‘Wegians face hard-earned home play-off against Bruff

Cian Brady goes on the attack in Galwegians' Energia Division 2c game against Tullamore RFC last Saturday at Crowley Park. (Photo: Mike Shaughnessy)

Cian Brady goes on the attack in Galwegians' Energia Division 2c game against Tullamore RFC last Saturday at Crowley Park. (Photo: Mike Shaughnessy)

Galwegians have cemented a home play-off fixture on Saturday week against Bruff in division 2C of the All-Ireland League.

They defeated Tullamore 31-12 to finish in second place overall, meaning that they will next play Bruff, the third placed team.

Fourth place in each division of the AIL (except 1A ) must play the second-last team overall in the division above. Enniscorthy will therefore play Dolphin from Division 2B. The winners of those two games will face off in the deciding fixture of the playoffs.

'Wegians will fancy their chances against Bruff. The Galway city team ended their campaign with a slightly better record of 13 wins, one draw and four losses, compared to Bruff's 12 wins, two draws and four losses. Galwegians also picked up a 13 try bonus, and three losing bonus points compared to Bruff's six and zero respectively, leaving the prospective home side on 70 points, and Bruff on 58.

This gruelling post season can be tough on players, but Galwegians will be licking their lips at an opportunity to head straight back up to division 2B.

They will furthermore take great pride in the way they finished off their regular season, seeing off a game Tullamore side.

Kick off in Crowley Park is at 2.30pm on Saturday, April 20.

Match Report

Under the backdrop of Storm Kathleen, conditions were challenging for players, demonstrated in the opening minutes as the ball went dead immediately.

Galwegians hit the front just 12 minutes in, as Ryan Smith hit double digits for the season with yet another trademark lineout maul try. Their maul was too strong for Tullamore, and Ryan got himself over once again.

A second try quickly followed as the Blues completed a great team move. Playing it wide to the right saw them expose Tullamore’s width, with Josh Munn just a metre short from the try line. Transitioning out to the left again saw Dylan Keane complete the move to score their second of the afternoon. Neville kicked it between the posts for 12-0.

Tullamore struggled to make significant territory with the wind, opting to tap-and-go for penalties, with kicking impossible into the gusts. But soon enough, Tullamore would grab their opening try with some patient play enabling them to cross over on the right.

Tullamore were threatening for a second, and were playing the better rugby in spite of the unfavourable conditions. Galwegians were not capitalising on the wind, but their defence prevented another score for the remainder of the half.

Eventually, they worked themselves back into a scoring position with some intuition from Andrew Sherlock grabbing their third. Another good lineout routine caught out Tullamore who were penalised for being offside. Sherlock went alone with the tap-and-go and took the defence by surprise to score. Another well-hit conversion increased their advantage to 19-5.

The Blues started the second half with a bang and scored arguably one of the tries of the season by going coast to coast. After winning possession inside their 22, Josh Munn broke away and found Neville to hand who began moving towards the 22. Tullamore started to recompose and hold them out before Garyn Daniel finished like a centre and broke away within the 22 to cap off a brilliant score.

Many chances went a-begging for Galwegians in the second half, with handing errors costing them tries on more than one occasion. But Oisin McKey finally got something for their efforts with a try in the corner to wrap up the win late on.

The rain began to hammer down on Crowley Park, but Tullamore didn’t let that affect them with a late try towards the end. Galwegians found themselves running backwards with the wind causing some misplaced passes, and Tullamore pushed them back to their own 22.

Turning the ball over just a metre away allowed them to scramble over with Scott Milne claiming the try and Karl Dunne kicking off the tee for a final score of 31-12.


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