- Result: Galwegians Firsts 11 - Malahide 13
- Venue: Crowley Park on Sat Nov 12th 2022
- Competition: AIL Division 2B
Galwegians suffered yet another agonizing defeat when a late penalty saw visitors Malahide snatch victory from the jaws of defeat in this Energia League Division 2B encounter at Crowley Park on Saturday.
Wegians came into this game searching for their first win of the campaign, and they played the first-half against a strong breeze blowing in from the Dublin Road end. The visitors had an early chance to take the lead in the very first minute but missed a very kickable penalty. Instead it was the hosts who opened the scoring when full-back Darragh Kennedy landed a 7th minute penalty after their first incursion into opposition territory.
Things got even better for the Blues minutes later when they scored the game’s first try. A good attack down the left and swift hands saw the ball reach winger Shane Mallon. A clever chip ahead deceived his opposite number and the speedster was on hand to gather his own ball and dive over for an opportunist score near the left corner. Kennedy’s conversion attempt was near impossible into the teeth of the cross-wind, but the Blues were looking good 8-0 up.
The visitors were struggling to get their game going, but were given a fillip when Wegians flanker Ben McGuinness received a very cheap yellow card near the end of the first quarter. This gave the North Dubliners momentum, and having kicked their penalty into the 22, some patient play saw them set up camp on the Wegians line. The cover was eventually sucked in, allowing centre Ben Woods dive over near the posts. Out-half Dave O’Halloran landed the conversion to reduce the gap to a point.
However Wegians recovered well from this and played a clever possession game against the wind. They were more than holding their own, and had a great chance to score after the half-hour mark, but out-half Jordan Thompson was just held up over the line. They then had to withstand a late onslaught from the visitors, but some excellent defence saw them maintain their slender half-time lead.
At this point the Blues looked set fair to kick on with the strong wind at their backs. Thompson and centre Mark Earle were using the wind to good effect to set up territory, and they had some gilt-edged chances shortly after the restart to land a decisive blow, but some hesitancy, poor decision-making and some stern Malahide defence meant they were unable to add to their lead.
Instead it was the visitors who were to score next, as they took the lead very much against the run of play on 55 minutes with their first entry into Wegians territory in the second-half. When awarded a penalty 30 metres out, O’Halloran made no mistake in front of the posts to put his side 10-8 ahead.
It proved short-lived as Wegians went on the attack straight from the restart, and a consolidated period of possession and territory near the opposition line saw the visitors see two backs sin-binned for high tackles. The Blues opted for the kick at goal, and Kennedy again showed his composure the split the posts and put his side back into the lead.
Unfortunately for the Blues, this was as good as it got as they simply could not make their dominance pay. When Malahide were restored to their full complement, they eventually managed to break out of their half and put together an attacking spell. They got their chance in the 76th minute when awarded a penalty on the 22, which saw Wegians winger Karl Waterman being sin-binned. O’Halloran judged the cross-wind to perfection to steer his effort between the posts.
Try as they might, the 14-man Wegians simply could not force their way back into it, and the clock soon ran out on their hopes of securing what would have been a deserved victory. However the bottom line remains that the Blues still have not picked up a victory in their first six games, and they remain second from bottom in the table. It doesn’t get any easier, as their next assignment comes in two weeks’ time when they host the early pace-setters and promotion favourites Greystones at Crowley Park on Saturday November 26th, 2.30pm kick-off.