The battle of the bottom two in Ulster Bank League Division 1B turned out to be a war of attrition in the wind and rain of Crowley Park on Saturday.
And it was home side Galwegians who got the all-important victory thanks to their quick-fire start to the game.
The early flurry of scores came against the elements and was borne out of ‘Wegians’ determination not to let another result slip.
UCC had the majority of possession and territory throughout the contest but just could not find a way through, but the losing bonus point might yet prove vital – they are a point clear of ‘Wegians at the foot of the table.
Galwegians were against the howling wind and rain in the first half but started with all guns blazing and pinned the visitors back from the outset.
The first score was a penalty try after a five-metre scrum was pulled down by the Cork students. Tadhg Leader kicked the conversion, and Jamie Stephens and Ja Naughton in the front row rightly got the plaudits.
A brilliant break from their captain John Cleary led to the home side’s next score. He made 25 metres deep into ‘College territory and an infringement at the breakdown provided the 19-year-old Leader with the opportunity to add to his side’s lead.
UCC were now 10-0 down playing with the wind and their prospects looked bleak.
Conor Twomey’s charges upped the tempo as half-time approached but despite finding themselves on the Sky Blues’ line twice, they could not notch a try. Two penalties from Andrew Burke was their only return.
Leader missed a couple of early kicks which somewhat opened the door for a UCC fightback. However, once again they could not turn territory into points and on the hour mark, Leader, who was prominent in attack and defence, pushed his side seven points clear with another penalty.
The visitors had found parity scrum with Michael Kenefick making a difference when he came on.
Brian O’Callaghan and James Ryan were prominent too in the tight as UCC started to gain the initiative in the final quarter yet the points were not forthcoming again.
For the home side, a strong defensive effort led by the likes of Ivan Muldoon, Eoin McKeon and David Nolan, who marked his return from injury with a win, helped to keep them in front in a frantic finale and sealed just their second victory of the league run.
Referee: Barry O'Keeffe (IRFU)