- Result: Galwegians Firsts 7 - Corinthians 7
- Venue: Crowley Park on Fri Nov 10th 2017
- Competition: AIL Division 2A
It was honours even at a rain and windswept Crowley Park on Friday night in the city derby in Division 2A, where the visitors rode their luck to escape with a draw and remain ahead of their rivals Wegians in the League table.
Galwegians started with intent and dominated the opening exchange. Early pressure led to a penalty on 8 minutes but out-half Morgan Codyre was wide of the mark. The Blues continued to lord territory in the opening quarter and they were to rue several missed opportunities, the best of them when scrum-half Hugh Lane had a snipe near the line, only to knock on the slippery ball when over the whitewash.
Corinthians defended well and they had an early chance to take the lead but centre Mark McDermott miscued from the 22m line. It was more of the same for the remainder of the opening period, with the Blues unable to breach a dogged Corinthian defence. Both sides were reduced to 14 men before half-time, Corinthians full-back Cian de Buitlear following a professional foul to deny the hosts a scoring opportunity, but again Codyre was off target. Moments later, following the intervention of the referee’s assistant, Wegians’ Brian Murphy was despatched to the bin for a ten minute sojourn.
While the downpour continued throughout, the squally wind really picked up in the second-half and was blowing down toward the clubhouse end which seemed set to the visitors a definite advantage. However once again it was Wegians who came out of the traps following the restart. Some good continuity play and handling saw them bring play up to the line. Then their dominance in the scrum was rewarded when following a second strong shunt from 5 metres out, referee Shane Kierans awardee a penalty try to put them 7-0 to the good.
Rather than kick on, the hosts proceeded to shoot themselves in the foot as their lead lasted barely two minutes. When they spilled the restart and handed their visitors an attacking scrum inside the 22. Corinthians wasted no time in taking advantage, taking play right up to the line. Initially it looked like referee Kierans was signalling to penalise the attacking team with Wegians defending manfully, only for a sudden change of heart when he awarded a second penalty try in as many minutes, much to the relief of the visiting fans and the consternation of the hosts. No. 8 Jack Winters was sin-binned as well the add insult to injury.
This seemed to set up Corinthians for the final quarter with the aid of the elements and an extra man advantage for the ten minutes. However their attacking threat was limited as the Blues continued to dominate the forward exchanges. Corinthians centre Kieran Joyce tried his luck with a long-range penalty but it was short and wide. Again it was the hosts who were playing all the rugby in the final stages.
However their lack of confidence and poor decision-making meant they were unable to pierce the rearguard. The game was summed up in the very last play of the game when out-half Codyre made a scything break from near halfway to have only the full-back de Buitlear to beat, however he failed to spot the unmarked prop Jason East on his inside shoulder, and with that their chance was gone. So ended a frustrating evening for the hosts, with the visitors undoubtedly the happier of the two sides with their two points.