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Galwegians Continue On Winning Trail

Galwegians Continue On Winning Trail

Galwegians made it two wins on the bounce in Ulster League Division 1B courtesy of a magnificent performance away to the students of UCD at Belfield on Saturday.

The old adage of forwards win games and backs decide by how much was very apt in this contest. The 'Wegians pack utterly dominated the exchanges up front against their lighter opposition, and which allowed the visitors' back-line to finally show the true talent at their disposal for the first time this season.

Although playing against the breeze in the first half, Galwegians took the game to their hosts from early on, and they opened the scoring after 10 minutes.

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A well-worked back-line move saw winger and converted scrum half Barry Lee score his try of the season. Out-half and Connacht squad member Matt Jarvis converted to put 'Wegians 7-0 the good.

The students did manage to open their account through a penalty by out-half Niall Earls, but it was still the Connacht men who were very much in the ascendancy, as the pack outmuscled their opponents and half-backs Dave Moore and Jarvis controlled proceedings.

It was no surprise when 'Wegians deservedly extended their lead shortly before the break, when another good back-line move saw the promising ex-Blackrock College centre Kyle Tonetti score a try on his Galwegians debut.

Jarvis was wide with the conversion attempt, and right on the stroke of half-time UCD were given a chink of light when Earls struck his second penalty to reduce arrears to 12-6.

However, 'Wegians wasted little time in making the most of the elements in the second half. A thundering hit by centre Brian Murphy soon after the restart led to turnover ball.

Following a good charge upfield by Moore, Lee was once again the beneficiary, crossing the whitewash for his second try. Jarvis converted to put 'Wegians 19-6 in front and now firmly in control.

Credit to Bobby Byrne's home side, they responded well and immediately went on the offensive to try and get back into the game.

Although camped on the 'Wegians line for a prolonged period, some excellent defence and one superb tackle by back rower Eoin McKeon lifted the siege for the visitors.

It seemed only a matter of time before the Blues would secure a bonus point, and it duly arrived before the hour mark when another excellent hit by the outstanding Murphy turned defence into attack.

And this time the Shrule native finished off the move himself in style to score the clinching fourth try. Jarvis converted to put them 26-6 to the good and seemingly out of sight.

'Wegians then took their foot off the gas somewhat, and 'College came back into it and gave themselves a late chance of securing something when full-back Michael Twomey got over near the corner for a 70th minute try, with Earls adding the extras.

'Wegians had a chance to extend their lead again soon after, only for the students to turn over ball near their own line and sweep upfield with a breakaway move which almost led to a second try for them.

This cost recently-introduced replacement Tadhg Leader a yellow card, but the 14 men were able to keep their defensive line intact and prevent any chance of a late upset, ensuring a well-deserved first away win in this season's league.

So, after a dreadful start to the campaign when they were pointless from their first four outings, 'Wegians have finally discovered their form. Confidence should be high when they entertain another student outfit, bottom of the table UCC, next Saturday.

Referee: Eddie Hogan O'Connell (IRFU)