Towards a century at the heart of Connacht rugby

Mens Firsts 5 – Blackrock 17

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Match Result

  • Result: Galwegians Firsts 5 - Blackrock 17
  • Venue: Crowley Park on Sat Oct 16th 2021
  • Competition: AIL Division 2B

Match Report

In the midst of all the craziness and the Galway rain, Blackrock managed to escape the wild west with a 12-point victory. A Russian roulette of sin bins saw eight yellow cards dished out, but incessant ‘Wegians pressure was repelled time and time again in a borderline inhumane defensive display.

When Adam Cunningham’s pass and Karl Waterman’s finished prised open the visitors four minutes in, it would have taken a bold man to predict that was to be Wegians final score of the game. If one were to see the full territory stats, that same man would have been rendered insane.

Some Blackrock pressure followed Waterman’s score, aided by ill-discipline by Blues. Four penalties conceded dragged them from one ’22 to the other, and BCRFC went to the corner. Their rolling maul was causing havoc, and unsurprisingly had Liam McMahon celebrating a try for his side to level the game.

Ten minutes passed with little action, and then sin-bin season was well and truly underway. Prop Paul McSweeney kickstarted the trend for Blackrock, sealing off the ball 5m out from his own line. Ethan Lyons then joined him after ‘Wegians winger Darragh Kennedy was taken out after hitting a brilliant line on the inside shoulder.

15 v 13. Knock ons, close calls, tackles galore. But no scores.

Instead, there was a role reversal. Diego De Los Santos decision to drag down a maul was a strategy also deployed by Matt Towey, with the two men side by side in the bin on 34 minutes. A big Blackrock pack put their foot on the throat and got over with a carbon copy of their first try. This time captain Colm Gallagher got the claps on the back.

That left it 10-5 at half time, with three scores and four yellow cards in the opening forty. Well, start as you mean to go on they say, and the latter period lived up to the billing. 47 minutes in a glorious 50:22 kick from Peter Quirke gave the away side territory and possession eight metres out.

Wegians stood firm on this occasion, with the Blackrock backs getting hands on ball in the opposition ’22 for what seemed like the first time. And scrum-half Mark Edwards clinical finish was ultimately the difference between the two sides, on the scoreboard and in terms of ruthlessness.

An even third quarter was shaken up when centre John Gallagher led with the forearm and received yellow. 60 seconds later, hooker and try scorer McMahon joined him as the referee’s notebook came out again after a high tackle.

For thirteen minutes, Wegians set up camp on the opposition try line but could not find the answer. Flanker Brian McSweeney, who had shown an immense display of ball carrying and support running early on, was then shown the line for backchat after loose hands killed off a dead cert try.

Tensions began to boil over, with the away side receiving their fifth yellow for their part in a melee, but in terms of scores, the game had dried up. Blackrock were victorious, while Wegians were defeated on the scoreboard if not mentally in a game where they were probably the better side. They will have a week to recover, with a trip to Dungannon awaiting on October 30th.

Players

15 Conor O’Shaughnessy, 14 Karl Waterman, 13 Andy Neary, 12 Rob Deacy, 11 Darragh Kennedy, 10 Adam Cunningham, 9 Kelvin Langan, 1 Diego Vergara De Los Santos, 2 Christy Reilly, 3 Michael McColgan, 4 Matt Towey, 5 Ben McGuinness, 6 Kacper Palamarczuk, 7 Brian McSweeney, 8 Kieran Downey. Subs: Andrew Paton, Shane Ryan, Abdulaq Abayomi, Matt Dever, Ben Murphy.

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