- Result: Galwegians Thirds 33 - Claremorris 20
- Venue: Crowley Park on Sun Feb 23rd 2020
- Competition: Connacht J2 League
This highly anticipated fixture finally got played after weeks of poor weather and cancellations Claremorris travelled to Galway to do battle for the league Semi-final spot that was up for grabs.
The game was played in Laurel Park Newcastle and the pitch was in very good shape to the delight of both sides who were ready for action.
It was a fast start for Claremorris with an early penalty awarded after 5 minutes and 3 points were on the board for the Mayo men to open the scoring 0-3. Shortly after Wegians got on the board with a scored penalty from scrum half Colm McGuinness draw match 3-3.
Good pressure from the Wegians back line resulted in a second penalty for Wegians again scored by Colm McGuinness. 6-3. 15 minutes gone.
Wegians forwards were taking control of the game and letting the backs have fast ball which resulted in very good phases in play. A yellow card was given to a Claremorris winger for a shoulder charge off the ball and a minute later Wegians got the first try of the game in the far-left corner which was scored by Wegians hooker Shane Connolly who takes his tries scored this year to 4. The conversion was missed but a great start by Wegians 11-3.
Both sides made good running, phase plays and some tough rugby was played and before the break Wegians gave away a penalty which was scored by Claremorris. 11-6 the half time whistle came with no further scores and Wegians lead at the break.
Half time turn around worked well in for the home side as after 5 minutes into the game a Stuart Hogg Style try was scored from his own half by the fleet footed second centre Ciaran Pateman. Who ran in unopposed showing all his skill and speed in doing so. The conversion was scored by Colm McGuiness taking the score to 18-6.
Wegians were now getting into some great phases of play and were showing great focus and drive to seek out another score. A 3rd try of the game for Wegians came at the 60-minute mark with a great individual try for French Centre Lucien Allard. Try converted again by the boot of the Wegians number 9. Taking the score to 25-6. Hon Wegians !!
Shortly after the Wegians try was scored Wegians were down a man for 10 minutes with Shane O’Connor seeing yellow for not rolling away after some great sustained pressure by Claremorris as they were pushing hard to get back into the game. A well-deserved try was scored a minute later with Claremorris getting in under the posts. Score now 28-13 … Game on !!
At this point Claremorris were really forcing the game with long periods of plays and again their efforts payed off as they again scored a well worked try with hard work done by their forward pack. And the Claremorris number 8 got on the score sheet with the conversion scored it was 28-20 and a nail-biting end was no the cards.
The two quick tries could have gotten into the heads of the Wegians squad, but they never let their heads drop and if anything, it spurred them on. And in true grit and support play the Wegians forwards bullied the Claremorris pack to again open the backs to get fast ball and this paid off with the brilliant running style of Lucien Allard a the Wegians centre again scored a brilliant 2rd try of the match taking the score beyond Claremorris and with the conversion missed the score with 5 minutes to play was 33-20 to the home side.
Wegians really got stuck in and never let up and push hard time after time. A succession of penalties were awarded to Wegians late in the game and 2 constitutive yellows were shown to two Claremorris players before the game was ended by the boot of Wegians number 9, kicking the ball out at fulltime and the blues advance to the league Semi final. !!!!!
A special call out to Ciaran (Charco) Costello who was awarded a man of the match award for an incredible performance in back row and all his tackles really made the difference between the two sides.
This was a true squad effort and the 3rds now take on Westport RFC away this coming Sunday in the league Semi Final. Kick off is 2.30pm so any support for the lads would be greatly appreciated.