- Result: Galwegians Firsts 41 - Enniscorthy 18
- Venue: Crowley Park on Sat Dec 10th 2022
- Competition: AIL Division 2B
It had to come. Galwegians finally secured their first win of the season when they impressively put bottom of the table Enniscorthy to the sword in a seven-try demolition at Crowley Park on Saturday.
Having found some recent scoring form, the Blues came into this game in confident mood and they took the lead as early as the third minute. An early scrum penalty made a statement, and following a kick to the corner, clean line-out ball resulted in flanker and Wexford native Ben McGuinness scoring a try against his boyhood rivals near the left corner.
However the conversion was missed and the lead was short-lived. Barely four minutes later the visitors scored from their first attack, when a break by Jack Kelly punched a hole, and Scorthy’s imposing centre Nick Doyle finished near the corner with an unconverted try to level the game.
Both sides were giving it a proper go, and the hosts went back in front with their second try on 17 minutes. It came following a barnstorming run by winger Shayne Bolton from inside his own half, swatting off the attentions of several defenders before being hauled down near the line. But the damage was done and captain and no. 8 Kieran Downey finished off to the left for try number two. Darragh Kennedy found his range this time with the conversion to give Wegians a 12-5 lead.
The visitors were still threatening and looking for gaps. An attack shortly afterwards saw them earn a penalty for offside, and they took a shot at goal under the posts which Doyle knocked over to reduce the margin. However the second quarter belonged to Wegians who took a firm grip on the contest. They scored their third try on 25 minutes when the forwards made the hard yards up front, before the ball was spun wide for Rob Deacy to feed full-back Kennedy who joined the line to dot down on the right hand corner.
The conversion was wide, but the Blues continued to pile on the pressure. Doyle was sin-binned for the visitors just before the break, and although McGuinness was held up over the line, the resulting drop-out was run back by Shane Mallon. Good hands and strong running created the space and Bolton again turned provider, finding centre Mark Earle on his inside shoulder to slice through and dive under the posts for the bonus fourth try. Kennedy’s simple conversion put the Blues 24-8 up at the break.
Any chance of a second-half comeback by the visitors was dealt an early blow when the skipper Downey took a gem of a short-side pass from his impressive scrum-half Kelvin Langan, to scythe through the cover and dive under the posts to bag his brace. Kennedy’s conversion put them 23 points clear and home and hosed. With both sides now ringing the changes, the game became slightly scrappy but credit the Wexfordmen who kept plugging away.
They got their second try just before the hour mark when hooker Angelo Todisco finished off a maul near the right. Then on 66 minutes, when Wegians came in search of another score, a stunning breakout saw Doyle sell at least three dummies to go on a gut-busting run and finish near the left corner. This reduced the gap to 13 points to sow a seed of doubt in the hosts. However the threat was short-lived, as turnover ball gave sub scrum-half Andrew Sherlock the chance to fly-hack the ball clear. The ever-alert Mallon took full advantage to gather and dive over near the left.
This put paid to any hopes of a late comeback, and in the dying moments Mallon also completed a brace of tries when he finished strongly once more in the left corner. This was the final act as the Blues ran out impressive and deserving winners. Crucially it moves them a lot closer to the safety zone, having reduced an 11 point gap to just three in the space of a week.
They now face a Christmas break before they resume action against the same opposition when they make their first-ever trip to Enniscorthy on January 14th.