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Lansdowne Leave ‘Wegians In Their Wake

Lansdowne Leave ‘Wegians In Their Wake

Lansdowne produced a final flourish as they ran five tries past Division 1B’s bottom side Galwegians on Saturday, with former Ireland international Kieran Lewis scoring a brace.

Lansdowne came into this game on the back of a disappointing home defeat to UL Bohemians, and Willie Clancy's men were determined to bounce back from that result.

Galwegians, who lost 45-14 to the headquarters side in October, made decent headway in the opening stages of Saturday's game. However, out-half Tadhg Leader failed to convert a 12th minute penalty.

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Three minutes later, Lansdowne took the lead when scrum half John Cooney used turnover ball to make a blindside break and create an overlap from which winger Ciaran O'Boyle crossed in the right corner.

'Wegians closed the gap to 5-3 by the midpoint of the first half, Leader clipping a penalty over from in front of the posts.

Back came Lansdowne though, and a late assault on the hosts' try-line saw full-back Eoghan Hickey's brilliant reverse pass put centre Kieran Lewis over in the right corner. Hickey added the conversion from the touchline for good measure, making it 12-3 for the break.

Turning around with a wind advantage, Lansdowne increased their lead with a drop goal from Hickey, the division's top points scorer.

The Galway side stormed back with one of their best tries of the campaign. Prop Ja Naughton went on a charging run, captain John Cleary supported well and kept the move going for lock Dave Nolan to raid through and touch down to the left of the posts.

Leader topped it off with a superb conversion in difficult kicking conditions and the game was suddenly right back in the melting pot at 15-10.

Crucially, Lansdowne were quick to respond. Hickey kicked a penalty shortly afterwards and a concerted spell of pressure led to young hooker Tom Sexton crossing by the posts.

The bonus point was sealed by the Dubliners with five minutes to go. Connacht's Darragh Fanning slipped off a tackle and allowed the experienced Lewis shoot through for his second try.

There was still time for winger Matt Healy to dive in under the posts for the fifth and final touchdown, following up on a mazy break from man-of-the-match Hickey.

'Wegians' third defeat on the trot and UCC's surprise victory over Buccaneers has the Glenina outfit eight points adrift at the foot of the table. Meanwhile, Lansdowne remain in third position, six points behind Buccs.

Referee: Paul Haycock (IRFU)