- Result: Galwegians Seconds 24 - Ballinasloe 12
- Venue: Moher Road, Ballinasloe on Sun Feb 9th 2014
Galwegians made it to their third Junior cup final in a row after they defeated Ballinasloe, the team that condemned them to a season in Div 1b, with a hard fought, 4 try victory.
A cold capricious wind slightly favoured the home side in the first half on a heavy, cloying pitch.
A forward battle ensued as the wind played havoc with any attempt to pass the ball, and the sticky ground perceptively inhibited the speedsters on both teams.
The home side slowly, but surely ground out solid field position and from a rolling lineout maul, they got their noses in front when John Hayse emerged from the phallanx of bodies to claim the try.
Wegians were struggling to cope with the power of the Ballinsloe pack and were conceding a lot of penalties.
The referee finally ran out of patience with the consistent infringements and Wegians centre Shane Madden was yellow carded for not rolling away in a ruck right on the half time whistle.
Wegians upped upped the tempo immediately after half time and the second rolling maul try of the match saw No. 8 Jack Dineen benefit from the work of his pack when he scored 3 minutes into the new half.
The home side played keep ball against the wind, and Wegians kept infringing enabling Ballinasloe to stay on top in the field position stakes.
The pressure applied by the Div 1a side eventually told when a mix up in the Wegians defense saw winger Cian Loughrey pounce on the loose ball to score. Ruairi Doolan converted and an upset looked to be on the cards.
Wegians made some changes, eliminated the concession of penalties and started to play the game in the right areas of the field by making better use of the elements.
The changes had the desired effect, and a superb chip from the impressive scrum half Conor Lowndes saw wing Eoin O'Mahoney expertly field the awkwardly bouncing ball and score in the corner. Lowndes then struck a fantastic conversion from the touchline.
There was six minutes to play and it looked like extra time was looming. But the young Wegians side had their dander up and were mixing up their play to keep them camped in the Ballinasloe half.
A break on the blindside saw outhalf Ronan Burke float a glorious pass to O'Mahoney how evaded the cover defense to dot down for his second try 2 minutes from the end.
The visitors finished with a flourish when Dineen impressively kept a ball in play by hacking ahead and then showing tremendous pace to beat the scrambling defense to score with the last play of the game.
Galwegians will play Westport on March 30th in the final at the Sportsground.