- Result: Galwegians Thirds 17 - Claremorris 9
- Venue: Sportsground on Sun Apr 3rd 2022
- Competition: Connacht J2 League
Galwegians Men’s Thirds secured their second trophy of the season as they just about held off a monumental Claremorris effort to claim the J2 League Title on a breezy, dry day in the Sportsground on Sunday.
Wegians, managed and coaches by players Paul Colleran and Dave Gallagher, are unbeaten this season, and that winning habit saw them squeeze over the line on Sunday as they came up against a determined Mayo outfit. The Colts got off to the worst possible start when winger Jamie Campbell sustained a serious injury in the first minute. Soon after, a brilliant read by the Galwegians winger Alex Micu resulted in an interception and a run in under the posts. Scrum-half Colm McGuinness converted to give the Blues the perfect start with a 7-0 lead.
Claremorris regrouped well however and playing with a decent breeze blowing towards the College Road end, the Colts started applying pressure and territorial dominance. This soon led to penalties, and Shane Meehan was successful with two efforts to reduce the gap to a point. Wegians were playing well into the breeze with some good carries, but the Mayomen were using the wind to good advantage, and just before half-time Meehan landed his third successful penalty to give his side a 9-7 lead at the break.
In the second-half the Blues wasted no time in taking advantage of the wind to set up a penalty, which McGuinness landed with aplomb to restore their one-point lead. However any notion that they would kick on were immediately dispelled as the Colts went right on the offensive. Although they lost openside flanker Dwayne Campbell to the bin for 10 minuies, they responded in brilliant fashion and for 15 minutes they owned the ball and dominated proceedings.
A tapped penalty on the 5m line looked like it would get them over for a try, only to meet some resolute Wegians defence. Eventually the siege was lifted and the Blues took a stranglehold in the final quarter, dominating both possession and territory with better use of the breeze. The chances started to appear as players visibly tired, but the final pass was going astray which left the visitors still in the hunt in a one-point game. Then deep into added time, Wegians laid siege to the line, and quick thinking from Dylan Donohue saw him tap and go to dive over in the left-hand corner for the winning try. Out-half Tighearnan O’Frighil curled a peach of a conversion into the wind and over the bar to put the game beyond their opponent’s reach.
This sealed a hard fought victory for the Glenina outfit, who were made fight every inch of the way by a much improved Claremorris, who gave it a right go. However there was no doubt that the superior team came out on top, and it led to wild celebrations from their large squad of dedicated players as captain Dinny Mulvey lifted the trophy.