Dreams of automatic promotion all but over for Galwegians

Galwegians suffered a severe case of déjà vu against Bruff RFC, losing 32-30 in the dying moments after being 25-0 up before half-time. The loss is a massive blow that almost certainly ends their automatic promotion push.

The game ended in dramatic fashion as Bruff looked to have blown it with a penalty miss from Paul Collins in the 79th minute. However, he redeemed himself with a late winner that struck the post before going over.

Bruff conceded a series of penalties twenty minutes into the game. From five metres out, Garyn Daniel launched a trademark tap and go, which Eoin Tarmey latched onto to score the opening try of the afternoon. Neville dispatched the conversion to put 'Wegians seven points ahead.

Neville scored another penalty off the tee to make it ten. Galwegian then struck quickly after the restart. Cian Brady intercepted in his own half and dotted down between the posts unopposed to put Galwegians 17 points in front after Neville’s conversion.

Neville continued his heroics off the tee with another three-pointer, and just before half-time, Oisin McKey provided the goods with Wegian’s third try. With a free play at their disposal, they played the ball out wide. Kennedy then offloaded it to McKey in the corner to increase their lead to 25.

Gaining possession off Paul Collins's restart kick, Bruff quickly stormed towards the try line with some strong carries. Rea spotted the small hole in the Wegians’ defence to get over the line and open the scoring for Bruff. Collins converted to minimise the gap in the score-line to 25-7.

Bruff maintained their momentum with a penalty from Collins. But it took just ten seconds for the visitors to strike back as Jesse Va’afusuaga got the bonus point try for the Blues after Oisin Halpin’s break from the restart.

Galwegians’ Shane Mallon headed to the bin which gave Bruff all the impetus to get their game back on track. Gaining another penalty advantage, they shifted left and found Andrew O'Byrne isolated in the corner to cross the whitewash, leaving the score at 30-17 after Collin’s conversion.

A handling error by Galwegians enabled Ethan Anderson to boot the ball up-field, forcing Galwegians back to their own 22. Winning a penalty from five metres out, Bruff caught the Blues by surprise by playing a quick tap-and-go. Mark Fitzpatrick was found all alone on the left wing to score, making it a six-point game with over ten minutes to go.

Bruff was now in the driving seat and soon scored their fourth. A perfectly placed cross-field kick from Paul Collins found his target and Fitzpatrick scored in the corner to bring the game to 29-30.

Bruff’s penultimate opportunity would come in the final few minutes of the game. A high tackle from Galwegians had won the hosts a crucial penalty. Paul Collins stepped up to take the kick, which was from forty metres out and at an unfavourable angle. It would sail to the left and wide of the post.

But Bruff would receive another chance to steal the win as Cian Brady was binned for another penalty offence. Again from a similar angle, Collins would have a chance to redeem himself. The ball did veer to the left, striking the post. However, it would go over, much to the delight of the Bruff faithful present.

Galwegians suffer their third consecutive defeat meaning they drop to third, and are now 14 points adrift of Clogher Valley at the summit of the Division 2C. Galwegians’ focus will be on finishing as high as possible in the table, starting with a game at home against Bangor this Saturday at 2.30 p.m.

 

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