Towards a century at the heart of Connacht rugby

Firsts 37 – Old Belvedere 13


Match Result

  • Result: Galwegians Firsts 37 - Old Belvedere 13
  • Venue: Crowley Park on Sat Jan 5th 2008
  • Competition: AIL Cup

Match Report

Galwegians cruised into the quarter-finals of the AIB Cup for the third year in succession with a seven-try mauling of a hapless Old Belvedere at Crowley Park on Saturday. Despite the final scoreline, the visitors actually opened the scoring with a 9th minute try from flanker Richie Leyden following a line-out maul. But Wegians served notice of their intentions with two tries in the space of a minute. On 15 minutes scrum-half Robbie Shaw scored an excellent solo effort following a break, chip and chase from the half-way line. And straight from the restart, Louie Tonkin made a burst and set up what must surely be the complete front-row try, when props Ja Naughton and Brian McGovern displayed pace and deft handling to send hooker Joey Merrigan clear, and his pace saw him finish with aplomb in the right-corner for try number two.

The visitors however were giving as good as they got in the opening half and they responded through a Brian Collins penalty on 22 minutes to reduce arrears to 10-8. But the Blues regained the initiative through a deserved third try on 31 minutes when Brian McGovern finished a strong scrummage to dive over for a 15-8 lead. And despite some sustained pressure from the visitors, Wegians kept their line intact, ensuring it stayed this way at the break.

The Blues made the game safe with two more tries early in the second-half. On 45 minutes, winger Pate Tuilevaka nearly crossed in the left-hand corner, but centre Brett Sweeney was on hand to finish it off. And minutes later no. 8 Liam Casserly charged down a clearance kick and touched down for try number 5. This extended the lead to 25-8, with out-half Cormac O'Beirne having a luckless day with the boot.

Blindside flanker Martin Webdale then got in on the act for try number six following a lineout maul on 55 minutes, with Wegians opening up the visiting defence at will at this stage. Then with barely ten minutes remaining, replacement hooker Conor Muldoon was on hand to take a reverse pass from Robbie Shaw following another break from the scrum-half, with Peter Durcan finally landing a conversion for Wegians.

Belvo kept plugging away and they did manage the final score of the game when sub back Richie Murphy finished off a move in what was the last act of the game.

Wegians' reward is a home quarter-final against the winners of the postponed Malone - Bruff game, to be played the first Saturday in February.


P. Durcan, J. Cleary, B. Sweeney, T. Fletcher, A. Tuilevaka, C. O'Beirne, T. Tierney, J. Naughton, J. Merrigan, B. McGovern, B. McClearn, L. Tonkin (c), M. Webdale, L. Casserly, I. Cullinane. Replacements: J. Wakely (55 min), R.Shaw (7 min), J. Lyne (62 min), C. Muldoon (62 min), A. Browne (55 min)

Match Notes

Galwegians Scorers: Tries: Robbie Shaw, Joe Merrigan, Brian McGovern, Brett Sweeney, Liam Casserly, Martin Webdale, Conor Muldoon; Conversion: Peter Durcan.

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