Towards a century at the heart of Connacht rugby

Men’s Firsts 46 – Clonmel 13


Match Result

  • Result: Galwegians Firsts 46 - Clonmel 13
  • Venue: Crowley Park on Sat Mar 23rd 2024
  • Competition: AIL Division 2C

Match Report

Galwegians confirmed their place in the play-offs with a statement win over Clonmel, beating the county Tipperary side 46-13 at Crowley Park, their sixth home win of the season.

As AIL Division 2C enters the final stretch of the season, Galwegians’ eight-try rout ensures they are in the hot seat for a home semi-final in the fight for promotion, as avoiding defeat in next their game against Midleton will secure second place.

Three changes to the starting lineup for Galwegians saw captain Jack Winters return to the fold as Rob Holian came in at the second row. Josh Munn came in on the wing for another AIL start.

Galwegians looked dangerous from the outset and it took less than two minutes for the Blues to open the scoring. The phase began from their own half but a long looping pass from Rob Deacy found Darragh Kennedy out wide. Kennedy began to break and found Munn on his left who evaded the tackles of the Clonmel defence and finished off a brilliant try for the Blues. Tiarnan Neville converted to put Galwegians up by seven.

Galwegians immediately put pressure on after the restart with a chasing kick from Shane Mallon inviting Galwegians inside the opposition's 22 and winning a penalty at the breakdown. A second try came at the five-minute mark with the captain scoring on his return. It was just the case of building through the phases and Winters pummelled his way through to touchdown for their second. Neville went wide to leave the score at 12-0.

Clonmel got on the board with a penalty just three minutes after Galwegians’ score. A high tackle from Rob Holian gave the hosts a shot right in front of the posts which Joey O’Connor had no problems dispatching.

After a shaky start, Clonmel got themselves back into the game with their first try of the afternoon, as full-back Albert Fronek crossed the whitewash. It was Luke Hogan who made the offload to his teammate Diarmuid Brannock with him making the initial line break. Brannock had Fronek on his shoulder who secured the try. O’Connor’s conversion made it a two-point game.

Galwegians bought back some breathing room with a third try as Ryan Smith scored from yet another lineout. The maul was effective and began pushing for the line and eventually, Smith finished the job to bring the hosts seven points ahead. Neville soon made it nine after another conversion to make it 19-10 with over 15 minutes played.

Clonmel got themselves back in touch after winning a scrum penalty inside Galwegians' half. At a tight angle, O’Connor opted for the posts and was rewarded with three points after a precise kick.

Clonmel were struggling to escape their own 22 with a series of scrums taking place inside. Even after winning the penalty, Galwegians kept storming back. Indeed, their bonus point-winning try came from the scrum. With the scrum in midfield, the Blues went out wide to the left and found Mallon on the left. Shane still had plenty of work to do with three Clonmel backs in front of him. But Mallon fought off the tackles and scored brilliantly in the corner to put them clear.

Galwegians were now dominating with Clonmel conceding various penalties and soon grabbed their fifth of the afternoon as Ryan Smith got his second try, his third brace of the season. Once again the lineout maul was too strong for Clonmel to counter and Smith got in once more. Neville hit two conversions wide but the Blues still had a healthy advantage at 29-13.

Clonmel were waiting for the half-time whistle to regroup but their struggles were compounded with Brannock heading to the bin for a high challenge. Galwegians capitalised to score try number six, as Rob Deacy scored right at the end of the half. Another lineout won saw the centres combine and some clever footwork from Deacy saw him skip past the Clonmel players and capped off an extraordinary first half for the Blues.

Clonmel who had been blown away for most of the first half, came back fighting in the second and were close to a second try on occasions. Liam Angermann went to the bin for ten minutes which gave the visitors the motivation needed to make their drive for the line. Brandon Delicato made his move for the line but was held up and the Wegian’s defence remained firm.

It was all Clonmel pressure for the second half but had nothing to show for their possession. With the clock ticking, Galwegians had the game won but looked to extend their advantage further. With five to go, they got try number seven as substitute  Sam Feely scored his first AIL try. A Neville crossfield kick found Feely on the borders of the 22. With Rob Deacy as support, he passed to the centre who once again slipped past the tackles and assisted Feely alone in the corner to make it 41-13 after Neville’s conversion.

Galwegians went searching for one last try with every point mattering in the league and Josh Munn scored late on to increase their tally. Neville found Munn isolated on the left and played a long ball out to the wing and Munn had an open road to score the try and finish another big win for the Blues.

In a weekend where all of Galwegians' rivals in the top five lost, this was a massive win for their ambitions for promotion. Clogher Valley’s late defeat to Midleton means that Galwegians even have an outside shot at the title, as they are just five points behind with two games to play. It’s out of their hands but they are certainly not out of the hunt.

Galwegians play Midleton this Saturday away at Towns Park where a victory will secure a home semi-final at the very least with the chance to narrow the gap at the top.


D Kennedy, S Mallon, 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. Subs: M McColgan, D Keane, H Gens, B Donnelly, S Feely

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