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Galwegians Rewarded For Late Rally

Galwegians Rewarded For Late Rally

Galwegians produced a storming finish at Bruff as an injury-time try from Brian Murphy sealed a much-needed win for Division 1B’s bottom side.

Brendan Deady's third try of the campaign gave Bruff an 11th minute lead at Kilballyowen Park, before two penalties from Tadhg Leader opened Galwegians' account.

The visitors had Connacht duo Ronan Loughney and Dermot Murphy back in the starting line-up, with the latter playing at number 8, where he lined out during his school days.

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Ireland Under-20 winger Tiernan O'Halloran also made his seasonal debut for 'Wegians, and it was his two line breaks that led to Leader's brace of penalties.

Out-half and captain Tony Cahill kicked the Limerick side into an 8-6 half-time advantage. It was a deserved lead for the Bateman All-Ireland Cup finalists, who dominated the second quarter without really troubling the Blues' try-line.

'Wegians hit back in the 45th minute after two powerful shoves in successive scrums. The Bruff pack could not cope and referee Simon McDowell awarded a penalty try. Skipper John Cleary converted, in the injury-enforced absence of Leader.

The Bruff forwards exerted some revenge with a series of punishing drives, gaining good ground. The Glenina outfit defended manfully until the breakthrough came in the 74th minute, with a quickly-taken penalty allowing terrific flanker John Shine to burst over under the posts.

The visitors were staring at their fourth straight Ulster Bank League defeat when Cahill added the extras for a 15-13 scoreline. But, in a thrilling climax, late tries from centres O'Halloran and Brian Murphy won it for 'Wegians.

Winger Darragh Fanning did well to claim the restart kick after Shine's score, and when O'Halloran was found in space near the 10-metre line, he managed to evade three defenders on an outstanding surge to the line.

It was a hugely impressive try from the Clifden man, who finished with a dive at the right corner. Cleary missed the conversion, leaving just three points between the sides.

However, Bruff were left frustrated when Cleary won turnover ball and brought play up to the hosts' 22. From the next phase, stand-in out-half Dave Clarke punted a well-weighted kick over to the left where Murphy was on hand to collect and score by the posts.

The try denied Bruff a losing bonus point, and Cleary converted with the last kick of the game. Are 'Wegians about to turn their season around? Next Saturday's derby clash with Buccaneers at Crowley Park will be the acid test.

Referee: Simon McDowell (IRFU)