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Hanrahan Makes Telling Impact For Bohs

Hanrahan Makes Telling Impact For Bohs

UL Bohemians kept up their challenge for divisional honours and promotion without playing particularly well against Galwegians at Annacotty on Saturday.

But the introduction of Ireland Under-20 international JJ Hanrahan for the second half made all the difference as he scored 13 points in that period.

Galwegians had the benefit of a slight wind at their backs early on and hit the front after Tadhg Leader landed a penalty after UL were penalised for going offside.

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The Blues continued to dominate the opening quarter, but out-half Leader was just wide of the target in the 15th minute with a second effort at the posts from near halfway.

Despite their lion's share of territory and possession, the visitors could find no way through a well-marshalled Bohs defence, and one sensed that their inability to put points on the board would prove costly.

It was all-square after 30 minutes when Leader's opposite number Ed Torrie successfully landed a kick at goal.

The decisive score of the first half came seven minutes before the interval when winger Matt Dever grabbed a Galwegians try which Leader superbly converted from the touchline.

Injecting some urgency into their play, 'Wegians profited from a good blindside break by Leader who found Dever in space, and the promising youngster dived over in the left hand corner. Leader's conversion attempt struck the woodwork but crucially bounced over the crossbar.

UL Bohemians boss Colm Tucker made the most important move of the afternoon, off the pitch, when he decided to bring on Hanrahan for the second half.

Within two minutes the ex-Rockwell College star scored a superb individual try which he converted. He seized on some confusion in the 'Wegians defence to race through the middle on a swerving run and score near the posts.

With the momentum now going their way, Hanrahan should have given Bohs the lead five minutes later but he scuffed an easy penalty opportunity.

However just before the hour mark he did manage to put his side in front for the first time with a difficult penalty, albeit after 'Wegians were harshly penalised at a scrum on their ten-metre line by referee David Keane.

Despite being on the back foot for most of the second half, Wegians did have their chances nonetheless. A barnstorming break by number 8 Eoin McKeon forced a five-metre scrum soon after.

When Colm Rigney's men were awarded a penalty from the first set piece, captain Brian McClearn spurned the opportunity to kick at goal and opted for a second scrum. But the chance was wasted when the second scrum failed to yield any dividends.

Bohs took advantage some five minutes later when Hanrahan stretched his personal haul to 13 points with a second successful penalty.

Yet the Blues still threatened, with two strong breaks by Darragh Leader, who was a late call-up at full-back, and centre Brian Murphy.

Try as they might, they could not find any way through the resolute home defence, and had to be content with a losing bonus point against the promotion hopefuls.

Referee: David Keane (IRFU)