- Result: Galwegians Firsts 12 - Belfast Harlequins 31
- Venue: Crowley Park on Sat Mar 25th 2023
- Competition: AIL Division 2B
Last weekend Galwegians faced off against middle-of-the-table Belfast Harlequins. Following a week of torrential rain, Saturday rolled around the corner the sun shone down on Crowley Park for yet another exciting game from the AIL D2.
Galwegians got the afternoons game underway kicking off towards the Crowley Park clubhouse. The first five minutes consisted of kick tennis and several lineouts, with Galwegians looking the better of the two sides, winning the first four lineouts.
The Blues set piece put the visitors under immense pressure, forcing them back to defend on their goal line. As has been all season, Galwegians would prove to be their own worst enemy, a knock-on at the line. Harlequins then cleared their lines after winning a scrum penalty.
Harlequins worked themselves into a scoring position after Galwegian’s ill-discipline allowed the visitor to creep within range of the posts. Center Paul Kerrs kick cleared the posts from inside the 10-meter line, to give the Ulster men a 3-0 lead.
Harlequins found the first try of the evening off the back of an overthrown line out, with Kerr putting on the footwork, turning back against traffic and finding a gap in the Galwegian’s defence, to sail over the whitewash. Kerr pushed them further ahead as he added the extras to make it 10-0.
Harlequins found their second less than 10 minutes later, this time from a well-worked line-out maul. The Harlequins pack driving Wegians back over their own line to touch down to left of the posts, which made for an easy conversion for the right-footed kicker.
Wegians launched one last attack before the end of the half a great break by Karl Waterman saw our lads just meters from the opposition 22 but ill-discipline again proved costly, with Duffy clearing out dangerously, to give Harlequins an opportunity to exit and launch an attack of their own.
A number of strong carries put Wegians on the back foot, but the home side managed to scramble and force Harlequins into attempting a cross-field kick. The kick was well-read by Waterman who took the mark and kicked clear to end the half with Belfast in control 17-0.
Wegians started the second half strongly, playing deep within the Harlequins half. They launched their first attack from a strong line out maul, pushing Harlequins back to defend their own goal line. The Blues won a free kick from the maul breakdown, which they opted to tap and go running hard at the Harlequins line before a lovely skip pass from Langan found Darragh Kennedy out wide to touch down in the corner. Although the conversion went wide, Galwegian’s confidence grew with the 17-5 score line.
The confidence would soon be diminished, as Harlequins respond well from the kick-off with a series of attacks. One attack resulted in the Ulster men being held up on the line. The Galwegians out half then scuffed the kick to allow Harlequins to regather and cross the line. The resulting conversion increased their lead to 24-5.
Although 19 points behind Galwegians never gave up hope, mounting numerous attacks, and after several visits to the opposition 22, they finally received their reward. A penalty try in the 70th minute would reduce the gap to a two-score game after the Harlequin’s defender slapped down the final pass of the Wegian’s attack, earning himself a yellow card.
Even though Wegians had the numerical advantage, the final score would belong to the traveling side. A series of penalties saw them edge their way toward the try line before, several strong carries around the corner would push Cameron Doak across the line, to earn Harlequins a bonus point win.
Galwegians are in real turmoil with Enniscorthy surpassing them on the league table to leave them dead last with only 2 games left. The challenge continues as they travel across the road to city rivals Corinthians this Friday night. This is sure to be an unmissable derby with second-place Corinthians pushing for the top and promotion, Galwegians will be forced to give it their all to avoid relegation.