- Result: Galwegians Thirds 12 - Westport 8
- Venue: Creggs RFC on Sun Nov 21st 2021
They say that a week is a long time in sport so 29 years could only be defined as some sort of era. Sunday marked the beginning of a brand new age, a new era, as Galwegians Thirds won their first piece of silverware since 1992.
Good things come to those who wait.
Creggs was the setting for the latest chapter in Wegians history, with Westport as pretenders to the J2 Perpetual Cup throne. The 12-8 scoreline was tight, but that is what a final can do. The challenge was passed with flying sky blue colours and the match is part of our memories.
The old coaching mantra of: “Get the first score” can be repeated to the point of blind ignorance, but the point still stands. A cliché does not become a cliché by chance. Eire McCarthy stepped up to heed the advice that is so easily comprehended yet so difficult to execute.
Often it boils down to the basics. A solid scrum laid the foundations not for the first time and not for the last. The execution of hands in the backline was seamless, and McCarthy was one of the beneficiaries of a real team effort, alongside his compatriots in blue. Perfection is impossible for those who strive for anything less.
“Timing beats speed, precision beats power”.
Tighearnán Ó Frighil conversion slid wide as the lead remained at five, before Westport struck with a penalty. 5-3, and as tense as the eye contact and long walk up to the renowned dodgy barber. McCarthy steadied the waters with another try on the stroke of half time, with the lineout the launchpad on this occasion.
Ó’Frighil this time added the extras. On Ireland’s western edge, Blues would be no strangers to inclement weather conditions, and when a late hit produced a yellow for Westport, they would have been well aware that when it rains, it often pours.
12-3 at the break and firmly in the driving seat. But that first 40 was to be the end of Paul Colleran and Dave Gallagher’s men attacking impetus. The second half was merely a glorified example of “attack wins games, defence wins titles”.
“Charco” Costello put in a stellar performance at flanker that earned him a justified man of the match award. Taking pride in doing the dirty work, a masterpiece of interruption and disruption, the architect of devastation.
Westport rallied and their second half dominance was reflected in an unconverted try. The pressure mounted, and Fergal Burke saw yellow at the beginning of the final quarter. And so ensued what could have been a dogfight, but it was little more than a speed bump such was the attitude and application.
This looked for so long to finally be Galwegians’ day, and so it proved when the final whistle did eventually come. 29 years of waiting. Euphoria.
Something suggests they may not be waiting for 29 more.