Replacement prop Jarleth Naughton piled over on the end of a 79th minute maul drive to shunt Galwegians back in front and deny Dungannon the league points at Crowley Park.
AIB LEAGUE: DIVISION 1B: Saturday, October 3
GALWEGIANS 15 DUNGANNON 13, Crowley Park
Scorers: Galwegians: Tries: Mark Butler, Tiernan O’Halloran, Jarleth Naughton
Dungannon: Try: Ethan Allen; Con: James Shiells; Pen: James Shiells; Drop: James Shiells
Dungannon were hoping to hold out under fierce late pressure, but they could not prevent a second ‘Wegians drive from crossing their line.
The Galway men took their chances in the end and deserved this opening win in AIB League Division 1B, albeit with Dungannon having led on three separate occasions.
Home full-back Mark Butler missed a couple of penalty attempts in a difficult crosswind and a well-struck drop goal from Dungannon number 10 James Shiells opened the scoring.
Dungannon’s John McGuckin was off target with a 35-metre penalty attempt himself, before lock Michael Rainey made the hard yards to set up Shiells for his successful drop.
But Butler redeemed himself by dummying the ‘Gannon defence and breaking through for a 33rd minute try which went unconverted.
A Shiells penalty saw the visitors deservedly nose ahead just before half-time but, in injury-time, a brilliant burst forward by former Ireland ‘A’ prop Peter Bracken teed up Galwegians’ second try.
Bracken also showed great hands to offload in time for Connacht starlet Tiernan O’Halloran to scorch over.
Slightly against the run of play, Dungannon retook the lead on 55 minutes when centre Ethan Allen darted over close to the posts for a seven-pointer.
Allen did brilliantly to break a tackle, scoot pass a defender and he used his power and pace to crash over with two tacklers from company.
However, ‘Gannon allowed the hosts get back into their 22 and after a penalty award, Naughton dashed the Tyrone side’s hopes with his late touchdown.
GALWEGIANS: Mark Butler; Tiernan O’Halloran, Aifai Esera, Dave Clark, Barry Lee; Ross Shaughnessy, Ronan Dillon; Jamie Stephens, Conor Muldoon, Peter Bracken, Derek Boyd, Brian McClearn, Ambrose Conboy, Ivan Muldoon (capt), Ati Olive.
Replacements: Tom Ellard, John Cleary, Jarleth Naughton, Liam Casserly.
DUNGANNON: John McGuckin; Neil Patterson (capt), Paul Magee, Ethan Allen, Andrew Holmes; James Shiells, Melvin Ferry; Justin Fitzpatrick, Chris Knipe, Richard Carleton, Michael Rainey, Neville Magee, Derek Hall, Ali Birch, Stuart McKenzie.
Replacements: Timothy Potter, Glen Sinnamon, Richard Holmes, Gareth McGonigle, Conor Gaston.
Referee: Leo Colgan (IRFU)