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McHugh Try Makes The Difference For Galwegians

McHugh Try Makes The Difference For Galwegians

Prop Doron McHugh’s third try of the Ulster Bank League season proved decisive for Division 1B leaders Galwegians in their hard-fought 10-6 win at Garryowen.

It was third hosting first at Dooradoyle and Garryowen took a 13th minute lead thanks to a penalty from out-half Jamie Gavin, which took his tally for the league campaign to 70 points.

An early head injury to Brian Murphy unsettled Galwegians slightly, but a classy line-break from his centre partner Gary O'Brien and a spell of pressure from the forwards saw the visitors go close to scoring.

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Loose passing and a suffocating Garryowen defence kept 'Wegians scoreless until the 44th minute when John Cleary landing a long range penalty, with the floodlights turned on as the sky darkened overhead.

The sudden loss of full-back Alex Wootton, who was red carded for foul play, left Garryowen under all sorts of pressure and 'Wegians quickly took control. Referee Oisin McHugh dismissed the Ireland Under-20 international after consultation with one of his touch judges.

Barry Lee's touchfinder set up a lineout five metres out and in-form front rower Doron McHugh (pictured below) was driven over from the resulting maul, with Cleary converting.

But the home side were in no mood to fold, with a penalty from Gavin – straight in front of the posts, entering the final quarter – closing the gap back to four points.

There was another twist when Galwegians' influential lock Brian McClearn saw yellow, but Matt Brown's men dug their heels in to see out a deserved victory.

Garryowen, who remain third in the table, were left to rue a series of handling errors in the difficult conditions, which ruined some promising late attacks in 'Wegians territory.

'Wegians head coach Brown told the Irish Examiner afterwards: “This was a huge win for us. We were conscious of the strengths of a big Garryowen side. It was our biggest test on the road so far and I am delighted at the way we stood up to the challenge.”

Brown's side maintained their seven-point lead at the top of the table, and will be seeking to finish 2014 on a winning note when they visit Dublin University on Saturday, December 20.

Referee: Oisin Quinn (IRFU)