11 C Conroy; 10 R Shaughnessy, 9 Martin Connolly; 1 Ja Naughton, 2 Conor Muldoon, 3 Jason East; 4 Eoin Tarmey, 5 Brian McClearn (captain); 6 Callum O’Connell, 7 R Fitzgerald, 8 E McKeon. Subs: Paul Griffin, Danny Deegan, Paddy Finn, Shane Thompstone, David Quill.

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