Tuam’s second team celebrated another fantastic cup victory when they beat great rivals Monivea 26-10 in the recent Connacht Junior League Division 2 final at the Sportsground.
It was a great day for Tuam RFC as their second team retained the J2 league title, one week after claiming the Ard na Cregg Cup which they won for the first time since 1976 with a 34-3 victory over Ballina.
In the J2 decider against Monivea, Tuam started well with a seventh minute penalty from Alan Tierney. Yet Monivea’s response was swift as they levelled with a penalty of their own two minutes later.
It was Tuam who got the vital first try of the game in the 12th minute. A Coilin Hegarty run and kick had Monivea’s defence stretched and Ja Fallon knocked the ball into the corner. From the resulting lineout, the Tuam pack drove to the Monivea line and Kieran Durand touched down for a deserved try.
Tuam then enjoyed a sustained period of dominance which saw Tierney add another penalty and a Monivea prop sin-binned after tackling Brian Ruane in the air as the Tuam winger fielded brilliantly.
Tuam probably should have added to their lead before the break but given that they were playing against a strong breeze in the opening period, they were content going in at half-time with an 11-3 lead.
The Ard na Cregg holders made a blistering start to the second half when former Galway Gaelic footballer Fallon touched down with the half underway for only a matter of seconds.
He brilliantly converted from a difficult angle to give Tuam an 18-3 advantage.
Another Tierney penalty followed as the north Galway club had one hand on the league trophy. That became two when Hegarty put the result beyond doubt with the try of the game in the 72nd minute.
A sweeping move which saw the ball move from one side of the pitch to the other, with a flurry of pop passes, ending when Hegarty used his pace to evade two Monivea players and score Tuam’s third try.
That signalled celebrations on the sideline and up in the stands as the team, management and supporters got ready to celebrate another fantastic Cup victory.
Not even an injury-time converted try from Monivea could take the gloss off Tuam’s latest cup success as they deservedly retained their league crown.
The victory was just reward for a fantastic two years for this talented team. They have only suffered one defeat during that period and have now won three trophies in the space of 12 months.
Another notable feature of the Tuam squad is that many of the players who have given the club twenty years’ service were worthy recipients of two winners’ medals in recent weeks.
Great credit must go to all the players and also to the management staff made up of Rory Murphy, Sean Higgins, John Higgins and John Hegarty.
For Monivea it just was not their day but they gave it everything right up to the last minute. Monivea had topped the South J2 League and will be back again competing for silverware next season.
TUAM (v Monivea): Ja Fallon; Brian Ruane, Jimmy Maughan, Owen Lydon, Coilin Hegarty; Eugene Sharkey (capt), Alan Tierney; Austin Connolly, Niall Higgins, Barry Ruane, Johnny Tierney, John Duggan, Kieran Durand, Norman Tierney, Mickey O’Connor.
Replacements: Dave Cunningham, Jimmy Wynne, Dave Noone, Aidan Mannion, Joe Mooney, Shane McGough, Sean Lelevre, Alan Keane, Damian Kelly.