- Result: Galwegians Firsts 7 - Malahide 23
- Venue: Crowley Park on Sat Feb 18th 2023
- Competition: AIL Division 2B
A very disappointing defeat away to fellow strugglers Malahide who played with a strong breeze downfield in the first half. Discipline was costing Wegians early on as they conceded 4 penalties in the first 10 minutes with Malahide out-half Dave O’Halloran converting two shots at goal to put them 6-0 up.
Then as the game neared the end of the first quarter the penalty count started to turn and Wegians finally got into the game. A high tackle by center Ben Woods on Karl Waterman saw the Malahide player receive yellow and while Wegians came close to the 22 they were unable to secure set piece ball and never really threatened the goal line.
The home side used the strong breeze to their advantage in the second quarter playing the game in the right areas of the field. The hosts came close to scoring but some excellent goal-line defense held them out. However, they didn’t come away empty-handed following a soft possession turnover Wegians conceded another penalty giving O’Halloran a chance to make it 9-0. a minor dust-up saw at a high and 2nd row Dave O'Brien go into the bin on the stroke of halftime.
Straight from the restart Wegians went on the attack and won a penalty with Jordan Thompson trying his luck from distance but his effort sailed just wide.
Malahide worked their way up the pitch through a succession of penalties and ball retention created an attacking platform and immediately upon his return in the 50th-minute lock O'Brien scored what proved a crucial try to put the home side 16-0 ahead with O’Halloran converting near the posts.
Things were looking bleak for Wegians but great opportunism from fullback Darragh Kennedy to chip into space collecting his own ball to score in the corner brought a glimmer of hope back into the visiting side. Dan Hayes made way for a high tackle following Kennedys try which the referee then decided to award the penalty try this gave Wegians a great chance to get back into it with the elements and the extra man to their advantage.
16-7 down Wegians seemed well poised to make a statement but a succession of errors would prove costly as they were unable to secure the ball long enough to create chances, with the loss of hooker Conor Joyce to an unfortunate shoulder injury adding salt to the wounds.
In contrast, the home side soaked up all the attacks with ease and the killer score came on 75 minutes this time flanker John Shine scored near the right to put the game beyond reach, and O’Halloran skillfully curled the ball just over the crossbar in the difficult wind conditions.
Despite their best efforts Wegians never came close to mounting any late comeback in what was a hugely disappointing performance and result which now puts them in real danger near the bottom with Enniscorthy only 3 points behind and gaining fast with a bonus point win.
We host Rainey Old Boys this weekend with every game crucial to our survival in this league.