- Result: Galwegians U20 12 - Corinthians 15
- Venue: Crowley Park on Sun Sep 26th 2021
A James Gorham penalty with the final play of the game proved the game deciding moment, as Galwegians pushed rivals Corinthians all the way at Crowley Park before ultimately falling to the cruellest of defeat.
A rapid start to the game saw ‘Wegians race into a 6-0 lead, with Conor O’Shaugnessy on penalty duty. He proved his versatility, starting in a less orthodox position at 13 having started on the wing for the senior side in the Connacht League.
The second quarter of the opening half was more even in terms of possession, but Corinthians got on top in terms of territory. Admirable tracking back from Ciaran O’Flaherty prevented a certain try, with the winger seizing on a grubber kick when he was second favourite.
O’Shaughnessy then dropped a penalty effort from halfway just short after Gary Lally made yardage with ball in hand. There was to be no more scores before half time, as Corinthians missed a penalty of their own.
The start of the second half was a mirror image of the first. An early penalty kicked to the corner had the away side 10 metres out three minutes in, and a driving maul gained a few metres before the hooker peeled off to bundle over. Gorham converted to put his side in front for the first time.
O’Shaughnessy replied only 3 minutes later, grabbing another penalty as the lead began to switch hands. There was then little in terms of attack from either side for a ten minute period, as a kicking battle ensued. A tidy kick in behind had ‘Wegians 5m out from their line once more, and an overthrow at the lineout saw the Corinthians’ hooker dart in for his second.
With qualification for the Leinster league on the line, the game became tense, both sides reluctant to make mistakes with only a score in it. With 79 minutes on the clock, the hosts won a penalty 22 metres out, and O’Shaugnessy showed nerves of steel to slot the ball between the posts and tie the game at 12-12.
But the drama was not over. Failure to seal off a ruck inside ‘Wegians’ ’22 saw Corinthians snatch a turnover. It was almost a case of “whatever you can do, I can do better”, as Gorham notched a three-pointer of his own and came in clutch for Corinthians.
A bitter pill to swallow after a super performance, as sport proved how cruel it can be. Next up for ‘Wegians is a rescheduled match with NUIG.