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Cleary Helps ‘Wegians Plot Course For Quarters

Cleary Helps ‘Wegians Plot Course For Quarters

Four tries from Connacht side Galwegians paved the way for a comfortable 29-16 victory over UCD at Belfield this afternoon, the win seeing them through to their fourth AIB Cup quarter-final in as many years.

AIB CUP: THIRD ROUND: Sunday, November 8

UCD 16 GALWEGIANS 29, Belfield

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Scorers: UCD: Tries: Michael Twomey; Con: Niall Earls; Pens: Niall Earls 3
Galwegians: Tries: Ambrose Conboy, John Cleary 2, Dave Clarke; Cons: Mark Butler, John Cleary 2; Pen: Mark Butler

Galwegians will face a tough task in overcoming in-form Division 1A side Dolphin at Musgrave Park in their November 21 quarter-final.

After losing three straight games in AIB League Division 1B, ‘Wegians got back to winning ways as they displayed a fine brand of running rugby to defeat Division 2 opponents UCD.

In the early stages, neither team was able to take a stranglehold on the match but out-half Niall Earls managed to get UCD off to a good start when he calmly slotted a penalty in the seventh minute.

However, the visitors quickly hit back in the 13th minute. From a smooth set-piece move off good lineout ball from hooker Conor Muldoon, powerful back rower Ambrose Conboy saw an opportunity when he picked the ball off a ruck and powered over the line to score the first try.

UCD enjoyed some good running rugby in the first half but sloppy mistakes mixed with handling errors ensured that they could not make it over the Galwegians whitewash.

It didnot take long before ‘Wegians got another score. In the 24th minute, Ja Naughton’s lovely reverse pass found John Cleary who used his pace to break through the defence and finish off under the posts.

Fortunately for UCD, Earls managed to convert a tricky penalty on the stroke of half-time to put the score at 15-6 which meant the students were still well in contention.

The second half began in a similar style with ‘Wegians taking control of proceedings as UCD’s lacklustre defence found it difficult to cope with the pressure.

Earls managed to convert another difficult penalty to open the scoring in the second half and reduce the ‘Wegians lead to six points.

Nonetheless, Kevin Tierney and Eamonn Molloy’s side maintained the pressure up front and their hard work paid off with two tries in quick succession from centre Dave Clarke and a second from Cleary, who was in action for Connacht ‘A’ earlier in the week.

UCD: Michael Twomey; Cailbhe Doherty, Andy Cummiskey, Rory Allwright, Tom Fletcher; Niall Earls, John Cooney; Conor Geoghegan, David Gilchrist, John A Lee, Brian Cawley, James Hayes, Matt Nagle (capt), Gavin Murphy, Kevin Croke.

GALWEGIANS: Tiernan O’Halloran; Barry Lee, Aifai Esera, Dave Clarke, John Cleary; Mark Butler, Ronan Dillon; Ja Naughton, Conor Muldoon, Jamie Stephens, Joe Moran, Brian McClearn, Liam Scahill, Ivan Muldoon (capt), Ambrose Conboy.

Referee: Michael Black (IRFU)