Towards a century at the heart of Connacht rugby

Men’s Firsts 43 – Midleton 17


Match Result

  • Result: Galwegians Firsts 43 - Midleton 17
  • Venue: Towns Park on Sat Mar 30th 2024
  • Competition: AIL Division 2C

Match Report

Our Men's Firsts took their twelfth victory of the season against Midleton, beating the county Cork side 43-17 as they keep their slim chances of an AIL Division 2C title alive.

With a semi-final playoff secured, they went to Midleton to confirm at least a home semi-final and with the hope that rivals Clogher Valley would drop points against Tullamore and bring the title fight to the last day of the season.

There was just one change to the team that defeated Clonmel as Oisin McKey came in for Shane Mallon at the wing.

It was a lightning-fast start for the Blues as Rob Deacy scored one of the quickest tries in the AIL this season.  Winning possession from kick-off, Midleton were caught napping as Liam Angermann went on the break and with both centres on each side, he passed it to Deacy who had a clear road ahead for the opening try. Tiarnan Neville’s conversion gave the visitors a seven-point lead.

Galwegians set the standard early on and eight minutes in, they scored their second of the afternoon, this time it was Ryan Smith after a trademark lineout maul try. Galwegians’ lineout has been incredibly effective as of late and they charged over the line, Smith’s seventh try of the season. It was a 14-point cushion for Galwegians after Neville’s conversion.

Another lineout from close range gave Galwegians a chance to stretch their advantage. Passing it to Cian Brady, he tried to go alone and was just two metres short as he fought off the Midleton defence. An opportunist offload to Liam Angermann got them over the line and he finished under the sticks to lead by 21 after Neville’s third conversion.

It was another sterling first-half performance from Galwegians who scored the crucial bonus point try with over half an hour played. Capitalising on the wind, Neville launched another long-range kick downfield that went dead after a touch from full-back Gary Downey, earning the Blues a scrum. From there, it was once again the centres bringing the x-factor as Deacy got his second of the afternoon to make it 28-0. A Neville penalty before half-time made it 31-0 which gave them the best opportunity to take the fight to Clogher Valley.

Midleton got themselves on the board after the break as Johannes du Toit crossed for their first try of the afternoon. They applied the pressure by going through the phases and eventually the Wegians’ defence gave out and du Toit got over. Conall Doyle converted the try to make it seven but the hosts had plenty of work to do.

Du Toit scored his second as Midleton began to finally settle into the game. Some strong carries got them close before winning a lineout in striking range. Galwegians' maul held them out but du Toit once again found the gap to score his brace and close the gap. Doyle missed his second conversion to make it 31-12.

Galwegians were yet to score in the second half but Neville got them up and running with an extraordinary solo try for his first of the season. Chasing his kick launched his own half, he caught the ball and escaped the clutches of four Midleton players to break away towards the corner for one of the tries of the season for Galwegians. He was unable to perfect the play with a conversion but it was a comfortable margin as they led by 36-12.

Knowing that points difference might be the difference maker in the title fight, Galwegians continued their search for another try and were rewarded for their efforts ten minutes from time. Oisin Halpin scored after another effective lineout maul. Stretched out on their line, Halpin found the gap in the Midleton defence and scored Galwegians’ sixth of the afternoon. Neville made 6/7 for the game with another conversion.

Midleton got the final score right at the end, Killian Lynch scoring the final try of the game. Du Toit once again made it happen for the hosts, making the steal from Eoin Ferry, playing it out to the left wing and finding Lynch. Lynch played the grubber kick and won the footrace against Sam Feely and touched it down to make it 43-17.

Another high-scoring game for Galwegians was enough to bring the championship to the final day. Clogher Valley's 41-12 win over Tullamore puts them in the driving seat for this week’s crunch game over Ballina where a single point will ensure they are champions. With a 53 point difference between the two sides, the Blues will have to pull off something miraculous against Tullamore this Saturday.


D Kennedy, O McKey, R Deacy, C Brady, J Munn, T Neville, A Sherlock, J Winters (C), R Smith, G Daniel, R Holian, E Tarmey, O Halpin, J Vaafusuaga, L Angermann. Replacements: M McColgan, E Ferry, H Gens, D Keane, S Feely

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