- Result: Galwegians U16 25 - Monivea 8
- Venue: Sportsground on Sun Apr 15th 2018
- Competition: Connacht U16 Cup
On Sunday last, Galwegians U 16's won back to back Connacht Cup titles against old foes Monivea RFC on both occasions. In very tricky wind conditions both sides served up up a really entertaining match. Monivea , so threatening out wide played with the aid of a very strong wind in the first 30 minutes and took the first points with a well kicked penalty on 7 mins.
Galwegians showed early intent with lightening fast line speed with early hits from centres Zak Rather and Darragh Kennedy to shut the threat of the Monivea backs down. Monivea used the wind to good effect in the first half gaining the advantage on early lineouts but Galwegians countered this with 4 or 5 turnovers in the lineouts from flanker Garvin Surlis.
Monivea made some handling errors due to conditions but also due to Galwegians pressure. Once Galwegians took possession, they carried very well using their big ball carriers Zak Rather, Darragh Kennedy, George Hill, Gary Lally, Garvin Surlis, Benjamin Hynes, Conor Joyce and Joe Agbo to great effect. They also rucked very aggressively and Tadhg Melville with Garvin Surlis, Gary Lally pouring pressure on at ruck time.
Our wingers also showed very well with lovely carries out of forwards and from the attacking line for the powerful Cian Clancy and elusive Ciaran O'Fleaheartha to carry up the line. Outhalf Jack Beatty did very well to compose himself into a very stiff wind and find touch on several occasions in the first half which built a steady platform despite losing one or two of our own lineouts.
On 12 mins powerful second row Edward Shekete, our captain, drove over the line to bring the score 5:) without a conversion. On 18 mins, after a great carry from Joe Agbo, Conor Joyce smashed over the whitewash to bring the score to 10:3. The writing was on the wall as Galwegians' power and smart ball retention began to tell.
Our scrum half Luke Kelly has had a great season as he filled in several positions and last Sunday was no different for him and he carried ball when asked to do so also. George Hill made some fantastic breaks all day long bringing pressure to bear on Monivea in their own 22. At full back and both a menace in attack and a safety net in defense, Patrick Keane marshaled the back line really well having just returned from a nasty injury in recent weeks.
The Monivea line out was destroyed on at least 4 occasions when open-side flanker Garvin Surlis moved to the front of the line-out for Galwegians. This took momentum all day away from any kicking game Monivea had.
At half time Darragh Creighton our scrum half made a return from a nasty injury to take over the reins from Luke Kelly. Mark Duffy, a powerful ball carrier was also introduced to pile on even more pressure on Monivea by hitting the first ruck of that half with intent. A series of handling errors from both sides led to a scrum to Galwegians inside the Monivea 22 and Edward Shekete scored his second on 35 mins after great carries from George Hill and Garvin Surlis brought him to the line. Jack Beatty converted to bring us 17:3 up.
Later in the half our strong running centre Darragh Kennedy was unlucky to have a well worked try disallowed. Darragh ran some brilliant lines all day and his partner in the centre Zak Rather worked tirelessly all day in rucks and tackles. Hugh Duffy, a fine flanker was introduced on 40 mins replacing the hard working Tadhg Melville and immediately got stuck into the action.
On 42 mins Jack Beatty converted a penalty after a great Darragh Creighton tackle to bring the score to 20:3 for Galwegians. They did not relent however, in recognition of the real threat Monivea always pose from the centre to the wing. Indeed , after multiple penalties in the 48th to 53 rd minutes of the game and Monivea's Shay Hennessy scored a fine individual try after evading 5 Galwegian players. 20:8.
Finally, after 58 minutes, Galwegians worked a fine maul after yet another great take by Gary Lally to gain 20 meters and George Hill, our threatening No 8, scored a fine try to bring the score to 25:8. A couple of late yellow cards saw Galwegians reduced to 13 players temporarily but they never looked like losing this one.
Ben Hornibrook replaced Benjamin Hynes in the second half as hooker and earned his second Connacht medal. Conor Jackson was also introduced for Cian Clancy in the second half and as ever was very defensive and evasive on the wing. Tom Kelly played at 9 all year in both League and Cup matches and has had a fine season as has Matas Sadauskas and Gabriel Herescu on the wings.
The extended squad is: Henri Bartolozzi; Alan Whyte; Marcin Drozdz; Liam Griffin; Robbie Olosula; Bartosz Mazurek; Tristan Kirby; Shane McComiskey; Sean Curley; Patrick Nash and Konah Greefe.
A fine well organised team effort led these boys in blue to their Cup title.