- Result: Galwegians U20 30 - Dublin University 29
- Venue: Blackrock College Grounds Williamstown on Sun Nov 10th 2019
- Competition: JP Fanagan U20 League Premier 2
Jubilant scenes greeted the final whistle in Dublin on Sunday when the Galwegians-Oughterard Under 20s won this enthralling contest against the table-toppers Trinity with the very last kick of the game, to leapfrog their opponents and move up to second place after five game rounds. This was a victory to savour, a match played at cracking pace from beginning to end, full of honest endeavour and no little skill from both teams. To say it was nail biting and a cliffhanger simply does not do it justice. This team certainly likes to play on the edge!
With five minutes on the clock, Wegians/Oughterard centre Matthew Farrell, who kicked brilliantly throughout, opened the scoring with a relatively straightforward penalty. This was more than cancelled out by Trinity’s huge lock Nathan Mullan who barged over for a try from close range, converted by scrum half Paddy Lysaght. Farrell added another penalty shortly afterwards to put one point between the sides after a quarter hour.
A few minutes later W/O centre Karl Waterman finished off some fine handling moves to put us ahead again with Farrell converting. The game was end to end stuff for the remainder of the half with some superb tackling from the Westerners, none more important than a game changing and try-saving hit from fullback Luke Cronin who unfortunately had to retire injured as a result. When it was least needed on the stroke of half-time, the Westerners made some poor choices and Trinity left wing Luke McDermott got in for a try in the corner. The conversion proved too difficult for Lysaght, so it was the visitors who had their noses one point in front going in for the break.
The second half started with the home side raising the tempo, and they got their reward after fifteen minutes when they got in for a try by Dermot Jameson following great work from the forwards. Lysaght added the points to put his team ahead by 19 to 13. Things started to look ominous for the visitors when he added a penalty to put clear daylight between the sides at 22-13. However the Westerners kept plugging away, and their huge defensive work rate paid dividends with the referee penalising Trinity to allow them force their way upfield.
With ten minutes remaining lock Ben McGuinness forced his way over the home line, and, with Farrell adding the conversion, there were now but two points between the sides. Remarkably, the referee gave Wegians/Oughterard a penalty at the restart for some Trinity dissent, and Farrell duly slotted the kick from the halfway line to put his side ahead again. Trinity however, not to be outdone, stormed to our line and Mullan again used his bulk to get over. With time rapidly running out, Lysaght added the conversion to leave the score 29 to 23 in favour of the home team.
Moving well into injury time the visitors, showing extraordinary maturity and composure, continued as they had all through the match, running forcefully at the opposition. Then in the last play, following accurate passing from left to right, it ended with replacement winger Lambertus Hechter forcing his way over for a fabulous try. Farrell, on being told by the referee that it was the last kick of the game, coolly landed the conversion to spark wild scenes from team, coaches, and supporters.
Next up for Galwegians/Oughterard is the unbeaten St. Mary’s at home in two weeks’ time. It promises to be an occasion to savour.