- Result: Galwegians Firsts 18 - Blackrock 33
- Venue: Stradbrook on Sat Mar 26th 2022
- Competition: AIL Division 2B
Galwegians had a relegation play-off spot confirmed when they were beaten by promotion-chasing Blackrock in Stradbrook on Saturday.
Played in glorious sunshine, the rank outsider Blues took the game to their opponents and they got off to a great start with a try on 5 Minutes by winger Matt Dever after great work by flanker Ben McGuinness. Morgan Codyre's conversion attempt was unlucky to come back off the post, putting his side 0-5 ahead. It was short-lived as the hosts soon hit their stride, and barely 3 minutes later Rock hit straight back when they opened their own account with a converted try. It came from a well-worked maul, hooker Alan McMahon touching down and Peter Quirke converting for a 7-5 lead.
Wegians retook the lead on 13 minutes with a penalty from Codyre who found his range. The Blues were playing some great rugby, they had stolen some Rock lineout ball and the very impressive McGuinness who made one searing break in the first quarter, before having to retire injured early with an unfortunate rib injury.
Just after the half-hour Codyre stretched Wegians lead with his second successful penalty for a 7-11 lead for which they were good value.
On the stroke of half-time the hosts went back in front. Having been camped on the Wegians line, lock Eoin Tarmey was binned and the hosts got in for a second unconverted try from another maul and a 12-11 half-time lead.
Rock tool full advantage of the extra man early in the second half when they moved clear with a third try under the posts from no. 8 Matt Cosgrave, which was converted by Quirke for 19-11.
Near the hour mark Wegians got right back into it with a tremendous backline move. Full-back Rory Gaffney started it off within his own half when he broke clean through in midfield, linked well with Darragh Kennedy on the right wing, who despite a double tackle managed to offload to Gaffney who finished brilliantly. Morgan converted again for a 19-18 game now hanging very much in the balance.
However Rock upped the ante, and on 70 minutes they scored their bonus fourth try through scrum-half Mark Edwards, which was converted for 26-18. Wegians were under pressure in the final ten, unable to get out of their 22. Showing great character, they tackled everything that moved and it was only in the last minute the hosts rubbed salt into the wounds with a fifth try scored by skipper Brian Colclough, with Quirke again adding the extras to leave a final scoreline of 33-18.
It was rough justice on what was a very impressive performance on a number of fronts by Wegians who now host wanderers at Crowley Park on Saturday as they prepare for the relegation play-offs in late April.