Towards a century at the heart of Connacht rugby

Men’s Firsts 20 – Enniscorthy 25


Match Result

  • Result: Galwegians Firsts 20 - Enniscorthy 25
  • Venue: Enniscorthy RFC on Sat Feb 10th 2024
  • Competition: AIL Division 2C

Match Report

Enniscorthy dented Galwegians' title ambitions with a 25-20 victory, despite a late surge from the Blues to force a losing bonus point.

Both sides came off the back of defeats with Galwegians losing out to the new AIL Division 2C league leaders Clogher Valley. Meanwhile, Enniscorthy fight for the playoffs took a hit with defeat to Midleton. Both were eager to return to form with a big win to keep their promotion hopes alive.

Only the one change to Galwegians XV saw Jesse Va’asfusuaga start at flanker, with Oisin Halpin reverting back to the middle row.

The game kicked off in horrid conditions, with the combination of the rain and wind leading to some errors from both sides. Galwegians took advantage to make the first visit to the opposition 22.

Galwegians would strike first as Cian Brady crossed the whitewash for the Blues. Winning a scrum on the edge of the 22, Galwegians distributed the ball out wide. Cody Farrell found Brady on his shoulder who dummied past the Enniscorthy forwards to touchdown for the try. Tiarnan Neville scored the conversion to make it 7-0 after ten minutes.

Galwegians were threatening for another, enjoying a long spell of possession inside ‘Scorthy’s half but handling errors were costing them and the hosts began to apply some pressure of their own.

After being held up on the line, Enniscorthy finally got their reward for their offensive efforts, scoring on the half-hour mark. Nick Doyle broke through the centre, driving himself to a metre away from the line. Timmy Morrissey secured the ball from the ruck quickly and dove for the gap in the defence and scored the try to level the game, after Ben Kidd’s conversion.

However, Galwegians took the lead going into half-time with Neville striking a penalty from forty metres out to snatch back the advantage. They led 10-7 going into half-time with both sides looking fairly even.

Enniscorthy would level the game once more after the break as Ben Kidd scored a penalty of his own for 10-10. Ten minutes later, they would take the lead soon after with another penalty off the tee. This time it was more impressive from thirty metres out with the weather playing havoc.

Enniscorthy began to build breathing room with their second try of the afternoon. More magic from Ben Kidd gave them the platform to score with a superb 50-22 winning them the lineout. From there, it was some patient build-up that was needed during the phases and Lee Tracey eventually got them over the line to extend their advantage to 20 after another conversion from Kidd.

Galwegians had their chances inside the 22, but errors at the breakdown or handling errors cost them dearly and couldn’t find a foothold in the game.

It went from bad to worse for the Blues as they would concede another try minutes later, this time it was of their own doing. Entrenched inside their 22 and instead of clearing their lines, they played the ball out wide. A misplaced pass by the Galwegians' backs was intercepted by Fiachra Hourihane who easily dotted down for their third of the afternoon. With the score at 25-10, Galwegians would need to find three scores to salvage anything from this game.

Both sides had a player sent to the bin for a scuffle that broke out late in the game. Galwegians despite losing a man found themselves in the Enniscorthy 22 for long spells and threatened to find a consolation try.

After being held up on the first attempt, Galwegians found themselves back in the game with a late try from Garyn Daniel. The lineout maul powered themselves over and Garyn would be the carrier to touchdown for Galwegians second. Neville’s conversion drifted wide which left them at 25-15.

Lightening struck twice for Daniel as he found his second moments later which gave the Blues a glimmer of hope. Once again a well-worked-out lineout routine from five metres out saw the maul surge towards the line, with Daniel finding his target in the corner. A tricky angle for Neville meant two conversions went wide, making it a five-point game.

With the clock in the red, Galwegians had one last roll of the dice and stormed towards the 22, in search of an improbable victory. But the ball slipped from the grasp of the Blues and was kicked out of play as Enniscorthy got the win in dramatic circumstances.

The win for Enniscorthy ensures they remain in the hunt for a play-off spot while the loss for Galwegians means their chances of a Division 2C title grow slimmer. They look to return to winning ways against Bangor RFC this Saturday, kick-off at 2.30 p.m.


S Mallon, D Kennedy, C Farrell, C Brady, O McKey, T Neville, A Sherlock, J Winters, R Smith, G Daniel, R Holian, O Halpin, D Keane, J Va’asfusuaga, L Angermann. Substitutes: E Ferry, M McColgan, H Gens, R Deacy, R Roche, J Munn, B McHugo

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