- Result: Galwegians Firsts 15 - Wanderers 46
- Venue: Crowley Park on Sat Apr 2nd 2022
- Competition: AIL Division 2B
Galwegians finished their home Energia AIL Division 2B campaign in very disappointing fashion after suffering an 8-try hammering at the hands of visitors Wanderers from Dublin on Saturday.
The Blues were hoping to take some momentum into the end of their season and the fast-approaching relegation play-offs against Ballina. However they got off to a terrible start, conceding two soft tries in the opening five minutes from which they never really recovered. There was barely a minute gone on the clock when the visitors took advantage of a blind-side move to send centre Cian Doddy over on the right for a 5-0 lead. And it went from bad to worse for the Blues when the D4 side doubled their lead with their very next attack. Another missed tackle gave left wing Mikey Russell an easy run-in and a 10-0 lead.
Wegians gave themselves a glimmer of hope when they opened their account in the 10th minute, when some good hands and strong backline running gave centre Diarmuid Kilgallen enough space to use his power and strength to cross the whitewash on the left. Out-half Morgan Codyre was unlucky to see his conversion drift just wide with the wind, but at 10-5 they were back in the game.
Or so it seemed. Unfortunately that was just about Kilgallen’s last act as he soon departed with an unfortunate facial cut. This seemed to halt his side’s momentum somewhat, as some lacklustre defence soon gave Wanderers an attacking opportunity and they mauled their way over for try number 3, converted by Conor Byrne for a 17-5 lead.
Codyre soon pulled it back to 8-17 with a well struck penalty, awarded for offside as the Blues looked on the cusp of scoring a second try. This gave the Chaps a chance to regroup, and before the half-hour they had the bonus point in the bag when a very strong 5m scrum shoved the Blues pack backwards, referee Andrew Mitchell going straight under the posts for a penalty try.
Wegians still had their chances before the break, but were unable to capitalise when in the red zone, giving their visitors a comfortable 24-8 half-time lead. The third quarter saw the game drop a notch in intensity, and in truth Wegians never really threatened a comeback. Any chance of a late flurry was snuffed out before the hour mark when Wanderers scrum-half Byrne grabbed another try under the posts, which he converted himself to put them out of sight.
The final quarter was one to forget as the Chaps utterly dominated to ram home their supremacy. With both sides ringing the changes, the game opened up and centre Martin O’Neill then made it try number 6, Shortly afterwards substitute and ex-Wegian Lucas Culliton raced home from halfway with a gut-busting sprint to score near the left corner, and rub salt into the wounds of his former team-mates.
With the game petering out and the hungry visitors searching for more scores, Wegians got a minor consolation when Codyre intercepted near his line to race home fully 95 metres unopposed and score under the posts. However the Chaps had the final say when they rounded off a dominant afternoon with their eighth try, when some great offloading set up no. 8 Conor Fenlon who dived over to seal an emphatic victory.
This win gives Wanderers a chance of overhauling Corinthians in the search for the play-offs, although it is out of their own hands as they need a favour from Blackrock College at Cloonacauneen on Saturday. Meanwhile Wegians round off their League campaign this Saturday away to Ballina. This will be the first instalment of a somewhat bizarre triple-bill, as both sides have to face off in a home & away relegation play-off on April 23rd & 30th to see who can earn the right to remain in Division 2B next season.