Liam Bibo helped himself to a hat-trick of tries as Galwegians beat UL Bohemians and booked their spot in next season’s ten-team Division 1B.
Galwegians had a strong wind at their backs in the first half and made a brilliant start with the Connacht-capped Liam Bibo nipping over in the corner for a try that Tadhg Leader converted in terrific fashion.
Bibo was put over by another of 'Wegians' provincial players, Darragh Fanning, who followed up on a chip that bounced in the home side's favour.
JJ Hanrahan and Leader swapped penalties before winger Cian Aherne finished off a well-executed breakaway from UL which caught the ‘Wegians defence napping.
Munster's Tommy O'Donnell made the initial headway and Aherne took the ball on, breaking through two tackles to score by the posts. Hanrahan converted to level the sides at 10-10.
In a tight second quarter, another Leader penalty and a try from centre Brian Murphy, who capitalised on a dropped pass near halfway, had the hosts in the ascendancy.
Hanrahan pulled back a penalty after his Ireland Under-20 colleague Tiernan O'Halloran was sin-binned for a deliberate knock on.
But Leader landed the final blow of an entertaining first half, drilling a long range penalty through the posts for a 23-13 interval lead.
Good work from O'Donnell and Hanrahan sent Aherne scampering over for a second Bohs try which went unconverted.
And the scores kept coming as a storming run from Galwegians captain John Cleary set up Bibo for his second touchdown, this time under the posts.
Leader added the extras for a 30-18 advantage, and UL fell further behind when Fanning cut the visitors’ defence open again and Bibo was on hand to complete his hat-trick.
The result meant ‘Wegians kept ahead of Bruff at the foot of the table, with the Limerick side now facing a promotion/relegation play-off.
UL Bohs, meanwhile, finished fourth and were agonisingly just one win away from qualifying for a play-off to reach Division 1A.
Referee: Michael Black (IRFU)